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Total metabolism (also called metabolism) is all of a certain living organism's chemical processes. The organism's metabolism can be dichotomized into the synthesis of organic molecules (anabolism) and their breakdown (catabolism). This is to be distinguished from cell metabolism which is the process of metabolism occurring within a single cell. The study of total metabolism is called metabolomics.
The halt of metabolism in a living organism is usually defined as its death. Some organisms can reduce their metabolism to almost zero for certain periods of time. But every lifeform is bound to have metabolism at some point of its life cycle.
Human cells obtain most of their energy from chemical reactions involving oxygen. A starting point in measuring human metabolism is with basal metabolic rate.
- Metabolism, Cellular Respiration and Photosynthesis - The Virtual Library of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
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