What is insulin and role of insulin?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreatic gland in the abdomen to regulate the level of glucose or sugar in the blood. It is a 15 cm long, fish- shaped gland which regulates the normal process of digestion with the help of pancreatic enzymes. The tail of the pancreas has got a different function that releases the two hormones-insulin and glycogen directly into the blood. The beta cells in the pancreas releases insulin that appears in isolated masses of tissues called islets. These tissues help in the secretion of insulin into our body in sufficient quantity as required. This secretion helps to appear the blood sugar in normal limits.

The food we consume is transformed into glucose, a form of sugar, which acts as a source of energy to the body. When the lack of insulin arises in the body, it may lead to disturbance in the metabolism or breaking down of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body. As such glucose may not be used by the body cells and it builds up in the blood.

Role of Insulin

Insulin plays a significant role in our body. The carbohydrates, protein and fats present in food provide energy to our body. Wheat, rice, fruit, etc provides carbohydrates which are converted into glucose or sugar to be absorbed by the blood stream. This glucose provides the main source of energy to our body. The excess glucose in our body cells is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.

In other words, the pancreas is responsible for secreting insulin into the blood stream. This insulin in the blood helps in carrying glucose from the blood to different cells of the body. It helps in transforming the glucose into energy required for the various body functions.

One may suffer from diabetes, if the pancreas do not supply sufficient or produces less or defective insulin required by the body. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas do not release sufficient amount of insulin proportionate to the amount of food we consume. In this case, it becomes difficult for glucose to enter into the cells and provide energy. Normally, when the cells need energy, glycogen stored in the liver and muscles is transformed into glucose and used by the cells. As such, neither the excess glucose can be stored in the liver nor the blood glucose can be used effectively and properly when required by the cells.


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