Chemistry for Biologists: Metabolism and energy
Metabolism is a set of processes performed by the living beings that allow them to interchange matter and energy with their environment. People's body weight is a result of catabolism minus anabolism. People with more muscle in relation to fat will require more calories than. Metabolism breaks down large molecules like food into usable energy. This energy drives bodily processes critical to survival. In this video.
Well, the smallest subunit of proteins is called an amino acid. And our body breaks down all the different types of proteins that we digest into individual amino acids.
And the same pattern continues for the rest of the biomolecules. So in the case of fats, we're talking about fatty acids, which are the smallest subunits of fats. And then for carbohydrates, which are long chains of sugars.
- Metabolism and energy
- Difference between Metabolism, Catabolism and Anabolism
- Metabolism: Myths and facts
One of the most common subunits of carbohydrates that our body loves is called glucose. So I'll go ahead and write that here, since you'll be seeing it a lot in the discussion of metabolism. And then finally, for nucleic acids were talking about nucleotides. So at this point, you're probably thinking, well, OK.
I understand that our body can't use the same macromolecules found in food because maybe they're not in the right configuration.
But how does breaking them down do anything for us? Now the key here is to recognize that in our body there is actually a delicate balance going on between the processes of breaking down molecules, such as in the process of digestion, and then taking these products and building them back up.
So essentially, you can see all of these subunits, or monomers, as LEGO pieces that we're essentially reconstructing to build the right configurations of proteins, fats, carbs, and nucleic acids that our body needs.
So that's really the key idea here, which is that metabolism is a balance between breaking things down and building them back up in our body so that we can customize, so to say, what type of macromolecules that we create. And just to throw in some vocab words, biochemists call the process of breaking down molecules in our body catabolism.
And similar sounding word called anabolism is used to describe the process of building molecules back up.
Metabolism: Myths and facts
And the way I like to remember this is looking at the first letter of each of these words, I think of C, I think of cutting molecules up into tiny pieces, so breaking them down. And then for anabolism, A, I think of as like the apex of a building, for example. So we're building something up. Now this seems all fine and elegant, but there's one more issue that we need to contend with, which is a consequence of having to balance breaking things down and building them back up.
And that is that this process of building molecules back up requires energy. Which I'm kind of indicating here by these yellow lightening bolt stars. So the question I want to answer in this last part of the video is where does this energy come from? Now, the answer to this question is that, well, we also get this energy by eating food. So how does that work?
So first, recall that the energy currency of the cell-- and I'm going to go ahead and erase this just to give us some more space. The energy currency of our bodies is a molecule called ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. And this high energy molecule, as it's often referred to, when it is broken down into ADP, so it loses a phosphate group, it releases usable chemical energy that can fuel energy requiring processes in our body, such as the building up process of anabolism.
And that is where food comes in. In fact, this is very rarely the case. This MNT Knowledge Center article will discuss the facts behind metabolism, what it is, what it does, and how it is influenced. Fast facts on metabolism: When people use the word "metabolism" they are often referring to catabolism and anabolism.
Catabolism is the breaking down of compounds to release energy. Anabolism is the building of compounds, which uses energy. People's body weight is a result of catabolism minus anabolism.
Metabolic rate Despite what promoters of certain brands of "health" foods say, there is little people can do to significantly change their resting metabolic rate. Long-term strategies, such as increasing muscle mass, may eventually have an effect.
Metabolism, Anabolism, Catabolism
However, determining a body's energy needs, then adapting lifestyle accordingly, will have a quicker effect on altering body weight. Most people use the term "metabolism" incorrectly for either anabolism or catabolism: Anabolism is the building up of things - a succession of chemical reactions that builds molecules from smaller components; anabolic processes usually require energy.
Catabolism is the breaking down of things - a series of chemical reactions that break down complex molecules into smaller units; catabolic processes usually release energy.
Anabolism Anabolism allows the body to grow new cells and maintain all the tissues. Anabolic reactions in the body use simple chemicals and molecules to manufacture many finished products. Examples include the growth and mineralization of bone and increases in muscle mass. Classic anabolic hormones include: Growth hormone - a hormone made by the pituitary gland that stimulates growth.
Insulin - a hormone made by the pancreas.Protein Metabolism Made Easy To Understand (Updated Version)
It regulates the level of sugar glucose in the blood. Cells cannot utilize glucose without insulin. Testosterone - causes the development of male sex characteristics, such as a deeper voice and facial hair. It also strengthens muscles and bone.
Estrogen - involved in strengthening bone mass, as well as developing female characteristics, such as breasts. Catabolism Catabolism breaks things down and releases energy; it uses larger compounds to create smaller compounds, releasing energy in the process. Catabolism provides the energy our bodies need for physical activity, from cellular processes to body movements. Catabolic reactions in the cells break down polymers long chains of molecules into their monomers single units.
Polysaccharides are broken down into monosaccharides - for instance, starch is broken down into glucose. Nucleic acids are broken down into nucleotides - nucleic acids, such as those that make up DNA, are broken down to purines, pyrimidines, and pentose sugars.
These are involved in the body's energy supply. Proteins are broken down into amino acids - in some circumstances, protein is broken down into amino acids to make glucose.
Catabolism vs. Anabolism: What’s the Difference?
When we eat, our body breaks down nutrients - this releases energy, which is stored in molecules of adenosine triphosphate ATP in the body. ATP is considered to be "the energy currency of life.
Catabolism creates the energy that anabolism consumes for synthesizing hormones, enzymes, sugars, and other substances for cell growth, reproduction, and tissue repair. Body weight Body weight is a result of catabolism minus anabolism - the amount of energy we release into our bodies catabolism minus the amount of energy our bodies use up anabolism.
The excess energy is stored either as fat or glycogen in the muscles and liver.