Energy Metabolism In The Liver
Go to: Introduction The liver is a key metabolic organ which governs body energy metabolism. It acts as a hub to metabolically connect to various tissues, including skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Food is digested in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids are absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the liver through the portal vein circulation system. In the postprandial state, glucose is condensed into glycogen and/or converted into fatty acids or amino acids in the liver. In hepatocytes, free fatty acids are esterified with glycerol-3-phosphate to generate triacylglycerol (TAG). TAG is stored in lipid droplets in hepatocytes or secreted into the circulation as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles. Amino acids are metabolized to provide energy or used to synthesize proteins, glucose, and/or other bioactive molecules. In the fasted state or during exercise, fuel substrates (e.g. glucose and TAG) are released from the liver into the circulation and metabolized by muscle, adipose tissue, and other extrahepatic tissues. Adipose tissue produces and releases nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs) and glycerol via lipolysis. Muscle breaks down glycogen and proteins and releases lactate and alanine. Alanine, lactate, and glycerol are delivered to the liver and used as precursors to synthesize glucose (gluconeogenesis). NEFAs are oxidized in hepatic mitochondria through fatty acid β oxidation and generate ketone bodies (ketogenesis). Liver-generated glucose and ketone bodies provide essential metabolic fuels for extrahepatic tissues during starvation and exercise. Liver energy metabolism is tightly controlled. Multiple nutrient, hormonal, and neuronal signals have been identified to regulate glucose, lipid, and amino acid me Continue reading >>
Science And Nutrition :: You Are What You Ate
Over two thousand years ago, Hippocrates theorized that the body was composed of four fluids or humours including blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile) and black bile (melancholy). Avicenna later suggested in the ninth century that these humours were derived from the process of digestion and so classified them as well as humans and all foods as hot/moist, hot/dry, cold/moist and cold/dry. Similarly, in ancient China body fluids identified resembled those put forward by Hippocrates. Additionally, the Chinese classified human characteristics, as well as foods, into yin and yang. Indian traditional medicine (ayurveda) categorizes people into three doshas or humours with their corresponding characteristics: vata (active and enthusiastic although a worrier), pitta (sharp intellectual, with a tendency to become irritable under stress) and kapha (balanced and conservative). All of these systems make a reference to the importance of balancing the internal environment of the body and, while their outlook varied, they coincide in the fact that illness was regarded as an imbalance of these components. The human body is amazing in how it protects itself and preserves life. It is indeed true that a certain level of balance or equilibrium is required to sustain life. It is critical for conditions such as temperature, hydration and energy supply to be maintained at all times. This last concept, energy supply, is a direct result of our eating habits. Out of all of these amazing chemical reactions, lets look at one group more closely: glucose metabolism. Under normal circumstances, the human body uses carbohydrates as its number one source of energy. When carbohydrates are not available in sufficient quantities to supply the body with the required energy (in the form of glucose), alterna Continue reading >>
How Fat Cells Work
When you are not eating, your body is not absorbing food. If your body is not absorbing food, there is little insulin in the blood. However, your body is always using energy; and if you're not absorbing food, this energy must come from internal stores of complex carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Under these conditions, various organs in your body secrete hormones: pancreas - glucagon pituitary gland - growth hormone pituitary gland - ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) adrenal gland - epinephrine (adrenaline) thyroid gland - thyroid hormone These hormones act on cells of the liver, muscle and fat tissue, and have the opposite effects of insulin. When you are not eating, or you are exercising, your body must draw on its internal energy stores. Your body's prime source of energy is glucose. In fact, some cells in your body, such as brain cells, can get energy only from glucose. The first line of defense in maintaining energy is to break down carbohydrates, or glycogen, into simple glucose molecules -- this process is called glycogenolysis. Next, your body breaks down fats into glycerol and fatty acids in the process of lipolysis. The fatty acids can then be broken down directly to get energy, or can be used to make glucose through a multi-step process called gluconeogenesis. In gluconeogenesis, amino acids can also be used to make glucose. In the fat cell, other types of lipases work to break down fats into fatty acids and glycerol. These lipases are activated by various hormones, such as glucagon, epinephrine and growth hormone. The resulting glycerol and fatty acids are released into the blood, and travel to the liver through the bloodstream. Once in the liver, the glycerol and fatty acids can be either further broken down or used to make glucose. Losing Weight and Losin Continue reading >>
Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, And Blood Sugar
