Glucosamine's Healing Properties Stretch Far Beyond Joints

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Glucosamine Protects the Liver

There may be good reason to take glucosamine supplements for symptoms other than joint problems.

According to a recently released study in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences entitled "Glucosamine Enhances Paracetamol Bioavailability by Reducing Its Metabolism," there may be good reason to take glucosamine supplements for symptoms other than joint problems.* The widespread beneficial effects of taking glucosamine in conjunction with other substances are often under-reported in the literature. You can view the database on glucosamine to learn more about its diverse properties, including why it might reduce the inflammatory properties of wheat

Glucosamine is a widely recognized and often used substance by those that suffer from joint problems. Few people realize that glucosamine is considered an essential sugar for many biological functions and in certain instances, is absolutely necessary for proper glycation of cell surfaces.

What is an "Essential Sugar" anyway? In layman's terms, Glyconutrient is a loose word (slang) to describe conditionally essential sugars. Glyco simply means sweet and nutrient refers to food. Glycan is also a general term used to refer to the carbohydrate portion of Glycoproteins, Glycolipids and Proteoglycans. When any of these substances are missing, they often become "Essential".

Most glyconutrients are not individual sugars and do not always taste sweet, but they are simply "Food Supplements" containing dietary fibers consisting of polysaccharides and oligosaccharides.

They often contain amino acids, vitamins, dietary minerals and trace minerals. Glycans are obtained from land and water dwelling plants, animals, bacteria and even fungus. 

Please keep in mind. there is no such thing as a cure-all or magic bullet when it comes to the subject of nutrition. It is important to look at the ingredients individually to gain more understanding of their content.

First and foremost, Aloe Vera was used as food and medicine in various cultures as far back as history is written. Some biblical scholars equate tree gums with Manna from heaven.  Natural Gums such as Acacia, Ghatti and Tragacanth were used by indigenous people of many cultures and they were commonly extracted from the mucilage or the root, using various techniques.

Even the Apes are known to peal away bark of certain tree's when they are in bloom and consume the highly nutritious bark and sap that is filled with glycans. Sea vegetables have also been valued for thousands of years as a source of nutrition by many people.

Certain fresh water Algae and Bacteria, such as Spirulina are full of nutrients beneficial to mammals. So, this form of nutrition is nothing new and easily verifiable with a little research.

There are exceptions in formulating glyconutrients with individual sugars such as the monosaccharide called Glucosamine, an amino sugar, as it is often mixed with other glycans to make food supplements. In its nearly pure form of HCL, N-acetyl and as a sulfate, it is often combined with chondroitin or MSM as a food supplement.

Mannose and fucose are also purified to variable standards for a more concentrated "glyconutrient" by some manufacturers.  Standardized ingredients vary considerably in quality and do not always guarantee the content or effectiveness of food supplements.

In science, Chitin was discovered in 1811 by French scientist Henri Braconnot. Years later, in 1876, Glucosamine was first identified by G. Ledderhose.

The discovery of individual monosaccharides goes as far back as 1888 when Emil Fischer performed significant work in chemistry to identify many saccharides (sugars)  and established the relation between glucose, fructose and mannose.  He went on to identify the stereo-chemical configuration of all the known sugars and exactly foretold the possible isomers known today.

The story really began for Glycobiology when blood types were discovered by Karl Landsteiner in 1909.  Around the year of 1936, Albert Neuberger became the founder of modern glycoprotein research.  The name "neuraminic acid" was introduced by German scientist E. Klenk in 1941. In the 1950's, the chemical nature of blood group substances were determined, such as Galactose, Fucose, Glucosamine and other oligosaccharides.

Research is being conducted on a global scale for more understanding of simple sugars in the process of glycosylation and is commonly referred to as glycomics.



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