Glycogenesis, Glycogenolysis, and Gluconeogenesis

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  • 0:01 Glucose
  • 0:49 Glycogenesis
  • 1:51 Glycogenolysis
  • 2:55 Gluconeogenesis
  • 4:21 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your body uses processes to keep blood glucose levels within the normal range. Learn how your body decreases blood glucose levels through glycogenesis and how it boosts glucose levels through glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis in this lesson.

Glucose

There's nothing like Thanksgiving dinner to fill your belly. That one day of the year, people all over America are gobbling down tons of carbohydrates as they treat their taste buds to stuffing, potatoes, and, of course, a big piece of pumpkin pie for dessert. All of those carbohydrates enter your digestive tract where they are broken down into simple sugars, known as glucose. These glucose molecules are small enough to move out of your digestive system and into your bloodstream.

As you can imagine, eating a big Thanksgiving meal dumps a lot of glucose into your blood. What your body does with this excess of glucose and what your body does when all of this blood glucose is used up is what we will discuss in this lesson.

Glycogenesis

Your bloodstream is closely monitored and regulated by your hormones, so it never has too much or too little of any compound. When we consider blood glucose, or blood sugar levels, your body likes to keep the amount between 70 to 100 mg/dL, which is considered normal for a fasting sample.

If your blood glucose level rises, your body springs into action to sweep out the excess sugar. It does this by promoting a process called glycogenesis, which is the creation and storage of glycogen. This term is easy to remember if you recall the suffix 'genesis' means creation; so, glycogenesis is literally the creation of glycogen, which is the name we give to the stored form of glucose. You have glycogen storage in your liver and in your muscles, so you might want to think of these structures like a pantry, where you store bags of sugar to use later.

Glycogenolysis

After gorging yourself on all the delicious foods at your Thanksgiving meal, you'll probably not feel like eating again for many hours. This gives your blood glucose level time to return to normal, but if you continue your fast, your blood sugar level could actually drop too low. This is because your body cells are constantly taking glucose from the blood to use as energy.

But before blood glucose levels get too low, your body springs into action again; however, this time it wants to add glucose to your blood, not sweep it away. One way to do this is through glycogenolysis. Now, if we look closely at this term, we see the word 'glycogen' and the word 'lysis.' Lysis means to break down, so it's easy to see that glycogenolysis is simply the breakdown of glycogen into glucose. Now that the glucose molecules are free, they can move back into your bloodstream and maintain the normal blood glucose level.

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