Glycocalyx (eGC): What is Endothelial Glycocalyx?

Glycocalyx- microcirculation

 

(Editor’s Note: This article is based on original authorship of Dr. Don McGee)

What is the glycocalyx? It took until 50 years ago for the Endothelial Glycocalyx (eGC), a fragile organ that disintegrates at death, to be completely comprehended. In internal physiology, it is essential. The Microvascular Health Score can take hours to recover when there is high blood sugar or nicotine levels, among other things (MVHS). The eGC, despite being the largest organ in the body and having a surface area of a tennis court in an adult, plays a critical role in the exchange of nutrients, hormones, oxygen, and other chemicals between blood and the body’s 30 trillion cells. Adults have 60,000 miles of microcapillary length, and the eGC’s volume can be up to double that of the blood it regulates. The important point is that an unhealthy or damaged eGC can be restored, as described below.

Red Blood Cells Do Not Touch Vessel Wall

In healthy “exchange” capillaries, red blood cells (RBCs) flow in the center of the capillary while white blood cells (WBCs) compress the endothelial glycocalyx (eGC) close to the endothelial membrane without adhering or causing damage. The eGC, which has embedded antioxidant functions like superoxidase dismutase (SOD), manages inflammation unless there is an injury from trauma or infection. A thick and healthy eGC and receptors control clotting function. According to the Mystic trial, the eGC can protect the ACE II receptor on the endothelial membrane from Covid-19 invasion and mitigate pulmonary microvasculitis. More studies are ongoing. The thickness of the eGC can vary, with a range of 1-2 microns in capillaries to 4.5 microns in the carotid artery.

The major components of the eGC polysaccharide “Matrix” are:

  • Glycoproteins: selectins, integrins.
  • Glycosaminoglycans: heparin sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, hyaluronic acid
  • Proteoglycans: syndecans, glypicans.

Endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus organelles within the endothelial cell synthesize them.

The Glycocalyx is the Teflon-lining of Blood Vessels

glycocalyx -lining of blood vessals

It took three years to learn how to preserve the polysaccharide “matrix” of the endothelial glycocalyx (eGC) before dehydrating it for electron microscopy. The eGC plays a vital role in maintaining plasma and vessel wall hemostasis in the vasculature by regulating leukocyte and thrombocyte adherence. Its composition includes plasma proteins, enzymes, enzyme inhibitors, growth factors, cytokines, amino acids, cations and water, with the latter being the largest component.

When healthy and thick, the eGC functions as a non-stick coating, preventing the adhesion of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and lipids, mediating nitric oxide synthesis to open reserve capillaries and lower blood pressure at a systemic level. It also mitigates shear forces, especially at bifurcations and blocks microorganisms, malignant cells and albumin from entering the bloodstream.

It also contains antioxidants and mitigates inflammation and plays role in selective permeability with other biomolecules, allowing LDL in but blocks other molecules. Increased capacitance from improved eGC thickness dilutes glucose, LDL, and other lipids resulting in lower blood levels.

It has many components including Extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD3), Angiotensin-converting enzyme, Antithrombin III, Lipoprotein Lipase, Apolipoproteins, growth factors, and Chemokines. The potential to lower HgBA1C still need to be studied.

Glycocaylx Function

glycocalyx-function

A: Healthy Glycocalyz modulates Adhesion of particles of the vascular wall

  • Exchange of O2/CO2, nutrients, hormones and waste
  • Oxidative stress, inflammation and coagulation
  • Vasodilation
  • Prevents Leakage of proties and fluet into the adjacent tissues

B: Compromised Glycocalyx:

  • Infiltration of flued, protiens and other blood componets into the sub endothelial space
  • Reduction of capillary diameter
  • Reduction in quantity of functional capilaries
  • Reduced microcirculationReduction in exchange of O2/CO2, nutrients, hormones and waste

Healthy vs Damaged Glycocalyx

healthy-v-damaged-glycocaylx

A damaged glycocalyx (eGC) can result in increased vulnerability in the vascular system. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as decreased availability of nitric oxide, increased oxidative stress, leakage of macromolecules like albumin and LDL into subendothelial spaces, increased platelet adherence and thrombin generation, and increased leukocyte adhesion, leading to inflammation and thrombotic events. In contrast, when the glycocalyx is healthy, blood flow can increase as needed, for example during physical activity or mental exertion.

