The Study of Sugar Nutrients
Let me give you a simple introduction to this fascinating science. Glycobiology is just the study of "sugar." And this is not the kind of sugar you are most familiar with!
Harper's Biochemistry textbook has a chapter dedicated to this subject, but it has only been taught in medical school since 1996. It is so new that most doctors and other healthcare professionals know nothing of its existence—let alone the tremendous impact it is having in the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people.
There are approximately two hundred simple sugars found in nature but only eight are normally found surrounding every cell in the body. They include:
- N-Acetylneuraminic Acid (Sialic Acid)
These sugars are found in mother's breast milk. While there are enzymes in human tissue that can make these sugars from glucose, Harper's Biochemistry states,
".there is evidence that the other sugars may be beneficial in some circumstances when added to the diet. This has led to the development of glyconutrient supplements containing either members of the sugars listed in Table 46-4 (excluding glucose) or precursors of them." (p. 524, italics added)
~Murray, Robert K., MD, PhD, et al. Harper's Illustrated Biochemistry. 27th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2006.
Since so much of these sugars are processed out of our modern, highly-refined diet, or missing due to green harvesting, it is our experience that the addition of these types of sugars can have extremely positive effects on the human immune system and overall well-being.
Glyconutrients Are VITAL
While glyconutrients do not treat specific disease states, they do allow for the cells to send proper messages within the body. When your cells can do the job they were designed to do, it's amazing what the body is capable of doing. Our bodies know how to make corrections and restore proper functioning, given the raw materials they need. It seems so simple and yet so profound. These critical nutrients are like the vowels in our alphabet. If we just took out a few of the vowels and you tried to read this page you would have trouble. That is very much like what these particular sugars do. They are like the vowels in the communication system of our body. When they are in abundance they allow the communication to take place properly. When that happens the body understands what to do and how to direct the immune system to do its job.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) published a 200-page document in October 2012 entitled “Transforming Glycoscience – A Roadmap for the Future.” The NAS noted a “widespread lack of understanding and appreciation of glycoscience in the scientific and medical communities and among the general public.” They noted that every living cell on the planet (human, animal, plant, and microbe) have these sugars (glycans) surrounding them and that every molecule, cell, or organism that interacts with a cell must do so through these sugars. In addition, “every disease that affects humans significantly involves these glycans.” They concluded that “integrating glycoscience into relevant disciplines in high school, undergraduate, and graduate education” was imperative towards increasing public awareness and professional expertise. See our summary of this publication in our November 2012 issue of our eZine.
I am compelled to provide exposure to this little-known field of science—I know through personal experience the critical role these sugar-nutrients have played in my body.
Don't hesitate to contact me for more information, or feel free to attend one of our educational classes! Our Glycobiology class is also available on DVD.