Quantitative Physiology of Human Starvation: Adaptations of Energy Expenditure, Macronutrient Metabolism and Body Composition



Complex metabolic adaptations occur during human starvation. Metabolic rate decreases, energy stores are mobilized, fuel utilization shifts from carbohydrate toward fat and ketone oxidation, and body fat and lean tissue mass are lost. A mechanistic computational model of human metabolism and body composition change has recently been developed to simulate the dynamic coordination of these physiological adaptations. This chapter describes the integrative physiology of human starvation using illustrative computer simulations along with real data from prolonged fasting experiments.


Indirect Calorimetry Nitrogen Excretion Carbohydrate Oxidation Lean Tissue Mass Metabolic Slowing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Biological ModelingNational Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney DiseaseBethesdaUSA

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