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Glucose is a simple carbohydrate, or sugar. It is one of several kinds of sugars. It is important because cells in an organism use it as a source of energy. Turning glucose into energy is called cellular respiration, which is done inside the cells of a living organism.
Having the right amount of glucose available in a person's body is important. It can be measured with a simple blood test. People that do not have enough glucose have low blood sugar levels. This is a health condition called hypoglycemia. People with too much glucose have hyperglycemia. They might have a health condition called diabetes.
There are two forms of glucose, the α- and β- forms. The only difference between them is the position of the hydroxyl group, above and below the plane of the ring of the molecule.
For α-glucose, the hydroxyl (-OH) group is located below the ring, while for β-glucose, the (-OH) group is located above.
- "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1902 - Emil Fischer". Nobel Prize Committee.
- [www.chem.ucla.edu/harding/ec_tutorials/tutorial43.pdf "A Guide to α and β Carbohydrates"]. University of California, Los Angeles. www.chem.ucla.edu/harding/ec_tutorials/tutorial43.pdf. Retrieved 10 June 2014.