I’ve been around the health industry since leaving the Royal Navy in 1996. I retired at the age of 38 partly due to declining health and through a chance meeting became interested in functional carbohydrates. I was taught at school that carbohydrates only had one real function and that was to provide energy. What I know now is that carbohydrates are one of the most exciting compounds in the natural world and are now at the forefront of molecular chemistry, epigenetics, glycomics and many other fields of research.
In 1996 Harpers republished its Biochemistry reference volume in edition 24 and for the first time included a chapter on functional carbohydrates. That volume, used by many medical students through training, became a point of reference for carbohydrate researchers and scientists around the world and that included me.
We are now the largest supplier in Europe of a specialist sugar, Trehalose, to many end user customers, most research labs and universities and many businesses. Trehalose is just one of a wide range of carbohydrates we are interested in and we are continually watching the research horizons to see what novel uses other carbohydrates are being put to. Pharmaceutical drug companies are turning to carbohydrate based drugs or bolting on carbohydrates to existing drugs to make them more effective. Antibiotics being just one example where adding a carbohydrate can make them even more effective.