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Myelodysplastic Syndromes and Glyconutrients

What are Myelodysplastic Syndromes?

Myelodysplastic syndromes are diseases of the blood and bone marrow where the stem cells, which are immature cells, do not mature into healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, or platelets. The faulty stem cells, called blasts, don't function right and they either die in the bone marrow or right after they enter the blood stream. When this happens, there is less room for healthy red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to cultivate in the bone marrow. Fewer blood cells can lead to anemia, infection, or bleeding can occur too easily. There are many types of myelodysplastic syndromes including Refractory anemia, Refractory anemia with ringed side oblasts, Refractory anemia with excess blasts, Refractory anemia with excess blasts in transformation, Refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia, Myelodysplastic syndrome associated with an isolated del(5q) chromosome abnormality, and Unclassifiable myelodysplastic syndrome. Some risk factors associated myelodysplastic syndromes are being male or white, being older than 60 years, prior chemotherapy treatment or radiation therapy, exposure to certain chemicals such as tobacco smoke, pesticides and solvents like benzene, and contact with heavy metals like leans and mercury. Standard blood tests will often find when someone has a case of myelodysplastic syndromes, but some symptoms are shortness of breath, weakness or fatigue, paler than usual skin, bruising or bleeding easily, fever or recurrent infections, and petechiae, which are small flat spots under the skin caused by bleeding.


What are Polysaccharides?

Polysaccharides are plant carbohydrates, or complex sugars, that are vital to proper cell communication and overall health. These essential nutrients have become deficient to the modern diet and their absence is the cause of a wide array of diseases. The essential sugars are xylose, fucose, galactose, glucose, mannose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylneuraminic acid (a sialic acid). Although glucose and galactose are found in sufficient quantities in Western diets, the other six are hardly present. Even though the body is capable of producing the six rare complex sugars from the two prevalent sugars, it is a very intensive process. Polysaccharides are vital to every one of the 600 trillion cells that make up your body because they enable cellular communication, which is the single most important concept of proper nutrition because it allows the body to function the way it is supposed to so you are healthy.


How do polysaccharides aid patients with Myelodysplastic syndromes?

Polysaccharides benefit the immune system by acting as regulators to an ill-functioning immune system. They cause the DNA and cells to regulate. For a patient with a type of myelodysplastic syndrome, the immune system is under active, and not doing anything to fight the condition. Polysaccharides have shown to up-regulate a lethargic immune system, and thereby stimulate the body to fight the disease. Polysaccharides are not a cure, but they allow the body to defend itself against diseases.


Why hasn't my doctor heard of polysaccharides?

First, ask your doctor when they graduated from medical school. It's likely that they never studied information about polysaccharides because scientific research on them is still relatively new. Dr. Bill McAnalley started some of the first research on polysaccharides in 1995. Polysaccharides were not even included in any primary medical text books until 1996 when Harper's Biochemistry published information in the 56th chapter. In addition, most doctors get their education from pharmaceutical drug companies, and few doctors receive adequate training in nutrition. Even though research pertaining to polysaccharides abounds today, many doctors are swamped with new information, mostly concerning different products from pharmaceutical companies. Polysaccharides are neutraceuticals and considered to be part of complementary medicine. Doctors with an interest in complementary medicine are more inclined to be educated about polysaccharides.

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