Importance of biochemistry can be seen from the fact that, it is used in many aspects of daily life-like in clinical diagnosis, manufacture of various biological products, treatment of diseases, in nutrition,agriculture etc.
Biochemistry is a branch of science which deals with chemical basis of life. It is concerned about the internal chemistry of biological systems viz. animals and plants.It is also taught as a branch of biology i.e as Bio-chemistry.
The study of biochemistry helps us understand the actual concepts, in functioning of various body processes and physiology of both plants and animals. The biochemistry can be studied as clinical biochemistry, medical biochemistry, industrial biochemistry, forensic biochemistry, food chemistry, agriculture biochemistry etc.
Biochemistry in general deals with enzymes, hormones, carbohydrates,fats, proteins, DNA, RNA, pigments etc. It describes their origin, formation, function, deficiency symptoms etc.It tries to explain life in terms of bio-chemical reactions. One can understand all the chemical reactions happening at molecular level in a living cell or living being. The role of biochemistry and its importance in various fields is as described below.
Importance of biochemistry in medicine:
Biochemistry is a valuable subject in medicine without which there would have been no such advancement in the field.
Biochemistry helps one understand the biochemical changes and related physiological alteration in the body. Pathology of any disease is studied through biochemical changes.
Based on the symptoms described by the patient, physician can get clue on the biochemical change and the associated disorder. For example if a patient complains about stiffness in small joints, then physician may predict it to be gout and get confirmed by evaluating uric acid levels in the blood. As uric acid accumulation results in gout.
In the present scenario, many people rely in taking multivitamin & minerals for better health. The function and role of vitamin is described only by biochemistry.
There are many disorders due to hormonal imbalance in especially women and children. The formation, role of hormones in the normal body function is taught in biochemistry by which the physician can understand the concerned problem during treatment.
Importance of biochemistry in nursing:
In nursing importance of clinical biochemistry is invaluable. When a patient is in the hospital nurses need to keep a watch on how his condition is progressing through clinical biochemistry. That is the treatment helping him recover from said condition etc. Almost all the diseases or disorders have some biochemical involvement. So the diagnosis of any clinical condition is easily possible by biochemical estimations.
For example in kidney disorders, other chemotherapy treatment etc urine test help understand the extent of excretion of drugs or other metabolites, the change in pH, the colour of urine etc.
In diabetes, biochemical test namely blood glucose level (above 150mg/ deci liter helps one understand the severity of diabetes disorder. Another biochemical test for ketones bodies in urine also indicates the stage of diabetes. Appearance of ketone bodies or ketone urea is mostly last stage of diabetes.
Liver function tests helps understand the type of disease or damage to liver, the effect of any medication on liver etc.
Evaluation of blood cholesterol level and other lipoproteins helps understand the proneness of the patient to cardiovascular diseases.
Thus importance of clinical biochemistry is to help the nurse monitor the patient’s condition regularly during the treatment.
Importance of biochemistry in agriculture:
In agriculture biochemistry plays a valuable role in farming, fishery, poultry, sericulture, beekeeping etc.
It helps for prevention, treatment of diseases and also increase the production or yield. Biochemistry gives an idea of how use of fertilizers can modulate plant growth, their yield etc.
Some hormones promote growth, while other promote flowering, fruit formation etc. In fisheries, use of substances to promote fish growth, their reproduction etc can be understood.
Even the composition of food material produced, their alteration or adulteration for example in honey can be found by biochemical tests.
Biochemical tests for the pesticide residues or other toxic waste in plant, food grain and soil can be evaluated. Hence during import and export of food grains a biochemical check of the toxic residues is done to fix the quality.
In animal husbandry, the quality of milk can be checked by biochemical tests. It also helps diagonise any disease condition in animals and birds.
In fisheries the water quality is regularly monitored by biochemical tests. Any drastic change in water chemistry & composition of fishery ponds can lead to vast death of fishes and prawns, hence the tests are done on regular basis to see salt content (calcium content), pH, accumulation of waste due to not changing water for long etc.
Importance of biochemistry in nutrition:
In nutrition, biochemistry describes the food chemistry. For maintenance of health, optimum intake of many biochemicals like macro, micro nutrients, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids & water is necessary.
Food chemistry gives an idea of what we eat, i.e. it’ s components and possible physiological alteration due to their deficiency.
Due to biochemistry the importance of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, their contribution to health were known. Hence there is frequent recommendation for inclusion of essential amino-acids, cod liver oil, salmon fish oil etc. by physicians and other health and fitness experts.
The nutrients value of food material can also be determined by biochemical tests.
Physician can prescribe to limit usage of certain food like excess sugar for diabetics, excess oil for heart & lung problem prone patients etc. As these carbohydrate and fat biochemical can inhibit the recovery rate from said disorder. This knowledge is due to their idea on food chemistry and related
Importance of biochemistry in pharmacy:
In a pharmacy, many drugs are stored for regular dispensing.
Biochemistry gives an idea of the constitution of the drug, its chances of degradation with varying temperature etc. For example many enzymes, hormones are stored for dispensing. These get deteriorated over time and also due to improper storage.
It also gives an idea of how drugs are metabolized by many biochemical reactions in presence of enzymes. This helps to avoid drugs which have poor metabolism or those with excessive side effects from being prescribed or dispensed to the patient.
Biochemical tests helps fix the specific half life or date of expiry for drugs.