2 March 2024

Within an organism, there are various chemical reactions. These give rise to the functioning of a body in a natural and effective way in situations of physical exhaustion. In this way, within the functions that exist in our metabolism, there is that of the mechanisms that allow the flow of body energy and in the muscles.

That being said, metabolism is divided into two different stages in order for it to occur. With one, our body acquires energy. With the other one, it is evaporated and released, and thus be able to carry out high-yield activities correctly. Today we will talk about one of these two stages: catabolism, and we will explain everything related to this important organic process in human beings.

Meaning of catabolism

Metabolism is a function that contains a living being that allows you to get and release energy constantly. This is so that we can carry out exhaustive or simple activities in a natural way. Therefore, the term is closely related to the field of people who exercise or train a sport, requiring a prolonged energy expenditure.

That being said, metabolism is divided into two distinct phases: anabolism and catabolism, which represent opposite functions that work together. All for the same purpose. In this way, anabolism plays the role of synthesizing different types of chemical compounds. Some of them are lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and fatty acids, among others.

On the other hand, these substances follow a metabolic route that ends in the release of their components in the form of energy. And this is where catabolism comes in. This stage of metabolism is responsible for releasing and degrading substances chemicals that the body acquired during the phase of anabolism. Generating a group of waste products called catabolites. That is why when we lift weights or do high-impact physical activity in a muscle, they look “inflated”.

That is why, during exercise routines or physical exhaustion before hard work, it is necessary to eat properly to recover and strengthen all the energy that the body lost. In fact, thanks to the processes of metabolism is that hypertrophy occurs. Or, put another way, muscle gain.

However, catabolism It is also used in daily activities. The reason is that the body is always in a constant cycle of losing and gaining energy through the food we eat. That is why every recipe for cooking must contain all the food groups to achieve optimal nutrition.

What characteristics does catabolism have?

The main peculiarity of this stage would be the loss of nutrients. Everything is due to the fact that, during this process, this phase follows the metabolic route for the degradation of the complements present with the body. This in order to release energy and be able to do physical exertion correctly.

Also, another of its characteristics lies in taking a slight help from the body. And, during this degradation process, the human body stores energy in the form of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), that works during other chemical processes. We must also remember that they are reactions that all living beings have. That is to say, that any form of life carries out the process of catabolism, so that the functioning of its metabolism occurs correctly.

Another of its characteristics lies in the difference it presents with respect to its complementary process: anabolism. The reason is that, this stage is in charge of obtaining energy through compounds that is in the body. This allows the body to synthesize information-rich molecules from simple molecules.

Meanwhile, during catabolism, that energy that was obtained thanks to anabolism is released. That is, it is in charge of decode constructed information in that complex molecule. Which, consequently, releases all the energy that had accumulated in its chemical bonds. In other words, while anabolism traps energy, catabolism releases it.

What are the phases of catabolism?

Just as the stages of metabolism are divided into a complete procedure, the same thing happens within catabolism. That is This process is fragmented into different phases. to be able to create the release of energy that the body of a living being needs in carrying out physical activities. That said, it can be classified into three different periods that perform the degradation of complex molecules to simpler molecules. These are the following:

  • Stage 1 production of Acetyl-CoA: During this period of the process, all the molecules that were encoded in the phase of anabolism. That is to say, lipids, proteins, nucleic and fatty acids, and others rust. Next, a change of chemical compounds is generated during oxidation to reach the presence of two carbon atoms.
  • Stage 2 oxidation of Acetyl-CoA: The two carbon atoms form an acetyl group that is complemented by the Krebs cycle. This functions as a metabolic pathway through the oxidation process of Acetyl-CoA. In addition, it also has an important role in cellular respiration during this stage. Finally, the conversion is carried out until CO2 (carbon dioxide) is obtained enzymatically. In addition, the carriers NADH and FADH are maintained.
  • Electronic transfer stage 3: In the last phase, the oxidation process continues until the release of electrons and protons. In this way, an exchange or transfer occurs through a conveyor chain, which carries the electrons that were released to the CO2. In this order, the compounds are reduced and connects with protons, forming H20 (water). This release of energy, which occurs through transfer via the transporter chain, is stored as ATP via oxidative phosphorylation.

What kind of catabolism is there?

The catabolism classes can be classified according to the context in which it is occurring, or the forms of energy release during its process. Having said that, the complexity of these procedures in the bodies of living beings it is equivalent to the level of importance they have for physical functions. In this way, the classification can be given as follows:

It occurs within the cells in our bodies. This process is carried out during a property of cells known as cellular respiration. In this, the continuity of the phases can be different depending on whether there is oxygen present or not. However, the simple definition starts from the obtaining energy from molecules through a process of oxidation, which is known as glycolysis. Finally, the intervention of catabolism can occur during cellular respiration and cellular fermentation.

It is the best known by people who train, exercise and play sports. This type of catabolism consists of power degradation in the musculature of a body, due to the time of physical wear and tear that there was. In other words, when training, anabolism appears, a phase in which the muscles tense and inflate, giving the impression of having more muscle mass.

However, when physical activity has been stopped, the catabolism stage begins, in which the muscles deflate, due to the loss of energy that occurs. That is why you have to consume a lot of nutrientsso that the body can train correctly and perform the processes well.

As you may have noticed, the importance of catabolism is great. The reason is that the metabolism lies in the gain and loss of energy in the body, something vital to be able to carry out our daily activities and follow the life cycle.

In other words, without catabolism, there would be no no option to release energy to allow the body to get new and renewed by means of anabolism. In addition, it helps us understand the importance of a good diet.

aerobic catabolism

As we mentioned earlier, the types of metabolism also depend on the kind of energy release that occurs. Under this concept, they can be classified into two: Aerobic and anaerobic catabolism.

In this case, aerobic catabolism consists of the process that is governed by several metabolic pathways (supported by the Krebs cycle) that ends in the gain of ATP molecules. In this way, within this procedure, stages of oxidation and chemical changes occur to reach the release of energy. Likewise, if molecular oxygen is the one that forms a key part of metabolic pathways and in the role of electron acceptor, it refers to aerobic catabolism.

anaerobic catabolism

It presents several similarities with respect to aerobic catabolism. However, the difference lies in the involvement of compounds within the process.

In this order of ideas, the oxidation reactions coincide in both types of catabolism, but they differ in the role of the electron acceptor. Thus, if this is defined by molecular oxygen, then catabolism is aerobic. Meanwhile, if he electron acceptor is a different moleculeIt means that it is anaerobic.

The study and understanding of catabolism is important. All the chemical reaction that involves It is necessary to be able to enjoy optimal functioning of our metabolism.

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