Effect on Nitrogen Retention by Adults of Different Proportions of Indispensable Amino Acids in Isonitrogenous Cereal-Based Diets

  • Helen E. Clark
  • Marie F. Brewer
  • Lynn B. Bailey
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 105)


Nitrogen retention of adults who consumed diets in which cereals furnished 6.0 g N and 0.9 g of lysine was improved by increasing lysine to 1.8 g without altering other amino acids. In a second experiment, 70% of the 6.0 g of dietary N was supplied by rice + wheat and 30% by mixtures of amino acids so designed that the total intakes of amino acids were equivalent to those in diets containing 6.0 g N from whole egg (E), egg + potato (EP), rice + wheat (RW), rice + soy (RS), wheat + milk (WM) or corn + beans (CB). Mean N balances of young men in descending order were, g/day: E 0.69 ± 0.23, RS 0.44 ± 0.15, EP 0.43 ± 0.09, WM 0.24 ± 0.16, CB 0.16 ± 0.13 and RW -0.02 ± 0.10. In the same order, these diets provided, g/day: lysine 2.6, 1.9, 2.3, 1.6, 1.4 and 1.0; S-acids 2.2, 1.7, 1.6, 2.2, 1.9 and 2.3; and tryptophan 0.7, 0.4, 0.6, 0.5, 0.3 and 0.4. N balances resulting from diets E, RS and EP did not differ significantly from each other but E was superior to CB and RW (P<0.01). Relative amounts and proportions of the essential amino acids could be varied without altering nitrogen retention until at least one amino acid became limiting. Several patterns of indispensable amino acids therefore may be equally effective in meeting needs of adults, but both amounts and relative proportions should be considered.