Damage to the endothelial glycocalyx (eGC) can lead to a decrease in capillary beds. However, this can be improved by using the solution at the end of this article.

When the eGC is damaged, it can cause a decrease in blood flow and a descending cycle of tissue and organ dysfunction. This can result in residual capillaries with severely damaged eGC becoming sticky, resulting in little or no blood flow.

The following can damage the eGC:

  • Lack of proper micronutrition, specifically glycomimetic compounds found in essential Mediterranean and Pan Asian plant-based diets
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Nicotine
  • Epigenetics
  • Aging (but it can be reversed)
  • Obesity (in obese trial, high-risk patients without symptoms were already missing 45% of the exchange capillaries)
  • Stress hormones (cortisol, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and pharmaceutical equivalents)
  • Medications that increase insulin resistance
  • Sepsis with toxins and covid microvasculitis can also shred the eGC leading to loss of “exchange” capillaries, perivascular edema, thrombosis, low pressure pulmonary edema, and organ ischemia. (in the ICU- “sick” covid patients have loss 95% of the “exchange” capillaries)
  • Other disease states.

Signs of decreasing organ blood flow — early warning signs

More than 85 clinical research studies by researchers and hospitals around the world confirm that a single hidden problem—a weakened glycocalyx and microvascular system—begins with early warning signs:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Erectile Dysfunction
  • Severe PMS
  • Cold Hands and Feet
  • Leg Cramps
  • Skin Problems
  • Hair Thinning
  • Fatigue
  • Neuropathy
  • Lack of Focus
  • Memory Loss
  • Certain Eye Problems
  • Hearing Loss
  • Slow Wound Healing

And now researchers know that a weakened glycocalyx—revealed by those early warning signs—begins a spiral of organ starvation, and is linked to several diseases and conditions:

  • Hypertension
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Stroke
  • Dementia
  • Septic Shock
  • Inflammatory Disorders
  • Cancer Metastasis
  • Long Haul COVID-19
  • Complications

But the eGC and blood flow can be restored with Endocalyx Pro!

Endocalyx Pro™ for Healthier Glycocalyx

Endocalyx Pro is a supplement made with Laminaria Japonica, a brown seaweed extract that is certified to have a minimum extract rate of 85% of the compound fucoidan sulfate. Fucoidan sulfate is a hybrid of heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate, and has a high binding affinity for heparanase. It repairs the glycocalyx and prevents breakdown by inhibiting heparanase activity. In addition to the fucoidan sulfate, Endocalyx Pro also contains high molecular weight hyaluronan which is essential for providing the glycocalyx with its structural stability and dimension.

The supplement also contains glucosamine sulfate, a high dose of 1,500 mg (vegetarian) which provides the building blocks for glycocalyx synthesis. Research has confirmed that glucosamine at this concentration boosts endothelial cell glycocalyx production.

Endocalyx Pro also contains a next-generation proprietary blend of polyphenol and flavonoids consisting of the most efficacious fruits and vegetables clinically shown to produce antioxidant activity. These ingredients include Olive (fruit) extract, artichoke (leaf) extract, red and white grapes (fruit) extract, superoxide dismutase (from bitter melon concentrate), and catalase (also from bitter melon concentrate). These ingredients are clinically effective in protecting the glycocalyx.

To restore the eGC and previously collapsed capillary beds, Whole Medicine Approaches in addition to Endocalyx Pro is recommended. This includes:

  • Lifestyle factors such as healthy BMI and food choices (low CHO especially simple sugars, moderate fat and protein; portion size, lowering insulin stimulation (insulin resistance), lowered Set Point in the hypothalamus)
  • Fitness, aerobic and resistance
  • Behaviors such as smoking cessation, food choices, sleep hygiene, cpap if necessary: therapists using Cognitive Behavioral Strategies with practitioners trained in Motivational Interviewing
  • Modulating stress (hormones) with healthy emotional and relationship health using advanced Cognitive Behavioral Strategies with practitioners trained in Motivational Interviewing, Mindfulness training and Meditation
  • Medications such as newer diabetic medications can improve the eGC: e.g., glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1RA), sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT-2i)
  • Spiritual connectedness (ie medicine)

One example of the effectiveness of Endocalyx Pro is a woman with a leg pre-amputation ischemic ulcer that was getting worse until she started taking Endocalyx Pro. She experienced quick development of healthy granulation tissue (recovery of collapsed capillary beds and blood flow) and improved blood pressure (increase in blood capacity) within 2 weeks.

