Looking Inside and Out Where Your Body Puts Protein

The human body is chock-full of proteins. Proteins are present in the outer and inner membranes of every living cell. Here's where else protein makes an appearance:

1 Your hair, your nails, and the outer layers of your skin are made of the protein keratin. Keratin is a scleroprotein, or a protein resistant to digestive enzymes. So if you bite your nails, you can't digest them.

1 Muscle tissue contains myosin, actin, myoglobin, and a number of other proteins.

  • Bone has plenty of protein. The outer part of bone is hardened with minerals such as calcium, but the basic, rubbery inner structure is protein; and bone marrow, the soft material inside the bone, also contains protein.
  • Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein compound that carries oxygen throughout the body. Plasma, the clear fluid in blood, contains fat and protein particles known as lipoproteins, which ferry cholesterol around and out of the body.

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