The effects of nonprotein energy source (ie, glucose only vs glucose and lipid) on nitrogen retention and total-body protein turnover were studied in 20 parenterally fed newborn infants. All infants received approximately 3 g amino acids and 80-90 kcal.kg body wt.d. Total-body protein synthesis was estimated by using three constant-infusion, end-product methods: enrichment of urinary urea and ammonia in response to a [15N]glycine label and exhaled carbon dioxide enrichment in response to a [1-13C]leucine label. No differences were seen in nitrogen retention between the two energy sources. The estimate of total-body protein turnover obtained from the 13C label was similar to that obtained with the [15N]urea label. No differences in turnover rates were observed between the two diet groups. Use of the glucose-plus-lipid fuel system enhanced energy storage and the reutilization of amino acid for protein synthesis.