Bioavailability of essential amino acids after ingestion of fortified biscuits with a mixture of essential amino acid in healthy subjects

Author(s): Federico Vignati, Luca Barbieri, Claudio Macca, Gianleone Di Sacco, Paola Galli, Carmelo Iacobello, Francesca Maffina, Monica Marini, Andrea Vignati, Michela Del Prete and Fabrizio Muratori.

Background and Aim: Protein enriched food or beverages are popular in sport trainers and are used in protein malnourished or sarcopenic subjects. Alternatively, promising results are obtained after administration of free essential amino acids (EAA) mixtures both in health and in disease. In this preliminary study, a biscuit dough fortified containing 8 g of a mixture of nine EAA in 100 g of biscuit was developed.

Methods: To test the bioavailability of EAA of this fortified dough, ten healthy subjects received a fortified biscuit containing 8 g of EAA in 100 g of biscuits. The plasma amino acid profile was measured by HPLC before and every 30 minutes for two hours after the ingestion of these biscuits and compared in the same subjects to the amino acid profile induced by the ingestion of not fortified biscuits. A taste questionnaire using a category scale for rating taste intensity was used to test the taste of both fortified and classic biscuits.

Results: All subjects exhibit a significant increase of EAA levels from baseline (fortified biscuit: p < 0.0026). Compared to the not fortified biscuit, the mean plasma EAA concentrations increase was 48.0 % versus 3.5 % from baseline. A significant statistical difference of the absolute and relative variations of EAA concentration peak was observed after the ingestion of both biscuits (absolute variation p < 0.0001; percent variation p<0.0001). Due to the composition of the EAA mixture, a mean increase up to 66% in branched chain amino acids and lysine was observed after ingestion of the fortified biscuit. All the subjects liked the taste of classic and fortified biscuits.

Conclusions: This preliminary study demonstrates that free EAA contained in this fortified dough are bioavailable and sufficient to induce a clear-cut increase in plasma EAA post ingestion. Such a dough might be used to obtain EAA fortified products, useful in sarcopenia, protein malnutrition and muscle accretion.

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