Why Do We Need Food Supplements and Glyconutritionals?
Food is one of our most basic needs. However, in our modern society fresh food is a thing of the past. The so called fresh fruits and vegetables we buy today have little nutritional value because they are grown in nutrient-deficient soil, picked before they ripen naturally, gassed, irradiated, artificially ripened and stored for days before we eat it. Therefore, our diets lack the essential building blocks of functional foods vital to our health and well-being.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T GET THESE FUNCTIONAL FOODS?
Without functional foods the body cannot continue the miracle of healing itself as these foods provide the raw materials needed to assist in this healing process thus giving the body fuel to perform at optimum levels. Without sufficient functional foods the following four problems exist for most people:
Starvation: since most of our food is nutritionally starved;
Toxicity: many food products including raw fruits and vegetables contain toxins not to mention the air we breathe and the water we drink, which actually work against our body’s natural healing process;
Stress: as a result of malnutrition and high levels of toxicity;
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WHAT ARE THESE FUNCTIONAL FOODS?
Functional foods or Neutraceuticals are “foods that are thought to prevent disease” (Harvard Health Letter April ’95). The building blocks of functional foods are called phytochemicals (plant chemicals) These phytochemicals (carbohydrates) are naturally occurring bioactive substances that prevent diseases by interacting with the body’s innate healing process to maintain vibrant health and energy.
WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF THESE PHYTOCHEMICALS?
Of the 200 simple sugars (glyconutritionals) occurring in plants, only eight are known to be essential for cell- to-cell communication. These are only found in food that is ripened on the vine/tree and remain active for 48 hours after being picked. However, only two of these, glucose & galactose are found in modern diets. The body can convert these two into the six missing sugars, but this enzymatic process is long (up to 20 steps), unreliable and error-prone. Thus we need to supplement our diets with these missing sugars.
WHY ARE THESE glyconutritionals SO IMPORTANT?
All cell surface receptors; binding and signaling components are glycoproteins (proteins and sugar). They essentially act as the language between cells in our body. The glycoproteins are like the letters and words of a language. If the correct sugar (carbohydrate) is not placed in the proper location, or is missing, the glycoprotein is not formed correctly and will not be able to carry out its function in the cell membrane. Only effective cell membrane communication can make the proper cells for our organs.
The functional components of glyconutritionals appear to boost the production or activity of enzymes that act as:
Blocking agents: detoxifying carcinogens or keeping them from reaching or penetrating cells;
Suppressing agents: restraining malignant changes in cells that have been exposed to carcinogens.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THESE FOOD SUPPLEMENTS?
There are four basic reasons why people get sick. These are:
Decreased function of the immune system
Increased oxidative stress
Diminished/ faulty neurotransmitter function
Poor/faulty cellular repair/regeneration
Glyconutritional supplementation will help give your body the ability to heal, correct, repair and protect itself. Therefore, it does not matter if you are in a state of sickness or considered healthy, you can benefit from food supplementation, specifically glyconutrient supplementation.
WHEN WERE THESE DISCOVERIES MADE? The discovery of the importance of glycoproteins was awarded the “Biochemical Discovery of’ the Year” in 1996 by the American Naturopathic Medical Association. The ANMA further released the statement “The most Significant Discovery of the Century”. “Almost without exception where ever two or more living cells interact in a specific way, cell surface carbohydrates will be involved ” (Bio/’Technology, John Hodgson 1990). Major studies have recently indicated exciting revelations regarding the significance of glycoproteins in our development’, out- growth, and in the formation of disease.
WHO CAN USE THESE SUPPLEMENTS? Scientists are suggesting that glyconutritionals may provide the missing link in the body’s amazing capacity to heal itself and sustain health. Thus anyone who eats, drinks or breathes in today’s world is likely to benefit from these supplements. These products were selected by the American and Canadian Track and Field teams as supplements for athletes preparing for the 2000 Olympics. Mannatech, the supplier, has the only international patent filed on a supplemental blend of the known necessary carbohydrates. – Copyright 2004 S. Lueck
Medical Disclaimer: I am not medically qualified to diagnose or treat people. The intention of this is to provide quality health and nutritional information for it’s readers, but not to replace the advice of physicians.