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Biological Importance of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are distinct and large group of organic compounds. They are essential macro molecules made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.

Biological significance of carbohydrates in living organisms is as follows:
  • Carbohydrates are energy stores of animals and plants.
  • Carbohydrates are immediate source of energy while lipids are long-term source of energy.
  • Glucose is a free sugar which circulates in blood and is an important substance for normal cell functioning.
  • Regulation of glucose metabolism is vital for survival. Carbohydrates make up most of the plant of about 60-80% of its dry mass.
  • In plants they are used as energy source and for storage in the form of starch.
  • Cellulose which is a polysaccharide is an important structural component in the cell wall of plants.
  • Sucrose, a disaccharide is a product of photosynthesis and is transported internally.
  • Carbohydrates are an important component of diet in animals.
  • Carbohydrates are main source of energy and are essential to all animal life.
  • Carbohydrates act as fuel to physical body parts on daily basis.
Within the body carbohydrates have six major functions:
  • They provide energy and regulate blood glucose.
  • Help in breakdown of fatty acids and prevents ketosis.
  • Aid in biological recognition processes.
  • They minimize the use of proteins for energy.
  • They also act as flavor and sweeteners.
Glucose is a carbohydrates and it is the only energy providing sugar to the body. Glucose is important as it is required by the body for proper cellular functions, and hence the blood glucose levels are kept relatively constant. Liver maintains the homeostatic levels of blood glucose and yet it stores glucose for a period of twenty-four hours. After this time period, the cells and tissues of the body particularly the brain and the skeletal muscle rely on glucose. Lack of glucose the body cells start using up the fatty acids or the proteins of the body and also may lead to ketosis due to prolonged fasting. Hence, regular intake of carbohydrates will prevent proteins from being used for energy. Sufficient amount of carbohydrates will prevent the degradation of skeletal muscle and other tissue of the liver, heart and kidneys. Ketosis will be prevented.

Carbohydrates are also important in the form of dietary fibers like cellulose, pectin, mucilage etc. Dietary fibers like pectin and mucilage are important for proper intestinal health. Consumption of fiber makes waster elimination easier. Excess pressure during defecation may cause hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Fiber intake reduces the risk of obesity and diabetics also benefit from fiber intake. It also decreases absorption of cholesterol.

Carbohydrates also are important in cellular recognition process. Example: Immunoglobulin’s or antibodies and peptide hormone contain glycoprotein sequences. The liver can recognize the glycoprotein sequence and this way carbohydrates mark proteins passages.

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From Wikipedia


Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organism s, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines. Among the most important topics are

From Yahoo Answers

Question:1. What is needed in photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into organic molecules? 2. How is the proton gradient generated in chloroplasts during photosynthesis? 3. Why is the action spectrum for photosynthesis similar to the absorption spectra of photosynthetic pigments? 4. What (specifically) produces ATP in mitochondria? 5. To which parts of the deoxyribose molecule do phosphates bind in DNA?

Answers:1. sunlight (energy), chlorophyll (to absorb the light), and a lot of enzymes found inside the chloroplasts of plants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis 2. By the cytochrome bf complex in the thylakoid membrane of the chloroplast http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemiosmosis#In_plants 3. Because the phytosynthetic pigments carry out the photosynthesis (sounds like a trick question). 4. The enzyme ATP synthase http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_synthase 5. The phosphate groups are bound to the 2-deoxyribose (sugar), on the 3rd and the 5th carbon atoms. The backbone is sugar-phosphate-sugar-phospate-sugar, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dna I hope that was helpful! Next time, it might be better to split up the question into 5 questions. That way more people will be motivated to answer (and earn 5 times the points).

