Differences between brain mass and body weight scaling to height

Potential mechanism of reduced mass-specific resting energy expenditure of taller adults

Steven B. Heymsfield, Thamrong Chirachariyavej, Im Joo Rhyu, Chulaporn Roongpisuthipong, Moonseong Heo, Angelo Pietrobelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Adult resting energy expenditure (REE) scales as height ̃1.5, whereas body weight (BW) scales as height ̃2. Mass-specific REE (i.e., REE/BW) is thus lower in tall subjects compared with their shorter counterparts, the mechanism of which is unknown. We evaluated the hypothesis that high-metabolic-rate brain mass scales to height with a power significantly less than that of BW, a theory that if valid would provide a potential mechanism for height-related REE effects. The hypothesis was tested by measuring brain mass on a large (n = 372) postmortem sample of Thai men. Since brain mass-body size relations may be influenced by age, the hypothesis was secondarily explored in Thai men age ≥45 yr (n = 299) and with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in Korean men (n = 30) age ≤20<30 yr. The scaling of large body compartments was examined in a third group of Asian men living in New York (NY, n = 28) with MRI and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Brain mass scaled to height with a power (mean ± SEE; 0.46 ± 0.13) significantly smaller (P < 0.001) than that of BW scaled to height (2.36 ± 0.19) in the whole group of Thai men; brain mass/BW scaled negatively to height (-1.94 ± 0.20, P < 0.001). Similar results were observed in younger Thai men, and results for brain mass/BW vs. height were directionally the same (P = 0.09) in Korean men. Skeletal muscle and bone scaled to height with powers similar to that of BW (i.e., ̃2-3) in the NY Asian men. Models developed using REE estimates in Thai men suggest that brain accounts for most of the REE/BW height dependency. Tall and short men thus differ in relative brain mass, but the proportions of BW as large compartments appear independent of height, observations that provide a potential mechanistic basis for related differences in REE and that have implications for the study of adult energy requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-48
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume106
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2009

Fingerprint

Energy Metabolism
Body Weight
Brain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Body Height
Photon Absorptiometry
Body Size
Skeletal Muscle
Bone and Bones

Keywords

  • Body composition
  • Nutritional requirements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Differences between brain mass and body weight scaling to height : Potential mechanism of reduced mass-specific resting energy expenditure of taller adults. / Heymsfield, Steven B.; Chirachariyavej, Thamrong; Rhyu, Im Joo; Roongpisuthipong, Chulaporn; Heo, Moonseong; Pietrobelli, Angelo.

In: Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 106, No. 1, 01.2009, p. 40-48.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Heymsfield, Steven B. ; Chirachariyavej, Thamrong ; Rhyu, Im Joo ; Roongpisuthipong, Chulaporn ; Heo, Moonseong ; Pietrobelli, Angelo. / Differences between brain mass and body weight scaling to height : Potential mechanism of reduced mass-specific resting energy expenditure of taller adults. In: Journal of Applied Physiology. 2009 ; Vol. 106, No. 1. pp. 40-48.
@article{30688801a4dc492499e3020671fcb7bf,
title = "Differences between brain mass and body weight scaling to height: Potential mechanism of reduced mass-specific resting energy expenditure of taller adults",
abstract = "Adult resting energy expenditure (REE) scales as height ̃1.5, whereas body weight (BW) scales as height ̃2. Mass-specific REE (i.e., REE/BW) is thus lower in tall subjects compared with their shorter counterparts, the mechanism of which is unknown. We evaluated the hypothesis that high-metabolic-rate brain mass scales to height with a power significantly less than that of BW, a theory that if valid would provide a potential mechanism for height-related REE effects. The hypothesis was tested by measuring brain mass on a large (n = 372) postmortem sample of Thai men. Since brain mass-body size relations may be influenced by age, the hypothesis was secondarily explored in Thai men age ≥45 yr (n = 299) and with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in Korean men (n = 30) age ≤20<30 yr. The scaling of large body compartments was examined in a third group of Asian men living in New York (NY, n = 28) with MRI and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Brain mass scaled to height with a power (mean ± SEE; 0.46 ± 0.13) significantly smaller (P < 0.001) than that of BW scaled to height (2.36 ± 0.19) in the whole group of Thai men; brain mass/BW scaled negatively to height (-1.94 ± 0.20, P < 0.001). Similar results were observed in younger Thai men, and results for brain mass/BW vs. height were directionally the same (P = 0.09) in Korean men. Skeletal muscle and bone scaled to height with powers similar to that of BW (i.e., ̃2-3) in the NY Asian men. Models developed using REE estimates in Thai men suggest that brain accounts for most of the REE/BW height dependency. Tall and short men thus differ in relative brain mass, but the proportions of BW as large compartments appear independent of height, observations that provide a potential mechanistic basis for related differences in REE and that have implications for the study of adult energy requirements.",
keywords = "Body composition, Nutritional requirements",
author = "Heymsfield, {Steven B.} and Thamrong Chirachariyavej and Rhyu, {Im Joo} and Chulaporn Roongpisuthipong and Moonseong Heo and Angelo Pietrobelli",
year = "2009",
month = "1",
doi = "10.1152/japplphysiol.91123.2008",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "106",
pages = "40--48",
journal = "Journal of Applied Physiology",
issn = "8750-7587",
publisher = "American Physiological Society",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Differences between brain mass and body weight scaling to height

