fuel, energy, and movement of any kind within plants and animals would be substantially hindered without adequate amounts, adequately functioning, and adequate distribution of atp. atp stands for adenosine triphosphate.
[British Dictionary definitions for ATP
1. adenosine triphosphate; a nucleotide found in the mitochondria of all plant and animal cells. It is the major source of energy for cellular reactions, this energy being released during its conversion to ADP. Formula: C 10 H 16 N 5 O 13 P 3] ...
most cells have at least 1 mitochondrion. matured red blood cells are unique in this, as they do not have any mitochondria and therefore cannot metabolized protein and fatty acids/lipids for fuel; they are dependent on glucose for production of atp. other cells of certain organs may have from 50-to hundreds of mitochondria. cells found in the brain, heart, liver, the eye, nerves tissue and etc., tend to have thousands of mitochondria. think of the mitochondria as the power plant of the cell, and thus the power plant that sustains the life of the whole entity; whether plant, animal, or human being.
the human physiology does not have to acquire its energy from glucose ingestion, the human physiology is also enabled to metabolize and burn fatty acids/lipids and protein in place of ingested glucose. however burning fatty acids is more efficient than both carb and protein with regards to th quantity of atps produced. carbs burn/break down much faster than both fatty acids and protein; giving the individual access to immediate energy needed for sudden bursts of energy, as in sprinting. fatty acids allows for slower and longer sustained needs of energy as in endurance activities; such as running marathons. the least efficient source of energy production is via the protein metabolic pathway. having a healthy ratio of all three with regards to an individual's need is most beneficial. overall, burning primary fat, moderate amounts of protein & relatively few whole-natural carbs seem to garnish the greatest health benefits.
the plants, animal/human beings are composed of 4 types of molecular substances; carbohydrates, protein, fat/lipids and cellulose (fiber). in short, the cell/mitochondria functions within the metabolism process of food to convert it into the fuel/energy that the body needs. the body breaks down carbs; sugar and starches, and or protein and fatty acids/lipids to fuel the many various functions of the body-we also metabolize organic acids and alcohols. the human physiology is quite adaptable to moderate protein, high fatty acid/lipids diets, as well as high protein-moderate fatty acids diets. the human physiology has not adapted well to high processed carb diets i.e. sugars in general, processed sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and processed wheat, rye, corn, rice etc of conventional agriculture practices.
ultimately, all carbs; sugars and starches are broken down into glucose or stored as glycogen. there are many different types of sugars. for the purpose of this blog, i shall mention the two most abundant. glucose and fructose. fructose is the sugar that is primarily found in fruits and in vegetables to a lesser degree. glucose and or glycogen ( the stored form of glucose), are the actual products that are synthesized and metabolized directly by the body for fuel. fructose follows a different metabolic process than glucose. table sugar (sucrose) is half glucose and half fructose. "high fructose corn syrup" (hfcs) is chemically changed/synthesized to have a higher percentage of fructose; 60% or more than glucose because fructose is sweeter than glucose.
scientific research and clinical observations have together prompted many nutritionists, physicians, and patients who suffer carb disorders to call for the absolute ban of high fructose corn syrup. a primary diet of glucose oxidation metabolism is insulin dependent; while fructose is not. fructose is primarily metabolized in the liver, kidney, and small intestine. some fructose is also metabolize in other systems; i.e. adipose tissue.
terri a. mccurdy