The body uses three main nutrients to function-carbohydrate, protein, and fat. These nutrients are digested into simpler compounds. Carbohydrates are used for energy (glucose). Fats are used for energy after they are broken into fatty acids. Protein can also be used for energy, but the first job is to help with making hormones, muscle, and other proteins. Nutrients needed by the body and what they are used for Type of nutrient Where it is found How it is used Carbohydrate (starches and sugars) Breads Grains Fruits Vegetables Milk and yogurt Foods with sugar Broken down into glucose, used to supply energy to cells. Extra is stored in the liver. Protein Meat Seafood Legumes Nuts and seeds Eggs Milk products Vegetables Broken down into amino acids, used to build muscle and to make other proteins that are essential for the body to function. ADVERTISINGinRead invented by Teads Fat Oils Butter Egg yolks Animal products Broken down into fatty acids to make cell linings and hormones. Extra is stored in fat cells. After a meal, the blood sugar (glucose) level rises as carbohydrate is digested. This signals the beta cells of the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps glucose enter the body's cells to be used for energy. If all the glucose is not needed for energy, some of it is stored in fat cells and in the liver as glycogen. As sugar moves from the blood to the cells, the blood glucose level returns to a normal between-meal range. Several hormones and processes help regulate the blood sugar level and keep it within a certain range (70 mg/dL to 120 mg/dL). When the blood sugar level falls below that range, which may happen between meals, the body has at least three ways of reacting: Cells in the pancreas can release glucagon, a hormone that signals the b Continue reading >>
Breaking Down Fatty Acid Synthesis: Energy From Fat Stores
Fatty acids are important as a source of energy in our bodies. Knowing the effects from breaking down fatty acid synthesis and energy from fat stores is important to those who are dieting or working out. If you have an excess amount of glucose, another source of energy, in your system, this can easily be stored as fat as well. All of the cell membranes in the human body are made up of phospholipids, which have two different fatty acids in them. These fatty acids are used for protein modification, and the resulting metabolism of these fatty acids ends in the production of energy. How Your Body Uses Stored Fat When you are not eating, your body is not producing energy and it will rely on the stored energy in carbohydrates, fats and proteins. When this happens, certain organs in the body secrete hormones that have an effect on the liver, fat and muscle tissues. During this period your body is pulling energy from these sources and depleting them at the same time. Fat cells do not disappear, but they do get smaller as more energy is used. Fatty acids are stored in the body as triglycerides and are an important source of energy since they are both anhydrous, meaning that is contains no water, and reduced which has to do with the changing of the oxidation of an atom. The energy created from fatty acids is more than twice that of the same amount of carbohydrates. One gram of carbohydrates results in 4Kcal/g while the same amount of fatty acids delivers 9Kcal/g. Fat is an important and powerful means of storing energy just as they are a noticeable source of dietary calories. About 30-40% of calories, at least in the American diet, are from fat. As can be noted from this chart, fatty acids are excellent at storing energy that can later be used when needed: Fat: 100,000 Kcal Prote Continue reading >>
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). 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. 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 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 >>
Can Fats Be Turned Into Glycogen For Muscle?
The amount of fat in the average diet and the amount of stored fat in the average body make the notion of converting that fat into usable energy appealing. Glycogen, a form of energy stored in muscles for quick use, is what the body draws on first to perform movements, and higher glycogen levels result in higher usable energy. It is not possible for fats to be converted directly into glycogen because they are not made up glucose, but it is possible for fats to be indirectly broken down into glucose, which can be used to create glycogen. Relationship Between Fats and Glycogen Fats are a nutrient found in food and a compound used for long-term energy storage in the body, while glycogen is a chain of glucose molecules created by the body from glucose for short-term energy storage and utilization. Dietary fats are used for a number of functions in the body, including maintaining cell membranes, but they are not used primarily as a source of fast energy. Instead, for energy the body relies mostly on carbohydrates, which are converted into glucose that is then used to form glycogen. Turning Fats Into Glucose Excess glucose in the body is converted into stored fat under certain conditions, so it seems logical that glucose could be derived from fats. This process is called gluconeogenesis, and there are multiple pathways the body can use to achieve this conversion. Gluconeogenesis generally occurs only when the body cannot produce sufficient glucose from carbohydrates, such as during starvation or on a low-carbohydrate diet. This is less efficient than producing glucose through the metabolizing of carbohydrates, but it is possible under the right conditions. Turning Glucose Into Glycogen Once glucose has been obtained from fats, your body easily converts it into glycogen. In gl Continue reading >>
We Really Can Make Glucose From Fatty Acids After All! O Textbook, How Thy Biochemistry Hast Deceived Me!
