How Sugar Metabolism Affects Your Body

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The carbohydrates you eat are either complex starches or simple sugars. No matter what the source, your body breaks down your dietary carbohydrates into their simplest component, usually glucose. The primary function of sugar in your body metabolism is to provide energy to power your activities. Additionally, sugar can convert to a stored form of energy in your body, and it plays a role in conserving your lean muscle mass.

Background
The starches you consume consist of large molecules of glucose linked together. Digestive enzymes secreted from your salivary glands and pancreas clip the starch into individual glucose units as your food passes from your mouth through your stomach and into your small intestine. Glucose, along with other simple sugars you eat, pass through the cells of your small intestine, enter your bloodstream and, with the help of insulin, move into the cells of your liver and other tissues. From here, sugar molecules can burn as fuel or convert to different types of physiological molecules.

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