Intestinal dipeptide hydrolase enzymes cleave dipeptides into amino acids. In 8 undernourished children with diarrhoea, mean intestinal mucosal glyclyl-proline hydrolase activity was reduced 40%, valyl-proline hydrolase activity 38%, and alkaline phosphatase activity 54%, as compared with 4 controls. The use of hydrolysed proteins or simple amino acid mixtures in the initial treatment of undernourished children is suggested.
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