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Using Spectrophotometry to Measure “Blood Glucose”

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 541
  • Category: Diabetes

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In the experiment, I tested the blood glucose level of diabetic and non-diabetic people every 30 minutes starting from right before a meal was eaten up until two hours. I did this by measuring the amount of light absorbed by the solutions through a spectrophotometer. By doing so I found that for diabetics the maximum blood glucose increased more quickly than non-diabetics, which increased and decreased at a steady rate. With this information I was able to determine that the damaging effects of glucose molecules would be higher in diabetics than in non-diabetics.

As defined by our laboratory manual, diabetes is when one’s body cannot regulate the amount of glucose being carried to the circulatory system. This can affect the human body in many ways. Some have defined diabetes as “multi-systematic”, it can affect numerous parts of the body. Some of these negative effects include heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney problems, and nerve damage (Effects of Diabetes, 2009).

Because of the wide variety of risks diabetes puts a person under, it is important to study it and compare diabetic blood to non-diabetic blood in order to have a deeper understanding of what it is doing to the body. With the experiment I hypothesized that the diabetic blood would have a higher absorbance reading than the non-diabetic.

The first step in determining the absorbance for the blood samples for comparison was to measure the amount of light absorbed by each solution. I used a spectrophotometer to do so. I had a sample from immediately before a meal, 30 minutes after, one hour later, an hour and a half later, and then finally two hours after the meal. After recording the absorbance percentages of all my blood samples I created a line graph in order to physically see the trends and differences between the blood glucose levels of the diabetic and non-diabetic blood.

The diabetic blood absorbed much more quickly but decreased relatively as steady as the non-diabetic. The non-diabetic blood did not absorb nearly as much, its highest being 0.33% while the diabetic’s highest absorbance was 0.67%. Both blood types peaked in absorbency one hour after the meal.

From this information, one can conclude that the damaging effects would be higher in diabetics. In a study done to determine the association between blood glucose and cardiovascular disease, the risks were higher in diabetics as well (R. Jackson, 2004). The food eaten during the meal may vary my results slightly, since some foods can raise and lower glucose levels more than others. Table 2 shows the trend between starch-rich food, sucrose-rich food, and glucose levels as well as insulin levels (Suckale, 1998). Regardless, my hypothesis is accepted because of the evidence from my results paired with already given knowledge about blood glucose from previous studies done by others.

The experiment went as I expected it to. Further studies should be done at different times of the day to determine how correlated certain meals are with glucose levels. There should also be more studies on specific food types to see if there are negative of positive effects on diabetics. Diabetics effects too many people in the world to not have more abstract studies done on it.


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