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August 27, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(9):695. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690090045016

The maintenance of a uniform content of the sugar glucose in the circulating blood is now recognized to be a matter of paramount moment to the body. Either an excess or a deficiency of the circulating carbohydrate may be attended with disastrous consequences for the organism. From the standpoint of ascertaining the factors responsible for averting both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia it becomes important, therefore, to discover the methods by which sugar is mobilized in the body—how the content in the blood is replenished or decreased as the need may arise. Part, at least, of the secret is bound up in the rôle of glycogen in the body. More than half a century ago Claude Bernard showed that glycogen formation, glycogenesis, takes place very rapidly when an abundance of sugar becomes available; and the reverse process of glycogenolysis, with formation of glucose, is supposed to occur with equal ease.

For the