The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for
the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as
energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic
Foods containing carbohydrate are in the grains, fruit, and milk groups. Vegetables have a small
amount of carbohydrate.
After carbohydrate is eaten, it is broken down into smaller units of sugar (including glucose, fructose
and galactose) in the stomach and small intestine. These small units of sugar are absorbed in the small
intestine and then enter the bloodstream where they travel to the liver. Fructose and galactose are
converted to glucose by the liver. Glucose is the carbohydrate transported by the bloodstream to the
various tissues and organs, including the muscles and the brain, where it will be used as energy.

Carbohydrate spares the use of protein as an energy source. When
carbohydrate consumption is inadequate, protein is broken down to make glucose to maintain a
constant blood glucose level. However, when proteins are broken down they lose their primary role as
building blocks for muscles. In addition, protein breakdown may result in an increased stress on the
kidneys, where protein byproducts are excreted into the urine.
Finally, glucose is essential for the central nervous system. The brain primarily uses glucose as its
energy source, and a lack of glucose can result in weakness, dizziness, and low blood glucose
(hypoglycemia). Reduced blood glucose during exercise decreases performance and could lead to
mental as well as physical fatigue.
Carbohydrates in the Body
All living cells contain glucose. For glucose to enter the cells it needs help from a hormone called
insulin. Insulin acts as gatekeeper and is released once carbohydrate is ingested. It signals the cells to
absorb the glucose. The glucose is then used for energy, stored in the liver and the muscles as
glycogen, or stored as fat.

Glycogen stores are essential
for athletic performance, because they serve as an energy reservoir when blood glucose levels are
decreased due to high intensity exercise or inadequate carbohydrate intake. Glycogen stores become
depleted as the intensity and duration of the exercise increases. It is imperative for the athlete,
whether a sprinter or endurance athlete, to restore glycogen by consuming carbohydrate on a regular

it cannot borrow glycogen from other resting muscles.3-trihydroxypropane) and 3 fatty acids to form a triester. The number of carbon atoms are almost always an even number and are usually unbranched. and 25 grams circulate in the blood as glucose. glycogen stores are used to raise blood glucose levels. Lipids are easily stored in the body. . A.basis. For diet recommendations see Pre/During/Post game meal. Lipids are molecules that can be extracted from plants and animals using nonpolar solvents such as ether. Glycogen stores are a readily available source of energy to support the demands of physical activity and exercise. The diagram below shows the impact of diet on muscle glycogen content throughout 3 days with 2 hour training bouts (indicated by the dotted lines) daily. Compound lipids (lipids complexed with another type of chemical compound) comprise the lipoproteins. They serve as a source of fuel and are an important constituent of the structure of cells. Oleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in nature.2.) A lipid is chemically defined as a substance that is insoluble in water and soluble in alcohol.g. lipids are the main constituents of plant and animal cells. and chloroform. it is important to optimize glycogen stores before exercise and replenish them after exercise." (Please see the various meanings of fat. Eat more fruit. waxes. D. phospholipids. the low carbohydrate diet (black line) did not replenish the glycogen and subsequent bouts of training decreased glycogen stores progressively. Cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids. Because glycogen is readily used as fuel source during exercise. Hydrolyzable/Non-hydrolyzable lipids Lipids that contain a functional group ester are hydrolysable in water. one receiving a low carbohydrate diet and the other a high carbohydrate diet. glycolipids and phospholipids. Triglycerides are found in blood tests. approximately 400 grams are stored as muscle glycogen. Glycogen stores are optimized by consuming a high carbohydrate diet (~60% of total kcal from carbohydrates). phospholipids forming cell membrane components etc. Fatty acids Fatty acids are long chain carboxylic acids (typically 16 or more carbon atoms) which may or may not contain carbon-carbon double bonds. Athletes were divided into two groups. In contrast. Lipids include fatty acids. For low intensity exercise (distance running etc. Lipids are an important component of living cells. and grains to include more carbohydrate in the diet. For prolonged high intensity exercise. How quickly glycogen stores might be depleted depends on the duration and intensity of the exercise. chloroform and acetone. Complete hydrolysis of triacylglycerols yields three fatty acids and a glycerol molecule. glycogen levels were almost completely replenished after each training bout. glycogen stores can provide energy for approximately 20 minutes. Together with carbohydrates and proteins. These are composed of glycerol (1. With the high carbohydrate diet (red line). E. Fats and oils are composed of triacylglycerols or triglycerides. However. 90-110 grams as liver glycogen. Nonhydrolyzable lipids lack such functional groups and include steroids and fat-soluble vitamins (e. it is important to note that the glycogen stored in muscle is used directly by that muscle during exercise. and glycolipids. These include neutral fats. ether. waxes and steroids (like cortisone). LIPIDS Lipid: Another word for "fat. Athletes on the low carbohydrate diet most likely had very little energy in the final 2-hour exercise bout.) glycogen stores can last as long as 90 minutes. Of this. neutral fats. and K). Fats (and the fatty acids from which they are made) belong to this group as do other steroids. A well-nourished adult can store approximately 500 grams or 2000 kcal of carbohydrates. vegetables. When the body needs more glucose than is available in bloodstream to support energy demands.

