The Krebs Cycle and Role of Amino Acids


Aerobic Respiration

Aerobic respiration is used by many organisms in the animal kingdom, including humans like you and me. It is a metabolic reaction that requires oxygen to produce ATP or energy. The equation for aerobic respiration is C6H12O6 + 6 O2 = 6 CO2 + 12 H2O + 38 ATP (engergy).

In simple terms it means organisms take in food and water, and put out CO2, water, and energy.
In this process, there are four steps, including glycolysis, formation of acetyl CoA, the Krebs cycle, and theelectron transport chain. We will primarily discuss glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, amino acids needed, and the electron transport chain.


Glycolysis & Formation of Acetyl CoA

Before the Krebs cycle begins, glucose needs to be broken down into the proper components before they can enter the cycle. First it is broken down into 2 3-carbon molecules of pyruvate in the cytoplasm of the cell.

This is known as glycolysis, which consumes 2 ATP, and produces 4 molecules of ATP, and  two molecules of NADH. Some organisms can survive on glycolysis alone for their energy,  while others continue the process to get more ATP. After the glucose is turned to pyruvate, it gets oxidized to carbon dioxide, and a 2-carbon acetyl group. It is then bound to coenzyme A, and shuttled into the mitochondria in the cell, while carbon dioxide is released as a waste product.


The Krebs Cycle

The next stage in energy production is the Krebs cycle, also known as the citric acid or Calvin cycle. Each of the acetyl groups produced from the original glucose molecule gets bonded to a molecule of oxaloacetate to form citrate or citric acid.

This is where the name of the cycle comes from. These are the Krebs cycle’s amino
acids needed to start the cycle. These two citric acid molecules get slowly oxidized  and hydrogen ions become bound to NAD form NADH and FAD from FADH2.

When the last carbon atom is released in the form of CO2, oxaloacetate is produced. This process forms 2 ATP molecules for every glucose that enters the cell.

Krebs cycle



The Electron Transport Chain

After the Krebs cycle, the electrons removed from this process follow many cytochromes on
the mitochondrial membrane in eukaryotic cells, and the plasma membrane of bacteria.

Here, hydrogen ions get pumped across the inner membrane of the mitochondria and flow through ATP synthase enzyme molecules. As the electrons pass through the electron transport chain, they fall to lower and lower energy states.

This energy that is released is used to drive H+ ions across the membrane, which in turn generates a transmembrane gradient of H+ ions. These hydrogen ions serve as a battery like source of energy to drive the phosphorylation of ADP to make 34 ATP per molecule of glucose.

Now you should be pretty familiar with glycolysis, the Krebs cycle, amino acids needed, and the electron transport chain, making the understanding of aerobic respiration, a breeze!






The Truth About Vitamins


As a young child you may remember taking little Flinstone’s vitamins or maybe Gummy Vitamins. You were told to do so, and they probably tasted good, so you didn’t question it much. Now as an adult, you may still have this habit, but it is important to be asking yourself some questions. What is the truth about vitamins? Do I need vitamins? Can I take too many? What vitamins are best? Here are some simple questions answered when it comes to vitamins.

Do I Need Vitamins?

Vitamins are designed to fill in the holes of the vitamins you don’t get enough of naturally in your diet. Your body prefers to get the vitamins naturally from your foods, as they are absorbed better this way. Then a multivitamin can be used to fill in the gaps you did not quite reach. Vitamins can be in the form of a single nutrient, such as Iron, or a multi vitamin such as Centrum. It might be a good idea to talk to your diet or a nutritionist to evaluate your diet to see what type of supplement you may need. In most cases a daily multivitamin is sufficient, However, many people chose to go without and do just fine. If you are a healthy eater and get most of the vitamins you need naturally from your diet, then supplements may not be necessary. The decision is up to you.

Can Vitamins Be Harmful?

If you have ever heard the phrase “Too much of anything can be a bad thing,” it applies here as well. Although it is rare, it is possible to take too many vitamins. Many vitamins have upper limits, meaning at a certain point they start being more harmful than helpful. Although you do urinate out your water soluble vitamins, the process does take a few hours to get to the bladder and too much can potentially be harmful. Vitamins are not regulated by the FDA, so they are not required to put an upper limit on the label. In most cases, just following the directions and not taking more than the suggested amount works great.

What Vitamins Are Best?

