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Am J Clin Nutr. 1979 Sep;32(9):1923-33.

Diurnal variations in plasma neutral amino acid concentrations among patients with cirrhosis: effect of dietary protein.


The effect of varying dietary protein content on the daily rhythms in plasma neutral amino acid concentrations was studied in patients with chronic cirrhosis. For two consecutive 5-day periods, subjects consumed diets containing either 0 or 75 g of protein per day. Blood samples were drawn at 4-hr intervals on the 4th and 5th days of each dietary period. For most of the neutral amino acids, the changes in plasma concentration associated with time of day or with variations in dietary protein content were similar to those observed previously in normal subjects. Ingestion of the protein-free diet caused significant reductions in the daytime level of all amino acids studied, except for tryptophan, the concentration of which did not change during the 24-hr period. Ingestion of the 75-g protein diet caused plasma levels of most of theamino acids to increase slightly during the day; these increments were not statistically significant for tryptophan, tyrosine, leucine, and methionine. The absolute plasma concentrations of most of the neutral amino acids were also in the normal range; exceptions included methonine, tyrosine, and phenylalanine, whose plasma levels were significantly elevated above normal valves. The plasma ratios of tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine concentrations to the sum of the concentrations of other large neutral amino acids increased during the day uhen the protein-free diet was ingested; this effect was moderated by the addition of protein to the food. The plasma ratios for the branched-chain amino acids were depressed below normal; those for tyrosine, phenylalanine, and methionine were significantly increased. The plasma tryptophan ratio was within the normal range. These findings provide a basis for anticipating that the uptake from blood into brain of several of the large neutral amino acids may be modified in patients with chronic cirrhosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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