The below mentioned article provides a note on the Importance of Biochemical Study:- 1. Necessity of Knowledge on Biochemistry to all Life Sciences 2. Effect of Biochemical Research on Nutrition and Preventive Medicine 3. Causes of Diseases 4. Contribution to Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment 5. Importance in Medicine 6. Illuminates Disease Mechanisms.
- Necessity of Knowledge on Biochemistry to all Life Sciences
- Effect of Biochemical Research on Nutrition and Preventive Medicine
- Causes of Diseases by Various Biochemical Mechanisms in the Body
- Contribution of Biochemical Studies to Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment
- Importance of Biochemical Studies in Medicine
- Biochemical Studies Illuminate Disease Mechanisms
1. Necessity of Knowledge on Biochemistry to all Life Sciences:
Physiology, which deals with the body functions, matches biochemistry almost completely. Immunology utilizes many biochemical techniques and the biochemists use many immunologic approaches.
Pharmacology and pharmacy mainly depend on a sound knowledge of biochemistry and physiology.
Most drugs are metabolized by enzyme catalysed reactions and the complex interactions among drugs are best understood biochemically. Poisons of toxicological affairs act on biochemical reactions or processes.
Biochemical approaches are highly needed to study basic aspects of pathology such as inflammation, cell injury, and cancer.
Many researchers in microbiology, zoology, and botany use biochemical approaches. In fact, biochemistry has become their common language.
2. Effect of Biochemical Research on Nutrition and Preventive Medicine:
The optimal dietary intake of a number of chemicals such as vitamins, certain amino acids, certain fatty acids, various minerals, and water are most essential for the maintenance of health. Much of the subject matter of biochemistry and nutrition is concerned with the study of various aspects of these chemicals and these two sciences have a very close relation.
Dental science also has close relation with nutrition. More care is given to preventive medicine to minimise the rising costs of medical care with a view to maintain health. The cited example for this is the prevention of atherosclerosis and cancer.
3. Causes of Diseases by Various Biochemical Mechanisms in the Body:
All diseases are abnormalities of molecules, chemical reactions, or processes. The main factors responsible for causing diseases in animals and human are mentioned below and all of them affect one or more critical chemical reactions in the body.
(a) Physical Agents:
Extremes of temperature, sudden changes in atmospheric pressure, radiation, and electric shock.
(b) Chemical Agents:
Certain toxic compounds and therapeutic drugs.
(c) Biological Agents:
Viruses, bacteria, fungi etc.
(d) Lack of Oxygen:
Loss of blood supply, poisoning of the oxidative enzymes.
(e) Immunologic Reactions:
Anaphylaxis, autoimmune disease.
(f) Nutritional Imbalance:
(g) Genetic Disorders:
(h) Endocrine Imbalances:
Hormonal deficiencies, excesses.
4. Contribution of Biochemical Studies to Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Treatment:
(a) Vitamins—the complex organic molecules, are most essential to be ingested by humans to maintain health. The deficiency of a particular vitamin in the diet causes deficiency disease such as scurvy or rickets. Lack of intake of vitamins in animal and human cells are the concern of biochemists and nutritionists.
Once the disease from a vitamin deficiency is established, it becomes necessary to treat it by the administration of appropriate vitamin.
(b) Many plants in Africa are deficient in one or more essential ammo acids. Persons who consume these plants as dietary source suffer from malnutrition i.e., Kwashiorkor.
This shows that a well-balanced diet containing sufficient amount of all the essential ammo acids must be provided to maintain health.
(c) Biochemical findings have shown that diet containing fish oils rich in certain polyunsaturated fatty acids can reduce the plasma levels of cholesterol resulting in the low incidence of atherosclerosis.
These observations have stimulated interest in the use of polyunsaturated fatty acids to reduce plasma levels of cholesterol.
(d) The defect in the conversion of phenylalanine to tyrosine causes phenylketonuria due to the lack of an enzyme.
If this condition is left untreated, it may lead to severe mental retardation in infancy. Biochemical screening tests for diagnosing phenylketonuria at birth is a must for effective treatment to be started immediately by prescribing diet low in phenylalanine.
(e) Cystic fibrosis is a common genetic disease of the exocrine glands and of the eccrine sweat glands. Chloride level is elevated in the sweats of the persons suffering from this disease and the victims often die at an early age from lung infections.
The normal gene codes for a trans-membrane protein containing 1,480 amino acids in length which functions as a chloride channel. But in case of this disease, the trans-membrane protein lacks in ammo acids number 508, a phenylalanine residue. It has now become possible to design drugs that can correct the abnormality in the trans-membrane protein.
It may also be possible to introduce the normal gene into lung cells by gene therapy.
(f) Biochemical analysis has also been done on the mechanism of the action of the bacterial toxin that causes cholera and has also provided direction as to how the clinical manifestations of this disease having copious diarrhoea and loss of salt and water are brought about.
5. Importance of Biochemical Studies in Medicine:
Biochemistry is important to physiology, and other medical subjects. Both physiology and biochemistry overlap and merge. Pathological conditions in the body are caused by deranged chemical compositions and functioning of tissues and many of the problems of pathology occur from the chemical viewpoint.
The bacteriologist is also concerned with the chemical changes caused by bacteria in tissues resulting in various diseased conditions. He is to have ideas of vaccines, serum, and antitoxins. The pharmacologist must know the chemical aspects of the body since the action of drugs always involves some alterations in the biochemical events occurring in the body.
The physicians too have to acquire knowledge of biochemical changes of different foodstuffs, hormones, and vitamins, etc. to diagnose a disease properly for its cure. They have also to depend on the large number of biochemical tests for treating diseases.
6. Biochemical Studies Illuminate Disease Mechanisms:
In the early 1900s, inborn errors of metabolism had stimulated the investigation of the biochemical pathways affected in these conditions. Attempts to understand the basis of the genetic disease known as familial hypercholesterolemia—which is caused in severe atherosclerosis at an early age—have led to dramatic progress in knowledge of cell receptors and of mechanisms of uptake of cholesterol into cells.
The studies of oncogenes in cancer cells have turned attention to the molecular mechanisms involved in the control of normal cell growth.