Daily Protein Requirement is high early in day and low after 8PM.

The recommended daily protein requirements for humans are derived from "ideal body weight". The ideal body weight is calculated based on height and varies slightly for men and women. Our protein requirements can also be expressed in terms of total caloric intake. The world health organization and many national health agencies have independently conducted studies, which (even though they differ slightly) all conclude our daily protein requirement should be 10% to 15% of daily caloric intake.

To calculate specific daily protein requirement:
1) determine your ideal body weight, then
2) calculate your specific protein requirements based on ideal weight.
3) Breakfast then becomes 25-50% of daily protein intake, depending on number of meals.

For a 5 foot woman: Ideal body weight is 100 pounds, or 45.5 kilograms.
Your quality daily protein intake requirement is 20.5 grams to 36.4 grams.
If working endurance training, increase to 21.5 to 36.5 grams.
Kidneys’ safe upper limit is 91grams.  Consume 5-18grams for breakfast, larger amount better for breakfast, with smaller protein portion for dinner.

For a 5foot4inches woman Ideal body weight is 120 pounds, or 54.5 kilograms.
Your quality daily protein intake requirement is 24.5 grams to 43.6 grams.
If working endurance training, increase to 25.5 to 43.7 grams.
Kidneys’ safe upper limit is 109grams.  Consume 6-22grams for breakfast, larger amount better for breakfast, with smaller protein portion for dinner.

For a 5foot8inches woman: Ideal body weight is 140 pounds, or 63.6 kilograms.
Your quality daily protein intake requirement is 28.6 grams to 50.9 grams.
If working endurance training, increase to 29.6 to 51 grams.
Kidneys’ safe upper limit is 127grams.  Consume 8-26grams for breakfast, larger amount better for breakfast, with smaller protein portion for dinner.

For a 5foot male: Ideal body weight is 106 pounds, or 48.2 kilograms.
Your quality daily protein intake requirement is 21.7 grams to 38.5 grams.
If working endurance training, increase to 22.7 to 38.6 grams.
Kidneys’ safe upper limit is 97grams.  Consume 6-19grams for breakfast, larger amount better for breakfast, with smaller protein portion for dinner.

For a 5foot6inches male: Ideal body weight is 142 pounds, or 64.5 kilograms.
Your quality daily protein intake requirement is 29 grams to 51.6 grams.
If working endurance training, increase to 30 to 51.7 grams.
Kidneys’ safe upper limit is 129grams.  Consume 7-26grams for breakfast, larger amount better for breakfast, with smaller protein portion for dinner.

For a 6foot male: Ideal body weight is 178 pounds, or 80.9 kilograms.
Your quality daily protein intake requirement is 36.4 grams to 64.7 grams.
If working endurance training, increase to 37.4 to 64.8 grams.
Kidneys’ safe upper limit is 162grams.  Consume 9-33grams for breakfast, larger amount better for breakfast, with smaller protein portion for dinner.

Step 1 - calculate your ideal weight

Woman's ideal body weight:

  • US measure: 100 pounds for 60 inches in height
    + 5 pounds for each additional inch over 60 inches
  • Metric: 45 kilograms for 150 centimeters in height
    + 0.85 kilograms for each additional centimeter in height

Men's ideal body weight:

  • US measure: 106 pounds for 60 inches in height
    + 6 pounds for each additional inch over 60 inches
  • Metric: 48 kilograms for 150 centimeters in height
    + 1 kilogram for each additional centimeter in height

Step 2 - use ideal weight to determine your daily protein requirement.

The world health organization established a daily protein requirement less than the UK Department of Health and Social Security and US RDA. Using the high and low recommendations together provides an acceptable range for daily protein requirement.

Men and women protein intake range based on ideal body weight:

If you are currently doing endurance training your daily protein requirement increases to 1-1.2 grams per kilogram of ideal body weight per day.  There is no recommended daily protein requirement for weight or strength training.  Daily requirements do not increase for people over their ideal body weight.  This is because amino acids are little needed to support fat cells.

To determine a child's exact protein needs during growth, use the following guide.  Multiply the child's weight in pounds by the number of grams of protein needed per pound of body weight to calculate their daily protein requirements.

Ages 1 to 3 - 0.81 grams (child's weight in pounds x 0.81 = daily grams of protein)
Ages 4 to 6 - 0.68 grams quality protein
Ages 7 to 10 - 0.55 grams quality protein

Growth creates a constant state of critical demand.  According to the National Academy of Sciences, total caloric intake and RDA of protein for young children is as follows:

Ages 1 to 3 - 1300 calories and 16 grams protein, between 4-8grams for breakfast.
Ages 4 to 6 - 1800 calories and 24 grams protein, between 6-12grams for breakfast.
Ages 7 to 10 - 2000 calories and 28 grams protein, between 7-14grams for breakfast.

OR (another opinion)   For the 70kg or 148pound male: Average -51.528 grams per day; intermediate/advanced level exerciser -77.292 grams per day; body builder -109.497 grams per day; endurance athlete (i.e. marathoner or triathlete) -128.82 grams per day.

Layne Norton of the U. of Illinois suggests that a 200 pound male athlete and body builder might aim for 5 meals, each providing 4 grams of leucine (for maximal protein synthesis) spaced 4-6 hours apart.  Servings of 6 eggs, 33 grams cold processed whey protein, 50 grams of fish, 54 grams of chicken, or 51 grams of beef each provide 4 grams of leucine.  Total protein intake becomes ‘risky high’ at 225grams.  Perhaps a leucine amino acid supplement of 2-3grams between meals, two or three times per day can promote maximal protein synthesis with less risk of overloading the kidneys.

In female participants given ornithine, the subjective feeling of fatigue was significantly lower than the placebo group.  Female subjects taking the amino acid also performed better on the physical performance test compared to subjects receiving a placebo.  Volunteers were randomized to receive L-ornithine (2,000 mg/day) for 7 days and 6,000 mg/day for 1 day or a placebo for 8 days.  Ornithine activates the urea cycle, which allows for the disposal of excess nitrogen.  By increasing the disposal of nitrogen, ornithine inhibits the increase in blood ammonia level caused by physical load or excessive protein consumption.  It is this increase in blood ammonia level that is in part responsible for the negative symptoms that occur after excessive exercise.

Among the most beneficial and effective supplements in any sports nutrition program are branched chain amino acids (BCAA). These are the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids have been investigated for their potential anticatabolic (preventing muscle breakdown) and anabolic (muscle building) effects.  The combination of these three essential amino acids make up approximately 1/3 of skeletal muscle in the human body, and play an important role in protein synthesis.  Leucine is the most readily oxidized BCAA and therefore the most effective at causing insulin secretion from the pancreas, and stimulating anabolic metabolic pathways.  BCAA’s are currently used clinically to aid in the recovery of burn victims, as well as for supplementation for strength athletes.

Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body. You must get them from complete protein foods or combinations of incomplete vegetable foods. There are 9 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan and valine. Your body can make non-essential amino acids by itself from vitamins and other amino acids.

The term "non-essential" can be misleading since all amino acids are essential for proper metabolism and certain non-essential amino acids, such as cysteine or glutamine, can conditionally become very essential (to make glutathione).  The 13 non-essential amino acids (but helpful) are alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cysteine, cystine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, hydroxyproline, proline, serine and tyrosine.

Enzymes are active proteins

Over 2,500 different kinds of enzymes are found in living things.  Enzymes are mostly RNA proteins, very special kinds of proteins with memory that also act as catalysts.  Enzymes give our body chemistry its vitality, literally giving our metabolism a jump start.  Metabolic enzymes play a role in all bodily processes including breathing, talking, moving, thinking, behavior and maintenance of the immune system.  A subset of these metabolic enzymes called cytochromes act to shape proteins or oxidize poisons and carcinogens such as pollutants, DDT and tobacco smoke, changing them into less toxic forms that the body can eliminate. 

The second category includes pancreatic digestive enzymes, of which there are about 22 in number.  Secreted into the alkaline duodenum they work by oxidation to break down the bulk of partially digested acidified chyme leaving the stomach.  The same enzymes circulate in the blood inactive.  When drawn to areas of inflammatory oxidative alkalinity their digestive functions are activated.  Food enzymes are present in raw foods and initiate the process of digestion in the mouth and upper stomach.  Germinating seeds, nuts, beans and grains as well as their sprouts and rapidly growing leaf tips or root shoots have highest enzyme activity.

Food enzymes include proteases for digesting protein, lipases for digesting fats and amylases for digesting carbohydrates.  Amylases in saliva control dental plaque and contribute to carbohydrate identification and digestion during mastication, and all enzymes naturally found in food continue this process while it rests in the upper portion of the stomach. 

The upper stomach secretes no digestive juices whatsoever, but acts as a holding tank where the enzymes present in raw foods do their work on what we have eaten before this more or less partially digested mass is directed on to the lower stomach, about 30 minutes after food is ingested.  Therefore it is OK to drink water with meals.

Hydrochloric (HCl) acid secretion occurs only in the lower stomach and is stimulated by the passage of food from the upper to lower stomach.  (Hydrochloric acid coagulates protein.  HCl acid does not digest meat, as is commonly believed, but activates the enzyme pepsinogen to its active form pepsin, so it can digest protein.)

During the evolution of our enzyme systems purified sugar was not available.  Our body simply is not programmed to handle anything more than the quantity of simple sugars present in one teaspoonful of honey or a couple of modern hybridized large sweet peaches or apples.  Organic peaches or apples do come with their mineral supply, and loads of other nutrients, intact.  

One can even overdose on natural foods and take a large hit of sugar from fruit, for example, especially dried fruit.  It also is easy to overdo it by juicing six apples or six oranges and gulping the juice down in ten minutes without first diluting with water or green juices.

The first enzyme systems of the body which are upset by refined sugar are digestive enzymes, because these are the first encountered by the sugar you put in your mouth.  Because these enzymes are disabled by abnormal concentrations of sugar, food passes through the digestive tract in an undigested or a partially digested state. 

Browning or toasting carbohydrates and proteins also makes deformed and indigestible molecules.  Some of these large molecules encounter the ‘barrier’ wall immune cells of the small intestines in an undigested or partially digested state.  These large molecules are seen as antigenic or foreign and antibodies are made to them.  This is how food allergies develop.

A diet high in refined carbohydrates stimulates an abnormal pancreatic insulin response in order to moderate blood sugar levels, while high sugar intake may also increase adrenal cortisone and cholesterol levels fourfold.  Constant high intake of simple dietary sugar over-stimulates and then "burns out" normal, healthy pancreas and adrenal function.

Sub-normal or lackluster performance of these two important endocrine glands leads directly to adult-onset diabetes, cardiovascular complications, hypoglycemia and chronic fatigue.  The direct result of high sugar intake is a significant increase in blood serum saturated fatty acids, which depresses the oxygen transport system (dramatically during athletic performance).

Muscle mitochondrial cells (internal energy cell units) use the breakdown of 6-carbon glucose molecules into pyruvate for all muscle energy.  One of the byproducts of the energy cycle is 2-carbon acetate, vinegar.

Acetates form the building blocks for cholesterol.  If acetates are produced faster than they can be burned, enzymatic reactions within our cells "join" acetates end-to-end to make excess cholesterol and saturated fat, which makes red blood cells sluggish, sticky, and inefficient, deposits excess saturated fatty acids around organs and in subcutaneous skin folds or, deposits clogs of cholesterol within the vascular system, impeding blood transport of vital nutrients and oxygen to peripheral muscle cells.

Papain is a proteolytic enzyme derived from the latex of papaya.  This enzyme becomes active in an environment of 6.0-8.0 pH and requires temperatures above normal human body temperature.  For this reason papain and bromelain are often used to reduce inflammation since the temperatures at points of inflammation are always higher than the rest of the body.

Chymotrypsin is a proteolytic enzyme taken from the pancreas of ox and pigs.  This enzyme requires a pH level of 8.0 to become active.  Trypsin is a proteolytic enzyme formed in the intestine and can be taken from the intestine or pancreas of an animal.  Trypsin breaks down arginine or lysine and works only in an alkaline setting.  Enzymes commonly used to fortify pancreas and small intestine are often coated so that they can make it through the acid stomach to the 8.0 pH occurring in the small intestine.

The enzymes in raw food help start the process of digestion and reduce the body's need to produce digestive enzymes.  Enzymes are deactivated at a wet-heat temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit, and a dry-heat temperature of about 150 degrees.  Foods and liquid at 117 degrees can be touched without pain, but liquids over 118 degrees will burn.  This is a built-in mechanism for determining whether or not the food we are eating still contains active enzyme content.

Humans and animals on a diet comprised largely of cooked food typically have enlarged pancreas while other glands and organs, notably the brain, actually shrink in size.  The body recycles enzymes by absorbing them intact, whole and functional through sites controlled by dendritic cells in the intestine and colon and transporting them in the blood back to the upper intestine to be used again.  The body thus conserves its precious enzyme stores.

Almost all traditional societies incorporated raw, enzyme-rich foods into their cuisines, not only vegetable foods but also raw animal proteins and fats in the form of raw dairy foods, raw muscle and organ meats and raw fish. 

Cultured or fermented foods have an enzyme content that is actually enhanced by the fermenting and culturing process.  The Eskimo diet was composed in large portion of raw fish that had been allowed to "predigest," that is, become putrefied or semi-rancid.  To this predigested fermented food they ascribed their stamina.  Culturing of dairy products, universally common in history enhances the enzyme content of milk, cream, butter and cheese.

Germination creates predigested food with rehydrated functioning mitochondria have higher biological efficiency value then whole seeds, raw or cooked.  Less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and cells.  The sprouting process under the action of light creates chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll has been shown to be effective in overcoming protein deficiency anemia.

Sprouts also have a regenerating effect on the human body because of their high concentration of RNA, DNA, protein and essential nutrients which can be found only in living cells.  Like humans, plants must protect themselves against oxygen-related damage, and they depend on antioxidant enzymes to help them do so.  

A recently germinated sprout starts to generate many new oxidative enzymes in preparation for its journey up through the soil and into the open air.  Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) are examples of oxidative enzymes that occur in higher concentrations in young plant sprouts than in the older, mature leaves.  Glutathione peroxidase (GPO) is another example of an important oxidative enzyme that is found in the human body and in the plants we eat.

Glutathione lack diminishes energy while promoting addictive behaviors to avoid pain and is the ‘septic switch’.

Glutathione’s base form is a combination of three amino acids, a glycine (from tryptophan), glutamine (from glutamate) and sulfur-containing cysteine (from methionine, cystine or taurine).  It is our chemistry’s primary hydrogen donor, forming our most important reducing enzymes.  The most active glutathiones are complexes with selenium. 

The first glutathione genes were produced when bacteria were exposed to oxygen, long before human life.  It forms our most important antioxidant system, and mostly makes up for primates’ loss of ability to make vitamin C. However, lack of reduced glutathione is the septic switch, which shuts down our energy production and cellular immunity.  If the phagocytic cell cannot protect itself from its own oxidative burst (when activated, its metabolism revs up a thousand fold), it will not travel or gobble. 

Plaque accumulation in the mouth typically provides evidence of immobilized cellular immunity, rather than poor mechanical hygiene habits.  When cellular immunity fails, secondary humoral immunity is then programmed to switch on inflammatory destructive chemistry with its aches, yeasty itch, allergies, hypersensitiveness and eventually unbridled auto-immune destruction.  Tooth decay, gum infections or abscesses, sinus infections, herpes blossoms or headaches occur when reduced glutathione is exhausted.  

Every day our mitochondria make half our body weight of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) the chemical currency of energy.  It ultimately takes three glutathiones donating hydrogen ions to create one ATP. 

Supplementing the nucleoside adenosine provides beneficial effects in sepsis.  Vasodilation is the prototypic response to this nucleoside.  Dietary nucleosides and nucleotides do not affect tumor incidence but reduce amyloidosis incidence in mice.  Also, a nucleoside-nucleotide mixture may reduce memory deterioration in old senescence-accelerated mice. 

Dry powder of edible alga Spirulina platensis contains 60-65% protein of which 3-5% is nucleic acids, with 2.2-3.5% RNA and 0.6-1% DNA.  When supplemented, large quantities of dietary pyrimidine nucleosides and almost no dietary purine nucleosides are directly incorporated into hepatic nucleic acids (without hydrolytic removal of the ribose).  There is a nutritional role for nucleosides.  Pyrimidines are conditionally essential organic nutrients.

The pyrimidine nucleosides uridine and cytidine and their nucleotides (mono-, di- or tri-phosphate derivatives) are components of membrane phospholipids and nucleic acids, and they serve as activated intermediates in biosynthetic pathways for biosynthesis of polysaccharides and glycogen, encouraging energy production.  In addition, uridine nucleotides regulate a variety of physiological processes by acting on their receptors.  Uridine is the principal circulating pyrimidine in humans.

