Whole-body protein metabolism in lactating and nonlactating women. Academic Article uri icon


  • The adaptive responses of body protein metabolism to lactation were characterized in women at 1, 5, and 12 mo postpartum and in nulliparous controls during a controlled diet of measured protein and energy intakes by nitrogen balance, a constant infusion of [13C]bicarbonate, and a primed constant infusion of [1-13C]leucine and [alpha-15N]-lysine. Dietary energy intakes in the lactating women were 27% greater than those in the nulliparous controls. Despite these differences, lactating women had significantly lower nitrogen balances compared with the nonlactating women (-4.0 +/- 37.8 vs. +44.7 +/- 30.8 mg.kg-1.day-1). No significant differences in amino acid flux, oxidation, or incorporation into protein were detected during fasting conditions in the two groups of women. However, significantly positive associations were noted between dietary intakes and the variables of protein metabolism in the lactating women. A more complete understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the disposition of dietary nutrients into maternal body stores or milk production will enhance the determination of nutrient requirements in lactating women.

published proceedings

  • J Appl Physiol (1985)

author list (cited authors)

  • Motil, K. J., Montandon, C. M., Hachey, D. L., Boutton, T. W., Klein, P. D., & Garza, C.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Motil, KJ||Montandon, CM||Hachey, DL||Boutton, TW||Klein, PD||Garza, C

publication date

  • January 1989