Volume 49, Issue 3 p. 492-499

A student centric method for calculation of fatty acid energetics: Integrated formula and web tool

Paras Jain,

Paras Jain

National Institute of Biologicals, Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India

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Sneha Singh,

Sneha Singh

Amazing Biotech Pvt Ltd, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Aditya Arya,

Corresponding Author

Aditya Arya

Amazing Biotech Pvt Ltd, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India


Aditya Arya, Amazing Biotech Pvt Ltd, No. 14D, Durgalakshmi Apartments, 10th Cross Street, Anna Nagar, Pammal, Chennai 600 075, Tamil Nadu, India.

Email: contact.adityarya@gmail.com, paras21.delhi@gmail.com

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First published: 11 January 2021
Citations: 1

Paras Jain, Sneha Singh, and Aditya Arya contributed equally to this study.


Mitochondrial beta-oxidation is one of the most common modes of fatty acids' oxidation in most organisms, particularly mammals. Biochemistry undergraduate curriculum often contains the description of the process, with emphasis on ATP calculations for various types of fatty acids. During our decade long teaching experience in biochemistry, we observed the difficulty faced by students in calculating energetics of several fatty acids beyond palmitic acid. We developed a canonical formula by mathematical transformations and logical derivation to aid the calculation in a much simpler manner to ease both teaching and learning experience. ATP yield of even-numbered fatty acids may be calculated using a formula [(7C – 6 – 1.5 D) – 2(D–2)], andadenosine triphosphate (ATP) yield for odd-numbered fatty acids can be calculated using [(7C – 19 – 1.5 D) – 2(D–2)], where C is the number of carbon atoms in fatty acids, D is the number of double bonds. The unbold part of the formulae is limited to polyunsaturated fatty acids. Moreover, we integrated these formulae into an HTML based web-interface for handily calculations, which is likely to augment fatty acids oxidation learning-teaching processes easier. This tool has been recently tested in our classroom programs on biochemistry and received an excellent feedback from the learners. Also, the mathematical formula is ready for being incorporated into standard biochemistry textbooks. The webtool as an opensource biochemical calculator can be effectively used in classrooms by both instructors and students while solving comprehension based questions on lipid metabolism.