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Essential Biochemistry for Medicine

ISBN: 978-0-470-74328-7
326 pages
October 2010
Essential Biochemistry for Medicine (047074328X) cover image


This text addresses the growing need for a new kind of textbook for medical and biomedical undergraduates that presents a fully integrated approach to biochemistry and medicine, rather than covering biochemistry on a topic by topic basis with a smattering of 'medical cases' to demonstrate relevance. The majority of pre-clinical medical students do not need a detailed biochemistry text book, but rather "biochemistry as a basis" or as an "add-on". The major challenge for them is to integrate biochemical knowledge, to clinical application in the understanding of the etiology of diseases, their diagnosis and treatment.

Essential Biochemistry for Medicine is not intended to be an exhaustive, comprehensive reference; rather a concise, accessible guide that will help first year students, from a wide spectrum of backgrounds, gain a good basic understanding of the biochemistry behind common medical disorders. It integrates biochemistry with clinical applications and the understanding of the etiology of diseases, their diagnosis and treatment. Each chapter includes a concise and simple introduction to the relevant biochemistry and terminology to reinforce what biomedical students have covered, orientate them and encourage them to consider the medical context; whilst at the same time outlining the biochemistry in a simple, "must know" format, for medical students before directing them to the all important clinical considerations.

Key Features:

  • A fully integrated approach to give students a basic understanding of the biochemistry behind common medical disorders
  • Concise, accessible and well-written with numerous clear illustrations in full colour throughout
  • Uses 'FOCUS' sections to expand on certain areas such as diabetes, HIV and obesity
  • Includes links and quick references for those wanting a broader knowledge of each topic
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Table of Contents


