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NITROGEN BALANCE

Overall indicator of protein metabolism


Difference between N intake and N output
N balance = N intake N output
N Synthesis > N degradation Positive N status
Growing infants and children, pregnancy
Protein retained addition of bone, blood, skin, muscle
N output > N intake Negative N status
Severe stresses e.g. burns, injuries, infections, fever
Muscle and other body proteins broken down for
energy
N intake = N output - equilibrium
Loss of N through faeces, urine (urea), skin cells, hair,
nails, sweat, saliva
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PROTEIN QUALITY
Protein quality can influence growth and health
High Quality Protein (Complete) provides
enough of all the essential AAs needed to
support the bodys work
Protein quality is influenced by digestibility and
AA composition of the protein
Digestibility
Protein must be digested in order to provide AAs
Animal protein high digestibility (90-99%)
Plant protein less digestible (70-90%) > 90% for
soy and legumes
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PROTEIN QUALITY
AA COMPOSITION

For protein synthesis all the necessary AAs


must be available at the same time
If any essential AA is missing protein
synthesis will be limited
Limiting AA an essential AA supplied in
less than the amount needed to support
protein synthesis
ALL OR NONE LAW-if all essential AAs are
not available none can be used for protein
synthesis. Remaining AAs used for energy
or converted to fat and stored.
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PROTEIN QUALITY
HIGH QUALITY PROTEINS
Contain all the essential AAs in similar
amounts to that required by human beings
May not contain all non-essential AAs
Foods from animals provide high quality
protein except gelatine (lacks trytophan)
Plant proteins (Low quality/Incomplete)
lack one or more essential AAs
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PROTEIN QUALITY
COMPLEMENTARY PROTEINS
Two or more proteins whose AA profiles complement
each other in such a way that the essential AA
missing from one is supplied by the other
Protein quality of the combined foods is better than
either food alone
Vegetarians make use of complementary proteins to
achieve an adequate intake of essential AAs
Examples: samp and beans, baked beans on toast,
beans and rice, phutu and maas, cheese sandwich
AAs likely to be limiting
Lysine, Methionine, Threonine, Tryptophan
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MEASURING PROTEIN QUALITY


BIOLOGICAL VALUE (BV)
A measure of how effectively a protein can
meet the body biological need or can be
converted into body protein
Egg protein (white) 100; Fish and beef 75
BV of > 70 can support growth (as long as
energy intake is adequate)

MEASURING PROTEIN QUALITY


PROTEIN DIGESTIBILITY-CORRECTED AA SCORE
(PDCAAS)
Important for consumers-indicates protein quality
Reflects protein digestibility and proportion of AAs
provided
Scale of 0-100
100-most readily digested protein sources, best
meets human needs
EGG WHITE, GROUND BEEF, CHICKEN
PRODUCTS, FAT-FREE MILK, TUNA ALL 100
SOY BEAN PROTEIN 94
LEGUMES- 50-60

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PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS
RDA designed to replace the protein that is lost
daily
Adult RDA 0.8 g/kg body weight/day
Women 46g/day Men - 56g /day
Minimum 10% of TE; Upper limit 35% of TE
Higher for infants and growing children
WHO
Lower limit 10% of TE
Upper limit 15% of TE
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PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS
Assumptions made when setting the RDA:
People are healthy and do not have unusual
metabolic needs for protein
Protein eaten will be of mixed quality
Body will use the protein efficiently
Protein will be eaten with enough CHO and fat
to provide enough energy so that protein is
not broken down to supply energy

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PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS
Nitrogen makes up 16% of the weight of a
protein
1 g protein = 0.16 g N2
1 g N2 = 6.25 g protein
Protein (grams) = Nitrogen (grams) X 6.25
Nitrogen (grams) = Protein (grams) 6.25

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CALCULATIONS
Calculate the protein requirements for a male
who weighs 85 kg using the RDA for protein
RDA = 0.8 g/kg/day
0.8 X 85 = 68 g protein

Calculate the nitrogen requirements for the


same patient
68g protein 6.25 = 10.88 g N2

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HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXCESS PROTEIN


