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Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention

Dr. Hank Liers here considers mechanisms involved in the activation of transcription factor Nrf2. Nrf2 is encoded by the NFE2L2 gene. Nrf2 can induce expression of genes encoding for antioxidant enzymes. Thus, it contributes to regulation of oxidative stress. Dr. Liers’ interest regards use of natural phytochemical Nrf2 activators for improving health. Also, see his post, “New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage”(06.27.19).

INTRODUCTION
Nrf2 SIGNALING, FOODS, AND HEALTH

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD nrf2 activatorsDespite progress in the early detection and treatment of cancer, overall mortality rates for most cancers of epithelial origin have not declined during the past three decades. Consequently, in recent years attention has been directed to cancer prevention.

Carcinogenesis can be viewed as a multistep process in which the genes controlling proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are transformed and altered under selective environmental pressures.

Tumor development involves three distinct, yet closely linked, phases: initiation, promotion, and progression. The initiation phase is a rapid and irreversible event that occurs when a normal cell is exposed to a carcinogenic event. Frequently, unrepairable or misrepaired DNA damage happens in the initiation phase.

Promotion and progression processes are relatively longer processes than the initiation stage, and are considered reversible. Using various animal cancer models, scientists found that all three cancer development stages can be intervened by treatment with natural (or synthetic) chemicals.

Epidemiological and population studies also establish a close relationship between incidence of cancer and consumption of certain types of food.

The term “chemoprevention” was first coined in 1976 by Michael Sporn, when he referred to prevention of malignancy development by vitamin A and its synthetic analogs. Since then, chemoprevention has been adopted as one of the major tactics to modulate the process of carcinogenesis. Many research studies have proven this strategy is effective in reducing the incidence of cancer in well-defined high-risk groups.

Chemoprevention is by definition the use of natural (or pharmacologic) agents to inhibit the development of invasive cancer. The chemicals with a cancer preventive activity are referred to as chemopreventive agents. A chemopreventive agent can inhibit carcinogenesis either by blocking the DNA damage at initiation stage or by arresting or reversing the processes at promotion and progression stages. Most of the chemical substances used in cancer chemoprevention studies are natural phytochemicals found in food.

On the basis of the inhibition stages, chemopreventive agents have been classified into two categories, namely blocking agents and suppressing agents. Blocking agents act by preventing carcinogens from reaching the target sites, from undergoing metabolic activation, or from subsequently interacting with crucial cellular macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, and proteins at initiation stages.

Suppressing agents, on the other hand, inhibit the malignant transformation of initiated cells at either the promotion or the progression stage. Some agents may work on all three stages of carcinogenesis, and are hence classified into both categories.

DIETARY PHYTOCHEMICALS ARE NATURE’S CHEMOPREVENTIVE AGENTS

Many different animal models and cancer cell lines have been used to evaluate the chemopreventive values of phytochemicals, and have led to the discovery of new classes of chemopreventive agents. These agents include isothiocyanates (such as sulforaphane) from cruciferous vegetables, polyphenols from green and black tea, curcuminoids (from turmeric root), stilbenes such as resveratrol (from giant knotweed plant), flavonoids such as quercetin, and anthocyanidins (from many fruits and soybeans).

Progress also has been made in understanding the mode of action of newly identified chemopreventive agents. Exposure to the chemopreventive agents produces certain level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) or electrophiles, and causes mild oxidative/electrophilic stresses in cells.

Ultimate Protector+

Such mild oxidative stresses are sufficient to initiate the signaling pathways that, in turn, can activate a variety of cellular events, such as induction of phase II detoxification enzymes and antioxidant enzymes, expression of tumor-suppressor genes, and inhibition of cell proliferation and angiogenesis.

In order to survive under a variety of environmental or intracellular stresses, our cells have developed highly efficient protective mechanisms to protect themselves from oxidative or electrophilic challenges. Proteins that comprise phase II detoxification and antioxidant enzymes provide an enzymatic line of defense against reactive oxygen species. These enzymes include superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione S-transferase (GST), and glutamate cysteine ligase.

Induction of phase II and antioxidant enzymes are regulated at the DNA/gene level by antioxidant responsive element (ARE). ARE-mediated gene expression plays a central role in the cellular defense against cellular oxidative damage.

Experimental evidence supports the view that induction of ARE-mediated cytoprotective enzymes is a critical and sufficient mechanism to enable protection against carcinogenesis provoked by environmental and endogenous insults.

One of the key ARE-binding transcription factors is Nrf2. Induction of cytoprotective enzymes in response to ROS, electrophiles, and chemopreventive agents is a cellular event that is highly dependent on Nrf2 protein.

Nrf2 BOOSTS CELL DETOXIFICATION AND ANTIOXIDANT ENZYMES

By activating Nrf2 signaling, chemopreventive agents can increase cellular detoxification and antioxidant enzymes, thereby enhancing removal of reactive carcinogens and blocking carcinogenesis. This hypothesis has been tested in many studies.

