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What Is Insulin?

Insulin is one type of hormone that is produced in the pancreas. Insulin’s function is to control the levels of glucose in the body. The body needs a constant supply of glucose all day and the body gets it from the food that is eaten at different parts of the day. Insulin helps in regulating the glucose in the body.

For example, when the glucose levels in the blood is high, insulin will stimulate the cells found in the liver, muscles and in fat and combine with glucose in order to form a compound called glycogen. The glycogen acts like a reserve of energy that is stored in the liver, muscles and fat. It will be used when the body runs low on glucose. Another function of insulin is to remove the by products of food by stimulating the fat cells to form fats, which are taken from fatty acids. The liver and the kidney would then turn amino acids into proteins. Insulin also helps prevent the liver and the kidneys from making glucose from partially metabolized food because this is a process that can damage the said organs.

Insulin has a close relationship with glucagon, which is another hormone that is produced by the pancreas. Glucagon is used when the blood sugar levels in the body drop. It’s function is to stimulate the liver and muscles to break down the glycogen stored in the body. The functions of both insulin and glucagon illustrate the cycle of blood-glucose control.

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