Carbohydrates In Society Essay, Research Paper
Among the common fads and trends our society has seen in the past few years, a rather unlikely one would be that of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide our bodies with our basic source of energy to carry on day-to-day functions. Americans seem to be fascinated by the role that they play in our diets and the impact that they have on the body.
What exactly is a carbohydrate? It is defined as ?1. Any various compounds composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen such as sugar and starch.? All living organisms use carbohydrates as a fuel for energy. To obtain such, as humans we get our carbohydrates from eating foods such as breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables. Our bodies then digest the food and then convert it to glucose C6H12O6. In cellular respiration, cells take the energy that is stored in glucose molecules. The skeleton left behind is used for the synthesis of other molecules like amino acids and fatty acids.
Carbohydrates are organized into three different groups, Monosaccharides, Disaccharides, and Polysaccharides. You might ask, ?What is the difference? Isn?t a carbohydrate a carbohydrate?? Each one is composed of glucose, but the amounts of glucose are completely different in each one. A Monosaccharide is made from a single glucose molecule. Disaccharides are formed from the linkage of two Monosaccharides. Finally, Polysaccharides are a product of a few hundred to a few thousand Monosaccharides linked together. Often, Polysaccharides are used for protecting a cell. Another common function for a Polysaccharide is that of storage. For storage, plants produce Starch, another form of a carbohydrate.
Dr. Robert Atkinson famous for his book, Dr. Atkinson?s New Diet Revolution, has sold millions of copies based on his world-renowned diet. He takes the ideas of low carbohydrates in place of low fats and calories, and incorporates high proteins and nutrients for a winning combination that has worked for millions of people including myself, whom has lost 25 pounds and dropped nearly 3 sizes, along with my personal friends as well.
Dr. Atkinson also intertwines the scientific concept of Ketosis/Lyposis into his plan. ?2. Ketosis is simply the process of dissolving fat. When your fat is used up metabolically, it breaks down into glycerol and free fatty acids, which in turn break down into pairings of two-carbon compounds called ?keytone bodies?, leaving a newer fatty acid, shorter in chain length by the two-carbon fragment that entered the metabolic pool to be used as fuel.? From his advice, dieters eat a lot more meats and proteins opposed to breads and pastas and vegetables high in starch.
Many medical research companies are exploring the roles of carbohydrates in medicine as well. The Carbohydrate Advancement Research Center, based out of Melbourne, Australia is currently ?3. Investigating the role of carbohydrates and associated proteins in: cancer and metasis; autoimmunity and inflammation processes; metabolic disorders?. The researchers group feels that carbohydrate intake is a leading factor for the cause of those problems. ?3. A significant body of information is now motivating a number of research groups to investigate the intervention in these processes by targeting the relevant carbohydrate metabolizing enzyme or a carbohydrate adhesion protein.?
As you can see, a large part of our modern world focuses their lives in some way or another on carbohydrates. Whether it be unknowingly in most cases as the main source of energy for a living organism, or as a diet plan, or as part of a research group looking for answers to questions about the role carbohydrates play in diseases and conditions. Carbohydrates affect life for every organism on Earth.
1.Biology 4th Edition, by Neil A. Campbell
2.Dr. Atkinson?s New Diet Revolution, by Dr. Robert C. Atkinson
3.http://www.gu.edu.au/centre/carc/, The Carbohydrate Advancement Research Center, Melbourne Australia
4.Encarta 2000 Encyclopedia, Carbohydrates