Send to

Choose Destination
J Nutr. 2000 Apr;130(4):761-6.

Rates of urea production and hydrolysis and leucine oxidation change linearly over widely varying protein intakes in healthy adults.

Author information

Laboratory of Human Nutrition and Clinical Research Center Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.


The quantitative relationships between nitrogen (N) intake, urea production, excretion and amino acid oxidation are currently a matter of debate. Some investigators have proposed that urea production is essentially constant over a wide range of N intakes and that urea hydrolysis is regulated according to the N needs of the organism. We have assessed this proposal by compiling results from four separate experiments in healthy young adults (n = 34) carried out in our laboratories and all at the end of the respective diet periods using an identical 24-h continuous intravenous infusion of [(15)N, (15)N]urea and L-[1-(13)C]leucine. The N intakes were: expt. 1; protein-free diet for 5 d; expt. 2; N at 44 mg N. kg(-1). d(-1) from a balanced L-amino acid mixture for 13 d; expt. 3; N at 161 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) from egg protein for 6 d; expt. 4 -one group received 157 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) and the other 392 mg. kg(-1). d(-1) from milk-protein-based diets for 6 d. Urea production and excretion were linearly correlated with N intake (r = 0.98 and 0.94, respectively; P < 0.01). Urea hydrolysis increased linearly with N intake (r = 0.7; P < 0.05), with considerable variation in the rate among individuals, especially at the N intake of approximately 160 mg N. kg(-1)d(-1). These findings are consistent with the generally accepted view that a control of body N balance is via a regulation of urea production. They do not support the concept that urea hydrolysis is the more important site in the control of body N loss.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center