Carl Von Voit

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Voit, Carl Von


Born Oct. 31, 1831, in Amberg; died Jan. 31, 1908, in Munich. German physiologist.

Voit graduated from the University of Munich and in 1860 became a professor at the institution. His major works were on animal metabolism. Using a respiration apparatus that he had designed with M. von Pettenkofer, Voit studied the exchange of gases and the metabolism of nitrogenous substances (proteins) and anitrogenous substances (carbohydrates and fats). Other important works by Voit include his studies on the nitrogen balance and the effect of food rationing and starvation on salt metabolism. Voit’s joint studies with Pettenkofer resulted in the finding that between 85 and 90 percent of the body’s energy is produced by fats and carbohydrates, and only 10 to 15 percent by proteins. Voit was the first to use a systematic approach to nutrition and develop health-oriented nutritional norms. From 1865, Voit and Pettenkofer jointly published the journal Zeitschrift für Biologic


Physiologie des allgemeinen Stoffwechsels und der Ernädhrung. Leipzig, 1881. (Handbuch der Physiologie des Gesammt-Stoffwechsels und der Fortpflanzung, edited by L. Hermann, vol. 6, part 1.)


Frank, O. Carl von Voit, Gedächtnisrede. Munich, 1910.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In her recent book, Meathooked: The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession With Meat, Zaraska traces the origins of America's love affair with protein back to a shaky research finding from the 1800s: German scientist Carl von Voit set out to determine how much protein soldiers and hard laborers required by observing how much protein they consumed (150 grams a day).