Tag Archives: protein
Stop signals against protein clumps
As researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry report in the current issue of Nature, they have now decoded a new cellular mechanism for the development of aggregates. Missing stop signals in the production of proteins lead erroneously to …
Read more on EurekAlert (press release)
Soybeans: Part 2
Navigating incredibly numerous claims and counterclaims as to its benefits or perils is labyrinthine for one like myself without a Ph.D. in biochemistry. Whole soybeans must be boiled or fermented to counteract the side effects of saponins, lectins and …
Read more on The Crozet Gazette
Texas Tech biochemistry undergrad programs earn full accreditation
Texas Tech's undergraduate programs in biochemistry have received accreditation for the next seven years, the longest allowable term, from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, or ASBMB. According to an acceptance letter from …
Read more on LubbockOnline.com
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So you get it. You’ve learned that protein is necessary to build and maintain lean muscle tissue, which is critical for maintaining or increasing metabolism. You’ve also learned that eating several times a day can also help preserve and build lean muscle tissue and increase metabolism. So supplementing protein once or twice throughout the day can certainly facilitate this process.
Sounds simple, right? Not so fast.
Just when you thought you’ve got it down, you’re finding out that now you are faced with the task of choosing the RIGHT protein supplement. Not all protein products are created equal, in fact, some products marketed as protein shakes, actually contain very little protein and are loaded with sugar and/or fat completely contrary to the goal you’re trying to achieve.
So how do we begin to make a good choice?
First and foremost when choosing a protein Shake, or any supplement or food, for that matter, READ YOUR LABELS! This is critical!
If you are choosing a prepackaged, pre-mixed product for convenience, make sure you choose one that at least uses a high quality protein source such as whey or soy, or a blend of whey, soy and casein, and that isn’t loaded with sugar and fat. Many products claim to be “high in protein”, but upon examination of the Nutrition Facts we discover there is more than a 4 to 1 ratio of sugar to protein. Slim Fast, advertised to be a nutritious way to loose weight, high in protein and vitamins, and now with heart healthy soy, forgets to mention the ingredient it’s highest in – sugar! With more than 42 grams of carbohydrates, 36 grams from sugar (that’s equal to 9, yes NINE teaspoons of pure white sugar), I hardly see this as a “healthy” way to loose weight. It’s more like a fast rollercoaster ride through spikes in blood sugar and insulin, inconsistent energy levels, and “yoyo” dieting. The very things that have led to the epidemic of obesity and diabetes.
They also forget to mention the isoflavone content (the compounds that actually give soy all of its health benefits) of their soy product – could it be because they are not actually in the product?
A typical problem with soy products, now that they are now realizing such popularity because of their health benefits, is that manufacturers, for the sake of cost and flavor, are using cheaper sources of soy that have low or no isoflavones.
LaBrada – Shakes and Muscle Milk in TetraPaks (cardboard cartons) are decent choices in pre mixed high protein low carb, low fat products.
Again here, you need to watch out for cheap knockoffs of these products that use less quantity and lower quality protein in a similar product made to look like the original higher quality product. It’s easy to get suckered at a large discount store or drugstore when you see a familiar brand name or packaging of a “reputable” product for a great price, only to find later that the price was “great” because the product actually has very little value. Many sports supplement companies that have been in the business for a long time and have gained reputation and name recognition, have ventured into the “quick buck from the masses who are suckers for weight loss products market” and have actually manufactured cheaper product look-alikes containing extremely low quality proteins and flavored with cheaper ingredients, high in sugars and hidden saturated or trans saturated fats. Again, READ YOUR LABELS! The brand name and the package often don’t mean much.
Even label claims can be completely misleading. You would think a drink called Carb Solutions, for “low carb dieters” would be a fairly safe choice. Upon closer examination, you will find that in fact the carbs are low, (so is the protein quality for that matter), and if you don’t mind 18 grams of fat from the #1 ingredient – CREAM, you are okay! I guess “for low carb, high fat dieters” would be a bit of an oxymoron, and “increases the risk of cardiovascular disease” wouldn’t be a good selling point on the label.
