What do you know about the Biological value of Protein?

Biological value is the measurement of the absorbed protein from a food into the body. You know that protein has around 21 amino acid divided into essential and non-essential amino acid. The essential amino acid is important which is not produced by the body and are synthesized from the food. There are nine types of essential amino acid of which leucine, isoleucine, valine are the most important. To get a complete protein from your diet, you need to consume all the nine essential amino acid. Biological value is the measure of how fast the protein get absorbed by your body.

The biological value of complete protein is very high. The higher is the biological value of the protein sources, the faster it digests. Incomplete protein lacks some of the essential amino acids so its biological value is less and therefore, it takes much time to absorb by the body.

Here are some of the Protein source with their biological values

Protein Sources Biological value
Whey protein supplement 104-150
Egg 100
Milk 90
Paneer 84
Fish 80
Meat 78
Soybeans 73
Nuts 68
Whole wheat 64
Beans 56

The higher is the biological value, the faster the absorption of protein takes place. The lower biological value has very poor digestion.

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Among all the protein sources, Whey protein supplement ranks the number one position with biological value range 104-150 because of its fast digestion and absorption process.

Why?

  • Whey protein is recommended by the trainers in gyms
  • Whey protein is recommended by the nutritionists
  • Whey protein is recommended during bodybuilding and post workouts

Well, the answer is because it’s a complete protein. It has all the amino acid required for the body. During post workout, whey protein is the best source of protein you can consume.

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Eggs have been positioned as number two with biological value 100. It has all the essential amino acids which make it a complete protein. And so its absorption rate and digestion are fast. You will never hear that egg has not digested after eating because it is not possible.

The dairy product like milk has the biological value 100 but it may vary. The biological value of milk is more than its bioavailability. Biological value means absorption rate whereas bioavailability means the number of carbs, fats, and proteins. If the 1 cup of milk has 10gram protein and 10-gram carb, then the bioavailability of protein in milk is 50% and the rest is fat and carb. That is why bioavailability of milk is less than its biological value. Milk digests very easily and if it is not, then you are suffering from lactose problem which has no connection with the biological value.

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Paneer has the biological value 84 but this number may vary depending on high or low fat. Bioavailability of paneer is half of its biological value.

The absorption process of fish and meat with biological values 80 and 78 respectively is low. It takes time to digest for about 2-3 hours. The bioavailability is higher than its biological value.

Soybeans, nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews etc.), whole wheat (roti, bread, pasta etc.) and beans (dal, chana, etc.) with biological values 73, 68, 64 and 56 respectively. These are incomplete protein sources which means they lack some essential amino acid within them and so their absorption rate is very low.

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If you mix the incomplete sources of protein in your diet to fulfill the missing amino acid to make it a complete protein than its biological value rises which increases the absorption rate. If brown rice is mixed with beans, then its biological value rises and absorption rate also becomes faster.

Unlike carb and fat, protein does not store in the body as energy. So overdosing of protein excretes out of the body as wastes. So, consume limited protein as per your need.

Sandeep Debnath

Written by Sandeep Debnath

The future belongs to the curious. The ones who are not afraid to try it, explore it, question it and turn it inside out. Being a blogger, I started sharing my knowledge and interests here on BlogPoke.