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.
0

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'”

0

REJUVENATE! LEMONADE – VIDEO

Fred Liers PhD rejuvenate original superfood lemonadeLooking for a natural energy boost? Or a super-power-up, pick-me-up drink? Look no further than Rejuvenate! Lemonade. Rejuvenate! Lemonade offers all the deliciousness of fresh lemonade with the energizing and health-boosting effects of Rejuvenate!™ (Original Greens), the first superfood formulated to provide high levels of dietary nucleic acids (RNA, DNA).

In fact, Rejuvenate Lemonade is among the best—and tastiest—ways to take Rejuvenate! Original Greens. I make 12–32 ounces of Rejuvenate! Lemonade daily. It is especially refreshing in the summer, but it easy to make and drink year-round. Not only does it taste amazingly good, but delivers the all important therapeutic levels of dietary nucleic acids you need daily for good health.

All three Rejuvenate! superfoods offer major energizing effects by providing therapeutic levels of dietary nucleic acids (RNA, DNA). Rejuvenate! superfoods are the only superfoods dedicated to supplying high levels of dietary nucleic acids. Yet, Rejuvenate!™ (Original Greens) is the most densely packed with dietary RNA, providing 340 mg per serving (one small scoop)!! A single container provides 42 servings—sufficient for six weeks of daily use.

MAKE REJUVENATE!™ LEMONADE

Make Rejuvenate! Lemonade with fresh lemons or limes, maple syrup (or other natural sweeteners), purified water, cayenne pepper (optional), and Rejuvenate!™ superfood. If you don’t have fresh lemons or limes, substitute bottled lemon juice (like the Santa Cruz brand organic 100% lemon or 100% lime juice).

REJUVENATE!™ LEMONADE RECIPE

Fresh Lemons or Limes (1–2)
Purified Water (8–32 ounces)
Grade B Maple Syrup (1–2 tbsp)
Cayenne Pepper (1/4 tsp or pinch)
Rejuvenate!™ (Original Greens) (1–4 scoops)

Squeeze the lemons (using a citrus juicer or press). Aim to squeeze 2–4 tbsp juice. Mix lemon juice into your container of water. Add 1–2 tbsp maple syrup or to taste. You can also try using stevia, xylitol, or other natural sweeteners. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional). Mix 1–4 scoops of Rejuvenate! (Original Greens) superfood. In hot weather, try adding a few ice cubes. Stir and enjoy!

Rejuvenate! Lemonade is excellent when modified to include small amounts of other juices (e.g., blueberry or pomegranate) of your choice, or other Rejuvenate! superfoods (Rejuvenate! Plus or Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs).

Rejuvenate!™ Original Greens is the most nutrient-dense, and darkest-green superfood in HPDI’s Rejuvenate! line.

MAJOR BENEFITS OF DIETARY NUCLEIC ACIDS

Dietary nucleic acids offer significant benefits, including:

• Greater Energy (via increased ATP production in cells)
• Improved Endurance
• Greater Muscle Mass and Functional Strength
• Cardiovascular Benefits
• Increased Tissue Oxygenation & Anti-Anoxic Effects (easier breathing)
• Lower cholesterol levels
• Smoother Skin & More Youthful Appearance (Anti-Aging Effect)
• Detoxification Support
• Temperature tolerance (to cold/heat)
• Quality of Life and Longevity Effects
• Greater Subjective Well-Being

(Sources: Nucleic Acid Nutrition & Therapy, and Chlorella: Gem of the Orient)

SOURCES OF DIETARY NUCLEIC ACIDS
IN REJUVENATE! SUPERFOOD (ORIGINAL GREENS)

• Chlorella
• Chlorella Growth Factor (CGF)
• Nutritional Yeast
• Yeast RNA Extract

Other nutrients included known to support the uptake, assimilation, and use of dietary nucleic acids:

• D-Ribose
• Calcium Folinate
• Methylcobalamin (Vitamin B12)

These nutrients ensure the body effectively utilizes the dietary nucleic acids in Rejuvenate! Original Greens. They also help this unique high-RNA superfood support your health beyond what might be expected of the collection of individual nutrients—a process known as “synergy” that leverages the benefits of all ingredients in Original Greens into something more than the sum of its parts.

