Blood Sugar Regulation
Most cells in the human body use the sugar called glucose as their major source of energy. Glucose molecules are broken down within cells in order to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules, energy-rich molecules that power numerous cellular processes. Glucose molecules are delivered to cells by the circulating blood and therefore, to ensure a constant supply of glucose to cells, it is essential that blood glucose levels be maintained at relatively constant levels. Level constancy is accomplished primarily through negative feedback systems, which ensure that blood glucose concentration is maintained within the normal range of 70 to 110 milligrams (0.0024 to 0.0038 ounces) of glucose per deciliter (approximately one-fifth of a pint) of blood. Negative feedback systems are processes that sense changes in the body and activate mechanisms that reverse the changes in order to restore conditions to their normal levels. Negative feedback systems are critically important in homeostasis, the maintenance of relatively constant internal conditions. Disruptions in homeostasis lead to potentially life-threatening situations. The maintenance of relatively constant blood glucose levels is essential for the health of cells and thus the health of the entire body. Major factors that can increase blood glucose levels include glucose absorption by the small intestine (after ingesting a meal) and the production of new glucose molecules by liver cells. Major factors that can decrease blood glucose levels include the transport of glucose into cells (for use as a source of energy or to be stored for future use) and the loss of glucose in urine (an abnormal event that occurs in diabetes mellitus). Insulin and Glucagon In a healthy person, blood glucose levels are restored to normal level Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin Resistance?
Understanding insulin resistance is key to avoiding it. While many people assume insulin only matters to those living with diabetes, it actually plays a crucial role in the health of everyone. Insulin resistance has become more of a mainstream term as of late, but it’s certainly worth going over what it is and how you can use that knowledge to your advantage. So just what is insulin anyway? The hormone insulin, produced in your pancreas, plays a central role in your body. Insulin is responsible for driving glucose (blood sugar), your body’s primary source of fuel, into your cells, where it is burned for energy. Without insulin, you would die. Insulin is also the hormone your body uses to store fat. After insulin carries enough glucose into your cells to meet their needs, it takes whatever glucose is left and carries it off to be stored as fat. For peak health and fitness, the insulin you produce needs to be used efficiently. To use your insulin efficiently, you want to produce just enough of it to meet your metabolic needs—and no more. Most of us can’t use our insulin efficiently, because we produce too much of it. The trouble with insulin resistance When you have too much insulin, your body doesn’t use it as well. In other words, you are insulin resistant. Here’s how it works: As you put on those extra pounds, or even just as you get older, your cells become resistant to the effect of insulin. Your pancreas has to produce more of it just to force enough glucose into your cells. Your blood sugar values are still in the normal range, so it appears that everything is fine, but you’re now making a lot more insulin to keep them there. When your insulin levels are higher than they need to be, the signals that tell you to stop eating, like leptin, are blurred. Y Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone; a chemical messenger produced in one part of the body to have an action on another. It is a protein responsible for regulating blood glucose levels as part of metabolism.1 The body manufactures insulin in the pancreas, and the hormone is secreted by its beta cells, primarily in response to glucose.1 The beta cells of the pancreas are perfectly designed "fuel sensors" stimulated by glucose.2 As glucose levels rise in the plasma of the blood, uptake and metabolism by the pancreas beta cells are enhanced, leading to insulin secretion.1 Insulin has two modes of action on the body - an excitatory one and an inhibitory one:3 Insulin stimulates glucose uptake and lipid synthesis It inhibits the breakdown of lipids, proteins and glycogen, and inhibits the glucose pathway (gluconeogenesis) and production of ketone bodies (ketogenesis). What is the pancreas? The pancreas is the organ responsible for controlling sugar levels. It is part of the digestive system and located in the abdomen, behind the stomach and next to the duodenum - the first part of the small intestine.4 The pancreas has two main functional components:4,5 Exocrine cells - cells that release digestive enzymes into the gut via the pancreatic duct The endocrine pancreas - islands of cells known as the islets of Langerhans within the "sea" of exocrine tissue; islets release hormones such as insulin and glucagon into the blood to control blood sugar levels. Islets are highly vascularized (supplied by blood vessels) and specialized to monitor nutrients in the blood.2 The alpha cells of the islets secrete glucagon while the beta cells - the most abundant of the islet cells - release insulin.5 The release of insulin in response to elevated glucose has two phases - a first around 5-10 minutes after g Continue reading >>
What Is Insulin?
Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas that allows your body to use sugar (glucose) from carbohydrates in the food that you eat for energy or to store glucose for future use. Insulin helps keeps your blood sugar level from getting too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia). The cells in your body need sugar for energy. However, sugar cannot go into most of your cells directly. After you eat food and your blood sugar level rises, cells in your pancreas (known as beta cells) are signaled to release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin then attaches to and signals cells to absorb sugar from the bloodstream. Insulin is often described as a “key,” which unlocks the cell to allow sugar to enter the cell and be used for energy. If you have more sugar in your body than it needs, insulin helps store the sugar in your liver and releases it when your blood sugar level is low or if you need more sugar, such as in between meals or during physical activity. Therefore, insulin helps balance out blood sugar levels and keeps them in a normal range. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas secretes more insulin. If your body does not produce enough insulin or your cells are resistant to the effects of insulin, you may develop hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), which can cause long-term complications if the blood sugar levels stay elevated for long periods of time. Insulin Treatment for Diabetes People with type 1 diabetes cannot make insulin because the beta cells in their pancreas are damaged or destroyed. Therefore, these people will need insulin injections to allow their body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia. People with type 2 diabetes do not respond well or are resistant to insulin. They may need insulin shots to help them better process Continue reading >>
Insulin is an anabolic hormone that promotes glucose uptake, glycogenesis, lipogenesis, and protein synthesis of skeletal muscle and fat tissue through the tyrosine kinase receptor pathway. In addition, insulin is the most important factor in the regulation of plasma glucose homeostasis, as it counteracts glucagon and other catabolic hormones—epinephrine, glucocorticoid, and growth hormone. Table 1. Reference Range of Insulin Levels  (Open Table in a new window) Insulin Level Insulin Level (SI Units*) Fasting < 25 mIU/L < 174 pmol/L 30 minutes after glucose administration 30-230 mIU/L 208-1597 pmol/L 1 hour after glucose administration 18-276 mIU/L 125-1917 pmol/L 2 hour after glucose administration 16-166 mIU/L 111-1153 pmol/L ≥3 hours after glucose administration < 25 mIU/L < 174 pmol/L *SI unit: conversional units x 6.945 Continue reading >>
How Dangerous Is Sugar To Our Health?
It’s now official, excess sugar may cause the same kind of damage as excess alcohol to your liver. UCSF - no slouch - highlights that liver transplants that are not alcohol related are now the 3rd leading cause of liver transplants in the US. Excess sugar is making people’s livers fail. What do you mean it’s bad? Fruit has sugar of course, but natural fruit often has fiber mixed in, which slows the processing of sugar down. Most refined products take the fructose aka sugar (from corn, beets, sugarcane) and take out the fiber. What’s worse is that fructose is unique in that it is a sugar processed by the liver. The liver is a factory that removes toxins from your body. Overload the factory and you can’t remove toxins, and it literally poisons you. I’m being dramatic, but it’s essentially true. Here’s what happens according to the study: But since 1980, there has been growing concern about two new conditions linked to fructose consumption from added sugar, as well as to obesity and other unhealthy dietary additives, such as trans-fats: - Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): This is characterized by excess fat build-up in the liver. - Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH): This is characterized by fatty liver, inflammationand "steatosis," which is essentially scarring as the liver tries to heal its injuries. That scarring gradually cuts off vital blood flow to the liver. Basically, sugar causes scarring to the liver which causes it to fail. No more cupcakes? It’s not gloom and doom. Much like meat (which causes heart failure in extreme quantities or over time), some or even overindulging won’t kill you. However, if you’re the kind that gets the frappucino every day with your cupcake, you might be pretty screwed. In short, eat as much sugar as you Continue reading >>
Which Smart Gel Reduces Diabetes?
