Elements: C, H, and O.

Function: Energy, structure

Carbohydrates are sugars and starches. The most basic structure consist of 3-6 carbons, but we are going to concentrate upon sugars that form a either a pentagon ring (5-carbon sugars) or a hexagon ring (6-carbon sugars). These sugars are named pentoses and hexoses respectively. The sufix –oses refers to sugar, and prefix refers to the number of carbons. One corner of the ring has an oxygen, so that one carbon group lies outside of the ring. Attached to each carbon is a hydroxyl group, and a hydrogen. If you said that carbohydrates had a primary structure, akin to proteins, it would be the order of the sugars, the pentoses and the hexoses. The simplest sugars are monosaccharides (mono–: one; –saccaharides: sugar). Among the hexoses, sugars having six carbons, there are glucose, galactose, and fructose. Both glucose and galactose have very similar structures, and only differ in the arrangement of on hydroxyl group on the 4th carbon. Fructose looks more like glucose than galactose, but it differs from glucose by having a hydroxyl group on the 1st carbon, with its 2nd carbon having the double bond with oxygen





Above: Simple diagrams of glucose, galactose, and fructose not showing the hexagon shape.

Blood Glucose
















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