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Chapter

Cover Biochemistry

Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins  

This chapter discusses proteins as molecular tools. These perform an astonishing variety of functions. In addition to serving as structural materials in all living organisms, proteins are involved in diverse functions as catalysis, metabolic regulation, transport, and defence. Proteins are composed of one or more polypeptides, unbranched polymers of 20 different amino acids. The chapter looks at the genomes of organisms which specify the amino acid sequences of thousands or tens of thousands of proteins. It describes proteins as a diverse group of macromolecules that are directly related to the combinatorial possibilities of the 20 amino acid monomers. Amino acids can be theoretically linked to form protein molecules in any imaginable size or sequence.

Chapter

Cover Human Nutrition

Carbohydrate metabolism  

John M. Brameld, Tim Parr, and David A. Bender

This chapter tackles the function of carbohydrate metabolism. Carbohydrates are not essential nutrients since there is no absolute requirement for a dietary intake. However, a very low carbohydrate diet results in chronically increased production and plasma concentrations of the ketone bodies (ketosis) and the absence of glycogen stores since carbohydrate mainly provides metabolic fuel to all tissues. The chapter then explains the main role of dietary carbohydrates as a metabolic fuel, such as affecting satiety, insulin secretion, and glucose homeostasis. It then considers the pathways of carbohydrate metabolism and its regulation before considering the role of glycogen as a carbohydrate reserve.