ATP Health Topic

ATP Health Topic

ATP is the primary energy source used by all living things. The body is able to manufacture the ATP it needs to function from the breakdown of food molecules. The breakdown of glucose in the presence of oxygen (aerobic oxidation) is the main energy source of ATP, producing about 30 molecules of ATP per molecule of glucose. Through the process of glycolosis, glucose can also be broken down without oxygen, but at a distinct loss of energy production, as only 2 molecules of ATP are produced. During muscle activity, lower cellular oxygen levels trigger the cells to switch to anaerobic metabolism in order to break down glucose into the ATP needed for immediate energy use. Lactic acid, a by-product of glucose breakdown, can be anaerobically converted by the liver back into glucose by means of the Cori Cycle. But the liver must work much harder to synthesize this glucose, therefore this process is very energy consuming. ATP stores can be used up very quickly during intense periods of activity. The body will actually break down muscle protein to create the needed energy once immediate stores run out. Creatine, found mainly in lean red meats, is one of the fastest ways, without oxygen, that the body can rebuild depleted ATP stores. Cancer cells have a faulty energy metabolism which requires much more energy (ATP) to stay alive than a normal functioning cell. But due to lack of sufficient oxygen available to these faulty cells, cancer cells use anaerobic glycolosis, requiring a much higher amount of glucose than healthy cells do to generate the energy they need to function. Cancer cells increased energy needs coupled with the drastic loss of ATP production due to low oxygen, ultimately leads to cancer cachexia.

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Learn More About ATP

  1. ATP: The Perfect Energy Currency for the Cell

    All organisms from the simplest bacteria to humans use ATP as their primary energy currency. Without ATP, life as we understand it could not exist. The ultimate source of energy for constructing ATP is food. ATP is used for many cell functions including moving substances across cell membranes and supplying the energy needed for muscle contraction. A major role of ATP is supplying the needed energy to synthesize the multi-thousands of types of macromolecules that the cell needs to exist. ATP is manufactured as a result of several cell processes including fermentation, respiration and photosynthesis.


  2. Attacking Cancer's Sweet Tooth May Be Effective Against Tumors

    Cancer cells are energetically expensive - they reproduce quickly and need a readily available source of ATP. Though glycolysis uses up more glucose, it is faster than the oxidative route. And it is safer for the cancer cell. Knocking out the glycolytic pathway could deliver a big blow to tumor cells.

  3. Energy Molecule May Help Cancer Patients

    A compound that provides energy in the body could help prevent the muscle loss and weakness that make life miserable and sometimes prove fatal, researchers reported. An infusion of ATP (adenosine 5-triphosphate) stopped weight loss and improved the quality of life in patients with advanced lung cancer.

  4. Randomized Clinical Trial of Adenosine 5'-Triphosphate in Patients With Advanced Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

    Extracellular adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP) is involved in the regulation of a variety of biologic processes, including neurotransmission, muscle contraction, and liver glucose metabolism. In nonrandomized studies involving patients with different tumor types, ATP infusion appeared to inhibit loss of weight and deterioration of quality of life. In randomized studies, ATP had beneficial effects on weight, muscle strength, and quality of life of patients. In patients who were losing weight, ATP prevented further weight loss and maintained muscle strength.


  5. Generation of Extracellular ATP in Blood and Its Mediated Inhibition of Host Weight Loss in Tumor-Bearing Mice

    The anticancer activities which correlate with the elevated blood plasma ATP concentrations are proposed to be the result of direct action of extracellular ATP on the tumor and host tissues.


  6. How Cells Obtain Energy From Food

    The energy to drive ATP synthesis in mitochondria ultimately derives from the breakdown of food molecules. Glucose breakdown (which provides chemical energy in the form of ATP) dominates energy production in most animal cells. The complete oxidation (aerobic) of a molecule of glucose to H2O and CO2 is used by the cell to produce about 30 molecules of ATP. In contrast, only 2 molecules of ATP are produced per molecule of glucose by glycolysis (anaerobic) alone. Glycolosis produces ATP without the involvement of molecular oxygen. For many anaerobic organisms (those which do not utilize molecular oxygen and can grow and divide without it) glycolysis is the principal source of the cell's ATP. Quantitatively, fat is a far more important storage form than glycogen, in part because the oxidation of a gram of fat releases about twice as much energy as the oxidation of a gram of glycogen.

