Chemical Aspects of Physiology
  1. All about buffers, their importance, and the buffering system used in the blood.
  2. Difference between acidosis and alkalosis.
  3. Enzymes and the role they play in human physiology.

1. A buffer is an aqueous solution that acts to prevent changes in H+ concentration and has a highly stable pH. If you add an acid or a base to a buffered solution, the pH will not change significantly.

Why buffer solutions are so important to our bodies is because if the buffers did not buff and do their job, then our pH would not remain stable. This would cause major problems in our bodies. Our bloods pH would either be too acidic or basic. Buffers keep our pH constant.

Without buffers in our body, our bloods pH would change rather quickly. If pH changes greatly, the enzymes in our body will not be optimal. Enzymes are proteins that act as catalysts for important biological reactions. Most enzymes only work within a certain pH range. Enzymes are needed and very important to allow reactions in our body to take place with lower energy requirements.

external image moz-screenshot.pngexternal image moz-screenshot-1.pngTitration.jpg
http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Buffer/Buffer.html ( Source for Graph)
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This picture demonstrates the organs that help control the blood concentration of CO2 and HCO3-, which helps control the pH in blood.
Removing CO2 from the blood increases the pH.
Removing HCO3- from the blood lowers the pH.

pH in Blood



2. Acidosis is when the arterial blood pH falls below 7.35.
Alkalosis is the increase in the arterial blood that rises above 7.45.
Acidosis vs. Alkalosis

Enzymes

Enzymes play a very important role in our body. They help carry out various chemical functions including digestion of food, assisting in the process of providing cellular energy, supporting the brain functions, repairing and healing processes within the body, breaking down toxins, and detoxification of blood. If our bodies did not have enzymes, we would not function.

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external image moz-screenshot-2.png3. Names of Enzymes in the Body

There are six major classes of enzymes in the body. The following are the names of enzymes in the body and their functions:
  • Ligase- This enzyme in the body requires ATP and binds nucleotides together in the nucleic acids. It also binds simple sugars in polysaccarides.
  • Lyase- This enzyme in the body breaks the bonds between carbon atoms or carbon nitrogen bond.
  • Hydrolase- This enzyme in the body breaks large molecules into simpler molecules by adding a water molecule.
  • Transferase- This enzyme in the body cuts a part of one molecule and attaches it to another molecule.
  • Isomerase- The atoms in a molecule are rearranged without changing their chemical formula. This helps in getting carbohydrate molecules for certain enzymatic processes.
  • Oxido-reductase- This enzyme removes hydrogen or electrons from one molecule and donate it to another molecule. This enzyme is mainly involved in mitochondrial energy production.
  • Kinase- This enzyme in the body attaches a phosphate group to a high energy bond. It is a very important enzyme required for ATP production and activation of certain enzymes.

Sources:
http://www.chemistry.wustl.edu/~edudev/LabTutorials/Buffer/Buffer.html ( Source for Graph)
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/enzymes-in-the-body.html
You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBJtQtzN7O8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrBvuJiOsIY
Human Physiology Stuart Ira Fox Tenth Edition

Joelle Zimprich