Protein and Amino Acid Metabolism

  • Selma E. Snyderman


The deposition of nitrogen during the perinatal period occurs at a rate greater than that at any other period of life. Although there are few quantitative data in the human, the magnitude of protein synthesis can be appreciated from the following analyses of the nitrogen content of the human fetus: at 6 weeks of age, the total body protein is 0.4 mg; at 20 weeks, the fetus contains 15 g proteinW; at term, the content is 500 g.(16) This increase occurs not only as a result of growth of the fetus, but also because of the change in body composition, which results in a reduction in the water content and an increase in nitrogen.(51) This maturation of body composition does not stop at birth, but continues at a similar rate for the first months of life, then becomes slower and virtually ceases by the age of 4 vears.


Premature Infant Free Amino Acid Amniotic Fluid Human Milk Amino Acid Level 
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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Selma E. Snyderman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsNew York University Medical SchoolNew YorkUSA

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