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True protein malabsorption is very rare. There may be excessive dietary protein metabolism in bacterial overgrowth. This may be identified in labelled C-glycocholate test. A protein losing enteropathy can be identified by the loss of albumin labelled with chromium.
There may be a congenital deficiency of absence of the transporters for certain amino acids across the entercyte membrane. Examples include Hartnup's disease and cystinuria.