Glycobiology is a science that deals with the structure, synthesis and biology of sugar chains. Universities and pharmaceutical companies are many years engaged in glycobiology. There are more than twenty studies on new sugar-protein structures annually and new drugs (including all vaccines) developed based on sugar chains (glycans).

Four of the last eight Nobel Prizes for Physiology are awarded to researchers in the field of cellular communication.

The Glycobiology brings a shift in medicine: the focus moves to the cell physiology of intracellular at what is happening on the cell surfaces and is expected to medical science will affect the next 10 to 15 years and change.

The Sweet Language of Life

How Our Cells Communicate

Glyconutrients, a class of nutrients that appear necessary for maintaining health, have gotten a lot of attention in the scientific community in recent years. Information concerning glyconutrients, glycobiology, and glycoproteins fills volumes of textbooks and thousands of medical research articles. To date there are over 40,000 publications on the research of glycobiology and the study of these important glyconutrients.

However, the public’s knowledge of glyconutrients and their importance to maintaining health is limited.

The human body is incredibly dynamic; every day, it is maintaining, protecting and regulating its 60 trillion cells. It replaces 150 to 500 billion cells daily. Central to the body’s health is the cell’s ability to maintain its function properly. Cells must also be nourished, protected and supported.

Glyconutrients are monosaccharides or carbohydrates that are vital for the correct structure and function of cells in our bodies. As the name monosaccharides indicates they are sugars.

When most people think of sugar, they think of that sweet white granulated stuff that many people put on their breakfast cereal or in their morning coffee. Diabetics think of sugar as something to avoid because it will raise their blood sugar. Glyconutrients are not that kind of sugar.

Science has found that glyconutrients are important for cell to cell communication and the proper functioning of our immune system.

Proper cell to cell communication is necessary for our body to function properly. For instance our digestive system needs to know which food components to absorb into the blood stream and which to ignore. Without proper cell to cell communication our immune system wouldn’t know which cells to attack and destroy and which cells to protect.

Our bodies use glyconutrients to prevent infections and disease, and to slow the aging process.

There are eight glyconutrients essential for each of the cells in our body to communicate correctly with the next cell or organism:

  • xylose
  • fucose
  • galactose
  • glucose
  • mannose
  • N-acetylglucosamine
  • N-acetylglactosamine
  • N-acetylneuraminic acid

These 8 glyconutrients combine with other molecules (proteins and lipids) to form glycoforms or glycoconjugates which coat cell surfaces. When they combine with protein molecules, they form glycoproteins that coat the surface of every cell in the human body.

Our modern diets are deficient in glyconutrients because only two of the eight, glucose and galactose, are found in any quantity in what we eat. Glucose is provided by wheat, rice, and sugar cane. Galactose is provided through the breakdown of lactose from dairy products. The other six glyconutrients are not supplied in sufficient quantities by the food that we consume. The only way to obtain them in an optimal level for the promotion of good health is through glyconutrient supplements.

Your body will repair itself, regenerate itself, restore itself, and defend itself if you provide it with the right nutrients it needs to function properly. You can obtain more information on the science of nutritional glycobiology here. Shop glyconutrient supplements here.

References: Harper’s Biochemistry 1996 Chapter 56 “Glycoproteins” and Harper’s Biochemistry 25th edition; Science Magazine March 2001 “Saving Lives with Sugar”; Scientific American July 2002 “Sweet Medicine”;


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Your Nutritionist

Joke Murray


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