Absorption of Macronutrients from a High-Protein Diet in Children During Convalescence from Shigellosis

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Absorption of macronutrients and energy intake were determined in 29 children aged 24–59 months, during convalescence from acute shigellosis. A 72 h metabolic balance study was performed to determine the absorption of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. Eighteen children received a high-protein (5 g/kg/day) diet, and 11 children received a standard-protein (2.5 g/kg/day) diet. The mean × SD energy intake was 612 × 38 kJ/kg/day for children receiving the high-protein diet, compared with 633 × 50 kJ/kg/day for the standard-protein group. The coefficient of carbohydrate absorption was 89 and 92% for the high-protein and standard-protein diets, respectively (p = 0.059). The coefficient of protein absorption was 80 and 71% for the high-protein and standard-protein groups, respectively, and was significantly higher in the high-protein group (p < 0.01). Absorption of fat was similar in both groups. The results of the study show better absorption of protein from a high-protein diet during convalescence, which may have a positive impact on catchup growth of children suffering from shigellosis.

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