2020 Korean Dietary Reference Intakes for Protein: Estimation of protein requirements and the status of dietary protein intake in the Korean population

Eunjung Kim, Sangwon Chung, Jin Taek Hwang, Yoon Jung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

This article evaluated levels of Estimated Average Requirements (EARs), Reference Nutrient Intakes (RNIs), and Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs) of protein using the recently revised Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Koreans (2020). Dietary protein requirements are based on amounts sufficient to satisfy physiological demands to accomplish nitrogen equilibrium. The same principle was applied to estimate EARs and RNIs, for adults in DRIs conducted in 2015 and 2020 in Koreans. EAR was estimated to be 0.73 g/kg body weight/day, according to data (0.66 g/kg body weight/day) obtained using the nitrogen balance method and adjusted by efficiency of protein use (90%). RNI was calculated as EAR increased by an amount equal to twice the standard deviation of an age group so as to cover 97.5% of the group and was found to be 0.91 g/kg body weight/day. For weaned infants, children, and adolescents, growth requirement was added to estimate EAR. In particular, growth requirement was adjusted by efficiency of protein use in the revised EAR, which led to higher EARs for weaned infants, children, and adolescents of both genders as compared with 2015 DRIs. The AMDR for protein was set at 7%–20% of energy intake, which was the same as 2015 DRIs. Current, average protein intake by the Korean population is almost twice times the EAR, which suggests it might be better to increase the minimal margin for AMDR. However, it was not adjusted in this revision due to lack of evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Health
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • development
  • dietary proteins
  • growth
  • nitrogen
  • recommended dietary allowances

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