- 1 Biology Reference, Enzymes
- 2 Clinical Biochemistry November 1999; 32(8): 595-603
- 3 Digestive Diseases and Sciences January 2007; 52(1): 1-17
- 4 US Healthcare Supply LLC Healthcare Advisor July 2012 (PDF)
- 5 Biology Reference, Enzymes, Molecular Motors
- 6 Enzyme Stuff
- 7 Enzyme Stuff, Which Enzymes to Use with Which Foods
- 8 Fluoride 2005; 38(3): 215-219 (PDF)
- 9, 12 JonBarron.org, Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes
- 10 The Healthy Back Institute, Health Benefits of Proteolytic Enzymes
- 11 The Healthy Back Institute, 3 Ways Proteolytic Enzymes Fight Viruses
- 13 The Healthy Back Institute, What Are Systemic Proteolytic Enzymes?
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Reproduced from original article:
- The Coca-Cola Co. is seeking permission to add vitamins to various drinks in its assortment, but adding vitamins and minerals does absolutely nothing to change the detrimental impact of sugary beverages
- Coca-Cola is also asking the FDA to expand antioxidant claims. At present, antioxidant claims can only be made for substances for which there are established daily values. Coke wants this rule expanded to include substances that do not have established recommended DV
- Vitamin gummy bears have circumvented FDA’s fortification guideline by being marketed as a supplement rather than candy, although it could reasonably be argued to be both
- There are several reasons to avoid vitamin gummies: They’re high in sugar, have unreliable nutrient content, are contaminated with impurities more frequently than other supplements, contain artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and fillers, and pose an overdose risk due to their resemblance to candy
- Gummy fruit snacks are a perfect example of an unhealthy snack marketed as healthy. Whether the primary ingredient is corn syrup or concentrated fruit juice, they contain mostly sugar, and contrary to real fruit, these snacks are loaded with artificial flavors and dyes
In February 2019, I wrote about the introduction of nutritionally fortified artificial sweeteners. Merisant launched a new zero calorie sweetener called Sugarly Sweet exclusively on Amazon in late January 2019, and has also created a brand-new line of artificial sweeteners fortified with vitamins and minerals.1
The fortified sweeteners are sold under the company’s Equal Plus brand, and are available in three versions: vitamin C and zinc;2 vitamins B3, B5 and B12;3 or vitamins C and E.4
The products are marketed as a “good source” of these nutrients, as a single packet provides 10% of the daily recommended value of the added vitamins and minerals. Clearly, this is nothing more than a marketing ploy.
Similarly, The Coca-Cola Co. is now seeking permission to add vitamins to various drinks in its assortment, but make no mistake — adding vitamins and minerals does absolutely nothing to change the detrimental impact these products have on your health, be it artificial sweeteners or sugary beverages.
Coca-Cola wants FDA to ease up on fortification rule
For decades, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has discouraged “indiscriminate addition of nutrients to foods,” including and especially pertaining to “snack foods such as candies and carbonated beverages.”5
Coca-Cola is now pushing the FDA to ease up on this so-called “jelly bean rule” (so called because companies cannot fortify candy such as jelly beans for the purpose of making a health claim). The reason for this FDA guideline is fairly obvious. It’s there to prevent food and beverage manufacturers from marketing junk food as healthy.
In an October 24, 2018, article6 for FOOD Navigator-USA, editor Elaine Watson reported that Coca-Cola has asked the FDA to update its fortification policy “to reflect changes in consumers’ dietary patterns and innovation in the marketplace.”
According to Coca-Cola, the jelly bean guideline damages the company’s “ability to innovate with new carbonated water, tea and juice beverages.” The primary intent behind the request, Coca-Cola claims, is to fortify sparkling beverages, not to add vitamins to soda, snack foods or beverages with “significant amounts of added sugar.”
Interestingly, Coca-Cola is already marketing Vitaminwater which, as its name implies, is fortified water — with plenty of added sugar. As noted by Marion Nestle in a July Food Politics post:7
“Some Vitamin Waters have as much sugar as a Coke. They have Nutrition Facts labels and are marketed as foods, and look to me to be in violation of the jelly bean rule. The FDA hasn’t done anything about them, even though they are vitamin-enriched sugar water. If you have any idea why not, please tell me.”
Indeed, the only difference between Vitaminwater and the type of beverages Coca-Cola is now asking permission to fortify is carbonation. Carbonated beverages “can be beneficial options in a person’s diet, so it is recommended that FDA recognize that the simple addition of carbonation should not prohibit the sale of a product under the fortification guideline,” Coca-Cola told the FDA.8
The company is also asking the FDA to expand antioxidant claims. At present, antioxidant claims can only be made for substances for which there are established daily values. Coca-Cola would like the agency to expand this rule to include substances that have “substantiated antioxidant activity that do not have an established recommended DV.”
The latest fad: Functional junk food
Candy makers are also trying to weasel more nutrients into candy in an effort to give the sweet stuff an aura of healthiness. Nestle offered several examples of candy makers taking a page out of the snack foods’ marketing book in a June 2018 post.9 Among them:
- Rainmaker’s chocolate products, which contain nuts and protein as “functional” ingredients “to give consumers an energy boost”10
- Supertreats, which mimics chocolate using carob powder instead, along with “minimally processed superfood ingredients such as chia seeds and blueberries for a nutritional boost”11
- Get More Multivitamin Chewing Gum — said to provide 25% of your recommended daily allowance of 10 vitamins after 20 minutes of chewing12
Then there’s vitamin gummy bears — a tantalizing mixture of candy and vitamin supplement marketed to kids and adults alike. As noted by Nestle,13 vitamin gummies have managed to circumvent the FDA’s jelly bean guideline by being marketed as a supplement rather than candy, although it could reasonably be argued to be both. But are gummy vitamins all they’re cracked up to be? In short, no. There are several reasons to avoid them the way you would candy.
Reasons to avoid vitamin gummies
For starters, unless it specifies being made from whole food nutrients, the product probably contains synthetic vitamins and/or minerals, many of which are known to be less effective, and in some cases, may do more harm than good. You’re also getting added sugars, which could easily be tagged as health enemy No. 1. As registered dietitian Jillian Kubala told Popsugar:14
“Added sugar should be kept to a minimum in any healthy diet, and popping a few sugary gummy vitamins per day can add up. In fact, some gummy vitamins can contain nearly one teaspoon of added sugar per two-gummy serving. Some of these also include sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol, which can cause digestive upset in some people.”
Other drawbacks and common problems associated with gummy multivitamins include:
• Unreliable nutrient content — According to Consumer Lab,15 which conducts independent testing to assess the quality of nutritional products, it’s common for gummy multivitamins to not contain the listed amounts of nutrients:
“Gummies are notoriously difficult to manufacture because it is hard to measure in the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals (some are simply sprayed on a candy base) …
[T]he ingredients in a gummy are more likely to degrade, so manufacturers often put in more than the listed amount — resulting in products with too much of a vitamin, such as folic acid, when first produced and decreasing amounts over the course of their shelf-lives.”
• Impurities — Consumer Lab also warns that gummy multivitamins often contain impurities, noting there are consistently “more problems with candy-like vitamins like gummies than with traditional forms, such as tablets and caplets.”16
• Artificial flavors, food colors, preservatives and fillers can also cause more harm than good. They’re certainly not required for good health, and many have been linked to behavior problems and other ailments in children.
• Overdose risks — The gummies unmistakable resemblance to candy can also easily result in overdosing and toxicity.17 As noted by Kubala:18
“Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are stored in the body and can cause toxicity if too much of these nutrients are consumed. Certain minerals, such as iron, can be dangerous if consumed in excess as well.”
Beware of phony fruit snacks
Another thoroughly unhealthy snack food marketed as healthy is gummy fruit snacks. Examples include General Mill’s Fruit Roll-Ups, Fruit by the Foot, Fruit Shapes, Gushers and Kellogg’s Fruit Flavored Snacks. While the premise sounds good — surely a fruit substitute must be better than a candy bar? — the reality is, they’re the same.
Whether the primary ingredient is corn syrup or concentrated fruit juice, the result is identical: They contain mostly sugar. And contrary to real fruit, these snacks are also loaded with artificial flavors and dyes. As noted by Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), “[I]f you compare ingredients lists, fruit snacks look much closer to candy — like jelly beans or gummy bears — than fruit.”19
One example cited by CSPI is Gerber Graduates Fruit Strips, said to contain a full serving of fruit per bar. In reality, each bar contains just 1% berries. “The main fruit ingredient is dried apple puree, which should read ‘concentrated fruit sugar,’” CSPI writes.20
Despite lawsuits, faux ‘functional’ junk foods proliferate
In 2015, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Welch Foods for violating the jelly bean rule and making Welch’s Fruit Snacks appear healthier than they actually are. As reported by RegistrarCorp.com:21
“The plaintiffs … took issue with the fact that Welch boasts that its fruit snacks are made with real fruit. The snacks are ‘devoid of the health benefits plaintiffs and other reasonable consumers associate with consuming real fruit,’ the plaintiffs said in their complaint.
Although the first ingredient in many of Welch’s Fruit Snacks are juice from concentrate or fruit purees, the following ingredients are corn syrup, sugar, and corn starch.”
