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Rejuvenation Program: Part Four

FOUNDATIONAL ELEMENTS IN THE HPDI MASTER REJUVENATION PROGRAM

Fred Liers PhD rejuvenation programThe HPDI Rejuvenation Program provides practices, protocols, and recommendations proven over 31 years. It is a complete program to rejuvenate, regenerate, and boost vitality to body, mind, and spirit. It is especially helpful for those who want to restore health.

The program emphasizes establishing basic nutrition, foundational nutritional formulas, and high-RNA Rejuvenate!™ superfoods and other sources of dietary nucleic acids. The program rests on six elements: 1) Attitude/Commitment, 2) Detoxification, 3) Preventing Toxicity, 4) Health Building Nutrition, 5) Building Powerful Immunity, and 6) Supporting Protocols.

The six foundational elements remain powerful individually, but act synergistically when combined to support optimal health. The results are greatly improved capabilities for your body to heal, regenerate, rejuvenate, and restore its vitality.

As I stated in Part Three of the Rejuvenation Program series, health building nutrition plays a major role in the process of rejuvenation. We recommend emphasizing organic and/or wildcrafted foods, consuming more plant-based foods, raw foods, and generally consuming natural, whole foods (e.g., avoiding refined/processed foods).

I also discussed foods recommended in our Rejuvenation Program. Our recommendations include consuming foods high in nucleic acids (RNA and DNA). RNA-rich foods include chlorella and  Rejuvenate!™ superfoods. Rejuvenate! superfoods provide therapeutic levels of nucleic acids to support optimal rejuvenation, revitalization, and health. They also provide supporting nutrients (e.g., d-ribose, coenzyme B vitamins) that maximize utilization and healing effects of dietary nucleic acids in the body.

HPDI offers three versions of Rejuvenate!, including Rejuvenate! (original greens)Rejuvenate PLUS, and Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs. Rejuvenate! PLUS and Rejuvenate Berries & Herbs are the most complete. Both provide delicious taste, therapeutic levels of dietary RNA, nutrients that support the body’s use of nucleic acids (e.g., d-ribose), a complete multivitamin, essential fats, and high levels of protein.

THE NEED FOR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION

Last month, I discussed dietary/food aspects of nutrition. Today, I present key roles played by what we call “foundational” (or sometimes “core”) nutritional supplements. Foundational nutritional supplements are one of the critical means to success in creating powerful health by establishing optimal nutrient status in the body. Foundational supplements include: 1) multivitamins, 2) An antioxidant / Vitamin C formula, 3) essential fats, and 4) high-RNA superfoods.

We have found that proper nutritional supplementation provides important nutrients not always easily available in the diet. This partly relates to the fact that our needs for nutrients have never been greater. In addition, there are various reasons that most foods are deficient in nutrients, and therefore cannot or do not provide levels of nutrients required to sustain optimal health.

Some reasons dietary supplements are necessary include the fact that most crops are grown in nutrient-deficient or depleted soils; increased demands by the body due to greater needs for nutrients (relating to detoxification, stress, pollution, etc.); biochemical individuality resulting in greater needs for certain nutrients depending on the biochemistry unique to individuals. Biochemical individuality means that a person may require many times the US Daily Value of specific nutrients. In fact, one person may need hundreds of times the amount of a nutrient compared to a different person.

In addition, needs change during the year due to environmental circumstances. Changing seasons, environments, air/water supply, etc. mean that an individual’s need for nutrients typically changes during the year (e.g., more vitamin D needed in the winter, more nutrients needed to deal with pollution associated with urban environments or stress, etc.). Nutrient density of foods also varies by location, season, etc. The availability of nutrients in foods (even organically grown foods) can vary substantially due to season, geography, growing methods, etc.

All these factors add up to the fact that it is difficult to ensure optimal nutrient status without supplementation. Because the need for nutrients is greater than ever for most people, the need for nutritional supplementation is also greater than ever. Nutritional supplements provide an effective (and cost effective) means to ensure the high levels of nutrients required to build, sustain, and maintain optimal health.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS IN THE HPDI REJUVENATION PROGRAM

ESTABLISHING FOUNDATIONAL NUTRITION

Foundational formulas are the primary supplements we recommend for success not only in our Rejuvenation Program, but also for helping create better health generally. In fact, foundational supplement formulas are the basic building blocks for establishing and maintaining high nutritional status at all times in any program. (While foods are your primary source of nutrients, nutritional supplements are the best way to ensure intake of nutrients needed for good health.)

