Difference Between Anabolism and Catabolism

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Anabolism and Catabolism: Differences Definition & Functions

Anabolism and catabolism are the parts into which metabolism is divided. The anabolism is a synthesis reaction where energy is consumed. The catabolism is a decomposition reaction in which energy is released. Although they are two different processes, they work in a coordinated way.

Anabolism and Catabolism
Anabolism and Catabolism

While anabolism builds large molecules from smaller ones, catabolism is a reduction reaction where a complex molecule is converted into a simpler one.

Anabolism vs. Catabolism – What are the differences?

Anabolism Catabolism
Definition Phase where the molecules that the body needs are built. A process that breaks down large molecules in the body into smaller ones.
Phase Type Constructive. Destructive.
Energy Consumed by the body. Releases it for the body.
Reaction Endergonic, reduction and synthesis or construction. Exergonic, decomposing or destructive and oxidative.
Molecules Complex molecules are produced from simple molecules. Simple molecules are produced from complex molecules.
  • Estrogen
  • Insulin.
  • Growth hormone.
  • Testosterone.
  • Adrenalin.
  • Cortisol
  • Cytokines
  • Glucagon
Examples When amino acids are converted into proteins, glucose into glycogen and fatty acids into triglycerides. When proteins are converted to amino acids, proteins to glucose, glycogen to glucose, and triglycerides to fatty acids.

What is Anabolism?

The word anabolism comes from the Greek ana, which means ‘upwards‘, and ballein, which we can translate as ‘throw‘.

Anabolism is one of the two parts that metabolism is divided into, which is also known as biosynthesis.

Anabolism is a constructive chemical reaction where complex moleculess are from simpler ones that can be organic or inorganic. Thus the molecules can grow and renew themselves, or be stored as energy reserves.

This metabolic construction process, where energy is consumed to obtain large molecules from smaller ones, is possible thanks to the energy supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

In these reactions, the most oxidized compounds are reduced. Through anabolism, living things can form proteins from amino acids and thus maintain body tissues.

Functions of the Anabolism

  • Increase muscle mass.
  • Form the cellular components and tissues of growth.
  • Store energy.

Stages of Anabolism

  1. In the first stage, precursors are produced, such as amino acids, monosaccharides and others.
  2. The precursors are then activated, using energy from adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
  3. In the third stage, more complex molecules are produced, such as proteins, polysaccharides, lipids, and nucleic acids.

What is Catabolism?

Catabolism is a word that comes from the Greek kato, which means ‘downwards‘, and ballein, which means ‘to launch‘.

Catabolism is the part of the metabolic process by which different organic nutrients are degraded, reduced or oxidized to their simplest forms so that the body assimilates them and transform them into energy. This energy is essential for the functioning of anabolism.

The energy that is released is stored in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules, and thus the cell can perform vital actions such as muscle contraction and molecule synthesis.

It is a destructive phase of reduction where, from a complex organic molecule, such as carbohydrates and lipids, other simpler ones such as H 2 O, CO 2 , lactic acid or ammonia are obtained.

A catabolic process is digestion, in it large molecular complexes are broken down and transformed into simpler forms so that they can be used as raw material and energy in anabolic processes. For this reason, digestion is essential for anabolism to function properly.

Bacteria are often capable of metabolizing iron and sulfur.

Functions of the Catabolism

  • Degrade organic nutrients.
  • Extracting chemical energy from degraded nutrients to be used by the body.
  • Nourish the body using tissues when there is a lack of food.

Stages of Catabolism

  1. Large organic molecules, such as proteins, polysaccharides, or lipids, are degraded to amino acids, monosaccharides, and fatty acids, respectively.
  2. Small molecules are carried into cells and transform into even simpler molecules, releasing energy during the process.
  3. Eventually, the coenzymes in the electron transport chain are oxidized.
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