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Ann Nutr Metab. 2019;74(3):242-250. doi: 10.1159/000499374. Epub 2019 Mar 22.

Revised Reference Values for the Intake of Protein.

Author information

1
German Nutrition Society, Bonn, Germany, richter@dge.de.
2
Ostschweizer Kinderspital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
3
Agaples Bethanien Hospital, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.
4
Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
5
German Nutrition Society, Bonn, Germany.
6
Department of Sports and Health, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany.
7
Department of Agriculture and Nutritional Sciences, University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.
8
Department for Biomedicine of Aging, University of Erlangen/Nürnberg, Nürnberg, Germany.
9
Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Following a timely update process, the nutrition societies of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (D-A-CH) revised the reference values for the intake of protein in 2017. The Working Group conducted a structured literature search in PubMed considering newly published papers (2000- 2017).

SUMMARY:

For infants < 4 months, the estimated values were set based on the protein intake via breast milk. Reference values for infants > 4 months, children, adolescents, pregnant, and lactating women were calculated using the factorial method considering both requirement for growth and maintenance. For adults, reference values were derived from nitrogen balance studies; for seniors (> 65 years), reports on metabolic and functional parameters under various protein intakes were additionally considered. Reference -values (g protein/kg body weight per day) were set as follows: infants  < 4 months: 2.5-1.4, children: 1.3-0.8, adults < 65 years: 0.8, adults > 65 years: 1.0. Key Messages: The reference values for infants, children, adolescents, and adults < 65 years are essentially unchanged compared to recently published values. Scientifically reliable data published between 2000 and 2017 guided the D-A-CH Working Group to set a higher estimated value for adults > 65 years. Since the energy consumption continuously decreases with age, this new estimated protein intake value might be a challenge for the introduction of food-based nutrition concepts for older people.

KEYWORDS:

Elderly; Indispensable amino acids; Protein; Protein requirement; Reference value

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