As noted above, the four foundational nutritional supplements we recommend are: 1) a high-potency multivitamin, 2) an essential fats formula (omega-3 and omega-6), and 3) Vitamin C (preferably buffered) with antioxidants (especially bioflavonoids), and 4) Rejuvenate!™ superfoods (and/or other high-RNA superfoods).

These four types of foundational formulas are the most important supplements and superfoods. Even if you take no other dietary supplements, these are the formulas that ensure you get basic nutrients required for good health. In fact, no diet or nutritional supplementation program is complete without them.

I will now consider the four types of foundational formulas, explain how they function, and reasons why they essential for good health.

FOUNDATIONAL #1: A HIGH-QUALITY MULTIVITAMIN

A high-quality, high-potency multivitamin is the single most important supplement you can take. A good multivitamin ensures you receive important nutrients not always available in optimal amounts in foods. Taking a multivitamin helps guarantee uptake of nutrients that ar e not readily available because modern diets have strayed far from traditional diets. In addition, modern lifestyles create far greater demands for critical nutrients even as many nutrients are increasingly less available from foods. Multivitamins help break the cycle of deficiency and degeneration.

Critical nutrients provided by a good therapeutic multivitamin formula include a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, and cofactors. Such a formula will usually include trace minerals, fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, & K), coenzyme B vitamins, magnesium, or other nutrients known to be deficient in the diets of most individuals.

Important factors to consider when looking for a good multivitamin, include high-potency, forms, completeness, balance, assimilability (e.g., ease of uptake and rapid assimilation), ease of use (convenience), etc.

High-potency is important because for most nutrients, the so-called “daily value” is simply inadequate for most people. Most individuals need many times the daily value of vitamins for good health. This is because daily values are established based on minimum amounts required for sustain life (e.g., survival) rather than the optimal amounts needed for good health.

As noted, studies of biochemical individuality show that individuals may require many times greater amounts of specific nutrients than are needed by the average person. Because most vitamins (especially water soluble ones) are essentially non-toxic even in relatively large doses (i.e., hundreds or sometimes thousands of times the daily value), it pays to provide your body with larger amounts of critical nutrients that it may require because you may not be an ‘average’ person.

Complicating this picture is the fact that individuals needs for specific nutrients vary widely. Thus, for example, one person’s need for vitamin C may be somewhat higher than average, yet the same person’s need for vitamin D may be significantly higher than average.

The proper forms of the nutrients are another critical factor. While forms have not always been a prime consideration (either of consumers or formulators), they are critically important. Forms are worthy of attention because we know that the form of a vitamin or mineral can make a major difference in terms of how it assimilated and used in the body.

For example, Krebs cycle bionutrients (i.e., mineral carriers, such as citrates, malates, alpha-ketoglutarates, succinates, or fumarates) are known to be superior precisely because they are the forms naturally recognized and utilized in the body. This is because these forms are used in the Krebs cycle (or citric acid cycle) that is part of the metabolic pathway used to generate energy (ATP) from nutrients in foods. In contrast, elemental forms of minerals and/or forms that are not part of the Krebs cycle may be more difficult to assimilate because they must be converted into forms the body can use. The biological cost is reduced bioavailability, as well as cellular energy expense and time required for metabolic conversion. As you can see, forms matter for health!

Other important factors include completeness and balance. Completeness is important in a multivitamin because the body requires a wide range of nutrients working together to create and sustain health. Many multivitamins are neither complete nor balanced. This relates partly to the fact that multivitamins are often not designed with an understanding of nutrients, forms, or amounts needed for health. Consequently, many commonly available multivitamins incorporate less effective forms, inadequate amounts, and improper ratios of nutrients. This reflects a general lack of understanding by formulators about how nutrients work together to build and sustain health. In contrast, supplements are available that provide completeness and balance.

