Amino Acids vs. Proteins: How Are They Different?

AminoAcidProducts | June 17, 2020 | Amino Acids

Just like glucose and carbs are two intertwined words, amino acids and protein are. Many people know that carbs, protein, and fats are the major nutrients needed by the body. And they are also the major sources of energy in the body. These three are made up of building blocks. For carbohydrates it’s glucose, fats it’s fatty acids and glycerol and for proteins, it’s amino acids. So the coming together of building blocks would give you either carbs, fats or protein. Well, are the building blocks the same as the nutrient itself? Of course not. Amino acids are different from proteins. That’s why we’ll be taking a look at amino acids vs proteins.

Over the years the role of proteins and amino acids has been looked at closely. Most especially, the effect of amino acids in the body. They are known to have a lot of health benefits when taken in the right amount in the body. Also, protein powders have been a thing for some time now. Protein powders are a good source of the immediate supply of protein to the body. And for this reason, many people are opting for different brands of protein powder. Well, we’ll be taking a look a closer look at what amino acids and proteins really are. So keep reading to find out more.

What are Amino Acids?

So they are known to be the building blocks of proteins. There are actually 20 different amino acids that the body needs. And these amino acids are folded and sequenced to form proteins.

When amino acids come together they are linked together by peptide bonds. When the bonds are linked they are called the primary structure and this helps determine the role of the protein in the body. Well, there are also secondary structures, tertiary structures, and quaternary structures in the making of proteins. It’s the quaternary structure that is the protein.

Amino acids actually make up the enzymes that carry out different chemical reactions in the body. They are responsible for carrying different nutrients in the body. And they also transport signals from one part of the body to another part of the body. Likewise, there are antibodies that also help fight against sicknesses and illnesses in the body. And all of these are made up of proteins that are made from amino acids.

So there are about three classifications of amino acids. There are essential, non-essential, and conditionally essential amino acids. Essential amino acids can’t be produced by the body while non-essential can be produced by the body.

Essential amino acids are histidine, leucine, lysine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, methionine, threonine, valine, and tryptophan. Non-essential amino acids are asparagine, alanine, aspartic acid, tyrosine, serine, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, and proline.

The conditionally essential amino acids are actually amino acids that the body can produce under certain conditions. Such as old age, stress, and illnesses. They are cysteine, arginine, glycine, tyrosine, serine, proline, and ornithine.

Amino acids play a great role in maintaining a person’s physique. And they also help contribute to maintaining a healthy diet. One other great benefit of amino acids is that it benefits our skin, hair, and nails. And that is why many people opt for amino acid supplements to improve skin, nail, and hair health.

What are Proteins?

This happens to be one of the macronutrients needed by the body. They are actually big molecules needed by the body for it to function properly. Also, proteins are made up of amino acids. The structure of a protein takes would determine its function and structure in the body.

Proteins are long chains of amino acids coming together. And protein actually forms the basis of life. That’s because the body is made up of more than 100 trillion cells. And different proteins are actually present in these cells. The proteins actually help the cells carry out their job. So you can call them tiny machines that help the cells function.

The roles of proteins in the body are quite numerous. They are quite important for the regulation of cells, tissues, and organs in the body. Without proteins, the regulation can’t occur.

So protein is often gotten from foods. And there are actually three types of protein. They are complete, incomplete, and complementary proteins.

Complete proteins actually make up all the essential amino acids. And they also occur mostly in animal foods. Such as dairy, meat, and eggs. Incomplete proteins actually contain at least one of the essential amino acids. They are found in plant foods like beans, peas, and grains. While complementary protein, on the other hand, is the combination of two or more foods that are incomplete. Such as bread and peanut butter.

Some of the well-known proteins in the body are collagen, keratin, and elastin. They all play great roles in the body. Also, all enzymes are proteins.

Amino Acids vs Proteins

Well, it’s true that the coming together of amino acids would give proteins. And the breaking down of proteins would give amino acids. But they are actually two different entities.

Amino acids are referred to as peptides. And they are made up of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and other compounds. While proteins, on the other hand, are referred to as polypeptides. This means that the coming together of many peptides to make a bigger compound which is protein.

The truth is that these two are different. But another truth is that they are dependent on each other. When amino acids are gotten from food, the body makes protein out of it. And when the body gets the protein it can be broken down to form amino acids that would be transported to different parts of the body.

The thing is if the body is deficient in either proteins or amino acids there would be health conditions attached. That’s why you must take enough protein. And make sure you’re taking enough complete protein that would provide your body with the needed amino acids. That way you can be sure that you wouldn’t be deficient in these amino acids.

Anyway, that’s all we have for you as regards amino acid vs proteins.

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