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  • Insulin

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    Insulin (from Latin insula, island) is a peptide hormone produced by beta cells of the pancreatic islets; it is considered to be the main anabolic hormone of the body. It regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of carbohydrates, especially glucose from the blood into liver, fat and skeletal muscle cells. In these tissues the absorbed glucose is converted into either glycogen via glycogenesis or fats (triglycerides) via lipogenesis, or, in the case of the liver, into both. Glucose production and secretion by the liver is strongly inhibited by high concentrations of insulin in the blood. Circulating insulin also affects the synthesis of proteins in a wide variety of tissues. It is therefore an anabolic hormone, promoting the conversion of small molecules in the blood into large molecules inside the cells. Low insulin levels in the blood have the opposite effect by promoting widespread catabolism, especially of reserve body fat. Beta cells are sensitive to glucose concentrations, also known as blood sugar levels.

  • Hyperinsulinism

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    Hyperinsulinism refers to an above normal level of insulin in the blood of a person or animal. Normal insulin secretion and blood levels are closely related to the level of glucose in the blood, so that a given level of insulin can be normal for one blood glucose level but low or high for another. Hyperinsulinism can be associated with several types of medical problems, which can be roughly divided into two broad and largely non-overlapping categories: those tending toward reduced sensitivity to insulin and high blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia), and those tending toward excessive insulin secretion and low glucose levels (hypoglycemia).

  • Fructosamine

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    Fructosamines are compounds that result from glycation reactions between a sugar (such as fructose or glucose) and a primary amine, followed by isomerization via the Amadori rearrangement. Biologically, fructosamines are recognized by fructosamine-3-kinase, which may trigger the degradation of advanced glycation end-products (though the true clinical significance of this pathway is unclear). Fructosamine can also refer to the specific compound 1-amino-1-deoxy-D-fructose (isoglucosamine), first synthesized by Nobel laureate Hermann Emil Fischer in 1886. Most commonly, fructosamine refers to a laboratory test for diabetes management that is rarely used in clinical practice (simple blood glucose monitoring or hemoglobin A1c testing are preferred). Many direct-to-consumer lab testing companies sell fructosamine tests, but these are unnecessary and of limited clinical value.

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