Why is a lack of protein in the body dangerous?
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How is protein deficiency manifested in the body?
With insufficient intake of protein (mainly animal) with food or under any pathological conditions, almost all organs and systems of the body will suffer: first, muscle mass decreases; the condition of the skin worsens (after all, collagen is also a protein), it becomes less elastic, ages faster; hair begins to break and fall out; there is marked weakness. With progression, the functioning of the immune system may deteriorate, problems arise with the production of hormones, etc. In severe protein deficiency, cachexia develops (the degree of extreme depletion of the body), hematopoiesis processes are disturbed, etc. In the complete absence of protein food, even death is possible.
Why is protein food more important for children than for adults?
For children, protein deficiency is more dangerous, as it can affect the development of the brain and mental abilities, lead to growth disorders and the formation of a muscular frame.
Why do we need proteins in the body
Proteins perform a number of vital functions, we list a few of them:
- Building: protein acts as the basis of connective tissue (muscles) and the cytoskeleton of cells.
- Motor: specific proteins (myosin and actin) are needed for muscle contraction, movement of blood cells (leukocytes), movement of cell components (cilia and flagella), etc.
- Catalytic: all chemical reactions in the body take place with the participation of enzymes, and enzymes just consist of a protein part (apoenzyme) and a vitamin and / or mineral (coenzyme).
- Hormonal: protein hormones include thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine and thyroxine) of the thyroid gland, catecholamines, pancreatic hormones (insulin, glucagon), pituitary tropic hormones and prolactin.
- Protective: immune and mechanical (protein is the basis of the musculoskeletal framework that protects internal organs from damage).
- Transport: with the help of proteins (hemoglobin, albumins, ceruloplasmin, transcobalamin), substances are transferred between cells and within cells.
- Energy: oxidation of 1 g of protein gives 4 kcal.
- Regulatory: for example, proteins regulate cell division and the activity of reading information from DNA.