Blood typing is another area where the sugars are vital. The only difference between blood types is the presence or absence of one of the sugar molecules.
Type "O" is changed to Type "A" by the addition of one molecule of N-acetylgalactosamine; and is changed to Type "B" by adding one galactose molecule. (See diagram below)
Try mixing up blood types in a transfusion for example and the body will quickly know it is not getting the right blood. The results can be life threatening, possibly fatal.
Essential sugars also have a key role in the proper functioning of insulin receptors, antibody binding with pathogens (bacteria, viruses, allergens, and anything else that doesn't belong), and even the joining of a sperm cell and ovum in reproduction depends on the presence of the sugars.
Glycoforms are critical in the building of many body structures. Connective tissue needs various bio-active essential sugars as building blocks to bind connective structure to bone as well as slow the spread of pathogens.
Many people supplement with chondroitin and glucosamine for good joint health, both of which are polysaccharide structures.
Glutathione is an antioxidant used by the body to combat free radicals that can damage healthy tissue. It is utilized more effectively in the presence of certain essential sugars but it can't be supplemented directly.
The only way to increase glutathione levels is to take the amino acid building blocks in an accelerator type product.
Another vital function is the transport of protein and a saccharide component of the transport proteins binds the package and determines its destination.
Essential sugars have a crucial role to play in keeping invading organisms out of the body. Cell membrane sugars can block viruses and bacteria from binding to and penetrating the cell.
In addition they are used in the circulatory system where they also bind to pathogens thus preventing penetration.
If located on the outer cell surface, essential sugars can act as a barrier, protecting the cell from the environment.
For example, they can block the adhesion of toxins and foreign invaders while allowing nutrients and harmless molecules to bind and absorb in the mucosal lining of the GI tract.
There is direct linkage between essential sugars and platelet aggregation or clotting and restoring stability of tissue.
One saccharide structure called heparin is important in halting the clotting cascade. Clotting is necessary to stem bleeding but a deficiency in heparin can lead to hypercoagulation, blocking vessels and leading to stroke or heart attack.
This post was published on November 12, 2019 12:40 pm