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VITAMIN B12: THE NEGLECTED NUTRIENT

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD vitamin B12 B-12 cobalamin methylcobalaminI previously wrote METHYLATION CYCLE, GENETICS, B VITAMINS in which I considered in-depth how the Methylation Cycle functions, how genetics affect metabolic pathways, and how B vitamins (including vitamin B12, folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B2) are used in Methylation Cycle pathways. In today’s article, I take an in-depth view of what you need to know about vitamin B12, including the effects of not having sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12 in the body.

Vitamin B12 is one of eight B vitamins. It is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin. It consists of a class of chemically related compounds (vitamers), all of which show physiological activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt positioned in the center of a chemical ring structure.

Vitamin B12 (also called cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body. It is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. It is particularly important in the normal functioning of the nervous system via its role in the synthesis of myelin and in the maturation of developing red blood cells in the bone marrow.

vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 contains the biochemically rare element cobalt positioned in the center of a chemical ring structure.

YOUR NEED FOR VITAMIN B12

Vitamin B12 deficiency is thought to be one of the leading nutritional deficiencies in the world. An extensive 2004 study showed that deficiency is a major health concern in many parts of the world, including the North America, Central and South America, India, and certain areas in Africa. It is estimated that 40 percent of people may have low levels of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 affects your mood, energy level, memory, nervous system, heart, skin, hair, digestion and more. It is a key nutrient regarding adrenal fatigue and multiple metabolic functions including enzyme production, DNA synthesis, and hormonal balance.

Because of vitamin B12’s extensive roles within the body, a vitamin deficiency can show up in many different symptoms, such as chronic fatigue, mood disorders such as depression, chronic stress, and low energy.

SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12

The only organisms to produce vitamin B12 are certain bacteria and archaea. Some of these bacteria are found in the soil around the grasses that ruminants eat. They are taken into the animal, proliferate, form part of their gut flora, and continue to produce vitamin B12.

Products of animal origin such as beef (especially liver), chicken, pork, eggs, dairy, clams, and fish constitute the primary food source of vitamin B12. Older individuals and vegans are advised to use vitamin B12 fortified foods and supplements to meet their needs.

vitamin B12 salmon

Salmon is a good source of Vitamin B12

Commercially, Vitamin B12 is prepared by bacterial fermentation. Fermentation by a variety of microorganisms yields a mixture of methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin. Since multiple species of propionibacterium produce no exotoxins or endotoxins and have been granted GRAS status (generally regarded as safe) by the United States Food and Drug Administration, they are the preferred bacterial fermentation organisms for vitamin B12 production.

Methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 used in the human body (called coenzyme forms). The form of cobalamin used in many some nutritional supplements and fortified foods, cyanocobalamin, is readily converted to 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin in the body.

Hydroxocobalamin is the direct precursor of methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin. In mammals, cobalamin is a cofactor for only two enzymes, methionine synthase (MS) and L-methylmalonyl-coenzyme A mutase (MUT).

Unlike most other vitamins, B12 is stored in substantial amounts, mainly in the liver, until it is needed by the body. If a person stops consuming the vitamin, the body’s stores of this vitamin usually take about 3 to 5 years to exhaust. Vitamin B12 is primarily stored in the liver as 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin, but is easily converted to methylcobalamin.

ABSORPTION OF VITAMIN B12

Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. Intestinal absorption of vitamin B12 requires successively three different protein molecules: Haptocorrin, Intrinsic Factor and Transcobalamin II. If there are deficiencies in any of these factors absorption of Vitamin B12 can be seriously decreased.

When vitamin B12 is added to fortified foods and dietary supplements, it is already in free form and, thus, does not require the separation from food protein step. Free vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells, and the resulting complex undergoes absorption within the distal ileum by receptor-mediated endocytosis.

Approximately 56% of a 1 mcg oral dose of vitamin B12 is absorbed, but absorption decreases drastically when the capacity of intrinsic factor is exceeded (at 1–2 mcg of vitamin B12).

Vitamin B12 – 5 mg methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge

Vitamin B12 – 5 mg Methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge.

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY

Vitamin B12 deficiency can be difficult to detect, especially since the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be similar to many common symptoms, such as feeling tired or unfocused, experienced by people for a variety of reasons.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly associated with chronic stomach inflammation, which may contribute to an autoimmune vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome called pernicious anemia and to a food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome. Poor absorption of vitamin may be related to coeliac disease. Impairment of vitamin B12 absorption can cause megaloblastic anemia and neurologic disorders in deficient subjects. In some cases, permanent damage can be caused to the body when B12 amounts are deficient.

It is noteworthy that normal function of the digestive system required for food-bound vitamin B12 absorption is commonly impaired in individuals over 60 years of age, placing them at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.

A diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency is typically based on the measurement of serum vitamin B12 levels within the blood. However, studies show that about 50 percent of patients with diseases related to vitamin B12 deficiency have normal B12 levels when tested. This can cause individuals to ignore taking in adequate levels of vitamin B12 with potential serious consequences.

FUNCTIONS AND ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN B12 STATUS IN THE BODY

  • Vitamin B12 or cobalamin plays essential roles in folate metabolism and in the synthesis of the citric acid cycle intermediate, succinyl-CoA.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency is commonly associated with chronic stomach inflammation, which may contribute to an autoimmune vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome called pernicious anemia and to a food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption syndrome. Impairment of vitamin B12 absorption can cause megaloblastic anemia and neurologic disorders in deficient subjects.
  • Normal function of the digestive system required for food-bound vitamin B12 absorption is commonly impaired in individuals over 60 years of age, placing them at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Vitamin B12 and folate are important for homocysteine metabolism. Elevated homocysteine levels in blood are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). B vitamin supplementation has been proven effective to control homocysteine levels.
  • The preservation of DNA integrity is dependent on folate and vitamin B12 availability. Poor vitamin B12 status has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer in some, but not all, observational studies.
  • Low maternal vitamin B12 status has been associated with an increased risk of neural tube defects (NTD), but it is not known whether vitamin B12 supplementation could help reduce the risk of NTD.
  • Vitamin B12 is essential for the preservation of the myelin sheath around neurons and for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. A severe vitamin B12 deficiency may damage nerves, causing tingling or loss of sensation in the hands and feet, muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, difficulty walking, confusion, and dementia.
  • While hyperhomocysteinemia may increase the risk of cognitive impairment, it is not clear whether vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to the risk of dementia in the elderly. Although B-vitamin supplementation lowers homocysteine levels in older subjects, the long-term benefit is not yet known.
  • Both depression and osteoporosis have been linked to diminished vitamin B12 status and high homocysteine levels.
  • The long-term use of certain medications, such as inhibitors of stomach acid secretion, can adversely affect vitamin B12 absorption.
  • Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.

MORE DETAILS ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN B12 STATUS IN THE BODY

1. Vitamin B12 is required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. Vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin functions as a cofactor for methionine synthase. Methionine synthase (MS) catalyzes the conversion of homocysteine to methionine. Methionine along with ATP is required for the formation of S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), a universal methyl donor for almost 100 different substrates, including DNA, RNA, hormones, proteins, and lipids.
2. Vitamin B12 as 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin functions as a cofactor along with L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT) to convert L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA in the degradation of propionate, an essential biochemical reaction in fat and protein metabolism. Succinyl-CoA is also required for hemoglobin synthesis.
Metabolic Pathway

 

3. Vitamin B12, bound to protein in food, is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease in the stomach. When synthetic vitamin B12 is added to fortified foods and dietary supplements, it is already in free form and, thus, does not require this separation step. Free vitamin B12 then combines with intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein secreted by the stomach’s parietal cells, and the resulting complex undergoes absorption within the distal ileum by receptor-mediated endocytosis. Approximately 56% of a 1 mcg oral dose of vitamin B12 is absorbed, but absorption decreases drastically when the capacity of intrinsic factor is exceeded (at 1–2 mcg of vitamin B12).

4. Pernicious anemia is an autoimmune disease that affects the gastric mucosa and results in gastric atrophy. This leads to the destruction of parietal cells, achlorhydria, and failure to produce intrinsic factor, resulting in vitamin B12 malabsorption. If pernicious anemia is left untreated, it causes vitamin B12 deficiency, leading to megaloblastic anemia and neurological disorders, even in the presence of adequate dietary intake of vitamin B12.

5. Vitamin B12 status is typically assessed via serum or plasma vitamin B12 levels. Values below approximately 170–250 pg/mL (120–180 picomol/L) for adults indicate a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, evidence suggests that serum vitamin B12 concentrations might not accurately reflect intracellular concentrations. An elevated serum homocysteine level (values >13 micromol/L) might also suggest a vitamin B12 deficiency. However, this indicator has poor specificity because it is influenced by other factors, such as low vitamin B6 or folate levels. Elevated methylmalonic acid levels (values >0.4 micromol/L) might be a more reliable indicator of vitamin B12 status because they indicate a metabolic change that is highly specific to vitamin B12 deficiency.

6. Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur . Additional symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can occur without anemia, so early diagnosis and intervention is important to avoid irreversible damage. During infancy, signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include failure to thrive, movement disorders, developmental delays, and megaloblastic anemia. Many of these symptoms are general and can result from a variety of medical conditions other than vitamin B12 deficiency.

7. Typically, vitamin B12 deficiency is treated with vitamin B12 injections, since this method bypasses potential barriers to absorption. However, high doses of oral vitamin B12 can also be effective. The authors of a review of randomized controlled trials comparing oral with intramuscular vitamin B12 concluded that 2,000 mcg (I like 5,000 mcg) of oral vitamin B12 daily, followed by a decreased daily dose of 1,000 mcg and then 1,000 mcg weekly and finally, monthly might be as effective as intramuscular administration. Overall, an individual patient’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 is the most important factor in determining whether vitamin B12 should be administered orally or via injection. In most countries, the practice of using intramuscular vitamin B12 to treat vitamin B12 deficiency has remained unchanged.

