Another step toward an insulin tablet

For the millions of people living with diabetes, insulin is a life-saving drug. Unlike many other medicines, though, insulin cannot be easily delivered by swallowing a pill—it needs to be injected under the skin with a ...

Key insights into a protein linked to diabetes and hypertension

The amount of salt and water in our cells and their pH is strictly controlled for cell survival. To maintain the necessary balance, special proteins perform the essential role of exchanging protons (hydrogen ions, or H+) ...

Ecotourism giving rare iguanas a sweet tooth

Ecotourists feeding grapes to rock iguanas on remote islands in the Bahamas have given them a sweet tooth and high blood sugar, researchers said Thursday, warning of unknown effects on the health of the vulnerable reptiles.

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Blood sugar

Blood sugar concentration, or glucose level, refers to the amount of glucose present in the blood of a human or animal. Normally, in mammals the blood glucose level is maintained at a reference range between about 3.6 and 5.8 mM (mmol/l). It is tightly regulated as a part of metabolic homeostasis.

Mean normal blood glucose levels in humans are about 90 mg/100ml, equivalent to 5mM (mmol/l) (since the molecular weight of glucose, C6H12O6, is about 180 g/mol). The total amount of glucose normally in circulating human blood is therefore about 3.3 to 7g (assuming an ordinary adult blood volume of 5 litres, plausible for an average adult male). Glucose levels rise after meals for an hour or two by a few grams and are usually lowest in the morning, before the first meal of the day. Transported via the bloodstream from the intestines or liver to body cells, Glucose is the primary source of energy for body's cells, fats and oils (ie, lipids) being primarily a compact energy store.

Failure to maintain blood glucose in the normal range leads to conditions of persistently high (hyperglycemia) or low (hypoglycemia) blood sugar. Diabetes mellitus, characterized by persistent hyperglycemia from any of several causes, is the most prominent disease related to failure of blood sugar regulation.

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