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What Makes Glucose In Our Body?

How Do We Get Glucose?

How Do We Get Glucose?

Laura Niedziocha began her writing career in 2007. She has contributed material to the Stoneking Physical Therapy and Wellness Center in Lambertville, N.J., and her work has appeared in various online publications. Niedziocha graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science. She also has her Associate of Arts in communications from the Community College of Philadelphia. Glucose is defined as a single sugar that is the main mechanism for energy production in your cells. Sugars are either simple or complex. A simple sugar, such as glucose, is a single saccharide or sugar unit. A complex sugar occurs when units of sugars are chemically bonded together to form a polysaccharide, according to the book "Nutrition: Concepts and Controversies" by Frances Sizer and Eleanor Whitney. Glucose is found in many forms of carbohydrates that you consume. It's the major building block of polysaccharides, or chains of sugars. Dietary glucose is found in mostly plant-based foods, including simple sugars, starches and fiber. Whatever kind of carbohydrate that you eat eventually gets broken down into its simplest form: glucose, according to Sizer and Whitney. Digestion of carbohydrates begins in your mouth. As soon as you start chewing food, your teeth and enzymes in your saliva begin to break down your food. Once it passes through your stomach and into your small intestine, the food you ate as a polysaccharide eventually gets broken down. Digestive enzymes convert polysaccharides into the simple sugar, glucose. Once carbohydrates are converted into glucose, sodium-glucose transport proteins remove the glucose from the small intestine and send them to the bloodstream, where they are transported to your liver. From there, your liver determines where they are nee Continue reading >>

What Is Glucose?

What Is Glucose?

Glucose comes from the Greek word for "sweet." It's a type of sugar you get from foods you eat, and your body uses it for energy. As it travels through your bloodstream to your cells, it's called blood glucose or blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from your blood into the cells for energy and storage. People with diabetes have higher-than-normal levels in their blood. Either they don't have enough insulin to move it through or their cells don't respond to insulin as well as they should. High blood glucose for a long period of time can damage your kidneys, eyes, and other organs. How Your Body Makes Glucose It mainly comes from foods rich in carbohydrates, like bread, potatoes, and fruit. As you eat, food travels down your esophagus to your stomach. There, acids and enzymes break it down into tiny pieces. During that process, glucose is released. It goes into your intestines where it's absorbed. From there, it passes into your bloodstream. Once in the blood, insulin helps glucose get to your cells. Energy and Storage Your body is designed to keep the level of glucose in your blood constant. Beta cells in your pancreas monitor your blood sugar level every few seconds. When your blood glucose rises after you eat, the beta cells release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts like a key, unlocking muscle, fat, and liver cells so glucose can get inside them. Most of the cells in your body use glucose along with amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and fats for energy. But it's the main source of fuel for your brain. Nerve cells and chemical messengers there need it to help them process information. Without it, your brain wouldn't be able to work well. After your body has used the energy it needs, the leftover glucose is stored in little bundles Continue reading >>

Can Your Body Produce Carbohydrates From Protein Intake?

Can Your Body Produce Carbohydrates From Protein Intake?

Your body relies on three classes of nutrients to meet its energetic needs: carbohydrates, protein and fats. It ultimately breaks down all digestible carbs into glucose, one of the simplest carbohydrates and the body's primary fuel. Some tissues, such as the brain, red blood cells, kidneys, cornea, testes and muscles, need a steady supply of glucose to function optimally. When necessary, your body makes glucose from nutrients other than carbohydrates, namely, proteins and fats. The process involved is called gluconeogenesis. Proteins and carbohydrates yield 4 calories per gram. With a yield of 9 calories per gram, fats provide the most energy by weight, but they digest more slowly than proteins and carbs do. The body prefers carbohydrates, as they are the quickest source of energy. When carbohydrates become unavailable, your body turns first to protein as an alternate fuel source, and second to fats. Carbohydrate and Protein Usage When you eat too many carbs or too much protein, your body stores some of the excess as fat. Excess carbs also end up in your liver and muscles in the form of glycogen. Between meals or during an overnight fast, your body taps into glycogen stores to get the glucose it needs for energy. According to biochemist Pamela Champe, Ph.D., glycogen stores can fuel your body for 10 to 18 hours. After running out of glycogen, your body starts breaking down protein to make glucose. Dietary Protein’s Roles Protein plays essential roles in the growth and development of the human body, tissue repair, muscle-mass maintenance, immune function, and hormone and enzyme production. Energy production is not its primary function. However, as previously mentioned, your body can break down tissue protein to make the glucose it needs whenever carbs are unavailable. Continue reading >>

The Liver And Blood Glucose Levels

The Liver And Blood Glucose Levels

Tweet Glucose is the key source of energy for the human body. Supply of this vital nutrient is carried through the bloodstream to many of the body’s cells. The liver produces, stores and releases glucose depending on the body’s need for glucose, a monosaccharide. This is primarily indicated by the hormones insulin - the main regulator of sugar in the blood - and glucagon. In fact, the liver acts as the body’s glucose reservoir and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant. How the liver regulates blood glucose During absorption and digestion, the carbohydrates in the food you eat are reduced to their simplest form, glucose. Excess glucose is then removed from the blood, with the majority of it being converted into glycogen, the storage form of glucose, by the liver’s hepatic cells via a process called glycogenesis. Glycogenolysis When blood glucose concentration declines, the liver initiates glycogenolysis. The hepatic cells reconvert their glycogen stores into glucose, and continually release them into the blood until levels approach normal range. However, when blood glucose levels fall during a long fast, the body’s glycogen stores dwindle and additional sources of blood sugar are required. To help make up this shortfall, the liver, along with the kidneys, uses amino acids, lactic acid and glycerol to produce glucose. This process is known as gluconeogenesis. The liver may also convert other sugars such as sucrose, fructose, and galactose into glucose if your body’s glucose needs not being met by your diet. Ketones Ketones are alternative fuels that are produced by the liver from fats when sugar is in short supply. When your body’s glycogen storage runs low, the body starts conserving the sugar supplies fo Continue reading >>

What Sugar Actually Does To Your Brain And Body

What Sugar Actually Does To Your Brain And Body

We consume an enormous amount of sugar, whether consciously or not, but it's a largely misunderstood substance. There are different kinds and different ways your body processes them all. Some consider it poison and others believe it's the sweetest thing on earth. Here's a look at the different forms of sugar, the various ways they affect you, and how they play a role in healthy—and unhealthy—diets. Of course, if you already know how sugar works and how your body uses it, feel free to skip down to the final section about healthier sugar consumption. The Different Types of Sugar There are too many types of sugar (and, of course, sugar substitutes) to tackle in a high-level overview like this one, so we're really only going to look at the two (and a half) that you regularly encounter: glucose and fructose. Glucose Glucose is a simple sugar that your body likes. Your cells use it as a primary source of energy, so when you consume glucose, it's actually helpful. When it's transported into the body, it stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. Your brain notices this increase, understands that it's busy metabolizing what you just ate, and tells you that you're less hungry. The important thing to note here is that when you consume glucose, your brain knows to tell you to stop eating when you've had enough. But glucose isn't perfect. There are many processes involved when you consume glucose, but one that occurs in your liver produces something called very low density lipoprotein (or VLDL). You don't want VLDL. It causes problems (like cardiovascular disease). Fortunately, only about 1 out of 24 calories from glucose that are processed by the liver turn into VLDL. If glucose were the only thing you ate that produced VLDL, it would be a non-issue. Sucrose and High Fructose Continue reading >>

How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy

How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy

All parts of the body (muscles, brain, heart, and liver) need energy to work. This energy comes from the food we eat. Our bodies digest the food we eat by mixing it with fluids (acids and enzymes) in the stomach. When the stomach digests food, the carbohydrate (sugars and starches) in the food breaks down into another type of sugar, called glucose. The stomach and small intestines absorb the glucose and then release it into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, glucose can be used immediately for energy or stored in our bodies, to be used later. However, our bodies need insulin in order to use or store glucose for energy. Without insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream, keeping blood sugar levels high. Insulin is a hormone made by beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells are very sensitive to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream. Normally beta cells check the blood's glucose level every few seconds and sense when they need to speed up or slow down the amount of insulin they're making and releasing. When someone eats something high in carbohydrates, like a piece of bread, the glucose level in the blood rises and the beta cells trigger the pancreas to release more insulin into the bloodstream. When insulin is released from the pancreas, it travels through the bloodstream to the body's cells and tells the cell doors to open up to let the glucose in. Once inside, the cells convert glucose into energy to use right then or store it to use later. As glucose moves from the bloodstream into the cells, blood sugar levels start to drop. The beta cells in the pancreas can tell this is happening, so they slow down the amount of insulin they're making. At the same time, the pancreas slows down the amount of insulin that it's releasing into the bloodstream. When this happens, Continue reading >>

