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November 1965

Kwashiorkor and Marasmus: Blood Sugar Levels and Response to Epinephrine

Author Affiliations

From the Nutrition Research Laboratories, Indian Council of Medical Research, Tarnaka, Hyderabad.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(5):519-522. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030543005

THOUGH A LARGE volume of information is available on the effects of protein malnutrition on various metabolic processes, data pertaining to the influence of protein deficiency on carbohydrate metabolism appear to be scanty. Adult subjects suffering from nutritional edema have been reported to have normal levels of blood sugar and to exhibit normal responses to both insulin and adrenaline.1,2 Contrary to these reports are the findings of Gopalan et al3 who observed that subjects with nutritional edema had low levels of fasting blood sugar and impaired tolerance to oral glucose. Investigations of blood sugar levels in children suffering from protein malnutrition are few. Waterlow et al4 and Slone et al5 reported low levels of fasting blood sugar in children suffering from kwashiorkor.

Varying degrees of functional and structural changes in the liver characterize protein-calorie malnutrition both in human subjects and experimental animals. It is obviously of

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