FINAL WORDS: WHY REJUVENATE! LEMONADE?

Rejuvenate!™ Original Greens was the first in the Rejuvenate! line of superfoods. More than the others, it is nutrient-dense in terms providing the richest amount of dietary nucleic acids per unit weight. It also remains the most cost-effective per serving.

While it does not contain a built-in multivitamin (like Rejuvenate! PLUS and Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs) or a comprehensive herbal sub-formula (like Berries & Herbs), Rejuvenate!™ Original Greens remains most popular among “hard core” nutrition customers and healthy food purists, as well as individuals seeking the most rapid detoxification and cleansing effects. Does this sounds like you or your clients? Then start with “Original Greens,” make healthy RNA-rich lemonade, and enjoy all the tasty benefits!

The combination of fresh lemonade and Rejuvenate! Original Greens will help hydrate, cleanse, purify, and detox…and simply is a tasty and energy-boosting, power-up drink like no other!

Lemonade made with Rejuvenate! Original Greens packs a potent, high-RNA punch.

RESOURCES

Rejuvenate! — The Original High-RNA Superfood

Rejuvenate! Superfoods Comparison

Rejuvenate! (Original Greens)

ARTICLES

High-RNA Rejuvenate! Superfood

“9 Things to Know About Rejuvenate!™ Superfoods”

DIETARY NUCLEIC ACIDS – DR. BENJAMIN S. FRANK, PART 1

DIETARY NUCLEIC ACIDS – DR. BENJAMIN S. FRANK, PART 2

Super-Tasty Morning Nutritional Drinks

BOOKS

Chlorella: Jewel of Far East, Bernard Jensen, PhD.

Chlorella: Gem of the Orient: The Dynamic Food Discovery for Health and Healing, Bernard Jensen, PhD

Dr. Frank’s No-Aging Diet, Dr. Benjamin Frank.

Nucleic Acid Nutrition & Therapy, Benjamin S. Frank, MD

Nucleic Acid Therapy in Aging and Degenerative Disease: A Metabolic Approach with DNA, RNA, and Related Metabolites, Benjamin S. Frank (3rd ed)

A New Approach to Degenerative Disease and Aging: Effects of RNA, DNA with Other Metabolites. Dr. Benjamin S. Frank

Dr. Frank’s No-Aging Diet Cookbook, Barbara Friedlander Meyer, Marilyn Peterson, and Benjamin S. Frank, MD

Food Healing for Man (vol. 1), Bernard Jensen, PhD

RACING AND RECOVERY WITH pH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA

Irena Ossola bike racing recovery pH Adjust alkalinizing formulaEditor’s note: HPDI’s sponsored pro cyclist Irena Ossola is a frequent contributor to our blog. Today she writes about her experience with adjusting and monitoring her pH levels using pH Adjust and pH test strips. ~

I have used HPDI’s pH Adjust alkalinizing formula for about two months, and my experience has been quite interesting. I can see how my body reacts on a chemical level to different stresses—such as racing, travel, training, rest, and different foods I eat. I consistently use pH paper to test my pH first thing when I wake up in order to have a more controlled test.

My primary finding is that after a race my body is quite acidic (pH of 6.3). While in contrast after a day of rest and/or dinner consisting of lots of vegetables and spinach my body is quite alkaline (pH of 7.5 to 8).

TESTING MY pH LEVELS FOR ALKALINITY

While in France and racing very hard, I noticed that taking pH Adjust every morning helped my body feel more balanced and avoid spikes of energy or tiredness. I could rest and sleep more deeply, and train with both greater quality and frequency.

Irena Ossola ph test pH Adjust

Wearing my HPDI gear. Products like pH Adjust and Rejuvenate! superfoods keep in me in top condition.

After a month in France of hard racing and training, I began experiencing leg cramping due to the fatigue and travel. I remained consistent in my testing and taking pH Adjust through this difficult period. Initially, my tests were very acidic when the cramps began. Then as my diet consisted of just soup and salad (to hydrate and ease the burden on my digestion/kidneys) the pH test strips showed my pH to be more alkaline.

Also, I read that bicarbonate could help with cramping as it acts as a buffer in the body. So I continued to take the pH Adjust consistently and even increased my doses by adding an evening dose as well, if my afternoon/evening pH test showed my body was acidic (below pH 7).

