There are two things that come to mind when I think ‘proteins’: meat and muscles ^_^                                               Knowing however, that chicken is considered one of the richest sources of protein, I find it funny that ‘muscles’ and ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ are rarely found in the same sentences.


If, like me before this week’s Biochemistry classes, ‘meat and muscles’ sums up your knowledge of protein, then pleaaaaaaasee…..KEEP READING!

Proteins are classified mainly by their function, whether it be structural, hormonal, transport, protective, storage, contractile or as enzymes. They are made up of lots and lots smaller molecules called amino acids, joined together by peptide bonds.

Check out this simple video on how peptide bonds are formed…

Since proteins serve so many different functions in our bodies, there’s no question why we need it so much, and in such large and frequent quantities. Contractile proteins like myosin and actin do mechanical work. Protective proteins like immunoglobulin defend the body by destroying invading matter. Structural proteins like collagen provide shape and support. Transport proteins like heamoglobin carry substances through body fluids. Storage proteins like ferritin make sure that essential substances are available when the body requires. Hormones like oestrogen carry messages to receptors in order to regulate body functions.

Enzyme proteins (my favourite class of protein), like amylase, are very important because they catalyze a lot of the bodies’ biological reactions.

Each protein is unique in its combination of amino acids, but all biologically active protein are made of different combinations of the same 20(or 22) basic amino acids.

Listen to our friend (not really our friend) Jeremy Ying as he tries to help us remember these amino acids.

There are 10 amino acids that our bodies have the ability to make on its own, the other 10 are obtained through the diet. The latter are termed ‘essential’ amino acids. There are simply, amino acids that are required by, but not produced by the organism being considered and thus, it must be obtained from its food.


I hope so, because we’re gonna go a little deeper into proteins.

They’re usually made up of 1 or more polypeptide chains and there are up to 4 different levels of structural organization that can be observed: the primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structures.




The primary structure, as seen in the diagram is simply the sequence of α-L-amino acids in a chain of polypeptides. Remember, they are joined together by peptide links.




beta sheet


The secondary structure is formed when the long chain of the primary structure beings to fold and twist.  Hydrogen bond and disulfide linkages get involved here to hold the shapes in place. The α-helix and the β-pleated sheet (diagram above) are common examples of secondary structures of proteins.





The tertiary structure is that 3-D shape formed when secondary structures (α-helices, β-pleated sheets and random coils) refold. In order to hold the tertiary structure in place, ionic bonds, hydrophobic interactions and Van der Waals forces are added to the already present hydrogen bonds and disulfide interactions.




To form the quaternary structure, different polypeptide chains come together and are held together by the same non-covalent interactions and the covalent disulfide bridges that form the tertiary structure.

So, is it true that meat, particularly chicken has a relatively high protein content? Yes.  And is it true that protein is necessary for good muscle growth? Definitely.

But as my granny always say… “Too much ah one ting, good for nothing!”  And this is so, at least where protein is concerned.

Above is a link to an article that tells of how eating too much protein negatively affects the body.

Now concerning KFC…. Beside the fact that I believe the Colonel’s ‘secret’ ingredient is cocaine(or some derivative thereof), the fat in each oily, over-breaded bite will widen hips, maximize glutes(not in a flattering way) and enlarge your stomach much faster than the protein in there can help with the growth of your biceps my friend.

Next time someone asks if u want some KFC, say “Na, I don’t do drugs!”

From us to you,



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