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The biological significance of carbohydrates in living organisms

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Introduction

The biological significance of carbohydrates in living organisms The carbohydrates are a large group of organic compounds, made up of the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. In carbohydrates the ratio of carbon to hydrogen is usually 1:2, as in water (H(2)0). Carbohydrates can basically be divided into two large groups, the sugars and the non-sugars (polysaccharides). The sugars can be further separated into simple sugars, the monosaccharides (e.g. glucose and fructose), and the compound of double sugars, the disaccharides (e.g. sucrose). These, when hydrolyzed, yield monosaccharides. Carbohydrates are extremely important in living organisms. The make up most of plants. Constituting 60 - 90% of the dry mass. Carbohydrates are used in plants as an energy source, as a means of storing energy (as Starch, a polysaccharide). ...read more.

Middle

Wood consists of carbohydrates of the cell walls impregnated with lignin. Some more examples of why carbohydrates are so important in living organisms are: * Lactose, a disaccharide, is present in mammalian milk, so is important in the diet of infants, to ensure healthy growth and development. * Maltose, also a disaccharide is formed by the action of amylase on starch during digestion in animals and during germination of seeds, is used as energy for its relative organism. * Sucrose, a disaccharide also, is found in sugar cane and sugar beet. It can be found in a form which sugars are transported in plants and also as a storage compound in some plants, e.g. ...read more.

Conclusion

Glycogen is important I living organisms as it is an energy storage molecule in animals, where it occurs in liver cells and in muscle tissue. It is also found in the cytoplasm of bacterial cells. Glycogen is well suited to its function, taking up little space and preventing too high a concentration of glucose in the cells. It can be readily hydrolyzed to glucose for use as a respiratory substrate when required. Carbohydrates are very important in living organisms, in a transport structure, without which the products of photosynthesis wouldn't be able to get around the plant. They are also important as food and energy storage in all living organisms. They are also used as a support component in plant's cellulose cell walls, and they are also very important in a healthy balanced diet. ...read more.

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