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Basal metabolic rate

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Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), and the closely related resting metabolic rate (RMR), is the amount of daily energy expended by humans and other animals at rest. Rest is defined as existing in a neutrally temperate environment while in the post-absorptive state. In plants, different considerations apply. The release, and using, of energy in this state is sufficient only for the functioning of the vital organs, the heart, lungs, nervous system, kidneys, liver, intestine, sex organs, muscles, and skin.

The body's generation of heat is known as thermogenesis and it can be measured to determine the amount of energy expended.

BMR decreases with age generally (as people usually don't maintain lean body mass) and with the loss of lean body mass. Increasing muscle mass increases BMR. Aerobic fitness level, a product of cardiovascular exercise, while previously thought to have effect on BMR, has been shown in the 1990s not to correlate with BMR, when fat-free body mass was adjusted for. New
research has however come to light which suggests anaerobic exercise does increase resting energy consumption (see "Aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise"). Illness, previously consumed food and beverages, environmental temperature, and stress levels can affect one's overall energy expenditure as well as one's BMR. BMR is measured under very restrictive circumstances when a person is awake. An accurate BMR measurement requires that the person's sympathetic nervous system not be stimulated, a condition which requires complete rest. A more common and closely related measurement, used under less strict conditions, is resting metabolic rate (RMR). BMR and RMR are measured by gas analysis through either direct or indirect calorimetry, though a rough estimation can be acquired through an equation using age, sex, height, and weight. Studies of energy metabolism using both methods provide convincing evidence for the validity of the respiratory quotient (R.Q.), which measures the inherent composition and utilization of carbohydrates, fats and proteins as they are converted to energy substrate units that can be used by the body as energy. Studies conducted by Spennewyn in 1990 found strong correlations between lean mass and metabolism based on indirect calorimetry measurements. Spennewyn discovered that lean tissue in men and women required approximately 16 calories per pound per day. Thus, once a lean mass was known it could be multiplied by 16 to reveal daily caloric needs based on the activity level of the individual. This method has been used in many health club environments to determine daily caloric needs.

Nutrition and dietary considerations

Basal metabolism is usually by far the largest component of total caloric expenditure. However, the Harris-Benedict equations are only approximate and variation in BMR (reflecting varying body composition), in physical activity levels, and in energy expended in thermogenesis make it difficult to estimate the dietary consumption any particular individual needs in order to maintain body weight.

Both basal metabolic rate and resting metabolic rate are usually expressed in terms of daily rates of energy expenditure. The early work of the scientists J. Arthur Harris and Francis G. Benedict showed that approximate values could be derived using body

surface area (computed from height and weight), age, and sex, along with the oxygen and carbon dioxide measures taken from
calorimetry. Studies also showed that by eliminating the sex differences that occur with the accumulation of adipose tissue by expressing metabolic rate per unit of "fat-free"

or lean body weight, the values between sexes for basal metabolism are

essentially the same. Exercise physiology textbooks have tables to show the conversion of height and body surface they relate to weight and basal metabolic values.

area as

The primary organ responsible for regulating metabolism is the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is located on the diencephalon and forms the floor and part of the lateral walls of the third ventricle of the cerebrum. The chief functions of the hypothalamus are: 1. control and integration of activities of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) o The ANS regulates contraction of smooth muscle and cardiac muscle, along with secretions of many endocrine organs such as the thyroid gland (associated with many metabolic disorders). o Through the ANS, the hypothalamus is the main regulator of visceral activities, such as heart rate, movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract, and contraction of the urinary bladder. production and regulation of feelings of rage and aggression regulation of body temperature regulation of food intake, through two centers: o The feeding center or hunger center is responsible for the sensations that cause us to seek food. When sufficient food or substrates have been received and leptin is high, then the satiety center is stimulated and sends impulses that inhibit the feeding center. When insufficient food is present in the stomach and ghrelin levels are high, receptors in the hypothalamus initiate the sense of hunger. o The thirst center operates similarly when certain cells in the hypothalamus are stimulated by the rising osmotic pressure of the extracellular fluid. If thirst is satisfied, osmotic pressure decreases.

1. 2. 3.

All of these functions taken together form a survival mechanism that causes us to sustain the body processes that BMR and RMR measure.

