03 December 2007

Who owns Glycobiology?

Supplement Tracker:
"A recent article in Science (2 Nov 07(318):734-737) discussed the wealthy Mannatech company that produces aloe-based products such as Acemannan. It has long been used as one of the many alternative approaches to managing HIV infection. Sugars (carbohydrates) are often found in the body attached to fats (lipids) or proteins where they are known as glycolipids or glycoproteins. As a field of scientific discovery, this is a relatively new area of understanding biological systems and functioning.

Some scientists in the field have taken umbrage against Mannatech for commercializing products that are little understood and applying a patina of science to their own sales efforts. While the science is definitely critical, company-sponsored research is always questionable. With agents like dietary supplements, we suffer the double whammy of little financial interest in paying for these studies due to lower profits as well as lack of interest on the part of mainstream medicine."

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