chocolate & egg whites

3 Jul

Christina, a table 6 lady and one of my closest friends in med school, has maybe the best attitude ever.  She legitimately enjoyed studying for the boards–she found it both rewarding and fun to rediscover (or simply discover) the nuts and bolts of how disease processes and drugs work.  While Christina enthusiastically recounted her six-week step 1 immersion, Rebecca (her girlfriend) asked, “Are all med students like this?”  No.  Most definitely not.  As a population, we tend to lean more toward the whiny end of the spectrum.

With her in mind, I tried to go into today prepared to find joy in biochem, perhaps my most feared of the basic sciences.  I can’t say I was all together successful (sitting in a library a mile from Ari’s daycare, it was all I could do to keep from bolting out of the parking lot), but a few details certainly helped lift the day.

Biotin: Vitamin B7, a necessary cofactor for several metabolic reactions.  Where do we get it?  Chocolate.  I kid you not.  (And organ meats and legumes and nuts…but, come on, wouldn’t you rather get your biotin from chocolate than sweetbreads?–this coming from a girl who actually likes sweetbreads and could eat her weight in pate until she gets weepy thinking about the poor ducks.)  How might we lack it?  By the excessive ingestion of egg whites.  Egg whites contain avidin, which binds to biotin and makes it indigestible.

My take away is that Hollywood starlets should have a fist full of Nutella on some carb-heavy bread (carb for pyruvate, acetyl-CoA, and propionyl-CoA carboxylase, the enzymes for which biotin is a cofactor) in lieu of their standard egg white omelets in order to avoid going bald and being covered in rashes (the result of biotin deficiency).

photo (27)photo (28)

The chocolate consumed in utero had an effect.



2 Responses to “chocolate & egg whites”

  1. Kerry July 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    Thanks! This is the kind of candid info I would like to get from a doctor! But it seems most of them are only interested in ‘treating’ and illness, not in prevention. I understand this reasoning as that is the job of a doctor, but it would be refreshing to hear more things like this.

    • annaojesus July 3, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      Thanks so much for the encouragement! I’m glad you find this kind of info refreshing!

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