Respiratory Quotient: RQ is referred to as the ratio of the volume of carbon dioxide evolved to the volume of oxygen consumed in the process of respiration. It can also be defined as the respiratory ratio, which is dependant on the type of respiratory substrate utilized during respiration
Respirometer is an instrument used to measure the rate of respiration and also Respiratory Quotient (RQ) .
RQ = Volume of Carbon dioxide expelled / Volume of Oxygen consumed
It depends on the type of respiratory substrate used during the act of respiration. Additionally, the respiratory quotient is a dimensionless number used in the calculations of the basal metabolic rate or BMR when estimated from the carbon dioxide production. These measurements are forms of indirect calorimetry. It happens to be measured using Ganong’s respirometer.
When the carbohydrates are completely oxidized which are used as a substrate, the respiratory quotient becomes one. Here equal amounts of carbon dioxide and oxygen are evolved and consumed, respectively.
The RQ for fats is approximately 0.7.
The RQ for protein is approximately 0.8.
Uses of the Respiratory Quotient
- To detect severe cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary and lung disease.
- To calculate the capacity of the lung.
- As an indicator of over or underfeeding in patients.
- To analyze the functioning of the liver.
- To predict weight increase in insulin-independent diabetic patients.
- To diagnose the patient’s conditions, who have conditions like liver cirrhosis and non-protein respiratory quotients.
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