If you desire to have a strong and healthy body that has an immune system that can adapt to a variety of stress quickly and efficiently, understanding what mannose binding lectins are and what role they play in our diet will help you achieve this goal.
You may not have heard of lectins before however; they have been affecting your health without you knowing! Some lectins cause problems and others protect the body. These inflammatory conditions fall into the category of either an overactive immune system (autoimmune) or underactive disorders. You’ll discover how we can protect ourselves against lectins when combined with an essential sugar called mannose.
What are Lectins?
Lectins are plant proteins, a large class of “carbohydrate-binding proteins” that are found in grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and nightshade crops. There has been over 119 plant lectins thus far identified with more in the future to be discovered. While these lectins are found in all life forms, the way they get there is through consuming them as food. Since they are problematic to humans, knowing what we are eating can be a first step in optimizing our health.
What Lectins do
Plant lectins serve as a natural defense system to fight off microorganisms such as molds, virus and parasites to protect the plant thus, ensuring its survival. However, when lectins get into your body, they are programmed to attack sugar molecules (not table sugar) that line the intestinal tract. That is bad news for your digestive system, because these cells that help you break down food are now obstructed. Lectins are drawn right to that lining, and your immune system retaliates. This causes inflammation thus, abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation.
A familiar consumed grain in our society is wheat which contains a lectin known as wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) or “gluten”. Unfortunately, even in small concentrations, gluten stimulates the synthesis of pro-inflammatory chemicals that lead to many modern diseases including Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)–Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and an autoimmune disorder. We consider this a bad lectin!
Mannose-Binding Lectins… good lectins!
Scientifically, it is known that lectins need a specific molecule to create this binding relationship that naturally occurs in our body and plants. To create a good lectin, mannose molecules are required so the binding process is enabled. The binding development between mannose and lectin is known as mannose binding lectins or MBL. Adding mannose molecules can truly make a bad lectin situation into a good one.
The Mannose-Binding Lectin Pathway
Mannose binding lectins are processed in the liver which becomes one of the key recognition molecules of your innate immune system. First, opsonizing or coating process occurs which identifies foreign particles. The MBL recognizes and binds to a wide range of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa by identifying carbohydrates on the cell surface. This activates macrophages and phagocytes that engulfs or eats the pathogen.
These important factors activate the mannose binding lectin pathway that encompasses the compliment, innate and adaptive immune system functions. These systems combined, allow the body naturally to fight various infections and diseases to maintain a balanced state of well-being.
Mannose-Binding Lectin Deficiencies
What you need to know here is mannose is an essential molecule to construct the mannose binding lectin pathway of immunity! Research shows low levels of mannose-binding lectins increases the risk of respiratory infections, including virus infections, pneumonia, meningitis, chronic obstructive Pulmonary disease, COPD, atherosclerosis, tuberculosis, cardiovascular disease and other diseases.
Humans don’t produce enough of mannose binding lectins and their immune system is often compromised. With decreased levels of mannose-binding lectins, the body does not recognize and fight foreign invaders efficiently. A deficiency of mannose binding lectins, may well be the result of a poor diet or other stress factors that erodes the immune system. An important point to remember is this: Mannans or mannose can only come from a diet rich in this molecule!
Where is Mannose found?….Aloe Vera Gel
To receive the full range of mannose molecules, supplementing your diet with a superior Aloe Vera gel, will enhance your health. The highest concentrations of mannose in the plant kingdom are in Aloe Vera. It is important to note that not just any aloe Vera gel will give the benefits you’re probably hunting for!
Mannose is only found in the gel not in whole leaf or juice. Furthermore, unless a particular enzyme is deactivated, the very large and large mannose molecule chains are destroyed before processing even begins! The discovery of how to stabilize it before processing begins revolutionized our product, Aloe Immune! With over 100 million dollars of scientific research spent on the mannose molecule, our experience of 35 years has led us to the richest source of aloe that has been properly grown, harvested, and processed.
To be Continued…..
Photo credits: Wikimedia