What Is The Glyconutrient Xylose And How Does It Benefit The Body

Published: 07th August 2007
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The glyconutrient Xylose is one of the eight essential monosaccharides, or simple sugars, that have been found essential for your health. These sugars have recently been found to be very important in the regulation and control of your immune system, and, while research is still going on, it seems that they have a considerably more important role in our survival than they were originally credited with.



The essential sugars have been proved to be critical components of the biochemistry that is essential for the health and correct functioning of our major organs and glands. Not only that, but they are critical to our immune system. This is not only for humans but for all mammals. They are also major components in the cell communication system whereby body cells communicate their use and let other cells know that they are friendly rather than interlopers.



When this system breaks down, the immune system cannot distinguish the friendly native cells from what are not, so they will destroy all cells not recognized as friendly. This can result in cancers or an auto-immune disorder if left unchecked can result in the total breakdown of your immune system. The purpose of your immune system is to destroy cells that can harm you. These cells can be bacteria or viruses, but your body has to know which are friends and which are enemies.



A lack of glyconutrients such as xylose can break down the cell communication system. These monosaccharides form what are known as glycoforms that are variations of glycoproteins and glycolipids, combinations of glyconutrients with proteins and fats. Glycoforms are the messages by which body cells communicate and identify each other. This communication is essential for the effective operation of the mammalian immune system that allows the body to fight infection and disease.



At one time in our distant past, a diet of bark, roots and husks in addition to lots of fruits and vegetables ensured a sufficient intake of all the essential sugars. Human and mammalian biochemistry evolved round the available diet, and in these days people were stronger and taller than they are today. There is archaeological evidence for this, in spite of the popular opinion that the human race has been growing steadily taller.



It was the introduction of intensive farming and the depletion of the soil of nutrients that began the slow reduction in availability of many of these essential sugars, though human biochemistry did not have time to evolve to accommodate it. The practice of processing food to look better, whiter and purer accelerated this depletion further. Sugar became refined and white, with all the goodness removed and only the disaccharide sucrose remaining. Brown flour using the whole of the seed was refined into white flour, and natural rice was polished into the nutritionally deficient white grains we use today.



Glyconutrients such as Xylose became scarcer in our diet and many conditions and diseases became more common as our biochemistry was unable to cope with these deficiencies. Now, unless you revert to a diet more rich in natural foods and lower in refined processed foods, then supplements of the essential monosaccharides such as Xylose are highly recommended if your natural immune system is to function correctly, and such aspects of your health as the efficient generation of connective tissues and resistance to diseases and some cancers are to continue as nature intended.



Incidentally, apart from its other properties that will be discussed below, some chewing gum and toothpaste manufacturers substitute xylose for other sugars because it does not cause cavities. Xylose occurs naturally in barks, canes, straw, corns husks and the like, and in only small quantities in fruit and vegetables, so is unlikely to figure significantly in the average human diet.



The absence of even one of these eight saccharides can cause harm to your body. The nature of that harm, and the diseases that will be promoted, depend upon the sugar that is missing. Hence the importance of ensuring that there is sufficient of all of them in your diet. Only glucose and galactose figure significantly in today's highly processed diet, and unless you steer clear of processed foods then you are likely to suffer from a deficiency.



Xylose is though to help prevent cancer of the colon, and it is also plays an important role in the immune system in general. Together with galactose, it is one of the major components of Echinacea that is known to have positive effects on the immune system by regulating the production of interferon in the body. Xylose also has anti-bacterial properties, although promotes the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut that are responsible for maximizing the absorption of nutrients in general.



It is useful to diabetics in that it does not provoke an insulin response and so is effective in lowering the overall blood sugar levels. Like the other glyconutrients, xylose is considered effective in the treatment of some forms of arthritis. In this case, it is osteoarthritis that xylose has been particularly associated with, and it is, in fact, a component of chondroitin sulfate, a supplement commonly used by osteoarthritis sufferers.



Its participation in the mechanics of wound healing and connective tissue repair is likely connected to its use by the body in producing a polysaccharide that is the backbone of collagen. That is not only the most abundant protein in the body, but also an important component of connective tissues. Xylose is therefore used in several supplements and preparations intended to promote the repair of connective tissues. Many joint and ligament preparations are xylose-based.



Just as the other seven essential glyconutrients do, xylose plays a number of roles in human biochemistry. These substances are still under investigation, and they way they work in the body is still not properly understood. What is known is that without Xylose, the body's immune system cannot operate as intended, and the patient is subject to a number of possible diseases.



It is essential to human health, and until its full role has been established it is wise to include a supplement to ensure that what has been lost through modern intensive farming and processing of foodstuffs is replaced. There are no known side-effects associated with an overdose of Xylose, but many effects known for a deficiency. Look for xylose in the form of a Glyconutrient complex only available at your local health food store.

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More information can be found on the website http://vitanetonline.com/ where advice on glyconutrients can be found.

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