Metabolism plateaus until about age 60, an international study has found. The previous study has shown that metabolism slows in middle age, while the latest research suggests that energy expenditure does not change until close to the age of 60 years.
Energy expenditure varies considerably among individuals. In the latest study, the researchers measured the total amount of energy people expend on their everyday lives.
The study results found that total energy expenditure, adjusted for body size total energy expenditure gradually declines roughly 3 percent a year until around age 20 and then remains stable until about 60.
The research appears in the journal Science.
The researchers analyzed data on the total energy expenditure of 6,421 individuals ranging in age from 8 days to 95 years and living in 29 different countries.
During the research, the specialists examined how much carbon dioxide the person is producing, which, in turn, reflects the rate at which they are burning calories.
This research identified considerable differences in energy expenditure among individuals, even after accounting body composition, sex, and age. However, the study didn’t provide information about possible contributory factors, such as diet and physical exercise.
“The decline from age 60 is thought to reflect a change in tissue-specific metabolism, the energy expended on maintenance. It cannot be a coincidence that the increase in the incidence of non-communicable diseases and disorders begin in this same time frame,” Timothy Rhoads and Rozalyn Anderson from the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said.