Lafayette Benedict Mendel American biochemist discovered Vitamin A, Vitamin B

Lafayette Benedict Mendel – discoverer of Vitamins A&B

Article on Lafayette Benedict Mendel

Biography & contributions

Lafayette Benedict Mendel was an American biochemist born on February 05, 1872 in Delhi, New York – died on December 09, 1935. Mendel was best known for his work in the study of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, lysine and tryptophanBenedict Mendel was the recipient of many medals and awards like Gold medal in the year of 1927, Conne Medal from Chemist's Club of New York.

Their most important work involved the use of carefully controlled studies on rats to study the necessary elements in a healthy diet. They discovered Vitamin A in 1913 in butter fat, as well as water soluble vitamin B in milk. He showed, for example, that a lack of Vitamin A in the diet led to xerophthalmia.

Facts about Tryptophan

Tryptophan is one of the 22 standard amino acids and an essential amino acid in the human diet. It is encoded in the standard genetic code as the codon UGG. Plants and microorganisms commonly synthesize tryptophan from shikimic acid or anthranilate. Tryptophan is a routine constituent of most protein-based foods or dietary proteins. It is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, dried dates, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, red meat, eggs, fish, poultry, sesame, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, spirulina, bananas, and peanuts. Tryptophan is marketed in Europe for depression and other indications under the brand names Cincofarm and Tript-OH.

Tryptophan affects brain serotonin synthesis when given orally in a purified form and is used to modify serotonin levels for research in psychology. Tryptophan is an important intrinsic fluorescent probe (amino acid), which can be used to estimate the nature of microenvironment of the tryptophan.

Facts about Lysine

Lysine is an essential alpha-amino acid for humans. Lysine's codons are AAA and AAG. Lysine is a base, as are arginine and histidine. The ε-amino group often participates in hydrogen bonding and as a general base in catalysis. Lysine is the limiting amino acid in most cereal grains, but is plentiful in most pulses (legumes). Lysine has an anxiolytic action through its effects on serotonin receptors in the intestinal tract, and is also hypothesized to reduce anxiety through serotonin regulation in the amygdala.

Lysine production for animal feed is a major global industry, reaching in 2009 almost 700,000 tonnes. Lysine is an important additive to animal feed because it is a limiting amino acid when optimizing the growth of certain animals such as pigs and chickens for the production of meat. Lysine supplementation allows for the use of lower-cost plant protein (maize, for instance, rather than soy) while maintaining high growth rates, and limiting the pollution from nitrogen excretion.

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