Faculté des sciences

The contribution of Swiss scientists to the assessment of energy metabolism

Montani, Jean-Pierre ; Schutz, Yves ; Dulloo, Abdul G.

In: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2018, vol. 72, no. 5, p. 665–679

Although Switzerland is considered a small country, it has its share in discoveries, inventions and developments for the assessment of energy metabolism. This includes seminal contributions to respiratory and metabolic physiology and to devices for measuring energy expenditure by direct and indirect calorimetry in vivo in humans and small animals (as well as in vitro in organs/tissues), for... More

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    Summary
    Although Switzerland is considered a small country, it has its share in discoveries, inventions and developments for the assessment of energy metabolism. This includes seminal contributions to respiratory and metabolic physiology and to devices for measuring energy expenditure by direct and indirect calorimetry in vivo in humans and small animals (as well as in vitro in organs/tissues), for the purpose of evaluating the basic nutritional requirements. A strong momentum came during World War II when it was necessary to evaluate the energy requirements of soldiers protecting the country by assessing their energy expenditure, as well as to determine the nutritional needs of the Swiss civil population in time of war when food rationing was necessary to ensure national neutrality and independence. A further impetus came in the 1970s at the start of the obesity epidemics, toward a better understanding of the metabolic basis of obesity, ranging from the development of whole-body concepts to molecular mechanisms. In a trip down memory lane, this review focuses on some of the earlier leading Swiss scientists who have contributed to a better understanding of the field.