What is Biochemistry Like?

This is the book that I just finished reading in advance. It's only 160 pages, yet it took me a month to finish due to laziness.

The biochem book, from Rosalie, that we're going to use in school is 1197 pages. I can't imagine finishing that book but I've seen how elaborate and illustrative (multi-colored) the bigger book is.

They said that biochem is the hardest, so I started with it first. I wouldn't want to be overwhelmed when classes start.

But how would I describe this book? Simply, chemical processes (mostly metabolism)...

First of all, you need to understand what Metabolism is. Honestly, I took NMAT without fully understanding what metabolism means because it's not a big part in the Biology section of the NMAT. Metabolism is basically the chemical processes that happen inside the body. Like homeostatis, a simpler way to define it. In healthy human beings, only enough products are made from the things we digest. Sugars, being stored as glycogen, converted back to glucose when needed in a process called gluconeogenesis. When energy is needed, glycolysis or other alternative catabolic reaction is performed by our bodies to produce ATPs.

You'll see a lot of metabolisms of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nitrogen, and synthesis of hormones among other things. The variations of those molecules. Generating energy from carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Excretion of nitrogen wastes. Vitamins and their corresponding disorders brought about by their respective deficiencies.

The confusing stuff; key dietary terminologies, enzymes (there's a lot of it), ATP/AMP/ADP/GDP/NADP/NADPH/NADH..., hormones, integration of metabolism, biotechnology.

The key dietary terminologies cover things like dietary reference intake, recommended dietary allowance, basal metabolic rate, respiratory exchange rate, and body mass index. These things need calculations.

The enzymes I've read about in preparation for NMAT were just general terms. The enzymes and coenzymes you're about to memorize are a mouthful. The disorders brought about deficiency by an enzyme, and well there's often enzymes seen in a metabolism. Some reverse reactions need totally different enzymes to catalyze.

ATP/AMP/ADP/GDP/NADP/NADPH/NADH... I thought ATP was the only type of energy needed to catalyze reactions, but in a some few cases, AMP or ADP is used instead of ATP. NAD kinds of stuff are also used quite a lot in metabolisms. I thought it's only used in oxidative phosphorylation, which until now I still don't completely understand.

Integration of metabolism are processes in which materials/intermediates from a particular metabolism is used to fuel other metabolisms. It connects the dots pertaining to where resources of a metabolic cycle come from. I mean, it has to come from somewhere, right? The products are sometimes used allosterically to inhibit the enzyme. There are also multiple entry points in some metabolisms.

You need visuals on methods for cloning DNAs and identifying restriction fragment length polymorphisms. Otherwise, it's difficult to grasp.

Things that need to be familiarized: monosaccharides, phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, oxidation and reduction, transamination and deamination, cell cycle, and A-T-C-G base pairs. Disorders: hyper/hypo-glycemia, hypokalemia, ketoacidosis, PKU, hyperosmolarity,  lactic acidosis, different types of anemias, cirrhosis, hyer/hypo-thyroidism. Still many left unmentioned.

Honestly, it's difficult to understand using the book alone. I subscribed to Lecturio and found a way to download their materials. The video tutorials have particularly been very helpful when I no longer understand what I'm reading. When I'm done watching on a certain topic, I re-read the parts I don't understand, and it becomes more relatable. It's more detailed in the book sometimes, but the video tutorial helps me understand concepts much readily.

Why read the rapid review? It's like a refresher that contains high-yield information only. I also get the overview of the important processes of our body in just a short time. Thereby, giving me a big picture already. When classes start, I know it'll be very detailed, but failing to understand the bigger picture will cause you to lose sight of the objectives of a particular process.

Understanding is easy, the challenge comes in MEMORIZING. Sometimes, words are familiar, but you don't really understand where it came from, and then you'd back read to find its origin and purpose.

Next Read: Parasitology


  1. Cool! this is very informative!

    1. Thank you!

      Have you any plans to take up medicine too? 😃

  2. Wow you actually took time to gather all the info you can before med school starts. :) I have finally decided on which school to go to BTW :) haha

    1. Not all of it yet. hahaha. Struggling with finding Parasitology references that are colored and easier to understand. I found an app on playstore though which contains slides of parasites.

      Which school? :D Tell me tell me

    2. I decided to stay at my alma mater :)

    3. bakit doon? haha jk

      I would have done the same if I had choices like yours lol. Did you enroll na? :D

    4. Not yet done with the whole enrollment process but I got my uniform and nameplate made already ;)

    5. woahh bilis ah.. nagdadalawang isip pa ako kung papagawa ng ng uniforms kasi d pa naman sinabi. >.<

    6. Pagawa ka na kasi matagal pa yan matapos. Besides you have already enrolled so go na :)

    7. tinanong ko sa nanay ko.

      tama na ba daw ang design kung papatahi na ako dun sa lugar sabi ni RTod from pinoy.md.

      eh d rin ako sigurado.. tingin mo may pagkakaiba ba ng design from last yr to this year?

    8. I doubt so. Just to be sure maybe you can ask the people over at MHAM :)

  3. Thanks for writing this! August is coming way to fast..


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