A glucose-dependent shift in the equilibria of PBA (between uncharged and anionically charged; Fig. 1A), when integrated with optimally amphiphilic acrylamide gel backbone (Fig. 1B), could induce a reversible, glucose-dependent change in hydration of the gel (16). The resultant abrupt and rapid change in hydration, under optimized conditions, led to the formation of a gel surfaceemerging, microscopically dehydrated layer, so-called skin layer, providing a mode that is able to effectively switch the release (diffusion) of the gel-loaded insulin (Fig. 1C) (19). The chemical structure of the gel could be further optimized so that it undergoes the above-mentioned performance under physiologically relevant conditions, accompanied by a remarkably gated manner in response to the level of normoglycemia (17, 18, 20, 21). Figure 2A provides images of the gel formed in a macroscopic slab shape that is equilibrated under different glucose environments, that is, hyperglycemic (1000 mg/dl; left) and no glucose (right) conditions. As mentioned above, the chemical structure of this gel has been designed (Fig. 1B) so as to evoke a glucose-dependent change in hydration with a threshold value (of glucose concentration) exactly at normoglycemia (100 mg/dl) under physiological aqueous conditions (pH 7.4; 37C; 155 mM NaCl; fig. S1) (18). Apparently, different sizes of the gel between the two states indicate correspondingly different levels of the hydration. One can also appreciate that the gel retains its opaque (light-scattered) color on its surface when equilibrated without glucose (Fig. 2A, right) due to the occurrence of the skin layer, a surface-localized microscopic dehydration, which recovers into a more hydrated and transparent state when equilibrated under hyperglycemic condition (F Continue reading >>
Functions Of Insulin Hormone In Human Body
Every health conscious person is aware of importance of Insulin Hormone as it is connected to Diabetes Type 2. Most of us know it as a hormone to control blood sugar level. But main function of Insulin Hormone is much more than that. Betterhealthfacts.com has collected this precious information and presenting it here to make you understand Insulin hormone and keep yourself fit for life. Most of us think that shortage or absence of Insulin causes Diabetes, while it is not so. If you want to know the real reason behind Diabetes Type 2, which is 90% of all diabetes cases, then you must read our article about Insulin Resistance. How insulin is secreted in body ? Whatever we eat is digested by our digestive system and most of the energy from it is absorbed into our blood stream as Glucose. It increases the blood sugar level and make beta cells in pancreas to secrete insulin hormone to utilize that glucose. Functions of Insulin Hormone in Human Body Our body is a biological machine and all of its cells need energy to work properly and remain alive. That energy is provided through glucose present in blood. But this process is not as simple as we think it is. Insulin hormone plays a very important role in utilizing that energy/glucose. Here we are explaining a few functions of Insulin hormone. Insulin make cells absorb glucose from blood stream There are insulin receptors on surface of every cell. When insulin hormone sits on these receptors, it makes path for glucose to enter into cell. Thus all body cells get glucose from blood stream with help of insulin hormone. Remaining glucose is turned into fat by Insulin The leftover glucose after all cells have absorbed sufficient glucose is turned into fat and deposited in different fat stores of our body. These fat deposits are emer Continue reading >>
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Insulin Receptor Structure And Function In Normal And Pathological Conditions
The insulin receptor is a large cell surface glycoprotein that concentrates insulin at the site of action and also initiates responses to insulin. The receptor is a disulfide-linked oligomer comprised of two α and two β subunits. Signal transduction through the insulin receptor appears to require the activation of an intrinsic tyrosine-specific protein kinase activity. A variety of disorders, both acquired and genetic, are associated with the development of insulin resistance and are frequently the result of cellular defects in insulin receptor structure, function, and action. The recent cloning of several mutant receptors from patients with genetic forms of extreme insulin resistance has increased our understanding of insulin resistance on the molecular level. Keywords Continue reading >>
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Which Tissues Are Insulin Dependent For Glucose Uptake? Is The Brain One Of Them?