Foods that contain high quantities of omega-3 fatty acids and/or uridine, such as salmon, herring, walnuts, tomatoes, sugar beets, and beet molasses as well as sugar cane extract, Brewer’s yeast and even beer, may have natural depression-fighting qualities as well as reduce heart disease.  These nutrients improve mitochondrial membrane function and energy production.

Pyrimidine nucleotides can be synthesized de novo from amino acid precursors like glutamine and aspartate, and by the salvage pathway that recycles the ribose phosphate moiety and free bases formed following hydrolytic degradation of nucleotides and nucleic acids.

Does your liver need help?  Are you a recovering alcoholic?  Smoker or gambler who cannot quit?  Need a great anti-aging or acne solution?  Have cataracts, melasma, uneven skin tone, age spots, freckles, dark skin spots?  Longing for younger, radiant and beautiful skin?  Glutathione is not only for people who want to lighten their skin.  To control addictions, promote better health and wellness or help fight major diseases, glutathione beats all other antioxidants combined.

Selenium is a critical co-factor for the more active versions of the enzyme, including glutathione peroxidase.  Selenium supplements have become popular because studies show they play a significant role in decreasing the risk to most cancers, and improving balance in the immune system as well as enhancing thyroid gland function. 

However, some people have confused mcg (microgram) for mg (milligram) and taken way too much selenium (10 times more than recommended 200-400mcg/day), which over long term can cause toxic effects including gastrointestinal upset, brittle nails, hair loss and nerve damage.

Glutathione is found primarily in fresh whole foods: raw fruits and vegetables, raw meats and fresh milk.  Breast milk stored at room temperature for 2 hours loses 73% of its glutathione.  Refrigerated or frozen breast milk loses even more glutathione. 

Asparagus is a leading source of glutathione.  Cyanohydroxybutene, a chemical found in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, is thought to increase glutathione levels.  Various herbs, for example cinnamon and cardamom, have compounds that can restore healthy levels of glutathione.  Foods like avocado, walnuts and spinach are also known to boost glutathione levels, as well as watermelon, grapefruit, potato, acorn squash, strawberries, orange, tomato, cantaloupe, okra, peach and zucchini.   Raw egg yolks, garlic and fresh unprocessed meats contain high levels of sulfur-containing amino acids and help to maintain optimal glutathione levels. 

Cysteine (usually the rate-limiting amino acid for production of glutathione) is found in most high-protein foods including ricotta, cottage cheese, yogurt, pork, sausage meat, chicken, turkey, duck, luncheon meat, wheat germ, granola and oat flakes.  Rich sources of tryptophan are shrimp, mushroom, snapper, halibut, chicken breast, scallops, spinach, turkey, soybeans, raw tofu, lamb, beef, liver and salmon.  Tryptophan is also precursor for optimistic, appetite-controlling and addiction-reducing serotonin as well as sleep-aiding and gut-healing melatonin. 

Foods rich in glutamate or glutamic acid are peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds, cheese, oats, barley and wheat, 24-36 hour soaked rice, halibut, spinach, liver and beans (soy, pinto, black, lentils and others).  These foods provide bound precursors to both excitatory glutamate, and/or calming GABA (gamma amino butyric acid), if blood sugar levels are not stressed or insulin deregulated. 

Without enough cysteine or other critical cofactors to make reduced glutathione, unbound glutamate is free to excite all cell membranes while our primary antioxidant system is down.  This can create ‘brain on fire’ neuronal death.

Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis.  When cancer cells were exposed to glutamate, they became more mobile.  The same effect is seen with MSG, which also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that enhances metastasis, or spread.  MSG-exposed cancer cells developed pseudopodia and started moving through tissues, which is one of the earlier observations from cancer.  When you increase the glutamate level, cancer grows like wildfire, and when glutamate is blocked, dramatic growth of cancer slows.

 

Outside of the brain, there are numerous glutamate receptors in all organs and tissues.  The entire GI tract, from the esophagus to the colon, has numerous glutamate receptors.  The entire electrical conducting system of a heart is replete with many types of glutamate receptors.  The lungs, the ovaries, all the reproductive systems including male sperm, adrenal glands, bones and even the pancreas are all controlled by glutamate receptors.  They act and operate exactly like the glutamate receptors in the brain.

 

When consuming MSG, levels of glutamate in the blood can rise as much as 20-fold.  One gets very high glutamate levels in the blood after eating a meal containing MSG.  All glutamate receptors are stimulated.  Some people get explosive diarrhea and dyspepsia, because glutamate stimulates the receptors in the esophagus and small bowel.  Others may develop irritable bowel, or if they have irritable bowel, it makes it a lot worse.  If they have reflux, it makes that a lot worse.  Cardiac conduction system glutamate receptors may explain the rise in sudden cardiac death.

 

Baby food manufacturers theoretically voluntarily removed the ingredient MSG in the 1970s.  What they did is take out pure MSG and substituted hydrolyzed protein and caseinate.  If you look at a number of toddler foods, many have caseinate hydrolyzed protein, soy extracts or broth, all significant sources of excitatory glutamate.  Shame on corporate America.  Shame.

 

Most neurotoxic food additives contain free glutamic acids processed from proteins. MSG is probably the best known of the neurotoxins. However, there are many other names for these protein derived additives, including yeast extract, maltodextrin, carrageenan, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, dough conditioners, seasonings, spices and whey protein concentrate. Even the pleasant sounding term ‘natural flavors’ can mean the presence of addictive additives toxic to brain and nervous system.

 

MSG-exposed animals prefer carbohydrates and sugars over protein-rich foods. That was one of the characteristics of MSG-induced type of obesity.  It is very difficult to exercise the weight off and almost impossible to diet it off.  The appetite is out of control, but the metabolism is also out of control.  One has metabolic syndrome on top of obesity, with a state of leptin insensitivity.  

 

Obese people have leptin insensitivity.  One can produce leptin insensitivity easily with MSG.

The branched chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and lysine compete for the same carrier system, which would slow down glutamate absorption.  Many things act as glutamate receptor blockers, such as silymarin, curcurmin and ginkgo biloba.  These herbs are known to directly block glutamate receptors and reduce excitotoxicity. 

 

Magnesium is particularly important, because magnesium can block the NMDA glutamate type receptor.  Magnesium is in all green vegetables.  That's its natural function, so it significantly reduces toxicity.  Lithium orotate at sub pharmacologic doses of 5-20 mg/day is neuroprotective. Vitamin E succinate (dry form) is powerful at inhibiting excitotoxicity, as are all antioxidants.  Combinations of B vitamins, especially B12, B6 and folic acid also block excitotoxicity.

 

Whey protein contains proteins like alpha-lactalbumin which is rich in sulfur-containing amino acids.  Heating or pasteurization destroys the delicate disulphide bonds that give these proteins their bioactivity.  Undenatured whey protein is a non-heated product that preserves bioactive amino acids like cystine.  Cold-processed whey has been shown in numerous scientific studies and clinical trials to enhance glutathione levels. 

 

The Indian curry spice, curcurmin (turmeric) increases expression of the glutathione S-transferase and protects neurons exposed to oxidant stress.  Curcurmin is a very potent help.  Most flavonoids reduce excitotoxicity.  Curcumin has a 2,000% increase in bioavailability and therefore significantly better health benefits when used with a type of pepper used in curries.

Platycodon (Balloon Flower Root) is the principal herb in Chinese medicine for diseases of the lungs and throat, and is commonly used for inflammatory conditions of the eyes, ears and sinuses.  It increases intracellular glutathione (GSH) content and significantly reduces oxidative injury to liver cells, minimizing cell death and lipid peroxidation.  

Balloon Flower Root has strong expectorant and cough-suppressive effects and is included in many cough formulas, often in combination with licorice.  The dried roots can be found in any Korean grocery, as a soup base.  The active components of platycodon, saponins, sterols and triterpenoids, reduce inflammation and thin the sputum.  It helps to treat skin swellings, including abscesses in the lungs and intestines.  It also aids to soothe sore throats and relieve hoarseness.  Take the capsule, or make balloon flower tea from "platicodi radix", sold in Chinese drug store.

Sulfur-rich milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant and supports the liver by preventing the depletion of glutathione.  Silymarin is the cluster of most active bioflavonoids in milk thistle. It is a natural liver detoxifier and protects the liver from many industrial toxins such as carbon tetrachloride, poisonous mushrooms and more common agents like alcohol. 

Milk thistle promotes regeneration and repair of liver cells, reverses liver damage and is very helpful in the treatment of hepatitis and cirrhosis.  No conventional mainstream medicine can offer people suffering from liver disorders benefits comparable to those of milk thistle.  The usual dosage is 200mg in standardized silymarin capsules or 1 teaspoon in liquid extract of silymarin three times a day, or up to 1,000 milligrams of milk thistle in capsules daily.

NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine) is quickly metabolized into glutathione once it enters the body.  Start at 100mg twice per day (start slow since it mobilizes heavy metals) and then perhaps work up to 600mg twice/day.  It boosts intracellular production of glutathione, and is approved by the FDA for treatment of acetaminophen overdose. 

Because of glutathione's mucolytic action, NAC (brand name Mucomyst) is commonly used in treatment of lung diseases like cystic fibrosis, bronchitis and asthma.  NAC protects the liver from damage that can result from chronic use of drugs, such as acetaminophen, antibiotics, antipsychotics and antidepressants.

Children with autism have 50% lower levels of glutathione (and are notorious picky eaters) which might explain why they are poor detoxifiers of vaccine components.  Also, Tylenol reduces glutathione levels.  Parents should avoid giving Tylenol to symptomatic children with low glutathione reserves especially when they have a reaction to a vaccine or have been exposed to environmental toxins. 

When glutathione is exhausted, detoxification’s second phase excretion is clogged.  That is when induced cytochromes CYP2A6 and CYP2E1 emphasized in first phase oxidizing detoxification can make Tylenol becomes dangerously liver and kidney toxic by building up super-toxic NAPQI (N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine).  Inhibition of cytochromes CYP2A6 and CYP2E1 significantly decreases NAPQI formation.

The metabolism of Tylenol is an excellent example of secondary toxication, because its metabolite NAPQI is primarily responsible for toxicity rather than acetaminophen itself.  When glutathione is exhausted, NAPQI cannot be cleared, quickly poisoning the liver and kidneys.  Besides exposure to-N-nitrosamines, solvents like acetone, alcohol consumption and yeast antibiotics upregulate oxidizers CYP2A6 and CYP2E1.  Fasting is a risk factor, because it causes depletion of hepatic glutathione reserves.

My pharmacology professor taught us in 1966 that acetaminophen “is too dangerous a drug to ever be put into the marketplace.”  These days Tylenol overdose results in more calls to poison control centers in the US than overdose of any other pharmacological substance, accounting for more than 100,000 calls, as well as 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations and 458 deaths directly due to acute liver failure per year.  A study of cases of acute liver failure between November 2000 and October 2004 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  found that acetaminophen was the cause of 41% of all cases in adults, and 25% of cases in children. 

Half the people on kidney dialysis are there due to acetaminophen.  I removed a still-in-the-cellophane baby Tylenol box discovered in my grandchildren’s medicine cabinet and trashed it.

At usual doses, Tylenol’s toxic quinone metabolite NAPQI is quickly detoxified by combining irreversibly with the sulfhydryl groups of glutathione or administration of a sulfhydryl compound such as N-acetylcysteine, to produce a non-toxic conjugate that is eventually excreted by the kidneys.  Methionine is often helpful, although studies show that N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is a more effective antidote for acetaminophen overdose.

Most carcinogens also require oxidative enzymatic transformation by a cytochrome P450 (CYP) to exert their carcinogenic effects.  Many of the intermediates formed in this process are dangerous free radicals (electrophiles), which can oxidize critical macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and structural protein.  Nitrosamines from preserved meats increase metabolic activation   ( -hydroxylation) by certain CYPs to express their carcinogenic activity. 

The mechanism of chemoprevention by crucifers is inhibition of CYPs that activate carcinogens.  Phenethyl isothiocyanate is a constituent of cruciferous vegetables, including horseradish, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, radishes, and watercress.  It occurs as its thioglucoside conjugate, called glucosinolate.  When the vegetable is chewed, myrosinase is released from a separate cellular compartment and hydrolyzes the glucosinolate to produce isothiocyanate as well as other sulfur products.  Consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with lower risk to most cancers.

ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) recycles and increases the levels of intra-cellular glutathione, and is a natural antioxidant with free radical scavenging abilities.  Start at 100mg twice per day (start slow since it might mobilize heavy metals) and perhaps work up to 300mg twice/day.  

Lipoic acid is found in the mitochondria (energy production organelles) of animal cells, individuals who eat no animal products may be at higher risk for lipoic acid deficiency than individuals who do.  Vegetarians who eat few green leafy or sea vegetables may also be at special risk, since the chloroplasts in leaves house most of the lipoic acid. 

Lipoic Acid (thioctic acid) regenerates glutathione and Coenzyme Q10.  Biotin supplements are recommended when the daily intake of alpha lipoic acid exceeds 100 mg.  Lipoic acid can compete with biotin and in the long run, interfere with biotin's activities in the body.  Thiols, such as alpha lipoic acid, can split the carbon cobalt bond and destroy cobalamins.  In normal healthy people this should not be a problem.  However, if one is deficient in B12, taking a B12 supplement is also prudent.

Thioctic acid at 600 mg/day appears to be at least as effective as acetyl-L-carnitine at 1180 mg/day in treatment of sciatic pain caused by herniated disc and improves symptom scores and creates reduced need for analgesia.

Lipoic acid cannot be called a vitamin in the classic sense of the word since our bodies are capable of producing it.  Vagaries in the way our cells produce lipoic acid makes lipoic acid conditionally essential for some.  It gets its two atoms of sulfur from methionine, and probably gets the rest of its chemical structure from an eight-carbon saturated fatty acid called caprylic or octanoic acid.  Found naturally in coconut water and breast milk, octanoic acid is a medium-chain fatty acid that is as much as 13% of the free fatty acid pool in healthy humans.

Lipoic acid is found in a variety of foods, notably kidney, heart, liver and muscle meats as well as yeast or fermented foods, germinating seeds, nuts, grains and beans as well as green leafy collards, kale and spinach, broccoli as well as potatoes. 

It has the ability to regenerate oxidized antioxidants like Vitamin C and E and helps to make them more potent.  ALA is also known for its ability to enhance glucose uptake and helps prevent cellular damage accompanying the complications of diabetes.  It helps alleviate neuropathy and has a protective effect in the brain.

Because of its two-fold interactions with both water-soluble (vitamin C) and fat-soluble (vitamin E) substances, lipoic acid has been shown to prevent deficiency of both vitamins in both human and animal studies.  Other antioxidants also benefit equally from the presence of lipoic acid. These antioxidants include coenzyme Q, glutathione and NADH (reduced form of niacin).

Individuals with poor protein intake, particularly those with weak intake of the sulfur-containing amino acids (methionine, cysteine and taurine) have thinner hair with weaker constitutions and are likely at higher risk of lipoic acid deficiency.  Lipoic acid gets its sulfur atoms from these sulfur-containing amino acids.  Because lipoic acid is absorbed primarily through the stomach, folks with stomach disorders, low stomach acid or those on acid-blockers are at increased risk of conditional deficiency.

Coenzyme Q10 – critical for energy production and recycling glutathione

The benzoquinone portion of Coenzyme Q10 is synthesized from tyrosine, whereas the isoprene side chain is synthesized from acetyl-CoA through the mevalonate pathway. The mevalonate pathway is also the first steps of cholesterol biosynthesis, necessary for all steroid, stress and sex hormones.

Coenzyme Q10 shares a common biosynthetic pathway with cholesterol.  The synthesis of an intermediary precursor of Coenzyme Q10, mevalonate, is inhibited by some beta blockers, blood pressure-lowering medication and statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs.  Statins can reduce serum levels of coenzyme Q10 by up to 40%.  Supplementation with coenzyme Q10 should be a routine adjunct to any treatment that may reduce endogenous production of coenzyme Q10, based on balance of likely benefit against an inestimablely small risk.

In an unprecedented change of position, the New England Journal of Medicine has reversed itself on whether Vytorin causes cancer.  In the initial release of data in July, 2008, NEJM stood by Merck and Schering-Plough, who hired an Oxford consultant to rule that a 50% statistically significant increased risk of cancer was by chance.  On September 2, 2008 NEJM published the full study in question, along with the Oxford report, and its own editorial now stating "Whether the increased mortality risk is due solely to the play of chance is uncertain.”

Ezetimibe [the Zetia portion of Vytorin] interferes with the gastrointestinal absorption not only of cholesterol, but also of other molecular entities [fat soluble antioxidants and isoprenoids necessary for coenzyme Q10] that could conceivably affect growth of cancer cells.  Physicians and patients are now left with uncertainty about the efficacy and safety of the drug." This rare reversal of opinion has sent another shock wave through Big Pharma's world, like having your ‘stamp of approval’ withdrawn at the last minute.

