Glyco… what?

Glyco what?

As Forrest Gump’s Mama famously said, “Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re going to get.”

Actually, with most boxes of chocolates you know exactly what you’re going to get: A huge helping of refined sugar. But if Mama Gump had compared life to a fruit and vegetable market, THEN she’d be on to something, because these foods provide a wide variety of sugar compounds called glyconutrients.


An HSI member named Kelly writes: “Can you tell me anything about glyconutrients? Anything would be appreciated.”

There are eight key glyconutrients that function individually as building blocks to assemble a nearly infinite variety of complex molecules known as glycans, or sugar chains.

As I noted in the e-Alert, “Sugar Coated,” (12/1/05), glycans play a vital role in nearly every physiological process, including immune system response, tissue regeneration and cell replication. One of the most important functions of glycans is the facilitation of brain functions. For instance, serotonin and other neurotransmitters require glycan receptors in order to bind to the surface of nerve cells. Memory, stress response and other critical brain functions may become debilitated without the adequate assistance of glyconutrient sugar chains.

For much more information about glyconutrients, you can find the “Sugar Coated” e-Alert at this link: