Metabolism comprises a group of life-sustaining interactions happening at all times in the body. Moreover, this process contains two separate categories: catabolism – processes that break down, and anabolism – processes that build up. Each process, while entirely necessary throughout the body, can become problematic when overactive or underactive. Therefore, it is crucial, even absolutely necessary, to monitor the levels of metabolic activity in the body, as these levels can indicate the presence of serious disease. Thus, metabolic assays do just that.
Monitoring diseases with metabolic activity.
Metabolic assays work in a variety of ways, each individual to the specific metabolic pathway that is being monitored. For some, such as NAD, NADP, and Sarcosine – the assay uses cells and tissue extracts to determine the levels of these molecules. In effect, this is important for the detection of lipid synthesis and the activation of prostate cancer cells. In others, such as Cholesterol, Lactate, and Phosphate – metabolic assays use plasma or blood samples to determine the levels of the respective molecules. Further, these levels can lend knowledge about the presence of diseases like diabetes, lactate acidosis, and various cardiovascular diseases.