We can begin by saying that protein is a really important nutrient for your body and is basically the building block of trillions of cells and body tissues. Lack of proper protein in diet will lead to deficiency that can change in your body parameters over a period of time. Protein is a macronutrient, which means that it is needed in large volume by the body. Unlike fat and carbohydrates which are also macronutrients, protein is not stored in the body and hence cannot be taken from a reservoir when there is a supply need. Protein deficiency occurs when your protein intake is less than what the body needs and an estimated one billion people suffer from it across the world. Too little protein in the system makes way for muscle loss and in general affects most of body functions. As a result, protein deficiency is associated with a variety of symptoms.
Symptoms of protein deficiency
Hair, nail and skin problems
Hair, nail and skin are all mainly made up of protein and protein deficiency affects them directly. Skin symptoms include flaky skin, patches of depigmented skin, redness etc. Thinning hair, hair loss, faded hair colour and brittle nails are the other symptoms.
Muscle mass loss
Muscles in your body contain the maximum amount of protein. Over time, lack of proper dietary protein leads to the body taking protein from skeletal muscles to build tissues and body functions in order.
Elevated risk of bone fractures
Apart from muscles, bones are also at a risk with protein deficiency. Not enough protein can lead to weakening of bones and an increased risk of fractures. A study conducted on postmenopausal women found that with higher protein intake, lower risks of hip fractures are noticed. Another study on postmenopausal women showed that intake of 20 grams of protein supplements each day for 6 months slowed down bone loss by 2.3%.
Stunted growth in children
The body demands ample protein, leading to body growth. In the absence of protein, children suffer from stunted growth. The most common sign of childhood malnutrition is stunting. According to a paper in 2013, stunted growth was observed in an estimated 161 million children, thereby validating a very strong connection between low protein intake and impaired growth.
Rising severity of infections
The immune system also gets compromised due to a protein deficit in the body. A damaged immune system becomes home to rising severity of infections. A study on mice, feeding on only 2% protein, led to a more serious case of influenza infection among them than when they were on a diet providing 18% protein. Even marginally low protein intake may affect the immune function. A small study on older women following a low-protein diet for nine weeks showed significant reduction in their immune response. Protein deficiency also leads to decreased creation of antibodies and without it the body begins to have a low immune system. It renders the body defenceless against diseases.
How much protein should you consume?
Protein requirement varies from person to person and is dependant on multiple factors like muscle mass, body weight, physical activity and age. Usually, body weight is the primary determinant of protein requirements. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) on an average is 75 g per day per 75 kg body weight in case of adults and 24 g per day per 20 kg body weight in case of children. Athletes, pregnant and lactating women and older adults usually have higher protein requirements. Soybean, tofu, eggs, dairy products and legumes are some of the richest sources of protein.
QNET Nutriplus Kids Protein Power
Kids are often fussy eaters and tend to eat what tastes good rather than what is good for them. They are always inclined towards packaged food and drinks that have low nutritional value. With this tendency, children are at the risk of missing out on one of the most important nutrients in the body – protein. In short, protein acts as the building block for a child’s overall growth and development. In order to ensure that children are getting sufficient amount of protein, protein supplements can be added to their diet. With QNET Nutriplus Kids Protein Power, it is not hard to achieve that. It is a thoroughly delectable health supplement for children 6 years and older. Available in two delicious flavours of Choco-Butter Cookie and Vanilla Ice Cream, it helps to maintain adequate protein intake.