What is glucose oxidation? (With pictures) (2023)


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Victoria Blackburn

Victoria Blackburn Date last modified: 18 May 2023

GlucoseOxidation is a chemical process that provides energy to an organism to carry out all its necessary activities. During this process, glucose, a simple sugar molecule obtained from food, is broken downkuldioxide and water. This reaction releases energy and stores it in a chemical form that the cell can use. There are three separate stages of glucose oxidation: glycolysis, the citric acid cycle, andelectrontransport system.


A glucose molecule that is broken down by an organism into carbon dioxide and water in a process called glucose oxidation.

Glucose molecules are used to build more complex carbohydrates, such as starch and cellulose. The chemical formula for this molecule is C6H12O6, which means it consists of six carbon atoms, 12hydrogenatoms and sixiltatoms Glucose, found in plants and many types of food, is absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion.

(Video) Glucose oxidation


Glucose oxidation is an aerobic process, a chemical reaction that requires oxygen. The term "oxidation" actually refers to any reaction in which oxygen combines with another molecule, which is then said to be oxidized. During the process, one glucose molecule combines with six oxygen molecules to produce six carbon dioxide molecules, six water molecules, and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule cells use to store or transfer energy.


A strand of DNA created by the energy produced through the oxidation of glucose.

The first step in the oxidation process is glycolysis, which takes place in a cell's cytoplasm, the jelly-like substance that fills the cell and surrounds the other cellular organelles. In this phase, the glucose molecule is broken down into two molecules of pyruvate, an organic acid that can supply cells with energy. This breakdown also releases energy, which is used to add a phosphate.ionto adenosine diphosphate (ADP) to create ATP. ADP, in turn, is made from ATP, which breaks down to release its energy.

Mitochondria use the byproducts of glucose oxidation to produce ATP.

Glycolysis of a single glucose molecule consumes two ATP molecules and produces four in total, leading to a net energy gain of two ATP. Energy from the process is also used to produce two NADH, a type of enzyme used to transfer electrons to drive cellular chemical reactions.

(Video) Oxidation of glucose in a cell

The citric acid cycle

To start the citric acid cycle, also called the Krebs cycle, pyruvate molecules produced by glycolysis are moved to the mitochondria, a cellular organelle involved in metabolic processes. Once there, the molecules are converted to acetyl CoA, the molecule that powers the citric acid cycle. Acetyl CoA is made up of carbon from pyruvate and coenzyme A, a molecule that helps in biological processes. The conversion process produces a NADH.

Water molecules are a product of the oxidation of glucose.

Acetyl CoA releases the carbon portion of the molecule for the citric acid cycle, which runs constantly, producing ATP, high-energy electrons, and carbon dioxide. Most of the energy produced is stored in the form of high-energy electrons, and one turn of the cycle will result in three NADH and one FADH.2. Ligesom NADH, FADH2stores the captured electrons. The cycle also produces two ATP and releases the rest of the energy as heat.

The electron transport system

The final step of glucose oxidation also takes place in the mitochondria, where a group of proteins called the electron transport system help convert the energy of the electrons captured by NADH and FADH.2in ATP. This process is modeled by chemiosmotictheory, which describes the way these electrons pass along the transport system, releasing energy as they go.

The released energy is used to move positively charged hydrogen ions back and forth across the membrane that separates the two parts of the mitochondria. The energy from this movement is stored in ATP. This process is called oxidative phosphorylation because oxygen is needed for the final step that accepts electrons and hydrogen atoms to become H.2Oh, or water. The energy yield of this phase is 26 to 28 ATP.

gained energy

When a single glucose molecule is oxidized, the cell gets about 30 to 32 ATP. This number can vary because a mitochondrion is often not fully functional. Some energy may be lost as the NADH molecules formed in glycolysis transfer their electrons across the membrane that separates the mitochondria and cytoplasm.