DIET AND pH ADJUST KEEP ME ALKALINE

During the period of cramping I know pH Adjust helped to reestablish an alkaline environment in my body. This is important in order to heal from the cramping which creates a lot of lactic acid and fatigue in my muscles. I noticed the symptoms were reduced. During the cramping stage, I usually have cramping even when walking, but this time it was limited primarily to the bike. I recovered faster and felt better sooner, which I think is a result of the pH Adjust and the correct diet.

test pH paper

Testing pH levels with litmus paper guides my diet and use of pH Adjust.

Even after travel and during my return to harder training I will continue to take pH Adjust as part of my normal routine. There is nothing else available or on the market that acts so specifically to balance the pH within the body. This is so important as we introduce and put many stresses on our body that take it out of balance. Whether it is environmental or nutritional, these stresses can lead to further problems. So simply taking pH Adjust every morning can help protect against these variables. I feel the difference when I am consistent in taking it, and my body is under constant stresses due to my work as a professional cyclist.

pH Adjust

pH Adjust helps me maintain optimal pH levels—there’s nothing else like it.

JUICE CLEANSE AND RECOVERY

Last month I returned from Europe where I was suffering from some leg cramping, so I decided to do a body cleanup. I was still taking pH Adjust in the morning and my normal supplements, but I also wanted to do a 3–5 day juice cleanse. This helped the recovery as it cleans out my kidneys and gives my digestion a rest. Whenever I return from travel or racing I try to do a juice cleanse to reboot my system.

Irena Ossola ph test ph adjust

Me and my bike!

The three day juice cleanse ended up being a great flush, and my legs were recovering very well after all the travel, racing, cramping, and stress.

I did notice some feelings of fogginess in my head during the cleanse. But I was told that this is not uncommon to feel as it could be either from the reduced amount of protein entering the body, or because the toxins are being cleaned out of the system, so the mind is also readjusting to this as well.

I have noticed that the more juice cleanses I do, the faster and easier my body adjusts to the fluid diet. I don’t feel hunger, but just craving for the juice and energy. As long as I have enough juice made and on hand, I don’t feel worried about my ability to nourish my body. Without intense training I really enjoy the cleanse and don’t feel the need or cravings for sugar or certain foods. It simplifies life, and allows me to focus on important things like training and my work as a pro cyclist.

Pro Tip: When going through lots of stress on the body like exercise, illness, surgery, polluted environments, etc., increase the amount of Rejuvenate! superfoods in your diet and eat sardines. Both of these nutritional components will help speed up recovery time, and battle any incoming hazards and risk factors to your body.

irena ossola rejuvenate superfoods

Pro Tip: Rejuvenate! superfoods support recovery after training and racing.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

OssolaSport.com
(Official website)

Irena Ossola page
(HPDI Reseller site)

BLOG ARTICLES

Power Juice & Super Smoothie of Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola

Racing on Rejuvenate! Superfoods

Juice Journey of Cyclist Irena Ossola

All About the Balance – Mind, Body, and Nutrition

Resolving 2014 – Cyclist Irena Ossola on Training

Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola’s Rejuvenate! Smoothie

Get Results with Rejuvenate! Superfoods

Introducing Professional Racing Cyclist, Irena Ossola

PRODUCTS

pH Adjust Alkalining Formula

pH paper
(litmus test paper)

Rejuvenate! superfoods
(comparison chart)

0

GOT POTASSIUM?

Fred Liers PhD potassium minerals pH AdjustGot potassium? You heard me right. Po-tass-i-um.

Well, no—you probably don’t get enough—and you’re not alone. Fewer than 2% of people do.

Experts say 4,700 milligrams (4.7 grams) of potassium is the minimum daily intake required for health and to reduce risk of chronic disease.

Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports the average potassium intake for Americans is 2,640 milligrams (2.6 g) daily. This low intake remains unchanged over decades! Most people get less than half the amount of potassium needed to meet “adequate” or minimum levels.

Given essential roles played by potassium in the body, and the known health benefits it confers, almost everyone — including you — can benefit from additional potassium. From where will it come?

That is to say, will the average person really meet recommended potassium intake from diet alone? I’m a huge advocate for increasing intake of dietary potassium, but long-term evidence suggests the answer is “no.” Supplementing with certain forms of potassium can be an effective adjunct to dietary intake.

