Ribonucleic acid or RNA acts as a messenger between DNA and the protein synthesis complexes known as ribosomes, forms vital portions of ribosomes, and acts as an essential carrier molecule for amino acids to be used in protein synthesis.
RNA is very similar to DNA, but differs in a few important structural details: RNA is single stranded, while DNA is double stranded. Also, RNA nucleotides contain ribose sugars while DNA contains deoxyribose and RNA uses predominantly uracil instead of thymine present in DNA.
RNA is transcribed from DNA by enzymes called RNA polymerases and further processed by other enzymes. RNA serves as the template for translation of genes into proteins, transferring amino acids to the ribosome to form proteins, and also translating the transcript into proteins.
RNA is a polymer with a ribose and phosphate backbone and four different bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil. The first three are the same as those found in DNA, but in RNA thymine is replaced by uracil as the base complementary to adenine.
Uracil is energetically less expensive to produce than thymine, which may account for its use in RNA. Having thymine as the normal base in DNA makes the detection and repair of incipient mutations more effective. Thus uracil is appropriate for RNA, where quantity is important but lifespan is not, whereas thymine is appropriate for DNA where maintaining sequence with high fidelity is more critical.
Aren’t you glad I cut out some of the technical jargon? In simpler terms, RNA is a mirror image made from the template of DNA. RNA is used to make proteins that primarily function as enzymes in the body, catalyzing specific chemical reactions.
RNA is also cut into smaller pieces, made into a double helix (microRNA) then transformed into mature mRNA in the cytoplasm of the cell. mRNA directs cell differentiation by inhibiting specific DNA transcription. This allows the body to produce different cells – heart, liver, skin, etc. from the same DNA. RNA is available as a supplement from Standard Process. I use it to improve brain function. It is especially effective for those with short term memory issues or people having difficulty with multi-tasking. A simple test for RNA is to stand on one foot with your arms extended out from your side. Steady yourself, then close your eyes. If you can maintain your balance for several seconds with your eyes closed, your RNA levels are probably adequate. If you fall quickly, then RNA supplementation may be beneficial. It’s a good idea to have someone close by to catch you when you fall.
RNA is a fascinating area of study and research into microRNA is currently at a fever pitch. However, practical supplementation of RNA has been available since 1952.