T Nation

Glucagon hormone

Anybody actually know the role of this hormone, along with its positive and negative effects on the body. How it can be stimulated and supressed?

all i seem to hear from 40, 30, 30 diets and zone, is that its an insulin balacer and fat metaboliser, but nothing to really clarify it beyond this?

It’s the opposite or antagonist of insulin. When insulin is high, glucagon is low. And when insulin is low, glucagon rises. Insulin is a storage hormone. Glucagon is a energy liberating hormone. When blood sugar gets low, insulin of course is depressed, and glucagon increases to liberate glucose from liver, etc to supply glucose for the brain. The brain’s requirement for glucose drives glucagon. That’s the simplistic explanation.

High protein meals and certain amino acids also stimulate glucagon release. When insulin is high it does not necessarily mean that glucagon is low since most protein+carb meals stimulate both insulin and glucagon release. The reason that glucagon is released in response to protein containing meals is because it stimulates liver gluconeogenesis (the conversion of amino acids and three carbon compounds to glucose) from amino acids. Glucagon antagonizes some of the effects of insulin but not all. In addition, glucagon stimulates lipolysis (fat breakdown).