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Nutritional aspects of plasma protein metabolic studies: Protein-energy malnutrition

  • P. G. Lunn

Abstract

Kwashiorkor and marasmus, although clinically quite different syndromes, are now regarded as illnesses which mark the opposite ends of the spectrum of diseases covered by the term ‘protein-energy malnutrition’ (PEM)1. They are diseases which occur most commonly among infants and young children living in the poorer communities of most developing countries, but are occasionally also seen in pregnant and lactating women in the same areas. As the term ‘PEM’ implies, it is now generally accepted that an inadequate dietary consumption of energy or protein, or both, is the underlying cause not only of the two extreme forms, but also of a wide range of intermediate syndromes. These show characteristics of both extremes and are usually grouped under the name ‘marasmic kwashiorkor’. However, despite numerous investigations designed to establish differences in the aetiology of the two major forms, a fully acceptable explanation for the differing clinical appearances and geographical distribution has not yet been achieved.

Keywords

Energy Intake Protein Deficiency Colloid Osmotic Pressure Plasma Protein Concentration Albumin Synthesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • P. G. Lunn

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