The Human Body

Sugar Metabolism

Sugar Metabolism, process by which the body uses sugar for energy. Carbohydrates, one of the three principal constituents of food, form the bulk of the average human diet. The end product of the digestion and assimilation of all forms of carbohydrate is a simple sugar, glucose, commonly called grape sugar when found in food, or blood sugar when found in the human body. The metabolism of fats and of certain protein substances also sometimes leads to the production of glucose. Glucose is the principal fuel that the muscles and other portions of the body consume to produce energy. It is present in every cell and almost every fluid of the body, and its concentration and distribution are among the most important processes in human physiology. A few other sugars are of comparatively minor importance in human physiology, notably lactose, or milk sugar, which is formed in the mammary glands of all lactating animals and is present in their milk. See Metabolism; Sugar.

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