Glucagon and Weight

"Insulin and weight gain are practically synonymous. But there's more to it."

Glucagon regulates and creates more sugar in the blood.

When insulin converts sugar to glycogen, glucagon converts glycogen to sugar.1

When your body goes for several hours without glucose, glucagon will go to work trying to generate glucose. It does this by getting glycogen stored in the liver and breaking it down by activating a enzyme called phosphorylase.2

Then, due to the rise in blood sugar, insulin is increased again to shunt the sugar in to the cells.

When liver glycogen depletes, your metabolism switches to using fat to create blood sugar.3,4

Liver glycogen depletes in about 24 hours without food. Physical activity will shorten this period.5

So you can conclude here, that the liver being depleted of glycogen stores will eliminate a source of blood sugar. Without this, there become only two sources:

Dietary sources or your body's glycogen stores. This will be a key in your program and ability to reset your metabolism.

In terms of dietary carbohydrate and whether it gets stored in muscle or the liver, there is a difference. Sugar in cakes and cookies for example, is actually part fructose and glucose. Fructose is primarily used to refill liver glycogen stores and glucose is primarily used to refill muscle glycogen stores. After both are refilled, both are stored as body fat.6

What About Fructose?

The next question or concern that arises out of the above fact is that sugar in fruit is fructose. Sugar in fruit when consumed in moderate quantity has so little sugar content because they are so full of fiber. Fruits also have so much micro and trace nutrients. So fruits in small quantities will not have fat-storing effects.

Glucagon Muscle-Destroyer

Because fat-burning is a much more complicated, involved and slower process than sugar burning, the nervous system will ALWAYS choose sugar burning over fat burning for energy creation.

For this reason it will be easier for the nervous system to create blood sugar from glycogen stores in the muscle preferential to using body fat. In the process of creating blood sugar from muscle glucose, muscle protein is degraded to amino acids to convert to glucose. This is the muscle destroyer aspect of glucagon.7,8,9,10,11

The Trigger for Glucagon

Where carbohydrate is the trigger for insulin, protein is the trigger for glucagon.12,13,14

Protein does trigger insulin but at about a 30% strength.15

Also glucagon is triggered by too little food.16

Glucagon is another Fat Burning Hormones that is secreted after intense exercise.17 They key here is that unlike other methods of creating sugar in the blood, glucagon does so by breaking down body fat to do so.18,19,20



  1. Wasserman, DH, et al. Glucagon is a Primary Controller of Hepatic Glycogenolysis and Gluconeogenesis during Musculature Work. Am J Physiol 1989;257:E108.
  2. Yorek MA, Blair B, Ray PD. The influences of Glucagon on Rat Cardiac Cyclic AMP, Phosphorylase A and Force of Cotraction. Arch Int Pharmacodyn Ther 1978;233:42.
  3. Schrauwen P, et al. Fat Balance in Obese Subjects: Role of Glycogen Stores. Am J Physiol 1998;274:E1027.
  4. Flatt JP. Glycogen levels and Obesity. Int J Obes Relat Metab disord 1996;20 (Supply):S1.
  5. Selye, Hans (1950). "Diseases of adaptation". Wisconsin medical journal 49 (6): 515 - 6.
  6. Arroyo, CF. Med Jour and Rac, Jan 2, 1924. cxix, pg.25
  7. Harrower HR. Endocrine Diagnostic Charts. Endocrine Diagnostic Charts. Glendale, CA: The Harrower Laboratory, Inc., p. Glendale, CA: The Harrower Laboratory, Inc.., P. 25-45, 79, 80-81, 1929. 25-45, 79, 80-81, 1929.
  8. Maki, Y, et at. A Profile of Plasma Branched Chain Amino Acids in a Totally Pancreatectomized patient: Effects of Glucagon Replacement under a Steady Feeding State. Horm Metab Res 1987;19:226.
  9. Schworer CM, Mortinore GE. Glucagon-Induced Autophagy and Proteolysis in Rat Liver: Mediation by Selective Deprivation of Intracellular Amino Acids. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 1979;76:3169.
  10. Tessari P. et al. Hyperglucagonemia Stimulates Phenylalanine Oxidation in Humans. Diabetes 1996;45:463.
  11. Charlton MR, Adey DB, Nair KS. Evidence for a Catabolic Role of Glucagon during an Amino Acid Load. J Clin Invest 1996;98:90
  12. Day JL, et al. Factors Governing Insulin and Glucagon Responses during Normal meals. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 1978;9:443.
  13. Muller WA, et al. The Influence of the Antecedent Diet upon Glucagon and Insulin Secretion. N Engl J Med 1971;285:1450.
  14. Wolever TM, Bolognesi C. Prediction of Glucose and Insulin Responses of Normal Subjects after Consuming Mixed Meals Varying in Energy, Protein, Fat Carbohydrate and Glycemic Index. J Nutr 1996;126:2807.
  15. Arroyo, CF. Med Jour and Rac, Jan 2, 1924. cxix, pg.25
  16. Harrower, Henry R. Endocrine Diagnostic Charts. Harrower Laboratory, Inc. Glendale, California, 1929, pg. 79
  17. Harrower HR. Endocrine Diagnostic Charts. Endocrine Diagnostic Charts. Glendale, CA: The Harrower Laboratory, Inc., p. 25-45, 79, 80-81, 1929. 25-45, 79, 80-81, 1929.
  18. Voss KH, Masoro EJ. Anderson W. Modulation of Age-Related Loss of Glucagon-Promoted Lipolysis by Food Restriction. Mech Ageing Dev 1982;18:135
  19. Schade DS, Eaton RP. Modulation of Fatty Acid Metabolism by Glucagon in Man. I Effects in Normal Subjects. Diabetes 1957;24:502.
  20. Howland RJ, Benning AD. Differential Effects of Noradrenaline and Glucagon on Lipolysis and Fatty_Acid Utilization in Brown Adipose Tissue. FEBS Lett 1986;208:1288.





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