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Biology / Biochemistry

How much proteins does someone need?



Proteins are large molecules which need to work properly in our cells. These are composed of amino acids. Our bodies ‘structure and function depends on the proteins. Without them the regulation of the cells, tissues, and organs of the body can not occur.

Muscles, skin, bones, and other parts of the human body contain substantial protein intakes, including enzymes, hormones, and antibodies.

Proteins act as neurotransmitters, too. Hemoglobin is a protein which carries oxygen in the blood.

What are proteins?

Protein molecules are necessary for any cell inside the body to function. Some protein foods we consume are synthesized by the body.
Protein molecules are necessary for any cell inside the body to function. Some protein foods we consume are synthesized by the body.

Proteins are long amino acid chains which form the basis of all life. They are like machines that render all living things, whether they behave as viruses, bacteria, insects, jellyfish, plants or humans.

The human body is composed of some 100 trillion cells. Each cell contains thousands of distinct proteins. This allow each cell to do its work together. The proteins inside the cell are like diminutive machines.

Amino acids and proteins

Protein is composed of amino acids, and amino acids are the protein building blocks. There are approximately 20 amino acids.

These 20 amino acids can be organized in millions of different ways, each with a particular role in the body, to produce millions of different proteins. The structures vary by the order the amino acids combine in.

The 20 different amino acids used by the body for the synthesis of proteins are: alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, and valine.

Amino acids are organic, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and occasionally sulfur molecules.

It is the amino acids in the human body that synthesize proteins and other essential compounds like creatine, peptide hormones and certain neurotransmitters.

Types of protein

We sometimes hear that there are three types of protein foods:

Total protein: It includes all the essential amino acids in these foods. They occur mainly in animal feeds, such as poultry, dairy and eggs.

Incomplete proteins: These foods contain at least one essential amino acid, thus the proteins lack balance. Plant foods, including peas, beans, and grains, contain often incomplete protein.

Complementary proteins: these apply to two or more foods that contain incomplete proteins that can be combined by people to provide full protein. Examples include rice and beans, or peanut buttered bread.

What do proteins do?

Proteins play a role in almost every biological cycle, and they differ greatly in function.

The key protein functions in the body are constructing, strengthening and restoring or replacing items, such as tissue.

They can be:

  • structural, like collagen
  • hormonal, like insulin
  • carriers, for example, hemoglobin
  • enzymes, such as amylase

These are all proteins.

Keratin is a structural protein that strengthens protective coatings like fur. Collagen and elastin both have a structural role, and protect connective tissue as well.

Most enzymes are proteins and are catalysts, indicating that they accelerate chemical reactions. For example, they are required for respiration in human cells, or photosynthesis in plants.


Rice and beans together provide complete protein.
Rice and beans together provide complete protein.

Protein is one of the basic nutrients or macronutrients in the human diet, although not all of the nutrition that we consume in our body is converted into nutrition.

When people eat foods containing amino acids, these amino acids help the body to produce proteins, or synthesize them. If we don’t eat any amino acids, we won’t synthesize enough protein to make our bodies function properly.

There are also nine essential amino acids that are not synthesized by the human body, so they must come from the diet.

All food proteins contain some but in different proportions of each amino acid.

Gelatin is unique because it contains a high proportion of a few amino acids but not the entire range.

The nine basic acids not synthesized by the human body are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophane, and valine.

Foods that contain approximately equal proportions of these nine essential acids are considered full proteins. Full proteins come primarily from animal sources including milk, poultry, and eggs.

Soy and quinoa are whole protein vegetable sources. Complete protein is also provided by mixing red beans or lentils with wholegrain rice or peanut butter with wholemeal bread.

At-meal the body doesn’t need all the necessary amino acids, as it can use amino acids from recent meals to form full proteins. If you have ample protein all day long, there’s no chance of a deficiency.

In other words, protein is the required nutrient but amino acids are what we really need.


