Carrageenans – Good or Bad for You?

Carrageenans are food additives derived from red seaweed such as Chondrus crispus (Irish moss) and other species and are used as a thickening, stabilizing, and texturizing agents in foods and also for reduced-fat meat products (1;2). They nicely replace animal-based gelatin found in many foods such as soymilk, chocolate milk, yogurts, beers and wines. Lamda-carrageenan,Continue reading “Carrageenans – Good or Bad for You?”

Tidbit: GLUT6 – the "pseudogene"

GLUT6 is expressed in various tissues in the body, but doesn’t encode any functional glucose transport protein (1). Why does it occur at all? It’s thought that GLUT6’s nucleotide sequence may have simply occurred from an insertion of GLUT3 reverse transcribed in a region of an untranslated gene (1). Reference List 1. Kayano T, BurantContinue reading “Tidbit: GLUT6 – the "pseudogene"”

Milk thistle meta-analysis

I have often seen milk thistle (silymarin) touted as a shining star among natural remedies for hepatoprotective benefits. And although still controversial, it is intriguing to learn of its antiperoxidative effects in achieving small increases in glutathione levels (1). No doubt that a 2008 meta-analysis from Switzerland on silymarin will pique your interest further. AfterContinue reading “Milk thistle meta-analysis”

Sliding filament model

What is troponin and what is its diagnostic value? Troponin is a three-subunit protein complex that regulates striated (skeletal and cardiac) muscle contraction (1-3). Similar to caldesmon in smooth muscle, troponin affects release from actin (3). The process of muscle contraction is best represented by the sliding filament model (3). The model illustrates heavy dependenceContinue reading “Sliding filament model”

Case Report: Mushroom Poison Gives Off Mixed Messages

Forty-two hours after ingesting an unknown mushroom, a 56-year-old man was admitted to a Turkish emergency department (1). Cardiac markers troponin I, creatine kinase (CK), CK-MB isoenzyme, and myoglobin were all elevated (1). The testing detected nothing less than myocardial infarction (2). This diagnosis, however, was not correct. The clinicians noted in their report thatContinue reading “Case Report: Mushroom Poison Gives Off Mixed Messages”

Acute Tubular Necrosis and Glomerulonephritis

Acute tubular necrosis (ATN) is a condition resulting from tubular cell apoptosis contributing to renal failure (1-3). It can result due to insult from extensive injury such as acute blood loss or septic shock, a specific renal disease such as glomerulonephritis, nephrotoxic drugs or bacterial products, or hypoxia (1-3). ATN is identified via a risingContinue reading “Acute Tubular Necrosis and Glomerulonephritis”

How does alcohol affect kidney function?

What effects do you think alcohol consumption could have on renal function tests? You’ve heard before that alcohol in moderation (in moderation!) may be good for your heart, but what can it do to your kidneys? Acute and chronic alcohol consumption does alter renal function and other physiological processes such as blood flow and fluidContinue reading “How does alcohol affect kidney function?”

Why 24-hr urine test isn’t enough

Why isn’t a total urine volume taken over 24 hours enough to assess renal function? A total 24-hour urine volume can be useful for identifying reduced or increased urine volume, but it is unreliable (not to mention inconvenient) and still not enough to identify renal dysfunction or failure (it can simply indicate dehydration, high fluidContinue reading “Why 24-hr urine test isn’t enough”

Dyshemoglobinemia Dealings

Overview Dyshemoglobinemias are mainly caused by exposure to exogenous xenobiotics although it can be hereditary (1). The occurrence is result of altered hemoglobin (Hb) preventing its normal function of carrying oxygen (1). The anemia, hypoxia, cyanosis and associated problems can be life-threatening (2). Causes Acquired methemoglobinimeas occur when dysfunctional hemoglobin form methemoglobin, whereas mutated aminoContinue reading “Dyshemoglobinemia Dealings”