Protein: 7 Types and Functions for the Body

Protein serves as a source of energy and forms various enzymes and hormones. Therefore, it is important for us to meet proteins every day.

We can get protein intake by eating seafood (such as salmon), milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, eggs, and nuts. The recommended daily protein intake is 56-59 grams per day for women and 62-66 grams per day for men.

Well, these proteins consist of several types that have different functions. Want to know what are the types and functions of protein?

A. Protein Types and Functions

Each type of protein has its own function for the body. So, what are the types and functions of important proteins for the body that you need to know? Here’s an explanation according to experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other sources.

1. Enzyme

According to experts at the NIH, enzymes carry out nearly all of the thousands of chemical reactions that occur inside cells. They aid in the formation of new molecules by reading the genetic information stored in DNA.

The function of protein enzymes also serves as forming enzymes, namely substances that support chemical reactions in the body. For example, enzymes are produced to convert carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into simpler forms to be easily absorbed by the body.

2. Structural Proteins

The function of structural proteins is to maintain the structure and build the body’s construction from the cellular level. These proteins provide structure and support for cells.

For example, the protein collagen which is the main component of tendons, cartilage, and skin. Keratin protein also serves to form the structure of the skin, nails, hair, and teeth. On a larger scale, structural proteins also allow the body to move.

3. Protein Hormones

Protein hormones are in charge of regulating the actions and functions of hormones in the body. Hormones are secretions that act as chemical messengers in the body through the blood.

Each hormone affects each specific cell to coordinate metabolic processes in the body. For example, the pancreas organ that produces the hormone insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

4. Antibody Protein

Antibody functions are also referred to as defensive proteins. The function of these proteins is to bind to certain foreign particles, such as viruses and bacteria, to help protect the body. These proteins act as an antibody-forming components in the body.

For example, fibrinogen and thrombin are antibodies and function to help the blood clotting process, prevent blood loss after an injury and accelerate the wound healing process.

5. Protein Transport

The function of transport proteins is to bind and carry atoms and small molecules in cells and throughout the body. For example, hemoglobin functions to bind oxygen and deliver it to body tissues that need it. Another example is lipoproteins which help transport lipids or fats in the body.

6. Binding Protein

This protein serves to store amino acids and metal ions needed in the body. These proteins also act as a food reserve that provides energy if needed by the body. For example, the protein ferritin stores and controls iron levels in the body.

7. Driving Protein

The function of the driving proteins for muscle movement in the body, such as regulating the strength and speed of the heart and muscles when they contract.

These proteins are involved in the transport of nutrients within cells, genetic makeup, cell division, and muscle coordination. For example, myosin and actin produce muscle contraction and relaxation, such as when bending and straightening the knee of the leg.

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