Your best choice, to assure the highest quality in a protein, would be to choose a powdered product you mix yourself. You say “yuk – inconvenient and lumpy!” Wrong. Gone are the days where they are all clumpy, nasty tasting powders that must be mixed in the blender with all kinds of things added to cover the awful taste. A powder like OptiPRO M is a delicious protein that mixes easily in water, milk or any beverage with just a spoon or shaker. No mess, no clumps, no awful taste, just 100% high quality protein. And, with a product like this, you actually get more high quality protein, with other added nutrients and health benefits than the premixed shakes, and for less cost per serving – a little more than $ 1 per scoop.
Be aware, however, that even within the world of protein powders, the quality levels differ drastically. Why does this matter? The lower the quality protein, the less bioavailable it is, or the less your body is able to absorb. Proteins even within the same family, such as whey, may range in quality from isolate being the highest quality and the purest form, with the most biolavailabity, to concentrate, which is much less absorbable. Look for products that contain the isolate forms of whey and soy proteins. These are the highest quality and most bioavailable forms of two of the best protein sources for burning fat and building lean muscle tissue.
Whey is very easily absorbed and is high in Branched Chained Amino Acids – critical to building muscle. Soy is high in the amino acids Glutamine and Arginine, which are essential to tissue repair, immune function, and assist in fat loss and blood sugar regulation. Together they provide an optimized amino acid profile for fat loss and lean tissue gains. Soy also provides the additional benefits of antioxidant, anti carcinogenic protection, regulating cholesterol, promoting cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, and balancing hormones in both men and women. Blending a high quality whey, which is very quickly digested, with another high quality, but slower digesting protein, will also provide you with the benefit of feeling fuller, longer.
Again, with blended products, not all proteins are created equally. Beware of label loopholes! A product may claim – (this is where the labels get misleading and confusing) to be 100% whey, and contain whey protein isolate. However, when you read the ingredients on the label, the first ingredient is some trademarked, proprietary name for the protein. Then, in parenthesis, you see a list of several different types of protein, including isolate.
The parenthesis is the labeling loophole that allows the manufacturer to not list ingredients in the order of amount in the product.
For example, whey protein isolate may be listed first within that parenthesis and whey protein concentrate last, however, the product could very well consist of 99% cheap protein concentrate or worse, hydrolyzed protein (gelatin – very unabsorbable) with no more than a sprinkling of isolate – just enough to list it on the label. You will find this on most of the large “value” size protein products – this explains their great “value.” It’s cheap to make a protein powder with hardly any protein in it. Also beware of exaggerated claims. Most claims on a certain product are not about that specific product at all, but refer to an ingredient, which might be common to all the other products, also. For example, “builds muscle 200 times faster”. 200 times faster than what? Any protein builds muscle 200 times faster than not eating at all.
So, Caveat Emptor! Or Let the Buyer Beware! Cheap and convenient don’t always end up being best and usually not even cheap. Hopefully, armed with a little more information, you will be able to find a convenient cost effective protein product with what it takes to produce the results you are looking for. My best advice – Read your labels, be careful, do your homework, know if it sounds too good to be true it just might be, and always buy from a reputable source where you can be assured they stand behind the quality of their products and where there is someone who can help you sort through claims, hype and misleading, confusing labels to assure you the highest quality, most cost effective product, that fits into your lifestyle and your goals.
Catherine Wilbert, ND is a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine, nutrition consultant & nationally recognized wellness expert. Catherine is the founder and owner of Wellness Innovations (http://www.wellnessinnovations.com), a natural health supplement company in Mandeville, LA. As owner, president and product developer for PhytoCeutical Formulations, Dr. Wilbert has made great strides in the development of the all natural sugar alternative, Swerve Sweetener (http://www.swervesweetener.com).
