Importance of biochemistry can be seen from the fact that it is used in many day to day activities 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 one understand the actual concepts of functioning of various body processes and physiology of plants and animals.
Biochemistry in general deals with enzymes, hormones, carbohydrates, amino acids, 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.
- Physiology: Biochemistry helps one understand the biochemical changes and related physiological alteration in the body. Pathology of any disease is studied through biochemical changes.
- Pathology: 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 in blood results in gout.
- Nutrition deficiency: In the present scenario, many people rely in taking multivitamin & minerals for better health. The function and role of vitamin in body is described only by biochemistry.
- Hormonal deficiency: 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.
- Kidney function test: 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.
- Blood test: 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.
- Serum cholesterol test: 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.
- Prevent diseases: It helps for prevention, treatment of diseases and also increase the production or yield.
- Enhance growth: Biochemistry gives an idea of how use of fertilizers can increase plant growth, their yield, quality of food etc.
- Enhance Yield: 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.
- Adulteration: Even the composition of food material produced, their alteration or adulteration for example in honey can be found by biochemical tests. Biochemistry tests help prevent contamination.
- 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 like carbohydrates, protiens, fats,etc. and also the possible physiological alteration due to their deficiency.
- Role of nutrients: 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.
- Drug Constitution: Biochemistry gives an idea of the constitution of the drug, its chances of degradation with varying temperature etc. How modification in its chemistry helps improve efficiency, minimize side effects etc.
- The half life: This is a test done on biochemical drugs to know how long a drug is stable when kept at so and so temperature.
- Drug storage: Th storage condition required can be estimated by biochemical test.For example many enzymes, hormones are stored for dispensing. These get deteriorated over time due to temperature or oxidation, contamination and also due to improper storage.
- Drug metabolism: It also gives an idea of how drug molecules 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: These tests helps fix the specific half life or date of expiry for drugs.
Importance of biochemistry in plants
Biochemistry of plants gave way to breakthrough of how food is synthesized in them and the reason why they are autotrophs i.e. not dependent on other living beings for food. Biochemistry in plants describes
1. Photosynthesis: This describes how carbohydrates are synthesized by use of sunlight, CO2 and water in the green leaves of plants. It goes on to explain about different complex enzymes involved in the process to combine the energy of sun within the molecules H2O+ CO2 in the form of carbohydrates.
2. Respiration: By use of above photosynthesis pathway, plants leave out Oxygen while taking up Carbon dioxide from air.
3. Different sugars: Biochemistry defines different types of carbohydrates formed in plants like trioses (3 carbon sugars i.e. glyeraldehyde), tetroses (4), pentoses (5), hexoses (6= glucose), heptuloses (7) etc. Heptuloses are the carbohydrates which go on to form the nucleic acids i.e deoxyribonucliec acid (DNA), ribonucleic acid (RNA).
5. Other functions: It also describes how plants fruits get ripened, how plant seed germinates, the respiration process inside the plant cell, how amino acids and proteins are formed on rough endoplasmic reticulum and fats are formed on smooth ER.
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