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metabolic reactions

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University of Windsor
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Vitamins  Often interact with enzymes to speed up metabolic reactions  Most are essential (must be absorbed from food)  Only vitamin D (skin) and vitamin K (gut bacteria) are non-essential (produced by body)  Fat soluble o Vitamin A: vision, growth, reproduction o Vitamin D: regulates calcium levels, bone formation o Vitamin K: blood clotting  Water soluble o Vitamin C: antioxidant, wound healing, synthesis of adrenaline, bone formation o Vitamin B12 and folic acid: cell division (low levels cause anaemia)  Supplements o Vitamins A and D (fat soluble)  Cannot be excreted from body  Only small amounts are needed, rest stored within liver  Excessive intake from supplements can cause liver damage o Vitamin C (and other water soluble vitamins)  Not stored - regular intake required for good health  Excess excreted in urine o In the UK, supplements are only useful for  Pregnant women (growth)  Elderly (less efficient absorption, less appetite) Mineral Ions  Sodium: water balance (maintain osmotic pressure)  Chloride: maintain osmotic pressure, required for acid production in stomach  Potassium: abnormal levels cause abnormal heart rhythms  Calcium: bones and teeth, regulation of heartbeat, muscle contraction, blood clotting, nerve and brain function (important for synapses)  Phosphate: nucleic acids, ATP, phospholipids, bones and teeth  Iron: haemoglobin (low levels cause anaemia) and myoglobin formation Healthy diet  EAT fruit and vegetables o 5 portions of fruit each day o Contain fibres (prevent constipation) o Contain vitamins (antioxidants)  MORE starch than sugar o Starch (pasta, rice, brown bread) releases glucose more slowly o Food with a high GI (food rich in sugar) is linked to obesity  RESTRICT salt and fats o Heart disease is caused by a diet  High in fat - i
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