What is Sialic acid
Sialic Acid is a group of derivatives of neuraminic acid (N- or O-substituted derivatives neuraminic acid). Usually in the form of oligosaccharides, glycolipids or glycoproteins.
Sialic Acid is also the name for this group’s most common member – N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac or NANA).
Sialic acid family
It has been known as nearly 50 members, all derivatives of the negatively charged 9-carbon sugar neuraminic acid.
N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac), N-glycolylneuraminic
acid (Neu5Gc) and deaminoneuraminic acid (KDN) are its core monomer.
N-acetylneuraminic acid is the only kind of Sialic Acid in our body.
Sialic Acid and Bird’s nest
Because Sialic acid is rich in bird’s nest, it is also called bird’s nest acid, which is an essential indicator of bird’s nest grading.
Sialic Acid is the main nutrition ingredients in Bird’s nest, around 3%-15% by weight.
Among all the known foods, Bird’s nest contains the highest content of Sialid acid, around 50 times higher than other foods.
1g Bird’s nest equals 40 eggs if we get the same quantity Sialic Acid.
Sialic Acid food sources
Generally, plants contain no Sialic acid. The leading supply for Sialic acid is human milk, milk, meat, egg, and cheese.
Contents of total Sialic acid in conventional foods (µg/g or µg/ml).
|Raw food sample||Neu5Ac||Neu5Gc||Total||Neu5Gc, % of total|
|Milk (2% Fat 3% Pr)||93.75||3.51||97.26||3.61|
We can see that the Sialic acid in Human milk is high, which is the key ingredient for baby’s brain development.
But Sialic Acid content are different in different Period Human milk
Breast milk colostrum 1300 +/- 322 mg/l
10 days later 983 +/- 455 mg/l
Preterm infant milk powder 197 +/- 31 mg/l
Adapted milk formulas 190 +/- 31 mg/l
Partially adapted milk formulas 100 +/- 33 mg/l
Follow-up milk formulas 100 +/- 33 mg/l
Soy-based milk formulas 34 +/- 9 mg/l
Compare with Breast milk; Infant milk powder contains around 20% Sialic acid of Human milk while the baby can only get 25% Sialic acid from Breast milk.
For the Preterm baby, Sialic acid is essential than the healthy baby in Brain development.
Sialic Acid Study on Milk powder
“The results indicated that brain sialic acid content plays an important role in determining behavior. Another group observed improved learning with free sialic acid treatment in rodents.”
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural
Resources 2006 1, No. 018，Is sialic acid in milk food for the brain?，Bing Wang
“The Conclusions is Higher brain ganglioside, and glycoprotein sialic acid concentrations in infants fed human milk suggests increased synaptogenesis and differences in neurodevelopment.”
Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78:1024–9. Printed in the USA. © 2003 American Society for Clinical Nutrition，Brain ganglioside and glycoprotein sialic acid in breastfed compared with formula-fed infants，Bing Wang
“Neural cell membranes contain 20 times more sialic acid than other types of membranes, indicating that sialic acid has a clear role in neural structure.”
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (2003) 57, 1351–1369, The role and potential of sialic acid in human nutrition, Bing Wang
N-Acetylneuraminic acid Application
Currently, More and more Breastfeeding mother’s milk powder, Babies’ Milk powder, Nutritional supplements contains Sialic Acid in the Market.
For Breastfeeding Mothers
For Baby Milk powder 0-12 months
For Healthcare product
Since Sialic acid has good water-soluble ability, many companies are trying to development Sialic acid beverage for Brain health or add into milk products.
N-Acetylneuraminic acid Safety
N-Acetylneuraminic acid is very safe, currently, no negative news reported on Sialic acid.
The USA, China and EU Government approves Sialic acid to be used in Food and Health care product.
In 2015, N-Acetyl-D-neuraminic acid (Sialic acid) was determined Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)
In 2017, China Government approved N-Acetylneuraminic acid as a New Resource Food Ingredient.
Safety of synthetic N-acetyl-d-neuraminic acid as a novel food pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 258/97
On 16 October 2015, orphan designation (EU/3/12/972) was granted by the European Commission to Ultragenyx UK Limited, United Kingdom, for sialic acid (also known as aceneuramic acid) for treatment of GNE myopathy.
Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to sialic acid and learning and memory (ID 1594) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006
CFDA suggest 500mg/day
Novel food suggest 55mg/day for Infant and 220mg/day for Young and middle-aged women
N-acetylneuraminic acid Function
Memory and Intelligence improvement
By interacting with brain cell membranes and synapses, Sialic acid increases the response rate of synapses in the brain’s nerve cells, thereby promoting the development of memory and intelligence.
New Zealand scientists have done a series of experiments to confirm the critical role of bird’s nest acid in children’s intellectual development. Finally, the research concluded that supplementation of bird’s nest acid in infants could increase the concentration of bird’s nest acid in the brain, thereby improving the brain’s ability to learn.
Improve intestinal absorption capacity
According to the simple physical phenomenon of the opposite sex, the positively charged minerals and some vitamins that enter the intestine are easily combined with the strong negatively charged bird’s nest acid, so the intestinal absorption of vitamins and minerals. The ability has been enhanced from it.
Promote intestinal antibacterial detoxification
Sialic Acid on the cell membrane protein plays a crucial role in improving cell recognition ability, detoxification of cholera toxin, prevention of pathological Escherichia coli infection, and regulation of blood protein half-life.
Sialic acid has a protective and stabilizing effect on cells, and the lack of sialic acid can lead to a decrease in blood cell life and a decrease in glycoprotein in metabolism.
Develop new medicine for Sialic Acid
Scientists try to treat gastrointestinal diseases with sialic acid anti-adhesion drugs. Sialic acid anti-adhesive drugs can treat Helicobacter pylori to treat gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers.
Sialic acid is a glycoprotein. It determines the mutual recognition and binding of cells and has clinically similar anti-inflammatory effects as aspirin.
Sialic acid as a drug, for central or topical neurological diseases and demyelinating disease; sialic acid is also a cough expectorant.
Sialic acid as a raw material can develop a series of essential sugar drugs, anti-virus, anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory, treatment of senile dementia have outstanding results.