Letter | Published:

Composition of Muscle in Malnourished Human Infants

Nature volume 180, pages 13611362 (14 December 1957) | Download Citation



ALTHOUGH protein deficiency is probably the commonest form of malnutrition throughout the world, there is no means of assessing its severity in the living subject. One approach to this problem is by tissue analysis. Measurement of the protein content of tissues by itself is of little value, since significant changes do not seem to be found1. If, however, protein content is related to deoxynucleic acid, an index is obtained of the amount of protein per cell. By this method we have shown that there is a very severe loss of protein from the livers of malnourished infants on a protein-deficient diet2.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    , , , and , Brit. J. Nutr., 10, 198 (1956).

  2. 2.

    , and , J. Clin. Invest., 35, 346 (1956).

  3. 3.

    , and (to be published).

  4. 4.

    Protein Malnutrition, Proc. Conf., convened in Jamaica by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, edited by J. C. Waterlow (FAO, Home, 1955).

  5. 5.

    , and , S. Afr. J. Lab. Clin. Med., 2, 205 (1956).

Download references

Author information


  1. Medical Research Council, Tropical Metabolism Research Unit, University College of the West Indies, Jamaica. July 27.

    • J. C. WATERLOW
    •  & C. B. MENDES


  1. Search for J. C. WATERLOW in:

  2. Search for C. B. MENDES in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.