Medical glossary


The term metabolism encompasses all the biochemical processes that occur in cells.

All the nutrients introduced by food (glucose, amino acids, lipids, minerals etc.) are processed and transformed to provide the cells with the energy required to perform their physiological functions.

The metabolic process is mainly controlled by the nervous and endocrine systems. However, environmental factors such as temperature may also play a role in metabolic regulation.

Metabolism is divided into two distinct mechanisms: anabolism, i.e. tissue formation and growth (e.g. protein build-up in the muscles) and catabolism, which is the process of breaking down metabolic products in order to obtain energy.