N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is a sialic acid and a carbohydrate that has several important functions. Chief among these are the neutralization of toxins and monitoring of blood protein half life. N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is found in human and animal tissues, especially in the glycolipids and glycoprotein.
It is found in especially large concentrations in the saliva, urine, breast milk, cerebrospinal fluids, serum and other fluids in the human body. Considerable concentrations are also found in the kidneys, brain, heart and the adrenal glands. The fact that it is found in so many bodily fluids and organs have numerous indications for its potential use as both a symptom reliever and potential cure for several ailments.
Overview of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is manufactured by the action of certain enzymes in the body. It is readily absorbed after being ingested in the body, and also helps in regulating the metabolism of other sugars. It has a negative charge that causes the slippery texture of saliva and the mucins that appear on the surface of the organs in the body.
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is also found to be expelled quickly and naturally through the body through urination. It is not retained in the blood tissues. In fact, studies conducted on animals have found a concentration of up to 98 percent of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) in the urine six hours after expulsion. In the case of humans, the data would translate to indicate a maximum of eight hours after ingestion.
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is found in abundance in whey protein isolate. In fact, this particular source has been found to be beneficial even in those who are normally lactose intolerant. Eggs are also a very good source of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac). For those who are unable to incorporate enough of these dietary sources, this substance can be found in supplement form as well.
History N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
The discovery of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) was made by a scientist who named the compound sialic acid. Later, a similar crystallized version of this substance was derived by another scientist who proceeded to name this neuraminic acid. Finally, a third scientist came to the conclusion that these two were the same compounds, and formed the third and final structure of the compound. It was decided to use "sialic acids - taken from the Greek word "sialos" meaning "saliva" - " as the group name with N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) forming one of the core components.
Benefits of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is considered to be an immune moderator. It impacts the resistance of flow of mucus, and thus naturally defends the body against viral and bacterial infections. It acts as a decoy to ward off infections. It is also thought to have an increased importance during pregnancy in fetal development because the production of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is markedly increased during pregnancy. It boosts cellular interaction, and has also been shown to have protective properties against influenza, pneumonia, hepatitis and other diseases.
Healthy Claims of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is found in substantial quantities in the brain and kidneys, and this has led to speculation that it may play an important role in brain development as well as kidney functions. Intake of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is thought to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation.
It is also linked to improved memory and cognitive development. Its presence in the skin and the testes has also led to speculation that a supplement of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) could be effective in the treatment of dermatological problems and reproductive issues. Also, it affects the coagulation of blood, and reduces levels of LDL or bad cholesterol in the body which indicates many possibilities for aid in heart related diseases.
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) has been found to be effective in fighting against Influenza A and B. In fact, certain studies have found its flu fighting capabilities to be 100 times more advanced than most anti flu medications.
Increased levels of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) during pregnancy seem to suggest that it strengthens the fetus' mental and physical development, as well as immunity levels. This early development is critical to the formation of a healthy child.
Lower levels of this substance appear to result in some common, yet serious, ailments. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis tend to have lower levels of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) which seems to suggest a link between optimum levels of this compound and the prevention of this condition. Those who suffer from respiratory illnesses also have decreased amounts of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) which has been connected to its effects on immunity.
In children who have defective metabolism of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac), symptoms like changes or roughening in the facial features, non pigmentation in the skin and hair, and regressed development are seen. There are developmental delays. Such children also may have enlargement of the liver and spleen.
Alcoholics and people who suffer from Sjogrens Syndrome show greatly reduced quantities of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac). It is suggested that supplements of this compound could help treat these conditions.
Research also indicates that N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) blocks the release of histamine, which reduces the severity of bronchial spasms, as well as allergic reactions.
Recommended Daily Allowance of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
There is no evidence to indicate that consumption of large quantities of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) has detrimental effects on health. In fact, in studies conducted on animals, brain development was seen in a majority of the cases. No matter whether the supplement was given orally or intravenously, the beneficial effects of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) on mental development were the same.
If a person has an impaired ability to absorb the sugar, however, there could be certain negative effects. In people who have a metabolic condition that inhibits absorption, the effects of the compound could actually be just the opposite of the benefits that others experience. For instance, there could be mental retardation, delays in development, problems in muscle co-ordination and enlargement of the liver. For a healthy 150 pound adult, a dose of 140 mg is considered to be a safe dosage.
Summary of N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac)
N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Neu5Ac) is a naturally occurring substance which performs numerous roles in the bodily fluids and organs of the human body. These include regulating toxins and regulating the metabolism. Implications are that normal levels of this substance are required for healthy fetal development. Also, it may act as a potential cure or symptom reliever for diseases ranging from alcoholism to kidney disease, and including arthritis and the flu. Research on this and other polysaccharides ingredients is on going and promising.