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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2004 Jan;96(1):32-40. Epub 2003 Aug 29.

Effects of carbohydrate availability on sustained shivering I. Oxidation of plasma glucose, muscle glycogen, and proteins.

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  • 1Biology Department, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5.

Abstract

Carbohydrates (CHO) can play an important thermogenic role during shivering, but the effect of their availability on the use of other oxidative fuels is unclear. Using indirect calorimetry and tracer methods ([U-13C]glucose ingestion), we have determined the specific contributions of plasma glucose, muscle glycogen, proteins, and lipids to total heat production (Hprod) in men exposed to cold for 2-h (liquid-conditioned suit perfused with 10 degrees C water). Measurements were made after low-CHO diet and exercise (Lo) and high-CHO diet without exercise (Hi). The size of CHO reserves had no effect on Hprod but a major impact on fuel selection before and during shivering. In the cold, a complete shift from lipid oxidation for Lo (53, 28, and 19% Hprod for lipids, CHO, and proteins, respectively) to CHO-based metabolism for Hi (23, 65, and 12% Hprod for lipids, CHO, and proteins, respectively) was observed. Plasma glucose oxidation remains a minor fuel under all conditions (<13% Hprod), falling to 7% Hprod for Lo. Therefore, adjusting plasma glucose oxidation to compensate for changes in muscle glycogen oxidation is not a strategy used for maintaining heat production. Instead, proteins and lipids share responsibility for this compensation. We conclude that humans can show remarkable flexibility in oxidative fuel selection to ensure that heat production is not compromised during sustained cold exposure.

PMID:
12949018
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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