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close this bookEnergy and Protein requirements, Proceedings of an IDECG workshop, November 1994, London, UK, Supplement of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1994, 198 pages)
close this folderReport of the working group on protein and amino acid requirements
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentInfants
View the documentInfection and catch-up growth
View the documentChildren and adolescents
View the documentAdults
View the documentElderly
View the documentResearch needs: Infants and children
View the documentResearch needs: adults


1. An appendix was prepared updating principles and conditions for conducting acceptable nitrogen balance studies.

2. As soon as possible after this workshop, Young and Scrimshaw will make a meta-analysis of all available data on protein requirements of adults, including men and women and the elderly. It must include the conceptual problem of the relationship of energy to protein requirements and the validation of the nitrogen balance results by other methods. While it will be based on the scientific evidence, it will include consideration of the practical implications of alternative assumptions or calculations. It will also consider the level of precision that will be useful.

3. No further comments on the adult protein requirements proposed in the 1985 report will be made until the meta-analysis commissioned at this meeting is available.

4. The values for amino acid requirements in the 1985 report derived from experiments of Rose and collaborators are no longer acceptable or nutritionally relevant because of a series of well identified methodological errors. These include excessive caloric intakes, failure to allow for miscellaneous losses and an overestimate of nitrogen utilization.

5. The pioneer carbon balance studies of the MIT group are a major step forward and have provided firm evidence for a requirement for leucine, which is higher than the estimate in the 1985 report. The available evidence, although far from complete for other key amino acids, particularly Lysine, supports the proposal of higher amino acid requirements for adults. Even though differences of opinion persist about the general principle on which a requirement pattern for the other IAAs has been proposed, a large majority of the group accepted as an interim operational pattern that proposed by Young et al, which is similar to the 1991 FAO/WHO recommendation that the preschool child amino acid pattern be applied to adults.