What is the difference between dextrose and glucose?

Answer

There is no difference between dextrose and glucose. Dextrose, also known as d-glucose, is the most common form of this simple sugar. While scientists synthesize the rarer form, l-glucose, in the lab, it is not a naturally occurring substance. Thus, dextrose and glucose are names for the same chemical substance, C6H12O6.

Dextrose provides energy transport in all forms of life ranging from simple bacteria to human beings. In the human body, glucose provides energy for cell metabolism. The digestive system transforms the ingested food, especially carbohydrates, into this simple sugar for transportation in the bloodstream. Cells use it for energy. Fat cells store excess glucose as fat, which the body transforms back to glucose on demand.

Plants form glucose in photosynthesis. This simple sugar provides the energy to support plant growth. In higher plants, specialized cells transport glucose from the leaves to nourish the stems, flowers, fruit and roots.

Glucose combines with fructose to form sucrose, or table sugar. The human tongue perceives glucose as less sweet than table sugar. However, the body must break the sucrose molecule back into glucose before it can transport it through the bloodstream.

The name glucose derives from the French "glukos," a term meaning sweet wine.

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