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Students Learning About Supplements and the Liver

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Students in Anatomy and Physiology 12 used the knowledge they have been learning in class to learn about liver health recently when they worked on an enzymes lab where they assessed whether or not different supplements support liver health. 

“We are measuring the gas to oxygen, using a gas pressure and comparing how much gas it makes comparative to no enzyme capsule,” explained Michelle Lee ’21. 

Students chose between three enzymes of either milk thistle, dandelion root or vitamin C. They added the enzyme to the liver and then poured hydrogen peroxide on the mixture to measure the gas comparative. 

“We are learning about enzymes right now and how they are very important for your body to speed up your metabolism and to break down things your body does not want,” explained Michelle. “If you don’t have enough enzymes your body might not function as well as someone who has the normal amount, and if you have too much it’s also not good.” 

Stella Fraser ’21 along with her group used dandelion root and investigated how it affected the gas pressure. 

“The supplement is supposed to promote digestion and stomach health,” she said, noting that after their first attempts at the lab they needed to adjust how much of the supplement they added. 

Being able to do this type of lab, Stella noted, was great because they can take their data and apply it to the things they have already learned in class about biology.

“We can apply it to what we learned in human biology and about the body,” she said. “We are just starting our unit on the digestive system with the liver. So, we are talking about enzymes specifically and we are testing how supplements work, and if we can see that they actually do work or don’t work.”