1614 Metabolism

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Santorio Santorio metabolism Metabolism


Sanctorius invented the study of human metabolism. He invented the clinical thermometer, and a machine for measuring the pulse, the pulsilogium, the first man/machine system in medicine. He invented the weighing chair, and for thirty years he weighed all he ate and drank and all he shat and peed.

Making one thing out of another

Enzymes, making things happen, digest our food, gather energy, and construct our cells. This is the secret of life, not a mysterious vital force that animates animals. We are made to imagine, to digest and to construct, to make one thing out of another. But it’s easy to fantasize the reasons for things of which we are insensible.


Starving is a good way to live longer to purge your system to draw out your personal demons to achieve a personal vision to feel like shit to slow down the metabolism and to gain weight later. Santorio Santorio weighed everything he ate or drank but he wasn’t trying to lose weight.

The weight of what Sanctorius excreted was less than half of the weight of his food and drink, so he tried to account for the difference by his theory of insensible perspiration. You know it had to go somewhere. Sanctorius did not have the advantage of knowing the first law of thermodynamics and how it explains human metabolism.

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