Sweet as – Glucose

What does it look like?

glucose_2

Image generated by the Mercury crystal structure visualisation software http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx

What is it?

This is the third sugar molecule that we’ve featured, after lactose and sucrose, but arguably glucose may be the more important.  Glucose is a ‘monosaccharide’ and as such one of the three building blocks of all edible sugars, along with fructose and galactose.

Image generated by the Mercury crystal structure visualisation software http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx

Image generated by the Mercury crystal structure visualisation software http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx

Both lactose and sucrose are actually made up of two sugars molecules attached together, for instance sucrose is made from a glucose and fructose ring.  During digestion we break down these molecule into their simpler parts, like glucose, which gets absorbed into our blood.   There it is used by our bodies by proteins such as the glucose transport protein.

Where did the structure come from?
This crystal structure of glucose was determined by Ferrier in 1963, and is published in Acta Cryst.

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