Answer to Question #118725 in Biochemistry for Kofi Sarfo

Question #118725
A child shivers in the cold rain yet does not feel cold. What is the biochemistry involved?
Expert's answer

A child shivers in the cold rain yet does not feel cold. The biochemistry involved is:

Newborn babies, infants and young children experience a greater net heat loss than adults because they cannot shiver to maintain body heat. They rely on non-shivering thermogenesis. A child has an increased amount of brown adipose tissue (increased vascular supply and high mitochondrial density), and, when cold-stressed, will have greater oxygen consumption, thereafter releasing norepinephrine. Norepinephrine then reacts with lipases in brown fat to break down fat into triglycerides. Triglycerides are metabolized to glycerol and non-esterified fatty acids. These are further degraded in the needed heat-generating process to form CO2 and water. Chemically, in mitochondria, proton gradient produces the proton electromotive force to synthesize ATP is now bypassed to produce heat directly. So, when a child shivers in the cold rain, he/she does not feel cold.

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Assignment Expert
30.05.20, 20:16

Dear Kofi, we are always glad to help you!

Kofi Fosu
28.05.20, 22:01

Thanks and God bless you a lot I appreciate it

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