In science, bioenergetics is the study of energy transformations in living organisms. [1] The first books on bioenergetics began to appear in the late 1950s.

Danish biochemists Karel van Dam and Hans Westerhoff argued that biological systems are “always away out of equilibrium” so that classical thermodynamics has limited potential for biology. They claim that the work of Lars Onsager was the first to suggest that thermodynamics could be extended to the description of non-equilibrium systems and that a spin-off of this work suggested that in biological systems the key subject of study is the Gibbs free energy coupling of ‘uphill’ to ‘downhill’ processes as viewed in terms of the thermodynamic efficiency of the coupling. [5]

In 1941, Fritz Lipmann, in his “Metabolic Generation and Utilization of Phosphate Bond Energy”, presented the theory of free energy coupling in the context of phosphate bond energy use.

In the 1950s, books on bioenergetics began to appear.

In 1961,
British biochemist Peter Mitchell proposed the chemiosmotic hypothesis, suggesting that most ATP synthesis in respiring cells come from the electrochemical gradient across the inner membranes of mitochondria by using the energy of NADH and FADH2 formed from the breaking down of energy rich molecules such as glucose. [2]

In the 1950s, in energy psychology, an obscure version of “bioenergetics”, as developed by American psychologist Alexander Lowen, a type of dynamic therapy based on the teachings of Austrian-born psychiatrist Wilhelm Reich, particularly Reich’s postulate of the existence of a type of energy, called “orgone”, which permeates the atmosphere and all living matter, being connected to sexual well-being and conflicts of neuroses. [3] Loosely, Lowen hypothesized that repressed emotions become transformed into muscle tension. Subsequently, according to this logic, the body "records" negative emotional reactions and stores them in the form of muscle tension and stiffness, poor posture, and low energy levels. To release these trapped emotions and return the body and mind to a balanced, healthy, peaceful state, patients must first release muscle tension and correct physical imbalances. [4]

Bio | Terminology
In the late 20th century, bioenergetics, and subfields, e.g. membrane bioenergetics, among others, began to be replaced with the terms: biothermodynamics, biological thermodynamics, and biochemical thermodynamics.

In 2009, the prefix "bio-" was shown to be defunct (see: defunct theory of life; life does not exist; life terminology upgrades), by virtue of the inherent difficulty in the term "life thermodynamics", which is without foundation, rather with baseless religio-mythology foundation, being that life is a property supposed to be breathed into matter (or clay) by god, and therefore non-existent. Upgrade terminological substitutions, at present, include:
chnops-ological thermodynamics (or powered chnopsological thermodynamics).

1. Lehninger, Albert L. (1973). Bioenergetics - the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformations, (pg. 2). London: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co.
2. (a) Peter Mitchell (1961). "Coupling of phosphorylation to electron and hydrogen transfer by a chemi-osmotic type of mechanism". Nature 191: 144–148.
(b) Nicholls, David G. and Ferguson, Stuart J. (2001). Bioenergetics3 (2nd ed, 4th printing). New York: Academic Press.
3. Lowen, Alexander. (1975). Bioenergetics: the Revolutionary Therapy that uses the Languages of the Body to Heat the Problems of the Mind. Coward, McCaan & Geoghegan, Inc.
4. Bioenergetics – American Cancer Society.
5. Ernster, Lars. (1984). Bioenergetics (ch. 1: Thermodynamic Aspects of Bioenergetics, pgs. 1-10, by Karel van Dam and Hans V. Westerhoff). Elsevier.

Further reading
● Swan, H. (1974). Thermoregulation and Bioenergetics. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Co. Inc.
● Caplan, Roy S. and Essig Alvin. (1983). Bioenergetics and Linear Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics. Cambridge: London: Harvard University Press.

External links
BBA Bioenergetics – an Elsevier Journal.

TDics icon ns