Essential Amino Acid Nitrogen Balance Amino Acid Mixture Sulfur Amino Acid Nitrogen Retention 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bailey, L.B. and Clark, H.E. (1976). Plasma amino acids and nitrogen retention of human subjects who consumed isonitrogenous diets containing rice and wheat or their constituent amino acids with and without additional lysine. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 29, 1353–1358.Google Scholar
  2. Bressani, R. and Elias, L.G. (1973). Development of highly nutritious products. In, Man, Food and Nutrition, M. Rechcigl (Editor). CRC Press, Cleveland.Google Scholar
  3. Brewer, M.F., Halvorson, J.D. and Clark, H.E. Nitrogen retention of young men who consumed selected patterns of essential amino acids at a constant nitrogen intake. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. In Press.Google Scholar
  4. Calloway, D.H. (1975). Nitrogen balance of men with marginal intakes of protein and energy. J. Nutr., 105, 914–923.Google Scholar
  5. Clark, H.E., Bailey, L.B. and Brewer, M.F. (1977). Lysine and tryptophan in cereal-based diets for adult human subjects. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 30, 674–680.Google Scholar
  6. Clark, H.E., Boyd, J.N., Kolski, S.M. and Shannon, B. (1968). Nitrogen retention of adults given variable quantities and proportions of lysine. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 21, 217–222.Google Scholar
  7. Clark, H.E., Fugate, K. and Allen, P.E. (1967). Effect of four multiples of a basic mixture of essential amino acids on nitrogen retention of adult human subjects. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 20, 233–242.Google Scholar
  8. Clark, H.E., Howe, J.M., Magee, J.L. and Malzer, J. (1972). Nitrogen balances of adult human subjects who consumed four levels of nitrogen from a combination of rice, milk and wheat. J. Nutr., 102, 1647–1654.Google Scholar
  9. Clark, H.E., Howe, J.M., Shannon, B.M., Carlson, K. and Kolski, S.M. (1970). Requirements of adult human subjects for methionine and cystine. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 23, 731–738.Google Scholar
  10. Clark, H.E., Moon, W.H., Malzer, J.L., Birt, D.F. and Pang, R.L. (1974). Nitrogen retention of adult human subjects fed varying quantities of tryptophan. J. Nutr., 104, 1121–1126.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, H.E., Yang, S.P., Walton, W. and Mertz, E.T. (1960). Amino acid requirements of men and women. II. Relation of lysine requirement to sex, body size, basal caloric expenditure and creatinine excretion. J. Nutr., 71, 229–234.Google Scholar
  12. FAO. Amino Acid Content of Foods and Biologic Data on Proteins. (1970). FAO Nutritional Studies No. 24, Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations. Rome.Google Scholar
  13. Graham, G.G. (1971). Methionine or lysine fortification of dietary protein for infants and small children. In, ‘Amino Acid Fortification of Protein Foods’, N.S. Scrimshaw and A.M. Altschul (Editors). M.I.T. Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  14. Harper, A.E. (1974). Effects of disproportionate amounts of amino acids. In, ‘Improvement of Protein Nutriture’, Nat’l. Acad. of Sciences, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  15. Holt, L.E. and Snyderman, S.E. (1965). Protein and amino acid requirements of infants and children. Nutr. Abst. and Rev., 35, 1–13.Google Scholar
  16. Howe, J.M., Clark, H.E., Tewell, J.E. and Senchak, M.M. (1972). Nitrogen retention of adults fed six grams of nitrogen from combinations of rice, milk, and wheat. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 25, 559–563.Google Scholar
  17. Kofrânyi, E. (1973). Evaluation of traditional hypotheses on the biological value of proteins. Nutr. Repts. Intnl., 7, 45–50.Google Scholar
  18. Kofrânyi, E., Jekat, F. and Muller-Wecker, H. (1970). The minimum protein requirement of humans, tested with mixtures of whole egg plus potato and maize plus beans. Hoppe Seyler’s Z. Physiol. Chem., 351, 1485–1493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kolski, S.M., Shannon, B., Howe, J.M. and Clark, H.E. (1969). Nitrogen balances of adults given leucine and valine. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 22, 21–26.Google Scholar
  20. Lee, C., Howe, J.M., Carlson, C. and Clark, H.E. (1971). Nitrogen retention of young men fed rice with or without supplementary chicken. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 24, 318–323.Google Scholar
  21. McArthur, L.G., Kirtley, W.R. and Waife, S.O. (1963). Effect of large doses of L-leucine in animals and man. Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 13, 285–290.Google Scholar
  22. Phipard, E.F. (1974). Protein and amino acids in diets. In, ‘Improvement of Protein Nutriture’. Nat’l. Acad. of Sciences, Washington.Google Scholar
  23. Pradilla, A.G., Harpstead, D.D., Sarria, D., Linares, F.A. and Francis, C.A. (1975). Quality protein maize in human nutrition. In, ‘High-Quality Protein Maize’. Dowden, Hutchinson and Ross, Stroudsburg, Pa.Google Scholar
  24. Romo, G.E. and Linkswiler, H. (1969). Effect of level and pattern of essential amino acids on nitrogen retention of adult man. J. Nutr., 97, 147–153.Google Scholar
  25. Rose, W.C. (1957). The amino acid requirements of adult man. Nutr. Abst. Rev., 27, 631–647.Google Scholar
  26. WHO. Energy and Protein Requirements. (1973). Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Ad Hoc Expert Committee. WHO Tech. Rept. Series No. 522, World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  27. Young, V.R., Murray, E., Rand, W.M. and Scrimshaw, N.S. (1975). Protein requirements of man: comparative nitrogen balance response within the submaintenance-to-maintenance range of intakes of wheat and beef proteins. J. Nutr., 105, 534–542.Google Scholar
  28. Young, V.R., Taylor, Y.S.M., Rand, W.M. and Scrimshaw, N.S. (1973). Protein requirements of man: efficiency of egg protein utilization at maintenance and submaintenance levels in young men. J. Nutr., 103, 1164–1174.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helen E. Clark
    • 1
  • Marie F. Brewer
    • 1
  • Lynn B. Bailey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foods and NutritionPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Personalised recommendations