Definition of respiratory quotient
: a ratio indicating the relation of the volume of carbon dioxide given off in respiration to that of the oxygen consumed
First Known Use of respiratory quotient
Medical Definition of respiratory quotient
: the ratio of the volume of carbon dioxide given off in respiration to that of the oxygen consumed that has a value near 1 when the organism is burning chiefly carbohydrates, near 0.7 when chiefly fats, and near 0.8 when chiefly proteins but sometimes exceeding 1 when carbohydrates are being changed to fats for storage—abbreviation RQ
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