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Body Produces it's own Protein?


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Okay, I have a colleague at work that was reccommended for years by her doctor to adopt a vegetarian diet because according to her she's one in one million people who does not need to eat protien because her body produces excess protein all by itself.

Now, I find that hard to believe, that such a person would exist.  It's just too much of a genetic anomoly for the standard human.

I'm hoping someone could point me towards an alternative answer, such as some type of animal protien intolerance or liver problem that would need a person to stop eating meat to stay healthy.

I've searched and googled and yahooed but couldn't find anything.
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Oookay.  Unless she's a breatharian, there's no possible way there's zero protein in her diet.  There is protein in fruits, vegetables, everything.

In fact, if you consumed a diet entirely of fruits and leafy greens, you'd easily get 10% protein in your diet, and have absolutely no amino acid deficiencies.

Goji berries, for example, actually contain 18 amino acids, including all 8 "essential amino acids" for human health.

Many people find they need to eat meat for B12, zinc, essential fatty acids, and/or iron.  But you absolutely don't need animal foods to get enough protein.
as far as i know, when we consume protein it's broken down into amino acids, shipped to the blood stream and then possibly built back up later into proteins that we can use in our body.

if she was getting enough of these 8 'essential amino acids' that the body cannot synthesise by itself, she technically wouldn't need to eat protein (as a whole.)

like venix said there's plenty of places she could get the amino acids.

then again this is just... conjecture and my poor memory so anyone can feel free to jump in at any time and correct me. :)
#3  
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My boyfriend has a problem where his kidneys can't handle protein or something. He never craves it. All he eats is bread and chocolate pudding. He is still lean. Stupid lucky people.
That is a weird one!  Venix is right, our bodies do break down proteins into individual amino acids, why?  So it can make more proteins!  Everybody knows protein is in our muscles but did you know that our nerves use proteins, as well?  They build them.  In fact, all of everything you remember are proteins.  Memories are special proteins created by the neurons in our brains and stored throughout our neo-cortex.  When we want to remember something we simply access the particular protein with the proper RNA sequence.  (but minds aren't 100% efficient, and things do get lost, hence we forget, surprisingly, our bodies aren't as "perfect" as one might think, our neurons do make mistakes) There was something with proteins in the production of neurotransmitters as well, but I can't remember exactly what that was.  Wait, aren't neurotransmitters proteins too?  Have to look that one up.  Oooh, I love neurology!!!

My point, I really dont think our bodies can produce the essential amino acids, it has to have an external source.  Without amino acids your nervous system would shut down, you couldn't produce the proteins necessary for proper brain function, you wouldn't be able to produce memories, wouldn't be able to produce neurotransmitters, everything about a person would cease to exist and an empty shell of a body would result....but I can't back this up so correct me if I am wrong but I am drawing on what I know.
I am aware of one condition - Phenylketonuria (PKU) which means you can't eat any protein - particularly growing up - because your body is unable to utlise phenylanaline. This means that this amino acid builds up in the body and if levels become elevated can cause mental retardation etc.

Children with this condition are unable to eat all meat products and many other foods which contain even relatively low levels of protein, and to compensate for this need to drink a mix of the other 19 essential amino acids to make sure they develop properly. I'm not sure what happens when tehy get older, i think they can incorporate more normal foods, but that they always need to be vegetarian. It is a genetic disease and all children born are tested for it.
My boyfriend has a problem where his kidneys can't handle protein or something. He never craves it. All he eats is bread and chocolate pudding. He is still lean. Stupid lucky people.

Bread is a high-protein food, being about 30% protein.  All grain-based food is high in protein.  (Protein quality is another issue -- I'm just talking about quantity here.)

As for the kidney problem, it sounds like excess protein consumption for him is a problem because of the waste products of metabolism of proteins into glucose.  When proteins are digested for their energy (because better fuels are not available), urea is released and must be excreted through the kidneys.

This urea excretion pathway is perfectly normal, except that just like overusing a ligament can damage it, overusing this pathway can damage the kidneys.  The effect is worsened in cases of chronic dehydration, i.e. not drinking enough water in general.

