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Journal Articles The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Year : 2022

Real ileal amino acid digestibility of pea protein compared to casein in healthy humans: a randomized trial

Abstract

It is necessary to propose plant alternatives to animal proteins that are of good nutritional quality. Pea is a good candidate owing to its high protein content and its well-balanced amino acid (AA) profile. This study aimed to assess the real ileal AA and nitrogen digestibility (RIDAA and RIDN) of pea protein isolate as compared to milk casein in humans. It also aimed to evaluate their nutritional quality through calculation of the digestible indispensable amino acid score (DIAAS) and to determine the net postprandial protein utilization (NPPU). Fifteen healthy volunteers were included in a randomized, single-blinded, 2-arm, parallel-design trial. They were equipped with a naso-ileal tube. They ingested the test meals, which consisted of 9 successive portions of mashed potatoes containing either pea protein or casein, intrinsically labeled with nitrogen 15. Ileal content, plasma, and urine samples were collected regularly over an 8-h postprandial period. Results The mean RIDAA values were 93.6% ± 2.9% for pea protein and 96.8% ± 1.0% for casein, with no difference between the sources (P = 0.22). Leucine, valine, lysine, and phenylalanine were significantly less digestible in pea than in casein. The RIDN values were 92.0% ± 2.7% and 94.0% ± 1.7% for pea protein and casein, respectively, and were not different (P = 0.11). The DIAAS was 1.00 for pea protein and 1.45 for casein. The NPPU was 71.6% ± 6.2% and 71.2% ± 4.9% for pea protein and casein, respectively (P = 0.88). Although some AAs are less digestible in pea protein than in casein, the real ileal digestibility and the NPPU were not different. The DIAAS of 1.00 obtained for pea protein demonstrated its ability to meet all AA requirements. This study shows the potential of pea isolate as a high-quality protein. This study was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT04072770.
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Dates and versions

hal-03593965 , version 1 (04-07-2023)

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Florence Guillin, Claire C. Gaudichon, Laetitia Guérin-Deremaux, Catherine Lefranc-Millot, Gheorghe Airinei, et al.. Real ileal amino acid digestibility of pea protein compared to casein in healthy humans: a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2022, 115 (2), pp.353-363. ⟨10.1093/ajcn/nqab354⟩. ⟨hal-03593965⟩
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