Biochemistry textbooks generally tell us that we can’t turn fatty acids into glucose. For example, on page 634 of the 2006 and 2008 editions of Biochemistry by Berg, Tymoczko, and Stryer, we find the following: Animals Cannot Convert Fatty Acids to Glucose It is important to note that animals are unable to effect the net synthesis of glucose from fatty acids. Specficially, acetyl CoA cannot be converted into pyruvate or oxaloacetate in animals. In fact this is so important that it should be written in italics and have its own bold heading! But it’s not quite right. Making glucose from fatty acids is low-paying work. It’s not the type of alchemy that would allow us to build imperial palaces out of sugar cubes or offer hourly sweet sacrifices upon the altar of the glorious god of glucose (God forbid!). But it can be done, and it’ll help pay the bills when times are tight. All Aboard the Acetyl CoA! When we’re running primarily on fatty acids, our livers break the bulk of these fatty acids down into two-carbon units called acetate. When acetate hangs out all by its lonesome like it does in a bottle of vinegar, it’s called acetic acid and it gives vinegar its characteristic smell. Our livers aren’t bottles of vinegar, however, and they do things a bit differently. They have a little shuttle called coenzyme A, or “CoA” for short, that carries acetate wherever it needs to go. When the acetate passenger is loaded onto the CoA shuttle, we refer to the whole shebang as acetyl CoA. As acetyl CoA moves its caboose along the biochemical railway, it eventually reaches a crossroads where it has to decide whether to enter the Land of Ketogenesis or traverse the TCA cycle. The Land of Ketogenesis is a quite magical place to which we’ll return in a few moments, but n Continue reading >>
Protein: Metabolism And Effect On Blood Glucose Levels.
Abstract Insulin is required for carbohydrate, fat, and protein to be metabolized. With respect to carbohydrate from a clinical standpoint, the major determinate of the glycemic response is the total amount of carbohydrate ingested rather than the source of the carbohydrate. This fact is the basic principle of carbohydrate counting for meal planning. Fat has little, if any, effect on blood glucose levels, although a high fat intake does appear to contribute to insulin resistance. Protein has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels with adequate insulin. However, with insulin deficiency, gluconeogenesis proceeds rapidly and contributes to an elevated blood glucose level. With adequate insulin, the blood glucose response in persons with diabetes would be expected to be similar to the blood glucose response in persons without diabetes. The reason why protein does not increase blood glucose levels is unclear. Several possibilities might explain the response: a slow conversion of protein to glucose, less protein being converted to glucose and released than previously thought, glucose from protein being incorporated into hepatic glycogen stores but not increasing the rate of hepatic glucose release, or because the process of gluconeogenesis from protein occurs over a period of hours and glucose can be disposed of if presented for utilization slowly and evenly over a long time period. Continue reading >>
Does Fat Convert To Glucose In The Body?
