The success of dietary protein restriction in alkaptonuria patients is age-dependent

V de Haas, E C Carbasius Weber, J B de Klerk, H D Bakker, G P Smit, W A Huijbers, M Duran, B T Poll-The
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 1998, 21 (8): 791-8
Alkaptonuria is characterized by an increased urinary excretion of homogentisic acid, pigmentation of cartilage and connective tissues, and ultimately the development of inflammatory arthropathy. Various diets low in protein have been designed to decrease homogentisic acid excretion and to prevent the ochronotic pigmentation and arthritic lesions. However, limited information is available on the long-term beneficial effects of these diets. We reviewed the medical records of 16 patients aged 3-27 years (4 > 18 years) to ascertain the age of diagnosis, growth, development, social behaviour, signs of complications and longitudinal dietary compliance. The diagnosis of alkaptonuria was made at an average age of 1.4 years (2 months-4 years); following the diagnosis all patients were prescribed a diet with a protein content of 1.5 g/kg per day. All patients showed normal growth and development, and no major complications of the disease. Behavioural problems associated with poor dietary compliance emerged as the main problem. Dietary compliance decreased progressively with age. The effect of dietary protein restriction in homogentisic acid excretion was studied by fixing the amounts of protein in the diet at 1 g/kg per day and 3.5-5 g/kg per day during 8 days. Twelve patients, aged 4-27 years, participated in the investigation. Protein restriction resulted in a significantly lower excretion of homogentisic acid in the urine of children younger than 12 years (p < 0.01), whereas this effect was less obvious for adolescent and adult patients. The results suggest that restriction of protein intake may have a beneficial effect on alkaptonuric children; but continuation of this regimen to older age seems questionable and not practical.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"

We want to hear from doctors like you!

Take a second to answer a survey question.