There has been much talk as of late about how a group of organic sugars known as “polysaccharides” may be effective in the treatment of cancer. Polysaccharides are organically occurring sugars including Fucose, Galactose, Glucose, and others. Many developers of supplements containing polysaccharides, such as a company called Mannatech, claim that their products can be used as an effective treatment of cancer. Although there may be some truth in the idea that polysaccharides such as those found in glyconutrient combinations such as Mannatech's Ambrotose®, there is still very little objective scientific research to show that polysaccharides swallowed in a pill form have any direct effect on cancerous cells, or are any better for treating cancer than polysaccharides found in everyday foods or naturalistic aloe vera treatments.
Before going any further, it should be noted that the best information you will find on the effectiveness of polysaccharides in the treatment of cancer will not be found on this website or any other but rather through your doctor. He/she is most likely to be knowledgeable about polysaccharide treatments as well as their effectiveness. But having said this, there are a few things that we know about these nutrients and their usefulness in the treatment of cancer.
Polysaccharides are often called by a variety of other names including Miracle Sugars, Sugars that Heal, and Glyco Sugars. While there are several companies that can sell you supplements containing all of these essential sugars for anywhere from $40 per bottle to $160 per bottle, many of them can also be found in everyday foods. However, the companies that produce these supplements claim that the average American no longer gets enough of these nutrients within their regular diet, which may very well be true. But then again it is important to note that the body is also able to produce enzymes that can convert some polysaccharides into others, to compensate for dietary deficiencies.
What is often more practical and more cost effective than paying large sums of money for artificial supplements is to eat more natural foods that are already rich in glyconutrients, such as edible forms of seaweed, all types of fresh vegetables, sprouts and fresh juices. Most polysaccharides are available in foods that are readily available from your local grocery store.
Because it has not been medically proven that glyconutritional supplements are effective in treating cancer it is highly likely that any results stemming from their use could be due to the placebo effect. This simply means that because a patient expects a treatment to work, they will often improve to some extent as the belief that the treatment will work gives them the psychological strength to fight the disease. Mannatech, the leading producer of glyconutritional substances has failed to produce a study that objectively supports their claims about Ambrotose® (its leading glyconutritional supplement) despite the fact that it is a multi-million-dollar company and could easily afford to fund the necessary research. Therefore, claims of companies peddling polysaccharides are likely false.
This is of course not to say that polysaccharides are bad for you, as they are merely sugars that are essential to the bodies functioning. But knowing that many of them are available through readily attainable foods or can be produced by the body itself, you should do your homework first before buying them. It is recommended that you talk to a doctor before using any product that pledges to have effects as vast as those claimed by the various incarnations of glyconutritional supplements.