What is Metabolism

Updated: Jul 25

  • No matter what we eat, our bodies break it down into its basic components before utilizing it.

  • In our bodies, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids are all digested and converted into simple forms.




  • Proteins are transformed into Amino Acids, complex carbohydrates into sugar, and lipids into fatty acid.

  • During this process, energy is released in the form of ATP and other energy-rich molecules, such as NADH2 and FADH2, that can be used for a variety of purposes.

  • During this process, waste compounds such as N, CO2, P, and S are produced.

  • These waste materials are eliminated from the body in various ways.

  • These simple molecules (Amino Acid, Sugar, and Fatty Acids) can be converted into different complex and large molecules, each of which plays a unique role in our bodies. Such as Enzymes, Receptors, Hormones, as well as Hair and Nails.

  • Therefore, metabolism is the sum of all biochemical reactions that occur within a cell.

  • This interconnected network of chemical reactions is known as a metabolic pathway.

  • Both catabolism and anabolism are distinct types of metabolism that can be distinguished from one another.

  • The release of energy in the form of ATP occurs during catabolic reactions. These are the reactions in which larger, more complex molecules are broken down into smaller, more basic molecules.

  • The conversion of glucose molecules into pyruvate is a prototypical example of a catabolic reaction. Glucose is a type of sugar called a hexo sugar because it is composed of six carbon atoms, whereas pyruvate is composed of three carbon atoms and is called a trio sugar.

  • The term "glycolysis" refers to this process, which consists of ten steps. During this process, two molecules of ATP are produced and released.

  • During the process known as anabolism, in which smaller, or simple molecules are transformed into larger, more complex molecules, energy is used up. The anabolic reaction refers to the transformation of amino acids into the protein keratin, which is found in hair.

  • Another illustration of this process is the transformation of glycogen or starch into glucose.


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