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What are examples of anabolism and catabolism?

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Quick Answer

Anabolism refers to all the metabolic activity in the human body that builds biological molecules, and catabolism refers to all the metabolic processes that break down biological molecules. Muscle tissue growth is an anabolic process, and digestion is a catabolic activity.

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Full Answer

A person’s metabolism constitutes all of the physical and chemical activities in the body that use or covert energy. Metabolism comes in two forms: anabolism and catabolism. Catabolism breaks down and gives out energy the body needs for physical activity. Digestion is a catabolic activity because it takes food and breaks it down into small molecules. These molecules are then sent to other cells in the body to convert them to energy.

Anabolism is the opposite of catabolism because it builds up molecules in the body. It makes bigger molecules out of smaller molecules. Anabolic activities include building new muscle tissue, creating new cells or mineralizing bones. The molecules produced are things such as carbohydrates and proteins. Anabolism takes small molecules that are broken down during catabolism and uses them to build new, stronger materials in the body.

Anabolism and catabolism are both crucial for health and physical fitness. A healthy body maintains an equal balance between the building, or anabolic, phase and the breaking-down, or catabolic, phase.

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