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Why Protein Based Diets Can Be Deadly for Some Individuals - Coursework Example

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The paper "Why Protein Based Diets Can Be Deadly for Some Individuals" discusses that the accumulation of toxic products due to protein catabolism shows various acute and chronic syndromes ranging from vomiting and feeding difficulties to severe encephalopathy and other neurological disorder…
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Why Protein Based Diets Can Be Deadly for Some Individuals
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Download file to see previous pages The dietary protein intake of individuals is determined by the metabolic demand which can be defined as the flow of amino acids through metabolic pathways which maintain the body structure and function. The pathways convert individual amino acids into important metabolites and then into nitrogenous end-products including urea and other compounds in sweat, urine and faeces and also synthesise protein from the body like hair, skin and other secretions (WHO, 2007).
Ingested proteins are degraded into constituent amino acids in the stomach and small intestine by proteases. The initial step in the catabolism of amino acids is the removal of the amino group from its carbon skeleton by enzymes called transaminases. The amino group in most cases is transferred to α-ketogluterate to form glutamate requiring the coenzyme pyridoxal phosphate functioning as an intermediate carrier. Glutamate is transported from the cytosol to the mitochondria of liver cells where it releases the amino group as ammonia in a reaction catalysed by glutamate dehydrogenase. Ammonia is toxic to animal tissues is converted to a nontoxic compound in combination with glutamate to yield glutamine by the action of the enzyme glutamine synthetase. Ammonia formed in skeletal muscles is transported to the liver as the amino group of alanine through the glucose-alanine cycle in which deamination of alanine produces pyruvate which is converted to glucose in the liver and transported back to the muscles (Nelson and Cox, 2005).
The ammonia deposited in the liver mitochondria is converted into urea and is passed into the bloodstream and to the kidneys and excreted in the urine. The urea cycle comprises of five enzymatic steps spanning the liver mitochondria and cytosol. Ornithine combines with ammonia in the form of carbamoyl phosphate to form citrulline by the action of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase I in the mitochondria. The second amino group enters through aspartate to form argininosuccinate with citrulline catalysed by the enzyme argininoauccinate synthetase in the cytosol. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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