In brief, Skeletal muscle accounts for approximately 70% of insulin mediated glucose uptake. Adipose tissue accounts for about 10% of insulin dependent glucose uptake. While intracellular glucose uptake in the liver is not insulin dependent, insulin does modulate key metabolic processes in the liver through signalling cascades. The vascular endothelium does not depend on insulin mediated glucose uptake, but insulin signalling does mediate endothelial function through nitric oxide production. The brain also does not depend on insulin for intracellular glucose uptake. However, the insulin receptor is expressed in the brain in the hippocampus, hypothalamus, vessels of the choroid plexus, the striatum, and cerebral cortex. Similar to other tissues that are responsive to insulin, but don’t depend on it for glucose uptake, insulin signalling modulates key metabolic processes and serves to indicate the state of systemic glucose homeostasis. A few other insulin receptor expressing tissues that don’t depend on insulin for glucose uptake include: the pancreas, the anterior pituitary gland, the kidneys, the gonads, and osteoblasts and osteoclasts in bone. It is also worth noting that many tissues that take up glucose in response to insulin have alternate glucose uptake pathways that are insulin independent. An example of this is exercise induced glucose uptake in skeletal muscle. A specific mechanism is not known, but is of great interest to researchers studying type II diabetes and insulin resistance. This very nice review article has just about everything you might want to know about insulin . It’s not the newest review, but it is very inclusive. There’s a section titled ‘Sites of Insulin Action and Manifestations of Insulin Resistance’ that I would encourage the Continue reading >>
Structural Biochemistry/protein Function/insulin
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas that regulates glucose levels in the blood. Without insulin, cells cannot use the energy from glucose to carry out functions within the body. Insulin was first discovered in 1921 by Frederick Grant Banting and Charles Best from extracted substances from the pancreas of dogs in their laboratory. The material was then used to keep diabetic dogs alive, and then used in 1922 on a 14 year old diabetic boy. The FDA approved insulin in 1939. In 1966 insulin was synthesized by Michael Katsoyannis in his laboratory, which marked the first complete hormone to be successfully synthesized. Synthetic insulin is used as a drug to treat diabetes, and the current forms on the market include insulin from bovine and porcine pancreases, but the most widely used is a form made from recombinant human insulin. Insulin is made in the pancreas by beta cells. After the body takes in food, these beta cells release insulin, which enables cells in the liver, muscles and fat tissues to take up glucose and either store it as glycogen or allow blood to transfer it to organs in the body for use as an energy source. This process stops the use of fat as a source of energy. When glucose levels are elevated in the blood, insulin is produced at higher rates by the pancreas in order to maintain normal sugar concentrations in the blood. Without insulin, the body cannot process glucose effectively and glucose begins to build up in the blood stream instead of being transported to different cells . In contrast with elevated levels of glucose in the blood, when there is a deficit of glucose available to the body, alpha cells in the pancreas release glucagon, a hormone that causes the liver to convert stored glycogen into usable glucose which is then released into the Continue reading >>
Who Is Managing Type 1 Diabetes Holistically Without Medication?
