Blood Glucose

Glucose is  the primary source of energy in the body. They are simple monosaccharide of carbohydrates.

Structure of glucose

Bloodglucose are vital for cellular metabolism (the sum total of chemical reactions that occurs in the body). The chemical formula of glucose is C6H12O6, it is poignant to note that glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide. Glucose may follow the glycolytic pathway to yield 2ATP. Excess glucose is converted to glycogen (stored in the liver) or triglyceride (stored in the adipose tissues). The regulation of this important fuel is by the actions of many hormones but two are more significant thus; insulin and glucagon.

Insulin is a hormone that stores excess glucose while the glucagon convert glycogen back to glucose in a process called glycogenolysis. These two hormones are very vital and when deficient in the body may lead to serious abnormalities in the body system (will be discussed in subsequent topics)

How is glucose produced?

Glucose is often made by the green plants and most algae in a process called photosynthesis. The reaction is given below

6CO2+6H2O <——> C6H12O6+6O2

From the reaction above, in the presence of sun light carbo iv oxide react with water to produce glucose and oxygen

In human, the glucose is derived from carbohydrate rich foods e.g yam, rice, bread etc. The food travels through the digestive system, getting to the stomach some acid an enzyme acts on them to break them hence glucose is released. The glucose goes to the intestine and passes to the bloodstream, once in the bloodstream, the B-cells releases a hormone called insulin which transport the glucose to the different cells in the body.

Blood glucose concentration ranges in human
Blood glucose ranges

Glucose for metabolism is partially stored as polymer (different monomeric units). In animals they are stored as glycogen as stated earlier, while in plants they are stored as starch or amylopectin.

Uses Of Blood Glucose

1. Low sugar level are referred to as hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemic patient are at risk of death, therefore glucose are administered to them (especially in people with diabetes mellitus)to quickly raise the sugar level.

2. Glucose is used to provide calories to sick patients who loses strength and finds it difficult to eat

3. Athletes uses glucose to improve their performance in the field

4. Glucose serves as the most common source of energy to cells

Why is it called blood sugar?

The reason is not far-fetched, but just as glucose is  found in the sap of plants, in human glucose is found in the bloodstream (thus called blood sugar). It indications in urine may mean abnormality (Glucosuria). Hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia (low and high sugar level respectively) are serious abnormalities thus the need to always check your blood sugar level is necessary (normal range is 100ml/dL) after about 8hours of fasting and not starving. A glucometer is a small device used to determine the sugar level of an individual, to determine this, a lancet is used to make a sharp prick at the thumb or ring finger and allow to drop on the strip fixed to the device,the electronic devices will ascertain the sugar level and displays the concentration.

The Glucometer


Glucose is so vital and are important fuels for all cellular metabolism in the living system at normal range. However when it is low the  person is at risk likewise when it is high e.g hyperglycemia causes artherosclerosis (hardning of the blood vessels)



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