10. The Liver
An organ in the body that plays a great part in the blood sugar regulation is the liver. It is in the liver that sugar is converted to glycogen for storage, then stored in the liver as well as muscle tissue, and, as needed, converted back into sugar again. It is easy to see the importance of good liver function for proper blood sugar levels.
The liver can be damaged or have its functional capacity reduced by several factors: alcohol consumption, tobacco, smog and toxic drugs. Fortunately, the liver is one of the fastest regenerating organs in the body and, once these factors are overcome, it will restore itself and carry out the many body functions it performs. It is these same factors that also result in impaired function of all of the other vital organs in the body and it is imperative that these errors in living be corrected for health to be restored.
Actually, large quantities of sugar should never reach the bloodstream in the first place. Food absorbed from the intestines is taken up by the portal vein and goes directly to the liver. Here all blood is filtered and nutrients are sorted out, some put in storage (in the form of glycogen) and others released for immediate use, according to what is appropriate. If the liver is healthy and is able to store glucose, then excessive amounts of this sugar are not dumped wholesale into the blood.
Hypoglycemia then, is not necessarily due to only an inappropriate insulin response but to a weak or sluggish liver that is unable to perform its duties properly. This is illustrated by alcoholics where the liver is damaged from habitual drinking. They are often hypoglycemic. Consumption of large amounts of protein put further burden on the liver.
There is no real reason why a flood of sugar has to be delivered to the bloodstream or to the liver. Whether it is or not depends on what kind of carbohydrate was eaten. White sugar is rapidly absorbed from the intestine and immediately floods the blood with glucose. On the other hand, carbohydrates in the form of fruits are absorbed more slowly owing to their more complex nature, and are therefore taken into the blood more slowly and the pancreas is not unduly stressed.
- Part I – Diabetes Mellitus
- Part II – Diabetes Insipidus
- Part III – Hypoglycemia
- Questions & Answers
- Article #1: Diabetes Mellitus By Dr. Herbert M. Shelton
- Article #2: Diabetes