Importance of Glucose in the Human Body
The body needs glucose to carry out important functions. Glucose provides energy required to carry out specialized processes like cellular respiration and absorption. When the body lacks glucose, it can lead to serious complications which include a coma and in some instances death.
Features of glucose
This is defined as a 6 carbon sugar molecule that is high polar and easy to dissolve. It is found in D and L conformations what is more, it is only recognized by the body as D-glucose.
Provision of energy
Glucose provides body cells with energy and in essence, it is the only source for this. Once cells absorb glucose, the molecule is broken through glycolysis which converts hexose to pyruvate which is in turn metabolized in the cycle of citric acid.
The body uses excess glucose that isn’t required for energy to store a compound known as glycogen. This is done through the process known as glycogenesis. The liver, through this process creates hundreds of glycogen chains that get connected by chemical bonds. The body breaks glycogen to single energy units where the primary sources aren’t available. When the primary energy sources aren’t available, the body breaks the stored energy into units. Ideally this takes place during meals, workouts or when sleeping in order to ensure the blood sugar does not drop dangerously.
Glucose, according to Essentials of glycobiology plays an important structural role because of its carbohydrate inclusion to proteins. The carbohydrate groups have an important role to play in enzyme binding and functioning.
Shortage of glucose
While most of the cells in the body can use fats to get energy, red blood cells and brain cells rely on glucose in order to meet their energy needs. Even in cases where these cells experience short shortage periods, they can die off. Precisely for this reason, it is important to ensure the glucose levels in the body are appropriate at all times.
The body has the ability to adapt to varying carbohydrate dietary intake and while this is the case, it is recommended that 125 to 175 grams are preferable every day. A large portion of this can include complex carbohydrates like vegetables or grains rather than simple sugars like candy.
Glucose is the primary source of energy not only for the brain but cells in the body. The energy aids the cells in carrying out cell conduction, chemical substance production and active transport of substances. Glucose is also made in the small intestines once maltose is split.
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