Maintaining Nitrogen Balance in the Body Flashcards

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What is nitrogen balance?

Nitrogen balance is the equilibrium between the amount of nitrogen we take in through dietary protein and the amount we excrete, mainly in the urine.

What are the two main states of nitrogen balance?

Positive nitrogen balance (intake exceeds excretion) and negative nitrogen balance (excretion exceeds intake).

How are excess amino acids processed in the body?

Excess amino acids are broken down in the liver through deamination, forming ammonia, which is then converted to urea and excreted in urine.

What role does the liver play in nitrogen balance?

The liver breaks down excess amino acids into ammonia, converts ammonia into urea, and releases urea into the bloodstream for excretion by the kidneys.

What factors influence nitrogen balance?

Dietary protein intake, hormonal regulation (e.g., insulin and growth hormone, testosterone), and exercise/physical activity levels.

What happens to proteins during digestion?

Proteins are broken down by protease enzymes into amino acids in the stomach and small intestine.

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