Glucose is a simple carbohydrate, or sugar. It is one of several kinds of sugars. It is important because cells in an organism use it as a source of energy. Turning glucose into energy is called cellular respiration, which is done inside the cells of a living organism. Excess glucose is converted to fats and are stored in adipose tissues.
Having the right amount of glucose available in a person's body is important. Glucose is essential in the proper functioning of the brain. It can be measured with a simple blood test. People that do not have enough glucose have low blood sugar levels. This is a health condition called hypoglycemia. People with too much glucose have hyperglycemia. They might have a health condition called diabetes.
There are two forms of glucose, the α- and β- forms. The only difference between them is the position of the hydroxyl group, above and below the plane of the ring of the molecule.
For α-glucose, the hydroxyl (-OH) group is below the ring, while for β-glucose, the (-OH) group is above.
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- "A Guide to α and β Carbohydrates" (PDF). University of California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.