Today, we are living in a society riddled with disease, illness, and disorders, and many of these are a result of a malfunctioning immune system. In fact, just about everybody seems to have a condition or disease that they are being treated for, even children. This was not the case just a decade ago. On reflection, it is apparent that something vital to good health is missing.

A Breakthrough in Medicine

The missing link was discovered in the 1980s. While doing research for a pharmaceutical company, a scientist discovered a nutrient that was not previously identified while looking for the active ingredient in aloe vera. Mannose, a previously unknown sugar molecule, was identified as the constituent in aloe responsible for the natural healing properties. (Yes, a sugar with healing properties!)

The discovery may have eluded scientists because once the aloe is processed, an enzyme in the plant quickly metabolizes the mannose, rendering it nonexistent. A (patented) process was developed to extract the mannose from the aloe, thereby making some of the aloe supplements available mannose-rich.

In the years following this groundbreaking discovery, over two hundred nutrients were identified in this newly discovered class of carbohydrates. The science and study of glycobiology emerged, and today, the function of glyconutrients is understood as impacting the natural workings of the human body.

Simply stated, a glyconutrient is a biochemical that contains a sugar, and some glyconutrients are vital for cell-to-cell communication. This is new knowledge, as sugar was always thought of as only being beneficial for energy production. Glyconutrients are a class of carbohydrates that provide raw material for cellular health and do not increase blood glucose levels. Glyconutrients are not minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, or enzymes, and not all glyconutrients are vital for cellular health.

Eight of these over two hundred glyconutrients have been validated as essential for cellular health. Pesticides, green picking practices, soil depletion, genetic modification, food processing and farming practices have all played a role in the depletion of the nutritional loss of our foods. This includes glyconutritionals. Our diets are deficient in six of the eight essential glyconutrients that are vital for good health.

The eight sugars essential for health follow:

* Glucose is overabundant in our diets. Our bodies convert white sugar, frutcose, and starchy foods into glucose.

* Galactose is also available in our diets, obtained through the conversion of lactose (milk sugar). It is easily obtained from dairy products, unless you happen to be lactose-intolerant.

* Fucose is found in breast milk and several medicinal mushrooms. It has numerous well-documented benefits for the immune system. It is not readily available in our diets.

* Mannose is also not found in our diets. Mannose has a profound impact in cellular interactions. This sugar is absolutely vital for proper immune defenses.

* Xylose is not found in our diets, but it is said to have antifungal and antibacterial properties.

* N-acetyl-neuraminic acid is not found in our diets, but it is one that is also abundant in breast milk. This sugar dramatically impacts brain function and growth. In certain disease states, the ability to digest this sugar is impaired.

* N-acetyl-glucosamine is not in our diets. This is a precursor for glucosamine, which is well known for cartilage regeneration and joint inflammation. Malfunction of this sugar has also been linked to diseases of the bowel.

* N-acetyl-galactosamine is the least known of the eight sugars that are essential for cellular health, although it appears to inhibit the growth of some tumors, and like other sugars, it plays its individual role in keeping all cellular communication clear and promptly delivered.

These last six sugars listed are not present in our diets at all or in adequate amounts to support our bodies’ needs. Since our food supply is no longer supporting our needs for these nutrients, it is beneficial to supplement the diet.

When these eight glyconutrients are present in our diets, glycosynthesis may occur; that is, these nutrients bind with fat (lipids) and protein molecules to form glycoforms on the surface of our trillions of cells.
There are two types of glycoforms. When one or more of these eight essential sugar nutrients bind with fat, they are called glycolipids. When they bind with protein, they are called glycoproteins. These glycoforms attach to receptor sites on the cellular surface. When all of the receptor sites on the cellular surface have been filled with a glycoform, they are said to be glycosolated—saturated—and our immune systems may become fully functional.

These hair-like glycoform structures create a protective barrier against viruses, bacteria, cancer, and other invasive pathogens and also act as a communication system. The glycoforms operate as a telephone wire might, sending messages throughout the body. Simply put, these sugars are absolutely vital to cellular survival and function. Without them, our cells, particularly our immune cells, do not respond in a natural way.

With glycoforms, the body regulates the immune system to not overfunction, attacking the body, or to not underfunction, failing to protect the body against pathogens. Could it be that all diseases are merely a deficiency of essential sugars?

Wonderful things occur when the body is provided with glyconutrients. In lab tests, (using a standardized, stabilized blend), after just seven days, the body goes from having virtually undetectable levels of stem cells to having trillions in just one week. The body can be stimulated with nutrition to produce more stem cells than are available in all of the world that are being kept for research purposes! Stem cells, as studies indicate, go wherever needed in the body to replace tissue.

Korean researchers used stem cells to help a paralyzed woman repair spinal nerves and walk again. Researchers at Massachusetts General discovered pancreatic tissue regeneration in a diabetic patient.

Glyconutrients never cure, heal, or mitigate disease. What these nutrients do is provide the body with the building blocks that are needed to function properly and activate powerful, built-in self-healing mechanisms.

Wisely, Paracelsus, the father of pharmacology, stated in the early 1500s that “all mankind needs for good health and healing is provided in nature. The challenge to science is to find it.”

In connecting good health to good nutrition, it is easy to understand why this is better news than any disease-specific drug. By activating built-in self-healing mechanisms, at the cellular level, the body does the thinking and acts appropriately. The approach of only repressing symptoms with drugs may very soon become old technology in the field of medicine.

Vital for Good Health

The body utilitizes the eight glyconutrients that are essential for cellular health by enhancing every function of the body. Ninety-eight percent of people who take enough of the eight glyconutrients in a standardized, stabilized form for at least four months have reported significant health improvements. Which of your trillions of cells may benefit?

While a supplement may be the only way to receive all the necessary glyconutrients on any given day and represents the research for optimal results, you can also make nutrition choices that contain some of the glyconutrients. Psyllium, a common fiber supplement, contains xylose. Fenugreek contains some mannose and galactose. Kelp contains fucose, xylose, mannose, galactose, and glucose. Shitake mushrooms contain n-acetylglucosamine. First milking colostrums contain all eight glyconutrients. The research is ongoing, and the jury is still out on a comprehensive list of glyconutrient content of every food.

Regardless of your health concerns, including glyconutrients in your wellness regime can be extremely beneficial for all ages. Take the time to learn how to evaluate other nutritional supplements to meet your body’s glyconutritient, vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and essential fatty acid needs so that the ones that you and your loved ones take are abundantly nutritious and in a form that your body recognizes as food.

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Victoria Smith is a board-certified holistic health care practitioner through the National Association of Drugless Practitioners. She is best known for her gentle compassion and results-oriented approach to health concerns. She is the author and founder of a very popular Web site and online office, In general, she promotes rebalancing the body to its natural state through detoxification and nutrition, with a straightforward, easy-to-understand approach. Her monthly newsletter, “Significant Healing,” is dedicated to providing people with ways to naturally transform their lifestyle over a period of time to one that supports vibrant health. Visit also, or contact Victoria at, (859) 801-1730.