What are Carbohydrates | Dietary | Biochemistry | General Medicine

What are Carbohydrates | Dietary | Biochemistry | General Medicine

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Carbohydrates, also known as saccharides or carbs are a major food source. The key form of energy for most organisms. Consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms.

Two basic compounds make up carbohydrates

  1. Aldehydes: double-bonded carbon and oxygen atoms, plus a hydrogen atom.
  2. Ketones: Double bonded carbon and oxygen atoms, plus two additional carbon atoms.


  1. Monosaccharides: Smallest possible sugar unit. Examples: Glucose, Galactose or Fructose. Glucose- a major source of energy
    In human nutrition Galactose, most readily available in milk Fructose,, mostly in vegetable and fruits
  2. Disaccharides
    Two monosaccharides molecules bonded together, for example, lactose, maltose, and sucrose. Bonding one glucose molecule with a galactose molecule produces lactose. One glucose molecule + fructose molecule = Sucrose molecule.

  3. Polysaccharides
    A chain of two or more monosaccharides. The chain may be Branched Unbranched

Glycogen is a polysaccharide that humans and animals store in the liver and muscles. Starches are glucose polymers that are made up of amylose and amylopectin.

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