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Difference Between Glycogen and Glucagons

Glycogen vs Glucagons

Glycogens and glucagons are important circulating compounds in our body. Without these two substances, imbalances will definitely occur making the body system in disequilibrium that may cause instant death.

Glycogen is a form of carbohydrate, particularly a form of polysaccharide, while glucagon is a hormone. It is a form of peptide from the family of secretin, another hormone.

What are the roles of these two substances in the body? Well, glycogen is a form of storage for glucose in humans and animals. Glucagon, on the other hand, affects the body by increasing the blood concentration of sugar or glucose in the body which is the opposite effect of insulin when absorbed in the bloodstream among diabetics. Glycogen is primarily found in the liver and can also be found in kidneys and muscles but in smaller amounts. Glucagon, on the other hand, is produced in the pancreas.

Glycogen is essentially a secondary source of energy in the body besides being a storage bin. When we eat, the food we eat is broken down and synthesized as glucagon. In short, the glucose (the food) is broken down as glycogen for storage. Glycogen is then stored in the liver. When our body needs fuel for energy, glycogen is broken down into glucose to use as a form of energy.

Glucagon, on the other hand, works when blood glucose levels fall which can be due to hypoglycemia or food hunger. Glucagon will stimulate the liver. The liver will then convert glycogen into glucose. When this happens, glucose will be released into the bloodstream from the liver thus increasing the circulating sugar in the body. On the other hand, when we are full, insulin takes place to lower the circulating blood sugar. The glucose from the food is converted and stored temporarily as glycogen in the liver.

Glycogen and glucagon are important concepts in endocrine and metabolism among medical and science degree students. This must be understood well so as to facilitate important interventions at time of malfunctioning endocrine and metabolism.


1.Glycogen is a form of sugar while glucagon is a hormone.

2.Glycogen is stored and synthesized in the liver while glucagon is produced in the pancreas.

3.Glycogen acts as a storage bin in the body when food is digested or when our body is in need of energy while glucagon acts to stimulate the liver to enhance the circulating glucose in the body.

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  1. You say, “Glycogen is essentially a secondary source of energy in the body besides being a storage bin. When we eat, the food we eat is broken down and synthesized as glucagon.”

    Do you mean, “synthesized as glycogen”? Because otherwise, what you say doesn’t make sense.



    • I think this is a typo Andrea. I’s so glad you caught it. I would have been very very confused. This is an excellent site that is made even better with fine tuning.

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