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Galactose Formula

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  • Last Updated : 14 Oct, 2022
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Galactose is a monosaccharide sugar whose chemical or molecular formula is C6H12O6. This is a six-carbon sugar, which is an odourless white solid that has a sweet flavour. It is a reducing sugar and has a molar mass of 180.156 g/mol. It is water-soluble and slightly soluble in ethanol. A disaccharide called lactose is formed when galactose (a monosaccharide) combines with glucose (a monosaccharide) through the condensation reaction. Galactose is similar to glucose in its structure but differs only in the position of the hydroxyl group at carbon-4. This is about as sweet as glucose and about 65% as sweet as sucrose. Galactose is an aldohexose and a C-4 epimer of glucose. It is sometimes abbreviated as “Gal” and also referred to as brain sugar.

Galactose is one of mammals’ three most significant blood sugars, along with glucose and fructose. The main dietary source of galactose is lactose, which is found in milk and dairy products. Galactose is a simple sugar that can be found in dairy products, avocados, sugar beets, other gums, and mucilage. It is a nutrient that provides energy and is also a necessary basic substrate for the production of numerous macromolecules in the body. It is also synthesized by the body from glucose. It can bind to lipids to form glycolipids and proteins to form glycoproteins. It is good for the immune and digestive systems.

Structure of Galactose

Galactose is a monosaccharide sugar whose chemical or molecular formula is C6H12O6. It exists in two types of structural forms: open-chain and cyclic.

Structure of Galactose

Structure of Galactose

The two enantiomers of galactose are Dextrogalactose (D-galactose) and Levogalactose (L-galactose), which are mirror images of each other. The below figure represents open-chain forms of the enantiomers of galactose, where we can notice a carbonyl at the end of the chain. 

Enantiomers of Galactose

Enantiomers of Galactose

Properties of Galactose

Chemical formula  C6H12O6  
IUPAC Name (3R,4S,5R,6R)-6-(hydroxymethyl) oxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol  
Molar mass 180.156 g/mol
Appearance White solid
Odour Odourless
Density 1.5 g/cm3
Melting point 168 °C to 170 °C
Solubility

Soluble in water

Slightly soluble in ethanol 

Hydrogen Bond Donor Count  5
Hydrogen Bond Acceptor Count  6
Rotatable Bond Count  1

Uses of Galactose

  • Galactose is a simple sugar that is essential for the body’s metabolism and the delivery of energy. 
  • It is crucial during the early stages of human development. 
  • Galactose is beneficial for the digestive system, as it maintains healthy levels of intestinal bacteria. This improves food digestion and also strengthens the body’s resistance to infections. 
  • It is used in clinical trials to study the treatment and diagnosis of Hepatitis C, Hepatic Cancer, Wilson’s Disease, Diabetic Macular Oedema, and Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis, among others. 
  • It is also largely employed as a pathway to generate glucose fuel for the human body. 
  • It is also used as a component in some commonly used vaccines and non-prescription products.

Health Hazards

  • An excessive intake of galactose can lead to tooth decay.
  • When it is used in high dosages, it may cause mild laxative effects.
  • Some people may even have adverse effects like rashes, itching, severe dizziness, and breathing difficulties.

FAQs on Galactose Formula

Question 1: What is galactose and what is its chemical formula?

Answer:

Galactose is a monosaccharide sugar whose chemical or molecular formula is C6H12O6. This is a six-carbon sugar that appears as a white solid. It is sometimes abbreviated as “Gal” and also referred to as brain sugar. Galactose is one of mammals’ three most significant blood sugars, along with glucose and fructose. 

Question 2: Mention some properties of galactose.

Answer:

Galactose is a six-carbon sugar, which is an odorless white solid that has a sweet flavor. It is a reducing sugar and has a molar mass of 180.156 g/mol. It is water-soluble and slightly soluble in ethanol. (3R,4S,5R,6R)-6-(hydroxymethyl) oxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol is its IUPAC name. It has a density of 1.5 g/cm3 and its melting point is between 168 °C and 170 °C.

Question 3: What are the sources of galactose?

Answer:

The main dietary source of galactose is lactose, which is found in milk and dairy products. Galactose is a simple sugar that can be found in dairy products, avocados, sugar beets, other gums, and mucilage. It is also synthesized by the body from glucose. 

Question 4: What are the uses of galactose?

Answer:

Galactose is a simple sugar that is essential for the body’s metabolism and the delivery of energy. It is crucial during the early stages of human development. Galactose is beneficial for the digestive system, as it maintains healthy levels of intestinal bacteria. This improves food digestion and also strengthens the body’s resistance to infections. It is also largely employed as a pathway to generate glucose fuel for the human body. It is also used as a component in some commonly used vaccines and non-prescription products.

Question 5: What is the structure of galactose?

Answer:

It exists in two types of structural forms: open-chain and cyclic. The two enantiomers of galactose are Dextrogalactose (D-galactose) and Levogalactose (L-galactose), which are mirror images of each other. The below figure represents open-chain forms of the enantiomers of galactose, where we can notice a carbonyl at the end of the chain.

Enantiomers of Galactose

 

Question 6: Mention some health hazards of galactose.

Answer:

An excessive intake of galactose can lead to tooth decay. When it is used in high dosages, it may cause mild laxative effects. Some people may even have adverse effects like rashes, itching, severe dizziness, and breathing difficulties.

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