Natural sources of biological sugars

a glucose molecule

Biological sugars are monosaccharides which are the simplest form of sugars. Some have a sweet taste such as glucose and galactose whilst others do not. These of which happen to be the most common in our present day diet. The remaining 6 have a more complex and distinct structure, but still nonetheless remain part of the mono-saccharide family. These sugars can be found within various plant species in differing concentrations, however to date we have not found any one plant or plant species which contains all 8 monosaccharides, that is whether at all one actually exists or not.

Explained below is each one in more detail and the food source from which they are derived.


The most familiar of all essential biological sugars and the most abundant. Glucose is a product of photosynthesis in plants for which it is primarily used as a source of energy as well as a metabolic intermediate. Due to its simple structure it is readily absorbed into the bloodstream through the walls of the intestines with the help of membrane proteins.

Dietary Sources

Naturally enough there is no shortage of glucose in our diet, its everywhere. Foods that include this sugar are but not limited to honey, grapes, bananas, cherries, strawberries, mangoes, cocoa, aloe vera, licorice herb, sarsaparilla, hawthorn, garlic, kelp and echinacea.


Another Common essential sugar Galactose can be found in dairy products however it is also in a wide variety of vegetables and fruits. In the body it is synthesised to form glycolipids and glycoproteins, both of which are forms of carbohydrate chains. Galactose competes with glucose in transport mechanisms to access the bloodstream. Also glucose combines with galactose to form the milk sugar lactose.

Dietary sources

1.Dairy products.
2.Fruit: apples, apricot, banana, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, currants, dates, grapes, kiwi fruit, mango, oranges, nectarines, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, prunes, raspberries, rhubarb, strawberries and passion fruit.
3.Herbs: echinacea, fenugreek, boswellia and chestnuts.
4.Vegetables:brussel sprouts, carrots,cabbage, broccoli, avocado,cucumber, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, cauliflower, celery, green beans, lettuce,leeks, asparagus, mushrooms large), parsnip, pumpkin,spinach,onions and beetroot.


Not to be confused with the sugar fructose .It acts as a immune modulator by inhibiting tumour growth and its spread, as well as influencing brain development.

Dietary sources

Found in various mushrooms, it is the rarest of land plant sugars, however in the ocean its a different story. Ocean plant species such as kombu, wakame (undaria pinnatifida), mozuko and hijiki produce (much like land plants) long saccharide chains with the difference being that they are composed mostly of `fucose' giving them the name fucoidans.In fact in the case of wakame which has up to approximately 67% fucose in its fucoidan! Thus making ocean plant life a rich abundance of fucose.


The commercial version of xylose is xylitol which is a sugar substitute used as a healthier sweetening agent as opposed to sucrose. Although as sweet as sucrose it only produces 40% food energy and does not create a`spike' in blood sugar levels, so therefore far more beneficial to those suffering from diabetes.

Dietary sources

Found in most plant embryos as well as in guava, pears, blackberries, loganberries, raspberries, aloe vera gel, kelp, echinacea, boswellia, psyllium, broccoli, spinach, eggplant, peas, green beans, okra, cabbage, corn.


Is definitely the foundation stone of all the essential sugars. Its presence is so important in many aspects of the cell processes that a deficiency of which can lead to a host of health problems. The prefix manna is defined in the bible as the food supplied by God to the Israelites during their journey through the Sinai Peninsula. The highest source of which comes from the gel of the Aloe Barbabenis Miller leaves. Aloe Vera gel is approximately 98.5% water by weight and more than 60% of the total solid constitutes many polysaccharides called polymannan which is a long chain of mannose molecules.

Dietary sources

Other sources include black or red currants, gooseberries, green beans, capsicum (cayenne pepper, cabbage, eggplant, tomatoes, turnips and soy beans.

N-acetylneuraminic Acid [sialic acid]

More accurately it is an acidic amino sugar monosaccharide. Sialic acid is an immune moderator effecting the flow of mucus which in turn repels bacteria, viruses and other harmful microbes. In several in vitro and animal studies, this saccharide has been shown to inhibit strains of influenza A and B viruses more effectively than any prescription anti-virals. In the April 2001 issue of Protein Science, scientists from Australia reported findings showing that sialic acid was an effective anti flu agent. Whilst a 1995 issue of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy states it [sialic acid] as being 1000 times more effective in influenza control than the most potent antiviral drugs.

Dietary sources

Whey protein isolate or concentrate and hen's eggs (organic)


Research on N-acetylgalactosamine is still somewhat limited and pending further studies. We know however it is necessary for inter cellular communication and is concentrated in sensory nerve structures of humans and animals,and in humans it is the terminal carbohydrate forming the antigen of blood group A. Studies of individuals with heart disease have lower than normal levels of it.

Dietary sources

Bovine, shark cartilages and breast milk.


Although pretty difficult to find in the modern diet, it is an immune modulator along with fucose and sialic acid as well as having anti-tumor properties and has shown to have considerable activity against HIV. It plays a major role in repairing cartilage, and decreasing pain and inflammation, and increasing the range of motion of osteoarthritis.

Dietary sources

Bovine, shark cartilages and breast milk.

previous << 1. 2. 3.


web metrics