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explain mechanisms of blood sugar levels

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Introduction

Explain the mechanisms for the regulation of blood sugar levels As mammals we need glucose for respiration, which provides us with energy. When we eat glucose is broken down in glycolysis, we produce ATP in the kerb's cycle and electron transport chain. So it is essential we have a constant supply of glucose for respiration. The level of glucose must be kept relatively constant. If it gets too low the cells will be deprived of energy then die. Our brain cells only respire to glucose, if the levels get too high it will lower the water potential in the blood and will cause osmotic problems. This will result in dehydration that can be equally dangerous, because of homeostatic control for our blood glucose levels is really important. ...read more.

Middle

Glucose is used up at different rates depending on the individuals' mental and physical activities. With this we rely on three main hormones to maintain a constant level of blood glucose, these hormones are insulin, glucagon and adrenaline. Our pancreas has specialised cells that are called the islets of langerhans, there is two types of these cells, the large alpha cells and the smaller beta cells. Beta cells will respond to a rise in blood glucose levels, the cells will secrete the hormone insulin directly into the blood. Insulin is made up of 51 amino acids. Once insulin combines with receptors, these receptors are found in the membranes of all body cells except for red blood cells. ...read more.

Conclusion

All of these processes remove glucose from the blood so it returns to normal level; the lowering of the blood glucose levels causes the beta cells to reduce their secretion of insulin. This is an example of negative feedback. If there is a fall in blood glucose the hormone glucagons is secreted directly into the blood. Cells in the liver respond by activating the enzyme phosphorylase, this converts glycerol into glucose, this increases the conversion of amino acids and glycerol into glucose is an example of gluconeogenesis. The effect is to increase the amount of glucose in the blood and to return it to its normal level. The raise in blood glucose levels makes the alpha cells to reduce the secretion of glucagons; this is an example of negative feedback. Sinead Jackson Human Anatomy Access Group B ...read more.

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