Anabolism is the set of metabolic pathways that construct molecules from smaller units. These reactions require energy. One way of categorizing metabolic processes, whether at the cellular, organ or organism level is as 'anabolic' or 'catabolic', which is the opposite. Anabolism is powered by catabolism, where large molecules are broken down into smaller parts and then used up in respiration. Many anabolic processes are powered by 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 growth and mineralization of bone and increase of 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 and muscle growth.
Classic anabolic hormones
Newer hormones associated with the balance of the catabolic and anabolic states include