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科学美国人60秒:咀嚼消耗惊人的能量

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Christopher Intagliata: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Christopher Intagliata.

这里是《科学美国人》的60秒科学。我是克里斯托弗·因塔利亚塔。

Christopher Intagliata: When paleoanthropologists eat lunch with biomechanists… well, sometimes the small talk can get pretty technical.

当古人类学家与生物力学者共进午餐时……嗯,有时闲聊会变得专业。

Adam Van Casteren: Some of us would have cooked potatoes and other people would have raw salads… this got us thinking about not just the temporal amount of time it takes to get through your food, but are they expending more energy than those who are eating cooked food.

有些人会吃煮熟的土豆,有些人会吃生沙拉,这让我们思考的不仅仅是吃完食物所花的时间,还包括它们是否比吃熟食的人消耗更多的能量。

Intagliata: Adam van Casteren of the University of Manchester says, luckily, there's a machine to measure that. It's a clear chamber you slip over your head -- looks like an astronaut's helmet. And it measures the oxygen you breathe in, versus the carbon dioxide you breathe out… a proxy for how much energy you're burning.

曼彻斯特大学的亚当·范·卡斯特伦说,幸运的是,有一台机器可以测量这一点。这是一个可以带到头上的透明的通风罩——看起来像宇航员的头盔。它测量氧气吸收和二氧化碳输出……计算你燃烧多少能量。

Intagliata: Van Casteren and his colleagues got 21 volunteers to sit in that apparatus for 45 mins, just to get a baseline on their metabolism. Then, they gave them flavorless gum to chew on, for 15 minutes at a time.

范·卡斯特伦和他的同事首先要求21名志愿者带着设备静坐45分钟,目的是为了了解他们的新陈代谢基线。然后,让他们咀嚼无味的口香糖,每次15分钟。

Van Casteren: If you ever have to chew something for 15 mins it's much longer than you think. And sometimes we'd have to remind people… 'keep chewing!'

如果你不得不咀嚼某样东西 15 分钟,那可比你想象的要长得多。有时我们不得不提醒志愿者……“继续咀嚼!”

Amanda Henry: "And boring is the key point here -- like if you've chewed gum for way too long and it's lost its flavor and it's just this thing… that's what the participants were chewing."

“这里的关键是无聊——就像嚼口香糖太久了,它失去了味道,就是这个东西……这就是参与者咀嚼的东西。”

Intagliata: Co-author Amanda Henry of Leiden University in the Netherlands explained that, rather than cooked potatoes and raw salads -- they needed something with no taste or smell. Because anything appetizing would set off a chain of digestive reactions. Saliva and digestive juices would start flowing… and swamp the metabolic measurements related to chewing.

荷兰莱顿大学的合著者阿曼达·亨利解释说,他们需要没有味道或气味的东西,而不是煮熟的土豆和生沙拉。因为任何开胃的东西都会引发一连串的消化反应。唾液和消化液会开始流动……并淹没与咀嚼相关的代谢测量。

Intagliata: And those measurements were significant -- it turns out, chewing a soft gum boosted the volunteers' metabolic rates by 10 percent above baseline. A stiffer gum revved up metabolic rate by 15 percent.

这些测量结果很重要——事实证明,咀嚼软口香糖可使志愿者的新陈代谢率比基线高出10%。较硬的口香糖使新陈代谢率提高了 15%。

Van Casteren: Such a large difference on such a small change in mechanical properties in the chewing substrate is what opened my eyes and made my jaw drop a little bit no pun intended.

咀嚼基质的机械性能如此微小的变化,造成如此大的差异让我大开眼界,目瞪口呆。

Intagliata: And he says energy expenditure might go up even more for tougher food items, like carrots, nuts and seeds. The results are in the journal Science Advances. [Adam van Casteren et al, The cost of chewing: The energetics and evolutionary significance of mastication in humans]

而且他说,对于更硬的食物,如胡萝卜、坚果和种子,能量消耗可能会增加更多。结果发表在《科学进展》杂志上。

Intagliata: Now, before you ditch your workout routine -- keep in mind that chewing the gums fired up metabolism about the same way standing at a computer would… or reading a book.

现在,在你放弃日常锻炼之前——请记住,咀嚼口香糖会促进新陈代谢,就像站在电脑前……或看书一样。

Henry: It's not going to the gym and lifting weights, right? You're not building up giant muscles with chewing. But it's still a process that can consume a lot of your energy expenses during the day.