BMR estimation formulas

Several prediction equations exist. Historically most notable was Harris-Benedict equation, which was created in 1919. The original equations from Harris and Benedict are:

for men,

for women, where P is total heat production at complete rest, m is the weight, h is the height, and a is the age, and with the difference in BMR for men and women being mainly due to differences in body weight. For example, a 55 year old woman weighing 130 lb (59 kg) and 5 feet 6 inches (168 cm) tall would have a BMR of 1272 kcal per day or 53 kcal/h (61.3 watts). It was the best prediction equation until 1990, when Mifflin et al. introduced the equation: , where s is +5 for males and 161 for females. According to this formula, the woman in the example above has a BMR of 1204 kcal per day. During the last 100 years, lifestyles have changed and Frankenfield et al. showed it to be about 5% more accurate.
These formulae are based on body weight, which does not take into account the difference in metabolic activity between lean

body mass and body fat. Other formulas exist which take into account lean body mass, two of which are the Katch KatchMcArdle formula, and Cunningham formula. It should be noted, however, that the Cunningham formula is used to pr predict RMR
instead of BMR. The Katch-McArdle Formula (BMR):

, where LBM is the lean body mass in kg. According to this formula, if the woman in the example has a body fat percentage of 30%, her BMR would be 1263 kcal per day. The Cunningham Formula (RMR):
Since lean , where LBM is the lean

body mass in kg n

body mass is metabolically active vs. fat cells which need very few calories to be sustained, these formula tend to be

more accurate, especially with athletes who have above average lean mass and little body fat. To calculate daily calorie needs, the BMR value is multiplied by a factor with a value between 1.2 and 1.9, depending on the person's activity level.

Animal BMR
Kleiber's law relates the BMR for animals of different sizes and the observations indicate that the BMR is proportional to the 3/4 power of body mass. Warm blooded, cold blooded and unicellular organisms fit on different curves.

Energy expenditure breakdown Liver 27% Brain 19% Heart 7% Kidneys 10% Skeletal muscle 18% Other organs 19%

Factors Affecting the Metabolic Rate

LANGE Review of Medical Physiology 23Ed Ganong Table 272 Factors Affecting the Metabolic Rate. 2 Muscular exertion during or just before measurement Recent ingestion of food High or low environmental temperature Height, weight, and surface area Sex Age Growth Reproduction Lactation Emotional state Body temperature Circulating levels of thyroid hormones Circulating epinephrine and norepinephrine levels Another factor that stimulates metabolism is the environmental temperature. The curve relating the metabolic rate to the environmental temperature is U-shaped. When the environmental temperature is lower than body temperature, heat shaped. heat-producing

mechanisms such as shivering are activated and the metabolic rate rises. When the temperature is high enough to raise the body temperature, metabolic processes generally accelerate, and the metabolic rate rises about 14% for each degree Celsius of elevation. The metabolic rate determined at rest in a room at a comfortable temperature in the thermoneutral zone 12 to 14 h after the last meal is called the basal metabolic rate (BMR). This value falls about 10% during sleep and up to 40% during prolonged starvation. The rate during normal daytime activities is, of course, higher than the BMR because of muscular activity and food intake. The maximum metabolic rate reached during exercise is often said to be 10 times the BMR, but trained athletes can increase their metabolic rate as much as 20-fold.

The BMR of a man of average size is about 2000 kcal/d. Large animals have higher absolute BMRs, but the ratio of BMR to body weight in small animals is much greater. One variable that correlates well with the metabolic rate in different species is the body

surface area. This would be expected, since heat exchange occurs at the body surface. The actual relation to body weight (W)
would be

BMR = 3.52W0.67
However, repeated measurements by numerous investigators have come up with a higher exponent, averaging 0.75:

BMR = 3.52W0.75
Thus, the slope of the line relating metabolic rate to body weight is steeper than it would be if the relation were due solely to body area (Figure 279). The cause of the greater slope has been much debated but remains unsettled. Figure 279

Correlation between metabolic rate and body weight, plotted on logarithmic scales. The slope of the colored line is 0.75. The black line represents the way surface area increases with weight for geometrically similar shapes and has a slope of 0.67. (Modified from Kleiber M and reproduced with permission from McMahon TA: Size and shape in biology. Science 1973;179:1201. Copyright 1973 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.) For clinical use, the BMR is usually expressed as a percentage increase or decrease above or below a set of generally used standard normal values. Thus, a value of +65 means that the individual's BMR is 65% above the standard for that age and sex. The decrease in metabolic rate is part of the explanation of why, when an individual is trying to lose weight, weight loss is initially rapid and then slows down. Energy Balance The first law of thermodynamics, the principle that states that energy is neither created nor destroyed when it is converted from one form to another, applies to living organisms as well as inanimate systems. One may therefore speak of an energy balance between caloric intake and energy output. If the caloric content of the food ingested is less than the energy output, that is, if the balance is negative, endogenous stores are utilized. Glycogen, body protein, and fat are catabolized, and the individual loses weight. If the caloric value of the food intake exceeds energy loss due to heat and work and the food is properly digested and absorbed, that is, if the balance is positive, energy is stored, and the individual gains weight. To balance basal output so that the energy-consuming tasks essential for life can be performed, the average adult must take in about 2000 kcal/d. Caloric requirements above the basal level depend on the individual's activity. The average sedentary student (or professor) needs another 500 kcal, whereas a lumberjack needs up to 3000 additional kcal per day.