Interesting Facts about Proteins

Everybody wants to acquire a great body physique and for that proteins are one of the most essential nutrients required for our body to grow. Proteins serve as one of the building blocks for the Human Body. Here are a few interesting facts about proteins to help us understand about proteins in a bit more detail.

  1. The word protein was coined from the Greek word ‘proteios’ which means primary or of prime importance. Hence the name itself signifies how important proteins are.
  2. Almost every kind of food we know of contains proteins. Some with a lower protein content, some with a higher count per gram. For instance, 41.6 grams of protein can be found 100 grams of parmesan cheese and watermelon seeds have 28 grams of protein per 100 gms.
  3. Protein provides the building blocks to create a healthy nervous system. Thus they act as an integral part of the human body’s functioning by enabling communication between cells.
  4. Disregarding water, we can say that proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Proteins can be found everywhere in the body, mostly in the muscles.
  5. Proteins have a vast set of functions which it performs. Some functions being, catalysing metabolic reactions at the protein’s active site, responding to stimuli and DNA replication.
  6. Insulin was the first protein ever discovered by Frederick Sanger. This was later on used by a Canadian medical student Frederick Banting to treat diabetes in humans.
  7. In 1883, the word protein was first used by a Dutch organic and analytical chemist Gerardus Johannes Mulder in his paper ‘On the composition of some animal substances.
  8. Peptides are naturally occurring chains of amino acid monomers with amide bonds. Peptides are different from proteins on the basis of size. Peptides being generally smaller in size compared to proteins. But there have been some exceptions like how some long peptides have been referred to as proteins and some short proteins like insulin have been called referred to as peptides.
  9. Proteins generally have a short lifespan but it tends to vary. The lifespan of protein varies from a few minutes and going up to year, but the average lifespan of a protein is 2 days.
  10. From the information encoded in the genes, amino acids are assembled together to form proteins in the human body. According to the nucleotide (DNA or RNA) gene encoding sequence, they are assembled with its own unique sequence.
  11. Measuring the protein quantity of food is done in two ways: Dumas method & Kjeldahl method. As only proteins in the body contain nitrogen, both these methods calculate the nitrogen content to calculate the protein content.
  12. PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acids Score) is a method of evaluating protein quality based on a human’s ability to digest it . With 1 being the highest and 0 the lowest PDCAAS value for a certain type of food. A few examples are :

Egg white: 1

Soy protein: 1

Whole wheat: 0.42

  1. Thus, the importance of protein in our lives is evident, but how much should we take in a day varies from individual to individual. Factors like the individuals body mass, the amount of physical activities endured in a day, rate of body growth, carbohydrate and energy intake level.
  2. Proteins when consumed in excess can cause several health issues like dehydration and kidney stones indicating an increase in amino acid oxidation.

Thus here we have listed down a few interesting points about proteins and their properties helping you to understand about a few aspects of proteins.
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About Author:

Basil C Baby is an Engineer with impending knowledge in several sectors striving to help the regular man with his endeavors.