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close this bookProtein-Energy Requirements of Developing Countries: Evaluation of New Data (UNU, 1981, 268 p.)
close this folderResearch papers: Protein requirements-adults, standard protocols
close this folderProtein requirements for young Colombian adults consuming local diets containing primarily animal or vegetable protein
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These studies were designed to determine the level of protein intake necessary to maintain nitrogen balance in a population living under the conditions of a developing tropical country. Two different local diets were examined.

Experimental Details

1. Subjects
For the first study, 11 healthy individuals consumed a predominantly animal protein diet (table IA). Eight healthy males took part in the second study of a predominantly vegetable diet (table IB).

2. Study Environment
Location: Universidad del Valle, Colombia. Climate: tropical.

3. Physical Activity
All subjects were students.

4. Diets
For the first study a menu largely made up of animal protein typical of the upper socio-economic class of Colombia was designed, as shown in table 2A. For the second study, the diet was patterned after that in the Cauca Valle region; 80 per cent of this diet is of vegetable origin (table 2B).

TABLE 1. Characteristics of the Subjects


1A. Animal Protein Diet

Subject Sex Age
1 M 26 61 167
2 M 21 53 177
3 M 23 62.5 178
4 M 22 90.5 165
5 M 22 68 174
6 M 23 71.5 170
7 M 21 56 175
8 M 22 61 172
9 F 23 53 166
10 F 22 74 175
11 F 22 64 158
X   22.4 64.9 170
S.D.   1.37 10.9 0.061

1B. Vegetable Protein Diet

O.A.01 M 25 55.7 174
A.A.02 M 23 61.0 172
R.E.03 M 22 57.5 163
J.A.04 M 22 64.0 172
J.G.05 M 25 66.5 166
F.P.06 M 24 57.2 170
W.V. 07 M 23 57.7 174
J.D. 08 M 25 63.2 170
X   23.6 60.3 170.1
S. D.   1.3 3.8 3.89

TABLE 2A. Animal Protein Diet

Breakfast: cafe au fait
Mid-morning: Guava candy, sweetened carbonated beverage
Lunch: soup
fried chicken
fried cassava
salad: carrots


banana with milk, cream
black coffee, sweetened carbonated beverage

Afternoon: baked plantain, sweetened carbonated beverage
Supper: fried meat
baked potato
brown sugar water

Take-home snack: Guava candy and sweetened carbonated beverage

5. Experimental Design
For the animal protein study there were four periods; for the vegetable protein study there were seven. Each period consisted of a one-day protein-free diet, a five-day adaptation period, a five-day collection period, and a three-day break.

TABLE 2B. Predominantly Vegetable Protein Diet

Breakfast: orange juice with sugar
fried plantain and margarine
Mid-morning: guava candy and sweetened carbonated beverage
Lunch: sancocho:
typical soup made
of plantain, cassava,
potatoes, meat, oil,
tomatoes, onion,
and parsley
white rice
beans and potatoes
Afternoon: guava candy and sweetened carbonated beverage
Supper: bean soup
beans and potatoes
sweetened carbonated beverage

Take-home snack: guava candy and sweetened carbonated beverage

6. Nitrogen Balance
The nitrogen content of the diet, urine, and faeces was measured by the micro Kjeldahl technique. Miscellaneous losses were estimated at 5 mg/kg.