Metabolic Profile

ECAL (Indirect Calorimetry)


Taking the guesswork out of metabolic health


Not yet widely available


Free access, no referral required, includes a report


Cost $105.00 (no rebate)


Medical consultation available on request (fees apply)


About ECAL Technology

With ECAL, an individual’s metabolic rate (or energy production) is accurately assessed using Indirect Calorimetry, the gold standard for assessing human metabolism. Information gathered from ECAL includes daily energy requirement at rest in calories, how this energy is being produced (whether from fat or carbohydrate), and the efficiency with which cells use oxygen for energy production. Such technology was previously only available to elite athletes and academic researchers.

At the heart of ECAL is exclusive software that provides individualised reports containing key energy measurements and a unique ‘my physiologist’ database that interprets and analyses the data, and provides insight and recommendations to the practitioner and/or patient.

  • ECAL is the world’s first portable metabolic monitor designed for clinical practice.
  • ECAL is unique and not widely available. Calorimetry is mostly found in large research centres.
  • ECAL is registered as a medical device within Europe and Australia, (CE, TGA and MHS) and is registered as an ISO 13485 manufacturer.
  • ECAL is a simple repeatable 15 minute test performed at our clinic by qualified staff. It is available to anyone who requests it, no referral is required. This can be used to monitor your own heath or in conjunction with our other services.

Using ECAL provides the practitioner with key physiological data that allows for accurate diagnosis, management and validation including the ability to:

To perform a valid, reliable and accurate assessment of patient’s metabolic profile

To classify a patient’s metabolism as slow, normal or fast

To determine a patient’s use of glucose or fat to generate energy

To assess a patient’s mitochondrial function

Who should do ECAL?

Anyone with an interest in their health. It is not always the overweight that have metabolic issues. 20% of thin people can have significant metabolic dysfunction with associated health risks. Metabolic disorder will lead to many types of chronic diease, early intervention can significantly improve outlook.
ECAL can be used to monitor the progress of dietary or other lifestyle modifications such as exercise.

To determine the success or failure of a treatment regime to correct energy dysfunction


Mitochondria are rod-shaped organelles that can be considered the power generators of the cell, converting oxygen and nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the chemical energy “currency” of the cell that powers the cell’s metabolic activities.

The only macro-nutrients that can be used for energy production are carbohydrates and fat. Protein is not used directly. The lower the carbohydrate component the healthier the diet will be.

Mitochondria are affected by the composition of the food source and by restriction of calories.

Metabolic Rate

The traditional approach to weight loss is calorie counting and calorie restriction. Mitochondrial rate slows in response to this method of dieting in order to conserve energy (because the body thinks that it is starving). ECAL can demonstrate this effect and can help to explain why weight loss has stalled. A phenomenon known as carbohydrate hysteresis is an epigenetic adaptation (a genetic change in an individual) where the ability to burn fat is switched off. This takes several weeks to be reversed with a favourable low carb diet and this can explain why some people take longer to see the benefits of this die try approach.

The Respiratory Quotient (RQ)

This is a measure of metabolic health and mitochondrial function.

The Respiratory Quotient (RQ) is measured by ECAL and this is the value of amount of CO2 released divided by oxygen (O2) consumed. The optimal value for good health is less than 1, in a fat adapted person it is 0.7 and a typical value for a person eating a standard Australian diet will be an RQ value of 1.

The goal of a low carb/ketogenic diet is Burning More Fat to achieve a lower RQ close to 0.7. That person will be:

  • Healthier
  • Less Obese
  • Insulin Sensitive
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Lower cancer risk

in other words being able to burn more fat is a marker of health that is measured by RQ

The standard Australian diet is high in carbohydrates which leads to damage of the mitochondria.

ECAL measures:

  • mitochondrial efficiency or health (RQ)
  • mitochondrial rate
  • and identifies real time fuel source being used (fat or carbs)

ECAL can be used to monitor and document changes and demonstrate failure or success. It is valuable to have an ECAL assessment at the start of any significant dietary change but just as importantly, it can be used as a measure of general health.

If dietary approach has been consistent it can be helpful to repeat ECAL at intervals of three to four months.

Information credit:


 Low Carb Clinic

4 Suez Street, Gordon Park, QLD 4031

(20 minutes North of Brisbane City)