m25

May 28, 2014
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Pre-Medical
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?
 

Cawolf

Medical Student
5+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2013
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Medical Student
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.
 
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StIGMA

Doctor Professor
10+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2008
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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.
 
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