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Tokushima J Exp Med. 1993 Jun;40(1-2):35-42.

Nutritional improvements of soy protein isolate by different levels of methionine supplementation in pregnant rats.

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Department of Domestic Science, Kinran Junior College, Osaka, Japan.


The effects of various levels (0, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0 and 1.5%) of methionine supplementation to a 10% soy protein isolate (SPI) diet were investigated in pregnant and nonpregnant rats in terms of body weight gain, food efficiency, net protein utilization (NPU), growth of the conceptuses and free methionine concentration in the dam's plasma. Supplementation of 0.3 to 0.7% methionine resulted in increases in the weights of the body, fetus and placenta and improvements of food efficiency and NPU in both groups of rats. The extents of increases or improvements of these parameters were more in pregnant rats than in nonpregnant rats, though they were similar in each group independent of the dietary methionine level. No beneficial effects on body weight gain, food efficiency or reproductive performance were observed in rats fed diets with 1.0 or 1.5% methionine. The concentrations of free methionine in the plasma were increased by methionine supplementation to the diet and were consistently higher in nonpregnant rats than in pregnant rats at each level of methionine supplementation. From these results, we proposed that a level of 0.5% methionine (intermediate between 0.3 to 0.7%) is optimal for supplementing 10% SPI diet for rats. The appropriateness of this level is discussed in relation with the methionine equipment of growing rats.

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