Using biochemical tools to understand sugar digestion in humans
We are what we eat, but do we really know what we eat? There are many misconceptions in what a balanced diet is. However, knowing the science behind nutrition can help us greatly.

When we eat, the food is altered so that our body can use the nutrients (e.g. carbohydrates, proteins and fats) in it as a source of energy or to maintain the body components. Carbohydrates (or sugars) are our main fuel, and like proteins and fats, they have to be transformed in our digestive system into small sugars that can be absorbed by the body.

Such transformation is carried out by specialized molecules, enzymes, that can accelerate chemical reactions and that need specific conditions (temperature and acidity of the environment) to work optimally.
Our food has different amount of sugars
The study of such reactions can be simulated outside our bodies using models that mimic the human digestive system. Thanks to those models we can estimate the nutritional content of foods and, for instance, measure the amount of sugar that can be released into our blood.

As our understanding of the nutritional values of our diets is increased, we will be able to choose more wisely what to eat and that will be translated into a healthier lifestyle.
We can test the activity of enzymes by using biochemical tests
During our project work we will learn how our bodies transform food into nutrients and what biochemical reactions occur during such processes. We will measure the amount of absorbable sugar (or glucose) present in foods eaten at the Kaluga region. The data obtained by the participants may help to understand which local foods can be more nutritious for people.

Isabel Díez Santos

Burgos, Spain
Isabel was born in Burgos (Spain) on June 3rd, 1993. Currently, she lives in the United Kingdom where she is doing a PhD on antibiotic resistance. Before starting the PhD, she did a Master's degree on Molecular Medicine in Sheffield (United Kingdom) where she learnt the molecular basis of genetic and infectious diseases, and a Bachelor's degree on Biotechnology in Salamanca (Spain).

Since then, she has been involved in the organization and delivery of scientific symposiums and workshops, as well as in outreach activities with children. She believes that science is a powerful weapon to improve our world, and her passion is to show people its wonders.

Neftaly de Jesús Cruz Mireles

Veracruz, Mexico
Neftaly was born in Veracruz (Mexico) on May 14th, 1988. At the moment, he is studying a PhD degree in Plant Molecular Biology and Microbiology at The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) in the United Kingdom. His academic background has been in the area of Genetic Engineering and Plant Molecular Biology (B. Sc. Biology and M. Sc. Biochemistry).
Since 2004, he has been participating in events of Science and Technology such as contests, fairs, workshops and meetings organized by the most important research institutes in Mexico and other countries. As a promoter of science, I am working to encourage the scientific spirit of children and youth, carrying out different activities to teach concepts in an affordable way.
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