Evolving Health

Monthly Archives: April 2009

Last week while attempting to meet a deadline at work I skipped lunch and soon enough began hearing my stomach growl. The “hunger hormone” ghrelin, I knew, had kicked in; it would react with the receptors of my hypothalamus to release certain neurotransmitters and my brain would tell me I wanted macronutrients (1p299). Carbs, fats, protein, anything would do. But I didn’t have anything to eat so I thought, “What happens if… Read More

Raw milk and undenatured whey has been claimed to be better for you than their pasteurized and ultra-high-heat treated alternatives. Considering, however, that protein simply becomes denatured anyway in your gut (1), it would hardly make sense to care whether or not it was denatured. But a French study in the latest J Nutr and other studies explain that when milk protein is exposed to ultra-high heat (but not pasteurization), digestibility and… Read More

Deamination examples The amino acid threonine has its amino group removed by threonine dehydratase (1p209). This particular amino acid is commonly deaminated along with glutamate, histidine, serine and glycine (1p209). In the case of thronine, the reaction proceeds with loss of water, which is why the enzyme catalyzing the reaction is called a dehydratase instead of a deaminase (1p209). Vitamin B6 is important for this reaction to occur (1p209). The amino group… Read More

One of the worst risks of emergency contraception is possible failure leading to ectopic pregnancy. Yes, it can occur, according to Indian researchers from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (1). A case report in 2001 occurred as a result of the use of levonorgestrel (1). For the most part, however, levonorgestrel is considered safe and effective (1). Reference List 1. Ghosh B, Dadhwal V, Deka D, Ramesan CK, Mittal S. Ectopic… Read More

Endometriosis can ultimately result in causing dysmenorrhea (1). According to Chinese researchers, there has been conflicting reports leading to debate about the actual relationship, but statistical models suggest a stage and site of the endometriotic lesions (1). According to the researchers, there is still variation recognized and further research is needed (1). Reference List 1. Liu X, Guo SW. Dysmenorrhea: risk factors in women with endometriosis. Womens Health (Lond Engl ) 2008;4:399-411.

Although its name sounds as though it may occur from studying for a pathophysiology exam, increased Intracranial Pressure (ICP) actually is associated with impaired cerebral venous drainage and reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (1). The potential complication can come from a variety of pathologies including central nervous system edema, tumor masses, hematoma, hydrocephalus, venous obstruction and increased CSF volume (1p557-8). Increased ICP can occur in four stages: Stage 1 is a phase… Read More

When a woman reaches 32 weeks into a first pregnancy, it’s possible that a peculiar syndrome may occur—possibly due to loss of a genetic imprinting in placental tissues (1)—that appears to originate from an implantation abnormality (1). The abnormality causes ischemia in placental blood vessels and could potentially cause a placental infarct, but usually triggers vasoconstrictors to activate fluid retention that causes hypertension (1). The ischemic placenta also disrupts endothelia causing a… Read More

Protein denaturation is the unfolding of the secondary or tertiary structures (1). For example, heat can denature proteins in eggs by disrupting hydrogen bonds and non-polar hydrophobic interactions and as a result the egg proteins coagulate during cooking (1). Alcohol, like heat, can also disrupt hydrogen bonds, and acids, bases and heavy metal salts denature proteins by disrupting salt bridges (1). What are biochemical consequences of denaturation of insulin? In the body,… Read More

Type 1 diabetes is characterized by autoimmune destruction of beta cells in the islets of Langerhans, which results in lack of insulin secretion (1). Glucose, then cannot be taken up by cells leading to hyperglycemia and osmotic diuresis (1). The low insulin will also stimulate hepatic glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis to produce glucose released into blood leading into accentuated hyperglycemia (1). What’s more is that gluconeogenesis becomes chronic depleting body proteins to break… Read More

Arginine is used for synthesis of protein, agmatine, polyamines and creatine [1]. Because kidneys synthesize arginine usually in sufficient amounts in the urea cycle(releasing 2-4g daily), it’s normally not necessary to attain it from the diet [1p196;229]. At times, however, arginine can become conditionally essential [1p229]. Such times would include protein malnutrition, excessive ammonia production, excessive lysine intake, burns, infections, peritoneal dialysis, rapid growth, urea synthesis disorders, or in the inflammatory state… Read More