The major effects of insulin on muscle and adipose tissue are: (1) Carbohydrate metabolism: (a) it increases the rate of glucose transport across the cell membrane, (b) it increases the rate of glycolysis by increasing hexokinase and 6-phosphofructokinase activity, (c) it stimulates the rate of glycogen synthesis and decreases the rate of glycogen breakdown. (2) Lipid metabolism: (a) it decreases the rate of lipolysis in adipose tissue and hence lowers the plasma fatty acid level, (b) it stimulates fatty acid and triacylglycerol synthesis in tissues, (c) it increases the uptake of triglycerides from the blood into adipose tissue and muscle, (d) it decreases the rate of fatty acid oxidation in muscle and liver. (3) Protein metabolism: (a) it increases the rate of transport of some amino acids into tissues, (b) it increases the rate of protein synthesis in muscle, adipose tissue, liver, and other tissues, (c) it decreases the rate of protein degradation in muscle (and perhaps other tissues). These insulin effects serve to encourage the synthesis of carbohydrate, fat and protein, therefore, insulin can be considered to be an anabolic hormone.
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