Thursday, October 20, 2011


In Lydia's Success Story, her mom, Jane, mentions using a high quality brand of glyconutrients as very beneficial for her daughter. Kristin Morrison of Naturally Better Kids also saw great results in her son, Gryffin when using glyconutrients. I've heard these same claims from several other mothers of children with DS. Meanwhile, there is no scientific evidence to back these claims.

If I had more money, I would buy all these components and make the jam for Jett. Right now, I give him goji berry juice every morning (mixed with his 7 supplements that need to be taken on an empty stomach and preferable with juice), a little dulse (seaweed) mixed in all of his savory food, cooked mushrooms on occasion and a little Tupelo honey mixed with his more bitter supplements in the morning. (Honey is not recommended for babies under a year. Also watch out for yeast overgrowth & stop the honey if it's causing a problem.) I also reconstitute goji berries and give him 1/4 of a cup every two-three days. Next, I'll be getting an aloe plant since it has several of the beneficial ingredients in it.

Here is product information, a recipe to make your own mixture and info about getting these same nutrients from food sources, including goji berries. 

An enthusiatic explanation of what glyconutrients are (according to

"Glyco" is a Greek word that means sweet. So a glyconutrient is a "sweet nutrient" or a sugar nutrient.

Of the 200 monosaccharides that are found naturally in plants there are at least eight essential monosaccharides (or simple sugars) that are not digested and burned as fuel - like how we think of most sugars. Instead this group of eight glyconutrients are structural building blocks incorporated as whole molecules directly into the cells within your body and are involved in a remarkable array of biological functions. These are functions that control everything from individual cell structure and function to cell-to-cell communication and protection for every single cell in the body.

In 1996 the 24th edition of a medical textbook called Harpers Biochemistry first introduced us to this group of eight glyconutrients that are involved in the communication and inter-cellular function of virtually all cells of the body. What does this mean exactly?
    * Tissues
    * Glands
    * Organs
    * The blood and
    * The immune system

everything in the body depends to some level on these molecules. And it has been discovered that when they are missing it prohibits our immune systems from functioning at full capacity.

Therefore science has established that glyconutritionals are not a diet option but rather a requirement for everyone just like water and vitamins and minerals or proteins and fatty acids.

Let me break this down into everyday language for you. Let’s say that these miracle sugars are to the cells what the alphabet is to you and me. We rely on the 26 letters of the alphabet everyday to communicate with everyone around us. Similarly cells rely on glyconutrients to communicate with all the other cells in the body.

What would happen if all of a sudden the alphabet was missing 5 letters? If we could no longer use the letters "G H N O and T" then a sentence as simple as "What are we going to have for dinner tonight" would no longer make sense to anyone. This sentence would now say "Wa are we i ave fr dier i?" Our communication system would break down by simply removing five letters from the alphabet. We would no longer be able to complete a major task in our everyday lives. The same holds true for cell-to-cell communication. Without all eight glyconutritionals in our system communication breaks down and allows disease to set in because the cells can no longer recognize the "good" from the "bad" and therefore can’t heal or correct or defend each other.

Unfortunately today only 2 of the 8 essential miracle sugars are readily available in the food in our diets’ and no other combination of any nutrients can substitute or replace them. There are many reasons why this deficiency has occurred. Some of these reasons include:

    * Green harvests that don’t allow all the nutrients to develop before picking
    * Processed foods that loose many if not most of their nutrients
    * Preservatives
    * Increased toxins in our environment and
    * Gradual soil depletion.

All of these reasons have affects on each glyconutrient we get in our diets.

What is amazing is that cells are preprogrammed to do what they do; they simply need the right raw materials to do it with. Glyconutrients have proven to be the missing links in restoring and maintaining health and do what no vitamin... mineral... amino acid... or herbal remedy can do. They help nourish and support every single cell in the body and allow your cells to clearly send and translate messages to each other and operate efficiently.


Some moms purchase a product from  Newrootz has Super Glycoz, which provides 8 essential sugars, but is much cheaper than the brand that Jane used.

