1 June 2023

It is a type of sucrose that contains a functional group called ketone within its molecular structure and which is composed of a set called carbonyl. It belongs to the family of monosaccharides, it is a basic unit of carbohydrates, whose main characteristic is that it does not break down into smaller molecules during digestion.

Definition and concept of a ketose in chemistry

Ketose is a monosaccharide that is located within carbohydrates and is structured by a group called ketoalcohol. These are the simplest sugars and their composition in general It is made up of crystalline solid and colorless. They have a sweet taste and are soluble in water but not in nonpolar solvents.

Most of those that are present in nature are in one of the following forms: aldose or ketose, which are differentiated by the existence of a aldehyde group or a “keto” group and from there it comes as a molecule immersed in the organism. In order to detect which formation a compound belongs to (ketose or aldose), a procedure is carried out that generates a chemical reaction called the Seliwanoff Test.

If it contains a ketone group, it is a ketose, and it is an aldose, if it comprises a set of aldehydes. The best known is fructose 1,6 bisphosphate, which is a key intermediate in the production of energy in the cells of the body. It is important because it promotes the state of ketosis, which is the process in which the body burns fat instead of carbohydrates. This is done in order to obtain energy and to be effective in the process of losing weight and improving health.

What is the function of ketose?

Its purpose is to provide activity to the body. It is a component of the main sources of energy such as hexose, but it differs because It has one ketone group per molecule. It is an important alternative source that powers the body if it does not have enough glucose or carbohydrates to activate.

This lack of strength can occur during a prolonged fast, the realization of a low carbohydrate diet or in the people with diabetes and it is not controlled. It is there where ketones act as part of ketoses and are produced in the liver from fatty acids.

Another of the functions that it fulfills is to be an input for the brain and other tissues in the body that use glucose as a component, in addition to being beneficial in particular medical conditionsSuch is the case with epilepsy. Despite the above, it also has a degree of danger if it is produced in the wrong conditions.

As for the human being, sucrose is the sugar that is consumed every day and is a disaccharide that is made up of one molecule of fructose and one of glucose. From their structure they are essential, because some ketopentoses fulfill the function of intermediaries or pioneers in the assimilation of the sugars that are present in living beings and are the ones that possess the genetic information.

Where are ketoses found?

They are found in nature and in a large number of foods, such as fruits, vegetables, honey, syrups and cereals. The most common are the hexoses found in fructose and they are a fundamental part of the nutrition and maintenance of various animals, fungi, bacteria and insects found in a diversity of foods.

Among the most common ketoses are fructose, ribose, xylulose, and psychose. These contain pentoses that have the ability to become ketose. as long as it contains the ketone group. In human metabolism, ketosis can occur, this is the lack of ketoses in the body, that is, the body does not have enough carbohydrates to eliminate as energy and begins a process of discarding fat instead.

There are several examples that help to understand the composition of this substance:

  • Fructose: It is composed of six carbons located mostly in fruits and honey.
  • D-ribulose: It has five components and is produced by the oxidation of glucose. For the process of photosynthesis it is a determining element.
  • D-xylulose: It is also made up of five and is found in small amounts in plants. It is an intermediate in the synthesis of nucleic acids.
  • D-glyceraldehyde: It has three and is produced in the metabolic pathway of glycolysis. It is an interval in the production of energy for the cells.

What is the difference between a ketose and an aldose?

Although both are monosaccharides, the inequality that occurs is in the position of the functional grouping in its particle structure, which are building blocks of carbohydrates. The main difference is the location of the carbon pool in the molecular system. In an aldose, the functional group is an aldehyde (R-CHO) and in a ketose, it is on an internal one.

Another difference is the way they react with chemical reactants. The aldosas tend to activate further with oxidizing reagents, while the others are less prone when it comes to reacting with chemicals. Likewise, ketoses are less common in nature than aldoses, and are chiral, meaning they can exist in two different forms and are mirror images of each other.

How are ketoses classified?

Its classification is given according to the atom or number of carbon atoms found in its structure. An example is achieved in what is the simplest: dihydroxyacetone. It contains three types and there is no enantiomer. The most common are fructose and ribulose, which have five and are found in many carbohydrates.

They are classified according to the position of its carbonyl group in the structure, either at the end of the molecule or in the interior. In general, it has a carbon atom that is attached through a double bond to an oxygen atom and that ultimately forms a carbonyl group.

It differs from other monosaccharides because the radical component is not placed at the end of the chain, but rather can be located in another position any of the monosaccharide. In general terms, ketoses, depending on the number of carbon atoms, can be:

  • Ketotrioses: Dihydroxyacetone.
  • Ketotetroses: The erythrulose.
  • Ketopentoses: the ribulous
  • Ketohexoses: fructose.
  • Ketoheptoses: The sedoheptulose.

What is the formula for a ketose?

In general lines it is CnH2nO2 where “n” is the number of atoms in the molecule. Its chemical structure is characterized by having a ketone functional group (-C=O) in position 2 of the carbon chain.

For example, the simplest ketose is dihydroxyacetone, which has the chemical formula CH2O2. In conclusion, it is an important type of sugar in the ketogenic diet. It is a kind of carbohydrate that occurs naturally in the body when burning fat instead of carbohydrates as an energy source.

This process can have general benefits for the optimal condition of the organism such as the reduction of inflammation in the body, improvement in cardiovascular health and decreased blood sugar levels. Finally, keep in mind that ketosis is not the same as ketoacidosis, which is a serious condition that can occur in people with type 1 diabetes.

While moderate ketosis is beneficial and safe for most of the humans following the diet that goes by the name of keto properly. Different studies have determined that it is very important in the subsistence of the individual. Its use varies as an alternative source of energyand grants benefits in the case of some medical conditions.

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