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Where Does The Glucose That Is Released Into The Blood Ultimately End Up

Glycemic Load And Glycemic Index: What’s The Difference And Why Does It Matter?

Glycemic Load And Glycemic Index: What’s The Difference And Why Does It Matter?

A few months ago I wrote about using the glycemic index (GI) ranking to manage weight and diabetes. Another measurement many use for weight and blood sugar management is Glycemic Load (GL). I was confused about the difference between these two systems so I spoke with registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, Weiner, who straightened me out. This information may help you too. (Editor’s note: People with diabetes should speak to a qualified physician before starting a new diet.) Q: What is glycemic load in very simple terms? Susan Weiner: Glycemic load is a ranking system for carbohydrate-rich food that measures the amount of carbohydrates in a serving of food. Foods with a glycemic load (GL) under 10 are considered low-GL foods and have little impact on your blood sugar; between 10 and 20 moderate-GL foods with moderate impact on blood sugar, and above 20 high-GL foods that tend to cause blood sugar spikes. Q: How is glycemic load related to glycemic index? SW: The glycemic index indicates how rapidly a carbohydrate is digested and released as glucose (sugar) into the blood stream. In other words, how quickly foods break down into sugar in your bloodstream. A food with a high GI raises blood sugar more than a food with a medium to low GI. But the glycemic index does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food. So glycemic load is a better indicator of how a carbohydrate food will affect blood sugar. Q: If a food has a high glycemic index and a low glycemic load — like graham crackers have a GI of 74 and a GL of 8.1 — how will that affect your blood sugar? SW: Food ranked high on the GI may represent a huge portion of a food because GI is not based on standard serving sizes. Basically, if a food is ranked high on the glycemic index it has 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. How the Body Makes Insulin 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. See Illustration: How Insulin Works Insulin Opens Cell Doors 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 Continue reading >>

Fatty Acid Metabolism

Fatty Acid Metabolism

Fatty acid metabolism consists of catabolic processes that generate energy, and anabolic processes that create biologically important molecules (triglycerides, phospholipids, second messengers, local hormones and ketone bodies).[1] Fatty acids are a family of molecules classified within the lipid macronutrient class. One role of fatty acids in animal metabolism is energy production, captured in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). When compared to other macronutrient classes (carbohydrates and protein), fatty acids yield the most ATP on an energy per gram basis, when they are completely oxidized to CO2 and water by beta oxidation and the citric acid cycle.[2] Fatty acids (mainly in the form of triglycerides) are therefore the foremost storage form of fuel in most animals, and to a lesser extent in plants. In addition, fatty acids are important components of the phospholipids that form the phospholipid bilayers out of which all the membranes of the cell are constructed (the cell wall, and the membranes that enclose all the organelles within the cells, such as the nucleus, the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and the Golgi apparatus). Fatty acids can also be cleaved, or partially cleaved, from their chemical attachments in the cell membrane to form second messengers within the cell, and local hormones in the immediate vicinity of the cell. The prostaglandins made from arachidonic acid stored in the cell membrane, are probably the most well known group of these local hormones. Fatty acid catabolism[edit] A diagrammatic illustration of the process of lipolysis (in a fat cell) induced by high epinephrine and low insulin levels in the blood. Epinephrine binds to a beta-adrenergic receptor in the cell membrane of the adipocyte, which causes cAMP to be generated inside Continue reading >>

Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose

Normal Regulation Of Blood Glucose

The human body wants blood glucose (blood sugar) maintained in a very narrow range. Insulin and glucagon are the hormones which make this happen. Both insulin and glucagon are secreted from the pancreas, and thus are referred to as pancreatic endocrine hormones. The picture on the left shows the intimate relationship both insulin and glucagon have to each other. Note that the pancreas serves as the central player in this scheme. It is the production of insulin and glucagon by the pancreas which ultimately determines if a patient has diabetes, hypoglycemia, or some other sugar problem. In this Article Insulin Basics: How Insulin Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by islet cells within the pancreas. They are both secreted in response to blood sugar levels, but in opposite fashion! Insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells (a type of islet cell) of the pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is a HIGH blood glucose...it's as simple as that! Although there is always a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, the amount secreted into the blood increases as the blood glucose rises. Similarly, as blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreatic islets goes down. As can be seen in the picture, insulin has an effect on a number of cells, including muscle, red blood cells, and fat cells. In response to insulin, these cells absorb glucose out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering the high blood glucose levels into the normal range. Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreatic islets in much the same manner as insulin...except in the opposite direction. If blood glucose is high, then no glucagon is secreted. When blood glucose goes LOW, however, (such as between meals, and during Continue reading >>

