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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

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metabolic (metabolism)
The enzyme-catalyzed reactions (organic processes) that are necessary for life. It is the series of chemical changes which take place in an organism, by means of which food is manufactured and utilized and waste materials are eliminated. These changes produce energy and basic materials needed for important life processes.

On a finer level, metabolism is the act or process, by which living tissues or cells take up and convert the nutritive material brought to them by the blood, or by which they transform their cell protoplasm into simpler substances. These simpler substances are then fitted either for excretion or for some special purpose, as in the manufacture of the digestive ferments.

Metabolism may be either constructive (anabolism), or destructive (catabolism).

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