Learn more about Endocalyx Pro here.

Read more

10 “Magical” Benefits of Magnesium

Benefits of Magnesium

You may find it surprising to learn that although magnesium is found in every cell throughout your body, the body is actually incapable of making magnesium on its own. While your body needs this essential mineral to function, about 50% of adults in the U.S. get less than the recommended daily amount of magnesium. So, how much should the…

Read more

9 Tips for a Healthy Aging Lifestyle – 2022

anti-aging

Aging gracefully, anti-aging, healthy aging, and longevity – while these may be terms we’ve heard before, navigating what this means and understanding how we can live a longer, better life is half the battle. Many factors influence how we age such as lifestyle choices, environment and genetics. Making simple shifts in your daily routine may help you improve your…

Read more

Why You Should Be Drinking Hydrogen Water

Hydrogen Water is Better Than Tap & Bottled Water Simple foods and drinks are often the healthiest. Chemical cocktails like sodas and energy drinks may taste good, but they are terrible for you. An ingredient list longer than a grocery list is a concrete sign of there being something wrong. So, what can someone drink to be healthier? Well,…

Read more

Why Drink Hydrogen Water When Working Out?

Hydrogen Water after Working Out

Before and After Your Workout, Drink Hydrogen Water Working out is so good for the human body that it cannot be understated. It not only improves the body’s ability to fight diseases and other health concerns like high blood pressure, diabetes, and muscle degradation, but it also improves health and wellness. Working out can help with mental clarity, general…

Read more

Hydrogen Water Can Help You Beat Caffeine Addiction

hydrogen water caffeine addiction

A Glass of Hydrogen Water Can Replace a Cup of Coffee The morning cup of coffee is such an automatic part of life you probably don’t even think about it anymore. When you wake up, you reach for a cup and down it. To make matters worse, as you’ve gotten older, it may seem like you need more and…

Read more

Hydrogen Water as a Novel Antioxidant

hydrogen water antioxidant

Molecular Hydrogen as a Novel Antioxidant: Overview of the Advantages of Hydrogen for Medical Applications Below is an excerpt from the study “Molecular Hydrogen as a Novel Antioxidant” that is most meaningful for our purposes. You may find the link to the full text at the bottom of this page. Shigeo Ohta from Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology,…

Read more

Benefits of Nitric Oxide Supplements

Nitric Oxide Supplement

From Three Studies It is established scientifically (Nobel Prize 1998) that nitric oxide is a compound in the body that dilates blood vessels and stimulates the release of hormones, such as insulin and human growth hormone. Nitric oxide boosters are available as a supplement in the form L-citrulline and L-arginine, et al, commonly. Multiple clinical trials by researchers related…

Read more

Acute Dose of ViNitrox Improves Endurance Performance

Vinitrox - Nitic Oxide Booster

Abstract Polyphenols are thought to be an interesting ergogenic aid for exercise and recovery. However, most studies regarding the effects of polyphenols investigated several days of supplementations. The present work aimed to study the effects of an acute intake of grape and apple polyphenols (ViNitrox) on the capacity to maintain intense exercise, here named endurance performance. Forty-eight physically active…

Read more

Molecular Hydrogen Affects Body Composition

molecular-hydrogen

Molecular hydrogen affects body composition, metabolic profiles, and mitochondrial function in middle-aged overweight women Abstract Background Molecular hydrogen (H2) effectively treats obesity-related disorders in animal models, yet no studies have investigated the effectiveness and safety of H2 for improving biomarkers of obesity in humans. Aim In this double blind, placebo-controlled, crossover pilot trial, we evaluated the effects of H2…

Read more

crystal ball

big things are coming!

Subscribe to receive exclusive notifications (don’t miss out)