Glucose (Glc) is derived from the food we ingest, especially the carbohydrates present in our meals. Carbohydrates, which form the main source of glucose, are present in abundance in rice, pasta, potatoes and different types of food rich in starch content. In fact, sugar is also a variety of carbohydrate. In addition, glucose is also present in a number of fruits and vegetables.
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As soon as we consume these foods, they are broken down into simpler substances by our digestive system to enable our body to use them up for performing different essential functions. On the right side of our body, just below the rib cage we have a large organ called the liver. The liver performs several vital functions together with synthesizing as well as accumulating the nutritional substances from the ingested foods and disintegrating the chemicals like alcohol. In addition to transforming all these substances into glucose, the liver is also capable of manufacturing glucose from scratch.
After being processed or manufactured in the liver, glucose enters our blood system and is then transported all over the body providing the cells nourishment and the fuel essential for performing their respective functions. It is important to constantly control the level of glucose in our blood streams. Failure to do this may lead to several physical ailments and disorders, the most common being diabetes.
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Regulating the glucose level in our blood streams and keeping it within permissible limits is very essential for our well being as this fundamental variety of energy not only acts together with our digestive system, but also with the hormonal or endocrine arrangement. In fact, our body has its own mechanism to control the level of glucose present in the blood system at any particular point of time. When the level of glucose in the blood system is higher than what is required, our body stores the excess glucose in the liver in glycogen form and releases it in the blood system when the level of glucose falls. In fact, our body is also able to accelerate as well as retard the release of insulin. Nevertheless, despite this mechanism in work, there may be problems in maintaining the accurate quantity of glucose circulating in the blood during any period of the process.
Occasionally, the intensity of glucose in the blood stream may be exceptionally high. Such a condition is known as hyperglycemia and may be caused owing to the presence of excessive sugar in the blood stream or very small amount of insulin. On the contrary, very low concentration of glucose may be owing to having very less food or erratic secretion of insulin in the body. When the regulation of glucose in the blood stream is irregular it gives rise to a common disorder known as diabetes. At times, diabetes can be regulated or monitored by stringently following prescribed diets that are essential for the body. Alternatively, diabetes can be controlled by taking insulin injections. In fact, your physician is able to measure the amount of glucose present in your blood stream by undertaking a simple blood examination and find out whether it is within the beneficial range. In case the glucose level is found to be high or low, he may recommend suitable diet and/ or medications.
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It may be mentioned here that glucose is a simple sugar called monosaccharide and is considered to be a key carbohydrate in biology. Every living cell makes use of glucose as the prominent supply of energy and an intermediary in metabolic activities. In plants, glucose is produced through photosynthesis and it is responsible for cellular respiration in eukaryotes as well as prokaryotes. Glucose derives its name from the Greek term glykys that denotes 'sweet' and the suffix '-ose' added to the word means sugar. While two aldohexose sugar stereoisomers are known as glucose, just one of them - D-glucose - is organically active. Often D-glucose is also mentioned as dextrose monohydrate and in the food industry it is just known as dextrose, which has been derived from dextrorotatory glucose. Here we shall only discuss about the D-variety of glucose. The mirror-image or the twin of the molecule known as L-glucose cannot be metabolized by the cells in the biochemical procedure called glycolysis to produce energy and for growth.
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In biology, glucose is considered to be an omnipresent fuel or energy. Majority of the living beings, right from bacteria to humans, make use of glucose as the basis of energy. Different organisms may make use of glucose by means of aerobic (with oxygen) or anaerobic (fermentation) respirations. In fact, carbohydrates form the most important energy resource for the human body and by the way of aerobic respiration they supply around 3.75 kilocalories or 16 kilojoules of energy acquired from food for every gram. When carbohydrates like starch are disintegrated in the body, they produce mono- and disaccharides that mostly comprising glucose. Glucose is ultimately oxidized to develop into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water producing energy generally in the ATP form first by the biochemical procedure called glycolysis and afterward in the chemical reactions of the Citric Acid Cycle (TCAC).
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The concentration or intensity of glucose present in the blood stream is controlled by the reaction of insulin and through other means. It is important to note that an extremely high fasting intensity of blood sugar is a sign of pre-diabetic and diabetic state of affairs. Since glucose is a basic energy resource for the brain, its availability has an impact on the psychological or mental development. For instance, when the supply of glucose to the brain in insufficient all psychological procedures that require cerebral endeavor, such as self-control, are hindered. In addition, glucose is also vital for producing proteins and in the assimilation process of lipids in our body. At the same time, glucose is a foundation for vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in plants as well as majority of the animals. In fact, glucose is transformed in these procedures by the means of biochemical method called glycolysis. Glucose also forms the basis for a number of vital substances. For instance, starch, starch solution, cellulose and glycogen (animal starch) are all familiar glucose polymers or polysaccharides. Even lactose, the primary sugar content in milk, is glucose - scientifically known as galactose disaccharide. Sucrose is another vital disaccharide where glucose is coupled with fructose. In fact, these amalgamation procedures also depend on the phosphorylation (addition of a phosphate (PO4) group) of glucose by means of the initial step of the glycolysis.