What is the role of dietary protein?

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Terri Seiler

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What is the role of dietary protein?
« on: 13/05/2008 08:49:27 »
Terri Seiler asked the Naked Scientists:

Nutritionists say that it is important to eat sufficient protein every day even when you are on a diet.

If the calories will be burned as energy anyway, why is this important?


What do you think?

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Offline SquarishTriangle

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What is the role of dietary protein?
« Reply #1 on: 13/05/2008 09:35:41 »
While proteins can provide a source of energy for the body when consumed in excess, energy is preferentially derived from carbohydrates and fats in the diet. During digestion, proteins are broken down to their basic building block units, amino acids, and these amino acids are later reassembled by the body to form its own protein components. These components include structural proteins (cellular/extracellular), enzymes, hormones, immunoglobulins etc. making amino acids, and thus dietary protein, essential for growth, repair and proper cellular function.