Homeostasis and energy storage in man.

Millington, Joyce Hilda Mary (1986). Homeostasis and energy storage in man. BPhil thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000f7fa


Western man does not in general appear to operate homeostatic mechanisms to control his energy storage. Fragmentation makes it difficult to draw comprehensive conclusions from the literature research, a report of which is included, and the fact that much of the energy balance work is based on experimentation with other species raises questions of relevance. Individual human beings may vary with regard to biochemical type or may experience phase difference in a famine/feast rhythm. These theories and the involvement of brown adipose tissue are examined in some detail. An attempt to 'type' individuals by measurement of respiratory quotient failed. A pilot investigation into core temperature difference shows promise. The responses to three questionnaire forms are analysed. Two questionnaires reveal a high level of anxiety about body weight among young people. The third investigates calcium and vitamin D consumption and the possibility of linkage with famine/feast phase state. It is concluded that although recognition of 'type' or 'phase state' might well provide a short cut, ultimately individual experimentation with a variety of foods is likely to be necessary, if diet modification is to reduce weight without adverse complications.

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