The statements are: “Every disease that affects humans significantly involve glycans.” and “Glycans play roles in almost every biological process and are involved in every major disease.”
A telltale sign of autoimmune diseases (like rheumatoid arthritis and Multiple Sclerosis) and degenerative diseases (like cancer) is that they always involve sugars missing from these cell surface sugar structures. The glycans or cell surface sugar structures known as cell receptors represent the gateway to the cells. Like a key fitting a lock, things on the outside (hormones, bacteria, viruses, and immune system cells) attach to these sugar antennas and a signal is sent via the antenna from the outside to the inside of the cell causing biological processes (metabolic pathways) to begin. Apoptosis is one of the millions of biological processes that can be engaged from outside the cell. So, glycobiology is the overarching science of sugar in the body and apoptosis is one of the many cellular biological processes.
Apoptosis is a very significant process because once it is engaged the cell commits suicide or “programmed cell death.” This is a very important function in healthy bodies when you consider how cells are born, live, die and are replaced. Cells have to die for various reasons. One major reason is that they wear out. Skin cells and epithelial cells lining our gut are designed to be replaced in days or weeks. Red blood cells are replaced every 4 months. New cells are created to take their place. 50-70 billion cells die every day and need to be replaced. Apoptosis needs to occur properly for cells to make room for new, healthy cells.
Glycans govern the millions of metabolic pathways in our body. Apoptosis is just one of those pathways. Drugs are designed to interrupt normal human physiology. They make specific things happen or not happen. They are similar to a band aid. They can mask pain or symptoms but they never solve the root cause of the problem. Once the cell receptor is engaged, a host of nutrients are necessary to sustain and enable the particular metabolic pathways to occur properly. Particular plants and herbs like “bitters” were used traditionally to treat disease. These plants turn out to have the phytosterols and plant chemicals that science is now demonstrating are vital for these processes to unfold properly.
It is important to get these plants organically and have them freeze dried rather than just dehydrated. Freeze drying takes expensive equipment but it removes 98-99% of the water giving 30-50 years of shelf life. No bacteria can grow in a freeze dried environment. Dehydrating removes only 90-95% of the water and results in a shelf life of about 15-20 years. Good but not the best.
We now know that particular plants can help the cell repair itself or, if it can’t repair itself, it will move into apoptosis and destroy itself. When cells don’t do this properly, a degenerative disease like cancer can result. When cells become immune to the immune system they can become immortal. So, even though it seems strange, your cells have to be able to kill themselves so your body can live. Within the body, programmed cell death is the precursor to rebirth and new life. It is a wonderful thing to understand how to support the body in all of its processes with whole food and supplements derived from whole-food, plant-based sources.
For more information on apoptosis and glycobiology, see There's An Elephant in the Room--Exposing Hidden Truths in the Science of Health.