Derived from the Greek term “protos”, it’s no wonder protein is of the utmost importance to human life, meaning “taking first place”. Proteins contain amazing nutrients that are fundamental to our basic structure as human beings. Without the assistance of protein, our key body parts: connective tissue, cells, muscles, organs, muscles, and even bones would no longer hold together. This hugely important function of protein is only one function that is played. When it comes to metabolism, proteins help trigger chemical reactions for every enzyme inside our bodies. The make-up of many important regulatory hormones such as insulin, are also proteins. Included are key molecules in our immune system as well as major molecules that assist in carrying nutrients throughout the body. Some known are immunoproteins, structural proteins, transport proteins, hormonal proteins, and enzymes.
Made up from smaller molecules named amino acids, proteins are strung like beads on a chain, held together by chemical bonds. This string of amino acids becomes a functional protein when it folds on itself, becoming a three-dimensional, entwined and twisted structure. Coming in many sizes, amino acid chains can be small: such as 51 amino acid long hormone insulin. The majority of proteins are larger, mostly containing in the range of 200-400 amino acids.
Similar to simple sugars, to such an extent as serving as the very building blocks for all of the other molecules within their nutrient class. Composed of amino acids, proteins contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Amino acids are also your body’s main way of getting nitrogen.