The body uses its metabolism to transform substances and utilize them for its benefit. Food that is consumed and then digested is metabolized and absorbed by the body. These nutrients then become the chemicals that nourish cells and vital organs. All aspects of the body use metabolism to change nutrients and chemicals so that all matter is used to the fullest and best advantage of the body.
The metabolic process is the most important process of the body. Without metabolic processes the body would fail to absorb nutrients, all functioning would break down and eventually cease due to lack of chemical reactions. There would be no building and storing of energy, no changing nutrients to vital nourishment for cells and organs, and no cleansing of toxins from the body. Without metabolism the body would become diseased, shut down and die.
The body's metabolic process is affected by nutrition and exercise. Exercise to stimulate metabolism is essential when endeavoring to lose weight because lack of caloric intake decreases one's metabolism, and without the stimulation provided by exercise, the body may store extra fat and defeat the purpose of dieting.
Metabolism may be catabolic or anabolic in nature. Through catabolic metabolism the body metabolizes larger molecular substances into smaller ones. This creates energy and facilitates the movement of the body's musculature. Catabolic processes also heat the body and allow toxins to exit through skin and lungs, kidneys and the intestinal track. Anabolic metabolism is the body creating and building larger molecular substances from smaller ones, which promotes the storage of energy and cell growth.
Glandular malfunctions may increase or decrease metabolism. Thyroid problems may complicate the functioning of the metabolism, speeding it up or slowing it down. Pancreatic problems will confuse metabolic functioning, and send the wrong type of signal for insulin production. Diabetes will create problems with metabolism due to the body's inability to produce enough insulin (diabetes type 1) not responding appropriately to insulin (diabetes type 2). Toxins introduced to the body such as cigarette smoking will speed up metabolism, as will alcohol.