How Much Does Different Tissue Contribute to RMR

Looking specifically at basal metabolism occurring within different tissues in the body we find that the most metabolically active tissue (calories expended/gram tissue) are the vital organs, namely the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, brain, and liver. While only making up roughly 10 percent of our body weight, these organs accounts for as much as 50 to 60 percent of our RMR. Interestingly, the retina of the eye is the most meta-bolically active tissue (per gram of tissue). Meanwhile, the energy expenditure of the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, and liver is estimated to be 15 to 40 times greater than muscle and 50 to 100 times greater than fat tissue on a pound to pound basis.

Resting metabolism is the calories your body burns at rest and usually accounts for 50 to 75 percent of total calories for the day.

Skeletal muscle tends to makes up about 40 percent of an adult's body weight and is not as metabolically active as the organs just mentioned when we are not moving. Skeletal muscle energy expenditure contributes about 25 percent to our RMR. However, keep in mind that this expenditure takes place when skeletal muscle is not working! In fact, researchers have estimated that the metabolic rate of muscle is about 4Vi to 7 calories per pound (muscle) per day or about 10 to 15 calories per kilogram. On the other hand, fat tissue contributes relatively little to our RMR unless a person has a lot of body fat and then it makes a relatively greater contribution.

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