Stop Starch-induced Glucose Surges

Stop Starch-induced Glucose Surges

About 35 years ago, the federal government revised their dietary guidelines to advise Americans to increase the amount of carbohydrates they consume to around 60% of their daily food intake. The objective was to achieve a healthier lifestyle.1 The latest guidelines from the Institute of Medicine recommend a daily carbohydrate intake of up to 65% of daily food intake.2 The catastrophic result has been an epidemic of life-threatening obesity, type II diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other diseases.2 The reason is simple. Starch is one of the largest dietary sources of blood sugar and dangerous after-meal blood glucose spikes.3,4 Even if you eat so-called “healthy grains” such as whole wheat and brown rice, these all convert into sugar during digestion.5 Fortunately, researchers have uncovered a dual-action enzyme known as transglucosidase (pronounced trans-gluco-side-ace) that blocks the conversion of starch into sugar and tranforms it into beneficial fiber.6 While you can’t eliminate all starch from your diet, you can neutralize its negative impact on your body. Transglucosidase represents a novel mechanism for protecting against the harmful effects of dietary starch. Impressive laboratory studies have shown that when transglucosidase comes in contact with starchy foods and natural enzymes in the digestive tract, there’s a 31% reduction in rapidly digested starch (the kind that causes blood sugar to spike right after a meal) and an 11% increase in slowly digested starch (which gets converted to sugar more slowly, if at all).7 Together, that means approximately 40% of the starch you ingest is less likely to be rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. Human clinical studies have confirmed the ability of transglucosidase to reduce blood glucose and insulin levels. F Continue reading >>

Converting Carbohydrates To Triglycerides

Converting Carbohydrates To Triglycerides

Consumers are inundated with diet solutions on a daily basis. High protein, low fat, non-impact carbohydrates, and other marketing “adjectives” are abundant within food manufacturing advertising. Of all the food descriptors, the most common ones individuals look for are “fat free” or “low fat”. Food and snack companies have found the low fat food market to be financially lucrative. The tie between fat intake, weight gain, and health risks has been well documented. The dietary guidelines suggest to keep fat intake to no more than 30% of the total diet and to consume foods low in saturated and trans fatty acids. But, this does not mean that we can consume as much fat free food as we want: “Fat free does not mean calorie free.” In many cases the foods that are low in fat have a large amount of carbohydrates. Carbohydrate intake, like any nutrient, can lead to adverse affects when over consumed. Carbohydrates are a necessary macronutrient, vital for maintenance of the nervous system and energy for physical activity. However, if consumed in amounts greater than 55% to 65% of total caloric intake as recommended by the American Heart Association can cause an increase in health risks. According to the World Health Organization the Upper Limit for carbohydrates for average people is 60% of the total dietary intake. Carbohydrates are formed in plants where carbons are bonded with oxygen and hydrogen to form chains of varying complexity. The complexity of the chains ultimately determines the carbohydrate classification and how they will digest and be absorbed in the body. Mono-and disaccharides are classified as simple carbohydrates, whereas polysaccharides (starch and fiber) are classified as complex. All carbohydrates are broken down into monosaccharides before b Continue reading >>

