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 >>
Healing Leaky Livers
It may surprise you to know that, for many people, Type 2 diabetes is primarily a liver disease. The pancreas damage comes later. Is there anything we can do to heal a diabetic liver? Liver issues in diabetes are complicated. An article in the journal Clinical Diabetes explained that diabetes can cause liver disease; liver disease can cause diabetes; or both can arise together from other causes. Whichever comes first, the sick liver may produce way too much glucose, enough to overwhelm the body’s insulin. Why would a liver start pumping out unneeded glucose? Unhealthy livers tend to have a lot of fat in them, a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. You don’t have to be fat to have a fatty liver (although overweight and obesity are risk factors). Thin people get it too, and the causes of NAFLD are unknown. Some are thought to be genetic. However, a recent animal study published in the journal PLOS One found that prenatal exposure to alcohol (from a mother who drank while pregnant) is strongly associated diabetes-like glucose production by the liver. There are probably other causes as well, including environmental chemicals and possibly unhealthy diets. A rat study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry found that fatty livers became more resistant to insulin. The researchers found processes by which insulin normally tells the liver to stop producing unwanted glucose. Excess fat in the liver seemed to block these processes, so too much glucose was produced. Human livers apparently act the same way. An Italian study in The American Journal of Medicine found that subjects with NAFLD had high fasting and postmeal insulin levels, high insulin resistance, and high triglyceride levels. (Triglycerides are a kind of blood fat.) High insulin levels can b Continue reading >>
How Does The Body Make Glucose?
Glucose mainly comes from foods rich in carbohydrates, like bread, potatoes, and fruit. As you eat, food travels down your esophagus into your stomach. There, acids and enzymes break it down into tiny pieces. During that process, glucose is released. It goes into your intestines where it's absorbed. From there, it passes into your bloodstream. Once in the blood, insulin helps glucose get to your cells. American Diabetes Association: "The Liver's Role: How It Processes Fats and Carbs." American Foundation for the Blind: "What is the Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia?" Group Health: "How Our Bodies Turn Food Into Energy." Insel, P. 2004. Nutrition, Joslin Diabetes Center: "Goals for Blood Glucose Control," "High Blood Glucose: What it Means and How to Treat it." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Insulin Resistance and Prediabetes," "Your Guide to Diabetes: Type 1 and Type 2." NCBI: "Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th Edition." Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on August 13, 2016 Continue reading >>
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 >>
Blood Glucose Regulation
Glucose is needed by cells for respiration. It is important that the concentration of glucose in the blood is maintained at a constant level. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates glucose levels in the blood. How glucose is regulated Glucose level Effect on pancreas Effect on liver Effect on glucose level too high insulin secreted into the blood liver converts glucose into glycogen goes down too low insulin not secreted into the blood liver does not convert glucose into glycogen goes up Use the animation to make sure you understand how this works. You have an old or no version of flash - you need to upgrade to view this funky content! Go to the WebWise Flash install guide Glucagon – Higher tier The pancreas releases another hormone, glucagon, when the blood sugar levels fall. This causes the cells in the liver to turn glycogen back into glucose which can then be released into the blood. The blood sugar levels will then rise. Now try a Test Bite- Higher tier. Diabetes is a disorder in which the blood glucose levels remain too high. It can be treated by injecting insulin. The extra insulin allows the glucose to be taken up by the liver and other tissues, so cells get the glucose they need and blood-sugar levels stay normal. There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes Type 1 diabetes is caused by a lack of insulin. It can be controlled by: monitoring the diet injecting insulin People with type 1 diabetes have to monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day as the level of physical activity and diet affect the amount of insulin required. Type 2 diabetes Type 2 diabetes is caused by a person becoming resistant to insulin. It can be controlled by diet and exercise. There is a link between rising levels of obesity (chronic overweight) and i Continue reading >>
The Liver & Blood Sugar
During a meal, your liver stores sugar for later. When you’re not eating, the liver supplies sugar by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver both stores and produces sugar… The liver acts as the body’s glucose (or fuel) reservoir, and helps to keep your circulating blood sugar levels and other body fuels steady and constant. The liver both stores and manufactures glucose depending upon the body’s need. The need to store or release glucose is primarily signaled by the hormones insulin and glucagon. During a meal, your liver will store sugar, or glucose, as glycogen for a later time when your body needs it. The high levels of insulin and suppressed levels of glucagon during a meal promote the storage of glucose as glycogen. The liver makes sugar when you need it…. When you’re not eating – especially overnight or between meals, the body has to make its own sugar. The liver supplies sugar or glucose by turning glycogen into glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. The liver also can manufacture necessary sugar or glucose by harvesting amino acids, waste products and fat byproducts. This process is called gluconeogenesis. When your body’s glycogen storage is running low, the body starts to conserve the sugar supplies for the organs that always require sugar. These include: the brain, red blood cells and parts of the kidney. To supplement the limited sugar supply, the liver makes alternative fuels called ketones from fats. This process is called ketogenesis. The hormone signal for ketogenesis to begin is a low level of insulin. Ketones are burned as fuel by muscle and other body organs. And the sugar is saved for the organs that need it. The terms “gluconeogenesis, glycogenolysis and ketogenesis” may seem like compli Continue reading >>
What Causes High Blood Sugar And What Harm Can It Do To My Body?
