T Nation

Glycomics

I am hoping that someone who knows a lot more about nutrition and physiology might be willing to offer an opinion about some information I read.

According to Harper’s Biochemistry, of the 200 monosaccharides that occur naturally in plants, eight are now known to be components of cell-surface glycoforms used in cell-to-cell communication. The eight sugars are glucose, fucose, mannose, galactose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine and N-acetylneuraminic acid. Only two of them, glucose and galactose, are commonly found in foods we choose to eat.

A health supplement company is marketing a product that provides the eight essential monosaccharides in hopes that by directly increasing the intake of carbohydrates needed to create glycoproteins, cell-to-cell communication might be enhanced. By improving cellular communication a persons overall health should improve according to this theory.

I am curious whether there really are toxins, etc that would interfere with the conversion of glucose and galactose into the other six sugars needed for glycoproteins. How would folks at Biotest determine whether the body was absorbing the sugars, if they were to create some similar product?

Everything I have read so far makes me think the science is legitimate. But the company that markets the product also happens to sell by network marketing. Which automatically makes me think that they are full of crap. I would really prefer to buy the product from a company like Biotest that I trust and know has products that make a difference.

Any thoughts???