How Do Cells Make Energy?


Quick Answer

Cells are able to produce energy by first locating it in the form of food molecules or sunlight. Cells are then able to break these sources of energy down into smaller and more manageable components, which they are able to store. These components can be utilized to give energy when it is needed and are an important part of powering metabolic processes and constructing new cellular components.

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Full Answer

Cells, regardless of the organism in which they are found, require energy to power their functions and processes. They are able to obtain and develop food on a cellular level by breaking molecules of food and light energy into smaller pieces. Sugars and fats are among some of the most important nutrients that can be broken down by the cells and utilized for energy purposes. Certain types of proteins that exist on the surface of the membrane of the cell allow these types of materials to enter the cell.

Cells then break these food particles down through a series of oxidation processes. This allows for the transfer of electrons into the cell. The electrons from the food are taken in by the cell. Once this has been done, the cell can convert the energy into small molecules with lots of energy, such as nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. These provide energy to the cell when it performs metabolic processes and develops new parts.

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