Richard D. Feinman

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Richard David Feinman

Richard David Feinman (born 1940) is a professor of biochemistry and medical researcher at State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn, better known as SUNY Downstate Medical Center, who studies nutrition and metabolism. His current area of research is the area of diet composition and energy balance. He is generally credited for doing the first serious scientific research on the Atkins Diet[citation needed]. He has published articles on application of thermodynamics to nutrition. His articles explain why the common idea that "a calorie is a calorie" is not correct. His argument in brief: the first law of thermodynamics (conservation of energy) is a bookkeeping law, that it does not say how energy input is divided between weight gain, work done, heat generation or storage of energy in different biomolecules. The second law is a dissipation law. It says that all (real) processes are inefficient. Feinman explained how diets of different composition vary in efficiency, in particular, how carbohydrate-restricted diets can lead to reduced efficiency. Whereas the effect is not always seen, the argument is that there is no reason to doubt published reports where it does occur.

He is a director of the Metabolism Society and a former co-Editor-in-Chief of the Open Access online medical journal, Nutrition & Metabolism.


  • feinman New book The world Turned Upside down
  • SUNY Downstate Medical Center page on Feinman
  • Metabolism Society official site.
  • Richard D. Feinman, Jeff S. Volek. "Low carbohydrate diets improve atherogenic dyslipidemia even in the absence of weight loss." Nutrition & Metabolism 2006, 3:24 (21 June 2006)
  • Chemistry and biology of α₂-macroglobulin / edited by Richard D. Feinman. New York, N.Y. : New York Academy of Sciences, 1983. x, 478 p. : ill. ; 23 cm. ISBN 0-89766-237-7 (pbk.)