What is metabolism?

What is metabolism?

Literally meaning of metabolism is “change”. It is the entire spectrum of chemical reactions, occurring in the living organisms to continue life processes. Metabolism allows all living organisms to grow and reproduction, respond to environment, and maintain their structural organization.

Metabolism consists of two subdivisions called catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism is the degradative processes concerned with the breakdown of complex molecules to simple ones, with a concomitant release of free energy. For example, carbohydrates are complex molecules, breakdown into simple molecules of carbon dioxide and water with concomitant release free energy as a form of ATP through a series of catabolic reactions.

On the other hand, anabolism is the constructive processes concerned with the formation of complex molecules from simple precursors with the utilization of free energy. For example, amino acids are simple molecules, build complex molecules of proteins through a series of anabolic reactions that build up our bodies muscle.

What is high metabolism?

High metabolism means more calories burned the body to meet our life sustaining energy requirements.

How to increase our metabolism?

Usually muscle to fat proportions of our bodies affect overall metabolism. A person who has more muscle bulk and less fat is a higher metabolism than other who has relatively less muscle bulk and more fat because of muscle tissue is metabolically more active and fatty tissue is metabolically less active. For example, two persons with same weight and height, one person exercises on a regular basis, and has a less amount of body fat and other never exercises, and has a higher amount of body fat. The person who exercises regularly will have a higher metabolism than the other. Therefore, we can increase our metabolism by increasing the muscle bulk through regular basis of some type of anaerobic exercise such as lifting weights, hand weights, rubberbands, dynabands etc. We can also increase our metabolism by decreasing our body fat by performing some type of aerobic exercise such as swimming, biking, walking, jogging etc.

Disease condition increases our metabolism:

Hyperthyroidism – Hyperthyroidism is a disease caused by an overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid gland secretes too much of thyroxine hormone, which increases a person’s metabolism. A person with hyperthyroidism may presents with palpitation, heat intolerance, diarrhea, high pulse rate, high blood pressure and weight loss. The disease may be controlled with antihyroid drugs, radioactive iodine therapy or through surgery.

What is low metabolism?

Low metabolism means less calories burned the body to meet our life sustaining energy requirements. Metabolism can be slow down in the following conditions:

A person taking a very low calorie diet – metabolism will slow down for surviving the life.
During starvation – metabolism will slow down for surviving the life.
Age – After the age of 30, our muscle bulk begins to decrease. As a result, metabolic rate is also decreases. If our daily activities remain same and calories intake remain same, we will gain weight because of our low metabolism. Therefore, we need adjustment of our regular basis of exercise and calories intake after the age of 30.
Disease condition decreases our metabolism:

Hypothyroidism – Hypothyroidism is a disease caused by an underactive or nonexistent thyroid gland. The thyroid gland secretes too little of thyroxine hormone, which decreases a person’s metabolism. A person with hypothyroidism may presents with fatigue, dry skin, cold intolerance, constipation, slow pulse rate, high blood pressure and weight gain. The disease may be controlled by thyroxine hormone replacement therapy.

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