Glucose (also called dextrose) is a simple sugar with the molecular formula C6H12O6. Glucose is the most abundant monosaccharide, a subcategory of carbohydrates. Glucose is mainly made by plants and most algae during photosynthesis from water and carbon dioxide, using energy from sunlight. There it is used to make cellulose in cell walls, which is the most abundant carbohydrate. In energy metabolism, glucose is the most important source of energy in all organisms. Glucose for metabolism is partially stored as a polymer, in plants mainly as starch and amylopectin and in animals as glycogen. Glucose circulates in the blood of animals as blood sugar. The naturally occurring form of glucose is D-glucose, while L-glucose is produced synthetically in comparatively small amounts and is of lesser importance.
Glucose, as intravenous sugar solution, is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system. The name glucose derives through the French from the Greek γλυκός (‘glukos’), which means “sweet,” in reference to must, the sweet, first press of grapes in the making of wine. The suffix “-ose” is a chemical classifier, denoting a sugar.
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