This Is Exactly What Happens To Your Body When You Eat A Ton Of Sugar

This Is Exactly What Happens To Your Body When You Eat A Ton Of Sugar

As mouth-watering as a sugar-laden sundae or icing-topped cupcake is, we should all know by now that sugar isn't exactly healthy. In fact, it may be one of the worst things you can eat (that is, if you're trying to live a long, healthy life). One study from UC San Francisco actually found that drinking sugary drinks like soda can age your body on a cellular level as quickly as cigarettes. The way the sweet stuff impacts your body is way more complex than just causing weight gain. In fact, when you eat a ton of sugar, almost every part of your body feels the strain—and that's bad news for your health in both the short term and especially the long term. From an initial insulin spike to upping your chances of kidney failure down the road, this is what really happens in your body when you load up on sugar. Your brain responds to sugar the same way it would to cocaine. Eating sugar creates a surge of feel-good brain chemicals dopamine and serotonin. So does using certain drugs, like cocaine. And just like a drug, your body craves more after the initial high. "You then become addicted to that feeling, so every time you eat it you want to eat more," explains Gina Sam, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Your insulin spikes to regulate your blood sugar. "Once you eat glucose, your body releases insulin, a hormone from your pancreas," Dr. Sam explains. The insulin's job is to absorb the excess glucose in the blood and stabilize sugar levels. And a little while later you get that familiar sugar crash. Once the insulin does its job, your blood sugar drops again. Which means you've just experienced a sugar rush, and then a drastic drop, leaving you feeling drained. "That's the feeling you get when you've gone to the buffet a Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Or Blood Glucose: What Does It Do?

Blood Sugar Or Blood Glucose: What Does It Do?

Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is sugar that the bloodstream carries to all the cells in the body to supply energy. Blood sugar or blood glucose measurements represent the amount of sugar being transported in the blood during one instant. The sugar comes from the food we eat. The human body regulates blood glucose levels so that they are neither too high nor too low. The blood's internal environment must remain stable for the body to function. This balance is known as homeostasis. The sugar in the blood is not the same as sucrose, the sugar in the sugar bowl. There are different kinds of sugar. Sugar in the blood is known as glucose. Blood glucose levels change throughout the day. After eating, levels rise and then settle down after about an hour. They are at their lowest point before the first meal of the day, which is normally breakfast. How does sugar get into the body's cells? When we eat carbohydrates, such as sugar, or sucrose, our body digests it into glucose, a simple sugar that can easily convert to energy. The human digestive system breaks down carbohydrates from food into various sugar molecules. One of these sugars is glucose, the body's main source of energy. The glucose goes straight from the digestive system into the bloodstream after food is consumed and digested. But glucose can only enter cells if there is insulin in the bloodstream too. Without insulin, the cells would starve. After we eat, blood sugar concentrations rise. The pancreas releases insulin automatically so that the glucose enters cells. As more and more cells receive glucose, blood sugar levels return to normal again. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen, or stored glucose, in the liver and the muscles. Glycogen plays an important role in homeostasis, because it helps our body function du Continue reading >>

Absorbing And Storing Energy: How The Body Controls Glucose

Absorbing And Storing Energy: How The Body Controls Glucose

Absorbing and Storing Energy: How the Body Controls Glucose Editors note: Physicians have a special place among the thinkers who have elaborated the argument for intelligent design. Perhaps thats because, more than evolutionary biologists, they are familiar with the challenges of maintaining a functioning complex system, the human body. With that in mind, Evolution News is delighted to offer this series, The Designed Body. For the complete series, see here . Dr. Glicksman practices palliative medicine for a hospice organization. Just like a car needs the energy, in the form of gasoline, to run properly, the body needs the energy in glucose to survive. When we havent eaten for a while, our blood glucose level drops and our stomach is empty, causing the hunger center in our brain to tell us to eat or drink something with calories. As I have explained in my last couple of articles, the complex molecules that are in what we eat and drink enter the gastrointestinal system, where digestive enzymes break them down into simpler molecules so the body can absorb them. Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars, like glucose, which are then absorbed into the blood. Tissues, such as the brain and other organs, rapidly absorb some of this glucose, to be used for their immediate energy needs. However, the amount of glucose absorbed after a meal is usually much more than what the tissues can use right away, causing excess. The body is able to chemically link these excess glucose molecules together to form a carbohydrate called glycogen. Most of the glycogen in the body is made and stored in the liver, with smaller amounts in the muscles, kidneys, and other tissues. Once the liver and other tissues have filled up their glycogen stores, any excess glucose is stored as fat, appare Continue reading >>

