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Catabolism is the breaking down phase of metabolism, the opposite of anabolism. Catabolism includes all the processes in which complex substances are progressively broken down into simpler ones.

Both anabolism and catabolism usually involve the release of energy, and together constitute metabolism.

Hamilton, E.M. & E. Whitney. Nutrition: Concepts And Controversies. 1980 RDA edition. St. Paul: West Publishing Co. 1979.

Williams, Sue Rodwell. Nutrition And Diet Therapy. 5th edition. St Louis: Times Mirror Mosby, 1985.