5. Primary vs Secondary Metabolites

Examples of primary metabolites


  • Enzymes are proteins that are produced in the body of different organisms as primary metabolites.
  • Enzymes are important compounds that catalyze various metabolic pathways throughout the body.
  • Enzymes are proteins formed of polypeptide chains of amino acids that are highly specific for the reaction they catalyze.
  • In the absence of enzymes, the biological reactions would require a long period of time to complete.
  • Enzymes are conservative and do not get spent during chemical reactions.
  • These are involved in almost all forms of metabolic pathways ranging from cellular respiration to internal digestion and absorption.
  • The enzymes produced in various organisms are extracted for their use in industries for processes like fermenting of wine, the leavening of bread, curdling of cheese, and brewing of beer.
  • Some examples of enzymes include lipases, amylases, proteases, etc.


  • Carbohydrate is a group of organic compounds that play an important role in the structural and physiological components of all living beings.
  • Carbohydrates are among the most important primary metabolites that are common in all living organisms.
  • A carbohydrate is a biomolecule formed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. These provide structure to organisms like cellulose in plants and peptidoglycan in bacteria.
  • Besides, these are also compounds that are oxidized to obtain energy for the growth and functioning of the organism.
  • Carbohydrates are of various types depending on their length and composition. They are also divided based on their functions.
  • Carbohydrates act as substrates for the important biological processes like Kreb’s cycle and glycolysis.
  • Monosaccharides are also involved in the formation of macromolecules and might even function as reservoirs of energy and fats.
  • Some examples of carbohydrates include glucose, cellulose, glycogen, chitin, peptidoglycan, etc.

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