Rap1 Controls The Body’s Sugar Levels From The Brain
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Researchers have discovered a mechanism in a small area of the brain that regulates whole-body glucose balance without affecting body weight.
Managing type 2 diabetes typically involves losing weight, exercise and medication, but new research by Dr. Makoto Fukuda and colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine and other institutions suggests that there may be other ways to control the condition through the brain. The researchers have discovered a mechanism in a small area of the brain that regulates whole-body glucose balance without affecting body weight, which suggests the possibility that modulating the mechanism might help keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
“A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that the brain is a promising yet unrealized therapeutic target for type 2 diabetes, as it has been shown that it can regulate glucose metabolism,” said Fukuda, assistant professor of pediatrics-nutrition at Baylor. “To further materialize this concept, it is of great interest to identify potentially druggable molecular targets mediating the brain’s antidiabetic effects.”
Regulating whole-body glucose balance from the brain
Research has shown that within the hypothalamic region of the brain, a small area known as the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus contains glucose-sensing neurons and regulates glucose metabolism in peripheral tissues.
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Sugar Sometimes Gets A Bad Rap But Its Not Always Bad
Blood sugaror blood glucoseis an important number when it comes to diabetes management.
Many foods break down into blood sugar, which is used for energy to fuel our brain, heart and muscles. Blood sugar either comes from the food we eat or is made by the liver, and is found in the blood stream and inside the cells .
If you’re struggling to manage your blood sugar levels, youre not alone.
The good news is, with the latest tools and strategies, you can take steps to manage your blood sugar, prevent serious complications and thrive.
What You Eat And Drink
The calories in, calories out philosophy is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don’t get me wrong, limiting calories, carbohydrates or fat can certainly help you lose weight but that’s simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy .
I do, however, support calorie labelling as a tool to help people make informed decisions – the amount and type of calories matter.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods . This simple concept is paramount for diabetes and weight management, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should strive for:
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The Role Of Glucagon In Blood Glucose Control
The effect of glucagon is to make the liver release the glucose it has stored in its cells into the bloodstream, with the net effect of increasing blood glucose. Glucagon also induces the liver to make glucose out of building blocks obtained from other nutrients found in the body .
Our bodies desire blood glucose to be maintained between 70 mg/dl and 110 mg/dl . Below 70 is termed “hypoglycemia.” Above 110 can be normal if you have eaten within 2 to 3 hours. That is why your doctor wants to measure your blood glucose while you are fasting…it should be between 70 and 110. Even after you have eaten, however, your glucose should be below 180. Above 180 is termed “hyperglycemia” . If your 2 two blood sugar measurements above 200 after drinking a sugar-water drink , then you are diagnosed with diabetes.
The Natural Control Of Blood Sugar Is Complex
It is important to understand what is supposed to happen in your body, and what is different when you have diabetes.
The natural control of blood sugar is very complex and can become unbalanced when you have diabetes. It is important to understand what is supposed to happen in your body, and what is different when you have diabetes. These sections will introduce you to the different parts of your body and to hormones that are important in regulating your blood sugar.
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Strategies To Stabilize Blood Sugar
Getting your blood sugar to healthy levels may take trial and error, but there are steps to help you achieve it.
Having a daily routine is critical for good diabetes control,” Dr. Kassem says. “That means following your meal plan, exercising regularly, being consistent with blood sugar testing, and following up regularly with your doctor.” Tracking carbohydrates is particularly important. Big variations in carbohydrate intake from day to day can lead to fluctuations in blood sugars, she adds. For example, when you consume excess carbohydrates, the body digests them like sugar and sends them straight to the bloodstream, increasing the risk of blood sugar spikes.
Follow these specific strategies to help control blood sugar:
Exercise A regular exercise program has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels over time, and taking a varied approach to fitness is good for diabetes and health in general. Participants in a 12-week program who exercised for an hour three times a week using both aerobic and resistance training had improved diabetes management, according to research published in February 2015 in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. So mix it up with strength training, aerobic workouts, and any other activities you enjoy.
Drinking Wisely Alcohol can cause an immediate rise in blood sugar and then a drop a few hours later. Its best to stick to moderate amounts and have some solid food with your beverage.
