The complementary effect of various vegetable proteins as eaten by humans in vegetarian meals was evaluated using the PER method in rats. In addition, the quality of leaf protein as the only protein source in one of the diets was evaluated.

Five diets were formulated consisting of a typical breakfast menu, a typical lunch, a typical supper, a combination of the three meals, and a mixture of green leafy vegetables. The diets were isocaloric and isonitrogenous and consisted of 10% protein, 8% fat, 69% carbohydrate, 7% cellulose, 4% mineral mixture, and 2% vitamin mixture. The control diet was prepared using casein at a 10% protein level.

Sixty male, weanling Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into six groups of ten each and fed one of the six diets. Five weeks were used to study the protein efficiency ratio (PER) of the test and control diets.

The PER of the control diet was significantly (p (.01) higher than all other diets during the first four weeks of the study, but during the fifth week, was not statistically different from the test diets. There was no significant difference among the PER's of the five test diets. The combination diet had PER values that averaged the PER values of the breakfast, lunch, and supper diets. It appears that the protein quality of leafy green vegetables is similar to that of a mixed vegetarian diet. The reasons for the exceptional high PER values for the casein control diet cannot be adequately explained.




Graduate School

First Advisor

Kathleen K. Zolber

Second Advisor

James W. Blankenship

Third Advisor

U. D. Register

Fourth Advisor

Grenith J. Zimmerman

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Vegetarianism; Vegetable Proteins



Page Count

vi; 41

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

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Nutrition Commons