Where Are Carbohydrates Found in the Body?

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According to the European Food Information Council, the human body stores carbohydrates in the muscles and liver. It intakes carbohydrates in the form of glucose, which is converted to glycogen and stored in these body parts.

The red blood cells and the brain need glucose as a source of energy, as they cannot use protein, fat and other forms of energy for this purpose, explains the EUFIC. Thus, it is important to maintain the glucose in the blood at a constantly optimum level.

The major energy-providing sources of carbohydrates are starches and sugars. The small intestine absorbs monosaccharides into the bloodstream and transports them to the areas where they are needed. Digestive enzymes break down disaccharides into monosaccharides and also break down the long chains of starches into their constituent sugars, which become absorbed into the bloodstream.

Iowa State University explains that the body stores glucose in the liver and skeletal muscles in the form of glycogen when it does not need glucose for energy. Glucose is stored as fat once the glycogen stores are full. The body uses these glycogen stores as an energy source when it needs more glucose than is available in the bloodstream. All living cells in the body contain glucose, which enters the cells through the hormone insulin.