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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2011 May;65(5):648-56. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2010.263. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

An open-label dosing study to evaluate the safety and effects of a dietary plant-derived polysaccharide supplement on the N-glycosylation status of serum glycoproteins in healthy subjects.

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The Sir Joseph Hotung Centre for Musculoskeletal Disorders, Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, St George's University of London, London, UK.



The functional role of dietary carbohydrates in nutrition is one of the most complex and at times controversial areas in nutritional science. In-vitro and in-vivo studies suggest that certain dietary saccharide biopolymers can have bifidogenic and or immunomodulatory effects, and that some could represent preferential substrates or precursors that can impact cellular glycosylation.


Examine the impact of oral ingestion of a standardized dietary plant-derived polydisperse polysaccharide supplement (Advanced Ambrotose powder (AA)) on the N-glycosylation status of serum glycoproteins in a cohort of healthy individuals.


An open-label study was carried out. This study was in two phases: pilot study (n=6 individuals) to assess safety and dose, and a larger study (n=12) to evaluate specific glycosylation changes. Serum N-glycosylation profiles, using mass spectrometry, were monitored at weekly intervals, for 7 weeks, to evaluate baseline levels and normal fluctuations. The individuals were then monitored for a further 7 weeks, during which time increasing doses of AA were ingested (1.3-5.2 g/day).


No adverse events were encountered. AA supplementation resulted in distinct changes in the relative intensities of seven biantennary N-glycans (P<0.001), and a significant overall shift towards increased sialylation. Regression analysis revealed a dose-dependent decrease in mono- and di-galactosylated structures (coefficient -0.130 decrease/week: P=0.02 and -0.690: P=0.005), and a concomitant increase in disialylated glycans ( × 1.083: P<0.05).


Supplementation with the dietary plant-derived polysaccharides in AA resulted in significant changes in serum protein N-glycosylation in healthy individuals. How this occurs and whether it has biological significance remains to be evaluated.

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