There's an Awesome Enzyme Party, and You Weren't Invited.

July 10, 2015

 

What do guinea pigs, greater short-nosed fruit bats, red vented bulbul songbirds and primates of the Anthropoidea suborder (including humans) have in common?

 

We have all been excluded from the awesome enzyme party.  L-gulonolactone oxidase enzyme to be precise. 

 

Why is this relevant enough to be in a blog post, you ask? Well, because us Snack Ninjas also moonlight as Nutrient Nerds, so get ready to get schooled.

 

This nifty enzyme is responsible for turning sugar into Vitamin C within the body. For basically all the other animals, Vitamin C is not an essential nutrient, it's an essential metabolite!

 

Considering the incredible amount of research out there on the negative effects of sugar on human health, it is interesting to note that sugar has a very different effect on the health of...everything else.  Except for us and the fruit bats that is.

When say...your beloved canine companion scarfs down a sugary treat that has been left within reach of some enterprising paws, dextrose in the purloined sweet is converted into Vitamin C which has a number of beneficial effects, including improved immune function and cardiovascular health. 

 

If you think about it from an evolutionary point of view, the fact that veritably all other animals can convert sugar to C, could indicate that a simple mutation way back when got us all excluded from the aforementioned awesome enzyme party.  So keep your fingers crossed that humans mutate back and re-acquire the functionality of said enzyme.  A spoonful of sugar wouldn't help the medicine go down... it would be the medicine! (mind blown)

 

In the meantime... get your summer on, and eat your fruits and berries that are high in vitamin C! And perhaps share a berry with your guinea pig or fruit bat. 

 

 

 

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