Your body is an amazing machine that is able to extract energy from just about anything you eat. While glucose is your body's preferred energy source, you can't convert fat into glucose for energy; instead, fatty acids or ketones are used to supply your body with energy from fat. Video of the Day Fat is a concentrated source of energy, and it generally supplies about half the energy you burn daily. During digestion and metabolism, the fat in the food you eat is broken down into fatty acids and glycerol, which are emulsified and absorbed into your blood stream. While some tissues -- including your muscles -- can use fatty acids for energy, your brain can't convert fatty acids to fuel. If you eat more fat than your body needs, the extra is stored in fat cells for later use. Fat has more than twice as many calories per gram as carbs and protein, which makes it an efficient form of stored energy. It would take more than 20 pounds of glycogen -- a type of carbohydrate used for fuel -- to store the same amount of energy in just 10 pounds of fat. Your Body Makes Glucose From Carbs Almost all the glucose in your body originated from carbohydrates, which come from the fruit, vegetables, grains and milk in your diet. When you eat these carb-containing foods, your digestive system breaks them down into glucose, which is then used for energy by your cells. Any excess glucose is converted into glycogen, then stored in your muscles and liver for later use. Once you can't store any more glucose or glycogen, your body stores any leftover carbs as fat. Glucose is your brain's preferred source of energy. However, when glucose is in short supply, your brain can use ketones -- which are derived from fat -- for fuel. Since your brain accounts for approximately one-fifth of your daily calori Continue reading >>
The Catabolism Of Fats And Proteins For Energy
The Catabolism of Fats and Proteins for Energy Before we get into anything, what does the word catabolism mean? When we went over catabolic and anabolic reactions , we said that catabolic reactions are the ones that break apart molecules. To remember what catabolic means, think of a CATastrophe where things are falling apart and breaking apart. You could also remember cats that tear apart your furniture. In order to make ATP for energy, the body breaks down mostly carbs, some fats and very small amounts of protein. Carbs are the go-to food, the favorite food that cells use to make ATP but now were going to see how our cells use fats and proteins for energy. What were going to find is that they are ALL going to be turned into sugars (acetyl) as this picture below shows. First lets do a quick review of things you already know because it is assumed you learned cell respiration already and how glucose levels are regulated in your blood ! Glucose can be stored as glycogen through a process known as glycogenesis. The hormone that promotes this process is insulin. Then when glycogen needs to be broken down, the hormone glucagon, promotes glycogenolysis (Glycogen-o-lysis) to break apart the glycogen and increase the blood sugar level. Glucose breaks down to form phosphoglycerate (PGAL) and then pyruvic acid. What do we call this process of splitting glucose into two pyruvic sugars? Thats glycolysis (glyco=glucose, and -lysis is to break down). When theres not enough oxygen, pyruvic acid is converted into lactic acid. When oxygen becomes available, lactic acid is converted back to pyruvic acid. Remember that this all occurs in the cytoplasm. The pyruvates are then, aerobically, broken apart in the mitochondria into Acetyl-CoA. The acetyl sugars are put into the Krebs citric aci Continue reading >>
Do Fat And Protein Turn Into Glucose?
Sandi Busch received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, then pursued training in nursing and nutrition. She taught families to plan and prepare special diets, worked as a therapeutic support specialist, and now writes about her favorite topics nutrition, food, families and parenting for hospitals and trade magazines. Glucose keeps you energized.Photo Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/Getty Images When blood glucose gets low, your energy plummets and you may find it hard to concentrate. Your body can temporarily fill the gap by drawing on glucose stored in your liver, but those supplies are limited. When they run out, your body can produce glucose from fats and proteins. Fats are good for backup energy, but your body doesnt like to divert protein into energy due to its other vital functions. The best way to keep your body fueled is to consume the right amount of fats, proteins and carbs. Carbohydrates consist of molecules of sugar, which your body digests into glucose and uses for energy. When youre short on carbs, glucose can be created from fat and protein in a process called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis takes place mostly in your liver, which also has the job of maintaining a steady amount of glucose in your blood. If blood sugar drops too low due to problems in the liver, your kidneys can boost blood sugar by converting the amino acid glutamine into glucose. The saturated and unsaturated fats in your diet consist of two substances bound together: glycerol and fatty acids. During digestion, they're separated, and each one follows a different path. Glycerol is easily metabolized and used to make glucose. Fatty acids are carried to tissues throughout your body, where they help build cell walls, produce hormones and digest fat-soluble nutrients. Fatty acids can be converted i Continue reading >>
