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Chapter 7 Notes.docx - EXS 2400 Chapter 7 Proteins 7.1 What...

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EXS 2400 Chapter 7: Proteins 7.1 What Are Proteins? Since ancient times, many people have believed that eating animal foods, particularly meat, was necessary for good health and optimal physical performance. Modern athletes often make protein-rich foods and protein supplements the foundation of their diets. It is not unusual for nonathletes to associate meat with protein and a lack of protein with poor muscular development and weak muscular strength. Many Americans think a meal is not adequate unless it contains large portions of meat. Although it is true that meat is a rich source of protein, other foods, including those from plants, are often overlooked as sources of protein. The beef patty of a cheeseburger provides protein, as well as the melted cheese that tops the burger and the bun that makes the sandwich convenient to eat. Proteins are complex organic molecules that are chemically similar to lipids and carbohydrates because they contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Proteins— large, complex organic molecules made up of amino acids Proteins contain nitrogen (element cells need to make wide array of important biological compounds) Plants, animals, bacteria, and even viruses contain hundreds of proteins. Protein is an important class of nutrients, but it is not more valuable to your health than other nutrients. Nutrients work together in your body Overemphasizing one class of nutrients in your diet, such as protein, while ignoring other nutrients, can lead to nutritional imbalances that result in serious health problems. Proteins in the Body Proteins are necessary for muscle development and maintenance, but the more than 200,000 different proteins in your body have a wide variety of functions. The body uses proteins to make or function as: o New cells and many components of cells o Structures such as hair and nails o Enzymes o Lubricants o Clotting compounds o Antibodies o Compounds that help maintain fluid and pH balance o Certain hormones and neurotransmitters o Energy source (minor, under usual conditions) Skin, blood, nerve, bone—all cells in your body—contains proteins. Structural proteins such as collagen are in your cartilage, ligament, and bone tissue. Keratin is another structural protein; it is in your hair, nails, and skin. Contractile proteins in your muscles enable you to move, and transport proteins carry many substances in the bloodstream. Proteins are also necessary for you blood to clot properly. Certain hormones, such as insulin and glucagon, are proteins. Hormones and neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that regulate body processes and responses, such as growth, metabolism, and hunger. Neurotransmitters send signals from one nerve cell to another. Some neurotransmitters are proteins.
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