Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. Searching the internet, I have found lots of conflicting information from various fitness sites concerning when the human body burns fats, proteins and carbohydrates. My basic understanding was that the body will first utilize glucose and glycogen stores, followed by fats and finally proteins once the fat and glycogen stores become depleted.
However many fitness websites claim that during high intensity physical activity, the body will prefer to burn protein over fat. Scientifically speaking, when does the body ordinarily burn the following food groups (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and how does exercise influence this process?
If you are able to provide graphs or data to back up your answer this will be extra helpful because I am bored of all the speculation I see on other sites.
The system that regulates body energy store consumption is hugely complicated, but is mainly a cooperation between hormones released by the pancreas (insulin - lowers blood sugar and glucagon - raises blood sugar) and the liver (as the bodies main glycogen store and factory for various energy related tasks). Uptake of glucose from the periphery is reduced to preserve glucose for cells that can't easily use other fuels - e.g. Unlike in the liver, glycogenolysis is not activated as there are no glucagon receptors in muscle tissue.
High amounts of fatty acids are converted into Acetyl CoA to be used in respiration by the liver, but too much Acetyl-CoA is produced.
As the fast continues into a few days, adipose tissue adapts to producing large amounts of free fatty acids. This process can continue for a number of weeks, with the body eventually exhausting fatty acids in adipose tissue and being unable to produce ketone bodies in the liver, losing the inhibition of proteolysis causing a last ditch response of muscle breakdown for energy.
Sprinting Glycogen stores are used, respiration is almost entirely anaerobic as blood vessels are constricted by the muscle activity and ventilation has not had time to increase. Middle distance running: aerobic metabolism takes over as the body adjusts to the higher oxygen demand.
2 Hours - A marathon requires roughly 700g of glycogen to complete, however the liver can only store around 500g.
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Diabetes chart- convert hba1c to equivalent blood glucose, Free printable charts and tools to better understand, track and manage your blood glucose.. Convert glycosylated hemoglobin a1c to average blood sugar, Glycosylated hemoglobin (hba1c) is formed by the attachment of glucose to hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying protein found in red blood cells). Correlation between hemoglobin a1c (hba1c) and average, Correlation between hemoglobin a1c (hba1c) and average blood glucose: can hba1c be reported as estimated blood glucose concentration?. Gestational Diabetes is a very rare form of diabetes which occurs exclusively in pregnant women during the gestational period of the fetus [5]. Resistance to insulin is a normal physiological response during pregnancy induced by the maternal hormones released by the mother’s body.  However, in some cases, this resistance becomes high enough to result in high levels of blood sugar, enough to be classified and diagnosed as Gestational Diabetes. Gestational Diabetes may be defined as hyperglycemia with its first presentation or onset during pregnancy. Usually, after the delivery of a child, the blood sugar levels of the mother return down to normal, but both the mother as well as the child are at a risk of developing Type II Diabetes later on in the future. While Gestational Diabetes is a serious pregnancy complication that must be dealt with seriously, it can easily be controlled by a combination of a healthy diet, sufficient exercise and also medication in some cases. The exact cause of Gestational Diabetes is still unknown and researchers still debate on the possible causes as to why some particular women stand a higher risk of developing the disorder than other women. During pregnancy, the insulin sensitivity falls in the mothers and this subsequently increases the blood glucose levels to provide adequate nutrition to the fetus. Just like Type II Diabetes, even Gestational Diabetes occurs due to inadequate insulin secretion as well as decreased responsiveness to insulin. The placenta connects the blood supply of the mother to the blood supply of the developing fetus and it allows hormones to also pass through. Another one of the major and common complications that may be encountered with Gestational Diabetes is that the increased blood glucose levels may enter into the fetus’ blood leading to macrosomia or large sized baby which may further lead to difficulty in delivering the child via the birth canal.
Gestational Diabetes also raises the risk of an early labor and associated complications, which includes babies born with a respiratory distress syndrome.
The babies that are born out of a mother with high blood sugar levels may suffer from low blood sugar levels in their body after birth as their body’s production of insulin is much higher than normal.


