Unlock the Secrets of Protein: The Surprising Truth About How Your Body Digests Them

May 24, 2023
Melissa Swinscoe

Here at All G Foods, we provide an unencumbered amount of knowledge when it comes to dairy proteins. Why? Because it is our charge to combine the best of what nature provides - milk and other dairy products, with the latest scientific discoveries to provide an endless supply to the world of our: Cultured Dairy.

The building blocks of life are proteins. They are the most vital and adaptable molecules in the human body, serving critical roles in tissue and organ formation, maintenance, and repair. Proteins are involved in practically every action that occurs in our bodies; from the food we eat to the enzymes that break it down. But what are proteins? In this feature, we will look at what proteins are, where we can find them and how they are digested, ready to be used for a range of biological functions.

The fundamentals of protein

Proteins are complex molecules composed of long sequences of amino acids, which serve as protein building blocks. There are 20 different amino acids that are required to synthesise proteins for the human body.

Where can I find protein?

Meats, fish, dairy, pulses (like beans and peas), eggs and nuts are all sources of protein.

How does my body digest Protein?

After Proteins are consumed, they travel through the digestive system where they reach the stomach.

In the digestive system, a category of enzymes named proteases work specifically on breaking down proteins into individual amino acids. The stomach releases a substance called pepsinogen and naturally occurring stomach acids convert the pepsinogen into pepsin, a protease that starts the process of breaking down the large proteins into smaller amino acid chains.

From here, the amino acid chains travel from the stomach to the small intestine.

The pancreas - a big gland that produces digestive juices, hormones, and insulin, then secretes various proteases into the small intestine which further breaks down the amino acid chains into smaller amino acid chains.

Different proteases located in the small intestine wall then cleave the bonds of these now smaller amino acid chains, breaking them down even smaller, this time into individual amino acids.

These individual amino acids are the endpoints of protein digestion, and they are now ready to be absorbed into the bloodstream to fulfil their functions within the human body.

What happens next?

After amino acids are absorbed through the intestinal wall to the bloodstream they travel in the bloodstream to various sites in the body where they perform critical biological functions such as building muscle and repairing tissues.

To learn more about the functions of proteins in the human body, follow our journey.

Source ref

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). (2017). Nutrient reference values for Australia and New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/protein

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