Table of Contents > Herbs & Supplements > Glyconutrients Print

Glyconutrients

Image

Also listed as: Dietary saccharides
Related terms
Background
Evidencetable
Tradition
Dosing
Safety
Interactions
Attribution
Bibliography

Related Terms
  • Dietary saccharide, fucose, galactose, glucose, glycobiology, glycoconjugates, glycoform, glyconutritional, glycoprotein, mannose, N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylneuraminic acid, saccharide, sialic acid, sugars, xylose.

Background
  • Glyconutrients are dietary supplements that supply sugars such as glucose, galactose, mannose, fucose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, and N-acetylneuraminic acid. These sugars are thought to be necessary for cells to communicate with each other in the body.
  • Glyconutrient research (glycobiology) has increased in the last few years. A leading manufacturer of glyconutrient supplements, however, was prosecuted by the Texas attorney general in 2009 for exaggerating the benefits of its product and was required to pay four million dollars in restitution to customers.
  • Studies have investigated the effect of glyconutrients on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognition, immune function, failure to thrive, and myasthenia gravis (a neuromuscular disorder), and well-being. However, the scientific evidence is unclear. More research is needed before firm conclusions can be made.

Evidence Table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. GRADE *


Glyconutrients may cause a decrease in the number and severity of symptoms in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, more research is needed in this area.

C


Preliminary research suggests that glyconutrients may be beneficial for cognition and memory. More research is needed.

C


Glyconutrients may increase weight and height in toddlers with failure to thrive. More research is needed.

C


Several polysaccharides (sugars) from the diet may have immune effects and may be helpful for immune disorders, allergies, cancer, and infections. More trials are warranted.

C


Research suggests that glyconutrient supplementation may offer some benefit to patients with myasthenia gravis. Further research is needed.

C


Supplementation with a commercial polysaccharide (sugars) product was associated with a greater self-reported physical and psychological well-being. More well-designed studies are needed in this area.

C
* Key to grades

A: Strong scientific evidence for this use
B: Good scientific evidence for this use
C: Unclear scientific evidence for this use
D: Fair scientific evidence for this use (it may not work)
F: Strong scientific evidence against this use (it likley does not work)


Tradition / Theory

The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.

  • AIDS, alcoholism, allergy, Alzheimer's disease, antibacterial, antioxidant, athletic performance, asthma }, anxiety, bladder cancer, burns, cancer, canker sores, cataracts, cerebral palsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, cystic fibrosis, depression, diabetes, Down's syndrome, dyslexia, eczema, fever blisters, fibromyalgia, heart disease, hepatitis, herpes, high cholesterol, hormonal imbalances, infections (streptococcal toxic shock syndrome), infertility, inflammation, inflammation (muscle tissue/myositis), lupus, Lyme disease, memory, menopause, metabolic disorders, multiple sclerosis, muscle mass / body mass, muscular dystrophy (adjuvant), myofascial pain, nutrition supplementation (prebiotic), organ transplantation (heart), osteoporosis (prevention), Parkinson's disease, pemphigus vulgaris, periodontal disease, premenstrual syndrome, psoriasis, rash, retinal protection (from detaching), rheumatoid arthritis, sleep disorders, stomatitis, stress, stroke, Sturge Weber syndrome, Tay-Sachs disease, Tourette's syndrome, tumor (eye), wound healing.

Dosing

Adults (over 18 years old)

  • For cognition, one teaspoon of a glyconutrient complex, containing polysaccharides from Aloe vera, Larix decidua, Astragalus gummifer, and Anogeissus latifolia, as well as rice starch, glucosamine hydrochloride, mannose, galactose, fucose, xylose, glucose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylneuraminic acid, and N-acetylgalactosamine, has been taken by mouth twice daily for 12 weeks.
  • For immune function, 100-5,400mg daily for periods of four days to seven years.
  • For well-being, one teaspoon twice daily of a glyconutrient complex for 12 weeks.

Children (under 18 years old)

  • For ADHD, one capsule of glyconutritional supplements (galactose, glucose, mannose, N-acetylneuraminic acid, fucose, N-acetylgalactosamine, N-acetylglucosamine, and xylose) per 10 lbs. of body weight daily on the first day of treatment, and then the dose was decreased to one capsule per 20 lbs. of body weight daily. The supplement was usually taken with breakfast.
  • For failure to thrive, one tablespoon daily of a glyconutritional supplement for one month.

Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy. Consult a healthcare provider immediately if you experience side effects.

Allergies

  • Because glyconutrients are often food- and plant-based, there is a theoretical risk that ingestion of any herb or supplement containing glyconutrients may have adverse effects.

Side Effects and Warnings

  • Glyconutrients are likely safe when consumed in food or supplements in suggested doses.
  • Glyconutrients may affect blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect blood sugar. People taking agents for diabetes by mouth, or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Glyconutrients may affect the risk of bleeding. Commercial glyconutrient products may contain vitamin K or ubidecarenone, which can antagonize the effects of anticoagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin®). Caution is advised in patients with bleeding disorders or those taking drugs, herbs, or supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
  • Use cautiously in patients taking iron supplements; in patients with a history of copper deficiency; in patients with a history of vitamin B12 deficiency; in patients with immune disorders or those using immunosuppressants; in patients with gastrointestinal, hematological, or hepatic disorders.
  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of safety data.
  • Because glyconutrients are often food- and plant-based, there is a possible risk of allergy or reactivity. Avoid use in individuals who present with allergy symptoms to any ingredient in the glyconutrient supplement.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

  • Avoid in pregnant or breastfeeding women, due to a lack of safety data.

