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The Effects of Insulin and Glucagon on Blood Glucose

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Glucagon and Insulin hormones are secreted with the aid of the islets cells of the pancreases. The two hormones are responsible for the control of glucose tiers in the blood. The process ensures that there is a constant provide of glucose to the cells to perform various features in the body consistently (Unger, Anna & Leonard 1031). The test compares the glucose concentration in Mesenteric arteries, Hepatic vein, and Hepatic portal vein before and after to set up the implication of the two hormones on the glucose levels.
Mesenteric arteries carry the blood from the rest of the physique to the intestines and have little glucose (Unger, Anna & Leonard 1033). Hepatic Portal Vien carries the absorbed glucose to the Liver- glucose storage location- from the small intestines while the Hepatic Vein carries the glucose to the rest of the body from the Liver as seen in the blood circulatory system above. When the glucose level in the blood circulation is low glucagon breaks down glycogen and fatty acids to form glucose. Insulin stimulates the conversion of glucose to glycogen when glucose is in excess in the blood circulation (Unger, Anna & Leonard 1033). As a result, the blood glucose balances in the blood stream at all conditions. The experiment demonstrates that hepatic portal vein is the richest in glucose concentration pursued by Hepatic Vein and finally the mesenteric arteries. During starvation, the Hepatic Vein is the richest in glucose concentration while the Hepatic Portal Vien has the least.


The apparatus need to conduct the experiment included a test tube holder, six test tubes, marking pen, beaker, hot water bath, test tube rack, and a metric ruler. The chemical used was Benedict’s solution. The serum samples were taken as follows; three samples collected during fasting from, a) Hepatic Vein, b), Hepatic Portal Vein c) and Mesenteric Artery. Three more samples were collected after eating (postprandial samples) from a) Hepatic Vein, b), Hepatic Portal Vein c) and Mesenteric Artery. The labeling of test tubes was about the category and type of sample that was placed in each. A metric ruler was for marking off 1 cm and 2 cm on each test tube from the bottom to represent the capacity of reagent and sample used in each set up of the experiment. The speed of reaction and the extent of color change were compared with all the test tubes. A hot water bath was prepared for the purpose of heating the test tube contents. The respective serum was added to the six test tubes up to the first mark after which drops of Benedict’s solution were added to fill up to the second mark a piece. The three samples of post-prandial were heated in the hot water bath concurrently. The time at which the solution color changed for the first time and the color changes after that were noted down. The procedure was repeated for the three samples taken during fasting. The expected order of the shift in color in the Benedicts solution was blue (in glucose absence) to yellow, then orange and finally red progressively with increase in the glucose levels. The used Benedict’s solution was discarded into the reserved waste vessel.


Post-Prandial Samples

These were the results that were recorded through the experiment which was done using post-prandial the samples. It took 26 minutes for the sample taken from the Hepatic Portal Vein to turn from the original blue color to yellow, which then changed to orange, to brown then red and finally to bright red in three minutes time. For the sample taken from the Hepatic Vein, it took 40 seconds to change from the original blue color to yellow, followed by orange then brown and finally muddy brown/red in three minutes time. The sample taken from the Mesenteric Arteries took 49 seconds to change from the original blue color to yellow then orange and finally to brown in three minutes time. The final color was orange/ brown. The active hormone was found to be Insulin.

Fasting Samples

The following are the results obtained after an experiment using the samples taken from the three blood vessels during fasting. It took 33 seconds for the solution color to changes from blue to yellow in the sample taken from Hepatic Vein. In three minutes, the solution color changed from yellow to orange, followed by brown and then red and finally bright red. In the samples taken from the Mesenteric arteries, it took 56 seconds to change the solution color from blue to yellow. In the additional three minutes, the solution color changed from yellow to orange and finally to brown. It took the sample taken from the Hepatic Portal Vein 80 seconds to change from the solution from blue to muddy color. The final color was dull/muddy color. The hormone in effect was found to be glucagon.

Data Tabulation

Table 1: Time Elapsed Before the First Color Change

Blood vessel

Post-Prandial (PP)

Fasting (F)

Hepatic Portal Vein

26 seconds

80 seconds

Hepatic Vein

40 seconds

33 seconds

Mesenteric Arteries

49 seconds

56 seconds

Table 2:

Table 3:


The results obtained in the experiment affirmed the hypothesis. From the results, it took a very short time before we witnessed the first color change in the Hepatic Portal Vein in the post- prandial experiment. The colors changed to bright red indicating that the glucose was in abundance. The samples from the Hepatic vein took a while longer while Mesenteric Arteries took the longest. The Hepatic Vein’s final color was red while that of the Mesenteric Arteries was brown. Hepatic Portal vein, therefore, was the richest in glucose concentration followed by Hepatic Vein while Mesenteric had the least (Unger, Anna &Leonard 1031). For the samples taken during fasting, it took the shortest time for the solution retrieved from Hepatic Vein to change color followed by Mesenteric and Hepatic Portal Vein which took the longer time. The final colors were, bright red, brown and muddy blue for the Hepatic Vein, Mesenteric, and Hepatic Portal Vein respectively indicating the Hepatic Vein had the highest concentration of glucose while the Hepatic Portal Vein has the least concentration (Unger, Anna &Leonard 1031). The Hepatic Portal Vein transports glucose absorbed in the intestines to the Liver. If there is excessive glucose in the blood, the Insulin hormone converts the excess glucose into an inactive state called glycogen; thus, the glucose concentration in the Hepatic Portal Vein is higher than that of the Hepatic vein. The blood from the rest of the body get back to the intestines through the Mesenteric Arteries, therefore, has the least amount of glucose. During fasting, no glucose is absorbed by the intestines; therefore the only source of glucose is the Liver. Glycogen consequently converts the inactive form of glucose to glycogen (Unger, Anna &Leonard 1031). The glucose level in the Hepatic Vein blood becomes higher than that of Hepatic Portal vein and Mesenteric Arteries. The experiment also demonstrates why a living organism can survive for a long time of starvation without dying. The analysis is useful in the blood sugar level medical laboratory test. The time difference may not have been accurate because it required thorough shaking of the test tubes during the experiment.


The two hormones are responsible for the prevention of Diabetes mellitus. Under secretion of Insulin causes Diabetes mellitus. Patients with this condition are injected with insulin into the blood stream to stimulate the conversion of excess sugar to the inactive form called glycogen (American Diabetes Association 1).


American Diabetes Association. "Diagnosis and classification of diabetes mellitus." Diabetes care 29.1 (2006): S43. Web.

Unger, Roger H., Anna M. Eisentraut, and Leonard L. Madison. "The effects of total starvation upon the levels of circulating glucagon and insulin in man." Journal of Clinical Investigation 42.7 (1963): 1031. Web.

October 26, 2021


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