It therefore can be highly beneficial to take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust, which provides potassium bicarbonate that boosts potassium levels and powerfully alkalinizes the body.

Bananas provide potassium (400–800 mg), but not if you don’t eat them!

THE “NEGLECTED” MINERAL?

For years, a parade of minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and yes, sodium—have drawn attention from health professionals, consumers, and the media. Whither potassium?

Yet despite compelling scientific studies, articles, and books, potassium has not “caught on” among doctors, consumers, or health aficionados. Nevertheless, knowledgeable health professionals and a small number of health-consious individuals have known of its importance for decades and longer.

Potassium has become known as the “forgotten” or “neglected” mineral. It’s time to revisit what we thought we knew…or never knew. It’s time to recognize potassium as “first among equals” in the pantheon of macrominerals.

If you think you know potassium, prepare to think again.

POTASSIUM FACTS

A review from Nutrition 101…and some things you may not know:

The symbol for potassium is “K” in the periodic table. It is one of seven essential macrominerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.

POTASSIUM BASICS:

• Regulates fluid balance in the body by means of the sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+ pump)

• Controls electrical activity of cardiac muscle (heart) and other muscles

• Counters the effects of sodium and thereby maintains proper blood pressure

• Maintains proper acid-base balance in the body

BENEFITS OF HIGH (ADEQUATE) POTASSIUM:

• Decreases risk of dying from all causes (20%)

• Reduces risk of stroke

• Lowers blood pressure

• Protects against loss of muscle mass

• Preserves bone mineral density

• Reduces formation of kidney stones

POTASSIUM – NEEDED MORE THAN EVER?

Beyond the benefits you may take for granted that are provided by the mineral you don’t get enough of…there are many reasons why potassium is more important than ever.

One major reason potassium is needed more than ever: sodium.

Sodium is the essential macromineral no one seems to be lacking. Just the opposite! When people talk about sodium, it is usually about how to avoid it. Sodium is blamed for hypertension and adverse cardiovascular health. What is the connection between sodium and potassium?

It all starts at the level of the cell with the “sodium-potassium pump” (or N+/K+ pump). The sodium-potassium pump is responsible for keeping sodium out of cells and keeping potassium in. But it also a carrier for nutrients going into cells, and it is involved in the energy production.

The typical modern diet —low in potassium and high in sodium (and sugar)—is a major problem for cells because it compromises the function of the sodium-potassium pump. Optimal function of the sodium-potassium pump requires not only increasing potassium intake, but also reducing sodium intake.

Potassium Sodium Pump cell

The sodium-potassium pump expels 3 sodium ions and brings in 2 potassium ions per cycle

SODIUM – POTASSIUM RELATIONSHIP:

• Humans once consumed high levels of potassium (12 g or higher) and low levels of sodium (<2 g) daily. That 6:1 ratio in favor of potassium has radically shifted to a 2:1 or even 4:1 ratio in favor of sodium. Salt is everywhere in the food supply. The potassium to sodium ratio (K/Na ratio) is called the “K Factor.”

• High “K Factor”: During evolutionary history, humans consumed 5–10+ times more potassium than sodium. Because the prehistoric diet contained little sodium, the body developed means for conserving it through resorption. Conversely, our potassium supplies were higher, and therefore the body developed no system for conserving it—it is absorbed, filtered by the kidneys, and eliminated.

• Cellular imbalance between potassium and sodium can cause strokes and other damage without increasing blood pressure (K Factor xxix). An exclusive focus on decreasing blood pressure (whether through diet or drugs) that fails to take potassium into consideration may not produce desired results.

• The sodium-potassium (Na+/K+) pump is an important pump that exists in cells. Its job is to keep sodium levels low in cells (pump out sodium and wastes) and pump in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. Sufficient potassium is critical for this all-important pump that keeps us healthy.

• When sodium (salt) levels are high and potassium levels are low, the pump does not function efficiently. Cells cannot prevent sodium from entering, causing them to swell from osmotic pressure, and causing metabolic blockage.

• The sodium-potassium pump uses sodium as a “carrier” to bring in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. For every glucose molecule, two sodium molecules are pumped into a cell. With high sodium intakes, cells become overloaded with sodium, and the pump works far less efficiently.

