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What Is Catabolism?

What is catabolism?

  • Metabolism is broken down into two processes: anabolism and catabolism.
  • Catabolism, destructive metabolism, produces the energy needed for physical activity from a cellular level all the way up to any movement of your body.
  • Catabolism is the process involved when your body breaks larger molecules down into smaller molecules, and is one of the two chemical processes and reactions that together make up your metabolism. The other half of the equation that makes up your metabolism is called anabolism. Catabolism releases energy during the breakdown process of organic nutrients, and this energy is stored inside molecules of adenosine triphosphate, also called ATP, in the body. The energy is stored as chemical bonds with high energy, and these bonds are located between the second and third phosphate molecules. This energy is the fuel for the anabolic reactions used by cells, so that hormones, enzymes, sugars, and other molecules needed by the cell can be synthesized and the cell can grow, reproduce, and sustain itself. The ATP which stores the energy is used to synthesize more complex cell components from small simple building blocks, for transporting substances across the cell membrane, and for motion and contraction of the cells. Adenosine triphosphate releases energy when the chemical bond is broken, and this results in the molecule turning into adenosine diphosphate, or ADP, after the stored energy is released. Catabolism may occur at the same time as anabolism in the cell, but these two metabolism processes operate independently of each other and use different pathways.

    Catabolism is also known as destructive metabolism, and this process never ends. This part of metabolism produces the energy needed for physical activity from a cellular level all the way up to any movement of your body. Catabolism also releases the energy needed for your body to maintain the correct temperature, and helps break down complex molecules and chemicals into simple units that are waste products, and can be excreted from the body through your organs, including your intestines, kidneys, skin, and lungs.

    Catabolism is part of the process that determines whether you gain or lose weight, or keep your weight the same. If more energy is released from the cells than is taken in, this will lead to a weight loss. If you consume more energy, in other words calories, than what is released through catabolic action, a weight gain will result.

    The cell regulates the catabolic pathway rates by allosteric enzymes. These enzymes’ increased or decreased activity are responsive to the existence or absence of any specific end product required for a specific bodily function. If the end product needed is present, these enzymes slow their activity, but if the end product is missing these enzymes will increase their activity so the end product can be produced with the energy released.

    Metabolism is the breakdown of organic and waste products, allowing for their use and removal, and the buildup of the cells and maintenance of tissues needed by your body. Catabolism is half of your metabolism, and understanding this process can help anyone who wants to lose or gain weight. Catabolism breaks down the larger molecules into smaller components, so that anabolism can use these components and the stored energy to build muscle, fat, and other components of the body.

    The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.