Roskoski, Robert, Jr. Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research, Horse Shoe, North Carolina.
Last reviewed:April 2019
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- Energy content of foodstuffs
- Free energy changes
- Adenosine triphosphate
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The energy changes that accompany biochemical reactions. Energy metabolism, or bioenergetics, is concerned with the chemical reactions required for energy transformations within living cells. Animals, plants, and bacteria require energy to sustain life. Energy sustains the work of biosynthesis of cellular and extracellular components, the transport of ions and organic chemicals against concentration gradients (osmotic work), the conduction of electrical impulses in the nervous system, and the movement of cells and the whole organism. Sunlight is the ultimate source of energy for life; photosynthetic cells use light energy to produce chemical energy and reducing compounds, which are used to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into organic chemicals (for example, glucose). Then, the energy derived from the oxidation of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins (Fig. 1) sustains the biochemical reactions required for life. See also: Amino acid metabolism; Biochemistry; Biological oxidation; Carbohydrate; Carbohydrate metabolism; Carbon dioxide; Cell (biology); Cell biology; Fat and oil; Glucose; Lipid metabolism; Metabolism; Photosynthesis; Protein
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