Years earlier, in 2009, CSPI sued Coca-Cola for falsely advertising Vitaminwater as being able to prevent “age-related eye disease” and to promote “pain-free functioning of joints,” “structural integrity of joints and bones,” and “optimal generation and utilization of energy from food.”22,23
Meanwhile, each bottle contains 33 grams of sugar, which CSPI pointed out “do more to promote obesity, diabetes and other health problems than the vitamins in the drinks do to perform the advertised benefits listed on the bottles.”24
After six years of litigation, Coca-Cola finally agreed to change its Vitaminwater label to resolve the dispute, adding the words “with sweeteners” and removing “vitamins + water = all you need.” The company also stopped making health claims relating to metabolic health, immune function and reduction of eye disease.25 As reported by CBS News at the time of the lawsuit in 2010:26
“… Coke seems not to have understood — and most Vitaminwater drinkers certainly don’t understand — that dumping vitamins into sugar water does not make it a health drink … The law on health claims for nutrition and diet supplement products isn’t that complicated. If I can understand it, then the general counsel’s office at Coke sure ought to be able to.
Which makes me suspect these companies were simply calculating that they could make more on revenue from selling these drinks with their false claims than they’d lose when they finally got caught.”
Indeed, and here we are again. Coca-Cola now wants more leeway to fool more customers about more of its products. Aside from paying CSPI’s legal fees, Coca-Cola got away with falsely advertising Vitaminwater for years, and in the end just had to make a few minor tweaks to the label. Most likely, it was well worth breaking the rules, and there’s nothing to suggest Coca-Cola wouldn’t do it again given half a chance.
Don’t fall for functional junk food claims
When it comes right down to it, processed foods and beverages will never be able to compete with real food and pure water, and as a general rule, if a product comes with heavy advertising, you can be pretty certain it’s not a healthy choice.
Processed foods are designed to be eaten quickly, on-the-go, and often in large, addictive quantities. In eating these foods you may satisfy a brief craving, but you will not have received the vitamins and minerals, the live enzymes and micronutrients, the healthy fats or high-quality protein that your body needs to function, let alone thrive.
Cancer, heart disease, obesity, diabetes — all modern plagues that have a dietary component — are spreading and increasing in occurrence and severity with each passing year. The health statistics speak for themselves, and the truth these statistics are telling is that so-called “functional” foods don’t work.
The idea that candy, junk food and processed snacks can be healthy simply by adding a few synthetic nutrients is a pipedream. Your eyes may be fooled by label claims, but your body will know the difference.
Again and again, studies show processed foods and sweetened beverages promote chronic disease and shorten life span. Fortification changes nothing. It’s just a marketing ploy that increases sales, so don’t be fooled.
If you really want to eat healthy, it’s time to delegate at least 90% of your food budget to real, whole (ideally organic) foods — fruits and vegetables, grass fed meat, healthy fats, nuts and seeds and plenty of pure filtered water.
If you want flavor, a squirt of lemon or lime juice is a simple addition that won’t detract from the health benefits of the water. For a step-by-step guide to make this a reality in your own life, simply follow the advice in my optimized nutrition plan.
- 1 Food Navigator USA February 11, 2019
- 2 Equal.com Equal Plus Vitamin C and Zinc
- 3 Equal.com Equal Plus B Vitamins
- 4 Equal.com Equal Plus Antioxidants
- 5 FDA.gov Code of Federal Regulations Title 21
- 6, 8 Food Navigator-usa.com October 24, 2018
- 7, 13 Food Politics July 23, 2019
- 9 Food Politics June 11, 2018
- 10 Confectionery News May 28, 2018
- 11 Confectionery News May 29, 2018
- 12 Confectionery News Last update May 21, 2018
- 14, 18 Popsugar April 15, 2019
- 15, 16, 17 Consumer Lab, Gummy Vitamin Concerns
- 19, 20 CSPInet.org, Phony Fruit Snacks
- 21 Registrarcorp.com October 8, 2015
- 22, 24 Reuters January 15, 2009
- 23, 26 CBS News Updated July 23, 2010
- 25 Reuters October 1, 2015
Reproduced from original article:
- Flesh-eating disease (necrotizing fasciitis) can be caused by several different organisms. In cases where the infection is contracted through contact with seawater, the culprit is typically Vibrio vulnificus, a particularly dangerous Vibrio species that occurs naturally in warm seawater
- Having liver disease increases your risk of V. vulnificus infection by 800% and your risk of death from it is 200 times higher than those with healthy livers
- Having diabetes, HIV, thalassemia or cancer also raises your risk of Vibrio infection, as does taking antacids
- Iron overload may be a key factor in life-threatening Vibrio infections. High iron provides prime growth conditions for V. vulnificus, and minihepcidin, an iron-lowering drug, has been shown to cure the infection by inhibiting the bacteria’s growth
- Vibrio bacteria have a high affinity for attachment to human skin. In one study, all participants had Vibrio bacteria on their skin after swimming in seawater
The very idea of flesh-eating bacteria is horrifying and the real-world effects can indeed be devastating, necessitating the removal of large portions of flesh or amputation of limbs. Its effects can also be lethal.
July 15, 2019, WGN9 News reported the case of a woman being infected with flesh-eating bacteria after a quick swim at Norfolk’s Ocean View beach in Virginia the week before.1
She started feeling ill the very next day, and noticed symptoms of infection in her leg. It spread rapidly, and within a couple of days, she could no longer walk. Treating doctors suspect the bacterium made its way into her body via a small cut. She’s currently recovering from leg surgery. Another Florida woman who contracted the infection is also on the path to recovery.2
Two other recent cases did not end as well. A man crabbing at Magnolia Beach in Texas, and another who went for a swim in the Gulf, contracted infections that led to their deaths.3
“Health officials urge swimmers to avoid swallowing water and taking a dip after a heavy rainfall. Don’t swim if you are ill or have a weakened immune system and swim away from fishing piers, pipes, drains and water flowing from storm drains onto a beach … Once you get out of the water, health officials say you should shower with soap,” WGN9 reports.4
What WGN9 does not cover is evidence suggesting flesh-eating bacteria are ubiquitous in the ocean and on human skin after swimming in saltwater, and that the difference between those who come into contact with the bacteria and remain unaffected and those in whom the bacterium unleashes a dangerous infection is strongly related to their iron levels.
Another sad note is that this woman may have undergone needless surgery as this infection, and similar diabetic leg infections, are relatively easily treated in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.5,6
These types of infections typically require higher pressures with a hard-shell chamber7 and 100% pure oxygen with greater than two atmospheres of pressure — a treatment approved8 by the FDA for necrotizing infections, certain other wounds and gangrene. A soft-shell chamber would not likely be an effective treatment.
Flesh-eating disease (necrotizing fasciitis) can be caused by several different organisms, although group A Streptococcus are responsible for a majority of cases. Group A Strep is also responsible for strep throat, rheumatic fever and scarlet fever.9
Death is typically related to sepsis and subsequent organ failure. Due to its rapid spread, it’s important to seek medical attention as quickly as possible. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, early symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis include:10
- Redness and/or swelling that rapidly spreads
- Severe pain in the area and beyond (pain is typically described as worse than would be expected by the look of the wound)
In particular, be on the lookout for skin discoloration such as black spots, ulcers or blisters on the skin, and/or oozing pus. Dizziness, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea are symptoms associated with heightened infection.
According to the CDC’s active bacterial core surveillance system, which tracks necrotizing fasciitis cases caused by group A Strep, the U.S. has averaged between 700 and 1,200 such cases per year since 2010.11
Flesh-eating Vibrio infections are also common
Now, in cases where the flesh-eating disease is contracted through contact with seawater, the culprit is typically the bacterium Vibrio vulnificus, a particularly dangerous Vibrio species that occurs naturally in warm seawater.12 For this reason, it’s not a good idea to go swimming if you have open cuts, sores or fresh tattoos.13
According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,14 the Vibrios species prefer salty water above 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celcius). In fact, 93% of the time, the water temperature and salinity can correctly identify V. vulnificus hotspots. Iron- and nitrogen-rich dust settling in seawater has also been shown to fuel the bacteria’s growth.15
According to the CDC, Vibrio infection (by all species) causes 80,000 illnesses and kills 100 people in the U.S. each year.16 Aside from seawater exposure, raw or undercooked seafood are other common routes of exposure.
Liver disease increases risk of V. vulnificus infection
Importantly, having liver disease dramatically increases your risk of V. vulnificus infection. CDC findings reveal people with liver disease are a whopping 80 times more likely to contract V. vulnificus infection from raw oysters than those without liver problems, and 200 times more likely to die from it.17
Having diabetes, HIV, thalassemia (an inherited blood disorder that I actually have, which is associated with both anemia18 and iron overload19) or cancer also raises your risk of Vibrio infection, as does taking antacids.20 These risk factors are worth considering when swimming in the ocean as well.
Preliminary, as-yet unpublished research presented at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology and reported by Medicine Net21 revealed all participants had the Vibrio genus of bacteria on their skin after swimming in the ocean and then air drying.
Vibrio was also found to have “specific affinity for attachment to human skin,” Medicine Net reports,22 as the presence of Vibrio on the swimmers’ skin was tenfold greater than in water samples.
Iron overload increases your vulnerability to V. vulnificus
I’ve mentioned iron a couple of times already, and iron may actually be a key factor in these life-threatening Vibrio infections. Not only does iron-rich water dramatically boost the growth of V. vulnificus, having excess iron in your blood may also predispose you to flesh-eating disease when exposed to the bacteria.23
In 2015, the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) published an article on this important finding, noting that:24
“People with a weakened immune system, chronic liver disease or iron overload disease are most at risk for severe illness. Vibrio vulnificus infections in high-risk individuals are fatal 50 percent of the time. Now, researchers at UCLA have figured out why those with iron overload disease are so vulnerable.
People with the common genetic iron overload disease called hereditary hemochromatosis have a deficiency of the iron-regulating hormone hepcidin and thus develop excess iron in their blood and tissue, providing prime growth conditions for Vibrio vulnificus.
