PROTEIN AND AMINO ACIDS
It was a science exhibition organized by the science club in the city. Tom and Tessy were selected from their school and they went with their teacher to see the exhibition. Looking at the picture chart Tom asked.
Tom: What is protein? How does it help the human body?
Teacher: In fact proteins are very
essential for the human body. The proteins are one of the building blocks of body tissue and can also serve as a fuel source.
Tessy: How does it work in the human body sir?
Teacher: It’s a nutrient and the body needs this for growth and maintenance. In fact, apart from water, the proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body.
Tom: Is there protein everywhere in the body?
Teacher: In every cell of the body there is protein and it is the major structural component of all cells, especially muscles.
Tessy: I heard about glycoprotein, what is that?
Teacher: Proteins are also used in membranes, such as glycoprotein. In addition to that protein is needed to form blood cells. Tom: How does the body get protein?
Teacher: When the digestion takes place the proteins are broken down in the stomach. They become smaller polypeptide chains via hydrochloric acid and protease actions.
Tom: I read in a book that this process is significant for amino acids.
Tessy: Sir, could you tell us something more about amino acids?
Teacher: Of course, there are three categories of amino acids. One- the essential, second- the non-essential and the third is conditional amino acids. Tom: Do we need all these?
Teacher: The first one is supplied by food and the second, non-essential amino acids are made by the body in the normal breakdown of proteins. The third one, conditional amino acids are needed only when there is illness or stress etc. Tessy: Do we get this from food?
Teacher: They are found in animal sources such as meat, milk, fish and eggs. The Vegetarians can get enough essential amino acids by eating a variety of plant proteins.
Tom: We get protein from plant sources too?
Teacher: Yes, the whole grains, pulses, legumes, soy, fruits, nuts and seeds are rich sources of protein. Look at this chart of food with protein. We should take care to eat protein rich food for being healthy.