Analysis of Polysaccharides – Essay Example

Polysaccharides There are many different organic molecules that are important for organisms to thrive on this planet. Through complex biochemical processes, energy is both stored and expelled through the synthesis and breakdown of complex organic molecules. There are a few main chemical families in which these organic compounds lie and one of the most common and important family groups is starches, which are a type of polysaccharide. Starches are a type of carbohydrate that are primarily used in the storage of energy that is used by an organism. It is a long chain of glucose molecules held together with gycosidic bonds that are imparative to the biological functioning of both animals and plants. These are often converted into important sugars that are later used for use and storage of energy. Typical starches consist of aromatic compounds with alcohol, ether, and ester substitutions and consist of a repeating monomer that forms the larger polymer. There are many different types of starches that exist, which means that there are a variety of chemical structures as well as chemical reactions that this compound can undergo in order to help support cellular metabolism in some fashion. As a result, starches make up one of the most principle energy molecules that are used by cells as a source of energy.
The butternut squash family has specific properties, which make this starch different from those that are in its family. One extremely important compound that is found in Butternut Squash, Cururbita moschata, is beta-carotene. There are many different conformations of carotene, but beta-carotene has been shown to have specific medical and therapeutic effects on the body. It has a pigmentation, which gives squash it’s signature color. Beta-carotene is an extremely important dietary constitutant in not only animals, but especially in humans. It is a highly fat-soluable compound meaning that it can interact with many different types of biochemical and physiological systems in the body. It has antioxidant properties, meaning that it attacks free radicals in the body, which wreak havoc on a majority of the body’s physiological systems. Through enzymatic activity, beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A, which is essential to maintaining cellular cohesion and membrane integrity. It has been shown to be therapeutically involved in treatments ranging from asthma to skin disease. In particular, beta-carotene is extremely important in helping maintain and protect the skin from damage from external sources, such as harmful radiation from the sun. In addition, beta-carotene is involved in maintaining eyesight as the chemical compound is converted into chemical compounds that are imperative to vision. As a result, the ingestion and digestion of beta-carotene into our bodies is necessary to supply the raw organic molecules in order to synthesize organic components that are necessary for daily physiological functioning.