  7. Lactic Acid

    Most glucose from dietary carbohydrates bypasses the liver and enters the general circulation where it reaches muscle and converts into lactic acid. Lactic acid then goes back into the blood and returns to the liver where it is used as a building block to make liver glycogen. Lactic acid fuels glucose and glycogen production in the liver. Lactic acid may also signal the release of human growth hormone (hGH) from the pituitary. Lactic acid, formed from the breakdown of glucose, is split into a lactate ion and a hydrogen ion. The hydrogen ion is the "acid" in lactic acid that interferes with electrical signals in nerve and muscle tissue. When the rate of lactic acid entry into the blood exceeds our ability to control it effectively, then hydrogen ions begin to lower the pH of muscle, interfering with how the muscles contract.

  8. The Cori/Lactate Cycle

    The Cori Cycle is the metabolic pathway in which lactate produced by anaerobic (without oxygen) glycolysis in the muscles moves to the liver and is converted to glucose (gluconeogenesis), which then returns to the muscles and is converted back to lactate. During intese physical exercise, lactate produced in the muscles is sent to the bloodstream and can be used by the liver as a gluco-neogenic substrate. In the Cori cycle the gluconeogenic leg of the cycle is energy consuming. While there is a gain of 2 moles of ATP in the anaerobic glycolysis of glucose, there is a cost of 6 moles of ATP in the gluconeogenesis part of the cycle. The cost of the 4 moles of ATP means the cycle cannot be sustained continuously.

    1. The Cori Cycle on Wikipedia

      The cycle is also important in producing ATP, an energy source, during muscle activity.

    2. Graphic of the Cori Cycle

      Illustration showing the Cori cycle's circuit through muscle, blood, and the liver.

    3. The Chemical Logic Behind Gluconeogenesis: Lactate Cycle Diagram (scroll to bottom)

      Although 6 ATP are used by the liver for each new glucose synthesized and only 2 ATP per glucose are released in the muscle under anaerobic conditions, this "lactate cycle" is advantageous to the organism, since it allows the maintenance of the anaerobic exercise for a little longer (and this can be crucial for survival, e.g., by allowing a prey to outrun its predator, or a predator to keep chasing its prey).

  9. Cancer Cachexia Demonstrates the Energetic Impact of Gluco-neogenesis in Human Metabolism

    In growing tumours the oxygen (O2) concentration is critically low. Mammalian cells need O2 for the efficient oxidative dissimilation of sugars and fatty acids, which gives 38 and 128 moles of ATP per mole glucose and palmitic acid, respectively. In the absence of sufficient O2 they have to switch to anaerobic dissimilation, with only 2 moles of ATP and 2 moles of lactic acid from 1 mole of glucose. Since mammalian cells cannot ferment fatty acids, in vivo tumour cells completely depend on glucose fermentation. Growth of these tumour cells require about 40 times more glucose than should be required in the presence of sufficient O2. Compensatory glucose is provided by hepatic (liver) gluconeogenesis from lactic acid. Since lactic acid lowers the intracellular pH, it decreases the activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase, stimulates fermentation, and thus amplifies its own fermentative production. The liver extracts the required energy from amino acids and especially from fatty acids in an oxidative way. The liver must invest 3 times more energy to synthesize glucose (anaerobically) than can be extracted by tumour cells. This may account for weight loss, even when food intake seems adequate. In the liver 6 moles of ATP are invested in the gluconeogenesis of one mole of glucose. The energy content of 4 out of these 6 moles of ATP is dissipated as heat.


  10. Enhancing ATP Production to Prevent Cancer Cachexia: A New Combinatorial Therapy

    Mitochondria are the major intracellular organelles producing ATP molecules via the electron transport chain. Cancer cells have a deviant energy metabolism, and a high rate of glycolysis is related to a high degree of dedifferentiation and proliferation. The overall net ATP production is diminished with cancer, which ultimately leads to cancer cachexia. The present study was designed to investigate the altered energy metabolism in cancer cells and to enhance ATP production in the normal host cell metabolism by enhancing the activities of mitochondrial enzymes.


  11. ATP and the High-Fat, Low Carb (Anabolic) Diet

    ATP is the source of all metabolic activity in the human body. It is a popular misconception that you must have glycogen and glucose, which come from carbohydrates, for the body to produce and replenish ATP. Protein and fat have their own mechanism for providing energy to the body and replenishing ATP. When carbs make up the bulk of your diet, you basically burn the glucose from the carbs as energy. Glucose enters the body, and insulin is secreted by the pancreas to utilize it for immediate energy, or store it as glycogen in the liver and muscles. The glucose not stored as glycogen is made into triglycerides (body fat). When needed for energy, the stored glycogen is converted back to glucose. On a high fat diet, you are burning fat as your primary fuel instead of using glycogen or breaking down precious (body) protein. When you're utilizing carbs as your main source of energy, the body will break down muscle protein to form glucose to burn for energy once immediate stores are exhausted. One important by-product of the "metabolic shift" that takes place when you move from a high carb diet to the high fat diet is that fat becomes a protector of protein in the body. Red meat is high in creatine, which is one of the compounds that increases high energy phosphates in the blood and the availability of ATP. There's no lack of energy while following the anabolic (muscle-building) diet.

