Of the 20 or so organic cofactors that have been discovered over the years, the structures of more than half are derived from the nucleus of vitamins, primarily the water-soluble B vitamins. As companions to enzymes, organic cofactors relate to all forms of life. While we may think of vitamins as being needed by only higher organisms, many organic factors were designed to serve exclusively with enzymes and imperfections in enzyme systems that gave vitamins an essential character were revealed in bacteria and yeast systems long before they became known in humans. The carryover between cofactor-dependent reactions in microorganisms and humans has been remarkable, an illustration of the structure-function principle of biochemistry. Still, we must not overlook the fact that the study of cofactors has brought a sharper focus to the role of dietary components in human health and nutrition. Whereas mutated bacteria may fail to grow for want of a vitamin synthesized de novo, a susceptible human will develop a deficiency symptom. Both need the vitamin factor in a failing enzyme system in order for that system to perform at a healthy capacity. Nutritionists are challenged to learn the function of all cofactors

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

The Mediterranean Diet Meltdown

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