The study25 also found that minihepcidin, a medicinal form of the hormone hepcidin that lowers iron levels in blood, could cure the infection by restricting bacterial growth … [R]esearchers compared the fatality of Vibrio vulnificus infection in healthy mice with mice that lacked hepcidin, modeling human hereditary hemochromatosis.
The results showed that the infection was much more lethal in hepcidin-deficient mice because they could not decrease iron levels in the blood in response to infection, a process mediated by hepcidin in healthy mice.
Giving minihepcidin to susceptible hepcidin-deficient mice to lower the amount of iron in the blood prevented infection if the hormone was given before the Vibrio vulnificus was introduced. Additionally, mice given minihepcidin three hours after the bacterium was introduced were cured of any infection.”
The links between iron levels and liver health
Hemochromatosis, a hereditary disorder that causes your body to accumulate damaging levels of iron, affects 1 in 300 to 500 Caucasians.26 However, you don’t have to have a genetic disorder to have high iron.
In fact, most all adult men and non-menstruating women have damaging levels of iron, as the primary way to lower your iron level is through blood loss. Even women with hemochromatosis are relatively protected in their youth thanks to regular blood loss through menses.27 The primary therapy for hemochromatosis, and the easiest way to normalize your iron level if it’s high, is by regularly donating blood.28
Your liver is the primary organ responsible for regulating your iron level. Provided your liver is healthy, your ferritin level is likely to be healthy as well. As explained in a 2013 paper:29
“Iron is an essential nutrient that is tightly regulated. A principal function of the liver is the regulation of iron homeostasis. The liver senses changes in systemic iron requirements and can regulate iron concentrations in a robust and rapid manner.
The last 10 years have led to the discovery of several regulatory mechanisms in the liver which control the production of iron regulatory genes, storage capacity, and iron mobilization. Dysregulation of these functions leads to an imbalance of iron, which is the primary causes of iron-related disorders …
During conditions of excess iron, the liver increases iron storage and protects other tissues, namely the heart and pancreas from iron-induced cellular damage.
However, a chronic increase in liver iron stores results in excess reactive oxygen species production and liver injury. Excess liver iron is one of the major mechanisms leading to increased steatohepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.”
Crucial nutrients for liver health
Two nutrients crucial for liver health and function are methionine — a sulfur containing amino acid30 — and choline. Research31 shows a methionine and choline deficient diet causes rapid onset and progression of the clinical pathologies associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in rodents, and other researchers have suggested choline may be an essential nutrient for patients with liver cirrhosis.32
Researchers have also shown that iron overload triggers inflammation and necrosis of the liver in animals with methionine/choline‐deficiency induced NAFLD.33
According to Chris Masterjohn, who has a Ph.D. in nutritional science, choline deficiency actually appears to be a far more significant trigger of NAFLD than excess fructose and, in his view, the rise in NAFLD is largely the result of shunning liver and egg yolks. Masterjohn explains:34
“We now know that choline is necessary to produce a phospholipid called phosphatidylcholine (PC) … a critical component of the very low density lipoprotein particle, which we need to make in order to export fats from our livers.
The amino acid methionine can act as a precursor to choline and can also be used to convert a different phospholipid called phosphatidylethanolamine directly into PC. Thus, the combined deficiency of choline and methionine will severely impair our abilities to package up the fats in our livers and to send them out into the bloodstream.”
Best sources of choline and methionine
A single egg can contain anywhere from 113 milligrams35 (mg) to 147 mg36 of choline, or about 25% of your daily requirement, making it one of the best choline sources in the American diet.37 Only grass fed beef liver beats it, with 430 mg of choline per 100-gram serving.38 As noted in the Fatty Liver Diet Guide:39
“Eggs rank very high on the list of foods that are high in either lecithin, which converts to choline, or in choline itself. Note that this is the egg yolks only, not egg whites, which only have traces of this micronutrient.
Choline is essential in the production of phosphatidylcholine, a fat molecule called a phospholipid. But wait! Isn’t all fat bad? No — especially if it is essential to overall health and in particular, liver health. Simply put — if you don’t have enough choline, your liver can’t move out fat. It instead begins to collect within your liver, creating fatty liver.”
This is one of the reasons I eat about six eggs a day — typically raw in my two smoothies. This gives me about 900 mg of dietary phosphatidyl choline. Other healthy choline sources include:40
- Wild-caught Alaskan salmon41
- Krill oil — One 2011 study42 found 69 choline-containing phospholipids in krill oil, including 60 phosphatidylcholine substances, which helps protect against liver disease (including hepatitis and cirrhosis in alcoholics), reduce digestive tract inflammation and lessen symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome
- Organic pastured chicken
- Vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus
- Shiitake mushrooms
As for methionine, this amino acid is found in animal protein such as fish, poultry, pork and beef. High amounts are also found in Swiss cheese and provolone.43 When it comes to beef, eating “nose-to-tail,” opposed to steak exclusively, is the best way to optimize your methionine intake, as this will provide you with a healthy methionine to glycine ratio.
How to minimize your risk of flesh-eating disease
To try to tie this all together, here’s a quick summary of the key points and take-home messages presented in this article:
• Chronic liver disease raises your risk of V. vulnificus infection. Optimizing your methionine and choline intake will help prevent liver disease, thus lowering your susceptibility to flesh-eating disease as well. Pastured eggs are the best source of choline, while animal protein of all types will provide varying amounts of methionine.44
Addressing insulin resistance — which may affect as many as 8 in 10 Americans45,46 — is another important strategy to protect your liver health and avoid fatty liver disease.47
• Having a healthy liver is key for iron homeostasis in your body.
• Excess iron — which affects most men and menopausal women — significantly raises your risk of flesh-eating disease when exposed to V. vulnificus, either from eating raw/undercooked seafood or swimming in seawater with an open cut or scrape, allowing the bacteria entry into your body.
Normalizing your iron may thus be an important way of preventing this life-threatening infection. To do that, simply donate blood a few times a year. If your ferritin level is over 200 ng/ml, a more aggressive phlebotomy schedule is recommended.
Ideally, your serum ferritin should be somewhere between 20 and 80 ng/ml. As a general rule, somewhere between 40 and 60 ng/ml is the sweet spot for adult men and non-menstruating women.
• V. vulnificus is ubiquitous in seawater, and risk of infection rises along with water temperatures, as warm water spurs growth, and the bacteria adheres well to skin. To limit your risk, avoid swimming if you have open cuts or scrapes on your body, and avoid taking water into your mouth.
- 1, 4 WGN9 July 15, 2019
- 2, 3 YouTube NBC Today July 18, 2019
- 5 Mayo Clinic Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- 6 Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009 Oct;7(8):1015-26
- 7 National Hyperbaric Treatment Center
- 8 Advanced Hyperbaric Recovery
- 9, 10 CDC.gov Necrotizing fasciitis
- 11 CDC.gov Necrotizing fasciitis, CDC tracks necrotizing fasciitis caused by Group A Strep
- 12 Florida Health Vibrio vulnificus
- 13 Forbes June 3, 2017
- 14 Coastalscience.noaa.gov Chesapeake Bay Vibrio Pathogen Forecast
- 15 Kiiitv.com July 25, 2017
- 16 CDC.gov Vibrio species causing vibriosis
- 17 CDC.gov MMWR June 4, 1993; 42(21): 405-407
- 18 Mayo Clinic Thalassemia
- 19 Hematology 2017(1): 265–271
- 20 CDC.gov Vibrio species causing vibriosis, Could you get sick?
- 21, 22 Medicinenet.com June 22, 2019
- 23, 25 Cell Host & Microbe January 14, 2015; 17(1): 47-57
- 24 UCLA January 14, 2015
- 26, 27 Stat Pearls, Hemachromatosis Last update June 4, 2019
- 28 Bloodjournal.org, How I treat hemochromatosis by Adams and Barton, July 19, 2019 (PDF)
- 29 Compr Physiol. 2013 Jan; 3(1): 315–330
- 30 Nutrition & Metabolism 2007; 4: 24
- 31 Laboratory Animal Research 2017 Jun; 33(2): 157–164
- 32 Gastroenterology 1989; 97: 1514-1520 (PDF)
- 33 Liver International September 18, 2006; 26(10)
- 34 Chrismasterjohnphd.com November 23, 2010
- 35 Nutrition Data, Hardboiled egg
- 36 USDA Nutrient Database Hardboiled egg
- 37 Nutr Rev. 2009 Nov; 67(11):615-623
- 38 USDA Database for Choline January 2008
- 39 Fatty Liver Diet Guide
- 40 National Institutes of Health, Choline Fact Sheet
- 41 National Academy of Sciences 2016, DRI Dietary Reference Intakes
- 42 Lipids. 2011 Jan; 46(1):25–36
- 43, 44 USDA Food Composition Database, Methionine
- 45 The Fat Emperor May 10, 2015
- 46 IDM Program, Kraft Patterns
- 47 Curr Pharm Des. 2010 Jun;16(17):1941-51
To view original article:
- Apples’ antioxidant power is contained in the peel. However, recent research shows the core of the apple contains plenty of beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
- A typical apple contains about 100 million bacteria. Organic apples have far greater diversity compared to conventional apples, and contain higher amounts of bacteria that enhance flavor
- Organic apples were the only ones found to contain Lactobacilli, bacteria that break down sugars associated with healthy digestion, robust immune function and even mental health
- Conventional apples were found to contain Escherichia coli and Shigella — two Enterobacteriaceae species associated with foodborne illness, as both produce potent shigatoxin. Neither of these species was found in organic apples
- Bacterial colonization of fruit begins at pollination, and the ultimate composition of a fruit’s microbiota is actually influenced by the microbial community found in the pollen
Apples contain disease-fighting vitamin A, C, E and K, minerals such as potassium and magnesium1 and antioxidants,2 making them one of the top-ranked fruits for your health.
