Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Which of the following in NOT a direct benefit of a regular walking regimen?
Reduce Stress
Improved immune function
Achieving ideal weight.
Improved sugar metabolism

 Building Blocks of Nutrition: Carbohydrates 

The healthy liver regulates the use of glucose as it allows certain levels to circulate in the blood for use by the cells of the body. If the carbohydrate intake is higher than immediately needed, the liver will normally convert extra glucose into glycogen, a highly branched polysaccharide, and this glycogen can be stored in the liver or in the muscles. At a later time, if energy is needed when there are no dietary carbohydrates available, the liver will convert glycogen back to glucose and return it to the bloodstream, while the muscles may use the muscle glycogen directly for energy.

If we consume higher levels of carbohydrates than are immediately needed or can be converted to glycogen (that is, if there are already sufficient storage sources), then the liver will convert the excess glucose into fatty acids and then triglycerides that can be stored as body fat, a process termed lipogenesis. If carbohydrates are consumed in high quantities on a regular basis by a person with a sedentary lifestyle, weight gain occurs. Fat is a reserve source of energy. With decreased carbohydrate intake and increased activity levels, fat reserves are converted back to fatty acids for body fuel, a process called lipolysis. This generally produces weight loss.

Even when there is little or no intake of carbohydrates, the body attempts to maintain a steady blood sugar level through many mechanisms. Glucose is used by the liver as a source of energy to help synthesize a variety of essential substances. Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, regulates blood sugar levels by stimulating glucose uptake by the cells. Activity and exercise also can reduce blood sugar by increasing tissue glucose needs. A number of hormones influence the production of glucose when the body, and especially the brain, needs more energy. Epinephrine (adrenaline) stimulates glycogen breakdown and raises blood sugar. Steroids enhance conversion of fats and proteins into glucose, and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) can interfere with insulin activity. Glucagon is produced in the pancreas and can raise blood sugar, while thyroid hormone may increase intestinal absorption of glucose as it attempts to stimulate metabolism.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
  Previous   1  2  3  4  5    
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Error Reading Event Calendar
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Intimacy, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Wellness Inventory       Wellness Center
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar