What are glyconutrients?

Glyconutrients have been "nicknamed" several things by scientists, the media; and the internet. Common synonyms used frequently are Miracle Sugars, Sugars that Heal, Glyconutritional Supplements, Glyco Sugars, and Glyconutritionals. These references are all referring to the same natural raw materials. Currently, there are many different types of glyconutrients. These sugars can be consumed in our diet; but the average diet does not contain the correct types of food(s) to provide the correct amount of glyconutrients. Over the last decade science has validated the importance that glyconutritionals provide to our health.

The Sugars (also known as glyconutrients or polysaccharides) are referenced below:

  1. Fucose (not to be confused with fructose)
  2. Galactose
  3. Glucose
  4. Mannose
  5. N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)
  6. N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)
  7. N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac)
  8. Xylose

While these glyconutrients can be consumed individually they work best when they are synergistically combined into one product that contains the correct amounts of ALL sugars. Research has shown that each of these glyconutrients may be linked to specific wellness benefits. To understand the purpose of each of these glyconutrients is essential to understanding what overall optimal wellness is.

Fucose (Not to be confused with the table sugar fructose) is prevalent in human breast milk, certain medicinal mushrooms, and seaweeds including kelp. Fucose has been shown to suppress certain inflammatory reactions in the skin and can kill invading bacteria.

Research has linked this glyconutrient to a wide variety of activities in the brain including brain development and the ability to create long-term memories. Additionally, fucose has been shown to guard against respiratory tract infections while inhibiting allergic reactions.

Galactose is located in the lactose of dairy products, and as a monosaccharide in many fruits and vegetables. Galactose is commonly referred to as the brain sugar and and shown benefits toward supporting the brain development of babies and children. Additional health benefits may include inhibiting tumor growth in the body.

Glucose is derived from carbohydrate foods, proteins and certain component(s) of fats. Its primary role is to provide support for proper brain function and energy production associated with insulin release and glycogen storage. Glucose is a fast acting energy source which our bodies absorb directly by the blood stream. Research also suggest that glycose may have some body-building functions as it is prevalent in the myelin sheath and the kidney tubules.

Mannose is located primarily in cranberries, blueberries, black and red currants, gooseberries, green beans, fenugreek, capsicum, cabbage, tomatoes, turnips, shiitake mushrooms, kelp, and aloe vera. It has shown benefits in preventing and reversing urinary tract infections and stomach ulcers. Mannose is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiparasitic by nature. Mannose supports our bodies ability to produce cytokines which is our bodies response to colds and flu's. This is the achy feeling we feel when we get sick.

N-acetylgalactosamine is similar in structure to galactose. It is found in bovine and shark cartilages and is a constituent of chondroitin sulphate. The most abundant supply of this glyconutrient is found in mother's breast milk. It appears to play a role in preventing inflammation and in joint function and collagen formation; and is commonly used as a popular arthritis remedy.

N-acetylglucosamine is difficult to find in our modern day diets. The most abundant supply of this glyconutrient is also found in mother's breast milk. N-acetylglucosamine is the major component of the arthritis remedy glucosamine sulphate. It has anti-tumor properties and has been shown to produce activity against HIV. Glucosamine, which is used for cartilage in our knees, elbows, and other moving parts, is a metabolic product of this glyconutrient. Repairing cartilage, decreasing pain and inflammation, and increasing the range of motion in osteoarthritis are all benefits of glucosamine. Glucosamine has been shown to decrease insulin secretion. When taken together with N-acetylgalactosamine the absorption of both is enhanced.

N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), a form of sialic acid
N-acetylneuraminic acid supports proper brain development and learning. It also provides support to our bodies for brain development, blood coagulation, lowering the LDL, the so-called bad cholesterol, and prevention of strains of influenza A and B. N-acetylneuraminic acid has been shown to be a an important immune modulator. The highest concentrations of this glyconutrient are found in the brain, kidneys, bronchial tubes, upper airways, skin, and reproductive organs.

Xylose is an antibacterial and anti fungal carbohydrate. Research has given us evidence that Xylose may help prevent cancer of the digestive tract.

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