Diet-Induced Thermogenesis

  • Gianni Tomassi
  • Nicolò Merendino


Since the time of Lavoisier, it has been known that the ingestion of foods by animals and humans produces an increase in oxygen consumption. This increase in metabolic rate, originally called ‘specific dynamic action’ (SDA) is now widely referred to as the ‘thermic effect’ (TE) of food or ‘diet-induced thermogenesis’ (DIT) [1]. This effect starts generally 1 h after ingestion, reaches a maximum after 3 h later, and continues at this level for several hours [2]. The DIT is a component of the total energy expenditure, which includes energy expenditure required for performance of cellular and organ functions (basal metabolism [BM]), physical activity, and thermorégulation of body temperature. Supplementary energy is required for metabolic processes taking place during growth, pregnancy, and lactation [3]. In quantitative terms DIT represents about 10% of total energy expenditure (15% together with cold-induced thermogenesis).


Brown Adipose Tissue Total Energy Expenditure Rest Metabolic Rate Specific Dynamic Action Futile Cycle 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gianni Tomassi
    • 1
  • Nicolò Merendino
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SciencesUniversity of TusciaViterboItaly

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