The war of microbes and human health is fought on a battlefield of carbohydrates! As parts of our industry are demolishing “sugars” as a needed nutrient, a whole body of evidence by the world of glycobiology is teaching us otherwise: Sugars are important to our good health. The question is: what kinds of sugars do we need?
Good nutrition requires getting the requisites of fats, carbohyrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients into our bodies on a regular basis. But in that list of important nutrients to consume did you think to make sure you got your fucose (not fructose) today, or your mannose, or for that matter, any of the 9 essential monosaccharides? Bet you didn’t. I know I haven’t for most of my life, until recently, as I was working with our scientists on developing one of our new products, which contains 5 of the essential sugars. This product will be coming out in about four weeks, and I am very pleased to be able to introduce it to you in this week’s Forward Thinking.
Let’s review why the essential sugars are important. Vertebrates uniquely use the essential nine monosaccharides: mannose, xylose, fucose, galactose, glucose, N-acetylglucosamine, sialic acid, N-acetylgalactosamine, and glucouronic acid. They are called essential because they are critical in the formation of the glycans—glycans are the linear and branched polymers of these sugars that dangle off of cell membranes attached either to membrane bound proteins (glycoproteins) or membrane lipids (glycolipids).
The glycans can be extremely complex in structure and form the unique sugar coating for each cell type. All cells are literally sugar coated. Two weeks ago we discussed the Clusters of Differentiation of the immune system (which is basically another name for the glycome of immune cells), and the four human blood types—A, B, AB and O, which are distinguished by differing arrangements of four of the essential sugars—fucose, galactose, N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine.
The study of glycans within the field Glycobiology is a very difficult subject matter. For example, when studying nucleic acids there are 4 nucleotides arranged in a linear manner: T-C-A-G-G-G-A-T-C-C-A-T-etc. or when studying proteins, there are 20 amino acid arranged in linear polypeptides: Ser-Pro-Leu-Cys-Lys-Gly-Thr-etc., arrangements that are relatively straight forward and can be sequenced and analyzed by sequencing machines. But, when you study glycans, there are 9 essentials sugars arranged in both linear and branched molecular structures. These structures not only become incredibly complex, but also are constantly changing on the cell surface depending on the cell’s metabolic state, or its state of health or disease. They are fluid, changeable, and difficult to study.
What is very clear from the mounting research on essential sugars, the glycans and the glycome (or glycocalyx), is that they are of major importance to the study of medicine. As pathogens try to invade, they have to get through the complex sugar coat. The war of microbes and human health is therefore fought on a battlefield of carbohydrates. The glycans are involved in immune reaction, in recognition of self, and of invaders. They are involved in adaptive immune responses as well as innate immune responses. They are involved in inflammatory responses. Glycan expression exists across a wide array of biological processes, including cell communication, host protection, transcription, differentiation, activation, apoptosis and structure.
Due to our modern fruit and vegetable deficient eating habits, and with heavy reliance on processed foods made with refined sugar, most of us do not get enough of the essential monosaccharides required for healthy cell communication and immune functioning. Additionally, many foods containing the less common monosaccharides are neglected in modern diets.
When eating foods rich in these sugars, the saccharides are absorbed into our cells and routed to the endoplasmic reticulum and the golgi bodies. The membrane bound organelles are basically an assembly line for the construction of complex glycans from these building blocks. The glycans are then attached to a protein or a lipid and delivered to cell membranes.
Glucose is the parent of all the essential sugars and can build them—if it has to. But it is best for our robust health and longevity that we obtain them from our diet. So, where do we get these critically important monosaccharides in our diet?
A very rich source of the saccharide building blocks for glycans are found in our new product: Coffea Arabica– Freeze-dried Fruit and Extract. That’s right—coffee fruit without the bean (where 99% of the caffeine is found).
Until recently, the whole fruit (minus the bean) of the coffee plant has not been commercially available due to its perishable nature. Thanks to technology and science, we have discovered a unique means of safely cultivating, harvesting and processing the coffee fruit. The fruit is loaded with exceptionally high concentrations of beneficial phenolic acids and other extraordinary nutrients like the coffee saccharides. The healthy attributes of whole coffee have been common knowledge to people living in coffee-growing regions since time began. But until now, these benefits could only be enjoyed by a few because coffee fruit was impossible to process and export. Next week we will more fully develop the powerful benefits to be derived from this wonderful coffee fruit.
This week we are highlighting the No. 7 Systemic Booster. The No. 7 Systemic Booster components work together as a daily Therapeutic Food to strengthen the function of the immune system, gastrointestinal system, osteo-skeletal system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, uro-genital system, respiratory system and the neurological system. It is our most complete formula.
One Happy Humpback Whale! This is an amazing video shot in the Baja by the family that saved this young whale who had been caught up in a gill-netters net and was on the verge of drowning. They save her life and she in return put on quite a show for them. Her way of saying thank you? They named her Valentina. Would you have gotten in the water to save this magnificent creature?