N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) for Gut Health: Does it Really Work? 

Written by Clare Gibson   

Published on Jan, 02  2024

In the realm of gut health, the spotlight often falls on various supplements and compounds that promise to be the key to a healthier digestive system. One such player gaining attention is N-Acetyl D Glucosamine (NAG). In this blog post, we will delve into the distinct characteristics of NAG, highlight its benefits for gut health and leaky gut, and answer a common question about its safety for individuals with shellfish allergies.

Glucosamine vs. NAG - What's the Difference? 

While often mistaken for its close relative glucosamine, NAG possesses distinct functional properties. Glucosamine primarily supports joint health through cartilage building, whereas NAG focuses on the intestinal mucosa, the delicate epithelial barrier that shields our internal milieu from external invaders. In essence, glucosamine strengthens the bricks of the house, while NAG repairs and reinforces the internal plaster and sealant – crucial for maintaining a well-protected interior.

Shellfish Allergies and NAG: Is It Safe To Consume? 

A common concern among individuals considering NAG supplementation is its association with shellfish. However, research suggests that NAG can be safely consumed by individuals with shellfish allergies. A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that the allergenic proteins present in shellfish are not present in glucosamine, making it a safe alternative for those with allergies.

Benefits of NAG for Gut Health 

The gut lining, a crucial barrier between the internal environment and the outside world, is susceptible to damage from various factors such as poor diet, stress, and inflammation. NAG steps onto the stage as a potential saviour for the gut lining, offering a helping hand in its repair and maintenance.

NAG acts like a natural mortar, stimulating the production of mucin, a gel-like substance that coats and seals the gaps between intestinal cells. This "biocompatible plaster" strengthens the gut barrier, preventing unwanted intruders from passing through. Studies published in prestigious journals like "National Library of Medicine" back this up, showing NAG's ability to significantly increase mucin production and enhance tight junction integrity (the gatekeepers between cells).

NAG and Inflammation 

Chronic gut inflammation can further weaken the intestinal wall, exacerbating leaky gut symptoms. However, NAG possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties,  helping to calm the inflammatory storm, and creating a conducive environment for gut wall repair and optimal barrier function.

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Other Gut Health Benefits

By tightening the grip of tight junctions and taming gut inflammation, NAG offers a wide range of benefits:

 

Enhanced Nutrient Absorption: A well-sealed gut translates to efficient nutrient absorption, improving overall health and well-being. 

 

Boosted Immune Defense: A robust gut barrier represents your frontline defence against harmful pathogens. NAG, by strengthening tight junctions, supports a stronger immune system for enhanced protection.

 

Reduced Digestive Discomfort: From bloating and cramping to food sensitivities, a leaky gut can be a recipe for discomfort. NAG's ability to repair the gut wall and fight inflammation can significantly alleviate these symptoms.

Who Should Take NAG? 

Individuals struggling with the following conditions may find NAG to be a valuable ally.

 

Leaky gut: Studies like one published in Nutrition Research suggest NAG's potential to improve intestinal barrier function and alleviate leaky gut symptoms (Naito et al., 2010).

 

Food sensitivities: Research in Digestive Diseases and Sciences indicates that NAG may help reduce food sensitivity symptoms by enhancing gut barrier integrity (Takeda et al., 2015).

Sluggish digestion: NAG's gut-protective and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to improved digestion and reduced discomfort, as suggested by a study in World Journal of Gastroenterology (Chen et al., 2018).

 

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis: Evidence from Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggests that NAG might be beneficial for managing IBD and ulcerative colitis by reducing inflammation and supporting gut barrier function 

Where Can I Find NAG?

For those who are ready and looking to improve their gut health, consider incorporating a supplement like DAYLY into your routine. DAYLY’s a unique gut health formulation, created by a digestive nutritionist, designed to target the root cause of digestive upset. The formulation combines  NAG and L-glutamine, synergistically contributing to gut lining repair, as well as a blend of potent plant botanicals and polyphenols, elevating its potential to enhance overall gut health and promote long-term digestive wellness. 

 

DAYLY Gut Health Natural 153gwww.yourdayly.com 

References:

 

Abo, H., Muraki, A., Harusato, A., Imura, T., Suzuki, M., Takahashi, K., Denning, T. L., & Kawashima, H. (2023). N-acetylglucosamine-6-O sulfation on intestinal mucins prevents obesity and intestinal inflammation by regulating gut microbiota. JCI insight, 8(16), e165944. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.165944

 

Aleman, R. S., Paz, D., Cedillos, R., Tabora, M., Olson, D. W., & Aryana, K. (2023). Attributes of culture bacteria as influenced by ingredients that help treat leaky gut. Microorganisms, 11(4), 893. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11040893

 

Aoki, H., Shimazu, T., & Kawakita, M. (2017). N-acetylglucosamine suppresses colon inflammation and tight junction disruption in dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis mice. Inflammation research, 71(10), 937-947.

 

Chen, C. C., Lin, C. H., & Yen, C. J. (2018). N-acetylglucosamine ameliorates intestinal barrier dysfunction and inflammation in a mouse model of colitis. World journal of gastroenterology, 24(23), 2637-2647.

 

Choi, S. I., Shin, Y. C., Lee, J. S., Yoon, Y. C., Kim, J. M., & Sung, M. K. (2023). N-Acetylglucosamine and its dimer ameliorate inflammation in murine colitis by strengthening the gut barrier function. Food & function, 14(18), 8533–8544. https://doi.org/10.1039/d3fo00282a

Nakano, M., Takahashi, K., Fujimoto, Y., Ogawa, H., & Takeuchi, T. (2000). N-acetylglucosamine stimulates mucin synthesis and tight junction formation in cultured human intestinal epithelial cells. Molecular and cellular biochemistry, 213(1-2), 137-144.

 

Naito, H., Yamagami, Y., Takahashi, H., & Tani, F. (2010). Improvement of intestinal barrier function by N-acetylglucosamine in rats with dextran sulfate sodium-induced colitis.

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