Glucose and fructose are the simple sugars, with the same molecular formula ‘C6H12O6‘. Glucose is the aldohexose, while fructose is ketohexoses. Fructose is commercially used as sweeteners in the food and beverages industries.
The table sugar or sucrose is made up of fructose and glucose. Usually, our body also absorbs this type and is used to produce energy by the cells. The most preferred source of energy by the researchers is glucose for our body.
Likewise, glucose, fructose does not give signals to release hormones such as leptin, neither triggers in the release of insulin. Therefore, it is said that fructose is harmful to the person because if leptin hormone is not triggered, the person is likely to consume more than the sufficient amount of food, than the food having glucose.
Galactose, glucose and fructose are categorised as monosaccharides, which are the type of ‘carbohydrates‘. Carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. If the compound has double-bonded carbon and oxygen atoms with the hydrogen atom, they are said as aldehydes. On the other hand, the compound has double-bonded carbon and oxygen atoms with two molecules of carbon atoms; they are known as ketones.
Out of the four biomolecules like lipids, proteins and nucleotides, carbohydrates are also one of them and found abundantly. The primary role of carbohydrate is to provide energy for the working cells in our body, and they also support in making the immune system strong and in other activities performed by the cells of one’s body.
Carbohydrates can be, simple or complex carbs.; They can be monosaccharides, disaccharides or polysaccharides. Potatoes, rice, bran, beans, cereals and bread are the food rich in carbohydrates, and most of them have high starch content.
In this article, we will be discussing on the glucose and fructose, and the points on which they can be distinguished. We also describe them briefly.
Content: Glucose Vs Fructose
|Basis for Comparison||Glucose||Fructose|
|Meaning||Glucose is the aldohexose, which is one of the rich source of energy for the body.||Fructose is the ketohexose that is sweeter than glucose.|
|Also known as||Grape sugar, Corn sugar, Dextrose, Blood sugar, D-Glucose.||Fruit sugar, Levulose, D-fructofuranose, D-arabino-hexulose, D-fructose.|
|Glycemic Index||High.||Lowest among all the natural sugars.|
|Water Solubility||Less soluble in water.||Most soluble among all the sugars.|
|Other Features||Glucose is the six-membered ring.||Fructose is the five-membered ring.|
|They produce less fat.||They produce more fat.|
|They are less lipogenic.||They are more lipogenic.|
Definition of Glucose
Glucose having the molecular formula C6H12O6. The word ‘Glucose’ has been derived from the Greek word “glykys“, which means “sweet”. Glucose belongs to the group ‘carbohydrates”, that are simple sugars known as monosaccharides.
Glucose serves as the major energy source for the higher animals. It is present in circulating blood and support the cell to function properly, in regulating metabolism. Glucose is also the product of the photosynthesis process. In this reaction or process, water and carbon dioxide, in the presence of sunlight produces glucose.
In nature, the D-glucose is the most superior isomer than the L-glucose. The major carbohydrate energy-reserve in plants is starch, that consist of numerous units of glucose. Cellulose, also composed of the linear units of glucose. In animals, glycogen is the reserve from carbohydrate. Our body derives glucose from fat, proteins and carbohydrates, although the chief source is carbohydrates. Our cell consume glucose with the help of insulin.
Definition of Fructose
Fructose also has the same molecular formula as that of glucose ‘C6H12O6’. They are also commonly found in plants, fruits, vegetables, and honey and so also known as ‘fruit sugars’. In nature, D-fructose is the most superior isomer than the L-fructose.
Although, industrially fructose can be obtained from corn, sugar beets and sugar cane. Fructose is the water-soluble and most reactive sugars than the natural sugars. Fructose is edible as a sweetener and some diet foods but is not advised for the people with diabetes, as it may affect the blood sugar levels. Fructose is also the monosaccharides and is a simple sweetening molecule.
High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is a processed form of fructose, which may show side effects on health. There is still research going on the various forms of fructose and their impact on people’s health. Although it is said that it is harmful to take high-fructose foods, as they may gain weight because of extra calories present in sweetened beverages.
There is the very less nutritional value of the fructose, and the exact quantity of minimum or maximum intake cannot be recommended. Therefore, it is advisable to take fresh fruits, vegetables and food by avoiding foods by added sugars.
Key Differences Between Glucose and Fructose
Following remarkable points to highlight the differences between Glucose and Fructose:
- Glucose is the rich source of energy for the body; they are aldohexose, as they are aldose as well as hexose. Fructose is sweeter than glucose; they are ketohexose, as they are ketose as well as hexose.
- Glucose is also known as Grape sugar, Corn sugar, Dextrose, Blood sugar, D-Glucose; Fructose is also known as Fruit sugar, Levulose, D-fructofuranose, D-arabino-hexulose, D-fructose.
- The IUPAC name of glucose is 2,3,4,5,6-Pentahydroxyhexanal, while the IUPAC name of fructose is 1,3,4,5,6-Pentahydroxy-2-hexanone.
- Commercially glucose is produced by hydrolysis of starch. However, glucose is highly reactive, so it is not stored in animals or plants, but serve as the energy source in the form of glycogen, starch, lactose, sucrose and cellulose. Fructose can be naturally obtained from flowers, fruits, tree, honey, vine fruits, etc., whereas commercially fructose is produced from corn, sugarcane and sugar beets.
- Glucose has a high glycemic index, produce less fat, and are less lipogenic. In contrast, fructose has the lowest glycemic index among all the natural sugars, produce more fat, and are more lipogenic.
- Glucose is less soluble in water; on the other hand, fructose is the most soluble among all the sugars.
We get the required amount of energy from the intake of proteins and fats. It is said that there are approximately 4 kilocalories (kcal) in one gram of carbohydrate, one gram of fat has 9 kcal. Although our brain requires energy to function properly, which is given in the form of glucose as neurons are unable to burn fat.
However, one should remember that intake of sugars in higher quantity and any form whether glucose or fructose have calories, that may result in weight gain. Carbohydrates being the vital part of the human diet will continue to be consumed; however, it is advisable to ‘avoid carbs and fats’.