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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

Research needs: Infants and children

1. There is a need for studies of the protein and amino acid requirements of infants and preschool children that include only weight gain and nitrogen balance but also long- and short-term functional outcome measures. Such studies should include observations on full-term, low-birthweight infants and on the relative efficiency of protein utilization in formula fed and breastfed infants.

2. It is essential to determine the degree of intra-individual day-to-day variation in growth rates at different ages and whether the magnitude of short (24-48 h) bursts of linear growth can be influenced by intakes of protein, amino acids and other nutrients.

3. There is a need for better data on the composition of weight gain and on the rate of accretion of fat-free body mass at different ages. With regard to catch-up growth, data are needed on the maximal rate of weight gain that can be achieved without a compromise of body composition.

4. Amino acid requirements at all ages require further investigation. Such studies should include considerations of amino acid use for processes other than protein deposition, and the possibility that amino acids synthesized by colonic bacteria are utilized.

5. More information on the digestibility of protein in diets is needed as it is a major limitation on assessment of diet quality. Studies should include both balance techniques to assess nitrogen and intrinsic labeling to measure amino acid availability.

6. The impact of infection on protein and, in particular, amino acid needs requires further investigation. Information regarding the effect of a low level of infections, as indicated by elevated immune globulins, on amino acid requirements, including the assessment of protein metabolism using stable isotopes, is a particular priority.

7. Better data are required on the protein and amino acid needs for maintenance, growth and other functions of adolescents.