Protein powder as we have disused before has many wonderful and exciting benefits. In today’s health nut society it has all but become a staple for many of these acclaimed “Magic Diets.” Such diets include the famous Atkins Diet, as well as the newer South Beach Diet. These diets focus on high protein intake with a usually low carbohydrate meal. These diets from what I hear can sometimes have astounding results. I myself have witnessed these high protein diet’s effects first hand, for you see I actually followed these diets meal plans myself to lose weight. Of course you have to exercise too, I cannot empathize enough that in order to lose weight one must exercise! So if you are ready to go on your on high protein low carbohydrates diet let me offer a suggestion, buy protein powder! That is right, it all comes down to the powder and like I have mentioned in my other blogs it is the “miracle supplement.” Now you may not know it but protein has other benefits beside promoting muscle growth.
Did you know that protein also helps glycogen levels as well as finger nail growth? Protein like I have said before is used all in our body’s. Here is another neat fact; our hair is formed by protein. So why not help your body and consume some good tasting protein powder.
So with all of these benefits what do you have to lose? Now some people may question me saying “well I thought protein powder is just for those huge body builders down at the gym.” Well as I have said before this is not the case. Protein shakes are also consumed by runners, in fact the shake helps restore glycogen in the muscles. This glycogen is used up in the body as energy during intense workouts or running. Another person that of course would benefit is the body builder for obvious reasons. But the last person to use this supplement may be the average Joe health enthusiast. They all need protein in one form or another so why not just make it easier on yourself? Make it quick, make it easy, make it a healthy lifestyle. One last thing, some people I have talked to ask me a very good question, this question in fact is frequently brought up. The question in turn is this, “about how much protein should I drink a day?” The answer to this is quite simple, if you are a body builder I would strive for one gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. As for a non builder I would say same rule, just minus 40 grams. So with all this said, I hope you have learned some more great stuff about protein powder.
Wrote by Jarred, AKA health nut. From my site http://www.proteinpowderfacts.com
You might not realize it however your muscles get weaker on account of put on and tear and also will deteriorate with age. Because of this generally after a whole day’s exercise, chances are you’ll really feel muscle pain and cramps in your legs or arms. But you may prevent this from occurring by ingesting protein powder.
Protein powder is a well being supplement that could be very commonly taken by athletes, notably those who are into body building. This is a powdered drink that is specifically formulated with high protein content material to help beef up the muscles.
Typically, the powder is mixed in regular drinks comparable to fruit shakes or milkshakes to dilute the taste. It’s taken within the morning before even beginning the daily routine. Athletes typically take protein shakes earlier than doing their training and exercise too.
What are its results?
Many ask as to what advantages it may deliver to their body. Properly, the plain benefit is in fact the increase of the muscles. If drank constantly, one could discover that the muscle mass harden as it begins to take form as well. Particularly if complemented with exercise, a person will have a robust and fit physique in no time.
How is that this beneficial?
A lot of people suppose that protein powder is only for individuals who are into weight lifting and body constructing or even for these skinny individuals who want to bulk up however that is the place they’re wrong. Everyone wants a hefty provide of protein in their bodies. Many well being studies on the topic prove that the presence of protein is important for the event of muscles. It has the flexibility to strengthen and rejuvenate the cells and tissues in the body. In turn, it promotes faster healing of wounds and hastened restoration from accidents involving torn muscle mass and ligaments.
Dean P. Guiao
Learn about Protein Powder on the creator’s website.
As previously promised today will mark the start of a series on nutrition and dieting. My goal is to help you understand how your body uses different nutrients and how you can maximize fat loss by eating properly and exercising.
Truth of the matter is any diet will work for a period of time. The glut of information and misinformation we are constantly exposed to makes it even harder to know how to properly go about losing weight and keep it off. Instead of denying yourself the foods you desire, you must learn to eat in moderation and allow yourself “cheat days”. Your health is a lifelong process, and your diet must reflect that. Most diets are arduously torturous and you revert back to old eating habits once you have lost the desired weight. I will show you how to avoid all that. First though we must understand the body and what we put in it, so lets begin.
Your body has evolved over many, many years into the efficient and amazing machine that we take for granted today. There was no bottled water, potato chips, soda or processed foods when man first appeared. Man started eating twigs, berries and what ever was available at the time. As we became hunters, meat was introduced into our diet. All the while our bodies managed to keep us active, vital human beings. It did that because the body does one thing well: it survives.