Eat Mindfully On A Sugar Cleanse
Incorporating mindfulness into your meals is a way to make more attentive choices around your meals in general. Research on mindful eating has found that it promotes not only more enjoyment around food but more appropriate portioning of food. Practice eating mindfully during your sugar cleanse by eating slowly, chewing your food thoroughly, and in an environment free of distractions like electronic devices. This allows for more heightened awareness around mealtimes, hunger cues, and more complete satiation.
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Herbs Proven To Lower Blood Sugar
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is essential for the bodys overall health. Unstable blood sugar levels can affect the bodys ability to function normally and can even lead to complications if not managed properly.
Some herbs found in nature help to balance blood sugar levels, making them invaluable to individuals diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Whats more, there is now ample evidence to show herbs help protect against acute and chronic diseases. Herbs also enhance the flavor, aroma, and color of food and beverages.
Easy Ways To Control Your Blood Sugar Naturally
If you have diabetes and about half of all US adults are either pre-diabetic or have full-blown diabetes then its all about those little numbers that show up on on your meter when you prick your finger for the morning blood test. If you havent had the pleasure yet, medicine and supplies can cost a small fortune each month. Wouldnt it be nice if you knew how to control blood sugar naturally and inexpensively?
Umm, actually you can but you might not like the method. Since type-2 diabetes is often a result of poor lifestyle choices diet and lack of exercise mainly that means you should be able to right the ship if you start making good choices.
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Hormones Of The Pancreas
Regulation of blood glucose is largely done through the endocrine hormones of the pancreas, a beautiful balance of hormones achieved through a negative feedback loop. The main hormones of the pancreas that affect blood glucose include insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and amylin.
Insulin lowers BG levels, whereas glucagon elevates BG levels.
Somatostatin is formed in the delta cells of the pancreas and acts as the pancreatic policeman, balancing insulin and glucagon. It helps the pancreas alternate in turning on or turning off each opposing hormone.
Amylin is a hormone, made in a 1:100 ratio with insulin, that helps increase satiety, or satisfaction and state of fullness from a meal, to prevent overeating. It also helps slow the stomach contents from emptying too quickly, to avoid a quick spike in BG levels.
In a healthy liver, up to 10% of its total volume is used for glycogen stores. Skeletal muscle cells store about 1% of glycogen. The liver converts glycogen back to glucose when it is needed for energy and regulates the amount of glucose circulating between meals. Your liver is amazing in that it knows how much to store and keep, or break down and release, to maintain ideal plasma glucose levels. Imitation of this process is the goal of insulin therapy when glucose levels are managed externally. Basalbolus dosing is used as clinicians attempt to replicate this normal cycle.
Test Your Knowledge
Apply Your Knowledge
Ditch The Working Lunch
Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues? Do you drink your food?
How you eat and drink matters. Studies are indicating that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.
When it comes to how you eat, let’s first look at mindful eating.
Mindful eating can help to promote more healthful eating behaviours. Simply put, it means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe. Mindful eating helps to give your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.
Eating with attention and intention also addresses the role of hunger and satiety cues and stresses eating in response to those cues instead of eating in response to automatic patterns. This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less.
Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?
We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.
And what about about drinking your food?
If youre keen on crafting your own smoothies, here are a few tips:
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Insulin Is Continuously Released Into The Blood Stream
Insulin levels are carefully calibrated to keep the blood glucose just right.
Insulin is the main regulator of sugar in the bloodstream.
This hormone is made by beta cells and continuously released into the blood stream. Beta cells are found in the pancreas, which is an organ behind the stomach. Insulin levels in the blood stream are carefully calibrated to keep the blood glucose just right.
High insulin levels drive sugar out of the bloodstream into muscle, fat and liver cells where it is stored for future use. Low insulin levels allow sugar and other fuels to be released back into the blood stream.
Overnight and between meals, insulin levels in the blood stream are low and relatively constant. These low levels of insulin allow the body to tap into its stored energy sources and also to release sugar and other fuels from the liver. This overnight and between-meal insulin is referred to as background or basal insulin. When you havent eaten for a while, your blood sugar level will be somewhere between 60 to 100 mg/dl.
When eating, the amount of insulin released from the pancreas rapidly spikes. This burst of insulin that accompanies eating is called bolus insulin. After a meal, blood sugar levels peak at less than 140 mg/dl and then fall back to the baseline range. The high levels of insulin help the sugar get out of the blood stream and be stored for future use.
