Before entering fully into the meaning of the term catabolism, we will proceed to discover its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word of Greek origin. It is the result of the sum of the following components:
– “Tasting”, which can be translated as “from top to bottom”.
– “Bole”, which is synonymous with “throwing action”.
-The suffix “-ismo”, which is used to indicate “activity”.
The concept refers to the set of procedures that metabolism carries out to degrade substances and thus generate others that are simpler.
According to DigoPaul, catabolism, therefore, involves the conversion of complex molecules into simpler ones. In the process, energy is released that the body is responsible for storing. Catabolism generally consists of redox reactions (reduction-oxidation).
It can be said that catabolism is the reverse of anabolism, which requires energy to synthesize complex biomolecules through simpler ones. The totality of the processes of catabolism and anabolism constitute what we know as metabolism.
Through digestion, biomolecules such as lipids and proteins are broken down and become monomers (monosaccharides, amino acids, etc.), a process that takes place outside of cells. Once these smaller molecules are obtained, they become even simpler inside the cell.
An example of a catabolism process is glycolysis, which involves the breakdown of glucose. In this process, glucose is oxidized, a reaction that releases the energy that was in its chemical bonds.
The sequence of reactions that occurs in the framework of catabolism or anabolism is called the metabolic pathway. This begins in an initial substrate, continues in intermediate metabolites and leads to various end products. According to the metabolic route followed and the nature of the molecule, catabolism develops reactions with different efficiency and the performance, therefore, varies.
It is important to know that there is a lot of talk about muscle catabolism. This term includes the situation that occurs when the body, not receiving food of any kind, proceeds to nourish itself. Specifically, it is sustained by its tissues, which means that a reduction of the muscle takes place, because it is being consumed. And that ends up generating a loss of so-called muscle mass.
A situation of this type occurs, above all, on two occasions: when a person goes on a diet or when he performs a strong training and does not carry out an adequate diet.
Precisely to avoid these situations, it is necessary to take into account that it is necessary and essential to proceed to provide the body with proteins, which will keep the muscles in the proper state. For this, products such as chicken and turkey meat, cereals, a wide variety of vegetables and also fish must be included in the diet. In the latter case, we are referring mainly to varieties such as tuna and salmon, among others.