Glycocalyx definition, structure, and function

 

Good Overall Health is Linked to the Function of the Glycocalyx

 

The endothelial glycocalyx is defined as a vast protective micro-thin gel lining of all capillaries that touch each of the trillions of cells. The integrity of the glycocalyx structure and function is important because the continuous delivery of nutrients and hormones, and the elimination of waste, flows through the capillaries.

When glycocalyx function becomes compromised due to aging, poor diet, lack of exercise, genetics, stress, and other factors, it can become leaky. And when that happens, diseases and conditions can silently begin. Organs begin to starve without vital nutrients delivered through the capillaries and glycocalyx, leading to health decline.

Every cell of the body is nourished by the blood that travels through the capillaries that make up 99% of the circulatory system from head to toe.

Placed end-to-end, scientists estimate they would extend 60,000 miles, enough to go around the earth two-and-a-half times. With every heartbeat, vital nutrients and oxygen are delivered and waste is removed from each cell. This essential function breaks down with aging, poor diet, lack of exercise, genetics, stress, and smoking.

New medical science reveals the importance of the healthy structure of the glycocalyx that protects the entire circulatory system.

In the past, blood vessels were thought to be simple hollow tubes. But with today’s high-resolution video microscopes, a discovery reveals that the entire circulatory system is coated with a gel-like lining that protects the inside walls of the arteries, veins, and capillaries.

The glycocalyx keeps the body healthy in three critical ways.