8. Large amounts of folate can mask the damaging effects of vitamin B12 deficiency by correcting the megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency without correcting the neurological damage that also occurs. Moreover, preliminary evidence suggests that high serum folate levels might not only mask vitamin B12 deficiency, but could also exacerbate the anemia and worsen the cognitive symptoms associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Permanent nerve damage can occur if vitamin B12 deficiency is not treated. For these reasons, folate intake from fortified food and supplements should not exceed 1,000 mcg daily in healthy adults.

Groups at Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The main causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include vitamin B12 malabsorption from food, pernicious anemia, postsurgical malabsorption, and dietary deficiency. However, in many cases, the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is unknown. The following groups are among those most likely to be vitamin B12 deficient.

Older adults: Atrophic gastritis, a condition affecting 10%–30% of older adults, decreases secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, resulting in decreased absorption of vitamin B12. Decreased hydrochloric acid levels might also increase the growth of normal intestinal bacteria that use vitamin B12, further reducing the amount of vitamin B12 available to the bodY.

Individuals with atrophic gastritis are unable to absorb the vitamin B12 that is naturally present in food. Most, however, can absorb the synthetic vitamin B12 added to fortified foods and dietary supplements. As a result, the IOM recommends that adults older than 50 years obtain most of their vitamin B12 from vitamin supplements or fortified foods. However, some elderly patients with atrophic gastritis require doses much higher than the RDA to avoid subclinical deficiency.

Individuals with pernicious anemia: Pernicious anemia, a condition that affects 1%–2% of older adults, is characterized by a lack of intrinsic factor. Individuals with pernicious anemia cannot properly absorb vitamin B12 in the gastrointestinal tract. Pernicious anemia is usually treated with intramuscular vitamin B12. However, approximately 1% of oral vitamin B12 can be absorbed passively in the absence of intrinsic factor, suggesting that high oral doses of vitamin B12 might also be an effective treatment.

Individuals with gastrointestinal disorders: Individuals with stomach and small intestine disorders, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, may be unable to absorb enough vitamin B12 from food to maintain healthy body stores. Subtly reduced cognitive function resulting from early vitamin B12 deficiency might be the only initial symptom of these intestinal disorders, followed by megaloblastic anemia and dementia.

Individuals who have had gastrointestinal surgery: Surgical procedures in the gastrointestinal tract, such as weight loss surgery or surgery to remove all or part of the stomach, often result in a loss of cells that secrete hydrochloric acid and intrinsic factor. This reduces the amount of vitamin B12, particularly food-bound vitamin B12, that the body releases and absorbs. Surgical removal of the distal ileum also can result in the inability to absorb vitamin B12. Individuals undergoing these surgical procedures should be monitored preoperatively and postoperatively for several nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vegetarians: Strict vegetarians and vegans are at greater risk than lacto-ovo vegetarians and non-vegetarians of developing vitamin B12 deficiency because natural food sources of vitamin B12 are limited to animal foods. Fortified breakfast cereals and fortified nutritional yeasts are some of the only sources of vitamin B12 from plants and can be used as dietary sources of vitamin B12 for strict vegetarians and vegans. Fortified foods vary in formulation, so it is important to read the Nutrition Facts labels on food products to determine the types and amounts of added nutrients they contain.

Pregnant and lactating women who follow strict vegetarian diets and their infants: Vitamin B12 crosses the placenta during pregnancy and is present in breast milk. Exclusively breastfed infants of women who consume no animal products may have very limited reserves of vitamin B12 and can develop vitamin B12 deficiency within months of birth. Undetected and untreated vitamin B12 deficiency in infants can result in severe and permanent neurological damage.

The American Dietetic Association recommends supplemental vitamin B12 for vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians during both pregnancy and lactation to ensure that enough vitamin B12 is transferred to the fetus and infant. Pregnant and lactating women who follow strict vegetarian or vegan diets should consult with a pediatrician regarding vitamin B12 supplements for their infants and children.

Health Risks from Excessive Vitamin B12

The IOM did not establish a UL for vitamin B12 because of its low potential for toxicity. In Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, the IOM states that “no adverse effects have been associated with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals”.

Findings from intervention trials support these conclusions. In the NORVIT and HOPE 2 trials, vitamin B12 supplementation (in combination with folic acid and vitamin B6) did not cause any serious adverse events when administered at doses of 0.4 mg for 40 months (NORVIT trial) and 1.0 mg for 5 years (HOPE 2 trial).

Interactions with Medications

Vitamin B12 has the potential to interact with certain medications. In addition, several types of medications might adversely affect vitamin B12 levels. A few examples are provided below. Individuals taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin B12 status with their healthcare providers.

Chloramphenicol: Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®) is a bacteriostatic antibiotic. Limited evidence from case reports indicates that chloramphenicol can interfere with the red blood cell response to supplemental vitamin B12 in some patients.

Proton pump inhibitors: Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), are used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease. These drugs can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption from food by slowing the release of gastric acid into the stomach. However, the evidence is conflicting on whether proton pump inhibitor use affects vitamin B12 status. As a precaution, healthcare providers should monitor vitamin B12 status in patients taking proton pump inhibitors for prolonged periods.

H2 receptor antagonists: Histamine H2 receptor antagonists, used to treat peptic ulcer disease, include cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), and ranitidine (Zantac®). These medications can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12 from food by slowing the release of hydrochloric acid into the stomach. Although H2 receptor antagonists have the potential to cause vitamin B12 deficiency, no evidence indicates that they promote vitamin B12 deficiency, even after long-term use. Clinically significant effects may be more likely in patients with inadequate vitamin B12 stores, especially those using H2 receptor antagonists continuously for more than 2 years.

Metformin: Metformin, a hypoglycemic agent used to treat diabetes, might reduce the absorption of vitamin B12, possibly through alterations in intestinal mobility, increased bacterial overgrowth, or alterations in the calcium-dependent uptake by ileal cells of the vitamin B12-intrinsic factor complex. Small studies and case reports suggest that 10%–30% of patients who take metformin have reduced vitamin B12 absorption. In a randomized, placebo controlled trial in patients with type 2 diabetes, metformin treatment for 4.3 years significantly decreased vitamin B12 levels by 19% and raised the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency by 7.2% compared with placebo. Some studies suggest that supplemental calcium might help improve the vitamin B12 malabsorption caused by metformin, but not all researchers agree.

REFERENCES

FROM: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/71/2/514/4729184
Plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations relate to intake source in the Framingham Offspring Study

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 71, Issue 2, 1 February 2000, Pages 514–522, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/71.2.514

ABSTRACT

Background: Low vitamin B-12 status is prevalent among the elderly, but few studies have examined the association between vitamin B-12 status and intake.
Objective: We hypothesized that vitamin B-12 concentrations vary according to intake source.
Design: Plasma concentrations and dietary intakes were assessed cross-sectionally for 2999 subjects in the Framingham Offspring Study. The prevalence of vitamin B-12 concentrations <148, 185, and 258 pmol/L was examined by age group (26–49, 50–64, and 65–83 y), supplement use, and the following food intake sources: fortified breakfast cereal, dairy products, and meat.
Results: Thirty-nine percent of subjects had plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations <258 pmol/L, 17% had concentrations <185 pmol/L, and 9% had concentrations <148 pmol/L, with little difference between age groups. Supplement users were significantly less likely than non-supplement-users to have concentrations <185 pmol/L (8% compared with 20%, respectively). Among non-supplement-users, there were significant differences between those who consumed fortified cereal >4 times/wk (12%) and those who consumed no fortified cereal (23%) and between those in the highest and those in the lowest tertile of dairy intake (13% compared with 24%, respectively), but no significant differences by meat tertile. Regression of plasma vitamin B-12 on log of intake, by source, yielded significant slopes for each contributor adjusted for the others. For the total group, b = 40.6 for vitamin B-12 from vitamin supplements. Among non-supplement-users, b = 56.4 for dairy products, 35.2 for cereal, and 16.7 for meat. Only the meat slope differed significantly from the others.
Conclusions: In contrast with previous reports, plasma vitamin B-12 concentrations were associated with vitamin B-12 intake. Use of supplements, fortified cereal, and milk appears to protect against lower concentrations. Further research is needed to investigate possible differences in bioavailability.

 

INTERNET REFERENCES

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EXCITING NEW TERRAFLORA SYNBIOTIC

Terraflora Synbiotic

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD Terraflora synbioticIt has finally arrived — the exciting new Terraflora™ synbiotic. A synbiotic is a combination of probiotics and supporting prebiotics. This advanced soil-based organisms formula fills the need for a superb probiotic/prebiotic in Health Products Distributors’ arsenal of highly effective formulas. Terraflora is extremely supportive of your entire microbiome and gut-based immune system.

 

ADVANCED GUT MICROBIOME SUPPORT

INTRODUCING THE MICROBIOME

For centuries, scientists have recognized a limited number of pathogenic bacteria for which antibiotic therapies have become the mainstream treatment. However, advanced DNA sequencing techniques coupled with data revealed from the Human Genome Project have made it possible to study a vast world of ‘germs’ – both pathogenic and beneficial – that dwarf our previous knowledge.

While we inherit more than 22,000 genes from our parents, the bacteria that exist in and on our bodies contain at least eight million bacterial genes which amounts to 360 times more bacterial genes than human genes! The genetic material from bacteria that populate the human body is known as the human microbiome.

Your microbiome is likely similar to that of your immediate family, as we naturally inherit our family’s microbiota. Through the course of our lives, we pick up other bacteria from food, water, and various components of our environment. Scientists estimate that we each carry 100 trillion bacteria in our intestinal tract alone!

In this teeming landscape of bacteria, both you and the bacterial communities derive benefit. Many researchers use the term “mutually beneficial” when describing the evolving bacterial communities in our gut.

THE BALANCE OF BACTERIA AND YOUR HEALTH

In 2010, the Human Microbiome Project published an analysis of 178 genomes from bacteria that live in or on the human body. 10,000 different types of bacteria in the human body have been identified, including novel genes and proteins that serve functions in human health and disease. The vast numbers of bacteria discovered appear to provide benefit to the human body, not harm.

