Protein is considered among the most important nutrients for the body. Not only is it the building block of your muscles, LiveStrong says it also helps “produce new cells, regulate hormones and enzymes, heal wounds and promote immune function.”
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While most people consume enough protein through their food choices on a day-to-day basis, those who under eat, are vegetarian or vegan, or live in developing countries may not. The following are 13 signs of a protein deficiency to be mindful of.
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1. Muscle Wasting
When the body isn’t getting enough protein from food sources, Healthline says “the body tends to take protein from skeletal muscles to preserve more important tissues and body functions.”
This condition is known as muscle wasting, which can lead to a loss of energy and strength and may make doing physical activities more challenging. The source adds that elderly people are especially susceptible, with “even moderate protein insufficiency” causing muscle degeneration.