Glycosphingolipids are widely distributed in animals and plant tissues. They consist of a ceramide bound with glycosidic linkages to mono- or oligosaccharides which may contain substituents such as sulfate, acetate, or phosphate groups. They are amphiphilic lipids with vast and divergent roles within and between cells. Glycosphingolipids affect apoptosis, cell proliferation, endocytosis, intracellular transport, cell migration and senescence, and inflammation.1 A deficiency in the enzymes responsible for metabolizing glycosphingolipids allows them to accumulate to toxic levels in several lysosomal storage diseases including Gaucher, Fabry, metachromatic leukodystrophy, and gangliosidosis diseases.2 Matreya produces galactosylceramides, glucosylceramides, sulfatides (sulfo-galactosylceramides), lactosylceramides, globotriaosylceramides (ceramide trihexosides), globosides, and gangliosides. Each of these are available with natural fatty acids as well as with specific well-defined fatty acids in the ceramide moiety.


  1. G. D'Angelo et al., "Glycosphingolipids: Synthesis and Funcions" The FEBS Journal, Vol. 280 pp. 6338-6353, 2013
  2. H. Schulze and K. Sandhoff "Sphingolipids and Lysosomal Pathologies" Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, Vol. 1841 pp. 799-810, 2014

Fatty Acid Composition of Matreya's Natural Lipids

Natural sphingolipids contain a heterogeneous mixture of fatty acids attached to the sphingosine moiety. The fatty acid composition is dependent on several factors including species, location within the organism, age, and environmental conditions. Normal variations in the fatty acids include chain-length, hydroxylation, and unsaturation. The percentages listed are only approximates as the actual amount will vary between lots.

Table for typical fatty acid content of products prepared from natural sources (PDF)