Carbohydrate Metabolism

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Glucose metabolism is the digestion of carbohydrate food, the first nutrient that extracts out is glucose (or sugar), and it is dumped into the bloodstream.

What are carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are sugars and starches, provides energy to the body needed for its various activities. Energy can also be from the fats we eat. Some common carbohydrate sources are bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, cereals, and sugars.

What is Glucose (Carbohydrate) metabolism?

Digestion of carbohydrates is by both mechanical (chewing in the mouth) as well as chemical (enzyme’s secretion by the body) process of digestion.

Once the food reaches the mouth, saliva secretion contains an enzyme (amylase or ptyalin secretion by parotid glands) that begins the breakdown of carbohydrate. This breakdown process continues, and glucose separates in the stomach. Once the food reaches small intestine, glucose absorption takes place and dumps it into the bloodstream for our energy needs.

Carbohydrate Metabolism

Pancreas Glucose Metabolism

After digestion, the small intestine absorbs the available glucose in the food and released into the bloodstream. Thus, the blood-glucose level in the blood rises; the pancreas senses this and responds by releasing proportional amounts of insulin. Human Insulin is a chemical messenger (a hormone).

Glucose consumption by body cells

Insulin in blood comments

  • the liver has to stop releasing glucose into the bloodstream,
  • the body cell has to start consuming glucose from the bloodstream.

Liver in Glucose Metabolism

Once the necessary glucose consumption is over and if there, is any excess glucose still available in the bloodstream then liver start converting it into glycogen and stored for the future needs.

Glycogen to glucose conversion

If we are not taking our food in time and the body cells needs energy, then liver start converting back the stored glycogen into glucose and releases it into the bloodstream.

Glucose metabolism and diabetes - If there is any problem or deficiency in the glucose metabolism - whether it is glucose absorption, insulin secretion, glucose use, glucose storage, or releasing stored glucose. This minor deficiency in glucose metabolism will slowly develop diabetes

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