1 Nutritional requirements.

1.1 Carbohydrates and sugars.

1.2 Glycogen.

1.3 Glycaemic index.

1.4 Lipids.

1.5 Proteins and amino acids.

1.6 Biological value.

1.7 Other energy sources.

1.8 Vitamins.

1.9 Minerals.

2 Metabolism and energy.

2.1 A metabolic strategy.

2.2 Carbohydrate metabolism (catabolic).

2.3 Glycolysis.

2.4 Tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle – Krebs cycle – citric acid cycle).

2.5 Oxidative phosphorylation.

2.6 Brown adipose tissue and heat generation.

2.7 Glycogenolysis.

2.8 Carbohydrate metabolism (anabolic).

2.9 Gluconeogenesis.

2.10 Glycogenesis.

2.11 Fatty acid catabolism.

2.12 Amino acid catabolism.

2.13 Blood glucose homeostasis.

2.14 Glucokinase and hexokinase.

2.15 Glucose transporters.

2.16 Diabetes mellitus.

2.17 Type 1 diabetes.

2.18 Type 2 diabetes.

2.19 Insulin/Glucagon effects on metabolism.

2.20 Hyperglycaemia and associated pathology.

2.21 Glycation.

2.22 The polyol pathway.

3 Regulating body weight.

3.1 Obesity.

3.2 Weight regulation.

3.3 Controlling food intake.

3.4 Pre-gastric factors.

3.5 Gastrointestinal and post-absorptive factors.

3.6 Enteric nervous system.

3.7 The central nervous system.

3.8 Long-term control.

3.9 CNS factors.

3.10 Lifestyle changes.

3.11 The basics of dieting.

3.12 Medical and surgical treatment.

4 Digestion and absorption.

4.1 The gastrointestinal tract.

4.2 Gastric acid production.

4.3 Proton pump inhibitors.

4.4 Helicobacter pylori.

4.5 The small intestine.

4.6 The gastrointestinal barrier.

4.7 Paneth cells.

4.8 The enteric endocrine system.

4.9 The pancreas.

4.10 Absorption in the small intestine: general principles.

4.11 Crossing the gastrointestinal barrier.

4.12 Absorption and secretion of water and electrolytes.

4.13 Pathophysiology of diarrhea.

4.14 Rehydration therapy.

4.15 Absorption of sugars and amino acids.

4.16 Absorption of amino acids and peptides.

4.17 Absorption of lipids.

4.18 Absorption of minerals and metals.

4.19 Malabsorption syndromes.

4.20 Steatorrhoea.

4.21 Lactose intolerance.

4.22 Glucose–galactose malabsorption.

4.23 Coeliac disease.

4.24 Crohn’s disease.

4.25 The large intestine.

5 Synthesis, mobilisation and transport of lipids and lipoproteins.

5.1 Fatty acid synthesis.

5.2 Long-term control of fatty acid synthase.

5.3 Triacylglycerols.

5.4 Mobilisation of lipid stores.

5.5 Transport of lipids.

5.6 Intestinal uptake of lipids.

5.7 Chylomicrons.

5.8 Apolipoproteins.

5.9 Export of fat from the liver.

5.10 Role of HDL in lipid metabolism.

5.11 Apoprotein classes.

5.12 LDL receptors.

5.13 Disorders of lipoprotein metabolism.

5.14 Alzheimer’s disease.

5.15 Pharmacologic intervention.

6 Theliver.

6.1 General overview.

6.2 Storage diseases.

6.3 Glycogen storage diseases.

6.4 General liver metabolism.

6.5 Production and excretion of bile.

6.6 Pattern and control of bile secretion.

6.7 Clinical significance of bile secretion.

6.8 Cholesterol metabolism.

6.9 Regulating cholesterol synthesis.

6.10 Regulating sterol synthesis.

6.11 Drug metabolism.

6.12 Breakdown of haem (Haemoglobin).

6.13 Bilirubin.

6.14 Jaundice.

6.15 Protein metabolism – albumin.

6.16 Protein metabolism – nitrogen metabolism and the urea cycle.

6.17 The urea cycle.

6.18 Regulation of the urea cycle.

6.19 Urea cycle defects.

6.20 Neurotoxicity associated with ammonia.

7 Alcohol metabolism and cirrhosis.

7.1 The alcohol dehydrogenase system.

7.2 The microsomal cytochrome P450 system.

7.3 The peroxisome catalase system.

7.4 The consequence of alcohol intake.

7.5 Short-term metabolic consequences of alcohol intake.

7.6 Long-term consequences of chronic alcohol intake.

7.7 Cirrhosis of the liver.

7.8 Complications of cirrhosis.

8 Protein structures.

8.1 Protein primary structure.

8.2 Peptide bonds.

8.3 Protein interactions.

8.4 Levels of protein structure.

8.5 Types of protein structure.

8.6 The α-helix.

8.7 The β-sheet.

8.8 Protein folding.

8.9 Carbohydrates and lipid association with protein.

8.10 Disruption of the native state.

8.11 Incorrect protein folding and neurodegenerative disease.

8.12 The study of proteins.

8.13 Defects in protein structure and function.

8.14 Glycolipid degradation.

8.15 Protein receptor defects.

8.16 Transformation and carcinogenesis.

9 Enzymes and diagnosis.

9.1 Enzyme nomenclature.

9.2 Catalytic mechanism.

9.3 Lowering the activation energy.

9.4 Reactions, rates and equilibria.

9.5 Michaelis–menten kinetics.

9.6 Lineweaver–burk.

9.7 Isoenzymes.

9.8 Enzyme inhibitors.

