Acurate knowledge of essential nutrients is a sine qua non of good nutrition. Such information is needed for the prevention and repair of dietary deficiencies arising from food shortages and also in situations where the capacity to handle food is limited by disease states. Evaluation of the requirements for essential amino acids has been peculiarly difficult, since this involves the construction of a diet in which the quantity of a single amino acid can be varied at will. The problem has been approached in several ways:
Use has been made of natural proteins deficient in one or another amino acid. This method has very limited applicability, for nature has been singularly unobliging in providing a variety of such proteins.
Chemically degraded proteins or protein hydrolysates have been used. A number of procedures can be used to destroy one or more amino acids, which can then be replaced in
SNYDERMAN SE, NORTON PM, FOWLER DI, HOLT LE, Hasselmeyer E, Boyer A. The Essential Amino Acid Requirements of Infants: Lysine. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1959;97(2):175–185. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1959.02070010177004
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