Compared to other commonly consumed fruits in the U.S., apples rank second only to cranberry for total phenolic compound concentration and total antioxidant activity,3 and highest for the proportion of free phenolic compounds,4 which means the phenolic compounds are not bound to other compounds in the fruit and therefore may be more easily absorbed into your bloodstream.5
Notably, much of apples’ antioxidant power is contained in the peel,6 where you’ll find antioxidants like quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, chlorogenic acid and more.7 However, recent research shows the core of the apple should not be overlooked, as that’s where a majority of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) are found.
Apple core — A surprising source of beneficial bacteria
As reported by Study Finds,8 recent research9,10 published in Frontiers in Microbiology reveals “a typical 240-gram apple contains around 100 million bacteria, mostly in the seeds and skin,” and organic apples have far greater diversity compared to conventional apples, “potentially making them healthier, tastier and better for the environment.”
In a press release,11 senior author, professor Gabriele Berg with Graz University of Technology in Austria, noted, “The bacteria, fungi and viruses in our food transiently colonize our gut. Cooking kills most of these, so raw fruit and veg are particularly important sources of gut microbes.”
Interestingly, the core of the apple contains the highest amounts of beneficial microbes, and eating the whole apple, including core and seeds, can provide you with 10 times more probiotics than discarding this central portion.12 As reported in the study:13
“Each apple fruit harbors different tissues (stem, peel, fruit pulp, seeds, and calyx), which were colonized by distinct bacterial communities … Interestingly, fruit pulp and seeds were bacterial hot spots, while the peel was less colonized …
Our results suggest that we consume about 100 million bacterial cells with one apple. Although this amount was the same, the bacterial composition was significantly different in conventionally and organically produced apples …
A significant management effect on the microbiota was … apparent for all tissues, even for seeds. Organic and conventional apples are occupied by a similar quantity of microbiota; consuming the whole apple includes an approximate uptake of 100 million bacterial gene copy numbers.
However, freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct microbiota, compared to conventional ones; the abundance of almost 40% of bacterial genera and orders differed significantly between organically and conventionally managed apples.
Moreover, organic apples conceivably feature favorable health effects for the consumer, the host plant and the environment in contrast to conventional apples, which were found to harbor potential food-borne pathogens.”
Bacterial differences may affect health effects and flavor
Organic apples were the only ones found to contain Lactobacilli, bacteria that break down sugars, associated with healthy digestion, robust immune function and even mental health.14,15 By creating an acidic environment, Lactobacilli also help protect against disease-promoting pathogens.16
Organic apples also contained higher amounts of Methylobacterium, a flavor-enhancing bacterium found in fruit and berries.17 This helps explain why organic apples (and many other organic foods) tend to have a more robust and pleasant taste.
Conventional apples, on the other hand, were found to contain Escherichia coli and Shigella — two Enterobacteriaceae species18 associated with foodborne illness, as both produce potent shigatoxin.19 Neither of these species was found in organic apples. In the press release, lead author Birgit Wasserman suggested:20
“The microbiome and antioxidant profiles of fresh produce may one day become standard nutritional information, displayed alongside macronutrients, vitamins and minerals to guide consumers.
Here, a key step will be to confirm to what extent diversity in the food microbiome translates to gut microbial diversity and improved health outcomes.”
Apples and cardiovascular health
Apples also modulate your microbial composition by way of its fiber content. As explained in a 2015 paper21 on apples and cardiovascular health in the journal Nutrients:
“Apples are among the most frequently consumed fruits and a rich source of polyphenols and fiber. A major proportion of the bioactive components in apples, including the high molecular weight polyphenols, escape absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract and reach the large intestine relatively intact.
There, they can be converted by the colonic microbiota to bioavailable and biologically active compounds with systemic effects, in addition to modulating microbial composition.
Epidemiological studies have identified associations between frequent apple consumption and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease … Quercetin glycosides may also reach the colon and could serve as a substrate for human gut bacteria.”
The Nutrients paper also cites research22 showing eating two apples per day for two weeks significantly increased beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while reducing Enterobacteriaceae and other pathogens.
In conclusion, the paper notes there’s supporting evidence to suggest apples can modulate risk factors for cardiovascular disease, improving lipid metabolism and vascular function, and lowering inflammation — in part by microbiota-derived metabolites and the apples’ prebiotic impact.
The microflora of fruits and vegetables
While beneficial bacteria have gained plenty of attention in recent years, the idea of fruits and vegetables as a significant source of live bacteria has received less consideration. We typically relate their impact on the gut microbiome based on their beneficial fiber content.
However, as noted in a paper23 dating all the way back to 1963, “The Microflora Within the Tissue of Fruits and Vegetables,” bacteria are a natural occurrence in “normal, sound fresh fruit tissues.” Higher amounts are typically found in low-growing vegetables, with tree borne fruits having lower amounts. This makes sense, since soil is rich microbes, provided its healthy.
However, different fruits and vegetables harbor higher amounts of bacteria in different parts. In cucumbers, for example, the bacteria are located closer to the periphery, with few at the core.
In tomatoes, the highest amounts of bacteria are found closest to the stem-scar and central core, decreasing as you go outward toward the peel. As you ferment fruits and vegetables, the naturally-occurring bacteria multiply exponentially through the plant tissue.
According to this 1963 paper, there are several routes or pathways of entry for bacteria into plant tissue. According to a 2016 study,24 one route of bacterial colonization begins at pollination, and the ultimate composition of a fruit’s microbiota is actually influenced by the microbial community found in the pollen to begin with.
Pollination impacts bacterial microbiota of apples
The study25 in question, published in the Environmental Microbiology, found “pollen provides a unique microhabitat,” with different plant pollens providing a wide variety of different bacterial species.
“Both plant species and pollination type significant influenced structure and diversity of the pollen microbiota,” the authors note, adding that “insect-pollinated species possessed a more similar microbiota in comparison to the wind-pollinated ones, suggesting a levelling effect by insect vectors …
Many plants are emitting large quantity of pollen during spring to autumn and several types of plant pollen may cause serious pollen-related diseases.
Therefore, pollen-associated bacteria may have a potential ecological and medicinal impact. In addition, they may also enter the plant reproduction processes and be directly transmitted to the next generation as seed endophytes …
The extreme low overlap of bacterial species between the investigated pollens demonstrated that the culturable fraction of the pollen microbiota had a surprisingly high level of species-specificity.
Only Rosenbergiella nectarea was isolated from three of the four pollen species, thus confirming that flower organs are the preferred habitat of this genus.”
While the different pollen species varied in their bacterial composition, the most dominant type of bacteria was Proteobacteria, followed by Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria and Firmicutes. The tectum surface, the outermost layer of the pollen, is the preferred location for bacterial colonization.
Interestingly, the bacteria found in pollen are in turn brought there by honeybees and other insects, weather, various plant materials and even human activities, showing just how circular ecology is. For optimal health, there needs to be a healthy transfer of bacteria from one species to another, from one location to another.
Bacteria modulate composition of nectar as well
Bacteria and yeast have also been shown to alter the characteristics of a flower’s nectar. As noted in a 2014 review in the Duluth Journal of Undergraduate Biology:26
“Plants present pollinators with nectar as an energetic reward, while pollinators transfer genetic material to help plants achieve full reproductive success. The constituents of nectar play a crucial role in facilitating this mutual relationship. A new area of research is emerging that may change the way biologists view this binary system; it may no longer be a two-way interaction.
Microorganisms — yeasts and bacteria — have been found to inhabit nectars across a wide geographic range and across a large range of plant species. These microorganisms change the characteristics of nectar in such a way to alter pollinator behavior.”
One nectar characteristic modified by bacteria is the actual concentration of the nectar. Another is its sugar composition, which is what the pollinators are primarily after.
So, in summary, both the plants’ propagation and the success of the pollinators depend in large part on the microbial communities in the nectar, and as noted earlier, these pollinators in turn distribute bacteria to pollen, ultimately affecting the microbial composition of pollinated fruits and vegetables. It seems no matter where you look, microbes are essential for life, playing crucial roles in the health of soil, plants and their fruits, and humans.
An organic apple a day keeps the doctor away
To learn more about the health benefits of apples, see “What Are the Health Benefits of Apples?” For example, studies have demonstrated apples can help protect against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity, reducing your risk for neurodegenerative disorders.
Aside from heart disease, apple consumption has also been shown to lower your risk for stroke, diabetes and cancer. For optimal health benefits, consider eating the whole apple, including the core, and make sure they’re organic.
Not only will organic apples provide you with a healthier composition of probiotics, you’ll also be able to eat the peel without exposing yourself to toxic pesticides.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Data Program, 47 different pesticide residues have been found on conventional apples, many of which are known or probable carcinogens, suspected hormone disruptors, neurotoxins and developmental or reproductive toxins.27
Now, you may have heard that eating apple seeds can be hazardous. The seeds contain amygdalin, a chemical that produces cyanide when the seeds are crushed.
