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What Happens To The Excess Glucose In The Body?

What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Too Much Sugar?

What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Too Much Sugar?

By Dr. Mercola You add it to your morning cup of coffee or tea. You bake it into pastries, cakes, and cookies. You even sprinkle it all over your breakfast cereal or your oatmeal for added "flavor." But that's not all. It's also hidden in some beloved "treats" that people consume on a daily basis, such as sodas, fruit juices, candies, and ice cream. It also lurks in almost all processed foods, including breads, meats, and even your favorite condiments like Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. It's none other than sugar. Most people view sugary foods as tasty, satisfying, and irresistible treats. But I believe that there are three words that can more accurately describe sugar: toxic, addicting, and deadly. Sugar, in my opinion, is one of the most damaging substances that you can ingest – and what's terrifying about it is that it's just so abundant in our everyday diet. This intense addiction to sugar is becoming rampant, not just among adults, but in children as well. But how exactly does sugar work in our body, and what are the side effects of eating too much sugar on people's health? Why Is Excessive Sugar Bad for Your Health? Today, an average American consumes about 32 teaspoons of sugar per day. New numbers came out in February 2015. The Washington Post did a story on it using grams (4 grams = 1 tsp). They quoted Euromonitor's study, which said Americans are now consuming 126 grams, which would equal close to 32 teaspoons. Euromonitor's study costs $1200 to access; the Washington Post interprets the study for free here. It's definitely alarming, considering the average Englishman during the 1700s only consumed four pounds of sugar per year1 – and that's most likely from healthful natural sources like fruits, and not from the processed foods you see in supermarket s 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 Happens To Carbohydrates That The Body Does Not Use For Energy?

What Happens To Carbohydrates That The Body Does Not Use For Energy?

There are three types of carbohydrates: starch, sugar and fiber. Starches are broken down into sugars, including the glucose that provides your body with energy and is the preferred source of energy for your brain. However, not all carbohydrates are immediately used for energy. Some glucose is stored for later use, and fiber is not used for energy at all. Your body cannot digest fiber, but it provides health benefits, including lowering your risk for high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and constipation. While a small amount of fiber is fermented by bacteria in your colon and turned into short-chain fatty acids, which are easily absorbed by your body, most fiber passes through your body undigested and is excreted in your feces. Storage as Glycogen After carbohydrates are broken down in your body, some of the glucose that isn't needed immediately for energy is stored as glycogen in your liver and muscles for later use. Athletes sometimes consume high amounts of carbohydrates prior to major events in an effort to increase their glycogen stores, since glycogen is one of the main types of fuel for exercise. Storage as Fat Once your glycogen stores are filled, excess glucose may be stored as fat. However, storage of extra carbohydrate as fat is not very efficient, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization. Diets high in carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates, are less likely to result in fat accumulation than diets high in fat. Considerations The Food and Agriculture Organization recommends getting at least 55 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends consuming between 45 and 65 percent of your calories as carbohydrates, with most of these carbohydrates coming from nutrient-dense carbohydrate Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates (test #2)

Carbohydrates (test #2)

Why are the complex carbohydrates referred to as "complex"? The ability for something to dissolve in water In relation to fiber, what is considered to be the soluble part? The meat (or pulp) of a fruit or vegetable (Example: the middle of an apple or pear) In relation to fiber, what is considered to be the insoluble part? The peel or skin of a fruit or vegetable (Example: kiwi fruit or potato) Complex carbohydrates are also known as ... Which carbohydrates are not digestible? Why? (2) 1. Fiber (we do not have an enzyme to digest it) 2. Monosaccharides (it's already in its smallest form) What are some sources of carbohydrates? (3) 1. Anything made from flour (bread, pasta, etc.) 2. Starchy vegetables and fruits (corn, potatoes, pears, bananas, etc.) 3. A lot of added sugars (pop, candy, etc.) Which monosaccharide does pop have a lot of? If you have high added sugar intake you probably ... (4) 1. Missing fiber (due to eating foods that do not have a lot of fiber containing carbohydrates) 2. Over consuming calories (increased caloric density due to a lot of empty calories - causing weight gain) 3. Putting stresses on the body's blood sugar regulation (diabetes, etc.) 4. Excess simple carbohydrates that are likely to be converted to fats (increasing your body's fat mass) Eating a lot of added sugars means you are consuming a lot of _____ calories ... What can happen to the pancreas under the right conditions and what is it related to? (related to blood sugar) What is an important health benefit of fiber in relation to digestion and absorption? It slows gastric emptying (slows the food moving out of the stomach and into the small intestine) and it slows the amount of nutrients that enter the small intestine What is an important health benefit of fiber in relation to blood s 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 >>

