Glucose sugar is a simple sugar which is used by the human body for energy. Plants, animals, humans, and even some bacteria use or create glucose for use in cell respiration, energy, metabolism, and other processes. This is the type of “blood sugar” known in diabetes patients, although some may not fully understand the purpose of glucose sugar in the blood and the many uses it has.
In humans, glucose sugar is stored in the liver and distributed throughout the body as needed by the cells. Both the liver and kidneys help to process glucose so that it can be used effectively. Glucose is found in great quantities in most carbohydrates, including bread products, potatoes, corn, and from other substances like lactose found in dairy products. As glucose enters the bloodstream, it is utilized by cells to fuel the many processes performed by the body, including cell respiration as the most basic level and running or jumping at a larger level. Before it can be used, insulin is secreted by the pancreas in order to help break it down.
When too many carbohydrates are consumed, and thus, too much glucose is secreted into the bloodstream, insulin is released in much higher quantities. Eventually the body can become resistant to the effects of insulin, thus creating the foundation for type two diabetes. This is the reason glucose sugar is thought of negatively by many, although it has a very important role to play in the human body.
Without glucose sugar, cells could not regenerate themselves and the body would have no fuel with which to run. Carbohydrates are a necessary part of the human diet, although it is important to consume them in the right forms. Whole grains should be the main source, with refined starches and sweets being eaten in moderation.
Glucose sugar that is consumed but not needed by the body right away is stored as glycogen in the liver for later use. These energy stores are used during times when little food has been consumed, or when extra energy is needed to perform a challenging task. Consuming too many glucose-loaded foods without burning off the energy — and calories — can result in weight gain and put one at higher risk for diabetes.
Researchers don’t currently understand why glucose, and not other simple sugars, is heavily utilized by the body. It is thought that perhaps glucose sugar is more easily metabolized, but this has not yet been proven. Other sugars are used in smaller amounts, but do not seem to have quite the same effect on blood sugar.