Carbohydrates Structure And Function Essay Writer

Carbohydrates are macromolecules composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Biologists are interested in carbohydrates because they serve as energy storage and as structural frameworks within cells. Simple carbohydrates consist of only 1 or 2 monomers, or monosaccharide's, while complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, are chains of monomers. Some types of carbohydrates are sugars, starches and cellulose. Plants manufacture carbohydrates through photosynthesis.


Carbohydrates are one of the four basic kinds of organic molecules. They're used to store energy in the form of sugars or starches and many of them are also used to form complex structures such as the cellulose polysaccharide that is used to form the cell walls of plants. Now the basic monomer of carbohydrates is known as a monosaccharide which we can put together to form disaccharides and polysaccharides.

Let's take a closer look at the monosaccharides. A monosaccharide is a chain of anywhere from five to eight carbons with some hydrogens and some OH groups on them. Here we see a couple of monosaccharides in their chain form. Now you can take these chains and also circularize them as we see over here with this glucose ring. Now if you take a couple of monosaccharides and put them together, you get a disaccharide as we see here. Here is the monosaccharide known as glucose and another common monosaccharide called fructose. When we pull out some water we can join them together to form a very common disaccharide called sucrose. That's the table sugar that you know and love so much from cereal. Other disaccharides that you might encounter include, lactose which is that milk sugar that gives some people some problems.

Now, this is one, this is two mono and di, after that scientist got kind of of bored just kind of lumped them together into many, a real word that we use for the many is poly. So a polysaccharide is a whole group of these monosaccharides joined together just like we did with the disaccharides. I like drew four of them here but in reality a starch molecule like this would be made out of hundreds of thousands of these glucose molecules joined together.

Now you can see this and this look very similar. But some tiny structural changes like here you'll see that the CH2OH group is sticking up all the time, here it alternates. And those tiny changes can make some big structural and functional differences. This molecule here, this polysaccharide is starch. This substance is in French fries and you get so much yummy goodness out of. This is cellulose. If you ate this instead of getting hmm, you'll get ouch splendorous. So these tiny changes can make some big differences in the chemical and structural functions of these molecules.

Some other polysaccharides that you might encounter include, glycogen which is an animal version of starch that is stored in your liver and muscles for common and release. There's also some polysaccharides that are used on the surfaces of you membranes that are involved in cellular recognition. So there you go, that's carbohydrates.


Carbohydrates are part of what we call macronutrients. In our body, as well as proteins and fats, macronutrients are needed in large amounts. Carbohydrates can be monosaccharides (sugars), disaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides (starch). Carbohydrates have the general formula of Cx(H2O)y- they only contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen- making them organic compounds.

Sugar is a monosaccharide and is very sweet; it is made of alpha glucose monomers. If two of these were to polymerise in a condensation reaction, it would result in a disaccharide. The disaccharide formed would be maltose as it's made from an alpha glucose plus an alpha glucose. The bond formed between the monomers would be a 1,4 - glycosidic bond. Water can be added to polysaccharides to hydrolyse them into smaller components- this is what occurs in our digestive system during the digestion of food molecules, we also use enzymes in this process.

Starch is a polysaccaride - a polymer of monosaccharides that held together by 1,4 - glycosidic bonds. Starch is found in plants is naturally as amylopectin and amylose. Cellulose is made from microfibrils made from cellobiose (a disaccharide) made from beta glucose monomers. Cellulose is based on a rigid, layed structure with many hydrogen cross-linkages between adjacent chains of molecules. Many of these hydrogen bonds collectively provide cellulose with mechanical strength suited to its function. Examples of disaccharides include sucrose, maltose and lactose. They are made from monomer monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose, and galactose.

Starch is a storage molecule and it can store large amounts of energy. Starch is also insoluble so it doesn't affect osmotic concentrations and turgidity and is therefore stored freely in parts of the plant. Starch is very compact and so large amounts of it can be stored for future...

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