For example, a study with sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate present abundantly in cruciferous vegetables) has shown that oral administration of this phytochemical could effectively block benzo[a]pyrene-induced forestomach tumors in mice. This protective effect was abrogated in mice that could not produce Nrf2, supporting a critical role of phase II detoxification and antioxidant enzymes in the prevention of carcinogenesis by chemopreventive agents.

Nrf2 is normally bound in the cytoplasm of cells to a protein called KEAP1. However, when an appropriate phytochemical agent attaches to a kinase receptor on the cell wall a phosphate group is released that causes the Nrf2 to be released. The Nrf2 then migrates into the cell nucleus and causes an antioxidant enzyme, such as SOD, to be released. This endogenously produced enzyme then can protect against ROS, electrophiles, and chemopreventive agents.

In practice, it has been found that a combination of multiple polyphenols works significantly better than single ingredients at activating Nrf2. In fact, in one experiment it was found that a combination of five ingredients all known to be Nrf2 activators was 18 times more effective than any single ingredient. Furthermore, it was found that this combination of five ingredients  increased levels of SOD by 30% and catalase by 56% after 120 days.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+
A POWERFUL, NATURAL Nrf2 ACTIVATION FORMULA FOR GREATER HEALTH

In view of the above information and the fact that new and more effective ingredients are available, we have updated our exceptional formula designed to maximize activation of Nrf2 in the body. This new product is ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+. It is among the most advanced, natural Nrf2 activator formula on the market today.

We include a broad range of Nrf2 activators in ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+. These activators source from a wide variety of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs. These include USP-grade non-GMO Vitamin C , SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin(standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol(98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract(90% polyphenols, 50% EGCG),  and VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g). In addition the product contains Calcium Malate and Magnesium Malate, that support ATP and enzyme product and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that significantly enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).

Phytochemicals provided by the array of freeze-dried and concentrated fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the formula include: Polyphenols, Phenolic acids, Proanthocyanidins (OPCs), Anthocyandins, Catechins, Glucosinolates, Zeaxanthin, Lutein, Lycopene, Beta Carotene, Chlorogenic acid, Ellagic acid, Quercetin, Quinic acid, Trans-Resveratrol, Ferulic acid, Punicalagins, Phloridzin, Polysaccharides, Xanthones and more.

In addition to these Nrf2 activators (above), ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ contains an extremely broad array of plant based antioxidants from the same sources described above, as well as from non-GMO USP grade Vitamin C. All ingredients in this product have been used in chemoprevention protocols, as well as in protocols aimed at preventing free-radical damage in the body.

Ultimate Protector is now available on the HPDI website!

 

Ultimate Protector+Ultimate Protector+ is new and improved

 

REFERENCES

“Resveratrol induces glutathione synthesis by activation of Nrf2 and protects against cigarette smoke-mediated oxidative stress in human lung epithelial cells.”  Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 294: L478–L488, 2008.

“Nrf2 as a master redox switch in turning on the cellular signaling involved in the induction of cytoprotective genes by some chemopreventive phytochemicals.” Planta Med. 2008 Oct; 74(13): 1526–39. Epub 2008 Oct 20.

“Nrf2: a potential molecular target for cancer chemoprevention by natural compounds.” Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006 Jan–Feb; 8(1–2):99–106.

“Cancer chemoprevention by phytochemicals: potential molecular targets, biomarkers and animal models.” Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Sep; 28(9): 1409–21.

“Natural dietary anti-cancer chemopreventive compounds: redox-mediated differential signaling mechanisms in cytoprotection of normal cells versus cytotoxicity in tumor cells.” Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2007 Apr; 28(4): 459–72.

“Anticarcinogenesis by dietary phytochemicals: cytoprotection by Nrf2 in normal cells and cytotoxicity by modulation of transcription factors NF-kappa B and AP-1 in abnormal cancer cells.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Apr; 46(4): 1257–70. Epub 2007 Sep 15.

“Signal transduction events elicited by cancer prevention compounds.” Mutat Res. 2001 Sep 1; 480–481: 231–41.

“Targeting specific cell signaling transduction pathways by dietary and medicinal phytochemicals in cancer chemoprevention.” Toxicology. 2010 Dec 5; 278(2): 229–41. Epub 2009 Oct 20.

“NF-kappa B and Nrf2 as potential chemopreventive targets of some anti-inflammatory and antioxidative phytonutrients with anti-inflammatory and antioxidative activities.” Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008; 17 Suppl 1:269–72.

“Regulation of NF-E2-Related Factor 2 Signaling for Cancer Chemoprevention: Antioxidant Coupled with Antiinflammatory.” Antioxid Redox Signal. 2010 Dec 1; 13(11): 1679–98. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

“Molecular targets of dietary phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane for cancer chemoprevention.” AAPS J. 2010 Mar; 12(1): 87–97. Epub 2009 Dec 15.