• Low potassium creates greater imbalance preventing the pump from excreting sodium, and also preventing nutrients from entering cells. The cell produces less energy and enters a type of metabolic stasis.

• Studies show the greatest decreases in blood pressure occur not only when sodium intake decreases, but when potassium intake simultaneously increases.

The role of potassium in the sodium-potassium pump has implications for nearly every function in the human body. And potassium does a lot more.

MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Potassium provides many benefits. These include known benefits for reducing hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones, as well as supporting cardiovascular health, and stabilizing blood glucose. Many of potassium’s benefits relate to its role in the sodium-potassium pump. Other benefits relate to different aspects of potassium.

POTASSIUM ALKALINIZES YOUR BODY

Among the most significant features of potassium is its ability to alkalinize the body. Potassium neutralizes acids by itself and especially when combined with minerals such as bicarbonates.

I have recently posted several articles that discuss potassium’s role in keeping the body alkaline. Specifically, how consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables remains the most important means for maintaining alkaline conditions in the body.

Potassium contributes mightily to acid-alkaline balance essential for health by boosting alkalinity. pH levels in the range of 7.35–7.45 provide many benefits. Because modern diets and lifestyles tend to produce acidic conditions (acidosis) in the body, it is important to recognize potassium’s role as “ultimate alkalinizer.”

Known benefits of ideal pH levels (slightly alkaline) include:

• Optimal function of enzymes
• Proper mineral retention, including electrolyte reserves
• Better tissue oxygenation
• Beneficial effects on microbiome

fruits vegetables potassium alkalinization

Consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables can help maintain proper pH in the body.

The alkaline-forming minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. They work together to keep you alkaline—all are important. Yet, in terms of what in your diet most drives alkalinity, potassium is the king. In fact, certain measures of pH indicate that alkalinity is a function of potassium intake. This means potassium intake most effectively creates alkaline conditions.

High dietary intake of potassium-rich, alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) and vegetable juices is the best way of supporting proper pH. This is a proven means for balancing the effects of acid-forming foods like meats, and most grains and starches (simple carbohydrates).

Known factors producing overly acidic conditions in the body include consuming meats, sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice, and most pastas and breads.

IT’S REALLY ABOUT DIET?

TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM…TOO MUCH SODIUM

The human story behind potassium begins with dietary intake. Once upon a time, we “got plenty” of potassium in our diets. Now, not so much.

Indeed, humans have a long history of high potassium intake from foods. Our paleolithic ancestors ate a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts—all of which are high in potassium. This helped balance their intake of nutrients from animal foods, which are typically lower in potassium.

During the rise of agriculture (20,000–30,000 years ago) and settled communities, grains became a significant portion of our diet. Yet, grains contain relatively low levels of potassium.

In addition, salt was added to foods in larger quantities as a preservative and taste enhancer. A long, slow slide toward decreasing potassium levels— and simultaneously increasing sodium levels—was set in motion.

Sodium is an essential mineral for health—it is one of the alkalinizing minerals. But historically, humans obtained 5–10+ times as much potassium as sodium. We have now “successfully” reversed potassium preponderance by consuming 2–4 times as much sodium as potassium. This causes lots of problems, and is one of the major elements creating dysfunction in sodium-potassium pumps in cells (see above).

In our modern age, and especially since the later decades of the the 20th century, intake of fresh vegetables and fruits has fallen dramatically. And so has the dietary intake of potassium.

The 20th century witnessed an unprecedented and dramatic rise in consumption of processed, packaged, and “fast” foods — most of which are low in potassium and high in sodium.

Beyond the rise of processed foods, there are declines in nutrients (including potassium) in foods due to steadily poorer soil quality on farmland. And adverse impacts on nutrients in food crops relating to the rise of industrial agriculture—with its dependency on chemicals—and failure to replenish soils.

DIET REMAINS BEST TO INCREASE POTASSIUM INTAKE

Potassium remains high in vegetables and fruits, including dried fruits. And vegetable broths. The best solution to low intake of potassium in the diet is simply consuming higher levels of vegetables and fruits, especially those that are fresh and organic.

spinach leafy greens potassium alkalinity

Got spinach? It provides 800 mg potassium per cup!

