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Carbohydrate chemistry is a subdiscipline of chemistry primarily concerned with the synthesis, structure, and function of carbohydrates. Due to the general structure of carbohydrates, their synthesis is often preoccupied with the selective formation of glycosidic linkages and the selective reaction of hydroxyl groups; as a result, it relies heavily on the use of protecting groups.

Monosaccharides

Main article: monosaccharides

Individual saccharide residues are termed monosaccharides.

Carbohydrate synthesis

Main article: Carbohydrate synthesis

Carbohydrate synthesis is a sub-field of organic chemistry concerned specifically with the generation of natural and unnatural carbohydrate structures. This can include the synthesis of monosaccharide residues or structures containing more than one monosaccharide, known as oligosaccharides.

Glycosidic bond formation

Protecting groups

Oligosaccharides

Main article: Oligosaccharide

Reactions of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are reactants in many organic reactions. For example:

Functions of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have four major functions within the body:

  1. Energy supply, particularly for the brain in the form of glucose
  2. Avoiding the breakdown of amino acids for energy
  3. Avoiding ketosis from the breakdown of fatty acids
  4. Cellular and protein recognition


Energy supply, particularly for the brain in the form of glucose

Main articles: Carbohydrate catabolism and Glucose

Avoiding the breakdown of amino acids for energy

Main article: Amino acid catabolism

Avoiding ketosis from the breakdown of fatty acids

Main article: Ketosis

Cellular and protein recognition

Main articles: Glycoprotein, Major histocompatibility complex, ABO blood group system, and Antibody

Glycoprotein hormones may be removed by the liver from the bloodstream when the passage of time causes the breaking-off of carbohydrates from the glycoproteins.[citation needed]

See also

Carbohydrate structure

Carbohydrate function and biology

References