PMID: 10466163Aug 31, 1999Paper

The nutritional value of plant-based diets in relation to human amino acid and protein requirements

The Proceedings of the Nutrition Society
D Joe Millward

Abstract

The adequacy of plant-based diets in developed and developing countries as sources of protein and amino acids for human subjects of all ages is examined. Protein quantity is shown not to be an issue. Digestibility is identified as a problem for some cereals (millet (Panicum miliaceum) and sorghum (Sorghum sp.)) and generally is poorly understood. Direct measurements of biological value in children are reviewed and scoring is considered. Various existing requirement values for amino acids and especially lysine are reviewed, and it is concluded that stable-isotope studies do not yet provide adequate alternative values of N balance data, which for lysine are robust after recalculation and adjustment. A new maintenance requirement pattern is developed, with higher values than those of Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization/United Nations University (1985) but lower values than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pattern (Young et al. 1989). Calculations of age-related amino acid requirements are based on most recent estimates of human growth and maintenance protein requirements, a tissue amino acid pattern and the new maintenance amino acid pattern. These values appear valid when used to score plant prote...Continue Reading

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