Essentiële suikers zijn onderdeel van de wetenschap glycobiologie. De wetenschappelijke benaming van essentiële suikers is ‘glycanen’. Er bestaan van de 200 suikers in de natuur waarvan 8 essentieel zijn. We noemen ze essentieel omdat het lichaam ze nauwelijks zelf kan aanmaken maar ze erg belangrijk zijn voor onze celcommunicatie en algehele gezondheid.
Cel tot cel communicatie is de manier waarop onze lichaamscellen met elkaar communiceren. Dit gebeurt constant en zorgt ervoor dat al onze cellen correct werken. Ze communiceren over veel verschillende zaken bijvoorbeeld “voed me”, “reinig me”, “vervang me” of “ik word aangevallen”. De cellen communiceren via zogeheten ‘suikerantennes’. Onder de microscoop is dat een dicht bos van allerlei ‘bomen’. Aan het einde van de bomen vinden we de essentiële suikers.
Essentiële suikers onmisbaar
De cellen voelen elkaar af en ‘lezen’ wat er wordt gecommuniceerd. Bij een gebrek aan essentiële suikers zullen de cellen helaas niet goed kunnen communiceren en ontstaat er een communicatieprobleem. Er ontstaan allerlei complicaties als verkeerde cellen zich kunnen nestelen of gezonde cellen andere gezonde cellen gaan aanvallen vanwege gebrekkige celcommunicatie.
Het is dus aan onszelf om voor deze essentiële suikers te zorgen in onze voeding, aangezien de massaproductie en genetische manipulatie ervoor heeft gezorgd dat deze essentiële suikers niet meer in ons eten zitten.
Glucose is a simple Mono-saccharide, and one of the most widely available of all the essential sugars. It is paired with fructose in common table sugar (sucrose), which is a disaccaride.
Glucose is a primary energy source for all plants and animals, and is absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. Very few people are deficient in glucose, and are MOST often getting TOO much of it, due to it’s high usage in processed foods.
Too much Glucose, so easy to come by in our typical daily diets raises insulin levels and with unchecked consumption, can lead to obesity and diabetes.
More recent studies have even indicated a link between the levels of sugar in the blood and the deterioration of the size of our brains’ memory centers, leading to precursors to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
When Glucose is processed into table sugar, nutrients and the fiber are completely stripped away. This causes the absorption period to be greatly reduced, taxing the liver so that it store most of the energy as fat.
Healthier forms of Glucose can be obtained from certain fruits such as grapes, bananas, cherries, strawberries, mangoes, as well as Aloe Vera, seaweed, kelp, honey, licorice herb, sasparilla, garlic, hawthorn, echinacea, and cocoa.
Galactose is found predominantly in diary products. When combined with Glucose, it forms Lactose, a disaccharide which is the sugar that comprises around 5% of the solids in dairy products. People who are lactose intolerant may be lacking in this essential sugar.
Galactose is readily available in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, and even in some herbs, but it is difficult to obtain a sufficient amount of it due to food processing, green harvesting, and cooking at high temperatures.
Fucose is only found in great quantities in human breast milk, sea kelp, brewers yeast, and is also found in certain types of mushrooms.
Studies have indicated that it may help long term memory, prevent respiratory infections, and inhibit tumor growth. It is known that the glycoproteins and glycolipids from Fucose are essential to controlling inflammation and enhancing the immune system.
Mannose was the first essential glyconutrient identified. It appears to be the foundation of all the essential sugars, so much so that it is an integral part of the immune system.
Its deficiency can lead to inflammation and disease. It is absorbed at a much slower rate than glucose, and goes to the bloodstream directly from the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Mannose is one of the easier essential sugars to obtain in our diets. One of the main sources is the Aloe Vera, and other sources include sea kelp, green beans, capsicum (the hot stuff in cayenne or jalapeno peppers for example), cabbage, eggplant, tomatos, currants, turnips, and Shittake mushrooms.
This is a well known glyconutrient that has benefits in joint health, shown to improve osteoarthritis and is a precursor to cartilage. It is readily available though shark cartilage, and the shells of crustations such as shrimp and crabs.
While some of the ingested glucosamine is oxidized, the remainder is converted into glycoproteins and glycolipids.
One is the least known essential sugars is Galactosamine, although is just as critical for cell to cell communication as the other seven.
It is an important part of joint health, as well as being necessary for systemic functions used in the regulation of inflammation and normal operation of the immune system.
It has been found that people with cardiovascular disease are shown to have lower levels of this glyconutrient.
It too is found in shark cartilage and the shells of crustations, as well as red algae.
This glyconutrient has been found to be important in brain function, particularly for development and learning. Studies have also shown it to be linked to memory and performance as well as an important immune system facilitator.
It is found in breast milk, organic hen’s eggs, whey protein (non-powdered form).
This last essential sugar is not the least important. It has been shown in research studies to be a key contributor to the prevention of cancer in the digestive tract.
Xylose is found in many fruits and vegetables including guava, pears, raspberries, blackberries, sea kelp, Aloe Vera, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, peas and green beans.