New Research Shifts Thinking on Metabolism and Aging


There are many common beliefs about metabolism. Perhaps you’ve heard that a person’s metabolism slows around middle age, or that a woman’s metabolism is slower than a man’s. However widespread these beliefs are, recent research from the journal Science has found that these conceptions of metabolism are wrong. In a groundbreaking study, researchers have found that metabolism goes through four key phases over our lives, only beginning to slow around age 60. This, among other findings, are now changing how we think about human physiology and how we think about aging. Breaking down this new research and his perspective article on the findings, Dr. Rhoads describes our shifting understandings of metabolism and how it impacts chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease as we age.
Guest: Tim Rhoads, PhD, assistant scientist, Rozalyn Anderson laboratory, University of Wisconsin’s School of Medicine and Public Health

Episode Topics
2:30 – How is metabolism related to diseases of aging?
4:42 – What are the four distinct phases of metabolism and why are they important?
7:44 – What are other findings that change our understanding of metabolism?
12:00 – How does the decline in metabolism later in life affect chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease? Are there things we could do to prolong a high metabolism?
15:22 – How does caloric restriction affect the body and metabolism?

Show Notes
Read the perspective piece written by Dr. Rhoads and Dr. Rozalyn Anderson on the journal Science’s website:
Read the original research report, “Daily energy expenditure through the human life course,” by Pontzer et al. on the journal Science’s website:
Learn more about recent metabolism research in the article, “What We Think We Know About Metabolism May Be Wrong,” written for the New York Times:
Learn more about the Rozalyn Anderson Lab and their research at their website:


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