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I am aware of what happens when the body experiences starvation and breaksdown the muscles in the body for protein sources and the other processes that happen in such a scenario.

However, i wondered if there is a process that reduces the mass/size of non-essential organs, in time of extreme need providing the rest of the body with needed nutrition, without damaging the organ but instead reducing its mass/size and therefore its metabolic demands which would surely reduce the bodys workload?

I am also not asking about processes solely in the human body but any example in the animal kingdom. Thank you.

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closed as too broad by Chris, GriffinEvo, Bez, MattDMo, WYSIWYG Dec 8 at 4:41

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

well.. a tissue which fits this criteria is adipose tissue.. :P –  WYSIWYG Jun 11 '13 at 12:07
degrading an entire or a great part of an organ may happen only if the stress is highly prolonged.. Usually only certain pathways are shut down (because recreating the organ might be even more resource consuming).. the scenario that you presented about muscles being broken down for proteins, does happen during starvation –  WYSIWYG Jun 11 '13 at 12:14
Thank you i never thought of adipose tissue as a possibility –  MICHAEL TAYLOR Jun 23 '13 at 20:14

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