“Dietary chemopreventive compounds and ARE/EpRE signaling.” Free Radic Biol Med. 2004 Jun 15; 36(12): 1505–16.

 “Multiple molecular targets in cancer chemoprevention by curcumin.” AAPS J. 2006 Jul 7; 8(3): E443–9.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Ultimate Protector™

The Amazing Healing Potential of Natural Nrf2 Activators – by Dr. Hank Liers

Preventing Free-Radical Damage Using Ultimate Protector™ – by Dr. Hank Liers

New Directions for Preventing Free-Radical Damage  – by Dr. Hank Liers

Ultimate Protector and the Role of Foundational Supplements for Health – by Fred Liers, PhD

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New Directions For Preventing Free Radical Damage

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD free radical damage

As you may know, free radical damage is associated with virtually every major health condition. For many years we have recommended taking antioxidants to protect against free radicals and for preventing free radical damage to the body.

Antioxidants we recommend include Vitamin C, Vitamin E, plant polyphenols (e.g., grape seed extract), green tea extract, rutin and other bioflavonoids, and amino acids and peptides (e.g., n-acetyl-l-cysteine and glutathione) to deal with free radicals. Using this approach, individuals often achieve excellent results.

In the last ten years, a new approach has become a major topic of scientific interest and research. This approach utilizes substances that induce strong activation of the body’s own enzyme systems. Some natural substances under study include turmeric (curcumin), sulforaphane (found in broccoli sprouts), transresveratrol (found in red wine and giant knotweed), and green tea extracts.

Nrf2 Activators Produce Antioxidant Enzymes Combating Free Radicals

Researchers specifically are studying how enzyme-activating substances activate a transcription factor known as Nrf2 that causes the body to produce higher levels of enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, heme oxygenase, and glutathione peroxidase.

A human clinical trial of a nutritional supplement containing turmeric, milk thistle extract, green tea extract, bacopa, and ashwaganda showed this combination of phytochemicals can reduce lipid peroxides in the body by significant amounts after only one month. Further research on this same supplement has shown these enzyme inducers affect the function of up to 4,000 genes in the body related to internal protection systems.

Currently there are several supplements on the market that are classified as Nrf2 activators. My own approach to this includes a combination approach using very powerful antioxidants (for example, those with extremely high ORAC5.0 values such as whole grape extract) in combination with Nrf2 activators derived from plant extracts (such as transresveratrol and curcumoids).

My updated product (Ultimate Protector+) using this approach will be available in July 2019 so be on the look out for it!

Ultimate Protector+

 

Ultimate Protector+ is a next-generation cell protection formula providing high levels of non-GMO Vitamin C, calcium and magnesium malate (supports ATP and enzyme production), a full spectrum of exceptionally high potency antioxidants (in accordance with ORAC6.0 testing), many of the most powerful natural Nrf2 protective enzyme activators, and Bioperine® to facilitate absorption of all ingredients – all in a single product! This potent combination of characteristics distinguishes our formula so that no other single product available today offers such complete protection. This is the best formula available for countering free radical damage. 100% non-GMO. 180 veggie caps per bottle.

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ contains USP-grade non-GMO Ascorbic Acid, SFB® standardized fruit blend (~50% polyphenols, high-ORAC powder: 9,000 µmole TE/g) from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry), Curcumin (standardized extract with 95% curcuminoids), Trans-Resveratrol (98% from Giant Knotweed), Green Tea Extract (>90% polyphenols, 50% EGCG), VinCare® Whole Grape Extract (>80% polyphenols, ORAC>19,000 µmole TE/g), Calcium Malate, Magnesium Malate, and Bioperine® (a patented black pepper extract that enhances absorption of all ingredients and is a known Nrf2 activator).

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ CONTAINS THREE MODES OF ACTION

ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+provides completecoverage for free-radical protection by satisfying three distinct needs in single cell protection formula:

Mode 1) A non-GMO Vitamin C product. Ultimate Protector+contains a Vitamin C formula without genetically modified sources of corn, potatoes, or beets. 100% Non-GMO Vitamin C!

Mode 2) A single, powerful antioxidant formula. Ultimate Protector+ provides a powerful antioxidant formula offering a broad range of extremely high-ORAC plant source antioxidants. These antioxidants should protect against the full range of free radicals found in the human body including: superoxide anion (O2·-), peroxyl radicals (ROO·), hydroxyl radicals (HO·), singlet oxygen (1O2), peroxynitrite (ONOO-), and hypochlorite (HOCl).

