Metabolism defines a complex of chemical reactions that continuously occur in the body. It has several stages and include catabolism, the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates to produce energy and “building material”, and anabolism, cells build-up and synthesis of hormones and enzymes. Our skin, nails, hair, and all other tissues are regularly renewed. To build new cells or restore them after injuries, we need ‘’bricks” (mainly proteins and fats) and “labor” (energy). The provision of both compounds are the main function of metabolism.
Slow metabolism or fast metabolism
We often hear such expressions as “slow metabolism” or “fast metabolism”. In most cases, fast metabolism determines an ability to maintain good shape without any extra physical activity and restrictions in diet. Slow metabolism, conversely, involves a tendency to gain weight easily.
While one person can have a lot of carbohydrates for dinner and instantly burn all the calories, others can put on weight with an equal amount of food. All this means that they have different metabolic rates. However, the metabolic rate does not affect the appearance only. People with fast metabolism spend more energy on such vital functions as heart and brain work.
There is a number of factors that may slow down or speed up metabolism. Some of them are static and can’t be changed: heredity, sex, body type, age. Other conditions can be changed to get the desired metabolism speed. Thus, one can influence body weight, psycho emotional state, diet, hormone production, physical activity.
Normal metabolism provides for all body’s needs, supplies it with energy and nutrients, which reflects in the general health of the body. A healthy person does not experience any diseases, and the tissues and bones are renewed at a normal rate. Against modern beauty standards, it is commonly believed today, that slow metabolism is the bad, that prevents people from getting into a good shape. Few people know, that too fast metabolism can do as much harm, as many benefits it gives.
Unintentional accelerated metabolism can occur due to disturbances in the hormonal system. This may lead to problems in bone and muscle formation in children and adolescents, decreased immunity, stunted growth, menstrual cycle disorders, tachycardia and anemia. Some diseases, for example, ichthyosis, are also typical for excessively fast metabolism. In the meantime, too slow metabolism leads to excessive fat deposits and obesity, which can elevate a risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.
To keep metabolism on an appropriate level, one should have balanced nutrition and do enough exercise in everyday life.