Synthesis and function of lipids in the body Lipids are utilized or synthesized from the dietary fats. oils are mainly present in plants and sometimes in fish. Oils are triglycerides that appear as a liquid at room temperature. Those that have two or more double bonds are called polyunsaturated. fats are mainly present in animals. lipids can make up anywhere from 20 to 80 percent of the membrane. Image Credit: National Institute of General Medical Sciences Waxes/fats and oils These are esters with long-chain carboxylic acids and long-alcohols. however. Lipids also form the structural components of cell membranes and form various messengers and signalling molecules within the body. with the remainder being proteins. Nucleic acids .The membrane that surrounds a cell is made up of proteins and lipids. Oleic acid is monounsaturated. The main biological functions of lipids include storing energy as lipids may be broken down to yield large amounts of energy. Fat is the name given to a class of triglycerides that appear as solid or semisolid at room temperature. Depending on the membrane’s location and role in the body. Unsaturated fats assume a particular geometry that prevents the molecules from packing as efficiently as they do in saturated molecules. Thus the boiling points of unsaturated fats is lower. There are in addition numerous biosynthetic pathways to both break down and synthesize lipids in the body. There are. Cholesterol. while unsaturated fats are liquids and usually extracted from plants. is a type of lipid that helps stiffen the membrane. Saturated fats are typically solids and are derived from animals. Mono/poly unsaturated and saturated Those fatty acids with no carbon-carbon double bonds are called saturated. which is not found in plant cells. some essential lipids that need to be obtained from the diet.

[1] Later. Strings of nucleotides strung together in a specific sequence are the mechanism for storing and transmitting hereditary. and a nitrogenous base. or the order of nucleotides within a DNA or RNA molecule. a phosphate group. are made from monomers known as nucleotides. Each nucleotide has three components: a 5-carbon sugar.[2] Nucleic acids are biopolymers. the polymer is DNA. information is conveyed through the nucleic acid sequence. showing the helices and nucleobases each employs. If the sugar is ribose. essential for all known forms of life. If the sugar is deoxyribose.A comparison of the two principal nucleic acids: RNA (left) and DNA (right). which include DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). . he raised the idea that they could be involved in heredity. or genetic information via protein synthesis. transmitting and expressing genetic information—in other words. The Swiss scientist Friedrich Miescher discovered nucleic acids (DNA) in 1869. nucleic acids are the most important biological macromolecules. each are found in abundance in all living things. Nucleic acids. the polymer is RNA. where they function in encoding. Together with proteins. or large biomolecules.

[7] Nucleic acid sequences Main article: Nucleic acid sequence . through the use of enzymes[13] (DNA and RNA polymerases) and by solid-phase chemical synthesis. Non-standard nucleosides are also found in both RNA and DNA and usually arise from modification of the standard nucleosides within the DNA molecule or the primary (initial) RNA transcript. DNA molecules are probably the largest individual molecules known. a phosphate group. Also.[8] and is synonymous with polynucleotide. in which extensive WatsonCrick base pairing results in a highly repeated and quite uniform double-helical three-dimensional structure. a pentose sugar. [9] Although first discovered within the nucleus of eukaryotic cells. In most cases. The substructure consisting of a nucleobase plus sugar is termed a nucleoside.[21] In contrast.[4][5][6] Occurrence and nomenclature[7] The term nucleic acid is the overall name for DNA and RNA. single-stranded RNA and DNA molecules are not constrained to a regular double helix.[17] There are numerous exceptions.[11] Most RNA molecules are linear. nucleic acids are now known to be found in all life forms as well as some nonliving entities. the carbons to which the phosphate groups attach are the 3'-end and the 5'-end carbons of the sugar. while thymine occurs in DNA and uracil occurs in RNA. including within bacteria. and a phosphate group. as well as a wide range of complex tertiary interactions. and form a foundation for genome and forensic science. and the ends of nucleic acid molecules are referred to as 5'-end and 3'-end.Nucleic acids were discovered by Friedrich Miescher in 1869. Nucleic acids were named for their initial discovery within the nucleus. This gives nucleic acids directionality. and for the presence of phosphate groups (related to phosphoric acid). mitochondria. The chemical methods also enable the generation of altered nucleic acids that are not found in nature. cytosine.[10] All living cells contain both DNA and RNA (except some cells such as mature red blood cells). as well as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. [11] The basic component of biological nucleic acids is the nucleotide. mitochondrial DNA and chloroplast DNA are usually circular double-stranded DNA molecules. viruses and viroids. Each nucleotide consists of three components: a purine or pyrimidine nucleobase (sometimes termed nitrogenous base or simply base). while chromosomes of the eukaryotic nucleus are usually linear double-stranded DNA molecules. chloroplasts. but usually not both.[15] In conventional nomenclature. Well-studied biological nucleic acid molecules range in size from 21 nucleotides (small interfering RNA) to large chromosomes (human chromosome 1 is a single molecule that contains 247 million base pairs[16]). while viruses contain either DNA or RNA. and a nucleobase. plasmids.[19] Nucleic acids are linear polymers (chains) of nucleotides. and can adopt highly complex three-dimensional structures that are based on short stretches of intramolecular base-paired sequences that include both Watson-Crick and noncanonical base pairs. naturally occurring DNA molecules are double-stranded and RNA molecules are singlestranded.[18] and. archaea. members of a family of biopolymers. in some circumstances. single-stranded molecules. and guanine are found in both RNA and DNA. Indeed. but both circular and branched molecules can result from RNA splicing reactions.[12] Nucleic acids are also generated within the laboratory. [20] Topology Double-stranded nucleic acids are made up of complementary sequences. Transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules contain a particularly large number of modified nucleosides. each of which contains a pentose sugar (ribose or deoxyribose). nucleic acid structures with three or four strands can form. bacterial chromosomes. [22] Nucleic acid molecules are usually unbranched. For example. however—some viruses have genomes made of doublestranded RNA and other viruses have single-stranded DNA genomes. Nucleic acid types differ in the structure of the sugar in their nucleotides–DNA contains 2'-deoxyribose while RNA contains ribose (where the only difference is the presence of a hydroxyl group).[3] Experimental studies of nucleic acids constitute a major part of modern biological and medical research. and may occur as linear and circular molecules. the nucleobases found in the two nucleic acid types are different: adenine. Molecular composition and size[15] Nucleic acids are generally very large molecules. The sugars and phosphates in nucleic acids are connected to each other in an alternating chain (sugarphosphate backbone) through phosphodiester linkages.[14] for example peptide nucleic acids. The nucleobases are joined to the sugars via an N-glycosidic linkage involving a nucleobase ring nitrogen (N-1 for pyrimidines and N-9 for purines) and the 1' carbon of the pentose sugar ring.

