Metabolism has been measured by researchers throughout life, and the data materialized in the largest study ever conducted in this segment. So that’s why we’re gaining weight.
The results may surprise you, writes Hotnews. The study, published in the journal Science, suggests that metabolism – the rate at which our body burns calories – begins to slow down much later than you think.
“There are many physiological changes that come with growth and aging,” says Herman Pontzer, an associate professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University and co-author of the study. “Think of puberty, menopause and other stages of life. What is strange is that the stages of metabolic life do not seem to coincide with these typical landmarks “, he explains.
Pontzer and an international team of researchers analyzed the average calories burned by more than 6,600 people in 29 countries, ranging in age from one week to 95 years.
The largest study on metabolism indicates surprising data
Previously, most large-scale studies measured only the level of energy the body needs to perform vital functions such as breathing, digestion, and blood pumping – in other words, the calories you only need to stay alive. But these processes are responsible for 50-70% of the calories we burn daily and do not include all other energy-consuming activities: washing dishes, walking the dog, going to the gym or even thinking.
To determine total daily energy intake, the researchers tested the urine of study participants who were given drinking water in which hydrogen and oxygen were replaced with “heavier” forms that occur naturally in nature.
The researchers then measured how quickly these isotopes are eliminated in the urine. The method is considered the benchmark for measuring daily energy consumption in everyday life – outside laboratory conditions – and has been used since the 1980s.
The researchers found that in terms of weight, babies have the fastest metabolism and that this is not due to their rapid growth.
“Something is going on inside a baby’s cells that makes them more active, and we still don’t understand these processes,” says Pontzer.
The data suggest that, after the first year of life, our metabolism does not actually begin to decline again until after the age of 60 and the slowdown is gradual, of only 0.7% per year.