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Chemistry in Medicine and Nutrition. Julia Shariff, Matt Cheaney, Iori Sanada, Rebecca Stewart, Logan Murray, and Xiaoling Wu. Acids in the Body and Food. Acids in the Body Hydrochloric acid (HCl) Stomach acid, used in digestion p H of 2 Kills harmful bacteria Lactic acid (C ₃H₆O₃)

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Chemistry in medicine and nutrition

Chemistry in Medicine and Nutrition

Julia Shariff, Matt Cheaney, Iori Sanada, Rebecca Stewart, Logan Murray, and Xiaoling Wu

Acids in the body and food
Acids in the Body and Food

Acids in the Body

  • Hydrochloric acid (HCl)

    • Stomach acid, used in digestion

    • pH of 2

    • Kills harmful bacteria

  • Lactic acid (C₃H₆O₃)

    • Found in dairy products as well as in the body

    • Produced in body during exercise and metabolism

  • Carbonic acid (H₂CO₃)

    • Controls acidity in the body (buffer)

      Acids in Food

  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C, C₆H₈O₆)

    • Repairs tissue, ligaments, tendons, etc.

    • Creation of collagen

    • Blocks damage from free radicals

    • Found in oranges, watermelon, kiwi, berries, and other vegetables

  • Citric acid (C₆H₈O₇)

    • Plays a role in metabolism (citric acid cycle)

    • Found in many fruits and vegetables

General concepts of bases
General Concepts of Bases

  • The PH of a base solution is higher than 7

  • A strong base is a base which breaks down completely (raises pH to 14)

  • An alkali is a special example of a base, where in an aqueous environment, hydroxide ions are donated

  • Bases are bitter in taste

  • Slimy or soapy feel on fingers

  • Baking soda, antacids, and lye all contain bases

  • Used more in industry

  • Human Body PH about 7.4

  • Three important ways to regulate PH are chemical buffer, the respiratory system, the urinary system

  • The most important chemical buffer is Bicarbonate (HCO3). HCO3 + H = H20 + CO2

pH Regulation in the Body

Digestion breakdown by digestive pathway chemical process carbohydrates proteins and fats
Digestion: breakdown by digestive pathway-CHEMICAL PROCESS-Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats

  • Mouth

    • Starch hydrolysis: breaks down carbohydrates using the enzyme salivary amylase


    • Main acid used for digestion is HCl (hydrochloric

      acid used for digestion of proteins)

      • Converts pepsinogen into pepsin (used for digestion of proteins)

    • Stomach is protected by alkaline mucus

    • H₂O + CO₂  H₂CO₃

  • Intestines

    • Small intestine

      • Chyme (acidic mixture of partially digested food) meets alkaline pancreatic juice and bile

      • Fat-splitting enzymes (lipases) digest fats

    • Large intestine

      • Largely where water is absorbed

Examples of chemical reactions in digestion
Examples of chemical reactions in digestion

  • Oxidation of glucose (after digested into monosaccharide)

  • Digestion of proteins

Chemical reactions con
Chemical Reactions (con.)

  • Reaction of glycerol

Urea and waste
Urea and Waste

  • End product of nitrogen metabolism

    • Ammonia, must be removed from the body

    • Converts it from ammonia to urea

    • Occurs in liver and is then transported to kidneys

  • 2 Ammonia + carbon dioxide + 3ATP ---> urea + water + 3 ADP

  • Any block in the urea cycle is harmful to the human body

  • Extensive ammonia leads to liver damages and death

  • Hyperammonemia can lead to mental retardation


  • Fourth most abundant element in the body

  • 2.5% of the weight in the body

  • Constitutes a part of proteins

  • Form skeleton of each cell

  • If too much nitrogen is present it will be broken down into ammonia

  • Not enough will lead to no synthesis of amino acids

  • Found in any kind of meat



  • Second most abundant element in the body

  • 85% found in bones and teeth

  • Works with calcium for bone structure

  • Provides phosphate for ATP

  • Filters out waste in kidneys

  • Needed for maintenance, growth, and repair for cells

  • Helps balance other vitamins and minerals

  • Can be found in meat and milk, anything that delivers calcium and protein will have phosphorus


  • Makes up the structure of our bodies

  • Connects and builds different elements together

  • 18% mass of the human body

  • Carbon is found in almost all foods


  • Supports cellular respiration, metabolism

  • Breathing, diffusion with the blood (heme groups and hemoglobin)

  • “electron acceptor” in mitochondria, generates chemical energy

  • Many enzymes will use oxygen to catalyze their reactions (oxidation reactions)

  • Burns (oxidizes) food to create energy for our bodies

  • 65% mass of the human body


What is calcium

  • The most abundant mineral in human body

  • 99% of Calcium is found in bones and teeth

  • 1% of Calcium help heart, nerve, muscles to work

  • Help youth to grow

  • Help older people to prevent losing their bones

What is Calcium?

  • How do we get Calcium?

  • Daily products such as eggs, milk, cheese

  • Green Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach

  • Other food – nuts, bread, rice, cereals, sesame seeds

  • From Supplements

  • People who are 19-50 should take 1000mg per day

  • Taking too much Calcium could cause stomach upset, nausea, constipation

What is Hydrogen?

  • The most abundant element in the universe, makes up about 90% of all atoms

  • Thelightest and smallest element, travel throughout the body

  • Wateris made up of two-thirds hydrogen atoms and one-third oxygenatom

  • Over60%of human body is water

  • Hydrogen ions are transported to the mitochondria of the cells which uses hydrogen to create ATP

  • Slows down the aging process

  • Hydrogen Trivia!

  • Deuterium – one in every 6000 hydrogen atoms has a neutron as well as a proton in its nucleus

  • Tritium – Very rare hydrogen atoms have two neutrons as well as the proton

  • How do we get Hydrogen?

  • Mostly from water