The Importance of Glycobiology


cell nutrition

This is a branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure, biosynthesis, and function of saccharides or sugar chains.

The term glycobiology was first coined in 1988 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They declared the science of glycobiology to be “possibly one of the ten greatest breakthroughs in the 21st century”.


Glyconutrients refer to the 8 essential plant sugars / saccharides or glycans that support cellular communication.

There are over 300 of these Plant saccharides in nature, but 8 of them are specifically keyed to match and support our cells. These glyconutrients are only formed within fruits and vegetables at the perfect stage of ripening via photosynthesis. This process could be likened to the final stages of a star’s supernova where all the chemical elements of reality are formed. Once we’ve ingested these wonderous sugars they digested to form glycoproteins which coat and protect our cells. These glycoproteins become transceivers which are fundamental for inter-cellular communication. These communications, although intricate and vast, can be understood to fulfill three basic and vital functions. Each cell in the body needs to inform its immediately surrounding cells whenever it: 1. needs sustenance; 2. needs protection or 3. needs to be destroyed. The cell will be unable to transmit most of these messages without the branch-like glycoprotein transceivers.



In the modern Western diet, we are generally lacking some or over-consuming some essentially vital nutrients and minerals. But the abundance or scarcity of food is not the whole story here…

The truth is that most of our commercial fruits and vegetables are not living up to their purposes of nourishment. That is to say that they lack their rightful share of glyconutrients. The reasons for this are painfully simple and woefully common. Our modern farming methods are financially driven and not quality-committed. The focus is placed on size and quantity. Devastatingly harmful toxins are used in fertilizers and insecticides as well as in the water irrigation systems used. The most simple of all is that produce is picked raw without any chance to ripen in the sun. When we eat these foods we are eating all of these toxins with none of the precious glyconutrients. Our bodies are filling up on semi-useful substances that are coated in toxins and void of the ingredients essential for inter-cellular communication. It’s no wonder then that we are inundated with more cases of autoimmune-related diseases (in particular) than ever before.

Two shocking facts for thought:

  • Nutrient-wise, eating 1 peach in 1950 would be equivalent to eating 52 peaches today.
  • Studies suggest that we need to eat between 5 and 11 servings of fruits and vegetables for the minimum daily requirement of essential vitamins & minerals. Many times more than was required 50 years ago.


Here’s a list of the 8 glyconutrients we have, so far, discovered – a few, you may already know…

cell nutrition

  1. Glucose
  2. Galactose
  3. Mannose
  4. Fucose
  5. Xylose
  6. N-Acetylglucosamine
  7. N-Acetylgalactosamine
  8. N-Acetylneuraminic acid

“These sugars are the missing link in our food and maybe even the missing link in our medicine.” 

Geiske de Ruig at TEDxRoermond.

To develop and maintain a state of unshakable health we need to become conscious of our food choices. For our bodies to perform optimally it is vital that we eat nutrient and vitamin-rich produce. These foods need to have been grown organically and then ripened in the sun. Food is fuel but also the building materials for our future selves. If that fuel and those materials are compromised or flawed then we suffer a deficiency in our bodily functions. This will then ultimately lead to malfunctions in the form of illness and disease. By eating foods containing these 8 essential sugars we may ensure optimal health today and potentially a disease-free future self.