9.9 The control of enzyme activity.

9.10 Allosteric enzymes.

9.11 Covalent modification of enzymes.

9.12 Control proteins.

9.13 Enzymes in medicine.

9.14 Biomarkers and enzymes in diagnosis.

9.15 Enzymes in the diagnosis of pathology.

9.16 Liver-function tests.

10 The kidney.

10.1 Nephron structure.

10.2 Kidney function.

10.3 Diuretics.

10.4 Anti-diuretic hormone.

10.5 Aquaporins.

11 Haemostasis.

11.1 Blood vessel trauma.

11.2 Blood coagulation.

11.3 The coagulation cascade.

11.4 The tissue factor (TF) pathway.

11.5 The contact activation pathway.

11.6 The common pathway.

11.7 Amplification of the clotting process.

11.8 Co-factors in coagulation.

11.9 Regulators of coagulation.

11.10 Breaking down the clot.

11.11 Disorders of haemostasis.

11.12 Pharmacology of haemostasis.

12 Bone metabolism and calcium homeostasis.

12.1 Mineral density test.

12.2 Osteoblasts.

12.3 Osteoclasts.

12.4 Bone structure.

12.5 Composition of bone.

12.6 Collagen.

12.7 Bone disorders.

12.8 Contributing factors to bone disorders.

12.9 Treatments of bone disorders.

12.10 Calcium homeostasis.

12.11 Endocrine regulation of [Ca2+]ECF.

12.12 Parathyroid hormone.

12.13 Vitamin D.

13 Intracellular signaling.

13.1 Hormones.

13.2 The hierarchical nature of hormonal control.

13.3 Hormone synthesis and secretion.

13.4 Hormonal control.

13.5 Types of chemical messenger.

13.6 Intracellular signalling and signal transduction.

13.7 Cell-surface and intracellular receptors.

13.8 Second messengers.

13.9 The glucagon receptor.

13.10 The gastrin receptor.

14 Inflammation.

14.1 The acute inflammatory response.

14.2 Leukocyte transmigration.

14.3 Chronic inflammation.

14.4 Mediators of inflammation.

14.5 Acute-phase proteins.

14.6 Patterns of acute and chronic inflammation.

14.7 Inflammatory disorders.

15 The immune response.

15.1 Leukocytes.

15.2 Innate immunity.

15.2.1 The complement system.

15.2.2 Complement deficiency.

15.2.3 Natural killer cells.

15.3 Passive immunity.

15.4 Acquired immunity.

16 Mitochondrial dysfunction.

16.1 Mitochondrial DNA.

16.2 Non-Mendelian inheritance.

16.3 Mitochondrial cytopathies.

16.4 Common symptoms of mitochondrial dysfunction.

16.5 Mitochondria and ageing.

16.6 Diagnosis of mitochondrial myopathies.

17 Nerve and muscle systems.

17.1 Nerves.

17.2 The nerve message.

17.3 Diseases of the nervous system.

17.4 Specific neural disorders.

17.5 Muscle types.

17.6 The neuromuscular junction.

17.7 Neuromuscular disease.

17.8 Sarcomeres and focal adhesions.

17.9 Dystrophin.

17.10 Intrinsic cardiomyopathy.

17.11 Metabolic diseases of muscle.

18 The cytoskeleton.

18.1 Actin filaments/microfilaments.

18.2 Intermediate filaments.

18.3 Microtubules.

18.4 Spectrin.

18.5 Alzheimer’s disease.

18.6 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

18.7 Synapsins.

19 Genes and medicine.

19.1 Chromosomes.

19.2 Chromosome banding.

19.3 Karyotypes.

19.4 The spectral karyotype: fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).

19.5 Gene mutations.

19.6 Genetic disorders.

19.7 Gene testing.

19.8 The human genome project.

19.9 Gene therapy.

19.10 The next step: functional genomics.

19.11 Pharmacogenomics.

19.12 Genetic engineering: recombinant DNA technology.

19.13 The polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

19.14 Complementary DNA (cDNA).

19.15 DNA probes.

19.16 DNA sequencing.

19.17 Genetic engineering applications.

19.18 Commercial gene products.

19.19 Gene therapy.

19.20 Controlling gene expression.

19.21 Transcription factors.

19.22 Response element.

19.23 Genes and cancer: the cell cycle.

19.24 Viruses and cancer.

19.25 Apoptosis.

19.26 Caspases.

20 Antibacterial drug resistance.

20.1 Horizontal gene transfer.

20.2 Penicillin resistance.

20.3 Sulphonamide resistance.

20.4 Bacterial efflux pumps.

20.5 Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

20.6 Vancomycin.

20.7 Staphylococcus aureus.

20.8 Clostridium difficile.


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The Wiley Advantage

  • A fully integrated approach to give students a basic understanding of the biochemistry behind common medical disorders. 
  • Concise, accessible and well-written with numerous clear, relevant illustrations in full colour throughout. 
  •   Includes links and quick references for those wanting a broader knowledge of each topic.
See More


"This book will appeal to all who work in health care and is highly recommended." (Mitchell Fry, 2011)
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