Antioxidants function as a vital line of defense against free radicals by blocking their attack on DNA, vital proteins, lipids, and amino acids. Until now, efforts to identify the effect of antioxidants on all six types of free radicals were constrained by limited testing procedures. However, new technological developments have resulted in a comprehensive testing method called the Total ORAC6.0 assay. Because of the development of the Total ORAC6.0™ test, it is now possible to target and measure the effects of antioxidants on the six major types of free radicals found in the body. Recently [8/2019] Brunswick Labs has tested ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+™ using the new ORAC6.0 test. The results reveal an incredible overall ORAC6.0 value of 272,743 µmole TE/gram (i.e., 272,743 per gram!). This corresponds to a total ORAC6.0 value per of over 968,000 μmole TE per serving of six small capsules. In addition, the ORAC5.0 value was measured to be over 950,000 μmole TE per serving. The results have shown that the formula offers excellent protection against all of the six major types of free radicals found in the body.

Mode 3) A full spectrum of Nrf2 activators. Ultimate Protector+ is a supplement providing a broad range of the most powerful natural Nrf2 transcription factor activators that allow the body to make its own antioxidant enzymes (e.g., superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, heme oxygenase, and glutathione peroxidase). Scientific research has shown that these are found in a wide range of fruits, vegetable, and herbs and that products which provide a wide range of Nrf2 activators give significantly higher levels of the endogenously produced antioxidant enzymes.

 

 

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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ INGREDIENTS – GOJI BERRY

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry Ultimate Protector+ includes goji berry extract (also known as wild fresh goji berry fruit powder extract and wolfberry extract), as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article, I will explore the ingredient goji berry (Lycium barbarum) extract which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Goji Berry

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. It is high in fruit polyphenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, catechins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, xanthines, chlorogenic acid, pterostilbenes, resveratrol, phloridzin, quercetin, zeaxanthin, carotinoids, polysaccharides, quinic acid, and more. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40-50% polyphenols as well as >9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

Polyphenols, anthocyanins, and other plant elements are powerful ingredients associated with a variety of areas of human health, including healthy aging, healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and inflammation management.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOJI BERRY

The Goji Berry extract in Ultimate Protector+ is non-GMO and has been extracted with  water. Testing has indicated the product contains over 1.5% polyphenols. In numerous epidemiological studies, goji berries have been associated with a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and asthma.

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF GOJI BERRIES

Goji Berries contain abundant polysaccharides (LBPs, comprising 5%–8% of the dried fruits), scopoletin (6-methoxy-7-hydroxycoumarin, also named chrysatropic acid, ecopoletin, gelseminic acid, and scopoletol), the glucosylated precursor, and stable vitamin C analog 2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid, carotenoids (zeaxanthin and β-carotene), betaine, cerebroside, β-sitosterol, flavonoids, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins (in particular, riboflavin, thiamin, and ascorbic acid).

The predominant carotenoid is zeaxanthin, which exists mainly as dipalmitate (also called physalien or physalin). The content of vitamin C (up to 42 mg/100 g) in goji berry (also known as wolfberry) is comparable to that of fresh lemon fruits. As to the seeds, they contain zeaxanthin (83%), β-cryptoxanthin (7%), β-carotene (0.9%), and mutatoxanthin (1.4%), as well as some minor carotenoids.

In fact, increasing lines of experimental studies have revealed that L. barbarum berries have a wide array of pharmacological activities, which is thought to be mainly due to its high LBPs content. Water-soluble LBPs are obtained using an extraction process that removes the lipid soluble components such as zeaxanthin and other carotenoids with alcohol. LBPs are estimated to comprise 5%–8% of LBFs and have a molecular weight ranging from 24 kDa to 241 kDa. LBPs consist of a complex mixture of highly branched and only partly characterized polysaccharides and proteoglycans.

The glycosidic part accounts, in most cases, for about 90%–95% of the mass and consists of arabinose, glucose, galactose, mannose, rhamnose, xylose, and galacturonic acid. LBPs are considered the most important functional constituents in LBFs. Different fractions of LBPs have different activities and the galacturonic acid content is an imperative factor for activities of LBP. The bioactivities of polysaccharides are often in reverse proportion with their molecular weights. Increasing lines of evidence from both preclinical and clinical studies support the medicinal, therapeutic, and health-promoting effects of LBPs.

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of GOJI BERRIES

Databases of scientific studies (like the National Institutes of Health (NIH) PubMed database) contain numerous of up-to-date studies and abstracts about goji berries.

Below we provide a few relevant scientific studies on the health benefits of goji berries.

Goji Berries as a Potential Natural Antioxidant Medicine: An Insight into Their Molecular Mechanisms of Action.

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Jan 9;2019:2437397. doi: 10.1155/2019/2437397. eCollection 2019.
Authors: Ma ZF, Zhang H, Teh SS, Wang CW, Zhang Y, Hayford F, Wang L, Ma T, Dong Z, Zhang Y, Zhu Y1
From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30728882

Abstract

Goji berries (Lycium fruits) are usually found in Asia, particularly in northwest regions of China. Traditionally, dried goji berries are cooked before they are consumed. They are commonly used in Chinese soups and as herbal tea. Moreover, goji berries are used for the production of tincture, wine, and juice. Goji berries are high antioxidant potential fruits which alleviate oxidative stress to confer many health protective benefits such as preventing free radicals from damaging DNA, lipids, and proteins. Therefore, the aim of the review was to focus on the bioactive compounds and pharmacological properties of goji berries including their molecular mechanisms of action. The health benefits of goji berries include enhancing hemopoiesis, antiradiation, antiaging, anticancer, improvement of immunity, and antioxidation. There is a better protection through synergistic and additive effects in fruits and herbal products from a complex mixture of phytochemicals when compared to one single phytochemical.

