Lecture 2 – Back from the brink

The food we eat contains the fuel we need to power our bodies. But what are they? How do we get them from our dinner plates to our cells? And what other things are there in food apart from fuel?

In this lecture, Hugh Montgomery explores what happens to the fuel and oxygen in a cell and reveals how food is converted into an energy currency to be spent in different ways around the body.

He examines how our body responds to the challenges of dehydration and starvation, and what methods it has to prolong survival. Find out what happens when we eat or drink more than we need or when we’re starved of food and deprived of water.

Finally, Hugh thinks about castaways and talks to some real-life survivors, finding out how their bodies coped with the lack of food and water.


Being human


© The Royal Institution




Hugh Montgomery



All lectures in the series