Definition of Metabolism and Metabolism in the Human Body

Definition of Metabolism

Table of Content

1. Definition of metabolism
2. Metabolism and energy link
3. Difference between metabolism and digestion
4. Types of energy metabolism
4.1 Catabolism
4.2 Anabolism
5. Factors affecting metabolic rate
6.  How to increase metabolic rate
5. Metabolic disorders

Definition of metabolism

Metabolism is the process of processing nutrients from food that have been absorbed by the body to be converted into energy.

The energy is then used in all bodily functions, from breathing, thinking, and growing, to your every movement during daily activities.

This process consists of a series of complex chemical reactions that take place in the cells of the body. Each chemical reaction works simultaneously to keep cells healthy and functioning.

The chemical reactions that occur are adapted to each organ of the human body.

Metabolism and energy link

One thing that is very closely related to metabolism is calories. Simply put, the calories in a food indicate how much energy you will get from eating that food.

The process of depleting energy is what has been known as ‘calorie burning’. Even without any activity, your body is actually already burning calories or energy to survive.

The more and more vigorous physical activity you are, the more energy is expended (number of calories burned). Meanwhile, if you rarely exercise, excess energy will accumulate in the form of fat deposits.

Difference between metabolism and digestion

Metabolism is part of the digestive process, but the two are different.

Digestion is defined as the process by which the body processes and breaks down food into nutrients. This process takes place in the digestive organs.

Meanwhile, metabolism can occur in various body cells which are controlled by special proteins. This energy formation process has even started since you were first formed in the womb and will stop when you die.

If sorted, the food you eat will be digested into nutrients in the mouth, stomach , and intestines.

After that, nutrients such as carbohydrates will be absorbed into the cells. Nutrients are then metabolized in the cells to be converted into energy.

Types of energy metabolism

Metabolism is a basic process experienced by every living thing. In fact, animals and plants also go through the same process in order to function normally.

In humans, this process works in two ways, namely catabolism and anabolism.

1. Catabolism

Catabolism is the process of breaking down nutrients into energy. For example, carbohydrates from the rice you eat will be broken down into glucose. Glucose is then carried by the blood and circulated to every cell of your body.

Once inside the cell, glucose will be broken down again in a series of chemical reactions to produce energy. This is known as catabolism.

The energy from catabolism can then be used in various body functions.

2. Anabolism

Anabolism is the process of forming new molecules to carry out body functions.

This process occurs when the body repairs damaged tissue, produces hormones, and so on. Anabolism will use up energy.

The energy that the body uses in anabolism comes from catabolism. Various substances in the cell will be collected, then formed into a new substance that the body can use to carry out its functions.

Factors affecting metabolic rate

Below are some of the factors that affect your metabolism.

  • Body size and composition. The metabolic rate of people who are muscular or bulky is faster because they require a lot of energy.
  • Gender. Men usually have greater muscle mass than women so they burn energy faster.
  • Age. Muscle mass decreases with age. This causes the rate of energy burning also decreases.
  • Certain medical conditions. Some people may have medical conditions that affect their metabolic rate.

How to increase metabolic rate

A fast metabolic process does not necessarily make a person healthier than others.

It should also be noted that when a person increases their metabolic rate, the term ‘boosting the rate’ is actually a misnomer.

If you want to increase the rate of burning calories, consider some of the tips that you can try below.

1. Doing aerobic exercise

This is the most effective exercise for burning fat and calories. To lose weight, do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise five days a week.

2. Doing exercise to increase muscle

Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. Therefore, building muscle mass by lifting weights will help you increase your metabolic rate indirectly.

3. Consuming certain foods and drinks

Several types of food and drink are claimed to increase the metabolic rate. This has not been scientifically proven and may not be a long-term solution.

However, it never hurts to add it in your daily menu. These foods and beverages include:

  • high-protein foods such as chicken, eggs, and beans,
  • spicy and spicy food,
  • green tea and oolong tea,
  • black coffee, as well as
  • energy drink.

Metabolic disorders

Some people may have certain medical conditions that can cause metabolic disorders. Metabolic disorders refer to any disease or condition caused by abnormal chemical reactions in the body’s cells.

The cause could be an abnormal amount of metabolic enzymes or hormones or a change in the function of both. When the body’s chemical reactions are inhibited or damaged and a deficiency or buildup of toxic substances can occur and cause serious symptoms.

Below are some forms of metabolic disorders that can occur.

1. Inherited metabolic disorders

Congenital metabolic disorders occur since the baby is born. This condition is quite rare, with the number of cases 1 in 800 births. Babies born with this disorder may show symptoms such as hormone problems, heart disease, and others.

There are also more common forms of the disorder, such as galactosemia and phenylketonuria. Babies born with galactosemia do not have enough of the galactose enzyme needed to break down sugar in milk.

Meanwhile, phenylketonuria is caused by abnormalities in the enzyme that breaks down the amino acid phenylalanine. This enzyme is required for normal growth and protein production.

2. Thyroid disease

The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located in the neck. Its function is to produce the hormone thyroxine as a regulator of metabolic processes and maintain the function of various vital organs of the body, especially the heart, brain, muscles, and skin.

Thyroid disease occurs when the work of the thyroid gland is disturbed, either being underactive ( hypothyroidism ) or overactive ( hyperthyroidism ).

Hypothyroidism is characterized by sluggishness, slow heart rate, weight gain, and constipation. Many of the symptoms of hypothyroidism arise because the sufferer’s body lacks energy.

Meanwhile, the symptoms of hyperthyroidism are weight loss, high blood pressure, protruding eyes, and swelling of the neck (goiter).

3. Diabetes type 1 and 2

Diabetes (diabetes) is caused by a disturbance in the body’s metabolism, precisely in producing the hormone insulin. This will cause the body to lack insulin so that blood sugar levels become high.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the cells of the pancreas are damaged so they can’t produce enough insulin. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes occurs because the body is not able to respond to insulin properly.

As the condition progresses, the disease can lead to complications. These complications include kidney problems, pain caused by nerve damage, blindness, and heart and blood vessel disease.

Metabolism is a series of chemical processes that occur in body cells to convert nutrients into energy. This energy allows the body to carry out its basic functions to survive.

The process experienced by the body during the metabolic process is different from digestion. However, the two are inseparable elements.

In order to maintain a normal metabolism, make sure you have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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