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10 books and manuals on biochemistry for beginners

10 books and manuals on biochemistry for beginners

April 29, 2024

Biochemistry is a discipline that, like many others, was born from the need to integrate concepts from different sciences, in this case from chemistry and biology, to focus efforts on their field of study. Cells perform a multitude of chemical reactions and contain a wide variety of organic molecules that work for the maintenance and survival of both the cell itself and the organism it constitutes.

It is not surprising that given the field that works, biochemistry has gained importance in recent years, as for example in the advancement of cancer research or in the study of neuronal connections, typical of areas such as neurosciences or psychology. For this reason, it usually attracts the attention of curious people who try to approach this field between chemistry and the science of living beings. A good way to appease this curiosity is read books on biochemistry .


  • Related article: "20 recommended medicine books for curious people"

10 outstanding biochemistry books

The beginnings of biochemistry are located at the beginning of the 19th century, with the discoveries of the first enzymes. For those who do not know, an enzyme is a protein that has the ability to control chemical reactions. As a science that is related to life, biochemistry branches off into other disciplines, some of them directly shared with biology, such as genetics, molecular biology or cell biology .

Despite the years of research behind it, the dissemination literature on this scientific discipline is not as extensive as could be expected, and it can become a challenge to find works that deal with the subject, especially when it comes to issues that at first glance does not seem to be about biochemistry. From here I present a series of books and manuals of biochemistry to help you find an introductory reading.


1. Lehninger: Principles of Biochemistry (David L. Nelson, Michael M. Cox)

Some of the manuals on essential biochemistry. Initiated by the American biochemist Albert L. Lehninger, it is a great and complete work (more than a thousand pages) that gathers all the foundations of this discipline and exposes them in a comprehensible and didactic way . With each new edition it feeds on the new discoveries discovered. Ideal for self-taught people to start in this science.

  • In this link you will find it.

2. Biochemistry (Jeremy M. Berg, John L. Tymoczko, Lubert Stryer)

Another of the works that many university students have used to have a better understanding of this discipline. Its content is informative and clear, and help clarify concepts about biochemistry . Perfect alternative to the Lehninger.


  • If you are interested, here you can find more information.

3. Human Biochemistry: Text and Atlas (Jan Koolman)

This text explores a different way to talk about biochemistry, and it is through the use of diagrams and illustrations , more than words. A simple but visual, that manages to make simple the complicated biochemical processes that occur in the human body and enable us to retain and understand images.

  • If you liked the idea, you can see more in this link.

4. Biochemistry (Donald Voet, Judith G. Voet)

Donald Voet, together with his wife, Judith G. Voet, wrote this manual on biochemistry so that the students of the University of Pennsylvania (where they work as professors) had a tool for the understanding of this discipline. Its content is so didactic that it has become a classic of biochemistry and its sale spread outside the premises.

  • If you are interested, you can find it here.

5. Biochemistry with clinical applications (Thomas M. Devlin)

Devlin's work focuses more on the understanding of the biochemistry that occurs in the human body and the appearance of related diseases, that is, when a metabolic pathway does not work correctly, which generates a disease in the patient. With this, he highlights the importance of biochemistry in the health of people and shows the medical application of this science .

  • In the following link you can inform yourself.

6. Molecular biology of the cell (Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, Paul Walter)

Molecular biology is one of the branches of biochemistry, and focuses on the study of macromolecules of life , that is, of proteins and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). This work by Alberts is a classic for people without much knowledge of the subject can start in it for a use of a simple language and very didactic.

  • You can know more about the text here.

7. Molecular biology of the gene (James D. Watson, Tania A. Baker, Stephen P. Bell, Alexander Gann, Michael Levine, Richard Losick)

The work of the famous geneticist James D. Watson can be considered a book on biochemistry, since this text touches many aspects of nucleic acids , among them its structure. Its simple presentation makes it an understandable and enjoyable reading, despite being a very complex issue.

  • If you liked it, in this link there is more information.

8. Structure and mechanism of enzymes (Alan Fersht)

Although it is a book with enough years (it was published in 1980), it is still a good text to be introduced in the concept of enzymes and chemical reactions , for its simple and understandable way of presenting the theme.

  • You can see more in the following link.

9. Bases of metabolism control: the frontiers of metabolism (David Fell)

Metabolism is one of the main fields of study of this science. This book on biochemistry focuses on this concept, presenting the bases for start acquiring new knowledge of metabolic pathways , which in recent years have been gaining importance.

  • Here you will find more details.

10. Introduction to cell biology (Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Karen Hopkin)

Although I'm talking about biochemistry, the truth is that with a general view of the cell, many of its terms are better understood , for example when viewing the place where this process occurs. And is that cell biology also belongs to one of the branches of this science; The processes and structures that biochemistry studies are located within cells.

  • For more information, you can follow the following link.

10 Best Biochemistry Textbooks 2018 (April 2024).


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