What Happens To Unburned Carbohydrates?

What Happens To Unburned Carbohydrates?

Your body uses mostly carbohydrates as well as fats for energy. Because the body doesn’t store carbs efficiently, they’re used first. Carbohydrates turn into glucose, which your body burns immediately or converts to glycogen to be stored in the muscles and liver for between meals. If you eat more calories from carbs or other sources than your body can use, the cells store the excess as fat. Of the three major nutrients -- carbohydrates, fat and protein -- the body burns carbs first for energy because they can’t be stored in great quantities. The carbohydrates in food get broken down into glucose, which moves into the small intestine, then the liver and into the blood. As blood sugar rises, the pancreas produces insulin, which signals the cells to take up sugar. Whatever glucose the cells don’t need immediately for energy is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. When the blood sugar levels fall -- such as between meals -- the liver releases glycogen. This cycle keeps your body supplied with a steady source of fuel. Insulin Resistance If you have insulin resistance or diabetes, the sugar-insulin cycle doesn’t work properly, leading to too much sugar and insulin circulating in the blood until eventually your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or is resistant to its effects. This is why people with diabetes or prediabetes often track the carbs they eat; eating too many carbohydrates, especially sugars and refined starches, can cause blood sugar and/or insulin to spike to potentially dangerous levels in people with diabetes. How Carbs Turn Into Fat When you eat too many calories, especially in the form of sugars and quickly burned starches, your body may reach its storage capacity for glycogen. The liver converts the stored sugars into triglycerides, or f 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 >>

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 >>

How Sugar Makes You Fat

How Sugar Makes You Fat

Look at how many grams of sugar are in what you’re eating (on the nutritional label). Now divide that number by 4. That’s how many teaspoons of pure sugar you’re consuming. Kinda scary, huh? Sugar makes you fat and fatfree food isn’t really free of fat. I’ve said it before in multiple articles, but occasionally, I’ve had someone lean over my desk and say “How in the heck does sugar make you fat if there’s no fat in it?”. This article will answer that puzzler, and provide you with some helpful suggestions to achieve not only weight loss success, but improved body health. First, let’s make some qualifications. Sugar isn’t inherently evil. Your body uses sugar to survive, and burns sugar to provide you with the energy necessary for life. Many truly healthy foods are actually broken down to sugar in the body – through the conversion of long and complex sugars called polysaccharides into short and simple sugars called monosaccharides, such as glucose. In additions to the breakdown products of fat and protein, glucose is a great energy source for your body. However, there are two ways that sugar can sabotage your body and cause fat storage. Excess glucose is the first problem, and it involves a very simple concept. Anytime you have filled your body with more fuel than it actually needs (and this is very easy to do when eating foods with high sugar content), your liver’s sugar storage capacity is exceeded. When the liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fatty acids (that’s right – fat!) and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored (that’s right – as fat!) wherever you tend to store adipose fat cells, including, but not limited to, the popular regions of the stomach, hips, but Continue reading >>

How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body?

How Does Too Much Sugar Affect Your Body?

