What are phytates and how do they affect absorption of minerals?

You’ve heard that spinach has a lot of iron, right? But what you may not know is that spinach is a poor way to get iron because of its content of phytate. Some of the iron in spinach is bound to phytate. Most of the iron you get is absorbed in the small intestine’s duodenum. ItContinue reading “What are phytates and how do they affect absorption of minerals?”

How does fat get absorbed and stored as fat?

Fat is absorbed in the intestine contained in chylomicrons and then secreted into lymphatics (1). The lymphatics drain the intestine, then lead to the thoracic duct and deliver the chylomicrons into the blood at a site of rapid blood flow (1). The rapidity is necessary to distribute the chylomicrons well preventing them from coalescing (1).Continue reading “How does fat get absorbed and stored as fat?”

Why insulin is key for intracellular protein synthesis

When you’ve just eaten some protein, insulin, glucagon, growth hormone and glucocorticoids increase because of the presence of elevated amino acid concentration (1p232). The insulin promotes the protein synthesis and the other hormones have an opposite effect (1p232). Growth hormone is anabolic like insulin, although counterregulatory (1p232). Insulin to glucagon ratio favoring insulin stimulates proteinContinue reading “Why insulin is key for intracellular protein synthesis”

Should I starve or should I receive bodily injury?

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,Continue reading “Should I starve or should I receive bodily injury?”

Deamination and transamination

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 insteadContinue reading “Deamination and transamination”

When insulin becomes denatured

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 denatureContinue reading “When insulin becomes denatured”

What happens in untreated type 1 diabetes?

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 bloodContinue reading “What happens in untreated type 1 diabetes?”