Like the amoeba, every body cell is made up of protoplasm, composed mainly of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and n trogen. These elements account for most of our body weight. The remainder is made up of calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, sodium, potassium, sulfur, magnesium, iron, and trace elements such as manganese, copper, and iod ne. Most of these elements are chemically converted from the air we breathe and the food we eat. Carbon and hydrogen, for example, are produced chiefly from carbohydrates. Since almost everything we eat and drink undergoes u similar conversion, 1 would like to discuss the role of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in the cell to prepare the groundwork for a clear understanding of my nutritional programs.
Excluding water, proteins are the most abundant substance found in the protoplasm, making up between 10 and 20 percent of the cell mass. This fact underlines the importance of eating high-quality protein, having a high rate of absorption into the body systems. Cellular protein has prime importance as a building material for the protoplasm and is divided into two types: (1) structural, holding cell structures together, such as the nuclear and cell membranes; and (2) enzymes, controlling chemical reactions in the cell.
Between 2 and 3 percent of protoplasm content is composed of lipids or fats, distributed throughout the cell, with an exceptionally high concentration in the nuclear and cell membranes Working like guards within these membranes, lipids either allow chemicals to pass from one part of the cell to another or prevent them from doing so. Without the consent of a lipid nothing can pass the barriers. You can imagine a gate clanging shut to keep the cell safe from harm.
Although carbohydrates average 1 percent or less of the total protoplasm mass, they play a major role in nutrition When converted into glucose, carbohydrates are always present in the fluid surrounding each cell wall, being immediately available when needed. As glucose splits within the cell, it forms glycogen, one of ihe maun burnetii* Hired to rcicuse tremendous quatmnex of energy. If carbohydrates are eliminated from your diet, especially before a competitive event, your body is cut off from this essential source of energy.
Essential to life itself arc the chemical reactions within the cell. These are caused by ions, with differing positive and negative
charges, that are found dissolved in the water of the protoplasm. Among the most important ions are potassium, magnesium, phosphate, bicarbonate, and sulfate.
Water causes cellular chemicals to dissolve. It makes up the largest part of the total protoplasm mass, between 70 and 75 percent. Its fluid nature allows the chemicals to move from one purt of the cell to another until they are distributed evenly.
The high percentage of water in protoplasm is probably a result of life first having been created in the seu. Billions of years ago the scus were wurmcr than today, having been heuted by erupting volcanoes and ultraviolet light, which is now screened from the earth by a layer of ozone 15 feet high. To some extent the formation of life in warm seas accounts for our body temperature, which remains between 98 and 99° F., whether the thermometer outside our window registers 120° F. or -60° For the most part, our temperature is not affected by the type of food we eat, but by metabolic changes during the digestive process. A very hard workout can raise body temperature 1-3° F., also caused by metabolic changes as fat breaks down and more energy is burned off.
As we grow older, the amount of water, fat, protein, and minerals in our bodies changes. The water content decreases from 76 to 60 percent. Fat increases from 9.2 to 18 percent with a marked difference between men and women. Most men average 12 percent body fat, while some women may have as much as 33 percent. Protein increases slightly from 12 to 18 peT^cnt as we mature; however, it may decrease as a result of excess weighi gains. Ash, a residue from minerals such as sodium, calcium, and magnesium, increases slightly from 2.8 to 5 percent,
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