Sialic acid information by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
February 7, 2014

Sialic acid, a key component of both human milk oligosaccharides and neural tissues, may be a conditional nutrient during periods of rapid brain growth. For more research in this area, consider signing up to a free email newsletter on natural medicine.
   Sialic acid is a generic term for the N- or O-substituted derivatives of neuraminic acid, a monosaccharide with a nine-carbon backbone. It is also the name for the most common member of this group, N-acetylneuraminic acid.

Sialic acid and brain
Dietary sialic acid supplementation improves learning and memory in piglets.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2007.
We tested the hypothesis that variations in the sialic acid content of a formula milk would influence early learning behavior and gene expression of enzymes involved in sialic acid metabolism in piglets. Piglets were allocated to 1 of 4 groups fed sow milk replacer supplemented with increasing amounts of sialic acid as casein glycomacropeptide for 35 days. Brain ganglioside and sialoprotein concentrations and mRNA expression of 2 learning-associated genes (ST8SIA4 and GNE) were measured. Feeding a protein-bound source of sialic acid during early development enhanced learning and increased expression of 2 genes associated with learning in developing piglets. Sialic acid in mammalian milks could play a role in cognitive development.

Diagnostic tool
Clin Lab. 2013. Serum sialic acid as a marker of pancreatic cancers. The carbohydrate alterations in sialoglycoproteins and sialoglycolipids cause the high serum concentration of sialic acid in many types of cancers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of total sialic acid (TSA), lipid-bound sialic acid (LSA), and free sialic acid (FSA) in patients with primary pancreatic cancers. TSA and LSA concentrations in the sera of 42 patients were measured by the enzymatic and FSA by the thiobarbituric method. The mean levels of TSA, LSA, and FSA in the sera of patients with pancreatic cancers were significantly higher than in controls. Taking into consideration the size and the location of the tumors, regional lymph node and distant metastases, there were no differences in TSA, FSA, and CA 19-9 levels. However, the location of tumors in the pancreas affects LSA levels. The sialic acids, contrary to CA 19-9, are not useful tools in the differential diagnosis of tumors and non-malignant diseases of the pancreas. LSA has the highest sensitivity, negative predictive value, accuracy, and the ability to discriminate cancer patients from healthy controls. The diagnostic power of LSA is similar to CA 19-9. We suggest that LSA can be useful in the diagnosis and evaluation of the tumor location in patients with primary pancreatic cancers.

Q. Would you please let me know if you have any supplements with sialic acid in it. if so how many milligrams.
   A. We are not aware of any sialic acid supplements for sale.