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Help me Understand the concept of Catabolism

  1. Sep 24, 2015 #1
    The breakdown of complex molecules, in living organisms, to form simpler ones, together with the release of energy; destructive metabolism.

    I dont understand this part of the definition together with the release of energy

    So anything anti catabolic would be a non breakdown of these molecules used for energy, thus keeping cells from absorbing energy.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2015 #2
    The trouble with these terms is that they can be used in slightly different ways. Basically when we talk about metabolism we can think of two basic processes, catabolism describes the processes that involve breaking down nutrients, usually into simpler forms which are delivered to cells as fuel, in order to produce energy. Anabolic processes are when the body uses nutrients to build new tissues or repair damaged tissues. So catabolism usually involves breaking down complex molecules into simpler forms, anabolism is either building or changing complex molecules to form human tissues. Generally both processes are occurring all the time but most of our food is subject to catabolic processes in order to maintain our body temperature and provide energy. Sometimes these terms are used in relation to the action of certain hormones or illnesses. Steroid hormones come in several varieties and may be given to people at high levels. Some of these promote anabolism and are used to help build tissues, particularly muscle mass, the male hormone testosterone is an anabolic steroid. Others like cortisone, which is associated with stress promote catabolic states. People who are severely ill following injury or during infections may enter into a sever catabolic state and break down bodily tissues very rapidly causing all sorts of further problems.
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