Heart disease
Foods rich in animal protein- in saturated fat
Positive correlation between animal protein
intake and heart disease
Vegetable protein improves blood lipids and
risk for heart disease
levels of Homocysteine (AA)- risk for heart
disease
Arginine (AA) may protect against heart
disease
BP and homocysteine levels
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HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXCESS PROTEIN


Cancer
Studies-correlation between high intakes of
animal proteins and some types of cancer
(colon, breast, kidneys, pancreas, prostate)

Adult bone loss (osteoporosis)


protein intake - Ca excretion
Animal proteins-rich in sulfur (acidic)-draws
calcium out of bone to neutralise acid

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HEALTH EFFECTS OF EXCESS PROTEIN


Weight control
Dietary protein may body weight
Protein rich foods also rich in fat weight gain
Diets in protein-rich foods (milk, meat)
intake of fruit, veg and whole-grains

Kidney disease
End-products of protein metabolism excreted
via the kidney
Protein intake-work of the kidneys-does not
kidney function or cause kidney disease
In kidney disease-protein restriction may slow the
progression of the disease
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PROTEIN AND AA SUPPLEMENTS


Protein powders
Used by athletes to stimulate muscle growth
Same protein can be obtained from dietary
sources
Protein powders do not enhance athletic
performance
Whey protein-popular with athletes
Combined with strength training may slightly
protein synthesis
Excess protein used for energy or stored as
fat. Also burden on kidney.
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PROTEIN AND AA SUPPLEMENTS


Amino acid supplements
Single AAs do not occur naturally in foods,
may be harmful to the body
Excess of one AA - use of carriers and limits
the absorption of another AA deficiency
Excess absorption of single AA toxicity
Branched chain AAs (leucine, isoleucine,
valine) marketed to athletes source of fuel
for muscles
BCAAs-provide little fuel and found in food
sources
doses of BCAAs-plasma ammonia conc.toxic to brain-useful in liver failure
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VEGETARIAN DIETS
Reasons for following the diet
Vegetarian
Someone living on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts,
seeds, veg and fruit with or without the use of dairy
products and eggs. No meat , poultry, game, fish, shell
fish or crustacea or slaughter-by products are
consumed
Vegan (Pure/ strict / total vegetarians)
More strict. No dairy or eggs. Only plant sources.
Lacto-ovo vegetarian
Vegetarian who includes eggs and milk
Lacto vegetarian
Vegetarian who includes milk
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF VEGETARIAN DIETS


Weight control
Maintain a lower and healthier weight
intakes of fibre and intake of fat
Blood pressure
Lower BP and less HPT (hypertension)
Due to correct BW, low fat and high fibre diet
Heart disease
Incidence lower
Less SF, cholesterol, total fat. More MUFAs and
PUFAs, higher fibre
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HEALTH BENEFITS OF VEGETARIAN DIETS


Cancer
Lower rates of cancer-due to intakes of fruits
and veg
Lower Ca mortality at specific sites-colon cancer
People with colon Ca-eat more meat, SF, fewer
veg
protein, fat and fibre-promote Ca
development in some people
May also prevent diabetes, osteoporosis,
diverticular disease, gallstones and rheumatoid
arthritis
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NUTRIENTS OF INTEREST
Protein
Lacto ovo will get adequate high-quality
proteins
In order to meet protein needs-energy intake
must be adequate and varied sources of protein

Iron
From plant sources-poorly absorbed
Absorption is more efficient
Enhanced by vitamin C

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NUTRIENTS OF INTEREST
Zinc
Meat products are best source
Not well absorbed from plant sources
Soy may interfere with absorption
Need a variety of nutrient-dense foods
Calcium
Deficiency a problem no use of milk
Careful selection of other Ca-rich foods
Vitamin B12
Only found in animal sources
Vegans may be at risk for deficiency
Require fortified sources or supplements
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NUTRIENTS OF INTEREST
Vitamin D
No use of fortified foods and inadequate sunlight
exposure may be at risk of deficiency
Need to use supplements

Omega - 3 fatty acids (linolenic acid)


Lacking
Include canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans
Can slow production of other FAs (EPA and DHA)

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REFERENCES
Understanding Nutrition-11th edition
E Whitney, SR Rolfes, Chapter 6

Nutrition-Concepts and Controversies


F Sizer, E Whitney, Chapter 6

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