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Muscle Protein Synthesis and Whole-Body Protein Turnover Responses to Ingesting Essential Amino Acids, Intact Protein, and Protein-Containing Mixed Meals with Considerations for Energy Deficit

1
Military Nutrition Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760, USA
2
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, TN 37830, USA
3
Department of Geriatrics, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging, Center for Translational Research in Aging & Longevity, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2457; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082457
Received: 26 June 2020 / Revised: 7 August 2020 / Accepted: 13 August 2020 / Published: 15 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino Acids and Health Effects)
Protein intake recommendations to optimally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) are derived from dose-response studies examining the stimulatory effects of isolated intact proteins (e.g., whey, egg) on MPS in healthy individuals during energy balance. Those recommendations may not be adequate during periods of physiological stress, specifically the catabolic stress induced by energy deficit. Providing supplemental intact protein (20–25 g whey protein, 0.25–0.3 g protein/kg per meal) during strenuous military operations that elicit severe energy deficit does not stimulate MPS-associated anabolic signaling or attenuate lean mass loss. This occurs likely because a greater proportion of the dietary amino acids consumed are targeted for energy-yielding pathways, whole-body protein synthesis, and other whole-body essential amino acid (EAA)-requiring processes than the proportion targeted for MPS. Protein feeding formats that provide sufficient energy to offset whole-body energy and protein-requiring demands during energy deficit and leverage EAA content, digestion, and absorption kinetics may optimize MPS under these conditions. Understanding the effects of protein feeding format-driven alterations in EAA availability and subsequent changes in MPS and whole-body protein turnover is required to design feeding strategies that mitigate the catabolic effects of energy deficit. In this manuscript, we review the effects, advantages, disadvantages, and knowledge gaps pertaining to supplemental free-form EAA, intact protein, and protein-containing mixed meal ingestion on MPS. We discuss the fundamental role of whole-body protein balance and highlight the importance of comprehensively assessing whole-body and muscle protein kinetics when evaluating the anabolic potential of varying protein feeding formats during energy deficit. View Full-Text
Keywords: essential amino acids; protein; meal format; muscle protein synthesis; whole-body protein balance essential amino acids; protein; meal format; muscle protein synthesis; whole-body protein balance
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gwin, J.A.; Church, D.D.; Wolfe, R.R.; Ferrando, A.A.; Pasiakos, S.M. Muscle Protein Synthesis and Whole-Body Protein Turnover Responses to Ingesting Essential Amino Acids, Intact Protein, and Protein-Containing Mixed Meals with Considerations for Energy Deficit. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2457. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082457

AMA Style

Gwin JA, Church DD, Wolfe RR, Ferrando AA, Pasiakos SM. Muscle Protein Synthesis and Whole-Body Protein Turnover Responses to Ingesting Essential Amino Acids, Intact Protein, and Protein-Containing Mixed Meals with Considerations for Energy Deficit. Nutrients. 2020; 12(8):2457. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082457

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gwin, Jess A.; Church, David D.; Wolfe, Robert R.; Ferrando, Arny A.; Pasiakos, Stefan M. 2020. "Muscle Protein Synthesis and Whole-Body Protein Turnover Responses to Ingesting Essential Amino Acids, Intact Protein, and Protein-Containing Mixed Meals with Considerations for Energy Deficit" Nutrients 12, no. 8: 2457. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12082457

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