Chances are you already know that eating too much sugar isn’t good for you. Yet you’re probably still overdoing it: Americans average about 20 tablespoons of added sugars per day, compared to the recommended 6 tablespoons for women and 9 tablespoons for men. (That doesn't include sugar found naturally in foods like fruits and milk.) Sugary drinks, candy, baked goods, and sweetened dairy are the main sources of added sugar. But even savory foods, like breads, tomato sauce, and protein bars, can have sugar, making it all too easy to end up with a surplus of the sweet stuff. To complicate it further, added sugars can be hard to spot on nutrition labels since they can be listed under a number of names, such as corn syrup, agave nectar, palm sugar, cane juice, or sucrose. (See more names for sugar on the graphic below.) No matter what it’s called, sugar is sugar, and it can negatively affect your body in many ways. Here’s a closer look at how sugar can mess with your health, from head to toe. Your Brain Eating sugar gives your brain a huge surge of a feel-good chemical called dopamine, which explains why you’re more likely to crave a candy bar at 3 p.m. than an apple or a carrot. Because whole foods like fruits and veggies don’t cause the brain to release as much dopamine, your brain starts to need more and more sugar to get that same feeling of pleasure. This causes those “gotta-have-it” feelings for your after-dinner ice cream that are so hard to tame. Your Mood The occasional candy or cookie can give you a quick burst of energy (or “sugar high”) by raising your blood sugar levels fast. When your levels drop as your cells absorb the sugar, you may feel jittery and anxious (a.k.a. the dreaded “sugar crash”). But if you’re reaching into the candy ja Continue reading >>

Excess Glucose In The Blood And Insulin Response

Excess Glucose In The Blood And Insulin Response

Excess glucose in the bloodstream is a devastating health problem. In the extreme, the condition is called diabetes and it affects approximately 29 million Americans. Of these, 8 million are undiagnosed, which means they don’t know they are diabetic, and the longer it goes undetected the worse it gets and the greater the damage. In addition, it is estimated that at least one-third of the U.S. adult population has pre-diabetes (Metabolic Syndrome), and without intervention or lifestyle change most of these will graduate to full blown diabetes in the future. Glucose lingers in the blood and accumulates when insulin does not do its job of escorting glucose into the cells. This is because glucose cannot gain entrance into cells on its own. This is intelligent by design, because otherwise, it would be impossible to regulate blood glucose concentration. In fact, if glucose could leave the blood and enter cells on its own, it wouldn’t take much to drain the blood of glucose entirely. This would be a major disaster, because the brain is dependent upon glucose as its source of energy, and without an ongoing supply the brain would suffer severe damage. When blood glucose concentration increases after eating, the hormone insulin is released from the pancreas gland, which brings the concentration back to resting levels (normal range is 70-105 mg/dl). However, in diabetes, insulin either is absent due to a malfunction of the pancreas gland, or the cells of the body resist the effects of insulin. Either way, the result is the same. Too much glucose remains in the bloodstream. Thus, millions of Americans handle it poorly when they eat and glucose from digestion pours into their bloodstream. Therefore, anything that can be done to help meet this challenge is welcome. Above all, red Continue reading >>

What Happens To Your Body An Hour After Eating Sugar?

What Happens To Your Body An Hour After Eating Sugar?

What happens to your body an hour after eating sugar? Humans are programmed to love sugar - this is what the substance does to our bodies Sugar is an important and popular part of our daily diet. Along with starch, it falls within the carbohydrate group as it consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms and acts as fuel for the body. In fact, carbohydrates are our main source of energy, converted by the body to power our cells and keep us alive and growing. However, many of us are overindulging in the white stuff, with the average adult consuming approximately 63 grams (2.2 ounces), nearly 16 teaspoons, of sugar each day. Thats over twice the recommended daily intake. The main attraction to sugar, for both humans and animals, is its sweet taste. In nature, this is a useful indication of which foods are safe to eat, as poisonous fruits and plants tend to be sour or bitter, but in the modern world of processed foods and fizzy drinks, sweetness is mainly associated with pleasure. As a result, sugar is added to many of the foods we consume each day to artificially boost the flavour or texture, or act as a preservative by hindering the growth of bacteria. This may be good news for our taste buds, but its not so good for our health. By eating more sugar than our bodies actually need, we are storing the excess as fat, leading to an increase in obesity and many other health problems throughout the world. Keeping track of how much sugar we eat can be difficult, though, as it goes by many different names and is hidden in some unlikely foods. Plus, not all sugars are bad, but working out which ones are good can be a challenge. Find out below exactly what sugar does to your body. When we digest sugar, enzymes in the small intestine break it down into glucose. This glucose is then Continue reading >>

