Did you know that maintaining a healthy level of anabolic activity is critical to ensuring quality of life and longevity? Metabolism can be simply defined as the set of biochemical processes that occur in an organism to sustain life. It can then be divided into two categories, processes that break down (catabolic) and processes that build up (anabolic).
Anabolic Versus Catabolic
Anabolic processes create complex materials from simpler substances. This activity would include synthesizing the basic components of cells like proteins and lipids, as well as creating the storage form of nutrients to be utilized as needed for energy. The steroidal hormones that stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth are traditionally classified by endocrinologists as anabolic hormones due to the nature of their effects on the body.
Catabolic processes move in the opposite direction, breaking down large molecules into smaller ones, and tend to release energy in the form of energy- rich compounds like adenosine triphosphate (ATP). They not only supply the energy to power anabolic activity, they also provide the small molecules (building blocks) required to create more complex molecules, and the electrons which act like “glue” by holding atoms together through chemical bonds.
A Healthy Balance
In a cell where the anabolic processes dominate over the catabolic ones, growth will result. In a fully developed (non-growing) cell, a healthy balance will exist between the two states. This same concept applies to the entire organism. Take a human for example. As a child, youth naturally provides an anabolic dominant metabolism to support the growth requirements necessary for healthy development. This is the reason why children often bounce back quicker from illness and injury. Once fully mature, a balance between catabolic and anabolic activity is found to sustain the body. Maintaining this balance is crucial to ensuring quality of life and longevity, as it impacts every aspect of health.
Aging – The Shift Toward Catabolic Dominance
As we age, the balance slowly shifts towards a more catabolic dominant metabolism, initiating the many physical and energetic changes we associate with later stages of life. The body becomes less efficient, losing the ability to keep pace with the rate of break down that is occurring. This shift results in decreased energy levels, physical deterioration, increased susceptibility to illness and injury, and longer recovery times. While this is a natural process that everyone experiences, the choices we make over the course of our lives can greatly improve our body’s ability to age gracefully. A healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet, regular exercise, and good rest is essential.
Supporting Anabolic Restoration
In conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, nutrients and botanicals that specifically promote anabolic activity can be highly effective tools for strengthening the body’s ability to regenerate and repair itself. Amino acid mineral chelates (creatine magnesium chelate), ecdysterone rich herbal extracts (Rhaponticum & Suma), and “super-food” concentrates (whey protein) have all been shown to support anabolic metabolism. Natura offers a variety of formulas that provide synergistic combinations of ingredients to encourage anabolic restoration and help maintain health and vitality for years to come. These include Botanabol™,Power Adapt™,Amino-Max™,Night Gain™ & Beyond Whey™.
For more information on ingredients and formula rationale for these products, please refer to our product sheets.