5.Major Functions of Carbohydrates | Biochemistry

Carbohydrates are the most abundant organic molecules in nature. The term carbohydrate is derived from the French term hydrate de carbon indicating that it is a hydrate of carbon or CnH2nOn or (CH2O)n. Carbohydrates are often referred to as saccharides. 

They are broadly classified into three major groups: monosaccharides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. This categorization is based on the number of sugar units.

Functions of Carbohydrates
1.  Carbohydrates are the most abundant dietary source of energy 4Cal/ g for all organisms.
2. Carbohydrates are precursors for many organic compounds (fats, amino acids).
3. Carbohydrates( as glycoproteins and glycolipids) participate in in the structure of cell membrane and cellular functions such as cell growth adhesion and fertilization.
4. They are structural components of many organisms. These include the fibre (cellulose) of plants, exoskeleton of some insects and the cell wall of microorganisms.
5.Carbohydrates also serve as the storage form of energy (glycogen) to meet the immediate energy demands of the body.

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