Biomolecules are essential substances that are part of living beings, and that fulfill a series of important functions for their proper biological functioning.
Biomolecules are formed from the six most abundant chemical elements in organisms, which are: carbon (C), hydrogen (H), nitrogen (N), oxygen (O), phosphorus (P) and the sulfur (S).
These elements include biomolecules known as amino acids, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and vitamins, which are essential for the formation and functioning of the cells that make up the tissues and organs of living things. That is, biomolecules are essential for the existence of living beings.
Types of biomolecules
There are two types of biomolecules that are:
Inorganic biomolecules are necessary for life, in general, and are found both in living organisms and in inert bodies. They are characterized by not having carbon bases.
Some examples are water, some types of gases such as oxygen and inorganic salts such as bicarbonate.
They are characterized by having carbon bases and by being synthesized by living beings through various chemical reactions of metabolism. These biomolecules are grouped as follows:
- Amino acids: they form the basis of proteins and participate in various biological processes. For example: glutamine, cysteine, among others.
- Carbohydrates: also called carbohydrates, they are an important source of energy for living things. For example, glucose, starch, cellulose, among others.
- Lipids: are responsible for various functions, among which the reserve of energy for the body. They are divided into two groups, saponifiable (fatty acids, phospholipids, among others) and unsaponifiable (isoprenoids, steroids).
- Proteins: they participate in a large number of biological processes. Some examples are: enzymes, hormones, antibodies, among others.
- Nucleic acids: they provide vital biological information for the functioning of organisms. For example: DNA and RNA.
- Vitamins: are responsible for physiological functioning. Some examples are: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B complex, among others.
It should be mentioned that organic biomolecules may also contain other less common elements called trace elements and necessary, but in small quantities such as iron (Fe), nickel (Ni) or cobalt (Co).
Functions of biomolecules
The main functions of biomolecules are:
- They make up the matter used by the cells that subsequently form the tissues, organs and other structures necessary for the existence of living beings.
- The deficiency of biomolecules generates health problems and diseases.
- It releases energy through the carbohydrates.
- They allow the construction of multiple links of elements.
- They transport nutrients and other substances.
- They control the proper functioning of living organisms.
- They contain genetic information, thanks to nucleic acids, which will be inherited by each organism.