Glucose - C₆H₁₂O₆

What is Glucose?

Glucose can be described as a simple sugar, having one aldehyde group and six carbon atoms. This monosaccharide's chemical formula can be given as C6H12O6.

It is also called dextrose and is referred to as aldohexose because it contains one aldehyde group and 6 carbon atoms. It is open in two forms, as a ring or open-chain structure. It is synthesized in the kidneys and liver of the animals. In plants, it is found in fruits and various plant parts. D- glucose is the one which occurs in a natural form of glucose. It occurs either in solid or liquid form. It is also soluble in water and also in acetic acid. It is sweet to taste and is odourless. In 1747, a German chemist named "Andreas Marggraf" isolated glucose from raisins. In 1838, Jean Baptiste Dumas coined the word glucose.


Properties of Glucose

Let us look at the important properties of glucose as tabulated below.

C6H12O6 chemical name or chemical name of glucose

Glucose

Chemical Formula or glucose formula

C6H12O6

Density

1.54 g/cm³

Molecular Weight or Molar Mass

180.16 g/mol

Melting Point

146 °C

Simple sugar

Monosaccharide


C₆H₁₂O₆ Structure

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Glucose is also called aldohexose and dextrose. It is a monomer of various larger compounds like starch, cellulose, and carbohydrates, which is the earth's most abundant organic compound. Based on the following evidence, it was assigned with the structure as illustrated above.

  • This compound has a molecular formula of C6H12O6.

  • When HI is heated for a longer time, n-hexane is formed, which indicates all the 6 carbon atoms are combined in a straight chain.

  • The oxime is formed when glucose reacts with cyanohydrins and hydroxylamine by adding hydrogen cyanide to it. This reaction can confirm the carbonyl group's presence in glucose.

  • In the glucose reaction with a mild oxidizing agent such as bromine water, glucose gets oxidized to a carboxylic acid that contains 6 carbon atoms, which indicates that the carbonyl group exists as an aldehyde group.

  • The -OH group's presence can be confirmed after the acetylation of glucose with acetic acid, which forms glucose pentaacetate.

  • The gluconic acid and glucose both yield saccharic acid and dicarboxylic acid on the oxidation with nitric acid. This can indicate the presence of primary alcohol.


Uses of Glucose (C₆H₁₂O₆)

Let us discuss the uses of glucose.

  • Glucose can be used in the hypoglycemia treatment (low blood sugar)

  • It can be used in the increased potassium level treatment in the blood (hyperkalemia)

  • It can be given to very sick patients and cannot eat because it produces carbohydrate calories

  • It is also be used as a precursor for the synthesis of substances.


Process of Producing Glucose in the Body

The human body processes glucose multiple times in a day, ideally.

When we started eating, our body starts working to process glucose immediately. The enzymes start the breakdown process taking the help of the pancreas - which produces hormones, including insulin, is an integral part of the way our body deals with glucose. Also, our body tips the pancreas off when we eat, that it requires to release of insulin dealing with the blood sugar level rising.

However, some people cannot rely on their pancreas to jump in and do its supposed work.

One way diabetes befalls when the pancreas does not produce insulin in the proper way it should. In this case, humans need outside help (such as insulin injections) to process and regulate the glucose inside the body. Insulin resistance is another cause of diabetes, where the liver does not recognize insulin present in the body and continues to make inappropriate glucose amounts. The liver is an essential organ to control sugar because it helps with glucose storage and produces glucose when necessary.

If the body does not form the required amount of insulin, it might release free fatty acids from the fat store, which can lead to the condition known as ketoacidosis. Ketones are the waste products created when the liver breaks down fat and can be toxic in large quantities.


Testing the Glucose Level

Testing glucose levels is most important for people having diabetes. Many people with this condition are used to dealing with blood sugar checks as part of their everyday lives.

The most popular way to test glucose at home involves a simple blood test. Usually, a finger prick uses a small needle known as lancet, produces a drop, and puts it onto a test strip. Then, the strip is placed into a meter, which measures the sugar levels in the blood. Usually, it can give us reading in less than 20 seconds.


Consequences for Unregulated Glucose Levels

There are various long-term consequences for unregulated glucose levels, leading to different conditions, as listed below.

  • heart disease

  • neuropathy

  • skin infections

  • blindness

  • severe dehydration

  • problems in the extremities and joints, especially the feet

  • coma

Other serious complications include hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome, both conditions related to diabetes, and diabetic ketoacidosis.

People worried about having diabetes are advised to seek immediate help from a doctor.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the normal levels of glucose?

Maintaining the glucose levels near normal range is quite an important part of keeping our body running healthily and effectively.


People having diabetes have to pay special attention to their glucose levels. Prior to eating, a healthy range can be considered as 90–130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Whereas, after an hour or a couple of hours, it should be less than 180 mg/dL.

2. List the reasons that can increase the blood sugar level?

There exist a variety of reasons that can increase blood sugar levels. A few of the triggers include:

  • stress

  • a heavy meal

  • missed diabetes medications

  • lack of physical activity

  • other illness

3. What to do if the sugar levels are too low or too high?

In these situations, insulin will help to bring it down. For diabetic people, high blood sugar is a sign, which may need to administer synthetic insulin. Whereas, in lower situations, physical activity can help to lower the levels.


A glucose level is admitted to be too low when it falls below 70 mg/dL, where the condition is also called hypoglycemia, and it also has the potential to be serious. There occurs hypoglycemia when diabetic people skip their medication. It may also affect when people who eat less than normal and exercise excessively. Drinking juice or eating a meal can help increasing glucose levels. Also, diabetic people often take glucose pills, which can be purchased at a pharmacy counter.

4. Mention some best drinks to stay away from rising sugar levels?

Some of the best safe drinks to stay away from the rising sugar levels include:

  • Unsweetened tea

  • Water

  • Unsweetened coffee

  • Sugar-free sports drinks

  • Tomato or V-8 juice

  • Sugar-free carbonated beverages