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Glucose Uptake And Utilisation By Muscle


Due to their large size and high rates of energy expenditure when active, skeletal muscles represent a very important glucose ‘sink’ and together form the primary insulin-dependent end organ. Skeletal muscle takes up glucose by energy-independent facilitated diffusion via the insulin-regulated GLUT 4 membrane transporter.It also utilizes glycogen stored within the muscle cells.

Figure 4 shows how the proportion of carbohydrate oxidized declines during exhaustive exercise as circulating glucose and stored glycogen reserves are depleted. As the carbohydrate supply becomes limited it is replaced by fat. The fat is derived both from circulating fatty acids derived from adipose tissue and from small intra-muscular depots of stored fat.

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