Function of Protein in the Body

Function of Protein:

Proteins perform very important functions in our body.
1. Maintenance and Growth: Proteins constitute the chief solid matter of muscle, organs and endocrine glands. They are major constituents of the matrix of bones, teeth, skin, nails, hair and blood cells and serum. In fact, every living cell and all body fluids, except bile and urine, contain proteins.

Protein is the first function for amino acids is to supply the materials for the building of the new cell proteins throughout life. During growth periods, new cells are formed and in adulthood, worn-out cells, body tissues need continuous replacement.

2. Regulation of Body Processes: Body proteins have highly specialized functions in the regulation of body processes. Some of these are as follows:

  • Nucleo-Proteins:
  • It is needed for the synthesis of all body proteins.

  • Catalytic Proteins:
  • These proteins needed for the numerous enzymes to facilitate each step of digestion, absorption, anabolism and catabolism.

  • Hormonal Proteins:
  • It is a part of the hormones that control metabolic processes.

  • Immune Proteins:
  • It helps to maintain the body’s resistance to diseases.

  • Contractile Proteins:
  • Myosin, Actin regulates muscle contraction.

  • Blood Proteins:
  • It involved in a wide variety of functions. The transport proteins carry nutrients to the tissues.

  • Plasma Proteins:
  • The plasma proteins, especially albumin, helps in the regulation of osmotic pressure and in maintaining the fluid balance.

  • Individual Amino Acids:
  • These amino acids also have specific functions in metabolism. Tryptophan serves as a precursor for niacin and also for serotonin.

3. Providing Energy: Proteins are a potential source of energy, each gram gives 4 Kcals. The energy needs of the body take priority over other needs, and if the diet doesn’t furnish sufficient calories from carbon-hydrates and fats. The proteins of the diet as well as tissue proteins will be catabolised for energy. When amino acids are used for energy, they are then lost for synthetic purposes. Similarly, when amino acids are used for tissue synthesis, they are not used for energy purposes.