HPDI offers several high-quality, balanced, and complete multivitamins providing easily assimilated forms of nutrients in optimal amounts. These include Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite!, Multi Two caps or tabs, and Chewable Kids Mighty-Multi! (which is also designed for adults to enjoy, too). We recommend our capsule formulas because they are the easier to assimilate. However, our tablet formulas are both effective and cost-effective. Children benefit greatly from a multivitamin, and for them we offer our chewable Kids Mighty-Multi! multivitamin formula.

FOUNDATIONAL #2: AN ANTIOXIDANT / VITAMIN C FORMULA

Vitamin C is legendary for its healing capacities. Yet, it is notable that despite numerous studies and accolades by nutritionists, it remains underutilized by mainstream medicine and is completely under-appreciated for the healing powerhouse it represents for human health.

We include Vitamin C as a foundational formula because we understand its role in creating and sustaining optimal health. Vitamin C not only is a potent antioxidant, but also a powerful immune builder/anti-viral, cholesterol controller, and connective tissue strengthener. In fact, no other vitamin or nutrient can take its place in terms of what it can contribute to human health, longevity, and well-being.

Ever since Linus Pauling wrote Vitamin C and the Common Cold, Vitamin C has held a place of esteem among nutritional scientists and consumers of Vitamin C products. Pauling went on to present further studies and to write his best-seller How to Live Longer and Feel Better (rev. 2006). Vitamin C plays a major role both in his discussion of vitamins and in the supplement regimens he recommends.

In nature, Vitamin C is always combined with bioflavanoids. Bioflavanoids (such as rutin, quercetin, catechins, anthocyandins, and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs)), work synergistically with Vitamin C to create powerful antioxidant effects, counteract inflammation, and strengthen connective tissues. In addition, Vitamin C and bioflavanoids combine with other antioxidants (including glutathione, lipoic acid, and selenium) in a process called “redox cycling.” In this process, antioxidants protect and “spare” each other, thereby allowing for significantly increased antioxidant protection in the body.

We offer a variety of Vitamin C products, including formulas with bioflavonoids. Our Vitamin C formulas include Ultimate Protector+™, PRO-C™, Buffered Vitamin C tabs, and Buffered Vitamin C powder. We typically recommend taking a buffered Vitamin C product to prevent acidosis and help maintain proper pH levels in the body.

We consistently find that one of greatest means for success in creating health using dietary supplements is to ensure you take all four types of foundational formulas. For example, many people take one or two foundational formulas: a multivitamin, essential fats, Vitamin C plus bioflavonoids, and/or high-RNA superfoods. But how many people take all four daily? Do you take all four daily? You might be surprised at the results if you took them all daily. This is because foundational formulas work together synergistically and leverage each other in ways that exceed the health-building effects that can be expected when foundational formulas are taken individually.

FOUNDATIONAL #3: AN ESSENTIAL FATS FORMULA

Many people understand the need to take supplemental multivitamins. The need for essential fatty acids (EFAs) has gained increased attention recently, and it is no less important. More people are consuming fish, fish oils, and vegetarian sources of essential fats, including chia seeds. However, the need for supplementing diet with essential fats to ensure adequate daily intake has never been greater than today.

There are two basic essential fats: alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3) and linolenic acid (omega-6). Other fats are sometimes included as being essential fats, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an important omega-6 fatty acid, and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA), important omega-3 fatty acids.

Essential fats are considered ‘essential’ because they are needed for biological processes (i.e., they are required to sustain life) rather than acting only as a food-based source of energy (as do many other non-essential fatty acids). Humans, therefore, must ingest essential fatty acids both for survival and for good health.

Essential fats play multiple roles in the body and serve many different functions. These functions include being modified to make eicosanoids (affecting pain and inflammatory processes); regulating steroid production and hormone synthesis; regulating pressure in the eyes, joints and blood vessels; mediating the immune response; regulating smooth muscle and autonomic reflexes; are needed for oxygen transport from red blood cells to tissues; are necessary for kidney function and fluid balance; preventing clumping of red blood cells; regulating mood and depression, and regulating nerve transmission.

