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The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance (1999)

Chapter: I Committee Summary and Recommendations

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Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1999. The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9620.
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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?

Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1999. The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9620.
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  1. 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?

  2. 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?

Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1999. The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9620.
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Page 17
Suggested Citation:"I Committee Summary and Recommendations." Institute of Medicine. 1999. The Role of Protein and Amino Acids in Sustaining and Enhancing Performance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9620.
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It is a commonly held belief that athletes, particularly body builders, have greater requirements for dietary protein than sedentary individuals. However, the evidence in support of this contention is controversial. This book is the latest in a series of publications designed to inform both civilian and military scientists and personnel about issues related to nutrition and military service.

Among the many other stressors they experience, soldiers face unique nutritional demands during combat. Of particular concern is the role that dietary protein might play in controlling muscle mass and strength, response to injury and infection, and cognitive performance. The first part of the book contains the committee's summary of the workshop, responses to the Army's questions, conclusions, and recommendations. The remainder of the book contains papers contributed by speakers at the workshop on such topics as, the effects of aging and hormones on regulation of muscle mass and function, alterations in protein metabolism due to the stress of injury or infection, the role of individual amino acids, the components of proteins, as neurotransmitters, hormones, and modulators of various physiological processes, and the efficacy and safety considerations associated with dietary supplements aimed at enhancing performance.

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