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Metabolism can be described as the set of physical as well as chemical changes that occur in the human body that provide adequate energy to allow life processes and the complete synthesis of new materials. It is important to understand that metabolism allows the body to function and grow (Lapierre, 2013).
It is important to realize that in practice, metabolism often starts after the absorption of nutrients after the various digestive processes that are subject to the food. Metabolism in most instances can be categorized into two different categories. Firstly, there is catabolism, and this is the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy (Shea, 2008).
Anabolism involves the synthesis of all compounds needed by the cells. It is of the essence to realize that metabolism is closely linked to nutrition as well as the availability of nutrients. Anabolism has the function to create new cells, and it is also important as it helps body tissues as well as in the creation of reserves (Lapierre, 2013). This type of process has also been referred as constructive metabolism.
Catabolism, on the other hand, has the function of decomposing body tissue and reserves the substances to produce the power that the body needs. Catabolism is necessary for anabolic processes, and it is also used to maintain proper body temperature and provide energy that in turn gives strength to the muscles. During certain times of the day, the body has a metabolic activity that is dominated by either anabolism or catabolism (Lapierre, 2013).
For one to stay alive and functioning, the body has to carry out millions of chemical process that are collectively known as metabolism. It is true that metabolism plays a role in weight gain (Shea, 2008). This is because it often influences the amount of energy that the body needs at any given point. If one takes in more energy than it is needed, the excess is often stored as fat.
There are people that are quick to blame their slow metabolism to weight gain. However, they need to make better food choices as well as exercise choices. The biggest component of metabolism accounts for 50 to 80 percent of the energy that is used each and every day. This is regarded to as the basal metabolic rate, and it is the energy that the body burns to maintain functioning at rest.
The other influencers include physical activity and the thermic effect of the food that one consumes. There are various factors that affect metabolism, and some of them are within one’s control. The first is muscle mass, and it is important in that the amount of muscle tissue in the body the more muscles require energy to function (Shea, 2008). The muscles carry the body and therefore, the larger the muscle, the more the rate of metabolism. Age is another factor, when one gets older, their metabolic rate often decreases.
This is partly because of the loss of muscle tissue as well as the change in hormones and neurons. People with bigger bodies have a larger basal metabolic rate because they have larger organs and need increased volume to maintain. Taller people have a larger skin surface, and this means that their bodies may have to work harder in a bid to maintain a constant temperature (Shea, 2008).
Men in most instances are larger than women and consequently have faster metabolisms. Genetics is another factor when it comes to metabolism, and it can play a role in one having a faster or slower metabolism. There are also several genetic disorders that can affect one’s metabolism. Physical activity such as regular exercise increases muscle mass and encourages the body to burn more kilojoules at a faster rate and this occurs even when one is resting.
Hormonal imbalances that are caused by different conditions such as hypo or hyperthyroidism can at times affect one’s metabolism. The weather can also have an effect on one’s metabolism if it is very cold or very hot, the body tends to work harder to maintain its normal temperature, and this increases the metabolic rate. Diet and drugs can increase or decrease one’s metabolic rate. For example, caffeine and nicotine are known to increase one’s metabolic rate while medications such as several antidepressants can also increase the metabolic rate.
The main metabolic processes include the digestion of food and nutrients. The food is the material that allows processes to create new tissues as well as the storage of reserve substances in the form of fat. When food is ingested, it is often subjected to a series of chemical changes which in turn provides the energy that body needs to function (International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, 2002). The enzymes can transform the proteins into amino acids, fats, on the other hand, are converted into fatty acids while glycerol and carbohydrates into simple sugars.
Blood circulation is another important metabolic process. All the compounds that are ingested need to be transported by the blood to cells where the metabolic process occurs and they in turn provide energy to the body (Wolthuis, 2010). The elimination of waste products is another important metabolic process, and it occurs through several methods. There is defecation, urination, breathing and sweating. It is of the essence to realize that catabolic process of metabolism often involving the destruction of compounds into simpler substances (Shea, 2008).