Attached to each sugar is one of four types of molecules called nucleobases (informally.One DNA or RNA molecule differs from another primarily in the sequence of nucleotides. Eukaryotic organisms (animals. The three universal types of RNA include transfer RNA (tRNA).and locked nucleic acid.[1] In contrast. Within the chromosomes. directing protein synthesis. many other classes of RNA are now known. the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI.nih. During cell division these chromosomes are duplicated in the process of DNA replication. Within cells DNA is organized into long structures called chromosomes. providing each cell its own complete set of chromosomes. molecular assemblies. memory and behavior (See: Genetics). These compact structures guide the interactions between DNA and other proteins. The code is read by copying stretches of DNA into the related nucleic acid RNA in a process called transcription. These two strands run in opposite directions to each other and are. as well as glycol nucleic acid and threose nucleic acid. and ribosomal RNA (rRNA). such as mitochondria or chloroplasts. The DNA segments carrying this genetic information are called genes. DNA is one of the three major macromolecules that are essential for all known forms of life. In addition to maintaining the GenBank nucleic acid sequence database. Artificial nucleic acid analogs Main article: Nucleic acid analogues Artificial nucleic acid analogs have been designed and synthesized by chemists. fungi. http://www. Nucleotide sequences are of great importance in biology since they carry the ultimate instructions that encode all biological molecules. Enormous efforts have gone into the development of experimental methods to determine the nucleotide sequence of biological DNA and RNA molecules. morpholino. therefore. DNA consists of two long polymers of simple units called nucleotides. In addition. This information is read using the genetic code. and directly enable cognition.ncbi. or are involved in regulating the use of this genetic information. prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea) store their DNA only in the cytoplasm. which specifies the sequence of the amino acids within proteins. and include peptide nucleic acid. bases).[23][24] and today hundreds of millions of nucleotides are sequenced daily at genome centers and smaller laboratories worldwide. Messenger RNA acts to carry genetic sequence information between DNA and ribosomes. Likewise. other DNA sequences have structural purposes. Along with RNA and proteins. helping control which parts of the DNA are transcribed. and protists) store most of their DNA inside the cell nucleus and some of their DNA in organelles. plants.nlm. and catalyzes peptide bond formation. Transfer RNA serves as the carrier molecule for amino acids to be used in protein synthesis. messenger RNA (mRNA). antiparallel. It is the sequence of these four nucleobases along the backbone that encodes information. organs and provides analysis and retrieval resources for the data in GenBank and other biological data made available through the NCBI Web site [25] Types of nucleic acids Deoxyribonucleic acid Main article: DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid containing the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . Ribosomal RNA is a major component of the ribosome. and is responsible for decoding the mRNA. Each of these is distinguished from naturally occurring DNA or RNA by changes to the backbone of the molecule . Ribonucleic acid Main article: RNA Ribonucleic acid (RNA) functions in converting genetic information from genes into the amino acid sequences of proteins. chromatin proteins such as histones compact and organize DNA. subcellular and cellular structures. with backbones made of sugars and phosphate groups joined by ester bonds.

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