Updated: Mar 14
Part 1: Metabolism: Converting food into energy for your cells to do their jobs. To convert food into proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and something called nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). To eliminate the waste from metabolism (metabolic waste) or metabolites.
What is important to know about metabolism and herbs is:
To understand how to use herbs and essentials, it’s important to learn how to choose and herb. Just as important is why to use them.
Through metabolism, we take in vitamins and minerals to get what our body needs.
Our cells have specific functions 1. They give our body a structure and support. Helps our bodies continuously grow and regrow through a process called mitosis.3. Move and produce energy inside and outside of our cells. 4. Reproduce by metabolic reactions.
Our cells need energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and oxygen to work. ATP is the energy our body uses in functions like nerve impulses and muscle contractions. ATP is the energy our cells need to work and stay alive.
Cellular respiration is the process of converting the energy obtained from the sugars, carbohydrates, fats and protein in to energy called Adenosine Triphosphate. It is the process of making energy and getting rid of waste in your cells.
Cellular respiration can be done with oxygen (aerobic) and without oxygen (anaerobic).
Aerobic respiration: the stages of cellular respiration are Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, and the Electron Transportation Chain. You get carbon dioxide (CO2), water (H2O), and lots of ATP.
Anaerobic respiration: The stages of cellular respiration are Glycolysis, Krebs Cycle, Electron Transportation Chain. You get CO2 and ATP (less thank aerobic respiration).
Cellular metabolism simply means energy for your cells, nutrients are the main component needed for our body’s movement, growth, development, and reproduction. It is a chemical process of breaking down nutrients from the food we eat.
Catabolism– Bigger complex molecules are broken down into smaller ones. The process releases energy.
Anabolism– This part of metabolism is where growth, building, and repair. Bigger complex molecules are made from smaller ones. The process needs energy from catabolism or food. If we eat more than we need, the excess nutrients are stored in our body. Often as fat. This process attains energy.
Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are broken down into carbon dioxide and turns water into energy. We store energy in a form of glucose made into energy through this process. Remember ATP is your cells energy.
What is oxidization of acetate? During this process carbon molecule are turned into carbon dioxide. Its one of the pathways to get to the end product: Energy (ATP).
What happens, simply, is carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are broken down into carbon dioxide and turns water into energy.
The diagram can look pretty scary!
What you should know is this a chemical process to make energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
We store energy in a form of glucose made into energy through this process.
Remember ATP is your cells energy.
Electron Transportation Chain. This process uses enzymes acting as catalysts. They are proteins acting as catalysts. Remember a catalyst is anything which causes a chemical reaction to proceed faster.
These enzymes transfer electrons within your cells. This is done by chemical reactions.
An electron is a negative charged particle. A proton is a positive charged particle. They are “electrical” charges within our cells. Neutron are like the word sounds. They are “neutral”, meaning they do not have electric charges.
The beta oxidation reaction is just a type of biochemical reaction in our cells. The fatty acid is broken down into something called acetyl-CoA and some carbon atoms.
In the end you get ATP molecules. What that means is energy.
Your liver has another way of breaking down nutrients for energy.
Cofactors- molecules that act as catalyst for enzymes during reactions like metabolism. The enzyme cannot do it alone. They break down into something called coenzymes. Organic cofactors are vitamins or molecules derived from Most inorganic cofactors are minerals.
Coenzymes- are Cofactors broken down to organic nonprotein molecules that bind with the protein molecule (apoenzyme) to form the active enzyme (holoenzyme). What it means is they are needed to bind, usually with a protein, for energy production, metabolism of iron, neuropeptide activation, neurotransmitter synthesis, connective tissue synthesis. They act as a catalyst increasing, the rates of a chemical reaction. They are sometimes called helper molecules. The coenzymes often come from vitamins and essential nutrients (trace elements).
Free radicals occur when the oxygen (O2) in our bodies split into a single atom. What you end up having are unpaired electrons. Electrons will try to be in pairs. Hence free radicals. They will try to seek other electrons to pair with. This process damages cells, DNA, and protein.
