Proteins in the Diet
Proteins are made of amino-acids, which join together to form peptides, poly-peptides and finally proteins.
These take part in the maintenance of biological functions, growth and death of the body. These are essential parts of the diet and are 2nd most common molecules after water in the body.
The dietary requirements for proteins are about 1 gm/kg/day in adults. Children and pregnant and lactating mothers require additional amounts.
Higher quantities of protein increase acid content in the body. To compensate for this kidneys have to excrete higher amounts in the urine. Calcium excretion also increases. This may result in a tendency towards stone formation. Acidosis may result in osteoporosis.
Protein lack in the diet is a part of protein-energy malnutrition. This can result in growth retardation in children, increased incidence of infections, debility and if severe death. Low albumin levels in the body make a person more susceptible to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular accidents.
Protein deficiency can result from a poor intake, poor absorption from the intestines, increased losses from urine, skin (burns etc.), gastrointestinal tract, or increased destruction as in severe infections. Metabolism of proteins may be disturbed in genetic disorders and liver ailments also.