By: Dr. John Bagnulo, Director of Nutrition

Occasionally, we receive the comment from our customers, "there is too much protein in Liquid Hope for my child." We understand that when considering the best source of nutrition for your child, all variables are considered – like ingredients, nutrient content, and even ease of use! But the amount of protein should be no hindrance to using Liquid Hope. Let’s explain.

First, a little background. In 2005 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a set of Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs) for protein as a percentage of total calories. They recommend keeping protein calories between 5 and 20% of calorie total in ages 1-3 years, 10 to 30% in children ages 4-18, and 10-35% in adults.

What is interesting is that the NAS did not consider the AMDRs to be part of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs), but rather guidelines with the potential to lower the risk of health problems. With their protein recommendations, the NAS felt that it was more appropriate to guide intake based upon a percentage of caloric intake rather than set DRIs (absolute values) that are static regardless of varying levels of energy intake, especially among children. In other words, if two children consume very different levels of caloric intake, the NAS recommends that protein be approximately 20% of calories. Liquid Hope’s 23 grams of plant protein is exactly 20% of its 450 calories.

There are also many important factors to consider when examining protein metabolism in children in particular. The type of protein and its concentration of specific amino acids, the potential for different proteins to form uric acid, the potential renal acid load (PRAL) of the primary protein source, and accompanying foods or ingredients are all highly influential on the renal system’s ultimate metabolic capacity of any food or meal.

The protein content of Liquid Hope is supported by nutritional intervention studies in animals and humans showing that replacement of animal protein with plant protein in the diet reduces proteinuria and preserves renal function (1-4). Liquid Hope contains no added sugar, has low levels of sodium, contains flax oil, has no uric acid-generating sources of protein, and is entirely plant-based. These factors greatly increase the compatibility of Liquid Hope’s protein content with the pediatric population.

While Nourish, Functional Formularies’ new pediatric formula, was developed with a younger population in mind, Liquid Hope’s protein content is not seen as a risk factor for pediatric renal concerns. Rather, Nourish was developed to be more specific to the micronutrient and fatty acid needs of children.

References:

  1. WILLIAMS AJ, WALLS J: Metabolic consequences of differing protein diets in experimental renal disease. Eur J Clin Invest 17:117–122, 1987

  2. WILLIAMS AJ, BAKER F, WALLS J: Effect of varying quantity and quality of dietary protein intake in experimental renal disease in rats. Nephron 46:83–90, 1987

  3. BARSOTTI G, NAVALESI R, GIAMPIETRO O, et al: Effects of a vegetarian, supplemented diet on renal function, proteinuria, and glucose metabolism in patients with "overt" diabetic nephropathy and renal insufficiency. Contrib Nephrol 65:87–94, 1988

  4. JIBANI MM, BLOODWORTH LL, FODEN E, et al: Predominantly vegetarian diet in patients with incipient and early clinical diabetic nephropathy: Effects on albumin excretion rate and nutritional status. Diabet Med 8:949–953, 1991

Dr. John Bagnulo is the Director of Nutrition at Functional Formularies and leads nutrition research and development initiatives. Learn more about Dr. Bagnulo here.