72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
Lehninger vs Voet,
This review is from: Lehninger Principles of Biochemistry, Fourth Edition (Hardcover)It is far too often that lecturers erroneously prescribe Voet for introductory biochemistry courses. This makes students suffer and dislike the subject; but truly, biochemistry is a remarkably interesting topic, provided one has the appropriate source of information.
I am a Chemistry major who suffered at the hands of my inarticulate lecturer and also the intially hated Voet& Voet Biochemistry. To recount my position, I had just finished introductory organic chemistry and went into biochemistry. For student such as myself, I found Voet not to have those transient features to fully make the migration from structural and mechanistic elucidations of organic chemistry to analysis of macromolecules and complex metabolic pathways.
The major flaw of Voet is in its first two parts, the final part is actually quite good, once you understand the basics. That was the problem! an introductory biochemistry course is supposed to teach you the basics with great emphasis placed on biopolymer structure (i.e. carbohydrates, complex fatty acid polymers (sterols and phospholipids) and finally proteins).
I didnt follow my lecturer's lectures as he was difficult to understand; he is often in the habit of reading exactly what was on the powerpoint presentations....no reiterations, no further explanations.
I was scared that I would not do well in the unit and so I purchased Lehninger. It was the greatest decision I had made in context of studying Biochemistry. The authors know very well the plight of students who have to contend with not only biochem but a multitude of other challenging units.
They have made this book lucid with detailed, "easy to understand" conversational explanations of various pertinent topics in biochemistry. Great emphasis had been placed on the fundamentals and how to implement these principles in solving biochemistry associated problems.
Voet on the other hand is an encyclopedic, condensed dictionary that defines terms and other features in a very precise and often complicated way. This is something that becomes handy once one actually understands what Voet and Voet are talking about, it is only useful AFTER an introductory biochemistry unit.
The CD presented with lehninger uses much more complex graphical engines to present information...it actually presents it in a more beautified manner than voet. This is imperative to the student as it reduces the learning curve in understanding the fundamental basics which are all important to biochemistry such as the detailed features of protein structure, how alpha helices and beta sheets differ. THe differences in the various levels of protein structure (i.e. primary to quaternary), the WHY and the HOW of many of these topics are discussed in detail not as text but as vivid animations which would make the user in awe of biochemistry.
Enzyme kinetics is also very well dicussed, Voet uses calculus and mathematical proof to explain the Michaelis-Menton formula and the constant. However Lehninger has a more practical approach with a built in application which allows the user to alter values and see their impact on the relationship between substrate and enzyme metabolism, in light of various governing factors.
The text is both lucid and colourful with only relevant, useful and well explained graphics. The idea behind Lehninger is to build up on the basic principles and always implement them in the understanding of biochemistry. Voet does not have this primary feature.
I would strongly suggest anyone to have a look at both texts prior to purchasing. Voet is a good reference after you have understood concepts and I use it out of guilt, the guilt of spending so much money on it. I actually ENJOYED studying biochemistry with Lehninger.
To conclude, I cannot stress how good Lehninger is compared to Voet for introductory students. IT LITERALLY IS ONE OF THE BEST ACCOUNTS OF BIOCHEMISTRY.