The body needs fuel to work. One of its major fuel sources is sugars, which the body gets from what is consumed as either simple sugar or complex carbohydrates. For emergency situations (like prolonged fasting), the body stores a stash of sugar in the liver as glycogen. If this store is needed, the body goes through a biochemical process called gluconeogenesis (meaning to "make new sugar") and converts these stores of glycogen to sugar. This backup process emphasizes that the fuel source of sugar is important (important enough for human beings to have developed an evolutionary system of storage to avoid a sugar drought).
Of all the organs in the body, the brain depends on sugar (which we are now going to refer to as glucose) almost exclusively. Rarely, if absolutely necessary, the brain will use ketones as a fuel source, but this is not preferred. The brain cannot make its own glucose and is 100% dependent on the rest of the body for its supply. If, for some reason, the glucose level in the blood falls (or if the brain's requirements increase and demands are not met) there can be effects on the function of the brain.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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