Leafy greens (raw or cooked) are among the very best sources. Beet greens contain 1,300 mg of potassium per cup and spinach about 800 mg per cup.

Fresh carrot juice is my favorite providing nearly 700 mg per cup. Even comfort foods like baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes) provide high levels (1,000 mg) with skin. Avocado lovers rejoice, as there are 400–500 mg per avocado.

Beans and nuts are good sources, too. Fruits like bananas (400 mg), cantaloupe (350 mg), and even fruit juices like orange juice (650 mg) are significant sources. Among animal foods, fish, chicken, and pork are highest in potassium.

Nutritionists frequently suggest a 80–20 rule: simply consume 80% alkaline-forming foods to 20% acid-forming foods.

With this simple 80–20 formula, nearly everyone can achieve high—or at least adequate—potassium intake through their dietary choices.

The question is: Will people CHOOSE high-potassium foods? Do you?

SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING POTASSIUM AND REDUCING SODIUM

You can point a person to high-potassium foods, but you can’t make them eat them. Despite exhortations from all sides for greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other high-potassium foods, “potassium sufficiency” isn’t the reality for most people. Potassium intake has been steady for decades.

Regarding sodium, it is just as easy (and important) for most people to decrease sodium in the diet as it is to increase potassium intake. Reduce use of salt. Choose low-sodium options when possible. Sodium is now on the radar as a mineral that promotes hypertension, so low-sodium options are increasingly available.

But like eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more exercise—and other things we know we “should” do—reducing sodium requires a conscious effort. The first part is awareness on the part of the individual. That leads to greater responsibility.

sodium salt shaker potassium

Too much sodium and insufficient potassium in the diet describes modern life.

I also believe manufacturers, restaurants, and the food industry in general should voluntarily limit the amount of sodium they put in foods. That would go a long way toward making it easier to reduce salt.

Coming back to potassium, an interesting fact is that based on US research, Finland in the 1990s replaced their salt shakers with potassium shakers. It’s true. And among other benefits, the incidence of strokes and heart attacks decreased by 60%.

Much can be done by individuals to improve their lives by increasing their potassium intake. Unless and until people eat enough high-potassium foods (and/or the US replaces its salt shakers with potassium shakers—which actually would help solve two problems), another viable option is potassium supplements.

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS

For individuals who do not (or will not) consume sufficient potassium in their diets—this includes the vast majority of people—potassium supplementation can be beneficial.

Even for those who often consume adequate potassium, but sometimes fall short, supplementation is a useful option because it allows for increased potassium intake during times when they need more of it. And who doesn’t?

There are various potassium supplements, typically either capsules or alternate “salts” comprised partly or wholly of potassium bicarbonate. This form of potassium found naturally in fruits and vegetables (versus potassium chloride), and therefore is considered safe. Even when taken in amounts beyond normal recommended daily values, excesses will typically be excreted.

A few caveats. Most nutritional supplements only provide small amounts (100 mg) due to government rules created to avert “hyperalkemia,” defined as too much potassium in the blood. Hyperalkemia can be caused by acute or chronic kidney failure, so if you suffer from kidney failure, please leave potassium supplements alone.

Hyperalkemia can also be caused by medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (taken for lowering high blood pressure, ironically), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and blood thinners like heparin. It may also relate to alcoholism, diabetes (type 1), or excessive use of potassium supplements.

The “normal” range of potassium in blood is 3.6–4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).

On the reverse side: while most people get less than ideal amounts of potassium in their diets, deficiencies that would qualify as too little potassium (“hypoalkemia”) are not common. (Symptoms of hypoalkemia can include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, cramping, mood changes, nausea, and vomiting. Severe deficiencies may lead to muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.)

Given that most people do not obtain sufficient potassium, eating more fruits and vegetables and perhaps taking a high-quality potassium supplement will help the average person. That is, most people benefit from more potassium—not less—which they can get from diet and/or supplements.

pH ADJUST & POTASSIUM

HPDI recently launched pH Adjust, which is probably the world’s most sophisticated alkalinizing formula. pH Adjust is not a potassium supplement, per se. Yet, it provides easily assimilated potassium as part of a synergistic formula (including other important macrominerals) that is exceptionally well designed for increasing pH levels in the body.

pH Adjust potassium bicarbonate magnesium carbonate

pH ADJUST provides potassium and sodium bicarbonates and magnesium carbonate for alkalinity.

pH Adjust is already popular because many people are overly acidic due to dietary and lifestyle choices, including—but not limited to—not consuming enough vegetables and fruits and over-consuming meats, grains, and other acid-forming foods.

pH Adjust is an excellent formula for those interested in safely and rapidly increasing their pH to overcome acidosis, and creating alkaline conditions in the body.

