All the energy that sustains human life comes originally from the sun, and it is the ultimate source of energy. During photosynthesis, plants produce simple sugars from carbon dioxide and derive sunlight energy from the chemical constituents of these sugars. Then man eats plants or eats animals. It gets energy from food, but how does the body get this energy from food? It is because of chemical reactions in the body that release energy. When the bonds are broken, they release energy in a controlled version of the process by which the wood burns. Both wood and food are capable of providing energy.
When wood burns in the presence of oxygen, it gives off heat, energy, steam, some carbon dioxide, and ash (waste). Similarly, during metabolism, the body absorbs energy, water, and carbon dioxide (and other waste products). Below are the chemical reactions in the body of a human being taking place;
The Site Of Metabolic Reaction – Cells
The human body is made of trillions of cells, and every cell performs its metabolic activity all the time. It depicts a typical cell and shows where the main reactions of energy metabolism occur. The type and extent of metabolic activity varies with the type of cell. But of all the cells in the body, hepatocytes are the most diverse and metabolically active.
Building Reactions – Anabolism
Condensation reactions combine molecules to build body compounds. Glucose molecules can be linked together to make glycogen chains. Glycerin and fatty acids can be grouped into triglycerides. The amino acids can be linked together to make proteins.
These reactions start with small and simple compounds and use them as building blocks to form larger and complex structures. Because these reactions involve action, they require energy. Body building compounds are known as anabolic steroids.
The Breakdown Reactions – Catabolism
The breakdown of the body’s compounds is known as catabolism. Catabolic reactions release energy. Hydrolysis reactions break down glycogen into glucose, triglycerides into fatty acids and glycerin, and proteins into amino acids. When the body needs energy, it breaks down these molecules even more.
Transfer of energy to reactions – ATP
During the breakdown of glucose, glycerol, fatty acids and amino acids, they are trapped in a high energy ATP complex. It is known as adenosine triphosphate. ATP, as the name implies, contains three phosphate groups. The negative charge on the phosphate groups makes ATP vulnerable to hydrolysis.
During hydrolysis, the bonds between phosphate groups are easily broken, resulting in the separation of one or two phosphate groups and the release of energy. In this way, ATP provides the energy that drives all the activities of living cells. Often, the hydrolysis of ATP occurs in conjunction with reactions that will use that energy; a metabolite known as the double reactions.
The body uses ATP to transport the energy released during catabolic reactions to generate anabolic reactions that require energy. The body converts the chemical energy of food into chemical energy for ATP with an efficiency of about 50 chemicals. It dissipates like the rest of the heat. Some of the energy is lost as heat again when the body uses the chemical energy of ATP. For example, moving muscles, manufacturing compounds, or transporting nutrients, for example.
The Helpers In Metabolic Reactions – Enzymes and Coenzymes
Metabolic reactions always require enzymes to facilitate their work. In many cases, enzymes need auxiliaries to help them. Enzyme assistants are called coenzymes. Coenzymes are complex organic molecules that bind closely to enzymes but are not proteins. Relationships between different enzymes may vary, but one thing is true for everyone: without coenzymes, enzymes cannot work. Some B vitamins act as coenzymes involved in the energy metabolism of glucose, glycerin, fatty acids, and amino acids.
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