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Estimate of Loss of Labile Body Nitrogen during Acute Protein Deprivation in Young Adults


THE concept and origin of labile body protein that can be reversibly depleted and repleted have already been reviewed in detail1,2. The feeding of a protein-free diet which is adequate in calories results in a rapid decline in the rate of excretion of urinary nitrogen until a low and relatively steady rate is obtained. This level is regarded as the obligatory or endogenous loss of urinary nitrogen and the additional nitrogen above this level, lost during the first few days on a protein-free diet, has been considered to represent the loss of labile body protein. Although it has been suggested that the nitrogen store is present as non-protein nitrogen3,4, the best evidence indicates that it is probably cytoplasmic in origin, with enzymes contributing to the labile protein pool5,6.

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YOUNG, V., HUSSEIN, M. & SCRIMSHAW, N. Estimate of Loss of Labile Body Nitrogen during Acute Protein Deprivation in Young Adults. Nature 218, 568–569 (1968).

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