"Structure and Function" is the very first thing I wrote down on my paper when we started our Chalk Talk; when I wrote this I really didn't understand how much I was going to learn over the next few weeks. We first started with writing down the word Capillarity, which is a property of water
that causes water to rise above. We learned this to help us understand how water molecules work. Water is the base of multiple things in life and essential to the needs of a human being. It is a molecule that consists of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, in which it's scientific name is H2O; this means there is always exactly double the amount of hydrogen atoms as oxygen atoms. Water keeps us hydrated, washes us, cooks our food and makes up 70% of the Earth. All of this is very important to our life and the molecules fairly simple compared to others. Its molecules, hydrogen and oxygen, stick together to form water by the process of dipole and hydrogen bonds. And this is one of the simplest molecules on the Earth!
Before this unit I only looked at carbohydrates as being important to runners, but now I can actually understand what they are and what their components are made of. Carbohydrates, or as I like to remember it CHO is an organic compound made up of only Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms. The scientific name is actually CH20, which again means there is double the amount of Hydrogen atoms, therefore the ratio is 1:2:1. Carbohydrates have many purposes in life, such as, storage and the transports of energy, i.e. starch and glycogen and they effect structural components, i.e. cellulose in plants.
The basic structure, or monomer, of carbohydrates is Glucose (C6H12O6). This is a simple sugar or a monosaccharide. Glucose is used in our cells as a source of energy, therefore, it gives our bodies an important burst of energy that is necessary sometimes. Therefore, foods with glucose provide you with that quick burst of energy you'd need during a marathon or long period of physical activity. Other monosaccharides are Fructose (C6H12O6) and Galactose (C6H12O6) if you notice, they all have the same components, but the difference between them is structure.
occurs with monomers and eventually results in polymers. This is the process of taking out water to build something. It occurs with Glucose and Fructose which will eventually result in Sucrose (we'll get to Sucrose in a bit). When one of more molecules are removed from any two reactants, in this case Glucose and Fructose, then it will result in a new molecule. Water. So, the result of dehydration between Glucose and Fructose would Sucrose + H2O.
Double sugars or dissarcharides are formed when two monosaccharides undergo the process of dehydration synthesis or formally known as a condensation reaction. It basically takes away the components to make water OH and H and then it forms to make a dissarcharide of Sucrose or Lactose. Basically: Glucose and Fructose = Sucrose + H2O and Glucose and Galactose = Lactose + H2O. To break these down even further Sucrose is basically "Table Sugar" and Lactose is "Milk Sugar". The ratio for Sucrose is quite a bit different than that of a monosaccharide, C12H22O11. This is still classified as a sugar, just like monosaccharides.
So, now we've covered monosaccharides and dissaccharides, so what comes next? Yes there is definitely more! Next in line is the "Complex Carbs" or polysaccharides. Remember, the term polymers? Well, this is where they come into effect. Polysaccharides are formed by repeating links of mono or disaccharides. Starch's make up a big part of dissaccharides. Two different forms of this is Amylose-Starch and Cellulose-Dietary Fiber. Cellulose contains a great amount of fiber, which would be great for us humans. The only problem being we don't have an enzyme that can break up cellulose :(. It's mainly used during photosynthesis and in plants. The make-ups of these polysaccharides is polymers, which by definition is, a compound made up of repeated, linked units sometimes called "Macromolecules". The last type of polysaccharides is Glycogen. Glycogen stores energy in our bodies over a long-period of time. It is made by the liver and muscles. It kind of plays the same role in animals as starch plays in plants.
A topic on a different subject we discussed during these notes was Symbiosis. This is two creatures living very closely, basically their existence depends on each other. This breaks down into three more categories: Commensilism, Parasitism, and Mutualism. Commensilism is when one creature is benefited and the other creature isn't really effected, for example, a tree frog on a tree would display this action because the tree frog is being protected from the rain and the tree isn't being harmed or effected. Parasitism is when one creature benefits and another creature is being harmed. An example of this is a tape worm on a Caribou Tree because the tape worm is getting nutrients and eventually the Caribou Tree will die. The last example is Mutualism, which is when both of the creatures are benefiting from living closely. An example of this would be an ant on a plant because the ant protects the plant from other creatures who are trying to eat it and the plant provides the ant with nectar.
