Until fairly recently, the science of glyco-biology , the study of sugars in relation to human health and disease, has remained a complex field addressed primarily within the domain of scientists, clinicians and health researchers. Now, almost overnight, the term “glyconutrients” has become the latest buzzword in the food supplements arena.
GLYCONUTRIENTS and their reportedly revolutionary effects on health when taken as nutritional supplements are being hailed in some quarters as the latest breakthrough in human nutrition and disease reversal.
- Glyconutrients refer to a finite group of eight essential sugars found among a pool of some 200 currently known types of sugars present in nature.
- The sugars in glyconutrients are not manufactured by the body and must be ingested via our food intake. In some cases, where there is a long term deficiency of these crucial sugars, the body will attempt to synthesise them from glucose. However, this is an energy-sapping and inefficient process that requires 37 enzymatic steps.
GLYCOPROTEINS (the combination of these essential sugars and proteins) play a vital role in fundamental body functions at cellular level:
- They transmit biologic information through cell to cell communication,
- Assist the formation of new tissue, particularly some types of collagen (the main protein of connective tissue)
- They function in cell-signalling which is part of a complex system of communication that governs basic cellular activities and co-ordinates cell actions.
- Assist the body’s immune function
- Are involved in hormone production.
GLYCONUTRIENTS are found in fruit and vegetables, but only in those harvested when fully ripe. This is concerning, considering that most of today’s mass harvesting of fruit and vegetables takes place prior to the end stages of ripening. It’s also clear from recent research that sectors of the population do not eat any kind of fruit or vegetable at all on a daily basis.
Dr Alan Tomlinson, founder and chairman of Sportron International, has this to say:
“A spectrum of modern diseases point to the in-adequate nutritional content of modern foods. Unfortunately, with today’s hi-tech agriculture, ever fewer nutrients are actually contained in grown products. This poor nutritional content is a result of nutrient-depleted soil, inefficient and extended transportation methods, as well as over-processing and inappropriate cooking methods, which further diminish their nutritional value.
There’s a mass of evidence indicating that in western countries our diet is devitalised, debased, demineralised and highly processed and that in general, people are exercising poor food choices. The result is that some of the major food elements are deficient in our diet and are therefore not at optimum levels for sustained good health and energy levels. Glyconutrients are no exception.”
If the body needs proper nutrients to function optimally, but cannot obtain them from modern food, then nutritional supplements are necessary for health and wellness. GLYCONUTRIENTS are commercially available today in the form of essential sugars. The truth is, however, that if taken on their own, or even if they are mixed with organic material or other nutrients, the essential sugars of GLYCONUTRIENTS have limited function. They are only completely effective as supplements when they are molecularly bonded to the correct proteins and lipids to form what are called GLYCOCONJUGATES.
- A glycoconjugate therefore comprises the glyconutrient, bonded to a protein or lipid.
- Only in this specific molecular format can they act inter- and intra-cellularly and fulfil their many roles in biological functions.
It should be noted that glyconutrients have the potential to bond with a range of substances, including harmful bacteria and viruses, notoriously, HIV. This reinforces the point that the efficient use of glyconutrients as supplements requires that they should be ingested as glycoconjugates, with the appropriate proteins and lipids already attached.
“So while we welcome the subject of glyconutrients into the public health supplements debate, it must be stressed that their benefits are not guaranteed by just taking a pill every morning. I would urge consumers to ensure they are fully informed about this subject and about the specific supplements they intend to ingest,” Dr Tomlinson says.
Sportron International incorporates the revolutionary FoodState® technology into their product formulations. This nano-technology is based on the work of Hungarian scientist Andrew Szalay, who developed proprietary processes to concentrate vitamins and minerals into food complexes.
Glyconutrients, and specifically glycoproteins form the scientific basis for all FoodState® formulations, but with a revolutionary twist: during the manufacturing process, the glyconutrients are not only bonded to the correct proteins and lipids, but they are also attached to the vitamins and minerals intended as a supplement.
The protein portion is of particular importance as research has demonstrated that proteins make use of intrinsic signals in the form of specific peptide sequences to direct their movement within and between cells. This is relevant to FoodState® supplements where the vitamins and minerals are bonded to (not mixed with) specific protein carriers or chaperones for targeted transportation and delivery in the body.
“Our commitment to the application of FoodState® technology has positioned our products way ahead of any other nutritional supplement range on the market today,” says Dr Tomlinson. “Their advantage is based on the fact that as food complexes, they are recognised, absorbed and utilised just like food. The bio-availability is so efficient that they need only be taken in conservative amounts.”