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Carbohydrate Overview: – Carbohydrate terminology includes synonyms like sugar, saccharide, ose, glucide, and hydrate of carbon. – Carbohydrates are classified based on their structure, degree […]

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Carbohydrate Overview:
– Carbohydrate terminology includes synonyms like sugar, saccharide, ose, glucide, and hydrate of carbon.
– Carbohydrates are classified based on their structure, degree of polymerization, and biological functions.
– Monosaccharides form the basis of carbohydrates, with natural saccharides built from them.
– Carbohydrates serve as major fuel sources for metabolism and play roles in biological processes.
– Carbohydrates are categorized into monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides, each with specific functions.

Nutritional Aspects:
– Nutritionists classify carbohydrates as simple (sugars) or complex (polysaccharides).
– Carbohydrates provide energy in food, with processed foods typically high in carbohydrates.
– Dietary guidelines recommend a percentage of energy intake from carbohydrates, with a focus on whole grains.
– Glucose is a common building block in dietary carbohydrates, found in various natural sources.
– The glycemic index and load help classify carb-rich foods based on their impact on blood glucose levels.

Health Effects and Research Findings:
– Low-carb diets can aid in short-term weight loss but may lack the health benefits of high-quality carbohydrates.
– Evidence does not strongly support claims that carbs cause fat accumulation or provide a metabolic advantage.
– Carbohydrate restriction may improve lipid markers for cardiovascular disease but is not significantly better in preventing type 2 diabetes onset.
– Research findings vary on the effects of whole grain diets on cardiovascular health, with low-carb diets being comparable to low-fat diets for weight loss.
– Limited evidence supports the routine use of low-carb diets for managing diabetes.

Metabolism and Catabolism:
– Carbohydrate metabolism involves the formation, breakdown, and interconversion of carbohydrates.
– Glucose is a key carbohydrate metabolized by most organisms, with plants synthesizing and storing carbohydrates.
– Catabolism breaks down carbohydrates to extract energy through pathways like glycolysis and the citric acid cycle.
– The human body stores carbohydrates primarily in skeletal muscle, contributing significantly to energy storage.
– Various enzymes are involved in breaking down oligo- and polysaccharides for energy extraction.

Carbohydrate Chemistry and Related Fields:
– Carbohydrate chemistry is a significant branch of organic chemistry, involving various reactions and transformations.
– Important reactions like Amadori rearrangement and cyanohydrin reaction are part of carbohydrate chemistry.
– Related fields like bioplastic and glycobiology focus on carbohydrate structures and compounds.
– Carbohydrate NMR and glycobiology are essential in carbohydrate research for studying structures.
– The study of macromolecules and specific carbohydrate compounds like glycogen and glycolipids are crucial in understanding carbohydrates.

Carbohydrate (Wikipedia)

A carbohydrate (/ˌkɑːrbˈhdrt/) is a biomolecule consisting of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, usually with a hydrogen–oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water) and thus with the empirical formula Cm(H2O)n (where m may or may not be different from n), which does not mean the H has covalent bonds with O (for example with CH2O, H has a covalent bond with C but not with O). However, not all carbohydrates conform to this precise stoichiometric definition (e.g., uronic acids, deoxy-sugars such as fucose), nor are all chemicals that do conform to this definition automatically classified as carbohydrates (e.g. formaldehyde and acetic acid).

Lactose is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 glycosidic linkage.

The term is most common in biochemistry, where it is a synonym of saccharide (from Ancient Greek σάκχαρον (sákkharon) 'sugar'), a group that includes sugars, starch, and cellulose. The saccharides are divided into four chemical groups: monosaccharides, disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Monosaccharides and disaccharides, the smallest (lower molecular weight) carbohydrates, are commonly referred to as sugars. While the scientific nomenclature of carbohydrates is complex, the names of the monosaccharides and disaccharides very often end in the suffix -ose, which was originally taken from the word glucose (from Ancient Greek γλεῦκος (gleûkos) 'wine, must'), and is used for almost all sugars, e.g. fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (cane or beet sugar), ribose, lactose (milk sugar), etc.

Carbohydrates perform numerous roles in living organisms. Polysaccharides serve as an energy store (e.g. starch and glycogen) and as structural components (e.g. cellulose in plants and chitin in arthropods). The 5-carbon monosaccharide ribose is an important component of coenzymes (e.g. ATP, FAD and NAD) and the backbone of the genetic molecule known as RNA. The related deoxyribose is a component of DNA. Saccharides and their derivatives include many other important biomolecules that play key roles in the immune system, fertilization, preventing pathogenesis, blood clotting, and development.

Carbohydrates are central to nutrition and are found in a wide variety of natural and processed foods. Starch is a polysaccharide and is abundant in cereals (wheat, maize, rice), potatoes, and processed food based on cereal flour, such as bread, pizza or pasta. Sugars appear in human diet mainly as table sugar (sucrose, extracted from sugarcane or sugar beets), lactose (abundant in milk), glucose and fructose, both of which occur naturally in honey, many fruits, and some vegetables. Table sugar, milk, or honey are often added to drinks and many prepared foods such as jam, biscuits and cakes.

Cellulose, a polysaccharide found in the cell walls of all plants, is one of the main components of insoluble dietary fiber. Although it is not digestible by humans, cellulose and insoluble dietary fiber generally help maintain a healthy digestive system by facilitating bowel movements. Other polysaccharides contained in dietary fiber include resistant starch and inulin, which feed some bacteria in the microbiota of the large intestine, and are metabolized by these bacteria to yield short-chain fatty acids.

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