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COMPOSITION OF GAINS DURING PROTEIN REPLETION IN THE COLD,
ARCTIC AEROMEDICAL LAB FORT WAINWRIGHT AK
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a nitrogen-free diet at 25 C and at 7 C. At the end of a 10-day depletion period, they were fed diets containing 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 casein for 14 days. Carcass analyses minus liver and intestinal contents were then carried out for protein, water and fat. At 6 casein, carcass accretion consisted mainly of fat in both environmental groups, with very little nitrogen increment. At higher levels of casein, tissue protein accretion reflected dietary protein increments at both temperatures, although fat accretion was somewhat reduced at 7 C. In a second experiment, fibrin at 6 and 9 was compared with casein during repletion at both temperatures. Fat accretion at both levels of fibrin was significantly reduced at 7 C, although other tissue increments were not appreciably affected. These results indicate that weight gains at low levels of protein consist mainly of nonprotein components and that cold exposure tends to normalize tissue accretion at these low levels. The increased intake of protein resulting from the increased consumption of food in the cold is a possible explanation. Author