The term “glyconutrient” can be dissected into words, glyco, which means sugar and nutrient, which refers to any substance that is beneficial to the body. Glyconutrient is actually an unofficial term coined by Mannatech, a company that specializes on products for dietary supplementation. The word was created to describe food-based substances that have “pharmacological” effect on the body. Glyconutrient is a special type of nutraceutical that advocates the use of food products and natural supplements in improving nutrition and optimizing health.
History of Glyconutrients
There is no clear history on glyconutrients research but it is believed that glycobiology, the science of glyconutrition, commenced in 1980s when a pharmacologist expedited a clinical research about the powerful components of Aloe Vera. He discovered that the health benefits of Aloe Vera are attributed by the plant’s active ingredient called mannose, a simple carbohydrate. He found out that mannose is an unstable molecule and it loses its medicinal effect when its stability breaks up. As a result, he developed a method that will keep the mannose molecules active. This scientific discovery has lead to clinical researches of the other 7 essential glyconutrients. To see the long standing history of glyconutrients, watch this video.
The 8 Essential Glyconutrients
There are over 200 carbohydrates found in the body but only 8 of them are considered essential to immune functions. It should be mentioned that among these glyconutrients, only glucose and galactose are often found in the diet.
Has antibacterial and anti-fungal propertyPrevents intestinal cancerStrengthens immune system
Important in brain developmentInhibits allergic reactionProtects lungs from infection