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The idea of synthetic foods or chemical-defined foods composed of amino acids and other appropriate nutrients was investigated in the 1950s and applied to so-called space diets (6). The crystalline digestive diet, which contained crystalline amino acids as the nitrogen source as recommended by Greenstein, was the prototype of the space diet. It was investigated further in the U.S. space program, and from this the term elemental diet came into common use. When about 400 g of this synthetic food was administered to male adults for about half a year, no changes in pathophysiological or mental conditions were observed, except an extreme decrease in the amount of excretion, because no indigestible substances were contained in the synthetic food, and a decrease in several probiotic bacteria in the intestine (7,8).

Some infants exhibit lactose or cow's milk protein incompatibility. The formulas marketed for this condition often are based on isolated soybean protein and are supplemented with l-methionine to increase the nutritional value (9).

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The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

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