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The Missing Link

in Human Nutrition

sweet language of life.PNG

"Glycans play roles in almost every biological process and are involved in every major disease."

-"Transforming Glycoscience: A Roadmap for the Future" The National Academy of Sciences


There are 8 Essential (biologically active) sugars critical for our normal function:

  • DEFENSE against pathogens

  • REPAIR cells

  • COMMUNICATION for proper hormone response

  • PROVIDE the adequate building supplies and energy to make healthy cells

The Not-So-Sweet TRUTH: Good Sugar vs "Bad" Sugars

When you eat, how does your digestive tract know which food components to grab and send into the blood stream and which ones to allow to pass through?

How do the filters in your kidneys choose the correct molecules to expel?

Unlike machines, living organisms are coded to perform many complex “involuntary” functions. The more complex the organism, the more such functions it must perform to live and thrive. 


These mysterious codes are truly the language of life. Biochemistry, the chemistry of life, is the science of the various molecules found in living cells and organisms and their chemical reactions. The aim of biochemistry is to explain the chemical processes of living cells.


The four major classes of biomolecules are:

  1. proteins

  2. nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)

  3. lipids (fats) and

  4. carbohydrates


For many years, scientists focused on proteins as key communication molecules. Eventually it became clear, however, that there were not enough possible protein configurations to provide all the messages needed to run the body. Another code was required.

The "SWEET" Language Of Life

“Glyco” means “sweet” and refers to sugars, or carbohydrates. 



glycoprotein synthesis.PNG

Glycoproteins coat the surface of every cell with a nucleus in the human body. Glycolipids, fats bound with sugars, are another kind of glycoform, or glycoconjugate, found on cell surfaces



8 Essential Saccharide (Sugar) 




required for Glycoprotein Synthesis

8 essentials.PNG

1. Glucose: common in our diet

2. Galactose: common in our diet

All others virtually non-existent in our daily diets

3. Mannose

4. Fucose

5. Xylose

6. N-acetyl galactosamine

7. Sialic Acid (NANA)

8. N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG)


Ambrotose LIFE 

  • Naturally GLUTEN-FREE



8 essentials list.PNG
8 circle.PNG

Aloe Vera Extract

Inner leaf gel powder



from Larix spp. wood


Glucosamine HCl


Gum Tragacanth


Gum Ghatti


Standardized Rice Bran



Undaria pinnatifida

(algae extract)

Modified Citrus Pectin

with Sodium Alginate


Aloe Vera Extract

Aloe vera extract inner leaf gel powder includes Manapol®, a polysaccharide found in aloe vera gel.


A unique ingredient exclusive to Mannatech, Incorporated, Manapol is extracted from fresh, washed and filtered gel by a specialized extraction method that yields insoluble fibers and stabilized, high molecular weight soluble fibers rich in long-chain mannose sugars – beta-(1-4)-acetylated polymannans. Many attribute the benefits of topically and orally-applied aloe vera gel to its polymannan content. 


It also contains the monosaccharide sugars:

  • glucuronic acid

  • glucose

  • galacturonic acid

  • xylose

  • galactose

  • glucosamine

  • fucose

  • rhamnose

  • arabinose

  • and small amounts of protein, calcium, potassium and sulfate 1, 2, 3.

  1. Luta G, McAnalley B. Aloe vera: chemical composition and methods used to determine its presence in commercial products. GlycoScience & Nutrition 2005;6:1-12. Posted on Mannatech Science

  2. Duncan, C., Ramberg, J., and Sinnott, R. Striking differences in Aloe vera gel carbohydrate composition, molecular weight and particle size distributions following processing will not be addressed by dietary supplement GMPs. Poster Presentation at the 5th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, January 17-20, 2008, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, San Diego, California. Posted on Mannatech Science

  3. Luta G, Duncan C, Sinnott R. Chemical characterization of polysaccharide-rich ingredients from Aloe vera, Larix laricina and Larix occidentalis, and Undaria pinnatifida. Presented at the 6th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, January 22-25, 2009, Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, San Diego, California. Posted on Mannatech Science

are a class of long, densely branched high-molecular weight polysaccharides extracted for commercial uses from the bark of the Eastern and Western Larch trees, Larix larcinia and Larix occidentalis.


Their monosaccharide constituents include:

  • galactose

  • arabinose

  • glucose

  • mannose 1.


Larch arabinogalactans are an excellent source of prebiotic soluble dietary fiber 2, 3. Numerous inedible and edible plants are rich sources of arabinogalactans 3. Arabinogalactans are found in some food plants, including corn, carrots, tomatoes, pears, wheat, radishes, and red wine 3, 4.