Integumentary: Made up if hair, skin, and nails. It holds your internal organs and structures. It also protects you agains the environment. Protects your internal organs and structures from pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Prevent us from losing all the water in our body, thereby staying alive. Conveys important information about our environment to our brain. Information like heat, pain, pleasure, cold, and pressure. Basically to help us stay safe and not become injured. Regulate our body temperature by sensors to cool us down by sweating or heat us up with “goosebumps”. Stores fat and water to help insulate and for metabolism.
Skeletal: We all know the skeletal system gives our body a structure. Bones and cartilage make up the skeletal system. It helps us to propel our bodies, make blood cells in the bone marrow, and stores calcium. Calcium ions regulate our heart beat and how well it contracts. It also is responsible for the muscle contraction of our skeletal muscles. I think we all know we need it for our bones and teeth. It also regulates nerve impulse conductions. Our bones store red and yellow bone marrow. Red bone marrow produces stem cells which then become red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Yellow bone marrow stores fat. As we age, more of our bones store yellow bone marrow. The mesenchymal stem cells are stored here. These cells can form bone, fat, cartilage, or muscle.
Muscular System: Our muscles help regulate our temperature, enable walking, make our organs work, circulate blood, and make digestion happen. 3types of muscles: Skeletal muscle; The muscle attached to bones. They contract and move our bones enabling us to walk, chew, bend, write, and type. Smooth muscle; lines our organs, blood vessels, circulate blood, and make digestion possible.
Cardiac muscle; pumps blood through our body providing our cells with the materials they need to stay alive. Our nervous system controls how fast to contract by electrical stimulation.
Nervous system: To think of it simply, our nervous system is like a master computer. It organizes activities and information from our senses and transmits signal to the rest of our body to keep us in homeostasis.
Endocrine system: Your endocrine system secretes hormones and regulates glands comprising this system are, your hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, adrenals, pineal, ovaries, and testes. Each gland works on a specific system. For instance, your hypothalamus secretes chemicals controlling the release of hormone from your pituitary gland. Your pituitary is the chief gland. Some of the hormones it makes controls the other glands. They are divided into exocrine and Their purpose is to make and release substances to the rest of your body for it to function. Endocrine glands are typically hormones where exocrine glands are not.
Cardiovascular system: Your cardiovascular system pumps fluid throughout your body and essential nutrients into your cells. This system includes cells, muscle, arteries, veins, and other vessels branching out. Circulates oxygen and nutrients to your cells (and organs)
Maintains fluid balance. Prevents blood loss and infection. Helps remove waste from your cells.
Respiratory System: Made up of your mouth, nose, sinuses, pharynx, trachea, bronchial tubes, lungs, diaphragm, and something called cilia. This system works with the cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to your cells. It lets you smell and talk. Your respiratory system removes waste like carbon dioxide (CO2) and the cilia protects your airway.
Lymphatic System: is comprised of bone marrow, lymph nodes, your spleen, appendix, tonsils, adenoids, thymus, lymphatic fluid, and Peyer’s patches (located in the small intestine). The main functions of your lymphatic system include: Filtering dead cells, toxins, and bacteria. Making cells called lymphocytes to fight infection. Regulate protein concentrations in your lymph system. Absorb lipids (fats) in the intestine (Peyer’s patches) and transport them to the blood stream.
Digestive System: Consists of your mouth, esophagus, upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, lower GI tract, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. Your upper GI tract or commonly known as your gut, include: Stomach, Small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, and ileum). Large intestine (cecum, colon, and rectum). The main function of your digestive system if to break food down into small water-soluble molecules to “feed” your cells. Salivary glands which produce saliva (has an enzyme) moisten your food and begin breaking it down. You then swallow your food passing it through your esophagus into your stomach. The lining in your stomach makes acid and enzymes to break down the food. Your stomach muscles mix it all. Lipase, amylase, and trypsin are common enzymes for digestion. Your pancreas makes enzymes which are released into the small intestine to continue the process. Your liver makes an acid called bile and is stored in your gallbladder. It is also released into the small intestine.