Every cell and organelle within the cells are encased and protected by membrane made of phospholipids. A major component of these phospholipids are essential fatty acids that control membrane fluidity and the ability to pass important nutrients into the cells and toxins out of the cells. Without adequate essential fats the cell membranes can become rigid and dysfunctional.

We offer an essential fats product, called Hank & Brian’s Essential Fats Plus E. This product contains EPA and DHA from highly purified fish oils, GLA from cold-processed borage oil, and full spectrum Vitamin E consisting of all eight natural forms of tocotrienols and tocopherols. These mixed forms of Vitamin E perform many beneficial functions in the body (such as lowering cholesterol and clearing plague out of blood vessels) and also protect the essential fats from oxidizing in the capsule and in your body. The ratio of EPA to GLA in this products is 4:1, which is considered the ideal ratio for optimal effects in the body.

FOUNDATIONAL #4: HIGH-RNA SUPERFOODS, INCLUDING REJUVENATE! FORMULAS

Our recommendations for foundational formulas now include high-RNA superfoods. We first recommend a multivitamin, an antioxidant / Vitamin C formula, and essential fatty acids. After these three foundational formulas are established in a daily regimen, the addition of a high-RNA superfood further contributes to excellent health.

We include high-RNA superfoods (and especially recommend Rejuvenate!™ superfoods) in our foundational supplements program after having studied the remarkable healing powers of chlorella and other high-RNA nutrients for six years. When taken in sufficient amounts, superfoods high in ribonucleic acid (RNA) show remarkable effects in the body. These effects include higher energy levels, greater endurance, better muscle strength, easier breathing, lower cholesterol levels, reductions in angina pains (and other positive cardiovascular effects), more stable blood sugar, better vision, and a more youthful appearance (smoother skin, fewer wrinkles, etc.), and many other benefits.

Our assessment of dietary nucleic acids being essential nutrients is shared by scientists on the cutting-edge of nutrition. In Nucleic Acid Nutrition and Therapy, Dr. Benjamin S. Frank asserts that dietary nucleic acids (RNA, DNA) are “essential nutrients of human beings” as distinct from non-essential, accessory nutrients. He considers nucleic acids and nucleotides an essential dietary category, i.e., as being nutrients “just as essential for humans as vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids” (Frank).

After having studied the positive health effects of dietary RNA in the clinic for more than 20 years, Dr. Frank asserted:

“[N]ucleic acids are an essential nutrient in our daily diets, and […] optimal health and reduced aging are clearly related to their intake, more than to any other nutrient. Nucleic acids in our diets are of paramount importance for the repairing of molecular and gross tissue degeneration, and for combating the process of aging by simple, effective and essentially non-toxic, natural means.”

Dr. Frank’s conclusion that RNA is more essential to health than any other single nutrient underscores the central role of nucleic acids for human health.

We share Dr. Frank’s conclusions regarding the “essential” nature of nucleic acids and nucleotides, and their central role in human health. In fact, it is our direct experience with the health-building effects of dietary nucleic acids (e.g., in chlorella and other foods) that led to further our knowledge of nucleic acid nutrition and therapy, and develop our line of high-RNA Rejuvenate!™ superfoods. Rejuvenate!™ superfoods both provide optimal levels of nucleic acids and include supporting nutrients (e.g., d-ribose, coenzyme B vitamins), which maximize the beneficial effects of dietary RNA for health.

The nucleic acids in Rejuvenate!™ superfoods work directly with HPDI’s other foundational nutritional supplements to create, sustain, and support optimal nutrition for health and healing. We recommend Rejuvenate!™ and/or other high-RNA superfoods as part of program of foundational nutritional supplements that work together to provide full spectrum nutrition. It is because foundational formulas provides a full spectrum of essential nutrients that it is critical to success in our Rejuvenation Program, and to create, maintain, and/or rebuild health.

FOUR FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS  =  POWERFUL SYNERGY FOR HEALTH

The best news with respect to dietary nucleic acids is that while they are essential nutrients, their inclusion in our foundational supplement program powerfully leverages their effects by facilitating greater synergy among all nutrients available to the body via foundational supplements. This synergy means the total package of nutrients delivered by all four types of foundational supplements combined delivers far more health-building nutrition than any single foundational formula delivers individually. That’s synergy in action.

