The Feeding Fasting Cycle Energy Requirements

Beta Switch Program

The Beta Switch Program by Sue Heintze

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Energy is essential for many important body functions, including the maintenance of cellular integrity and function, new tissue synthesis, thermoregulation, and

Table 1 Metabolic features and laboratory parameters of starvation and fasting

Uncomplicated protein energy malnutrition (Marasmus)

Hypoalbuminemic malnutrition (Kwashiorkor)

Stressed malnutrition (mixed)

Etiology

Metabolic adaptation

Weight loss

Resting energy expenditure Nitrogen loss Water, sodium Hormonal

Laboratory parameters

Albumin Transferrin Total lymphocyte count Skin hypersensitivity

Decreased energy intake

Slow (months to years)

Decreased

Minimal Initial loss

Early small increase in catecholamines, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone; then slow decrease Decrease in insulin, leptin

Normal-slowly decreased Normal-slowly decreased Normal-slowly decreased

Decreased

Decreased protein intake associated with catabolic stress

Intermediate (weeks to months)

Decreased or increased

Increased

Retention

Increase in catecholamines, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone

Decrease in insulin, leptin

Decreased

Decreased

Decreased

Decreased

Decreased energy and protein intakes associated with catabolic stress

Rapid (weeks)

Increased

Increased

Retention

Increase in catecholamines, glucagon, cortisol, growth hormone

Decrease in insulin, leptin

Decreased

Decreased

Decreased

Decreased physical activity. The energy requirements of an individual vary with age, sex, body composition, physical activity, and stress. In the normal adult at basal state, approximately 75% of energy requirements reflect the energy needs of major organs (brain, ^20%; skeletal muscle, 18-22%; abdominal muscles, ^25%; and heart, ~11%). However, during normal daily activity the total energy requirement and the proportion of energy needed by different tissues may vary considerably. For example, with exercise the energy requirement of skeletal muscles increases, and during a meal the abdominal organs require more energy for the process of digestion and absorption. Children require additional energy for growth.

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