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Protein deficiency and Antibody production
Feb 28, 2003


Is there any relationship between general protein intake of a person and time to produce antibodies ?

I am Indian. I don't eat meat generally and protein intake is low compared to others.

I read that antibodies are a type of protein. So, if a person is low in protein reserves, will it increase the time to produce antibodies ?

Thanks Kumar

Response from Ms. Fields-Gardner

There are many important protein substances in the body, all of which require an adequate intake. Adequate intake varies depending on your diet and what you need to accomplish. Just because you eat a diet high in protein does not ensure that your body will send it where you would like it to go.

If you eat less protein than your body needs to maintain protein stores (even vegan-type vegetarians can get plenty of protein to keep things intact if it is a high-quality protein), then you will have problems. It is a type of starvation. Your body may not make enough antibodies in extreme cases, so response to infections may be less effective (which may appear "slow" but is probably just less effective).

One of the most visible signs (muscle wasting with edema) happens when that balance is pretty disturbed. You can check to see that you are getting enough and a good quality usable protein by having your dietitian evaluate your normal food intake. It will be worth doing!

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