Details about Metabolic Pathways
Metabolism is a complex biochemical process constantly taking place in our bodies involving the cells and living organisms. It is multifaceted and engages a complicated and intricate set of methods like anabolism and catabolism via a set of metabolic pathways. While anabolism is the creation and generation of new cells, catabolism is the breaking-down process that is responsible for the energy required for all cellular activities.
Metabolic pathway, according to biochemistry, is a series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell, where the reactions are triggered and accelerated by enzymes. The vitamins and minerals that we take with out food are needed by these enzymes to perform its task. Each cell may contain a number of metabolic pathways making a metabolic network within its realm. Metabolism follows many pathways and involves more than one step.
Metabolic pathways can be understood more in detail, if you understood the various classifications of metabolism: carbohydrate metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, protein metabolism, and nucleic acid metabolism. Each of these metabolic processes involves different organs on our body and performs various functions.
For instance, the carbohydrate metabolism follows several pathways to control the sugar levels of the body. It not only degrades the sugar but converts these molecules into several usable metabolites which help in our bodies to function smoothly. The pathway of carbohydrate metabolism involves the liver where the glycogen, a polysaccharide is broken down.
This then transforms into glucose and gets mixed in our blood. Interestingly, before the glucose gets mixed into our blood, carbohydrate metabolism breaks the glycogen into an ion called glucose phosphate, which is powerful enough to kill blood cells. Thus carbohydrate metabolism takes the pathway to get to the liver by getting rid of the phosphate and ensuring that only unadulterated glucose enters the liver.
Similarly, fatty acid metabolism takes the pathway of two processes: catabolism and anabolism. It produces energy from the fatty acid and carbon intakes of the body. Thus, fatty acid metabolism is vital to our body functioning. Fatty acids are also necessary to modify the proteins.
Two types of fatty acids, during the pathway of metabolism, called Phospholipids are stored in each cell membrane. Protein metabolism breaks down the protein molecules into critical amino acids which are again used in the pathway to create more acids as per Krebs cycle – an important part of metabolic pathway.
The amino acids along with several other simple compounds are then allowed to combine with blood plasma. Thus, it is with the help of protein metabolism that amino acids are generated, which are the real energy givers to the body. Nucleic metabolism follows necessary pathways to generate energy.