What is Protein?

Protein is one of the essential macronutrients in our diet. It is the major component of body tissues and vital for growth and repair. The lean body tissues are mainly made of protein, constituting about 17% of the bodyweight. [1]

Amino Acids are the building blocks for proteins, and they are categorized into two different groups; essential and non-essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are defined as those that the body is unable to synthesize. Thus, it is curial to receive these amino acids from the diet.

These are the primary roles of proteins in the body: [2], [3], [4]

  • Structural
  • Enzymes function
  • Hormones function
  • Transport proteins
  • Immunoproteins

On top of that, it is important for the maintenance of body tissues as the body constantly undergoing wear and tear, and amino acids from protein can provide continuous repair.


  1. Nutrition, N. C. (2017). Recommended Nutrient Intakes for Malaysia. Putrajaya.
  2. Martínez Cuesta, S., Rahman, S. A., Furnham, N., & Thornton, J. M. (2015). The Classification and Evolution of Enzyme Function. Biophysical journal, 109(6), 1082–1086. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2015.04.020
  3. Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2002. Chapter 3, Protein Structure and Function. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21177/
  4. Li, P., Yin, Y. L., Li, D., Kim, S. W., & Wu, G. (2007). Amino acids and immune function. The British journal of nutrition, 98(2), 237–252. https://doi.org/10.1017/S000711450769936X