Martin J. Blaser, chairman of the Department of Medicine and a professor of microbiology at the New York University School of Medicine states: Germs make us sick, but everyone focuses on the harm. It’s not that simple, because without most of these organisms we could never survive.

As scientists map the human microbiome, they are beginning to understand the difference between normal and abnormal. Proper bacterial balance is vital to healthy immune function, providing appropriate protection against potential infections, playing a critical role in the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients, and even regulating mood. The interaction of multiple strains of bacteria is an essential element in health and wellbeing.

The optimal balance of bacteria can be altered in many ways such as broad spectrum antibiotics that kill bacteria in the gut indiscriminately; prescription medications; disease-carrying bacteria, fungi, parasites, and yeasts; stress; lack of sleep; poor diet & lifestyle; geography and travel; and physical disconnection with nature.

Researchers have shown that changes in gut bacteria even affect the brain and personality. For example, germ-free mice have been shown to be dramatically more anxious and hyperactive than their counterparts with a normal microbiome. These changes have also been associated with neurochemical changes in the mouse brain.

Evidence supports the concept that microbiota balance can have a large impact on healthy metabolic processes. This delicate balance has a definite impact on nutrient acquisition and overall energy regulation.

The impact of the gut microbiota is far reaching in the body. Continued investigation into the microbiome will yield powerful data, enabling the development of novel options to support healthy mood, metabolism, signaling molecules and much more.

Terraflora

FEATURES OF TERRAFLORA

Terraflora is a novel broad spectrum synbiotic formulated with a combination of spore form probiotics, and advanced, food-based, ancient prebiotics designed for robust support of gastrointestinal health.

  • Innovative gut microbiome support
  • Multi-strain, soil-based, beneficial bacteria to support microbial diversity in the GI tract
  • Proprietary blend of ancient, wild-harvested, certified organic prebiotic support
  • Terraflora’s advanced formulation of beneficial strains and ancient prebiotics are designed to support the biodiversity reflected in ancestral diets
  • Shelf stable and requires no refrigeration
  • Highly bioavailable strains are protected by a natural seed-like structure, guarding against environmental factors and stomach acid
  • Strains effectively generate highly bioavailable riboflavin (vitamin B2) and antioxidant carotenoids, right at the sight of absorption
  • Induces anti-inflammatory effects to foster gut homeostasis
  • Supports immune health

TERRAFLORA KEY BENEFITS

VIABILITY – The natural seed-like structure encasing the probiotc bacteria in Terraflora protects them against degradation by stomach acid, so they reach their target destination — the lower GI tract — intact and alive.

ADVANCED PREBIOTIC SUPPORT – Uniquely formulated with organic seaweeds (see reference 2 below), mushroom extracts (see reference 1 below), and humic acid (see reference 3 below). Terraflora’s advanced prebiotic complex contains a diverse spectrum of naturally occurring food-based polyphenols and polysaccharides designed to support healthy intestinal flora

ANTIOXIDANT BENEFITS – Terraflora features Ribospore™ (Bacillus pumilus) and Bacillus megaterium EM144™, two novel probiotic strains shown in studies to produce highly bioavailable, gastric stable antioxidant carotenoids, right at the site of absorption.

CONVENIENT — NO REFRIGERATION REQUIRED! – To ensure potency and viability, most probiotics require refrigeration and have a short shelf life. The inherently resilient bacteria in Terraflora are heat-stable, and require no refrigeration, uniting convenience and efficacy.

WHY SOIL-BASED ORGANISMS?

Through diet and lifestyle, our earliest ancestors were routinely exposed to spore-based bacteria found in healthy soils and our natural environment. In our modern and hyper-sanitized world, this primitive yet vital connection to nature has been all but lost.

Soil-based organisms (SBOs) define a class of probiotic supplements based on a greater understanding of the incredible diversity of the human gut, coupled with a deeper appreciation for how humans and their commensal “helper” bacteria work together to produce a healthy system.

Soil-based bacteria have a three-stage life cycle, with each stage triggered by nutrient availability: vegetative growth, sporulation, and germination. The sporulation phase is particularly relevant to its potential as a probiotic. The spore structure preserves the bacteria in a dormant phase and against any harm whether in any terrestrial environment or in the acidic environments of the stomach and upper intestines. When these probiotic microbiota are ingested, they travel all the way to the lower intestine where they come alive. Like a seed, warm temperatures, moisture, and nutrients stimulate the germination stage where bacteria emerges from dormancy. Soil-based probiotics are well-adapted to the environment of the gut, and have been shown to remain in the digestive tract where they can provide long term benefit.

SBO probiotics are characterized by two traits that make them superior to other probiotics: 1) the spore phase enabling natural resistance to the harsh environment of the upper digestive tract and stomach, and 2) inherent environmental stability that does not require the addition of specialized coatings or preservatives to ensure a clinically relevant amount reaches the appropriate areas of the gut.

Though SBO probiotics are based directly on symbiotic communities of bacteria found in natural soil environments, these organisms are not harvested directly from the earth to be packaged as a supplement. They are instead produced in a safe, monitored environment to ensure specificity of the strains.

Why are soil-based probiotics so popular among clinicians, and what makes them so important?  The answer to this question lies in an understanding of the human gut microbiome.

MULTI-STRAIN BACILLUS COMPLEX

Bacteria are incredibly ubiquitous, highly adaptable ancient life forms that evolved relatively unchanged over nearly 4 billion years. Bacillus, in particular, is arguably Earth’s most resilient bacteria―the oldest of which having been cultured and identified from the abdominal contents of extinct bees preserved in amber for 25 to 40 million years.

Through diet and lifestyle, our earliest ancestors were routinely exposed to bacillus spores found in healthy soils and our natural environment. Yet we no longer have routine exposure to bacillus spores due to the hyper-sanitization of our post-industrial civilization. Terraflora’s unique probiotic + prebiotic bio-complex of commensal bacillus strains reconnect humans with their ancestral environment.

Terraflora bridges the lost connection to our natural environment, with a sophisticated probiotic bio-complex of specific, commensal Bacillus strains. Selected for their unique characteristics, Bacillus are gram-positive bacteria that can exist in two forms. Under favorable conditions the bacteria grow in a vegetative form, but when starved of nutrients they differentiate into a dormant life form known as an “endospore” or simply a “spore”. These spores come alive when introduced to an ideal environment, like the human gut.

Terraflora’s innovative DNA verified strain combination introduces Ribospore™ (Bacillus pumilus) and Bacillus megaterium EM144™, microorganisms scientifically proven to effectively produce highly bioavailable antioxidants and riboflavin, right at the site of absorption. Riboflavin is an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy digestive tract.

In addition to our proprietary new RibosporeTM (Bacillus pumilus) and Bacillus Megaterium EM144TM—Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus clausii, and Bacillus coagulans complete Terraflora’s multi-strain probiotic bio-complex.

ADVANCED PREBIOTIC BIO-COMPLEX


Terraflora™ contains a prebiotic blend of certified organic, wild-harvested seaweeds, mushroom extracts, and humic acid. These ancient, food-based prebiotics support commensal microbiota with a diverse spectrum of naturally-occurring polyphenols and polysaccharides designed to strengthen healthy intestinal flora. This bio-complex includes:

LARCH ARABINOGALACTAN: A solvent-free water extract that retains all bioactive polyphenolic flavonoids present in Larch, including taxifolin and quercetin. Larch arabinogalactan is a densely branched, non-starch polysaccharide consisting of galactose and arabinose molecules. It has been shown to increase production of critical short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) such as butyrate in the gut. Butyrate is the principle fuel for intestinal cells and supports healthy tight junctions in the gut lining. In addition, Larch arabinogalactan enhances beneficial gut flora and increases levels of beneficial intestinal anaerobes, particularly Bifidobacterium longum.

FUCUS VESICULOSUS (BLADDERWRACK) & UNDARIA PINNATIFIDA (WAKAME) EXTRACTS: These are certified organic solvent-free water extracts that are wild-harvested from clean ocean waters of Patagonia and Nova Scotia. They are rich in marine polyphenols and complex, sulfated, fucose-rich polysaccharides called fucoidans. Fucoidans are found in edible brown seaweeds and are shown to have multiple bioactivities including the support of healthy inflammation response in the GI tract. In vitro studies show that fucoidan effectively inhibits adhesion of pathogenic bacteria Helicobacter pylori and Escherichia coli to human cells. Furthermore, they increase the abundance of beneficial bacteria and significantly decrease inflammatory response and antigen load of the gut microbiota. In addition, they may also help maintain levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut during antibiotic use and are known to increases the integrity of tight junctions in the gut lining.

NORDIC CHAGA EXTRACT: This ingredient is a certified organic hot-water extract obtained exclusively from the mushroom fruiting body. It is sustainably wild-harvested in the Arctic (Finnish Lapland forest) and contains a diverse spectrum of polysaccharides and polyphenols. This extract has been shown to help protect against acute colonic inflammation and shown to decrease the Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes bacterial ratios. Decreased Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratios are significantly associated with lower body mass index (BMI).

RED REISHI EXTRACT: A certified organic extract obtained by traditional hot-water extraction methods exclusively from the mushroom fruiting body. It contains a diverse spectrum of polysaccharides and polyphenols that have been shown to increase microbiota richness and regulate intestinal barrier function. It is known to support the health of the gut lumen. Furthermore, is has been shown to decrease Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratios and endotoxin-bearing Proteobacteria levels.

HUMIC ACID: The humic acid in Terraflora is water extracted from ancient freshwater humate deposits. It has been shown to significantly increase the overall concentration of colonic microbiota.

TERRAFLORA INGREDIENTS

Probiotic Bio-Complex: 1 Billion Viable Cells per serving
Ribosporea  (Bacillus pumilus)
Bacillus megaterium EM144a
Bacillus subtilis
Bacillus clausii
Bacillus coagulans


Prebiotic Bio-Complex: 850 mg per serving
Larch Arabinogalactan (Larix spp.), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) Extract (fruiting body), Wild-Harvested Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) Extract (fruiting body), Wild-Harvested Nova Scotian Bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus) Extract (thallus), Wild-Harvested Patagonian Wakame (Undaria pinnatifida) Extract (sporophyll), and Humic Acids.

