Carbohydrates / Koolhydraten indeling

a. Monosaccharides

i. glucose: human blood sugar, first product of photosynthesis

ii. fructose: fruit sugar; does not trigger insulin release, but is metabolized into fat in th e body & disrupts the function of satiety hormones

iii. arabinose, xylose, galactose, mannose, & rhamnose: generally found as part ofheteropolysaccharides or as sugar units on glycosides

b. Disaccharides

i. sucrose: universal transport sugar in plants; made of glucose + fructose

ii. maltose: comes from the degradation of starch

iii. lactose: milk sugar; not a plant product; important because some people are


c. Oligosaccharides

i. inulins: fructose polymers, part of soluble dietary fiber

ii. inulins are found in Chicory, Dandelion, Burdock, Sunflower (Jerusalem Artichoke) roots; Onions & Garlic6

iii. FOS (fructooligosaccharides) contain various inulins

iv. inulins are prebiotics: food for probiotic organisms; help balance blood sugar & blood lipids; help prevent colon cancer

d. Polysaccharides

i. starch: major dietary energy source; metabolized into glucose; triggers insulin release, raises blood sugar levels

ii. cellulose: indigestible; serves as insoluble dietary fiber (roughage)

iii. gums, pectins, mucilages are water-soluble heteropolysaccharides; emollient, soothing, cooling, healing to skin & mucous membranes

iv. mucilaginous herbs: Marshmallow, Comfrey, Flaxseed, Borage

v. immunomodulating polysaccharides

1. arabinogalactans found in Echinacea spp.

2. beta-1,3-glucans found in tonic mushrooms (Reishi, Maitake, Shiitake) & brewer’s yeast

3. many adaptogens contain immunomodulating polysaccharides: Eleuthero, Ginseng, Baptisia, Calendula

e. Organic acids

i. the organic acids are derived directly from carbohydrates & include such compounds as the fruit acids (e.g., citric acid, malic acid) & other acids including formic acid, oxalic acid, & ascorbic acid (vitamin C) …

The Chemistry of Medicinal Plants Lisa Ganora