What function do carbohydrates serve?


Quick Answer

In the human body, carbohydrates play a variety of important roles, including providing energy, regulating glucose levels in blood and sparing protein use for body fuel. The body's cells, tissues and muscles require carbohydrates for their proper functioning. The brain and central nervous system, also need the synthesis of carbohydrates for energy.

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Full Answer

The process through which the body obtains carbohydrates is through different foods, such as grains and pasta. Once carbohydrate foods are digested, they are converted into glucose, which moves into the bloodstream for the body to use. The unused glucose gets stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles until it is needed.

If glucose is not available for the body to use, then proteins found in muscles are synthesized to produce glucose. This leads to the destruction of muscle tissue. Since the liver and muscle store extra glucose in the form of glycogen, this prevents proteins in muscles from being synthesized as energy sources. To avoid glycogen levels being too low, it is important to get enough carbohydrates through diet.

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