11 Signs You're Protein-Deficient

Did you know you could be protein deficient even if you eat a lot of protein?

It’s true! In fact, almost every patient I see, from top performance athletes to those suffering from long-term chronic illness, have been found to be protein deficient — by actual laboratory blood test.

It isn’t your fault. Food in the 21st century isn’t what it used to be. Even if livestock was fed all organic feed, and was hormone and antibiotic free, the feed would still come from largely depleted soil, lacking in the basic nutrients the body needs.


Here are 11 signs you might be protein deficient.

Go down the list and just click whichever applies to you to get more information about it.

1. You get sick more often or have trouble getting over illnesses.

2. You experience gas or bloating after you eat.

3. You feel sad or anxious often.

4. You've gained extra weight or are having trouble losing weight.

5. Your skin looks saggy or aged.

6. Your hair and nails are brittle. 

7. You get tired more easily in general or feel the effects of over-training often.

8. You take longer to heal from injuries or recover.

9. You have hormonal imbalances.

10. You take Acid Blockers.

11. You're aged 50 years or older.


Alright, now just take the number(s) of the indicator you found above and find it's corresponding number below to find out more about this and what you can do about it. Or just read through the entire list to find out the many ways that lack of protein affects your body, why, and, more importantly, what you can do about it right now.

1. Do you get sick more often or have trouble getting over illnesses?

As you probably know, your body fights off infections with antibodies. However, what you probably didn’t know is that antibodies are made of protein. That means that if you’re protein-deficient, you’ll most likely be antibody-deficient as well. And this can cause you to become sick more often or extend the length of time it takes to fully recuperate.

I see this frequently with patients who are just not healing. Not only from musclular/skeletal injuries, but even continuing illnesses they just can’t shake, or long recoveries after the illness is gone. These can be illnesses as mild as the flu or as severe and debilitating as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue or Rheumatoid Arthritis.

You see, your body factually cannot heal without protein. It’s just not possible. This is especially true as one gets older or is engaged in high performance activity. Or when one has a pre-existing physical condition.

So, getting your body more protein — and the right protein — is very important. Yes, of course you still need proper vitamins and nutrition. But without protein, no amount of vitamins can be effective.

Proper protein may not cure all of your problems, but if you’re not feeling well, it sure will help!

So, if you have any of the following, you may be protein deficient:

• You are ill often
• You suffer from long recoveries
• You still feel the illness long after its technically gone
• You have a pre-existing physical condition that already keeps you tired and slow to heal. In such a case your body is definitely protein deficient. Chronic illnesses such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and many more actively prevent protein from being fully utilized by the body, furthering the condition causing this. Thus it is vital to get easily assimilated and fully utilized protein in order to start feeling better.

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2. Do you experience gas or bloating after you eat?

If you experience gas or bloating after you eat you may not have enough digestive enzymes to break down the foods you consumed. And guess what? Digestive enzymes are proteins!

Unfortunately, the lack of these enzymes can cause more problems than just uncomfortable indigestion. From ulcers, to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and even gallbladder disease, lack of a properly functioning digestive system can be much more of a problem than most people realize.
You see, your bowels are the body’s primary elimination and detoxification pathway. It’s how all the garbage, toxins, and digestive byproducts leave your body.
So, when you’re “backed up” this causes a problem for your body. It must clear the pathway, but it can’t. What happens next is something that can set off a series of unexplainable (when noticed later on) and potentially dangerous symptoms. You see, these toxins that your body marked as needing elimination have to go somewhere. And they do. They’re reabsorbed by the intestinal wall. This leads to something called “autointoxication”.
These reabsorbed toxins start to build up in your liver, your lymphatic system, your skin (you may notice strange blemishes or irritated pores on your skin), and even your brain.
The process is usually gradual so it is often overlooked. But it can lead to surprisingly diverse and baffling symptoms — far beyond the discomfort of mere constipation.
So, while proper intestinal nutrition and cleanses are necessary now and then… consuming enough protein, in a form that is easily absorbed by your body, can not only help ease the pain and discomfort of indigestion and bloating by giving the body what it needs to properly digest food — but can actually help prevent future issues that may be much more uncomfortable.

If you experience gas or bloating after you eat you may be protein deficient.
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3. Do you feel sad or anxious often?