Recipe to Mix Your Own
The following is from

The eight "essential" sugars are: mannose, glucose, galactose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, fucose (not to be confused with fructose), and N-acetylneuraminic acid. They are very important for health. I will not spend time dwelling on all the benefits as others have already done this in ample detail. In addition to the essential sugars, most of the ingredients in this recipe provide other health promoting properties as well. The aim here is to provide a simple and inexpensive way of getting glyconutrients. So let us now look at these eight sugars and see where we can get them from.

1. Mannose.
Mannose may be the single most important of the eight sugars for us to get plenty of. One of the main sources is aloe vera, which contains acemannan. Acemannan is a mannose polysaccharide (i.e. a chain of mannose molecules). From what I've studied, most commercial supplements of aloe only have very small amounts of acemannan in them so the best way is to grow the aloe vera oneself. It is a very handy herb to have in the garden or green house (e.g. good for minor burns and some skin ailments) and it is easy to cultivate. Consult a gardening book, but apparently it needs a sunny spot that's not too moist. I may want to enjoy using plenty of it, so ideally would like to invest in about ten plants. While I am waiting to buy and establish my own aloe plants I can use the glyconutrient powder which does have mannose in as well. This is from the kelp, the shiitake and the ground fenugreek. I have actually recently decided to just take the glyconutrient powder (as detailed below) because I find it easier. Fenugreek contains plenty of galactomamman, a polysaccharide of mannose and galactose (other sources of galactomamman are carob gum and guar gum). Ground fenugreek should be readily available from a good health food store or supermarket, or I can buy the seeds and grind them myself. I prefer organic fenugreek. Shiitake mushrooms have in them a compound called KS-2 which contains mannose bound to an amino acid. We will say more about shiitake (and kelp) later. Using fenugreek, kelp and shiitake should not be very expensive. Aloe vera plants may be expensive to start with, but a friend may have a "jungle" of the plants and be able to give some.

2. Glucose.
Regarding the powder, glucose is found in kelp. But we don't really need to supplement glucose as it's so abundant in our diets anyway. For the "jam" recipe the prime source is 100% pure grape juice, preferably dark organic (but I don't worry if it's not feasible). The grape juice will help, along with the next item, to make the aloe vera taste yummy instead of yuck. This juice is relatively cheap and if you have a juicer you can make your own.

3. Galactose.
Galactose is present in the fenugreek of the powder and also in a lot of foods that we normally eat. For the "jam" recipe the prime source is 100% pure apple juice, preferably organic. This juice will help, along with the previous item, to make the aloe vera taste yummy. Both apple and grape juice have health properties of their own. Again this juice is relatively cheap and those with juicers can make their own. (It's best to make your own because commercial brands have been found to have arsenic in it.-Andi) Some analysis don't report galactose as being in apple juice. This is because the galactose is in the pectin fiber which is present in varying amounts in juice.

4. Xylose.
Xylose is present in the kelp used in the powder. Ground psyllium seeds are high in a xylose polysaccharide. They are cheap and easily obtained from a chemist or health food store. Psyllium is used in the "jam".

5 and 6. N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetyl-galactosamine.

Vegetable sources:
For those not wishing to consume medicinal animal products orally it is nice to know that Shiitake Mushroom contains N-acetylglucosamine (as a constituent of chitin). I can purchase fresh and/or dried Shiitake Mushrooms from many supermarkets and food stores. I buy dried whole shiitake mushrooms and powder them by using my liquidiser. Or I can buy a tablet with shiitake in. Shiitake Mushrooms do not contain N-acetyl-galactosamine. I thought that mistletoe contained N-acetyl-galactosamine but it appears that it does not. Instead it seems to contain a lectin that is specific for the N-acetyl-galactosamine receptor site. Also there are some toxicity issues with mistletoe. N-acetyl-galactosamine is contained in dextran sulphate, which is present in a red algae called Dumontiaceae. But this product is only available from Japan as far as I know. Update: but appears to also be available from Also received this message from someone: "A source for Dumontiaceae: This is the only place I found a bulk powder (250g for $40)".

