C-NAG - 180caps -Helps promote a healthy intestinal lining
Helps promote a healthy intestinal lining in people with symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
What are amino sugars?
Amino sugars are essential components of all body tissues, being integral parts of cell membranes and their surface structures, and of the interstitial tissue which holds cells together. About half of the interstitial tissue components are derived from amino sugars.
As the name implies, an amino sugar is made up of a sugar and an amino group. While most sugars come from dietary sources and are burned for energy, amino sugars are mainly formed within the body and used only in manufacturing tissue components.
Normal wear and tear during body functions means that tissues are constantly broken down and replaced or restructured, and amino sugars are thus continuously in demand. Any loss during such turnover will be made good by synthesis from glucose, since dietary supplies of amino sugars are usually low.
How is NAG produced?
Glucose first interacts with glutamine (an amino acid) to form glucosamine, with the help of a key enzyme (Glucosamine synthetase) which regulates the whole production line. An acetyl group is next added, and the product is N-acetyl-glucosamine (NAG).
Glucose heads a family of sugars with identical sets of atoms but slightly different shapes of the molecules. Other members in the group include galactose and mannose. Like NAG, these include the amino sugars N-acetyl-galactosamine and N-acetyl mannosamine. All are extensively involved in tissue building. NAG is the chief precursor of the whole family.
How does NAG serve the body?
Amino sugars variously combine with proteins, lipids (fats) or long chains of amino sugar units to form huge molecules (macromolecules) which become part of basic tissue components.
Glycoproteins are proteins with one or more short sugar chains which significantly modify the properties of these proteins. Such chains are attached onto newly formed proteins through amino sugar linkages. Some glycoproteins are important components of many enzymes and hormones; other remain on cell surfaces where their “antennae” of oligosaccharide (sugar) chains perform special functions, e.g., as blinding sites for circulating hormones and for recognition between cells (the grouping of different cells to form a tissue depends on proper recognition of one cell surface by another).
The sugar chains may also determine the antigenic property of the glycoprotein so that the immune system can identify the body’s own cells from foreign ones. Mucus is a special glycoprotein with a high sugar content which accounts for its very viscous nature.
Glycosaminoglycans (GAG), also called mucopolysaccharides, are large molecules each with a protein “trunk” and “branches” of amino sugars and other constituents. NAG is a key component of hyaluronic acid (hyaluronate) which forms long straight chains to which molecules of GAG are attached, ending up in giant molecular complexes of proteoglycans (PG). The whole structure has a molecular weight of millions, tends to attract water to form a gel-like structure, and makes up much of the material between cells. Some 95% of a PG molecule is made up of carbohydrate.
Tissues containing amino sugars
Tissues cells are arranged in patterns and held in place by the ubiquitous interstitium which is a fine network of collagen fibres in which giant molecules of PG are interspersed. This gives a neatly packed, soft yet resilient structure which resists compression and regulates movement of molecules like nutrients and waste products among cells. PG structures vary according to the type of tissues, and are manufactured locally as required. Basement membranes (BM) are ultra-thin sheets enveloping blood vessels and tissues; their PG component affects their permeability and hence controls molecular traffic between blood vessels and tissue cells.
Glycocalyx is a third important product containing amino sugars. It is a very thin layer of glycoprotein covering the mucous membrane lining of the digestive and urinary tracts and air tubes, and is indeed fused into the cell membrane, so that it functions as the ultimate barrier and filter between the mucosal cells and the contents of the tracts concerned (eg., food, urine, etc). A wide variety of other tissues contains PG and glycoproteins.
Chitin (found in the hard shells of insects and shell fish and nails in mammals) is made up almost entirely of NAG, just as cellulose is composed exclusively of glucose.
Amino sugars and disease
There is suggestive evidence that certain disease processes are related to PG abnormalities. Thus in diabetes mellitus, the basement membranes are thickened and poorly formed and deficient in sialic acid. This narrows and weakens the wall of small arteries and capillaries (very small blood vessels next to cells), thereby impairing blood circulation. Furthermore, the “pore size” of the filtering mechanism in the kidneys are altered, so that large molecules like proteins may “leak through” into the urine. Patients with Nephrotic Syndrome (a primary kidney disease) are similarly affected.
In Cystic Fibrosis, thick and sticky mucus tends to block smaller tubes lined by mucous membrane, such as the pancreatic duct (which leads the digestive enzymes into the small intestine) and the smaller branches of the respiratory tract. Such obstruction encourages infection and “ballooning” (cystic formation) of the passages behind the block.
Normally, the lining mucosal cells of the digestive tract have a high turnover rate, so that the whole layer of surface cells may be renewed in 3-4 days.
In patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, this renewal rate is even faster, and amino sugars are required in this rapid cell growth. However, under these circumstances, a supply of NAG is taken up and made use of at a speed 3 times that of plain glucosamine. This suggests that in inflammatory bowel disease, rates of glucosamine conservation into NAG within the intestinal cells cannot keep pace with the excessive demand, and pre-formed NAG may serve better.
Unlike essential amino acids which are needed by all cells, amino sugars are more specific to tissues. Thus any deficiency (due, for example, to a missing enzyme in a particular sequence) may affect only a few types of cells.
Amino sugars and cell growth
Cells from different tissues have their own normal life spans and turnover rates, and there are maximum rates which cannot be exceeded without peril. Tissues damaged by disease need repair. This poses extra demands on biosynthetic processes as well as supply of raw material. Increasing the supply of ready-made building material (NAG, for example) may help to some extent and is entirely harmless. NAG is stable, neutral, tasteless, freely water soluble, and the source of other amino sugars. It is readily absorbed from the intestines, stays in the blood for several hours, and is used exclusively for cell structures; very little is excreted. It is thus a potentially useful supplement under these circumstances.
Vitamin C is included because it is required for the synthesis of connective tissue substances like NAG, Glucosamine Sulphate, Chondroitin Sulphate and Hyaluronic Acid. These are the structural & cementing materials of the body that give structure to muscle, vascular tissue, bone, cartilage & scar tissue.
NAG as a Supplement
In a healthy bowel, the mucosal cells lining the digestive tract have a high turnover rate, but in acute or chronic disease conditions the loss of cells is increased. This places a greater demand on the body’s building materials which include NAG. Supplementation with NAG compensates for this deficiency providing welcome relief for individuals with digestive tract complaints.
DRcaps Improve Absorption
To assure that the fragile nutrients in the formula are not affected by the strong acids in the stomach, Vitexemploys the new DRcaps technology. These special capsules resist the acid environment of the stomach and will dissolve only in the higher Ph of the small intestine. This assures maximum bio-availability of the nutrients.
DRcaps have many advantages over the traditional enteric coating of tablets and capsules. This new technology eliminates the costly enteric coating process which requires the use of solvents and heat which can have destructive effect on the active ingredients in the formula. DRcaps are resistant to moisture and provide a more precise and consistent dissolution rate compared to traditional enteric coated capsules or tablets.
|NUTRIENT||1 DRCapcontains||DAILY DOSE
NAG (N-Acetyl Glucosamine)
||500 mg||3,000 mg|
||100 mg||600 mg|