Vytorin is the controversial cholesterol lowering drug that is the center of a major advertising fraud that netted Merck and
Schering-Plough over 10 billion dollars in sales in two years.

If there was only one supplement you could take to improve prostate function and reduce high cholesterol it would be beta-sitosterol (taken in 300-600 mg doses every day).  Beta-sitosterol is the most studied, most proven, most effective supplement with fewest side-effects (niacin has unpleasant skin flush) to lower total and LDL cholesterol. The studies on this in medical journals actually go back 50 years yet most people have never even heard of it.

Beta-sitosterol is phytosterol or plant alcohol that is in literally every vegetable we eat.  It is widely distributed in the plant kingdom and found in pecans, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), avocados, Curcurbita pepo (pumpkin seed), Pygeum africanum, cashew fruit, rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans, sea-buckthorn and wolfberries.  We eat it daily, but we just don't get enough. 

The typical American is estimated to eat only 200-400 mg a day while vegetarians probably ingest about twice that.  This is surely one of several reasons vegetarians are often healthier and live longer.  Actually the term "beta-sitosterol" in commerce refers to the natural combination of beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, campesterol and brassicasterol as this is how they are made by nature in plants.  There are no magic foods with high levels of phytosterols, but they can be inexpensively extracted from sugar cane pulp, soybeans and pine oil.

Traditional parameters for quantifying prostatism, such as the International Prostate Symptom Score, the quality of life score, urinary flow rates, residual urinary volume, and prostate size were found to be significantly improved after only 45 days of treatment with 180mg daily beta-sitosterol.  After 90 days of treatment, a majority of patients (88%) and treating physicians (88%) considered the therapy effective.

Breast, prostate, and colon cancer cell lines showed significant decreases in cancer cell growth and tumor size after phytosterol administration.  Metastases to lymph nodes and lungs were also decreased. A study using the prostate cancer cell line LNCaP (an androgen dependent tumor) showed that beta-sitosterol decreased cancer cell growth by 24% and induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) four-fold.

Acetyl-CoA is an important molecule in metabolism, used in many biochemical reactions. Made from  vitamin B5 or pantothenate, cysteine and a phosphate adsorbed from ATP, its main use is to ferry carbon atoms within the acetyl group to the citric acid cycle to be oxidized for energy production.  In chemical structure, acetyl-CoA is the thioester between coenzyme A (a thiol) and acetic acid (an acyl group carrier).  Acetyl-CoA is produced during the second step of aerobic cellular respiration, pyruvate decarboxylation, which occurs in the matrix of the mitochondria.  Acetyl-CoA then enters the efficient citric acid cycle.

Pyruvate (a three-carbon ketoacid) is the output of the cytoplasmic anaerobic metabolism of glucose known as glycolysis.  One molecule of glucose breaks down into two molecules of pyruvate, which are then used to provide further energy.  It can be reduced to lactate in the cytoplasm or oxidatively decarboxylated to acetyl CoA in the mitochondrion.  

If insufficient oxygen is available, the acid is broken down anaerobically, creating lactic acid.  Pyruvate from glycolysis is converted by anaerobic respiration to lactate using the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase and the coenzyme NADH (reduced niacin) in lactate fermentation, or to acetaldehyde and then to ethanol in alcoholic fermentation.

Pyruvate is a key intersection in the network of metabolic pathways.  Pyruvate can be converted to carbohydrates via gluconeogenesis, to fatty acids or energy through acetyl-CoA or to the amino acid alanine and to ethanol.  Pyruvate unites several key metabolic processes.

Like methylation, acetylation results in a less hydrophilic metabolite (e.g.; an amine is converted into an amide).  The physiological consequence is that it may deactivate a gene, a drug or its Phase I metabolites (if they are active as well).  Acetylation involves two steps, first cofactor acetyl-CoA activates acetyltransferase, then acetyltransferase transfers acetyl group to substrate.

Muscles and Memory

Acetyl-CoA is also an important cog in the biogenic synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.  Choline, in combination with Acetyl-CoA, is catalyzed by the enzyme choline acetyltransferase to produce acetylcholine and a coenzyme a byproduct.  Acetylcholine is responsible for much of the stimulation of muscles, including muscles of the gastro-intestinal system. 

It is the only neurotransmitter used in the somatic (voluntary neuromuscular control and sensory stimulus) nervous system.  Acetylcholine is the neurotransmitter in all autonomic ganglia.  It is also found in sensory neurons and in parts of the autonomic nervous system. 

Acetylcholine is involved with synaptic plasticity, specifically in learning and short-term memory. Acetylcholine is also important for memory and has a part in scheduling REM (rapid eye movement dream) sleep; since other effects are arousal and reward  Rewards induce learning, approach behavior and feelings of positive emotions.  A psychological reward creates a process that reinforces behavior and causes it to intensify.

The well-known poison botulin works by blocking acetylcholine, causing paralysis.  The botulin derivative Botox is used by many people to temporarily eliminate wrinkles or reduce migraines. There is rare potential of distant side effects including severe difficulty swallowing and breathing leading to death when the products are used on patients with neuromuscular disorders.

Galantamine, newly synthesized, is a natural compound derived from the common snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), and a natural acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.  Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors suppress acetylcholinesterase to prevent it from degrading acetylcholine and allow the neurotransmitter to persist in the synaptic cleft for a longer period of time, enhancing cognitive function.  It also potentiates cholinergic receptors.  Galantamine taken at 16-24 mg per day over nine months caused acetylcholinesterase inhibition of 30-36% in cerebrospinal fluid, which correlated well with in vivo acetylcholinesterase inhibition in the brain.

In the Caucasus Mountains, people traditionally use the snowdrop of the area (Galanthus woronowii).  Old people eat the bulbs to strengthen their brain and to feel younger.  If children are ill from poliomyelitis, they are treated with a tea from the bulbs, usually recovering without further problems from poliomyelitis.  Medicinal uses are: Alzheimer's disease, memory problems, poliomyelitis, trigeminal neuralgia and nerve pain, Myasthenia and forcing menses.

Galantamine also augments dopamine neurotransmission within the hippocampus by enhancing the activity of acetylcholine receptors.  Rodents given galantamine also experienced an increase in extracellular levels of dopamine, which is the immediate precursor in norepinephrine synthesis.

Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter and a disturbance in its metabolism at important brain sites has been associated with cognitive disorders.  Galantamine was well-tolerated and appeared to be beneficial for the treatment of interfering behaviors in children with autism, particularly aggression, behavioral dyscontrol and inattention.

Along with galantamine, DMAE is important to include in a list of cognitive-enhancing substances.  Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE) is a naturally-occurring, mild cerebral stimulant nutrient found in such “brain” foods as anchovies and sardines.

Like galantamine, DMAE influences acetylcholine metabolism.  It stimulates the production of choline adding methionine, which in turn allows the brain to optimize production of acetylcholine.  DMAE increases striatal dopamine (which is not desirable in people with ADHD as they often have an abundance of D2 receptors), and also has downstream "cascade" effects on the alpha-adrenergic system.  Centrophenoxine combines DMAE with pCPA (parachlorophenoxyacetate) a synthetic compound that resembles plant hormones called auxins.

Enhanced acetylcholine is not the only explanation for DMAE’s effect.  Other mechanisms of DMAE include being a free radical scavenger (with particular ability to protect cellular membranes); and a cross-linkage inhibitor; and spin trapper (a type of free radical scavenger).  Perhaps DMAE’s principal anti-aging mechanism is that of acting as a “cell membrane fluidizer, key to nerve transmission seen as a sound wave or soliton.

Adhesion of bacterial entero pathogens to host mucosal surfaces is a critical primary step in the pathogenesis of diarrheal disease.  The induction of signal-transduction cascades in the cytosol of an infected eukaryotic cell after binding of bacteria to host cell receptors has come to be recognized as a novel mechanism by which prokaryotes promote colonization.  There is a dose-dependent and reversible inhibition of bacterial adhesion with increasing membrane fluidity. 

Affinity of membrane receptors can exist in more than one state and is modulated by membrane micro viscosity.  Aliphatic alcohols (butanol and propanol) and cis-vaccenic acid are agents known to decrease membrane micro viscosity.   Membrane fluidity has a pivotal role in ethanol-induced oxidative stress.  Hyper fluidization of mammalian cell membranes diminishes barrier function and acts as a signal to initiate heat shock protein response.

There is a potential therapeutic effect of membrane stabilizing compounds.  Pretreating cells with vitamin E (a free radical chain-breaking antioxidant) prevented ethanol-induced increase in membrane fluidity.  ROS production, lipid peroxidation, and cell death were all inhibited by membrane stabilizing agents (ursodeoxycholic acid).  

Ursodeoxycholic acid, also called “ursodiol,” is one of the bile acids produced by the Chinese black bear and it has been used in the treatment of liver disease for centuries.  Today, it is produced in the laboratory and generally not extracted from bear gall bladders.  UDCA is cancer chemo preventive, perhaps by inducing cellular differentiation and/or cellular senescence in colon epithelial cells.  Ursodeoxycholic acid may suppress immune response such as immune cell phagocytosis.  Increased quantities of systemic (not just in digestive system) UDCA can be toxic.

Bile acids (cholesterol derivatives) are important signaling molecules that help regulate the regrowth of liver tissue, UDCA, is one of the secondary bile acids, which are metabolic byproducts of intestinal bacteria.  Primary bile acids are produced by the liver and stored in the gall bladder.  When secreted into the colon, primary bile acids can be metabolized into secondary bile acids by intestinal bacteria.  Toxic bile acids are reabsorbed back into the body where they damage the liver if allowed to build up.  UDCA is a non-toxic bile acid. The intestine preferentially reabsorbs UDCA over more toxic bile acids when both are together in the gut.

Primary and secondary bile acids help digest fats.  UDCA helps regulate cholesterol by reducing the rate at which the intestine absorbs cholesterol molecules while breaking up micelles containing cholesterol.  Because of this characteristic, ursodeoxycholic acid is used to treat cholesterol gallstones non-surgically.  If the common bile duct is obstructed with a gallstone, it is not appropriate to increase bile flow; the use of UDCA would be contraindicated.

Nerve Transmission and Neuropathy

That nerve pulses do not produce heat contradicts conventional molecular-biological theory of an electrical impulse produced by chemical processes.  We are all taught that nerves function by sending electrical impulses along their length.  But for physicists, this cannot be the explanation.  Physical laws of thermodynamics predict that electrical impulses must produce heat as they travel along the nerve, but experiments find that no such heat is produced.

Instead, nerve pulses can be explained more simply as a mechanical pulse, such as sound.  Normally, sound propagates as a wave that spreads out and becomes weaker and weaker.  However, if the medium in which sound propagates has the correct properties, it is possible to create localized sound pulses, known as "solitons", which propagate without spreading and without changing their shape or losing strength.

The membrane of the nerve is composed of phospholipids, similar to olive oil in viscosity.  This membrane material changes its state from liquid to solid with temperature.  The freezing point of water can be lowered by the addition of salt.  Similarly, molecules that dissolve in membranes can lower the freezing point of membranes.  Membranes rich in EPA and DHA will be more flexible with a lower freezing point.  Trans fats (artificially hydrogenated) make membranes more rigid.  The nerve membrane has a viscosity which is precisely suited to the propagation of solitons.  Nerve pulses are really sound pulses.

How can one anesthetize a nerve so that all feeling ceases and it is possible to operate on a patient without pain? It has been known for more than 100 years that substances like ether, laughing gas, chloroform, procaine and the noble gas xenon can serve as anesthetics.  

The molecules of these substances have very different sizes and chemical properties, but experience shows that their doses are strictly determined by their solubility in olive oil.  The effect of anesthetics simply changes nerve membrane melting point, and when the nerve is ‘frozen’, sound pulses can no longer propagate.

Fish oils improve nerve conduction velocity and reduce microscopic tissue damage in those with diabetic neuropathy.  Oral intake of 480 mg of GLA per day (equivalent to two 1000 mg borage seed oil soft gels) improved conduction velocities, hot and cold thresholds, sensation, tendon reflexes and muscle strength. 

The best supplementation ratio is likely 2/3 omega-3s EPA/DHA and 1/3 omega-6 GLA taken with the full family of vitamin E tocopherols and tocotrienols (balanced with carotenoids, vitamins A, D and Ks.)  For most, that means six per day, four fish oil 1000s and two EPAs.  Smaller amounts of phospholipid-rich krill oil can substitute for all those EPAs and DHAs.

EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is mostly synthesized.   EDTA is a hexadentate chelator capable of binding stoichiometrically to metal ions through four carboxylate and two tertiary amine groups.  EDTA ingestion at high concentrations by mammals changes excretion of metals and can affect cell membrane permeability.  

EDTA exerts a strong fluidizing effect on the lipid membrane.  EDTA disrupts tight junction and membrane integrity of rabbit cellular membranes.  The molecular mechanism of EDTA-induced membrane destabilization is from electrostatic interaction between negatively charged groups of EDTA and the positively charged choline head group of DPPC.

Intercalation of EDTA into artificial lipid membranes induced membrane curvature. Growth in size and shape of the membrane protrusion was found to be time-dependent upon exposure to EDTA.  Further loss of material from the lipid membrane surface indicated membrane restabilization by exclusion of the protrusions from the surface.  Loss of lipid components facilitates membrane instability, leading to increased membrane permeability and lysis.

 In cell cultures EDTA is used as a chelating agent binding to calcium, thus halts joining of cadherins between cells, preventing cell clumping.  Calcium EDTA is used in chelation therapy for mercury poisoning and lead poisoning.

In food it is added as preservative to prevent catalytic oxidation by metal ions or stabilizer and for iron fortification.   In veterinary ophthalmology EDTA may be used as an anticollagenase to prevent the worsening of corneal ulcers in animals.  EDTA is used to remove excess iron from the body in the disease thalassemia, due to repeated blood transfusions.  In Dentistry EDTA is used as a root canal irrigant to soften dentin in calcified canals as well as to help remove inorganic debris (smear layer) to prepare and cleanse root canals before obturation.  In detergents, complexation of Ca2+ and Mg2+ reduces water hardness.

DMAE actually improved appetite in many patients and caused no interference with sleep.  In fact, he found that DMAE actually reduced sleep requirements.  DMAE is a most useful tool in the handling of the child with behavioral problems.  In children, DMAE in doses of 50 mg twice daily resulted in improved functioning capacity, puzzle-solving ability and organization of activity.

DMAE was administered in doses up to 500 mg/day (300 mg in the morning; another 200 mg at lunch).  The authors concluded that DMAE, “when administered at doses of 300-500 mg per day for 12 weeks to moderately disturbed hyperkinetic children (6-12 years of age) produces greater overall improvement in comparison to patients similarly treated with a placebo.”

DMAE has been used for years to improve behavioral disorders in children, and results in positive effects on intelligence and grades as well.  DMAE produces a mild stimulant effect, which develops slowly over a period of several weeks.  There is no drug-like letdown or depression if it is discontinued.  DMAE has been demonstrated to be useful in chronic fatigue as well as in depression in children.  It also normalizes brain function and mood. 

DMAE improves movement disorders and prevents adverse effects of L-Dopa in Parkinsonism. In 1974, Dr. Edith Miller added DMAE in doses ranging from 300-900 mg per day to the regimen of Parkinson’s patients, who had begun to exhibit adverse effects from high dosages of L-Dopa (L-3, 4-dihydroxyphenylalanine, typically administered to treat Parkinson’s Disease).  DMAE administration resulted in complete resolution of the L-Dopa-induced abnormal movements (dyskinesia) in a majority of the patients.  DMAE is an effective measure to combat L-Dopa-induced dyskinesia safely and effectively, not interfering with the benefits of L-Dopa therapy.

One of the most dramatic and well-documented effects of DMAE is its ability to inhibit the formation of aging pigment (lipofuscin), the brownish pigment that causes “liver spots” (lentigo) on the backs of the hands of many people over 50 years of age.  DMAE not only can prevent the formation of lipofuscin, but it also actually flushes it from the body.  One can gauge the rate of lipofuscin removal from hearts and brains by watching “liver spots” disappear with long-term supplementation of DMAE.  It typically takes about six months for significant change, with many spots resolving completely.

Acetylcholine is the primary chemical carrier of thought and memory.  This excitatory neurotransmitter is essential for both the storage and recall of memory, and partly responsible for concentration and focus. It also plays a significant role in muscular coordination.  A deficit in acetylcholine is directly related to memory decline and reduced cognitive capacity.

Unlike other key neurotransmitters, acetylcholine is not made from amino acids. Its primary building block is choline, which does not have to compete (like amino acids) for entry into your brain.  Therefore, the more choline you consume, the more acetylcholine you can produce.

