The Structure and Function of Glucose


Glucose, also known as dextrose, has a simple and powerful structure.  It is a placebo by mouth, but able to stimulate production of repair proteins within minutes of injection in high concentration (click here for more information).

Glucose is a "simple" sugar, called a monosaccharide.  The chemical formula is "C6H12O6."  It is an example of a 6-carbon ("hexose") sugar.

The 6 carbon atoms (dark grey in the diagram below) form the backbone of the molecule. The oxygen atoms are colored red. The hydrogen atoms (white) are either attached directly to the carbons, or via oxygen as "OH" groups.

The inner ring itself is 6-sided, but only 5 of its corners are made up by carbon atoms. The 6th carbon atom, located outside the ring, has 2 single hydrogens and an OH group. The glucose molecule can form into other configurations, but this structure (called "α-D-glucopyranose") is the most stable and therefore most common in biological systems.


K. Dean Reeves, M.D. is a physician and medical researcher in the area of pain caused by arthritis, chronic sprains and chronic strains. His private practice is located in the greater Kansas City area of Roeland Park, Kansas.  He collaborates in research with other locations across the country and internationally, and is licensed in the states of Kansas and Missouri.

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Dr. K. Dean Reeves

No part of this site should be understood to be personal medical advice or instruction in how to perform injection therapy. A decision on treatment requires a good history and full examination and a knowledge of your treatment goals. Treatment decisions should be made in consultation with your personal healthcare professional and/or prolotherapist.