By Dick Dorst, Aquaculture Inc.
“Mucopolysaccharides - The Glue of Life”
We all know that vitamins, minerals, proteins and essential fatty acids are components of good nutrition. But it
is not common knowledge that mucopoly-saccharides - Mucopolysaccharides, for short - may be an essential
carbohydrate for good health.
Mucopolysaccharides are long carbohydrate chains of sulfated amino sugars found at the roots of the evolutionary
tree of all animal life. The amino sugars are a class of compounds that are “diverse and ubiquitous,” having few
counterparts in the biological field. Found in all tissues of multicellular organisms, Mucopolysaccharides combine
with protein or lipids as components of tissues, to be largely responsible for the form and organization of the
human system. The presence of Mucopolysaccharides at the surface of the cell and in the gel-like intercellular
matrix suggests a biological role, the importance of which is barely foreseen at the present time.
Mucopolysaccharides play a significant role:
- In the structural integrity of cartilage, bone, and elastic tissue, like skin and membranes
- in modulating the rheology (viscosity) of bodily fluids
- Normalizing the bio-exchange of electrolytes, oxygen, and nutrients between the capillaries and discrete
Normalizing the bio-exchange of electrolytes, oxygen, and nutrients between the capillaries and discrete
Their importance in cell growth, adhesiveness, and recognition is also widely recognized.Life.”
Mucopolysaccharides for Good Health
Good health depends on the variety and amount of nutrients we provide for our body’s 60 trillion cells.
Mucopolysaccharides have both a structural and nutritional function, as their ion-exchange properties are
involved in the transfer of electrolytes and nutrients through the gel-like intercellular matrix. Their presence at
the surfaces of cells facilitates the transfer of nutrients through membranes and helps repel antigens.
Mucopolysaccharides for Circulation
Mucopolysaccharides modulate the rheology of the body fluids, including human blood. Certain Mucopolysaccharides
“thin” the blood, actually making the blood more slippery, helping to reduce platelet aggregation and prevent
formation of blood clots. This is due to their lyophilic nature, that is, their ability to combine with lipids.
Their role in the entire circulatory system is also of major importance. High proportions of Mucopolysaccharides
are found in the young and healthy arterial walls where they cross-link with protein (to form collagen) and account
for the strength and elasticity of arteries.
Mucopolysaccharides Preserve the Look and Feel of Youth
Aging is an inevitable process. However, by practicing good nutrition, the quality of life at any age can be
Changes in Mucopolysaccharides content and character occur throughout the aging process. Mucopolysaccharides
diminish throughout our lives; in fact, the decline is exponential after the first decade of life in the human
aorta (see graph). That body tissues are so high in Mucopolysaccharides during young development indicates that
they are integral to the growth process and general feeling of fitness.
In the same way that Mucopolysaccharides maintain flexibility of arteries, they help preserve the elasticity of
skin, and aid in retaining moisture. Since skin, hair and nails all contain Mucopolysaccharides, adding them to the
diet may improve the look - as well as the feel - of Good Health!
Changes in Sulfated Mucopolysaccharides (SMPS) with Age in Normal Human Aorta.
Back to Top