Injuries and Infections lead to an increased nitrogen loss from the body. The net loss of nitrogen from the body is termed as Negative Nitrogen Balance. The net nitrogen lost reflects the balance between protein synthesis and protein breakdown, which are simultaneously occurring in all tissues of the body.
Body protein represents an indispensable structural and functional element of the body. Depletion of this lean body mass leads to immunosuppression, poor wound healing, weight loss, decreased strength and activity, and delayed recovery.
Infections and Injuries result in hypermetabolism and a negative nitrogen balance which is modulated by hormones, cytokines and other pro-inflammatory mediators, and is compounded by a reduced food intake. Higher the severity of the infection or injury, greater is the nitrogen loss.
Protein loss due to the catabolism induced by infection should be compensated through additional protein intake particularly during recovery. As the capacity to retain protein is enhanced in the recovery phase of infection, increased intake of protein during this time will reverse loss of lean body mass, build immunity and reduce recovery time.
Dietary proteins are broken down by proteolytic enzymes in the body into simpler molecules called amino acids which are then utilized by the body for various structural and functional roles. The body needs 20 different amino acids for normal functioning. Out of these, 9 are essential amino acids, named so as they cannot be synthesized by the body, and must necessarily be obtained through diet.
Each essential amino acid has a critical role to play in restoring nitrogen balance, building lean body mass, boosting immunity and accelerating recovery. Supplementation of essential amino acids during the recovery phase after infections, injuries and surgeries is recommended to restore nitrogen balance, reverse weight loss, build immunity and accelerate recovery.