Submitted to: American Dietetic Association Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 18, 1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Balance studies are a classic technique used to determine human nutrient requirements. The fundamental components of a balance study are the measurement of nutrient intake and nutrient output and losses. An additional technique which allows broader interpretation of balance studies is compartmental modeling with the use of stable isotopes, which are naturally occurring, non-radioactive isotopes useful for investigation of the metabolism of energy, water, macronutrients, and micronutrients. When partnered with up-to-date analytical techniques and mathematical modeling methods, stable isotopes provide new research approaches for understanding nutrient transfer among different tissues and organs and in vivo metabolic processes. This chapter discusses several types of compartmental modeling studies and the kinds of research questions such studies can answer. Practical issues are addressed through examples and in details of the techniques that can help to enhance studies with a controlled diet component. The focus of the information is on those aspects which must be considered in the design and implementation of such studies. This information will be useful to dieticians and study coordinators designing balance studies and collaborating with compartmental modelers.