But as noted by Dr. Jennifer Ashton, chief medical correspondent for ABC News, a 150-pound individual would have to crush and chew “literally hundreds of apple seeds,” in order to experience toxic effects.28
- 1 Nutrients 2015 Jun; 7(6): 3959–399, Apple Components, Table 1
- 2 Nutritionvalue.org Red Delicious nutrition facts
- 3 J Agric Food Chem. 2002 Dec 4;50(25):7449-54
- 4, 5, 7 Nutrition Journal 2004; 3: 5, Background
- 6 Nutrients 2015 Jun; 7(6): 3959–399, 2.2. Apple Polyphenols
- 8, 12 Study Finds July 25, 2019
- 9, 13 Frontiers in Microbiology July 24, 2019
- 10, 28 Good Morning America July 24, 2019
- 11, 20 Eurekalert July 24, 2019
- 14 Nutrients 2015 Jun; 7(6): 3959–399, The Human Gut Microbiota — Effects of Fiber and Polyphenols
- 15, 16 Medical News Today January 15, 2019
- 17 Science Direct, Methylobacterium
- 18 Genomics Proteomics Bioinformatics. 2013 Feb; 11(1): 61–65
- 19 Emerging Pathogens Institute Escherichia Coli and Shigella
- 21 Nutrients 2015 Jun; 7(6): 3959–399, Abstract
- 22 Nutrients 2015 Jun; 7(6): 3959–399, 3.1.3. Human Studies
- 23 Journal of Food Science May 1963; 28(3)
- 24, 25 Environmental Microbiology December 2016; 18(12)
- 26 Duluth Journal of Undergraduate Biology Spring 2014, Volume 1
- 27 What’s on My Food? Apples
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- Functional genetics looks at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) of genes
- When you have SNPs (genetic variants or defects on the genes), enzymes may not be working effectively, or the gene may be upregulated or downregulated
- While traditional genetics often looks for potential disease states, functional genetics looks for potential impairment of function and helps find the best nutritional intervention to bring your body back into balance
- People with genetic weaknesses that hamper detoxification who are exposed to high amounts of environmental toxins can be struggling with health due to their limited ability to detoxify
- NutriGenetic Research Institute is devoted to functional genomic testing, training health professionals to help people understand the results and how to apply it to improve their health
Functional genomics is a gene testing modality with enormous value that many are completely unaware of. Bob Miller1 is a certified traditional naturopath specializing in genetic-specific nutrition. He’s the founder of the NutriGenetic Research Institute,2 devoted to testing and helping people understand the results of their functional genetic testing and how to apply it to improve their health.
“As a traditional naturopath, we’re not licensed medical doctors, so we don’t diagnose, treat or prescribe,” Miller explains. “We look at the functional approach of, ‘How is the terrain off in the body?’ … [W]hen the body is toxic or inflamed, that’s when pathogens have a better opportunity to thrive.
Many years ago, I learned about how homocysteine has pathways that clear it that may be impaired by genetic variants. I became very fascinated by it. I started looking at the enzymes that clear it, and then the genetics behind it.
My whole naturopathic and holistic practice is [now] dedicated to helping clients measure their functional genomics, which is quite a bit different than traditional genetics that looks for disease patterns, and trying to find out how we can make interventions to bring the body back into balance …
Our goal is to be able to make a contribution to functional practitioners, so they can do their job a lot better and improve the lives of those who are suffering with some of those things that nobody can seem to figure out …
To sum up what we’re finding is that those with genetic weakness in detox pathways are exposed to environmental factors we weren’t dealing with 50 to 75 years ago; their ability to detox is overwhelmed. I think this is a whole new paradigm that we have to look at in wellness.
Those who don’t have a specific disease, so to speak, but are just totally overwhelmed by all of the epigenetic factors, such as pesticides, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) … excess iron … plastics … mold … [and] sometimes even oversupplementation with things like folate and glutamine … that no matter what they try, it doesn’t work …
That’s why we need to move to personalized care, based upon the individual. Fortunately, we now have tools to do that.”
What Is Functional Genetics?
Certain genes are known to predispose you to, or raise your risk of, certain diseases. That’s not what we’re talking about here. Functional genetics looks at the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, pronounced “snips”) of genes related to function.
You’ve probably seen representations of the DNA ladder. On the end of each rung is a molecule from each of your parents. These molecules can either make your DNA optimal or, if you have a SNP, meaning a defect, that gene will not work at optimal efficiency. Miller explains:
“To make this simple, we eat fats, carbohydrates and proteins. We drink water, breathe air and are exposed to sunlight. What an absolute miracle it is that all of that turns into us: our blood, our skin, our nails, our organs and our thought processes. All of that is one enzymatic process after another.
So, an enzyme takes substance A; pulls in what we call cofactors and makes substance B. That continually happens throughout your body — one process after another. It’s your genetic makeup that [provides] the instructions on how to make these enzymes.
When we have genetic variants, SNPs, on the genes, sometimes those enzymes either aren’t as effective … or might be upregulated or downregulated. Therefore, that substance A to substance B [conversion] may not occur as it should.
Now, people get all excited about whether they have genetic variants or not, but there’s something else just as important. That’s the cofactor. Remember, substance A plus cofactors turns into substance B. You could have absolutely perfect genetics, that enzyme is made perfectly, but if you’re missing the cofactors, that A to B [conversion] is not going to work …
Where people really get hit hard is when they’ve got genetic weakness and cofactor weakness. Then there’s a third piece. Sometimes there are things that interfere. For example, lead, mercury and other things may suppress that enzymatic function …
Now, interestingly, we have all kinds of backups. One pathway may not be working, but another one might kick in. But what we’re observing … is that those who are struggling usually have multiple pathways blocked. Plus, they get multiple epigenetic exposures … When you get those epigenetic and genetic factors going together, that’s when things really start going awry.”
The Relationship Between mTOR Pathway and Autophagy
Autophagy means “self-eating” and refers to your body’s process of eliminating damaged and defective cellular parts that are targeted for lysosome, which then digests them. The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a molecular signaling pathway responsible for either growth or repair, depending on whether it is stimulated or inhibited.
I’ve often stated that to upregulate maintenance and repair (which will boost longevity and reduce your risk for cancer), you need to suppress the mTOR pathway. One of the most efficient ways to do this is to limit your protein intake, but it’s not the only way. Autophagy and mTOR are two processes that work together, but are inverse to each other. Miller likens mTOR to a construction crew, whereas autophagy refers to the cleanup crew.
“One of the ways you can tell if your autophagy is not working is when you get those age spots, sun spots, liver spots, whatever you’d like to call them,” Miller says. “That’s when the old cell is not cleared away and it becomes oxidized, it becomes senescent. It actually becomes a free radical-giving reactive oxygen species.
Now, we need a balance between [mTOR and autophagy]. We need a time to build and we need a time to clean. One of the things our research institute [found] in some of our studies on those with chronic Lyme disease [is] that we are being exposed to more epigenetic environmental factors that stimulate mTOR … ”
Factors That Activate mTOR Versus Those That Support Autophagy
Examples of environmental factors that activate mTOR include:
|Xenoestrogens (chemicals in plastic)||EMFs|
|Excess iron||Excess folic acid, folate or methyl folate|
|Excess glutamate||Amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine and valine|
When mTOR is activated, it inhibits autophagy and, according to Miller, many of the health challenges people face these days appear to be related to excess mTOR activation.
This is also one way by which a cyclical ketogenic diet helps improve your health, as it inhibits mTOR and activates autophagy. When mTOR is chronically activated, it will not only inhibit autophagy but also impair apoptosis (cell death), and if that’s impaired, your risk for cancer will significantly increase as well.
“We have identified the genes that are involved with autophagy,” Miller says. “They’re called Unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1 (ULK1), serine/threonine-protein kinase (ULK2), 5’ AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and AuTophaGy related 1 (ATG1).
Those all stimulate autophagy. We’re finding that when people have a lot of genetic variants, especially when they inherit it from both parents, this is where their autophagy’s weakened. They’re 45 years old and covered with age spots. They can’t detox.
Ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and nutrients [such as] lithium and berberine support autophagy. Resveratrol and curcumin slow down mTOR.
When you put the three together — the caloric restriction mimetics (CRM) [editor’s note: supplements that mimic the antiaging effects of calorie restriction] … along with the keto diet, along with some form of intermittent fasting — you’re able to bring balance to mTOR and autophagy.”
If Ketogenic Diet or Intermittent Fasting Fails for You, This Could Be Why
While intermittent fasting is an excellent strategy for a majority of people, it doesn’t work as expected for everyone. As explained by Miller, members of his research team have discovered having a functional heme pathway is extremely important when you’re on a ketogenic diet and/or intermittently fasting.
Heme protein is created through an eight-step process beginning with succinyl coenzyme A (succinyl CoA), glycine and amino acids. Heme protein in turn is a component of hemoglobin, but it’s also involved in the making of nitric oxide, catalase, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and sulfite oxidase (SUOX), which is your sulfide to sulfate conversion.
“It’s involved in so many processes that I didn’t even realize until we started to research,” Miller says. “This [heme] pathway may be impaired by … glyphosate [which impacts glycine] … lead … and genetic variants in the heme pathway.
If any of those happen, you don’t make adequate heme, so you’re going to be a very poor detoxer. Now, what’s interesting … [is that] if porphyrins [glycoproteins responsible for pore formation in cell membranes] are not transferred one to another, they will block the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor sites. GABA is the ‘Don’t worry. Be happy. Sleep. Relax’ [neurotransmitter]. Clearly, there are problems with anxiety in the world today.
If this heme pathway gets disturbed, people oftentimes crave carbohydrates. If they try to go keto, it doesn’t work. If they try to do intermittent fasting, it doesn’t work … It’s a small amount of people, but for some individuals who just crave carbohydrates, they’ll get hangry if they don’t have their carbohydrates. They’re actually feeding that heme pathway.
If someone’s ever tried keto and is like, ‘This just does not work for me,’ there’s a potential that the heme pathway could be impaired. You have to keep those carbohydrates coming in on a regular basis to feed it, or else you feel horrible. I remember in the past people telling me, ‘Whenever I try to eat healthy, I feel horrible. When I eat junk, I feel better.’
