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Geometric framework reveals that a moderate protein, high carbohydrate intake is optimal for severe burn injury in mice

  • Jonathan J. Hew (a1), Roxanne J. Parungao (a1), Kevin H.-Y. Tsai (a1), Huaikai Shi (a1), Duncan Ma (a1), Caroline Nicholls (a2), Zhe Li (a2), Samantha M. Solon-Biet (a3), Mario D’Souza (a4), David G. Le Couteur (a5), Stephen J. Simpson (a3), Marc G. Jeschke (a6), Peter K. Maitz (a1) and Yiwei Wang (a1)...


Nutritional therapy is a cornerstone of burns management. The optimal macronutrient intake for wound healing after burn injury has not been identified, although high-energy, high-protein diets are favoured. The present study aimed to identify the optimal macronutrient intake for burn wound healing. The geometric framework (GF) was used to analyse wound healing after a 10 % total body surface area contact burn in mice ad libitum fed one of the eleven high-energy diets, varying in macronutrient composition with protein (P5−60 %), carbohydrate (C20−75 %) and fat (F20−75 %). In the GF study, the optimal ratio for wound healing was identified as a moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diet with a protein:carbohydrate:fat (P:C:F) ratio of 1:4:2. High carbohydrate intake was associated with lower mortality, improved body weight and a beneficial pattern of body fat reserves. Protein intake was essential to prevent weight loss and mortality, but a protein intake target of about 7 kJ/d (about 15 % of energy intake) was identified, above which no further benefit was gained. High protein intake was associated with delayed wound healing and increased liver and spleen weight. As the GF study demonstrated that an initial very high protein intake prevented mortality, a very high-protein, moderate-carbohydrate diet (P40:C42:F18) was specifically designed. The dynamic diet study was also designed to combine and validate the benefits of an initial very high protein intake for mortality, and subsequent moderate protein, high carbohydrate intake for optimal wound healing. The dynamic feeding experiment showed switching from an initial very high-protein diet to the optimal moderate-protein, high-carbohydrate diet accelerated wound healing whilst preventing mortality and liver enlargement.


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*Corresponding author: Yiwei Wang, fax +61 2 97679101, email


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These authors contributed equally to this work.



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Geometric framework reveals that a moderate protein, high carbohydrate intake is optimal for severe burn injury in mice

  • Jonathan J. Hew (a1), Roxanne J. Parungao (a1), Kevin H.-Y. Tsai (a1), Huaikai Shi (a1), Duncan Ma (a1), Caroline Nicholls (a2), Zhe Li (a2), Samantha M. Solon-Biet (a3), Mario D’Souza (a4), David G. Le Couteur (a5), Stephen J. Simpson (a3), Marc G. Jeschke (a6), Peter K. Maitz (a1) and Yiwei Wang (a1)...


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