Importance of Carbohydrates 1. Provide major source of energy (4.1C) 2. Protein sparing action. 3.

Breakdown of fatty acids and preventing ketosis 4. Biological recognition processes of immunoglobulins and self MHCs. 5. Flavor and Sweeteners. 6. Dietary fiber (Cellulose). 7. Derivatives of cellulose such as cellulose nitrates are used in explosives, lacquers, celluloid and collodion. Cellulose acetate is used in photographic film and packing materials. 8. Regulation of various metabolic processes in the body as key molecules in the central metabolic pathways of the body. 9. Serve also as stored forms of energy as glycogen in liver and muscles. 10. Protection of bacterial cells as bacterial cell wall polysaccharides, made up of muerin (N-acetyl muramic acid (NAMA), N-acetyl glucosamine, and several other amino acids linked by peptide linkage). 11. Stabilization of protein structures as in the case of glycoproteins. 12. Important components of brain cells as neuraminic acids, cerebrosides (Glycolipids) and gangliosides. 13. Carbohydrates form the chief components of sulfolipids which are present in chloroplasts and in chromatophores of photosynthetic bacteria. 14. Important component of nucleic acids as pentose sugars ribose and deoxyribose. 15. Function as physiological anticoagulant (Heparin). 16. Storage form of food in plants as starch. 17. Hyaluronic acid is an important component of the vitreous body of the eye, the umbilical cord and as a lubricant in synovial fluid of the joints. 18. Trehalose (Disaccharide) is the chief component of the hemolymph of insects, where it serves as the chief source of energy. It is also present in yeasts and other fungi.

19. Pentosans (Carbohydrates composed of pentoses) are present in plant gums and mucilage. 20. Many glucosides (Carbohydrate derivative from plants) are important drugs, such as glucoside of digitalis which is utilized for the treatment of heart diseases. 21. Carbohydrates are essential components of milk, especially lactose. 22. Pectin is utilized for furnishing gelling characteristics to jellies, and is used for preservation of fruits. 23. Sialic acids, which are acetyl derivatives of neuraminic acid (Sugar acid), occur as chief components of tissues, especially in mucins and blood group substances. Sialic acid with glycolyl group substituted in neuraminic acid in the place of acetyl group is found in salivary mucin and erythrocytes. 24. Blood group polysaccharides, made up of Dgalactosamine, D-glucosamine, D-galactose, L-fucose, and N-acetyl neuraminic acid (NANA or Sialic acid) is present in saliva, gastric mucin, cystic fluid, and other body secretions. They combine with proteins in erythrocytes to form the A, B, O, Rh and other antigens and hence help in the differentiation between different blood groups. 25. Proteoglycans (Proteins+Oligosaccharides) are important for the absorption by fibroblasts, as receptors and carriers of macromolecules, cell growth regulators and also influence the protein synthesis and intranuclear functions. 26. Inulin (Homopolysacharide) is used for clinical purposes in clearance tests. 27. Chondroitin sulfates A and C form the major structural components of cartilage, tendons and bones. They are often associated with collagen. 28. Agar agar is an important polysaccharide, which is of great value in preparation of foodstuffs for diet of invalids, and is utilized in laboratories as culture media.

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