Basics of Biology

Molecules and Energy

What is the difference between catabolic and anabolic reactions?

Catabolic and anabolic reactions are metabolic processes. Both the capture and use of energy by organisms involves a series of thousands of reactions (what we call metabolism). A catabolic reaction is one that breaks down large molecules to produce energy; for example, digestion is a catabolic reaction. An anabolic reaction is one that involves creating large molecules out of smaller molecules, for example, when your body makes fat out of the extra nutrients you eat.


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