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Is it necessary to rely on protein powder to improve immunity?

  On the way of everyone’s health, various dietary supplements and health products have also become popular. Especially protein powder, because it can supplement protein, many people regard it as a “health speed booster”. So, is there any relationship between supplementing protein powder and improving immunity? Do “Yangkang” people really need to eat? Who is not suitable to supplement protein powder? In this issue, doctors from the nutrition department will share with you a little knowledge about protein powder supplementation.
  Can supplementing protein improve immunity? Let me talk about the answer
  first : ensuring a reasonable intake of protein can help improve the body’s immunity.
  As the structural material of life, protein is an important part of the body’s immune organs and tissues, and immune cells. One of the important immune substances we often mention – antibody, its essence is also protein. In addition, protein is also involved in the formation of a variety of active substances, such as enzymes, hormones and so on.
  Immunity is the body’s own defense mechanism. It is the body’s ability to recognize and eliminate any foreign objects (viruses, bacteria, etc.) ability. Simply put, immunity is the body’s ability to resist disease and protect its own health. It is the immune system that performs this function.
  The human immune system is composed of immune organs, tissues, cells and molecules. If the confrontation between the body and the virus is compared to a war, then the immune system is equivalent to a “soldier” who goes forward to maintain the health of the body. Only when the “soldiers” are well fed can they have the strength to perform normal functions, thereby resisting diseases and winning wars.
  Therefore, in order to maintain good immunity, it is essential to provide the body with comprehensive and balanced nutrients. Among them, the right amount of protein intake is particularly important.
  How much protein do you need to take in when recovering from a serious illness
  Then the question arises, how much protein do you need to take in after recovering from a serious illness? For healthy adults engaged in light physical activity, about 1 gram of protein is required per kilogram of body weight per day, so the recommended protein intake for men is about 65 grams per day, and for women is about 55 grams per day (only rough calculations, Individuals need to consider weight, BMI, health status, exercise status, etc.).
  For Yangkang people, protein intake can be increased by 20%, sometimes even by 50%, and sufficient protein intake can be guaranteed at 1.2 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight. In particular, it is encouraged to eat more fish, lean meat, eggs, milk, beans and their products to increase the intake of high-quality protein. In addition, in order to better promote the body’s protein synthesis, it is recommended that protein intake should be relatively evenly distributed among the three meals of morning, middle and evening.
  According to the latest dietary guidelines for Chinese residents (version 2022), eat an appropriate amount of staple food (more than 6 taels for men and more than 5 taels for women), 1 cup of milk + 1 cup of yogurt (500 ml), 2 eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg white), 3 taels of lean meat, 3 taels of soy products, etc., are enough to meet the above-mentioned recommended protein intake.
  It can be seen that ordinary Yangkang people can fully meet the body’s protein needs through daily diet. Moreover, while the daily diet provides the body with protein, it can also provide rich nutrients such as fat, minerals, and vitamins. Therefore, it is recommended to provide the body with sufficient protein through a daily balanced diet.
  Which Yangkang people need to supplement protein powder
  ? Can “Yangkang” people supplement protein powder to ensure adequate protein intake? Before answering this question, let’s take a look at what protein powder is.
  The so-called protein powder is generally a powder composed of purified soybean protein, casein, whey protein, pea protein or a combination of the above-mentioned proteins. According to the different sources of protein, protein powder can be divided into soy protein powder, casein powder, whey protein powder or compound protein powder, etc. The main purpose of protein powder is to supplement protein for individuals who are deficient in protein.
  Which Yangkang people need to supplement protein powder? Supplementation can be considered when the following conditions exist and it is often difficult for the body to obtain sufficient protein through daily meals.
  ? Loss of appetite or insufficiency of eating Patients with poor appetite and insufficiency or elderly patients often have obvious insufficient energy and protein intake after Yangkang. On the basis of ensuring sufficient energy intake, protein powder can be supplemented in an appropriate amount. positive nitrogen balance, which helps maintain muscle mass and normal immune function.
  ? Digestion and absorption disorders Elderly people have decreased protein digestion and absorption function due to decreased secretion of digestive juice and decreased gastrointestinal motility; for patients with functional dyspepsia or small intestinal absorption disorders, there is often protein deficiency. You can choose protein powder supplements that are easy to digest and absorb to improve the body’s nutritional intake.
  ? The body’s demand for protein increases. Under certain special physiological conditions, such as pregnant women and nursing mothers, the demand for protein often increases. Some fitness groups who have resumed exercise after a period of time and have the need to increase muscle often need to increase The intake of protein is to promote the synthesis of muscle protein; under certain pathological conditions, such as surgery, burns, infection, tumor radiotherapy and chemotherapy patients, etc., there is often a negative nitrogen balance, or even hypoalbuminemia, etc., and the protein requirement increases significantly. For individuals with the above situations, it is necessary to supplement protein powder in an appropriate amount after a doctor/nutritionist comprehensively evaluates physical health status, nutritional intake, exercise intensity and other factors.
  In fact, for those who exercise more or have muscle-building needs, the protein intake should be increased moderately, generally not exceeding 1.5 g/kg. Studies have shown that dietary sources of protein and protein powder have no significant difference in muscle building effects. Therefore, for a person with a body weight of 60 kg, as long as the intake of low-fat/skim milk, egg white, chicken breast, lean beef, fish and shrimp, and soy products is appropriately added to the diet every day, the body’s needs for nutrition can be satisfied. The demand for protein is safe, effective, economical and affordable.
  Under what circumstances should you not supplement protein powder
  First , those who are allergic to protein powder ingredients (such as soybean protein, casein, whey protein, etc.) are prohibited from supplementing protein powder, so as not to cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal distension, abdominal pain, skin itching, and even allergic reactions related to the nervous system .
  In addition, since the protein ingested by the body needs to be metabolized by the liver and kidneys, patients with liver cirrhosis, hepatic encephalopathy or renal insufficiency should not blindly supplement ordinary protein powder, but should choose some protein powder under the guidance of a physician/nutritionist. Disease-specific formula foods for special medical purposes (FSMP) are used to supplement the body with nutrients so as not to increase the burden on the liver, kidneys and other organs. For example, patients with liver disease often need to increase the intake of branched-chain amino acids, and patients with kidney disease are more suitable to supplement α-keto acids on the basis of a low-protein diet.
  Finally, when there are gastrointestinal failure, acute pancreatitis, intestinal fistula, etc., since protein cannot be digested well, it is not suitable to directly supplement protein powder, but individualized nutrition should be given based on the patient’s current gastrointestinal function intervene.

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