Protein deficiency due to insufficient protein consumption in the diet is rare as an uncommon disease in the U.S. The 2015–2020 American Dietary Guidelines suggest that 10 to 35 per cent of the daily calories of an adult will come from protein. It’s 10 to 30 per cent for kids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men in the United States get on average 16.1 percent of their calories from protein and women get 15.6 percent from protein.

A lack of protein in the diet, however, is a matter of concern worldwide, especially when it affects children. It can cause malnutrition problems, such as kwashiorkor and marasmus. These are potentially life-threatening.

A deficiency can also arise if a person has a health condition, such as:

  • an eating disorder, for example, anorexia nervosa
  • certain genetic conditions
  • the later stages of cancer
  • difficulty absorbing nutrients, due, for example, to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or gastric bypass surgery

Very low protein intake can lead to:

  • weak muscle tone
  • edema, which is swelling due to fluid retention
  • thin and brittle hair
  • skin lesions
  • in adults, loss of muscle mass
  • in children, stunted growth

Biochemical tests may show low serum albumin and hormone imbalances.


Seafood, eggs, pulses, and beans provide protein.
Protein foods do not have to be meat. Seafood, eggs, pulses, and beans provide protein.

The exact amount of protein a person needs remains a subject of discussion.

As part of a 2000-calorie diet, the FDA recommends that adults eat 50 grams of protein a day. Depending on your calorie needs, the daily value of a individual can be greater or lower.

However, it is difficult to determine exact numbers, since a number of variables, such as age, gender, level of activity, and status, such as pregnancy, play a role.

Many factors include the proportion of amino acids in different protein foods and the digestibility of the amino acids in individuals. How the protein metabolism influences the need for protein intake remains uncertain as well.

The following foods should provide around 1 ounce of protein per serving, described below, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

  • one ounce lean meat, poultry, seafood
  • one ounce of meat, poultry, or seafood
  • one egg
  • one tablespoon of peanut butter
  • half an ounce of nuts or seeds
  • one fourth of a cup of cooked beans or peas

For most people over the age of 9, the USDA recommends eating between 5 and 7 ounces of protein foods a day.

They have a calculator to make it easy to find out how much protein a person requires and other nutrients.

Protein and calories

Protein yields calories. One gram of protein is composed of 4 calories. One gram of fat contains nine calories.

The average American consumes about 16 percent of its calories from protein, be it animal or plant.

Americans have been suggested to get too many calories from protein, but now some experts call this a “misperception.”

Protein and weight loss

Some diets suggest to eat more protein to lose weight.

Results of a review published in 2015 indicate that adopting a specific form of high-protein diet may promote weight loss but further research is required to decide how to effectively enforce such a diet.

Adding protein to an established diet is unlikely to contribute to weight loss, but substituting protein for fat and sugar may help. It may have a detrimental impact to substitute high-fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains with protein foods.

When making this kind of transition, people will understand their overall consumption and dietary patterns, and consult with a doctor before going ahead.

Protein shakes and foods

Protein shakes
Athletes are popular with protein shakes and supplements but people can use them with care.

Eating more protein will improve muscle strength and encourage a lean, fat-burning physique. This, however, depends on the total intake and activity rates of the person in the food.

Athletes and bodybuilders need to ensure that they have adequate protein to build and rebuild muscle, and this could be more than the required amount.

There is currently a large variety of protein supplements available, many claiming to promote weight loss and improve muscle mass and strength.

Most athletes, however, can get enough protein from a healthy diet without needing supplement.

Some supplements can also contain substances which are banned or harmful.

There is some evidence that the risk of osteoporosis or kidney problems may increase by too much protein.

One study indicated that whey protein could affect the metabolism of glucose and the synthesis of muscle protein. Other work suggests that if used in a reduced-calorie diet, at least one form of whey supplement will minimize body fat and retain lean muscle.

