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Sex differences in amino acids lost via sweating could lead to differential susceptibilities to disturbances in nitrogen balance and collagen turnover

Journal article
Authors R. H. Dunstan
D. L. Sparkes
B. J. Dascombe
C. J. Stevens
G. R. Murphy
M. M. Macdonald
Johan Gottfries
C. G. Gottfries
T. K. Roberts
Published in Amino Acids
Volume 49
Issue 8
Pages 1337-1345
ISSN 0939-4451
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 1337-1345
Language en
Links 10.1007/s00726-017-2431-4
Keywords Amino acid, Faux sweat, Urine, Protein turnover, Histidine, Chronic fatigue, protein-requirements, histidine, children, plasma
Subject categories Cell and Molecular Biology


Fluid collected during sweating is enriched with amino acids derived from the skin's natural moisturising factors and has been termed "faux" sweat. Little is known about sex differences in sweat amino acid composition or whether faux sweat amino acid losses affect nitrogen balance. Faux sweat collected by healthy adults (n = 47) after exercise, and at rest by chronic fatigue patients, was analysed for amino acid composition. Healthy females had higher total amino acid concentrations in sweat (10.5 +/- 1.2 mM) compared with healthy males (6.9 +/- 0.9 mM). Females had higher levels of 13 amino acids in sweat including serine, alanine and glycine. Higher hydroxyproline and proline levels suggested greater collagen turnover in females. Modelling indicated that with conservative levels of exercise, amino acid losses in females via faux sweat were triple than those predicted for urine, whereas in males they were double. It was concluded that females were more susceptible to key amino acid loss during exercise and/or hot conditions. Females reporting chronic fatigue had higher levels of methionine in faux sweat than healthy females. Males reporting chronic fatigue had higher levels of numerous amino acids in faux sweat compared to healthy males. Higher amino acid loss in faux sweat associated with chronic fatigue could contribute to a hypometabolic state. Depending on activity levels, climatic conditions and gender, amino acid losses in sweat and skin leachate could influence daily protein turnover where periods of continuously high turnover could lead to a negative net nitrogen balance.

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