Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Our body’s priority is preventing hypoglycemia, not hyperglycemia

An grownup human has about five l of blood in circulation. Taking into consideration a blood glucose concentration of a hundred mg/dl, this interprets into a whole volume of glucose in the blood of about five g (five l x .1 g / .1 l). That is approximately a teaspoon of glucose. If a person’s blood glucose goes down to about 50 % of that, the man or woman will enter a state of hypoglycemia. Severe and/or prolonged hypoglycemia can trigger seizures, comma, and loss of life.

In other phrases, the disappearance of about 2.five g of glucose from the blood will guide to hypoglycemia. Considering that two.5 g of glucose yields about 10 calories, it must be simple to see that it does not consider much to make somebody hypoglycemic in the absence of compensatory mechanisms. An grownup will take in on typical six to 9 instances as many calories just sitting quietly, and a proportion of individuals energy will come from glucose.

While hypoglycemia has serious negative health consequences in the brief time period, like the most serious of all - demise, hyperglycemia has primarily long-expression adverse health results. Presented this, it is no shock that our body’s priority is to avoid hypoglycemia, not hyperglycemia.

The determine under, from the outstanding ebook by Brooks and colleagues (2005), shows two graphs. The graph at the leading shows the variation of arterial glucose in reaction to physical exercise. The graph at the bottom demonstrates the variation of total-human body and muscle glucose uptake, plus hepatic glucose production, in reaction to workout. The total reference to the Brooks and colleagues book is at the conclude of this put up.

Note how blood glucose increases drastically as the intensity of the exercise session will increase, which implies that muscle tissue use of glucose is also rising. This is particularly apparent as arm exercise is added to leg exercising, bringing the exercising intensity to 82 % of maximal ability. This blood glucose elevation is comparable to the elevation one would usually see in response to all-out sprinting and bodyweight education inside the anaerobic variety (with ample bodyweight to allow only 6 to twelve repetitions, or a time beneath stress of about thirty to 70 seconds).

The dashed line at the bottom graph represents total-body glucose uptake, including what would be needed for the entire body to operate in the absence of physical exercise. This is why whole-human body glucose uptake is increased than muscle mass glucose uptake induced by exercise the latter was calculated via a glucose tracing strategy. The prime of the error bars above the factors on the dashed line symbolize hepatic glucose creation, which is constantly ahead of whole-physique glucose uptake. This is our entire body performing what it needs to do to stop hypoglycemia.

One particular position that is essential to make right here is that at the starting of an anaerobic exercise session muscle mass makes use of up primarily nearby glycogen shops (not liver glycogen merchants), and can entirely deplete them in a extremely localized trend. Muscle glycogen retailers insert up to 500 g, but extreme exercising depletes glycogen merchants domestically, only within the muscles being utilized. Still, muscle glycogen use generates lactate as a byproduct, which is then used by the liver to produce glucose (gluconeogenesis) to avoid hypoglycemia. The liver also makes some glycogen (glycogenesis) in the course of this time. This signifies that it is not only pre-workout liver glycogen that is getting employed to keep blood glucose levels over entire-body glucose uptake. This makes perception, considering that the liver retailers only about a hundred g of glycogen.

The need to stop hypoglycemia at all charges is the principal reason why there are many hormones that increase blood glucose, whilst apparently there is only 1 that decreases blood glucose. Illustrations of hormones that enhance blood glucose are cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, growth hormone, and, notably, glucagon. The only hormone that decreases blood glucose ranges in a significant way is insulin. These hormones do not increase or reduce blood glucose right they signal to various tissues to either secrete or take up glucose.

Evolution generally prioritizes procedures that have a larger impact on reproductive accomplishment, and one particular need to be alive to successfully reproduce. Hypoglycemia brings about loss of life. Often those processes that have a considerable effect on reproductive achievement count on redundant mechanisms. So our evolved mechanisms to offer with hypoglycemia are redundant. Evolution is not an engineer it is a tinkerer!

What about hyperglycemia – does not it trigger dying? Well, not in the short expression, so relevant variety pressures had been relatively little in comparison to those associated with hypoglycemia. Besides, there ended up no foods prosperous in refined carbs and sugars in the Paleolithic - e.g., white bread, bagels, doughnuts, pasta, cereals, fruit juices, normal sodas, desk sugar. People are the foodstuff that lead the most to hyperglycemia.


Brooks, G.A., Fahey, T.D., & Baldwin, K.M. (2005). Physical exercise physiology: Human bioenergetics and its purposes. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.
Title: Our body’s priority is preventing hypoglycemia, not hyperglycemia
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