Mass Balance In The Total Body

The body normally maintains a constant total content of all substances including water, solutes, and solid material stores. This constancy of the internal environment, with optimal amounts of all relevant substances, is referred to as homeostasis (see Chapter 1). To maintain a constant composition, every substance introduced into the body by either ingestion or paren-teral infusion must leave the body at the same rate. However, the form of the eliminated substance is not necessarily the same as that taken in. For example, glucose in the diet is normally eliminated as equimolar amounts of carbon dioxide and water, but the atoms of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen of the glucose molecule exit from the body at the same rate as they enter the body in the form of glucose.

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