Question: What causes high blood sugar and what harm can it do to my body? Answer: Diabetes is a condition where the glucose or sugar levels are too high in the blood. Now, there are many reasons why the blood sugar levels get too high in people with diabetes, but I will only mention the two main defects now. The first is that the pancreas which is an important endocrine organ in our bodies does not secrete enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps glucose go from the bloodstream into the cells of our body to be used for energy. A complicated condition called insulin-resistance is the second main cause of diabetes. Insulin-resistance, which occurs primarily in type 2 diabetes, is when the cells of our body are resistant to the glucose-lowering effects of insulin. If an individual has either not enough insulin and/or insulin-resistance, then high blood sugar levels or diabetes will be present. High blood sugar levels if untreated will cause short-term effects and long-term complications. High blood sugar levels over the short term do not cause any damage to the organs of your body, however they will cause you to feel tired and weak, be thirsty, and urinate a lot, be susceptible to infections and have blurry vision. In fact in the elderly, high blood sugar levels can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and lead to falls and of course we know getting a broken hip as an elderly individual can be pretty devastating. Now high blood sugar levels over the long term, lets just say years, that can lead to the classic chronic complications of diabetes, eye disease or what we call retinopathy that leads to blindness, kidney disease or nephropathy leading to kidney failure necessitating either dialysis or transplantation, and nerve disease or neuropathy which commonl Continue reading >>
The main sugar found in the blood and the body's main source of energy. Also called blood sugar. PubMed Health Glossary (Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) How the Body Controls Blood Glucose When the blood sugar levels rise, for instance following a meal, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin enters the bloodstream and ensures that the sugar in the food and drinks we consume is transported from our blood to our cells, where it is transformed into energy for the body. Insulin also causes the liver and the muscles to store sugar, and stops new sugar being made in the liver. The blood sugar levels fall because of this. When blood sugar levels are low, the pancreas releases glucagon into the bloodstream. This hormone causes the cells of the liver to release stored sugar. Glucagon also ensures that the cells of the liver produce new sugar from other substances in the body. When the blood sugar level has risen, the release of glucagon is stopped once again. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) Related conditions Terms to know A cell that makes insulin. Beta cells are located in the islets of the pancreas. Checking blood glucose levels by using a blood glucose meter or blood glucose test strips that change color when touched by a blood sample in order to manage diabetes. Tubes that carry blood to and from all parts of the body. The three main types of blood vessels are arteries, capillaries, and veins. A hormone produced by the pancreas that increases the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. A simple sugar the body manufactures from carbohydrates in the diet. Glucose is the body's main source of energy. A hormone that helps the body use glucose for energy. The beta cells of the pancreas make insulin. When Continue reading >>
Four Grams Of Glucose
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics and Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: D. H. Wasserman, Light Hall Rm. 702, Vanderbilt Univ. School of Medicine, Nashville, TN 37232 (e-mail: [email protected] ) Received 2008 Jul 7; Accepted 2008 Oct 1. Copyright 2009, American Physiological Society This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Four grams of glucose circulates in the blood of a person weighing 70 kg. This glucose is critical for normal function in many cell types. In accordance with the importance of these 4 g of glucose, a sophisticated control system is in place to maintain blood glucose constant. Our focus has been on the mechanisms by which the flux of glucose from liver to blood and from blood to skeletal muscle is regulated. The body has a remarkable capacity to satisfy the nutritional need for glucose, while still maintaining blood glucose homeostasis. The essential role of glucagon and insulin and the importance of distributed control of glucose fluxes are highlighted in this review. With regard to the latter, studies are presented that show how regulation of muscle glucose uptake is regulated by glucose delivery to muscle, glucose transport into muscle, and glucose phosphorylation within muscle. Keywords: insulin, mice, rat, dog, glycogen, epinephrine, hexokinase, glucose transport, glucose delivery four grams of glucose circulates in the blood of a person weighing 70 kg. This is the amount needed to fill a teaspoon. Although these 4 g constitute an infini Continue reading >>
How Is Glucose Produced?
