«Various biochemical processes responsible for the metabolic formation, breakdown, and interconversion of carbohydrate in livingorganisms.
Carbohydrate are central to many essential metabolic pathways.Plants synthesize carbohydrate from carbon dioxide and water through photosynthesis, allowing them to store energy absorbed from sunlight internally. When animals and fungi consume plants, they use cellular respiration to break down these stored carbohydrate to make energy available to cell. Both animals and plants temporarily store the released energy in the form of high energy molecules, such as ATP, for use in various cellular processes.
Although humans consume a variety of carbohydrate, digestion breaks down complex carbohydrate into a few simple monomers (monosaccharides) for metabolism: glucose, fructose, and galactose. Glucose constitutes about 80% of the products, and is the primary structure that is distributed to cell in the tissues, where it is broken down or stored as glycogen. In aerobic respiration, the main form of cellular respiration used by humans, glucose and oxygen are metabolized to release energy, with carbon dioxide and water as byproducts. Most of the fructose and galactose travel to the liver, where they can be converted to glucose.
Some simple carbohydrate have their own enzymatic oxidation pathways, as do only a few of the more complex carbohydrate. The disaccharidelactose, for instance, requires the enzyme lactase to be broken into its monosaccharide components, glucose and galactose.» (wikipedia)
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