I used to think, ‘Yeah. I’m not sure I buy that.’ But now that you understand this heme pathway and how carbohydrates and simple sugars can feed it, it starts to make sense that that is a potential scenario for some people.”
Even if You’re Anemic, You May Be Overabsorbing Iron
As mentioned earlier, iron stimulates mTOR. Clearly, iron is crucial for optimal health. Without sufficient amounts of iron, you cannot make sufficient amounts of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen through your body. However, in excess, iron is incredibly destructive.
“Here’s one of the interesting things we found through our research. There are many people who have genetic predisposition to overabsorbing iron, yet they’re told all their life they’re anemic. It just seems like such a dichotomy; how can you be anemic if you’re overabsorbing iron?
One of the things that we … find in many who are struggling and can’t get answers anywhere else is that they overabsorb iron. There’s an enzyme called ferroportin, [which] is what takes iron out of the cells. SNPs there, or genetic defects, inhibit the removal of the iron. Through something called the Fenton reaction … iron may combine with hydrogen peroxide to make hydroxyl radicals.
This can then go on to make another nasty free radical called peroxynitrite. Consequently, the person is anemic because they are measuring what’s in the blood, but the iron can be in excess and inside the cells, causing massive inflammation.
As that iron bangs around inside the cell, it creates fatigue, because the mitochondria are having a hard time making energy. These are the people who if someone gives them iron, many times, they feel considerably worse, because they’ve just fed the fire.
In our consulting, one of the things we probably do the most is identifying the Fenton reaction going on and taking remedial action to, for example, help turn the hydrogen peroxide into water through an enzyme called catalase; supporting enzymes and antioxidants called glutathione and thioredoxin that turn the hydrogen peroxide into water, [and] using homeopathics to make the iron behave itself.”
Hydrogen water can be helpful here, Miller notes, because it helps decrease the excess hydroxyl radicals. “Quite simply, H2O2 plus iron equals hydroxyl free radical (OH-), which is one of the most highly reactive and damaging free radicals,” Miller explains.
I’ve previously interviewed Tyler LeBaron, one of the leading experts on molecular hydrogen, and he believes the benefits may be related more to the upregulation of antioxidant pathways, such as the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2). Either way, whatever the mechanism, it seems clear hydrogen water has the ability to neutralize free radicals.
Situations in Which NAC or Methyl Folate May Backfire
I’ve previously written about the benefits of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), the rate-limiting factor for glutathione, which is a master antioxidant made by your body. However, in order for this to work, you must have the required enzymes. What’s more, if you have an iron problem, the cysteine you take can combine with the iron to create hydroxyl radicals — essentially worsening your situation.
“It goes back to the fact that we’ve got to get away from the cookie cutter, ‘Oh, you’re inflamed. Take NAC.’ NAC can be the perfect thing for you, or it can make you worse, depending on your genomic make up,” Miller says.
Miller has developed a hierarchical pyramid of different variables and his approach to treating them. Interestingly, many who superficially look at functional genomics think that the methylation defect is one of the most important. It is important, but according to Miller there are many others that supersede it in terms of importance.
“[Methylation] is about how we take folic acid or folate from our diet and turn it into methyl folate, which is a very important molecule. For a woman who’s pregnant, you’ve got to have it for a good pregnancy. We’re not saying it’s not a good thing … Now, one of the interesting things about methyl folate is you need it for pregnancy because it supports mTOR.
If someone’s already in mTOR dominance and they take methyl folate, they’re going to get more anxious and more inflamed. I’ve talked to so many people who’ve said, ‘Oh, yeah. I have MTHFR. Somebody put me on methyl B12, methyl folate. I felt great for two weeks, and then I crashed.’
The reason they may have crashed is because they started to stimulate mTOR, weakening their autophagy even more, driving more inflammation … As we dug deeper, we realized that methyl folate is important, but it has to be done at the right time. That’s why I developed my pyramid.
At the very bottom we have things we have to address first, such as, is iron becoming a free radical? Is hydrogen peroxide not being cleared? Is there nitric oxide synthase (NOS) uncoupling? — where rather than making nitric oxide, we make more peroxynitrite.
And then we look at how we’re making antioxidants. How’s our glutathione pathways? How’s our superoxide dismutase? How are we making NADPH? … For the most part, I believe that when people are massively inflamed, you need to address that first.
If someone is massively inflamed, if their iron is creating hydroxyl radicals, if they have weakness in their antioxidants … and you throw methyl folate in there … there’s a very good chance it will make the situation worse.
By and large, if someone’s massively inflamed, I’d like to think about methyl folate six to eight months down the road, two to three days a week. We tend to think, ‘If a little’s good for us, a lot must be good for us.’ I’m now thinking need to be pulsing things.”
I totally agree pulsing is a key component that should not be overlooked, whether you’re taking supplements, fasting or doing a ketogenic diet. It’s important to go through cycles of buildup and tear-down.
For example, during a partial fast, you’re stimulating autophagy through caloric restriction. At that time, you would not want to take anything that stimulates mTOR (such as methyl folate or any of the other items listed above), as by stimulating mTOR you effectively interrupt the autophagy process.
Mast Cells Could Be Wreaking Havoc With Your Health
Glutathione rapidly loses electrons, making it useless unless recharged by nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate hydrogen (NADPH). As explained by Miller, the “NADPH steal,” a term he coined, may also be at play in many of the health issues people face today.
It’s becoming more widely known that you can have excess mast cells. Miller estimates about 80 percent of his clients have excess mast cell activation triggering histamine reactions. One of the signs of this is redness of the face due to heat intolerance. Sensitivity to touch is another, as are frequent, red, raised rashes.
Mast cells are white blood cells that come to the rescue when there’s a pathogen or a foreign invader that needs to be eliminated. While overfiring mast cells can cause problems, they’re not inherently bad, and strategies that inhibit them can backfire. Instead, Miller recommends determining why your mast cells are overactive.
His team presented research at the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society’s 19th Annual Conference in November last year, identifying epigenetic factors that stimulate mast cells. He explains the relationships between mast cells, NADPH, NOX and glutathione:
“In simple terms, glutathione … has one chance to give a free radical an electron. Once it does that, it becomes oxidized. Then we need to donate that electron back. There’s this substance called NADPH that donates that electron back.3 It takes that oxidized glutathione and turns it back into reduced. That’s a good thing.
Now, NADPH has a dual role. There’s also an enzyme called NOX (NADPH oxidase). Its only purpose is to take this NADPH and turn it into a free radical … Now, they’ve done studies on animals. When they knock out that NOX enzyme, the animal dies from infection because it doesn’t have the ability to kill the pathogen.
Again, NOX and free radicals are not bad. But there are multiple factors that are now overstimulating NOX. One of them is sulfite. Sulfite needs to turn into sulfates. If we have deficiency of heme, we may not turn sulfites in sulfates … If sulfites don’t turn into sulfates, the sulfites may tell the NOX enzyme, ‘You need to make inflammation.’
Dopamine stimulates it [NOX], so stress will cause it. Glutamate stimulates it. Iron stimulates the NOX enzyme, and so does excessive mTOR … The NADPH steal is when NADPH gets stolen away from recycling glutathione, recycling thriodoxine, making nitric oxide, and potentially making excess mast cells.
There are a lot of people struggling with excess mast cells firing. They’re really sick. They don’t know what to do … Mold will also stimulate mast cells …
To sum it up, NADPH is critical for recycling your antioxidants. I believe the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and the NADPH are some of the most important things we can have adequate levels of for longevity and good health. We’re using up a lot of it because we’re exposed to so many toxic substances. Then, if another set of substances are stealing it to stimulate NOX to make mast cells, then we’ve just doubled the problem.”
Molecular hydrogen serves a role here as well, as studies have shown molecular hydrogen is an effective inhibitor of NOX,4 and can increase your concentration of NADPH. Curcumin also inhibits NOX, as does luteolin, apigenin and olive leaf. Aldosterone, on the other hand, stimulates NOX, Miller says.
This interview is quite loaded with information, not all of which has been covered in this article. For even more side notes and fascinating tangents, I recommend listening to the interview in its entirety.
Health practitioners interested in learning more about functional genomic analysis and how to apply it in your own practice, see the NutriGenetic Research Institute’s website, where you can sign up for their 30-hour, 14-module online certification course to become a nutritional genetic consultant.
Webinars for health practitioners are held every other Thursday. They also hold an annual conference in Hershey, Pennsylvania. The next one is scheduled for November 2019. In September, they’re also holding a seminar on environmental toxicity, detoxification and methylation mapping.
Patients interested in more information are directed to the yourgenomicresource.com which includes a listing of doctors who have completed the training and are qualified to provide nutritional guidance based on your SNPs. Up until last year, Miller could guide patients based on the genetic data provided by companies such as 23andMe. Now, he has developed his own DNA testing, which is capable of identifying some 300,000 SNPs.
Importantly, NutriGenetic Research Institute will never sell your private DNA or health data to anyone, which is one of the reasons why 23andMe is so inexpensive — they make their money by selling your DNA results to drug companies.
“I have pledged to everyone in writing that this data will never be sold to anyone. The other thing people can do, if they’re still worried, you can just change your name. Just come up with a fake name. It doesn’t matter. We don’t care. You just have to remember what it is,” Miller says.
