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
- 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.