A human randomized double blind, placebo-controlled multi-dose trial concluded that “a dose of 1.5 grams/day of a proprietary larch arabinogalactan can significantly increase the IgG antibody response to tetanus vaccine compared to placebo” in healthy subjects 5. In fact, two human double blind, placebo-controlled trials indicate that higher doses of this arabinogalactan (4.5 grams) can enhance the response to a bacterial (pneumococcal) challenge 6, 7.

  1. Luta G, Duncan C, Sinnott R. Chemical characterization of polysaccharide-rich ingredients from Aloe vera, Larix laricina and Larix occidentalis, and Undaria pinnatifida. Presented at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine's 6th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, San Diego, California.January 22-25, 2009. 2009. Posted at Mannatech Science.

  2. Crociani F, Alessandrini A, Mucci MM, Biavati B. Degradation of complex carbohydrates by Bifidobacterium spp. [Abstract]. Int J Food Microbiol 1994;24:199-210. or

  3. Kelly GS. 'Larch arabinogalactan: clinical relevance of a novel immune-enhancing polysaccharide. Altern.Med Rev 1999;4:96-103.

  4. Cui SW. Polysaccharide Gums from Agricultural Products: Processing, Structures & Functionality. Lancaster, Pa.: Technomic Publishing Co., Inc., 2001.

  5. Udani JK. Immunomodulatory effects of ResistAid: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multidose study. J Am Coll Nutr 2013;32:331-8.

  6. Udani JK, Singh BB, Barrett ML, Singh VJ. Proprietary arabinogalactan extract increases antibody response to the pneumonia vaccine: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, pilot study in healthy volunteers. Nutr J 2010;9:1-7.

  7. Riede L, Grube B, Gruenwald J. Larch arabinogalactan effects on reducing incidence of upper respiratory infections. Curr Med Res Opin 2013;29:251-8.

larch trees.PNG


larch trees.PNG

Ghatti gum, a mixture of complex polysaccharides, comes from the bark of Anogeissus latifolia, a large tree native to India and Sri Lanka.  Ghatti gum is used in supplements, foods, drugs and cosmetics.  It contains as much as 80% soluble dietary fiber 1,2.


Monosaccharide constituents include:

  • arabinose

  • galactose

  • mannose

  • xylose

  • and glucuronic acid

Most gums are believed to be largely degraded in the colon 3.  Test tube studies have demonstrated the fermentation of ghatti gum by the beneficial human bacteria species Bifidobacterium 4,5.  

  1. Glicksman M. Gum Ghatti (Indian gum). In: Glicksman M, ed. Food Hydrocolloids. Boca Raton: CRC Press 1983:31-7.

  2. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). 84th JECFA – Chemical and Technical Assessment (CTA), 2017. Gum Ghatti. Prepared by Atsuko Tada, PhD and reviewed by Jannavi R. Srinivasan, PhD. Toxicological Working Paper. and

  3. Hill MJ. Bacterial fermentation of complex carbohydrate in the human colon. Eur J Cancer Prev 1995;4:353-8. PMID: 7496323.

  4. Crociani F, Alessandrini A, Mucci MM, Biavati B. Degradation of complex carbohydrates by Bifidobacterium spp. [Abstract]. Int J Food Microbiol 1994;24:199-210. or

  5. Salyers AA, West SE, Vercellotti JR, Wilkins TD. Fermentation of mucins and plant polysaccharides by anaerobic bacteria from the human colon. Appl Environ Microbiol 1977;34:529-33.

Anogeissus latifolia.PNG
Ghatti Gum
Glucosamine HCl (vegetarian)

Supplemental glucosamine has been used and studied for a number of years in Europe; In the U. S., it has gained popularity as a dietary supplement 10,11. The amount of absorption of orally administered glucosamine through the intestines is somewhat unclear.


Muniyappa et al. 2006 12 states: “Although the limited absorption of orally administered glucosamine is not widely acknowledged, it has long been known that the active transport of glucosamine in the small intestine does not occur” 13. Glucosamine HCl (veggie) means that this this ingredient is manufactured without using any animal derived materials and is suitable for a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Glucosamine HCl is a salt of the amino monosaccharide, glucosamine.


Glucosamine exists naturally in human cartilage (the tough tissue that cushions joints) and in some fungi and algae 1,2,3,4,5. Commercially produced glucosamine is made from shellfish 4,6,7 or may be produced from plant sources 8,9. These plants provide vegetarian sources of Glucosamine HCl.

  1. The Merck Index. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck & Co., 2006. (The Merck Index is available online with a subscription at

  2. Shane-McWhorter L. Glucosamine... Merck Manual. Professional version. Merck & Co., Inc. . . . Kenilworth, NJ. Revised 10/2018.

  3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). National Institutes of Health (NIH). Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Last modified 9/24/2017.

  4. U. S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). National Institutes of Health (NIH). Medline Plus. Glucosamine Hydrochloride. Last reviewed 10/10/2018.

