Which organs/parts of the body are only functional on glucose?

In summary, the brain, pancreas, liver, and kidney are organs that primarily rely on glucose for energy, but they are not exclusively functional on glucose. Red blood cells are the only cells that do not have mitochondria and are limited to using glucose as an energy source. However, the brain also uses ketones and insulin, the liver primarily uses fatty acids, and the pancreas plays a key role in regulating glucose levels in the body.
  • #1
physicisttobe
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Homework Statement
which organs/parts of the body are only functional on glucose?
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Hi everyone!
Do you have an idea which organs/parts of the body are ONLY functional on glucose?
I would say the brain, pancreas, liver and kidney, but I have to take into account only those organs that are ONLY functional on glucose
 
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  • #3
The brain can use ketone bodies in addition to glucose (in a fasting state), while the kidneys primarily use fatty acids as fuel (according to the source linked below at least). Your liver can certainly function on other things besides glucose, as it is the primary organ that generates glucose for your body. I believe the only cells that exclusively use glucose as an energy source are red blood cells since they don't have mitochondria.

See here: https://www.nature.com/scitable/top...n-of-nutrient-utilization-in-humans-14232807/
 
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  • #4
All right, as an answer I'll then write red blood cells. Thank you so much!!
 
  • #6
Apparently the brain mostly functions on glucose; it does not only function on glucose. It is dependent on it as a primary energy substrate but it also uses ketones such as AcAc; brain cells also need some amount of insulin in order to process glucose.

On the other hand, erythrocytes depend on the anaerobic conversion of glucose by the Embden-Meyerhof path so they can generate and store high-energy phosphates because they are incapable of generating energy via the oxidative Krebs cycle.

Although the liver stores glucose, it does not always use it because it also primarily uses fatty acid oxidation for energy (similar case for adipose tissues).

The pancreas have key roles in maintaining normal glucose levels in blood by producing and releasing insulin and glucagon.
 
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1. Which organs in the body solely rely on glucose for energy?

The brain, red blood cells, and some parts of the kidney and eye are the only organs that can only use glucose for energy.

2. Why do these organs only use glucose?

These organs require a constant supply of energy to function properly, and glucose is the most efficient source of energy for them.

3. Can these organs use other sources of energy in case of glucose deficiency?

While these organs primarily use glucose for energy, they can also use alternative sources such as ketone bodies during prolonged periods of fasting or starvation.

4. How does the body regulate glucose levels for these organs?

The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood glucose levels. When glucose levels are high, insulin signals the body to store excess glucose for later use. When glucose levels are low, the liver releases stored glucose to maintain a steady supply for these organs.

5. What happens if these organs do not receive enough glucose?

If these organs do not receive enough glucose, they may not function properly and can lead to serious health complications. For example, a lack of glucose to the brain can result in confusion, seizures, and coma.

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