All about Metabolism

Weighing Scales

What is Metabolism?

Typically when people think of metabolism, they think of weight. Technically, metabolism just refers to chemical processes that happen in order to maintain life. However a big topic it affects, is still weight loss/gain. Which is why fat burning supplements such as Thermakor aim to boost metabolic rates. This is because a good metabolism will break down food more effectively. Here, we go deeper into some of the processes involved in metabolism.

Chemical Reactions In The Body

Various chemical reactions take place in the body, and almost all of them are necessary to maintain life (metabolism definition). For example, there are two types of reactions that are typically associated with metabolism;

  • Anabolism – This is where your body synthesizes (combines together) complex molecules for any actions the body needs to take out. This process requires energy, and is referred to a building reaction.
  • Catabolism – This is a breakdown reaction, and it concerns breaking down molecules into simpler units. Typically these units are then oxidized and used for energy, however they are now easier for the body to process. Thus thus releases energy into the body.

These are general reactions. However, if we are strictly speaking about food, they are also involved in helping break down nutrients. Here’s how your body breaks glucose for example – a typical process of metabolism.

Example of a Process involved in Metabolism: The Breakdown of Glucose

Glucose is gained from eating carbohydrates. It is essential for your body as it gives it energy. Initially it converts to pyruvate through a process called glycolsis. If needed it can be converted back to glucose.

The pyruvate then needs to be converted into acetyl CoA if the body is to gain energy. This is a good example of catabolism. This is because cells remove a carbon group from pyruvate, and turn it into acetyl CoA. Leaving the remaining carbon group to be carried out the body as carbon dioxide (irreversible reaction).

The acetyl CoA then converts to carbon dioxide in the TCA cycle. This releases energy, meaning your body has used the original glucose for energy.

As you can see from the sequence above the body goes through many chemical reactions for something as simple as extracting energy from food. This is just one process of metabolism that your body needs in order to ‘maintain it’s life’.

Links For Reference

More information in-depth information on metabolism can be found here.