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metabolism, sum of all biochemical processes involved in life. Two subcategories of metabolism are anabolism, the building up of complex organic molecules from simpler precursors, and catabolism, the breakdown of complex substances into simpler molecules, often accompanied by the release of energy. Organic molecules involved in these processes are called metabolites, and their interconversions are catalyzed by enzymes. The transformation of one molecule into another, and then into another and another in sequence, is termed a metabolic pathway; the intermediates in these pathways are often identified with the aid of a chemical tracer. Exercise, food, and environmental temperature influence metabolism. Basal metabolism is the caloric expenditure of an organism at rest; it represents the minimum amount of energy required to maintain life at normal body temperature. The basal metabolism rate is usually measured indirectly by calculation from measurements of the amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchanged during breathing under certain standard conditions, i.e., complete rest in a room temperature of 68℉ (20℃), 12 to 14 hours after ingestion of food. A less cumbersome method of estimating basal metabolic rate involves the quantitative assay of the hormone thyroxine, known to regulate the body's rate of metabolism. Often the word metabolism is associated with a particular organic compound or class of compounds, as in phenylalanine metabolism or amino acid metabolism. In this usage the word refers to the sum of all interconversions, both anabolic and catabolic, in which the particular compound or class of compounds is involved.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the aggregate of chemical processes that constitute one of the aspects of metabolism in an organism and are directed at forming the components of cells and tissues. Anabolism is interrelated with the opposite process, catabolism, since the decomposed products of various compounds can be reused in anabolism, forming new substances in different combinations. Anabolic processes, occurring in green plants with the absorption of solar energy, are of planetary significance and play a decisive role in the synthesis of organic substances from inorganic ones.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A part of metabolism involving the union of smaller molecules into larger molecules; the method of synthesis of tissue structure.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a metabolic process in which complex molecules are synthesized from simpler ones with the storage of energy; constructive metabolism
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"These two new anabolic, or bone-forming, medications are exciting additions in caring for those with osteoporosis.
They said they seized 51 vials and two tablets containing anabolic substances, a small amount of a white substance which police believe to be 1.3 grammes of cocaine, and traces of the same substance in a piece of glass.
According to our experience, treatment should be initiated with combined oral corticosteroids and H1 and H2 antihistamines, and in case of poor response to therapy, oral anabolics should be introduced.
Our findings today confirm rising fears among drug charities and health experts that use of anabolic steroids - which mimic the effects of male hormone testosterone - is spiralling out of control.
Teriparatide (PTH 1-34, Forteo) is an anabolic, approved for the treatment of severe osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, that showed very robust fracture reduction at vertebral and nonvertebral sites in clinical trials.
So in the last decade, a series of new drugs have been developed to improve the bone quality, based on the understanding of the metabolism of the bone tissue, either by stimulating the bone anabolic effects, suppressing the catabolic effects, or together [3].
The National Trainers' Federation said they wish to seek further assurance from the British Horseracing Authority that horses from overseas do not enjoy an unfair advantage owing to the use of anabolic steroids.
Godolphin's trainer brought the anabolic steroids that led to his eight-year ban in his luggage from Dubai and never recorded in medical books that he administered them to horses at his stables in Newmarket.
"In the medical community there is no data suggesting that anabolic steroids affects someone's behavior to that kind of extreme.
Skeletal anabolics such as Forteo (generic name: teriparatide) build new bone by increasing the number and action of osteoblasts.
A new class of drugs called skeletal anabolics shows promise in treating osteoporosis.
He sold pounds 4,200 worth of other anabolics to a fellow bodybuilder he contacted by phone.