One study has shown that whey protein improved efficiency in cyclists, according to the University of Michigan (UOM), and while another has indicated that it may contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis, although this may also be due to other factors.

The UOM states that for every 2.2 pounds of body weight, anyone using whey protein will eat no more than 1.2 grams.

Additionally, whey protein and related products have no FDA clearance as supplements. This means that power over their contents is minimal or no.

Anyone considering taking protein supplements for health purposes should speak to a professional who specializes in sports medicine.

Protein tips

A diverse and balanced diet should provide enough protein for most people.

Eating more steak does not automatically mean that protein intake. Certain options will help you maintain a balanced intake of proteins.

Here are some recommendations:

  • Eat a variety of protein foods, choosing from fish, meat, soy, beans, tofu, nuts, seeds, and so on.
  • Choose low-fat meat, poultry, and dairy products, and trim the fat from the meat. Opt for smaller portions and avoid processed meats, as they have added sodium.
  • Use cooking methods that do not add extra fat, such as grilling.
  • Check the ingredients in “protein bars,”as they can also be high in sugar.
  • Opt for healthier versions of your usual favorites, for example, wholemeal rather than white bread and unsweetened peanut butter.
  • Experiment with plant-based proteins, such as beans, lentils, and soy products.
  • Choose nutrient-rich foods that provide other benefits, such as fiber.


Is it dangerous to use protein shakes and whey protein in a weight-loss diet?


Protein shakes and whey protein are acceptable to incorporate in a healthy weight-loss diet plan, as long as the total daily protein intake does not consistently exceed a person’s recommended daily allowance for protein, and as long as a person is replacing other sources of calories with proteins, and not simply adding extra calories to their day.

Greatly exceeding protein needs can be damaging to a person’s health, including kidney damage and dehydration. Katherine Marengo LDN, RD

Answers represent the opinions of our medical experts. All content is strictly informational and should not be considered medical advice.

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Biology / Biochemistry

Rotator cuff: What you need to know



The rotator cuff is a group of muscles that aid in the movement of the arm and shoulder. Rotator cuff injuries are fairly prevalent, but there are a number of effective therapies available.

The supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis are the four muscles that make up the rotator cuff.

Arm movement and shoulder rotation are controlled by these muscles working together. They also aid in the retention of the humerus, or upper arm bone, in the scapula, or shoulder blade, socket. The glenoid is the name for this socket.

Rotator cuff injuries are rather prevalent, particularly among the elderly, sports, and people who work in physically demanding jobs. A medical professional can diagnose a rotator cuff injury and provide the best treatment options.

The structure and function of the rotator cuff, as well as typical injuries that affect this muscle group, are discussed in this article.

Meaning and functions

rotator cuff injury

The rotator cuff, which connects the humerus to the scapula, is made up of four muscles and tendons. These muscles and tendons act as a cuff around the shoulder joint, providing stability.

These muscles have their own distinct movements in addition to their collective function. The supraspinatus, for example, abducts the arm away from the body and aids in the movement of the deltoid muscle in the shoulder. The infraspinatus and teres minor help with lateral rotation, whereas the subscapularis helps with medial rotation.

When to contact a doctor

Anyone suffering from prolonged shoulder pain should consult a physician or orthopedic surgeon. These experts can assess the shoulder, identify the cause of pain, and recommend treatment choices to alleviate symptoms and speed healing.


rotator cuff anatomy

Other components, in addition to the muscle groups that make up the rotator cuff, aid in mobility and function.

These muscles are connected by several nerves, which send important signals throughout the rotator cuff. The subscapular nerve, suprascapular nerve, and axillary nerve are among them. Bursae, which are fluid-filled sacs that separate tissues, are also seen in the rotator cuff. These bursae operate as cushions, minimizing friction and protecting various tissues.

Common conditions

The following are some of the most prevalent rotator cuff injuries:


A rotator cuff tear occurs when one of the cuff tendons is torn. This rip can damage one or more tendons, although the supraspinatus tendon is the most often injured.

