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Medically Reviewed by Dr. Vibhuti Rana
Glyconutrient saccharides make up what is called “glycoproteins” that are also attached to lipids or fats. They cover the cells with a membrane allowing communication between the cells. Imagine these cells as infantry men going out to fight a war. If the monosaccharide chains making up the membrane are not complete in these cells, they cannot communicate with the rear of this army and could lose the war if attacked from behind. Much like being attacked by virus's, bacteria, or yeast infections.
The Functions of Each Individual Glyconutrient Saccharide in The Body
The Glucose glyconutrient saccharide, plant sugar, is the energy source for the nerve cells, red blood cells, and the kidneys. Too much glucose can cause diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, elevated triglycerides, etc. Science has confirmed that excessive glucose competes with all the other monosaccharides in the body. With our modern diets we get more than needed amount of this entity in the form of sugar, pastas, and processed junk food. No wonder so many of us are so sick? Get the sugar out of your lives folks, and that includes the lives of your children too!
The Galactose glyconutrient works by releasing substances that eat bad bacteria and cellular wastes. They may also stimulate the natural killer (NK) cells and inhibit tumor cell reproduction. Numerous scientific publications have discovered that the absence of galactose is related to the onset of skeletal problems. Galactose may also promote healthy calcium metabolism and its absorption preventing bone loss. It may assist in keeping the good bacteria in the body healthy. Galactose can be found in milk byproducts and hopefully you have the lactase enzyme so you can digest these foods.
The Mannose glyconutrient saccharide is said to activate the function of the macrophages in the immune system. Macrophages are a type of white blood cells that attack, kill, and remove foreign invaders. They also remove waste that is caused by inflammation in the body. It may also inhibit certain pro-inflammatory molecules that cause respiratory, skeletal, and immune system dysfunction. Mannose may inhibit tumor growth and block communication between tumor cells and rest of the body. This prevents the spread of the tumors and activates the action of NK cells to fight the disease.
These cells defend the cells against bacteria by always arriving first and blocking the bacteria from damaging the cell. In people with chronic high blood sugar, it could prevent the development of degenerative diseases of the eye and discourage urinary infections. It also protects these people from inflammation in the body caused by too much sugar in the body. Mannose comes from aloevera and cranberries. Now you know why cranberry juice is good for urinary infections.
The Fucose glyconutrient saccharide has been said to intervene as a modulator for the immune system, especially in relation to allergies and inflammatory diseases. However, its scientifically proven primary role is to inhibit tumor growth. It could also be important in the fight against bacteria that attack our respiratory system. Fucose is used up by the body within 24 hours after ingestion, so it must be ingested everyday to remain healthy.
The Xylose glyconutrient saccharide is very important in the process of intercellular communication and works as an enzyme in the immune and endocrine systems. It may also be involved in molecule absorption and is involved in every cellular function in the body.
These glyconutrient saccharides below are actually bonded with an acid and are not in a sense "sweet"
The N-Acetylglucosamine glyconutrient saccharide has been said to have a well known beneficial effect against skeletal diseases. It is part of the cartilage structure and inhibits, prevents, and repairs the damage to the joints. It may also inhibit the growth of tumor cells as proven in scientific research. NAcGlucosamine has anti-viral properties and was found to effectively fight and prevent many viral conditions.
The N-Acetylgalactosamine glyconutrient saccharide,s main function is to help with the formation of hormones. This saccharide is also composed of hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, which form the connective tissue and cartilage in the skeletal structure. When this is in lower levels in the body, the collagen structure of the skin and joints fail. Soon, this is followed by wrinkles and degenerative skeletal diseases
The N-Acetylneuraminic acid or sialic acid glyconutrient plays a major role in mucous secretions, which allows for the correct levels of lubricants in the body, and regulates where there location. It does this job by making sure the mucous is the right consistency for the defense of the body. Take for instance the lungs; without the correct mucosal consistency in the bronchial tubes, the lungs can dry up, allowing bacteria and fungi to easily infect the lung. If the levels of this saccharide drop, the incidence of high blood sugar, tumors, circulatory, and joint problems may increase. NAcneuraminic acid is an inflammation regulator and may control and prevent inflammatory diseases. It is also a biomarker that helps to control certain negative effects of our immune system.
Take for instance allergies, when you are suffering from allergies your immune system is actually in a state of over activity- possibly from the lack of this saccharide. This also applies to many skin problems and skeletal conditions, which can also be caused by an over active immune system. This glyconutrient may compete with bacteria and viruses at the molecular level, by blocking the pathogen from attaching to the cell, until the white blood cells and lymphocytes arrive and eat these invaders. After that, the macrophages will clean up the mess. It also plays a role in the regulation of the male and female reproductive hormones, and maintains the health of the nervous system.
I think you can now see just how important these glyconutrient saccharides are for the health of the human body. They could be more important than vitamins and minerals, without them, vitamins and minerals cannot be absorbed by the cells.
There is no denying that certain sugars can actually prove beneficial for your body. There are eight such essential sugars or saccharides, which our body needs for day to day maintenance of health. Amongst these, glucose and galactose are procured easily from various dietary sources. When the body receives all of them in appropriate proportions, the healing is miraculous, and the immune system gets strengthened like never before.
The Mannatech multi-national marketing firm holds the patent to the term “glyconutrient”. Though there are a number of contradictory studies on the good effects of glyconutrients available in nature, but there is sufficient amount of literature that supports their use and functional abilities to cure immune disorders, skeletal diseases, allergies, etc. (1)
According to a study conducted in 2016 at the University of Sapienza of Italy, D-Mannose treatment is being used as a promising therapy to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) as the recurrent infections reduced from ~35% to 4%. (2) This was also supported by other studies which showed that cranberry juice reduced the symptoms and occurrence of recurrent UTIs. (3)
It is revealed in an article that the biological role of these sugars includes cell-cell, cell-matrix, cell-molecule interactions, and interactions between other organisms, and therefore they are required in maintaining optimal health. (4)
If you have any questions about the glyconutrient saccharides or yeast infections, please feel free to contact me.
Dr. Rana's References
2. D-mannose: a promising support for acute urinary tract infections in women. A pilot study. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016 Jul;20(13):2920-5.
3. A randomized trial to evaluate effectiveness and cost effectiveness of naturopathic cranberry products as prophylaxis against urinary tract infection in women. Strothers. Can J Urol. 2002 Jun;9(3):1558-62.
4. Lynn. The complexity of membrane-bound glycans in health and disease and the beneficial properties of glyconutrients. Norwegian University of Life Sciences. 2013-09-23
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