Basic Science

Carbohydrates and Sugars

Alfred Ajibola - Sun, 17th March, 2019 @ 22:03: PM

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Academic Questions in Basic Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The ultimate source of energy is _____.

  1. plants
  2. sun
  3. food
  4. water
  5. air
  6. earth

The speed of wind is measured with a wind vane.

TRUE or FALSE

The nutrient majorly found in the liver is _____.

  • A. Carbohydrate
  • B. Starch
  • C. Protein
  • D. Fats
  • E. Oil
  • F. Lipids

A body at rest possess _____ energy.

  • A. Kinetic
  • B. Potential
  • C. Mechanical
  • D. Chemical

Concept of food:

Food is anything that is ingested by living organisms in order to stay alive. It can take different forms (solid, semi solid and liquid). The food we eat are usually derived from plants and animals. Food has a variety of functions but understanding the classes of food will aid you to better understand their functions.

We have six classes of food namely:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Mineral salts
  • Water.

Now, let's talk a bit on carbohydrates

 

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are classes of food composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen (CHO) in the ratio of 1:2:1. They are your body's first choice for generating the energy that helps you go about your daily activities. (Fats and Proteins can also be sources of energy but are aren't your body's first choice). All carbohydrates are sugars. When you eat rice, yam or cassava, you are essentially eating sugars. These sugars can be put into three categories. They are:

Polysaccharides

Polysaccharides are complex sugars. These are actually what we often eat whenever we eat carbohydrates. There are four major types of polysaccharides namely:

  • Starch
  • Glycogen
  • Chitin
  • Cellulose.

Note: Starchy foods include rice, cassava and yam. Glycogen can be found in the liver as a result of the joining of many glucose molecules. Chitin is a major component of insect and anthropod's skeleton while cellulose is a major component of a plant's cell wall.

Polysaccharides have a general formula of Cx(H2O)y where x is always a large number between 200 and 2500. They are composed of repeating units of another type of sugar called monosaccharides or simple sugars.

Note: Cellulose is not digested in humans when eaten.

 

Monosaccharides

Also called simple sugars, they are the final broken down products of polysaccharides. They consist of one sugar unit and cannot be further broken down. Glucose, Galactose and Fructose are all examples of simple sugars. After we had eaten starch (a polysaccharide), various enzymes produced by our bodily organs will break down the starch, first into a double sugar (disaccharide), an then finally into monosaccharides. This breakdown process is called digestion. It is these monosaccharides that are absorbed into our blood stream and finally utilized for energy production. Monosaccharides generally have a chemical formula of C6H12O6. 

NoteGlucose is the main source of energy generation in the body cells. Fructose is involved in the body's metabolism while Galactose is useful in erythrocytes or red blood cells.

 

Disaccharide

They are composed of two monosaccharides joined together and are also called double sugars. They are often added as sweeteners to food, for instance, the table sugar called sucrose is a disaccharide we often add to sweeten our tea. Maltose is another disaccharide often used to make our malt drinks, chocolates and candies. The breast milk contains the disaccharide lactose which is very vital for infants. Disaccharides are non essential nutrients (meaning we can live without them).

Below is a summary of monosaccharides that makes up these double sugars.

Maltose = Glucose + Glucose

Lactose = Glucose + Galactose

Sucrose = Glucose + Fructose

Other examples of disaccharides include trehalulose and isomaltulose 


len

Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.


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Amazing facts in Basic Science

Rasceta is the name given to the lines on your ✋ palm ✋

Goats have rectangular pupils in their eyes.

Think of the pupil as a hole located in the centre of the iris of the eye.

Note: To get an idea of an iris; when one is said to have blue eyes, it's because the iris is blue


NOTABLE POINTS IN Basic Science

The eyebrow is an area of dense, delicate hair just above the eye. 

Eyebrows perform two main functions:

  1. Protects our eyes against sweat, rain, dirt and other atmospheric contaminants.

  2. It helps us express our emotions.

Eyebrow modified in the form of Nike.

Image Credit: Unilad

Note: Eyebrows can also be modified to enhance beauty; especially female beauty.

All fruits have seeds. There is nothing like a naturally occurring seedless fruit. Even banana, coconut and pineapple have all got seeds.

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