A sugar of the hexose class that is a constituent of lactose and many polysaccharides.
- Its molecule is split in fermentation or digestion to yield the simple monosaccharide sugars dextrose and galactose.
- The sugars glucose, galactose, and fructose all have six carbon atoms, twelve hydrogen atoms, and six oxygen atoms.
- The enzyme lactase breaks down the lactose to galactose and glucose.
Mid 19th century: from Greek gala, galakt- 'milk' + -ose2.
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