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March 13, 1948


Author Affiliations

Research Department, Don Baxter, Inc., Glendale, Calif.

JAMA. 1948;136(11):795. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890280063022

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To the Editor:—  A curious oversight appears to be common in biochemical and medical literature and in the trade customs of labeling protein preparations; it arises from considering the protein portion of a nutritional preparation to yield protein for both tissue building and energy production. For example, a unit of a nutritional product containing 50 Gm. of protein is considered to provide 50 Gm. of protein and 200 calories (4 calories per gram of protein). This may be misleading, for if all the protein is efficiently used to form tissue protein, no calories can be provided by it; conversely, if each gram of the protein is to produce 4 calories, the protein must be completely burned and thus can form no tissue protein. The number of calories actually furnished by 1 Gm. of protein will range from 0 to 4; the more efficiently the protein of the product is utilized

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