A partial or full-thickness tear can occur. The tendon is damaged but not entirely severed in a partial tear, also known as an incomplete tear. A full-thickness, or complete, rip completely separates the tendon from the bone and can result in a hole.

Injury and degeneration are the most common causes of rotator cuff tears. An acute tear occurs when a tendon is torn as a result of trauma or an accident. Most tears, on the other hand, are degenerative, meaning that they develop slowly over time. A degenerative tear can occur as a result of repeated stress on the tendon, a reduction in blood flow as people age, or bone spurs.

To detect a whole or partial tendon tear, medical experts may employ imaging techniques such as X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI.


The inflammation of the rotator cuff tendons is known as rotator cuff tendinitis. This condition can affect people of any age, depending on their level of activity.

Tendonitis is a condition that happens when the tendons are irritated or damaged as a result of sports or repetitive overhead movements. Shoulder impingement, commonly known as swimmer’s shoulder, is a condition in which a tendon or bursa presses against the shoulder blade, creating pain. This type of injury is common in people who participate in sports like baseball and tennis, as well as those who work in construction and painting.

A doctor may perform a physical exam and suggest imaging tests to help confirm the diagnosis after asking about the person’s specific symptoms.


The inflammation of a bursa is referred to as bursitis. When a person moves their arm, these lubricating sacs allow the rotator cuff tendons to slide freely. Bursitis can cause when there is too much friction in the shoulder from repetitive movements or injuries.

To diagnose bursitis of the shoulder, a doctor will often perform a physical exam and use imaging studies, similar to other rotator cuff injuries.

Symptoms of injury

The symptoms of rotator cuff damage differ based on the person and the type of injury. The following are some of the most common injury symptoms:

  • a clicking or popping sound when moving the arm
  • weakness in the shoulder
  • pain or swelling in the shoulder
  • difficulty moving the arm

Tips and treatments

Depending on the nature and severity of the rotator cuff injury, treatment methods may differ. A doctor may suggest the following as part of therapy and recovery:

  • sleeping on the unaffected side or on the back
  • taking warm baths or showers to help relax the muscles
  • taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or pain medications to minimize swelling and discomfort
  • applying cloth-wrapped ice packs to the affected area
  • resting and avoiding activities that may irritate the shoulder

When a person can use their shoulder comfortably, a doctor may recommend rehabilitation activities to help with healing. These stretches and exercises may also aid in the prevention of future injuries. Other treatment options may be referred by a doctor to a physical therapist or specialist.

A doctor may recommend surgery in more severe circumstances if nonsurgical methods are unlikely to be beneficial.


The rotator cuff is a collection of four muscles in the shoulder that control arm movement and rotation. Rotator cuff injuries are extremely prevalent because the shoulder joint is very flexible and people utilize it regularly for both sport and employment.

Anyone who is experiencing severe or persistent shoulder pain should see a doctor for a diagnosis. Resting, avoiding intense activities, and practicing moderate stretches are common treatments.



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Biology / Biochemistry

Can you treat cataracts with eye drops instead of surgery?



Cataracts, the most common cause of human blindness, may one day be treated with eye drops rather than surgery.

A study headed by the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) published in the journal Nature illustrates how an eye drop solution containing a natural steroid reduced cataracts in dogs.

Our eyes’ lenses are largely made up of crystallin proteins, which serve two purposes: they allow us to alter focus and they maintain the lens clean. Nobody understands how they accomplish this.

Cataracts arise when the delicate structure of the crystallin proteins is disturbed, causing them to clump together and cloud the lens.


The lens is also high in lanosterol, a substance that is a key component of several important hormones in the body. An enzyme called lanosterol synthase produces lanosterol.

The researchers were interested in lanosterol after discovering that children with an inherited type of cataracts shared the same lanosterol synthase-blocking gene mutation.

