What is metabolism?

Alicia Kowaltowski

Doctor and researcher Alicia Kowaltowski explains, in a question and answer format, how the food we eat is transformed into essential molecules to our body and into energy. With a well-founded scientifically approach, but still accessible and easy-to-read, she describes the hormonal regulation of metabolism and addresses the main metabolic diseases of our time: obesity, type II diabetes, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular and neurovascular diseases, among others.

What is metabolism?  – How our bodies transform what we eat into what we are teaches that people with respiratory high yields dissipate less heat energy and have a greater tendency to accumulate excess food as fat. It also analyzes the impact that diet pills can cause on the body and discusses the advances in scientific research: how model organisms (from potatoes and baking powder to laboratory animals) have contributed to the study of pathologies and the creation of medicines and why they continue to be important these days.

Original title
O que é metabolismo? - como nossos corpos transformam o que comemos no que somos
Year of publication

About the authors

Alicia Kowaltowski

Alicia Kowaltowski graduated in Medicine and obtained her PhD degree in Medical Sciences from University of Campinas (Campinas, Brazil) and from University of Maryland School of Medicine (USA). Her postdoctoral degree was earned from Oregon Graduate Institute (USA). She is currently a Full Professor at the Department of Biochemistry at University of São Paulo (USP), president of the Postgraduate Committee of the Institute of Chemistry at University of São Paulo and vice-president of the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine (SFRBM). Her works are in the area of energy metabolism, having published more than one hundred international scientific articles, quoted more than 6,000 times.

Author's CV (in portuguese).

1. Are we what we eat?

2. It will either kill you or cure you

3. Mitochondria: the cell batteries

4. It contains vitamins and minerals

5. A brief history of oxygen, a vital but toxic gas

6. Burning phosphate

7. It’s my hormones!

8. Metabolic diseases

9. A thank you to the model organisms

10. Final considerations: we are not today what we were yesterday

Bibliographical references