It's a dangerous misconception these days that a high-protein diet is a healthy diet.  Carbohydrates, especially fruit, are the natural first fuel for the human body, followed by fat.  Protein metabolism is extremely "messy", producing many waste products that have side effects like gout and kidney disease.
My point, I really dont think our bodies can produce the essential amino acids, it has to have an external source. 

Yep, exactly right.  The 8 essential amino acids are those that must be obtained from external nourishment.  Most other amino acids can be produced in the body.

However, sometimes (depending on genetics, environment, lifestyle, and overall health level) an individual doesn't produce enough of one or more of the "non-essential" amino acids, and greatly benefits from the intake of these through the diet.

This is one of the reasons why the Goji berry is so revered in traditional Chinese medicine.  As a carrier of every major amino acid, it has the potential to relieve amino acid deficiencies that are impairing good health -- to fill in the gaps, as it were.

Less well known is the concept of amino acid proportionality -- it can actually be bad for your health to get too much of certain amino acids and at the same time not enough of others.  But that's a huge subject.
I wanna try these Goji berries, I wonder if Whole Foods has them? 
Speaking of gout and high protein diets. A young man I know was on Atkins and got gout!! OUCH!
Speaking of gout and high protein diets. A young man I know was on Atkins and got gout!! OUCH!

Yep.  My father did too.  He wasn't on Atkins or anything.  He just decided, based on current fad dietary advice, that he should make every meal a high-protein meal.  Pretty soon his knees, toe joints, and wrists hurt.  His doctor, traditional MD, said "uh yeah... cut back on the protein."  And the gout just went away.

Some people will not be so fortunate to have it just go away, if their detoxification pathways are not strong enough.  The urea crystals will stick in the joints even after lowering dietary protein.  It takes a while to clear them out, especially when a person's lifestyle and health history have created tons of blockages to healing.

Unfortunately, many people interpret their slow, imperceptible recovery time as meaning that the dietary changes aren't working.  They go on prescription drugs that merely cover up the symptoms, or simply revert to their old ways in frustration and spend the rest of their lives popping pain pills.

That's why healing is an emotional, mental, and even social process as much as it is physical.  People need support on all levels.

People with PKU can utilize phenylalanine, they just can't process it properly.  In PKU, the body does not produce (or doesn't produce enough) of an enzyme called phenylhydroxylase (PAH), which breaks down phenylalanine into tyrosine (another amino acid - associated with melanin production).  Too much phenylalanine in the blood due to eating too much protein, causes mental retardation, behavioral and neurological disorders - in children, or in the long term in adults. 

Adults with PKU need to remain on the low protein diet FOR LIFE, though they may be able to relax the restrictions to some degree (except for women in their child-bearing years due to the HIGH risk of birth defects in children of women with PKU).  

Virtually all foods have some protein.  Meat, cheese, beans and nuts are out completely for most PKUers (as those with PKU call themselves), wheat, bread, potatoes and pasta are restricted (or often, special low-protein options are available from specialty food stores), and fruits, rice and vegetables are much better on the PKU diet, but even the protein from those need to be monitored.

This coming from someone with PKU. 

Humans can make their own protein, it's not a "one in a million" thing. In actuality it's not really protein that our bodies use, but the amino acid chains that the protein from animal flesh is broken down into.

Only 16% of our body is made up of protein.

Protein is primarily nitrogen with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.  We get enough Oxygen and hydrogen from the air we breath and also carbon. There are 4 times the amount of Nitrogen in the same air as Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon combined.

Since our bodies are able to utilize and assimilate a large amount of our needs from these elements our bodies are able to use and build the nitrogen into our bodies as protein.  This is done by natural bacterial action which is able to convert these chemicals to our use.

So, a vegetarian will be able to produce all of the amino acids necessary (which is what protein is broken down into-amino acid chains) just by eating healthy (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries,etc) and breathing air.

Look at bulls, and cows? They are complete vegans. Where do you think they get their protein from? Same place all "ANIMALS" do, through their bodies making it whether they eat meat or not.

 

Ever notice meat eating animals have the shortest life spans? Vegan animals live the longest.

