Glucose harm, danger and risk for diabetes and high blood sugar problems that may arise
October 26 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Glucose is a monosaccharide (or simple sugar) and is one of the most important carbohydrates. The cell uses glucose as a source of energy and metabolic intermediate. Glucose is one of the main products of photosynthesis and starts cellular respiration. The natural form (D-glucose) is also referred to as dextrose, especially in the food industry.
   In general, fructose is a better sugar to ingest than glucose and even better is whole fruit. Plasma triacylglycerol and VLDL concentrations are higher, whereas the rise of insulin is lower after ingestion of fructose than after glucose. Fructose leads to less conversion into fats than glucose and stimulates less of an insulin release. As an alternative to using sugar in your diet or to sweeten tea or coffee, consider stevia.

Blood glucose test information

The blood glucose test is ordered to measure the amount of glucose in the blood right at the time of sample collection. It is used to detect both high blood sugar and low blood sugar and to help diagnose diabetes. Blood glucose may be measured on a fasting basis (collected after an 8 to 10 hour fast), randomly (anytime), post prandial (after a meal), and/or as part of an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT  /  GTT).


Glucose tolerance test, what is it?

An oral glucose tolerance test is a series of blood glucose tests. A fasting glucose is collected; then the patient drinks a standard amount of a glucose solution to "challenge" their system. This is followed by one or more additional glucose tests performed at specific intervals to track glucose levels over time. The oral glucose tolerance test may be ordered to help diagnose diabetes and as a follow-up test to an elevated blood glucose.


Glucose storage in the liver
Glycogen is a polymer of glucose residues linked mainly by alpha(1-4) glycosidic linkages. Glucose is stored as glycogen predominantly in liver and muscle cells.


Glucose meters

When people with diabetes can control their blood sugar (glucose), they are more likely to stay healthy. People with diabetes use two kinds of management devices: glucose meters and other diabetes management tests. Glucose meters help people with diabetes check their blood sugar at home, school, work, and play.


High blood glucose and BPH

Benign prostate hyperplasia is a common condition in older men, and the risk of developing the condition seems to be increased by obesity and high blood glucose levels.


High Blood Glucose and Mortality
The toll of high blood glucose levels is far greater than previously thought. As a risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease, high blood glucose appears to be more lethal than smoking. Dr. Majid Ezzati of Harvard University in Boston and associates reached that conclusion after estimating the number of deaths from ischemic heart disease and stroke that can be attributed to high fasting plasma glucose levels, in addition to diabetes deaths.
Because diabetes is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and stroke, mortality rates based only on deaths attributed directly to diabetes underestimate the total burden of the condition. "The cutoff for diagnosing diabetes is a blood glucose level of 7 mmol/L," says Dr. Ezzati. He found in his research that by attaining a blood glucose level as low 4.9 mmol/L, benefits have been observed for decreasing cardiovascular disease and stroke. For individuals 30 to 60 years old, the relative risk (RR) for ischemic heart disease and stroke were increased by factors of 1.42 and 1.36, respectively, for each 1 mmol/L increase in blood glucose level. RRs were lower for older individuals. Moreover, the authors observed that 21% of deaths from ischemic heart disease are attributable to higher-than-optimum blood glucose, compared with 12% for smoking, 45% for high blood cholesterol, and 47% for hypertension. For stroke, 13% of deaths are due to high blood glucose, versus 8% related to smoking, 13% for high cholesterol and 54% for high blood pressure. Lancet 2006.


Additional links of interest
Trehalose is a disaccharide formed by two glucose molecules.