How Insulin And Glucagon Work

How Insulin And Glucagon Work

Insulin and glucagon are hormones that help regulate the levels of blood glucose, or sugar, in your body. Glucose, which comes from the food you eat, moves through your bloodstream to help fuel your body. Insulin and glucagon work together to balance your blood sugar levels, keeping them in the narrow range that your body requires. These hormones are like the yin and yang of blood glucose maintenance. Read on to learn more about how they function and what can happen when they don’t work well. Insulin and glucagon work in what’s called a negative feedback loop. During this process, one event triggers another, which triggers another, and so on, to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. How insulin works During digestion, foods that contain carbohydrates are converted into glucose. Most of this glucose is sent into your bloodstream, causing a rise in blood glucose levels. This increase in blood glucose signals your pancreas to produce insulin. The insulin tells cells throughout your body to take in glucose from your bloodstream. As the glucose moves into your cells, your blood glucose levels go down. Some cells use the glucose as energy. Other cells, such as in your liver and muscles, store any excess glucose as a substance called glycogen. Your body uses glycogen for fuel between meals. Read more: Simple vs. complex carbs » How glucagon works Glucagon works to counterbalance the actions of insulin. About four to six hours after you eat, the glucose levels in your blood decrease, triggering your pancreas to produce glucagon. This hormone signals your liver and muscle cells to change the stored glycogen back into glucose. These cells then release the glucose into your bloodstream so your other cells can use it for energy. This whole feedback loop with insulin and gluca Continue reading >>

Chapter 9

Chapter 9

Sort ATPase cuts off the phosphate from ATP releasing the energy in that bond and ATP synthase adds the phosphate to ADP storing the energy in that bond. ATP release the energy stored in the phosphate bonds as the body needs it. It is stored when food is broken down during aerobic respiration. How do you get energy from ATP and how is it stored? Products from photosynthesis enter CR and the products from CR enter photosynthesis. Sunlight initiates the reaction in photosynthesis to make sugars. These sugars are broken down in the cytoplasm and mitochondria to produce ATP...one big energy conversion! What is the relationship between ATP, photosynthesis, and cellular respiration? Carbon enters the Calvin Cycle as carbon dioxide...ends up being part of sugars/food. These same carbon are release as carbon dioxide during the Kreb's Cycle. Water is split at the beginning of photosynthesis. The oxygen is released as gas and the hydrogen is used in the ETC and becomes part of the sugar. When the sugar is broken down the H are collected and used in the ETC to make ATP and ultimately end back up bonded to oxygen...as water Explain how the carbon and water cycles relate to production of ATP. CO2 - are broken off from the glucose as it is ripped apart. It is released into the atmosphere. H2O - made from the oxygen we breath and the H+ that go through the ATP Synthase. There is so much water in your body that it just becomes 'part of that'. ATP is the main point of the process. It is made in the ETC and is used to power cell processes. List the products of cellular respiration and where they go/what they are used for? It is a multistep process that breaks glucose into two 3-carbon molecules (which also have hydrogens and oxygens). These 3-C molecules are pyruvates. The process of gly Continue reading >>

An Overview

An Overview

Nearly 400 million people worldwide are living with diabetes, and that number is expected to jump to almost 600 million by 2035, according to the International Diabetes Federation. For many people, diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise and, often, insulin or other drugs. However, complications from diabetes can be serious and include kidney failure, nerve damage, vision loss, heart disease and a host of other health issues. In this section: What is diabetes? How is diabetes treated? How are we using stem cells to understand diabetes? What is the potential for stem cells to treat diabetes? At its most basic, diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot regulate or properly use sugar (called glucose) in the blood. The pancreas, which helps the small intestine digest food, has hundreds of thousands of cell clusters called islets of Langerhans where beta cells live. Beta cells produce insulin, which is released into the bloodstream when blood sugar levels reach a certain threshold. The insulin signals other cells in the body to take up sugar, the primary energy source for all the body’s cells. Type 1, also known as juvenile diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks the beta cells in the pancreas. When the beta cells are damaged, they don’t produce insulin, or at least not enough insulin. Other cells never get the signal to take up sugar, so they don’t get the energy they need to function properly, and high sugar levels in the blood end up causing damage to the kidneys, eyes, nervous system and other organs. Type 2 diabetes, also called adult-onset diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, cells in the body become resistant to insulin. They don’t respond to the signals insulin sends out, so they don’t take up sugar from the blood. The beta c Continue reading >>

Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy

Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy

Metabolic pathways in the body determine how we utilize the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) we eat, and ultimately what happens to the fuels that come from each macronutrient. It all depends on when the last meal was finished. If the body is in a "fasting or starvation" mode, energy pathways will behave differently than when food is available. Food is available! The macronutrients (carbohydrate, fats and protein) on your plate are broken down in separate metabolic pathways: Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by various enzymes. Some are burned for immediate energy, but overall the level of glucose in the blood stream rises, which triggers an insulin release by the pancreas. The insulin acts to push glucose into the cells to be made into ATP, stored as glycogen or when in excess amounts, stored as fat droplets called triglycerides in the fat cells (adipose tissue). Fats are digested in the small intestine, and then packaged into lipoproteins for various functions (ever heard of LDL and HDL? ) Excess fat calories often end up as fat droplets in fat cells. When fats are used as an energy source, they are broken down in cellular mitochondria through a process called beta-oxidation. Proteins are broken down into individual amino acids and used in body cells to form new proteins or to join the amino acid pool, a sort of "cache" for these molecules. Amino acids that are in excess of the body's needs are converted by liver enzymes into keto acids and urea. Keto acids may be used as sources of energy, converted into glucose, or stored as fat. Urea is excreted from everyone’s body in sweat and urine. Body is "Fasting" Carbohydrate, fats and protein are metabolized in separate processes into a common product called acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is a major meta Continue reading >>

Fructose – The Good, The Bad – And The Malabsorbed...

Fructose – The Good, The Bad – And The Malabsorbed...

Fructose – the good, the bad – and the malabsorbed... Michelle Berriedale-Johnson explains. The Good... When the Glycaemic Index first hit public awareness in the 1990s, fructose was hailed as the great white hope of diabetics. The index measured the speed at which foods, mainly carbohydrates, were converted into glucose in the body and fructose came very low on the index as it ‘converted’ very slowly into glucose. Glucose provides energy that the human body and brain need to function. It is absorbed from the gut into the blood stream and thence into the liver where it is converted and stored as a substance called glycogen. Glycogen is released back into the blood stream to be converted into energy by whichever part of the body is in need of energy as, when and in the quantities that it is needed. This process is monitored and regulated by the hormone insulin. If the release is not properly controlled either too much glucose (sugar) ends up in the blood which becomes sticky. Gradually it will clog up the tiny veins in the eyes, kidneys and extremities and, in due course, larger veins leading to the main organs such as the heart. If too little glucose/glycogen gets into the blood the body does not have enough energy to function at all. Insulin ensures that the glucose from the food that we have eaten, is converted, stored and released in the right amounts, as needed, to fulfil our bodies’ and brains’ energy requirements. The problem for diabetics is that they either do not produce any insulin, or do not produce the right amount at the right time to ensure the correct release of energy-providing glucose (or glycogen) into the blood stream. So, if they eat a lot of sweet and/or high carbohydrate foods that convert very quickly into glucose, the glucose will flo Continue reading >>

Control Of Blood Glucose Concentration

Control Of Blood Glucose Concentration

Click here or the image below to download free resources from alevelbiology.co.uk! The liver and the pancreas have a central role in the regulation of blood glucose concentration. The cells in the pancreas secrete the hormones which tell cells to take up glucose from the blood or not take it up. On demand, glucose is made from broken down glycogen in the liver. The pancreas has alpha and beta cells. Alpha cells secrete glucagon which increases blood glucose concentration, while beta cells secrete insulin which decreases blood glucose concentration. People with type 1 diabetes have destroyed beta cells, so their lack of insulin makes them have to take it via injections. Blood Glucose is too High The pancreas detects this, so it secretes insulin. This stimulates the uptake of glucose from the blood by cells, and the storage of it in the liver once it's converted to glycogen. This reaction is called glycogenesis. The stages are: 1. Insulin attaches to receptors on target cells2. This triggers a change in how many channel proteins are included in the cell membrane3. Separately, it also stimulates the activation of enzymes involved in converting glucose into glycogen Blood Glucose is too Low The pancreas detects this too, so it secretes its masterfully antidote: glucagon. This inhibits cells from taking up any more glucose from the blood, while initiating the breakdown of glycogen in the liver to produce more glucose. The glycogen is hydrolised (broken down in the presence of water) so the term for this reaction is glycogenolysis. 1. Glucagon attaches to receptors on target cells2. This activates enzymes responsible for the conversion of glycogen into glucose3. This activates enzymes responsible for the conversion of glycerol and amino acids into glucose Another hormone invo Continue reading >>

Understanding The Kidneys' Role In Blood Glucose Regulation.

Understanding The Kidneys' Role In Blood Glucose Regulation.