Urinary System: your kidneys, bladder, ureters, and urethra make up the urinary (also known as renal system. It’s major processes include: Regulating blood pressure and volume in your body by excreting fluid. Regulating electrolytes and metabolites. Regulating your pH to keep homeostasis.
MALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM: Primary purpose is procreation. The system includes the penis, urethra, scrotum, testicles, prostate gland, vas deferens, epididymis, and seminal vesicles. Semen and male hormones are made. Your pituitary gland controls the process. It secretes hormones called follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH). These hormones will work on sex drive, sperm production, bone mass, muscle mass, fat distribution, and strength.
FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM: The external parts help sperm enter and try to protect you from infections; Labia majora, labia minora, Bartholin’s gland, clitoris. The internal organs job is to fertilize and support the baby until delivery; Vagina, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes. Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are the hormones. Made in the ovaries, adrenal gland, and in fat (estrogen).
PART 2 MACROMINERALS AND TRACE ELEMENTS: Minerals are thought to be inorganic nonprotein found in rocks and soil. They are often a nonprotein chemical assisting a biological chemical reaction. Minerals are categorized into two groups; Macro-minerals and trace minerals. They are minerals carrying an electric charge (positive and negative) when dissolved in liquid. Some of the macro minerals are important to the body functioning as electrolytes. This group of macro minerals help regulate your nerve and muscle function by shifting fluids in and out of you blood, fluid, and cells. The maintain your acid base and water balances. Your kidneys plan an important role in maintaining electrolyte concentrations, filtering electrolytes and water from you blood. Your kidneys may return some electrolytes to your blood or remove them into the urine.
Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals and compounds. They are positive or negative. They have a “charge” when dissolved in water. Electrolytes are commonly known as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. Electrolytes are particularly important in muscle, nerve, and heart cells where they act together to conduct electrical impulses for nerve impulses and muscle contractions. Your kidneys maintain consistent blood electrolyte concentrations.
Calcium- electrolyte stored in bones and teeth. It keeps your bones strong. It’s needed for your nerves to send impulses or signals throughout your body. It helps your blood vessels, heart rhythm, and helps in the release of hormones and enzymes. Calcium works in union with Vitamin D. It is the most abundant mineral in our bodies. Herbs containing calcium are dried: basil, savory, marjoram, sage, rosemary, thyme, dill, celery seed, cinnamon, and cardamom.
Chloride- It’s an electrolyte whose function is to balance your body fluid’s pH. It helps deliver oxygen to your cells, keep blood volume, blood pressure, and prevent fluid shifts from the cells in and out of your body. Often seen as a combination such as sodium chloride (salt) or potassium chloride. Works with other electrolytes. Chloride is one of several electrolytes in your body and with sodium and potassium is necessary for maintaining your body’s homeostasis. It is typically seen bonded with sodium or potassium. It can bond with other elements. Herbs with chloride will typically be one with sodium or potassium.
Magnesium- Electrolytes important for muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and in the production of protein, bone, and DNA. A cofactor for energy production. Herbs containing magnesium: Allspice, basil, gingerroot, marjoram, rosemary leaf, and sage.
Phosphorus/Phosphate- The terms are often interchangeable. The mineral phosphorous combines to form phosphate compounds. Primarily in your bones and teeth. It’s also in your genes. It’s role is in production of energy and chemical process your body performs every day. One function impacts how your body uses carbohydrates and fats. Another important function is making protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of your tissues and cells. Herbs containing phosphorus: basil, bay leaf, burdock root, ginger root, nettle, marjoram, spearmint, turmeric root, and thyme.
Potassium- Manages heart, kidney, and nerve function. As important, how you muscle contracts. Your heart is a muscle. Potassium can help regulate your heart beat. It moves nutrients into your cells and removes waste out of your cells. Herbs containing potassium: Alfalfa, basil, dandelion, hops, nettle, sage, and turmeric.
