Therapeutic polysacchraides - Essay Example

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THERAPEUTIC POLYSACCHRAIDES Carbohydrates Carbohydrates or the saccharides are a group of organic compounds or bio molecules that basically consist of the elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The ratio of hydrogen is two times that of carbon and oxygen. Diet rich in carbohydrates give high amount of energy…
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Therapeutic polysacchraides
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Download file to see previous pages Apart from the fact that carbohydrates are energy bundles in the form of glucose, recent studies have identified several therapeutic benefits especially among the higher polysaccharides. This paper presents an overview of carbohydrate chemistry, chemical structures of different types of carbohydrates, benefits and some of the major functions. Therapeutic functions of polysaccharides are also a brief subject that is described in this paper. Simple sugars or the monosaccharides are the basic carbohydrates. These simple sugars combine to form disaccharides (2 simple sugars), oligosaccharides (2-10 simple sugars) and polysaccharides (more than ten simple sugars). All carbohydrates are either simple sugars or monosaccharides that join with each other to form more complex carbohydrates. Monosaccharides and Classification Monosaccharides are classified based on three categories. First classification is based of the number of carbon atoms present in the compound. Table 1: Monosaccharide classifications based on the number of carbons No. of Carbon Classification Example 3 Triose Dihydroxyacetone 4 Tetrose Erythrose 5 Pentose Ribose 6 Hexose Fructose 7 Heptose Sedoheptulose Monosaccharides are also classified based on the location of the carbonyl group and also based on the chirality of the carbohydrate (Zamora, 2011). Disaccharides These are sugars that contain two simple sugars. Some of the common disaccharides are sucrose, maltose and lactose. Sucrose Lactose Maltose The sugar that we use on a day-to-day basis is Sucrose and is made from sugarcane or sugar beets. It is also one of the main ingredients in turbinado sugar, brown sugar, and confectioner's sugar. Lactose is a combination of one molecule each of galactose and glucose. It is a main ingredient in milk. The result of consuming milk and other dairy products in the absence of lactase enzyme which is necessary for the absorption and digestion of lactose is that the undigested lactose moves into the large intestine and is acted up on by bacteria leading to gas formation and further diarrhoea (The Chemistry of Carbohydrates Found in Food, n.d.). In some people due to the lack of the enzyme lactase, a condition known as lactose intolerance occur and these people are allergic to milk and milk products. Maltose consists of two ?-D-glucose molecules with the alpha bond at carbon 1 of one molecule attached to the oxygen at carbon 4 of the second molecule. It is also possible that ?-D-glucose molecules connected through carbon number one in a 1?>1 linkage resulting in Trehalose on the other hand Cellobiose which is a tasteless disaccharide consisting of two ?-D-glucose molecules that have a 1?>4 linkage as in cellulose (Zamora, 2011). Oligosaccharides When two to the molecules of simple sugar combine, it forms oligosaccharide. Raffinose or melitose is one of the common oligosaccharide naturally found in legumes and cruciferous vegetables such as beans, peas, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. It consists of galactose connected to sucrose via a 1?>6 glycosidic linkage. Raffinose The digestion of raffinose by human system is not possible and as a result, there can be problems such as gas trouble and bloating (Zamora, 2011). Polysaccharides Most of the vegetarian diet consist of polysaccharides and these are large group of complex carbohydrates with undetermined numbers of sugar molecules. In general most of the polysaccharides are insoluble in water but in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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