Metabolism and Growth from Birth to Puberty

Metabolism and Growth from Birth to Puberty

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Metabolism and Growth from Birth to Puberty

Metabolism and Growth from Birth to Puberty

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Excerpt

In the past decade the trend of thought in the physiology of growth has been towards a chemical analysis of the several growth factors. The embryonic animal (which with mammals receives nourishment from its mother through the placenta, and with other animals from the previously deposited food material in the egg) grows in accordance with the nutrients supplied. After birth various types of foods are brought to it by the mother or by other agencies. The selection of the diet best fitted, both in amount and in quality, to acquire growth has received a great deal of experimental attention. The importance of the mineral constituents and the nature of the proteins used in the construction of new tissue have been emphasized; particularly, the so-called "unidentified food accessory substances," which make for growth, have been exhaustively studied by Hopkins, Osborne and Mendel, and McCollum. As a result of these extensive investigations of the subject, it is clear that a large number of factors, heretofore almost neglected in research, are absolutely essential for the proper growth of the immature animal.

With a study of these essentials there has proceeded, although perhaps with less intensity, a study of certain physiological constants characteristic of the immature animal, particularly of the human animal. While the anthropologists have given us extensive measurements of the growth in that period of development in which growth is most marked, i. e., in the earlier years of life, relatively little is known regarding the fundamental basal metabolism during this period. The Nutrition Laboratory, in the belief that a careful survey should be made of the metabolism of all mankind from birth to old age, has been occupied for nearly a decade in the charting of this little-known field of human basal metabolism. The writers' special province has been that of infants and children. As an indication of the extent and thoroughness of the original program in its several subdivisions, we may call attention to our report of a research on the physiology of the new-born infant, in which over 100 new-born infants were studied . . .

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