How to calculate QUICKLY the energetic balance of the total oxidation of a fatty acid


 

The basis for the calculation and how to do it have been explained in detail in other post.

 

Anyway, since time is an issue in exams, some readers are interested in knowing a method of doing the calculation in a real fast way.

 

For obtaining a quick answer when calculating the energetic balance of the total oxidation of a fatty acid (and also for verifying your answers if you use some other method of calculation) you can apply these formulas:

 

a) If your course use for the reduced cofactors these energetic yields

NADH.H+ = 2.5 ATP

FADH2 = 1.5 ATP

 

Use this formula:

 

[(n/2) -1] x (14) +8 = Number of ATP formed

 

Where n= Number of carbons

 

Example:

 

Balance of the total oxidation of palmitic acid (16 carbons):

(16/2)-1] x (14) +8 = 106 ATP

 

b) If the equivalence used for the energetic yields in your course are:

NADH.H+ = 3 ATP

FADH2 = 2 ATP

 

Then apply this formula:

 

[(n/2) -1] x 17 +10 = Number of ATP formed

 

For the total oxidation of palmitic acid, following the former energetic yielding criteria:

 

[(16/2)-1] x 17 + 10 = 129 ATP

 

Thanks for the questions and comments!

 

 

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