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Dietary Proteins as Determinants of Metabolic and Physiologic Functions of the Gastrointestinal Tract

Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M5S 3E2, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2011, 3(5), 574-603;
Received: 30 March 2011 / Revised: 29 April 2011 / Accepted: 9 May 2011 / Published: 11 May 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Protein and Metabolism)
Dietary proteins elicit a wide range of nutritional and biological functions. Beyond their nutritional role as the source of amino acids for protein synthesis, they are instrumental in the regulation of food intake, glucose and lipid metabolism, blood pressure, bone metabolism and immune function. The interaction of dietary proteins and their products of digestion with the regulatory functions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract plays a dominant role in determining the physiological properties of proteins. The site of interaction is widespread, from the oral cavity to the colon. The characteristics of proteins that influence their interaction with the GI tract in a source-dependent manner include their physico-chemical properties, their amino acid composition and sequence, their bioactive peptides, their digestion kinetics and also the non-protein bioactive components conjugated with them. Within the GI tract, these products affect several regulatory functions by interacting with receptors releasing hormones, affecting stomach emptying and GI transport and absorption, transmitting neural signals to the brain, and modifying the microflora. This review discusses the interaction of dietary proteins during digestion and absorption with the physiological and metabolic functions of the GI tract, and illustrates the importance of this interaction in the regulation of amino acid, glucose, lipid metabolism, and food intake. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein; gastrointestinal tract; metabolism; physiology protein; gastrointestinal tract; metabolism; physiology
MDPI and ACS Style

Jahan-Mihan, A.; Luhovyy, B.L.; El Khoury, D.; Anderson, G.H. Dietary Proteins as Determinants of Metabolic and Physiologic Functions of the Gastrointestinal Tract. Nutrients 2011, 3, 574-603.

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