Why is the term “carbohydrate” used to describe mono and polysaccharides? The Significance of the Term “Carbohydrate” in Monosaccharides and Polysaccharides

The Significance of the Term “Carbohydrate” in Monosaccharides and Polysaccharides

The term “carbohydrate” is used to describe mono and polysaccharides due to the chemical structure of these molecules. Monosaccharides, or simple sugars, are composed of a single molecule of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen (CH 2 O). Polysaccharides, or complex sugars, are composed of two or more monosaccharides linked together. As the name implies, carbohydrates contain an abundance of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms in their molecules, thus the use of the term “carbohydrate” (Bruice, 2016). In addition to the chemical structure, the term “carbohydrate” is used to describe mono and polysaccharides because of the role they play in biology. Monosaccharides are the fundamental source of energy for cells while polysaccharides are the building blocks of more complex structures such as starch, cellulose, and glycogen (Bruice, 2016). The function of carbohydrates as a source of energy and as the main structural component of molecules makes the term “carbohydrate” applicable to both mono and polysaccharides. The term “carbohydrate” is also used to describe mono and polysaccharides because of their importance in human nutrition. Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for humans, contributing to approximately 50-60% of the average individual’s daily energy intake (Ma and Gibson, 2021). Cont….

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