(Video) Glucose Oxidation in Cellular Respiration


ATP is present in all living organisms and plays a fundamental role in cell metabolism as it is the main way cells store and transfer energy. Plants produce it by photophosphorylation, a process that converts sunlight into energy. ATP can also be produced in an anaerobic process, a reaction that does not require oxygen. For example, fermentation can take place without the presence of oxygen, but this and other anaerobic metabolic processes tend to be much less efficient ways of making this molecule.

A large number of cellular functions require ATP. The cell breaks down these molecules into ADP and phosphate ions and releases the stored energy. This energy is then used to do things like move large molecules in and out of the cell or help make proteins,ADN, yARN. ATP is also involved in muscle movement and is essential for maintaining the cell's cytoskeleton, the structure in the cytoplasm that supports the cell and holds it together.

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discussion commenter


My professor, who is an amazing nutritionist, always taught me that it produces about 36-38 ATP. So yes, that is correct.

(Video) 5 part 5: glucose oxidation


The total number of ATP obtained after complete oxidation of a glucose in glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and electron transport is estimated to be between 30 and 38.

The most comprehensive evaluation I've seen recently (doi: 10.1074/jbc.X200011200) actually puts it at 29.85 ATP per glucose molecule.

38 is a common number given because the most common number you see in electron transport textbooks is 34, not 32.

(One can get the number of free hydrogen ion equivalents, including the reduced form of NADH and GTP, from glycolysis and the Krebs cycle—the next step is the problem. It is difficult to know how much ATP is produced by oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria per hydrogen equivalent; indeed, it is unlikely to be a constant over time, even within the same organism).


I'm a little confused about this. The sum of the ATP molecules produced by this explanation of the three processes, glycolysis, the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain, adds up to 38 ATP molecules. However, I thought that glycolysis produces two ATP molecules, Krebs cycle two ATP molecules and 32 ATP in the electron transport chain, which equals 36. So would one of these answers be correct (sum of 38 or sum of 36 ATP molecules) ? What is the variable factor here that makes the number of ATP molecules different in two ATP molecules?

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    What is glucose oxidation? ›

    Glucose oxidation: The breakdown of glucose in the presence of oxygen is termed glucose oxidation. In the presence of oxygen, it is termed aerobic oxidation while in the absence of oxygen, it is known as anaerobic oxidation.

    What is glucose oxidation or breakdown an example of? ›

    Glucose catabolism is a redox reaction. Glucose (carbohydrate) is oxidized to carbon dioxide. The acceptor for the electrons is oxygen which is reduced to water.

    Where does glucose oxidation occur? ›

    Glycolysis occurs in the cytoplasm where one 6 carbon molecule of glucose is oxidized to generate two 3 carbon molecules of pyruvate. The fate of pyruvate depends on the presence or absence of mitochondria and oxygen in the cells.

    What is oxidized glucose called? ›

    Glycolysis, or glucose oxidation, has 10 steps which is broken into 2 stages - the investment stage where 2 ATP are used and the harvesting stage where 4 ATP and 2 NADH are created.

    What is the function of glucose oxidation? ›

    Glucose oxidase has many applications in commercial processes, including improving the color and taste, increasing the persistence of food materials, removing the glucose from the dried egg, and eliminating the oxygen from different juices and beverages.

    What is the role of glucose oxidation? ›

    Glucose oxidation is essential for human metabolism and thus gluconeogenesis is a critical element in the maintenance of glucose homeostasis in all mammals. In humans, this process is continuous and augmented after the depletion of liver glycogen. Gluconeogenesis is the sole source of glucose during starvation.

    What happens when glucose is oxidized? ›

    Glucose reacts with molecular oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water. The carbon atoms in glucose are oxidized. That is, they lose electron and go to a higher oxidation state. The oxygen atoms in molecular oxygen are reduced.

    What are the steps of glucose oxidation? ›

    Cellular respiration is a metabolic pathway that breaks down glucose and produces ATP. The stages of cellular respiration include glycolysis, pyruvate oxidation, the citric acid or Krebs cycle, and oxidative phosphorylation.

