Too many bananas

Hyperkalemia is a result of potassium excess. It can be result of aldosterone deficiency causing potassium retention (too little excretion in the kidneys) (1p435). Also possible trauma that damages cells could cause released potassium to overload kidneys (1p435). Reference List 1. Nowak TJ, Handford AG. Pathophysiology: Concepts and Applications for Health Professionals. New York: McGraw-Hill,Continue reading “Too many bananas”

A horse named charley

Although we may fight for it, in the end we just can’t stop people from naming their horses “Charlie”. But maybe we can help them with an involuntary contraction or spasm causing a muscle cramp, sometimes called a “charley horse”. Usually they occur due to an overused or injured muscle, but can also be causedContinue reading “A horse named charley”

Respiratory vs metabolic acidosis

The symptoms of respiratory and metabolic acidosis are pretty similar. In both you see generalized weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and CNS depression (1). How does a blood test distinguish from the two? Respiratory acidosis differs from metabolic acidosis because it is a result of impaired pulmonary function causing a build-up of CO2 that lowers pHContinue reading “Respiratory vs metabolic acidosis”

Not enough bananas

Potassium, the main cation in the cells, is often lost through perspiration, feces and urine (1). A deficit of potassium is called hypokalemia (1). Hypokalemia may occur simply due to inadequate dietary potassium intake, although it is more likely due to a case where there is excessive loss of potassium (1). Various reasons can causeContinue reading “Not enough bananas”

Trans fats increase diabetes risk more than saturated fats

Saturated fats including trans fat can lead to a increased risk of cardiovascular disease mainly by raising cholesterol and causing a poor LDL:HDL ratio (1). Trans fat is thought to be more atherogenic because it has also been found to lower HDL cholesterol in studies (1-3). But what about diabetes risk? In 2006 a reviewContinue reading “Trans fats increase diabetes risk more than saturated fats”

Do eggs raise cholesterol?

The presence of ovomucin, a natural trypsin inhibitor in eggs, can help block some of egg cholesterol absorption and bile acid reabsorption through enterohepatic circulation (1). Despite ovomucin, however, there does appear to be enough dietary cholesterol in eggs absorbed that can potentially cause increased cholesterol levels (2;3). Reference List1. Nagaoka S, Masaoka M, ZhangContinue reading “Do eggs raise cholesterol?”

Good and bad reasons to cook eggs

Raw egg white contains avidin. As dietary protein is digested, the presence of avidin can bind to biotin tightly preventing its absorption into the body (1). Because biotin is used as a prosthetic group in acetyl CoA carboxylase, a biotin deficiency can then inhibit the carboxylation reaction catalyzed by acetyl CoA carboxylase that converts malonylContinue reading “Good and bad reasons to cook eggs”

Lovastatin versus cholestyramine for familial hypercholesterolemia

Along with the recommendation of exercise and a healthy diet (including a bit of red wine daily), both lovastatin and cholestyramine can be used in the treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia (1;2). While lovastatin works as a HMG CoA reductase inhibitor to reduce cholesterol synthesis in the liver, cholestyramine acts as a bile acid-binding resin thatContinue reading “Lovastatin versus cholestyramine for familial hypercholesterolemia”

What happens when you are acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficient?

Without acyl CoA dehydrogenase to initiate the first step of mitochondrial beta-oxidation, your ability to metabolize fats is inhibited (1). That is, the enzyme—one of four depending on fatty acid chain lengths—catalyzes the formation of the double bond between alpha- and beta-carbons, which then are degraded to two-carbon acetyl CoA units (1p159). Because the bodyContinue reading “What happens when you are acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficient?”

Grape seed extract slows oxidation of LDL

We know that antioxidants such as vitamin E may slow development of atherosclerosis by reducing oxidation of LDL (1). So I bring to your attention a just-released study of note on antioxidant procyanidins of grape seed extract (2). The study was proposes a “corrective role” of the procyanidins on foam cells because of results inContinue reading “Grape seed extract slows oxidation of LDL”