Anabolism (from Greek: ἁνά, "upward" and βάλλειν, "to throw") is the set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units. These reactions require energy, known also as an endergonic process. One way of categorizing metabolic processes, whether at the cellular, organ or organism level, is as "anabolic", or as "catabolic" which is the opposite and thus the separation of a macromolecule. Anabolism is powered by catabolism, where large molecules are broken down into smaller parts and then used up in cellular respiration. Many anabolic processes are powered by the hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).
Anabolic processes tend toward "building up" organs and tissues. These processes produce growth and differentiation of cells and increase in body size, a process that involves synthesis of complex molecules. Examples of anabolic processes include the growth and mineralization of bone and increases in muscle mass. Endocrinologists have traditionally classified hormones as anabolic or catabolic, depending on which part of metabolism they stimulate. The classic anabolic hormones are the anabolic steroids, which stimulate protein synthesis, muscle growth, and insulin. The balance between anabolism and catabolism is also regulated by circadian rhythms, with processes such as glucose metabolism fluctuating to match an animal's normal periods of activity throughout the day.
- de Bolster, M.W.G. (1997). "Glossary of Terms Used in Bioinorganic Chemistry: Anabolism". International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry. Archived from the original on 30 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
- Nicholls D.G. and Ferguson S.J. (2002) Bioenergetics Academic press 3rd edition ISBN 0-12-518121-3
- Ramsey KM, Marcheva B, Kohsaka A, Bass J (2007). "The clockwork of metabolism". Annu. Rev. Nutr. 27: 219–40. doi:10.1146/annurev.nutr.27.061406.093546. PMID 17430084.