Glucose & Sugar Metabolism
Carbohydrate is the name given to a large group of sugars, starches, celluloses, and gums. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all body functions and are needed to process other nutrients.
Glucose is a major source of energy in human body fluids. When eaten or produced, glucose is taken into the blood from the intestinal tract. Excess glucose in circulation is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen and converted to glucose and released as needed.
Metabolism is the term used to describe the sum of all chemical processes that take place in the body. There are two main types of metabolism; building up, known as anabolism and breaking down, known as catabolism. In anabolism, smaller molecules such as amino acids are converted into larger molecules, such as proteins. In catabolism the opposite is true. Larger molecules, such as glycogen, are broken down to smaller molecules, such as glucose. The hormone insulin serves as the catalyst for the process of catabolism.
Insulin is a naturally occurring hormone released by the pancreas in response to increased levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Chromium entered into the science of mammalian nutrition in the late 1950’s when Schwarz and Mertz reported that rats fed chromium deficient diets exhibited glucose intolerance.
Chromium is one of the many trace minerals found in the body. There are two types of minerals that are found throughout the body, trace and macro. These names only indicate the amount of a particular mineral, nothing more. A mineral’s importance is in no way gauged by its overall content within the body. Some trace minerals, like chromium are essential to the proper functioning of certain enzymatic transactions. The minerals that are found in abundance within the body are referred to as the macro-minerals.
CHROMIUM is involved in carbohydrate, lipid (fats), and nucleic acid metabolism. It functions in carbohydrate and lipid (fat) metabolism as a potentiator of insulin action.
NIACIN is a B-complex nutrient which aids in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
VITAMIN B-1 is needed for carbohydrate metabolism. Vitamin B-1 is essential for digestion and for the functioning of the heart.
IODINE is an essential part of the hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine. These hormones are required for growth and development and for maintenance of a metabolic state.
ZINC aids in the digestion and metabolism of phosphorus and protein. It is a component of insulin and of male reproductive fluid. It is involved with carbohydrate digestion.
PANTOTHENIC ACID is necessary for growth, and it contributes extensively to energy functions and the skin.
MANGANESE promotes enzyme activation. An enzyme is a protein that speeds up or causes chemical reactions in living matter. An example would be the conversion of glycogen to glucose to energy that the body can use.
UNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS are essential for growth, but can not be synthesized in the body. Of the essential fatty acids, only linoleic acid must be included in the diet. The others, linolenic and arachidonic, can be synthesized in the body with linoleic acid. Linoleic acid is the PUFA needed for healthy cell membranes and serves as a precursor for the formation of other fatty acids necessary within the body. Arachidonic acid is the PUFA that is a major precursor for prostaglandins, a group of chemically active, hormonelike compounds that influence innumerable body processes.
-Consume a low fat diet with plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
-Raw fruits, vegetables and vegetable juices reduce the need for insulin.
-Consume fish and low fat dairy and vegetable proteins like grains and legumes.
-Avoid tobacco, caffeine, soda, white flour and salt.
-Avoid food with artificial or simple sugars and saturated fats.
-Get plenty of exercise.