Living in the Midwest, I’m sure you have seen a burr stuck to your pants after walking in the woods. It can be rather annoying to remove these burrs because they were designed to securely attach to whatever they come in contact with. The Velcro like material on a burr is similar to structures in your body called glycans.
Glycans attach to the cell membranes within your body the way a burr sticks to your pants, but glycans have a very important reason to attach in this way.
Literature suggests that glycans support healthy cell-to-cell communication within the human body, helping your body to function the way it was designed to!
What Is Glycosylation?
Glycosylation is a process that helps the 30 trillion cells in our body communicate with each other more effectively. It is one of the eight essentials that we promote, yet many people have never heard of it!
Glycosylation takes place when a glycoprotein hooks into the cell membrane. You see, a glycoprotein is a protein that has a carbohydrate (sugar) attached to it. When the protein attaches to the cell membrane, the carbohydrate extends off of the cell. Together it acts like a little antenna to help with better cell-to-cell communication.
After all of the negative press sugar has been getting lately, it may be surprising to you that anything good can be associated with sugar. It is important to remember that we are talking about a specific type of sugar found in glyconutrients.
Just like we used to believe that all fat was bad, and recently learned that there are some very important essential fats, we are finding the same thing out about sugar. There are obviously some sugars that don’t promote health in our bodies, but there are others that do!
Research indicates that they are 8 essential sugars (Glucuse, Galactose, Fucose, Mannose, Xylose, N-Acetyl Glucosamine, N-acetyl- Galactosamine, N- acetyl- Neuramnic Acid) which have been well studied, but there could be up to 200 more that are still unstudied. These combine in various sequences to help the body communicate messages from one cell to another.
In a system as complex as the human body, cell-to-cell communication is vital. Without it the body simply will not function in the way it was designed to. It is imperative for the proper development and function of each system in the human body.
An example of the importance of glycosylation in the human body is found in reproduction. Did you know that in fertilization itself, the sperm and egg coming together is a glycosylation reaction? Communication between the cells is also necessary for the development of each organ system. If any of these 8 sugars aren’t present in high enough amounts, the communication isn’t as effective and efficient so the outcome might not be ideal. This is why glyconutrients are a key component of our Schaefer Protocol 8 essential program for ideal preconception health!
It is important for the cell to know how to respond to the environment in the body in a coordinated way. Without this knowledge cells can divide in a disorganized manner and may lead to disease in the system. Communication between cells also allows the body to send messages about the presence of a virus, bacteria, or fungi. Such messages are critical for the body to launch an appropriate coordinated immune response to the presence of a threat. Cellular communication is also crucial for our endocrine system and our body's response to hormones.
Glycosylation and UTI’s
Many women suffer from chronic urinary tract infections (UTI’s). Most people have heard that cranberry juice is recommended as a natural remedy for UTI’s. However, not many people know that the mannose (sugar) found in cranberry juice is what makes it so effective.
Mannose is one of the 8 essential glyconutrients (sugars) mentioned above. When the body has what it needs and can communicate effectively, it is often able to get rid of the problem on it’s own without medication or other intervention.
I personally know many women who have noticed a decline in urinary tract infections, or been able to prevent them all together, once they incorporated glyconutrients into their systems regularly.
Getting Glyconutrients Through Diet vs. Supplementation
We used to get these glyconutrients from eating a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruits. However, most of the produce available to us these days has been grown in depleted soils that were often sprayed with herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. It likely was picked before it was ripe and shipped long distances to our grocery stores. These factors cause it’s nutrient content to be greatly diminished.
This means that even if we are eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, we often will not give enough of these essential glycans. Because of this, supplementing with a high quality glyconutrient can be incredibly helpful for creating and maintaining healthy humans!
We have found a high quality supplement which provides the essential glyconutrients our bodies need. It is made by a company that has invested millions of dollars researching glyconutrients over the past twenty years and been published in peer-reviewed journals.
If you are interested in learning more about the products we recommend at our office feel free to contact me. I would be glad to answer your questions and help you determine whether supplementing with glyconutrients may be a good choice for you!
P.S. If you would like to learn more about these amazing sugars do a search for glycans in pub med. You may be surprised to find over 500,000 studies available on glycans.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease