PROTEIN METABOLISM

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Main component of protein is amino acids which are off-shoots of Nitrogen, Sulphur, Carbon, Hydrogen and oxygen, that is , when these elements combine together, they give birth to amino acids which, in turn, are the main stay of protein. Proteins are converted into amino acids by the body’s chemical processes which help to build up, strengthen and sustain tissue in the body. Not only that, amino acids re-build up the worn out and impaired tissues, especially during disease and old age. Extra amount of amino acids are converted into glucose by the liver. Nitrogen is an important constituent of protein, which is excreted via urine in the form of urea. In diabetics, proteins, instead of breaking into amino-acids, break into glucose which helps, the blood sugar level to rise. Excess of protein also damages the kidneys, enhances albumin and creates various disorders of digestion. But all said and done, tissues and muscles do require protein for growth of body tissues and for their repair when damaged.

Protein is abundantly found in soyabean, vegetables, animal sources like milk, butter, other milk products, eggs, fish, meats, pulses, maize, corn, grams etc. For the vegetarians soyabean, pulses and milk are the best sources of protein, and for non-vegetarians fish and eggs are the best sources. In food, protein should form 40% part of a diet. In any case, escape of protein, through urine, should always be guarded against, otherwise protein urea may result in, damaging various vital parts within the kidney, sometimes in conjunction with other-precipitants.

During growth stage, protein is required in higher quantity for proper growth of body, along with other necessary nutrients. In health, the body converts protein into amino-acids which serve to strengthen the tissues but, in diabetes, amino-acids are converted into sugar. Due to limited retentive storage capacity of the liver, the sugar, so produced, finds its way into the blood steam along with sugar generated by carbohydrates, as a result of which excess quantity of sugar gets spilled over to blood stream, causing rise in blood sugar level. The fact is that liver fails to convert excessive amino-acids to glucose. From infancy to old age protein continues to remain an essential nutrient for the body. One gram of protein supplies 4 calories and, in dietary charts, its various sources are utilized to make up for protein supply and supplementation job.

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