Abstract While not traditionally discussed, the kidneys' contributions to maintaining glucose homeostasis are significant and include such functions as release of glucose into the circulation via gluconeogenesis, uptake of glucose from the circulation to satisfy their energy needs, and reabsorption of glucose at the level of the proximal tubule. Renal release of glucose into the circulation is the result of glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, respectively involving the breaking down and formation of glucose-6-phosphate from precursors (eg, lactate, glycerol, amino acids). With regard to renal reabsorption of glucose, the kidneys normally retrieve as much glucose as possible, rendering the urine virtually glucose free. The glomeruli filter from plasma approximately 180 grams of D-glucose per day, all of which is reabsorbed through glucose transporter proteins that are present in cell membranes within the proximal tubules. If the capacity of these transporters is exceeded, glucose appears in the urine. The process of renal glucose reabsorption is mediated by active (sodium-coupled glucose cotransporters) and passive (glucose transporters) transporters. In hyperglycemia, the kidneys may play an exacerbating role by reabsorbing excess glucose, ultimately contributing to chronic hyperglycemia, which in turn contributes to chronic glycemic burden and the risk of microvascular consequences. This article provides an extensive review of the kidneys' role in normal human physiology, the mechanisms by which they contribute to glucose regulation, and the potential impact of glucose imbalance on the kidneys. Continue reading >>

Men's Health

Men's Health

Diabetes - What is it and How Can You Control it? Diabetes. It's an insidious disease. When many people think about the term diabetes, they think about sugar, and nothing else. While, essentially, diabetes refers to a deficiency in the way your body handles sugar, we need to think about food, in general, when discussing diabetes. For many people with the disorder or disease, their blood sugar remains well within a tolerable range, well below 200 mg/dl; but there are those who, for one reason or another, have difficultycontrolling their blood sugar, and that leads to problems. So, let's look at the real problems with diabetes and help define just what it is. Diabetes refers to the body's inability to handle sugar, mainly glucose, which is the simplest for of sugar available for the body to use. If you recall or had any biology in school, then you might remember Kreb's Cycle. Glucose, a simple six-carbon sugar, enters the cell and goes through a series of changes (Kreb's cycle) which ultimately releases energy, in the form of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). This is the "gas" for the cell to stay alive and function. Well, along comes diabetes, which, in its simplest terms, refers to a problem getting sugar (glucose) out of the blood and into the cell (through the cell membrane). In order to enter the cell, glucose (the sugar) must "attach" itself to a "receptor" on the cell wall, which allows it to be transported through the cell membrane. The "vehicle" used for the transport is called insulin. Insulin is a protein (hormone) which is manufactured and released by the pancreas, an endocrine organ which sits above and to the right of the gallbladder (under the liver). If your pancreas does not secrete any insulin (or not enough), then you have diabetes, and you blood sugar wil Continue reading >>

Role Of Glucose In Cellular Respiration

Role Of Glucose In Cellular Respiration

This lesson is on the role of glucose in cellular respiration. In this lesson, we'll explain what cellular respiration is and what we need to start with to get the end products. We'll specifically look at the importance of glucose in this process. What Is Cellular Respiration? Sugar is everywhere in our world, from packaged foods in our diet, like tomato sauce, to homemade baked goods, like pies. In fact, sugar is even the main molecule in fruits and vegetables. The simplest form of sugar is called glucose. Glucose is getting a bad rap lately and many people are cutting sugar out from their diet entirely. However, glucose is the main molecule our bodies use for energy and we cannot survive without it. The process of using glucose to make energy is called cellular respiration. The reactants, or what we start with, in cellular respiration are glucose and oxygen. We get oxygen from breathing in air. Our bodies do cellular respiration to make energy, which is stored as ATP, and carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a waste product, meaning our bodies don't want it, so we get rid of it through exhaling. To start the process of cellular respiration, we need to get glucose into our cells. The first step is to eat a carbohydrate-rich food, made of glucose. Let's say we eat a cookie. That cookie travels through our digestive system, where it is broken down and absorbed into the blood. The glucose then travels to our cells, where it is let inside. Once inside, the cells use various enzymes, or small proteins that speed up chemical reactions, to change glucose into different molecules. The goal of this process is to release the energy stored in the bonds of atoms that make up glucose. Let's examine each of the steps in cellular respiration next. Steps of Cellular Respiration There are Continue reading >>

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