Milk, cream, fatty cheeses, eggs, liver, nuts and peanuts are especially rich in choline.  Phosphatidyl choline derived from lecithin contains about 13% choline by weight.  One can boost brain acetylcholine levels by taking supplements of phosphatidyl choline (form of choline most important to the structure of membranes).  Vitamin C and B5 are needed for brain to synthesize acetylcholine. 

Egg yolks are the richest source of choline, followed by soybeans.  Spinach, beets and whole wheat products are primary sources of betaine.  Choline and betaine work together in the cellular process of methylation, which not only removes homocysteine, but helps turn off promoter parts of genes involved in inflammation.  Betaine is oxidized choline, and the balance between choline and betaine reflects redox status, regulating inflammation.

The tolerable upper intake level for choline is 3.5 grams/day for adults.  This recommendation is based primarily on preventing hypotension (low blood pressure) and secondarily on preventing the fishy body odor due to increased excretion of trimethylamine.  The upper limit was established for generally healthy people and the Food and Nutrition Board noted that individuals with liver or kidney disease, Parkinson's disease, depression, or a genetic disorder known as trimethylaminuria might be at increased risk of adverse effects (including increased sweating or salivation) when consuming choline at levels near the upper level.

The plant essential oil connection

Isoprene is formed naturally in animals and plants from acetyl Co A, and is generally the most common hydro-carbon found in the human body.  The estimated production rate of isoprene in the human body is 15 µmol/kg/h, equivalent to roughly 17 mg/day for a 70 kg person.  Isoprene is also common in low concentrations in many foods.  Isoprene is produced in the chloroplasts of leaves of certain tree species; by the enzyme isoprene synthase.

Phytochemicals with antioxidant properties tend to be brightly colored because they contain chromophores (a series of alternating single-bonded and double-bonded carbons).  Isoprene is often the building block of such units.  The darkest green vegetables contain the most chlorophyll, and vegetables with the most chlorophyll require the most antioxidants.  Green will mask the other colors, when other-colored antioxidant phytochemicals are present.

Many phytochemicals have an anti-carcinogenic (anti-cancer) action by:

  1. slowing cell proliferation (division) by interfering with the cell cycle
  2. inducing apoptosis (cell suicide)
  3. inhibiting phase 1 enzymes (enzymes that sometimes oxidize harmless substances into carcinogens)
  4. inducing phase 2 enzymes (reducing enzymes that can attach carcinogens to molecules that facilitate speedy excretion).

The basic building block of many essential oils is this ring of five-carbon molecules called an isoprene.  Most essential oils are built from isoprene, building block of the terpenoids (aliphatic or chain building block type).

When two isoprene rings link together, they create a monoterpene; when three join, they create a sesquiterpene; and so on.  Triterpenoids are some of the largest molecules found in plant essential oils.  They consist of 30 carbon atoms, or six isoprene units linked together.  Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur and other carbon atoms can attach at various points of the chain to construct different essences of plant essential oils.

Terpene limonoids are in peels & membranes of oranges.  They are 45 times more anticarcinogenic than hesperidins, detoxify carcinogens and promote cancer cell apoptosis.  L-limonene smells "piney" (like turpentine) and d-limonene smells like orange.  Limonene can be used as a solvent and cleaner.  Limonene promotes glutathione-S-transferase (enhancing detoxification by glutathione).

Monoterpenes are molecules made up of two isoprene or 10 carbon atoms.  The simplest, monoterpenes, consist of 2 isoprene units.  The stereo isomers of these simplest terpenes provide examples of the stereo specificity of odor receptors; for example (+)-(S)-carvone is responsible for the odor of caraway and (-)-(R)-carvone the odor of spearmint.

 

These essential oils are slightly analgesic, antiseptic in the air, bactericidal, expectorant and stimulating.  Some are antiviral and some help break down gall stones such as limonene in bergamot and orange, phellandrene in eucalyptus and spearmint; pinene in pine and eucalyptus; sabinene in black pepper and cardamom.  Examples of alcohol monoterpenes are linalool, citronellol and terpineol found respectively in lavender, rose and geranium, as well as in juniper and tea tree oil.

Sesquiterpenes are molecules made of three Isoprenes or 15 carbon atoms. They are slightly antiseptic, bactericidal, slightly hypotensive, calming and anti-inflammatory.  In addition, some are analgesic and/or spasmolytic.  They contribute to the lasting odor of the essential oil as most sesquiterpenes consist of large slowly evaporating molecules and are antiseptic, calming and exhibit antihistamine action.  Chamazulene, which is found in German chamomile, has anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy properties.  Another sesquiterpene often found in chamomile and rose, as well as other floral oils is farnesene.  Other oils that contain sesquiterpene alcohols are sandalwood (santalol) as well as ginger, patchouli, vetiver, carrot seed, everlasting and valerian.

Diterpenes are molecules made up of four Isoprenes or 20 carbon atoms.  They are slightly bactericidal, expectorant and purgative.  Some are antifungal and antiviral and may have a balancing effect on hormones.

Triterpenes and higher occur in recognizable form but are most notable for their conversion into steroid hormones.   The conversion of squalene into lanosterol is essentially a carbocation alkene polymerization reaction, much of which can be accomplished from the epoxide without any assistance from enzymes. The conversion of lanosterol to cholesterol and its conversion into such compounds as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone is much more complex. Cholesterol is also essential for adjusting the rigidity and permeability of cell membranes; it is commonly found in mammals as a fatty acid ester (polyunsaturated esters are the so-called "good cholesterol").

Ketones can be toxic, as in the case of thujone found in thuja and wormwood oil as well as pinocamphone found in others.  Essential oils high in ketones need to be used with care during pregnancy.  They also have great therapeutic benefits, especially in easing the secretion of mucus as well as cell and tissue regeneration.

Other oils, such as hyssop, eucalyptus and rosemary have moderate amounts of ketones, and when used diluted properly in aromatherapy can be greatly beneficial to the body.  The ketone italidone found in everlasting, not only has mucus easing properties, but is also useful in skin regeneration; wound healing and reducing old scar tissue in wounds, stretch marks and adhesions.  Ketones found in lavender, hyssop and patchouli also stimulate cell regeneration.

Carotenoids belong to the category of tetraterpenoids (containing 40 carbon atoms). Structurally they are in the form of a polyene chain which is sometimes terminated by rings.  Carotenoids with molecules containing oxygen, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, are known as xanthophylls. The unoxygenated (oxygen free) carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene are known as carotenes. Carotenes typically contain only carbon and hydrogen.

 Carotenoids serve two key roles in plants and algae: they absorb blue light energy for use in photosynthesis, and they protect chlorophyll from photodamage.  Carotenoids make corn yellow, carrots orange and tomatoes red. Carotenoids also give color to salmon, goldfish, flamingos and autumn leaves (when green chlorophyll has gone, carotenoids and phenols remain).  Bell peppers of different colors offer a selection of carotenoids.

More than 600 carotenoids have been found in plants creating symphonic messaging from nature.  About 50% of the roughly 50 carotenoids in our diet are absorbed into our blood stream.  Lycopene and beta-carotene each constitute about 30% or more of plasma carotenoids.  Only alpha-carotene (10 times more anti-carcinogenic than beta), beta and a few other carotenes (not lycopene or lutein) can be oxidized and split into retinol (vitamin A).

Hypervitaminosis A cannot be caused by excessive alpha or beta carotene intake because conversion and absorption rates are too slow.  Both alpha-carotene and beta-carotene are protective against liver cancer and lung cancer in cell culture as well as animal studies.

Heating, chopping and/or crushing of vegetables frees-up carotenoids, especially beta-carotene and lycopene.  Carotenoids are nearly insoluble in water and are best absorbed when associated with oils.  The addition of both avocado fruit and oil significantly enhanced absorption of all carotenoids tested (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein).  In the blood stream carotenoids are transported in the most lipid-rich (LDL) cholesterol particles.  Tissues with the most LDL receptors receive the most carotenoid.  

These highly conserved carotenoids send messages of abundance to the dualistic nuclear steroid receptors at the cellular level, influencing and modulating the messaging of vitamins A and D and other steroid hormones as well as thyroid hormone, which influence gene expression to create one’s metabolic state.

Data from 334 men and 540 women with an average age of 75 included measures of individual intake of total and individual carotenoids, including alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene and lutein plus zeaxanthin (using a 126-item food frequency questionnaire).  Carotenoid intakes were compared with the subjects’ bone mineral density at hip, spine and radial shaft. 

Females who consumed the most lycopene experienced less bone loss in the lumbar spine compared to those who consumed lower amounts of lycopene.  In men, lycopene intake was associated with greater bone mineral density in the hips.  Bone mineral density in the hips of men was also linked to intakes of total carotenoids, beta-carotene and lutein plus zeaxanthin.

In plants, algae, and other photosynthetic organisms, lycopene is an important intermediate in the biosynthesis of many carotenoids, including beta carotene, responsible for yellow, orange or red pigmentation, photosynthesis, and photo-protection.  Structurally, it is a tetraterpene assembled from eight isoprene units, composed entirely of carbon and hydrogen, and is insoluble in water.  Lycopene's eleven conjugated double bonds give it its deep red color and are responsible for its antioxidant activity.

Lycopene is not an ‘essential’ nutrient for humans, but is commonly found in the diet, mainly from dishes prepared with tomato sauce.  Fruits and vegetables high in lycopene include gac, tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, pink guava, papaya, red bell pepper, sea buckthorn, wolfberry (goji, a berry relative of tomato) and rosehip.  When absorbed from the stomach, lycopene is transported in the blood by various lipoproteins and accumulates in the liver, adrenal glands, lungs, testes, prostate gland, colon and skin where it protects against cancer, partly because it suppresses insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) stimulation of tumor growth.  

Its concentration in body tissues tends to be higher than all other carotenoids.  Lycopene is a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of many important carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and xanthophylls.

Lycopene may be the most powerful carotenoid quencher of singlet oxygen, being 100 times more efficient (in test tube studies) in singlet-oxygen quenching action than vitamin E, which in turn has 125 times the quenching action of glutathione (water soluble).  Singlet oxygen produced during exposure to ultraviolet light is a primary cause of skin aging.  Studies suggest amelioration of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and male infertility.  Lycopene also reduces risk to macular degenerative disease, serum lipid oxidation and cancers of the lung, bladder, cervix and skin as well as cancers of the digestive tract, breast and prostate.

 For a quick and simple dinner choice, open a jar of tomato-based sauce and pour over spaghetti squash or your favorite pasta. Top with steamed vegetables or grated cheese.  When making your own spaghetti sauce, include some tomato paste and olive oil to enhance absorption.   Enjoy tomato or vegetable juice as a refreshing and healthful snack.  Think tomato when choosing soup!   Watermelon makes a great snack or dessert.  Wake up your taste buds with fresh pink grapefruit early in the day along with your favorite breakfast.

 

Lutein gives corn, avocado and egg yolk yellow color.  Lutein and zeaxanthin constitute about half of all carotenoids in the retina.  Lutein and zeaxanthin (present in nearly equal amounts are the only carotenoids in the macula of the eye (the macula retina is about 5% of the total retina).  These pigments absorb damaging blue light; protect the eye from macular degeneration and cataracts.   Highest concentrations are found in kale, spinach, watercress and parsley and likely protect against colon cancer.

 

Astaxanthin gives color to salmon, shrimp and crab and is ten times more powerful antioxidant than any other carotenoid.  It boosts T-cell production and cytokine release.   Astaxanthin crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts as a central nervous system antioxidant.  It has a water-soluble component allowing it to release trapped radicals to Vitamin C.

Benzene rings consist of six carbon atoms formed into a ring, also creating many essential oils.  These are the aromatic or ring building block type (benzene or phenyl rings).  These rings can also form phenols with the addition of other chemical groups.  Phenols generally create antibacterial activity.  The phenols found in essential oils normally have a carbon side chain and here we can look at compounds such as thymol, eugenol and carvacrol (a liquid phenol C10H14O found in essential oils of various mints (as thyme) and used especially as an anti-inflammatory, fungicide and disinfectant.  These oils have excellent antiseptic, anti-bacterial and disinfectant qualities and also have greatly stimulating therapeutic properties. 

Essential oils that are high in phenols should be used in low concentrations and for short periods of time, since they can lead to toxicity if used over long periods of time, as the liver will be required to work harder to excrete them.  Phenols are also classified as skin and mucus membrane irritants and although they have great antiseptic qualities, like cinnamon and clove oil, they can cause severe skin reactions.

Terpenes (carotenes are tetraterpenes) are derived from isoprene, as are the terpenoids and coenzyme Q.  Also derived from isoprene are phytol, retinol (vitamin A), tocopherol (vitamin E), dolichols and squalene.  Heme A has an isoprenoid tail, and lanosterol, the sterol precursor in animals, is derived from squalene and hence from isoprene.  The functional isoprene units in biological systems are dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP) and its isomer isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP), which are used in the biosynthesis of terpenes and lanosterol derivatives.

In virtually all organisms, isoprene derivatives are synthesized by the HMG-CoA reductase pathway important for making steroid hormones (blocked by statins mistakenly used to lower needed cholesterol and bisphosphonates used to make brittle bone which looks denser in X rays).  Addition of these chains to proteins is termed isoprenylation.

Natural rubber is a polymer of isoprene (most often cis-1,4-polyisoprene with a molecular weight of 100,000 to 1,000,000).  Typically, a few percent of other materials, such as proteins, fatty acids, resins and inorganic materials are found in high quality natural rubber.  Some natural rubber sources called gutta-percha used by many as root canal filling material are composed of trans-1,4-polyisoprene, a structural isomer which has similar, but not identical properties. 

There may be cross reactivity for those sensitive to the polymer of cis-1, 2-polyisoprene with its greater than 200 polypeptides present in latex and fruits such as avocado, banana, chestnut, fig, kiwi, melons and pineapple.  Allergy to natural rubber latex affects people routinely exposed to rubber products. Groups thought to be at highest risk include atopics, health care workers, rubber industry workers and individuals who have undergone multiple surgical procedures, especially those with spina bifida.  Sensitivity and response varies, but classic allergy to latex is a type I, immediate, IgE-mediated reaction that can lead to anaphylaxis and death.  Restore cellular immunity to change immune response and reduce risk.

Methionine (which also enhances glutathione production) activates Coenzyme Q10.  Methionine is a principle supplier of sulfur which prevents disorders of the hair, skin and nails; helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver's production of lecithin; reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys; a natural chelating agent for heavy metals; regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine which reduces bladder irritation; influences hair follicles and promotes hair growth.

Methionine assists in the breakdown of fats and thereby prevents the build-up of fat in the arteries, as well as assisting with the digestive system and removing heavy metals from the body since it can be converted to cysteine, which is a precursor to glutathione, which is of prime importance in detoxifying the liver.

The amino acid methionine is also a great antioxidant on its own as the sulfur it supplies inactivates free radicals, and it is as well a precursor to cysteine, critical part of glutathione and our primary antioxidant enzyme systems.  It may also be used to treat depression, arthritis pain as well as chronic liver disease.  If taking a methionine supplement, it is best to balance it with choline and inositol.  Choline, when oxidized in the body to form betaine, provides a methyl group for the conversion of potentially toxic homocysteine to methionine by the enzyme, betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase. 

Methionine is also one of three amino acids (joined with arginine and glycine) necessary to make creatine monohydrate, which is essential for cell hydration, energy production and muscle building.  Along with magnesium and ATP (adenosine triphosphate), it is converted to a pivotal methyl donor, S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe).  SAMe regulates gene expression, preserves myelin and regulates the symphonic rhythm of hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, adrenalin, noradrenalin, acetylcholine, melatonin and dopamine.

Methionine rich foods are: Bass, trout, cod and sirloin and corn, sunflower seeds, oats, chocolate, cashews, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.  The high glutamic and aspartic acid content of these foods is also good for improving tissue buffer capacity.  Methionine is also found in good quantities in meats, fish, beans, eggs, garlic, lentils, onions and yogurt.

Tyrosine is involved with generating energy, alertness and reward from molecular to hormonal levels.  It is required for the endogenous production of Coenzyme Q10 and the catecholamines epinephrine (adrenalin), norepinephrine and dopamine (L-DOPA), as well as endorphins and even thyroid hormone.  L-tyrosine is used by the brain to synthesize the catecholamine neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, both of which are critical to clear, quick thinking; reward and long-term memory; as well as feelings of alertness and stability. 

L-tyrosine is found in protein-rich foods like wild game, red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, tofu, eggs, cheese, oats, chocolate and lentils, and thus serves as a nutritional stimulant to body and brain.  Obesity is a brain problem of the dopamine reward system (manufactured from tyrosine or phenylalanine).

