The term metabolism refers to the internal activity of an organism to keep itself alive. Metabolism can vary from organism to organism on many occasions, but they always maintain a series of basic activities that are related by the fact of generating energy and using it to modify and rebuild itself. In the first case, it refers to catabolism, while in the second to anabolism. Metabolism has a series of consequences that at first glance may go unnoticed, but which, on closer inspection, are worthy of admiration for the complexity they entail. In fact, metabolism is responsible for a living being to constitute a unit that automatically preserves it. One way to exemplify this situation could be the ability that mammals have to maintain theirbody temperature independent of outside temperature. Although this quality is not absolute, it obviously means a great advantage in terms of adaptation .
However, metabolism is a set of activities for the simple fact of maintaining and periodically consuming an important portion of the energy used by the living being. This means that the energy used by an organism is the greatest for its maintenance , regardless of its activity. In the case of humans, this part of metabolism is called basal metabolism, which means the base of any other activity and that consumes energy in a constant way. This can cause variations in their consumption indirectly, for example, when a person is recovering after a certain effort.
To carry out its tasks, the metabolism needs nutrition that provides chemical energy . This type of need takes place on both an organic and a cellular level. Thus, food intake produces several necessary elements. Another type of metabolic need is the oxygen that carries out combustion processes. Finally, it is necessary to get rid of the waste. All these elements are indispensable for the internal activity of a living being to be carried out without inconvenience; otherwise, he can get sick and even die.
Metabolism can be quite complex, especially in higher vertebrates. Detailed knowledge of its processes could only be accurately understood in the last century, a circumstance motivated in large part by the advance of biology. In the future, without a doubt, these advances will be able to complement our knowledge.