Claude Silbert Hudson father of carbohydrate chemistry established series rules Hudson's rules

Claude Silbert Hudson – father of carbohydrate chemistry

Article on Claude Silbert Hudson father of carbohydrate chemistry

Biography & Contributions

Claude Silbert Hudson was an American chemist born on January 26, 1881 – died on December 27, 1952.He is best known for his work in the area of carbohydrate chemistry.

Hudson established a series of rules known as "Hudson's rules" for optical rotation of sugars. In 1942. He was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal.


Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of both healthy and unhealthy foods-bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks, corn, and cherry pie. They also come in a variety of forms. The most common and abundant forms are sugars, fibers, and starches.

Carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted to energy used to support bodily functions and physical activity. But carbohydrate quality is important.

When we consider chemistry of part of carbohydrates it comprised of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms, usually with a hydrogen-oxygen atom ratio of 2:1 (as in water). Carbohydrates are polyhydroxy aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, acids, their simple derivatives and their polymers having linkages of the acetal type.

Carbohydrates have been given non-systematic names, although the suffix ose is generally used. The most common carbohydrate is glucose (C6H12O6). Applying the terms defined above, glucose is a monosaccharide, an aldohexose, and a reducing sugar. The general structure of glucose and many other aldohexoses was established by simple chemical reactions.

Carbohydrate consumed in food yields 3.87 calories of energy per gram for simple sugars, and 3.57 to 4.12 calories per gram for complex carbohydrate in most other foods. The building blocks of all carbohydrates are sugars and they can be classified according to how many sugar units are combined in one molecule. Glucose, fructose and galactose are prominent examples among the single unit sugars, also known as monosaccharides. Double units are called disaccharides, with sucrose (table sugar) and lactose (milk sugar) being the most widely known.

Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides and can be found in fruits, berries, vegetables, honey and glucose-fructose syrups. Table sugar or sucrose is a disaccharide of glucose and fructose and occurs naturally in sugar beet, sugar cane and fruits. Lactose, a disaccharide consisting of glucose and galactose, is the main sugar in milk and dairy products, and maltose, a glucose disaccharide occurs in malt and starch derived syrups. Both table sugar (sucrose) and glucose-fructose syrup contain glucose and fructose, either in free form (glucose-fructose syrup) or linked together (sucrose).

The human body uses carbohydrates in the form of glucose. Glucose can be converted to glycogen, a polysaccharide similar to starch, which is stored in the liver and the muscles and is a readily available source of energy for the body. The brain and the red blood cells need glucose as an energy source, since they cannot use fat, protein, or other forms of energy for this purpose. It is for this reason that glucose in the blood must be constantly maintained at an optimum level.

Approximately 130g of glucose are needed per day to cover the energy needs of the brain. Glucose may come directly from dietary carbohydrates, from glycogen stores, or from the conversion of certain amino acids resulting from protein breakdown.

Several hormones, including insulin, work rapidly to regulate the flow of glucose to and from the blood to keep it at a steady level.


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