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Difference Between Glucose and Glycogen

There are several different types of sugar that are present and generated within a body such as monosaccharide, disaccharide, and polysaccharide. Several types of sugars are found under these categories. Two such sugar molecule which is widely confused in general re glucose and glycogen.


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Glucose vs Glycogen

The difference between glucose and glycogen is that glucose is highly soluble in water and has osmotic properties whereas glycogen is poorly soluble I nature and is non-osmotic, hence it can be used as a solution for storing glucose in cells.

Glucose vs Glycogen

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Glucose is a monosaccharide. The term glucose has been derived from the Greek term “glykos” meaning sweet. It is produced by plants and algae in the process of photosynthesis.

Further glucose can be divided into two natures one naturally obtained (D-glucose) and the other being synthetically made (L-glucose). Glycogen is a branch of polysaccharide.

It represents the major storage of glucose within a body. It is mainly produced and stored within the cell of lives and skeletal muscles.Approximately 4 grams of glucose is present in the blood of a human being at a normal stage.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonGlucoseGlycogen
DefinitionIt is a simple sugar which is monosaccharideIt is a major carbohydrate storing form in animals
Chemical  formulaC6H12O6(C6H10O5)n
Type of CarbohydrateMonosaccharideBranched polysaccharide
SolubilityHighly soluble in waterPoorly soluble in water
Osmotic PropertiesOsmoticNon osmotic
Energy SourcePrimary energy sourceSecondary energy source
Present inAll living beingsAnimals and fungi
Provides EnergyRegular functions of the bodyActivities including the functions of the central nervous system
ProductionIn chloroplast of the plantsMajorly in the liver of animals

What is Glucose?

Glucose is a type of simple sugar. It is monomeric hexose (six-carbon sugar). The molecular formula for glucose is C6H12O6. The term glucose has been derived from the Greek term “glykos” meaning sweet.

It is the most abundantly found monosaccharide in the category of carbohydrates. Glucose is produced by plants and algae, during the process of photosynthesis the plants using water and carbon dioxide, and sunlight as a source of energy in the cell walls produce carbohydrates.

Glucose is one of the most vital sources of energy for all living beings. In plants, as starch and amylopectin glucose for metabolism is stored as polymer, and in the blood of the animals as blood sugar.

The naturally occurring form of glucose is D-glucose whereas the synthetically formed one is known as L-glucose. The molecules in glucose can either occur in open-chain (acyclic) or ring form (cyclic).

Glucose is a compound that naturally forms or occurs in all living beings. In fruits or other plant parts, they occur naturally whereas in animals it is released breaking down glycogen with the process of glycogenosis.


What is Glycogen?

Glycogen is polymeric glucose. It is a multi-branched polysaccharide of glucose which serves as a storage energy form in animals, fungi, and bacteria.

This polysaccharide structure represents the major storage of glucose within the body within the animals, the glycogen molecules storage is larger for extra glucose. Glycogen works as one of the two energy reserves.

Glycogen is for short-term and the other form being triglyceride which stores in adipose tissues for the long term storage. In human beings, glycogen is mainly produced and stored within the cells of livers and skeletal muscles.

The amount of glycogen that is stored in one’s body depends upon the physical training, basal metabolic rate, and eating habits of the individual.

Glycogen is also found in several amounts in other tissues and cells such as kidneys, red blood cells, white blood cells, and the glial cells of the brain. The uterus of a woman during pregnancy also stores glycogen to nourish the embryo.

Approximately 4 grams of glucose is present in the blood of a human being at a normal stage. The way glycogen is produced, every glycogen granule has its core as a glycogenin protein. Glycogen is a non-osmotic molecule, hence it can be used as a solution for storing glucose in cells.

Main Differences Between Glucose and Glycogen

  1. Glucose is a simple sugar that is a monosaccharide whereas glycogen is a form of storing carbohydrates mainly within animals.
  2. The chemical formula for glucose is C6H12O6, whereas the chemical formula for glycogen is (C6H10O5)n.
  3. Glucose is a monosaccharide whereas glycogen is a branch of polysaccharide.
  4. Glucose as an element is highly soluble in water. However, glycogen is poorly soluble in water.
  5. Glucose is osmotic but on the other hand, glycogen is non-osmotic.
  6. Glucose is the primary source of energy in all living beings whereas glycogen is a secondary source of energy.
  7. Glucose is present within all living beings. However, glycogen is present only within animals and fungi.
  8. Glucose promotes the regular function of the body. However, glycogen helps in activities including the functions of the central nervous system.
  9. Glucose is produced in the chloroplast of the plants whereas glycogen is majorly produced in the liver of the animals.
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