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Difference Between Glucose and Cellulose

Glucose vs Cellulose

Both terms sound alike, but like many words, each word contains a different meaning from the other.

For example, “glucose” is derived from the Greek word “glykys” which means “sweet” while “cellulose” came from the Latin “cellula” which means “biological cell.” Though both have different etymologies, both are present in plants.

Glucose is a by-product of photosynthesis, the process where the plants make their own food by combining carbon dioxide and water with the presence of chlorophyll and sunlight. In plants, animals, and humans, glucose is used as body fuel for the living organism’s body’s processes, growth, and development as well as movements. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in animals and humans while it is starch when found in plants.

Glucose is also commonly known as sugar, a part of more complex carbohydrates. As a source of fuel, glucose is abundant in foods rich in carbohydrates and starch like bread, pasta, potatoes, and sweets. Glucose enters the body as food and is broken down by the body to use as energy for daily consumption.

In plants, glucose is found in the sap where it is stored as starch. It used by plants for the development of its parts like leaves, roots, and stems. Excess glucose is stored in the seeds and the roots where the plant can use it when necessary.

Humans use glucose as an energy source. Most often, glucose exists as foods. But glucose can also take the forms of tablets, powder, and dextrose when a person has a condition called diabetes. Diabetes is a condition where the glucose isn’t processed by a body chemical called insulin (which is secreted by the pancreas) in order to convert that glucose into energy.

Meanwhile, cellulose is an important part in plants where it is commonly found in the plant’s cell wall and is the most common organic compound. Cellulose is formed when the plant links the glucose together to form long chains of glucose. The chains are called polysaccharides (poly = many, saccharine = sugar or glucose). By forming these polysaccharides, plants can build their cell walls and strengthen plant parts like stems, roots, and leaves.

Cellulose has also has a variety of uses for humans as a natural substance and a commercial raw material. This compound is used in clothing by harvesting plant fibers like cotton, flax, hemp, and jute and processing into cloths. Another use is in the process of making paper, cellophane, and explosives. Scientists use cellulose to filter liquids while the construction industry uses it for insulation in buildings.

In the human diet, cellulose provides fiber for the body even though the body itself cannot break the components of cellulose down. It helps in moving the small intestines when ingested and helps in defecation by being a bulking agent in feces. It is often recommended to eat a large quantity of fiber for people with diarrhea.


1.Glucose is made from the process of photosynthesis while cellulose is made from many chains of glucose after glucose is dissolved as energy and stored as starch.
2.Glucose is considered as a simple sugar while cellulose is a complex carbohydrate.
3.The main use of glucose in plants is as energy or stored energy for the plant’s growth and development. On the other hand, cellulose functions as a skeletal and structural component for plant’s cell walls and strengthening agent in stems, roots, and leaves.
4.Glucose is absorbed easily by any organisms while cellulose cannot be digested by humans and many animals.
5.Glucose is a source of energy in the human diet while cellulose gives fiber to the same diet in spite of being insoluble and indigestible.

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