Measurement of metabolic rate in the resting human

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From the 17-03-14 Human Physiology practical.

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Question Answer
What is measurement of the basal metabolic rate an attempt to quantify? The rate at which the complex, interacting chemical reactions of the body occur at rest.
What can it be argued that the final common product of all the body's chemical reactions is? Heat
Why can metabolic rate (a complex rate consisting of many reactions) be determined using measurements of O2 consumed and CO2 produced? Because metabolism is sustained by 'burning' foodstuffs with O2 to liberate energy and produce CO2.
Which hormones is the basal metabolic rate predominately controlled by? The thyroid hormones, triiodothyronine and thyroxine.
Calculating metabolic rate uses simple measurements of O2 consumed and CO2 produced - but what factors must be accounted for? Only exhaled air is measured, so it must be found out what a person inhaled (we use N2, an inert gas). Further, the volumes of gas measured must be corrected for the variable effects of atmospheric pressure, temperature, and the presence of water vapour.
What equipment was required for the metabolic rate lab? A Douglas bag to collect the exhaled air, and a set of one-way valve tubes, a nose plug, and a glass syringe for injecting 100ml samples of exhaled air into the O2/CO2 concentration monitor.
What factors had to be controlled for accuracy of the measurements? The Douglas bag had to be empty to start with, the collection period had to be timed accurately, and the subject had to try to breathe as normally as possible (i.e. no laughing or focusing too much and controlling breathing).
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