Lipids are made up of fats, oils, waxes and steroids. They also follow the criteria of CHO: Carbon, Hydrogen,and Oxygen, but it's ratio is 1:2:very little. The three main examples of lipids are fatty acids, glycerol and triglycerides. The fatty acids are the monomers of lipids. A fatty acid is a long hydrocarbon chain with a carboxyl group on the end. The Carboxyl end is polar or hydrophilic meaning it can take in or be dissolved in water; the opposite end of this fatty acid is hydrophobic or non polar meaning just the opposite.
Glycerol is a saturated fat which means all of the bonds are taken up by hydrogen, although this isn't good in foods. Unsaturated fats are those of nuts, oils, and sunflower oil. Then beyond this unsaturated fats break down into mono-unsaturated and poly-saturated fat. A mono-unsaturated fat has one double bond and a poly-unsaturated fat has more than one double bond. Triglycerides are made by dehydration synthesis and they are VERY LONG and are called macro-molecules because of this.
The monomers of Proteins are Amino Acids. The Amino Acid structure is what makes up proteins. This structure also has a Carboxyl at the end of it. Proteins are polymers because they are simply made up of Amino Acids (the monomers). The elements in a protein are different than lipids and carbs because it contains Nitrogen, therefore I remember it as CHON. This means it includes Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. It also has an R in it which is a group variant; this R is basically the "fingerprint" of the structure. It gives it a special identity. More vocabulary that comes in place here is a Dipeptide and a Polypeptide. A dipeptide has two amino acids together and a polypeptide has more than three proteins.
Proteins eventually break down even further into DNA and RNA, which stand for Deoxyribonucleic Acid and Ribonucleic Acid. The DNA stores the genetic information and the RNA makes proteins. Pieces of the Nucleic Acids are called nucleotides and these are made up of a phosphate group, a 5 carbon sugar and a nitrogenous base.
While writing this Comprehensive Essay I never mentioned how nutrition fit into place because I though it deserved its own section. What we eat every day is made up of most of everything I just talked about. Try and think back of what you ate today. Did you read the nutrition labels on the food? Well, if you didn't that's okay, but you may want to start. If you're putting hundreds of grams of fat in your body every day then it is very unhealthy for your well being. The three things to look for on Nutrition labels are Carbohydrates, Protein and Fats. Now remember, the sub fats such as saturated fat is not good for you so look for this as a sign to maybe not eat this certain food.
Calories are also very important because depending on your height and weight the average person should be consuming around 2000 calories a day and if you don't exercise then your calorie intake won't match up with how many calories your burning, therefore you will most likely gain weight rapidly. As Mr. Nash always said the best way to lose weight isn't by choosing a low carb diet (although if that works for you then that's great!), you lose weight by burning more calories than you take into your body. Exercise, exercise, exercise. This isn't going to be easy because losing weight never is but if you're willing to do it then it is your best bet.
A calorie is a unit of energy in food that is thermal. This calorie intake is a form of heat, therefore it helps you maintain homeostasis in your body. Oh yes and another thing, if you don't intake enough calories then your body won't function to its best ability, so by not eating it will solve nothing. By not eating you could be just as unhealthy as if you were eating all the time. To know the percentage of carbs, protein and fat in your calories then here is a rule of thumb. Carbs = 4 cal/g, Protein - 4 cal/g and Fats = 9 cal/g. So, however many grams of fat there are in a food just take that number times how many cal/g there are. This will help you know what kind of nutrients you are taking in. A healthy percentage would be 35% carbs, 45% protein and 20% fat. Note: this is just my opinion.
examples of protein would be.. Some good and bad
examples of fats would be.. Some good
examples of carbohydrates would be..