Molecule Advent Day 15: Glucose

“Feed your brain

Feed your bones and your skin

Heal disease with the ingredients From your super recipe book and pantry”

Yet another molecule that we will be getting extra familiar with at Christmas: Glucose, read more in this blog from Dominique Skinner our long standing student intern!

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What did you have for breakfast this morning? Cereal with milk, fruit or maybe toast with jam?

Whatever it was your body will kindly break it down and use fuel from the food to start the day. Our bodies’ 1st source of energy is sugar and in particularly glucose. Each of our cells need glucose for a process called respiration. This makes the energy our bodies need in the form of ATP.

If food is a tree, then glucose is the paper and ATP is the money: We need food to get the glucose to make the ATP –  the currency of our body, of many living organisms in fact.

You see it’s not love that makes the world go round, it’s glucose!

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Glucose itself is a hexose sugar. This just means it has 6 carbons. Glucose is made from just carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. There are also two types of glucose; you could expend some of your glucose finding out what they are, or you could tune into tomorrow’s blog post where I’ll talk about one.

Remember when I said glucose is our bodies 1st source of energy, there are others: protein and fat. When you inevitably take in more glucose than your body needs this Christmas, you will begin to store this extra energy source. This means the glucose will be converted to fats, a storage molecule for energy. We start to break down fats when all the glucose in our bodies has been used up. This occurs during long periods of exercise or in a moment of stress (‘fight or flight’) where we perceive threat and need extra glucose for respiration in the muscles. However, if this threat doesn’t materialise, the fat we’ve broken down into glucose will only be stored as extra fat again. One extra reason to stay calm this winter and balance out those extra mince pies!