An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015; 9: 33–78.
Authors: Jiang Cheng, Zhi-Wei Zhou, Hui-Ping Sheng, Lan-Jie He, Xue-Wen Fan, Zhi-Xu He, Tao Sun, Xueji Zhang, Ruan Jin Zhao, Ling Gu, Chuanhai Cao,  and Shu-Feng Zhou
From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4277126/

Abstract

Lycium barbarum berries, also named wolfberry, Fructus lycii, and Goji berries, have been used in China and other Asian countries for more than 2,000 years as a traditional medicinal herb and food supplement. L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBPs) are the primary active components of L. barbarum berries and have been reported to possess a wide array of pharmacological activities. Herein, we update our knowledge on the main pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of LBPs. Several clinical studies in healthy subjects show that consumption of wolfberry juice improves general wellbeing and immune functions. LBPs are reported to have antioxidative and antiaging properties in different models. LBPs show antitumor activities against various types of cancer cells and inhibit tumor growth in nude mice through induction of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest. LBPs may potentiate the efficacy of lymphokine activated killer/interleukin-2 combination therapy in cancer patients. LBPs exhibit significant hypoglycemic effects and insulin-sensitizing activity by increasing glucose metabolism and insulin secretion and promoting pancreatic β-cell proliferation. They protect retinal ganglion cells in experimental models of glaucoma. LBPs protect the liver from injuries due to exposure to toxic chemicals or other insults. They also show potent immunoenhancing activities in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, LBPs protect against neuronal injury and loss induced by β-amyloid peptide, glutamate excitotoxicity, ischemic/reperfusion, and other neurotoxic insults. LBPs ameliorate the symptoms of mice with Alzheimer’s disease and enhance neurogenesis in the hippocampus and subventricular zone, improving learning and memory abilities. They reduce irradiation- or chemotherapy-induced organ toxicities. LBPs are beneficial to male reproduction by increasing the quality, quantity, and motility of sperm, improving sexual performance, and protecting the testis against toxic insults. Moreover, LBPs exhibit hypolipidemic, cardioprotective, antiviral, and antiinflammatory activities. There is increasing evidence from preclinical and clinical studies supporting the therapeutic and health-promoting effects of LBPs, but further mechanistic and clinical studies are warranted to establish the dose–response relationships and safety profiles of LBPs.

Biological activities and potential health benefit effects of polysaccharides isolated from Lycium barbarum L.

2013 Mar;54:16-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2012.11.023. Epub 2012 Nov 28.
Jin M1, Huang Q, Zhao K, Shang P.
From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23200976

Abstract

Recently, isolation and investigation of novel ingredients with biological activities and health benefit effects from natural resources have attracted a great deal of attention. The fruit of Lycium barbarum L., a well-known Chinese herbal medicine as well as valuable nourishing tonic, has been used historically as antipyretic, anti-inflammation and anti-senile agent for thousands of years. Modern pharmacological experiments have proved that polysaccharide is one of the major ingredients responsible for those biological activities in L. barbarum. It has been demonstrated that L. barbarum polysaccharides had various important biological activities, such as antioxidant, immunomodulation, antitumor, neuroprotection, radioprotection, anti-diabetes, hepatoprotection, anti-osteoporosis and antifatigue. The purpose of the present review is to summarize previous and current references regarding biological activities as well as potential health benefits of L. barbarum polysaccharides.

Goji (Lycium barbarum and L. chinense): Phytochemistry, Pharmacology and Safety in the Perspective of Traditional Uses and Recent Popularity

Planta Med 2010; 76(1): 7-19
Author: Olivier Potterat
From: https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/s-0029-1186218#AT0541-1

Abstract

Since the beginning of this century, Goji berries and juice are being sold as health food products in western countries and praised in advertisements and in the media for well-being and as an anti-aging remedy. The popularity of Goji products has rapidly grown over the last years thanks to efficient marketing strategies. Goji is a relatively new name given to Lycium barbarum and L. chinense, two close species with a long tradition of use as medicinal and food plants in East Asia, in particular in China. While only L. barbarum is officinal, the fruit (fructus Lycii) and the root bark (cortex Lycii radicis) of both species are used in the folk medicine. We review here the constituents, pharmacology, safety, and uses of L. barbarum and L. chinensewith consideration to the different parts of the plant. Investigations of the fruit have focused on proteoglycans, known as “Lycium barbarum polysaccharides”, which showed antioxidative properties and some interesting pharmacological activities in the context of age related diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes. As to the root bark, several compounds have demonstrated a hepatoprotective action as well as inhibitory effects on the rennin/angiotensin system which may support the traditional use for the treatment of hypertension. While there are no signs of toxicity of this plant, two cases of possible interaction with warfarin point to a potential risk of drug interaction. In view of the available pharmacological data and the long tradition of use in the traditional Chinese medicine, L. barbarum and L. chinense certainly deserve further investigation. However, clinical evidences and rigorous procedures for quality control are indispensable before any recommendation of use can be made for Goji products.