Other Ingredients: Plant cellulose (veggie capsule)

Contains No: dairy, wheat, yeast, gluten, corn, sugar, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, or GMOs. Made without stearates, fillers, binders, flow agents, or additives of any kind.

DIRECTIONS

Serving Size: Two Veggie Capsules            Servings Per Container: 30

Suggested Use: Take 1–2 capsules per day with or without food, or as recommended by your health care professional.

If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a medical condition, consult your healthcare practitioner before use.

REFERENCES

  1. Paper regarding the use of mushroom extracts as prebiotics:

    A Critical Review on Health Promoting Benefits of Edible Mushrooms through Gut Microbiota
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5618583/

    Abstract
    Mushrooms have long been used for medicinal and food purposes for over a thousand years, but a complete elucidation of the health-promoting properties of mushrooms through regulating gut microbiota has not yet been fully exploited. Mushrooms comprise a vast, and yet largely untapped, source of powerful new pharmaceutical substances. Mushrooms have been used in health care for treating simple and common diseases, like skin diseases and pandemic diseases like AIDS. This review is aimed at accumulating the health-promoting benefits of edible mushrooms through gut microbiota. Mushrooms are proven to possess anti-allergic, anti-cholesterol, anti-tumor, and anti-cancer properties. Mushrooms are rich in carbohydrates, like chitin, hemicellulose, β and α-glucans, mannans, xylans, and galactans, which make them the right choice for prebiotics. Mushrooms act as a prebiotics to stimulate the growth of gut microbiota, conferring health benefits to the host. In the present review, we have summarized the beneficial activities of various mushrooms on gut microbiota via the inhibition of exogenous pathogens and, thus, improving the host health.

    2. Paper regarding the use of Seaweeds as prebiotics:
    Prebiotics from Marine Macroalgae [seaweeds] for Human and Animal Health Applications
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920542/

    Abstract
    The marine environment is an untapped source of bioactive compounds. Specifically, marine macroalgae (seaweeds) are rich in polysaccharides that could potentially be exploited as prebiotic functional ingredients for both human and animal health applications. Prebiotics are non-digestible, selectively fermented compounds that stimulate the growth and/or activity of beneficial gut microbiota which, in turn, confer health benefits on the host. This review will introduce the concept and potential applications of prebiotics, followed by an outline of the chemistry of seaweed polysaccharides. Their potential for use as prebiotics for both humans and animals will be highlighted by reviewing data from both in vitro and in vivo studies conducted to date.

    3. Paper regarding the use of Humic Acids as prebiotics:
    Impact of humic acids on the colonic microbiome in healthy volunteers
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920542/

    Abstract
    AIM: To test the effects of humic acids on innate microbial communities of the colon.
    METHODS: We followed the effects of oral supplementation with humic acids (Activomin®) on concentrations and composition of colonic microbiome in 14 healthy volunteers for 45 d. 3 × 800 mg Activomin® were taken orally for 10 d followed by 3 × 400 mg for 35 d. Colonic microbiota were investigated using multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of Carnoy fixated and paraffin embedded stool cylinders. Two stool samples were collected a week prior to therapy and one stool sample on days 10, 31 and 45. Forty-one FISH probes representing different bacterial groups were used.
    RESULTS: The sum concentration of colonic microbiota increased from 20% at day 10 to 30% by day 31 and remained stable until day 45 (32%) of humic acid supplementation (P < 0.001). The increase in the concentrations in each person was due to growth of preexisting groups. The individual microbial profile of the patients remained unchanged. Similarly, the bacterial diversity remained stable. Concentrations of 24 of the 35 substantial groups increased from 20% to 96%. Two bacterial groups detected with Bac303 (Bacteroides) and Myc657 (mycolic acid-containing Actinomycetes) FISH probes decreased (P > 0.05). The others remained unaffected. Bacterial groups with initially marginal concentrations (< 0.1 × 109/mL) demonstrated no response to humic acids. The concentrations of pioneer groups of Bifidobacteriaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and Clostridium difficile increased but the observed differences were statistically not significant.
    CONCLUSION: Humic acids have a profound effect on healthy colonic microbiome and may be potentially interesting substances for the development of drugs that control the innate colonic microbiome.

0

What I’d Really Love to Tell You About the Methylation Cycle

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD geneticsI previously published “Homocysteine Genetics – Coenzyme B Vitamins” in which I considered in-depth how homocysteine (an intermediate chemical in the Methylation Cycle) is formed from methionine, how genetics affects the metabolic pathways, and how B vitamins are used in metabolic pathways. I also wrote “Folate Ingredients – Folinic Acid & 5-MTHF” which discussed how coenzyme folate vitamins are far superior to the synthetic folic acid form. In today’s article, I take a broader view of the topic that encompasses the Methylation Cycle, genetics, and B vitamins.

THE METHYLATION CYCLE

The Methylation Cycle is considered to be one of the most important metabolic pathways in the human body. Its most important function is to provide methyl groups via SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) to hundreds of different body substrates. Methylation is continually occurring in the body, transforming many millions of molecules throughout the body every second. Molecules receive methyl groups, then separate and recombine continuously, transforming and reforming constantly in the ongoing process of life!

As a reminder of the pathways involved in the Methylation Cycle, the following figure provides a flow chart showing the details.

 

Methylation Cycle

Figure 1. Metabolic Pathways in Methylation Cycle

A key purpose of this cycle is to provide methyl groups (CH3) needed by a broad range of of body functions (over 200 different functions). Examples include:

  1. Influences the genetic expression that parents give their children and helps guide the development of the embryo.
  2. Is needed by the nervous system to produce neurotransmitters and maintain the nerves.
  3. Mobilizes fats and cholesterol so they do not accumulate where they are harmful, such as the arteries and liver.
  4. Regulates hormones, including, estrogen, adrenaline, and melatonin.
  5. Detoxifies harmful chemicals and histamine a prime substance involved in inflammation.
  6. Helps repair damaged proteins in the cells so they can function properly.
  7. Protects the DNA in the genome (genetic code) to reduce the chances of mutation.
  8. Creates antioxidants used in the antioxidant defense system.

DESCRIPTION OF PATHWAYS WITHIN THE METHYLATION CYCLE

The overall flow of the Methylation Cycle begins with dietary methionine (an essential amino acid) which combines with ATP (adenosine triphosphate – body energy) to form SAM (S-adenosyl methionine) – the common cosubstrate involved in methyl group transfers, transsulfuration, and aminopropylation. When SAM transfers a methyl group to a body chemical the residue from this reaction leads to the production of homocysteine.

Homocysteine can be converted in the transsulfuration pathway that requires coenzyme vitamin B6 to produce cysteine, glutathione, taurine, and sulfates. These sulfur containing substances provide important antioxidant protection and detoxification functions in the body.

Homocysteine can be converted back to methionine through the betaine (trimethyl glycine) pathway which requires zinc and magnesium. This pathway also requires dietary betaine or choline which the body can convert into betaine.

Also, homocysteine can be converted back to methionine via the remethylation pathway which requires 5-MTHF, coenzyme vitamin B2 and methylcobalamin (B12).

GENETICS

It is important to understand that each of the pathways described above are able to be executed only in the presence of enzymes (shown in blue boxes in the diagram) created by specific genes in your genetic code. For example, Betaine-Homocysteine S-Methyltransferase (BHMT) is the enzyme required in the betaine pathway, Cystathione Beta Synthase (CBS) is the enzyme required in the transsulfuration pathway, and Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (MTHFR) and Methionine Synthase (MS) are enzymes required in the remethylation pathway.

Assuming that you have perfect genetics (no mutations, SNPs, free radical damage, insertions/deletions, etc.), the proper functioning of these pathways are still subjected to the fact that the required vitamins and minerals (vitamin B6, vitamin B2, Folate, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, and betaine) need to be provided by your diet or from supplements for the body to function correctly.

In addition, exposure to high levels of toxins from your environment and high levels of stress require that the nutritional needs will be even higher for the pathways to work properly. For example, exposure to high levels of toxins requires that the transsulfuration pathway be more active possibly reducing the amount of available methionine to support necessary methyl transfer reactions.

For these reasons alone the consensus of knowledgeable practitioners is that you should be eating an organic whole foods diet, taking appropriate nutritional supplements, avoiding and eliminating toxins from food, water, and air (living in a clean environment), and avoiding an unduly stressful life. All of these actions fall into the category of Epigenetics which you generally have control over!! Doing these things alone could significantly balance the functioning of your Methylation Cycle and improve your health.

Unfortunately, few people have perfect genetics which often causes the various pathways in the Methylation Cycle to become imbalanced and unable to correct the dysregulation imposed upon the body. For example, the enzyme MTHFR can have heterozygous (single chromosome) genetic variations in up to 50% of certain populations and homozygous genetic variations (both chromosomes) in 10% or more of certain populations.

Some disorders that researchers have associated with MTHFR genetic variations include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Bladder issues
  • Blood clots
  • Breast problems
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastric problems
  • Glaucoma
  • Heart murmurs
  • High blood pressure
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Leukemia
  • Male infertility
  • Methotrexate toxicity
  • Migraines with aura
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Nitrous oxide toxicity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pulmonary embolisms
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stroke
  • Thyroid issues
  • Unexplained neurologic disease
  • Vascular dementia

This extensive list is highly significant and tells us that it is very important to have genetic testing done for the genes/enzymes in the Methylation Cycle pathway. I prefer the BodySync genetic test which evaluates the key Methylation Cycle genes plus many other important genes in a single test.

B VITAMINS AND MINERALS

We are strong believers that everyone should start their nutritional program by eating a balanced, organic, whole foods diet. We have been doing this ourselves for the past 30 years. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of people follow this advice and in most cases this leads to poor nutritional status that does not adequately support the body’s needs. This is especially true with respect to obtaining the nutrients needed to support the Methylation Cycle.

