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Is Glucose Organic or Inorganic?

Any natural molecule that consists of carbon and hydrogen atoms is considered organic. Since glucose is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, glucose is organic. Glucose is a monosaccharide, the smallest biologically active form of a sugar or carbohydrate. Plants and animals use it as a vital energy source, a necessity to maintaining cellular activity. Dietary glucose can be found in plants and vegetables. Glucose is also a major component of sucrose, or table sugar. Excessive glucose levels can be detrimental to health.

Glucose is one of smallest units of carbohydrates and the primary energy source for your body. Every carbohydrate in your diet is digested and broken down to this simple sugar, which your body can easily burn for energy. Like many of the molecules in your body, glucose is an organic molecule.

Organic Compounds

One way to determine if a molecule is organic or inorganic is to look at its molecular formula. With some rare exceptions, organic molecules contain carbon atoms that are typically linked to hydrogen, oxygen or nitrogen atoms. Glucose contains six carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms and six oxygen atoms, which makes it and any other carbohydrate an organic compound.

Glycolysis

Glycolysis is an important chemical pathway in our cells, and the first stage of cellular metabolism. Similar to how an old steam-powered locomotive would burn coal as a source of fuel, glycolysis "burns," or degrades, glucose to be utilized as a source of fuel for cells. Glycolysis from a single molecule of glucose will synthesize, or create, two molecules of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. While other monosaccharide sugars such as fructose and maltose can also be utilized in glycolysis, glucose is the most efficient

Aerobic Metabolism

From glucose, glycolysis will synthesize ATP molecules and pyruvate. Under anaerobic conditions or low oxygen conditions, such as in muscle, pyruvate will become lactic acid, a waste product of this pathway. However, in high oxygen levels, as is the case for most human and animal cells, pyruvate will be utilized in two other pathways, the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, which will in turn synthesize several more molecules of ATP.

Photosynthesis

While animal cells only consume glucose, plant cells will also synthesize glucose through the process of photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, plants use important components from the soil, water and sun to develop glucose. This glucose can then be used in glycolysis to power cellular function in the cells. Due to photosynthesis, plants are an excellent source of glucose and for this reason, an important dietary component of animals. According to Dr. John Blamire from Brooklyn College, 80 percent of human glucose needs comes from ingesting plants.

Health Problems

While glucose sugars are vital and essential for our survival, excessive amounts of this energy source can be detrimental to our health. Erratic glucose or blood sugar levels are often a sign of diabetes, a disease in which our bodies cannot efficiently utilize glucose as an energy source. There are many causes of diabetes, including genetics and diet. High glucose levels can also have effects in cardiac and renal disease as well as cancer.

The Wrap Up

Any natural molecule that consists of carbon and hydrogen atoms is considered organic. Since glucose is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms, glucose is organic. Glucose is a monosaccharide, the smallest biologically active form of a sugar or carbohydrate. However, in high oxygen levels, as is the case for most human and animal cells, pyruvate will be utilized in two other pathways, the citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, which will in turn synthesize several more molecules of ATP. There are many causes of diabetes, including genetics and diet. High glucose levels can also have effects in cardiac and renal disease as well as cancer.

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