“The [DNA] data from Brooks at Rutgers gets loaded into my software, which is in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania — a huge database. Then it crunches the data and gives a report, including the pyramid …
If you’re sick, you’ve been everywhere and you’re not getting better, this is certainly an option … Our whole goal is to help people get well. And to make a little bit of a dent in functional medicine — to help functional practitioners have tools that they can help, because functional medicine doctors see the tough cases. We want to give them some tools so that they can do a better job …
One of my favorite sayings is, ‘Genetics is never a diagnosis, but it tells you where to start looking.’ It’s like shining a light. ‘Think about looking here. Investigate whether this is a problem.’ Sometimes the SNPs show a problem, sometimes they don’t, but it can really give you clues to look where you may never have thought to look before.”
- Your body secretes enzymes to catalyze biological reactions, making them vital to good health and longevity. Each organ has its own set of enzymes, and each enzyme has a different function
- Enzymes can be broadly divided into digestive enzymes, metabolic enzymes and food-based enzymes
- Enzymes for supplemental use can be sourced from animal, plant and microbial or fungal sources
- There are two primary ways of using an enzyme supplement: digestively or systemically. Taken with food, it will help digest the food. Taken on an empty stomach, the enzymes will pass through your digestive system and enter your blood circulation, providing systemic benefits
Enzymes are proteins composed of individual amino acids. They are necessary to speed up many cellular functions and biological processes. Your body secretes enzymes to catalyze biological reactions, making them vital to good health and longevity.1
Each enzyme has a different function, for example, superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase have antioxidant functions.2 Digestive enzymes such as protease, lipase and amylase are needed for digestion and nutrient absorption and elimination,3,4 while molecular motor enzymes such as myosin and actin are needed for the activation of muscle contractions.5
The featured lecture reviews the fundamentals of what enzymes are, the main types of enzymes found in your body and in supplements, how enzymes are affected by environmental factors such as your body’s pH and temperature, and why they’re so important for health.
An enzyme’s shape is an important key to understanding the benefits of enzyme therapy, because the shape of the protein determines its function. You could liken enzymes to specialized keys cut to fit specific locks, with the locks in this case being biochemical reactions.
Considering the tens of thousands of biochemical reactions occurring in your body at any given time, it stands to reason there are tens of thousands of enzymes. An interesting feature of enzymes is that while they catalyze biochemical reactions, they’re not used up in the reaction. They merely assist and accelerate reactions.
By lowering the amount of energy needed for a reaction to occur, they allow for reactions that otherwise would not be possible, or would be too slow to keep up with your body’s demands. This is also why enzyme deficiencies are thought to contribute to more rapid aging.
Types of enzymes and their functions
Enzymes can be broadly divided into the following categories:6
• Digestive enzymes — Involved in digestion, the breaking down of foods into nutrients and elimination of waste products. Digestive enzymes are extracellular, meaning they’re found outside your cells. There are eight primary digestive enzymes, each designed to help break down different types of food:7
|Protease — Breaks down protein|
|Amylase — Breaks down carbohydrates|
|Lipase — Breaks down fats (If you have IBS, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, no gallbladder or gallbladder dysfunction and/or obesity, you may benefit from higher levels of lipase. Also, be aware that fluoridated water may decrease lipase and protease production8)|
|Cellulase — Breaks down fiber|
|Maltase — Converts complex sugars from grains into glucose|
|Lactase — Breaks down milk sugar (lactose) in dairy products|
|Phytase — Helps with overall digestion, especially in producing the B vitamins|
|Sucrase — Breaks down most sugars|
• Metabolic enzymes — Involved in energy production and detoxification. Metabolic enzymes are intra-cellular, meaning inside your cells, where they help the cell carry out a variety of functions related to its reproduction and replenishment.
• Food-based enzymes — Contained in raw, uncooked/unprocessed foods and/or supplements.
3 main types of enzyme supplements
Enzymes found in enzyme supplements used for enzyme therapy are known as hydrolases. As the name implies, they use a water molecule to cut certain bonds along the amino acid chain. Supplemental enzymes can be divided into three basic types:
- Protease or proteolytic enzymes, which hydrolyze (break down) proteins into amino acids
- Lipases, which break down lipids (fats) into fatty acids
- Carbohydrases, which hydrolyze carbohydrates into simpler sugars
Enzymes for supplemental use can be sourced from animal, plant and microbial sources. Pancreatic enzymes, for example, which include all three types (protease, lipase and carbohydrase), are typically obtained from the pancreas of cows or pigs.
Proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain and papain are obtained from pineapple and papaya respectively. Enzymes can also be sourced from microbial or fungal sources. This group is the largest, as microbes and fungi can produce hundreds of different types of enzymes.
Digestive versus systemic use of enzymes
There are two primary ways of using an enzyme supplement: digestive or systemic, and the difference between them relates to timing. Taken with food, a digestive enzyme will help break down the food into smaller components.
When taken on an empty stomach, the enzymes will pass through your digestive system and enter your blood circulation, and when absorbed systemically, they serve as powerful proteases, dissolving things like fibrin and decreasing inflammation.
That said, whether you’re using enzymes digestively or systemically, enzyme therapy will improve assimilation and elimination of components. In other words, the enzymes will break things down to their smallest constituent parts, making both assimilation of necessary components, and elimination of components your body does not need, easier.
As explained in a report9 by nutraceutical researcher Jon Barron, director of the Baseline Health Foundation, proteolytic enzymes taken for systemic benefit, meaning on an empty stomach, can help eliminate pathogens, allergens and rogue cells by destroying and digesting their protein-based shield. Systemically, proteolytic enzymes also have the ability to interfere with enzyme production caused by certain cancers, thereby slowing down the cancer’s growth.
Systemic use of proteolytic enzymes combats inflammation
In your gut, proteases or proteolytic enzymes, which break down dietary protein and protein-based foreign bodies, function as digestive aids. In your blood, however, they act as blood cleansers that combat inflammation and rebalance your immune system by:10
1. Breaking down foreign proteins in your blood that cause inflammation
2. Facilitating the removal of inflammatory proteins via your blood stream and lymphatic system
3. Reducing edema in inflamed region
4. Significantly increasing the potency of macrophages and killer cells
5. Removing fibrin that prolongs inflammation. Fibrin is a clotting material that restricts blood flow, found both in your blood stream and connective tissue such as your muscles. Cancer cells also hide under a cloak of fibrin to escape detection.11
Once the cancer cells are “uncloaked,” they can be spotted and attacked by your immune system. It is also thought that fibrin makes cancer cells clump together, which increases the chance for metastases.
Fibrin accumulation is also responsible for scar tissue in damaged muscle or at a surgical site. If the buildup is excessive, which can easily occur if your blood flow is poor due to low enzymatic activity, then the scar tissue may lead to chronic problems.
Excess fibrin in your blood may also raise your risk for a heart attack and/or stroke. Symptoms of excess fibrin include: chronic fatigue, poor healing ability, inflammation, pain and high blood pressure
How enzymes are measured
Enzymes are measured12 in units called food chemical codex (FCC units) of some type of assay, such as hemoglobin unit tyrosine base (HUT). The FCC unit is essentially a measure of the enzyme’s functionality — how well it functions under a specific assay or test.
The example given in the lecture is protease having a measure of 50,000 HUT, which means the protease can break down 50,000 bonds of red blood cells under certain laboratory conditions.
This is important to look for when shopping for an enzyme, as the FCC units are a guarantee of a certain level of activity. Simply knowing the weight or mass of an enzyme doesn’t tell you anything about its functionality, as its activity could theoretically be zero.
Factors that affect enzyme activity
As noted in the video presentation, environmental factors such as the pH level and temperature inside your body can affect the activity of enzymes. As your temperature rises, enzyme activity will typically increase. If the temperature gets too high, however, the enzyme will break down.
The reason for this is because the positive and negative charges of the amino acid bonds that give the enzyme its shape cause it to vibrate. As the temperature increases, this vibration speeds up, making the enzyme work harder. This is essentially what happens when you have a fever. As your temperature rises, your enzymes start going into overdrive to heal your body.
At a certain vibrational rate, however, it’s simply vibrating too quickly to remain stable, causing it to break apart. This is not a concern for most supplements though, as most remain viable up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and the inside of your body will never get that high. Improper storage, on the other hand, could inactivate the enzymes in the supplement if it gets too hot.
As you’d expect, with lower temperature, enzymatic activity decreases. Many will store their enzyme supplement in the refrigerator or freezer for this reason, but this actually isn’t a good idea. The reason? Because taking the bottle in and out of the fridge or freezer could introduce moisture, and this moisture (water) will activate the enzymes.
The best place to store your enzyme supplement is in a relatively cool, dry area such as a kitchen cabinet or pantry. Properly stored, an enzyme supplement will typically retain full potency for up to a year.
The other factor that affects enzyme activity is your body’s pH (acidity versus alkalinity), which changes throughout your digestive tract. As a result, a particular enzyme will be most active or effective in a particular part of your digestive tract, and less active in others.
For this reason, high-quality supplements will contain enzymes with a wide range of pH tolerance, thereby allowing the supplement to perform optimally all the way through your gastrointestinal tract.
Why use enzyme supplementation?
As mentioned, your body naturally produces enzymes. So, why would you ever need an enzyme supplement? While it’s true your body continually produces enzymes, certain factors can limit this capacity:
• Aging — Loss of enzyme activity is part of the aging process.
• Genetics — The blueprints in your DNA instruct your cells on which enzymes to make and how much, so genetic anomalies can affect your body’s ability to produce certain enzymes. One example is lactose intolerance — the limited ability to hydrolyze or break down lactose, the sugar found in milk, due to an insufficiency of lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose.
• Lifestyle choices — Examples of choices that affect your enzyme capacity include the types of foods you choose to eat (whole food versus junk food, for example, or a vegan versus carnivore diet), the amount of food you eat (too much or too little) and whether or not you choose to fast or smoke.
