Chapter

Human Body Composition

Volume 60 of the series Basic Life Sciences pp 331-332

Effects of Meal and Its Electrolytes on Bioelectrical Impedance

  • Mikael FogelholmAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki
  • , Harri SievänenAffiliated withThe UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research
  • , Katriina Kukkonen-HarjulaAffiliated withThe UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research
  • , Pekka OjaAffiliated withThe UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research
  • , Ilkka VuoriAffiliated withThe UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research

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Abstract

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is a simple, reproducible and indirectly validated technique for the assessment of body composition1–3. It is based on the physical principle that the impedance (or conductivity) of a geometrical system is related to the conductor length and configuration, its cross-sectional area, and signal frequency4. Assuming a constant conductor configuration and using a fixed signal, the impedance becomes a function of conductor (body) volume. The conductive pathway is directly related to the water content of the body. Therefore, the conductivity is minimal in the less hydrated fat tissue and far greater in the fat—free body mass which contains virtually all the water and conducting electrolytes. In other words, the BIA is an index of total body water and evidently affected by the alterations in the concentration of conductive electrolytes5.