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How do glucose tablets work (scientifically)?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Katya99, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Katya99

    Katya99 · Newbie

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    Hi everyone!

    I am a Type 1 Diabetic doing a Chemistry experiment for my senior year of high school in Canada. I want to test the speed of glucose release (rate of reaction) of various glucose-based hypoglycemic treatments (tablets, liquids, gels, etc.). The end goal is to determine which hypoglycemic treatment is the best considering that I want the treatment to work as fast as possible and don't care about any other factors, such as taste or cost.

    Can anyone explain how glucose enters our bloodstream with a chemical reaction? For example, If I eat a pure glucose tablet right now, how will that glucose enter my blood and raise my blood sugar?

    Thank you so much in advance for your responses!

    Katya :)
     
  2. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Hi @Katya99 - Glucose is transported out of the intestine via the use of SGLT1 transporters, in association with GLUT2 transporters. These are types of proteins. They are then made available for use in the body by GLUT4 transporters. The key point is that Glucose is water soluble but to be used, glucose has to cross fatty cell walls, which is why it requires help from the transporter proteins. It's a biological rather than chemical process.

    The other route to get uptake of glucose into cells is glucose gel rubbed into the inside of the cheeks. Based on the research I've found, there seem to be SGLT1, GLUT1, 2 and 3 transporters in the buccal membrane and tongue as well, which permits this.

    To increase the absorption rate, the reality is that you need to reduce the amount of time that it takes to convert any carbohydrate into glucose, hence why liquid glucose is generally considered the fastest.

    I'm not sure that's the answer you're looking for, but it's not really a chemical process.
     
  3. rockape37

    rockape37 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert in these matters but i do know that digestion effectively starts in the mouth with your saliva, sugars are absorbed quickly in their pure forms in this way.
    Like i say I'm no expert, please don't rub any glucogel in my gums if you find me lying on the ground in a hypo state as when i start to come round it might leave ones mouth at some speed, its rank!

    Regards

    Martin
     
  4. Katya99

    Katya99 · Newbie

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    Thank you, this clears up a lot!
     
  5. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    I assume you are using yourself as the test subject?

    There are a number of variables that you will need to take into account when you run your study.
    - what was eaten beforehand (having food in the stomach and intestine may slow down the glucose absorption).
    - level of blood glucose before the test (I think that if your blood glucose is dropping fast when the glucose hits the bloodstream, it may look as if it is absorbing slowly, when in fact it is hitting fast but just filling the drop)
    - insulin resistance at the time of the test, affecting the effectiveness of your onboard insulin (this can be affected by exercise, previous carb intake and amount of insulin used recently)

    Hope that helps, and I am sorry if I just made it more complicated! :)
     
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