Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Vitamin Supplements - Human Digestion Chemistry

Vitamin Supplements

Stomach acid is necessary for digestion in the stomach but not every thing is completely digested. Some medications are coated to protect the active ingredients. That is the case with many dietary supplements.

The concentration of free H+ ions in a solution determine acidity. In the mouth, the acidity is very low (more basic, chemically) ; the stomach is very acidic and the intestines are basic. 

Starting from the mouth the basic nature of the food bolus is basic. When the bolus hits the stomach the basic food mixture triggers the stomach to prepare for its role in digestion by producing acid. The acid, when it reaches the intestines signals them to produce their products which are basic in nature. It is a signaling system!

If you take your medications or supplements on an empty stomach there is a good chance they will still be active when they reach the intestines where they can be absorbed into the blood stream. The stomach doesn't have a chance to produce enough acid from taking supplements. On a full stomach - there may be too much acid and medications may weaken or be destroyed.

There I go again into my teaching mode! Hope that helps you a bit.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Just what is Oxidative Phosphorylation?

Oxidative Phosphorylation

Nutrients undergo a chemical process that consists of small changes to release ions that produce a stored chemical called ATP.

It is important to understand the term "oxidation." The small chemical changes actually are a series of oxidation and reduction reactions. When a substance is "oxidized" it gains an oxygen atom. When it loses the oxygen atom it is "reduced." This idea is known by most folks. The chemists call this a "Redox Reaction." It is part of a larger series of chemical reactions called aerobic respiration.

In the process of chemical energy release, in oxidative phosphorylation, the the highest ATP production occurs in the presence of atmospheric oxygen.This is referred to as "aerobic respiration." Respiration can occur in the absence of oxygen but the net production of ATP for celluar functions is far less. The chemists call this "anaerobic respiration."

Here is a list of atoms and ions (an atom with an overall electrical charge) used in aerobic respiration. In fact, oxidative phosphorylation is the last step in aerobic respiration that all your cells use for creating stored energy production in the form of ATP.

Hydrogen Atoms

Here is the Redox Reactions in the form of Oxididation and Reduction

Oxidaion:                            Reduction:

Gain of Oxygen                  Loss of Oxygen
Loss of Hydrogen              Gain of Hydrogen
Loss of Electron                Gain of Electron

The substance that provides the oxygen is the oxidizing agent
The substance that accepts the oxygen is the reducing agent

Therefore, the oxidizing agent is reduced and the reducing agent is oxidized. 

The substance that loses an hydrogen is the oxidizing agent
The substance that gains an hydrogen is the reducing agent

Therefore, the oxidizing agent is reduced and the reducing agent is oxidized.

The substance that loses an electron is the oxidizing agent
The substance that gains an electron is the reducing agent

These redox reaction pathways are very efficient in the formation of stored ATP that provides the energy, when needed, for each and every cell in your body to perform its duty.

The energy that is released in oxidative phosphorylation creates a high energy bond that is formed when ATP is formed.

The muscle cells need energy to contract and provide movement. ATP, with its stored energy released, makes it possible for the muscle cell to function.

Basically, this is oxidative phosphorylation!