Carbohydrates in Human Nutrition

From WikiLectures

Monosaccharides are the simplest carbohydrates; they cannot be hydrolyzed to smaller molecules.

  • Glucose is made in the body from the digestion of starch and disaccharide’s. The normal blood sugar range is between 3.9-6.1 mmol/litre.
  • Fructose is found in fruits and honey. It is converted to glucose in human metabolism.
  • Galactose is produced via breakdown of lactose (milk) and then changed to glucose for energy.

Disaccharides are two joined monosaccharides and are the simplest polysaccharides:

  • Sucrose
  • Lactose

Polysaccharides are made of many single saccharide units:

  • Starch (stored as glycogen)


  • Optimum intake is 4-6g/kg body weight.
  • Sucrose intake should not exceed 10%.

Carbohydrates in the diet provide most of the energy to the body. They prevent breakdown of fats and proteins, which would cause excessive production of toxic metabolic by-products.

High intakes of sugar occur in many populations, this is linked to glucose intolerance, hyperlipidemia and an increase in the occurrence of dental caries.

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Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • BENCKO, Vladimir, et al. Hygiene and epidemiology : selected chapters. 2. edition. Prague. 2008. ISBN 80-246-0793-X.