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The Role of Carbohydrates in Maintaining Health and Physiological
Functions of the Organism.

By Julia Haimovich, Accredited Practicing Dietitian.

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Introduction to Carbohydrates and Bioenergetics

Carbohydrates are essential for the body’s bioenergetics, serving as the primary source of fuel for metabolic processes. Glucose, derived from carbohydrates, is the principal substrate for aerobic metabolism. It plays a crucial role in facilitating the release of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) through oxidative phosphorylation in the mitochondria.

Role of Carbohydrates in Gut Health

Carbohydrates also play a significant role in maintaining the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract. Prebiotics, which are insoluble in digestive juices, act as substrates for beneficial bacteria. This supports their growth and functionality, contributing to a balanced intestinal microflora. The health of the gastrointestinal microbiota is directly linked to immune regulation and inflammatory processes in the body.

Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory Properties

Recent studies highlight the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of certain carbohydrates. Polyphenols and dietary fibres in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can reduce oxidative stress and suppress cytokine production, which may decrease the risk of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Impact on Mental Well-being

Carbohydrates, especially those rich in B-group vitamins, positively affect neurotransmitters like serotonin, which is associated with improved mood and mental well-being.

Nutritional Value and Overall Health

Complex carbohydrates in vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products are vital sources of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. These nutrients are necessary for the normal functioning of organs and body systems. In conclusion, carbohydrates are indispensable in maintaining various physiological functions of the body, including energy metabolism, gut health, inflammation reduction, mental well-being, and overall health.


These scientific findings underscore the importance of incorporating a variety of carbohydrates into the diet to maintain optimal health, highlighting their multifaceted roles in human physiology.


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