Sodium- Salt and sodium are often interchanged but they are not the same. Salt comes in the form of sodium chloride. Sodium is only one of the minerals in salt. An electrolyte whose function is to help manage fluid in and out of your cells. Affects muscle, nerve, and blood pressure function. Much of the sodium in your body are found in your lymph and blood systems. Your adrenal glands make a hormone called aldosterone. This hormone signals your kidneys when to change sodium excretion into the urine. When you sweat you also loose a little sodium. Herbs containing sodium: Allspice, ginger root, basil, turmeric root, thyme, marjoram, sage leaf, and rosemary leaf.
Sulfur- Comes from amino acids found in protein. It’s function in your body is very important. It plays a role in making protein, metabolizing food, building and repairing DNA, and regulating gene expression. Gene expression refers to a process a gene uses to assemble a protein molecule. It plays a role in connective tissue and detoxifying your liver. There is no recommended daily intake for sulfur. You typically take in enough sulfur with your diet as long as your protein intake is adequate. Some products contain sulfur to increase their shelf life, kill insects, or just make them look more attractive. This can alter your products. Be careful in buying products with added sulfur. Herbs containing sulfur: burdock root, catnip, echinacea purpura, juniper berries, mullein, and peppermint.
Trace Elements: Are exactly that. You only need small amounts.
Chromium: Cr –Needed for metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats (Krebs’s Cycle). Used in breakdown of glucose by insulin to regulate blood glucose levels. It may reduce hunger, craving, and binge eating. Herbs containing chromium: Catnip, licorice root, nettle leaf, yarrow leaf/flower, and wild yam.
Cobalt: Co-A cofactor for metabolism (remember a cofactor is a chemical compound binding with usually a protein to make it a catalyst for energy production). Part of Vitamin B12 which is needed for cell functions like nerve cell, production of some proteins and creating neurotransmitters. Plays a role in red blood cell productions Stimulates erythropoietin production. Needed for antibacterial and antiviral cell production in the bone marrow. It is synthesized (combining things to make one) by certain bacteria in your gut. Herbs containing cobalt: Bay leaf, dong quai, dandelion, garlic pepper, ginseng root, marjoram, maca root/powder, and sage leaf.
Copper: Co-A cofactor for many enzymes in energy production (ATP). It can help with gene activation, brain development, nervous system, and your immune system. Needed to metabolize iron. Found in your skeletal muscle, brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. Herbs containing copper: Burdock root, chickweed, echinacea purpura, goldenseal, hops whole flower, juniper berries, peppermint leaf, and valerian root.
Zinc and Vitamin C can compete with the absorption of copper in your gut. You often only need to take in with a balanced diet. Too much is not a good thing sometimes.
Iron: Fe-Needed for energy metabolism. Hemoglobin is a molecule containing iron. It’s found in you red blood cells carrying oxygen in your body. Herbs containing iron: thyme, spearmint, marjoram, basil, Herbs De Provence, basil leaf, turmeric root, sage leaf, rosemary leaf, and ginger.
Fluoride: F-Thought to reverse the beginning and progression of tooth decay. Stimulates the formation of new bone. Binds with calcium in teeth and bones. Some birch bark, leaves, and hops.
Iodine: I-Component of some of your thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Help regulate biochemicals, metabolic activity, immune system, development of skeletal and central nervous system in fetuses and infants. Can impact weight loss or weight gain. May help with mammary dysplasia and fibrocystic breast disease. Herbs with iodine: Burdock root, caraway seed whole, echinacea purpura, hops whole flower, peppermint, spearmint, and thyme.
Manganese: Mn-A cofactor for energy production (ATP). Remember a cofactor is a chemical compound binding with usually a protein to make it a catalyst for energy production. Important for synthesis and activation of many enzymes for lipid and glucose metabolism. Helps accelerate the synthesis of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and protein. Important for the production of hematopoiesis (the process of making blood cells). Done in bone marrow, liver, and spleen. Helps to regulate endocrine system. Helps to improve immune functioning. Thought to play a role in bone formation. Herbs with manganese: Cloves, cardamom, ginger, spearmint, cinnamon, thyme, turmeri