Otto Meyerhof


Otto Fritz Meyerhof

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Otto Fritz Meyerhof
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1922

Born: 12 April 1884, Hanover, Germany

Died: 6 October 1951, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: Kiel University, Kiel, Germany

Prize motivation: “for his discovery of the fixed relationship between the consumption of oxygen and the metabolism of lactic acid in the muscle”

Otto Meyerhof received his Nobel Prize one year later, in 1923.

Prize share: 1/2


In order to work, our muscles need energy, which is released by chemical processes. Conversions between carbohydrates and lactic acid play an important role here. At the end of the 1910s Otto Meyerhof mapped these conversions by measuring heat trends and oxygen consumption in frog muscles. When the muscle is working, lactic acid is formed from carbohydrates, and Meyerhof showed that during recovery, this is followed partly by the burning of lactic acid and partly by reprocessing of lactic acid to carbohydrates.

To cite this section
MLA style: Otto Meyerhof – Facts. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sun. 10 Dec 2023. <>

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