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Donna Matrix
Biochemistry / Dietetics / Behavior
Analysis / Nutrition Education

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Atoms and their bonds

—O— |
—N— |
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4+1 Carbohydrates of interest
1. Sugars Which are in plants?
2. Starches
3. Fiber Which are in animals?
4. Glycogen
5. Saccharide

*Simple / Complex*
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• Monosaccharides – single sugars
Glucose / Fructose / Galactose
6C 5C 6C

• Disaccharides – pairs of single sugars

Maltose / Sucrose / Lactose (2 enzymes)
Glu-Glu / Glu-Fru / Glu-Gal
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Polysaccharides are strings of
monosaccharides, mainly glucose. There are
three of concern.
• Starch
• Fiber
• Glycogen

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Plant make starches.

• Branched chains of glucose

2. Unbranched chains of glucose

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Highly branched chains of glucose that
animals make and store.
Liver: ~100g Muscles: ~300g

Not a significant food source of carbohydrate.

Easy to make, easy to breakdown.

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Most fibers are polysaccharides (cellulose /
hemicelluloses / pectins / gums / mucilages)

The bonds in fiber is different than starch and

the human body can not make the enzyme
to digest or break apart the fiber, so it stays
intact through the digestive tract and the
glucose in fiber can not be absorbed.

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Bacteria in the GI tract can break down some

Non-polysaccharide fibers: lignins, cutins, and


Main classification: Soluble / Insoluble (H2O)

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Soluble Fibers
Gums / Pectins / some Hemicelluloses /

Sources: Fruits (apples and citrus) / Oats /

Barley / Legumes

GI: delays transit & glucose absorption /

lowers blood cholesterol
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Insoluble Fibers
Cellulose / many Hemicelluloses / Lignins

Sources: Wheat bran / Corn bran / Wholegrain

products / Vegetables (cabbages, carrots,
brussels sprouts)

GI: speeds up transit / increases fecal weight /

slows hydrolysis / delays glucose absorption
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Saccharide derivatives
The eight saccharide and saccharide
derivatives the human biochemistry uses
are: Glucose, Galactose, Mannose, Fucose,
Neuraminic N-acetyl acid (NeuNAc), N-
acetyl Glucosamine, N-acetyl
Galactosamine, and Xylose.

Lear more: Longevity Institute webpage

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These eight compounds are used in cell and organ
structure, in cell communication, and in immunity.
Human biochemistry can synthesize glucose from
lactate and from pyruvate and convert saccharides
into seven of the eight saccharides and saccharide
derivatives with the assistance of B vitamins and
with minerals, as magnesium, manganese,
selenium, iron, and zinc acting as enzyme
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Saccharides in Body
Saccharides participate in cell and organ structure in
association with proteins. Saccharides account for
5% of the mass of a cell membrane. The most
frequent saccharide in cell and organ structure is
N-acetyl glucosamine, followed by N-acetyl
galactosamine. These two are absent in our current
diet and therefore have to be synthesized from the
saccharides provided in the diet. Eating them
would be much less expensive for our
biochemistry than synthesizing it.
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Glucose in the Body
• Storage / Release
– Glycogen
– Triglycerides
• Fuel
• Gluconeogenesis (glucose from protein)
• Ketone Bodies (from fat fragments)

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Blood Glucose
Maintenance of range: food / glycogen (liver)
/ gluconeogenesis (from protein)
Hormonal release:
Insulin – blood glucose is high => cells
Glucagon – blood glucose is low => glucose
from liver is released\
Adrenaline (epinephrine) - /\ glucose
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Type 1 – pancreas fails to make insulin
Type 2 – cells fail to respond to insulin

Hypoglycemia – rapid lowering of blood

glucose (symptoms similar to anxiety

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Glycemic Index
The way the body reacts to sugar intake.

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End of Carbohydrates

Donna Matrix

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