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September 1963

Similarities of Carbohydrate Deficiency and Fasting: I. Weight Loss, Electrolyte Excretion, and Fatigue

Author Affiliations


From Ferst Research Center, Piedmont Hospital.

Arch Intern Med. 1963;112(3):333-337. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03860030087006

Introduction  Sodium loss during fasting has been found to exceed the sodium loss occurring on a low-sodium diet.1 Carbohydrate administration was observed promptly to stop the sodium excretion of fasting.2 Since the metabolic mixture of fasting is comprised primarily of fat and protein derived from endogenous sources, this study was undertaken to compare the importance of this endogenous caloric mixture with an exogenous caloric mixture of similar nutritional composition. Data will be presented on the electrolyte excretion, weight loss, and fatigue in two groups of subjects on diets consisting only of fat and protein. One group was placed on a 1,500-calorie relatively salt-free formula for three days, and the other group was on a 2,000-calorie moderate salt-containing diet for three days.

Method  A formula diet was prepared by dialyzing egg white until it was low in sodium and potassium as determined by flame photometry. This dialyzed egg white