Carbohydrates are widely distributed in plants in which they are formed from carbon dioxide of the atmosphere and water by photosynthesis. Plants use carbohydrates as the precursor for the synthesis of proteins, lipids and other organic compounds. Animals obtain their carbohydrates from plants.
Functions of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates have a variety of functions in the animal and human body.
· They supply energy for body functions and for doing work.
· They are structural components of many organisms.
· They exert a sparing action on proteins.
· They provide the carbon skeleton for the synthesis of some nonessential amino acids and fats.
· Some carbohydrates are present as tissue constituents.
· Starch forms main source of carbohydrates in the diet.