  5. Barclay TS, Tsourounis C, McCart GM. Glucosamine. [Abstract]. Ann Pharmacother 1998;32:574-9.

  6. Glucosamine Hydrochloride. Natural Medicines Database. Professional. Last reviewed 1/9/2019. Last updated 1/0/2019. Product ID 747. (Subscription needed for access-,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=747

  7. Institute of Medicine (IOM) (US) and National Research Council (NRC) (US). Committee on the framework for evaluating the safety of dietary supplements. Dietary Supplements: A framework for evaluating safety. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2005. Appendix E, Glucosamine: Prototype monograph summary.

  8. Benavente M, Arias S, Moreno L, Martinez J. Production of glucosamine hydrochloride from crustacean shell. Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology 2015;3:20-26.

  9. Shahidi F, Arachchi JKV, Jeon Y-J. Review. Food applications of chitin and chitosans. [Abstract]. Trends in Food Science and Technology 1999; 10(2), 37-51.

  10. Dahmer S, Schiller RM. Glucosamine. Complementary and Alternative Medicine. American Family Physician 2008; 78(4):471-476.

  11. Adebowale AO, Cox DS, Liang Z, Eddington ND. Analysis of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate content in marketed products and the Caco-2 permeability of chondroitin sulfate raw materials. JANA 2000; 3(1):37-44.

  12. Muniyappa R, Karne RJ, Hall G, Crandon SK, Bronstein JA, Ver MR, Hortin GL, Quon MJ. Oral glucosamine for 6 weeks at standard doses does not cause or worsen insulin resistance or endothelial dysfunction in lean or obese subjects. Diabetes 2006; 55:3142-3150.

  13. Simon RR, Marks V, Leeds AR, Anderson JW. A comprehensive review of oral glucosamine use and effects on glucose metabolism in normal and diabetic individuals. [Abstract]. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2011;27:14-27.

  14. Salyers AA, West SE, Vercellotti JR, Wilkins TD. Fermentation of mucins and plant polysaccharides by anaerobic bacteria from the human colon. Appl Environ Microbiol 1997;34:529-33.

  15. Anderson JW, Nicolosi RJ, Borzelleca JF. Glucosamine effects in humans: a review of effects on glucose metabolism, side effects, safety considerations and efficacy. [Abstract]. Food Chem Toxicol 2005;43:187-201. or

Gum Tragacanth
Astragalus gummifer.PNG

Gum tragacanth comes from the stems and branches of the flowering plant Astragalus gummifer.


The raw gum is made up of two polysaccharides. Monosaccharide constituents include:

  • galactose

  • arabinose

  • xylose

  • fucose

  • rhamnose

  • and galacturonic acid 1, 2

  1. Anderson DM, Howlett JF, McNab CG. The amino acid composition of the proteinaceous component of gum tragacanth (Asiatic Astragalus spp.). [Abstract]. Food Addit Contam 1985;2:231-5. or

  2. Anderson DMW, Bridgeman MME. The chemical characterization of the test article used in toxicological studies of gum tragacanth. [Abstract]. Food Hydrocolloids 1988;2(1):51-57. or

Modified Citrus pectin

Modified citrus pectin


Pectin is a type of polysaccharide found in the cell walls of many plants and assists in making plants rigid 1, 2. Pectin offers gel-like capabilities 1, 2. Citrus pectin is the pulp and peel of citrus fruits 3, 4. 

  1. Natural Medicines database. Pectin (also known as Modified Citrus Pectin, MCP). Professional monograph. Last reviewed 1/4/2019. Last updated 1/31/2018. Product ID: 500. Subscription required.

  2. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th Edition New York: Garland Science; 2002.

  3. U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. E-CFR. Title 21. Part 184—Substances Generally Recognized as Safe. 21CFR184.1588. Pectins. Current as of 4/11/2019. Available at

  4. Shang Y. Ed. Chapter 3. Extraction processes of functional components from citrus peel. Comprehensive Utilization of Citrus By-Products, 2016; 31-58. Academic Press. Elsevier, Inc. ©2017. ISBN: 978-0-12-809785-4

Rice bran is made from the bran layer, underneath the hull layer of rice, Oryza sativa.


The bran, or byproduct obtained while milling rice, makes up about 1/10th of the weight of rice grain 1,2 Rice bran, the outer brown layer, includes rice germ that is removed from the starchy endosperm via the milling process 1,2. Rice bran contains dietary fiber 3. Rice bran oil is a popular “healthy oil” in Asia, Japan, and especially India 3,4,5.


Rice bran, as a co-product of milling, contains about:

  • 15-20% fat 

  • 11-15% protein 6.


Humans have been enjoying grain foods, including rice, for the past thousand years 7. For two-thirds of the population of the world, rice is the staple food 8. 

