Review on human postprandial amino acid kinetic studies

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Measuring postprandial blood amino acid (PBAA) kinetics in humans after intake of a protein source is considered as a proxy for protein digestion and uptake. The method is relatively straightforward and can become the alternative animal-free measure to estimate protein quality. However, further standardisation of the PBAA kinetics method is needed to compare outcomes from separate studies. A literature review was performed to provide current knowledge on PBAA human trials and to advocate for standardised designs and analysis, improved reporting of results, and to harmonise comparative analysis.
PubMed and Scopus were searched for the following terms: ‘protein’, ‘postprandial’, ‘amino acid’, ‘human’, ‘trial’, and ‘cross-over’. Based on the set criteria, more than 60 PBAA human studies were selected. Available food product composition information (macronutrients and amino acids), population characteristics, details on trial design, and PBAA incremental Area Under the Curve (iAUC) data were collected. If numerical PBAA iAUC values were not reported, data were retrieved from presented bar plots or postprandial curves using PlotDigitizer and ImageJ, respectively. PBAA human studies mostly used whey, milk, and beef, as protein sources, with 37, 12, and 8 % of total reported studies, respectively. By setting the iAUCs of total amino acids for whey, milk, or beef, as 100 % for each human trial, the relative iAUCs can be calculated for all other food products and ranked relative to these three reference proteins. PBAA kinetics following the consumption of hydrolysed and non-hydrolysed forms of the same protein sources were compared.
The literature review on human PBAA kinetic studies resulted in a proposed method of standardising trial design and reporting. Our aim for the near future is to make this dataset publicly available and create an open database, where researchers can upload their PBAA results, to support insights and recommendations on dietary proteins for human health.


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