Proceedings of the 2016 Clinical Nutrition Week Research Workshop—The Optimal Dose of Protein Provided to Critically Ill Patients: How Do We Know When Enough Is Enough?

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Recent literature has created considerable confusion about the optimal amount of protein/amino acids that should be provided to the critically ill patient. In fact, the evidentiary basis that directly tries to answer this question is relatively small. As a clinical nutrition research community, there is an urgent need to develop the optimal methods to assess the impact of exogenous protein/amino acid administration in the intensive care unit setting. That assessment can be conducted at various levels: (1) impact on stress response pathways, (2) impact on muscle synthesis and protein balance, (3) impact on muscle mass and function, and (4) impact on the patient’s recovery. The objective of this research workshop was to review current literature relating to protein/amino acid administration for the critically ill patient and clinical outcomes and to discuss the key measurement and methodological features of future studies that should be done to inform the optimal protein/amino acid dose provided to critically ill patients.

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