General chatter - I'm confused about the word "protein"

10-17-2008, 02:33 PM
- There's "protein" we need to eat

- There's "protein" in my body messing around with amino acids and doing lots of scientific junk I don't know anything about

- There's "protein" build up on contact lenses

Are any of these related or do they just share common names?
Is the protein I eat the protein that's doing the amino acid thing?
And, if I eat too much protein does that affect the protein that builds up on contacts?


10-17-2008, 03:15 PM
Proteins are made out of amino acids. All proteins are proteins, including the stuff on your contacts.

What you eat won't affect your contacts :).

10-17-2008, 06:07 PM
They're all made out of the same 20 amino acids, all strung together in different combinations.

Human bodies can't make all 20 types of amino acids, so you NEED to eat the other ones -- they call these "essential" amino acids. When you eat protein, it gets broken down and used by your body to create its own proteins. Your body needs to make a lot of proteins to build new muscle, so that's why eating plenty of protein is important if you're exercising a lot.

I don't know much about contacts, but I believe there's something about the surface of the contacts (the material, or texture, or something) that makes some proteins like to cling to it. These proteins are ones that are made by your body and excreted in your tears - mostly ones that help to fight or kill bacteria or viruses, since your eyes are exposed to the air so often that they need to keep nasty stuff out somehow.

10-22-2008, 03:32 PM
Hmm... thanks!
Since I've started eating better and eating more protein I've been blowing through contacts. And, although I didn't seriously think my increase in protein was as fault, I thought it was a strange coinsidence.