Polysaccharides are abundant natural polymers found in plants, animals and microorganisms with exceptional properties and essential roles to sustain life. They are well known for their high nutritive value and the positive effects on our immune and digestive functions and detoxification system. The knowledge and recognition of the important role they play for promoting and maintaining human health and wellbeing is continuously increasing. This review describes some important polysaccharides (e.g. mucilages and gums, glycosamine glycans and chitin/chitosan) and their medical, cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications, with emphasis on the relationship between structure and function. Next, the use of polysaccharides as nutraceuticals and vaccines is discussed in more detail. An analysis of the trends and challenges in polysaccharide research concludes the paper.
|Journal||Natural Product Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|