Failure to control the body's uptake of glucose in the blood stream has become a hot topic among health experts. Since the early 20th century, scientific research has focused its efforts on the function of insulin, a hormone that signals the body to absorb access glucose in the blood. However, a growing body of evidence is leading researchers to the conclusion that our brains may play a larger part in glucose absorption than we initially realized.
In the latest online issue of the scientific journal Nature, research teams from the Universities of Washington, Cincinnati and Michigan in the US, and the Technical University of Munich in Germany, have presented evidence to suggest the human brain may have an integral role in supporting proper glucose regulation. The team theorized that normal glucose absorption relies heavily on "highly coordinated interactions" between different systems in the brain and pancreas, which contains islets that produce the body's supply of insulin.
Study results have indicated that a brain-centered mechanism uses a process the team refers to as "glucose effectiveness," which promotes glucose uptake in certain tissues throughout the body. The process seems to share the load equally with the islet cells in the pancreas, which lead researchers to the conclusion that maintaining healthy levels of glucose in the bloodstream is a two-part system. Blood sugar ailments appear to develop when there is a failure in one of the systems, which quickly leads to the degeneration of the the other half. The team theorized that blood glucose conditions could be reversed once the two-part system is understood in greater detail.