27. The Pentose Phosphate Pathway: The Many Essential Roles of Glucose

Lesson 27 of Masterclass With Masterjohn: Energy Metabolism

If you’re having issues with playing the video above, play this instead:

The pentose phosphate pathway provides a deep look into a stunning array of essential roles for glucose.

In it, glucose becomes the source of NADPH, used for antioxidant defense, detoxification, recycling of nutrients like vitamin K and folate, and the anabolic synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, neurotransmitters, and nucleotides. At the same time, glucose also becomes the source of 5-carbon sugars, used structurally in DNA, RNA, and energy carriers like ATP, coenzyme A, NADH, NADPH, and FADH2. DNA is needed for growth, reproduction, and cellular repair; RNA is needed to translate genetic information from DNA into all of the structures in our bodies; the energy carriers constitute the very infrastructure of the entire system of energy metabolism.

This lesson covers the details of the pentose phosphate pathway, how it operates in multiple modes according to the relative needs of the cell for ATP, NADPH, and 5-carbon sugars, the role of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and thiamin deficiency in its dysfunction, and what it means for the importance of glucose to human health.

The audio and video of the first three lessons of this course are available to everyone for preview, but lessons 4-39 are for Masterpass members only. Start a preview from the beginning here. To learn more about the Masterpass, click here.

The full video is for paid subscribers