IN THE LIVER: THE TRAGIC INSULIN EPINEPHRINE RELATIONSHIP (IN THE LIVER)

So Insulin and Epinephrine…A lot of us know what they are, but sometimes we forget that they are also involved in this tragic relationship where they are constantly trying to show one another who is wearing the pants.

When insulin is high, it generates a « Storage » environment where storage is promoted and ATP levels can begin to rise. If ATP is high, it inhibits PFK, an enzyme which is critical for the breakdown of glucose into usable energy. However, the body has mechanisms to overcome this, like the enzyme F16P2, allowing the process of breaking down glucose, into fuel, in the liver can continue.

However, when EPI is high, it forces the opposite to occur.

High levels of EPI often occur in times of ATP (energy)depletion or stress. In these states glucagon is activated (EPI’s partner in crime on the side) which increases cAMP and leads to generation of glucose (or more available energy).

So insulin and glucagon have a serious ying and yang relationship. In the short term EPI can oppose insulin (via increasing cAMP) and promoting the break down of carbons for fuel to increase energy, but this does not mean EPI is wearing the pants long term. Instead, storage v utilization of energy is dependent on the interaction of these two brawling hormones,as well as the energy state and storage status of a (healthy) person.

Note: EPI works with glucagon. Glucagon is actually responsible for increasing cAMP, which opposes the effects of insulin in the liver after absorption of a meal.

Moral of the story: Those hormones, they are a complicated bunch. They must be from generation y.

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