For years, all types of sugars were categorized under one purpose for the body – energy. The entire medical community and the public alike have thought that all types of carbohydrates serve only one purpose. It was only recently discovered that a type of sugar called glyconutrients or sweet nutrients serve purposes that are crucial in cellular communication.
What are glyconutrients?
Glyconutrients, or sweet nutrients, are a class of sugar that bond with lipid and protein cells in our body to enhance cellular communication or the process of transferring signal from one cell to another.
Are all glyconutrients helpful to our body?
Actually, not all of these sugars can be of help to bodily functions. There are only eight that are noted for their individual benefits to our health and wellness. These include glucose and galactose, the two most commonly consumed by almost everyone, with the rest comprising of xylose, fuctose, mannose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylneuraminic acid, and N-acetylgalactosamine.
Do the eight essential glyconutrients benefit the body in the same manner?
No, not at all. These eight essential monosaccharides behave differently in the human body. Although all of them have properties important to enhancing cell to cell communication and the majority of them are crucial in inhibiting the growth of tumor in various areas of the body, each still has benefits that differ from the others. Glucose or table sugar, for example, is a great source of energy that goes immediately into the bloodstream while mannose has anti-infection properties that ward off infections from developing inside the body. The same is true with fucose, a glyconutrient that is found in high quantities in human breast milk. N-acetylglucosamine, on the other hand, has properties suitable for repairing weakened cartilage, bone structure, inflammation, and pain caused by osteoarthritis and N-acetylneuraminic acid is pivotal in brain development, learning, memory, and performance.
Where can we find these nutrients?
Actually, these can be found in various sources like aloe vera, a seaweed called Undaria pinnatifida, in the human breast milk, in the gums of the African acacia tree and Indian sumac, and in certain fungi and mushrooms. However, since these are not typically available, the next best options are the supplements that can be bought from local health stores.
Do these nutrients have side effects?
Simply put, these nutrients are just foods. They are not synthetic materials that are foreign to the body. They are much like the usual vegetables we eat. Thus, there are no known side effects to taking glyconutritionals regularly. As of the moment, we could be content knowing that these are harmless, side-effects-free nutrients that are needed by the body.
How do glyconutrients work?
These work by bonding with various cells in the human body in a process called glycosylation. Through this bonding, it becomes possible for cells, molecules, hormones, and microorganisms to easily attach to target cells.
How is it that my doctor does not know anything about these nutrients?
This technology is new. It is very likely that your doctor, in fact many doctors, are not aware of these recently discovered nutrients. It is only a matter of time though until these nutrients gain wider acceptance among health practitioners since great emphasis is given on the efficacy of these nutrients to promote health, delay the process of aging, and improve cell to cell communication.