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Recent advances in determining protein and amino acid requirements in humans

  • Rajavel Elango (a1) (a2), Ronald O. Ball (a3) (a4) and Paul B. Pencharz (a3) (a4) (a5) (a6)
Abstract

During the past 25 years a significant amount of research has been conducted to determine amino acid requirements in humans. This is primarily due to advancements in the application of stable isotopes to examine amino acid requirements. The indicator amino acid oxidation (IAAO) method has emerged as a robust and minimally invasive technique to identify requirements. The IAAO method is based on the concept that when one indispensable dietary amino acid (IDAA) is deficient for protein synthesis, then the excess of all other IDAA, including the indicator amino acid, will be oxidized. With increasing intakes of the limiting amino acid, IAAO will decrease, reflecting increasing incorporation into protein. Once the requirement for the limiting amino acid is met there will be no further change in the indicator oxidation. The IAAO method has been systematically applied to determine most IDAA requirements in adults. The estimates are comparable to the values obtained using the more elaborate 24h-indicator amino acid oxidation and balance (24h-IAAO/IAAB) model. Due to its non-invasive nature the IAAO method has also been used to determine requirements for amino acids in neonates, children and in disease. The IAAO model has recently been applied to determine total protein requirements in humans. The IAAO method is rapid, reliable and has been used to determine amino acid requirements in different species, across the life cycle and in disease. The recent application of IAAO to determine protein requirements in humans is novel and has significant implications for dietary protein intake recommendations globally.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: P. B Pencharz, fax +416-813-4972, email paul.pencharz@sickkids.ca
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4 MF Fuller & PJ Garlick (1994) Human amino acid requirements: can the controversy be resolved? Annu Rev Nutr 14, 217241.

8 PB Pencharz & RO Ball (2003) Different approaches to define individual amino acid requirements. Annu Rev Nutr 23, 101116.

11 WR Lamberson & JD Firman (2002) A comparison of quadratic versus segmented regression procedures for estimating nutrient requirements. Poult Sci 81, 481484.

14 KI Kim , I McMillan & HS Bayley (1983) Determination of amino acid requirements of young pigs using an indicator amino acid. Br J Nutr 50, 369382.

15 R Elango , RO Ball & PB Pencharz (2008) Individual amino acid requirements in humans: an update. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care 11, 3439.

28 R Elango , MA Humayun , RO Ball , et al. (2009) Indicator amino acid oxidation is not affected by period of adaptation to a wide range of lysine intake in healthy young men. J Nutr 139, 10821087.

41 KP Chapman , G Courtney-Martin , AM Moore , et al. (2010) Lysine requirement in parenterally fed postsurgical human neonates. Am J Clin Nutr 91, 958965.

42 R Pillai , R Elango , S Muthayya , et al. (2010) Lysine requirement of healthy, school-aged Indian children determined by the indicator amino acid oxidation technique. J Nutr 140, 5459.

44 G Courtney-Martin , R Bross , M Raffi , et al. (2002) Phenylalanine requirement in children with classical PKU determined by indicator amino acid oxidation. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 283, E1249E1256.

45 R Riazi , M Raffi , JT Clarke , et al. (2004) Total branched-chain amino acids requirement in patients with maple syrup urine disease by use of indicator amino acid oxidation with L-[1-13C]phenylalanine. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 287, E142E149.

47 DR Mager , LJ Wykes , EA Roberts , et al. (2006) Effect of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) on branched-chain amino acid requirement. Pediatr Res 59, 829834.

52 R Elango , MA Humayun , RO Ball , et al. (2011) Protein requirement of healthy school-age children determined by the indicator amino acid oxidation method. Am J Clin Nutr 94, 15451552.

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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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