Proteins are molecules that have an important relationship with the functioning of all living things. Proteins are made of amino acids and nitrogen and are considered a macronutrient that, together with carbohydrates and fat, play a primary role in the structure of the muscles, the transportation of oxygen, and the regulation of hormone response in the body. The nitrogen that is found in protein is a primary chemical in fighting off infection because it promotes the growth of anti bodies. The prefix macro indicates that a large amount of that particular nutrient is needed for optimal health. How much protein a person needs depends on age and level of activity as well as gender. Any person wishing to know how many grams of protein required each day may multiply their weight in pounds by 0.6 to get the approximate amount needed. This percentage does not take into account what is needed by a person who is extremely athletic.
Some foods that contain protein are eggs, all meats, milk, cheese, soy products such as tofu, and yogurt to name a few.
When the body suffers from a lack or protein, the results may be serious. Loss of muscle mass, resistance to insulin and hormonal problems may result. In populations where there is famine, persons have died due to lack of protein in their diet.