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Protein Metabolism

Your body is literally held together by a web of protein. Proteins are constructed from amino acids. The supply of amino acids in the body is tightly regulated and monitored. Your body demands that you have a certain “level” of amino acids available for the synthesis of new proteins. Amino acids come from two sources: diet and the recycling of worn out proteins in the body.

Most people think that they will be protein deficient only if they do not eat enough protein. Consequently, if they eat “enough” protein they must have adequate protein. However, what if they cannot digest well or if they have inflammation in their intestines that prevents the absorption of the amino acids? If you have symptoms in your intestinal tract, you probably have problems with absorption. Diet accounts for 33% of your amino acid needs.

Recycling protein requires the presence of active protease enzymes. These enzymes “unzip” a worn-out protein thereby releasing the amino acids back into the amino acid pool of the body. Protease enzyme activity can be negatively impacted by toxins. This results in sluggish recycling and traps lots of proteins in a kind of never-never land where they cannot be used. Recycling accounts for 66% of the amino acids in the body’s amino acid pool.

Your body has two very general types of proteins: structural and metabolic. The structural proteins give form and function to the physical body; they are the form- defining tissues of the body: bone matrix, cartilage, muscles, connective tissues, ligaments, fascia, and tendons. Metabolic proteins are how the body communicates with itself. They include nucleic acids, neurotransmitters, enzymes, and hormones. Deficits in amino acids will eventually lead to problems with all types of metabolic proteins.

Author: Dr. David Luce

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a innovator and thought leader in the integration of Western medicine with complimentary therapies.

Dr. David Luce | MD

W. David Luce, M.D., P.C. is a Board Certified Internist in private practice in Boulder, Colorado. He is recognized as a medical innovator, educator, public health advocate, and a leader in the integration of evidence-based Western medicine with complimentary therapies. Educated at Dartmouth, Harvard and Yale, Dr. Luce has over 20 years experience designing and implementing innovative treatment programs that restore health and wellness to his ...

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