GOJI BERRIES SUMMARY

Goji Berries are an important fruit full of polyphenols, antioxidants, polysaccharides (LBPs), carotenoids, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.

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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ INGREDIENTS – CURCUMIN

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD biography about us HPDI integratedhealth formulator founder CEO scientist physicist wild bilberry and wild blueberry

Ultimate Protector+ contains curcuminoids (greater than 95% from turmeric), as well as extracts from 12 different fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Each of these ingredients contain substances that may be considered to be polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators. In this article I will explore the ingredient curcuminoids. Curcuminoids are added as a separate ingredient in Ultimate Protector+.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Curcumin

Curcuminoids are the major active component of turmeric, a yellow compound isolated from the plant Curcuma longa (a member of the ginger family) and has been used for centuries in traditional medicines. Curcuminoids in turmeric include curcumin, desmethoxycurcumin, and bisdesmethoxycurcumin (these are standardized in the Sabinsa Curcumin C3 Complex® ingredient).

turmeric plant curcuminoids

The turmeric plant produces beautiful flowers

Extensive research over the past 30 years indicates that these molecules can provide positive benefits against a wide range of health issues related to cell function, lungs, liver, nervous system, joint function, metabolism, and cardiovascular system. Numerous lines of evidence indicate that curcuminoids are highly pleiotropic with anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, antioxidant, wound healing, and antimicrobial activities.

Curcuminoids exert both direct and indirect antioxidant effects by scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inducing the expression of cytoprotective proteins in an Nrf2-dependent way. It is considered a bifunctional antioxidant. The nuclear-factor-erythroid-2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), is a ubiquitous master transcription factor which induces the endogenous production of cytoprotective proteins/enzymes through binding to antioxidant response elements (AREs) at the DNA/gene level.

An excellent and extensive online source of information on curcuminoids (curcumin) can be found at: http://examine.com/supplements/Curcumin/

Scientific Studies on the Health Protective Effects of Curcuminoids

Databases (like the PubMed database of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)) of scientific studies contain thousands of up-to-date studies and abstracts about curcumin/curcuminoids.

Curcumin curcuminoids

Turmeric root is the source of curcuminoids

Below we provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects and potential health benefits of curcumin/curcuminoids.

Pharmacological basis for the role of curcumin in chronic diseases: an age-old spice with modern targets

Abstract

Curcumin (diferuloylmethane), a yellow pigment in the spice turmeric (also called curry powder), has been used for centuries as a treatment for inflammatory diseases. Extensive research within the past two decades has shown that curcumin mediates its anti-inflammatory effects through the downregulation of inflammatory transcription factors (such as nuclear factor kappaB), enzymes (such as cyclooxygenase 2 and 5 lipoxygenase) and cytokines (such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin 1 and interleukin 6). Because of the crucial role of inflammation in most chronic diseases, the potential of curcumin has been examined in neoplastic, neurological, cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic diseases. The pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of curcumin have been examined in animals and in humans. Various pharmacological aspects of curcumin in vitro and in vivo are discussed in detail here.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin

Abstract

Curcumin, a yellow pigment from Curcuma longa, is a major component of turmeric and is commonly used as a spice and food-coloring agent. It is also used as a cosmetic and in some medical preparations. The desirable preventive or putative therapeutic properties of curcumin have also been considered to be associated with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because free-radical-mediated peroxidation of membrane lipids and oxidative damage of DNA and proteins are believed to be associated with a variety of chronic pathological complications such as cancer, atherosclerosis, and neurodegenerative diseases, curcumin is thought to play a vital role against these pathological conditions. The anti-inflammatory effect of curcumin is most likely mediated through its ability to inhibit cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), lipoxygenase (LOX), and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). COX-2, LOX, and iNOS are important enzymes that mediate inflammatory processes. Improper upregulation of COX-2 and/or iNOS has been associated with the pathophysiology of certain types of human cancer as well as inflammatory disorders. Because inflammation is closely linked to tumor promotion, curcumin with its potent anti-inflammatory property is anticipated to exert chemopreventive effects on carcinogenesis. Hence, the past few decades have witnessed intense research devoted to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. In this review, we describe both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, the mode of action of curcumin, and its therapeutic usage against different pathological conditions.

