Our bodies need protein for pretty much everything. It’s the building block of all the cells in our bodies—skin, muscles, bones, cartilage, hair and so much more. Getting enough is essential for our bodies to repair damaged cells and to create new ones to replace what we lose. When you get too little protein, it can seriously have an impact on your health over time.
Popularized by a well-known hair treatment, one protein that gets a lot of airtime is keratin. Living cells in your skin, called keratinocytes, produce a protective layer that provides flexible strength. It also forms the waterproof barrier that separates your internal organs from the environment and helps minimize fluid loss through your skin. Keratinocytes produce a tough, triple-helix-shaped protein strand called keratin.
Although full-on deficiencies are uncommon in the United States, many people lack the amounts of keratin desirable. These effects can be seen throughout the body: in the skin, in the hair, in the nails and in the teeth.
If you’re looking to better your health or to make a few cosmetic changes to your appearance, look no further. Keratin will make your skin vibrant, your hair alive, your nails unbreakable and your teeth strong. But without the protein, the following is what can happen to your body.
Keratin allows the skin to be flexible. Although it affects numerous parts of your body like your hair, nails and more, keratin deficiency usually shows most prominently on your skin. When your skin lacks keratin, it becomes more prone to sagging, dullness and wrinkles. Keratin can be consumed in the diet or applied topically to combat the problem.
Keratin makes tooth enamel strong and hard. For naturally more attractive teeth, experts recommend upping your levels of keratin in the body.
If you’re trying to grow healthier, longer and stronger hair, consider the amounts of keratin in your body. Hair is made up of mostly protein—keratin, specifically. And by mostly, I mean 90 percent of your hair strands! People with thicker layers of keratin generally have healthier, stronger hair. If you’re consistently not getting enough protein, over time, you may notice your hair start to thin or even fall out. That’s because your body stops using protein for non-essential things like hair growth in an effort to preserve its stores. Hair loss, premature aging and graying, and thinning of hair are all signs of keratin deficiency. Slow hair growth, weak and brittle strands, and frizziness are also common in people who lack ample amounts of this protein.
Keratin makes nails strong and hard. Without it, your nails will grow weaker. Lack of keratin may also cause discoloration of fingernails.