T2 - Potential mechanism of reduced mass-specific resting energy expenditure of taller adults

AU - Heymsfield, Steven B.

AU - Chirachariyavej, Thamrong

AU - Rhyu, Im Joo

AU - Roongpisuthipong, Chulaporn

AU - Heo, Moonseong

AU - Pietrobelli, Angelo

PY - 2009/1

Y1 - 2009/1

N2 - Adult resting energy expenditure (REE) scales as height ̃1.5, whereas body weight (BW) scales as height ̃2. Mass-specific REE (i.e., REE/BW) is thus lower in tall subjects compared with their shorter counterparts, the mechanism of which is unknown. We evaluated the hypothesis that high-metabolic-rate brain mass scales to height with a power significantly less than that of BW, a theory that if valid would provide a potential mechanism for height-related REE effects. The hypothesis was tested by measuring brain mass on a large (n = 372) postmortem sample of Thai men. Since brain mass-body size relations may be influenced by age, the hypothesis was secondarily explored in Thai men age ≥45 yr (n = 299) and with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in Korean men (n = 30) age ≤20<30 yr. The scaling of large body compartments was examined in a third group of Asian men living in New York (NY, n = 28) with MRI and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Brain mass scaled to height with a power (mean ± SEE; 0.46 ± 0.13) significantly smaller (P < 0.001) than that of BW scaled to height (2.36 ± 0.19) in the whole group of Thai men; brain mass/BW scaled negatively to height (-1.94 ± 0.20, P < 0.001). Similar results were observed in younger Thai men, and results for brain mass/BW vs. height were directionally the same (P = 0.09) in Korean men. Skeletal muscle and bone scaled to height with powers similar to that of BW (i.e., ̃2-3) in the NY Asian men. Models developed using REE estimates in Thai men suggest that brain accounts for most of the REE/BW height dependency. Tall and short men thus differ in relative brain mass, but the proportions of BW as large compartments appear independent of height, observations that provide a potential mechanistic basis for related differences in REE and that have implications for the study of adult energy requirements.

AB - Adult resting energy expenditure (REE) scales as height ̃1.5, whereas body weight (BW) scales as height ̃2. Mass-specific REE (i.e., REE/BW) is thus lower in tall subjects compared with their shorter counterparts, the mechanism of which is unknown. We evaluated the hypothesis that high-metabolic-rate brain mass scales to height with a power significantly less than that of BW, a theory that if valid would provide a potential mechanism for height-related REE effects. The hypothesis was tested by measuring brain mass on a large (n = 372) postmortem sample of Thai men. Since brain mass-body size relations may be influenced by age, the hypothesis was secondarily explored in Thai men age ≥45 yr (n = 299) and with brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in Korean men (n = 30) age ≤20<30 yr. The scaling of large body compartments was examined in a third group of Asian men living in New York (NY, n = 28) with MRI and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Brain mass scaled to height with a power (mean ± SEE; 0.46 ± 0.13) significantly smaller (P < 0.001) than that of BW scaled to height (2.36 ± 0.19) in the whole group of Thai men; brain mass/BW scaled negatively to height (-1.94 ± 0.20, P < 0.001). Similar results were observed in younger Thai men, and results for brain mass/BW vs. height were directionally the same (P = 0.09) in Korean men. Skeletal muscle and bone scaled to height with powers similar to that of BW (i.e., ̃2-3) in the NY Asian men. Models developed using REE estimates in Thai men suggest that brain accounts for most of the REE/BW height dependency. Tall and short men thus differ in relative brain mass, but the proportions of BW as large compartments appear independent of height, observations that provide a potential mechanistic basis for related differences in REE and that have implications for the study of adult energy requirements.

KW - Body composition

KW - Nutritional requirements

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=58649124751&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=58649124751&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1152/japplphysiol.91123.2008

DO - 10.1152/japplphysiol.91123.2008

M3 - Article

VL - 106

SP - 40

EP - 48

JO - Journal of Applied Physiology

JF - Journal of Applied Physiology

SN - 8750-7587

IS - 1

ER -