  1. Salem EG, El Hissewy A, Agamy NF, Abd El Barry D. Assessment of the quality of bran and bran oil produced from some Egyptian rice varieties. J Egypt Public Health Assoc 2014;89(1): 29-34.

  2. Bhosale S, Vijayalakshmi D. Processing and nutritional composition of rice bran. Curr Res Nutr Food Sci 2015;3(1). or

  3. Gul K, Yousuf B, Singh AK, Singh P, Wani AA. Rice bran: nutritional values and its emerging potential for development of functional food—A review. [Abstract]. Bioactive carbohydrates and dietary fibre 2015;6(1):24-30.

  4. Sugano M, Koba K, Tsuji E. Health benefits of rice bran oil. [Abstract]. Anticancer Res 1999;19(5A):3651-7.

  5. Rohman A. In Eds Watson RR, Preedy VR, Zibadi S,. Rice bran oil’s role in health and cooking. [Abstract]. Wheat and Rice in Disease Prevention and Health. 1st Ed. Benefits, risks and mechanisms of whole grains in health promotion. Academic Press. 2014; Chapter 37:481-490. [Abstract]. ISBN: 978-0-12-401716-0.

  6. Muller-Fischer N. Nutrient-focused processing of rice. Agricultural Sustainability. Progress and Prospects in Crop Research. 2013, Ch. 10:197-220. (Subsription required). Rice Hull overview segments, including 2.1 Macronutrients, available from

  7. Sharma R, Srivastava T, Saxena DC. Research article. Studies on rice bran and its benefits—A review. Int Journal of Engineering Research and Applications 2015;5(5)(Part 2);107-112. beta-

  8. Roy P, Orikasa T, Okadome H, Nakamura N, Shiina, T. Processing conditions, rice properties, health and environment. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2011 8(6):1957-1976.

Rice bran
Sodium alginate

Sodium alginate, the sodium salt form of alginic acid and gum, is primarily extracted from cell walls of brown algae 1.


Algin is extracted from Macrocytis pyrifera, giant kelp 2. Alginates are polysaccharides 2, 3.  Algin (sodium alginate) provides both flexibility and strength to the tissue of brown seaweed because of its gelling properties 2. For thousands of years, seaweed has been used as food for animals and humans 2. 

  1. U. S. National Library of Medicine (NLM). National Institutes of Health (NIH). National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem open chemistry database. Compound Summary for CID 5102882. Sodium Alginate.

  2. Natural medicines database. Professional monograph. Algin (also known as Sodium Alginate). Product ID 275. Subscription required.,-herbs-supplements/professional.aspx?productid=275


Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) is a type of edible brown algae consumed for thousands of years, particularly in Asia 1. In Japanese and other Asian cultures, the ingestion of brown seaweed in the diet averages up to 3 g per day 1. Wakame use includes condiments and soup bases or fresh in salads, rolls or stews for its nutritional content, flavor and texture. Undaria is also a part of Chinese and Ayurvedic (Indian) traditional medicine 2.

Undaria pinnatifida is rich in fucoidans and polysaccharides that contain large amounts of fucose and other monosaccharides, including galactose, mannose and glucose 3,4. Undaria pinnatifida is largely made up of soluble (dissolvable) carbohydrates 5,6.

Undaria is partially digested in the human gut 5 and test tube studies have shown that fibers from brown algae could be fermented by human fecal bacteria 6. 

  1. Fitton JH. Brown marine algae: A survey of therapeutic potentials. [Abstract]. Alt Comp Therapy 2003;9:29-33. (Access required)

  2. Mori H, Kamei H, Nishide E, Nisizawa K. Sugar constituents of some suplhated polysaccharides from the sporophylls of wakame and their biological activities. In: Hoppe HA, Levring T, eds. Marine Algae in Pharmaceutical Science. New York & Berlin: Walter de Gruyter 1982:109-22.

  3. Koo J-G. Structural characterization of purified fucoidan from Laminaria religiosa, sporophylls of Undaria pinnatifida, Hizikia fusirome and Sagassum fulvellum in Korea. J.Korean Fish.Soc. 1997;30:128-31.

  4. Luta G, Duncan C, Sinnott R. Chemical characterization of polysaccharide-rich ingredients from Aloe vera, Larix laricina and Larix occidentalis, and Undaria pinnatifida. Presented at the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine's 6th Annual Natural Supplements Conference, San Diego, California.January 22-25, 2009. Posted at Mannatech Science.

  5. Yamada Y, Miyoshi T, Tanada S, Imaki M. Digestibility and energy availability of wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) seaweed in Japanese. [Abstract]. Jap J Hygiene 1991;46:788-794.

  6. Michel C, Lahaye M, Bonnet C, Mabeau S, Barry JL. In vitro fermentation by human faecal bacteria of total and purified dietary fibres from brown seaweeds. [Abstract]. Br J Nutr 1996;75:263-80.

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