If you’re sad or anxious, you’re probably deficient in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters such as serotonin, or GABA. And these neurotransmitters are actually proteins.
In fact, there are many hormones that relate to and can affect an individuals emotional state. From the Thyroid to the Adrenal Glands, the hormones produced by the body can affect one’s overall mood in many varying ways.
If you take birth control you may notice the hormones in these can make one more irritable or prone to grief. At the same time, Adrenaline can make one feel angry, fearful, or on edge.
As hormones are made from protein, a lack can lead to incorrectly functioning glands and hormone imbalances, an increasingly visible issue facing many people today.
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4. Have you gained extra weight?
If you’ve put on weight, the reason may be a protein deficiency.

You see (as I’m sure you know), protein helps you build and keep muscle mass.
What you may not know is that the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn every day — even while at rest. To be exact, the body at rest burns 50 calories per 1 lb. of muscle per day. If you had 10 lbs. of muscle this would equate to 500 calories burned in a 24 hour period — even without exercise.  
So, when you lose muscle mass, your body doesn’t burn as many calories. And this leads to weight gain. This plays out in many ways, but here are two main ones you may have experienced:
Aging: This happens naturally as a part of aging. At the age of 30 most individuals will begin to lose muscle mass. By the age of 60 the average person has already lost approximately 30% of their muscle mass). As this muscle mass goes, less calories are necessary to keep it fed and so are turned into fat stores instead.
Therefore it’s very important to ensure you’re getting enough protein of the proper type and ratios in order to maintain lean muscle mass.
Diets: There are certain diets that prevent proper protein consumption. Not based on actual health studies, these diets lower ones calorie (and protein) intake to unhealthy levels, leaving one with a body that is lighter, but lowered in health and immunity and most likely with less muscle mass than before. This can then cause the re-gaining of weight and is one of the causes of yo-yo dieting.
Beyond that, when your body is starved of real nutrition, protein top amongst that, it will crave fast energy. In other words, sugar, starches, and heavily fatty foods. Keeping it properly fed, with correct protein intake, can help to prevent these urges and makes dieting much easier.
A sedentary lifestyle: This is bigger than most people realize. This is the couch potato. The tired person who doesn’t have energy. The person who doesn’t get out much.
This is also the person who is unable to do much movement. They have a condition preventing it or have been injured in some way stopping them from being active.
While many people believe it is the inactivity, possibly combined with junk food, that alone causes the weight gain, lack of protein is also a large hidden cause here.
As they do not or are unable to exercise, and also do not consume enough protein, their lean muscle mass slowly shrinks. This then requires less calories to feed it and so the extra calories consumed go to fat stores. The longer this goes on, the less muscle mass they have and the larger the fat stores become.
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5. Does your skin look saggy?

Is your skin saggy or not as strong as it once was or should be? Your skin needs collagen for elasticity. But as you get older your body produces less collagen, resulting in sagging skin.

This can even show up when you’re younger if you don’t get enough protein. We see this in extreme cases in the anorexic or someone who has been badly malnourished over time. Their skin looks older than it should at their age. What they’re missing is collagen.
So, how do you get more collagen? Well, collagen comes from protein!
Collagen improves your skin’s ability to retain moisture and may fight UVB photodamage, which in turn promotes healthier and younger looking skin.
If your skin is saggy, overly dry or seems to be aging beyond what it should, you may be protein deficient.
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6. Are your hair and nails brittle?

Just like your skin, your hair and nails need collagen to grow strong and healthy. It is actually the key building block for hair, skin, nails, blood vessels, and teeth.

A study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology revealed that collagen is strongly deposited in hair follicles, and the lack of collagen delays hair cycling and growth.
So if your hair and nails are brittle, break easily or overly dry, you may be low in collagen which means you are deficient in protein.
Consuming adequate protein can lead to thicker, fuller hair and stronger nails.
So, if you hair and nails are brittle, you may be deficient in protein.
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7. Do you get tired more easily in general or do you feel the effects of overtraining often?

To maintain or improve your endurance, your body needs strong muscles. And muscles are made of — you guessed it — protein.

If you train hard, or are getting up in years, your protein needs can increase substantially. Not increasing protein intake in conjunction with the need creates a deficiency which can lead to excessive tiredness as your body doesn’t have what it needs to fully recover.
As there is not enough protein to go around due to the increased need, this can lead to a lowered immune system and increased chance of illness, as well as lowered strength in your bones and ligaments as these all depend on protein to work at optimum levels.
If you are tired often or suffer from over-training, you may be protein deficient.
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8. Do you take longer to heal from injuries.