What Is Glucose (sugar In The Blood) And What Purpose Does It Serve?

What Is Glucose (sugar In The Blood) And What Purpose Does It Serve?

Question: What is glucose (sugar in the blood) and what purpose does it serve? Answer: Glucose, or commonly called sugar, is an important energy source that is needed by all the cells and organs of our bodies. Some examples are our muscles and our brain. Glucose or sugar comes from the food we eat. Carbohydrates such as fruit, bread pasta and cereals are common sources of glucose. These foods are broken down into sugar in our stomachs, and then absorbed into the bloodstream. Normal glucose levels are typically less than 100 milligrams per deciliter, in the morning, when you first wake up, or before eating. We call this the fasting blood glucose or the sugar level. Normal glucose levels 1 to 2 hours after eating are typically less than 140. Next: What Causes High Blood Sugar And What Harm Can It Do To My Body? Continue reading >>

Why Diabetics Over Produce Sugar In The Liver

Why Diabetics Over Produce Sugar In The Liver

Why Diabetics Over Produce Sugar in the Liver Type 2 diabetics often suffer from an over-production of sugar within the liver, a response to falling blood glucose levels. This potentially dangerous mechanism was poorly understood until recently, when researchers uncovered the role that a certain master regulator plays in sugar production within the liver. While an inability to regulate blood glucose levels, due to resistance to insulin produced by pancreatic beta cells, is the primary mechanism that leads to and enhances type 2 diabetes, the liver plays a large role as well. Beta-cells, in a healthy body, produce insulin, which helps regulate blood glucose levels, but the liver itself directly responds to low blood glucose levels by producing more sugar. In type 2 diabetics, who suffer from insulin resistance (and therefore dysfunctional regulation of blood glucose with insulin), the liver often has a tendency to produce sugar when not really needed, which can cause potential harm. In other words, the liver continues to produce sugar past what it should, because insulin is not regulating the sugar already being produced, in type 2 diabetics. To illustrate the role that the liver plays in type 2 diabetics, researcher Dr. Jenny Gunton explains that over-production of sugar within the liver is why many diabetics wake up with higher blood glucose levels than they had when going to sleep: It upsets people when their blood sugar behaves as if theyre getting up in the night and having a really big snack. I have to tell them its just one of those unfair things about having diabetes. Researchers looked at ARNT, a so-called master regulator, which is known to play a large role in insulin production and blood glucose control. Past research by the same research team demonstrated t Continue reading >>

Everything You Need To Know About Glucose

Everything You Need To Know About Glucose

You may know glucose by another name: blood sugar. Glucose is key to keeping the mechanisms of the body in top working order. When our glucose levels are optimal, it often goes unnoticed. But when they stray from recommended boundaries, you’ll notice the unhealthy effect it has on normal functioning. So what is glucose, exactly? It’s the simplest of the carbohydrates, making it a monosaccharide. This means it has one sugar. It’s not alone. Other monosaccharides include fructose, galactose, and ribose. Along with fat, glucose is one of the body’s preferred sources of fuel in the form of carbohydrates. People get glucose from bread, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. You need food to create the energy that helps keep you alive. While glucose is important, like with so many things, it’s best in moderation. Glucose levels that are unhealthy or out of control can have permanent and serious effects. Our body processes glucose multiple times a day, ideally. When we eat, our body immediately starts working to process glucose. Enzymes start the breakdown process with help from the pancreas. The pancreas, which produces hormones including insulin, is an integral part of how our body deals with glucose. When we eat, our body tips the pancreas off that it needs to release insulin to deal with the rising blood sugar level. Some people, however, can’t rely on their pancreas to jump in and do the work it’s supposed to do. One way diabetes occurs is when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin in the way it should. In this case, people need outside help (insulin injections) to process and regulate glucose in the body. Another cause of diabetes is insulin resistance, where the liver doesn’t recognize insulin that’s in the body and continues to make inappropriate am Continue reading >>

What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?

