Fringe Report: The glycocalyx, fiber rich produce, and intestinal health

The term glycocalyx may be used to refer to the surface area of membranes that surround a single human or bacterial cell, or to the surface area of the membranes that form the interior or exterior of an organ, blood vessel, or the gastrointestinal tract. The fiber found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, mushrooms and a few other foods helps us form the glycocalyx. Pectin in fruit is a type of fiber that thickens into gelatin when the fruit is cooked. The fiber works together in our intestines to form a jelly like layer that lines and helps stabilize the intestinal walls. White blood cells can move around in the jelly layer patrolling for allergens or infectious agents.

Some of the fibers that are found in the glycocalyx layer are electrically active. The electric charge coating the interior of vessels and the intestine help to keep the area open because it acts like two magnets that are held together so the repel each other instead of joining – the electrically  active chemicals lining the intestine push each other away rather than attracting each other and it helps keep the interior of the vessel wide open and flowing freely. Adequate fiber and water helps prevent constipation. See  “Neuraminic acid was known first as sialic acid” (8/21/2013) for more information about electrically active sugars.


[The Glycocalyx, Our Jelly Filling, ]

[Glyco-compounds – essential sugar building blocks, ]

[We are what we eat., ]

[Alp Luachra, an old name for edematous malnutrition, ]

And four posts that lost their paragraph breaks when I copied them onto one page:

Sugars give energy and structure to life (July 16, 2013)

Neuraminic acid was known first as sialic acid (8/21/2013)

To termites, trees are kind of like giant sugar cubes (8/21/2013)

GPI anchors are cell membrane glycoproteins (8/27/13)

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./