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  • "Green tea boosts your metabolism." "Don’t eat after 7 pm." "Work out

  • on an empty stomach." We are surrounded by myths when it comes to talking about the

  • way our bodies burn energy. Another common one is that your metabolism is doomed to go

  • downhill after you become an adult. But the good news is that might not actually true.

  • Every minute of every day, your body is converting food or stored fat into energy to keep itself

  • goingdoing things like pumping blood, expanding and contracting

  • your lungs, plus all kinds of stuff on a cellular

  • level, like making new cells and getting rid of old ones. This is your basal metabolic

  • rate. On top of that, there’s the energy you expend

  • to move around and do the physical activity of your dayplus the energy it takes to

  • process your food into energy in the first place.

  • The exact amount of energy it takes to do all this varies from person to person. If

  • someone burns through a lot of energy in a given amount of time, we say they have a fast

  • metabolism. Those who burn less energy in the same amount of time have a slow

  • metabolism. There are so many crash diets andquick

  • fixesthat promise to speed up your metabolism to help you achieve weight loss, but the truth

  • is that the speed of your metabolism is determined almost entirely by your genes.

  • And research is also telling us that metabolism actually plays a relatively small role in

  • weight management anywaythe biggest factors for this are good oldiet and exercise.

  • So how about thatour metabolism gets slower

  • as we agefactoid? Well, for years it was widely accepted by the scientific community,

  • but a 2021 study has given us a much-needed update. A team of 80 co-authors analyzed metabolic

  • rate data collected by different labs over the course of 40 years. This data comes from

  • more than 6,400 people ranging from 8 days old to 95 years old.

  • Turns out, there are metabolic shifts in our lives, just probably not when you think. Our

  • calorie-burning peak is actually when were infants, when from birth to 15 months were

  • using crazy amounts of energy to grow our brains and our bodies. Infants actually burn

  • calories 50% faster than adults! After these early days, our metabolism slows down throughout

  • childhood and adolescence before it settles around age 20 into our adult rate. Then at

  • 60 years old, our metabolic rate drops again, and keeps declining until the end of our lives.

  • But between 20 and 60, that big span of time in the middle...our metabolism stays pretty

  • much the same, even through big changes like pregnancy or menopause. Your metabolism may

  • be different from someone else’s, but itll be pretty much the same throughout your adulthood.

  • That means that when we do see weight changes as we age, it’s likely not due to metabolic

  • shifts directly, but the countless other things that can affect the way our body stores energy

  • stuff like stress, sleep quality, genes, medications, diet and so much more.

  • While this new data can help us cut through the crap ofmagic metabolism boosting pills

  • or blaming weight gain on middle age, it also lays the groundwork for some really cool medicine.

  • Now that we know about the metabolic decline after 60, we can look into specialized ways

  • of prescribing medication that takes metabolic decline into account. The other end of the

  • age spectrum may hold some answers tooearly life metabolic rates could tell us what an

  • infant’s weight gain might mean for their health as an adult.

  • Research like this could hold the keys to tackling health issues like obesity

  • and malnutrition too. And because metabolism is really a process at the cellular level, if

  • stuff goes wrong here it can result in issues like cancer. So knowing more about

  • how this all works throughout someone’s life is about so much more than just weight.

  • This study offered us many data points, but each from a different person at a different point

  • in their own life. The next steps could be to follow the same person over time. Doing this

  • with multiple people, over long periods of time, is a really difficult research

  • endeavor, so you can see why we don’t have a lot of clear data in this area yet.

  • It gets more complex when researchers want to take an even closer look too, like the activity

  • of specific genes, the immune system, even gut microbiome composition

  • and brining all these variables together.

  • Why it stays steady, what’s happening in those periods of growth spurt and decline

  • at the bookends of our lives, how and why metabolism differs so much from individual

  • to individualthese are the questions that we'll hopefully get some answers soon

  • and get us closer to our healthiest selves.

  • Sohow do our bodies actually transform

  • food into energy? Check out our Human episode about that here. And if there's another health science

  • topic you want us to cover, let us know in the comments.

  • Don’t forget to subscribe, thanks so much for watching

  • and I’ll see you next time on Seeker.

"Green tea boosts your metabolism." "Don’t eat after 7 pm." "Work out

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The Biggest Myth About Your Metabolism Debunked

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    Summer 發佈於 2021 年 12 月 29 日
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