What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?

When you have diabetes it is important to understand what might make your blood glucose level rise or fall so that you can take steps to stay on target. ••••• When you eat any type of carbohydrate (starches, fruits, milk, sugars etc.), your body breaks it down into simple sugars. These get absorbed into the blood stream and insulin helps remove them from the blood into the cells to be used for energy. Without diabetes, our body usually makes just the right amount of insulin to match the food eaten, when diabetes is present, tablets or insulin injections are required to help this process. Things that can make your blood glucose rise A meal or snack with a bigger portion of carbohydrates than usual Less activity than usual Side effects of some medications Infection, surgery or other illness Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods, or adolescence Stress Things that can make your blood glucose fall A meal or snack with a smaller portion of carbohydrates than usual Taking too much insulin or a dose increase of your diabetes tablets Extra physical activity Side effects of some medications Missing a meal or a snack Drinking alcohol Continue reading >>

How Is Glucose Produced?

How Is Glucose Produced?

Your body thrives on glucose, which is the sugar it uses to synthesize energy. Carbohydrates supply glucose and other sugars that are converted into glucose. But it's such a vital source of energy that the body has a back-up system called gluconeogenesis. This metabolic pathway produces new glucose from noncarbohydrate sources. Video of the Day Carbohydrates are made from molecules of sugar connected together. Simple sugars consist of one to three sugar molecules, while starches contain hundreds to thousands of molecules, reports Colorado State University. The small intestine only absorbs single sugar molecules, which is why digestive enzymes break carbs down into the three monosaccharides: glucose, galactose and fructose. The monosaccharides travel to the liver, where glucose is generated when the liver turns galactose and fructose into glucose. The liver may send glucose into the bloodstream, where it’s transported to cells that need it for energy. If blood levels of glucose are high enough to meet your energy needs, the liver stores glucose by turning it into glycogen or fat. New Glucose Synthesis When the body produces glucose from something other than carbohydrates, the process is called gluconeogenesis. Most gluconeogenesis occurs in the liver, but a small amount also takes place in the kidneys and small intestine. Like carbs, fats and proteins are digested into smaller units. Glycerol from fats and amino acids from proteins may be used to make glucose. All amino acids except leucine and lysine can enter the gluconeogenesis pathway, but glutamine is the only one used in the kidneys and small intestine, according to Medical Biochemistry Page. Lactate is another substance used to synthesize new glucose. The boost in energy metabolism during intense exercise result Continue reading >>

What Does Glucose Do For Your Body?

What Does Glucose Do For Your Body?

Eating food is how you provide fuel to your body to stay alive. Food is digested by a complex system of organs, hormones and enzymes and eventually becomes the usable energy for your cells called glucose. Your brain and muscles must have a supply of glucose to function. The body maintains a minimal level of glucose in the blood, about 70 mg/dl, and also regulates surges of glucose, when you eat a meal, to not exceed 140 mg/dl. When you are not eating, your liver has stored glucose, called liver glycogen, readily available to keep your blood levels at a minimum functioning level. Insulin is minimally at work when there is no food, but another hormone called glucagon is responsible for breaking down the glycogen stores. Your muscles also have stored glucose, muscle glycogen that is constantly being burned for energy - more so when you move. This is the baseline of fuel that must be maintained to keep alive. When you eat a meal, and the food is digested, your blood glucose rises. Typically, two hours after a meal is the highest concentration of glucose in the blood. This rise in blood glucose signals the pancreas to release insulin from the beta cells. Insulin makes the glucose available to the cells of the body. From the first bite of food, there is a burst of insulin secreted to control blood sugar rise. Then a steady stream of insulin is released to handle the continued digestion of the meal. Around the clock, a small amount of insulin keeps control over blood glucose. Insulins effect is to lower your blood glucose by transporting the glucose into the cells of the body to be burned for energy or stored as fat. Another hormone, called amylin, is released with the insulin and works in the intestinal tract to regulate glucose absorption. When this complex system of fuelin Continue reading >>

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