The autonomic nervous system and the immune system demonstrate cross-talk during inflammation by means of sympathetic and parasympathetic pathways.   Phagocytes are capable of de novo production of catecholamines from tyrosine, suggesting an autocrine / paracrine self-regulatory mechanism by catecholamines during inflammation similar to lymphocytes.  

Exposure of phagocytes to lipopolysaccharide (which mimics endotoxin) leads to a release of catecholamines and an induction of catecholamine-generating and degrading enzymes, indicating the presence of the complete intracellular machinery for the generation, release and inactivation of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Blockade of 2-adrenoreceptors or catecholamine-generating enzymes greatly suppressed lung inflammation, whereas the opposite was the case either for an 2-adrenoreceptor agonist or for inhibition of catecholamine-degrading enzymes.  T cells or sympathetic nerve endings were excluded as sources of injury-modulating catecholamines.  Phagocytes definitely act as a source of catecholamines, which enhance the inflammatory response.

Dopamine is the neurotransmitter needed for one’s healthy assertiveness and sexual arousal, proper immune and autonomic nervous system function.  Dopamine is important for motivation and a sense of readiness to meet life's challenges.  One of the most vulnerable key neurotransmitters, dopamine level is depleted by stress or poor sleep.  Alcohol, caffeine and sugar all seem to diminish brain dopamine activity.  Catecholamines are easily oxidized (sometimes into hallucinogens); therefore eat plenty of fruits and vegetables whose antioxidants help protect dopamine-using neurons from free radical damage.

Anthocyanins are the dark blue, red, purple, magenta and orange antioxidant pigments found in many berries.  Anthocyanins occur in nearly all plant families and thus in many edible plants.  One kilogram of blackberry may provide 1.15 gram, and red and black legumes can contain 20 mg per gram.  In food, the main sources of anthocyanins are berries, such as blackberries, grapes, blueberries etc, and some vegetables, such as egg-plants (aubergine) and avocado.  Other rich sources include oranges, elderberry, olives, red onion, fig, sweet potato, mango and purple corn. 

 

In berries, they play important roles and protect against oxidative stress in plant cells.  Although they probably lessen inflammation via several pathways, anthocyanins do dampen NF-kappa B expression, reducing the primary upstream molecule that signals stress and inflammation, as well as the downstream molecule, histamine.  These plant polyphenols also cross the blood-brain barrier and inhibit endothelin-1, a protein that constricts blood vessels as they strengthen capillary and arterial walls by enhancing repair and production of elastin and collagen.

 

When anthocyanadins are coupled to sugars, anthocyanins are formed.  Over 500 different anthocyanins have been isolated from plants.  They are all based on a single basic core structure, the flavyllium ion.  Anthocyanins are water soluble and are pH dependent. 

 

When ambient pH changes, their color changes. The color of red cabbage is enhanced with the addition of vinegar or other acid.  On the other hand, when cooked in aluminum pans, which cause a more alkaline environment, color changes to purple and blue.  Color is also susceptible towards temperature, oxygen, UV-light and different co-factors.  Heat may destroy the characteristic flavyllium ion, and thus causes loss of color. 

 

Heat also causes Maillard ‘browning’ reactions, in which sugar residues of anthocyanins are deformed creating AGEs.  Light may have a similar aging effect.  Oxygen may destroy anthocyanins, as do other oxidizing reagents, such as peroxides and vitamin C.  Many other components in plants and foods may interact with the anthocyanins and either destroy, change or increase the color.  Oxidizing quinones in apples, for example, enhance degradation of anthocyanins; however adding sugar to strawberries stabilizes their color.

 

The transcription factor nuclear factor-kB (NF-kB) is activated by oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory stimuli like heavy metals, solvents and AGEs (advanced glycosylation end-products or caramelized sugars and proteins), and controls the expression of numerous genes involved in the inflammatory response. 

 

Dampening NFkB activation (and thereby limiting inflammatory response) is a strategy to prevent chronic autoimmune diseases.  In cultured monocytes, anthocyanins isolated from bilberries and black currants efficiently suppress LPS (lipopolysaccharide that mimics endotoxin)-induced activation of NF-kB.

The lipid, cardiolipin facilitates transportation of Coenzyme Q10 into the mitochondria of cells.  Cardiolipin is the principal polyglycerophospholipid found in the heart and most mammalian tissues.  This phospholipid is the only phospholipid localized exclusively to the mitochondria of mammalian cells.  

Cardiolipin appears to be involved, either directly or indirectly, in the modulation of a number of cellular processes including the activation of mitochondrial enzymes and hence production of energy by oxidative phosphorylation.  The activities of other enzymes of the cytidine-5'-diphosphate-1,2-diacyl-sn-glycerol pathway of cardiolipin biosynthesis in the heart may be modulated by thyroid hormone and unsaturated fatty acids like GLA, DHA and EPA..

Cardiolipin biosynthesis is regulated by energy status (adenosine-5'-triphosphate and cytidine-5'-triphosphate level) of the heart.  Membrane acyl composition enhances mitochondrial potential and oxidant production in live cells.  DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) increases cell oxidant production by accumulating in cardiolipin, where its presence alters electron transport efficiency. 

Host cell cardiolipin may be hijacked from the mitochondria to fuel an intracellular bacterial parasite Chlamydia trachomatis, an example of an onboard infection stealing critical cogs of metabolic and immune machinery from us.  Many viruses and bacteria either encode for and make glutathione or acquire (steal) it or its essential components directly from us. 

Most life forms use this universal hydrogen ion donor mechanism for protection from free radicals, toxicity and radiation.  Included are HIV 1 & 2, Coxsackie B, Hepatitis B & C, some herpes and other viruses along with many forms of bacteria.  Anticardiolipin ELISA assay kits for IgG, IgM, and IgA response are now available to test for autoantibodies to cardiolipin.

Depletion of cardiolipin and cytochrome c during ischemia increases hydrogen peroxide production from the electron transport chain.  Cardiolipin, an inner mitochondrial membrane phospholipid component, appears particularly susceptible to reactive oxygen species (ROS) attack either because of its high content of unsaturated fatty acids (90% represented by linoleic acid) or because its location in the inner mitochondrial membrane, near the site of ROS production.  Mitochondrial-mediated ROS production affects the activity of the complexes I, III and IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain via oxidative damage of cardiolipin.

In addition to its specific interaction with integral membrane proteins, including anion carriers and complexes of the respiratory chain, cardiolipin plays an important role in the association of cytochrome c to the inner mitochondrial membrane.  It would be expected that alterations in the structure and/or in the content of cardiolipin might disturb its interaction with cytochrome c, leading to dissociation of this protein from the inner mitochondrial membrane. 

Cardiolipin defect or deficit could be considered an early event in the release of cytochrome from mitochondria and subsequent cellular apoptosis.  Oxidative modulation of cardiolipin is likely involved in the transduction of proapoptotic cell-suicide signaling cascades.  Free radical induced loss of cardiolipin can be stopped by the addition of energy (in the form of ADP, adenosine diphosphate).  Treatment of aged rats with acetyl-L-carnitine reverses age-associated decline in cardiolipin content.

Selenium is ‘birth-control’ for virus, protects against death from heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS, enhances body's production of Coenzyme Q10 and potentiates glutathione.  Selenium supplementation has been reported to increase lymphocyte proliferation in response to mitogen, to increase the expression of high-affinity interleukin (IL) 2 (IL-2) receptor and to improve cytotoxic lymphocyte-mediated tumor cytotoxicity as well as NK cell activity.

Selenium (which has the same outer electrons as lighter zinc) deficiency is directly linked with the virulence of RNA viruses.  In selenium-deficient mice, the harmless picornavirus coxsackie B3 becomes cardio toxic.  When selenium-deficient or glutathione peroxidase knockout mice were inoculated with the benign strain of the Coxsackie virus, mutation occurred in the viral genome to produce a cardio virulent form of virus that caused myocarditis.  This selenium deficiency-driven evolution of pathogenicity was stable, and daughter Coxsackie virus isolates from selenium-deficient mice retained their newly acquired virulence.

Selenium supplementation increased plasma selenium concentrations, the body exchangeable selenium pool (measured by using 74Se), and lymphocyte phospholipid and cytosolic glutathione peroxidase activities.  Selenium supplements augmented the cellular immune response through an increased production of interferon and other cytokines, an earlier peak T cell proliferation, and an increase in T helper cells.  Humoral immune responses were unaffected.  

Most plants do not require selenium, so the amount found in foods depends on location, the amount found in soils.  South Florida has low selenium in its soils.   Senegal has a very low rate of HIV/AIDS (with high risk-factors) but the highest rate of soil selenium in Africa.  Areas of high soil selenium rates in the American West have significantly fewer deaths from heart disease and cancer.  The most predictable food source is Brazil nuts, because those trees have mostly grown in selenium-rich areas. 

Selenium-supplemented subjects show more rapid clearance of poliovirus, and poliovirus reverse transcriptase.  Polymerase chain reaction products recovered from the feces of supplemented subjects contained a lower number of viral mutations.

Healthy humans can convert quinones Coenzymes Q1 - Q9 into Coenzyme Q10 (e.g. 2 x CoQ1 + 4 x CoQ7 = 3 x CoQ10).

Biotin is synergistic with Coenzyme Q10.  Biotin is a water-soluble B vitamin that plays an important role in metabolizing the energy we get from food.  Biotin assists four essential enzymes that break down fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  Although biotin is a necessary nutrient, we usually get enough from bacteria living in the digestive tract.  Excellent sources of biotin include chard, tomatoes, romaine lettuce and carrots.  Very good sources include soaked almonds, chicken eggs, onions, cabbage, cucumber and cauliflower.  Good sources include goat's milk, cow's milk, raspberries, strawberries, halibut, oats and soaked walnuts.

Biotin may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of: graying hair, hair loss (alopecia) or intestinal imbalances, including inflammatory bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and chronic diarrhea.  Also helps neuromuscular-related conditions, including seizures, ataxias (movements characterized by lack of muscle coordination), and hypotonias (posture and movement characterized by lack of muscle tone)

Skin conditions, including eczema, cradle cap in infants and seborrheic dermatitis (dry flaky skin) in adults or lusterless hair are helped with biotin.  During pregnancy there is an increased demand for nutrients placed upon the mother by the growing fetus.  Slight biotin deficiency may tend to occur during normal pregnancy.

Biotin supplements are ideally taken when the daily intake of alpha lipoic acid exceeds 100 mg.  Lipoic acid can compete with biotin and in the long run, interfere with biotin's activities in the body.  For people with diabetes, the usual recommended dosage of biotin is 7,000-15,000 mcg (7-15 mg) daily.

For treating "cradle cap" (a scaly head rash often found in infants), the usual dosage of biotin is 6,000 mcg (6 mg) daily, given to the nursing mother (not the child).  A lower dosage of 3,000 mcg (3 mg) daily is used to treat lusterless dry hair, brittle fingernails and toenails.

Folic Acid (folinic acid, folacin, pteroylglutamic acid) is an essential cofactor for the endogenous synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.  Folic acid stimulates the formation of gastric juice and is important for a well functioning liver.  This vitamin is active in the metabolism of proteins and fats, it is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and it helps in the metabolism of the brain.  Folic acid is essential for the synthesis of adenine and thymine, two of the four nucleic acids that make up our genes, DNA and chromosomes. 

It is also required for the proper metabolism of the essential amino acid methionine that is found primarily in animal proteins.  Folic acid deficiency has been clearly linked to an elevated level of homocysteine, a toxic sulfur-containing amino acid.  High homocysteine levels, in turn, have been linked to cardiovascular disease and a host of other undesirable conditions.  Since folic acid is necessary for the metabolism of DNA and RNA, it is indispensable in cell division processes of the body and extra folic acid is advised for women during pregnancy or more importantly, women considering pregnancy.

Excellent sources of folate include raw leaf vegetables, fresh raw romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, mustard greens, as well as rare calves liver, parsley, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, beets and lentils.  Very good sources include squash, simmered black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans, as well as papaya and barely blanched string beans.

Folate contained in animal products (like beef liver) appears to be relatively stable to cooking, unlike folate in plant products (like cabbage) which can lose up to 40% of their folate content from cooking.  Processed grains and flours can lose up to 70% of their folate.  Deficient intake of other B vitamins can contribute to folate deficiency. These vitamins include B1, B2 and B3 which are all involved in folate recycling.

Common genetic polymorphisms compromise reduction of tetrahydrofolate in the methylation cycle interfering with glutathione production, detoxification and energy production, often leading to elevated levels of pro-inflammatory homocysteine.  This polymorphism (and many others in the methylation recycling pathway) creates a poor detoxifier with increased risk to cognitive difficulties from autism to Alzheimer’s disease as well as to autoimmune disease like arthritis, periodontal disease, psoriasis and eczema, diabetes, heart and artery disease, stroke and cancer.

Poor protein intake can cause deficiency of folate binding protein which is needed for optimal absorption of folate from the intestine, and can also be related to an insufficient supply of glycine and serine, the amino acids that directly participate in metabolic recycling of folate. Excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, and heavy coffee drinking can also contribute to folate deficiency. 

Because of its link with the nervous system, folate deficiency can be associated with irritability, mental fatigue, forgetfulness, confusion, apathy, depression and insomnia.  The connections between folate, circulation and red blood cell status make folate deficiency a possible cause of exceptional tiredness with general or muscular fatigue.  The role of folate in protecting the lining of body cavities means that folate deficiency can also result in intestinal tract symptoms (like diarrhea) or mouth-related symptoms like gingivitis or periodontal disease.

Folic acid improves milk production when breast feeding, can help to protect against cancer and improves the appetite.  It is a natural painkiller.  It improves the skin and gives babies and children immunity against infections.  Necessary for the production of DNA and RNA, it helps to prevent the developmental birth defect Spina bifida or its far more common subtle expression, spina bifida occulta.

Some say 88% of all North Americans suffer from a folic acid deficiency.  The standard cooked American diet (SAD) does not supply what we need.  This has led to the fortification of cereals and other foodstuffs to try to ensure a minimum daily intake of 0.4 mg/day.  Although beans and green vegetables like spinach and kale are good sources of folic acid, relatively few people eat lots of vegetables and transportation delays and cooking heat destroys most of the folate.  

Realizing the poor availability from the diet many medical researchers now advocate daily supplementation with folic acid.  Because folic acid needs the catalysts vitamins B12 and B6 to carry out its methylation functions effectively it is common to supplement with a combination of the three.  Dosage recommendations for folic acid vary between 0.4 mg/day and 1-2 mg/day up to 10-20 mg/day depending on severity of deficiency and the health problems to be overcome.  The RDA for adults is now 0.4 mg/day and 0.6 mg/day for pregnant women.  Recommendations for vitamin B12 generally range from 0.5-5.0 mg/day and for vitamin-B6 from 10- 250 mg/day.

A study determined the effect of maternal obesity in three generations of genetically identical mice that were all prone to excessive eating.  One group of mice was fed a normal diet; the other group of mice was fed a normal diet supplemented with methylators vitamin B-12, folic acid, betaine and choline.  The group of mice that was fed the normal diet without vitamins got even fatter, even though they were given the same exact diet as their mothers.  However, mice given methylating supplements in addition to the normal diet did not gain weight.

French researcher Jerome Lejeune reported that supplements of about 250 mcg of folic acid per pound of body weight per day brought on major improvement in several autistic children.  Dr. Lejeune gave thousands of retarded children (mostly Down’s syndrome) 20 mg of folic acid per day in his various studies, with no harm, nor was any harm expected.  (The major theoretical risk to high folate is excessive methylation (inhibition) of the tumor suppressor gene.  However, many more mechanisms promoting cancer are suppressed by methylation.)

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin-5-phosphate), the bright-yellow antioxidant flavonoid is an essential cofactor for the endogenous synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.  Vitamin B2 is a cofactor for the enzyme glutathione reductase that reduces the oxidized form of glutathione back to its reduced version.  Vitamin B2 plays an important role in maintaining supplies of its fellow B vitamins.  One of the pathways used in the body to create vitamin B3 (niacin) is by conversion of the amino acid tryptophan.  This conversion process is accomplished with the help of an enzyme called kynurenine mono-oxygenase, and vitamin B2 (in its FAD form) is required for enzyme function.

High liver and kidney concentrations reflect the prominent role of vitamin B2 in metabolic activity, with the liver serving as a central metabolic processing point, and the kidneys providing for elimination of unneeded molecules.  The high concentration of vitamin B2 in the heart results from the heart's unusual dependence on aerobic (oxygen-based) energy production and the key role of vitamin B2 in allowing that energy production to occur.  For optimal performance, make sure that your metabolism always has enough extra B2 to keep your urine ‘riboflavin yellow’.

