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Am J Clin Nutr. 1995 Jul;62(1):87-92.

Casein, hydrolyzed casein, and amino acids that simulate casein produce the same extent of mucosal adaptation to massive bowel resection in adult rats.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.


We determined the effect of the extent of protein polymerization on the intestinal hyperplastic adaptation of adult male Wistar rats after 80% resection of the jejunal-ileal segment. Rats received one of four chemically defined solid diets prepared by using casein, two casein hydrolysates of different peptide size distributions, or free amino acids simulating casein and identical in all other components for 12 d, starting 3 d after surgery. Semipaired feeding was used to ensure that the same quantity of food was ingested by each group and as a consequence, nitrogen and energy intakes were reduced to 63% of that obtained with ad libitum feeding of the casein diet to intact rats. No significant differences were demonstrable in food ingestion, weight gain, nitrogen balance, or morphometric data for the remaining jejunal and ileal segments (number of cells/villus, number of cells/crypt, and crypt cell mitosis rate). These data demonstrate that the extent of polymerization of the protein nitrogen source did not affect the hyperplastic adaptative process of the rat. Additional studies in humans are necessary to determine whether intact protein diets can be used first as a nitrogen source in nutritional support of patients with a nonspecific hyperplastic response to surgical resection before the use of expensive hydrolysates and the more expensive amino acid mixtures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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