Metabolism is a vital process for all forms of life. It is broadly defined as the sum of all the biochemical processes involved in maintaining the state of life of cells and, therefore, of the organism.
More than 87,000 reactions and 16,000 metabolites are listed in the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome. The transformation of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats in food into energy is an integral part of metabolic processes.
Metabolic processes can be divided into two main categories: anabolic processes, which consume energy to synthesize simple molecules or polymerize them into more complex macromolecules, e.g. Eg DNA, RNA and proteins and catabolic processes that break down molecules to release energy. In addition to this, metabolic processes also help to eliminate toxic substances.
Metabolism plays a key role in disparate areas of physiology, cell biology, and medicine. Research on metabolism increases dramatically with the realization that many common human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, hypoglycemia, hypolipidemia, phenylketonuria, neurodegeneration, etc.
They are due to disturbances in metabolic pathways. Understanding metabolic variations and possible outliers is therefore a crucial aspect of disease-oriented research.