Your body thrives on glucose, which is the sugar it uses to synthesize energy. Carbohydrates supply glucose and other sugars that are converted into glucose. But it's such a vital source of energy that the body has a back-up system called gluconeogenesis. This metabolic pathway produces new glucose from noncarbohydrate sources. Video of the Day Carbohydrates are made from molecules of sugar connected together. Simple sugars consist of one to three sugar molecules, while starches contain hundreds to thousands of molecules, reports Colorado State University. The small intestine only absorbs single sugar molecules, which is why digestive enzymes break carbs down into the three monosaccharides: glucose, galactose and fructose. The monosaccharides travel to the liver, where glucose is generated when the liver turns galactose and fructose into glucose. The liver may send glucose into the bloodstream, where it’s transported to cells that need it for energy. If blood levels of glucose are high enough to meet your energy needs, the liver stores glucose by turning it into glycogen or fat. New Glucose Synthesis When the body produces glucose from something other than carbohydrates, the process is called gluconeogenesis. Most gluconeogenesis occurs in the liver, but a small amount also takes place in the kidneys and small intestine. Like carbs, fats and proteins are digested into smaller units. Glycerol from fats and amino acids from proteins may be used to make glucose. All amino acids except leucine and lysine can enter the gluconeogenesis pathway, but glutamine is the only one used in the kidneys and small intestine, according to Medical Biochemistry Page. Lactate is another substance used to synthesize new glucose. The boost in energy metabolism during intense exercise result Continue reading >>
Schematic two-dimensional cross-sectional view of glycogen: A core protein of glycogenin is surrounded by branches of glucose units. The entire globular granule may contain around 30,000 glucose units. A view of the atomic structure of a single branched strand of glucose units in a glycogen molecule. Glycogen (black granules) in spermatozoa of a flatworm; transmission electron microscopy, scale: 0.3 µm Glycogen is a multibranched polysaccharide of glucose that serves as a form of energy storage in humans, animals, fungi, and bacteria. The polysaccharide structure represents the main storage form of glucose in the body. Glycogen functions as one of two forms of long-term energy reserves, with the other form being triglyceride stores in adipose tissue (i.e., body fat). In humans, glycogen is made and stored primarily in the cells of the liver and skeletal muscle. In the liver, glycogen can make up from 5–6% of the organ's fresh weight and the liver of an adult weighing 70 kg can store roughly 100–120 grams of glycogen. In skeletal muscle, Glycogen is found in a low concentration (1–2% of the muscle mass) and the skeletal muscle of an adult weighing 70 kg can store roughly 400 grams of glycogen. The amount of glycogen stored in the body—particularly within the muscles and liver—mostly depends on physical training, basal metabolic rate, and eating habits. Small amounts of glycogen are also found in other tissues and cells, including the kidneys, red blood cells, white blood cells,[medical citation needed] and glial cells in the brain. The uterus also stores glycogen during pregnancy to nourish the embryo. Approximately 4 grams of glucose are present in the blood of humans at all times; in fasted individuals, blood glucos Continue reading >>
Everything You Need To Know About Glucose
You may know glucose by another name: blood sugar. Glucose is key to keeping the mechanisms of the body in top working order. When our glucose levels are optimal, it often goes unnoticed. But when they stray from recommended boundaries, you’ll notice the unhealthy effect it has on normal functioning. So what is glucose, exactly? It’s the simplest of the carbohydrates, making it a monosaccharide. This means it has one sugar. It’s not alone. Other monosaccharides include fructose, galactose, and ribose. Along with fat, glucose is one of the body’s preferred sources of fuel in the form of carbohydrates. People get glucose from bread, fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. You need food to create the energy that helps keep you alive. While glucose is important, like with so many things, it’s best in moderation. Glucose levels that are unhealthy or out of control can have permanent and serious effects. Our body processes glucose multiple times a day, ideally. When we eat, our body immediately starts working to process glucose. Enzymes start the breakdown process with help from the pancreas. The pancreas, which produces hormones including insulin, is an integral part of how our body deals with glucose. When we eat, our body tips the pancreas off that it needs to release insulin to deal with the rising blood sugar level. Some people, however, can’t rely on their pancreas to jump in and do the work it’s supposed to do. One way diabetes occurs is when the pancreas doesn’t produce insulin in the way it should. In this case, people need outside help (insulin injections) to process and regulate glucose in the body. Another cause of diabetes is insulin resistance, where the liver doesn’t recognize insulin that’s in the body and continues to make inappropriate am Continue reading >>
What Is Glucose?
