The Biochemistry of Nutrition

The Biochemistry of Nutrition 

By Daniel Rocha 


Biochemistry studies proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, their synthesis, degradation, and functions in metabolism, heredity, reproduction, and growth and maintenance of life. With advances in bioinformatics and human genomes sequencing, the biochemistry of each individual has its unique characteristics and requires further research. 


Biochemistry's primary focus is studying how the structures of proteins determine their functions. Function depends on the amino acid sequence of a protein, the correct folding, and various chemical modifications to the protein. 


Biochemistry includes nutritional science and studies of the digestion, absorption, and specific functions of the macronutrients and micronutrients. The metabolic pathways by which enzymes convert carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins into energy, as well as the paths by which amino acids, proteins, and nucleic acids are synthesized and degraded, are studied. Bioenergetics pertains to the pathways for transforming molecules into energy, occurring in the mitochondria of cells through oxidative metabolism.


Protein is a macronutrient that will assist in tissue healing. Proteins are amino acid chains made up of 20 different amino acids. The order of the amino acids in a protein chain is specified by order of the four different nucleotides in DNA and RNA. The DNA of each gene on a chromosome codes for one protein. RNA translates the DNA code into the amino acid sequences of proteins and regulates the expression of genes. All of the proteins together in an organism make up its proteome, and all of the genes in an organism make up its genome.


Proteins include enzymes that catalyze or promote chemical reactions. Examples include amylase, urease, and alcohol dehydrogenase that detoxifies alcohol and converts it to sugars. Protein also includes collagen and fibrin. Collagen provides structure and support to the skin, tendons, bones, tissues, and organs. Fibrin forms scabs over wounds. Protein will contain carrier proteins that transport nutrients through the blood to all the body's cells, such as hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. Actin in proteins, help muscles contract. Channels and receptors in proteins enable chemical signals and small molecules to enter and exit cells. This includes the cells of the brain and nervous system. Hormones in proteins are chemical messengers that carry signals from the brain and other organs to regulate functions throughout the body. Examples include insulin, which regulates blood sugar, and growth hormone, which regulates growth and development. 


A peptide is a covalent bond formed by joining the carboxyl group of one amino acid to the amino group of another, removing a molecule of water. These are vital as they are partial double bonds that do not denature by heat or high salt concentration. Only prolonged exposure to a strong acid or base at elevated temperatures such as digestive enzymes will cause denaturing. All peptides are composed of amino acids chemically linked together. Peptides range in size from dipeptides to polypeptides. Its size and amino acid sequence determine the function of a peptide. And they are considered transporters, enzymes, and hormones.


Peptides function as structural elements of the body. The peptides actin and myosin are structural components of muscle. Peptides contribute to bone shape and strength. Bone and muscle provide structure for the body, create movements for the body, and provide protection to internal organs. These biochemical structures are important in metabolism, cell regeneration, pain management.


Water consumption is a central question that a massage therapist or manual therapist should ask a patient when palpating the body.  Muscle tone can be extraordinarily hypertonic and challenging to manipulate, making bodywork difficult and painful. But let’s look at water. 


The main properties of water are its polarity, cohesion, adhesion, surface tension, high specific heat, and evaporative cooling. Polarity is where the water molecule is slightly charged on both ends; for example, hydrogen is a positive charge, and oxygen has negative control. Cohesion Is how hydrogen bonds hold water molecules together. Adhesion is how hydrogen bonds in water allow the water molecules to be held to another substance. Surface tension is created by cohesion, explaining how particular objects can float or walk on water. High specific heat is the amount of heat absorbed or lost for 1g to change 1 degree Celsius. Evaporative cooling is how heat energy is transferred to water molecules. Evaporating water removes heat energy from an organism. 


Water is a universal solvent due to the capability of dissolving more substances than any other liquid. This is important to every living thing because as water travels through the air, the ground, or our bodies, it contains essential chemicals, minerals, and nutrients. Ice floats due to water being denser in its liquid form than as a solid. 


You cannot survive without water. Water transports nutrients through your body, digests food, regulates your body temperature, controls kidney function, flushes out toxins, and prevents pain and sickness. Having enough water daily will boost productivity, control your calorie intake, and clear acne.


The body strictly regulates its pH levels. Changes in the body’s internal pH, such as blood pH, can mean severe problems in the organs and tissues. Water that is too alkaline or acidic can damage pipes and appliances and, therefore, be unhealthful to drink.


Water’s normal pH varies between 6.5 and 8.5 on the pH scale. Anything too far outside this scale is not safe to drink. Although alkaline water with a pH higher than 8.5 is helpful for individuals with digestive conditions, such as IBS. But larger and higher-quality studies are required to back up these claims.


Headaches are a sign of dehydration. When it comes to hydration, replacing drinking soda or excessive amounts of fruit juice with electrolyte water is the best advice. Once again, add MPA Supps Pharmagrade to your water provides coconut water powder and sea salt to help keep you well hydrated during and after your workout. 


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Alic, M., Phd. (2018). Biochemistry. In J. L. Longe (Ed.), The Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health (4th ed., Vol. 1, pp. 470-475). Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. Retrieved from


What to know about the pH of water. (n.d.). Retrieved July 04, 2020, from

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