Difference Between Metabolism and Anabolism

Metabolism vs Anabolism

Life on the Earth cannot sustain without metabolism since the most important biological processes are taking place through metabolic pathways. Anabolism is indeed a subdivision of metabolism, and there are important differences to be discussed. This article summarizes the most important facts about metabolism in general and anabolism in particular, but the differences between the two processes would be important to have read.


Metabolism is an extremely vital set of biochemical reactions taking place, sustaining the life of organisms. Metabolic processes are essential to maintain the growth and development of organisms, and the extraction of energy through metabolic pathways. Metabolism is mainly composed of two major processes known as anabolism and catabolism, which are responsible for harvest and spend energy respectively. Furthermore, organic matter is broken down through the catabolic processes of digestion and those are burnt via cellular respiration to extract energy. The anabolic processes are conducted using the energy from catabolism to construct vital components viz. proteins and nucleic acids to sustain the life in the organism.

The metabolic reactions are well organized as pathways, which are controlled using hormones and enzymes. As the metabolism of different organisms being discovered, it was observed that these metabolic pathways are remarkably similar even in very distinctive species. Ecology and evolutionary biology provide explanations for these remarkable similarities. That means the potential of metabolic activity determines the sustainability of life of a particular organism.


Anabolism is a metabolic pathway that is extremely vital for all the living beings. The overall meaning of anabolism is simple as it constructs molecules from small base units. During the process of anabolism, the energy stored as ATP is used. Therefore, it is clear that anabolism requires energy produced from catabolism. Protein synthesis is a prime example for an anabolic process, where amino acids are linked together by peptide bonds to form large protein molecules, and the process uses the ATP produced from catabolism. The growth of the body, mineralisation of bones, and increase in muscle mass are some of the other anabolic processes.

All the metabolic processes are controlled via hormones (anabolic steroids) according to the biological clock of the body. Therefore, the variations in the metabolic activities are time related and which is important in ecology, as some animals are active during the night but some in the daytime. Usually, the anabolic activities are more functional during sleeping or resting.

What is the difference between Metabolism and Anabolism?

• Metabolism is composed of both constructing and destructing biological processes while anabolism is composed of only the construction of biomolecules.

• Energy is both stored or extracted and spent in metabolism, whereas anabolism mainly spends the stored energy.

• Metabolic activities are ever happening, whereas anabolic processes are mainly taking place during the night or while resting.