Journal List > Korean J Nutr > v.44(4) > 1043889

Chang: Dietary Reference Intakes for Protein: Protein Requirement and Estimation Method, AMDR (Amount of Macronutrient Distribution Range), for Protein


This study assessed the current EAR, RDA, and AMDR for protein, which were set in 2005 and revised in 2010 as the DRIs for Koreans. A classical approach to establish the EAR for protein has been the nitrogen balance method. This method has practical limitations and problems in statistical analysis by giving over estimations of nitrogen balance. Thus, the present EAR for protein might be lower than the true requirement. Recent reevaluations of nitrogen balance studies by bilinear regression analysis and the IAAO method have indicated that the EAR of 0.66 g/kg bw/d should be increased by 39% to give 0.92 g/kg bw/d. The AMDR for protein in the Korean DRIs was set at 7-10%, which covers almost the entire population's protein intake. Since the 5th percentile of Korean protein intake is close to 10% of energy and due to the beneficial effects of protein beyond the maintenance of nitrogen equilibrium, the lower range of 7% needs to be increased up to 10%. For practical meal arrangement, 15% of energy as protein, which is close to the average protein intake of Koreans, seems to be proper, although the value is almost two times the EAR.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1
Relation between various nitrogen intakes and the mean nitrogen balance from 28 nitrogen balance studies. The breakpoint estimates the mean nitrogen requirement. Cited from Humayun et al.19)
Fig. 2
Relation between various protein intakes and the rate of appearance of orally administerd 13C-phenylalanine as breath 13CO2 in 8 healthy men. The breakpoint estimates the mean protein requirement. Cited from Humayun et al.19)
Table 1
Protein energy percentage compared to protein AMDR1)

1) Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range 2) Percentage of protein energy calculated as [mean protein intake, (g) × 4 kcal]/energy, (kcal) in each population group (Data from korean HANES, 2005) 3) Mean ± SD


This research was support by a grant (09082KFDA042) from Korea Food & Drug Administration in 2009.


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