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia: When Your Blood Glucose Level Goes Too High

Hyperglycemia means high (hyper) glucose (gly) in the blood (emia). Your body needs glucose to properly function. Your cells rely on glucose for energy. Hyperglycemia is a defining characteristic of diabetes—when the blood glucose level is too high because the body isn't properly using or doesn't make the hormone insulin. You get glucose from the foods you eat. Carbohydrates, such as fruit, milk, potatoes, bread, and rice, are the biggest source of glucose in a typical diet. Your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose, and then transports the glucose to the cells via the bloodstream. Body Needs Insulin However, in order to use the glucose, your body needs insulin. This is a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps transport glucose into the cells, particularly the muscle cells. People with type 1 diabetes no longer make insulin to help their bodies use glucose, so they have to take insulin, which is injected under the skin. People with type 2 diabetes may have enough insulin, but their body doesn't use it well; they're insulin resistant. Some people with type 2 diabetes may not produce enough insulin. People with diabetes may become hyperglycemic if they don't keep their blood glucose level under control (by using insulin, medications, and appropriate meal planning). For example, if someone with type 1 diabetes doesn't take enough insulin before eating, the glucose their body makes from that food can build up in their blood and lead to hyperglycemia. Your endocrinologist will tell you what your target blood glucose levels are. Your levels may be different from what is usually considered as normal because of age, pregnancy, and/or other factors. Fasting hyperglycemia is defined as when you don't eat for at least eight hours. Recommended range without diabet Continue reading >>

What Happens To Excess Glucose?

What Happens To Excess Glucose?

Science Biology When the body detects increased levels of glucose or amino acids in the small intestine, beta cells in the pancreas secrete a hormone called insulin that promotes the absorption of glucose by cells in the body. Insulin is also responsible for signalling the conversion of glucose into glycogen. Another method the body has for handling excess glucose is to eliminate some of the glucose in the urine. In most cases, the glucose that makes its way to the urine is reabsorbed through the sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 channels in the kidney nephrons. These transporters reabsorb glucose and send it back into the bloodstream. If these transporters become saturated by high levels of glucose, the excess glucose is excreted in the urine. Certain medications, like the anti-diabetic drug canagliflozin, are specifically designed to inhibit the action of SGLT-2 and promote glucose loss. One of the hallmark symptoms of diabetes is glucose in the urine. Learn more about Biology Continue reading >>

How Is Excess Glucose Stored?

How Is Excess Glucose Stored?

The human body has an efficient and complex system of storing and preserving energy. Glucose is a type of sugar that the body uses for energy. Glucose is the product of breaking down carbohydrates into their simplest form. Carbohydrates should make up approximately 45 to 65 percent of your daily caloric intake, according to MayoClinic.com. Video of the Day Glucose is a simple sugar found in carbohydrates. When more complex carbohydrates such as polysaccharides and disaccharides are broken down in the stomach, they break down into the monosaccharide glucose. Carbohydrates serve as the primary energy source for working muscles, help brain and nervous system functioning and help the body use fat more efficiently. Function of Glucose Once carbohydrates are absorbed from food, they are carried to the liver for processing. In the liver, fructose and galactose, the other forms of sugar, are converted into glucose. Some glucose gets sent to the bloodstream while the rest is stored for later energy use. Once glucose is inside the liver, glucose is phosphorylated into glucose-6-phosphate, or G6P. G6P is further metabolized into triglycerides, fatty acids, glycogen or energy. Glycogen is the form in which the body stores glucose. The liver can only store about 100 g of glucose in the form of glycogen. The muscles also store glycogen. Muscles can store approximately 500 g of glycogen. Because of the limited storage areas, any carbohydrates that are consumed beyond the storage capacity are converted to and stored as fat. There is practically no limit on how many calories the body can store as fat. The glucose stored in the liver serves as a buffer for blood glucose levels. Therefore, if the blood glucose levels start to get low because you have not consumed food for a period of time Continue reading >>

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