When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 22, I asked that exact same question. The year was 2002, and no matter where I turned, all signs pointed towards eating a low-carbohydrate diet as the only solution to managing blood glucose and insulin use in type 1 diabetes. So began my journey into understanding the optimal diet for people living with type 1 diabetes, type 1.5 diabetes, pre diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes. At the age of 22, I was the first to admit that I didn’t know anything about diabetes, only that it had something to do with old people and chocolate cake. For the first time in my life, I was faced with a series of challenging questions for which I had no answers: How do I inject insulin? How much insulin do I need? How often should I inject insulin? What is an appropriate amount of insulin? What are the dangers of too much insulin? What are the dangers of too little insulin? What should I eat to control my blood glucose? What should I NOT eat? When should I eat? Can I still exercise? How much should I exercise? What happens if I don't eat? What's going to happen to me in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Am I destined for a heart attack? Am I going to gain weight on a low-carbohydrate diet? Plagued with chronically high blood glucose, excessive thirst, low energy, bad breath and constant anxiety, I listened to everything that my doctors and nutritionist told me at the time. Without reservation, they recommended that I eat a low-carbohydrate diet, because that was “the only way to manage blood glucose.” So I did. I minimized my carbohydrate intake, and did my best to avoid fruits, breads, cereals, pastas and rice. Instead, I increased my intake of foods containing fat and protein, including peanut butter, cheese, milk, fis Continue reading >>
Prediabetes & Insulin Resistance
What is insulin? Insulin is a hormone made in the pancreas, an organ located behind the stomach. The pancreas contains clusters of cells called islets. Beta cells within the islets make insulin and release it into the blood. Insulin plays a major role in metabolism—the way the body uses digested food for energy. The digestive tract breaks down carbohydrates—sugars and starches found in many foods—into glucose. Glucose is a form of sugar that enters the bloodstream. With the help of insulin, cells throughout the body absorb glucose and use it for energy. Insulin's Role in Blood Glucose Control When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to cells throughout the body. Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels. Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen. Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver. In a healthy person, these functions allow blood glucose and insulin levels to remain in the normal range. What happens with insulin resistance? In insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells. The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range. Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the bet Continue reading >>
Role Of Insulin And Other Hormones In Diabetes
SHARE RATE★★★★★ Insulin and glucose Our bodies require energy to function properly and we get that energy from three food groups: protein, fat, and carbohydrates (sugars, starches, and fibers). When the body digests carbohydrates, they are transformed through digestion into a very important source of instant energy, a form of sugar called glucose.1,2 Three forms of simple sugars (also called monosaccharides) are able to enter the bloodstream directly after digestion. These are often broken down from more complex sugars (polysaccharides and disaccharides). These simple sugars include glucose (found in most carbohydrates, including grains and starches), fructose (found in fruits and vegetables), and galactose (found in dairy products and in certain vegetables). The word glucose comes from the Greek word for sweet, and it is the key source of energy for cells in the body. Upon digestion, glucose can be used for instant energy or stored in the form of glycogen when the body’s energy needs are being met.1,2 Hormones and glucose control Our bodies depend on the action of a number of different hormones, working together in conjunction, to control how we use glucose. We depend on insulin, a hormone produced in the beta cells of the pancreas (an organ located behind the stomach) to use glucose. Insulin serves as sort of a “gate keeper,” allowing glucose to enter cells where it can be transformed into energy and used to support vital cell functions. Insulin also has other important functions related to the way our body uses glucose.3,4 In addition to insulin, another hormone produced by beta cells called amylin controls how quickly glucose is released into the blood stream after a meal. It does this by slowing emptying of the stomach and increasing the feeling tha Continue reading >>
Insulin In The Brain: Its Pathophysiological Implications For States Related With Central Insulin Resistance, Type 2 Diabetes And Alzheimer’s Disease
1Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular III, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain 2The Center for Biomedical Research in Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Disorders (CIBERDEM), Madrid, Spain 3Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Hospital Clínico San Carlos (IdiSSC), Madrid, Spain Although the brain has been considered an insulin-insensitive organ, recent reports on the location of insulin and its receptors in the brain have introduced new ways of considering this hormone responsible for several functions. The origin of insulin in the brain has been explained from peripheral or central sources, or both. Regardless of whether insulin is of peripheral origin or produced in the brain, this hormone may act through its own receptors present in the brain. The molecular events through which insulin functions in the brain are the same as those operating in the periphery. However, certain insulin actions are different in the central nervous system, such as hormone-induced glucose uptake due to a low insulin-sensitive GLUT-4 activity, and because of the predominant presence of GLUT-1 and GLUT-3. In addition, insulin in the brain contributes to the control of nutrient homeostasis, reproduction, cognition, and memory, as well as to neurotrophic, neuromodulatory, and neuroprotective effects. Alterations of these functional activities may contribute to the manifestation of several clinical entities, such as central insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A close association between T2DM and AD has been reported, to the extent that AD is twice more frequent in diabetic patients, and some authors have proposed the name “type 3 diabetes” for this association. There are links between AD and T2DM thro Continue reading >>