Glucose comes from the Greek word for "sweet." It's a type of sugar you get from foods you eat, and your body uses it for energy. As it travels through your bloodstream to your cells, it's called blood glucose or blood sugar. Insulin is a hormone that moves glucose from your blood into the cells for energy and storage. People with diabetes have higher-than-normal levels in their blood. Either they don't have enough insulin to move it through or their cells don't respond to insulin as well as they should. High blood glucose for a long period of time can damage your kidneys, eyes, and other organs. How Your Body Makes Glucose It mainly comes from foods rich in carbohydrates, like bread, potatoes, and fruit. As you eat, food travels down your esophagus to your stomach. There, acids and enzymes break it down into tiny pieces. During that process, glucose is released. It goes into your intestines where it's absorbed. From there, it passes into your bloodstream. Once in the blood, insulin helps glucose get to your cells. Energy and Storage Your body is designed to keep the level of glucose in your blood constant. Beta cells in your pancreas monitor your blood sugar level every few seconds. When your blood glucose rises after you eat, the beta cells release insulin into your bloodstream. Insulin acts like a key, unlocking muscle, fat, and liver cells so glucose can get inside them. Most of the cells in your body use glucose along with amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and fats for energy. But it's the main source of fuel for your brain. Nerve cells and chemical messengers there need it to help them process information. Without it, your brain wouldn't be able to work well. After your body has used the energy it needs, the leftover glucose is stored in little bundles Continue reading >>
This article is about the naturally occurring D-form of glucose. For the L-form, see L-Glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar with the molecular formula C6H12O6, which means that it is a molecule that is made of six carbon atoms, twelve hydrogen atoms, and six oxygen atoms. Glucose circulates in the blood of animals as blood sugar. It is made during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy from sunlight. It is the most important source of energy for cellular respiration. Glucose is stored as a polymer, in plants as starch and in animals as glycogen. With six carbon atoms, it is classed as a hexose, a subcategory of the monosaccharides. D-Glucose is one of the sixteen aldohexose stereoisomers. The D-isomer, D-glucose, also known as dextrose, occurs widely in nature, but the L-isomer, L-glucose, does not. Glucose can be obtained by hydrolysis of carbohydrates such as milk sugar (lactose), cane sugar (sucrose), maltose, cellulose, glycogen, etc. It is commonly commercially manufactured from cornstarch by hydrolysis via pressurized steaming at controlled pH in a jet followed by further enzymatic depolymerization. In 1747, Andreas Marggraf was the first to isolate glucose. Glucose is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. The name glucose derives through the French from the Greek γλυκός, which means "sweet," in reference to must, the sweet, first press of grapes in the making of wine. The suffix "-ose" is a chemical classifier, denoting a carbohydrate. Function in biology Glucose is the most widely used aldohexose in living organisms. One possible explanation for this is that glucose has a lower tendency than other aldohexoses to react nonspecific Continue reading >>
What Makes Glucose Levels Rise And Fall?
When you have diabetes it is important to understand what might make your blood glucose level rise or fall so that you can take steps to stay on target. ••••• When you eat any type of carbohydrate (starches, fruits, milk, sugars etc.), your body breaks it down into simple sugars. These get absorbed into the blood stream and insulin helps remove them from the blood into the cells to be used for energy. Without diabetes, our body usually makes just the right amount of insulin to match the food eaten, when diabetes is present, tablets or insulin injections are required to help this process. Things that can make your blood glucose rise A meal or snack with a bigger portion of carbohydrates than usual Less activity than usual Side effects of some medications Infection, surgery or other illness Changes in hormone levels, such as during menstrual periods, or adolescence Stress Things that can make your blood glucose fall A meal or snack with a smaller portion of carbohydrates than usual Taking too much insulin or a dose increase of your diabetes tablets Extra physical activity Side effects of some medications Missing a meal or a snack Drinking alcohol Continue reading >>