6

votes

Good introductory textbooks to biochemistry?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 02, 2010 at 12:51 AM

I'm always eager to learn more and more about nutrition, but when it starts to go down the biochemistry path I get lost easily.

Is there any good textbooks out there that would introduce the most important concepts for people without any background in it?

Anything that could help me fully understand Peter's posts from Hyperlipid or the biochemistry part of the Sugar, a bitter truth lecture, that sort of thing.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 22, 2011
at 02:08 AM

(I met him a few months ago -- very kind and warm)

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 22, 2011
at 02:07 AM

omg. LIPTON IS A GENIUS. And an energetic, enthusiastic educator!

E5d59ab6d79320caf1e991cdc7971326

(801)

on March 13, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Have the 6th edition of Biochemisty authored by Berg and Stryer. It is very well written.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 12, 2011
at 10:01 PM

would you mind telling us what it is?

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on March 12, 2011
at 07:39 PM

jinx! Upvote for thinking alike.

Cfb96ab481dd8a2df6a6d5c6739562ef

on October 02, 2010
at 03:59 AM

When they state that it is a review book, that means that it covers the essentials for medical boards studying rather than going into extraneous details. I found the book to be easy to read and understand eventhough I had never taken biochemistry before. The best part of the book, in my opinion are the illustrations. They are easy to follow, colorful, and detailed enough to get the whole picture. I believe if you have a basic understanding of paleo nutrition, then the book will be a great resource for further understanding of what is happening in the body.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:01 AM

Paleo Seb, you are so right! Now I don't even want to read it either!

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 02:01 AM

The used price is quite good. However, do you think this book would be good for newbies? I was reading the book reviews and it was repeatedly mentioned that this was a 'review' book and not a beginner's book. Several readers mentioned this book would not be good as a first time learner's book.

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:34 AM

It does seem to fit the bill, even though reviews are not excellent.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:16 AM

Good question, I wanna know too!

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15 Answers

3
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on March 12, 2011
at 07:37 PM

I think that if you are interested in understanding the scientific details of nutrition and biochemistry you would enjoy reading this book.

good-introductory-textbooks-to-biochemistry?

You can find it on amazon.com

It is expensive as it is an academic book but is worth the money. It is much more readable than most books of its type and focuses on nutritional biochemistry and endocrinology and the interactions between your bodies different metabolic systems.

Quite a bit of it is avaliable to read on google books.

52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on March 12, 2011
at 07:39 PM

jinx! Upvote for thinking alike.

3
Cfb96ab481dd8a2df6a6d5c6739562ef

on October 02, 2010
at 01:39 AM

I am in medical school and Lippincotts Illustrated Review: Biochemistry, got me through my biochemistry class. It breaks down concepts into simple terms, but the information is not dumbed down. There are great pictures that help greatly in understanding the concepts.

I would go with a used copy. They just came out with a new edition in June, but the last edition is just as good.

http://www.amazon.com/Lippincotts-Illustrated-Reviews-Biochemistry/dp/160831412X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1285983316&sr=8-3

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 02:01 AM

The used price is quite good. However, do you think this book would be good for newbies? I was reading the book reviews and it was repeatedly mentioned that this was a 'review' book and not a beginner's book. Several readers mentioned this book would not be good as a first time learner's book.

Cfb96ab481dd8a2df6a6d5c6739562ef

on October 02, 2010
at 03:59 AM

When they state that it is a review book, that means that it covers the essentials for medical boards studying rather than going into extraneous details. I found the book to be easy to read and understand eventhough I had never taken biochemistry before. The best part of the book, in my opinion are the illustrations. They are easy to follow, colorful, and detailed enough to get the whole picture. I believe if you have a basic understanding of paleo nutrition, then the book will be a great resource for further understanding of what is happening in the body.

2
84666a86108dee8d11cbbc85b6382083

(2399)

on March 12, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Via Nigel Kinbrum (http://nigeepoo.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-stuff-works.html)

"My last post got a bit technical and delved into the nitty-gritties of cell biochemistry. For those who would like to learn more about what makes cells tick, I thoroughly recommend the book Metabolism at a Glance (Paperback) by Jack G Salway, Sen. Lecturer in Medical Biochemistry, University of Surrey. It's crammed with diagrams of metabolic pathways and every picture speaks a thousand words.

I've also got Medical Biochemistry at a Glance (Paperback) by Jack G Salway. EDIT: I thoroughly recommend this book, too.

For more general information on nutrition & metabolism, I recommend the book Introduction to Nutrition and Metabolism (Paperback) by David A Bender, Sen. Lecturer in Biochemistry, UCL.

A good website for medical biochemistry information is MedBio.info by Prof. em. Robert S. Horn.

A good website for enzyme structures is Enzyme Structures Database.

Here's a searchable version of Biochemistry by L Stryer. It's a bit dry, but of interest is Food Intake and Starvation Induce Metabolic Changes and Phosphatidate Is a Common Intermediate in the Synthesis of Phospholipids and Triacylglycerols.