    In what three steps is glucose oxidised? ›

    It involves three main stages: Glycolysis, the Citric acid cycle, and the Electron transport chain.

    What are the four stages of glucose oxidation? ›

    There are four stages: glycolysis, the link reaction, the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.

    What does oxidation of glucose require? ›

    Hence, complete oxidation of glucose requires oxygen.

    What stage begins the oxidation of glucose? ›

    The process begins with Glycolysis. In this first step, a molecule of glucose, which has six carbon atoms, is split into two three-carbon molecules. The three-carbon molecule is called pyruvate. Pyruvate is oxidized and converted into Acetyl CoA.

    Is glucose oxidized in the body? ›

    Glucose is oxidized to carbon dioxide, water and energy in aerobic respiration. The excess energy gets stored in the cell in the form of ATP.

    In what two ways glucose is oxidised? ›

    Aerobic RespirationAnaerobic Respiration
    It may be found in the cytoplasm and the mitochondria.It is found only in the cytoplasm.
    Glucose degrades to carbon dioxide and water.Glucose is broken down into ethanol, carbon dioxide, and energy.
    4 more rows

    Can glucose be oxidized without oxygen? ›

    In the absence of oxygen, glucose is not completely oxidized into water and carbon-di-oxide. If oxygen is completely absent, then fermentation occurs.

    Is glucose oxidation the same as glycolysis? ›

    Oxidation of glucose is the 2nd stage of catabolism of carbohydrates that takes place in the cytoplasm outside the mitochondria. It is a series of ten reactions, i.e., a metabolic pathway called glycolysis, as illustrated in Figure 9.3. 1.

    What is the definition of oxidation? ›

    (OK-sih-DAY-shun) A chemical reaction that takes place when a substance comes into contact with oxygen or another oxidizing substance. Examples of oxidation are rust and the brown color on a cut apple.

    Does glucose become oxidized? ›

    Glucose reacts with molecular oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and water. The carbon atoms in glucose are oxidized. That is, they lose electron and go to a higher oxidation state. The oxygen atoms in molecular oxygen are reduced.

    Does glucose cause oxidation? ›

    Glucose and FFA overload in these cells and cause oxidative stress, which in turn induces a dysfunction of both β cells and endothelium. Endothelial dysfunction may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease, β cell dysfunction is characterized by an alteration of insulin secretion.

    What is the first step of the oxidation of glucose? ›

    So glucose oxidation pathway is divided into three steps. Step number 1 is glycolysis. And this six-carbon glucose molecule will be degraded into pyruvate, pyruvate acid. This is a three-carbon molecule compound.

    What is oxidation for dummies? ›

    One way to define oxidation is with the reaction in which a chemical substance loses electrons in going from reactant to product. For example, when sodium metal reacts with chlorine gas to form sodium chloride (NaCl), the sodium metal loses an electron, which is then gained by chlorine.

    What is a simple example of oxidation? ›

    For example, iron metal is oxidized and forms an iron oxide which is known as rust. It reduces oxygen. Production of magnesium oxide by the reaction of magnesium and oxygen is also another example of oxidation where an element is reacting with oxygen. The electrons are passed in any chemical reaction in oxidation.

    Is oxidation good or bad? ›

    Oxidation can damage vital molecules in our cells, including DNA and proteins, which are responsible for many body processes. Molecules such as DNA are needed for cells to function properly, so if too many are damaged, the cell can malfunction or die.


    1. 20.4 Reduction and Oxidation of Monosaccharides
    (Roxi Hulet)
    2. Cinelecture 38 - Glucose Oxidation, Glycolysis I
    3. Glycolysis Pathway Made Simple !! Biochemistry Lecture on Glycolysis
    4. Glucose Metabolism.mpg
    5. 13. ATP Production from 1 Glucose Molecule | Energetics of Glucose Oxidation
    (Awesome Biochemistry)
    6. 27 The Complete Oxidation of Glucose
    (chm course)


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