Could you BREATHE away those excess pounds? 80% of fat leaves the body via the lungs, say experts (so the more you exercise the better)
By LIZZIE PARRY FOR MAILONLINE
• More than 80% of body fat leaves the body through breathing out
• Human fat cells store triglyceride, made up of three atoms: carbon, hydrogen and oxygen
• To shed fat, you have to break down the atoms in triglyceride via oxidation
• When 10kg of fat is oxidised, 8.4kg leaves the body as CO2 via the lungs
It will be a huge sigh of relief for anyone who gorges on one too many mince pies this Christmas – scientists have discovered you can shed pounds simply by breathing.
More than 80 per cent of body fat leaves the body through exhaling, making the lungs the primary organ through which we lose weight.
Humans have a type of fat in the blood called triglyceride, which consists of three kinds of atoms – carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.
Shedding unwanted fat requires unlocking the atoms in triglyceride molecules by a process known as oxidation.
More than 80 per cent of body fat leaves the body through exhaling, making the lungs the primary organ for weight loss, scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia have discovered.
By tracing every atom's pathway out of the body, the team of scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia discovered that when 10kg of fat is oxidised, 8.4kg departs the body via the lungs as carbon dioxide (CO2).
The remaining 1.6kg becomes water (H2O).
The analysis shows the inhaled oxygen required for this metabolic process weighs nearly three times more than the fat being 'lost'.
To completely oxidise 10kg of human fat, 29kg of oxygen must be inhaled, producing a total of 28kg of carbon dioxide and 11kg of water.
The authors, Ruben Meerman and Andrew Brown, said: 'These results show that the lungs are the primary excretory organ for weight loss.
'The water formed may be excreted in the urine, faeces, sweat, breath, tears or other bodily fluids and is readily replenished.
'The exhaled carbon can only be replaced by eating food or consuming beverages such as milk, fruit juices or sugar-sweetened drinks.'
At rest, a person who weighs 11 stone (70kg) exhales around 200ml of CO2 by taking 12 breaths a minute.
So by breathing out 17,280 times a day they will lose at least 200g of carbon, with around a third of that weight loss achieved during eight hours of sleep. …