What is metabolism?

What is metabolism?

metabolism (metabolism) - a set of chemical reactions involved in maintaining cell activity and organisms.

There are two types of metabolism:

  1. catabolism - a set of processes that result from the fermentation of complex organic substances result in a more simple substances (fatty acids, amino acids, sugars).
  2. anabolism - creating new body substances, tissues and cells from simpler substances derived from catabolism (cellular proteins, membrane phospholipids, polysaccharides).

As a result of catabolism are formed not only a new, more simple substances, but also the energy, which is then used for anabolism.When the balance between these two processes is broken, the body dies.


Depending on the type of metabolism, all organisms are divided into the following groups:

  1. If the carbon source for the body are organic compounds, it is a heterotrophic.
  2. If the carbon source for the body are inorganic compounds - it autotrophs.
  3. If in the process of photosynthesis, plants or bacteria derive energy from sunlight, they are phototrophic.
  4. If in the process of photosynthesis, plants or bacteria derive energy from the primary molecules, it chemotroph.
  5. bacteria derive energy from organic compounds called organotrophs.
  6. bacteria derive energy from inorganic compounds, called lithotrophs.

Proper nutrition involves the consumption of essential body substances: carbohydrates, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur and about 20 other inorganic elements.If the body is not getting enough nutrients, there is a failure in the body, in which begin to function properly separate cells at first, and then the whole organs.

basic nutrients derived from food

  • Carbohydrates are involved in the construction of cellular structures, create a supply of nutrients in the body, involved in the formation of immunity and operate energy function.Man gets carbohydrates from starch, sugar and fiber.
  • Proteins - the main building blocks of tissues.Proteins necessary for the body, as they contain amino acid obtainable as a result of cleavage of proteins.The proteins found in eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, soybeans and cereals.
  • Fats - are involved in the formation of cellular structures, form a vital protective cushion and insulation around the internal organs, help absorb fat-soluble vitamins and provide back-up power supply.
  • Minerals and vitamins are part of the metabolic pathways of the body.Vitamins are essential organic compounds that the human body can not synthesize their own and, therefore, need to ensure that they received sufficient food.

briefly outline what is metabolism, it can be in three stages:

  1. Splitting complex substances to simpler by enzymes in the digestive system and absorption into the blood.
  2. Transportation derived nutrients to the cells and tissues.
  3. Disposal of by-products of metabolism through perspiration, urine, feces, expired air, etc.

For more information on this topic, see the article What is the substance and How to speed up metabolism.