Protein is an essential component of the body. The organs, muscle, brain, nerves, and immune system are all, to some degree, comprised of protein. You name the body structure, and it probably has some protein in it. Since protein is one of the fundamental building blocks for the body, you need to ensure that you get enough in your diet. Every protein molecule is composed of amino acids. Twenty amino acids are used in different combinations to build the protein molecules found in food and in the body's structures. Nine of these amino acids are considered essential, and must be supplied through the diet. The other eleven amino acids (non-essential amino acids) can either be consumed in the diet or manufactured from other building blocks within the body.
Because nails are found at the extremities, they are the last to receive oxygen and nutrients carried in the blood. Therefore, they often show signs of deficiencies sooner than other tissues.
When protein (especially albumin) levels in your blood go too low, the colloidal osmotic pressure will decrease and allow fluid to escape from blood vessels into your tissues, resulting in edema or swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, knees and/or belly.
Fasting should not be used when there is malnutrition.