N-acetyl glucosamine (NAG, or GlcNAc) is a special type of monosaccharide (natural sugar found in the body) that is found concentrated in the cell wall of bacteria, fungi and is also present in animal cells, in particular the joints and synovial fluid. In the human body, its presence is integral in the extracellular matrix (the space between cells). It is part of many complex carbohydrates and connective tissues that serve to create important cellular structures and strength of the joints. Among others, NAG is a precursor of hyaluronic acid which is a powerful humectant, a substance that retains moisture and helps joints moving smoothly. It keeps skin soft, supple and moisturized and is also important for lubricating eyes and maintaining visual acuity. If you’ve ever heard of the powerful joint nutrient known as glucosamine, then you will become familiar with its molecular sibling NAG.
NAG is an important precursor to many different kinds of complex structural molecules that play vital roles in structural and strength of the human joints and connective tissue. From being present in cell membranes to participating in transmission of signals between cells, NAG is of prime importance in these activities. When taken as a supplement, it can help in any health conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, among others. This function is accomplished by the fact that NAG is an important component of the glycocalyx, which is the lining of the gut. And, interestingly, by virtue of its importance in the synthesis of hyaluornic acid (HA can’t be made without NAG), NAG keeps eyes healthy and moisturized.
In an experimental study involving human and animal cornea, researchers studied the effect of hyaluronic acid on the healing of injured corneal epithelial cells. The Cornea is the transparent front part of the eyes and is composed of many layers. The topmost layer of the cornea is called the epithelial layer. In the study, hyaluronic acid was administered in different amounts to assess its effectiveness in healing of the epithelial cells. The study demonstrated that hyaluronic was indeed effective in healing of injured epithelial cell layer. This study shares with us initial finding that hyaluronic acid (which is made from NAG) has a protective effect on the eye View research
NAG is produced from hydrolysis of chitin, a naturally-occurring marine biopolymer.
Eye Max is a product that contains NAG, along with lutemax and Bilberry. This unique, patented, powerful formulation repairs eye damage due to aging, screen exposure, while at the same time keeping vision sharp and eyes lubricated.