Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The role of infection in human nutrition was investigated in 12 children 5 to 10 years of age. Daily levels of dietary protein intake varied from 1 to 2.8 g per kg of body weight but were kept constant for each child, as was caloric intake. Nitrogen, fat balance, and d-xylose absorption determinations were done before and after deworming. A mean reduction in fecal nitrogen excretion of 230 mg per day was noted after removal of worms. In 7 children harboring 48 or more parasties, the reduction in fecal nitrogen amounted to 7.2% of the dietary nitrogen. In 3 children receiving 1 g of protein per kg body weight, the improved nitrogen absorpiton after deworming led to an increased nitrogen retention. In 8 children the infection was associated with moderate steatorrhea (13.4% of dietary fat) and impairment of d-xylose absorption; the former was markedly reduced, and the latter partially improved following treatment. It is concluded that infection in children can lead to marked nutritional impairment when a high parasite load is associated with a low protein intake.


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