Metabolism is a natural process in the body that is essential for supporting energy release and contributing to cellular processes. Learn how you can support your metabolism below.
When we talk about metabolism, it is usually in conjunction with our diet. You will often hear people blaming their 'slow' metabolism if they cannot lose weight, with others praising their 'fast' metabolism for keeping them in shape. While it is true that the speed of metabolism varies from person to person, its purpose - to convert food into energy - is the same for everybody. Your metabolisms are responsible for keeping your body alive and your organs functioning normally, such as breathing and repairing cells 1.
What factors affect metabolism?
The speed of metabolism can be affected by age, gender, size, genes and even lifestyle. For instance, muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle than fat tend to have a faster metabolism. As a result, it is believed that men have faster metabolisms than women as they tend to have less body fat and more muscle mass 2. However, as we get older, it is not uncommon for metabolism to slow down as body composition changes. In general, body fat increases and lean mass and bone mineral density decrease 3. It is for this reason that staying active as we age is so important. Adults over 65 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, such as cycling or walking, every week. On top of this, they should focus on strength exercises that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) 4.
Thyroid and Metabolism
The thyroid plays an essential part in regulating your metabolism. It produces and releases thyroid hormones which contribute to your metabolic rate. These hormones are involved in fat metabolism as well as carbohydrate metabolism. The balance of thyroid hormone production and release is essential for sustaining a normal metabolic rate, meaning if too much or too little is released, the rate at which your metabolism works can be affected 6. Like many other processes in the body, thyroid function is supported by specific nutrients. Selenium and iodine contribute to supporting the normal function of the thyroid, while iodine contributes to the normal production of thyroid hormones.
B vitamins and energy-release
The B vitamin family - thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), and cobalamin (B12) – contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism.
All seven of these vitamins are water-soluble, meaning your body do not store them. Any excess B vitamins that are not used by the body are excreted and must be replenished regularly. While you should get enough from a healthy, balanced diet, you can support your dietary intake with food supplements that provide a source of the essential B vitamins. An example is Seven Seas Perfect 7 Woman Plus. Our duo formulation includes a natural source of marine oil providing Omega-3 plus essential multivitamins and minerals, including B2, B6, and biotin.
Maintaining a healthy metabolism
In summary, we all have different metabolic rates due to our age, gender, activity level and genetics. As with most processes in your body, you can support a healthy metabolism by maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. Increasing your activity can burn more calories, while building muscle can help burn more energy as muscle mass burns more calories than fat 1.
Food supplements must not replace a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
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