As you may have noticed, vitamins come in all different formulas, shapes and sizes. When seeing your doctor, be sure to talk about your diet, and they can help you find the appropriate vitamins for your body type. In general, vitamins are better absorbed with food, and work in small supplements throughout the day. For example, a vitamin that recommends you take one with each meal might work better than one capsule a day. This is because your body rids itself of the excess water soluble vitamins it does not use every FOUR hours! These are your B vitamins, folic acid, Biotin, and vitamin C. If you take smaller supplements throughout the day, your body is likely to get more benefit from them.


Weight Training for Women

There are numerous benefits of weight training for women. Consistent efforts with weight training (also known as strength training) can help with weight loss, blood pressure, bone density, clinical depression, and so many more great things for your health!

ID-100320363The Benefits:

Weight training is such a great way to give yourself a healthier you! Here are a few of the best benefits this type of exercise can give you.

Increases Bone Density: A study at Tufts University discovered that strength training not only increases muscle mass, but bone density as well. The research showed that women who lifted weights did not lose any bone density, but actually gained about 1% bone mass in their hips and spine. This was radically different than non-exercising women, who actually lost 2% to 2.5% of their bone mass during the same period of time. This is a great thing for us women who tend to slowly lose more and more bone mass over the years.

Helps With Weight Loss: While aerobics only increases your metabolism during the exercise, weight training not only raises your metabolism, but keeps it elevated by about 15% for up to two hours afterwards! To take advantage of this great new find, try weight training for 20-30 minutes, then move to something aerobic, such as running on a treadmill, or an aerobics class.

Counteracts Depression and Sleep Loss: Yep, you heard right! Strength training can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, a study at Tufts University says. In this study 6 out of 10 people had less trouble sleeping at night. As for depression, after 12 weeks of strength training three times a week, 14 of the 16 people no longer met the criteria for clinical depression and felt better.

Strength training also helps people age more gracefully, feel better about themselves, and gain the confidence they deserve.


Strength Training Exercises:

Now that you know some of the amazing benefits, I hope you are eager to get started! There are many strength training routines out there, so be sure to find one that works for you. I’ve also included a link to a great kettlebell fat burning program here.

The important thing is to work out and tone the areas you want to fix the most. Are your arms a little flabby? Are your thighs a little cottage cheese looking? Although weight loss is a major part of making these body parts thinner, strength training will help you tone and firm the areas you are looking to improve.

With any strength training exercise, try to stick with 10 to 15 reps, and do this three cycles for a total of 30 to 45 reps. If you are looking to lose weight, strength training can help! Your metabolism is elevated for about two hours after strength training, so this would be a perfect time to go do some aerobic exercise and get more bang for your buck when it comes to calorie burning. Below are two different routines, one for at home or at a gym, whichever is your preference.

Routene 1 (Gym)

  • 10 Bench Press– you can do the free-weight bench press, as this will also work your coordination and agility, or they have a machine that helps you to just focus on the weight aspect of bench pressing.
  • 5-10 Pull ups-This can be tricky for me and my weak armed friends, but have no fear. There is a machine at the gym that helps you work on your pull up by lowing your weight that you have to pull up, so you can start low and work your way up. If that does not work, you can hold yourself in a pull up position for 30-45 seconds.
  • 15 Squats– Our good friend the squat! Try doing 15 squats with a kettle bell
  • 15 Lunges– Be sure to not let your knee touch the ground, and do 15 on each leg!
  • 10 Push Ups– There are machines to help you slowly increase the weight you can do a push up with, or you can try pushups against the wall. Either way, work on those arms!
  • 10 Lat Pull Downs– This is an excellent machine at the gym that can really help condition and tone your arms.
  • 10 leg curls– Find a machine that works your thighs and another that works on your calves. These are excellent leg toners!

Once you have completed this circuit, start back at the beginning and do them 2 more times. If everything is located in the same room, this exercise should take 25-35 minutes.

Routine 2 (Home)

  • 10 push ups– regular or wall push ups
  • 10 dumbell curls per arm -use a weight size that feels comfortable or water bottles filled with sand.
  • 30 seconds of arm circles with dumbells in hand. Put your arms straight out like a scarecrow and make tiny circles for 30 seconds.
  • 16 Reverse Crunches
  • 30 crunches
  • 30 seconds plank
  • 20 squats
  • 15 lunges on each leg
  • 1 minute wall sit – lean against the wall as if in a chair with your bottom level to your knees.

Complete the routine and start it over again 2 more times. This work out should take 25-35 minutes. For more exercise ideas check out the 14 day perfect booty program.

Have a Happy Workout and be sure to drink plenty of water!

~Healthy Girl