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Are Glyconutrients Right For You?

Nov 22, 2007
Glyconutrients are part of the carbohydrate family. They are a collection of 8 saccharides. These are important factors in the body's ability to fight infections and heal itself.

There are 8 necessary saccharides needed by our bodies:

* Mannose * Glucose * Galactose * Xylose * Fucose (not fructose) * N-acetylglucosamine * N-acetylneuramic acid * N-acetylgalactosamine

These elements form the building blocks for glycoforms. Which serve as coverings for the body's cells. Each has specific benefits for your health.

Mannose: is the main saccharide and the others are attached to it. Mannose plays a major role in building cells, and cell interaction. Other benefits include helping the body heal itself and improving the immune system. Mannose is a major factor in manufacturing cytokines. Cytokines are used by the body's immune system to fight infections. The Mannose phytochemical can be found in the Aloe Vera plant's inner leaf gel.

Glucose: is the most commonly known of the group. Table sugar is made up of this and other saccharides. Glucose is found in sugar products such as candy bars cake and ice cream. Elements are found in vegetables as well. Glucose can be absorbed directly into the blood stream and for this reason is widely used for a quick absorbing strong form of fast acting energy. Excessive amounts of glucose can lead to health problems such as obesity.

Galactose: Is usually found in combination with glucose in a saccharide known as lactose which is a disaccharide found in milk and other dairy products. It is also used in the body's healing processes. It also decreases inflammation.

Xylose: is a carbohydrate with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some manufacturers use it instead of sucrose and corn sweeteners in toothpaste and chewing gum because it does not harm your teeth.
Fucose: is found in human breast milk and some types of mushrooms. Research has shown fucose to be helpful in brain development and memory. It also helps the immune system

N-acetylglucosamine: also helps the immune system. It produces Glucosamine, used in cartilage. It helps to repair, and reduce inflammation in cartilage and also helps the digestive tract. This is also found in human breast milk.

N-acetylneuramic acid: is used in the learning process and brain development. It helps with many blood functions and improves the immune system. The levels of this saccharide decrease, as we get older. It is found in breast milk.

N-acetylgalactosamine: is another ingredient in breast milk. Research is still being done on this saccharide. It has been shown to help with cell interaction and communication

These Glyconutrients are found in some fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately due to soil depletions and processing of foods these vital nutrients (except glucose) are no longer prevalent in foods as they once were. This has resulted in shortage in the body of these saccharides and has led to the deterioration of our health. We must become aware of these vital elements and ensure that we are getting enough of them in our diets to ensure our good health.
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