Under normal conditions glucose and fat oxidation within the metabolic pathways “fuels” ATP resynthesis (protein plays a limited role as a fuel). Glucose is unique because unlike fat its energy content is exploited by anaerobic metabolism in addition to aerobic metabolism. Fat oxidation is completely aerobic. Anaerobic metabolism, as its name implies, does not involve oxygen. However, the products of anaerobic metabolism — pyruvate and lactate — can undergo complete oxidation aerobically; but that is a later story (Chap. 11). In fact, biochemistry was a borne anaerobic baby and grew to become an aerobic adult. Let us start from the beginning …

10.1 A Brief History of Anaerobic Biochemistry

For literally thousands of years, prevailing thought held that heat was a prerequisite for life. It was Jean Baptiste van Helmont (1577–1644) who declared things the other way around: life produced heat. The warmth rising from the fermentation of wine — the splitting of glucose to form alcohol — was...


Enthalpy Change Anaerobic Metabolism Anaerobic Glycolysis Gibbs Energy Change Metabolic Power 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher B. Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.GorhamUSA

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