Metabolism –

Metabolism –

Metabolism basically refers to all the chemical reactions within the body  to produce energy.

In the body, the final agent to produce energy is called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP).

When ATP is broken down or used by cells huge amounts of energy is released. This energy is essential for cells to grow and divide, synthesise important compounds, for muscles to contract and numerous other important functions.

Metabolism therefore produces energy to perform all the functions of different tissues within the body. Metabolism works by breaking down foods in the diet or compounds in the body into their smaller components.

  • Carbohydrates:  Carbohydrates come from foods such as bread, cereal, potatoes, fruits and sugar-containing foods or beverages. When carbohydrates are digested in the gastrointestinal system they are broken down into smaller molecules such as glucose (a simple sugar) ->Then converted to ATP thru Krebbs cycle process. The main storage sites for Glucose in the body are the liver and muscles as Glycogen.
  • Lipids ( FAT ) : This basically refers to fats (such as cholesterol) from the diet or stored in adipose tissue. Lipids are broken down into smaller components called fatty acids in the Liver and as Adipose Tissues.When required it is converted to Triglycerides ->Glycerol -> then converted as ATP to provide energy.
  • Proteins: These make up nearly three quarters of all the solid materials in the body. Proteins are thus the basic structural components in the body. They are made up of smaller agents called amino acids – considered the building blocks of proteins. Proteins are present in the diet in foods such as meat, eggs, nuts and dairy products.
Energy Production

In general, carbohydrates form the main energy source for the body. They are the most efficient at producing ATP or energy (meaning they produce lots more ATP per amount of the fuel broken down). The body preferentially breaks down carbohydrates first, and then fats and finally proteins only if the other two fuels are depleted.

To illustrate an example, in the event of starvation, the body has fewer carbohydrates available so will start to breakdown the fat stores in the body. Once all the available carbohydrate and fat stores have been depleted, the body will start to break down proteins to provide energy.


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