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Sucrose (Table Sugar)

Sucrose (Table Sugar): Sucrose is actually not a "simple" sugar; it is a 'di-saccharide' meaning that it is composed of two simple sugars that are chemically bound together. The two sugars that compose sucrose are glucose (see above) and fructose (see below). Before sucrose can be absorbed into the blood stream it must be broken into individual molecules of glucose and fructose by a gut enzyme called "sucrase'. Thus sucrose is essentially half glucose and half fructose.

Sucrose is also the main cause of dental carries (cavities of the teeth) because it's 50/50 balance of fructose and glucose happens to cause a bacteria of the mouth called streptococcus mutans to proliferate. Cavities we fairly rare before sucrose became widely available.

  • a.     Sucrose is a "disaccharide" (two simple sugars chemically bound together). Specifically, sucrose is made of one molecule of glucose and one molecule of fructose.
  • b.    Sucrose  is a "high-glycemic" food because half of the sucrose molecule is glucose and because that glucose (as well as the formerly attached fructose molecule) are rapidly released in the gut when sucrose is digested by an enzyme called "sucrase" found on the "brush border" of the cells of the small intestine.
  • c.     Sucrose is a rich source of fructose and therefore  may be harmful to weight and health for the same reason(s) that fructose (above) MAY be harmful to health.
  • d.    Sucrose is a strong promoter of tooth decay. Dental caries (cavities) were rare before sucrose became a staple of the human diet.
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