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Question Video: Identifying the Best Definition for Metabolism Biology

Which of the following best defines metabolism? [A] Metabolism is the sum of all the energy lost from an organism. [B] Metabolism is the sum of the chemical reactions that occur in each cell of an organism. [C] Metabolism is how quickly the body digests a meal. [D] Metabolism is how quickly a person can lose weight. [E] Metabolism is the total energy input divided by the total energy output of an organism.

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Video Transcript

Which of the following best defines metabolism? (A) Metabolism is the sum of all the energy lost from an organism. (B) Metabolism is the sum of the chemical reactions that occur in each cell of an organism. (C) Metabolism is how quickly the body digests a meal. (D) Metabolism is how quickly a person can lose weight. Or (E) metabolism is the total energy input divided by the total energy output of an organism.

There are many misconceptions about metabolism in humans. This question is asking us to find the answer choice that best defines metabolism. And to do this, we will need to address some of these misconceptions that have been stated in the answer choices.

You might have heard before that slim, particularly fit, or energetic people have an especially high metabolism. This is not necessarily correct, as metabolism is not simply how quickly someone digests food, how little weight someone might gain from their food, nor does it describe how quickly they might lose this weight. With this information, we can eliminate answer options (C) and (D) as they both simplify metabolism too much.

Metabolism has more to do with the chemical reactions that occur within our body cells or the cells of any other living organism for that matter. In fact, metabolism is the sum of all the chemical reactions that occur in a cell or body of any living thing. Metabolic reactions are occurring in all of your cells all of the time, and our metabolism is what helps us to maintain life.

Now we are able to answer our question correctly. The answer choice that best defines metabolism is (B). Metabolism is the sum of the chemical reactions that occur in each cell of an organism.

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