Proteins are large macromolecules and biomolecules having one or multiple long chains of amino acid residues structure that helps in growth of tissues. Protein structure involves chains of amino acids whose connection is to peptide bonds and its folding takes place into a 3-dimensional structure.

The interactions among the amino acid residues take place by the side chains of individual amino acid residues. As per the length and structural complexity, the classification of chains of amino acid residues takes place. This classification takes place as oligopeptides, polypeptides, or protein structure. About 42% of the dry weight of our bodies comprises protein structure. The protein collagen makes up about 25% of the body’s total protein. The protein collagen is what which holds our bones, muscles, tendons, and skin.


What are Proteins? 

Protein is made up of amino acids, which experts call them as the building blocks. Our body needs dietary protein for the purpose of supplying amino acids. This helps in the maintenance and growth of various tissues and cells in the body.

The dietary protein requirement for people will change throughout their lives. The recommendation of the medical experts is that adults consume a minimum of 0.83 g of protein per kg body weight per day.

There is a variation between plant and animal-based protein in terms of digestibility and quality. However, those individuals who meet recommended protein requirement should not be worried by this.

Proteins are available in both plants and animals. This is why, on consuming plants and animals, a person would actually intake protein.

High-protein foods give us both energy and building blocks. Most noteworthy, this helps in the growth and maintenance of a healthy body.

The breaking down of the consumed protein takes place into their individual amino acid building blocks. Also, the reusing of these amino acids happens for the building of new proteins.

What are Proteins Made of ?

Proteins are made up of many different amino acids whose linking is together. Furthermore, one can find twenty different of these amino acid building blocks in plants and animals. Also, there are 300 or more amino acids available in a typical protein.

The particular number and sequence of amino acids in each protein are unique. We can understand amino acids in terms of alphabets and language. So, the arrangement of ‘letters’ of amino acids can take place in millions of different ways. This way, ‘words’ can be created that would, in turn, create an entire protein structure ‘language’.

Proteins fold into a particular shape depending on the number and sequence of amino acids. The significance of this shape is that it determines the proteins function. Every species on Earth has its unique characteristic protein.

Elements of Proteins

Below are the various characteristics of protein:


Certain arrangements of amino acids can make proteins very strong. A good example of this types of proteins is silk fibers, or flexible and elastic, as the skin’s elastin.

Proteins can interlock, just like in a jigsaw puzzle, with other molecules. For example, each type of blood antibody has a specific amino acids arrangement at its tips.  Moreover, there is an attachment of amino acids to a specific pathogen, thereby marking it for the immune system to destroy it.

Work Together

There must be the interaction of proteins with each other along with other molecules. This is necessary for the protein to perform its work.

These interactions might lead to certain functions. Furthermore, such functions are communication of messages among cells, activation of an enzyme, or turn on a gene.

Interactions between proteins are also dependent on chemical properties besides their shape. Furthermore, there is an attraction of positively and negatively charged amino acids to each other. Also, such physical properties allow specific interactions of proteins to occur in specific ways.

Change Shape

Most of the motion of cells happens due to protein. Furthermore, many proteins are dynamic as well as flexible in nature.

A good example here can be motor protein. These proteins bend and swing such that one can say that they literally walk across the cell’s cytoskeleton. Moreover, the entire protein molecule shifts when the neurotransmitter acetylcholine binds to its receptor.

Consequently, a hole gets opened up at its centre. Also, the passing of sodium ions takes place through the opening. This initiates a chain reaction that will send a nerve signal right across the brain.

Functions of Proteins

The human body is made up of a massive number of different proteins. Function is not the same for every protein. Furthermore, this is because each protein is responsible for a particular function.

Proteins make up the structural components of the body’s hormones, enzymes, tissues, and cells. Also, the repairing and replacing of body protein takes place throughout a person’s life. Most noteworthy, this process is what experts call ‘protein synthesis’.

For protein synthesis to take place, a continuous supply of amino acids is required. Moreover, the recycling of some amino acids can take place from the breakdown of old body protein.

However, this process is imperfect. Consequently, dietary protein must be eaten to meet the requirement of amino acids.

Proteins function pertains to the growth of tissues and cells. Furthermore, adequate intake of protein is very important whenever rapid growth takes place or there is increased demand.  This is why, sufficient intake of protein is important during breastfeeding, pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.

FAQs on Proteins

Question 1: What are the foods that are rich in proteins?

Answer 1:  There are various types of foods that are rich in various types of proteins. Below are the various foods that are rich in protein:

  • Minced beef
  • Chicken breast
  • Salmon
  • Whole egg
  • Gouda cheese
  • Goat’s cheese
  • Full fat milk
  • Semi-skimmed milk
  • Red kidney beans
  • Nut mix

Question 2: Does over-consumption of proteins can be bad for the body?

Answer 2: there are negative effects associated with the over-consumption of various types of proteins. Below are the negative effects of over-consumption of protein:

  • Excessive protein can be a problem for those suffering from kidney disease. Therefore, such individuals should consult a medical practitioner before consuming protein.
  • Over-consumptions can increase the weight of a person if there is no caution. Also, it is a misconception that eating protein does not lead to weight gain.
  • There is an association of increased cancer risk and consuming high amounts of red and processed meat.

Question 3: Explain the difference between essential and non-essential amino acids?

Answer 3: When it comes to types of proteins, there is a difference between various types of essential and non-essential amino acids. Furthermore, the production of amino acids cannot take place by the body and so it comes from foods. In contrast, the production of non-essential amino acids takes place and so doesn’t need to come via food.

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