Got N-Acetylglucosamine? What Is That Anyway?
N-acetylglucosamine is one of the 8 saccharides known as Glyconutrients. The others are:
• Fucose (not fructose)
• N-acetylneuramic acid
N-acetylglucosamine: It is used as a nutritional supplement supplying the body with a derivative known as Glucosamine.
Glucosamine: It is utilized by the body for cartilage, ligaments and tendons. Glucosamine is also used as a natural supplement to help with joint problems and digestive ailments. It is also useful in healing joint injuries. Research is being done into its healing properties for wounds.
Deficiencies in Glucosamine affects the bowel and bladder and has been found to produce diseases and malfunctions in these 2 organs. Research has found that Glucosamine helps to repair glycosaminoglycan (GAG). This is the mucosal-lining defensive barrier in the intestines.
The immune system Glucosamine has been shown to have a profound effect on the immune system and can help the body’s immune system against infections, disease and toxins. Research is still being done on this important saccharide into its possible ability to help the body fight against cancer. There is a significant lack of this nutrient in cancer patients.
Experiments are being done with Glucosamine in relation to brain activity when learning. Mice were shown to have raised levels of the sugar when being trained. Scientists have also found a link to this saccharide in connection with the nervous system. The thyroid gland also has N-acetylglucosamine receptors that may possibly have a role in thyroglobulin transportation. It is found in several other areas of the body including the liver and scientists are still researching the functional role Glucosamine plays in these areas.
What can N-acetylglucosamine be found in? It is found in human breast milk and shellfish exoskelotons to name a few. Given the present scientific findings there are no side effects or safety hazards associated with Glucosamine. All these supplements should be taken in small doses at first and gradually increased to the required level.
At this time there is still much research left to do on this vital Glyconutrient and as scientists do more studies we will be hearing more about Glucosamine. New findings will enable us to find more uses for Glucosamine that will improve our health and lifestyle.