We all know that when we eat our body gets energy. This happens due to the breakdown of the food through a series of chemical reactions with the help of enzymes and hormones. The process which produces energy is called metabolism. During the metabolic process, molecules of food are broken down within the cells to release energy which then gets converted into ATP, a type of cellular energy.
The bodies of all living organisms are composed of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids. During the process breaking down food into simpler molecules occur. The metabolic process can be broken down into two phases: catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism is the first phase in which the food is broken down and processed to produce energy, for instance cellular respiration. During anabolism the energy that is produced is used in the building of proteins and nucleic acids. The metabolic process involves enzymes which play a very specific and crucial role in the breakdown and transformation of the food molecules into energy to be utilized by the body. Catabolism is the process of disintegration or releasing of energy and anabolism is the process of reorganization or capturing of energy. Many abiotic organisms exist in our ecological system; however they are known to grow externally.
During catabolism a glucose molecule is broken down into pyruvic acid releasing energy in the form of ATP (adenosine tripohosphate) and NADH (reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). The pyruvic acid or pyruvate produced is used for cellular respiration in the mitochindria. This process of converting glucose into energy is termed as glycolysis. The released energy is then captured and secreted by a specialized molecule known as ATP or adenosine triphosphate. Basically an organic nucleotide, ATP is the energy measuring universal unit in living cells. ATP stores energy. It is also produced during anabolic reactions carried out at the time of photosynthesis.
Some of the most common examples of autotrophs are green plants, algae and several kinds of bacteria. Autotrophs are also called self feeders. They use solar energy for assembling inorganic precursors, mostly water and carbon dioxide, in the form of various macromolecules. This process, known as photosynthesis, manufactures the ATP that is essential for anabolic reactions. Most organisms including humans are heterotrophs. Our body gathers energy from the surroundings in the form of organic molecules. On many occasions hetrotrophs also feed on other hetrotrophs.
Contrary to what is generally believed, slow metabolism does not cause weight gain. Rather, weight gain is known to slow down the process of metabolism. Research carried out in North America and Western Europe has revealed that obesity or hypothyroidism is not caused by slow metabolism. The main reason behind weight gain is imbalance in energy, which is caused when the body consumes more calories than it can burn. Gender (male or female) and age reduces our metabolic rate. To maintain a healthy metabolic rate, we should perform aerobic exercises, watch our diet and sleep for 6 to 8 hours every night.