Many early-stage deficiency symptoms for riboflavin involve eye-related problems.  These problems include excessive sensitivity to light, tearing, burning and itching in and around the eyes and loss of clear vision.  Soreness around the lips, mouth, and tongue, and cracking of the skin at the corners of the mouth are symptoms that can also be characteristic of riboflavin deficiency.  Peeling of the skin, particularly around the nose, or in men around the scrotum, can also indicate lack of vitamin B2.  Vitamin B2 may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of: anemia, carpal tunnel syndrome, cataracts, migraine, rosacea and vaginitis.

Excellent sources of vitamin B2 include mushrooms, calves liver and spinach.  Very good sources include romaine lettuce, asparagus, chard, mustard greens, broccoli, collard greens venison, turnip greens, chicken eggs, yogurt and cow's milk.

Niacinamide form of vitamin B3 is an essential cofactor for the endogenous synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.  Most often, "niacin" is used to refer to "nicotinic acid," the form of vitamin B3 with documented cholesterol-lowering potential. The acidic form of the vitamin also carries with it the greatest risk of stomach ulcer or an uncomfortable and disconcerting histamine release causing dry itchy skin with a hot skin flush.  Supplements focused on cholesterol reduction and alteration of fat metabolism typically include vitamin B3 in the form of nicotinic acid.

The source of all our energy comes from an electron transport chain which couples a chemical reaction between an electron donor (such as NADH, the reduced form of niacin) and an electron acceptor (such as O2) to the transfer of H+ ions across a membrane, through a set of mediating biochemical reactions. 

Just like the new automobiles powered by hydrogen, these H+ ions proffered by glutathione are used to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the main energy intermediate in living organisms, as they move back across the membrane.  We make half our bogy weight of ATP each day.  Electron transport chains are used for extracting energy from sunlight (photosynthesis) and from redox reactions such as the burning of sugars (respiration).

In plant chloroplasts, light drives the conversion of water to oxygen and NADP+ to NADPH and a transfer of H+ ions.  NADPH is used as an electron donor for carbon fixation. In mitochondria, it is the conversion of oxygen to water, NADH to NAD+ and succinate to fumarate that drives the transfer of H+ ions.  While some bacteria have electron transport chains similar to those in chloroplasts or mitochondria, other bacteria use different electron donors and acceptors.  Both the respiratory sites of mitochondrial and photosynthetic electron transport chains are major sites of premature electron leakage to oxygen, thus being major sites of superoxide production and drivers of oxidative stress.

The nicotinamide form of vitamin B3 is widely available in supplement form.  This chemical form of vitamin B3 carries a much lower risk of skin flush and is commonly used in supplement formulas designed to support health in conditions not involving cholesterol excess or altered fat metabolism. 

In doses starting at one gram per day, working up to three grams per day niacinamide is very helpful for osteoarthritis and halting all kinds of autoimmune breakdown, especially when combined with 25-50 mg activated B6 (P-5-P), 200-400 mcg selenium and other glutathione enhancers.  Niacinamide sometimes helps stop autoimmune destruction and preserve pancreas cell (β-islet) function in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (type 1) in divided doses, working up to 3 grams daily.  The same strategy can be used to halt the autoimmune destruction in Addison’s disease of the adrenals or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.

Intestinal problems, including chronic diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, and irritable bowel disease can all trigger vitamin B3 deficiency.  Because part of the body's B3 supply comes from conversion of the amino acid tryptophan, deficiency of tryptophan can also increase risk of vitamin B3 deficiency. (Tryptophan deficiency is likely to occur in individuals with low stomach acid or poor overall protein intake.)  Physical trauma, all types of stress, long-term fever, and excessive consumption of alcohol have also been associated with increased risk of niacin deficiency.  Need for more B3 might be expressed as generalized weakness or muscular weakness, lack of appetite, skin infections or digestive problems.

Vitamin B3 may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of: Alzheimer’s disease and age-related cognitive decline, cataracts, convulsions, depression, diabetes, gout, hallucinations, schizophrenia, headaches, HIV/AIDS, hyperactivity, hypothyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, insomnia, intermittent claudication, menstrual pain, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, pellagra, rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, smell and taste disorders as well as vertigo.

Pellagra was once thought to be an infectious disease.  Characterized by cracked, scaly, discolored skin, digestive problems, and overall bodily weakness (diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia) pellagra was finally correlated to improperly-prepared cornmeal-based diets, and addition of protein to these diets was found to cure many cases of pellagra.

Several years later, vitamin B3 was formally identified as the missing nutrient in the cornmeal-based diets that had led to the symptoms of pellagra.  Corn as a whole food contains significant amounts of vitamin B3, but that vitamin B3 cannot readily be absorbed from corn unless corn products (like cornmeal) are alkalized to release this vitamin for absorption.

The use of lime (as in limestone, the mineral, not lime juice in the fruit) releases vitamin B3 from corn and makes it available for absorption.  Native American food practices involved the addition of ash from cooking fires ("pot ash" or "potash") to corn-based recipes (one type of cooking technique that helps make vitamin B3 available for absorption).

Excellent sources of vitamin B3 include mushrooms and tuna.  Very good sources include beef liver, halibut, asparagus, sea vegetables, venison, chicken and salmon.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid or pantethine) is synergistic with Coenzyme Q10 and is involved in the endogenous synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.  In its metabolically active form, vitamin B5 gets combined with another small, sulfur-containing molecule to form coenzyme A (or simply, CoA).  This conversion allows vitamin B5 to participate in a wide variety of chemical reactions.

Vitamin B5 shares "double duty" in production of fat.  In its acetyl CoA form, it helps provide fat with its chemical structure because the acetyl portion of acetyl CoA is the basic building block for fat.  However, vitamin B5 is also involved in the transport of these acetyl building blocks from one part of the cell (the large, watery-part called the cytoplasm) into smaller, more specialized organelles (called the mitochondria) where fat is actually produced from which steroid hormones are made.  The transport of these fat building blocks is carried out by a protein called acyl carrier protein (ACP), and once again, vitamin B5 is required for this protein to function.

Sometimes it is important for the body to make small chemical changes in the shape of cell proteins.  For example, if a cell does not want its proteins to be chemically broken down into other substances, it may want to modify their structure in order to prevent this chemical breakdown.  One way for cells to change structure and function is by attaching an acetyl group to proteins.

Vitamin B5, in the form of CoA, can be used to help acetylate proteins, thereby protecting them from chemical breakdown.  The attachment of acetyl groups to proteins can be very important such as changing gene programming by silencing genes.  Acetylation can also dramatically change the function of a protein, allowing production of adrenal stress hormones.

While pantothenic acid ultimately leads to the creation of Co-enzyme A, the use of pantethine is a much faster way to achieve the same effect as pantothenic acid and with intense potency. Pantethine is helpful in the management of auto-immune disorders as well as adrenal fatigue. Pantethine allows the adrenal glands to generate more cortisone.  With more cortisone produced, the body’s inflammatory response is reduced.  

For maximum effect, it is synergistically used in conjunction with a high dose nutritional cocktail of vitamin C, lysine, proline, bioflavonoids, pine bark extract, glycine, and carnitine, magnesium, fructooligosaccharides, glutamine as well as ascorbyl palmitate.

Pantethine is also an excellent nutrient when it comes to two major gastrointestinal problems, colitis and Chron’s disease.  A daily dose of 900-1200 mg pantethine matched with 900-1200 mg of pantothenic acid will drastically improve those with Chron’s disease and colitis.  The normal waiting time for effects to kick in is 4-8 weeks, but many report benefits in much shorter time.  Pantethine also helps beneficial bacteria to grow in the intestines.  It helps the body get over yeast overgrowth and accumulation of other toxic solvents such as formaldehyde, acting as a natural detoxifier.

Pantothenic acid, while not as strong as pantethine, does have its own role.  In high doses (up to 10 grams) a day, it can help with acne.  Calcium pantothenate is an excellent nutrient for gout when taken at 800-1200 mg in 4 divided doses per day.  Some people have reported reduction in inflammation and improvement of symptoms in peripheral neuropathy and burning foot syndrome.  It is also helpful for arthritis.

It plays a vital role in enhancing the aldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme (necessary for formaldehyde detoxification).
  Pantethine is a remarkably safe and extremely valuable natural dietary supplement.  It is used in a variety of settings, with the most important being lipid balancing and in combating adrenal fatigue.  The usual dosage of pantethine is 900-1500mg a day in divided dosages.

Vitamin B5 is needed to release energy from carbohydrates and fats, its deficiency is often related to low energy-related symptoms.  These symptoms include fatigue, listlessness, and sensations of weakness.  One rare symptom of B5 deficiency is called "burning foot syndrome." This version of peripheral neuropathy exhibits numbness and tingling, together with burning and shooting pain in the feet has been attributed to B5 deficiency.  While other B vitamins (like B1 and B3) help lessen the symptoms of burning foot syndrome, B5 is required to end the burning sensation.  This condition, while very rare, helps point out the strong interdependence of the B vitamins and is the reason that we believe B5 deficiency symptoms are primarily symptoms of overall B vitamin deficiency, not deficiency of B5 alone.

Pantothenic acid is relatively unstable in food, and significant amounts of this vitamin can be lost through cooking, freezing, and commercial processing.  For example, research on frozen foods has shown a loss of 21-70% for vitamin B5 in animal products (like meats), and similar losses for processed grains (like cereal grains) and canned vegetables.  Fruits and fruit juices lose 7-50% of their vitamin B5 during processing and packaging.

An excellent source of vitamin B5 is raw Crimini mushrooms, with cauliflower second.  Good sources of vitamin B5 include broccoli, calves liver, turnip greens, sunflower seeds, tomato, strawberries, yogurt, eggs, winter squash, collard greens, chard and corn.

Vitamin B6 (P-5-P or pryridoxine-5-phosphate) is an essential cofactor for the endogenous synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.  As P5P, vitamin B6 is extensively involved in the metabolism of amino acids, lipids and nucleic acids.  Vitamin B6 plays a crucial role in the multiplication of cells.  Pyridoxine must be converted into its active form, pryridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P).  This is not a simple process.  First, stomach acid must disassociate pyridoxine from other foods.  Then it must be absorbed in the small intestine.  From there it goes to the liver where zinc assists its conversion to P5P. 

People with low energy are poor phosphorylators.  Ultimately assisted by donation of hydrogen ions from glutathione, and chaperoned by niacin, riboflavin and coenzyme Q10, phosphorous must be added to adenosine to make AMP, adenosine monophosphate, ADP, adenosine diphosphate and ATP, adenosine triphosphate.  Release of energy stored in the phosphate bond (assisted by magnesium) causes conformational changes in glycoproteins to create gates, movement, mechanical work and structure. 

Those with low energy also do not convert B6 to P5P very well, further compromising a critical cog in energy production, coenzyme Q10.  Deficiencies of B6 are related to the use of colorings, preservatives and additives in our food, as well as increase use of prescription drugs.  Prescription drugs may interfere with the conversion of pyridoxine to P5P, including some drugs for arthritis and high blood pressure, for example furosemide (Lasix). 

Excessive protein intake, alcohol or contraceptive use also indicates a greater need for B6.  One estimate is that only 1/3 of people are efficient converters causing many failed immune systems, much low energy and more irritable behavior.  Many people are low in P-5-P as shown by blood tests.  One may eat lots of B-6 rich foods and even take supplements, but if the body can not convert food sources into P5P, B-6 function will be low.  Some of the diseases linked with low P5P: cancer, heart conditions, asthma, pain, depression, memory loss, migraine, PMS, psoriasis and carpal tunnel.

As a member of the B vitamin family, B6 has key interactions with many of its family members. P5P is essential for making vitamin B3 (niacin) from the amino acid tryptophan.  Lack might lead to fatigue or malaise, anemia, skin disorders including eczema and seborrheic dermatitis or even convulsions or seizures.  When activated vitamin B6 is deficient, taurine is also low.  Taurine plays a major role in protecting against glutamate and aspartate toxicity.

L-tryptophan is used by the brain to make the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is responsible for slowing down reaction time, imparting satiety after a meal and inducing sleep.  L-tryptophan, found in such foods as bananas, sunflowers seeds and milk (whose effects are enhanced when consumed with carbohydrate-rich foods), modulates and returns rhythm to mental functions.

Monoamine oxidase (MAO) and/or catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) are enzymes involved in the degradation of both dopamine and serotonin.  MAO inhibitors decrease blood pressure.  Inhibition of MAO selectively increases renal interstitial fluid serotonin.  COMT appears to be more important than MAO in the degradation of intrarenal dopamine.  Physiological increases in intrarenal dopamine/serotonin induced by inhibition of their degrading enzymes are associated with significant alterations of renal function.

EGCG has an IC(50) value of 70 nM for inhibiting human liver COMT-mediated O-methylation of 2-hydroxyestradiol, which was 210-760 times more potent than catechins, epigallocatechin and epicatechin.  COMT promoter activity was differentially regulated by the 3 half-site progesterone response elements in the COMT promoter.  Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is one of the candidate genes for schizophrenia because it codes an enzyme that participates in the metabolic inactivation of dopamine and noradrenalin and a limiting factor of dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex.  Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) catalyzes the O-methylation of a wide array of catechol-containing substrates using s-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) as the methyl donor.

Weight Loss - increased muscle and bone mass with better skin and less flab

Excess flab is the result of too few fat burning peroxisomes and too few protein, carbohydrate and fat burning mitochondria.  Excess flab comes from hibernation messaging to our genes (too little light, sedentary lifestyle, dehydration or drought by ingesting dried seeds, nuts and grains) or ‘survival signaling’ from starting one’s day with unsustaining breakfast with too little protein. 

Tools for obesity management, including caffeine, ephedrine, quercitin, capsaicin, resveratrol and green tea have been proposed as strategies for weight loss and weight maintenance.  These plant polyphenols may increase energy expenditure and counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that is present during aging or caloric restriction by actually increasing the number of peroxisomes and mitochondria (by triggering genes to make more of these organelles with alpha-PPARs).

Alpha-PPARs (fibrates like lopid) lower cholesterol, boost HDLs, build bone & lean body mass by increasing mitochondrial biogenesis & function (where most energy-producing antioxidant chemistry takes place).  Alpha PPARs are also activated by leukotriene B4, exercise and its resultant reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide (also boosted by arginine & alpha-ketoglutarate), plant stress-pigments resveratrol or quercitin (by triggering SIRT1 ‘fasting’ gene) & lipoic acid plus biotin (through the AMPK ‘fuel sensor’ pathway).

Bones is no longer thought of simply in terms of structure with attendant fracture risk and osteoporosis.  Bone marrow is constantly giving birth to new stem cells and these cells play vital roles in metabolism and immunity.  When bone cells get inflamed (from excessive stress-messaging partly from gamma PPARs) it promotes fatty marrow and excess bone loss, and directly causes fat cells to multiply in white adipose tissue.  Reducing stress hormones lowers tendency to store excess body fat.

A combination of caffeine and ephedrine has shown to be effective in long-term weight management, likely due to different mechanisms that may operate synergistically, by inhibiting phosphodiesterase-induced degradation of hormonal secondary-messenger cAMP and enhancing stress response with its sympathetic release of dopanergic catecholamines.

Severe, low-calorie diet trips physiological sensors, sending a message throughout the body that conditions are not ripe for reproduction.  Cellular defense systems go up and aging slows, preserving the body for better, more reproduction-friendly times.  Salvestrol molecules called sirtuins similarly slow aging in all organisms.  They are richly found in blackcurrants, blueberries, strawberries and in grape skins or citrus rinds. 

These plant pigments that defend (against mold, virus and UV light) interact with our beneficent dualistic steroid receptors.  Through them, sirtuins speak to the genes and mimic the life-extending effects of caloric restriction, which causes a biochemical cascade known to slow aging and degenerative disease in mammals. 

Sirtuins do not extend life when coupled with real caloric restriction.  In fact, when flies on a low-calorie diet ate resveratrol and fisetin (another salvestrol), they did not live any longer than average flies.  Another surprise was that flies feasting on sirtuins did not have problems reproducing (a negative side effect of caloric restriction).

Balanced and moderate use of ephedrine is helpful.  Capsaicin from hot peppers has been shown to be effective, yet when it is used clinically it requires a strong compliance.  Positive effects on body-weight management have also been shown using green tea mixtures.  Green tea, by containing both tea catechins and caffeine, may act through inhibition of catechol O-methyl-transferase, and inhibition of phosphodiesterase.  Tea also boosts GABA, creating calmness and a more anabolic metabolism.  Herbal mechanisms operate synergistically.  For dopamine loss, add tyrosine, vitamin B6, zinc, DHEA and phenylalanine.

Green tea enhances phosphorylation (necessary for energy production) which also activates not only pyridoxine, but riboflavin, as well.  In addition, tea catechins have antiangiogenic properties that may prevent development of overweight and obesity as well as tumor formation.  The sympathetic nervous system regulates lipolysis, and the sympathetic innervations of white adipose tissue may play an important role in the regulation of total body fat in general.

