Even if its size is fairly small (about 2% of body weight), the brain consumes around 20% of the total body energy. Whereas organs such as muscles and liver may use several sources of energy, under physiological conditions, the brain mainly depends on glucose for its energy needs. This involves the need for blood glucose level to be tightly regulated. Thus, in addition to its fueling role, glucose plays a role as signaling molecule informing the brain of any slight change in blood level to ensure glucose homeostasis. In this chapter, we will describe the fueling and sensing properties of glucose and other carbohydrates on the brain and present some physiological brain functions impacted by these sugars. We will also highlight the scientific questions that need to be answered in order to better understand the impact of sugars on the brain.
Part of the book: Feed Your Mind