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Difference Between Catabolism and Metabolism

Main Difference

The main difference between Catabolism and Metabolism is that the Catabolism is the splitting mechanism of macromolecules into smaller molecules, whereas Metabolism is the whole set of catabolism and anabolism reactions.

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Catabolism vs. Metabolism

Catabolism is the constructive biochemical reactions; on the flip side, metabolism is both constructive and destructive biochemical reactions. Catabolism is the process in which the energy released during the chemical reactions; on the other hand, metabolism is the process in which the energy absorbs or releases during the chemical reactions.

Catabolism is the type of biochemical process in which larger molecules convert into smaller molecules; on the flip side, metabolism is the biochemical process in which both reactions occur either the breakdown of larger molecules into smaller molecules or the union of smaller molecules into larger molecules. Catabolism is the only destructive process; on the other side of the coin, metabolism is both destructive and constructive process.

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Catabolism occurs only in the presence of oxygen; on the flip side, metabolism occurs in the presence and absence of oxygen. Catabolism uses only the catabolic hormones; on the flip side, metabolism uses both catabolic and anabolic hormones. The catabolism process mainly occurs in the extra strenuous body activities; on the other side of the coin, metabolism is efficient in both the rest and functional activities of the body.

Catabolism occurs in the processes of digestion, respiration, and excretion; on the flip side, metabolism occurs in protein synthesis, glycogen synthesis, digestion, respiration, photosynthesis in plants, etc. Catabolism is the aerobic process, whereas metabolism is both an aerobic and anaerobic process. Catabolism is the exergonic process; on the opposite side, metabolism is the endergonic and exergonic reactions.

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Comparison Chart

CatabolismMetabolism
Catabolism is the process in which the larger molecules split into smaller moleculesMetabolism is the complete package of biochemical reactions
Energy
Energy releases during the processEnergy absorb or release during the process
Aerobic or Anaerobic
It the aerobic process in which oxygen neededIt includes both the aerobic and anaerobic process in which the oxygen may or may not need
Functional
It is functional only in strenuous body activitiesIt is functional in both rest and other body activities
Hormones
It needs only catabolic hormonesIt needs both catabolic and anabolic hormones
Effect on Body
It burns all the bodies fats and caloriesIt allows the organism’s growth, development, maintenance, structure, reproduction, and response to the outside environment
Energy Conversions
Potential energy converts into kinetic energyIt is an interconversion between kinetic and potential energy
Processes
It occurs during cellular respiration, digestion, and excretionIt occurs during the synthesis of photosynthesis, protein synthesis, glycogen synthesis, digestion, respiration, and excretion

What is Catabolism?

Catabolism is the type of biochemical process in the large molecules and substances convert into the smaller molecules with the release of the amount of energy. Catabolism considers the destructive process with the release of a little amount of heat and energy. It considered the exergonic process. In this process, the end products produced as waste products such as lactic acid, urea, and carbon dioxide.

The hormones like glucagon, cortisol, and adrenaline are used in this process. The main importance of this process is that the catabolism involves in the breakdown and the destruction of body fats and calories. It causes the conversion of fats, starches, carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids converted into fatty acids, glycerol, monosaccharides, amino acids, and Acetyl-CoA. Catabolism mainly occurs during cellular respiration, digestion, and another process. This process usually occurs in the presence of oxygen that refers to an aerobic process.

The biochemical catabolism reaction usually refers to the source of energy and electron source that maybe later use in the electron transport chain in mitochondria. This process is more common in heterotrophs in which they get their food source by the breakdown of the large complex molecules and substances.

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the complete package of biochemical reactions in which there is both types of anabolic and catabolic reactions can occur. Metabolism includes the breakdown of large molecules into smaller subunits and the union of smaller subunits into larger complexes molecules. This process includes the energy release and energy absorption during the reactions. Metabolism considers the destructive and constructive process with or without the release of heat and energy. It considers the exergonic or an endergonic process.

Metabolism needs both the catabolic and anabolic hormones in its actions. First, in catabolism, it causes the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into amino acids, monosaccharides, and fatty acids with the release of energy. Then in anabolism, it causes the union of amino acids into proteins and fatty acids into lipids with the absorption of energy.

The importance of metabolism is structure development, maintenance, reproduction, and the development of the human body. It also involves the destruction of fats and calories. The rate at which the process of metabolism occurs depends on the amount of food taken by the body. This process also occurs speedily in the presence of enzymes and different hormones.

Key Differences

  1. Catabolism is a destructive process, whereas metabolism is both a constructive or destructive process.
  2. Catabolism is the aerobic process; on the other hand, metabolism is both an aerobic and anaerobic process.
  3. Catabolism is the energy-releasing mechanism; on the flip side, metabolism is both energy releasing and absorbing process.
  4. Catabolism is the process in which potential energy changes into kinetic energy. On the other side of the coin, metabolism is the process of interconversion of kinetic energy and potential energy.
  5. Catabolism occurs during body activities; on the other hand, metabolism occurs during the rest and body activities.
  6. Catabolism destroys fats and calories; on the opposite side, metabolism causes structural development.
  7. Catabolism needs only catabolic hormones; on the other hand, metabolism needs both catabolic and anabolic hormones.
  8. Examples of catabolism are respiration and digestion. On the flip side, examples of metabolism are photosynthesis, protein synthesis, and glycogen synthesis.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that catabolism is the energy-releasing process, whereas metabolism is the energy-releasing or absorbing process.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White