Key points from article :
Study of 6,400 people (age, 8-95 years) in 29 countries, suggests the metabolism remains rock solid throughout mid-life.
People's metabolism was measured using doubly labelled water.
Found four phases of metabolic life:
- birth to age one, when the metabolism shifts from being the same as the mother's to a lifetime high 50% above that of adults.
- a gentle slowdown until the age of 20.
- no change at all between the ages of 20 and 60.
- a permanent decline, with yearly falls that, by 90, leave metabolism 26% lower than in mid-life.
No metabolic surge during either puberty or pregnancy and no slowdown around the menopause.
High metabolism in the first years of life emphasise its importance in development.
It cannot be a coincidence diseases of old age kicked in as the metabolism fell.
Fully understanding the shifting metabolism could have implications in medicine.
Study from University of Wisconsin-Madison, lead by Rozalyn Anderson, published in Science.