Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
26 Oct

Glyconutrients: a Sweet Scam

There are essential fatty acids. There are essential amino acids. There are not essential sugars. We’ve received so many questions about glyconutrients, I feel it’s necessary to respond here at the blog.

For the record, “glyconutrients” are worse than bogus – they are a scam. This term was invented by a multi-level marketing company called Mannatech. (While MLM’s aren’t all bad, they can certainly be a red flag.) In this case, the entire concept of supplementing with “glyconutrients” – minute amounts of plain old simple sugars – is not only unscientific; it’s just silly. There is simply no compelling evidence to support the glyconutrient claim that the human body is somehow deficient in certain forms of sugar due to our modern lifestyle. Among the many dubious and weasel-worthy “explanations”, the central claim is that scientific discoveries in recent decades have shown that there are 8 types of sugar and that your cells – gasp – use these sugars. I’ve had burps that are more mind-blowing than this “science”.

Those selling glyconutrients often have appealing websites and fairly standard marketing blurbs about good health beginning at the cellular level. (E.g. “When your cells are healthy, so are your glands and organs.” No sh*t, Sherlock.) Please pardon my French, but I really hate to see this sort of meaningless malarkey being bandied about like it’s genuine science. The numerous warning letters, lawsuits, and scathing breakdowns on many reputable scientific action sites – it’s almost painful, really – should be sufficient to keep people away from those selling this worthless sugar pill supplement, but I still get a lot of questions. I don’t normally like to directly criticize supplements, but in this case, I have to speak up.

(This is the best single website analyzing glyconutrients. Do a search on any reputable science organization’s site, or check out a scientific glossary, for that matter, and you’ll see that “glyconutrient” is not even a scientific term. We might as well say “aminonutrient” or “lipidnutrient”.)

Glyconutrient supplementation purports to provide your body with certain special types of sugar that aren’t available, apparently, in our modern food supply. (The important one, evidently, is mannose, hence Mannatech.) The glyconutrient claim is utterly specious. The body converts one form of sugar to another quite easily whenever it needs to – there is absolutely no “deficiency” issue here, period. While we need to get essential fatty acids and the complete profile of amino acids to function, we do not need to supplement with simple sugars. The supplement won’t hurt you, but you may as well suck a lollipop if you’re after “glyconutrients”. My guess is that the lollipop is not only tastier, but cheaper.

Don’t be a sucker.

Further reading:

The 10 Dumbest Drugs Ever Invented

The Top 10 Wost Health Scams

Colloidal Silver: It’s a Scam

Why Homeopathy Is Bad Science

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Synthetic drugs have been around for a little over 100 years, and have wreaked havoc on millions of lives. My mother was a grand experiment for the medical doctors, and died on over twenty medications. Don’t even try to tell me that natural doesn’t work, unless you have science to disprove it, which you don’t.

    Joy wrote on March 8th, 2014
  2. Why do u think glycoproteins are sugars ?

    Jeff wrote on September 26th, 2014
  3. The products come with a 180 day Satisfaction guarantee, in SA it is 90 days because the law only allows for 90 days. There is no reason not to try the products. Ironically, everyone who does not use the products have something negative to say. I am a representative because I have seen the results people get when they use the products. The company has over 50 double blind placebo studies on their products, no other Health and Wellness company can make that claim. I can list a very long list of facts.

    These negative comments used to upset me, but I can see that even doctors are now catching up to this. The company will always be with us because the company has a very loyal consumer base. The people that use the products see results and they stay. It is only a manner time before doctors start to recommend these products to their patients. On of the the most famous doctor in the world (Dr Ben Carson) is already recommitting our products, he is a huge supporter of this technology and a product user himself. If you do not know who Dr Ben Carson is, just search his name on Google or youtube.

    Btw, glyconutrients do not taste sweet and sucrose (table sugar) is not a glyconutrient. If you really think that they sell normal sugar in a pill it is time to wake up! It is a proven fact that life cannot exist without these sugars. If your body can’t make these sugars you have to supplement them.

    Also, over twenty thousand papers have been written on these sugars and almost all of them are disease related, the evidence is overwhelming. The company also has an award winning website where you can view the placebo studies http://www.mannatechscience.org. Several governments are currently looking at these sugars. The Australian Government invested 10 MILLION Australian dollars to study these products.

    I am not going to participate in any arguments because nothing good cam come from it. The demand for these products are on the increase so it is very clear that the critics are losing this battle.

    Rainer wrote on November 11th, 2014
  4. I don’t know everything there is to know about the science of glyconutrients, but I do know that my brother was diagnosed with leukemia and his chances didn’t look good. I found a source (not MLM) to purchase them from and got him on them right away. Within two months he was declared cancer free and in the last four year, has gained 40+ pounds and has never had any recurrence. I believe in results and I’ve seen them with my own eyes.
    History has told us many times of the words of nay-sayers who were proven wrong. If the author of this article were told that one day there would be a small hand held device that we could use to access all of the information in the world and do all the things a cell phone can do, he would have undoubtedly said it was poppycock… and he would have been wrong.

    Paul Lane wrote on December 3rd, 2014
  5. I’m the 25 year old son of one of the top leaders in Mannatech. Over the years of my father passionately promoting glyconutrients, I’ve seen some incredible things. One of the more remarkable stories I’ve always remembered was the story of an older woman from Northeastern Colorado who had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis 20 years prior. She had been in a wheelchair for the good part of those 20 years and had VERY limited mobility out of the chair. My father saw her in a diner in her small town where he was giving presentations one day, went up to her without any introduction, and simply said “I can help you.”

    The woman was very offended and upset upon the assumption that this stranger had any idea of her condition or could possibly help her. Regardless, she opened her mind and a year after being on the products, she walked into our house without any need for a wheelchair, cane, or personal assistance.

    Her symptoms of MS had virtually disappeared…not because we “cured” her, but because we gave her body what her cells needed to communicate properly with one another. Say what you will about Mannatech or glyconutrients, but I have seen with my own eyes the lives of people struggling with health dramatically improved. People love to knock what they don’t understand…The critics told Bill Gates that the personal computer didn’t have a future either :)

    Chris wrote on January 9th, 2015
  6. People condemning glyconutrients have no idea what they are talking about. Off course it’s been scientifically proven!!! Get your facts straight. Hundreds and thousands of people are enjoying better health than ever before – thanks to the SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN HEALTH BENEFITS OF GLYCONUTRIENTS.

    Glyconutrients Supporter wrote on February 19th, 2015
  7. My Blood pressure was 160/100
    I took 3 pills of berriola( a product of sevenpointvife) and less than 4 hours later my bp was down by 30 to 130/100.

    It also seems the guy writing these articles have a lot of problems with the natural or alternitive med’s and healings.

    I don’t feel comfy with his agenda!

    Johan wrote on March 5th, 2015

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