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The aim of the present study was to determine whether the addition of soluble fibre in the diet affected protein metabolism in the intestinal tissues, some visceral organs and in skeletal muscle. A diet supplemented with pectin (80 g/kg) was fed to young growing rats and the effect on organ mass and protein metabolism in liver, spleen, small and large intestines and gastrocnemius muscle was monitored and compared with the control group. Protein synthesis rates were determined by measuring [13C]valine incorporation in tissue protein. In the pectin-fed rats compared with the controls, DM intake and body weight gain were reduced (9 and 20 %, respectively) as well as gastrocnemius muscle, liver and spleen weights (6, 14 and 11 %, respectively), but the intestinal tissues were increased (64 %). In the intestinal tissues all protein metabolism parameters (protein and RNA content, protein synthesis rate and translational efficiency) were increased in the pectin group. In liver the translational efficiency was also increased, whereas its protein and RNA contents were reduced in the pectin group. In gastrocnemius muscle, protein content, fractional and absolute protein synthesis rates and translational efficiency were lower in the pectin group. The stimulation of protein turnover in intestines and liver by soluble fibre such as pectins could be one of the factors that explain the decrease in muscle turnover and whole-body growth rate.
Characterisation and identification of peptides (800 to 5000 Da) generated by intestinal digestion of fish or meat were performed using MS analyses (matrix-assisted laser desorption ionisation time of flight and nano-liquid chromatography electrospray-ionisation ion trap MS/MS). Four pigs fitted with cannulas at the duodenum and jejunum received a meal exclusively made of cooked Pectoralis profundus beef meat or cooked trout fillets. A protein-free meal, made of free amino acids, starch and fat, was used to identify peptides of endogenous origin. Peptides reproducibly detected in digesta (i.e. from at least three pigs) were evidenced predominantly in the first 3 h after the meal. In the duodenum, most of the fish- and meat-derived peptides were characteristic of a peptic digestion. In the jejunum, the majority of peptides appeared to result from digestion by chymotrypsin and trypsin. Despite slight differences in gastric emptying kinetics and overall peptide production, possibly in relation to food structure and texture, six and four similar peptides were released after ingestion of fish or meat in the duodenum and jejunum. A total of twenty-six different peptides were identified in digesta. All were fragments of major structural (actin, myosin) or sarcoplasmic (creatine kinase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase and myoglobin) muscle proteins. Peptides were short ( < 2000 Da) and particularly rich in proline residues. Nineteen of them contained bioactive sequences corresponding mainly to an antihypertensive activity. The present work showed that after fish or meat ingestion, among the wide variety of peptides produced by enzymic digestion, some of them can be reproducibly observed in intestinal digesta.
An adequate level of protein intake is required to limit the gradual body protein loss observed during ageing. Different factors (cohort age, sex, life conditions) may modify protein intake and distribution. However the precise amounts, as well as their daily distribution which affects protein utilisation and N retention, are unknown in both young and elderly individuals. The hypothesis was tested that protein intake and its distribution over daily meals could be different between the young and elderly. The consumption of six different protein-rich food groups by 292 healthy individuals aged 20–30 and 65–75 years was determined throughout each day for 1 week. The data of the total protein intake and protein intakes at each meal were analysed by ANOVA for each sex separately, using age group as the independent factor. The average protein intake of men was lower in the older age group whilst the opposite trend was seen in women. The distribution of protein intake was different between the two age groups: 56·5 % of the daily protein was eaten at lunch by the elderly but only 47 % (P<0·0001) by the younger subjects. In the elderly subjects, those eating larger amounts consumed a greater proportion of protein-rich foods at dinner than those eating small amounts (30·4 v. 26·2 %, P=0·05). A high level of protein intake was related to a higher meat-product consumption in both the elderly and young individuals. In conclusion, the pattern of protein intake differs significantly between age groups and sexes.
This study was carried out to analyse glucocorticoid-induced muscle wasting and subsequent recovery in adult (6-8 months) and old (18-24 months) rats because the increased incidence of various disease states results in hypersecretion of glucocorticoids in ageing. Adult and old rats received dexamethasone in their drinking water for 5 or 6 d and were then allowed to recover for 3 or 7 d. As dexamethasone decreased food intake, all groups were pair-fed to dexamethasonetreated old rats (i.e. the group that had the lowest food intake). At the end of the treatment, adult and old rats showed significant increases in blood glucose and plasma insulin concentrations. This increase disappeared during the recovery period. Protein synthesis of different muscles was assessed in vivo by a flooding dose of [13C]valine injected subcutaneously 50 min before slaughter. Dexamethasone induced a significant decrease in protein synthesis in fast-twitch glycolytic and oxidative glycolytic muscles (gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus). The treatment affected mostly ribosomal efficiency. Adult dexamethasone-treated rats showed an increase in protein synthesis compared with their pair-fed controls during the recovery period whereas old rats did not. Dexamethasone also significantly decreased protein synthesis in the predominantly oxidative soleus muscle but only in old rats, and increased protein synthesis in the heart of adult but not of old rats. Thus, in skeletal muscle, the catabolic effect of dexamethasone is maintained or amplified during ageing whereas the anabolic effect in heart is depressed. These results are consistent with muscle atrophy occurring with ageing.
The yields and composition of milk from nursing mares were studied during the first two months of lactation in 11 mares of heavy breeds (784 kg). Daily yield increased from 21·7 to 24·6 kg between weeks 1 and 8 of lactation. Fat, protein, gross energy and Ca concentrations significantly decreased when lactose content increased during this period. Individual variations were higher for yield than for composition. Casein, whey protein and non-protein N (56, 34 and 10% of crude protein, respectively) and amino acid composition did not vary between weeks 1 and 8 of lactation.
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