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Glyconutrients and Their Importance for the Health

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By: Knut Holt

The body needs many specific types of sugar and sugar-like substances to work properly. A group of these has been given the name glyconutrients. This term is not used in scientific textbooks. The term is an invention of a supplement company, Mannatech, but the substances included in this group all have specific roles in the human body that are described in scientific literature.


The body has the ability to make all the glyconutrients, but there are claims that this production tend to be too slow, so that the body may get too little of them if they are not supplied through the diet. These claims are not yet definitely proven scientifically. However, many persons report health gains after having applied a supplement of glyconutrients.


The sugar type glucose is the most central gyconutrient. Glucose is used as an energy source, and it is used to produce other important substances, for example the other glyconutrients. Glucose should be supplied in a manner that allows it to be absorbed evenly through the whole day. Such an even absorption is secured by eating food that will release glucose gradually during the digestive process. Such a food is said to have a low glycemic index. Examples of such food types are beans, peas, full corn cereals or bread, and to a less extend potatoes and sweet fruit in natural form. Many of these foods contain starch that will gradually be broken down to free glucose when digested.


Must people get enough glucose, but some popular law carbohydrate diets may cause a deficiency.


Many other glyconutrients are used as working tools in the body. The body can produce these from glucose, but the production may be so slow that one may get deficient if these substances are not supplied in the diet. These glyconutrients are: Mannose, xylose, fucose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylneuraminic acid.


Glyconutrients work together as a group in many important bodily functions:



  • They are tools used to regulate tissue growth, organ development, and organ maturation and to regulate repair and regrowth after injury and disease.

  • They are used as tools by the nervous system and the sensorial organs, for example in the retina of the eyes.

  • They are used as tools by the immune system, especially to regulate the functions within the immune system and by the recognition of foreign elements that shall be destroyed.

  • They are important building blocks in intracellular structures, especially in cartilage, tendons and connective tissues. N-glucosamine is the most important structural glyconutrient.

  • They help to hinder microorganisms to fasten themselves to body structures and thereby help the body to wash away bacteria, fungi or viruses. Mannose and xylose are the most important of the glyconutrients for this function.


Since all the glyconutrients tend to participate in many processes, lack of any of them will give problems of many kinds.


Lack of glyconutrients will make a person generally more susceptible for any disease, make it difficult to fight diseases and make it difficult to recuperate once the disease is over. A person lacking glyconutrinent will also more easily get physically hurt, and have difficulties of repairing the damage.


Glyconutrirnt deficiency is believed to cause or aggravate diseases like: Infections, rheumatic diseases, allergies and asthma, heart problems, stroke, failure to thrive and cancer.


A diet containing sufficient glyconutrients or supplements of glyconutrients may help to prevent or overcome the listed diseases. Enough supply of glyconutrient may also increase the general resistance against disease and the general wellbeing.


A way of getting needed glyconutrients is to include vegetable and fruit in the daily diet and vary between different types. Good sources are: Aloe vera gel, ground fenugreek, black currant, red currants, gooseberries, green beans, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, turnips, shiitake mushrooms, and kelp. Also shark cartilage and bovine cartilage are good sources of gyconutrients, but these sources are perhaps best consumed as ingredients in special supplements.


On the market you can also find special supplements that furnish the body with gyconutrienst you may get too little of by the daily diet.

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About the Contributor

Knut Holt is an internet consultant and marketer focusing on health items such as glyconutrient supplements, anti-aging products, and natural medicines against acne, eczema, rosacea, other skin problems, allergy, over-weight, hypertension, heart disease, hypothyroidism, hemorrhoids, depression and more.

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