While aging is inevitable and genetics cannot be altered, you still have a great degree of influence over your enzymes via your lifestyle choices. The healthier your lifestyle, the better your enzymatic activity will be, even without assistance from a supplement.
For example, eating plenty of fresh, raw and/or fermented foods will supply your body with healthy enzymes. Sprouts are a particularly excellent source of live enzymes.
Fasting has also been shown to conserve enzymes. If you do not eat, you will not produce digestive enzymes, allowing metabolic enzyme production and activity to proliferate instead. A supplement can still be valuable, however, to counteract genetics, aging and a less than ideal lifestyle.
How digestive enzymes impact digestion
When you swallow a food, it first enters the upper portion of your stomach. Here, any enzymes inherent in the food itself start to activate, helping to break the food down. As you might expect, the more the food can be broken down here in the first stage of your gastrointestinal tract, the less labor intensive the digestive process will be later on.
The pH in this upper stomach portion typically ranges from 4 to 6, i.e., slightly acidic. As food enters your stomach, proton pumps lining the lower pyloric part of your stomach starts pumping in hydrochloric acid, and it does this in proportion to the amount of food that you eat. The more food you put in, the more hydrochloric acid is being pumped in to help break down and liquefy that food.
Importantly, hydrochloric acid does not actually help you digest your food. Rather, it activates an enzyme called pepsin, a proteolytic enzyme that helps digest protein. In this lower section of your stomach, the pH ranges from 2 to 4.
As the food is liquefied, it starts dripping into the duodenum, the upper part of your small intestine, triggering your pancreas to secrete alkaline bicarbonates, thereby neutralizing the acidity. The pH of your small intestine typically ranges from 8 to 9.
Pancreatic enzymes are also released, which continue the process of breaking the food down into even smaller constituent parts. In summary, digestion can occur in three areas — your upper stomach, lower stomach and small intestine — and your food choices can significantly influence where and how well digestion occurs in these areas.
Enzyme supplements can also influence digestion in each of these areas, and help optimize assimilation and elimination of the foods you eat. As mentioned, for optimal benefit, you want a supplement capable of working in a wide range of pH levels, as your stomach and small intestine ranges from 2 on the acidic side to about 9 on the alkaline side.
More often than not, taking a blend of enzymes is also beneficial, as no single enzyme can perform all the necessary functions throughout your digestive tract. As noted in the featured lecture, “the better the blend, the better the breakdown of the substrate” into single, di- and tri-chain amino acids.
Summary of what to look for in an enzyme supplement
In summary, factors you want to look for when buying an enzyme supplement are:
- Blends of enzymes rather than single enzymes
- Enzymes that work across a wide range of pH levels
- FCC measurements rather than just weight, as this guarantees potency (higher FCC units indicating higher enzyme activity)
Contraindications for proteolytic enzymes
While proteolytic enzymes are well-tolerated and safe for long-term use in most people, there are exceptions. If any of the following scenarios apply to you, you should not take proteolytic enzymes:13
|You’re on prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin, Heparin or Plavix|
|You’re having surgery within two weeks (as they can increase surgical bleeding)|
|You have a stomach ulcer|
|You’re pregnant or lactating|
|You’re currently taking antibiotics|
|You’ve had an allergic reaction to pineapple or papaya|
If you’re currently taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug for pain and want to add a systemic enzyme, be sure to take them at least one hour apart from each other.
Systemic enzymes are in many ways preferable to painkillers since they effectively lower inflammation and support your body’s innate ability to heal itself, while pain medication simply masks the symptoms while raising your risk for addiction and death.
Re-posted from original article: www.naturalhealth365.com/plaque-atherosclerosis-3037.html
(NaturalHealth365) As you probably know, it’s not cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes or auto accidents that make ups the conditions most likely to threaten the lives of American adults – it’s cardiovascular disease. In fact, according to statistics published by the CDC, heart disease currently kills nearly 650,000 people – every year – in the United States. And a primary factor in heart disease is arterial plaque – artery-clogging deposits of fat and calcium that can lead to angina, heart attack and stroke.
The grim figures on the consequences of arterial plaque – also known as atherosclerosis – continue to accumulate. Every year, about 735,000 Americans experience a heart attack, while another 795,000 suffer a stroke. Isn’t it time to learn how to reduce your odds – and prolong your life?
Breaking NEWS about plaque: Doctors don’t want you to know this truth about heart disease
Unlike most other animals, humans (along with primates, bats and guinea pigs) lack the ability to produce vitamin C in the body – a condition that is due to a long-ago genetic variation. This means that vitamin C must be obtained through dietary means – and the consequences for failing to consume sufficient amounts can be dire.
According to the Pauling/Rath Unified Theory of Cardiovascular Disease – a theory developed by Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Linus Pauling, in conjunction with German doctor Mathias Rath – the lion’s share of cardiovascular problems are really caused by shortages in vitamin C.
Having insufficient levels of this indispensable nutrient causes arteries to become brittle and vulnerable to cracks and fissures. In addition, vitamin C shortages can elevate cholesterol levels – particularly that of lipoprotein A or Lp(a), a type of LDL cholesterol with “sticky,” adhesive qualities.
Lp(a) is believed to be the primary culprit in the formation of arterial plaque and the constriction of arteries. This belief was reinforced in 1989, when researchers evaluating the clogged aortas of heart attack victims noted that they were finding only the Lp(a) type of cholesterol in the deposits.
Do NOT ignore the health dangers linked to toxic indoor air. These chemicals – the ‘off-gassing’ of paints, mattresses, carpets and other home/office building materials – increase your risk of headaches, dementia, heart disease and cancer.
As arteries develop ruptures, the body attempts to repair the damage by sending cholesterol to the site.
But the “down side” is that this reparative cholesterol begins to accumulate and form plaque deposits, inhibiting the flow of oxygen-rich blood and triggering strokes and heart attacks.
Simple, yet revolutionary, these natural nutrients help to REDUCE the risk of plaque buildup
The key to preventing and treating heart disease, as set forth in the Pauling Therapy, is the administration of high doses of vitamin C, along with the amino acid lysine.
High doses of vitamin C serve to strengthen arteries and make them less susceptible to breakage, while supplementary lysine can stop Lp(a) from sticking to artery walls. A later protocol developed by Dr. Rath calls for the addition of the amino acid proline.
Like lysine, proline can act as a sort of ‘teflon’ in the arteries, discouraging sticky Lp(a) and promoting better circulation of blood. When given in sufficient dosages, this therapy can inhibit formation of atherosclerotic deposits – and even help to remove and dissolve existing plaques.
Proponents of the Pauling Therapy maintain that the protocol can also lower cholesterol, relieve the pain of angina pectoris, increase heart strength, improve natural immunity and promote overall health.
Address and prevent heart disease with simple lifestyle and dietary recommendations
According to Dr. Pauling, every person at risk for heart disease should take at least 5 g (5,000 mg) of vitamin C and at least 2 grams of lysine a day.
To address atherosclerosis, Dr. Pauling recommended daily dosages of 6,000 to 18,000 mg of vitamin C in divided doses, along with 2,000 to 6,000 mg of lysine.
Enhancements to the protocol can include 800 IU a day of vitamin E – which helps to make blood less “sticky” and likely to clot – and 100 to 300 mg a day of coenzyme Q10 – which helps the heart to pump blood more efficiently.
Note: it is particularly important to supplement with CoQ10 if you take statin medications to lower cholesterol. These can deplete the body’s store of this important nutrient.
The amino acids carnitine, taurine and arginine also benefit heart function, while vitamin K – found in leafy greens – has antioxidant properties and can help slow the deposit of plaque. Note: if you are taking anticoagulant medication, talk to your medical doctor before consuming any food or supplement with vitamin K.
And supplementary DHEA – a hormone created naturally in the body – has been linked with reductions in atherosclerosis and clogged arteries, along with decreased mortality from heart disease.
Bonus health tip: DHEA can lower levels of disease-promoting inflammation, and can even help protect against the formation of harmful visceral fat around the abdomen.
As always, consult with a trusted integrative healthcare provider before trying the Pauling Therapy – or adding any supplements to your diet. And, never reduce or eliminated prescribed heart medications unless specifically advised to do so by your doctor.
The Pauling Therapy also advises eliminating trans fats and refined sugar from the diet – while getting sufficient exercise and drinking plenty of pure, filtered water. A heart-healthy organic diet, rich in beneficial omega-3 oils, can also help reduce the risk of arterial plaque.
Hitting big pharma in the pocketbook: The Pauling Therapy has the potential to bankrupt drug-based medicine
If the conventionally-trained medical community seems to be distinctly unenthused by the Pauling Therapy, it’s not hard to determine why.
Many natural health experts and advocates have observed that this low-cost regimen – for which no prescription is needed – has the potential to bring the medical and pharmaceutical industries to financial ruin.
Not when you consider the fact that heart-related surgical procedures can bring in more money to metropolitan hospitals than any other procedure – in many cases accounting for a stunning 30 to 40 percent of a hospital’s total income.
Clearly, the concept of patients becoming responsible for their own health – and employing natural vitamins, minerals and amino acids in order to combat and eliminate heart disease – is terrifying for big pharma!
Renowned scientist Dr. Pauling insisted that the proper use of vitamin C and lysine can prevent, and even cure, heart disease. Although the protocol has never been taken seriously (or properly studied) by conventional medical authorities, many patients have discovered the efficacy of the therapy – and its lifesaving benefits – for themselves.
Sources for this article include:
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Posted on: Tuesday, April 9th 2019