Summary Points and Consensus Recommendations From the International Protein Summit

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Abstract

The International Protein Summit in 2016 brought experts in clinical nutrition and protein metabolism together from around the globe to determine the impact of high-dose protein administration on clinical outcomes and address barriers to its delivery in the critically ill patient. It has been suggested that high doses of protein in the range of 1.2–2.5 g/kg/d may be required in the setting of the intensive care unit (ICU) to optimize nutrition therapy and reduce mortality. While incapable of blunting the catabolic response, protein doses in this range may be needed to best stimulate new protein synthesis and preserve muscle mass. Quality of protein (determined by source, content and ratio of amino acids, and digestibility) affects nutrient sensing pathways such as the mammalian target of rapamycin. Achieving protein goals the first week following admission to the ICU should take precedence over meeting energy goals. High-protein hypocaloric (providing 80%–90% of caloric requirements) feeding may evolve as the best strategy during the initial phase of critical illness to avoid overfeeding, improve insulin sensitivity, and maintain body protein homeostasis, especially in the patient at high nutrition risk. This article provides a set of recommendations based on assessment of the current literature to guide healthcare professionals in clinical practice at this time, as well as a list of potential topics to guide investigators for purposes of research in the future.

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