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Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
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Polysaccharides are described as polymeric carbohydrate structures that are formed by glycosidic bonds. Polysaccharides are often linear and are heterogenous with slight modifications of the structure. Polysaccharides are amorphous and sometimes may be insoluble in water as well. Examples of polysaccharides in food are starch and glycogen and may also be structural in nature such as in cellulose and chitin.

Polysaccharides are essentially carbohydrates or, at least, what makes up carbohydrates; and since carbohydrates are the primary source of energy, it is therefore important to have more carbohydrate type foods in your diet.
Carbohydrates and polysaccharides for that matter may be easily found anywhere. Carbohydrates are found in whole grains, breads, pastries, desserts, potatoes and starches.

History and Origin

Polysaccharides are found in most foods that contain carbohydrates and the use and consumption of these foods as a source of energy has been in the diet of man since the early times. Bread was a staple food at the table of many nations as well as rice, starches and tubers were eaten with almost every meal in some countries throughout the ancient world. This custom has continued to the present day as well.

The study of the polysaccharide chain began in the turn of the 20th century when the classification of plant and plant species were being formulated; grouping of plants into their benefits was also a way to consider the existence of polysaccharide in food.

Ancient Uses

The use of polysaccharides and carbohydrates during ancient times was considered as energy giving. Ancient farming tribes started to grow and develop wheat for bread and many types of plants that are carbohydrate-rich. Bread and grains were becoming staple foods along with meat and poultry as man became more civilized and developed.

Modern Uses

Polysaccharides in carbohydrates are still used as energy sources today. Since energy is primarily taken from carbohydrates and is second only to protein and lastly taken from fats, it is therefore important to increase your dietary intake of carbohydrates and polysaccharides.

Polysaccharides and carbohydrates may also be essential if you wish to increase your body mass and also improve your figure. A balanced diet of foods rich in polysaccharides and carbohydrates plus essential and high quality protein should be combined with a series of cardio workouts and exercise routines to give you a well toned or formed figure in no time at all. Polysaccharides can also be a source of a much needed energy boost in cases where you need it. It is often one of the main ingredients in energy drinks and power bars to provide a much needed energy boost.Carbohydrates and polysaccharides supplements may be combined with other vitamins and minerals that are taken daily to provide optimum health and body development.

Side Effects

There are no known side effects of taking polysaccharides or carbohydrates even in excessive doses. It is even recommended that you take carbohydrates as much as you can in a day to increase your energy stores.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged to consume more carbohydrates and polysaccharides. Children must also eat more carbohydrates rich foods to prevent carbohydrate deficiency.

Read also: Cocoyl Sarcosine

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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