The means by which all four foundational supplements succeed in creating and contributing to powerful health relates less to the fact that each singly provides an ‘essential’ piece of the nutrition puzzle. Success relates instead to the fact that when all foundational formulas are taken together, their healthy benefits multiply and greatly exceed the sum of benefits provided by individual foundational formulas. This is a primary reason we emphasize establishing foundational nutrition both within our Rejuvenation Program, and more generally as a starting point for the creation of powerful health.

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ULTIMATE PROTECTOR+ INGREDIENTS – POMEGRANATE

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

Ultimate Protector+ ingredients include pomegranate extract, as well as components 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 pomegranate, which is a component of SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend from Ethical Naturals, Inc.

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

Ultimate Protector+ Includes Pomegranate

SFB® – Standardized Fruit Blend

SFB® is a proprietary formula that combines extracts from Grape, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Blueberry, Apple, Mangosteen, Bilberry, Chokeberry, and Goji Berry. High in fruit polyphenols, anthocyanins, proanthocyanins, ellagic acid, chlorogenic acid, resveratrol, and quinic acid. With its diverse blend, SFB® offers over 40-50% polyphenols as well as 9,000 ORAC units in a single gram.

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

HEALTH BENEFITS OF POMEGRANATE

The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. It is widely cultivated throughout India and the drier parts of southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies and tropical Africa. The tree was introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769.

For thousands of years, the pomegranate has been extensively used as a source of food and medicine. Full of antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium, pomegranate has been used to control body weight, reduce cholesterol, fight against cell damage, and inhibit viral infections. Pomegranate extracts have anti-bacterial effects.

Pomegranates are rich in ellagic acid, gallic acid, lignans, polyphenols and other bioactive compounds, and have been shown to lower blood pressure and enhance vascular function. Furthermore, it can offset some of the negative effects of medications and chemicals. These compounds occur naturally in its peel, seeds, leaf and juice. The seeds are high in p-coumaric acid, plant sterols, tannins and fatty acids. In addition to their antihypertensive effects, they may help reduce blood sugar levels.

Pomegranate fruit is a rounded berry with a thick reddish skin covering approximately 200–1400 white to deep red or purple seeds. Pomegranate seeds are edible and hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to their high content of hydrolysable tannins and anthocyanins. As compared to the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, β-carotene, and ascorbic acid, the pomegranate antioxidants appear unique due to combinations of a wide array of polyphenols, having a broader range of action against several types of free radicals. As compared to the recognized antioxidants in red wine and green tea, anthocyanins from pomegranate fruit possess significantly higher antioxidant activity.

Pomegranate has been used in various medicinal systems of medicine for the treatment and therapy of a multitude of diseases and ailments. In the ancient Indian medicinal system, i.e., in Ayurvedic medicine, the pomegranate was considered to be a whole pharmacy unto itself. It was recommended to be used as an antiparasitic agent and to treat diarrhea and ulcers. The medicinal properties of pomegranate have sparked significant interest in today’s scientific community as evidenced by the scientific research relating to health benefits of pomegranate that have been published in last few decades.

Studies have shown that pomegranate and its constituents can efficiently affect multiple signaling pathways involved in inflammation, cellular transformation, hyperproliferation, angiogenesis, initiation of tumorigenesis, and eventually suppressing the final steps of tumorigenesis and metastasis. The pomegranate constituents are shown to modulate transcription factors, pro-apoptotic proteins, anti-apoptotic proteins, cell cycle regulator molecules, protein kinases, cell adhesion molecules, pro-inflammatory mediators, and growth factors.

Pomegranate Chemical Constituents

The pomegranate fruit consists of white to deep purple seeds embedded in a white spongy astringent membrane surrounded by a thick reddish skin, or pericarp. Pericarp constitutes almost 50% of the fruit weight and is a rich source of bioactive constituents, such as phenolics, flavonoids, ellagitannins, and proanthocyanidin compounds. It also contains various minerals, mainly potassium (K), nitrogen (N), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), and sodium (Na), as well as complex polysaccharides. The remaining 50% of the fruit consists of seeds (constituting 10% of the fruit weight) and arils (constituting 40% of the fruit weight).

