The composition of the adult human body as determined by chemical analysis

R M FORBES, A R COOPER, H H MITCHELL
1953 Journal of Biological Chemistry  
Published analytical data on the chemical composition of the adult, human body are scant, and statistically inadequate. References to the earlier literature may be found in a previous communication from this laboratory (1) and in a more recent contribution by Widdowson, McCance, and Spray (2), which are the most complete reports available. An important application of such data relates to the validity of met,abolic balance studies of nitrogen, calcium, iron, etc., as measures of the daily net
more » ... of the daily net requirements of humans for these nutrients. If the results of such studies, conducted at various stages of growth, are integrated, and the total amount. of nutrients so calculated to be present in the adult are in good agreement with analytical data obtained by direct chemical analysis of the adult" then the use of metabolic balances for the above purpose would appear to be a valid technique. Methods and Materials The subject was a white male 46 years of age, 53.8 kilos in weight, and 168.5 cm. tall. Other measurements taken were as follows: stem length (top of head to perineum) by calipers 87.2 cm., shoulder (biacromial) width 38.4 cm., width between iliac crests 29.3 cm., circumference of upper chest 78.0 cm. Death was due to a skull fracture as a result of a fall; a postmortem examination performed by one of the authors (A. R. C.) confirmed this diagnosis and revealed hypostatic congestion of the lungs. No other abnormalities were noted. The use of Edwards' nomogram (3) leads to the conclusion that this specimen was 23 per cent below the average weight for his age and height. His appearance was that of a moderately thin man in good physical condition. After admission of the patient to the hospital in an unconscious state, medication consisted of penicillin and intravenous dextrose and saline; 4 * The data reported in this paper were secured in the course of an investigation of the trace element content of human tissues, covered by the Atomic Energy Commission contract No. AT(ll-l)-67, project 7, with the University of Illinois. 359 by guest on April 30, 2019 http://www.jbc.org/ Downloaded from
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