Fasting in healthy individuals and adaption to undernutrition during chronic disease

  • Grimble R
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During long-term fasting, gluconeogenesis from amino acids was thought to lessen, when ketone bodies from lipolysis became a major fuel source. Thus, muscle mass is conserved. However, recent studies show that this adaptation does not occur in chronic undernourishment. In cancer, chronic undernutrition without disease, and HIV infection, carbohydrate utilization is high. Enhanced hepatic glucose production occurs in active inflammatory bowel disease and in underweight cancer patients. Repletion of tissue after undernutrition is energetically inefficient because of enhanced diet induced thermogenesis (following anorexia nervosa) and decreased fat, and increased protein, oxidation (in tuberculosis).

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  • Robert F. Grimble

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