Elementary Medical Biochemistry - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780409082685, 9781483182841

Elementary Medical Biochemistry

1st Edition

Authors: J. M. M. Brown G. G. Járos
eBook ISBN: 9781483182841
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 21st July 1977
Page Count: 200
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Elementary Medical Biochemistry deals with the biochemical basis of the process of life, particularly, the principles of metabolic processes and the systems controlling these processes. The book reviews matter, energy, and the molecular transport processes in the body (known as diffusion, osmosis, filtration, active transport, circulation). The text also describes the medical uses of oxygen, and its functions together with hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. The book explains the importance of minerals in the body such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, chlorine, phosphorus, sulfur, the trace elements (copper, manganese, cobalt), and other elements (nickel, cadmium, vanadium). Chemical reactions either form or break chemical bonds resulting in an uptake or release of energy. The book explains the various factors affecting the rate at which a chemical reaction occurs. These factors include temperature, concentration of reagents, or enzymes. The text also describes the metabolic fate of pyruvic acid, the glycolysis in muscle tissue, and the handling of end-products of metabolism by the body. The book is intended for students of nursing with diploma courses in general obstetrics and psychiatric nursing.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 — Matter and Energy

Elements and Compounds

Energy: Life and Movement

The States of Matter

Temperature and Heat

Molecular Transport Processes in the Body

Chapter 2 —Oxygen, Hydrogen, Carbon and Nitrogen


Uptake and Transport of Oxygen in the Body

Other Important Facts About Oxygen

Medical Uses of Oxygen




Chapter 3 — Minerals and Electrolytes









The Trace Elements

Other Elements Found in Tissues

Chapter 4 — Symbols, Reactions and Equations

The Formation of Ions


The Formation of Molecules — Covalent Bonds

Multiple Covalent Bonds

Ionic Bonds

Co-Ordinate Covalent Bonds (Dative Bonds)



The Periodic Table

Introduction to Chemical Reactions

Chapter 5 — Water, Acids and Bases

The Importance of Water in the Body

Distribution of Water in the Body

Fluid Mixtures

Water Gain and Loss

Water Loss Via the Kidneys

The Exchange of Fluid Between the Capillaries and the Tissues of the Body

Control of the Water Balance

The Dissociation and Association of Water

The Concept of pH

The Dissociation of Substances in Aqueous Solutions



Equivalent Mass

Molarity and Normality

Chapter 6 — Carbon-Containing Compounds


Aliphatic Hydrocarbons

Cyclic Hydrocarbons

Derivatives of Hydrocarbons

Alcohols and Phenols

Aldehydes and Ketones

Carboxylic Acids

Esters, Ethers and Amines

Chapter 7 — Biologically Important Compounds




Porphyrins and Derivatives

Purines, Pyrimidines and their Derivatives

Nucleic Acids

Compounds Containing High Energy Phosphate Bonds

Chapter 8 — Enzymatic and Genetic Control of Reactions

Enzyme Action and Substrate Specificity

Localization of Enzymes in Tissues

The Types of Enzymes Found in Tissues

Local Regulation of Enzyme Action

Coding of Genetic Information

Transcription of Genetic Information

Translation of Genetic Information

Cell Division and the Replication of Genes

The Regulation of Protein Synthesis by Control at the Gene Level

Hormonal Regulation of Enzyme Production and Activity

Chapter 9 — The Digestion and Absorption of Nutrients

Digestion in the Mouth

Digestion in the Stomach

Digestion in the Small Intestine

The Hormonal Control of the Digestive Secretions

The Absorption of Nutrients from the Alimentary Canal

The Functions of the Large Intestine

Chapter 10 — Metabolism

The Respiratory Chain (or Electron Transfer Pathway)

Other Sources of ATP

The Catabolism of Carbohydrates



The Entry of Monosaccharides into the Glycolytic Cycle

Branching of the Glycolytic Cycle — Energy Production and a Link with Fat Metabolism

ATP Production in Glycolysis

The Metabolic Fate of Pyruvic Acid

Maintenance of the Blood Sugar Level

Glycolysis in Muscle Tissue

The Pentose Monophosphate Shunt

The Catabolism of Fats


The Catabolism of Proteins


Oxidative Deamination

The Synthesis of Urea

The Common Pathway of Metabolism

The Production of Energy from Nutrient Substances

Carbohydrate Anabolism

Fat Anabolism

Fatty Acid Synthesis


Protein Anabolism

Amino Acid Synthesis

Protein Synthesis

Chapter 11 — The Handling of End-Products of Metabolism by the Body

The Physiological Importance of Carbon Dioxide

The Inter-Relationship of Hydrogen Ions and Carbon Dioxide

The Transport of Carbon Dioxide in the Blood

The Excretion of Carbon Dioxide by the Lungs

The Excretion of Other Substances by the Lungs

The Regulation of the Hydrogen Ion Concentration in the Body

Buffer Systems

The Secretion of Hydrogen Ions and the Formation of Ammonium Ions by the Kidneys

Respiratory Alkalosis and Acidosis

Metabolic Alkalosis and Acidosis

General Excretory Functions of the Kidneys

The Excretory Functions of the Skin

The Excretory Functions of the Alimentary Canal

Chapter 12 — The Endocrine Control of Physiological Processes — The Vitamins

The Action of Hormones — The Negative Feedback Mechanism

The Chemical Nature of Hormones

The Organization of the Endocrine System and the Hypothalamus

The Classification of the Hormones According to their Functions

Hormones that Regulate the Calcium and Phosphate Content of the Body

Hormones that Regulate the Water, Sodium and Potassium Content of the Body

Hormones that Regulate Metabolic Processes Involving Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins

The Trophic Hormones and Releasing Factors

The Hormones that Regulate Reproductive Functions

The Hormones of the Digestive Tract

Miscellaneous Hormones

The Vitamins

Appendix A : List of Elements

Appendix B: Examples of Examination Questions

Appendix C: The Chemical Composition of Blood and Urine


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© Butterworth-Heinemann 1977
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About the Author

J. M. M. Brown

G. G. Járos

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