Metabolism in the Life of a Human: New Insights
A new study has documented in unprecedented detail the changes that occur to our metabolism and total energy expenditure throughout life. The data, which was gathered from a large group of people spanning the lifespan from birth to old-age, sheds new light on human growth and aging. It could also help develop targeted nutrition and healthcare strategies.
The human body is a complex machine, and it requires energy to sustain daily physical activity. While energy consumption is crucial to the understanding of many aspects of health and physiology in humans, such as daily nutritional needs and metabolic investment, little is known about how total energy expenditure varies throughout a human’s lifespan.
The majority of large-scale studies of human energy expenditure focus on the basal expenditure which accounts for only about half of the total expenditure. While studies using doubly-labeled water (DLW), which can be used to measure total energy expenditure among free-living people, they are also often limited by sample size and diversity.