It’s not just muscles that are made from protein. Your tendons, ligaments, and joints are made from protein too. So when your body doesn’t get enough protein it takes longer for muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to heal.

Look at it this way. Every time your body is injured, even if just from the normal rigor of mild exercise, it requires protein to help it heal or recover.
Maintaining your current muscle mass, and keeping up with even daily demands, requires protein.  
Keeping your immune system strong requires protein.
Countless processes require protein on a regular basis just for normal survival. So, if you’re already not getting enough proper protein, or only getting enough for your everyday needs, then what happens when you’re training hard, or healing from an injury… or just getting up in years?
You need more.
And if your body doesn’t get it, and in a form it can easily assimilate and use, you will take longer to recover and heal from your injuries. In fact, you may need as much as 3 times the normal protein amounts when healing from a severe injury.
But getting this extra protein will not only speed the healing, it will ensure that you’re once again strong and able to do the things you want to.
So, are you taking too long to heal from injuries or not healing well or fully? If so, you are protein deficient.
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9. Do you have hormonal imbalances?

While many people know that protein is responsible for the proper creation of muscle and tendons, few know its role in hormones and thus hormonal imbalances.

You see, hormones aren’t affected by protein — they’re made of protein. And a hormonal imbalance can be caused, in part or in whole, by a deficiency in protein.
Your hormones, and the glands that produce them, are responsible for a properly running body. From your Thyroid to your Adrenals, the creation of Estrogen or the monitoring of your T-levels, hormones play a vital role in ensuring your body runs as it should. And when they are lacking or out of balance, numerous problems result.
But they are made of protein. So, while taking large quantities of protein may not solve all hormonal troubles — not getting enough protein will very definitely create troubles.
So, do you have a hormonal imbalance? If so, you may be deficient in protein.
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10. Do you take acid blockers?

Acid blockers stop your stomach from producing as much stomach acid. But stomach acid is what breaks down the protein you eat. That means you could eat steak and eggs every day, but if your body isn’t producing enough stomach acid to break it down, you could still wind up protein deficient.

In this case you need a protein that easily assimilates and is fully utilized by the body. One that doesn’t need to be broken down and thus bypasses the normal digestive processes that would otherwise prevent its complete absorption into the blood stream.
Do you take acid blockers? If so, then you are most likely deficient in protein. 
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11. Are you aged 50 years or older?

The average person starts losing muscle in their 30s. This muscle loss then accelerates in your 50s. Indeed, by the age of 60, the average person has already lost 30% of their muscle mass!

While many people think this is just a part of aging, there is actually much that can be done about it.
As we know from the above points, protein is responsible for many things and is easily the foundation of the entire body, composing all but the water and fats.
And, while a lack of protein can hinder your ability to put on or keep lean muscle mass, if you do get enough protein, and in a form that is easily assimilated and utilized, you can actually slow, prevent or reverse many of the conditions normally associated with aging and thought to be “just the way things are.”
In fact, I’m 71 years old and I just ran my 42nd Full Ironman Triathlon last year. And I’m currently training for my next.
I take all of my own formulations. So I know the above is true.


Alright, how many of the above signs do you have? If you have two or more, you’re likely protein deficient.

Protein is the foundation of the body. While there are many nutrients that go into its proper functioning, if you take away all the protein the body ceases to exist. Take away part of it, through overtraining, aging, illness, or just lack of enough in your diet, and the body stops functioning properly or at optimum levels.

Now, here’s the good news. There’s an easy way to get enough protein to reverse protein deficiency, heal your body, and stay strong and vibrant as you age — and without the issues caused by consuming too much dietary protein.

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It's the Essential Amino Acids. The building blocks of protein. But in a form that allows them to be 99% utilized by the human body and without anything else added.

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Meet Dr. David Minkoff

Practicing medicine for over 40 years, Dr. David Minkoff has worked as an attending physician in infectious disease, co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit, and worked as an ER physician. In 1997 he opened Lifeworks Wellness Center, now one of the foremost alternative medicine clinics in the United States. In addition to seeing hundreds of patients per week, he now travels the country as a keynote speaker at numerous medical conferences every year.
Dr Minkoff is also an avid athlete, having completed 42 full Ironman triathlons and continues to compete at the young age of 70 years old.