10 Types of Protein and Its Function for the Body to Stay Healthy

The type of protein that we have known is what helps build muscle mass. Did you know, it turns out that protein in the body has many types and has each of its functions for the body. Let’s see the explanation below to get information about the type, function of proteins, to the effects of protein deficiency for the body!

Types of Protein and Its Functions for the Body

Protein is a macronutrient that helps the growth and maintenance of body tissues. Amino acids are the basic building blocks of protein and are categorized as essential or non-essential compounds. Essential amino acids are obtained from protein-rich foods such as meat, beans, and chicken, while those that are not essential are naturally found in the body.

Here are a number of types of proteins and their functions for the body:

1. Hormone Protein

Hormones are chemicals made from proteins produced by endocrine gland cells. The hormone, which is normally transmitted through the blood, acts as a chemical messenger that sends signals from one cell to another. Each hormone affects certain cells in the body known as target cells.

These cells have specific receptors on which the hormone attaches itself to send signals. For example, this type of protein is insulin released by the pancreas to regulate blood sugar levels in the body.

2. Structural Proteins

This protein is also known as a fibrous protein. Structural protein is a component that the body needs, including collagen, keratin, and elastin.

Collagen functions to form the framework of muscles, bones, tendons, skin and cartilage. While keratin and elastin are the main structural components in hair, nails, teeth and skin.

3. Enzymatic Proteins

This type of function accelerates metabolic processes in cells, including liver function, gastrointestinal digestion, blood clotting, and converting glycogen to glucose.

An example is a digestive enzyme that breaks down food into simpler forms so that your body is easily absorbed.

4. Protein Transport

Protein transport functions to carry important ingredients to cells. Hemoglobin , for example, carries oxygen to the body’s tissues from the lungs.

Another case is serum albumin which carries fat in your bloodstream, while myoglobin absorbs oxygen from hemoglobin and then releases it to the muscles. Another type of transport protein is calbindin which facilitates absorption of calcium from the intestinal wall.

5. Protein antibodies

Defensive protein or antibody or also called immunoglobulin, is an important part of the immune system that functions to prevent diseases caused by viruses to infections.

The antibodies themselves are formed in white blood cells and are responsible for attacking bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms that make them inactive.

Also Read: 11 Foods That Contain Protein, are Large and Easy to Find

6. Protein Binder

Binding proteins mainly store mineral ions such as potassium in the body. Iron , for example, is the ion needed for the formation of hemoglobin, the main structural component of red blood cells.

Ferritin which stores iron – including a type of binding protein – which functions to regulate and guard against the adverse effects of excess iron in the body.

Ovalbumin and casein are binding proteins found in breast milk (ASI) and egg whites, each of which plays a major role in embryonic development.

7. Protein Receptors

Receptor proteins located on the outside of the cell function to control substances that enter and leave the cell, including water and nutrients. Some receptors can activate enzymes, while others stimulate the endocrine glands to secrete epinephrine and insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

8. Signal-introducing Protein

This type of protein allows cells to communicate with each other. Signals, receptors, and protein delivery work together to get information from outside the cell inward.

Adrenergic receptors themselves are activated by non-protein hormones (called adrenaline) during stress. This signals the heart cells to beat faster and the liver cells release glucose which energizes the muscles.

Insulin is released into the bloodstream after eating. This activates insulin receptors which signal muscle and fat cells to store blood sugar.

While EGF ( epidermal growth factor ) or epidermal growth factor is released in the wound area. This factor activates EGF receptors which signal skin cells to grow and divide during wound healing.

9. Sensory Proteins

Sensory proteins function in helping humans learn about the environment. This protein helps humans detect touch, sound, light, smell, taste, pain, and heat. Some organisms can even detect electricity or magnetism.

For example, opsins are transmembrane proteins in the eye to detect light. These opsins convert light into electrical and chemical signals that can be analyzed by the brain.

10. Activator Protein

This protein is also known as motor protein, a protein that functions to regulate the strength and speed of contraction of the heart and muscles. These proteins are actin and myosin.

Activating proteins can cause heart complications if they produce severe contractions. This protein completes the list of types of protein.

Impact of Body Protein Deficiency

Protein naturally decreases with age, including a lack of protein in muscles, heart, brain, spleen, testes, and ovaries. This is based on research conducted by Mayo Jan van Deursen, Ph.D clinic in mice. This study theorizes that the condition also applies to the human body, with a lack of protein can cause cataracts, heart problems, kyphosis or muscle atrophy which are all vulnerable in the elderly.

Here are some of the symptoms or effects of protein deficiency for the body:

  • Difficulty building muscle mass
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Slow metabolism
  • Low energy level and fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating and learning difficulties
  • Mood swings
  • Low immune system
  • Muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Changes in blood sugar that trigger diabetes
  • Slow wound healing

Also Read: 7 Signs of Protein Deficiency We Should Not Ignore

Sources of Protein from Various Foods

Protein is a substance that forms organs, muscles, skin, and hormones. The human body basically needs protein to maintain and repair tissue. Protein is mainly needed by children for growth.

Research shows that eating protein-based foods can also help you lose weight and belly fat while increasing muscle mass and strength. Diets high in protein can also help lower blood pressure, fight diabetes, and others.

The recommended nutritional adequacy ratio (RDA) for getting protein is 46 grams for women and 56 grams for men. However, most health and fitness experts believe someone needs more than that for the body to function optimally.

Protein can we get from food, here are some good foods that are rich in protein:

  • Egg
  • Chicken breast
  • Oatmeal
  • Cottage cheese
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Broccoli
  • Lean beef
  • Fish, including tuna
  • Shrimp
  • Beans

That’s the type of protein that has each of its functions for the health of the body, the adverse effects of lack of protein, to a variety of food sources of protein. Healthy Friend, let’s meet your body with protein intake so that body function is maintained!


by Abdullah Sam
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