Introduction to metabolism
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Introduction to Metabolism. SBI4U Biology. What does Metabolism mean?. The overall process by which an organism obtains nutrients, deals with them, and extracts energy from them. How the organism uses that energy.

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Introduction to Metabolism

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Introduction to metabolism

Introduction to Metabolism

SBI4U Biology

What does metabolism mean

What does Metabolism mean?

  • The overall process by which an organism obtains nutrients, deals with them, and extracts energy from them.

  • How the organism uses that energy.

  • The specific biochemical processes that happen at the cellular level to allow this.

  • Energy Balance

Metabolism has two phases


‘building up’

forming cells, tissues…

going from simpler molecules to more complex ones.

synthesis of polymers


‘breaking down’

digesting nutrients, ingesting food…

going from more complex molecules to simpler ones

hydrolysis of polymers

Metabolism has two phases:





You eat an egg so that you can obtain amino acids for your own body’s use.






Using the amino acids from that egg you ate to build muscle.


It s a big give take

It’s a big give & take:

Bmr basal metabolic rate

BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate

  • Basal = most basic, lowest

  • Genetically determined

  • The metabolic cost of staying alive

  • i.e., the energy for life processes such as breathing, circulation, nerve function, body heat, etc.

  • Can be increased temporarily

Bmr basal metabolic rate1

BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate

  • BMR changes with age:

Factors affecting metabolism

Factors affecting Metabolism:

  • Highest in infancy, Lowest in old age

  • Level of activity & Exercise

  • Stress

  • Fever

  • Dietary choices

Factors affecting metabolism1

Factors affecting Metabolism:

  • Thyroid gland = one of our main organs regulating metabolic rate.

  • Hyperactive = weight loss

  • Hypoactive = weight gain

Balance matters

Balance matters:

Energy in > Energy out = weight gain

Energy out > Energy in = weight loss

Eating disorders can complicate matters.

Introduction to metabolism

We think this is a recent, or modern-day problem, but look at this Kellogg’s advertisement from the early 1900’s

Where do we extract the energy

Where do we extract the energy?

  • Cell Metabolism

  • Mitochondrion

  • Different molecules are processed by different reactions

  • Some cells are specialized to one or two ‘jobs’.

How is metabolism studied

How is metabolism studied?

  • In metabolism experiments, rats are fed radioactively tagged sugars, and their carbon dioxide output is measured.

  • Glucose + Oxygen  Water + Carbon Dioxide + Energy

What do you mean energy

What do you mean, ‘energy’?

  • Specifically the energy is obtained as Adenosine Triposphate, or ATP.

  • This is the energy currency of all living things.

  • C6H12O6 + O2  H2O + CO2 + ATP

Example what happens to glucose

Example: What happens to Glucose

The details three major nutrients

The details: three major nutrients

The big picture don t panic

The Big Picture… don’t panic!

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