Nine of our family members and associates have taken the BodySync genetic test which evaluates the condition of 45 different enzymes including CBS, MTHFR (2 variations), MTR (related to B12 and 5-MTHF as they relate to methionine synthase – MS), and MTRR (related to maintaining B12 levels needed by the MTR enzyme). In every case the results showed at least 2 and up to 4 enzymes had genetic variations. These results indicate that the nutritional requirements for folate as 5-MTHF, vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, magnesium and zinc will likely be significantly greater than normal.

Given the above information, it seems essential for good health to take nutritional supplements that provide the important nutrients. Below I will discuss various formulas that I have developed and refined over many years that are useful especially for the Methylation Cycle.

Please note that Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) is the preferred supplier of nutritional supplements by the BodySync genetic testing company.

MULTIVITAMINS

When looking at the total needs the body has for nutrients that the body does not produce, including fat soluble vitamins (A, D (some), E, K1 and K2), vitamin C, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate, B12, biotin, choline, and inositol), minerals (Ca, Mg, Zn, Se, Cu, Mn, Cr, Mo, K, boron, and vanadium), and betaine it only seems wise to include as a top priority a Multivitamin that includes all of these in what I term therapeutic amounts (carefully selected after evaluating thousands of research studies carried out over many years.)

In this context, it is important to recognize that every enzymatic reaction in the body requires mineral cofactors in order to carry out its function. A good multivitamin provides many of these required minerals.

Additionally, the multivitamin should contain ingredient forms that research has confirmed to be the most absorbable and usable by the body. These include coenzyme B vitamins, Krebs cycle (citrate, alpha-ketoglutarate, succinate, fumarate, & malate) minerals, and amino acid chelates.

In the context of supporting the Methylation Cycle we are looking for specific forms and amounts of B vitamins that can adequately provide the body’s needs. The means that there should be coenzyme folate as 5-MTHF of at least 400 mcg, coenzyme vitamin B-12 as methylcobalamin of at least 200 mcg, Vitamin B6 (including significant amounts of pyridoxal 5′ phosphate) of at least 40 mg, and Vitamin B2 (including significant amounts of riboflavin 5′ phosphate) of at least 25 mg. In addition, magnesium (100 mg) and zinc (at least 20 mg) should be provided.

Please note that the body’s requirements for magnesium is generally accepted by nutritional experts to be higher than 400 mg daily (and as high as 1,000 mg daily). For this reason we generally recommend that a person take supplemental magnesium (such as HPDI’s MYO-MAG) at levels over 400 mg daily.

The two multivitamin formulas Health Products Distributors provides for adults that meet these requirements (and more) are the Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite and Multi Two (in both capsule and tablet forms). Click on the bottles below for technical details.

Hank & Brian's Mighty Multi-Vite multivitamin methylation cycle

Multi Two Caps or Tablets methylation cycle

B COMPLEX

In situations where significant genetic variations are present it may be wise to add a B COMPLEX supplement to the MULTIVITAMIN to provide even larger amounts of the needed B vitamins. HPDI provides a B-Complex-50 product that includes significant amounts of coenzyme forms and contains 50 mg of Vitamin B1, 50 mg of Vitamin B2, 100 mg of Vitamin B3, 50 mg of Vitamin B6, 500 mcg of coenzyme folate (both folinic acid and 5-MTHF), 100 mcg of B12 (both methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalmin), 50 mg of Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), 500 mg of Biotin, 50 mg of choline, and 50 mg of inositol. Click on the bottle below for technical details.

B-Complex-50 full spectrum B vitamins with coenzyme forms methylation cycle

FOLATE AS 5-MTHF

In situations where an inadequate diet is present and genetic testing indicates an MTHFR variation (especially a homozygous variation) Health Products Distributors provides a 5-MTHF folate supplement that easily absorbs into the body and can be directly used in combination with Vitamin B12 to convert homocysteine to methionine. Click on the bottle below for technical details.

5-MTHF 1 mg in veggie cap methylation cycle

5-MTHF 1 mg in veggie cap

B-12 as METHYLCOBALAMIN

It is often the case for older patients and vegetarians that Vitamin B12 is deficient. In these cases it is wise to supplement with a significant amount of methylcobalamin to ensure that the Methylation Cycle has sufficient to effectively convert homocysteine into methionine. Health Products Distributors Vitamin B12 contains 5 mg of methylcobalamin in sublingual lozenge form that supports excellent absorption even if swallowed and absorbed by diffusion. Click on the bottle below for technical details.

Vitamin B-12 5 mg methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge methylation cycle

Vitamin B-12 – 5 mg Methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge.

MINERALS

Magnesium and zinc are two important minerals used in the betaine pathway of the Methylation Cycle in which homocysteine is converted back to methionine.

In the body magnesium is involved in more than 400 essential metabolic reactions and is required by the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-synthesizing protein in mitochondria. ATP, the molecule that provides energy for almost all metabolic processes, exists primarily as a complex with magnesium (MgATP). Therefore, it also is involved in converting methionine to SAM.

Over 300 different enzymes depend on zinc for their ability to catalyze vital chemical reactions. Zinc-dependent enzymes can be found in all known classes of enzymes.

Health Products Distributors provides 100 mg magnesium/vcap in its MYO-MAG supplement which is especially important in increasing ATP in the Krebs Cycle. This product also contains vitamin B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin B6 with substantial amounts of coenzyme forms and manganese. Click on the bottle below for technical details.

MYO-MAG with 100 mg magnesium per serving key B vitamins methylation cycle

MYO-MAG with 100 mg magnesium per serving and key B vitamins.

Health Products Distributors provides 25 mg zinc/serving in its Double Zinc Plus supplement. This formula provides zinc in the picolinate and citrate forms as well as 3 mg of P5P (coenzyme B6). Click on the bottle below for technical details.

Double Zinc Plus supplement with P5P and 25 mg zinc methylation cycle

Double Zinc Plus supplement with P5P and 25 mg zinc

SUMMARY

The Methylation Cycle is recognized as one of the most important metabolic pathways in the human body. When not properly supported by key B vitamins and minerals, the Methylation Cycle can become severely imbalanced which can lead to a very wide range of poor health conditions. Furthermore, genetic variations in the genes that produce important enzymes allowing the Methylation Cycle to function correctly lead to even further imbalances and greater possibility for conditions of poor health.

In this article, I have provided insight into how the Methylation Cycle works and how it can be significantly supported by lifestyle changes regarding diet and environment (Epigenetics) and by specific B vitamins and mineral supplements that I have developed over many years. In addition, we have shown that knowledge gained from genetic testing can further provide a critical understanding of your specific needs so that your health can be optimized.

RELATED HPDI BLOG ARTICLES

Homocysteine Genetics – Coenzyme B Vitamins

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

The Truth About Essential Fatty Acids

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD essential fatty acidsMany in the field of nutrition have lost sight of the fact that there are two essential fatty acids needed by the body. Many people recommend omega-3 fatty acids assuming the the body gets sufficient omega-6 from the diet. The truth about essential fatty acids is more complicated. This article will show the more complete and correct picture.

BACKGROUND

Fatty acids are part of the lipids class, widely found in nature, food, and organisms. These fatty acids are a critical constituent of the cell membranes in all of the trillions of cells in the body. They have important biological functions including structural, communication, and metabolic roles, and they represent an important source of energy. Their metabolism produces a huge quantity of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The beta-oxidation of the fatty acids is a well-known process, mostly used by the heart and the muscular tissue to obtain energy.

Figure 1 below shows a schematic diagram of what a fatty acid looks like. One end of the structure in all cases has a carboxylic acid group (COOH) and the other end in all cases has a methyl group (CH3). Saturated fats have single bonds (-) between all carbon atoms (C), but unsaturated fats have a number of double bonds (=) between some of the carbon atoms.


essential fatty acids

Figure 1 – Basic diagram of fatty acids structure

The human body can synthesize many of these fatty acids, except the essential fatty acids (PUFAs) linoleic acid (LA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). These two are generally found in various vegetable oils, but their important metabolites are found mainly in special vegetable oils such as borage oil and in fish oils. Linoleic acid is the most abundant fatty acid in nature, and it is the precursor of other omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are synthesized from alpha-linolenic acid.

Once ingested, short-chain PUFAs are converted to long-chain fatty acids. These are critical for mammalian cells in order to perform various biological functions, such as sustaining the structural integrity of cellular membranes and serving as signaling molecules. They are highly enriched in brain tissues, where they participate in the development and maintenance of the central nervous system during both embryonic and adult stages.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids have been extensively researched. They include the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (an omega-6) and alpha linolenic acid (an omega-3). Omega-3s are not abundant in our food chain. There is none in corn oil and very little in soy oil, the two most widely used food oils. Therefore, nearly all the early research with polyunsaturated oils utilized omega-6 fatty acids, predominantly as linoleic acid.

Fish oils were neglected out of ignorance or because the investigators chose to pass over these cholesterol-containing oils. Concern eventually developed over the close association between increasing incidence of mammary tumors and high intake of omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. After some years, researchers finally turned their investigations to the interrelationship between dietary omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.

FATTY ACID METABOLIC PATHWAYS

The following diagram shows in detail the pathways for the production and use of fatty acids in the body. In the figure the metabolic pathways (running left to right) for four fatty acids types are shown (top – Omega-3, second – Omega-6, third – Omega-9, bottom – Omega-7). Notice that only the omega-3 and omega-6 oils are considered to be essential fatty acids because they cannot be made in the body. This means they must come from food.

essential fatty acids

Figure 2 – fatty acid metabolism pathways in the body

The diagram shows a series of enzyme induced reactions that either add a double bond or two additional carbon/hydrogen pairs to the fatty acid. The enzymes that make this happen are called desaturase and elongase. The desaturase enzymes are given a number for the carbon number (that the enzyme is working on) from the methyl end of the fat. These same enzymes work on all of the fatty acid types. For example, Delta 6 desaturase causes an additional double bond to be inserted into both alpha-linolenic (omega-3) and linoleic acid (omega-6) (as well as oleic acid and palmitoleic acids).

