Education after a meal, which hormone is responsible for moving...

after a meal, which hormone is responsible for moving glucose into the body’s cells?


The hormone insulin is responsible for moving glucose into cells after a meal. This hormone is produced by the pancreas and signals to the body that it’s not hungry anymore and can stop eating, as well as stimulating cells to absorb glucose which provides energy. Some of this process happens at the end of fasting or after exercise which makes sense in terms of why you feel tired after a meal, giving your body time to recover.

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neuron, brain, human @ Pixabay

In terms of how much insulin your body produces, humans don’t have much control over it. Most types of animals have this ability like dogs who get fat from just one sausage-sized treat in their morning walk (which is a lot less than what most people eat). However, humans do eat a lot of carbs and the amount of insulin produced can vary throughout the day.Scientists are trying to identify if diet and exercise affects how much insulin your body produces.

In order to see if they did, a study was done where fasting blood sugar was measured and levels were compared to after eating a meal. It turns out that in human blood, glucose can be detected up to 15 minutes after eating and it peaks between 20-30 minutes after eating at levels much higher than fasting baseline levels (which was 3-5mmol/l). The key thing though is that this is when there is no insulin in the blood (fasting). Insulin in the bloodstream is only released after eating a meal.

The results of the study were that if participants who had insulin resistance, their fasting blood sugar was much higher than those without it. This shows that this condition, where blood sugar levels are high due to insulin resistance in your body can make you feel hungry even when there are high levels of glucose in your system. If this happens often enough, you could gain weight from it.

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artery, biology, blood @ Pixabay

This means that if one eats a lot of carbs and they are not treated for insulin resistance, they will likely gain weight and be prone to developing type 2 diabetes which is serious because the condition can lead to heart attacks and strokes.

One hypothesis is that eating carbs can cause insulin resistance in the body because it’s sugar, but this is not completely proven for sure as previous studies done on animals have shown that high glucose levels cause insulin resistance and weight gain.

If this is the case, then someone who has a high level of insulin resistance may be able to eat big quantities of carbs without showing any signs of it. Studies are being done now to see if this would be the case.

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dna, white male, 3d model @ Pixabay

Since it is not known whether insulin resistance is something that is caused by diet or created in the body on its own, scientists are also trying to find out if the amount of insulin produced in the body can vary depending on what one eats. Glucose levels have been measured in people after they eat different types of carbohydrates and it has been shown that it does vary depending on the food. However, this could be because glucose levels change after exercise as well just like how plasma glucose levels change after meals. Changes show up in both cases but exercise doesn’t cause insulin resistance, so only eating foods with high carbs causes insulin resistance.

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