Ginkgo extracts used in the treatment of dementia created clinically significant improvement in memory loss, concentration, fatigue, anxiety and depressed mood.  Quercitin is the major flavonoid which belongs to the class called flavonols.  Quercitin is found in many common foods  including apples, tea, onions, nuts, berries, cauliflower, cabbage and many other foods.

Quercitin provides many health promoting benefits, including improvement of cardiovascular health, eye diseases, allergic disorders, arthritis, reducing risk for cancers and many more.  Depression is highly prevalent in diabetics and is associated with poor glucose regulation and increased risk of diabetic complications.  Quercitin inhibits MAO and COMT enzymes and is employed as a therapy for depression associated with diabetes.

Adult dosages of quercitin vary depending on the health condition being treated.  For allergic conditions, 250-600 mg per day in divided doses and for chronic hives, 200-400 mg thrice daily quercitin is recommended.

Quercitin reduces ischemia–reperfusion oxidative damage by slowing inducible nitric oxide synthase activity.  Nitric oxide is produced from arginine by most different types of cells including endothelial cells and macrophages.  Although the early release of nitric oxide through the activity of constitutive nitric oxide synthase is important in maintaining the dilatation of blood vessels, the much higher concentration of nitric oxide produced by inducible nitric oxide synthase in macrophages can result in oxidative damage by creating peroxynitrites.

During low oxygen states, activated macrophages greatly increase their simultaneous production of both nitric oxide and superoxide anions.  Nitric oxide reacts with free radicals, producing highly damaging peroxynitrite.  Peroxynitrite can directly oxidize LDLs resulting in irreversible damage to cell membranes.  Quercitin causes scavenging of free radicals; therefore can no longer react with nitric oxide, resulting in less damage.  Nitric oxide is a radical itself and can directly be scavenged by flavonoids. 

Oral administration of a water extract of Rhodiola rosea to rats for 10 days modulated biogenic monoamines in the cerebral cortex, brain stem and hypothalamus.  In the cerebral cortex and brain stem, levels of nor-epinephrine and dopamine decreased, while the amount of serotonin increased substantially.  In the hypothalamus, the results were reversed with a 3-fold increase in the amount of norepinephrine and dopamine, and a trend toward reduced serotonin levels. Rhodiola rosea inhibits the activity of the enzymes responsible for monoamine degradation, monoamine oxidase and catechol-O-methyltransferase.

Another strategy for weight loss is increasing testosterone while reducing cortisol and estrogens.  There are a variety of conditions that respond to an aromatase inhibitor: low sperm count, prostate cancer, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), breast cancer, elevated estrogen levels and low testosterone levels. 

Use of aromatase inhibitors may also be an effective way to reduce abdominal obesity.  Aromatase is the enzyme that converts testosterone into estradiol and androstenedione into estrone.  When testosterone increases systemically, some of it can be converted to estradiol, and estradiol can inhibit future production of testosterone by its own feedback system.

Cactus flower extracts have inhibitory effects on the aromatase and 5-alpha reductase (5-AR) enzymes, which convert testosterone into dihydrotestosterone.  New evidence implicates dihydrotestosterone, estradiol and alpha receptors as playing a role in the etiology of prostatic hypertrophy and possibly prostate cancer. 

Flavones, or flavonoids, are a large group of compounds found throughout the plant kingdom and in many foods.  Also included in this group are isoflavones and phytoestrogens (plant substances mimicking estrogen function and/or structure).  Isoflavones have been used as drugs and food supplements and have antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Ingestion of flaxseed meal at doses of 13.5-16 grams per day increases in plasma of the weak aromatase inhibitors enterolactone and enterodiol.  Chrysin is an aromatase inhibitor.

Cycads (Dioon spinulosum Dyer and Encephalartos ferox Bertol) are plants that have been traditionally used for food and medicine after their toxic components were removed.  Extraction of toxins must be done correctly.  Extracts from five different cycad species exert inhibitory effects on aromatase.  Epilobium genus plants contain ellagitannin aromatase inhibitors oenothein A and oenothein B.  Oenothein A has the greater aromatase inhibitory effect.  In addition, it appears to be desirably selective, since it does not inhibit another steroidogenic enzyme, as most of the other bioflavonoids.

Prescription MAOIs act by inhibiting the activity of monoamine oxidase preventing the breakdown of monoamine neurotransmitters, which increases their availability.  There are two isoforms of monoamine oxidase, MAO-A and MAO-B.  MAO-A preferentially deaminates serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine and norepinephrine.  MAO-B preferentially deaminates phenyl ethylamine and trace amines.  Dopamine is equally deaminated by both types. 

Many medical formulations have forms of fluoride attached to assist in permeating the blood-brain barrier.  Fluoride is suspected as a factor in pineal gland calcification.

Serotonin syndrome is generally caused by a combination of two or more drugs, one of which is often a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SRRI).  The drugs which we know most frequently contribute to this condition are the combining of MAOIs with Prozac (this would also include the other SSRIs) or other drugs that have a powerful effect upon serotonin, i.e., clomipramine (Anafranil) and trazadone (Deseryl). 

The combination of pharmaceutical doses of lithium with these selective serotonergic agents has been implicated in enhancing the serotonin syndrome.  Tricyclic antidepressants, lithium, MAOIs, SSRIs, ECT (electric shock treatment), tryptophan, and the serotonin agonists (fenfluramine) all enhance serotonin neurotransmission and can contribute to this syndrome.

Surprisingly, excess serotonin coming from the gut to the bloodstream is a primary cause of osteoporosis.  The LRP5 gene acts on serotonin-producing cells in the gut.  It blocks an enzyme that converts the amino acid tryptophan to serotonin. The more LRP5 expression, the more the enzyme is blocked and the less serotonin is made.  The LRP5 gene seems to have no effect on brain cells that make serotonin.  
 
After the gut releases serotonin into circulating blood, serotonin travels to bone-forming cells and inhibits their growth.  Conversely, the less serotonin, the denser and stronger bones become.  Menopause-induced osteoporosis was prevented in mice by slowing serotonin production.

Symptoms of ‘serotonin syndrome’ are: euphoria, drowsiness, sustained rapid eye movement, overreaction of reflexes, rapid muscle contraction and relaxation in the ankle causing abnormal movements of the foot, clumsiness, restlessness, feeling drunk and dizzy, muscle contraction and relaxation in the jaw, sweating, intoxication, muscle twitching, rigidity and high body temperature.  Changes in mental status are frequent (including undue optimism, overspending the credit card, confusion and hypomania - a "happy drunk" state), and finally in the extreme, shivering, diarrhea, loss of consciousness and even death.

The active alkaloids of Harmal seeds are MAOI-A (monoamine oxidase inhibitor A) compounds:  The stems of the plant contain about 0.36% alkaloids, the leaves about 0.52%, and the roots up to 2.5%.  Harmine and Harmaline are reversible inhibitors of MAO-A.  Peganum harmala is used as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent.

In Yemen the Harmal was used to treat depression, and it has been established  that harmaline (an active ingredient in Peganum harmala is a central nervous system stimulant and a reversible inhibitor of MAO-A, in other words, an antidepressant or “entheogen." An entheogen is any molecule that stimulates the central nervous system through one of two main neurological pathways: Phenethylamine (brain chemical associated with the adrenaline pathway, and a precursor of Mescaline and 2C-B) and/or Tryptamine (brain chemical associated with the natural metabolism of serotonin, and a precursor of Psilocin, psilocybin, DMT).

Activated vitamin B6 may play a role in the prevention and/or treatment of: cardiovascular system conditions, including sensitivity or allergy to monosodium glutamate (MSG), atherosclerosis, hyper-homocysteinemia, and hypertension; nervous system conditions, including carpal tunnel syndrome, depression, diabetic neuropathy, autism, schizophrenia, tardive dyskinesia and epilepsy; skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and seborrheic dermatitis.  Linked to B6 status are alcoholism, adrenal function, asthma, HIV/AIDS, kidney stones, PMS and vaginitis. 

Three studies have compared vitamin B6 (at 30 mg of vitamin B6 daily) to ginger for the treatment of morning sickness.  Two studies found them to be equally beneficial, while the other found ginger to be a bit better.

Vitamin B6 (with magnesium) was found to be helpful in almost half of all autistic children and adults included in 18 consecutive studies between 1965 and 1996.  At Autism Research Institute, Bernard Rimland, Ph.D. found that the average amount of B6 found to be beneficial was around 8 mg of B6 per pound of body weight, per day. (This is about 500 mg/day for a 60 pound child.) 

Giving about 3-4 mg of magnesium per pound of body weight, up to 400 mg per day for adults, enhances the effects of the B6 and protects against possible B6-induced magnesium deficiency.  This is not a mega dose of magnesium, but a reasonable amount that anyone might take for optimum health. 

Our physiologies function best when we nibble on mineral-rich leaves all day long (as migrating hunter-gatherers did while taming the primitive forest).  Almost every type of food processing (and stress) depletes magnesium and most other minerals, so in modern times supplementing with multiminerals including magnesium is necessary to avoid deficiency. 

The magnesium taurate form also supplies a sulfur-containing and calming amino acid ligand taurine, which also assists recycling of energy-producing and detoxifying glutathione.  Magnesium oxide (milk of magnesia) and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) are excellent sources of magnesium at lower doses and a very good treatment for constipation at higher doses.  Magnesium orotate, glycinate and proteinate are very well absorbed.

Vitamin B6 at higher diuretic dosages (especially above 2 grams daily) without being balanced with other B vitamins, may stabilize cell membranes too much and create some small risk to peripheral neuropathy.  This is seen as a tingling and numbness in the hands and feet and is reversible when B6 is reduced and other critical B vitamins are supported.  Nerve-related symptoms have even been reported at doses used for PMS as low as 200 mg.  (This is ironic, given that B6 deficiency also causes nerve problems.)  In some cases, very high doses of vitamin B6 have worsened acne symptoms.

Large amounts of vitamin B6 are lost during most forms of cooking and processing.  Loss of B6 from canning of vegetables is approximately 60-80%; from canning of fruits, about 38%; from freezing of fruits, about 15%; from conversion of grains to grain products, between 50-95%; and from conversion of fresh meat to meat by-products, 50-75%.

A long list of prescription medications has been linked to depletion of the body's B6.  These medications include birth control pills and oral estrogens; diuretics, including furosemide;  barbiturates, including phenobarbital and phenytoin; anti-epileptic drugs, including carbamazepine; asthma-related drugs, including theophylline; amino glycosides, including gentamicin used for bacterial infection; tuberculosis drugs, including isoniazid and rifampin; and anti-fibrotic drugs, including beta-aminopropionitrile.

Excellent sources of vitamin B6 include spinach, bell peppers and turnip greens.  Very good food sources of vitamin B6 include garlic, tuna, cauliflower, mustard greens, banana, celery, cabbage, Crimini mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cod and chard.

Vitamin B12 is an essential cofactor for the endogenous synthesis of methionine and Coenzyme Q10.  Without B12, synthesis of DNA becomes defective, and so does the information needed for red blood cell formation and nerve myelination.  Lack might create dandruff or diminished blood clotting or a nervous and pale patient with weakness and difficulty swallowing along with a sore red tongue and loss of taste; or one might exhibit fatigue, depression, palpitations, weak pulse, memory loss, menstrual difficulties, slowed reflexes or numbness or tingling of the feet.

Cobalamin (vitamin B12) is absorbed and distributed by three proteins; intrinsic factor, transcobalamin and haptocorrin.  Intrinsic factor is needed for intestinal B12 uptake and plasma transcobalamin is responsible for B12 transport to all cells of the body.  The portion of cobalamin bound to transcobalamin is called holotranscobalamin.  Holotranscobalamin is the biologically active fraction of B12 available for tissue uptake and has been proposed as a potential clinical indicator of B12 status (a more useful marker than plasma B12).  Levels of holotranscobalamin <35 pmol/L are considered low while levels of plasma B12 <150 pmol/L are considered deficient.

 

As the crudest measure, plasma B12 levels in the upper third of ‘normal’ ranges would be optimal and protect against anemia and neurological symptoms.  Older patients tend to present neuropsychiatric disease in the absence of hematologic findings.  Measurements of metabolites

MMA and homocysteine have been shown to be more sensitive in diagnosis of B12 deficiency than measurement of serum B12 levels alone.

 

Methylmalonic acid (MMA) is a sensitive and early indicator of B12 deficiency at the tissue level. MMA is a compound that is usually produced in very small amounts during amino acid metabolism.  Normally, B12 acts as a cofactor in the conversion of methylmalonyl CoA to succinyl CoA.  If there is not enough B12 to act as a cofactor, conversion is blocked and then the precursor builds up; the body converts the methylmalonyl CoA to MMA instead.  MMA (or homocysteine) levels tend to rise in both blood and urine when functional B12 levels are low.  

 

Increased concentrations of MMA are often detectible before occurrence of hematologic changes (anemia and large red blood cells) seen with B12 deficiency.  Some patients with elevated MMA may not exhibit any symptoms at all while others may have anemia, neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet) or mental or behavioral changes (confusion, irritability and depression), classic B12 deficiency symptoms.

Ultra-high doses of methylcobalamin might be useful for patients with peripheral neuropathies. Human equivalent dose rat scientists used is about 40 mg of sublingual methylcobalamin daily.

Those suffering from peripheral neuropathies often take alpha lipoic acid.  It may be prudent that when using alpha lipoic acid also take at least 5 mg a day of sublingually administered methylcobalamin to ensure that alpha lipoic acid will be bioavailable to peripheral nerves. 

Methylcobalamin protects against glutamate, aspartate and nitroprusside induced neurotoxicity in rat cortical neurons.  Methylcobalamin protects against neurotoxicity by enhancing brain cell methylation.  High doses of methylcobalamin are needed to regenerate neurons as well as the myelin sheath that protects nerve axons and peripheral nerves.

Low levels of plasma B12, within what is usually considered to be the normal range, can affect brain volume perhaps by disturbing integrity of brain myelin, through inflammation or disturbance of metabolic pathways.  B12 plays a vital role in the metabolism of fatty acids essential for the maintenance of myelin.  Prolonged B12 deficiency can lead to nerve degeneration and irreversible neurological damage.  Low concentrations of B12 may also influence brain function through methylation metabolic pathways in the brain.

Morning methylcobalamin supplementation reduces daytime drowsiness by decreasing melatonin levels.  Methylcobalamin reduces the amount of time people sleep.  Sleep quality is better and subjects awaken feeling refreshed, with better alertness and concentration.  Methylcobalamin created remarkable T cell-enhancing effects when T cells were exposed to certain antigens.  Methylcobalamin improves activity of T helper cells.  Methylcobalamin might modulate lymphocyte function by augmenting regulatory T cell activities.

No plant or animal has been shown capable of producing B12, and the exclusive source of this vitamin appears to be tiny microorganisms like bacteria, yeasts, molds and algae.  The B12 content of animals and plants depends on their ability to store the vitamin and their relationship to microorganisms.  Because of their greater ability to store vitamin B12, animals contain more of the vitamin than plants (some B12 is found in seaweeds still hosting microscopic mollusks).  

B12 used to be found in traditional Asian fermented foods such as tempeh and miso because of micro-organisms used in the manufacture of these products.  Today, the use of more sanitary stainless steel vats has eliminated these foods as reliable sources of B12.  Changes in agricultural production have also eliminated another reliable plant-based source of B12: the soil on the surface of fresh vegetables.  In the past, when people ate carrots, beets, turnips or mushrooms fresh from the ground, the soil and soil-based bacteria left clinging to vegetables often contained Vitamin B12.

One of the most unusual aspects of bacterial BluB-catalyzed synthesis of B12 is its cannibalization of a cofactor derived from another vitamin, B2.  During the reaction, the B2 cofactor is split into more than two fragments, one of which becomes DMB.  Normally, the B2-derived cofactor would assist in a reaction by temporarily holding electrons and then giving them away.  Such cofactors are not usually consumed in the reaction.  Cannibalization of a cofactor has very rarely been observed before in vitamin synthesis or any type of biosynthetic pathway.  There are almost no other examples where the cofactor is used as a substrate.

Many soil microorganisms do not require B12 to survive, and the plants they attach themselves to do not need it either.  Synthesizing B12 may enable the bacteria to withstand "challenges" made by the plants during the formation of the symbiotic relationship.  More than 30 genes are involved in vitamin B12 synthesis, and "that's a lot to carry around if you don't need to make it.

Excellent sources of vitamin B12 are limited to animal foods.  These foods include snapper and calves liver.  Very good sources of vitamin B12 include bee pollen, venison, shrimp, scallops, salmon and beef.  The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that most individuals over age 50 (vegetarian or omnivore) should get the majority of their vitamin B12 from vitamin supplements or fortified food (because of low availability in clean modern diet and high incidence of impaired absorption).  The most reliable source of Vitamin B12 for vegans is special nutritional yeast called Red Star T-6635+ because it is specifically grown on a vitamin B12 enriched medium.  

