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Metabolism and Disease

Colin Chamberscells, ecosystems, general health, metabolism, obesity, steps, weight loss Leave a Comment

Time is my enemy right now but I wanted to share the article how Abnormal metabolism is at the heart of some serious health problems (such as obesity, diabetes and cancer) as a reference others will find useful.

My intention is to review this seminal article but I just haven’t had the time. It is also behind a pay wall which is common for many scientific articles so my apologies if you can’t reach it.

For reference the title of the research paper is ‘Circadian topology of metabolism’ by Joseph bass published in the journal Nature.


We refer to metabolism all the time but rarely think about what it actually is and in fact it is a really complicated topic covering hundreds if not thousands of process regarding the energy cycles of the body and how energy flows in the body.

If you want to dive in a learn about metabolism in a structure way or have a quality reference to consult then the Openstax biology course has a study level chapter on metabolism which will give you an excellent grounding.


The Krebs/Citric acid cycle

The Krebs cycle, also known as the citric acid cycle, is an essential process in all mammal cells as part the energy cycles involved in life. The Krebs cycle is the key intermediary between fats and carbohydrates from our diets and energy our body can use such which is primarily ATP or adenosine triphosphate. It is not the only process involved but a well known and and critical one which if not working properly can lead to all sorts of disease.

As part of an introduction into metabolism and the energy cycle that powers out bodies here are some resources from excellent educators that explain the cycle in more depth and how it powers life.

Open stax have a wonderful biology course that is and open educational resource. In Oxidation of Pyruvate and the Citric acid cycle you will find a a clear explanation of two of the fundamental cycles that process energy in cells.

If you are interested in a more detailed account then the following talk in the royal institution collection is by Nick lane explaining how the krebs cycle powers life and death.

It is a very in-depth high quality talk so it is for body nerds like me. I will find a simpler version in time but if you are interested in how energy flows through your body you will find this fascinating

The electron transport chain

The electron transport chain is the last stage of the respiration pathway. It is the stage that produces the most ATP molecules. The electron transport chain is a collection of carrier proteins found on the inner membrane of mitochondria.

In summary the electron transport chain is a cluster of proteins that transfer electrons through a membrane within mitochondria to form a gradient of protons that drives the creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is used by the cell as the energy for metabolic processes for cellular functions.

The following video describes the electron transport chain in more detail.

Further reading

The effects of metabolism and the things that can affect metabolism are varied as explored by these following articles.

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