Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Carbohydrate Conversion
Name: Nelly
Status: Student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Yesterday, I just learnt about Nutrition at school. In text book, it is said that CArbohydrates are needed because :

1. As a source of energy
2. To form supporting structure, e.g. Cellulose cell walls in plants
3. To be converted to other organic compounds such as amino acids
4. For the formation of nucleic acids, e.g. DNA

As I know, our body has an enyzme called amylases which break down carbohydrates into glucose. From the function of carbohydrates given above, my question is how does our body convert carbohydrates into amino acids and why must the body convert it?



Replies:
The body does NOT use carbohydrates as a source to make amino acids. The ten or so essential amino acids we need in or diet are made by plants and microorganisms...we can only get them in our diet by eat either a plant or animal. The other nonessential amino acids are "transaminated" from the ess Entail amino acids.

Peter Faletra Ph.D.
Office of Science
Department of Energy



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory