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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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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.

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.

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