Question:OK. So here are the questions: 1. What are carbohydrates broken down into? (molecules etc.) 2. what is the test for lipids? 3. what are enzymes? 4. does an enzyme denature if the temperature is too cold? 5. what are the 7 components of a balanced diet? 6. what are the functions of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins? 7. why are vitamins and minerals needed in a balanced diet? 8. who requires more energy - an office worker or a builder? why? 9. Write definitons for the following key words: ingestion, egestion, assimilation, absorption and digestion. 10. which enzyme acts on carbohydrates? 11. What do tricuspid and bicuspid valves in the heart do? THANK YOU

Answers:1.carbohydrates broken down into glucose+(maltose/glucose or fructose depends on it dissaccharides types) 2.Lipids can be tested using filter paper. 3.Enzymes are a complex protein molecule that works as a metabolic reactor which can broken down complex molecule to simple molecule and vice versa. 4.Enzymes does not denature at cold temperature.Cold temperature only slows down the process of enzymes. 5.Carbohydrates,protein,water,salt,Iodine,vitamins and fat.(this answer im not so sure) 6.Lipids:act as an energy reserve. Carbohydrates:same as lipids function as mention above. Protein:Important component of cells,to produce antibodies and enzymes etc. 7.(i honestly dunno this answer) 8.Builder.Because a builder need to pick a heavy loads which require a lot of energy and builder have to walk here and there under the sun.\ 9.(too much too write.sry) 10.Salivary amylase 11.it prevents the blood in the heart from backflowing.

Question:i'm writing an essay and one of the paragraphs is about why gold is important to biology... and i can't seem to find any reasons :\ help would be much appreciatedd

Answers:The only thing I can think of is for use in electron microscopy. When an electron microscope is used, the sample to be looked at is covered in metal ions, typically gold. The metal coating is needed to make the sample electrically conductive. An electron microscope allows for really cool looking pictures of super-small things, like bacterial cells or hairs on the leg of a flea. Please answer my question: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index;_ylt=AqvsxtoiIq5i4FPHuytD_ILsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20091108112043AA2Dtf2

Question:I understand that most pharmacy schools will accept people who haven't done biology at A-level but i wanted to know how useful an biology a-level is in getting through pharmacy school and if i would struggle on the course only having a gcse in biology. Sorry, that was really long-winded haha, but hopefully what i'm trying to get at makes sense! Atm i have decided to take Chem Maths and Geography a-levels but unsure whether to take physics or biology. Please Help!

Answers:Right Chemistry and Maths are necessary, but Biology isn't. Biology is more favoured then Physics, for Pharmacy that is (if you where looking for Dentistry then it would be the other way around). Universitys usually tend to go for people that choose Chemistry Maths Biology and another subject of the students choice, such as Art (this gives the image that you are multi talented in many different variety of subjects), but as you said you've chosen Geography, thats great! Oh and you should maybe look into University Prospectisus, because each University varies from what they actually want. Hope I helped.

From Youtube

Carbohydrates :Carbohydrates - Monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. Starch, glycogen and cellulose. AS Biology Revision (AQA Spec.A) Music: Yes! You Talk Too Fast by Johnny Foreigner

Biology: Carbohydrates: Monosaccharides :www.mindbites.com Taught by Professor George Wolfe, this lesson was selected from a broader, comprehensive course, Biology. This course and others are available from Thinkwell, Inc. The full course can be found at www.thinkwell.com The full course covers evolution, ecology, inorganic and organic chemistry, cell biology, respiration, molecular genetics, photosynthesis, biotechnology, cell reproduction, Mendelian genetics and mutation, population genetics and mutation, animal systems and homeostasis, evolution of life on earth, and plant systems and homeostasis. George Wolfe brings 30+ years of teaching and curriculum writing experience to Thinkwell Biology. His teaching career started in Zaire, Africa where he taught Biology, Chemistry, Political Economics, and Physical Education in the Peace Corps. Since then, he's taught in the Western NY region, spending the last 20 years in the Rochester City School District where he is the Director of the Loudoun Academy of Science. Besides his teaching career, Mr. Wolfe has also been an Emmy-winning television host, fielding live questions for the PBS/WXXI production of Homework Hotline as well as writing and performing in "Football Physics" segments for the Buffalo Bills and the Discover Channel. His contributions to education have been extensive, serving on multiple advisory boards including the Cornell Institute of Physics Teachers, the Cornell Institute of Biology Teachers and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics ...