The Fed State

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Although the body can accommodate to starvation, it is not a normal occurrence. The adaptations seen in everyday life evolve around the postabsorptive period and the fed period. Basically, we go through our nights after completing absorption of the last meal using nutrient stores of glycogen and protein as depicted in Figure

2J6A. During the fed portion of the day the dietary intake of amino acids and glucose is used to replete protein and glycogen that were lost during the postabsorptive period; intake that exceeds amounts needed to replete nighttime losses are either oxidized or stored to increase protein, glycogen, or fat for growth or storage of excess calories. Although muscle contains the bulk of body protein, all organs are expected to lose protein during the postabsorptive period and, therefore, need repletion during the fed period. What is poorly understood is how the individual amino acids that enter through the diet are distributed among the various tissues in the amounts needed for each tissue. Just as each amino acid has its own separate metabolic pathways, the rates and fates of absorption and use are expected to differ among amino acids. Thus, dietary protein requirements cannot be discussed without also considering the requirements for individual amino acids.

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