Interactions

Interactions with Drugs

  • Glyconutrients may alter the risk of bleeding when taken with drugs that increase the risk of bleeding. Some examples include aspirin, anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin (Coumadin®) or heparin, antiplatelet drugs such as clopidogrel (Plavix®), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®) or naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®). Commercial glyconutrient products that contain vitamin K or ubidecarenone may antagonize the effects of anticoagulants, such as warfarin (Coumadin®).
  • Glyconutrients may affect blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect blood sugar. People taking agents for diabetes by mouth, or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Glyconutrients may also interact with agents that affect cholesterol levels, agents for diarrhea, estrogens, gastrointestinal agents, immunosuppressants, iron salts, or memory agents.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements

  • Glyconutrients may alter the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Commercial glyconutrient products may contain vitamin K or ubidecarenone, which can counter the effects of anticoagulants (blood thinners).
  • Glyconutrients may affect blood sugar levels. Caution is advised when using medications that may also affect blood sugar. People taking agents for diabetes by mouth, or insulin should be monitored closely by a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist. Medication adjustments may be necessary.
  • Glyconutrients may also interact with agents that affect cholesterol levels, antioxidants, copper, copper-containing foods, fiber, fiber-containing foods, folic acid, folic acid-containing foods, immunosuppressants, iron, iron-containing foods, memory agents, phytoestrogens, probiotics, vitamin B12 and vitamin B12-containing foods.

Attribution
  • This information is based on a systematic review of scientific literature edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography
  1. Alavi, A., Fraser, O., Tarelli, E., Bland, M., and Axford, J. An open-label dosing study to evaluate the safety and effects of a dietary plant-derived polysaccharide supplement on the N-glycosylation status of serum glycoproteins in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr 2011;65(5):648-656.
  2. Axford JS, Mackenzie L, Lydyard PM, et al. Reduced B-cell galactosyltransferase activity in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1987;2(8574):1486-1488.
  3. Bloomer RJ, Canale RE, Blankenship MM, et al. Effect of Ambrotose AO® on resting and exercise-induced antioxidant capacity and oxidative stress in healthy adults. Nutr J 2010;9:49.
  4. Cook GC. Rates and mechanisms of glucose, galactose, and xylose absorption in man . Scand J Gastroenterol 1977;12(6):733-737.
  5. Dawson DJ, Burrows PC, Lobley RW, et al. The kinetics of monosaccharide absorption by human jejunal biopsies: evidence for active and passive processes. Digestion 1987;38(2):124-132.
  6. Dykman KD, Dykman RA. Effect of nutritional supplements on attentional-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Integr Physiol Behav Sci 1998;33(1):49-60.
  7. Flogel M, Lauc G, Gornik I, et al. Fucosylation and galactosylation of IgG heavy chains differ between acute and remission phases of juvenile chronic arthritis. Clin Chem Lab Med 1998;36(2):99-102.
  8. Freeze HH. Disorders in protein glycosylation and potential therapy: tip of an iceberg? J Pediatr 1998;133(5):593-600.
  9. Kriat M, Vion-Dury J, Fayre R, et al. Variations of plasma sialic acid and N-acetylglucosamine levels in cancer, inflammatory diseases and bone marrow transplantation: a proton NMR spectroscopy study. Biochimie 1991;73(1):99-104.
  10. Levin RJ. Digestion and absorption of carbohydrates--from molecules and membranes to humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;59(3 Suppl):690S-698S.
  11. Malmi R, Kallajoki M, Suominen J. Distribution of glycoconjugates in human testis. A histochemical study using fluorescein- and rhodamine-conjugated lectins. Andrologia 1987;19(3):322-332.
  12. Panneerselvam K, Etchison JR, Skovby F, et al. Abnormal metabolism of mannose in families with carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome type 1. Biochem Mol Med 1997;61(2):161-167.
  13. Routier FH, Hounsell EF, Rudd PM, et al. Quantitation of the oligosaccharides of human serum IgG from patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a critical evaluation of different methods. J Immunol Methods 1998;213(2):113-130.
  14. Talent JM, Gracy RW. Pilot study of oral polymeric N-acetyl-D-glucosamine as a potential treatment for patients with osteoarthritis. Clin Ther 1996;18(6):1184-1190.
  15. Wang C, Szabo JS, Dykman RA. Effects of a carbohydrate supplement upon resting brain activity. Integr Physiol Behav Sci 2004;39(2):126-138.

Copyright © 2011 Natural Standard (www.naturalstandard.com)


The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.

    Top Health
    Conditions
    To learn more, select a condition from the following menu.


    Healthy Living Marketplace
    Olbas
    Solgar
    Garden Of Life
    Now Food
    North American Herb & Spice
    Garden Of Life