A description of insulin and glucagon.

The basics of insulin and glucagon in regulating plasma glucose.

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...are elevated as we absorb nutrients. Insulin is responsible not only for the uptake of glucose by muscle and adipose cells but also is a required stimulus for storage of glucose as glycogen, synthesis of fats from glucose and uptake of amino acids. Now, imagine what happens when our body does not produce insulin. Glucose sits in the blood and is never taken up by the cells because they never even know it is there TO BE taken-up. Eventually, when glucose levels are too high the kidney is forced to excrete it in the urine. In fact sweet urine was actually used by doctors to diagnosis this condition. Yes, that means someone had to taste it. Normally, our body will NEVER excrete glucose because it requires a great deal of water to do so and would eliminate a very valuable substance. Our body would much rather just store glucose for later use if we had excess. With high glucose levels we have an added problem, glucagon.

Glucagon is the hormone released by alpha-cells in the pancreas when our blood glucose levels are low when we have no food in our system. Glucagon antagonizes (limits) the actions of insulin but more importantly it is needed for the conversion of glycogen to glucose and gluconeogenesis (glucose synthesis ex. from ...