 

Ever wonder why we are not taught this in school? Think about who is profiting by making us believe we need meat, and milk and all that? By the way the calcium in cows milk is worthless, our human bodies cannot use or process that calcium. But, we are told to drink it to get our calcium. Right!

 

Animal products while they taste good are not good for us to eat.

Original Post by heartshinegirl:

Protein is primarily nitrogen with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.  We get enough Oxygen and hydrogen from the air we breath and also carbon. There are 4 times the amount of Nitrogen in the same air as Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon combined.

Your body does not synthesize amino acids from the gas molecules in the air. 

And I have no idea why people think that a vegetarian or vegan diet has to be low in protein.  I am a vegetarian and I find it very easy to get plenty of protein from plant-based sources.

Original Post by heartshinegirl:

Humans can make their own protein, it's not a "one in a million" thing. In actuality it's not really protein that our bodies use, but the amino acid chains that the protein from animal flesh is broken down into.

Only 16% of our body is made up of protein.

Protein is primarily nitrogen with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.  We get enough Oxygen and hydrogen from the air we breath and also carbon. There are 4 times the amount of Nitrogen in the same air as Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon combined.

Since our bodies are able to utilize and assimilate a large amount of our needs from these elements our bodies are able to use and build the nitrogen into our bodies as protein.  This is done by natural bacterial action which is able to convert these chemicals to our use.

So, a vegetarian will be able to produce all of the amino acids necessary (which is what protein is broken down into-amino acid chains) just by eating healthy (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries,etc) and breathing air.

Look at bulls, and cows? They are complete vegans. Where do you think they get their protein from? Same place all "ANIMALS" do, through their bodies making it whether they eat meat or not.

 

Ever notice meat eating animals have the shortest life spans? Vegan animals live the longest.

 

Ever wonder why we are not taught this in school? Think about who is profiting by making us believe we need meat, and milk and all that? By the way the calcium in cows milk is worthless, our human bodies cannot use or process that calcium. But, we are told to drink it to get our calcium. Right!

 

Animal products while they taste good are not good for us to eat.

Please, please explain to me how only 16% of the body is protein, how the composition of air is relevant to protein synthesis, how nitrogen-fixing bacteria tie into the whole thing, and how there aren't sweeping calcium deficiencies amidst the population that relies on dairy for its calcium intake.  Please.

 

Original Post by rosered93:

Original Post by heartshinegirl:

Humans can make their own protein, it's not a "one in a million" thing. In actuality it's not really protein that our bodies use, but the amino acid chains that the protein from animal flesh is broken down into.

Only 16% of our body is made up of protein.

Protein is primarily nitrogen with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon.  We get enough Oxygen and hydrogen from the air we breath and also carbon. There are 4 times the amount of Nitrogen in the same air as Oxygen, Hydrogen and Carbon combined.

Since our bodies are able to utilize and assimilate a large amount of our needs from these elements our bodies are able to use and build the nitrogen into our bodies as protein.  This is done by natural bacterial action which is able to convert these chemicals to our use.

So, a vegetarian will be able to produce all of the amino acids necessary (which is what protein is broken down into-amino acid chains) just by eating healthy (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, berries,etc) and breathing air.

Look at bulls, and cows? They are complete vegans. Where do you think they get their protein from? Same place all "ANIMALS" do, through their bodies making it whether they eat meat or not.

 

Ever notice meat eating animals have the shortest life spans? Vegan animals live the longest.

 

Ever wonder why we are not taught this in school? Think about who is profiting by making us believe we need meat, and milk and all that? By the way the calcium in cows milk is worthless, our human bodies cannot use or process that calcium. But, we are told to drink it to get our calcium. Right!

 

Animal products while they taste good are not good for us to eat.

Please, please explain to me how only 16% of the body is protein, how the composition of air is relevant to protein synthesis, how nitrogen-fixing bacteria tie into the whole thing, and how there aren't sweeping calcium deficiencies amidst the population that relies on dairy for its calcium intake.  Please.

