What is Metabolism


This is the sum total of all the chemical transformations that are found within the cells of any living organism. These chemical transformations are all life-sustaining. Metabolism involves enzyme-catalyzed reactions that occur in the body of an organism which helps it to maintain its body structure and respond adequately to environmental changes. It can equally be described as all the chemical reactions that take place in the body of any living organism such as digestion, transport into the cells as well as between different cells.

Types of Metabolism

There are two main types of metabolism which are catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism involves the breaking down of all organic matters and harvests of energy through cellular respiration, while anabolism, on its part, has to do with the consumption of energy for the construction of the organism’s cell components like nucleic acids and protein. All chemical reactions involved in metabolism are structured into metabolic pathways, which involve the transformation of one chemical through several steps into a different chemical, through the activities of certain enzymes.

Importance of Enzymes in Metabolism

Enzymes are very important in metabolism because they make it possible for organisms to carry out necessary reactions that need energy to occur by joining with certain reactions known to be spontaneous in nature and which do not require energy to occur. These enzymes do the work of catalysts which accelerate the reactions. Enzymes equally help to regulate the metabolic pathways in response to all changes within the cells and outside the cells of an organism.

In metabolism, the metabolic system of any organism determines which substances are poisonous and which are nutritious. The metabolic speed is referred to as the metabolic rate and it determines the quantity of food required by any organism and ways to obtain those required foods. 

Posted by: MJC

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