In this way, the body is able to produce a wide variety of fatty acids that have their own unique effects on biochemistry. Some of these are more important than others. In particular, the omega-3 essential fatty acid eicosapentanoic acid (EPA), the omega-6 essential fatty acid dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA), and the omega-6 essential fatty acid arachidonic acid (AA) are precursors for a class of chemicals called eicosanoids/prostaglandins that have far reaching affects on key body functions.

EICOSANOIDS/PROSTAGLANDINS

Eicosanoids are prostaglandins that affect many aspects of health both positively and, in some cases, negatively. All known eicosanoids and prostaglandins are formed from the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6, or n-6), alpha linolenic acid (omega-3, or n-3), their “enhanced” derivatives, and from the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils.

Prostaglandins are short-lived highly active, hormone-like chemicals that are found in every cell of the body. They are regulators of cell activity and essential for maintaining health. Each cell type or organ produces its own form of prostaglandin to carry out its functions. There are three types of prostaglandins: PG1, PG2, and PG3.

Series 1 Prostaglandins (PG1), derived from gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the active component of borage oil, has many beneficial effects: It makes platelets less sticky, lowers blood pressure by relaxing smooth muscles in the walls of arteries, increases loss of sodium and water, decreases inflammation and enhances immunity.

Series 2 Prostaglandins (PG2), also derived from GLA, is used in “fight or flight” (stress) situations, – the fight against danger, or the flight from it. In modern lifestyles which are high in stress but low in physical activity, continuous production of Series Two Prostaglandins results in sticky platelets, high blood pressure, increased water and sodium retention, increased inflammation and decreased immune system capabilities.

Series 3 Prostaglandins (PG3), derived from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), the active component of fish oil, has beneficial effects. They block the detrimental effect of the Series 2 Prostaglandins, preventing them from being made in the body. As a result the platelets are less sticky, blood pressure is lower because the muscles in the walls of our arteries remain relaxed, loss of sodium and water by the kidneys takes place more effectively, inflammation response is decreased, and immune function is efficient.

It is now known that the ratios of these dietary fatty acids are very important. Consumption of linoleic acid leads to production of the enhanced fatty acid, arachidonic acid (20:4n-6). Prostaglandins based on arachidonic acid exacerbate stress and inflammatory states, and suppress immunoprotective functions (i.e. resistance to disease). Too much linolenic acid and other omega-3s may cause excessive bleeding during injury, surgery, or childbirth. Large amounts of any of these unsaturated fatty acids in the diet without a compensatory increase in antioxidant nutrients (especially Vitamin E), can speed oxidative damage to tissues, resulting in accelerated aging while increasing the risk of degenerative diseases.

Yet, a balanced ratio of both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet offers very positive health benefits. When omega-3 fatty acids predominate, the body will produce less arachidonic acid (20:4n-6). Immunity improves and inflammation subsides.

Essential Fats

Unfortunately, our Western diet has been almost devoid of omega-3 fatty acids. Creating the optimum intake of omega 3-to-omega 6 unsaturated fatty acids has become, therefore, an issue of prime importance for anyone concerned with health. We need to evaluate carefully the amounts of linoleic acid (n-6) we consume relative to our intake of alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3) and fish oils (EPA:20:5n-3 and DHA:22:6n-3).

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – PATHWAYS

The diagram in Figure 3 shows details of the omega-6 and omega-3 pathways. Pathway specifics indicate key eicosanoids (series 1 prostaglandins, series 2 prostaglandins, and series 3 prostaglandins), oil sources, and important nutrient cofactors that are needed for the reactions to take place.

essential fatty acids

Figure 3 – Essential Fatty Acids – pathways in the body

The information is this diagram gives the clues we need in order to provide optimal types and amounts of omega-6 and omega-3. For example, I have chosen for my essential fatty acid product cold pressed borage oil as the best natural source of gamma linoleic acid (GLA). It contains 20% by weight — the highest amount found in natural oils.

RESEARCH ON ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Work by Chapkin et. al. (see references 1–4 below) has identified the potent synergistic relationship between GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, and the well-known omega-3 fatty acids. Chapkin has shown that, rather than simply the quantity of dietary omega-3s, it is the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids that is important in achieving full cardiovascular health and inflammatory control.

Furthermore, Chapkin has identified the ideal ratio. His published work deals with the importance of mixed diets supplying both linoleic and linolenic acids. To underscore the importance of these two fatty acids, refined oil supplements rich in enhanced forms were used. “Enhanced forms” are fatty acids derived from the original. They are one or more steps closer to the actual eicosanoid. In the human body, alpha linolenic acid (18:3n-3) is eventually converted to eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and linoleic acid (18:2n-6) is converted to gamma-linolenic (GLA, 18:3n-6) as its first enhanced form. Both enhanced fatty acids are precursors to eicosanoids.

In Chapkin’s research, superior health benefits were delivered by the mixed diet that supplied the eicosanoid precursors in a specific ratio. The balanced ratio of enhanced Omega-6 (GLA)-to-Omega-3 (EPA) fatty acids was 1:4.

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SCIENCE

Based upon the science discussed above, I developed a product with the correct Omega-6 (GLA)-to-Omega-3 (EPA) ratio and with proper amounts. It is available to you as Hank & Brians Essential Fats Plus E from Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI).

Essential Fats Plus E

ESSENTIAL FATS PLUS E IS A HIGHLY ADVANCED ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS SUPPLEMENT
OFFERING SPECIAL BENEFITS:

  1. UNIQUE COMBINATION — Essential Fats (EPA, DHA, GLA) plus Vitamin E. This unique formula offers more than one type of Vitamin E (not just d-alpha-tocopherol) and balanced essential fats.
  2. BALANCED ESSENTIAL FATS— Many EFA supplements contain only omega-3s, but for optimal function the body requires a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fats. In addition, our special formula provides a 4-to-1 ratio of EPA to GLA in order to achieve a balance you need for optimal health.
  3. FULL-SPECTRUM VITAMIN E — Tocotrienols and tocopherols in this formula are natural vitamin E substances derived from oryza rice bran oil and protect polyunsatured EFAs against free-radical damage both in the capsule and in your body. Many Vitamin E supplements contain only d-alpha tocopherol, which is only a single component of the full-spectrum Vitamin E in this formula.
  4. ULTRAPURE — Molecularly distilled oils of extremely high-purity containing no PCBs, heavy metals, or oxidized contaminants. Free of excipients, additives, and common food allergens!

COMPOSITION: Six softgel capsules provides the following percentages of the Daily Value.

NUTRIENT AMOUNT % Daily Value†
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid 20:5 omega 3)
(from 2,000 mg of purified fish oils)
360 mg *
DHA (docosahexaenoic Acid 22:6 omega 3)
(from 2,000 mg of purified fish oils)
240 mg *
GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid 18:3 omega 6)
(from 450 mg of cold pressed borage seed oil)
90 mg *
Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) (from 180 mg of Oryza rice bran oil) 24 IU 81%
Mixed Tocotrienols (d-gamma, d-alpha, and d-delta)
(from 180 mg of Oryza rice bran oil)
28.8 mg *

* No established Daily Value
† Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet

IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Below we provide some of the functions and benefits obtained when by diet or supplementation the correct ratios and amounts of essential fatty acids are consumed.

• Regulate steroid production and hormone synthesis
• Regulate pressure in the eyes, joints, and blood vessels
• Regulate response to pain, inflammation, and swelling
• Mediate Immune Response
• Regulate bodily secretions and their viscosity
• Dilate or constrict blood vessels
• Regulate smooth muscle and autonomic reflexes
• Are primary constituents of cellular membranes
• Regulate the rate at which cells divide
• Necessary for the transport of oxygen from the red blood cells to tissues
• Necessary for proper kidney function and fluid balance
• Prevent red blood cells from clumping together
• Regulate nerve transmission

GENETIC TESTING AND ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

Please note that genetic testing for a wide range of genes and the enzymes they produce has indicated that essential fatty acids can be an important factor in helping the body overcome a variety negative gene variations. These negative gene variations include genes that relate to: 1) Inflammatory Response, 2) Exercise Performance, 3) Exercise Recovery, 4) Cardiovascular Fitness, 5) Body Composition, and 6) VO2 Max, Aerobic Capacity.

We will discuss this more deeply in a future blog article.

CONCLUSION

The body is best protected from a range of health issues when we supply a mixed diet of both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Studies show that we do not need to consume large amounts of fatty acids if the ratio is correct. These findings indicate that, for a typical human body, amounts of 90 mg GLA (18:3n-6) to 360 mg EPA (20:5n-3) taken daily will provide for the optimum production of the three major prostaglandins. These amounts are found in Hank & Brians Essential Fats Plus E.

REFERENCES

The following includes abstracts of Chapkin’s published research on essential fatty acids.

REFERENCE 1

Chapkin RS Somers SD Erickson KL

Dietary manipulation of macrophage phospholipid classes: selective increase of dihomogammalinolenic acid.

In: Lipids (1988 Aug) 23(8):766-70

Because alterations in the dietary content of fatty acids are an important method for modulating macrophage eicosanoid production, we have quantitated the levels of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in peritoneal macrophage individual phospholipids from mice fed diets (3 wk) with either safflower oil (SAF), predominantly containing 18:2n-6, borage, (BOR) containing 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6, fish (MFO) containing 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3, and borage/fish mixture (MIX) containing 18:2n-6, 18:3n-6, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3. Dietary n-3 fatty acids were readily incorporated into macrophage phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphatidylinositol (PI). The increase in n-3 fatty acid levels was accompanied by a decrease in the absolute levels of 18:2n-6, 20:4n-6 and 22:4n-6 in PC, PE and PS. Interestingly, PI 20:4n-6 levels were not significantly lowered (P greater than 0.05) in MIX and MFO macrophages relative to SAF and BOR. These data demonstrate the unique ability of this phospholipid to selectively maintain its 20:4n-6 levels. In BOR and MIX animals, 20:3n-6 levels were significantly increased (P less than 0.05) in all phospholipids relative to SAF and MFO. The combination of borage and fish oils (MIX diet) produced the highest 20:3n-6/20:4n-6 ratio in all phospholipids. These data show that the macrophage eicosanoid precursor levels of 20:3n-6, 20:4n-6 and n-3 acids can be selectively manipulated through the use of specific dietary regimens. This is noteworthy because an increase in phospholipid levels of 20:3n-6 and 20:5n-3, while concomitantly reducing 20:4n-6, may have therapeutic potential in treating inflammatory disorders.