 

I agree.  This is wrong on so many levels.  We can't survive on the same diet as cows because we LACK the bacteria that they have.  And if we could synthesize protein from the molecules  in air... world hunger would not be a problem. 

Yes, air has the same elements as proteins.  In fact, carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen are found in nearly all living things.  This doesn't mean that our bodies are capable of synthesizing amino acids from these molecules in the gaseous form.  

Heartshinegirl, please gain an understanding of basic chemistry and cellular metabolism before adopting anything too radical for a diet.  I completely support vegetarianism (I am one), but you still need protein! 

Original Post by rosered93:

Please, please explain to me ...how there aren't sweeping calcium deficiencies amidst the population that relies on dairy for its calcium intake.  Please.

 

Over 75% of the US population is calcium deficient. 

Osteoporosis, a largely preventable disease which is in part due to calcium deficiency, affects 55% of the US population over age 50.

http://www.calciuminfo.com/osteperosis/calciu mdeficiency.aspx

I don't know if that correlates to dairy or not, but it is a problem.

Original Post by fuzzy_a:

Original Post by rosered93:

Please, please explain to me ...how there aren't sweeping calcium deficiencies amidst the population that relies on dairy for its calcium intake.  Please.

 

Over 75% of the US population is calcium deficient. 

Osteoporosis, a largely preventable disease which is in part due to calcium deficiency, affects 55% of the US population over age 50.

http://www.calciuminfo.com/osteperosis/calciu mdeficiency.aspx

I don't know if that correlates to dairy or not, but it is a problem.

I admit my nitpicking was very poorly phrased.  I suppose what I should have requested were studies regarding the bioavailability of calcium in dairy products.  Regardless of how bioavailable your calcium is, if you're not getting enough of it, you're going to be deficient (obviously).  Thanks for calling me out on that, though!

For the record, I'm 100% for plant-based diets.

there are 20 types of amino acids; but of these 8 are "essential" meaning that they can not be synthesized  by the body and must be taken in as food. The remaining 12 are non-essential and can be made by the body.

a complete protein means that it contains the 8 essential amino acids (ie: animal sources (eggs, meat, poultry, fish) soy, and hemp)

a non-complete protein means that it is lacking at least one of the essential amino acids (ie: vegetable proteins), in which case it must be combined with other foods. For example eating beans and rice together create a complete protein source. However you don't need to eat vegetarian sources together in the same meal, just as long as you eat a wide variety of sources everyday to ensure you are getting lots of nutrients and all of the essential amino acids.

Original Post by carmenxox:

there are 20 types of amino acids; but of these 8 are "essential" meaning that they can not be synthesized  by the body and must be taken in as food. The remaining 12 are non-essential and can be made by the body.

a complete protein means that it contains the 8 essential amino acids (ie: animal sources (eggs, meat, poultry, fish) soy, and hemp)

a non-complete protein means that it is lacking at least one of the essential amino acids (ie: vegetable proteins), in which case it must be combined with other foods. For example eating beans and rice together create a complete protein source. However you don't need to eat vegetarian sources together in the same meal, just as long as you eat a wide variety of sources everyday to ensure you are getting lots of nutrients and all of the essential amino acids.

in other words your friend is misguided.

yes, she creates SOME of her own proteins (the non-essential amino acids)

no, she does not create all of her proteins... she needs to eat the essential amino acids through food

I have a hard time believing that she eats no protein whatsoever, because vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, beans and grains have protein in them. Even fruit has trace amounts.. so unless she doesn't eat anything ever, she is getting protein.

 

 

#20  
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@heartshinegirl

Anyone who reads this please don't stop drinking milk - took me three seconds to find this quote

Connie Weaver, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Food and Nutrition at Purdue University reported in her 2001 book chapter "Calcium," in Present Knowledge in Nutrition:

"Calcium absorption from milk and other dairy products is about 32%, whereas calcium absorption from vegetables ranges from about 5% in spinach to more than 60% in some brassica vegetables such as broccoli. However, the high bioavailability of calcium from some vegetables cannot overcome their low calcium content. One would have to consume 2 1/4 cups of broccoli to obtain the same amount of calcium absorbed from one cup of milk."
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