You probably already know that the human body is made up of 70% water. But do you know that you can also make an analysis of the elements that make up our body?
Trough the study of body composition you might calculate total water (Total Body Water-TBW), intracellular water (Intra Cellular Water-ICW) and extracellular water (Extra Cellular Water-ECW).
The study of body composition allows to evaluate two other components:
– Fat mass (fat mass-FM); the weight of body fat (adipose tissue);
– Lean mass (Fat Free Mass – FFM) is composed of muscles, skeleton and other body tissues. An important fraction of lean mass is the so-called mass biologically active (BCM), that part of the tissue that burns energy for all the metabolic functions that allow our lives and our activities.
Remember: Average body weight of an adult man is made for 80-85% by lean body mass and 15-20% by fat mass. In women the fat mass percentage is constitutionally higher (20-30%).
With the study of body composition we can learn more about the nutritional status and energy needs of everyone. It is indeed a matter strictly individual because it takes into account many parameters such as height, age and lifestyle.
Let’s take an example to better understand:
BCM is very developed in athletes and very low in sedentary people.
This is one of the main reasons why sedentary people, even if when eating less, tend to gain more weight than others. Having a lower BCM, in fact, the sedentary person’s body consumes less calories and tends to deposit them in the adipose tissue.
But the balance is lost with an excessive fatigue, as in the case of an athlete who follows the exhausting workouts for a race; and with malnutrition, as in the case of those who follow a “DIY diet”: all this is manifested by a lowering of the normal functioning of the body levels.
Knowing the elements that make up the body, the quantity, is therefore very useful because in case of bodily imbalances due to disease, malnutrition or excessive fatigue, it can know which deficient substances should be replenished or, in case of excess substances, which must be decreased.
WHO-World Health Organization- Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD) (http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-standard/en/)