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Functions of Carbohydrates

Functions of Carbohydrates Carbohydrate chemistry is a subdiscipline of chemistry primarily concerned with the synthesis, structure, and function of carbohydrates. Due to the general structure of carbohydrates, their synthesis is often preoccupied with the selective formation of glycosidic linkages and the selective reaction of hydroxyl groups; as a result, it relies heavily on the use of protecting groups. Carbohydrates participate in a wide range of functions: <<--- Carbohydrates are most abundant dietary source of energy for all organisms. <<--- They supply energy and serve as storage form of energy. <<--- Carbohydrates such as glucose, fructose, starch, glycogen, etc. provide energy for functioning of living organisms. <<--- Carbohydrates are utilized as raw materials for several industries. For e.g., paper, plastics, textiles etc.

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<<--- Polysaccharides like cellulose act as chief structural material for cell walls in plants. <<--- Carbohydrates participate in cellular functions such as cell growth, adhesion and fertilization. Carbohydrate is the preferred energy source for many of the body's functions. As long as carbohydrate is available the human brain depends exclusively on it as an energy source. Carbohydrate shares its fuel providing responsibility with fat. Fat however normally is not used as fuel by the brain and central nervous system and diets high in certain types of fat are associated with chronic diseases. The other energy sources available to the body protein and alcohol offer no advantage as fuels. carbohydrates are one of the essential food ingredients, which we all require. We consume carbohydrates in one form or the other. We encounter carbohydrates at every turn of our lives. The paper we use for writing, the cotton clothes we wear and the wooden furniture around us are all made of cellulose. The sweetening agents in fruits are nothing but simple carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are organic molecules composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Types of Carbohydrates The dietary carbohydrates include the sugars starch and fiber. Chemists describe the sugar as 1. Mono saccharides (single sugars) 2. Di saccharides (double sugars)

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Starch and fibers are Polysaccharides (compounds composed of chains of mono saccharides units) All of these carbohydrates are composed of the single sugar glucose and other compounds that are much like glucose in composition and structure.

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