Diabetes: Women and Men

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is considered a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in both men and women, but CVD pathogenesis biochemistry can differ between the sexes. Both sexes are affected by insulin resistance, which generally precedes the diabetes, and accompanying metabolic syndrome factors dyslipidemia and hypertension (1). The insulin resistance leads to elevatedContinue reading “Diabetes: Women and Men”

Post-menopausal estrogen therapy

Menopause is the eventual reduced production of sex hormones in women. Follicular cells in the ovaries appear to become exhausted by continual cycles of ovulation and atresia (1). The ovaries become less responsive to stimulation from gonadotropin—follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)—causing estrogens and progesterone levels to lower. The ovaries degenerate causing further diminishedContinue reading “Post-menopausal estrogen therapy”

Biochemistry of Metabolic Syndrome

Connecting the biochemical dots that lead to atherosclerosis is what is best attempted by the term metabolic syndrome (MS) (1). The term, of which is still under controversy, is used as a predictor of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus (2-4). MS can begin with abdominal obesity (MS dot 1), a consequence of overeatingContinue reading “Biochemistry of Metabolic Syndrome”

Glycosylated Hemoglobin to Detect Diabetes

Glycosylated hemoglobin forms when prolonged hyperglycemia leads to glucose in the blood not used for energy to attach itself to hemoglobin (1;2). The reaction does not require an enzyme, but occurs spontaneously (1). The concentration of glycosylated hemoglobin determined by an assay can be used to determine the status of a diabetic patient and effectivenessContinue reading “Glycosylated Hemoglobin to Detect Diabetes”

Metabolic Syndrome and Physicians

Despite controversy over the current definition of “metabolic syndrome”, physicians are using it as a useful clinical tool. It can be used to help with counseling patients and to recommend treatments. Metabolic syndrome is currently defined as a combination of several risk factors that ultimately lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease. They include obesity, hypercholesterolemia,Continue reading “Metabolic Syndrome and Physicians”

Allosteric enzymes

Allosteric enzymes are those that are controlled by the binding of an allosteric effector. The effector may be positive or negative in activating or inactivating the enzyme, respectively, and creates a conformational change of the enzyme. The product may be the allosteric effector in itself producing feedback or feedforward control. There are two classes ofContinue reading “Allosteric enzymes”

Why So Many Hormones?

Hormones are any substance in the body that carries a signal to regulate growth, differentiation and function of a variety of cells. The more signals needed, the more hormones in an organism. The big-brained human body is no different. In higher animals signal pathways of many hormonal systems originate in the brain. Because hormones areContinue reading “Why So Many Hormones?”

Hypoglycemia in Hereditary Fructose Intolerance

What are the specific reasons for hypoglycemia seen in hereditary fructose intolerance? Hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) an autosomal recessive disorder in which there is subnormal activity of the enzyme fructose 1-phosphate aldolase B (1;2). Largely found in the liver, the enzyme is needed for normal fructose metabolism for splitting fructose 1-phosphate to form dihydroacetone andContinue reading “Hypoglycemia in Hereditary Fructose Intolerance”

What is the biochemical reason why bile secretion is important for health?

Micelles are made up of amphipathic compounds such as bile acids, fatty acids and monoacylglycerols that interact leaving a relatively stable hydrophilic surface and hydrophobic interior (1). They form at certain temperature ranges when a mixture of lipids is present in concentrated amounts (1). Fatty acid and phospholipid micelles are spherical, but pure bile acidContinue reading “What is the biochemical reason why bile secretion is important for health?”

Why so many proteolytic enzymes?

When studying the evolution timeline that led to modern biochemistry, one can always turn to studying protein architecture. Proteins have been called “molecular fossils” that serve to mark milestones in the “history of life” (1). There is a wide diversity of proteolytic enzymes in humans and the network of enzymes have a grand complexity thatContinue reading “Why so many proteolytic enzymes?”