They reasoned that in normal eyes, whose lenses are loaded with lanosterol, the clumping of cataract-forming proteins is prevented.

Lanosterol decreased clumping in cataract-forming proteins

Starting with lab cells and advancing to animals, the researchers conducted three sets of studies.

First, the researchers discovered that lanosterol reduced the clumping of cataract-forming proteins in human lens cells. They next demonstrated that treating rabbits with lanosterol decreased cataracts and enhanced lens clarity.

Cataracts: Some Quick Facts

  • Risk factors include too much sun, diabetes, tobacco and alcohol.
  • Most cataracts develop later in life
  • Cataracts account for 51% of world blindness

Learn more about cataracts

Finally, they found that the lanosterol solution – in both injection and eye drop form – had the same impact in decreasing protein clumping in live dogs with cataracts as it did in human lens cells and rabbit lenses: cataracts were decreased and lens transparency improved.

The researchers come at the following conclusion:

“Our study identifies lanosterol as a key molecule in the prevention of lens protein aggregation and points to a novel strategy for cataract prevention and treatment.”

It might be a game changer if lanosterol in the form of eye drops proves to be an effective therapy for cataracts in people.

Cataract surgery is now the only technique to treat them. However, this is not a choice offered to everyone. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there exist restrictions in many countries that prohibit people from receiving treatment, hence cataract remains the major cause of blindness.

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Biology / Biochemistry

How can individuals tell if they’re having a seizure?



Seizures are caused by an abnormal surge of electrical activity in the brain. Seizures can be random, but some people have triggers that might cause them. Being aware of possible triggers can assist to reduce the likelihood of experiencing them.

Seizures are sudden, brief changes in movement, behavior, sensation, or states of consciousness caused by aberrant electrical discharges in the brain. Seizure symptoms range depending on which parts of the brain are affected and how severe they are.

Seizures are classified by the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) depending on the kind of onset or where they begin in the brain.

Seizures can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, brain damage, or underlying illnesses. Seizure triggers do not cause seizures, but they can cause them in people who are prone to them.

Stress, fatigue, and the lack of medications are all typical factors. Knowing what might cause seizures and how to avoid them will help you avoid them.

In this post, we will look at some of the most frequent seizure triggers, the distinction between causes and triggers, and how to detect probable triggers.

Common triggers

Epileptic Patient

Some people with epilepsy, especially those who have experienced recurring seizures, may observe that they happen in predictable patterns or in certain people. These variables, often known as seizure triggers, may increase the likelihood of seizures. Some people with epilepsy, on the other hand, may not have any triggers. Seizures can be triggered by a variety of triggers, including:

Missed medications

Anti-epileptic medications must be taken on a regular basis to maintain a constant amount of medication in the body. A person’s risk of seizures increases if they miss a dosage, and seizures become more severe or occur more frequently as a result.

If you don’t take them as directed, you might develop status epilepticus, a long-term seizure that doctors consider a medical emergency.

Sleep deprivation and tiredness

According to a 2020 research, seizures and sleep have a bidirectional link, with seizures causing sleep deprivation and sleep deprivation triggering seizures. During typical sleep-wake cycles, changes in the brain’s electrical and hormonal activity occur, which may contribute to seizures and affect their intensity and length.


Seizures are frequently triggered by stress. However, the actual nature of their relationship remains unknown. Everyone reacts to stress differently, and stress can take many forms. A person may get stressed as a result of big life events or a pile of everyday annoyances.

Stress may have a physical impact on the body, resulting in a loss of sleep, a shift in dietary habits, and the use of alcohol or other substances, all of which can lead to seizures.


Small quantities of alcohol are unlikely to cause seizures. Even for people who do not have epilepsy, consuming an excessive amount of alcohol in a short period of time might trigger a seizure.

When the effects of alcohol on the body start to wear off, alcohol-related seizures become more likely. They can happen anywhere between 6 and 72 hours after drinking. Alcohol can also impair sleep and interfere with medicines, raising the chance of a seizure.

