Polysaccharide

[ Polysaccharide ]

A carbohydrate molecule comprising of more than ten monosaccharide units linked by glycosidic bonds. They may be linear or highly branched in structure. Enzymatic glycolysis breaks the glycosidic linkages, reducing them into oligosaccharides, disaccharides and monosaccharides.

In plants, the role of oligosaccharides and polysaccharides is either structural or energy storage. In humans, their role is energy storage, in the form of glycogen, and are important to gastrointestinal homeostasis.

As with oligosaccharides, dietary polysaccharides are not sweet-tasting. Those that are not digested (usually due to lack of lack of appropriate enzymes for hydrolysis) may function as soluble fibre or prebiotics in the large intestine.

Examples: celulose, amylose, amylopectin, glycogen.

Also see:

  • Disaccharide
  • Oligosaccharide
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