Difference Between Catabolism and Anabolism

Catabolism vs Anabolism

The knowledge about metabolic processes of the body among the people is mostly on the lower side due to the complexity, and anabolism and catabolism are two of those important processes. Because of the inadequate understanding about these processes, the two terms could easily confuse anyone. Therefore, it would only be beneficial to follow some information, and this article attempts to discuss those in a concise and precise manner. The presented comparison in the end of the article distinguishes some important differences between anabolism and catabolism.

What is Catabolism?

In understanding catabolism, it would be best to consider the overall metabolic process, and the molecules are being technically burnt to extract the energy. The cellular respiration is a catabolic process, and mainly glucose and fats are reacted with oxygen for burning to release energy as ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Usually, catabolism operates on burning monosaccharides and fats, and very small amount of proteins or amino acids are used to burn for capturing energy. Catabolism is an oxidation process, during which some part of the energy is released as heat. The generated heat through catabolism is important for the maintenance of the body heat. Carbon dioxide is a main waste product of the cellular respiration or the catabolism. Those waste products are transferred into the venous blood stream via capillaries, and then moved into the lungs for exhalation. The growth and development of the cells of the organisms require a great amount of ATPs, and the entire ATP requirement is fulfilled via cellular respiration. Therefore, catabolism carries a great importance in producing energy. In other words, catabolism is an essential metabolic process to extract the chemical energy from food.

What is Anabolism?

Anabolism is a metabolic pathway that is extremely vital for all the living beings. The overall meaning of anabolism is simple, as it constructs molecules from small base units. During the process of anabolism, the stored energy as ATP is used. Therefore, it is clear that anabolism requires energy produced from catabolism. Protein synthesis is a prime example for an anabolic process, where amino acids are linked together by peptide bonds to form large protein molecules and the process uses the ATP produced from catabolism. The growth of the body, mineralisation of bones and increase in muscle mass are some of the other anabolic processes. All the metabolic processes are controlled via hormones (anabolic steroids) according to the biological clock of the body. Therefore, the variations in the metabolic activities are time related and which is important in ecology, as some animals are active during the night but some in the daytime. Usually, the anabolic activities are more functional during sleeping or resting.


What is the difference between Anabolism and Catabolism?

Both anabolism and catabolism are metabolic processes, but the two are contrastingly different from each other.

• Catabolism produces energy but anabolism uses energy.

• In the catabolic pathways, the large molecules are broken down into small monomers whereas, in anabolism, small molecules are connected with each other, to form large molecules.

• Catabolism is independent of anabolism. However, anabolism requires the ATP produced via catabolism.

• Catabolism is functional at a higher rate during an activity, which needs energy to contract muscles, while anabolism is more functional during sleeping or resting.

• Catabolic processes tend towards using up the stored food to produce energy, while anabolic processes likely to form, repair, and furnish the tissues and organs.