Flashing lights

Flashing lights or contrasting patterns might trigger a seizure in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Photosensitive seizures affect only around 3% of epilepsy people. This variety appears to be more frequent in females and younger people, according to evidence.

Nutrition and deficiencies

If a diabetic suffers from severe hypoglycemia, which can develop as a result of missing meals, their extremely low blood sugar levels might trigger a seizure.

Vitamin and mineral deficits can also cause seizures in certain people. Vitamin B6 deficiency can trigger seizures in newborns, however it is less prevalent in adults. Mineral imbalances, such as calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium, can cause seizures by altering brain cell electrical activity.

Infection and illness

Seizures might be triggered by illness in certain people. This might be caused by the illness’s physical impact on the body, a lack of sleep, bad dietary habits, certain drugs, or dehydration.

Seizures are frequently caused by a viral infection of the central nervous system. Seizures can be triggered by common ailments like sinus infections or a cold in rare cases.


Catamenial epilepsy is a kind of epilepsy in which seizures become worse or more common during specific people of the menstrual cycle. This is extremely uncommon, and research shows that it is caused by variations in progesterone and estrogen levels.


According to a 2017 research, low pressure and excessive humidity might trigger seizures. Although there isn’t conclusive evidence that weather has an influence on seizure risk.

Seizures are more common in the winter, according to a 2018 research. However, according to a survey conducted by the Epilepsy Society, extreme heat can provoke breakthrough episodes in well-controlled seizures and make uncontrolled seizures more severe and intense. This suggests that extremes in temperature might produce physiological changes that lead to seizures.

Certain medications

Seizures may be triggered by several over-the-counter drugs. Antidepressants, stimulants, tramadol, and isoniazid are among the drugs that have been linked to seizures in certain people, according to a 2016 research.

Triggers vs. causes

The cause of epilepsy is unknown in two out of every three people . It can, however, be caused by genetic problems or brain ailments including stroke, traumatic brain damage, infections, or other neurological diseases.

Although a seizure can be triggered by a trigger, seizure triggers are not the same as seizure causes. A stressful circumstance, for example, might provoke a seizure, but the underlying cause of the seizure could be brain structural damage.

Because seizures are unpredictable, it may be difficult to figure out why they happen, and some people mistakenly believe that triggers like exhaustion are to blame. However, it’s more likely that the person was already predisposed, and the trigger just triggered a seizure in someone who was already vulnerable.

Reflex seizures

Seizures are typically unpredictable and can happen at any time. While some people may identify triggers, many people’s triggers are more general, such as stress or exhaustion. Other people, on the other hand, may have reflex seizures, which are seizures that occur on a regular basis as a result of particular and recognizable stimuli or cognitive processes.

Potential stimuli, such as seeing flashing lights or touching hot water, or interior stimuli, such as feeling particular emotions or going through specific mental processes, can all cause reflex seizures. This is quite uncommon.

How to Recognize Triggers

Identification of a person’s particular seizure triggers can be challenging and time-consuming. A seizure diary can be kept to record actions or events that lead up to a seizure. Over time, a pattern may emerge, exposing likely seizure triggers.

A person should try to manage their condition and prevent or decrease exposure to potential triggers while seeking to identify likely triggers. People can attempt the following suggestions:

  • taking medication as their doctor prescribes
  • getting enough and regular sleep
  • lowering stress


Stimuli that can induce a seizure in some people are known as seizure triggers. Individual triggers vary, but common ones include illness, tiredness, alcohol, and a lack of medication.

Triggers are not the same as causes. Seizures are frequently caused by underlying conditions, whereas triggers simply cause seizures in people who are already predisposed to them.

People may find it difficult to identify their own specific triggers, but maintaining a journal of possible triggers and avoiding certain stimuli may help prevent seizures.



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