Animal Sources:
Bovine cartilage and shark cartilage both have an abundance of these two essential sugars. These are both relatively cheap and available from a chemist or health food stores in capsules or loose powder. I prefer the bovine cartilage because it is predominantly the chondroitin 4-Sulfate form of chondroitin which is apparently slightly better (shark is predominantly chondroitin 6-Sulfate). I am not especially concerned about prions and [BSE] from a bovine source because I can check where the cows come from and cartilage is not one of the tissues especially at risk for prion contamination. Actually, from what I've read, chondroitin is a substance that can be used to help treat prion disease as it interferes with the prions doing their dirty work in the nervous tissue. I am more concerned about the possibility of heavy metal contamination in shark cartilage, though I have not read any major problems regarding this. Those not wishing to consume animal products orally could use an arthritis cream containing chondroitin sulphate. The best cream I know of is Arthro-Aid Direct, which should be rubbed on the tummy at the time the glyconutrient powder is consumed.

7. Fucose.
Kelp seaweed is rich in fucoidan, a polysaccharide containing plenty of fucose. Fucoidin is a complicated molecule that also contains xylose, mannose, galactose, and glucose. If anyone has an overactive thyroid they should not take this or other sea weeds without medical advice and monitoring. An alternative is beer yeast, which, according to my research, also contains plenty of fucose. Kelp has many health benefits and can be bought cheaply as a powder. It does not taste good to me! Compare Seaweed.

8. N-acetylneuraminic acid (otherwise known as sialic acid) is found in whey protein isolate. Whey protein isolate also contains lots of other goodies. If allergic to diary (though I am told some that are
allergic to diary can take the isolate) an alternative is egg, which may be best raw. I need to make sure it is an organic egg from a healthy chicken. I need to make sure I buy whey protein ISOLATE, not just whey protein or whey powder. A 500g pot of whey protein isolate is a little costly but will last a long time and so is not a big expense long term. Note: I received some information early 2004 that suggested whey protein concentrate may have a higher amount of N-acetylneuraminic acid in it than the isolate.

How I can prepare and consume the ingredients:

TWO items will be discussed:
1. A glyconutrient powder which provides all 8 essential sugars at a minimal cost. The powder is more convenient to take and use than the "jam" and I am not currently using the "jam" -- just
concentrating on the powder.
2. The glyconutrient jam which, if made correctly, tastes yummy and which is designed to give large amounts of the key monosaccharide mannose.

1. Glyconutrient Powder
Here are the powders, the glyconutrients they contain and the ratio for consumption (the ratio is by volume, not weight and is offered as a guide only):
• 1 part ground fenugreek: mannose, galactose (buy it already ground).
• 1 part shiitake mushroom powder: N-acetylglucosamine, mannose.
• 1 part kelp powder: fucose, xylose, mannose, galactose, and glucose.
• 1 part whey protein isolate: N-acetylneuraminic acid. Alternative is beer or brewing yeast.
• 1 part bovine or shark cartilage chondroitin sulphate powder (loose or in capsules): N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine).
Alternative is Dumontiaceae ( for the N-acetylgalactosamine.
• 1/2 part of ground psyllium (or the husks alone would probably do) to boost the xylose content as there is not that much xylose in kelp.

You can mix all powders together along with a little red cayenne pepper powder and a little turmeric powder too (unless you are already using longvida curcumin). Cayenne may enhance digestion and is an extra tonic (1/10-1/20th part). Turmeric has antioxidant properties.
You can add 1 part of lecithin granules as it supposedly enhances absorption of glyconutrients.
You can mix about 1 heaping tsp of the mixture in about 50-ml of cold beverage and drinking it down quickly at the beginning of breakfast, lunch and sometimes also the evening meal. You could use more if you were ill with some major complaint.
Alternatively, I could take it with yogurt etc. or put the powder into "OO" size vegetable capsules to consume. Ideally, I would take five size "OO" capsules twice a day before meals. An alternative, if I wished to avoid mixing powders, would be to take one "OO" capsule of each  powder twice a day before meals.

Thirdly, you could take your powder mixed with an equal amount of honey.


