Where Does Sugar Enter the Blood?

Where Does Sugar Enter the Blood?

Ever wondered where does sugar enter the blood? We frequently consume a lot of sugar. Starting with cakes to tea that is sugared, from sweet potatoes to sweets, and so on. The list is endless.

In addition, all foods have sugar, which is vital for our normal body functioning. We all know that our body uses energy in whatever activity it does. A simple task like chewing, for example, uses energy. 

The body converts the sugars to energy. It’s present in the form of carbohydrates.

Now, understanding where does sugar enter the blood requires us to understand the digestion process.

Digestion

The process is lengthy. We won’t cover it all because we’re interested in how sugar absorption into the bloodstream. It begins in the mouth.

Digestion in the Mouth

As mentioned, digestion begins in the mouth. The mouth has saliva that has enzymes that help crush the food. The enzyme amylase converts carbohydrates to respective smaller portions.

Mucus in the saliva ensures easy swallowing of the broken food boluses into the stomach. The food boluses mix with the enzyme amylase, which breaks down to easy-to-swallow portions. Moreover, the mucus rolls the boluses to the stomach. Contractions and relaxation of alimentary wall muscles are responsible for that. 

Softening and lubrication of the food take place in the mouth.

Digestion in the Stomach

Most proteins get digested here. The food comprises of semi-digested, acidic, and pulpy mix called chyme.

The softened and lubricated boluses get subjected to more mechanical breakdown. Contractions and expansion of the stomach muscles break them further. Here, the bolusesmix with gastric juices are secreted by the gastric glands.

Digestion in the Intestines

It’s where most sugar enters the blood. It’s divided into three parts, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.

Duodenum

It’s the first part of the small intestines. It receives semi-digested food from the stomach. It stimulates the secretion of hormones that stimulates the release of the pancreas. The pancreas releases pancreatic juice that contains the pancreatic amylase enzyme.

It also leads to more lubricant secretion to prevent friction against the mucosal layer. Neutralization of the gastric juice and pancreatic enzyme takes place. Further digestion takes place during this process. The lower lining of the duodenum begins absorbing some nutrients before it’s moved to the jejunum.

Jejunum

With the help of the pancreatic enzyme, most carbohydrates get broken down into soluble portions. At this point, disaccharides emerge from the combination of two simple sugar. It is possible by enzymes maltase, sucrase, and lactase.

Lactase converts simple sugars to lactose and galactose. Maltase converts disaccharides to glucose by hydrolysis. 

Sucrase enhances the breakdown of sucrose to fructose and glucose. 

After digestion of the carbohydrates, glucose becomes highly concentrated in the intestines than the bloodstream. It creates a concentration gradient. 

Thereafter, Sugar (glucose) from the intestines gets absorbed into the bloodstream through diffusion. The glucose moves across the walls of the intestines to the bloodstream. 

Glucose also enters the blood through active transport. The transportation of sodium ions from the intestines to the bloodstream causes a concentration gradient. The process results in a higher concentration of sodium ions in the intestines than in the bloodstream.

It causes the diffusion of sodium ions from the intestinal walls to the bloodstream.  Transportation of the sodium ions carries along with glucose to the bloodstream.

Lastly, only enough glucose enters the blood as energy. It’s this glucose that enables us to carry out our daily activities. After absorption, the liver stores excess glucose as glycogen.

The insulin enzyme is responsible for balancing the glucose levels in the body.

When one goes long hours in a day without eating, the pancreas stops secreting insulin. Production of glucagon by the alpha cells begins. The hormone sends a signal to the liver. The liver converts the stored glycogen to glucose for absorption into the bloodstream.

In summary, long days of starvation lead to the utilization of energy stored in the muscles. When the stored energy and glucose runs out of stock, the liver generates glucose from waste products.

Ileum

Now, it’s the last part of the small intestines. It connects to the large intestines. It absorbs nutrients through diffusion to be used by the body like the jejunum. It ensures complete absorption of the minerals before proceeding to the large intestines.

From the small intestines, the substances move to the large intestines. After that, large intestines reabsorb minerals and water from the products. It also stores fecal matter and ferments hard-to-digest materials.

Then, from the large intestines, the food substances move to the rectum. Rectum connects to the brain by sensory nerves to relay signals to release the fecal matter.

The last part is the anus. Its core function is to control the stool. The sphincter muscles that contract and expand accordingly help release the matter when ready.

Additionally, there’re cases of lack of enough sugar in the body. In such cases, patients get weak and emaciated. Under a doctor’s prescription, sugar enters the blood through injections or drugs. 

The injections or drugs should contain sugar supplements that enter the bloodstream directly. It must be under a doctor’s direction since excessive use could cause other health complications.

Also, note that eating lots of meals accumulated with sugars causes sugar-related problems such as diabetes.  Eventually, World Health Organization (W.H.O) ranked diabetes the ninth leading killer disease in 2019.

Overview

Conclusively, as described in the whole digestion process, it’s clear that our bodies need enough sugars. In summary, this is where sugar enters the blood;

1. Duodenum

As discussed, little nutrients enter the bloodstream. It’s because of the reduced breakdown of nutrients that takes place here.

2. Jejunum

More sugar enters the blood because of many activities that break down the food particles.

3. Ileum

More sugar enters the blood than in the jejunum. More activities of the breakdown of food substances take place. All nutrients that pass through the jejunum enter the blood.

4. Liver

Stored glucose as glycogen in the liver breaks down to glucose when the body exhausts sugar in the bloodstream.

5. Muscles

During starvation, the body releases the energy stored in the muscles. 

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