The Role of Glucose in Your Metabolism - dummies

The Role of Glucose in Your Metabolism

By Rachel Berman

Insulin, a hormone produced by the beta cells of your pancreas, regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism. Insulin is one of four main need-to-know hormones that plays a major role in your metabolism.

  • It’s released when it senses carbohydrate or protein in your blood as they’re being digested.

  • It causes your cells to take up glucose to be used for energy or to store either in the liver or muscle as glycogen or in your fat cells as triglycerides.

  • When present, insulin stops your body from breaking down stored fat to use for energy.

  • Insulin stimulates protein synthesis and encourages amino acid uptake by your muscles.

When your metabolism is working at its peak, your body has feedback mechanisms to regulate the amount of insulin your body makes so there’s neither too much nor too little. That way, you’re using glucose appropriately for energy and not storing too much fat.

If you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough (or any!) insulin or your body doesn’t respond well to it, which is known as insulin resistance. But if your cells aren’t as receptive to insulin, there are ways to help reverse that. By seeking out medical care, making changes to your diet and activity levels, and achieving a healthy weight, you can regulate your blood glucose.