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Thread: Life on Glucose Alone

  1. #1 Life on Glucose Alone 
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    How long could a healthy human adult survive if all of his nourishment comprised of intravenous glucose injections, a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement, and water, all of them in appropriate amounts?

    If a human could survive (i.e. not die) on such a diet for a considerable amount of time (over a month), how long would it be until the effects of malnutrition would prevent that person's ability to live a normal life, and how long would it be until the effects of malnutrition would cause irreversible damage to the person's body?

    A related question is what nutrients are essential for sustaining human life in the short run - on the order of a few days or weeks? As far as I know only oxygen, water and calories (aka energy) are essential in the short run - things like specific proteins, vitamins or minerals are necessary only for the long run. Is there anything else that is as necessary (or more so) than those three things I mentioned?


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    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    You need protein, not a lot of it, but it is very important

    anything fat soluble(A, E, K, D, B12) your body will store in fat, so depending on how much fat you have you could potentially go quite a while without consuming fat soluble nutrients if you spent a while preparing yourself.

    water soluble nutrients(C, Bs, Minerals) need to be replenished daily I believe. BUT it is odd because the liver stores a lot of B vitamins. I don't get it exactly.

    fat is not completely unnecessary because it helps you absorb fat soluble nutrients and also has essential fatty acids. You don't need fat for energy. If you are injecting something, I don't think you will need much fat because your body isn't absorbing the nutrients at that point... I could be wrong.

    You only need oxygen and water to survive for a few weeks, though you will develop serious nervous disorders if you go long period of time starving and subject to ANY stress. You will not die unless you have prior medical problems for quite some time, though you may not especially want to live in such a state.

    Good topic though. I don't know enough to answer the time period questions.


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