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What happens during protein catabolism? How is this related to nitrogen balance?
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During protein catabolism, the proteins are first broken down into amino acids by the various proteases.  The amino acids are then absorbed by the small intestine, from which they are sent to the liver via the hepatic portal vein.  In the liver, the amino acids are deaminated, and the amino groups are combined into urea, CO(H2N)2.  Nitrogen balance is important,  since most nitrogenous compounds are cytotoxic.
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