Biology Nutrition Terms

Leaving CertificateBiology

  • AMINO ACID – is the basic building block of protein
  • ANABOLIC – a chemical reaction where small molecules join together to make larger molecules e.g. photosynthesis.
  • BIOMOLECULES – are chemicals that make up living things. They are made up of elements such as carbon (C), hydrogen (H), oxygen (O) and nitrogen (N).
  • CALCIUM – Symbol (Ca). It is an element needed to make bones, teeth, plant cell walls and in clotting blood
  • CARBOHYDRATES – are chemicals such as sugars and starches that give energy to living things. They contain carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O). [Formula Cx (H2O) y].
  • CARBON – Symbol (C). It’s an element that is found in all living things. (The burned bit on toast!)
  • CATABOLIC – a chemical reaction where larger substances are broken down into smaller molecules e.g. digestion or respiration
  • CELLULOSE – is a poysaccharide. It makes plant cell walls.
  • COPPER – Symbol (Cu). It is a trace element
  • DEFICIENCY – means a lack of something e.g. A lack of (deficiency of) iron (Fe) causes anaemia.
  • DISACCHARIDE – is a substance that has two sugar units e.g. maltose is made up of two glucose units
  • ELEMENT – a pure substance that is made up of one kind of atom only from the Periodic Table.
  • FAT – – is a solid lipid. E.g. butter. It gives us energy, stores it and keeps us warm.
  • FATTY ACIDS – are long carbon (C) chains found in fats
  • FIBRE – (roughage) is cellulose. We cannot digest it [keeps the faeces (poo!!) moving] e.g. found in fruit and vegetables (plant cell walls).
  • GLUCOSE – a monosaccharide (C6H12O6). It is the main supplier of energy in the body.
  • GLYCOGEN – is a stored polysaccharide (chain of sugar units) found in animal cells e.g. muscle, brain and liver cells.
  • IRON – Symbol (Fe). It is an important part of haemoglobin (red pigment) in blood – lack of iron (Fe) in the blood causes anaemia.
  • LACTOSE – is a sugar molecule made up of one galactose unit and one glucose unit (disaccharide). It is found in milk.
  • LIPID – is another word for fats, oils and waxes.
  • MAGNESIUM – Symbol (Mg). An element needed to make chlorophyll
  • MALTOSE – a sugar molecule made up of two glucose units (disaccharide).
  • METABOLISM – the sum of all the chemical reactions which take place in any living thing.
  • MINERAL – the minerals on our course are usually dissolved salts. They are needed for healthy bodies e.g. calcium salts help form bones
  • MONOSACCHARIDE – is the simplest form of sugar made up of one sugar unit e.g. glucose.
  • NITROGEN – Symbol (N). It makes up about 80% of the air but is of little use as gas. It is needed to make proteins and DNA
  • NUTRIENTS – these are the chemicals needed to enable living things to live and grow.
  • PEPTIDE – a small chain of amino acids – a small part of a protein.
  • PHOSPHORUS – Symbol (P). It is an element which is needed to make bones, ATP and DNA.
  • POLYPEPTIDE – is a chain of many peptides (“poly” means many).
  • PROTEIN – is a long chain of amino acids folded up to form 3-D shapes. Each protein has a different function.
  • STARCH – this is a food molecule where large numbers of sugar molecules have been joined together
  • TRACE ELEMENTS – these are elements which are necessary for health. They must be present but are needed in very tiny amounts eg. Iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn)
  • VITAMIN – is a chemical which is essential for life but which a living organism cannot make for itself. Vitamins must be obtained from food usually in very small amounts
  • ZINC – Symbol (Zn). It is a trace element. It has many uses but in biology can be part of many active sites on enzymes. Sometimes used in first aid plasters to speed up healing.
  • triglyceride – basic unit of lipids – a lipid made of three fatty acid molecules and one glycerol molecule
  • phospholipid – A lipid in which one of the fatty acid molecules has been replaced by a molecule that contains a phosphate group, form part of cell membrane
  • minerals for plants – calcium, to hold cell walls together,
  • magnesium, make green pigment (chlorophyll)
  • will benedict’s show a positive result for sucrose – no it is not a reducing sugar
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