Explain the probable homeostatic responses to changes in the internal environment following the consumption of a healthy meal

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Introduction

M2 Explain the probable homeostatic responses to changes in the internal environment following the consumption of a healthy meal. Homeostasis: Homeostasis is the maintenance of a constant internal environment . The maintenance of homeostasis can occur through the nervous system or through chemical stimulation and changes are achieved and controlled by the homeostasis regulation mechanisms which include sensors, signal transmissions, control centres and also effectors. The above allow the body to adapt to its own environment and therefore allows it to function normally. The reason that we need the internal environment within the body to stay constant is because the enzymes within our body can only work effectively within a certain ph and temperature, if these conditions are not maintained the enzymes will not be able to work and therefore the chemical proteins within the enzymes will not be able to speed up reactions within the body and the enzymes will become denatured, if this occurs this occurs the consequences could be fatal for the individual. Homeostatic mechanisms work by negative feedback as they detect any changes in the boys internal environment and bring about an effect that will reverse the change.

Middle

Therefore when we eat a meal the rise is detected within the blood glucose and the islets of langerhans within the pancreas release insulin to bring the levels back down by converting the glucose into glycogen which will then be stored in the liver. The reason for this is because glucose is soluble and is therefore easy to be carried around in the blood it also dissolves very quickly within the blood where as glycogen is in soluble and does not dissolve within the blood as it is stored in the liver until it is needed by the body. The excess glucose from the meal is converted to glycogen and stored in the liver. If we have too little glucose in our blood the body will detect this change and glycogen will be released from the liver and converted into glucose, the reason for this is because the body is in need of more energy e.g. when a person has not eaten. As soon as we start to eat a meal the digestion process occurs in the mouth, breaking the food down into small energy molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Conclusion

Glucose is the primary fuel used by the brain and is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. All carbohydrates can be broken down into glucose in the body. Some carbohydrates have a simple structure that easily breaks down into glucose. These are simple carbohydrates, commonly known as sugars e.g. fruits, milk, and other foods, they are digested rapidly which allows the glucose to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. Therefore a meal that is high in simple carbohydrates can contribute to reactive hypoglycemia. Complex carbohydrates and proteins are important in the diet. They are a basic source of energy. Complex carbohydrates are many molecules of simple sugars linked together like beads on a string. They take longer to break down in the intestine, and this helps to keep blood glucose levels more consistent. Pasta, grains, and potatoes are complex carbohydrates. Proteins are made of amino acids that the body needs for growth and good health. Most food protein can be converted into glucose by the body, but since this process takes some time, the glucose gets into the bloodstream at a slower, more consistent pace. That is why people with reactive hypoglycemia should eat complex carbohydrates and protein for their energy needs, instead of simple carbohydrates. BTEC Nat Diploma Health Studies Ashley Kean

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This essay explains the principles of homeostasis with reference to maintaining blood glucose levels. It is set out logAically, with mostly good content linking to the roles of the pancreas and liver, alongside insulin and glucagon. Areas for improvement, or extension of knowledge and understanding, have been identified within the marking comments. There is some content towards the second half of the essay which is not required in order to meet the essay title.

Marked by teacher Jenny Spice 05/09/2013

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