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Carbohydrates

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Health & Medical

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1. What are the base structures and nomenclature for carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are formed by the polymerization of monosaccharides. They
correspond to the empirical formula (CH
2
O)
n
, where n represents the number of
monosaccharide units.
Depending on the value of n, carbohydrates are classified into:
- n = 1: Simple carbohydrates (monosaccharides)
- n > 1: Complex carbohydrates (disaccharides, polysaccharides)
Monosaccharides are polyalcohol carbonyl compounds, classified according to:
- The number of carbon atoms in the molecule.
- The position of the carbonyl group, since they can be aldehyde compounds
(when it is placed in C1) or carbonyl compounds (when it is placed in C2).
Considering that monosaccharides are typically formed from 3-6 carbon atoms,
they are classified into:
Carbonyl compound
located in carbon 1
Carbonyl compound
located in carbon 2
3 carbon atoms
Aldotrioses
Ketotrioses
4 carbon atoms
Aldotetroses
Ketotetroses
5 carbon atoms
Aldopentoses
Ketopentoses
6 carbon atoms
Aldohexoses
Ketohexoses
2. How are carbohydrates linked together?
The different monosaccharide units are linked through the formation of a
glycosidic bond between the hydroxyl groups located in two different monosaccharides
by the formation of an acetal group.
Glycosidic bonds are classified depending on both the relative position of the
hydroxyl groups and the stereochemistry of the C atoms linked to them. Some of the most
common examples include:

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3. Describe the basic processes involved in the digestion, absorption, and
transport of carbohydrates. This includes hormones involved, transport
requirements, enzymes, other essential compounds, etc.
The first step of carbohydrate metabolism is based on their hydrolysis of the
glycosidic bonds by amylase-type enzymes to obtain the constituting monosaccharide
units. Thus, it is important to consider that, except in the case of lactose, we are not able
of hydrolyzing β-glycosidic bonds. This process initiates in the mouth but takes place
predominantly in the small intestine by the action of the pancreatic amylase.
Additionally, the brush border enzymes (glucoamylase, sucrase-isomaltase and lactase)
embedded in the microvilli of the small intestine help hydrolyze disaccharides as maltose,
lactose and sucrose into their corresponding monosaccharide units.
Once the complex carbohydrates have been hydrolyzed into monosaccharides,
they are absorbed through the intestine enterocytes. It has been demonstrated that an
active or mediated absorption of the most abundant monosaccharides (that is, glucose,
galactose and fructose) enables their transport to the liver by means of the portal vein.
From the liver, the monosaccharides are distributed to the rest of the body through the
bloodstream.
The metabolism of monosaccharides is mediated by insulin. Thus, the increase of
their concentration in the bloodstream is the signaling factor used by the pancreas to
synthesize insulin, which stimulates glucose uptake in the muscle / adipose tissue and the
glycolysis. Insulin also plays an important role in down regulating the processes of
glycogenesis and gluconeogenesis by which excess monosaccharides are transformed
into glycogen and stored in the liver.

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1. What are the base structures and nomenclature for carbohydrates? 
 Carbohydrates are formed by the polymerization of monosaccharides. They correspond to the empirical formula (CH2O)n, where n represents the number of monosaccharide units. Depending on the value of n, carbohydrates are classified into: - n = 1: Simple carbohydrates (monosaccharides) n > 1: Complex carbohydrates (disaccharides, polysaccharides) Monosaccharides are polyalcohol carbonyl compounds, classified according to: - The number of carbon atoms in the molecule. The position of the carbonyl group, since they can be aldehyde compounds (when it is placed in C1) or carbonyl compounds (when it is placed in C2). Considering that monosaccharides are typically formed from 3-6 carbon atoms, they are classified into: Carbonyl compound located in carbon 1 Carbonyl compound located in carbon 2 3 carbon atoms Aldotrioses Ketotrioses 4 carbon atoms Aldotetroses Ketotetroses 5 carbon atoms Aldopentoses Ketopentoses 6 carbon atoms Aldohexoses Ketohexoses 2. How are carbohydrates linked together? The different monosaccharide units are linked through the formation of a glycosidic bond between the hydroxyl groups located in two different monosaccharides by the formation of an acetal group. Glycosidic bonds are classified depending on both the relative position of the hydroxyl groups and the stereochemistry of the C atoms linked to them. Some of the most common examples include: 3. Describe the basic p ...
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