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Why protein is essential for healing

Complete proteins play a crucial role in the body's healing processes due to their ability to provide essential amino acids in adequate proportions. As an experienced osteopath for nine years, I understand the importance of nutrition for healing aligns with well-established scientific principles. Here's an explanation supported by scientific references from peer-reviewed journals:

Amino Acid Composition: Complete proteins contain all nine essential amino acids, which are amino acids that the body cannot synthesize and must be obtained through the diet. These essential amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and they play a fundamental role in various physiological processes, including tissue repair and regeneration. Reference: Millward, D. J. (2012). Amino acid scoring patterns for protein quality assessment. British Journal of Nutrition, 108(S2), S31-S43.

Collagen Formation: Healing often involves the production of collagen, a structural protein that forms the basis of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and skin. Amino acids like proline and glycine, found in complete proteins, are critical for collagen synthesis. Reference: Wu, G. (2013). Functional amino acids in nutrition and health. Amino Acids, 45(3), 407-411.

Immune Function: Proper nutrition, including sufficient protein intake, supports immune function. Amino acids like arginine and glutamine, present in complete proteins, are essential for immune cell proliferation and function, helping the body fight infections and inflammation during the healing process. Reference: Wu, G., & Morris Jr, S. M. (1998). Arginine metabolism: nitric oxide and beyond. Biochemical Journal, 336(1), 1-17.

Enzyme Activation: Enzymes play a vital role in various biochemical reactions involved in healing. Amino acids act as cofactors for enzymes, facilitating these reactions. Incomplete protein intake may lead to suboptimal enzyme activity. Reference: Brosnan, J. T., & Brosnan, M. E. (2006). Branched-chain amino acids: enzyme and substrate regulation. The Journal of Nutrition, 136(1 Suppl), 207S-211S.

Muscle Repair and Maintenance: Protein is essential for muscle repair and maintenance. Amino acids, especially leucine, stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Maintaining muscle mass is critical for overall healing and recovery. Reference: Rennie, M. J., & Tipton, K. D. (2000). Protein and amino acid metabolism during and after exercise and the effects of nutrition. Annual Review of Nutrition, 20(1), 457-483.

Energy Metabolism: Protein can also contribute to energy production during times of healing and recovery, especially when carbohydrate and fat intake may be limited due to illness or injury. Amino acids can be converted to energy substrates. Reference: Wolfe, R. R. (2017). Branched-chain amino acids and muscle protein synthesis in humans: myth or reality? Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 14(1), 30.

Proper nutrition, including the intake of complete proteins, provides the necessary building blocks and support for the body's natural healing processes, as evidenced by the scientific literature.


Ann Shivas brings over 9 years of invaluable experience in the field of Osteopathy. Her journey has taken her across the globe, where she has had the privilege of working closely with professional athletes, aiding them in their pursuit of optimal health and performance. Ann's passion for Osteopathy extends beyond the limelight, as she is dedicated to sharing her extensive knowledge with her local community in Comox Valley, Courtney, and Cumberland. Through her work, Ann aims to raise awareness about the remarkable benefits of Osteopathy and its potential to transform lives. For those seeking to experience the advantages firsthand, appointments can be conveniently booked online via this link: Book Now.


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