Difference Between Anabolism vs Catabolism

Difference Between Anabolism vs Catabolism

Biology is a branch of science that deals with various terminologies, and these terminologies are often interchanged. It is definitely important that proper context is given when definitions are provided so it will be easier to apply the concepts in real life.

You may have heard of the phrase ‘metabolic pathway’ before in class but never grasped how they relate to your daily activities. To put it simply, it is a series of events within a cell that either stacks or disintegrates molecules for cellular processes.

Whether its resultant action is a breakdown or buildup will depend on whether it’s catabolic or anabolic. In this piece, we will clarify the difference between anabolism and catabolism.

Definition of Anabolism

Anabolism is what happens when our body tries to create complex molecules that will enable our body to survive and perform life capacities. Since the body is trying to accomplish a complicated process to produce a complicated by-product, it needs a “juice” to perform biosynthesis.

The body achieves that through catabolism. You can compare it with Lego blocks being put together to create a building structure. However, instead of Lego stack, complex molecules or polymers are formed.

Anabolism is a three-step stage. Stage 1 is when the body produces what you can call building blocks. Stage 2 occurs when these building blocks are turned into their reactive forms. This is when energy through ATP is made use of. It is in the last stage when the assemblage to the final product happens.

This stage gives way to the forming of bigger “structures” like proteins. You can compare it to producing the Lego pieces, using glue to make them stick, and then finally building the structure. It is through these products that living organisms like us can mature, mate to produce an offspring, heal, and adapt to the changes of the habitat around us, like when protein develops our muscles.

Definition of Catabolism

Catabolism is the mechanism for degrading bigger, more compounded molecules to much simpler and basic structures. When the ATP’s accumulation in the cell becomes high, it releases phosphate and eventually energy. You can think of it as allowing your body to consume your energy deposits to allow you to run the next mile or jump the rope.

Technically speaking, catabolism may happen through physical activities like working out or swimming, where the fat deposits are broken down to meet the energy necessary to execute actions. To ensure that catabolic vs anabolic processes do not cancel out each other’s results, they happen in different sites or organelles within the bodies of eukaryotes like ourselves.

Main Differences Between Anabolism vs Catabolism

It is clear that they are both needed for daily capacity and survival. Next, let’s identify the difference between anabolic and catabolic reactions. The latter breaks and disassembles our Lego structure while the former builds it up. To summarize the distinction between them, here’s a table explaining them:

Basis of ComparisonAnabolismCatabolism
Referred to usBuilding up of moleculesBreaking down of molecules
Energy through ATP isUsed upReleased
Hormones engaged areestrogen, testosterone, growth hormones, and insulinadrenaline, cytokine, glucagon, and cortisol
Mechanism allows forFor growth and developmentTo perform daily functions for living organisms  
Energy is convertedKinetic to potentialPotential to kinetic

Difference Between Anabolism and Catabolism: Conclusion

Knowing the distinction between anabolism vs catabolism allows one to determine what you need as a living organism to better your health. While the priority is the build-up phase, especially for babies or organisms in the growth phase, we must not discount the importance of metabolism to health and the performance of daily functions.

The former allows for our bodies’ proliferation, sustenance, and adaptation by creating the essential nutrients, like protein and fatty tissues, that we require for movement and physical functions, among others. The latter allows for our organs to degrade these elements in our body, so they don’t build up and we don’t have an oversupply.

The former brings our body to maturity, while the latter gives way for digestion. Our number in the weighing scale is the result of one’s activity and nutrition, and they must be balanced to prolong our lifespan.