You must understand that your body does not want to diet. It seeks a state of homeostasis, which is a perfect balance, not too much, not too little. It doesn’t care if you carry a little bit of extra weight or fat. As a matter of fact it wants that fat and weight so it can have some fuel in reserve. Your body fights dieting like it fights infections, colds, cuts, etc. It treats it as a hostile act and tries to stamp it out. You must learn to beat the body at its own game and win.
The only things your body needs to survive are air, water and food. It doesn’t care what food tastes like or where it comes from. Its sole purpose is survival. We humans create an emotional attachment to food. Your body can care less if Wolfgang Puck prepared the meal you are about to eat. Unfortunately food brings out intense feelings in human beings. Who amongst us doesn’t have a favorite food, a comfort food? What were we taught as children? You cannot leave the table unless you finish everything on your plate. Combine that with all the ads for food, availability of junk food and our dwindling time, and its no wonder 1 out of every 3 Americans is obese.
In order to facilitate fat loss you must think your body as a fine automobile and food as the fuel that powers it. I have used this metaphor in the past but it is spot on. If you own a Ferrari or a Bentley you use the finest gas and oil available. Yet we put toxic foods in our bodies daily. As goes the car so goes your body. Even at rest it needs fuel. It needs energy in order to breathe, to pump blood, even to read this article. This is why you need to give the body the right nutrients in the right amounts, at the right time. When you starve your body it doesn’t perform as it is should. If you starve a car of fuel what happens? It stops running. Well your body is not much different. When you starve it of calories it slows down considerably. When you do finally eat it will store most of the nutrients for later, because it knows it will be deprived of fuel. That’s why starvation diets are a horrible idea and never truly work.
Every 72 hours your body evaluates its caloric needs. It calculates how much energy it expended and how much fuel was taken in and adjusts accordingly. A shortage is perceived as a threat to survival. This is why weight loss on a starvation diet will cease almost immediately. This is also why a diet always hits a plateau. Your body adapts to the deprivation by adjusting expenditure. It has outwitted its opponent and survived yet again.
Protein is the only macronutrient that will support lean mass in the body. Lean mass is muscle tissue, and bone. Protein is responsible for repair, growth, repair and maintenance of all body tissue, so you can see why I think it’s the most important macronutrient. Working out, running, or even just standing in line cause wear and tear on your body. Lifting weights build muscle tissue, but what occurs first is the breakdown of said tissue. Microscopic tears in the muscle occur and must be repaired by the body. If you wonder why you are sore after a workout it is because of the breakdown of muscle tissue. Protein repairs those tears and you become stronger the next time out. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is something you have heard countless times. Protein is also needed for the formation of hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. It is the main source of building material for muscle, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs. As a bonus protein heats up your metabolism by consuming more calories when ingested than other macronutrients such as carbohydrates, and fats. This is what is known as the thermic effect of food. Food needs to be broken down in order to be absorbed and this takes energy. Protein requires more energy expenditure than fat or carbohydrates in order to be utilized by the body.
Ok so now that I have shown you how important protein is, how much do you need and when? I favor a high protein diet but my needs are much different than the average person. A good rule of thumb for everyone is 1 g per pound of lean mass(1) you weigh. Active people should consume 1.5 to 2 g per pound of lean mass. You need to consume protein with every meal as it cannot be stored and what is not immediately used is processed by the kidneys and excreted (25-40 g per meal is adequate). If you don’t the body will turn to lean muscle for fuel and not fat as many think. Fat is the last thing your body wants to use as it provides insurance for survival. I will address that in another newsletter.
Protein is rated by its biological value; a measure, which shows how well a food, is utilized. The best protein is the egg (natures perfect food) which has a biovalue of 100, closely followed by beef, poultry, and fish. Milk is in the 80th percentile while soy is somewhere in the 60th percentile. I have said this time and time again but soy is a very poor source of protein. Keep your proteins lean by buying lean meats, chicken, and fish. When in a need, a Ready to Drink Protein shake can supplement your intake by providing a low calorie high quality protein source with very little fat. After all if you are trying to lose weight caloric intake should be adjusted, but not depended on as the only means to create caloric deficit.
