Metabolic Waste Products for Excretion Essay

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The biological process involved in the removal of harmful metabolic wastes from the body is called excretion (Tomar, 2009, p. 40). The metabolisms within cells allow the body to function correctly, but this functioning resorts in waste products which are often useless and harmful. It is therefore important that the body removes these products to prevent harm. Tomar (2009, p. 40) suggests that the most common waste products are carbon dioxide, ammonia, uric acid, urea, creatinine, amino acids

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The amino acids then undergo a process of deamination, where deaminases catalyse the removal of an amino group and convert it into ammonia. This process usually takes place in the liver, but can also occur in the kidneys where the deamination of the protein glutamate occurs. The rest of the amino acid is mainly carbon and hydrogen and is usually recycled or oxidised for energy (Princeton University, 2014). Ammonia is highly toxic to the human body and so carbon dioxide is added to it to produce urea where it is then transported to the kidneys ready to be excreted via the urinary bladder. However, people suffering from certain conditions such as cirrhosis or severe hepatitis may have livers or kidneys that are unable to convert ammonia to urea and/or are unable excrete it (Thompson and Simon, 2011). According to Hornby (2013) high levels of ammonia in the body can lead to serious consequences such as a coma or death. She also suggests that the risk of being diagnosed with the condition hepatic encephalopathy is significantly increased if high ammonia levels are present. Longstreth and Zieve (2011) suggest that this condition is a worsening of brain function and can lead to severe symptoms such as slurred speech, sluggish movement, drowsiness and disorientation where milder symptoms may include forgetfulness, poor concentration and personality changes. People suffering from conditions such as liver disease are often told to
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