The storage, utilization and breakdown of proteins in the immature, rapidly growing organism differ from those in the adult in many important respects. One potentially useful means of investigating the differences and of obtaining information about protein metabolism in general resides in the special property possessed by proteins and by some of the amino acids of raising the metabolic rate of animal organisms to a far greater extent than equal amounts of fat or carbohydrate. Although this phenomenon, traditionally termed "specific dynamic action," has not yet been completely explained, it has served as a valuable tool in many studies. The detailed history of the earlier animal experiments is recounted in Graham Lusk's book,1 while more recent work by many investigators has been reviewed by Borsook.2
A well controlled study of the specific dynamic action of foodstuffs in normal infants was made by Levine, Wilson, Berliner and Rivkin,3
DANN M, KELLY MD, McNAMARA H, CURTIS JC. RESPIRATORY METABOLISM IN INFANCY AND IN CHILDHOOD: XXV. THE SPECIFIC DYNAMIC ACTION OF AMINO ACIDS IN INFANTS. Am J Dis Child. 1942;63(5):900–913. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1942.02010050064007
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