Metabolism Metabolic Pathways

Introduction about What is Metabolism Metabolic Pathway

All chemical reactions which take place inside of a cell are collectively called cell metabolism. If we could peek inside of any cell in our body, we can see that it is a series of biochemical reactions that convert substrate molecules to undergo a series of metabolic intermediates, yielding final products. The intermediate of an enzymatic reaction is known as a metabolite. 

Metabolites are further modified by a sequence of chemical reactions catalyzed by enzymes.

Concept of Metabolism

The entire process of nutrition has two parts. Ingestion of food and utilization of food for energy. In every living organism whether a prokaryotic bacterium or a eukaryotic cell, the process of nutrition is the same. The concept of metabolic reactions refers to the utilization of food for energy. Undigested food needs to be utilized for turn over. The key to metabolism is nutrition and the target is energy extraction. 

During metabolism, biomolecules present in the food get utilized to extract the energy from the cell. The formation of another molecule is caused by the transformation of one compound. For example – The proteins obtained from the food are metabolized into amino acids which are later utilized to synthesize another protein. Metabolism is an enzyme-catalyzed reaction which provides biomolecules needed by the cell for growth, maintenance, and repair.

Example of Metabolic Pathways :

  • Glucose is oxidized with the help of oxygen for the purpose of producing ATP, adenosine triphosphate during the process of Cellular Respiration.

  • For the proper functioning of the life of cells, the ATP molecules are being used by the animal cells as they act as the main source of energy for metabolism.

Easy Ways to Increase Metabolism

  1. Eating thatch comprises proteins that raise the metabolism of the body. It is called the thermic effect of food. The largest rise in the thermic effect of food is observed with protein consumption. Eating proteins prevent us from the phenomenon of overeating. 

  2. Drinking more cold water instead of sugary drinks more can help successfully to reduce calorie intake. Drinking 17 ounces ( 0.5 liters) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30 per cent for about an hour.

  3. Lifting heavy things helps retrain muscles and combat the drop in metabolism.

  4. Stand more – long hours of sitting reduces metabolic activities.

  5. Eating peppers increase metabolism as peppers contain capsaicin that boosts your metabolism.

Purpose of Metabolic Pathways

  • For cellular activities to create energy.

  • To convert food as building blocks to synthesize biomolecules like carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids. 

  • To eliminate waste and toxic products.

Basic Metabolic Pathways

There are two general types of metabolism pathways.

Catabolic and Anabolic. 

Catabolic pathways release energy which breaks down molecules into simpler molecules. 

Example of Catabolic pathway-

Krebs Cycle or Citric Acid Cycle -  In this pathway acetate from macronutrients like protein, fat, and carbohydrate molecules undergo oxidation. The end product is carbon dioxide.

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Glycolysis -  The process in which organisms and plants store and release glucose and other sugar energy to make a high energy molecule is known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is referred to as the ‘ energy currency of life’ because it stores the energy we need to function and perform on an everyday basis.  The catabolic pathway helps to create energy for various activities. 

Anabolic Pathways 

Enzymes in the anabolic pathway or biosynthetic process need the energy to change or convert molecules into more complex molecules or macromolecules.

Example- Amino acids can be used to build protein, carbon dioxide, and can be used to make sugar. Furthermore, nucleic acids can be used to make new strands of DNA.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1.Difference Between Catabolism and Anabolism  

Catabolism – 

  • The process of catabolism releases energy.

  • Catabolism breaks down big complex molecules, energy is changed into kinetic energy.

  • It is required to perform different activities in living entities.

Examples of catabolic processes are proteins becoming amino acids, glycol breaking down into glucose, and triglycerides breaking up into fatty acids.

Anabolism – 

  • Anabolic processes require energy.

  • Anabolism builds molecules required for the body’s functionality.

  • In anabolism kinetic energy consorts into potential energy.

  • It is required for maintenance, growth.             

Examples of anabolism are the formation of polypeptides from amino acids, glucose forming glycogen and fatty acids forming triglycerides.

2. How Metabolism Affects Weight?

Our Body Size and Composition

People having larger body sizes or with more muscles burn more calories even at rest.

Sex or Gender - Men have fewer body fats and more muscles than women of the same age and weight thus men burn more calories than women.

Age- As we get older, the amount of muscles tends to decrease, and fat accounts for more of our weight. Calories tend to burn at a very slow process.

Food Processing (Thermogenesis) - Digesting, absorbing, transporting, and storing food. During digestion and absorption of food and nutrients, about 10℅ calories from carbohydrates and proteins which we eat are used.

Physical Activity- Exercising and physical activities such as playing tennis, walking to the store, running, jumping burns calories.