Institutional address: Department of Human Anatomy School of Medicine University of California Davis 95616.

 

REFERENCE 2

Chapkin RS Carmichael SL

Effects of dietary n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on macrophage phospholipid classes and subclasses.

In: Lipids (1990 Dec) 25(12):827-34

This study examined the effects of n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid alimentation on murine peritoneal macrophage phospholipids. Mice were fed complete diets supplemented with either corn oil predominantly containing 18:2n-6, borage oil containing 18:2n-6 and 18:3n-6, fish/corn oil mixture containing 18:2n-6, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3, or fish/borage oil mixture containing 18:2n-6, 18:3n-6, 20:5n-3 and 22:6n-3. After two weeks, the fatty acid levels of glycerophosphoserines (GPS), glycerophosphoinositols (GPI), sphingomyelin (SPH), and of the glycerophosphocholine (GPC) and glycerophosphoethanolamine (GPE) phospholipid subclasses were determined. We found that mouse peritoneal macrophage GPC contain primarily 1-O-alkyl-2-acyl (range for the dietary groups, 24.6-30.5 mol %) and 1,2-diacyl (63.2-67.2 mol %), and that GPE contains 1-O- alk-1′-enyl-2-acyl (40.9-47.4 mol %) and 1,2-diacyl (44.2-51.2 mol %) subclasses. In general, fish oil feeding increased macrophage 20:5n-3, 22:5n-3 and 22:6n-3 levels while simultaneously reducing 20:4n-6 in GPS, GPI, GPE and GPC subclasses except for 1-O-alk-1′-enyl-2-acyl GPC. Administration of 18:3n-6 rich diets (borage and fish/borage mixture) resulted in the accumulation of 20:3n-6 (2-carbon elongation product of 18:3n-6) in most phospholipids. In general, the novel combination of dietary 18:3n-6 and n-3 PUFA produced the highest 20:3n-6/20:4n-6 phospholipid fatty acid ratios. This study demonstrates that marked differences in the responses of macrophage phospholipid classes and subclasses exist following dietary manipulation.

 

REFERENCE 3

Fan YY Chapkin RS

Mouse peritoneal macrophage prostaglandin E1 synthesis is altered by dietary gamma-linolenic acid.

In: J Nutr (1992 Aug) 122(8):1600-6

The ability of dietary gamma-linolenic acid [18:3(n-6)] to modulate prostaglandin biosynthesis in mouse resident peritoneal macrophages was determined. Mice were fed diets containing corn oil, borage oil or evening primrose oil or a mixture of borage and fish oils. After 2 wk, resident peritoneal macrophages were isolated and stimulated with unopsonized zymosan to induce prostaglandin synthesis. Borage oil, primrose oil and fish-borage oil mixture dietary groups (containing 25.6, 11.9 and 19.5 g gamma-linolenic acid/100 g fatty acids, respectively) had significantly (P less than 0.05) enhanced prostaglandin E1 synthesis (39.7, 29.4 and 73.0 nmol prostaglandin E1/mg protein, respectively) compared with corn oil-fed (containing less than 0.1 g gamma-linolenic acid/100 g fatty acids) animals, which synthesized less than 0.1 nmol prostaglandin E1/mg protein. Borage oil- and fish-borage oil mixture-fed mice had the highest biosynthetic ratio of prostaglandin E1/prostaglandin E2 (E1/E2 approximately 0.2). Macrophages from borage oil-fed mice synthesized the lowest amount of prostacyclin (198.7 nmol 6-keto-prostaglandin F1 alpha/mg protein) compared with corn oil-, primrose oil- and fish- borage oil mixture-fed mice (379.7, 764.8 and 384.2 nmol 6-keto- prostaglandin F1 alpha/mg protein, respectively). In addition, borage oil-, primrose oil- and fish-borage oil mixture-fed mice had significantly (P less than 0.05) higher levels of dihomo-gamma- linolenic acid [20:3(n-6)] in membrane phospholipids (5.5, 3.5 and 5.7 mol/100 mol, respectively) relative to corn oil-fed mice (2.0 mol/100 mol).

 

REFERENCE 4

Fan YY Chapkin RS Ramos KS

Dietary lipid source alters murine macrophage/vascular smooth muscle cell interactions in vitro.

In: J Nutr (1996 Sep) 126(9):2083-8

This study was conducted to compare the impact of dietary lipids on the ability of macrophages to modulate vascular smooth muscle cell (SMC) DNA synthesis in vitro. C57BL/6 female mice were fed six different diets (6 mice/diet) containing 10% fat from corn oil (CO), borage oil (BO), primrose oil (PO), fish-corn oil mix (FC, 9:1, w/w), fish-borage oil mix (FB, 1:3, w/w), or fish-primrose oil mix (FP, 1:3, w/w) for 2 wk. Peritoneal macrophages were isolated from these mice, stimulated with zymosan or vehicle, and subsequently co-cultured with naive mouse aortic SMC in the presence of 3H-thymidine to measure SMC DNA synthesis. In this co-culture system, macrophages were seeded on 25-mm culture inserts (upper chamber) and SMC were seeded on 35-mm culture dishes (lower chamber). The two cell types were separated by a semipermeable membrane with a 30-kD cut-off. When quiescent SMC were co-cultured with macrophages, only the PO and FP diet groups had significantly (P < 0.05) lower SMC DNA synthesis compared with the control CO group whose diet contained no gamma- linolenic acid (GLA) or (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In contrast, when cycling SMC were co-cultured with diet-modulated macrophages, all dietary groups except for those fed FC had significantly lower (P < 0.05) SMC DNA synthesis relative to the CO group. Although the level of GLA in PO and BO diets was different (11.5 and 22.3 g/100 g fatty acids, respectively), these treatments exerted comparable inhibitory effects on SMC DNA synthesis. The FP treatment consistently exhibited the lowest SMC DNA synthetic profile among the six dietary groups irrespective of SMC growth conditions. These data suggest that BO and PO alone or in combination with fish oil influence macrophage/smooth muscle cell interactions in a manner consistent with favorable modulation of the atherogenic process.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

BOOKS

  1. Enig, Mary G. Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol. Bethesda Press, 2000.
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BONE FRACTURES SUPPORT

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD bone fracturesSeveral years ago a customer asked me for a program that could be helpful to those suffering with bone fractures. A relative had been diagnosed with multiple bone fractures in his ankle.

Since I have been counseling individuals regarding natural treatments for supporting those with bone fractures and injury for many years, I was able to provide a comprehensive program that could be helpful in recovery. More recently, we have introduced products and tools that can be even more supportive. Therefore, in this article we are providing an update to the bone fractures program.

Clearly, the need for such a program is great. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), about six million individuals suffer fractures each year in North America. In about 5–10 percent of cases, patients suffer either delayed healing or fractures that do not heal.

The problem of bone fractures is especially troubling for the elderly, many of whom suffer from osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and break more easily. For an older person, a fracture affects quality of life because it significantly reduces function and mobility, and requires an extended period of recuperation.

The bone fracture program set forth below also works well to support the healing of other types of bone problems, including broken bones, bone surgery, osteoporosis, and wisdom tooth removal.

THE BONE FRACTURE PROGRAM

IMPORTANCE OF FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

The first element of the program consists of Foundational Supplements. This group of supplements ensures the body is being supplied with all of the basic elements needed for optimal function. The primary foundational supplements consists of 1) a therapeutic multivitamin and mineral formula, 2) a complete buffered Vitamin C with antioxidants formula, 3) an essential fatty acids supplement, and 4) a high-RNA superfoods formula.

Our Foundational Supplements are described in great detail on the HPDI website where we provide a free downloadable e-book “The Need for Foundational Supplements” (.pdf). Suffice it to say that the foundational supplements are a essential part of the program that ensure healing will take place quickly and effectively. I encourage everyone to become familiar with this information as foundational supplements are basic to any wellness or healing program.

bone fractures

ENHANCEMENT FORMULAS ARE CRITICAL FOR HEALING BONE FRACTURES

The second element of the program for healing bone fractures consists of Enhancement Formulas that strengthen the body as it relates to dealing with the damaging effects of bone fractures. These include a Vitamin D3 formula with the synergistic nutrients of Vitamin A and Vitamin K2 that are required for the rebuilding of bone as well as strengthening the body in many other ways. The HPDI Vitamin D3 Plus formula to designed to specifically address this need.

A second Enhancement Formula in this program is our comprehensive Bone Guardian formula that is based upon micronized veal bone that provides hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2). Hydroxyapatite is the basic component of human bone that is 50% by volume and 70% by weight. Whereas the Vitamin D3 Plus formula builds the bone matrix, the Bone Guardian fills in the matrix with materials such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, boron, zinc, manganese, copper, silica, and strontium. HPDI sells Bone Guardian in both the tablet and capsule forms. The capsule form may be better for older people who are able to absorb capsules better than tablets.

A third Enhancement Formula to the program is additional amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to participate in every step of the process of building collagen, which is a key component of bone. Vitamin C has been shown to increase bone mass density. We recommend slowly increasing your intake of buffered Vitamin C until you reach your bowel tolerance. This can be accomplished by increasing your intake of HPDI’s foundational supplement PRO-C™ formula. The PRO-C has the added value of containing oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from grape seed, skin, & pulp. OPCs in the body are able to strongly crosslink and strengthen new and damaged collagen fibers needed needed to repair bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.

