The Importance and Biological Functions of Carbohydrates.

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The Importance and Biological Functions of Carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates have many functions. This essay will look at some of them and also what carbohydrates are constructed of.

A Carbohydrate molecule contains Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. There are twice as many Hydrogens as there are Oxygens, the same proportion as water. Carbohydrates have the general formula of C (H O)

Carbohydrates can be divided into three main types. These are monosaccharides (single sugar units), disaccharides (two sugar units) and polysaccharides (many sugar units). Different monosaccharides contain different numbers of carbon atoms. Trioses contain three, pentoses contain five and hexoses six. Carbohydrates have many different functions and come in many different forms. Ribose and Deoxyribose are both pentose monosaccharides and are found in RNA and DNA. Glucose and Fructose are both hexose monosaccharides.

Glucose is an important source of energy in respiration and Fructose is found in fruits. Sucrose is a disaccharide formed from Glucose and fructose. It is the form in which carbohydrates are transported in plants. Maltose is a disaccharide of glucose and is formed from the digestion of starch. The carbohydrate in milk is lactose and it is formed from Glucose and galactose. Important polysaccharides include Starch, Glycogen and Cellulose. They are all made up from Glucose but have different functions. Starch is the main store of carbohydrates on plants, Glycogen is the main store in animals and Cellulose is important for plant cell walls. All have the formula C H O but they are structurally different. This gives them different properties.
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Glucose exists in two different forms, ? and ?.

The carbons are numbered as shown. Carbon number one has a hydroxyl group that can be in the up position or the down position. ? is in the down position and ? is in the up position.

Maltose is a disaccharide formed by two ? glucose's which form a glycosidic bond by giving off water.

Other disaccharides are formed in a similar way. Lactose is formed from ? glucose and galactose.

Starch is a very important carbohydrate and is the main storage in ...

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Other remarks - Another improvement would be to use scientifically common terms, so instead of saying “Carbon number one” write “C1” Good use of diagrams to visualise molecules Reading the essay back to yourself would help it flow better There are a lot of accurate and concise details, this shows good understanding. Ketosis was definitely undergraduate stuff, and it seems like you understood it. Putting the importance of dietary fibres into context of intestinal disease is great, this really answers the question. Having references to back up your points would make this an even better essay. Overall, this is a good essay, showing real understanding and extra knowledge.

Organisation - Headings would help with the organisation of the essay, especially when you are listing all the different common sugars, having a heading such as “Examples of common sugars” would make it a lot clearer what you are trying to say. Instead of listing the carbohydrates and what they are made up, compare them together to say the similarities and differences, and give details. For example, “Cellulose and starch are both made up of d-glucose, but glucose in cellulose is linked by a β(1→4) linkage, whereas in starch it is α(1→4) linkage instead.” You mentioned the six main functions in the body, so headings for each of the headings would be appropriate.

Good introduction - You mentioned where ribose and deoxyribose are found in the cell (RNA and DNA), so I would also add where glucose and fructose are found in the cell (namely in glycolysis pathways, in polymers, in glycoproteins etc)