In this day and age, unless we are thinking about children living in third world countries, we tend to think of malnutrition and protein deficiency as being a thing of the past, like scurvy on the pirate ships of olden days. But, protein deficiencies are a lot more common than you think, even in developed countries.
When we don't get enough protein in our diets, we are subjecting ourselves to countless health problems. Some of the health issues caused by protein deficiencies include breast and colon cancers, cirrhosis of the liver, edema, muscle weakness and deterioration, low blood pressure, low heart rate, and heart disease, just to name a few. Insufficient protein in our diets can even lead to complications during surgery, and longer healing times, because there is not enough protein in the body for tissue growth and recovery.
One of the most important things that have been learned about protein deficiencies is that there is a decrease in serum proteins, especially within the albumin fraction. In a normal, healthy adult, total proteins in serum should be 6-8 grams per 100 ml of albumin. This number decreases when the body is not getting the amount of the right proteins that it needs. This can be a very serious issue, because basically, for each gram of albumin that the body loses, approximately 30 grams of protein is lost. When it comes to testing for protein deficiencies, testing protein serum often produces better results than regular blood testing.
All About Protein
Protein is a macronutrient that the body depends on, in order to survive. Protein is comprised of chains of amino acids, and contains hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon. It is not only essential for survival; it is also a dietary source of energy. Studies have shown that a number of serious health issues and diseases could be prevented by getting enough of the right proteins in our diets, and in addition, we would have added energy. There are two types of amino acids, essential and non-essential.
Essential Amino Acids - There are eight essential amino acids. These are amino acids that the body requires, but is unable to produce itself, so they must come from dietary sources and protein supplements. The eight essential amino acids are: leucine, methionine, isoleucine, lysine, valine, threonine, phenylanine and tryptophan.
Non-Essential Amino Acids - These are amino acids that the body needs (they are just as important as the essential amino acids), and is able to manufacture itself. The 14 non-essential amino acids are: apartic acid, cystine, glutamine, alanine, asparagines, glycene, histidine, l-arginine, cysteine, taurine, serine, proline, threonine and glutathione.
When it comes to proteins, there are two different types: complete proteins and incomplete proteins. Complete proteins are those that contain all 22 of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Incomplete proteins do not contain all of the amino acids, but you can still eat these foods to get all of the proteins you need if you eat them in combination.
Protein Supplements Can Help
If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, either because you have a tendency to skip meals (especially breakfast), or just do not eat right, there are steps you can take to make sure that you are still getting the protein you need. One of these steps is to include protein supplements in your diet.
Protein supplements have been used by bodybuilders and other athletes for a number of years, because they understand the need for protein, to build muscle, for muscle recovery after workouts, and for added energy. These days, it is not just athletes who are taking advantage of the benefits of protein supplements to get the nutrients they are missing from their diets. Many people use them, including dieters, people who are trying to gain weight, people who are recovering from surgery, and others who need additional protein in their daily diets.
There are a number of different types of protein supplements you can use to make sure that you are getting enough protein, and often, these supplements also contain many other vitamins and nutrients your body needs. In addition to protein capsules, which can be taken any time with your favorite liquid (water, milk or juice is recommended). The most popular types of protein supplements are protein powders, liquid proteins and protein shots.
Protein Powders: If you choose to use powdered protein supplements, you are choosing one of the most versatile forms of protein supplements on the market today. Unflavored protein powders can be added to just about any drink, and most of your favorite recipes for healthy, protein-packed meals and snacks. You can also get flavored protein powders that taste great when added to a number of drinks, including shakes, smoothies and slushies. These protein supplements are available in such flavors as berry, fruit punch, pineapple and mango. You can mix your protein drinks in take-along cups, and they become portable meal replacements you can have on the go.
Liquid Protein Supplements: If you are looking for a protein supplement that is ready for you to take along with you and drink anywhere, there are many delicious liquid protein supplements available at health, department and grocery stores, as well as pharmacies, and even in some convenience stores. These supplements can also be added to your drinks, and there are unflavored liquid protein supplements that you can add to certain recipes. If you are allergic to milk and milk products, or are lactose intolerant, you need to read the ingredients carefully, because many liquid protein supplements are milk-based.
Protein Shots: These are another portable form of liquid protein supplement. These small and delicious shots of liquid protein have 25 to 30 grams of protein per serving, so even drinking one in a day will provide half of the recommended daily intake. Protein shots are available in such flavors as sour apple, lime, cherry, raspberry and grape. Protein shots are becoming increasingly popular with people who are constantly on the go, and need an extra shot of protein during the day.Health Issues Caused by Protein Deficiency
About Protica Research
Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm specializing in the development of protein-rich, capsulized foods (dense nutrition in compact liquid and food forms). Protica manufactures Profect protein beverage, IsoMetric, Fruitasia and more than 100 other brands in its GMP-certified, 250,000 square foot facility.
You can learn more about Protica at http://www.protica.com
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