Curcumin: The Indian Solid Gold

Abstract

Turmeric, derived from the plant Curcuma longa, is a gold-colored spice commonly used in the Indian subcontinent, not only for health care but also for the preservation of food and as a yellow dye for textiles. Curcumin, which gives the yellow color to turmeric, was first isolated almost two centuries ago, and its structure as diferuloylmethane was determined in 1910. Since the time of Ayurveda (1900 Bc) numerous therapeutic activities have been assigned to turmeric for a wide variety of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. Extensive research within the last half century has proven that most of these activities, once associated with turmeric, are due to curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic illnesses. These effects are mediated through the regulation of various transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other enzymes. Curcumin exhibits activities similar to recently discovered tumor necrosis factor blockers (e.g., HUMIRA, REMICADE, and ENBREL), a vascular endothelial cell growth factor blocker (e.g., AVASTIN), human epidermal growth factor receptor blockers (e.g., ERBITUX, ERLOTINIB, and GEFTINIB), and a HER2 blocker (e.g., HERCEPTIN). Considering the recent scientific bandwagon that multitargeted therapy is better than monotargeted therapy for most diseases, curcumin can be considered an ideal “Spice for Life”.

Curcumin decreases oxidative stress in mitochondria isolated from liver and kidneys of high-fat diet-induced obese mice

Abstract

Oxidative stress plays a key role in obesity and diabetes-related mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondrial dysfunction is characterized by increased oxidative damage, nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, and a reduced ratio of adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) production/oxygen consumption. Curcumin represents a potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. In this study, our objective was to determine the effect of curcumin treatment on oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obese mice (OM). These results suggest that curcumin treatment increased oxygen consumption and significantly decreased lipid and protein oxidation levels in liver mitochondria isolated from HFD-induced OM compared with those in the untreated OM (UOM). In kidney mitochondria, curcumin treatment significantly increased oxygen consumption and decreased lipid and protein peroxidation levels in HFD-induced OM when compared with those in UOM. Curcumin treatment neither has any effect on body weight gain nor have any effects on mitochondrial NO synthesis. These findings suggest that obesity induces oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, whereas curcumin may have a protective role against obesity-induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.

Curcumin for radiation dermatitis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of thirty breast cancer patients.

From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23745991

Abstract

Radiation dermatitis occurs in approximately 95% of patients receiving radiotherapy (RT) for breast cancer. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to assess the ability of curcumin to reduce radiation dermatitis severity in 30 breast cancer patients. Eligible patients were adult females with noninflammatory breast cancer or carcinoma in situ prescribed RT without concurrent chemotherapy. Randomized patients took 2.0 grams of curcumin or placebo orally three times per day (i.e., 6.0 grams daily) throughout their course of RT. Weekly assessments included Radiation Dermatitis Severity (RDS) score, presence of moist desquamation, redness measurement, McGill Pain Questionnaire-Short Form and Symptom Inventory questionnaire. The 30 evaluable patients were primarily white (90%) and had a mean age of 58.1 years. Standard pooled variances t test showed that curcumin reduced RDS at end of treatment compared to placebo (mean RDS = 2.6 vs. 3.4; P = 0.008). Fisher’s exact test revealed that fewer curcumin-treated patients had moist desquamation (28.6% vs. 87.5%; P = 0.002). No significant differences were observed between arms for demographics, compliance, radiation skin dose, redness, pain or symptoms. In conclusion, oral curcumin, 6.0 g daily during radiotherapy, reduced the severity of radiation dermatitis in breast cancer patients.

Curcumin attenuates insulin resistance in hepatocytes by inducing Nrf2 nuclear translocation

From: http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/22024084

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: NF-E2-Related Factor-2 (Nrf2) is a transcription factor that plays a crucial role in the cellular protection against oxidative stress. Curcumin has been reported to induce Nrf2 nuclear translocation and upregulate the expression of numerous reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxifying and antioxidant genes in hepatocytes.This study was designed to investigate whether curcumin-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation could reduce ROS-mediated insulin resistance in cultured LO2 hepatocytes. METHODOLOGY: Human LO2 hepatocytes were incubated with curcumin and glucose oxidase (GO) in the presence/absence of wortmannin (a phosphatidyinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor). Oxidative stress, cellular damage, Nrf2 nuclear translocation and insulin resistance were measured. RESULTS: GO exposure significantly increased intracellular ROS, glutathione (GSH) depletion, malondialdehyde (MDA) formation, and increased activities of cellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and aspartate amino transferase (AST), as well as causing insulin resistance. Curcumin pretreatment significantly attenuated these disturbances in intracellular ROS, liver enzyme activity and significantly antagonized the lipid peroxidation, GSH depletion and insulin resistance induced by GO in LO2 hepatocytes. These effects paralleled Nrf2 nuclear translocation induced by curcumin. Wortmannin partially blocked curcumin-induced Nrf2 nuclear translocation. In addition, wortmannin prevented curcumin-induced improvements in intracellular ROS, MDA formation, GSH depletion, liver enzyme activity and insulin resistance in cultured LO2 hepatocytes. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that curcumin could reduce ROS-mediated insulin resistance in hepatocytes, at least in part through nuclear translocation of Nrf2.

