The basal metabolism in beriberi was quite unknown until recent years. A systematic investigation on this problem was first attempted by us. The preliminary report1 was published at the same time as that of the basal metabolism of the Japanese, reported in a previous article. The conclusion was that the main part of beriberi shows a normal basal metabolic rate, except that in some cases, especially when paralysis or atrophy develops, a marked diminution is also to be observed.
Fleming2 studied the respiratory metabolism and blood chemistry of Filipinos and concluded that between two groups of Filipinos, one with a confirmed diagnosis of beriberi, the other surgical convalescents, no essential differences were found in the basal metabolism rate, respiratory quotient or blood chemistry.
As to the vital cause of beriberi, the opinions of various investigators are still diverse. Some workers attribute this disease to the effect of vitamin B deficiency,
OKADA S, SAKURAI E. THE BASAL METABOLISM IN BERIBERI. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1926;38(6):770-778. doi:10.1001/archinte.1926.00120300087007