One gram (1/4 teaspoon) of pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg of potassium from potassium bicarbonate and potassium glycinate. This means that one teaspoon — which is the amount I take daily — gives me 567 mg (.567 g) of potassium. That is not a huge amount of potassium, perhaps as much as you would obtain from mid-sized banana. However, if you consider that pH Adjust is a dietary supplement, which in conjunction with improved diet (i.e., consuming more potassium-rich foods) can make a difference in your potassium intake.

And for the many individuals whose potassium intake is less than 2.6 g — recall that 2.6 g is the AVERAGE intake — a 1/2 gram increase in potassium can make a big difference (a 20% boost!) in terms of improving total intake.

Then consider the “healthy” person whose potassium intake may hover around 4 g, which is above average, but less than the suggested 4.7 g intake level. One teaspoon of pH Adjust will move them into the range where they will meet— or get much closer to—the recommended daily intake.

pH ADJUST: MINERALS FOR ALKALINITY

Taking one teaspoon of pH Adjust daily not only helps boost potassium intake, but represents a HUGE move toward being alkaline, which is a major benefit for health, as I wrote in my last blog article.

Equally important in terms of alkalinizing the body, the bicarbonate form of potassium in pH Adjust is hugely alkaline-forming. That is, while potassium itself neutralizes acids in the body, potassium bicarbonate is substantially more alkalizing because of the tremendous alkaline-forming power of bicarbonate.

That is why HPDI created pH Adjust—to rapidly and effectively create alkaline conditions in the body.

Other significant facts: pH Adjust contains magnesium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Magnesium carbonate helps neutralizes stomach acids (hydrochloric acid) and then after it is absorbed (as magnesium ions) it continues to neutralize acids throughout the body. The sodium bicarbonate similarly splits: sodium neutralizes acids and bicarbonates alkalinize the body.

Moreover, it is known that without sufficient magnesium, cells cannot retain potassium. pH Adjust provides a significant amount (105 mg) of magnesium (from carbonate) per 1/4 teaspoon. Think about it—pH Adjust supplies more than 400 mg of easily assimilated magnesium in a single teaspoon! (This means you can reduce or drop your other magnesium supplements.)

pH Adjust provides a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. This ratio is known to be ideal for optimal uptake of potassium.

supplement facts pH Adjust potassium magnesium sodium

pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg potassium and 105 mg magnesium per 1/4 teaspoon serving.

FINAL WORDS

Potassium powers sodium-potassium pumps in your cells and keeps you alkaline. It supports proper blood pressure and cardiovascular function. It balances the effects of sodium and works synergistically with other macrominerals keeping you healthy.

Potassium loves you. Yet, you hardly know potassium—or how deficient you are.

Love potassium like it loves you. Eat more potassium-rich fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices. Take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust. Not only will it supply you with easily assimilated potassium, but also powerfully boost your alkalinity.

Eat less salt. For God’s sake, eat less salt. Do all these things. Then it’s likely your poor sodium-potassium pumps will revive themselves. I promise, you will feel it!

 

RESOURCES

BLOG ARTICLES

Alkalinize Rapidly Using pH Adjust

pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula – New Product!

BOOKS & SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

The High Blood Pressure Solution by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The K Factor: Reversing and Preventing High Blood Pressure without Drugs by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The XXL Syndrome by Max Rombi, MD

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

Acid-alkaline balance: role in chronic disease and detoxification
(Altern Ther Health Med, 13(4):62-5)

Potassium Intake of the US Population (PDF)
(NHANES Food Surveys Research Group, USDA)

LIST OF HIGH-POTASSIUM FOODS

Potassium: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake

 

This article is dedicated to the memory of our friend Dr. Victor A. Galunic, who provided HPDI with information, resources, and technical assistance.