Question 15 - Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems Practice Test for the MCAT

From the results of the experiment (see attachment), which athlete is in the best physical shape?

Pyruvate generated from glycolysis can follow different catabolic paths depending on many factors. In animal tissues and under anaerobic conditions, pyruvate is reduced to lactate and NADH is oxidized to NAD+, in a reaction catalyzed by lactate dehydrogenase. During the recovery period after strenuous exercise, lactate is converted back to glucose in the liver.

In an experiment, the lactate levels in blood for two athletes are measured at different times from the start of vigorous exercise. The results of the experiment are shown in the table below:

Time (minutes) Blood Lactate
on Athlete A
Blood Lactate
on Athlete B
0 1.2 1.3
5 1.3 1.4
10 1.4 1.5
15 1.5 2.1
20 1.8 4.3
25 3.2 10.4
30 5.8 7.7

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