Here's NCBI Bookshelf where you can search many textbooks.

Here's an absolutely humongous diagram in .pdf format of Metabolic Pathways. You need a fast machine to view this.

Update: Here are some cool Animations & Computer-Generated Movies by Harvard University.

Here's a YouTube video of ATP Synthase, which takes a proton gradient and, using a molecular motor-generator, converts ADP + Phosphate into ATP, the energy source that cells use."

1
52cae90a114ca8f0404948e2b7ccb7ef

(1595)

on March 12, 2011
at 07:38 PM

How about some free and very good online videos like those at Khan Academy.

http://www.khanacademy.org/#Biology

for example.

I also like this "text" book:

Metabolic Regulation: A Human Perspective

http://amzn.com/1405183594

but it's not really an intro biochem book.

1
4e40d2b9e1a762949a25b958762aa10d

(762)

on March 11, 2011
at 03:15 PM

Hi Seb,

In undergraduate one often uses Berg's Biochemistry. Medical schools seem to prefer Stryer's biochemistry. How much organic chemistry background do you have? What specifically would you like to learn? Tell us a bit more and I'm sure we can make more targeted recommendations.

Mike

E5d59ab6d79320caf1e991cdc7971326

(801)

on March 13, 2011
at 02:33 AM

Have the 6th edition of Biochemisty authored by Berg and Stryer. It is very well written.

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:20 AM

If no one has any better ideas, you could always go with Biochemistry for Dummies. I haven't read it but it looks like it would fit the general bill: http://www.amazon.com/Biochemistry-Dummies-John-T-Moore/dp/0470194286

9bc6f3df8db981f67ea1465411958c8d

(3690)

on October 02, 2010
at 01:34 AM

It does seem to fit the bill, even though reviews are not excellent.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 02, 2010
at 03:01 AM

Paleo Seb, you are so right! Now I don't even want to read it either!

0
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on January 31, 2013
at 08:08 PM

I really like Mark's: http://books.google.com/books/about/Marks_Basic_Medical_Biochemistry.html?id=HHK7S7t47BEC

I started reading parts of it several years ago. And my wife got a copy for med school. Good stuff and easy to understand.

0
5f678ffff153bfc8a17ac1ee438c054f

on January 31, 2013
at 08:07 PM

Hmm, even "Why we get fat" by Gary Taubes explores biochemistry in a basic way, if you are interested in reading a book that isn't JUST biochemistry, but also explores application of biochemistry!

I am actually a biochem major at my university for the same curiosity about the subject. (:

0
B2634bf90fa31b48a60e7c4f06761200

on January 31, 2013
at 07:12 PM

I just wrote a brief primer on biochemistry which I intended for my family who have zero background in science.

Hopefully it'll help some people here too.

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on May 06, 2011
at 08:37 PM

How about that Biochemistry book that's at Robb Wolf's website. Robb seems to be touting that one. How is that compared to the ones mentioned above, thanks.

0
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on May 06, 2011
at 05:16 PM

Biochemistry at MIT - video lecture, full course, free, online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_m4Gvu90Ydw

0
9dd74d3941535d0aaa2c8d3cf454fb7e

on March 12, 2011
at 02:49 PM

Seb,

Much of the paleo diet involves trying to influence our epigenetics (gene expression). From an easy to read and understand viewpoint, Bruce Lipton's "The Biology of Belief" is hard to beat. In no way does one need to study organic chemistry first: he walks you through all the basics of cell biology (and the basic biochemistry involved). He then ties it to, and gives detailed examples of, the effects various things in our environment on our epigenetics.

Might not get you to where you want to be, but a great introductory text that covers the latest scientific thinking.

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 22, 2011
at 02:08 AM

(I met him a few months ago -- very kind and warm)

3864f9a2af09b1b447c7963058650a34

(3703)

on March 22, 2011
at 02:07 AM

omg. LIPTON IS A GENIUS. And an energetic, enthusiastic educator!

0
A0b8c4cc369f93ee987ce15b1bf323fe

on October 02, 2010
at 01:42 PM

http://amzn.com/0199226717

I found this book to be quite clear, having only some basic background in biology and chemistry.

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on March 12, 2011
at 10:01 PM

would you mind telling us what it is?

0
D5db204527668aa712504995c0f8f96f

(551)

on October 02, 2010
at 04:11 AM

I will sound like an elitist, but I would advise you to register to a class at a nearby university if you have the money and/or the time. I find it easier to learn in that way.

Otherwise, I would go with a book they use in those university class :

Here is an example : http://www.amazon.com/Biochemistry-3rd-Christopher-K-Mathews/dp/0805330666

0
2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on October 02, 2010
at 02:46 AM

Funny you should ask! I just picked up a textbook at the library. Very basic, but has a good Bibliography and suggested reading list for more detail:

Essential Chemistry is the Series Title Biochemistry by Monique Laberge, PhD ISBN 978-0-7910-9693-2 2008, Chelsea House , an imprint of Infobase Publishing NY, NY

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