Energy Metabolism Unit


The whole room indirect calorimeters allow minute to minute measures of oxygen uptake (VO2) and carbon dioxide production (VCO2) to provide measurements of the following:

  • Sleeping and Basal metabolic rates
  • 24 hour total energy expenditure
  • Substrate oxidation
  • Exercise energy expenditure (e.g. biking, walking, running, aerobics, or video game play).

In addition to the whole room calorimeters the unit is equipped with the following

  • Metabolic carts which utilize the ventilated hood technique are also available for the measurement of energy expenditure under resting conditions and during clamp studies.
  • The Exercise Laboratory assesses sub-maximum and maximum VO2 measurements in children and adults using the metabolic carts.

Other Core Services

  • Use of the doubly labeled water method to evaluate free-living energy metabolism.
  • Use and calibration of activity and sleep monitors.

Adjacent CNRC Resources:

  • Body Composition Laboratory.
  • Metabolic Research Unit (MRU) for inpatient and outpatient research studies.
  • Metabolic kitchen for preparation of study meals.
  • Mass Spectrometry.

Uses for Calorimetry


Applications for the calorimeters include studies of obesity, diet, exercise, brown adipose tissue, diabetes, growth hormone deficiency, pregnancy; preschool, childhood, and adolescent growth, energy needs of disorders such as muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, etc. ; validation of field methods of activity monitors, steppers, and body dashboards.

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