Protein deficiency is a disease caused by a deficiency of protein which can be caused by either 1) malnutrition or 2) lack of a protein-rich diet. It is a global problem faced by nearly 1 billion people, and in India, more than 80% of the population suffers from a lack of protein!
Contrary to popular belief, everyone needs protein! – not just bodybuilders and fitness freaks. Every cell in your body has a structure that utilizes Essential Amino Acids (EAAs), which is why you require protein to help your body repair cells and make new ones.
NOTE – Your minimum protein requirement is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
If you were to weigh 65 kilograms- your minimum protein requirement would be = 52 grams per day.
What are the symptoms of protein deficiency?
1. Increased severity of infections
Lack of protein tends to take a toll on your immune system as well, compromised immune system increases your vulnerability to colds and fevers and can also increase the severity of the infection.
2. Skin hair and nail problems
Your skin, hair, and nails can often show symptoms such as flaky skin, hyperpigmentation, hair loss, and brittle nails.
3. Loss of muscle mass
When you fail to meet your minimum protein requirement, your body begins to take protein from skeletal muscles to preserve the vital functions in your body. Over some time, you begin to lose muscle mass. It’s because of this that dietitians tend to prescribe an increased amount of protein for muscle building.
4. Inability to focus
A scarcity of protein has a detrimental impact on your brain as well. A protein-deficient diet leads to low concentrations of EAAs in the plasma and brain, resulting in a depletion of neurotransmitters in the brain.
5. Digestive issues
Needing to eat Hajmola after every meal is not normal and could be a sign of protein shortage! Your body becomes unable to break protein into amino acids and absorb protein which will make you have poor gut health,- which can lead to numerous digestive issues.
The symptoms mentioned above are due to a lack of protein and can diminish your physical and mental health. A simple solution can be to increase the amount of protein in your diet.
Visit your doctor if symptoms become too persistent or increase in severity.