Nucleic Acid

"DNA", the transmitter from acid to life

Nucleic Acid -the seventh nutrient that composes genetics

Gene    DNA    Nucleic acid

This is a commonly heard word, but what sort of substance is it and what role does it play in the body? What does it cover?

This is a simple summary of nucleic acids.

The seventh nutrient

When talking about the nutrients vital to human life, the five big ones are carbohydrates (glucose), proteins (amino acids), lipids (fatty acids), vitamins, and minerals.
The sixth is widely known to be dietary fiber. "Nucleic acids" should properly be known as the seventh of these essential nutrients.

Our bodies consist of around sixty trillion cells.
Nucleic acids are needed in each cell of this vast number.

Metabolism, specifically, "nucleic acids" are an absolute requirement as a nutrient when new cells are formed by cell division and nuclear division.

According to a study at Harvard University, adenylic acid, which is a component of nucleic acids, is deeply involved in genetics within the body, and is involved in normal metabolism.

Nucleic acids are divided broadly into two categories.

● DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)

DNA is present in the nucleus of cells.
In terms of structure, it is a long, thin thread. In somatic cells, it is wound around proteins called histones. In spermatids (cells that become sperm cells), it is wound around proteins called protamines. These substances are called nuclear proteins.

Nucleotides are the smallest units of nucleic acids, and are formed of bonds between a phosphate, sugar (deoxyribose), and base. DNA consists of a long chain of these nucleotides wound into a double helix.

In humans, all the DNA in the nucleus of a single cell consists of about three billion base pairs.

Cell division is the process by which this DNA is divided to increase the number of cells. Another nucleic acid called RNA is also produced as discussed below.

● RNA (ribonucleic acid)

RNA consists of a long chain of many nucleotides.
It differs from DNA in that one of the bases, thymine, is replaced by uracil, and the sugar deoxyribose is replaced by ribose. RNA is made up of a single chain of nucleotides.

RNA has three different functions. As well as supporting the formation of cells instructed by DNA, RNA is involved in the selective transport of specific types of amino acid and the transmission of genetic information in DNA to the site of protein manufacture.

Basic functions and important functions

DNA is the blueprint for the organism and records all the genetic information

RNA is an essential nucleic acid, too.

Genes in the DNA are the blueprints for synthesis of the proteins that form the body.

The phenomenon of inheritance of characteristics from parents in children is due to the function of DNA.
Human DNA contains genetic information for the synthesis of about 100,000 types of protein.
The DNA of a child is synthesized from the DNA of both parents.

DNA has another major function in addition to its role as a blueprint.

That is "self-replication (cell proliferation and metabolism)".

In humans, a single fertilized egg multiples into the sixty trillion cells found in an adult.

In addition, old cells in the body repeatedly die and are replaced by metabolism of new cells. This is also DNA self-replication.

RNA functions as a carpenter in the synthesis of proteins based on a blueprint

RNA is subdivided into various types such as mRNA, tRNA, and rRNA, which work together as part of protein synthesis.

It is advisable to think about nutritional balance from foods containing a lot of nucleic acids to ensure a proper intake.
In fact, though, the maximum daily intake of nucleic acids is about 1 g.
This can result in a nucleic acid deficiency.

Nucleic acid deficiency has a big impact on the body, so it can be effective to use food supplements.
Daily intake of nucleic acids from food supplements quite naturally differs from that in the diet, but as a guideline, an intake of 300 mg/day is suitable for relatively young people and 500-1500 mg/day is suitable for the elderly.

● The fact that DNA and RNA are polymers is significant.

Nucleic acids are polymers with very high molecular weights. This molecular weight ranges from around 10,000 to several tens of billions.
The RNA molecule is smaller than the DNA molecule and has a molecular weight of around 35,000.

Meat, fish, rice, vegetables...
All living things are made up of cells and therefore contain nucleic acids.

Nucleic acids need to be high molecular nucleic acids that remain a long time in order to be properly used by the body.
Specifically, they need to be "polymers" for which decomposition, absorption and synthesis of nucleic acids takes time.

High molecular nucleic acids are broken down into nucleic acids called nucleotides and absorbed, following which they are re-used for nucleic acid synthesis in various cells.

However, intake of low molecular nucleic acids results in them being decomposed too much during the digestion process, which makes it impossible for them to be absorbed and used. About half of nucleic acids in meat and 2/3 in fish are low molecular nucleic acids.

In view of this, the ideal food in terms of maximizing nucleic acid intake is "salmon milt."
Not only is its nucleic acid content extremely high, but it has a very good balance of bases and consists almost entirely of high molecular nucleic acids. Beer yeast is also a source of fairly high quality nucleic acids.
Other than this, foods such as laver, shellfish such as clams and oysters, dried sea slug, and soy beans also contain good quality nucleic acids.

Nucleic acids are easily digested and broken down, so it is important to consume them in this high molecular form so that they are digested, absorbed, and carried to the liver in the blood.

Blood cells and nucleic acids

The body of an adult is made up of about sixty trillion cells.

About half of these (around thirty trillion cells) are blood cells (red blood cells or white blood cells).
Red blood cells account for about 2/3 of those cells (about twenty trillion cells) and have a lifespan of about 120 days.
This means that a little fewer than two hundred billion red blood cells are formed in the spinal marrow every day.
Most of the remainder consists of other blood components such as platelets.

White blood cells manage immunity and so on, and come in various types. Because of differences due to individual differences, sex, age, and other factors, it is difficult to make a sweeping statement, but an adult weighing 50 kg probably has about 240 million to 320 million cells.

The lifespan of white blood cells is short and most survive just a few hours. The longest-lived (lymphocytes) mainly last a few days.

In other words, the blood cells that account for around half of all cells in the body are all renewed in a very short space of time to maintain human biological activity.

Blood carried enzymes and nutrients, enables the excretion of waste products, and plays a major role in immune function.

Specifically, it is not too much to say that proper daily metabolism of blood cells and an abundance of young, healthy cells are key to our health.

Incidentally, the lifespan of somatic cells is around 4 months.
Except for brain neurons, all cells are replaced on a cycle of roughly 4 months.
Organs such as the heart, kidneys, and gastrointestine are generally renewed every 20 days, and cells that are exposed to digestive enzymes in the gut are regenerated and replaced every few days.

The important materials for the metabolism of the cells that enable such biological activities are proteins and the "nucleic acids" found in the nuclei of cells.