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ANSC 420 (14)
Lecture 7

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Department
Animal Science
Course
ANSC 420
Professor
Vilceu Bordignon
Semester
Fall

Description
For those who have healthy kidneys, it is somewhat difficult to drink too much water, but (especially in warm humid weather and while exercising) it is dangerous to drink too little. People can drink far more water than necessary while exercising, however, putting them at risk of water intoxication, which can be fatal. In particular large amounts of de-ionized water are dangerous. Normally, about 20 percent of water intake comes in food, while the rest comes from drinking water and assorted beverages (caffeinated included). Water is excreted from the body in multiple forms; including urine and feces, sweating, and by water vapor in the exhaled breath. Other micronutrients include antioxidants and phytochemicals. These substances are generally more recent discoveries which have not yet been recognized as vitamins or as required. Phytochemicals may act as antioxidants, but not all phytochemicals are antioxidants. Antioxidants are a recent discovery. As cellular metabolism/energy production requires oxygen, potentially damaging (e.g.mutation causing) compounds known as free radicals can form. Most of these are oxidizers (i.e. acceptors of electrons) and some react very strongly. For normal cellular maintenance, growth, and division, these free radicals must be sufficiently neutralized by antioxidant compounds. Some are produced by the human body with adequate precursors (glutathione, Vitamin C) and those the body cannot produce may only be obtained in the diet via direct sources (Vitamin C in humans, Vitamin A,Vitamin K) or produced by the body from other compounds (Beta-carotene converted to Vitamin A by the body, Vitamin Dsynthesized from cholesterol by sunlight). Phytochemicals (Section Below) and their subgroup polyphenols are the majority of antioxidants; about 4,000 are known. Different antioxidants are now known to function in a cooperative network, e.g. vitamin C can reactivate free radical- containing glutathione or vitamin E by accepting the free radical itself, and so on. Some antioxidants are more effective than others at neutralizing different free radicals. Some cannot neutralize certain free radicals. Some cannot be present in certain areas of free radical development (Vitamin A is fat-soluble and protects fat areas, Vitamin C is watersoluble and protects those areas). When interacting with a free radical, some antioxidants produce a different free radical compound that is less dangerous or more dangerous than the previous compound. Having a variety of antioxidants allows any byproducts to be safely dealt with by more efficient antioxidants in neutralizing a free radical's butterfly effect. A growing area of interest is the effect upon human health of trace chemicals, collectively called phytochemicals. These nutrients are typically found in edible plants, especially colorful fruits and vegetables, but also other organisms i
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