The important factors affecting the utilization of dietary proteins are the following:
a. Calorie intake : For the maximum utilization of dietary proteins, the calorie intake should be adequate. If the calorie intake is inadequate, a part of the dietary protein will be wasted in meeting the energy requirements and the protein need will not be satisfied.
b. Digestibility co-efficient of proteins: In the utilization of dietary proteins, a part of the proteins is lost in digestion and in metabolism.
c. Biological or nutritive value: The protein in the diet should be derived from different sources such as cereals, pulses, nuts and oilseeds, milk and flesh foods. Since animal proteins possess, in general, a higher nutritive value than vegetable proteins, the diets of children, expectant and nursing mothers should in particular, contain large amounts of proteins derived from milk, eggs and fleshy foods.
The protein requirements depend on age and physiological state of the individual. The ICMR recommended dietary allowance for Indians is shown in table 10.4.