Nutrition can be described as the key metabolism, the pathways of metabolism often rely on the nutrients that break down to produce energy. This energy is important as it helps to synthesize new proteins and nucleic acids. Nutrients about metabolism encompass the bodily requirement for various substances, the amount needed, individual functions and level below which poor health results (Wolthuis, 2010). Essential nutrients often supply energy calories and supply the necessary chemicals that the body itself cannot be able to synthesize.
Food provides a variety of substances that are essential for the building, upkeep as well as the repair of different body tissues and for the efficient functioning of the body (Klimes, 2002). The diet needs essential such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur as well as other 20 inorganic elements. It is critical to realize that the major elements that are supplied are often carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Water, minerals, as well as vitamins, are necessary for metabolism (International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, 2002).
The process is known to produce waste substances that should be eliminated. This is often done through the intestines, the kidneys, the skin and the lungs. The body should be able to respond to a regulation of body heat. The energy that is produced by the metabolism is important because it helps the body enzymes to work at an optimum level (International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, 2002).
The body has internal mechanisms that are intended to increase body temperature and some of these methods include the constriction of blood vessels, the closing of pores, muscle spasms and the production of adrenaline. In a similar manner, there internal mechanisms that are intended to lower body temperature and they include increased sweating and the dilation of blood vessels (Shea, 2008).
The chemical reactions of metabolism are often organized into metabolic pathways. They often allow the basic chemicals from nutrition to be transformed through several steps into another chemical by a sequence of enzymes (Wolthuis, 2010). The enzymes are often a crucial to metabolism, and this is because they allow an organism to drive what can be stated to desirable reactions that require energy (International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, 2002).
These reactions are also coupled with those that the released energy. The enzymes act as catalysts and they allow the regulation of metabolic pathways in response to changes in the cell’s environment as well as a signal from others (International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, 2002).
Adequate rest is important to mobilize the carbohydrates as well as improve the calorie burning. It is important to realize that a tired body often has a lower metabolic rate as compared to a relaxed body (Benedict & Carpenter, 2014). The body requires a certain basic amount of energy to function every day even in the period of sleep. To perform these body functions, the body needs energy in a form of calories. The resting metabolic rate can be described as the number of calories that the body needs to exist.
The amount of energy consumed when the body is in a state of rest is important to sustain body functions to almost 70% to 75% of the daily expenditure (Wolthuis, 2010). The volume of the fat-free muscular mass can be said to be the best predictor when it comes to the resting metabolic rate. The resting metabolic rate decreases with age. Heavier people often have a higher RMR, and this is because they have more mass, and therefore, RMR often decreases on losing weight (Wolthuis, 2010).
Research had shown that rest and recovery are critical components when it comes to metabolism, and general body functioned. In fact, rest is also important in any successful training program. Rest enables the body to rejuvenate and do the repair (Kang, 2012). This is important for one to have a healthy body and ensure that they feel healthy and alive. There are different systems that are used when one is in rest. They include hormonal, structural and neurological (Benedict & Carpenter, 2014).
The structural systems include muscles, bones, and ligaments. The muscles at the period of rest often recover the quickest, and this is because they often receive direct blood flow (Benedict & Carpenter, 2014). On the other hand, tendons, bones, and ligaments are known to receive indirect blood flow and therefore, they can take longer to recover when one is at rest.
A balanced combination of recovery and rest along with exercise is important for fitness and a sound metabolic rate that is stable. Those that train and exercise are often advised to follow the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time should be spend focusing on diet as well as exercise, and the twenty percent should be spent in rest (Kang, 2012).
Sleep is the most important resting period, and it has been seen as the most important time to recover. Adequate levels of sleep are important in that they provide mental health, muscular recovery, hormonal balance and health. One needs to get enough sleep, and this is often between seven to ten hours.
Going by the individual body organs, the heart and the kidneys are known to have the highest resting metabolic rate, and it stands at 200 calories per pound. This is followed by the brain that has 109 calories per pound (International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, 2002). The contribution of the skeletal muscle and fat to resting energy expenditure can be said to be the smallest as compared to other organs in the body.
