Galactose(C6H12O6)is a monosaccharide, or simple sugar. This sugar, when bonded with glucose creates lactose, the sugar found in dairy. It is an important sugar in infants, transmitted via breastmilk. Galactose is the building block for carbohydrates associated with glycolipids and glycoproteins. In laymans terms, it is essential for storing information and building tissue. It is also known as "brain sugar" because it can be found in the brain and other nervous tissue.
Galactose is more common than glucose but can only be used as an energy source after being changed into glucose by the liver. As with all essential sugars, galactose is necessary for cell communication. If galactose is missing in the diet, a disease can develop. Studies have shown that high amounts of galactose in the body can prevent or help reverse the effects of colon cancer. It has also been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors, especially in the liver. It is also important in reproduction, as it helps in the formation of sperm.