In numerous ways, the human body can be regarded as chemical dispensation plant. In that, chemicals are ingested, processed via a variety of types of reactions, and then dispensed all over the body to be utilized instantaneously or accumulated for later utility. These chemicals utilized by the body can be separated into two wide groups: the macronutrients, those that we require frequently and in great quantities, and micronutrients, those that we require merely in small amounts. Among the macronutrients, there are three major classes necessary to living organisms: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Simple Carbohydrates vs. complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are referred to as the major energy resource for the human body. Chemically, they are organic molecules wherein carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are bonded via covalent and hydrogen bonds in the ratio: Cx(H2O)y, (Ghosh 23). The x and y are whole numbers that vary dependent on the precise carbohydrate of interest. Animals utilize carbohydrates through the process of metabolism thereby discharging energy. For instance, the chemical metabolism of glucose (a simple carbohydrate) is shown below:
C6H12O6 + 6 O2 6 CO2 + 6 H2O + energy(7 ATP)
Glucose is an example of a simple carbohydrate.
A complex carbohydrate is chiefly a chemical storage system enclosing glucose molecules. In starch, conversely, those glucose molecules are bound together in a long chain. Therefore the reaction is similar to the above one but since these bonds are stronger the metabolism rate is slower.
Fats are compounds found within a group known as lipids that are in the body. These substances are hydrophobic.
Glycerol Fatty Acids Triglyceride (Fat)
Fats are metabolized in the body through three different pathways and in the end yield more energy than carbohydrates. First, they have to be triggered before their entrance into mitochondrial milieu where the fatty acids β-oxidation enzymes are situated. The Activated fatty acids are then elated from the cytosol to the mitochondrial matrix via the carnitine transporter (Caitlin 234). The sum net yield of ATP per molecule of palmitic acid is 129. Likewise, the oxidation of unsaturated and odd chain fatty acids as well occur with extra reactions. Β-oxidation in peroxisomes engages three enzymatic reactions. Trivial oxidation pathways for instance α-oxidation of branched chain fatty acids and ω-oxidation of medium and long chain fatty acids in microsomes do occur in the body. The Fatty acids are then oxidized to acetyl CoA in the mitochondria via the fatty acid spiral. This is then eventually transformed into ATP, CO2, and H2O via the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain.
CH3 [CH2CH2]7CO.SCoA + 23O2 + ~ (106 ADP + 106Pi) 16CO2 + 119 H2O + HSCoA + ~106ATP
The use of one energy (electricity) source over another to accomplish the same task
ATP is the short form of Adenosine-tri-phosphate. The three phosphates are attached to the sugar component which is a ribose sugar bound to Adenosine via the high-energy bonds. Particularly the third phosphate stores a lot of energy when bound to ADP. Discharging the two phosphates from the sugar, causes AMP (Adenosine-mono-phosphate), inorganic phosphate, and energy.
ATP -> AMP + two PO4- + energy (Scheper-Hughes 11)
This energy can be passed on to other molecules, for example, to permit chemical reactions that are endothermic that is, energy is required for it to take place. ATP is also termed as the ‘sugar lump’ of a cell. It is a competent means to temporary stock up energy that can rapidly be released by a single reaction (Batlle 12). Energy is accumulated in the form of chemical bonds, but can be transformed into electricity, chemical bonds, or into power that is by contraction of muscle cells. In the reference to the cell membrane capability, it is ATP that makes ion pumps complex proteins that span the outer layer to restore an electrical potential.
In comparison that is between lipid and carbohydrates the energy in terms of ATP gained from lipids is higher than the latter. The breakdown of lipids takes place in three different mechanisms explaining the high-energy output. For instance, a simple fat has three fatty acids and a glycerol. By metabolizing the fatty acids, a lot of energy is yield as compared to carbohydrates. There is also the breakdown of glycerol, which in itself produces about 7000kcal of energy. In addition, fats are much more proficient structures of energy than carbohydrates since they are more greatly reduced than carbohydrates. This is designated by a predominance of C-H bonds wherein the electrons belong to Carbon, rather than the C-O bonds, wherein the electrons belong to Oxygen. Therefore, throughout their catabolism there will be more electrons transmitted to Oxygen per gram of fat than per gram of carbohydrate, consequently more energy freed that is 9 kcal/g fat contrasted to 4 kcal/g carbohydrates.
Batlle, J. C. “.Biomass Energy” Journal of American Medicine. 278.19, 2003
Caitlin, Zaloom Physiology of the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.
Ghosh, Amitav. The Human Body. London: Granta, 2002.
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. Anatomy and physiology. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2003