The role of glucagon is to keep the homeostasis condition of metabolism. Its role is to maintain normal levels of glucose in our blood. It is produced by the Alpha cells in the pancreas and released into the bloodstream when there is low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), when we are in our 22 hour fasting state. Glucagon’s effects are the opposite of insulin, which is also produced by the pancreas (beta cells). Insulin’s job is to promote the storage of glucose (after a meal) from the blood stream into muscle fibres, the liver, brain and fat cells. Glucagon’s function is to promote the breakdown and release of our bodies stored energy (from the liver and fat cells) to provide needed glucose to the bloodstream.
When glucagon is released in the bloodstream it has specific target cells in the liver and adipocytes,(fat cells). Glucagon affects its target cells because the liver and adipose cell membranes have a receptor which glucagon can bind to and initiate its affect.
In the liver glucagon stimulates liver cells to convert its stored glycogen back to glucose, (a process called Glycogenolysis) and release the glucose into the bloodstream. The liver holds about 150 g of stored carbohydrates, (glucose).
Glucagon’s next target cells are adipocytes (fat cells), by stimulating the fat cells breakdown of triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acids, a process called lipolysis. Once broken down, the fat cells will release the fatty acids and glycerol, which will travel to the liver. In the liver Glucagon will stimulate the liver cells to convert fatty acids to ketone bodies, a process called Ketogenesis. The ketone bodies are then released by the liver back into the bloodstream and can be used for energy by muscles and our brain, during our fasting state.
Glucagon will further act on the liver to make more glucose out of glycerol,(gluconeogenesis). The glycerol that was broken down from triglycerides in the fat cells, now in the liver, will go through a process of conversion into glucose. The liver will then release the glucose into the bloodstream to be used as energy by muscle cells and our brain.
Glucagon can also stimulate the liver to convert its stored protein into glucose, also by gluconeogenesis.
To recap , here are the main reasons that the Cardillo Diet Program considers Glucagon’s role in our metabolism, as a key factor in our daily 22 hour fasting protocol, for maximum fat-loss:
- Glucagon stimulates our fat cell to release stored triglycerides to be used as energy. Thereby shrinking our fat cells, which equals fat-loss.
- Glucagon acts on the liver to deplete its glycogen storage, by converting it to glucose for energy use. Therefore allowing us a place for glucose storage for our next meal.
- Glucagon has no effect on skeletal muscle cells because muscle cells do not have glucagon receptors. As such glucagon cannot act on muscle cells to convert protein to glucose. (Which can happen in the liver).
- Glucagon stimulates our intestinal cells to produce 3 polypeptide enzymes which suppress apatite during our daily 22 hour fasting period.
- Peak Glucagon activity in the body is especially high after a high intensity (HIT3) workout session. When the muscle cells have been depleted of their stored glycogen. To restore them, glucagon will go through the process of gluconeogenesis in the liver to synthesize glucose from glycerol in the fat cells. Reducing the size of the fat cells.
- The net effect of glucagon during the Cardillo Diet’s 22 hour daily fast is fat loss.
For more information on the Cardillo Diet Program go to www.johnrobertcardillo.com