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Learning about carbohydrates, I wonder what the differences there are in terms of metabolism, and overall health between the different types of saccharides. In other words, does the body use polysaccharides, such as starches the same, or similar to how it would use a disaccharide like table sugar, sucrose?

It piqued my interest because people seem to put sugars and other types of carbohydrates into totally different categories, and one is seen as "healthy", the other "unhealthy".

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  • $\begingroup$ Sucrose is made of glucose and fructose, both of which can enter glycolysis. Starch is made form glucose; if it can be digested, it can thus also enter glycolysis. Is that what you're getting at? $\endgroup$ – canadianer Feb 14 '15 at 5:01
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If you can digest (break down) the polysaccharides to useable monosaccharides, then they can be incorporated into glycolysis (or some other metabolic pathway!). The metabolic pathways around glycolysis are complex, but here is a representation of some of them:enter image description here

As you can see in, in the top right corner, sucrose/starch, but also other sugars like nucleosides, can enter the overall simple sugar metabolic pathways. How and what exactly happens to the complex sugars will depend on how they are broken down (if they can be broken down at all) and they will have their own more or less complex metabolic pathways associated with that.

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