How do you pronounce phenylketonuria?
What does phenylketonuria mean?
Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare but potentially serious inherited disorder. Our bodies break down the protein in foods, such as meat and fish, into amino acids, which are the “building blocks” of protein. These amino acids are then used to make our own proteins.
What causes phenylketonuria?
PKU is caused by a defect in the gene that helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine. Without the enzyme necessary to process phenylalanine, a dangerous buildup can develop when a person with PKU eats foods that contain protein or eats aspartame, an artificial sweetener.