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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
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
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
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 D-
galactosamine, 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