Galactose metabolism and health.

Ana I Coelho, Gerard T Berry*, M Estela Rubio-Gozalbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Galactose - a key source of energy and a crucial structural element in complex molecules - is particularly important for early human development. However, galactose metabolism might be important not only for fetal and neonatal development but also for adulthood, as evidenced by the inherited disorders of galactose metabolism. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current evidence of galactose metabolism in health and disease.\n\nRECENT FINDINGS: The biological importance of galactose goes beyond its importance as a nutrient and a metabolite. Galactose has been selected by evolutionary pressure to exert also a crucial structural role in macromolecules. Additionally, galactose has recently been reported as beneficial in a number of diseases, particularly in those affecting the brain.\n\nSUMMARY: Galactose is crucial for human metabolism, with an established role in energy delivery and galactosylation of complex molecules, and evidence for other roles is emerging.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


  • energy
  • galactose
  • glycosylation
  • metabolism


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