Protein intake throughout the day keeps your metabolism elevated thereby burning more calories at rest. It also helps to balance blood sugar levels so nutrients are optimally used.
Eating small meals throughout the day helps to keep nitrogen levels balanced. Nitrogen is what keeps your muscle hard and firm. When you are in a negative nitrogen state your body and its muscles feel soft and “squishy”. When muscle is not healthy the body will use it as energy, which is the last thing you need. I advocate 4-5 small meals throughout the day to achieve positive nitrogen balance, regulate blood sugar, and keep you from feeling starved. Make protein your ally in fighting fat.
Next newsletter: “Carbs: Friend or Foe?”
(1) Lean mass is calculated by figuring out your body fat percentage( body fat scales or calipers work well) then subtracting that weight from your total weight. Example if you weigh 200 lbs and your body fat % is 30%, your body fat weight is 60lbs. You then subtract 60 lbs from 200 and your lean mass is 140 lbs.
CPT, BS Kinesiology, SCIRION Certified, NFPT Nutritional Cert, AFFA
The phytochrome is a protein with activity kinase present in green vegetables, whose function is to act as a photoreceptor primarily red light (600-700nm) and far-red (700-800nm), thanks to having a chromophore . Phytochrome in the type of detected light can trigger different responses in the plant, such as flowering , the germination , growth and escape response to the development of epicotyls shadow at night and during the day-cotyledons, regulation of expression metabolic activity during day and night ( circadian rhythms ).
Phytochromes were discovered in the fifties as part of an investigation into the effect of light on the germination of seeds of lettuce . It was noted that they accounted for 20% seeds germinated in darkness, by contrast, the percentage of germination was maximum when irradiated seeds with a pulse of red light (R). We found also that subsequent irradiation with far-red light pulse (RL) canceling the inductive effect of red light, preventing germination.
The alternate irradiation with light R and RL (R, R + RL R + RL + R, R + RL + R + RL, etc..) Showed that the last color applied determined the germination of seeds and light was red process stimulating factor and its inhibitor, far-red light.
In search of an explanation of such phenomena is proposed the existence of a pigment , which they called phytochrome, absorbing red light. Phytochrome in question, after absorbing red light, turned into a form capable of absorbing far-red radiation, so that rendered its initial condition after making such an absorption. Experimental support the hypothesis found in the early sixties with purification, from extracts of seedlings of cereals, a protein endowed with the predicted characteristics. The phytochromes are proteins soluble found in the seeds , leaves , stems , roots and other plant organs. 2
Biochemically, phytochrome is a protein with a chromophore Bilin .
Phytochrome has been found in most plants, including all higher plants, also very similar molecules have been found in several bacteria . A fragment of a bacterial phytochrome has clarified the structure of the protein three-dimensional.
Other plant photoreceptors include the cryptochromes and phototropins , which are sensitive to light blue and ultraviolet regions of the spectrum.
The phytoestrogens are chemical compounds nonsteroidal, found in plants but are similar to estrogens human action and similarly (oestrogenic) or opposite (antiestrogenic effect) thereto. Usually found in very small amounts in foods. Its estrogenic activity is mainly due to its chemical similarity with animal hormones. The mycoestrogens have similar effects. Its relevance to nutrition research is still in effect in areas such as the regulation of cholesterol or of maintaining the bone density at menopause. Since the ingestion of these compounds is related to a particular eating habits is difficult to distinguish the real cause of the positive effects.
These compounds are mainly flavonoids . The best known are isoflavones commonly found in soy and in red clover . The lignan phytoestrogen is also an important though not a flavonoid.
While it can be identified several ways:
The most active and relevant for human consumption are the first.
The isoflavones found in a variety of plants and vegetables, especially in legumes and grasses . Two of the most abundant species in these chemicals are soy and red clover .
To exert their beneficial effect on the body, must be altered by the gut and then metabolized and processed at the liver .