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I
Committee Summary and Recommendations

Part I of this report provides the Committee on Military Nutrition Research's (CMNR) overview and summary of key issues in protein metabolism, its response to specific questions posed by the Army, and the committee's conclusions and recommendations. The CMNR was requested by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Military Nutrition and Biochemistry Division of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine to review the state of knowledge on protein requirements and determine if the Military Recommended Dietary Allowance (MRDA) need to be revised.

In Chapter 1, the committee presents an overview of the project using relevant background materials and the proceedings of the workshop held in March 1997 to provide a summary of key issues in determining protein requirements, various militarily relevant stressors that may influence protein requirements, and the benefits and risks of supplemental protein or individual amino acids.

The committee's response to the three questions posed by the Army, listed below, and its conclusions and recommendations are presented in Chapter 2.

  1. Do protein requirements increase with military operational stressors, including high workload with or without energy deficit? Are there gender differences in protein requirements in endurance exercise?



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OCR for page 17
The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance I Committee Summary and Recommendations Part I of this report provides the Committee on Military Nutrition Research's (CMNR) overview and summary of key issues in protein metabolism, its response to specific questions posed by the Army, and the committee's conclusions and recommendations. The CMNR was requested by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and the Military Nutrition and Biochemistry Division of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine to review the state of knowledge on protein requirements and determine if the Military Recommended Dietary Allowance (MRDA) need to be revised. In Chapter 1, the committee presents an overview of the project using relevant background materials and the proceedings of the workshop held in March 1997 to provide a summary of key issues in determining protein requirements, various militarily relevant stressors that may influence protein requirements, and the benefits and risks of supplemental protein or individual amino acids. The committee's response to the three questions posed by the Army, listed below, and its conclusions and recommendations are presented in Chapter 2. Do protein requirements increase with military operational stressors, including high workload with or without energy deficit? Are there gender differences in protein requirements in endurance exercise?

OCR for page 17
The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance What is the optimal protein content (and protein-energy ratio) for standard operational rations, and specifically, is the protein MRDA for operational rations (100 g/d for men and 80 g/d for women) appropriate? Is the protein MRDA for women appropriate during pregnancy and lactation? Is there evidence that supplementation with specific amino acids (AAs) or modification of dietary protein quality would optimize military performance, either cognitive or physical, during high workload, psychological stress, or energy deficit? What are the risks of amino acid supplements and high-protein diets?