Stomach problems that can contribute to B12 deficiency have a wide variety of causes, including overuse of over-the-counter antacids, prescription medicines used to control stomach acidity and gastric ulcers (which are really due to helicobacter pylori bacterial infection). Categories of drugs that can diminish the body's supply of vitamin B12 include acid blockers and antihistamines, antibiotics, anticancer medications, anticonvulsants, anti-gout medications, antihypertensives, anti-Parkinson's medications, antipsychotics, anti-tuberculosis medications, birth control pills, cholesterol-lowering drugs and potassium replacements. 

Stomach problems can contribute to a B12 deficiency in two ways.  First, irritation and inflammation of the stomach can prevent the stomach cells from functioning properly.  When functioning improperly (or due to autoimmunity), the gastric cells may stop producing a substance required for B12 absorption called intrinsic factor.  Without intrinsic factor, B12 cannot be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the body's cells.  

A second way for stomach problems to create B12 deficiency is through inadequate secretion of stomach acids.  Hypochlorhydria compromises B12 absorption since most B12 in food is attached to proteins in the food, and stomach acids are necessary to release the B12 from these proteins.

The duration of oral canker sores (recurrent aphthous stomatitis outbreaks), the number of ulcers, and level of pain were reduced significantly at five and six months of treatment with vitamin B12 sublingually at 1,000mcg/day, regardless of initial blood levels of vitamin B12.

Mammals, including humans, are born with serum levels of vitamin B12 at about 2,000 pg/ml (pictograms or trillionths of a gram, per milliliter).  That level declines throughout human life owing to practices common in Western societies.  Below 550-600 pg/ml, deficiencies start to appear in the cerebrospinal fluid.  US clinical laboratories regard 200 pg/ml as low ‘normal.’

That low limit was set with hematologic criteria.  But neuropsychiatric criteria, which are much higher, are more critical.  Many cases of Alzheimer's dementia are actually missed B12 deficiency cases, because of the too-low normal range for B12.  Risk of overdose seems to be virtually nil.  Patients of Dr. H.L. Newbold in New York City injected themselves three times daily with triple-strength doses of B12 (9,000 micrograms/ day or 9 milligrams/day) indefinitely.  Serum B12 levels reached 200,000 pg/ml (100 times normal level found in newborn babies), but no one reported any significant side effects.

Methylcobalamin is the coenzyme form of Vitamin B12 which is biologically active. This means that your body can use it as is, and does not require any metabolic steps to make it body friendly.  Methylcobalamin comes in a sublingual form (dissolves under the tongue) since the digestive system would modify the molecule.  The sublingual method allows some of the vitamin to directly enter the bloodstream, providing rapid benefits.

Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic, and inactive, form of Vitamin B12 that requires a number of metabolic processes to gain benefit.  This can be problematic in people with certain deficiencies and health issues.  Unfortunately, this is the most common form of Vitamin B12 on the market and is found in most Vitamin B-Complex’s.

Hydroxycobalamin is a non-active form of Vitamin B12 and is used commonly as an injectable form.  Hydroxycobalamin is also available as a unique oral form of vitamin B12, which is more readily converted into the coenzyme forms than conventional cyanocobalamin.  It is also recommended for those who have cyanide sensitivity.  

Hydroxycobalamin helps the body bind free cyanide, by reacting with the molecule to form cyanocobalamin, which can then be excreted.  Most people are aware that cyanide can be highly toxic, but the body regularly uses it in very small quantities for metabolic processes.

Vitamin C is an essential cofactor for the endogenous synthesis of Coenzyme Q10.  In 1991, Lelland Tolbert and associates reported that giving 8,000 mg/ day of vitamin C to adolescent and adult autistic persons brought about significant improvement.  Since vitamin C is found in very high concentrations in the brain, this is not a surprising finding.  A number of the world's leading experts on vitamin C, including Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, recommend that most people take at least that much vitamin C or equivalent cofactors each day for optimal health.

Intense exercise increases the concentration of endogenous Coenzyme Q10 within the heart and muscles, improving the transport of CoQ10 from the serum to the heart and muscles.

The highest dietary sources of Coenzyme Q10 come from:  fresh sardines and mackerel, the heart, liver and meat of beef, lamb and pork as well as eggs.  Richest vegetable sources of Coenzyme Q10 are: spinach, broccoli, peanuts, wheat germ and whole grains, although the amount is significantly smaller than that found in meats.  It is important to note that these foods must be raw, fresh and unprocessed, plus grown/produced in an unpolluted environment to be considered viable sources.  Heat generated from cooking at temperatures above 122º F (50º C) destroys Coenzyme Q10. 

Lamb and beef (roasts, steaks and chops) are cooked rare to 120-125 F.  The cool center is bright red, a bit pinkish toward the exterior portion.  Tuna, swordfish and marlin (too rich in mercury to consume regularly) are cooked until medium-rare at 120-125 º F (do not overcook or the meat will become dry and lose much flavor. 

Shrimp is cooked to a medium rare, with time depending on size (do not overcook or the shrimp will become dry and lose flavor).  The USDA recommends a surface cooking temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) for beef, veal, and lamb steaks and roasts or fish to prevent food borne illness.  Milling, canning, preserving or freezing eliminates available CoQ10.

Carnitine is derived from the Latin "carnus" or flesh, as the compound was first isolated from meat.  Carnitine is termed a conditionally essential nutrient, as under certain conditions its requirements may exceed the individual's capacity to synthesize it. 

Acetyl-L-carnitine has been shown to maintain immune competence and reduce the formation of a cell-clogging pigment called lipofuscin.  The most important anti-aging effect of acetyl-L-carnitine, however, is to work with coenzyme Q10 and alpha lipoic acid to maintain the feeding and function of peroxisomes and mitochondria.  When mitochondrial function dwindles, aging, loss of function and degenerative disease becomes an inevitable consequence.

Carnitine mediates the transport of medium/long-chain fatty acids across peroxisomal and mitochondrial membranes, facilitating their oxidation with subsequent energy production; in addition, it facilitates the transport of intermediate toxic compounds out of the mitochondria preventing their accumulation.  Because of these key functions, carnitine is concentrated in tissues that utilize fatty acids as their primary dietary fuel, such as skeletal and cardiac (heart) muscle.

Heart mitochondrial content of cardiolipin, a key agent necessary for mitochondrial substrate transport, is markedly reduced in aged rats.  Treatment of aged rats with acetyl-L-carnitine reverses the age-associated decline in cardiolipin content.  This helps explain why acetyl-L-carnitine is so beneficial in treating congestive heart failure in humans.

The highest concentrations of carnitine are found in red meat such as beef and lamb, fish, chicken and dairy products.  Other natural sources of carnitine include soaked nuts and seeds (e.g. pumpkin, sunflower and sesame), soaked legumes or pulses (beans, peas, lentils and peanuts), vegetables (artichokes, asparagus, beet greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, garlic, mustard greens, okra and parsley), fruits (apricots, bananas), soaked cereals (buckwheat, corn, millet, oatmeal, rice bran, rye, whole wheat, wheat bran and wheat germ) and other 'health' foods (bee pollen, brewer's yeast, carob and kale).

In general, young healthy omnivore adults do not require dietary carnitine since carnitine stores are replenished through metabolic synthesis from lysine and methionine in liver and kidneys.  The carbon backbone for carnitine is derived from essential lysine.  Lysine in protein peptide linkages undergoes methylation to yield trimethyllysine, which is released upon protein degradation.  Muscle is the major source of trimethyllysine.  Released trimethyllysine is further oxidized to butyrobetaine and ultimately hydroxylated to form carnitine.  Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is essential to the synthesis of carnitine. 

Excess carnitine is excreted via the kidneys.  In US, carnitine is an approved prescription drug for the treatment of primary systemic carnitine deficiency and secondary carnitine deficiency syndromes.  Carnitine is also an over-the-counter dietary supplement, used as an aid to weight loss, to improve stamina and exercise performance as well as enhance sense of well-being.

Carnitine is the generic term for a number of compounds that include L-carnitine, L-acetyl carnitine, acetyl-L-carnitine, and L-propionyl carnitine.  Forms available over-the-counter in the US are L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine.  L-carnitine is the biological active form.  The D-isomer, which is not biologically active, can compete with the L-isomer potentially increasing risk of L-carnitine deficiency.  Propionyl-L-carnitine is approved for use in Europe but not in the US.

Carnitine plays an important role in fatty acid oxidation and energy production.  A well-tolerated and generally safe therapeutic agent, it is proven treatment in children who have recessive defects in the carnitine transporter system and in individuals treated long term with pivalate containing antibiotics (cefditoren pivoxil - pivampicillin).  Pivalate prodrugs intended for chronic use, such as the antiretroviral adefovir dipivoxil, now incorporate carnitine supplementation as part of the dosing regimen.

Carnitine is used for long-chain fatty acid transport and is required for entry of these long-chain fatty acids into the lysosomes, peroxisomes and mitochondria of the cell, as well as for the removal of short-chain organic acids from the mitochondria, which frees the intra-mitochondrial coenzyme.  Carnitine is important for the energy supply within the cell, as well as in muscles, and assists in preventing fatty build-up in areas such as the heart, liver and skeletal muscles.

It reduces the risk of poor fat metabolism in diabetes, alcohol-induced fatty liver as well as risk to heart problems.  Carnitine improves the antioxidant effect of vitamins C and E.

Carnitine has many functions in cellular metabolism such as plasma membrane fatty acid remodeling, gene regulation and modulation of cytokine concentrations in experimental sepsis and cancer cachexia.  Acetyl-L-carnitine may assist in the treatment of drug-induced peripheral neuropathy.  Acetyl-L-carnitine protects brain cells against glutamate-induced and ammonia-induced toxicity, and should help in stroke recovery along with GPC (glycerophosphocholine) at 600-1200 mg/day in divided doses between meals.

Glycosylation and glycation are terms used to describe the binding of sugars to proteins that form non-functioning structures (AGEs or cross links) in the body.  Glycation-induced protein cross linking is most notable in the lens of the eye (cataract), the brain (senility) and the collagen of the skin (wrinkles and sag).  

The effects of L-carnitine and acetyl-L-carnitine on the glycation of cataract-causing lens proteins were studied.  Results showed that acetyl-L-carnitine suppressed glycation by 42%, but that l-carnitine had no effect.   Additional evaluation shows that acetyl-L-carnitine produces a 70% reduction in one measurement of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).  It is the formation of AGEs and inherent poor circulation of the lens that typically makes cataracts mostly irreversible.

Optimal dose range of acetyl-L-carnitine for healthy people is 1000-2000 mg/day.  Those with neurological deficit might consider 3000 mg/day.  Synergistic nutrients best taken with acetyl-L-carnitine include coenzyme Q10 (100-300 mg/day) and alpha lipoic acid (250-500 mg/day).

Esters of carnitine (acetyl- and propionyl-carnitine) have pharmacological value, by virtue of their antioxidant properties and/or ability to deliver readily oxidizable carbon units to mitochondria, in chronic disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and reperfusion-ischemia-induced myocardial dysfunction in angina pectoris.

Long-term administration of acetyl-L-carnitine to aged rats restores a synaptic pattern comparable to that of young rats.  With the exception of the tocopherols all other antioxidants had lower concentrations in the Substantia nigra, which showed the most severe neuronal depletion with age.  Acetyl-L-carnitine is likely a determinant of neuronal longevity.

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is regarded with interest because of its capacity to counteract several physiological and pathological modifications typical of brain aging processes.  In particular, it has been demonstrated that ALCAR can counteract the age-dependent reduction of several receptors in the central nervous system of rodents, such as the NMDA receptor system, Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) receptors, those of glucocorticoids, neurotransmitters and others.  ALCAR enhances efficiency of synaptic transmission, which is significantly slowed down by aging and acetylated carnitine appears to reverse age-associated deficits in cellular function, partly by increasing cellular ATP production.

US Patent 5314689 is acyl-carnitine for the treatment and prevention of viral infections.  Data show that L-acetyl-carnitine inhibits the growth of all viruses examined both in tissue cultures and in animals.  Specifically, the treatment apparently renders the cells refractory to infection and thus appears to deprive all viruses of the ability to survive and propagate. 

The action that it exerts on infections with HIV could not yet be studied directly because this virus is very difficult to culture in cell types.  Based on experience with all other quite divergent virus types, it is expected that carnitine will also prevent the entrance of HIV into the body cells provided the HIV transfer takes place by direct contact. 

L-acetyl-carnitine HCl is soluble in water and the usual solvents in cosmetics.  The aqueous solution exhibits an increasing viscosity with increasing concentration.  Thus, a solution of 4 g of L-acetyl-carnitine in 1 ml of water is already very strongly viscous.  Cream is used for external use for treatment of herpetic lesions, which can occur after exposure to sun or UV light or fever.

The patented carrier contains 15% ethyl alcohol, 2% carboxypolymethylene, 0.1% EDTA and 0.0075% essence of lavender.  They then add 10 mg-4 g/ml of L-acetyl-carnitine. HCl to carrier.  The fragrance of the preparation can be modified at will with therapeutic essential oils or any available perfume, such as vanilla, jasmine, strawberry or musk.

When applied to the diseased area, a complete recovery results after only 2 days, while ordinary remedies require about 10 days. The ointment also effects a reliable protection on all skin areas smeared with it prior to infection.  A second ointment type that is proposed for use is produced with or without the addition of a spermicide in an inert carrier gel of a known type for intravaginal use as a potential contraceptive antiviral preparation.

BCAAs

The essential branched chain amino acids (BCAA's) are of special importance for endurance athletes because they are metabolized in muscle, rather than in the liver.  After digestion, protein is mostly broken down into individual amino acids. 

Some small chains of partially digested amino acids have enzyme or hormonal function of their own, acting as opiate-like exorphins or excitotoxins, as well as others mimicking viruses which can act as wild uncontrolled cytokines.  Amino acids can either be used to build mostly new proteins or be slowly burned as fuel to produce more sustained release of energy than quickly digested carbohydrates.

Twelve glucose intolerant (flabby) subjects (average age 67 years) ingested 11 grams of essential amino acids (EAA) plus arginine two times per day, between meals for 16 weeks. The essential amino acid mixture consisted of histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine and valine.  Diet and activity were not otherwise modified. 

During the study, an increase of lean body mass of 1.14 kg was recorded, which declined to 0.6 kg after 16 weeks, compared to beginning lean body mass.  Leg strength increased an average of 22% after 16 weeks.  Improvements also were noted in measures of walking speed, including usual gait speed, the timed 5-step test and timed floor-transfer test.

The daily protein requirement is usually expressed in grams.  There are about 28 grams per ounce.  An ounce of meat does not contain an ounce of protein (meat is not pure protein).  As a general rule, about 3-4 ounces of lean meat provides 15-20grams of protein.

The size of the palm of one’s hand (minus the fingers) is a good measure of the size a typical animal flesh portion.  That portion might ideally be one third of one’s plate, with the other two thirds being mostly vegetables.  Try that two to five times per day.  That is a very brief interpretation of Dr. Barry Sears’ work (www.zonediet.com/) with the ‘zone’ concepts and his 40/30/30 diet.

The human body can synthesize all of the amino acids necessary to build proteins except for the ten called "essential amino acids."  An adequate diet must contain these essential amino acids.  Typically, for an omnivore they are supplied by meat and dairy products, but if one is vegan, some care must be applied to ensuring an adequate supply.  

Essential amino acids can be supplied by a combination of soaked cereal grains (wheat, corn or rice) and soaked legumes (beans or peanuts).  Many popular ethnic foods involve such a combination, so that in a single dish, one might expect to get all ten essential amino acids.  Mexican corn and beans, Japanese rice and soybeans and Cajun red beans and rice are examples of such fortuitous traditional combinations.

Proteins are best digested when there are not very many simple sugars around, since sugars disable proteolytic enzymes.  Our primary protein meal can easily and efficiently include animal-derived foods, including raw or lightly coddled eggs.  Rich in protein are goat yogurt and cheese as well as organic raw milk cottage cheese, cultured or homemade cow’s milk (use small portions to minimize insulin release).  However, emphasizing plant protein is kinder to the environment.  Most human genotypes seem to thrive best and be most resilient with a mix of roughly half animal and half plant protein, and do very well with just 10% animal protein.

Soaking nuts causes germination and greatly increases their nutritional value, as does sprouting seeds (sesame, flax, poppy, chia and sunflower).  Blending soaked and rinsed nuts and soaked seeds with water to make ‘milks’ or ‘smoothies’ doubles their digestibility.  Adding a touch of sea salt and maple syrup or agave nectar to the mix improves palatability.  Cultured soybean products provide good protein sources for those who thrive on soy and eat sea vegetables.  Bee pollen, green vegetables and sprouts or their powders are good protein sources.