Both the mother and the child that are affected by Gestational Diabetes also face a high risk of developing Type II Diabetes later on in life.
There are several different types of screening tests that are used in order to diagnose Gestational Diabetes [1]. Since Gestational Diabetes develops in third trimester of pregnancy, thus the women should be screened for diabetes by Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) between 24th-28thweek. These days a simple glucometer may be used at home to measure the blood glucose level themselves by the mothers. Some of the routine tests that are typically carried out include the glucose challenge test to the mothers which is then followed by a glucose tolerance test in order to diagnose the disorder in pregnant women.
Women who have been diagnosed with the disorder will require very frequent medical check-ups and these are to be even more followed during the final three months of pregnancy. Post the delivery of the child, usually the blood sugar levels in the mother fall down back to normal. It is extremely essential to control the levels of blood sugar in pregnant mothers o as to prevent the complications associated with Gestational Diabetes [2]. A healthy diet is the next step that a pregnant women suffering from Gestational Diabetes should take. In some cases, just exercising and maintaining a healthy diet are not enough in controlling the symptoms of the disorder and in such situations medications are required in order to help return the blood sugar levels to normal. Regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels of both the mother and also baby will need to be carried out. In most common cases of Gestational Diabetes, the disorder will be diagnosed in the screening tests carried out in the third trimester of pregnancy [3].
Any medications that are being used by the diabetic individual should be disclosed with a physician to determine whether they can be continued or not. It is also recommended that pregnant women who are diabetics have a close friend or an aide, who can help out in case the sufferer forgets or misses anything. The different screening tests for gestational diabetes as also various other tests that are carried out over the course of treatment of the disorder are important and should be done properly. There are also a number of support groups for diabetics and pregnant diabetic mothers can also try being a part of these groups [4]. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of our [my_terms_of_service_and_privacy_policy]. I also want to point out that proteins might be used for the first week of starvation but then fat takes over and only after all the fat has been consumed is protein utilisation started substantially. If glucose levels haven't been maintained by other means, hypoglycaemia results causing confusion, hallucinations and even coma and death. Similar to the other forms of diabetes, Gestational Diabetes also results in the cells of the body being unable to effectively absorb blood sugar, leading to a higher concentration of glucose in the blood. In such women, the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance. As such, Gestational Diabetes is not by itself a chronic condition, but it exposes individuals to the risk of developing chronic diabetes later on in life. However, the way in which a woman’s body behaves in this condition is fairly well-known and agreed upon. The Human placental lactogen hormone, also known as Human Chorionic Somatomammotropin reduces the insulin sensitivity in mothers. In most of the cases of gestational diabetes, it is corrected after the delivery but in some cases it may continue to occur.
Thus, the abnormality caused by Gestational Diabetes also passes on to the child’s blood stream and this can trigger very harmful conditions.
Preeclampsia is a very serious complication associated with Gestational Diabetes which proves to be life threatening to both the mother and the developing fetus. Such affected babies require assistance with breathing until the lungs are capable of functioning properly on their own. This condition, known as hypoglycemia, if left unattended, may even result in seizures and other complications in the baby. The pregnant women will also need to actively monitor as also manage their high blood sugar levels, in conjunction to the medical check-ups. However, all mothers who have suffered from Gestational Diabetes will require medical check-ups every now and again.


The first and foremost step in the successful controlling of the conditions is to closely monitor the sugar levels in the bloodstream of the pregnant woman. The diet of a diabetic mother must have a correct balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with sufficient amount of vitamins, minerals, and calories. Regular and frequent exercise promotes the cells of a diabetic to absorb the blood sugar more efficiently and this can greatly help in controlling the symptoms of Gestational Diabetes.  Exercise also increases the sensitivity of the body to the released insulin.
Only 15% of women with Gestational Diabetes need medications like oral hypoglycemics or sometimes insulin analogues. There may be complications with the baby after birth and these will need to be attended to at the earliest. Once diagnosed, diabetics will need to prepare themselves both physically as well as psychologically in order to combat the disorder. Any type of unusual symptom that the pregnant woman experiences should also be referred to the medical professional and all key personal information, including family medical history should also be made available to the physician.
Some of these tests require fasting while others challenge the body’s ability to take up insulin and every test must be done as per the prerequisite that it has along with it. Not only does this help in keeping sufferers cheerful, but it also helps sufferers gain a lot of knowledge as well as support from other people who are facing the same conditions.
A starving subject would rely on fatty acids (directly and as ketones) and glucose derived from glycerol, lactate and amino acids. The disease proves to affect both the mother and the child and can also cause major complications at the time of delivery of the child. It also alters the metabolism of fatty tissues in pregnant women, releasing fatty acids as an alternate energy source for the mother, freeing up glucose for the fetus.
Gestational diabetes is harmful to both mother and fetus and may result in few complications if not controlled. The high concentration of blood sugar can allow the baby to grow to a much larger size than normal and one of the most common complications associated with child birth in mothers with Gestational Diabetes is the requirement of delivery of the baby through a C-Section surgery operation. The condition can lead to very serious complications for both the mother and the developing fetus if left unattended.
The glucose levels of the blood will also need to be monitored as the mother is at a high risk of developing Type II Diabetes later on in the future. This is recommended to be done several times a day and any unexpected change in the levels of glucose in the blood should be attended to at the earliest. It is recommended that diabetic pregnant women should get as much moderate to rigorous exercise in a day as possible, after consulting a physician and a dietician. The monitoring of blood sugar levels will need to be continued throughout the lives of both the mother and the child as they stand a risk to developing diabetes later on in life. While this can be stressful, it must be remembered that the condition is life threatening and intensive care must be provided in order to protect the health of both the mother and the child.
It is also recommended that women find out as much about the disease, its scope, the limitations of treatment and also future risks associated with Gestational Diabetes.
Use of this website constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.This website is for informational purposes only. This procedure is recommended if the baby grows to more than 9 pounds in weight and such procedures are also carried out much in advance to the expected delivery date of the child. While monitoring can be done at a professional healthcare clinic, it is highly recommended that pregnant mothers should monitor their blood sugar levels on their own as well.
The process of monitoring is a relatively easy process and it can easily be made into a habit to last throughout pregnancy.
Recommended foods for diabetic mothers include having more of whole grains, fiber and also fruits and vegetables. It is essential that a diet is based making all possible considerations and also in consultation with a dietician or a practicing healthcare professional.




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