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Glycosaminoglucans are long-chain simple sugars with sulfur added. Glycosaminoglucans may have different molecular structures, each of which offers unique health benefits. Certain glycosaminoglucan forms are associated with gene expression, fibroblast growth, learning or memory. The glycosaminoglucans in Toki appear to benefit skin quality.

Glycosaminoglucan Molecular Structures
Glycosaminoglucans are polymers, comprised of many pairs of simple sugars. Each pair is called a disaccharide. Sulfur atoms on the glycosaminoglucans help them to interact with other molecules in the body.

Each glycosaminoglucan structure has a specific pattern of sulfur atoms. Along with the length and shape of a glycosaminoglucan, this pattern of sulfur atoms determines which other molecules a glycosaminoglucan can bind to. The function of a glycosaminoglucans will depend on the molecules that it binds to.

Glycosaminoglucan Functions
Glycosaminoglucans have many functions. They apepar to regulate cellular processes such as gene expression. Every cell in the body has the exact same DNA in its nucleus. This DNA is divided into genes. Each protein is coded by a gene. The differences between cells exist, because different genes are turned on in different cells. When a gene is turned on, biologists say that the gene is "expressed". Gene expression is the process of turning on a gene and making a protein from it.

Glycosaminoglucans have functions outside of the nucleus. They are believed to benefit fibroblast growth. Fibroblasts are the cells that help create the matrix of fibers in skin. Glycosaminoglucans are involved in blood clotting, a process that stops bleeding and is the first step in wound healing. Glycosaminoglucans also participate in learning and memory. In the health supplement field, a glycosaminoglucan called hyaluronic acid is well known for its role in skin. Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in skin care products.

The diversity of functions for glycosaminoglucans reflects the diversity of molecular structures within this class of polymers. The length, shape, and arrangement of sulfur atoms vary to match the function of each type of glycosaminoglucan. Gene expression, fibroblast growth, blood clotting, learning, memory, and skin health are all affected by glycosaminoglucans.

Glycosaminoglucan may benefit

  • Gene Expression
  • Fibroblast Growth
  • Blood Clotting
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Skin Quality


1. Glycosaminoglucans: Molecular Properties, Protein Interactions, and Role in Physiological Processes. Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique

2. Introduction to Glycosaminoglucans. Hsieh-Wilson Lab
California Institute of Technology

3. The Antioxidant and Antifibrogenic Effects of the Glycosaminoglycans Hyaluronic Acid and Chondroitin-4-Sulphate in a Subchronic Rat Model of Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Liver Fibrogenesis. PubMed