there may be something to this. i hardly ever eat meat and don't get enough protein. this is an exerpt from an article written by John W. Cartmell, LMP. check it out. cindi A proper diet is essential to maintain normal health and wellness. If the diet is insufficient to support health, the person will not be optimally well. Protein is one of many nutrients needed in a properly balanced diet for normal growth and maintenance. Proteins make up 10-20% of the mass of most cells and tissues, and provide for many of the functions and physical structure of cells, organs and tissues. Globular proteins, composed of one or more proteins, perform specific functions as enzymes, certain hormones, antibodies, and protein transport complexes, all needed for the normal operation of the body.2, 3, 8 If protein intake, digestion or assimilation is insufficient to maintain normal tissues and functions, then degenerative changes and tissue abnormalities result.2 Dietary proteins must be broken down by digestion into individual amino acids. The first stage of digestion occurs in the stomach where hydrochloric acid activates pepsin, an enzyme that breaks down large complexes of protein into smaller sized proteins. Pancreatic and intestinal enzymes then complete the digestion of proteins into individual amino acids that can be absorbed into the blood and reassembled by the body into the various body tissues.2 How these amino acids are assembled into proteins, determines the structure and function of specific proteins and tissues. Body proteins are composed of different combinations of twenty amino acids. Half of these amino acids can be synthesized by the body, but the other half are considered essential amino acids because they must be obtained from the diet.2 Dietary proteins are classified as complete or incomplete, based on the amounts of essential amino acids they contain and provide. Animal-derived proteins like milk, meat, fish, poultry and eggs contain good amounts of all essential amino acids and are therefore considered complete. Vegetable proteins are generally considered incomplete because the amounts or availability of certain essential amino acids are inadequate to support normal tissue growth or maintenance. Vegetable proteins are usually combined, or animal protein included, to ensure the diet has sufficient amounts of all essential amino acids.2 Skeletal muscle is highly specialized tissue. The complexity of a muscle cell's structure coincides with its unique specialized function of contractibility, the result of an elaborate system of multiple protein interactions. The two primary types of proteins in a muscle cell, actin and myosin, are complexes of proteins with smaller specialized protein components. Essential amino acids make up approximately 38% of the individual protein components in Actin and Myosin, and 50% of the structure of myoglobin, a type of "muscle" hemoglobin.9, 10, 8 By comparison, the protein fibers that make up collagen, a general fibrous protein, are composed of approximately 20% essential amino acids.12, 13 It's not surprising that soft-tissue degeneration and ill health result when protein ingestion, digestion or assimilation are deficient. Both fibromyalgia and MPS may be related to protein deficiency. If the availability of essential amino acids is insufficient to adequately maintain or repair muscle tissue, then collagen may be the body's best alternative for providing structural support in spite of a loss of normal muscle structure and function. The irritation, stiffness and pain associated with trigger points in fibromyalgia and MPS may be the result of structural abnormalities resulting from the replacement of one tissue type with another. Indeed, the 18 tender points used to diagnose fibromyalgia are located precisely in areas where muscles and myofascial tissues merge one into another, where collagen based myofascial tissue, with it's lower content of essential amino acids, may increase disproportionately during times of protein insufficiency.