Last Updated on August 28, 2020
Monosaccharides are a simple carbohydrate type. The word comes from Greek, using manos, or single, and sacchar, sugar. We do not want to get into too much chemistry, but they are essentially little more than eight different kinds of sugars. That might sound less important at first, but they are essential to the body. We will help you determine why that is.
How do these monosaccharides work?
We can start by envisioning a cell; it is in the shape of a circle. At the heart of the circle, you will see a smaller circle, this is what we call the nucleus. It functions as the brain and heart of the cell. It provides the nutrients and energy necessary for our cell to grow; it is an important factor in our continual survival.
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This cell needs nutrition from outside sources. This is provided to the nucleus in the form of monosaccharides, the eight different sugars. This chain of sugars (known as receptors) has a specific order in which they connect from the nucleus to the outside of the cell.
If we have a completed cell, the disposal of waste and intake of nutrients is optimal, in short, the chain of monosaccharides is perfectly laid out. However, if there is a mistake in the chain, if one of the eight sugars is not present. It blocks or hinders of the disposal of waste and intake of nutrients. At that point, the cell is not optimally functional and may even become a cancerous cell.
That sounds complex enough, but just remember that the chain that allows for the disposal of waste and intake of nutrients in our cells is comprised of monosaccharides.
Needed in all cells of the body
Remember that each of the cells in our body needs to go through the system of disposing of waste and getting food for energy. This includes everything ranging from macrophages to the cells of our immune system.
They are all vitally important for the body to communicate with other cells. This means that our immune system can identify what is part of our body and what is not. Without it, the body might not be able to identify ‘friend from foe’ meaning that it could end up destroying part of its own, healthy cells because it (wrongly) believes that it was a virus. The receptors being in perfect working order is important for our immune system.
However, the alternative is also possible. If you do not have enough monosaccharides, you may have an underactive immune system. This means that the body is essentially unable to determine what is part of the invaders (fungi, viruses, bacteria) and what might be part of the body. As a result, the damage done to our bodies happens unimpeded. We know that the body has the ability to heal itself, but only if we make sure that it is functioning optimally.
Necessary for our bodies
Now you might understand why monosaccharides are as important as they are. Without them, our bodies are not functioning at an optimal level. This may manifest itself through illness and lethargy, but may even have far more serious consequences such as cancer. Now you understand the importance of monosaccharides and why it is so important that all eight strands be represented.