SPECIFIC CONDITION FORMULAS TARGET BONE FRACTURES

The third element in the program are Specific Condition Formulas that directly address issues related to bone fractures. The first of these is the addition of a joint formula that allows the body to build and repair connective tissue and to significantly reduce inflammation in the area of bone fractures. In most cases of fractures there will be damaged ligaments and tendons as well as inflammation in the area.

HPDI’s Joint Health Formula includes the ingredients glucosamine hydrochloride, MSM, and sea cucumber (a significant source of chondroiten sulfate) in addition to anti-inflammatory substances such as turmeric extract, rutin, and grape extract (seed, pulp, and skin) that have been extremely helpful in both repairing connective tissue and reducing pain and inflammation.

A second strongly recommended condition-specific formula is proteolytic enzymes. Because it is highly likely in the case of bone fractures and injury that there is significant tissue damage, a formula with pancreatic and plant enzymes as well as anti-inflammatories can be extremely helpful is clearing out the damaged tissue. This gives the body the opportunity to begin the rebuilding process much sooner.

Our recommended PROLYT formula contains the proteolytic enzymes bromelain, trypsin (pancreatic enzyme), and chymotrypsin (pancreatic enzyme), and the polyphenols/bioflavonoids turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids), quercetin and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from grape extract. This formula when taken on an empty stomach between meals is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and goes to work cleaning up any damaged tissues in the area surrounding a fracture and assists in reducing pain and inflammation.

TOPICAL MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE FOR PAIN AND RAPID HEALING

A final Specific Condition Formula that I highly recommend for healing bone fractures is to rub Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil on and surrounding the fracture area. Bones cannot heal without having adequate amounts of magnesium available. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in magnesium and even taking oral magnesium cannot easily provide sufficient amounts to an area with a bone fracture. Magnesium oil (mostly magnesium chloride) is quickly absorbed transdermally (via skin) and often can provide rapid healing and pain relief!

BODY pH COULD BE A FACTOR IN HEALING BONE FRACTURES

The processed food diets with a high protein and low vegetable content consumed by many people in the U.S. and elsewhere often produce conditions in the body of acidity. This in turn leads to decreased oxygenation of cells and encourages a greater amount of anaerobic processes in metabolism. In addition, when the body is acidic calcium can be taken from bones in order to balance the acidity. This can lead to poor healing of bone fractures.

In order to counter acidic conditions in the body we recommend the use of HPDI’s pH ADJUST formula. As a dietary supplement, take 1 gm (about a rounded ¼ tsp) in 4-8 ounces of purified water preferably away from food, or as directed by a health care professional.  For extremely acidic conditions, try 4–10 doses per day, depending on acidity level. Use pH paper to ensure pH levels remain balanced, and do not become too alkaline (alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).

TESTING pH LEVELS: The best way to test pH levels is to use litmus paper, which HPDI offers in rolls (Hydrion brand) for this purpose. You can test salivary or urinary pH. In order to test salivary pH, simply use a small strip of pH paper to dip into a small amount of saliva. Advantages of pH paper include rapid results, ease of use, and cost effectiveness.

pH Paper bone fractures protocol

The color of the litmus paper indicates the pH level of the body fluid tested. Most litmus paper comes with an indicator chart showing colors corresponding to various pH levels. Alkaline states will generally produce a dark green, blue or purple color (most basic). Acidic states will range from yellow (most acidic) to light green.

Salivary pH and urinary pH are significantly affected by recent food consumption and other factors, so it it best to test pH hours after meals or in the morning when you awake. We prefer to measure urinary pH since results are more consistent. Measuring urinary pH is a simple as placing a few drops of urine on the paper or dipping the paper into a sample cup of fresh urine.

A consistent pH measurement of less than 7.0 indicates that you are too acidic (values less than 6.2 show extreme acidity). This indicates that you should consume more alkaline forming foods (usually vegetables) and/or take pH ADJUST. A single dose of pH ADJUST can change conditions in the body from acidic to alkaline within a few hours.

GENETIC VARIATIONS IN YOUR VITAMIN D RECEPTOR GENE (VDR) MAY BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR

The VDR gene (contained in every cell of the body) provides instructions for making a protein called vitamin D receptor (VDR), which allows the body to respond appropriately to vitamin D. This vitamin can be acquired from foods in the diet or made in the body by exposure to from sunlight. Vitamin D is involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body, including calcium and phosphate, which are essential for the normal formation of bones and teeth. One of vitamin D’s major roles is to control the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is also involved in several process unrelated to bone formation.

VDR attaches (binds) to the active form of vitamin D, known as calcitriol. Calcitrol is produced in the body from Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in the liver and kidneys. The interaction with calcitriol allows VDR to partner with another protein called retinoid X receptor (RXR). The resulting complex of proteins then binds to particular regions of DNA, known as vitamin D response elements, and regulates the activity of vitamin D-responsive genes. By turning these genes on or off, VDR helps control calcium and phosphate absorption and other processes.

In recent years, genetic tests have become available that show VDR variations can cause serious conditions related to low bone density and other important body functions such a higher blood glucose levels or lower immune system function. If a person is having little success in healing bone fractures, it is possible that VDR variations are a key factor of causation.

In such cases, we recommend having genetic testing done to determine if VDR variations are present. Recently, HPDI has teamed with a genetic testing company (BodySync, Inc.) and sells the BodySync test kits on our Reseller site. Please click here to see our blog article regarding the BodySync genetic test. Among the genes tested for in the test are three variations of the VDR gene. Resellers can purchase the test kits directly from HPDI and retail customers can call us  (800-228-4265) to find out how we can help them get a test kit and support them with any associated counseling regarding the results.

SUGGESTED SUPPLEMENT SCHEDULE – BONE FRACTURES

I have included all of the above supplements including recommended dosages plus more related to having an excellent diet in the table provided below.

Description AM Noon PM Night Comments
PRO-C 2 caps 2 caps 2 caps Take with meals or with snack.
Bone Guardian 

Bone Guardian Caps (easier to absorb)

3 tabs

3 caps

 

3 caps

3 tabs

3 caps

Take with meals.

Take with meals.

Mighty Multi-Vite! or
Multi Two — Multivitamins
2 caps or
1 tab
2 caps or
1 tab
Take with meals.
Essential Fats plus E 2 softgel 2 softgel 2 softgel Take with meals.
PROLYT – Proteolytic Enzyme Formula 2 caps 2 caps 2 caps 2 caps Take between meals.
Buffered Vitamin C, Tablets — 1,000 mg (1 gm) or Powder (1/4 tsp = 1 gm) 2 tabs or
1/2 tsp
2 tabs or
1/2 tsp
2 tabs or 1/2 tsp 2 tabs or 1/2 tsp Best with meals, but other times are okay. Start with 2 tabs or 1/2 tsp twice per day and add another 2 tabs or 1/2 tsp every few days until you are taking 8 tabs or 2 tsp per day.
Vitamin D3 Plus 5,000 IU 1 softgel 1 softgel Take with meals. Reduce to 1 softgel after 2 months.
Joint Health Formula 2 caps 2 caps 2 caps Take between meals and away from Bone Guardian.
Magnesium Oil 10 pumps 10 pumps 10 pumps 10 pumps Spray on affected area – or nearby area.
Rejuvenate! Plus or
Rejuvenate! (original)
1 scoop 1 scoop Take as a meal by itself or with fruit/berries.

ADDITIONAL NUTRIENTS FOR BONE FRACTURES

Additional nutrients that may be helpful include pH ADJUST (to balance excess acidity in the body),  Warrior Mist™ for pain relief (rub on adjacent area several times daily), Echinacea (as drops or capsules), N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – NAC (2 gms per day), Progesterone Cream – for women (1/4–1/2 tsp twice daily), and Prescript-Assist™ probiotics (2 capsules daily) if on antibiotics.

PROPER DIET IS ESSENTIAL

Consume a diet that provides good amounts of protein which is needed by the body to support the healing of bone fractures. Eat meats, poultry and fish (e.g., sardines, salmon, mackerel) in the amount of a 5–10 ounces per day. Ensure a good intake of organic vegetables, including high levels of dietary fiber. Drink 16 oz per day of fresh vegetable juices from carrot, celery, beets, cabbage, etc.

Other healthy foods (preferably organic) include fruits, whole grains (e.g., brown rice, millet, and quinoa), beans, nuts and seeds (sunflower, chia, flax, pumpkin, almond, walnut and sesame in small amounts — 2 or 4 ounces — are good). Try eating Hank’s Vegetable Soup several times a week. Avoid all sweets (sugar), processed/refined foods (white bread and pasta), preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Vary your diet.

HYDROTHERAPY (WATER THERAPY) FOR BONE FRACTURES

An additional treatment that can be useful is hydrotherapy. In particular, hot and cold showers are a very effective way to move the blood and create circulation. This can speed up both detoxification and delivery of healing nutrients to the area of a bone fracture. Here’s how to do this. Once daily, take a complete hot and cold shower. You will start with hot water for one minute, then cold for one minute. Repeat this seven (7) times so the shower should last about 15 minutes.

Another time, daily, you can perform a complete hot and cold shower routine again or a partial one just applying the water directly to or near the area where there is a bone fracture. While you are doing both hot and cold showers, pay special attention to any affected area and massage it as vigorously as is safe and comfortable. If a shower is impossible, then alternate hot packs and ice packs on the area of the bone fracture.

BONE FRACTURES – CONCLUSION

By following the recommendations and suggested supplement schedule, healing time for bone fractures can be significantly reduced and fractures may heal more completely with fewer complications. By ensuring your body receives the proper nutrients it needs to heal itself, and by engaging in other relevant practices (e.g., hydrotherapy), you and/or your loved ones may be able to deal with bone fractures successfully, and continue a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

HPDI REJUVENATION PROGRAM

REJUVENATION PROGRAM PART 6 (INCLUDES HYDROTHERAPY)

REJUVENATE!™ SUPERFOODS

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR™

“FRED’S FAVORITE VEGETABLE JUICE RECIPE: ‘THE DOCTOR'”