An inherited interest in ABO blood groups stimulated my four-decades long interest in the expression and significance of non-dietary, structural carbohydrates. These glycans, both as monosaccharides and their larger conjugates, play a critical, if underappreciated, role in the evolution from genotype and phenotype, and thus underlie virtually all developmental processes, both natural and pathologic. Their normal appearance and function can inform about specific physiologic nutritional needs, whilst their aberrant forms are critical elements in inflammation, metastasis, and microbiome individuation. A better understanding of their role, especially in pathogenesis, can provide the clinician with eye-opening realizations, far beyond the better understood protein-based genomic model.
- Review why and how major pathologies are associated with aberrant glycosylation
- Evaluate the role of ABO and FUT2 genetics on the interindividual variations in digestive secretory function
- Apply diet-based therapies, including food lectins and blocking sugars, as therapeutic tools in the management of aberrant glycosylation driven disease