  12. Why Low-Carb Diets Must Be High-Fat, Not High-Protein

    Our bodies use carbs for only one purpose: to provide energy. When we cut down on carbs, the energy our bodies need has to come from somewhere else. There are only two choices: protein or fat. During fasting in humans, blood glucose levels are maintained by the breakdown of glycogen in liver and muscle and by the production of glucose primarily from the breakdown of muscle proteins. Dietary proteins are converted to glucose at about fifty-eight percent efficiency, so approximately 100g of protein can produce 58g of glucose via gluconeogenesis. There are 3 basic fuel sources for ATP production: Glucose (mainly from carbohydrates although protein can also be utilised as a glucose source ), Fats (both from the diet and from stored body fats), and Ketones (derived from the metabolism of fats).

  13. Creatine Supplementation in Athletes

    Muscle cells generate mechanical work from an energy liberating chemical reaction – ATP is split into ADP and P (phosphate). ATP can be used by muscle cells very quickly, but there is only an extremely limited supply – usually only enough for a few seconds of high intensity work. When the ATP is gone, work stops. Fortunately, the body has several ways to convert ADP back to ATP. The fastest method is to move the phosphate group off of phosphocreatine and onto ADP. This yields ATP – which is immediately available for muscular work – and creatine. There is enough phosphocreatine to keep ATP levels up for several more seconds. So at this point we've moved from 2-3 seconds of all-out work (ATP) to almost 10 seconds (ATP + creatine).


  14. Creatine and ATP for Muscle Building

    Creatine is used for the resynthesis of ATP. There are several methods by which the body rebuilds ATP. The fastest method, without oxygen, is through creatine phosphate. Creatine phosphate is split to yield the phosphate portion of the molecule. This phosphate portion bonds to the ADP (adenosine diphosphate), turning it back to ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Once creatine phosphate stores within the cell are depleted, the body must use other methods to replenish ATP. It is known that creatine phosphate is used to replenish ATP, and that increasing dietary creatine allows the maximum amount of creatine phosphate storage to be reached, which in turn provides more capacity to regenerate ATP.

  15. Foods High in Creatine

    Creatine monohydrate is highly useful for the production of phosphocreatine, an element highly vital to produce ATP. Creatine is formed in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys. One of the prime natural sources of natural creatine is red meat, especially lean meat. It is estimated that every one pound of raw meat contains two grams of creatine. Another great source of natural creatine is fish like tuna, salmon, sashimi, and sushi, which have in it properties such as methionine and Omega 3 fatty acids that aid for creatine synthesis. Likewise, a minimal amount of creatine can be found in milk and cranberries.

  16. Glycolysis and Alcoholic Fermentation

    When the oxygen supply runs short in heavy or prolonged exercise, muscles obtain most of their energy from an anaerobic (without oxygen) process called glycolysis. Glycolysis is the chemical breakdown of glucose to lactic acid. This process makes energy available for cell activity in the form of a high-energy phosphate compound known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP).


  17. The Therapeutic Potential of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) as an Immune Modulator in the Treatment of HIV/AIDS

    The research goal is to utilize ATP as part of an HIV eradication protocol given along-side traditional highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART). As a natural compound, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), applied to the outside of cells elicits profound changes in how a cell will function.


Tags: ATP and adenosine triphosphate, ATP and adenosine diphosphate, ATP and ADP, ATP and energy, ATP and lactic acid, ATP and lactate, ATP and cori cycle, ATP and lactate cycle, ATP and liver, ATP and gluconeogenesis, ATP and glycolosis, ATP and cachexia, ATP and creatine, ATP and protein, ATP supplement, ATP and AIDS, ATP and HIV

ATP has not been evaluated or approved by the FDA for the any of the following topics indicated in the links above: Aids/HIV, bodybuilding, cachexia, cancer, energy production

Statements on this website have NOT been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are NOT intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease; research is ongoing. All third-party health topic links provided on this website are for information purposes only. Always consult your doctor or nutritionist about any health or nutrition-related questions you might have.