亨利:与去健身房举重不同,你不会通过咀嚼来锻炼肌肉。但这个过程仍然会在白天消耗大量的能量。

Intagliata: And while humans may not spend a lot of time chewing… especially considering the cooked and processed foods we eat… I mean how long does it really take to chew a chicken nugget? The same is not true of our primate cousins. Orangutans and gorillas spend up to six and a half hours a day chewing! And it's possible our human ancestors did too.

虽然人类可能不会花很多时间咀嚼……尤其是考虑到我们吃的是熟食和加工食品……我的意思是咀嚼一块鸡块到底需要多长时间?我们的灵长类近亲并非如此。红毛猩猩和大猩猩每天要花六个半小时咀嚼!我们的人类祖先可能也是如此。

Van Casteren: That's something that natural selection can work on, it can change tooth morphology or muscle architecture to increase the energy you're getting from your food and that may give you a competitive advantage over your neighbor who's rubbish at chewing or something like that.

这是自然选择可以发挥作用的东西,它可以改变牙齿形态或肌肉结构,以增加你从食物中获得的能量,这可能会让你比那些咀嚼垃圾或类似东西的邻居更有竞争优势.

Intagliata: The researchers say the work could give scientists a new evolutionary lens through which to interpret fossil remains… especially the body parts most commonly left behind… the teeth and jaws.

研究人员说,这项工作可以为科学家们提供一个新的进化视角,通过它来解释化石遗骸……尤其是最常见的身体部位……牙齿和下巴。

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Christopher Intagliata.

以上是《科学美国人》的60秒科学,克里斯多夫·因塔利亚塔。报道。

Christopher Intagliata: This is Scientific American’s 60-Second Science. I’m Christopher Intagliata.

Christopher Intagliata: When paleoanthropologists eat lunch with biomechanists… well, sometimes the small talk can get pretty technical.

Adam Van Casteren: Some of us would have cooked potatoes and other people would have raw salads… this got us thinking about not just the temporal amount of time it takes to get through your food, but are they expending more energy than those who are eating cooked food.

Intagliata: Adam van Casteren of the University of Manchester says, luckily, there's a machine to measure that. It's a clear chamber you slip over your head -- looks like an astronaut's helmet. And it measures the oxygen you breathe in, versus the carbon dioxide you breathe out… a proxy for how much energy you're burning.

Intagliata: Van Casteren and his colleagues got 21 volunteers to sit in that apparatus for 45 mins, just to get a baseline on their metabolism. Then, they gave them flavorless gum to chew on, for 15 minutes at a time.

Van Casteren: If you ever have to chew something for 15 mins it's much longer than you think. And sometimes we'd have to remind people… 'keep chewing!'

Amanda Henry: "And boring is the key point here -- like if you've chewed gum for way too long and it's lost its flavor and it's just this thing… that's what the participants were chewing."

Intagliata: Co-author Amanda Henry of Leiden University in the Netherlands explained that, rather than cooked potatoes and raw salads -- they needed something with no taste or smell. Because anything appetizing would set off a chain of digestive reactions. Saliva and digestive juices would start flowing… and swamp the metabolic measurements related to chewing.

Intagliata: And those measurements were significant -- it turns out, chewing a soft gum boosted the volunteers' metabolic rates by 10 percent above baseline. A stiffer gum revved up metabolic rate by 15 percent.

Van Casteren: Such a large difference on such a small change in mechanical properties in the chewing substrate is what opened my eyes and made my jaw drop a little bit no pun intended.

Intagliata: And he says energy expenditure might go up even more for tougher food items, like carrots, nuts and seeds. The results are in the journal Science Advances. [Adam van Casteren et al, The cost of chewing: The energetics and evolutionary significance of mastication in humans]

Intagliata: Now, before you ditch your workout routine -- keep in mind that chewing the gums fired up metabolism about the same way standing at a computer would… or reading a book.

Henry: It's not going to the gym and lifting weights, right? You're not building up giant muscles with chewing. But it's still a process that can consume a lot of your energy expenses during the day.

Intagliata: And while humans may not spend a lot of time chewing… especially considering the cooked and processed foods we eat… I mean how long does it really take to chew a chicken nugget? The same is not true of our primate cousins. Orangutans and gorillas spend up to six and a half hours a day chewing! And it's possible our human ancestors did too.

Van Casteren: That's something that natural selection can work on, it can change tooth morphology or muscle architecture to increase the energy you're getting from your food and that may give you a competitive advantage over your neighbor who's rubbish at chewing or something like that.

Intagliata: The researchers say the work could give scientists a new evolutionary lens through which to interpret fossil remains… especially the body parts most commonly left behind… the teeth and jaws.

For Scientific American’s 60-Second Science, I’m Christopher Intagliata.
 


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