Dextrose is one of the names used for glucose, a carbohydrate present in our daily life. Glucose is an essential compound for the human body.
The use of the term dextrose is an alternative name for D-glucose, one of the forms of glucose that exist. It is an organic compound, a monosaccharide whose chemical formula is C6H12O6 .
Dextrose is synthesized in nature through plant photosynthesis, and is found mainly in fruits and honey. It can also be artificially synthesized in the laboratory. Normally, we ingest dextrose in the form of more complex carbohydrates that our body breaks down into its simplest forms.
What does our body use dextrose for?
Like all carbohydrates, dextrose is a source of energy for the human body. Being a small molecule, it is quickly absorbed in the digestion, passing to the blood and from there to the tissues, providing energy almost immediately.
All the cells in the body use sugars to produce energy. Depending on which sugar it is, it may or may not need to be broken down into simpler molecules that can be easily used.
Once inside the cells, through a mechanism that is specific to them, known as the Krebs cycle, the sugar is transformed into ATP. ATP is a substance that is essential for all other metabolic processes in the cell.
When there is excess sugar or dextrose, it is stored in the liver as glycogen. In contrast, when there is a lack of energy or dextrose in the body, it passes directly into the cells to be used if it is ingested, or the glycogen reserves that had been stored are used.
It is necessary to maintain adequate and stable levels of glucose in the body, since, as we have said, without it the human body could not function normally. Both very low and high levels are harmful.
In the case of low levels of dextrose, if it is constant, the body will end up having no glycogen reserves. Many functions of the body will be disrupted, with the health problems that this entails.
If the low levels occur in a punctual and acute way, for example by an intense physical effort that requires a lot of energy and ends up with the circulating glucose, it will not give time to activate the glycogen reserves.
The body will suffer a momentary need by abruptly interrupting some functions. This may trigger dizziness or fainting in a person.
If, on the other hand, dextrose levels are consistently high in a person, either from over-consumption or from difficulty in handling, there will be damage. This is the case of diabetics who are unable to regulate their blood sugar.
Glucose ends up accumulating and damaging many organs, such as the heart and blood vessels, with multiple consequences for the health of the individual.
In addition to this, glucose is now considered to produce certain levels of addiction. A continuous consumption of processed sugars awakens in people the need to continue consuming them constantly.