Jackson, Alan A., Gibson, Neil R., Bundy, Rafe, Hounslow, Angela, Millward, D. Joe and Wootton, Stephen A.
Transfer of (15)N from oral lactose-ureide to lysine in normal adults
International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 55, (6), . (doi:10.1080/09637480400015885).
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The metabolic fate of salvaged urea-nitrogen was explored in normal adults who had consumed a diet that provided 36 g protein/day for 7 days. We hypothesised that the colonic microflora utilise nitrogen derived from urea salvage to synthesise lysine in functionally significant amounts for the host. Oral lactose-[15N15N]ureide is resistant to digestion but is fermented by the colonic microflora to release 15NH3, which can be used for amino acid synthesis. Prime and intermittent oral doses of lactose-[15N15N]ureide were ingested for 18 h, urine was collected every 3 h and stools were collected for a further 2 days. Amino acids were isolated from urine and from faecal bacterial protein and the enrichment measured. Compared with baseline values, there was significant enrichment (atoms per cent excess) in faecal bacterial glycine (0.0526), alanine (0.117), lysine (0.0875) and histidine (0.0487), and in urinary glycine (0.016), alanine (0.0144) and lysine (0.0098), but not hisitidine. These data show that the gastrointestinal bacteria can utilise urea-nitrogen in the formation of essential and non-essential amino acids that are available to the host. We estimate that on this low protein diet the amount of lysine from bacterial synthesis and available to the host may be 30 mg/kg/day. These data have important implications for our current perceptions for the dietary requirements for essential amino acids.
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