Glycobiology is the study of everything related to the structure, biosynthesis and biology of sugars and saccharides.
If you’ve heard the word “glycobiology” before, then it’s likely you are somewhat technically minded. It’s certainly not a common term that you’d expect to hear at swap meets or cocktail parties.
You see, glycobiology actually undergirds much of what you (hopefully) put in your mouth: fruits and vegetables. So, perhaps you should know about it. In fact, to simplify things, let’s look at the word itself.
If you break it down, glyco is from the Greek word “glukus,” meaning “sweet.” Biology comes from the Greek root, bio, which means “life” and logy from the Greeksuffix “logy,” which means “study.”
In other words, it’s the study of biological sugars. Put another way, it’s the study of the sweet language of life.
However, to really understand how glycobiology is important for us humans, you need a context. And that context is your body; specifically, your cells.
Do You Speak Cellular?
You may not. But your body does. Inside, you have trillions of cells that are constantly communicating with each other. These cells are multi-taskers—they take in nutrition, eliminate toxins, defend the body from intruders and repair damage in the body. They must communicate with one another and work as a team to promote good health. When your cells talk, your body listens. It flourishes. And you simply thrive.
Modern science, as in the aforementioned National Academy of Sciences, is uncovering more evidence all the time supporting the concept that certain sugars control and influence many, many aspect of our cellular processes. These are fundamental sugars the body needs at its most foundational level to maintain optimal wellness.
More than 200 sugars can be found in nature. Some dietary sugars are absorbed by the body and burned as fuel. But, according to Harper’s Biochemistry, a textbook used in medical schools worldwide, eight specific sugars comprise the very chains of glycoproteins in our body.
**Only two out of eight of these sugars are commonly found in our modern diets.
When sugars are missing from the glycoprotein structures, our cells cannot function normally. They can’t communicate or perform other critical functions. Sugars, you might ask? Yes, sugars! They are also called saccharides, but we’re not talking about the sugar you put on your cereal or in your afternoon tea. That’s sucrose, or table sugar. We’re talking about plant-derived complex carbohydrates, or polysaccharides, that you won’t find at your local Sack ‘N Save.
Where do these polysaccharides come from? Nature. Or, more specifically, natural food sources. However, because we typically don’t eat the right kinds of food, many of these sugars may be lacking in our modern diets.
That’s why supplementing with glyconutrients can be so important. Glyconutrients are formulated to help support the proper formation of glycoproteins . . . which may then help cells communicate . . . which, in turn, may allow the immune system and body to function as it should. Because of this, increasing numbers of health care professionals and nutritionists are now recommending glyconutrient supplementation.
Now this might be a mouth full, but a very important system to address.
Let’s feed our cells the Glyconutrients needed for proper function.