Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 63.djvu/133

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129
PHYSIOLOGICAL ECONOMY IN NUTRITION.

excretion of uric acid, ethereal sulphates, phosphoric acid, etc., but they need not be discussed here.

 
Intake. Output of Nitrogen.
Proteids. Fats. Carbohy. Calories. Nitrogen. Urine. Fæces. Total.
Grams. Grams. Grams. Grams. Grams. Grams. Grams.
Feb. 2 31.3 25.3 125.4 900 5.02 5.27 0.18 5.45
3 46.8 40.4 266.2 1690 7.50 6.24 0.81[1] 7.65
4 48.0 38.1 283.0 1747 7.70 5.53 0.81[1] 6.34
5 50.0 40.6 269.0 1711 8.00 6.44 0.81[1] 7.25
6 47.0 41.5 267.0 1737 7.49 6.83 0.81[1] 7.64
7 46.5 39.8 307.3 1852 7.44 7.50 0.17 7.67
Daily Av. 44.9 38.0 253.0 1606 7.19 6.30 0.60 6.90
 

The main things to be noted in these results are, first, that the total daily consumption of proteid amounted on an average to only 45 grams, and that the fat and carbohydrate were taken in quantities only sufficient to bring the total fuel value of the daily food up to a little more than 1,600 large calories. If, however, we eliminate the first day, when for some reason the subject took an unusually small amount of food, these figures are increased somewhat, but they are ridiculously low compared with the ordinarily accepted dietary standards. When we recall that the Voit standard demands at least 118 grams of proteid and a total fuel value of 3,000 large calories daily, we appreciate at once the full significance of the above figures. But it may be asked, was this diet at all adequate for the needs of the body—sufficient for a man weighing 165 pounds? In reply, it may be said that the appetite was satisfied and that the subject had full freedom to take more food if he so desired. To give a physiological answer, it may be said that the body-weight remained practically constant throughout the seven days' period, and further, it will be observed by comparing the figures of the table that the nitrogen of the intake and the total nitrogen of the output were not far apart. In other words, there was a close approach to what the physiologist calls nitrogenous equilibrium. In fact, it will be noted that on several days the nitrogen output was slightly less than the nitrogen taken in. We are, therefore, apparently justified in saying that the above diet, simple though it was in variety, and in quantity far below the usually accepted requirement, was quite adequate for the needs of the body. In this connection it may be asked, what were the needs of the body during this seven days' period? This is obviously a very important point. Can a man on such a diet, even though it suffices to keep up body-weight and apparently also physiological equilibrium, do work to any extent? Will there be under such condition a proper degree of fitness for physical work of any kind? In order to ascertain this

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3   Average of the four days.