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Metabolic Health Checklist

Metabolic Health Checklist

By NOW Wellness Expert and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Maya Feller

How does metabolism work?

Metabolism - perhaps one of the most misunderstood and contested words in human health. How does metabolism work and why is metabolic health linked to the inner workings of human health?

Simply put, metabolism is an internal process that continually happens within the body whether we are asleep or awake. Our body is continually undergoing metabolic processes. There are a number of reactions that take place along internal pathways to provide cells with the energy that is needed so they can carry out their individual functions. These pathways have the ability to both maximize and minimize energy expenditure.

Derived from the Greek word, metabole meaning ‘to change’, metabolism and its chemical reactions take place differently with each person. There are a number of variables that have an impact on these metabolic pathways including, age, sex, patterns of eating, environment, and lifestyle. Metabolism is essential for life, the body must synthesize and break down everything we take in or are exposed to via chemical reactions in order to survive. For example, larger molecules such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are broken down and utilized by the body or sent into storage as a part of metabolic processes.

Food is information for our cells and has the ability to up or downregulate the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a highway of hormones that act as chemical messengers so cells can communicate with each other. These hormones and pathways are intertwined with the expression of metabolic health. The development of non-communicable conditions including diabetes, cardiometabolic conditions, and some cancers have been associated with shifts in metabolism.

Insulin resistance and metabolic health

Markers such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and lipid levels can be used to better understand metabolic health.

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