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Profe Claudio Nieto: Brain and Glucose

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  • Profe Claudio Nieto explains a bit about the brain and glucose.
  • For this, he explains what the brain’s energy source is.
  • There is a relationship between carbohydrates and some diseases that can appear in people.

In our journey to better understand how our body obtains and uses energy, we encounter a fascinating topic: the relationship between the brain and glucose.

Is it really true that the brain can only function with glucose as fuel? Let’s explore this myth and discover other energy pathways that might surprise you.

If we recall what we learned previously, our cells have a natural preference for using fats as fuel instead of glucose.

However, are there exceptions to this rule? Are there cells that cannot metabolize fats correctly?

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The answer leads us to a fascinating discovery made by scientist Otto Heinrich Warburg, who revealed that cancer cells have a preference for glucose as an energy source.

This phenomenon, known as the Warburg effect, has led to theories about the role of glucose in cancer development.

In fact, some oncological treatments are beginning to incorporate ketogenic diets, which are high in fats and low in carbohydrates, as part of their therapeutic approach.

The idea behind this is to deprive cancer cells of the glucose they need to grow and proliferate.

The brain and glucose

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However, this is not the only case where the body requires glucose. Certain cells, such as red blood cells and some small brain cells, do not have the ability to metabolize fats and rely exclusively on glucose as an energy source. But what happens if we don’t consume sugars?

It turns out that our body has ingenious ways of obtaining glucose even without directly consuming sugars.

One of these pathways involves the production of glucose from other sources, such as proteins and fats.

In fact, the liver can convert proteins and fats into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Body fat

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Additionally, glycogen, a form of glucose storage in the body, can be broken down to release glucose when needed.

This process is essential for maintaining stable blood glucose levels between meals.

However, it is important to note that the efficiency of these pathways may vary from person to person.

Those who consume food frequently, constantly interrupting the glycogenolysis process, may experience a loss of efficiency in the use of stored glucose.

Different organisms

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On the other hand, individuals with metabolic flexibility, that is, the ability to use both fats and glucose as an energy source, may experience multiple health benefits, including better athletic performance and increased endurance.

In summary, while it is true that the brain needs glucose to function properly, our body has mechanisms to obtain it even without directly consuming sugars.

The key is to maintain a healthy balance between the intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, and to develop metabolic flexibility that allows us to efficiently use different sources of energy.

Profe Claudio Nieto bids you farewell for now and hopes that this information has been to your liking. Until next time!

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