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21 Interesting Facts About Protein You May Not Know

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Athletes, bodybuilders and wrestlers love Protein as it provides some of the most essential nutrient that body needs to grow. Like water, protein is also very important to maintain a healthy physique. So shouldn’t we know more about them. Here are some interesting facts about protein.


The word protein comes from the Greek word proteios mean first one or prime importance.


Human brain

Protein does improves the functioning of the human brain. It provides building blocks, which is needed to create a healthy nervous system to keep the brain healthy.

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hair protein

Our hair is actually composed of insoluble fibrous and non-digested protein, which are also known as Keratin.



Almost all types of food contain protein, some have less quantity and some have more. For example, out of all varieties of cheese, Parmesan cheese contains 41.6 grams per 100 grams. Yellow tuna of fish contains almost 30 grams per 100 grams serving. Pumpkin seeds provide 33 grams of protein per 100 grams of serving, while on the other hand watermelon seeds provide 28 grams per 100 grams.


meat atlasImage source: wikimedia

Luxembourg is the largest meat eating country with astonishing 136 kg per resident per year. Second on the list is America with 125 kg per resident per year, and the third is Austria with 120 kg consumption of animal protein per year.



Insects carry more quality of protein than even beef and some other sources. For example, 100 grams of top sirloin beef contain 29 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat. However, 100 grams of grasshopper contain 20 grams of protein and just 6 grams of fat.



Your Kidneys filter wastes from blood while retaining vital components of body. However, in certain cases (or in diseases), liver also allow proteins to pass through urine, causing protein in urine.


DNA replicationDNA replication

Proteins perform a very vast array of functions in the human body, including catalyzing metabolic reactions, i.e. chemical reaction by the active site of the protein, DNA replication and responding to stimuli.



Many of you may heard of “Peptides” but really don’t what it is or what it actually does? It is substance occurring biologically and are short chains of amino acid monomer (molecule that bind with another molecule chemically to form a polymer). Peptides are distinguished from protein on the basis of their size. These are also known as Bioactive peptides and are essential for overall body growth.


3d protein3d structure of protein

After being formed, proteins only exist for a certain period of time and are degraded and recycled through the process of protein turnover (the balance between protein synthesis and degradation). They can exist for several minutes or for even a year with an average lifespan of 2 days.


less protein foodImage source: Lifehacker

Dietary proteins contain amino acids in more or less ‘complete’ sense. Proteins can have less amount of amino or more amount of it, which is also defined as a weak or strong protein. Food staples that are poor sources of protein include roots and tubers such as yams, cassava and sweet potato.



Apart from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Proteins can be found in every cell of the body and especially in the muscle.


dna and rnaImage source: wikimedia

Proteins in a human body are assembled from amino acids using information encoded in the genes. Each of them has its own unique sequence of amino acids, which is specified by the nucleotide (DNA or RNA) gene encoding sequence.


essential amino acidsImage source: return2health

There are nine essential amino acids, which are indispensable to a human body and one must have it to prevent protein-energy malnutrition. These are phenylalanine, Valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, Isoleucine, lysine and histidine. Protein deficiency and malnutrition can lead to serious mental retardation and Kwashiorkor. PEM is common worldwide in both children and adults, which accounts for 6 million deaths annually.


amino acid

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Did you ever think how does protein value of food is measured? Measuring the protein content of any food is a tricky one. Two of the classic assays (an investigative procedure in laboratory medicine and biology) are the Kjeldahl method and the Dumas method. Both tests determine the total nitrogen content in the food, as only protein contains nitrogen (fat, carbohydrates and dietary fiber does not contain nitrogen).


PDCAAS (Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acids Score) is a method of evaluating protein quality based on the human ability to digest it. This rating system was adopted by the US food and Drug Administration (FDA) and World Health Organization (WHO) in 1993.
Food with a PDCAAS value of 1 is the highest, while 0 is the lowest. Here are some selected food and there PDCASS value.

S.noFoodPDCASS Value
1.Egg white1.00
2.Soy protein 1.00
3.Whey protein1.00
4.Beef 0.92
5.Chick peas0.78
6.Peanuts 0.52
7.Whole wheat0.42


Undoubtedly, Protein is one of the most important substance for our body growth, but still there are many issues regarding the amount of protein is to be taken on a daily basis. The amount is to be taken is not similar, and varies from individual to individual. The correct amount of required protein depends upon several things such as total body weight, rate of body growth, physical activity level of an individual, total carbohydrate and energy intake level.



According to DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) a sedentary person with no or less physical activity should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kg of his/her weight. Ultra active people and athletes require more than 0.8 g/kg due to increase muscle and sweat loss during intense training sessions.


Protein when consumed in excess, can cause several health problems such as kidney stones, dehydration, urea excretion and calcium excretion. This suggests that amino acid oxidation is increased.


Gerardus Johannes MulderPhoto credit: wikipedia

Gerardus Johannes Mulder was a Dutch organic and analytical chemist who used the term ‘protein’ in his paper ‘On the composition of some animal substances’ in 1883.


Frederick Sanger

The first protein discovered was insulin by Frederick Sanger and later on it was Frederick Banting a Canadian medical scientist and physician who used insulin in humans to treat diabetes.

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