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Glygocen Foods

Important Fuel Reserve

Glycogen is considered the principal storage form of glucose and is found mainly in liver and muscle, with kidney and intestines adding minor storage sites. With up to 10 percent of its weight as glycogen, the liver has the highest specific content of any body tissue.

Glycogen is an important fuel reserve for several reasons. The controlled breakdown of glycogen and release of glucose increase the amount of glucose that is available between meals. Hence, glycogen serves as a buffer to maintain blood-glucose levels.

Glycogen's role in maintaining blood-glucose levels is especially important because glucose is virtually the only fuel used by the brain, except during prolonged starvation. Moreover, the glucose from glycogen is readily mobilized and is therefore a good source of energy for sudden, strenuous activity. Unlike fatty acids, the released glucose can provide energy in the absence of oxygen and can thus supply energy for anaerobic activity.

Muscle has a much lower amount of glycogen per unit mass of tissue, but since the total mass of muscle is so much greater than that of liver, total glycogen stored in muscle is about twice that of liver. Stores of glycogen in the liver are considered the main buffer of blood glucose levels.

Glycogen is good for: The storage form of glucose is used by the body for energy when needed. It's stored in the liver and muscle.

The Adrenal Gland and Glycogen

The adrenal glands are two walnut sized structures in the body, located above each kidney. They consist of two separate regions: an inner adrenal medulla surrounded by an outer adrenal cortex.

The adrenal gland function is related to hormones released by these structures and is mostly directed by the body's response to stressors and the chemicals released by stressors. The adrenal gland regulates cortisol levels, which in turn stimulates conversion of proteins to carbohydrates, supports blood sugar levels and promotes glycogen storage in the liver by the adrenal glands, thereby providing the body with the energy it needs to function well.

Where you get Glycogen

Carbohydrates, natural sugars (fruit, vegetables, milk) and complex carbohydrates (grains, cereals, pasta) are the best food choices.

DRI or RDA: None.

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