Thanks, Steven.

Do we need to do additional calculations? Not really.

I assume you are alluding to the fact that animal proteins tend to be highly bioavailable while plant-based sources are more variable in this regard. While this is true, the average person doesn’t need to sweat this issue because i) protein targets are both rough and generous, and ii) bioavailability estimates are very rough (based on unreliable animal experiments!).

Two other notes:

  1. The RDAs are based on human data from people with mixed diets.
  2. The 0.8 g/kg figure is an RDA, which will, by definition, overshoot for many people in order to ensure that less than 3% of people undershoot. The other key figure, enough to cover the average person, is called the EAR (Estimated Average Requirement). This number is around 0.6 g/kg, with strong international consensus (see UK data here).

Since this topic comes up periodically, I’ll see if I can put together a more detailed answer at some point!



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Scientist (PhD Genetics @Stanford) * Mother * Passionate about science-based healthy choices * Lifelong learner * Founder: Fueled by Science

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