It seems that some in Australia may be having difficulty tracking down some of these ingredients, which is a surprise. So as a service to Aussie folk and NZ researchers* if you want some more tips. Also click on [the same] link for a suggestion I have found good regarding taste!
* go to

Whey protein isolate can be taken "sublingually" in small amounts too. I am told that this is an even better way of taking it. But it can take awhile to "dissolve".

Kelp in particular does not taste good to me. However, I have found it OK to take as part of the powder in the water at meals. Also a teaspoon of kelp powder plus some cayenne did not taste too bad to me when I tried mixing it with a heaped teaspoon of honey. Having said that kelp doesn’t taste good, my two-year-old daughter asked for some when she saw me experimenting with it at the table. Despite my warning she still wanted some and so I gave her a bit on the tip of a spoon. To my surprise, she actually wanted more! Honey occasionally contains spores of Clostridium botulinum - the Detrimental Bacteria that can cause the type of food poisoning called Botulism. For this reason, honey should not be fed to children under 12 months old.

Kelp and Wakame seaweeds (Asian style), shiitake, fenugreek and whey isolate are all foods that can simply be eaten as part of a meal. There should be a good way of having all these items at a meal say twice a week using for example, wakame, fenugreek, shiitake, rice and vegetables with whey isolate mixed with dates and soy yoghurt for dessert. We need some good chief to come up with a tasty recipe for us to use! Have this meal with a chondroitin sulphate capsule and you've got all 8 sugars!

2. Glyconutrient Jam

Slowly simmer (don’t boil) 1 litre grape juice and 1.5 litres of apple juice so that half the water evaporates. Before turning off the heat stir in about 1/4 cup of ground psyllium. IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE NOT TO PUT IN TOO MUCH PSYLLIUM AS IT WILL TURN INTO A SOLID JELLY THAT IS NO GOOD FOR MIXING THINGS WITH. I err on the side of too little psyllium then add more if needed. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes or so then turn off the heat and let it sit. It will turn into a kind of jelly that tastes like jam. The heat should help to break down the psyllium polysaccharide into the xylose molecules. Store in a jar in the fridge.

When I wish to take my glyconutrient jam I put 1/4-1/3 of a cup of the grape, apple and psyllium jelly into a container. I grab about 4-5cm of an average aloe vera leaf from my garden and using a pair of scissors or knife chop it into the jam. Note: aloe contains a laxative so diarrhea is a sign that I am taking too much. If you get diarrhea (from the yellow aloin just under the skin) then try scraping out and eating just the gel. I stir the aloe bits in and then eat it with a spoon. The aloe and jam should taste nice, but if not happy I can try cutting the aloe vera into smaller pieces or liquidising it into the jam. This further improves taste but ends up taking more time, especially to clean up! The aloe vera needs consuming soon after picking and chopping as I am told aloe vera’s mannose is quickly damaged or degraded after a leaf is picked.

The glyco-jam is easiest taken as a kind of entrée 10-30 minutes before meals or on its own as a supper in the evening. I aim, for maintenance, to take this mixture three times a week or daily. For nutritional support when ill I could be take it more frequently.

Natural Sources

Here are a few links to help you find more food sources which have Glyconutrients in them:

Goji Berry info
Goji polysaccharides were proved to be exceptional source of the essential sugars like rhamnose, xylose, glucose, mannose, arabinose and galactose. These sugars are highly regarded to be necessary in our immune system and in our proper intercellular communication where in the cells in our body can work together properly in fighting and resisting disease. Because of this Scientists were concluding that Goji may be the richest source of glyconutrients yet found in the planet. (Above is an excerpt from

Related Posts

Meet Lydia
Lydia's Success Story
Goji Berries
Ginkgo: The Hows and Whys for Down Syndrome
Why supplement and monitor zinc?
Probiotic/Yogurt Strains: Benefits and Uses
Vitamin C Plays Important Role in Brain Function
Thyroid & DS Go Hand in Hand
Healthy Meal Planning Blogs
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Folic Acid Cuts Alzheimer’s Risk in Half
Parent's Resources for Guidance on Down Syndrome
Why B12 & Folinic Acid for Down Syndrome?
Get Your Own Neurodevelopmentalist
Nutritional Page 
Neurodevelopment Page
Methylation Pathways
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Feed Memory by Kan Herbs

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