Glyconutrients are dietary supplements that supply sugars such as glucose, galactose, mannose, fucose, xylose, N-acetylglucosamine, N-acetylgalactosamine, and N-acetylneuraminic acid. These sugars are thought to be necessary for cells to communicate with each other in the body.
Glyconutrient research (glycobiology) has increased in the last few years. A company called Mannatech is the leading manufacturer of glyconutrient supplements. They market glyconutrients under the product line Ambrotose®.
There is currently a lack of available scientific evidence showing effectiveness for any condition. Advocates of this therapy claim that only glucose and galactose are readily found in a normal diet, and that glyconutrient supplementation is needed to prevent disease states. Critics of glyconutrient therapy argue that the body can synthesize any sugar it requires from protein intake, so unless a person has a genetic mutation, most glyconutrients are not cost-effective.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD):
Glyconutrients may cause a decrease in the number and severity of symptoms in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. However, more study is needed in this area.
Glyconutrients may cause an increase in weight and height in toddlers with failure-to-thrive. More study is needed to make a strong recommendation.