Get to Know More About the Body’s Metabolism
The body needs energy so that every organ of the body functions properly. Energy is produced through the body’s metabolic processes by changing the food and drinks consumed. With the energy, you can undergo daily activities, such as walking, working, and exercising.
The body’s metabolism is a chemical process that occurs in the cells of the body to convert the food and drinks you consume into energy. Energy is needed by the body so that the body’s cells and tissues stay healthy, grow and develop, and their functions run well.
Some body functions that are affected by metabolic processes are breathing, digesting food, circulating blood, repairing and renewing cells, controlling body temperature, triggering muscle contraction, eliminating waste through urine and feces, and maintaining brain and nerve function.
How it works Metabolism
The body’s metabolism works through two processes, namely catabolism and anabolism, which take place simultaneously. The following is the explanation:
Catabolism is the process of processing and solving nutrients and burning calories from food for later use by the body as energy. Through metabolic processes, the protein content in food and drinks is converted to amino acids, fat is converted to fatty acids, and carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars (glucose).
Furthermore, the body will use sugar, amino acids, and fatty acids as energy sources when needed. These substances are absorbed into the blood and distributed to body cells.
Anabolism is the process of renewing and repairing body cells through burning calories using the energy produced by the body through the process of catabolism.
If you consume more calories from food or drinks, the body will store the excess energy produced as fat tissue.
Things That Affect Body Metabolism
The metabolic rate or how many calories are burned by the body to produce energy generally varies from person to person. This is influenced by the following factors:
1. Body size and composition
People who have bigger and more muscular bodies are able to burn more energy, even when resting. This is because muscle tissue is more active in the metabolic process than fat tissue.
Male bodies usually burn more energy than women. This is because men often have more muscle tissue and less body fat when compared to women.
As we get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease but the amount of fat increases. This can slow down the metabolic process or burning calories to produce energy.
Genetic or hereditary factors can affect the growth and size of muscle tissue. This will later be able to influence the burning of energy or metabolism of one’s body.
5. Body temperature
Metabolism will naturally increase when body temperature decreases (hypothermia) or when the body is cold. It aims to increase body temperature to return to normal, so that the body’s organs can function properly.
6. Caffeine intake or stimulants
Metabolism can be increased if you consume drinks that contain stimulants such as caffeine. This substance is naturally found in coffee and tea. In addition, the body’s metabolism can also be increased when taking drugs that are stimulant, such as methylphenidate and amphetamine.
The hormone that functions to regulate the body’s metabolism is the thyroid hormone. Therefore, disruption of the production or action of thyroid hormone can increase or decrease the body’s metabolism.
Metabolism in a pregnant woman’s body will increase to support the process of growth and development of fetal organs and tissues. The metabolic process will usually begin to increase when the pregnancy reaches the age of 15 weeks until entering the third trimester.
9. Consumption of food and drinks
Lack of eating food and drinks can slow down the body’s metabolism. Conversely, your metabolism can increase if you eat a lot or drink, especially if the food or drink consumed contains a lot of calories and nutrients.
10. Level of activity
Various types of exercise and physical activity can trigger the body to burn more energy, especially if the exercise is done regularly.
Disorders of the Body’s Metabolism
Healthy body metabolism takes place in a balanced manner, neither too high nor too low. However, metabolic processes can sometimes experience interference.
The following are some types of diseases or conditions that can make the body’s metabolism disturbed:
The thyroid gland produces the hormone thyroxine which plays a role in determining how fast or slow metabolic chemical reactions occur in a person’s body.
Underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) will slow down metabolism because the amount of the hormone thyroxine in the body is inadequate. Meanwhile, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) will release the hormone thyroxine in greater amounts so that the body’s metabolic processes become faster.
Metabolic syndrome is a group of health problems that occur simultaneously. This condition makes the body’s metabolic processes become irregular.
People affected by metabolic syndrome will experience a set of health problems that include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, as well as elevated levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. In addition, metabolic syndrome sufferers are also more at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke.
Congenital metabolic disorders
In certain cases, the body’s metabolic disorders can also be caused by congenital abnormalities, one of which is fructose intolerance.
This condition is a congenital metabolic disorder that makes the sufferer’s body unable to process or break down fructose, which is a type of sugar that can be found in fruits, vegetables, and honey.
Other types of congenital disorders that can disrupt the body’s metabolism are galactosemia or the body’s inability to convert galactose carbohydrates into glucose, and phenylketonuria (PKU) or the body’s inability to convert the amino acid phenylalanine to tyrosine.
Metabolism is a natural process that occurs in the body. With the body’s metabolism, you can carry out daily activities smoothly. You can even increase your metabolism to burn excess fat tissue so that your body weight becomes more ideal.