Updated: May 31
Carbohydrates represent one of the main sources of energy for the human body. They are brocken down in form of glucose and spreaded into the bloodstream.
How is this happening and how your body does keep control on the amount of glucose transiting through your blood?
Insulin plays a key role that we detail below.
What is insulin?
Insulin is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreas and that is part of the human's endrocrine system. It is the main anabolic hormone in the human body and its role is to regulate the metabolism of carbohydrates.
In clear Insulin controls the process by which the body converts glucose (from the carbs you eat) into energy.
How does insulin work?
Insulin balances blood glucose level.
Within your body the carbohydrates intake is broken down into glucose. This glucose is released into the bloodstream to be carried in the whole body. Insulin signals cells to absorb sugar and use it as energy.
Whenever the amount of glucose into the bloodstream is too important (hyperglycemia), insulin orders to the body to store the extra in the liver.
It then creates a stock of glucose that can be released once blood glucose level has decreased. For instance between meals or when extra boost of energy is needed.
In opposition, hypoglycemia is when blood sugar level is too low. And that requires a high sugar intake or medication that can only come from an external input.
Diseases linked to insulin
A lack of insulin or an unproper work of it into the body can be a sign of Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2).
In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas can not produce insulin anymore and insulin intake is needed to manage sugar level.
In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas can produce insulin but the cells don't make good use of it. The body has an insulin resistance.
How to keep good blood sugar level?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans says that carbs should represent 45 to 65% of the total daily calories which means 900 to 1300 calories a day for women and 1125 to 1625 for men.