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Term metabolism

Discussion in 'MCAT Study Question Q&A' started by m25, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. m25

    m25

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    May 28, 2014
    When we are talking about something's metabolism, are we talking about how it is broken down only, or are we also talking about how it is produced?
    For example, if I am talking about "fat metabolism," am I talking about how fats are broken down, or am I talking about how fats are broken down AND produced?
     
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  3. Cawolf

    Cawolf 2+ Year Member

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    2,052
    Feb 26, 2013
    Both.

    Metabolism is comprised of both anabolism (building up) and catabolism (breaking down).

    Generally speaking though, I would assume you are talking about breaking down - as metabolism is commonly used as a synonym for catabolism.
     
    Strudel19 likes this.
  4. StIGMA

    StIGMA Doctor Professor PhD 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 6, 2008
    Metabolism is used in many contexts to mean different things.

    In the most broad sense, metabolism comprises all chemical reactions and physical changes in living organisms. (anabolic reactions are always balanced by catabolic reactions). It is good to understand both anabolic and catabolic reactions and their commonalities/differences & branchpoints to other metabolic pathways.
     
    Strudel19 likes this.

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