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Etymology: Gk, metabole, change; L, bilanx, having two scale trays
an equilibrium between the intake of nutrients and their eventual loss through absorption or excretion. In a positive balance the intake of a nutrient exceeds its loss; in a negative balance a nutrient is used or excreted faster than it is consumed in the diet.
Comparison of the intake and excretion of a specific nutrient. The balance may be negative when an excess of the nutrient is excreted or positive when more is taken in than excreted.
See also: balance