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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Student Topics

Question: Biochemical changes in the body


NurseNancy - Sat Mar 26, 2005 7:58 am

a grossly obese man goes on a starvation diet consuming only 2 slices of bread and vegemite daily and water. He does this for 10 days ... what would the biochemical changes be that would occur in his body during this time and what would the negative consequences be.
DHARAM - Sun Mar 27, 2005 5:44 am

DEAR NurseNancy,
Thanks for your question. However, you didn't indicate in your profile whether u r a student nurse or any other medical professional or whether the ques. is an assignment, etc. As a result I don't know how to respond because I haven't a clue as to what exactly u are looking for. Kindly let me know if my answer below was of any help to you. I would now proceed with my answer to your question:
Biochemically, starvation implies prolonged fasting. When the obese man enters the starved state, after 3-5 days of fasting, biophysiological changes occur in his body.
--- His muscles decreases its use of ketone bodies and oxidises fatty acids as its primary energy source.
--- Due to decreased muscle usage, blood ketone body levels rise.
--- His brain then takes up and oxidises the ketone bodies in order to derive energy. Consequently, the brain decreases its use of glucose, although glucose is still a major fuel for the brain.
--- HEPATIC GLUCONEOGENESIS DECREASES.
--- MUSCLE PROTEIN IS SPARED.
--- Due to decreased conversion of amino-acids to glucose, LESS Urea IS PRODUCED FROM AMINO-ACIDS IN STARVATION THAN AFTER AN OVERNIGHT FAST.
--- The body uses its FAT STORES AS ITS PRIMARY SOURCE OF ENERGY DURING THE 10 DAYS.
--- Overall, LIPIDS ARE QUANTITATIVELY THE MOST IMPORTANT FUEL IN HIS BODY.
--- The LENGTH OF TIME THAT A PERSON COULD SURVIVE ON 2 SLICES OF BREAD (source of carbohydrate), VEGEMITE & WATER DEPENDS MAINLY ON THE AMOUNT OF FAT STORED IN ADIPOSE TISSUE.
--- Even after 3-4 weeks of starvation, Blood glucose levels are still in the range of 65 mg/dL.
IN SUMMARY, starvation causes muscle to decrease its use of ketone bodies. As a result, ketone body levels rise in the blood, and the brain uses them for energy. Consequently, the brain needs less glucose and gluconeogenesis slows, thereby, sparing muscle protein. These changes in the fuel utilisation patterns of the obese individual enabled him to survive for 10 days without SOLID FOOD.
REMEMBER: TO LIVE LONGER, LESSEN THY MEALS. (Benjamin Franklin)I SINCERELY HOPE THAT THIS IS WHAT U WERE LOOKING FOR. KINDLY LET ME KNOW A. S. A. P.
YOURS TRULY,
D. SAWH M. D., F. R. C. P.
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