Ketosis and glycerol

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Ketosis and glycerol

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Old 11-08-2014, 23:29   #1
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Default Ketosis and glycerol

"fat (triacylglycerol) is cleaved to provide 3 fatty acid chains and 1 glycerol molecule in a process known as lipolysis."

Question: does the body convert the one molecule of glycerol into glucose?

This comes from a bit of a disagreement that "fat is converted into glucose" which I don't believe, but then I saw that and wondered if I was wrong.

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Old 11-09-2014, 00:01   #2
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Hmmm...apparently it can, after doing some internet searches.

glu·co·ne·o·gen·e·sis (glū'kō-nē'ō-jen'ĕ-sis),
The formation of glucose from noncarbohydrates, such as protein or fat.
Synonym(s): glyconeogenesis (2)
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012

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Old 11-09-2014, 00:12   #3
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And then I found this, so now I'm completely confused.

22.3.7. Animals Cannot Convert Fatty Acids into Glucose

It is important to note that animals are unable to effect the net synthesis of glucose from fatty acids. Specifically, acetyl CoA cannot be converted into pyruvate or oxaloacetate in animals. The two carbon atoms of the acetyl group of acetyl CoA enter the citric acid cycle, but two carbon atoms leave the cycle in the decarboxylations catalyzed by isocitrate dehydrogenase and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Consequently, oxaloacetate is regenerated, but it is not formed de novo when the acetyl unit of acetyl CoA is oxidized by the citric acid cycle. In contrast, plants have two additional enzymes enabling them to convert the carbon atoms of acetyl CoA into oxaloacetate (Section 17.4.).

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Old 11-09-2014, 01:09   #4
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It can. Though it is very rare. In exigencies the body would do that. Here's a page from Dr. Chris Masterjohn's blog on the subject

The Daily Lipid: We Really Can Make Glucose From Fatty Acids After All! O Textbook, How Thy Biochemistry Hast Deceived Me!

The title of your thread indicates that you are mixing it up with ketosis. Using fats directly for energy (ketosis) is one thing, converting the fatty acids to glucose to be then used for energy is quite another. This is because there are some 5% cells like RBC, nerve & brain cells which rely only on glucose for energy. In very extreme scenarios when the liver cannot supply the glucose, the body would adopt this pathway.

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Last edited by skb; 11-09-2014 at 01:38.
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Old 11-09-2014, 09:29   #5
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First of all, unless the fat was consumed as a triglyceride, that glucose (glycerol) came from you in the first place so no "net" glucose. It was just stored in that way temporarily and is again released.

Second, try looking up what a TG molecule looks like and add up the atomic weights. Saying that fat yields glucose is like saying that Fedex is an organization for transporting cellophane tape from one place to another. Yes, it does that, but it is virtually zero magnitude compared to Fedex's actual main purpose. Same thing applies here.

As a practical matter, you can't get glucose from fats. Many things in biochemistry have such infinitesimal exceptions but many like this are if insufficient magnitude to be worthy of mention.
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Old 11-09-2014, 11:04   #6
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I haven't read about this subject in over a year. My take-away at that time was, when no glucose source is coming in (no carbs, no protein, probably no nothing being eaten) after most or all of stored glycogen has been consumed, after a certain portion of body's muscle/organ has been converted and burned as glucose (and, of course, some portion of the body's fat has also been converted to ketones and burned) ... when glycgen/glucose levels are at 'gonna start dying soon' levels ... then the body's fats will be broken down as you found described. This is the tail end of an extreme survival mechanism (I think).

Meaning, in a normal body this happens at very low levels and/or very infrequently.

Meaning, as we know too well, someone out there has a malfunctioning fat/glucose conversion process (meaning, I suspect they store no fat, have to eat every - what? - few minutes, and probably do not survive infancy.

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