By Todd Lee M.D.
I was watching TV at my buddy’s house and was shocked he didn’t know about Biological Value!
Alex: Which is better? Beef or chicken?
Todd: Beef! It’s got an 80 BV and chicken is like a 75 or something;
He looked at me like I grew a third head.
Alex: Whats BV?
I was shocked! I thought it was common knowledge. Turns out not, he asked me to do an article about it so I am!
“All I need is marine phytoplankton because it’s a complete protein.” My response was, “How many grams do you have per day?” This was met with a red face and yelling. Like most granola heads, this one had no education and just bounced around retarded ideas of other hipsters about how they strongly FEEL about a pressing issue. This is what happens when parents over encourage their kids. They get stupid ideas and think those ideas have value because they are their ideas. The truth is, no matter how strongly someone feels, feelings are irrelevant. All that matters are facts. And the fact is, people don’t know much about protein!
Quality is important, but only in figuring out how much protein you actually need!
Much like Glycemic Index is for carbs, Biological Value (BV) is nothing more than a co-efficient you apply to ingested protein to get actual absorbed protein. 100g of protein from beef is really only 80g of protein because beef has a 80 BV.
How Is This Determined?
There are 2 methods: one super hard and one retardedly easy. I’m going to go over the easy one first because I am merciful.
(BV of a food) / (BV of Whole Egg) x100= BV reference
Basically if a whole egg has a BV of 100%, then all other foods are measured against a whole egg. This is the way nutritionists/dieticians learn it, fingerpainting style!
Truth is, the biological value of eggs is closer to 93.7%. Whey has a BV reference of 104 since Whey has a higher BV% than 93.7%.
Until there was whey, no one was the wiserbut when whey got popular, people like me were like “How the ‘F’ do you get 104% absorption?”
SUMMARY: BV reference is a value without the % symbol because it’s a Mickey Mouse system of assuming eggs are 100% absorbed and just comparing other protein sources to eggs.
The Real Formula
This is brutal, so skip this if you’re sensitive. The BV% is the % of protein absorbed and utilized in producing protein in the body. Protein excreted as waste is not included, as you can’t count that as absorbed if it never made it to the bloodstream. Additionally, the amount that is used to make carbohydrates is monitored by collecting extra nitrogen in the urine. If the protein is used to make carbohydrates for fuel, then it isn’t used to build muscle and this process involved, called deamination:the cleaving of nitrogen atoms off amino acids.
So here it goes:
BV% = ( ( Ni – Ne(f) – Ne(u) ) / (Ni – Ne(f)) ) * 100
Ni = Nitrogen intake
Ne(f) = Nitrogen eliminated as Feces
Ne(u) = Nitrogen eliminated as Urine
What Does This Formula Mean?
Ask your self if you really care; if not, skip this. Basically every amino acid has one nitrogen. We’re measuring nitrogen to count amino acids. This is how the protein powder companies tricked the world into buying creatine not protein. The procedure of determining if protein powder was real just counted nitrogen atoms because protein powder used to be spiked with maltodextrin (sugar), not creatine.
Creatine is an amino acid so it has nitrogen. So if Muscle Farce releases protein with 24g of whey per serving but actually uses 14 g whey and 10 g creatine the machines register it as 24 g protein. Do you get it? No? That sucks 😦
So we’re measuring Ni, or initial nitrogen intake, minus (-) the excreted nitrogen intake as feces. If you poop the meat out, you can’t have digested it right? It just passed through you.
That’s the denominator.
The numerator is when you take the value of the denominator and subtract the nitrogen excreted in urine. This is the amount of nitrogen that was cleaved off the amino acids when the liver made carbohydrates during gluconeogenesis. The lower the carbs in your diet and/or the greater the amount of protein in your diet, the more likely any given amount of protein will be converted to carbs.
Your body sees the huge influx of protein and thinks it doesn’t need it and uses some to make carbs. The way around this is to increase your carbs or have less protein at one time and have more meals or “feedings” if you’re a Beast (Beasts have feedings, people have meals).
You absorb what’s left. The amount that is not excreted as urine and is not excreted as feces has to be absorbed right? Well this is true for test subjects, but beasts sweat out more nitrogen than vegetarians even eat. They just don’t make enough Marine Phytoplankton to fuel a beast. The sea would be demolished as an ecosystem if bodybuilders had to use marine phytoplankton to get their 400g of protein in a day! To a world without common sense, alas I have been banished….
I’m going to re-write the formula now so you understand it:
Biological value % = (digested protein – protein used to make carbs) divided by (digested protein)
Where: digested protein = ingested protein – excreted protein; because you can’t count the protein you poop out in either denominator or numerator.
It Gets Worse!
Other factors that influence BV are numerous:
For one, rats and humans digest food differently.
Amino acids have different profiles. Ones with more essential amino acids increase the BV and ones missing like Lysine and leucine and other key muscle building amino acids, have a lower BV.
The way the food is prepared affects BV. Softer, more processed food is easier to digest and less is lost as fecal weight and defecated out. It doesn’t effect the BV directly per say, but it does increase the total amount of protein absorbed. THAT is one reason why I eat rare or raw meat.
If you have a ton of protein in your diet or low carbs, the BV goes down since the body needs more carbs than protein in these circumstances.
Like Glycemic Index, Biological Value is a coefficient you multiply your protein by to get your actual amount. The best absorbed and utilized protein sources are Whey and Beef and Eggs, But the best bang for your buck when you consider Alkalinity is Whey, then Egg, then Fish or Chicken depending on how cheap yu can get it. When you factor in the added estrogenic hormones then Whey or Chicken is the best all around choices. Women need at least 3.5 oz of red meat a day however to get minimal Iron supplies. Men don’t, we don’t bleed like they do:)
NEED HELP? GET A PHONE CONSULTATION OR COACHING! (I do your diet and training )
Nothing in this article or on this site should be considered medical advice or as an endorsement to violate any law of the country in which you reside. The information given is for fun and entertainment purposes only. All claims are 100% dependent upon proper diet and exercise. Please consult a medical practitioner prior to any diet and exercise program.