BiologicalMolecules160-page6 - Humans cannot digest...

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Biological Molecules - 6 Carbohydrates The word carbohydrate is one of convention, derived from carbon and water, the component elements of the carbohydrate monomers (subunits) or monosaccharides. Carbohydrates include sugars and the complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrate Functions Basic energy source (fuel) for virtually all living organisms Structural molecules, especially of plants, most fungi and arthropods (e.g., cellulose, chitin) Fuel reserve molecules (e.g., starch, glycogen) As stated, carbohydrates are composed of one or more monosaccharides. The simple sugars are formed from one (monosaccharide) or two monosaccharides (called disaccharides), and the complex carbohydrates (polymers) are formed from long chains of monosaccharides, joined by dehydration synthesis reactions. The complex carbohydrates are also called polysaccharides and include starches and fiber. Some plants have oligosaccharides, small chain carbohydrates composed of a few monosaccharides.
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Unformatted text preview: Humans cannot digest oligosaccharides, but the bacteria in our intestines can. Their digestive by-products are often gaseous, something we associate with the consumption of foods that contain oligosaccharides. Our red blood cell coatings that give us our blood types are also oligosaccharide based. Structure of the monosaccharide Chemically, monosaccharides contain: • Carbon • Hydrogen • Oxygen The ratio of atoms in a monosaccharide is: (CH 2 O) e.g. C n (H 2 O) n C 6 H 12 O 6 C 3 H 6 O 3 The functional groups of monosaccharides are: ± –OH Hydroxyl ± =O Carbonyl However the arrangement of atoms in the monosaccharide is important. Each monosaccharide is constructed with the following rules: 1. Make a carbon chain 2. Attach the carbonyl group to 1 of the carbon atoms 3. Attach hydroxyl groups to the remaining carbon atoms 4. All remaining open carbon bonds will have hydrogen atoms attached...
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