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Vegetable protein – The facts

proteins

Every living cell and thus every organism (including humans, animals, and plants) are made up of protein molecules. Every plant contains some protein, but its quantity and quality varies. In general, the majority of plant-based proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids and they are difficult to digest compared to animal proteins, such as whey and egg white.

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Protein facts

protein powder

Proteins are large biological molecules, or macromolecules, consisting of one or more long chains of amino acid residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, including catalyzing metabolic reactions, replicating DNA, responding to stimuli, and transporting molecules from one location to another. Proteins differ from one another primarily in their sequence of amino acids, which is dictated by the nucleotide sequence of their genes, and which usually results in folding of the protein into a specific three-dimensional structure that determines its activity. Proteins are also necessary in animals’ diets, since animals cannot synthesize all the amino acids they need and must obtain essential amino acids from food. Through the process of digestion, animals break down ingested protein into free amino acids that are then used in metabolism. Most proteins consist of linear polymers built from series of up to 20 different L-α-amino acids. Most microorganisms and plants can biosynthesize all 20 standard amino acids, while animals (including humans) must obtain some of the amino acids from the diet. The amino acids that an organism cannot synthesize on its own are referred to as essential amino acids. Key enzymes that synthesize certain amino acids are not present in ...

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