What Organ Controls Blood Sugar Level
It’s not just one organ…two organs, the pancreas and theliver, play important roles to balance the level of sugar in ourblood. After a meal, when the sugar level is high, the pancreasproduces insulin, and the sugar in the blood stream is converted toglycogen and stored in the liver. As sugar levels start to decline,the pancreas produces another hormone, glucagon, and the liverreverses the process and breaks down the glycogen to releaseglucose. Once glycogen stores are depleted, the liver startsbreaking down proteins and fats and turns them into sugar to keepthe body running.
Under extreme circumstances, when the sugar level falls waaaybelow normal, an organ in the brain, called the hypothalamus,activates the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline, which alsohelps with glucose production.
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Insulin Basics: How Insulin Helps Control Blood Glucose Levels
Insulin and glucagon are hormones secreted by islet cells within the pancreas. They are both secreted in response to blood sugar levels, but in opposite fashion!
Insulin is normally secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas. The stimulus for insulin secretion is a HIGH blood glucose…it’s as simple as that! Although there is always a low level of insulin secreted by the pancreas, the amount secreted into the blood increases as the blood glucose rises. Similarly, as blood glucose falls, the amount of insulin secreted by the pancreatic islets goes down.
As can be seen in the picture, insulin has an effect on a number of cells, including muscle, red blood cells, and fat cells. In response to insulin, these cells absorb glucose out of the blood, having the net effect of lowering the high blood glucose levels into the normal range.
Glucagon is secreted by the alpha cells of the pancreatic islets in much the same manner as insulin…except in the opposite direction. If blood glucose is high, then no glucagon is secreted.
When blood glucose goes LOW, however, more and more glucagon is secreted. Like insulin, glucagon has an effect on many cells of the body, but most notably the liver.
Cortisol The Stress Hormone
Cortisol isan important hormone that is released in increased quantities in stressfulsituations. As a result, the blood sugar level rises and you feel ravenousappetite. By eating small, healthy meals regularly, you can prevent ravenousappetite attacks in stressful working life.
How can you use this knowledge to your advantage? We have collected some tips for you so that you can consciously control your weight with the right diet.
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Blood Glucose Levels And Diabetes
Your blood sugar level normally rises after you eat. Then it dips a few hours later as insulin moves glucose into your cells. Between meals, your blood sugar should be less than 100 milligrams per deciliter . This is called your fasting blood sugar level.
There are two types of diabetes:
- In type 1 diabetes, your body doesn’t have enough insulin. The immune system attacks and destroys cells of the pancreas, where insulin is made.
- In type 2 diabetes, the cells don’t respond to insulin like they should. So the pancreas needs to make more and more insulin to move glucose into the cells. Eventually, the pancreas is damaged and can’t make enough insulin to meet the body’s needs.
Without enough insulin, glucose can’t move into the cells. The blood glucose level stays high. A level over 200 mg/dl 2 hours after a meal or over 125 mg/dl fasting is high blood glucose, called hyperglycemia.
Too much glucose in your bloodstream for a long period of time can damage the vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your organs. High blood sugar can increase your risk for:
Increase Your Fiber Intake In Your Diet
The fiber in your diet is crucial in controlling your blood sugar level because they help the body slow down carbohydrates into sugars. They also slow down the rate at which the body absorbs the broken-down sugars into the bloodstream. Consider eating foods rich in soluble fibers to help control blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.
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Why You Should Do A Sugar Cleanse
You might be experiencing those blood sugar spikes and then the sugar crash or energy level dip, or the GI symptoms caused by inflammation from sugar in the gut microbiome, which may lead you to question how to flush sugar from your system. The first step in cleansing sugar from your body is focusing less on refined carbs and sugars. That way, you naturally focus more on real, whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, gluten-free grains, and high-quality, pasture-raised meat and seafood, if you eat animal products. Eating fewer processed foods allows for a greater percentage of the diet to include real clean foods, which can help improve digestion, lower inflammation, and boost your energy and mood, too.
Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar
When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.
- As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage.
- As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall.
- When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar.
- This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar.
Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body cant make enough insulin or cant properly use the insulin it makes.
- Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops.
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