Anabolism: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Ashli Wilson

Ashli has a Master's Degree in Biology and has taught biology at different grade levels including college, elementary, and middle school.

In this lesson, you will learn about anabolism, how it occurs in the body, and the importance of it. Also, we will take a look at an example of anabolism.

Anabolism

Why do you eat? Besides that food tastes really good, we eat to maintain life. Eating is the start to the process of anabolism. Anabolism uses energy to combine smaller molecules into macromolecules (a large molecule made up of smaller molecules). You can think of anabolism like the process of making a computer. First, you need all the components to make the computer: keyboard, battery, screen, wires, circuits, etc. Then, it requires energy to combine all the parts into a functioning computer.

Let's take an in-depth look at the process of anabolism.

Process of Anabolism

In order for anabolism to occur, the body has to have all the nutrients needed to make specific macromolecules. We get these nutrients from digesting food. After the food is digested, the needed nutrients are transported to the cells where the molecules from the nutrients are combined via a chemical reaction to create macromolecules. The energy needed for anabolism comes from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is found in human cells.

Now that we know the process of anabolism, let us learn about the importance of anabolism.

Importance of Anabolism

You may wonder why anabolism is important in the human body. Anabolism is needed for our bodies to be able to grow, repair itself, and form new body tissue. It creates molecules specific for each individual's body. For example, amino acids are used to create proteins, but each individual needs specific proteins. Through anabolism our bodies make the proteins that we need. Further, anabolism has to occur for energy to be created for our bodies.

Let's gain a better understanding of how energy is created for our bodies.

Why is our body able to continue functioning when we have not eaten or able to maintain long and strenuous exercise? The reason is glycogen, which is an energy source made up of a long chain of many glucose molecules that are stored together in the liver and muscles. We would not have the energy to continue functioning if we do not eat immediately when we are hungry if our body didn't have glycogen.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account
Support