Long Term Effect of Curcumin in Restoration of Tumour Suppressor p53 and Phase-II Antioxidant Enzymes via Activation of Nrf2 Signalling and Modulation of Inflammation in Prevention of Cancer

From: http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/curcumin-potentiated-significant-increase-nrf2-activation-it-restored-activityPLoS One.

Abstract

Inhibition of carcinogenesis may be a consequence of attenuation of oxidative stress via activation of antioxidant defence system, restoration and stabilization of tumour suppressor proteins along with modulation of inflammatory mediators. Previously we have delineated a significant role of curcumin during its long-term effect in regulation of glycolytic pathway and angiogenesis, which in turn results in prevention of cancer via modulation of stress activated genes. The present study was designed to investigate long-term effects of curcumin in regulation of Nrf2 mediated phase-II antioxidant enzymes, tumour suppressor p53 and inflammation under oxidative tumour microenvironment in liver of T-cell lymphoma bearing mice. Inhibition of Nrf2 signalling observed during lymphoma progression, resulted in down regulation of phase II antioxidant enzymes, p53 as well as activation of inflammatory signals. Curcumin potentiated a significant increase in Nrf2 activation. It restored activity of phase-II antioxidant enzymes like GST, GR, NQO1, and tumour suppressor p53 level. In addition, curcumin modulated inflammation via upregulation of TGF-β and reciprocal regulation of iNOS and COX2. The study suggests that during long term effect, curcumin leads to prevention of cancer by inducing phase-II antioxidant enzymes via activation of Nrf2 signalling, restoration of tumour suppressor p53 and modulation of inflammatory mediators like iNOS and COX2 in liver of lymphoma bearing mice.

Curcumin Activates the Heme Oxygenase-1 Gene via Regulation of Nrf2 and the Antioxidant Responsive Element

From: http://www.academia.edu/309816/Curcumin_Activates_the_Haem_Oxygenase-1_Gene_via_Regulation_of_Nrf2_and_the_Antioxidant-Responsive_Element

Synopsis

The transcription factor Nrf2, which normally exists in an inactive state as a consequenceof binding to a cytoskeleton-associated protein Keap1, can be activated by redox-dependent stimuli. Alteration of the Nrf2/Keap1 interaction enables Nrf2 to translocate to the nucleus, bind to the antioxidant responsive element (ARE) and initiates the transcription of genes encoding for detoxifying enzymes and cytoprotective proteins. This response is also triggered by a class of electrophilic compounds including polyphenols and plant-derived constituents. Recently, the natural antioxidants curcumin and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) have been identified as potent inducers of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a redox-sensitive inducible protein that provides protection against various forms of stress. Here, we show that in renal epithelial cells both curcumin and CAPE stimulate the expression of Nrf2 in a concentration- and time-dependent manner. This effect was associated with a significant increase in HO-1 protein expression and hemeoxygenase activity. From several lines of investigation we also report that curcumin (and, by inference, CAPE) stimulates HO-1 gene activity by promoting inactivation of the Nrf2/Keap1 complex leading to increased Nrf2 binding to the resident HO-1 AREs. Moreover, using antibodies and specific inhibitors of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, we provide data implicating p38 MAPK in curcumin-mediated HO-1 induction. Taken together, these results demonstrate that induction of HO-1 by curcumin and CAPE requires the activation of the Nrf2/ARE pathway.

Influence of piperine on the pharmacokinetics of curcumin in animals and human volunteers.

Abstract

The medicinal properties of curcumin obtained from Curcuma longa L. cannot be utilised because of poor bioavailability due to its rapid metabolism in the liver and intestinal wall. In this study, the effect of combining piperine, a known inhibitor of hepatic and intestinal glucuronidation, was evaluated on the bioavailability of curcumin in rats and healthy human volunteers. When curcumin was given alone, in the dose 2 g/kg to rats, moderate serum concentrations were achieved over a period of 4 h. Concomitant administration of piperine 20 mg/kg increased the serum concentration of curcumin for a short period of 1-2 h post drug. Time to maximum was significantly increased (P < 0.02) while elimination half life and clearance significantly decreased (P < 0.02), and the bioavailability was increased by 154%. On the other hand in humans after a dose of 2 g curcumin alone, serum levels were either undetectable or very low. Concomitant administration of piperine 20 mg produced much higher concentrations from 0.25 to 1 h post drug (P < 0.01 at 0.25 and 0.5 h; P < 0.001 at 1 h), the increase in bioavailability was 2000%. The study shows that in the dosages used, piperine enhances the serum concentration, extent of absorption and bioavailability of curcumin in both rats and humans with no adverse effects.

SUMMARY

Curcuminoids are important polyphenols, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help make Ultimate Protector+ an outstanding nutritional supplement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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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