In conclusion, metabolism can be described as the process by which the body converts what one eats and drinks into energy. It is during this complex biochemical process that calories that exist in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to deliver the energy to the body. Even when one is at rest, the body needs energy for all functions that are ‘hidden’ (Kang, 2012).
Some of these functions include breathing, circulating blood, growing, repairing cells and the adjustment of hormonal levels. The number of calories that the body uses to carry out these basic functions is referred to as the basal metabolic and, in essence, this is what is referred to as metabolism (Kang, 2012).
Resting and recovery is an important concept, and there is the need for everybody to ensure that they get enough sleep and rest to maintain a constant metabolic rate. Rest is of immense help to the body in that it tackles the issue of repairing cells and rejuvenating the body so that it can return to a normal functioning state. Therefore, metabolism and rest affect each other, and they are interdependent.
Lapierre. (2013). Energy and protein metabolism and nutrition in sustainable animal production: 4th International Symposium on Energy and Protein Metabolism and Nutrition, Sacramento, California, USA, 9-12 September 2013.
Benedict, F. G., & Carpenter, T. M. (2014). The metabolism and energy transformations of healthy man during rest. Washington, D.C: Carnegie institution of Washington.
Shea, K. (2008). Gender differences in substrate metabolism and thermoregulation during rest and exercise in cold and warm water.
International Smolenice Insulin Symposium on "Lipids and Insulin Resistance: the Role of Fatty Acid Metabolism and Fuel Partitioning", & Klimes, I. (2002). Lipids and insulin resistance: The role of fatty acid metabolism and fuel partitioning. New York, N.Y: New York Academy of Sciences..
Wolthuis, F. H. (2010). Balance studies on protein metabolism in normal and uraemic men: Effect of diet, bed rest and anabolic steroids. Amsterdam.
Kang, J. (2012). Nutrition and metabolism in sports, exercise and health. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
The central theme in the definition of malingering is that it often applies to persons who in most instances deliberately pretend to have an illness or even a disability in order to receive an external gain (Greenberg, 1997). One of these gains might be financial or to avoid responsibility and punishment. It has often been noted that indeed personal gain has always been the biggest motivation in regards to malingering. Malingering can in most cases take many forms; however, it is critical to understand that the tendency is to fake mental illness.
Malingering therefore, involves faking symptoms. In most instances, malingerers often avoid symptoms that are associated with serious psychiatric disorders and this is because it is often very hard to maintain such symptoms (Vitacco J., & Rogers, 2006). Criminals understand that if they claim that there not of sound mind during a crime, the court can decide to treat them as mentally ill which will mean that there were not aware of the consequences of their actions. There are several tests that are often employed when it comes the detection of malingering, they often include the structured inventory of malingered sympotomalogy, the psychopathic personality inventory, Trauma symptom inventory, and the M-Test (Vitacco & Rogers, 2006).
The benefits especially when it comes to criminology include the fact that those that evade punishment, responsibility and dangerous situations can be caught. Further, the mental health practitioners are often able to decrease the probability of malingering which can cause criminals to go free. However, the tools have limitations as there can be difficult of determining malingering as there are several symptoms that can be easily faked. The use of less severe symptoms can often go undetected (Boccaccini & Murrie, 2006).
In forensic psychology, the tools are often used to understand whether indeed criminals are trying to fake illnesses in order to evade punishment. However, in therapeutic psychology, there is a comfort level that is looked at the malingerers and there is a need to try and remedy the situation for the malingerer.
Boccaccini B., & Murrie K., (2006) Screening for Malingering in a Criminal–Forensic Sample With the Personality Assessment Inventory. Psychological assessment, 415-453.
Greenberg S., (1997) Irreconcilable Conflict between Therapeutic and Forensic Roles. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 50-57.
Vitacco J., & Rogers R., (2006) An Evaluation of Malingering screens with competency of stand trial patients: A known-Groups comparison. American Psychology-Law Society. 249-260.
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