• Welcome to Phoenix Rising!

    Created in 2008, Phoenix Rising is the largest and oldest forum dedicated to furthering the understanding of, and finding treatments for, complex chronic illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, long COVID, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), and allied diseases.

    To become a member, simply click the Register button at the top right.

Supplementation of essential sugars


"All eight sugars are found in the myelin sheath that coats nerves and are important in correct nerve transmission inside and outside the brain. The sugars are woven together with amino acids to produce special protective proteins called glycoproteins. Low levels of glycoproteins have been connected to diseases like MS and schizophrenia."


What are Essential Sugars?

"Essential sugars" is a bit of a misnomer, but one that is widely used. "Biologically active" sugars or "glyconutrients" is a more appropriate term, because like "essential fatty acids" from fish oils, we can actually make these valuable nutrients in our bodies. It's just that our bodies would rather not go to the effort of making these nutrients because the process is laborious, inefficient, and sometimes lacking.

Some people, such as the very young and old, the sick, and those with chronic health problems such as thyroid, adrenal, blood sugar, or hormonal problems, people with certain ancestries, or those whose bodies are under stress due to toxicity reactions or a lack of nutrients have difficulty making essential fatty acids, and the same seems to apply to essential sugars.

Essential sugars are sugars that have specific biological functions within the body. Different types of sugars coat the surfaces of cells and help them to communicate with each other. These sugars are monosaccharides (made from one molecule) like glucose or fructose, not disaccharides like sucrose (which is a molecule of glucose and fructose joined together) or lactose (which is a molecule of glucose and galactose joined together.

So far eight sugars which have specific biological functions in the body have been found. They are:

N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)
N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc)
N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), a form of sialic acid


Senior Member
Here's another good article on this ...


Thanks ... I need to read up on this further but I'm still waking up here ... it's become apparent to me that after being on the Paleo / low carb diet for almost 2 years that my body isn't producing these but I didn't have any real info on this. I feel too weak when I'm very low carb so I have to eat fruit or sugar. The liver is supposed to kick in and produce glucose as soon as you run out of glucose and it looks like mine isn't. I'm in the process with my doctor of figuring this out. thanks again ... X


Senior Member
I'm like a dog with a bone this am ... and I really need to get moving. : )

Same article as above ... (notice that this is from the UK ... )


This is where things start to get a bit uncertain, because very little of this kind of scientific research has actually been carried out. However, the results that have emerged are intriguing. Two early studies involved groups of people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a disease associated with immune dysfunction. In the first study, comparing patients suffering from CFS with healthy ‘controls’, blood was taken from each group in order to study certain types of immune cells known as ‘peripheral blood mononuclear cells’ (PBMCs)(2).

The researchers found that the cell surface expression of certain glycoproteins associated with a healthy immune system were significantly lower in CFS patients than in controls. They also measured the activity of another type of immune cell called natural killer (NK) cells and found it to be significantly lower in the CFS group. However, when they added a glyconutrient mix to the extracted cells, it not only increased glycoprotein expression on the PBMCs but also increased the activation of the NK cells against the human herpes virus. They concluded that supplementary glyconutrients had significantly improved the patients’ abnormal immune parameters.

Interesting study on PWCs ...

In this article they said that sugars reside on the outside of our cells. I'm a newbie to biochemistry but I was wondering if this is related to insulin resistance ... I was positive for that in 2006 and 2008 and was just retested last Friday ... I don't have the results yet but I think I did better. I wasn't feeling weak at all before the test and only slightly fuzzy headed while it was going on. I was nauseas though which is why one of the reasons I wanted the test run. The Paleo / low carb diet really has helped my fasting glucose problems just not my excercise intolerance.

Dr. Myhill says that most of her CFS patients have chronic hypoglycemia and so she recommends they go on the Paleo diet ... but I didn't see what she said for them to try if that didn't work after a couple of years.

Have you experimented with glyoconutrients yet ? I eat all of the foods they recommended except dairy. I've noticed that nothing works better for me than orange juice or plain old sugar ...

Have you had a GTT (glucose tolerance test ?) This study didn't indicate if anyone had a problem with glucose ... X