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Chapter

Cover Essentials of Human Nutrition

Protein  

Colleen S. Deane, Daniel J. Wilkinson, and Philip J. Atherton

This chapter is concerned with proteins, the fundamental structures of life. They exist as functional elements within every cell and undergo extensive metabolic interaction. This widespread metabolic interaction is intimately linked to the metabolism of energy and other nutrients. At the most basic level, proteins are made from a combination of 20 different amino acids, which determines the structure and function. Dietary protein and exercise are the two key stimuli that promote positive protein turnover, which can be accurately and reliably measured using stable isotope methods. The potency of the anabolic response to dietary protein is dependent upon the protein quality, which can be measured via the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score, Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score, and/or using stable isotope tracers. In situations of protein deficiency, significant body mass can be lost, drastically impairing health and quality of life, requiring dietary protein therapy to help overcome/manage these conditions.

Chapter

Cover Human Nutrition

Protein metabolism and requirements  

Joe D. Millward and Andy Salter

This chapter explores protein metabolism and its requirements. Proteins are the most diverse of the large macromolecules which provide structure and enable the function of the organism. The protein quality of human diets is predicted by protein or amino acid digestibility and the amino acid score, which is calculated in comparison with an age-related reference amino acid pattern. Many plant-source proteins have amino acid scores comparable to animal-source proteins, and this is because plant foods are chemically diverse. The chapter then explains that global national protein consumption patterns reflect the intake of animal source foods (ASFs) before mentioning the challenge of meeting protein needs with expanding populations in developing countries.