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Diabetes: Help Understanding Glucose  Previous Next

Help Understanding Glucose

by: J.D.

At some stage in your life, you have likely heard the word “glucose” and wondered exactly what it was.  Glucose is a form of carbohydrate, and carbohydrates give you energy.  People who have tasted glucose say it is sweet, like sugar. Let us say it is a simple sugar. 
Where does glucose come from?  Glucose does not exist in our bodies; rather our bodies produce it for us. When your body runs short of glucose, you lose energy. To revive the energy, your body must consume carbohydrates from the outside and turn them into glucose which is then absorbed by the body and and—voilà!—you get renewed energy.
The natural form of glucose that I am referring to is actually called by its common industry name, “dextrose.”  Commercial glucose is produced from starch.  This starch is extracted from crops that are grown for this purpose.  The process by which it is extracted from this starch of the crops is called enzymatic hydrolysis.  The crops used for this purpose generally are potato, arrowroot, cassava, maize, wheat and rice.  The United States is a consumer of corn starch, which is extracted from maize. 
The process of enzymatic hydrolysis exclusively involves heating the starch to high temperatures for the enzymes to become deactivated. This is then completely hydrolyzed using glucoamylase.  After some more processes, the solution is purified by carrying out filtration and solidified by repeated crystallizations.  The process as described above should give you a bare idea as to how glucose is being produced commercially. 
When the glucose is not oxidized properly to form Carbon dioxide and water then this accumulated in the body and shows up in the blood.  This is the diabetic condition, whereby the blood shows up with high blood sugars. The glucose meter essentially measures the amount of glucose in your blood, giving indication of the diabetic condition that you are in.  Hence it is necessary that when you are carrying out a home blood glucose test that your hands should be clean.  If you have handled any sweet substance and pricked your hand afterwards, the sample drop of blood will mix with the sugars of your hand and you will get a false reading.

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(Added: Thu Nov 30 2006 Hits: 550 Downloads: 0 Rating: 0.00 Votes: 0)   Rate It   Review It


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