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What is Glycogen

Glycogen refers to the stored glucose in the body. Glycogen storage is mainly found in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is readily available in the body to use as fuel when energy is needed. 

What is glycogen phosphorylase?

Glycogen phosphorylase is the enzyme that helps the muscles utilize the liver’s stores of glycogen. It does this by phosphorolysis of glycogen to release glucose-1-phosphate. 

What is glycogen storage disease?

Glycogen storage disease is a genetic condition in which the body is not able to store or break down glycogen. Carbohydrates normally get stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles, and the carbohydrates will be released as needed to be used for energy. In glycogen storage disease there is a problem with an enzyme that makes this process happen. Symptoms typically include an enlarged liver and low blood glucose levels.

Where is glycogen stored?

Glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles. The majority (approximately 80%) of carbohydrates are stored in the muscles in the form of glycogen, whereas the liver houses approximately 14% of the body’s glycogen. The remaining 6% of the body’s carbohydrate stores are in the bloodstream as glucose.

Is glycogen a carbohydrate?

Yes, glycogen is the end result of storing carbohydrates in the body. After we consume carbohydrates in a meal or snack, it gets broken down into the simplest form called glucose. The body will either use the glucose as fuel immediately or store it for fuel later. Glucose gets stored in a form called glycogen which can be easily broken down later when needed.

Related Terms

Lactase Glucose

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Photo of Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson

Medically reviewed by:

Kristin Ricklefs-Johnson, Ph.D., RD

Kristin is an RDN who also earned her Ph.D. in Nutrition from Arizona State University with an emphasis on insulin resistance, lipid metabolism disorders, and obesity. She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at Mayo Clinic where she focused on nutrition-related proteomic and metabolic research. Her interests include understanding the exact mechanism of action of various genetic variations underlying individual predispositions to nutrition-related health outcomes. Her goal is to help all individuals prevent chronic diseases and achieve long, healthy lives through eating well.

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