Glucose is an important energy source of the body. Blood sugar is vital to life. The correct balance is important. The pancreas secretes hormones to help regulate sugar metabolism. Glucose is a simple sugar that is vital for brain function and other bodily systems. Glucose is stored in the body in the form of glycogen. Glycogen is long chained sugar molecules that are stored in muscles and the liver, and travel in the bloodstream.
The pancreas is about 20-25 cm in length. It lies posteriorly at the lower part of the stomach, connected to the duodenum. It produces enzymes that flow along a duct into the duodenum and assist in the digestion of food. It’s function is to produce hormones that help regulate blood sugar levels: insulin and glucogon. These endrocrine cells known as islets, are clustered in groups throughout the pancreas. Unlike most pancreatic products the hormones do not enter the duct leading to the duodenum; instead, they are delivered directly into the bloodstream.
There are different types of pancreatic cells that produce different hormones. The beta cells of the pancreas produce insulin. There is a low level of hormone is secreted during the day. However it blood sugar levels rise, the cells of the pancreas are activated to produce insulin. Insulin opens up the cells of the body to divert the sugar into them. If the liver and muscle glycogen stores are full then the excess blood sugar will then go into fat cells.
The alpha cells of the pancreas produce glucogon. When blood sugar becomes too low glucogon is released. The hormone causes glycogen, particularly in the liver, to be converted into glucose and released into the blood. It also induces the liver, muscle and other body cells to make glucose from other chemicals in the body.
Sugar is vital for life, however, consuming too much is dangerous for the body. The pancreas is small for a reason. If the human being was supposed to consume large quantities of sugar then the pancreas would be much bigger. There is a certain amount of secretions that the pancreas can perform before it no longer can produce insulin. It takes years for this effect to occur but it does happen. This is a disease known as diabetes. Type II diabetes is adult onset. Which means that it can be provoked by excessive sugar consumption. Type II diabetes can be controlled and reduced significantly through the proper nutrition and exercise. It is a shame that so many people who develop Type II diabetes could have avoided it altogether if they lived a healthier life. In rare cases will a person who eats right and exercises develop Type II diabetes. This would be related to a hereditary factor that was predisposed. But the majority of cases are due from negligence of abusing their body.
It seems that most people are only concerned with cutting out fat from their diet. Believing that if they cut out fat then they won’t get fat. This is a ridiculous idea. Consuming refined sugar in abnormal quantities is what is causing many of the health problems of Americans today. The pancreas isn’t designed to handle so much sugar. The average intake of sugar per day by an American ranging from 2-6 cups. The actual sugar requirement for the human body on a daily basis is about 75-90 grams. Much less than the average intake. Eating low glycemic foods is the best. Eating fast acting simple sugars will only cause an insulin reaction that could cause excessive fat gain. Whenever there is an excess of sugar in the bloodstream, insulin releases to push the extra sugar into muscle, liver or fat cells. People who are de-conditioned and have inactive muscle tissue usually end up storing extra sugar in fat cells. This is the problem. Understanding how sugar is metabolized is important to keeping your body in balance. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT How to eat sugar, when to eat sugar, and what types of foods to eat that contains sugar I suggest you purchase my book “diet EARTH”. In this book I discuss the facts about sugar metabolism.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
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