Metabolic activity refers to the set of chemical reactions that maintain life in any organism. It involves the transformation of energy and matter in the body, two elements that must always be present for life to sustain itself.
Two types of metabolic processes are anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism is a constructive metabolism, during which small molecules form into larger ones, requiring an energy supply.
Catabolism is the opposite process; it needs an energy output and large molecules break down into smaller ones.
Metabolic activity begins with the ingestion of food.
Humans are heterotrophs, which means that humans depend on organic molecules that have been ingested for energy needs. Organic molecules are the building blocks that also satisfy anabolic needs.
Metabolic activity begins with ingestion, when food enters the body. Metabolic enzymes come into play during digestion, when food is broken down in the body through a process called hydrolysis.
During hydrolysis, starches are converted to sugars, proteins to amino acids, fats to fatty acids and glycerol, and nucleic acids to nucleotides.
DNA is built from nucleotides during the anabolic process, which is a type of metabolic process.
After digestion, metabolic activity continues with absorption into the body and transport to cells, where it enters. Once the food parts are in the cells, the molecules continue to break down until they contain between two and four carbon atoms.
Molecules can continue down metabolic pathways and become building blocks for sugar and amino acids. Next, the new parts of the cell are assembled, including polysaccharides, proteins, fats, and nucleic acids.
Each individual has a unique metabolism that governs how the body processes nutrients.
Another option is that the molecules can be further broken down into inorganic molecules like water, carbon dioxide, and ammonia.
During this phase of metabolic activity, large amounts of energy are released, making it catabolic. Nutrition processes that involve metabolic activity include autotrophic nutrition and heterotrophic nutrition.
Autotrophs include plants, algae, and bacteria and depend on sunlight to transform inorganic molecules like water into smaller organic molecules; this is known as photosynthesis.
In heterotrophic nutrition, energy is taken from organic molecules and broken down to form even smaller molecules, and the molecules in food come from autotrophs.
Eating disorders can cause permanent damage to your metabolism.
The metabolism of an organism defines which substances it will find nutritious and which ones will be poisonous. Metabolic rate also plays an important factor in determining how much food an organism needs.
Internal metabolic pathways are similar, even between species. The similarities are due to the efficiency of the pathways and the fact that they continue to evolve with species.
Someone who metabolizes food slowly may experience weight problems.