AskDefine | Define anabolism

Dictionary Definition

anabolism n : synthesis of more complex substances from simpler ones [syn: constructive metabolism] [ant: catabolism]

User Contributed Dictionary



From ανά ana "up" + βολή bole "throw" + -ism.


  1. The constructive metabolism of the body, as distinguished from catabolism.

Related terms


the constructive metabolism of the body
  • Croatian: anabolizam
  • German: Anabolismus
  • Greek: αναβολισμός
  • Hungarian: anabolizmus, asszimiláció


Extensive Definition

Anabolism is the set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units. These reactions require energy. One way of categorizing metabolic processes, whether at the cellular, organ or organism level is as 'anabolic' or as 'catabolic', which is the opposite. Anabolism is powered by catabolism, where large molecules are broken down into smaller parts and then used up in respiration. Many anabolic processes are powered by adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Anabolic processes tend toward "building up" organs and tissues. These processes produce growth and differentiation of cells and increase in body size, a process that involves synthesis of complex molecules. Examples of anabolic processes include the growth and mineralization of bone and increases in muscle mass.
Endocrinologists have traditionally classified hormones as anabolic or catabolic, depending on which part of metabolism they stimulate. The classic anabolic hormones are the anabolic steroids, which stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth. The balance between anabolism and catabolism is also regulated by circadian rhythms, with processes such as glucose metabolism fluctuating to match an animal's normal periods of activity throughout the day.
Newer hormones associated with the balance of the catabolic and anabolic states include


anabolism in Czech: Anabolismus
anabolism in Danish: Anabolisme
anabolism in German: Anabolismus
anabolism in Esperanto: Anabolo
anabolism in Persian: فراگشت
anabolism in French: Anabolisme
anabolism in Korean: 합성대사
anabolism in Norwegian: Anabolisme
anabolism in Occitan (post 1500): Anabolisme
anabolism in Polish: Anabolizm
anabolism in Russian: Анаболизм
anabolism in Slovenian: Anabolizem
anabolism in Sundanese: Anabolisme
anabolism in Swedish: Anabolism
anabolism in Thai: กระบวนการสร้าง
anabolism in Spanish: Anabolismo
anabolism in Portuguese: Anabolismo

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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