How The Body Uses Carbohydrates, Proteins, And Fats
How the Body Uses Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats The human body is remarkably adept at making do with whatever type of food is available. Our ability to survive on a variety of diets has been a vital adaptation for a species that evolved under conditions where food sources were scarce and unpredictable. Imagine if you had to depend on successfully hunting a woolly mammoth or stumbling upon a berry bush for sustenance! Today, calories are mostly cheap and plentifulperhaps too much so. Understanding what the basic macronutrients have to offer can help us make better choices when it comes to our own diets. From the moment a bite of food enters the mouth, each morsel of nutrition within starts to be broken down for use by the body. So begins the process of metabolism, the series of chemical reactions that transform food into components that can be used for the body's basic processes. Proteins, carbohydrates , and fats move along intersecting sets of metabolic pathways that are unique to each major nutrient. Fundamentallyif all three nutrients are abundant in the dietcarbohydrates and fats will be used primarily for energy while proteins provide the raw materials for making hormones, muscle, and other essential biological equipment. Proteins in food are broken down into pieces (called amino acids) that are then used to build new proteins with specific functions, such as catalyzing chemical reactions, facilitating communication between different cells, or transporting biological molecules from here to there. When there is a shortage of fats or carbohydrates, proteins can also yield energy. Fats typically provide more than half of the body's energy needs. Fat from food is broken down into fatty acids, which can travel in the blood and be captured by hungry cells. Fatty aci Continue reading >>
on on Fats (or triglycerides) within the body are ingested as food or synthesized by adipocytes or hepatocytes from carbohydrate precursors ([link]). Lipid metabolism entails the oxidation of fatty acids to either generate energy or synthesize new lipids from smaller constituent molecules. Lipid metabolism is associated with carbohydrate metabolism, as products of glucose (such as acetyl CoA) can be converted into lipids. Lipid metabolism begins in the intestine where ingested triglycerides are broken down into smaller chain fatty acids and subsequently into monoglyceride molecules (see [link]b) by pancreatic lipases, enzymes that break down fats after they are emulsified by bile salts. When food reaches the small intestine in the form of chyme, a digestive hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK) is released by intestinal cells in the intestinal mucosa. CCK stimulates the release of pancreatic lipase from the pancreas and stimulates the contraction of the gallbladder to release stored bile salts into the intestine. CCK also travels to the brain, where it can act as a hunger suppressant. Together, the pancreatic lipases and bile salts break down triglycerides into free fatty acids. These fatty acids can be transported across the intestinal membrane. However, once they cross the membrane, they are recombined to again form triglyceride molecules. Within the intestinal cells, these triglycerides are packaged along with cholesterol molecules in phospholipid vesicles called chylomicrons ([link]). The chylomicrons enable fats and cholesterol to move within the aqueous environment of your lymphatic and circulatory systems. Chylomicrons leave the enterocytes by exocytosis and enter the lymphatic system via lacteals in the villi of the intestine. From the lymphatic system, the chylo Continue reading >>
Physiologic Effects Of Insulin
Stand on a streetcorner and ask people if they know what insulin is, and many will reply, "Doesn't it have something to do with blood sugar?" Indeed, that is correct, but such a response is a bit like saying "Mozart? Wasn't he some kind of a musician?" Insulin is a key player in the control of intermediary metabolism, and the big picture is that it organizes the use of fuels for either storage or oxidation. Through these activities, insulin has profound effects on both carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and significant influences on protein and mineral metabolism. Consequently, derangements in insulin signalling have widespread and devastating effects on many organs and tissues. The Insulin Receptor and Mechanism of Action Like the receptors for other protein hormones, the receptor for insulin is embedded in the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is composed of two alpha subunits and two beta subunits linked by disulfide bonds. The alpha chains are entirely extracellular and house insulin binding domains, while the linked beta chains penetrate through the plasma membrane. The insulin receptor is a tyrosine kinase. In other words, it functions as an enzyme that transfers phosphate groups from ATP to tyrosine residues on intracellular target proteins. Binding of insulin to the alpha subunits causes the beta subunits to phosphorylate themselves (autophosphorylation), thus activating the catalytic activity of the receptor. The activated receptor then phosphorylates a number of intracellular proteins, which in turn alters their activity, thereby generating a biological response. Several intracellular proteins have been identified as phosphorylation substrates for the insulin receptor, the best-studied of which is insulin receptor substrate 1 or IRS-1. When IRS-1 is activa Continue reading >>