How does insulin work?

Insulin is a sort of hormone which secreted from the pancreatic cells. Two types of cells can be found in the pancreas. These are the alpha cells and the beta cells. The beta cells are responsible for secretion of insulin. High glucose levels in the blood excite the pancreas beta cells to raise insulin discharge into the blood. This insulin flows in the body, and within a fraction of time motivates the muscle and liver cells to process the glucose from the blood.

Discovery of insulin and how it works

German pathologist and biologist Paul Langerhans discovered that the pancreatic cells cause the insulin discharge. These cells look like small islands, and this is the reason that they were known as islets of Langerhans. The hormone got its name from a Latin word that is “Insula” which also means island. Inside the islets of Langerhans, two categories of cells can be found. They are known as the alpha cells and the beta cells. The beta cells are mainly responsible for the insulin secretion in our bodies.

The work process of insulin

Insulin stimulates the amalgamation of glucose from the blood cells of muscle, fat tissues and liver. The insulin also has the ability to store glucose as glycogen in the muscles and liver. Insulin is also being used by the body to avert the utilization of the fat for obtaining energy. Insulin is discharged by the body in two stages; the first stage engages the speedy discharge of huge quantity of insulin in reaction to a bigger level of glucose in the blood created by the food absorption. The high level of insulin in the body stimulates the liver and muscles cells to soak up glucose from the blood. Immediately, after this process, the blood sugar levels in the body fall. When the insulin encounters lower levels of blood glucose levels, it also releases lower levels of insulin.

In the second stage, the levels of insulin discharged in the blood stream are quite low as compared to the first stage. This short quantity is required for the body as liver will release sugar in the blood stream (independent of the absorption of food). This ensures that the body works normally as it gets its supply of energy from the sugar released in the body. The insulin secreted is absorbed by the blood plasma and combined with the beta globulin.

The advantages

The insulin controls the blood glucose levels in the body. It also affects many body functions like metabolism and excites some cell enzymes to encourage many alterations like glycogenesis, etc. If the level of the insulin decreases in the body, then the assimilation of the glucose in the body will not take place properly. The body will not be able to get energy and will store it as fat. The increased glucose levels in the body will also cause damage to the body. Insulin also plays a key role in DNA synthesis and cell replication.

When a person becomes diabetic, the production of insulin stops or becomes less. This can be fatal as the blood glucose is not converted into energy that the body requires. For this reason, the blood glucose level needs to be controlled, and diabetic patients need insulin and medication to lead a normal life.

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