The human body is made up of different elements: mostly water, calcium, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon. Together they form a diversity of tissues and organs that perform a specific function in our body.
Water is the most abundant element, which constitutes between 50% and 65% of body weight and constitutes the main constituent element of the predominant masses of our body:
Lean body mass or fat-free mass (FFM) which in normal conditions accounts for approximately 80% of our weight. It includes all the functional components of the body involved in active metabolic processes. For this reason, the nutritional requirements are generally related to the size of this mass, hence the importance of knowing it.
Its content is very heterogeneous and includes: bones, muscles, extracellular water, nerve tissue and all cells other than adipocytes or fat cells.
Muscle or musculoskeletal mass, which accounts for approximately 40% of total weight, is the most important component of FFM and reflects the nutritional status of the protein.
Bone mass, which forms the bones, accounts for approximately 14% of total weight and 18% of FFM.
Lastly, fat mass or fatty tissue (20%), which is made up of adipocytes. Fat, which for practical purposes is considered metabolically inactive, plays an important reserve role in hormonal metabolism. Depending on its location, we differentiate between:
- Subcutaneous fat (beneath the skin, where the largest reserves are found)
- Internal or visceral fat. According to its functions in the body, it can also be divided into essential and storage fat.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO UNDERGO A BODY COMPOSITION SCAN?
A person’s health is closely related to their body composition. If the presence of the fat part is excessive we could, in the medium and long term, suffer diseases of the metabolic system directly and various diseases resulting from excess fat indirectly, which could condition the proper functioning of different organs.
Therefore, it is very important not only to control general body weight, but also go a step further and determine total weight, what percentage corresponds to fatty tissue and what corresponds to muscle tissue.
WHAT DOES THE TEST CONSIST OF?
Thanks to a sophisticated electrical impedance myography system, at Ergodinámica Clínica we can distinguish between the characteristics of the muscle and fatty tissue of a total of 24 muscles of our body. For each, we can determine its muscular quality and the percentage of fat mass that composes it.
It is important to know the appropriate levels of muscle mass and the limits of fatty tissue present in our body. A number of studies confirm that a percentage of fatty matter of 12%-15% for men and 15%-19% for women can be considered appropriate and healthy. In the case of athletes, these percentages are lower for the purpose of guaranteeing the athlete’s maximum performance.
Indicators such as BMI (Body Mass Index), which are based on weight and parameters, are not reliable enough to determine our real physical shape.
We often come across patients who, upon being analysed with this type of indicators, are normal or fall within the range considered normal in terms of health, but in which we study the ratio between their muscular quality and the percentage of fatty mass. This provides us with the values of a subject with strong muscular limits and a high percentage of fat.
WHO SHOULD UNDERGO A BODY COMPOSITION STUDY?
- Athletes who want to determine their physical shape and the distribution of muscle tissue and fat mass in their body.
- Athletes who want to monitor the evolution of their fatty tissue and muscle tissue throughout the season.
- Athletes who want to know the symmetries and asymmetries of the right and left sides and of the front and back muscle chains.
- Athletes who want to recover from an injury and balance the muscles of the region weakened by the injury with the opposite region of their body.
- People who want to reduce their percentage of fat mass
- People who want to increase muscle tone
- People who want to lose weight
- People who want to improve their health through an adequate fat mass/muscle mass ratio.