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Glucagon, Dietary Protein, As Well As Low-Carbohydrate Diets

Glucagon is a hormone that plays an of import travel inwards blood glucose control.  Like insulin, it's secreted past times the pancreas, though it's secreted past times a unlike prison theater cellular telephone population than insulin (alpha vs. beta cells).  In closed to ways, glucagon opposes insulin.  However, the travel of glucagon inwards metabolism is often misunderstood inwards diet-health circles.

The liver ordinarily stores glucose inwards the cast of glycogen too releases it into the bloodstream every bit needed.  It tin hand the axe also industry glucose from glycerol, lactate, too sure amino acids.  Glucagon's principal labor is to travel along blood glucose from dipping too depression past times making sure the liver releases plenty glucose.  There are a few situations where this is specially important:


  1. Hypoglycemia.  When blood refined saccharify drops below a sure threshold, for illustration if a diabetic injects too much insulin, the encephalon senses it too initiates a answer (the counterregulatory response) to convey glucose dorsum upward too forbid unconsciousness too death.  Glucagon release is an of import travel of this response.
  2. Fasting.  Glucagon helps back upward blood glucose levels during fasting, when glucose intake is zero, past times stimulating the production too release of glucose past times the liver.  This sustains the brain, which has an absolute requirement for glucose (though it tin hand the axe derive closed to liberate energy from ketones).
  3. High-protein meals.  Protein stimulates insulin release every bit much every bit refined saccharify does (because 1 of insulin's jobs is to ship amino acids into lean tissues such every bit muscle), merely poly peptide doesn't render rapid glucose similar refined saccharify does.  If this procedure went unchecked, eating a high-protein repast would crusade hypoglycemia because insulin release would suppress blood glucose too much.  Glucagon release counterbalances insulin, preventing hypoglycemia when nosotros swallow a high-protein meal.
This postal service volition hash out the 3rd scenario.  If we're looking to trim circulating insulin levels using diet, which is ostensibly the destination of sure low-carbohydrate diet strategies, reducing refined saccharify intake is entirely one-half the story.  If nosotros truly desire to swallow low-insulin foods, the starting fourth dimension matter to produce is hold back upward which foods truly rear insulin next a meal.  The data, published inwards a newspaper titled "19, 20).  Over on Mark Sisson's forum, a number of people receive got been repeating Chris Voigt's experiment of eating cipher merely potatoes, alongside similar weight loss results (21).  To travel clear, I'm non recommending this approach, merely it surely illustrates the mightiness of a monotonous diet.  Interestingly, too beingness extremely filling per calorie, potatoes are also 1 of the almost insulin-stimulating foods, according to the newspaper cited above.


* I am aware of 1 older written report where increasing insulin did Pb to hunger too increased nutrient intake independently of hypoglycemia.  That newspaper had the to the lowest degree convincing written report design, merely I included it for completeness.  It's the terminal of the 4 references I provided.

** They also receive got much higher levels of GLP-1, which may travel a compensatory adaptation, too in all likelihood plays a travel inwards the overall phenotype.  GLP-1 is an incretin hormone every bit good every bit a satiety hormone.  Incretins are a grouping of peptides that create insulin secretion.  This is the occupation alongside knockout mice inwards general-- when you lot instruct rid of something completely from birth, it tin hand the axe trigger compensatory adaptations that brand the resulting phenotype hard to interpret.

*** When glucagon is secreted, it goes to the liver first.  Glucagon concentrations are much higher inwards the hepatic circulation than inwards the full general circulation, which is 1 of the reasons why it's idea to deed primarily inwards the liver.  However, doc Tony Lam's lab has shown that it also acts direct inwards the encephalon to regulate blood glucose.

**** The amino acid leucine, increased on high-protein diets, acts inwards the hypothalamus on mTOR too AMPK pathways, which regulate liberate energy homeostasis (21).  AMPK too mTOR are the cell's primary liberate energy sensing pathways, form of similar leptin too insulin are the primary liberate energy sensors on the organism level.  This machinery seems to travel at to the lowest degree partially responsible for the mightiness of high-protein diets to amend torso composition (lower nutrient intake, lower fatty mass, too higher musculus mass) inwards rodent models.


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