Pomegranate seeds hold strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties due to the high content of hydrolysable tannins (punicalagin, pedunculagin, punicalin, gallagic acid, ellagic acid, and esters of glucose) and anthocyanins (delphinidin-3-glucoside, cyanidin-3-glucoside, delphinidin-3,5-diglucoside, cyanidin-3,5-diglucoside, pelargonidin-3,5-diglucoside, and pelargonidin-3-glucoside).

Various organic acids, such as ascorbic acid, citric acid, and malic acid, etc., are also reported to be present in the seed coat, while the arils contain water (85%), sugars (10%), mainly fructose and glucose, and pectin (1.5%). Arils are a rich source of bioactive compounds such as phenolics and flavonoids, principally anthocyanins.

Pomegranate seed oil consists of mainly conjugated linolenic acid. Interestingly, punicic acid, a conjugated isomer of linolenic acid found uniquely in pomegranate oil, constitutes 70%–76% of the seed oil. Sterols, steroids, and cerebroside, a key component of mammalian myelin sheaths, constitute the minor share of the seed oil.

Scientific Studies on the Antioxidant Effects of POMEGRANATE

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

We provide a few relevant scientific studies on the antioxidant effects of pomegranate.

Adv Biomed Res. 2014; 3: 100.
Potent health effects of pomegranate
Authors: Aida Zarfeshany, Sedigheh Asgary,1 and Shaghayegh Haghjoo Javanmard

Abstract

Accumulating data clearly claimed that Punica granatum L. (pomegranate) has several health benefits. Pomegranates can help prevent or treat various disease risk factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, and inflammatory activities. It is demonstrated that certain components of pomegranate such as polyphenols have potential antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-proliferative effects. The antioxidant potential of pomegranate juice is more than that of red wine and green tea, which is induced through ellagitannins and hydrosable tannins. Pomegranate juice can reduce macrophage oxidative stress, free radicals, and lipid peroxidation. Moreover, pomegranate fruit extract prevents cell growth and induces apoptosis, which can lead to its anticarcinogenic effects. In addition, promoter inhibition of some inflammatory markers and their production are blocked via ellagitannins. In this article, we highlight different studies on the therapeutic effects of pomegranate and their suggested mechanisms of actions.

J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jun;16(6):360-7.

In vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities of punicalagin, ellagic acid and a total pomegranate tannin extract are enhanced in combination with other polyphenols as found in pomegranate juice.
Authors: Seeram NP1, Adams LS, Henning SM, Niu Y, Zhang Y, Nair MG, Heber D.Seeram NP1, Adams LS, Henning SM, Niu Y, Zhang Y, Nair MG, Heber D.

Abstract

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruits are widely consumed as juice (PJ). The potent antioxidant and anti-atherosclerotic activities of PJ are attributed to its polyphenols including punicalagin, the major fruit ellagitannin, and ellagic acid (EA). Punicalagin is the major antioxidant polyphenol ingredient in PJ. Punicalagin, EA, a standardized total pomegranate tannin (TPT) extract and PJ were evaluated for in vitro antiproliferative, apoptotic and antioxidant activities. Punicalagin, EA and TPT were evaluated for antiproliferative activity at 12.5-100 microg/ml on human oral (KB, CAL27), colon (HT-29, HCT116, SW480, SW620) and prostate (RWPE-1, 22Rv1) tumor cells. Punicalagin, EA and TPT were evaluated at 100 microg/ml concentrations for apoptotic effects and at 10 microg/ml concentrations for antioxidant properties. However, to evaluate the synergistic and/or additive contributions from other PJ phytochemicals, PJ was tested at concentrations normalized to deliver equivalent amounts of punicalagin (w/w). Apoptotic effects were evaluated against the HT-29 and HCT116 colon cancer cell lines. Antioxidant effects were evaluated using inhibition of lipid peroxidation and Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) assays. Pomegranate juice showed greatest antiproliferative activity against all cell lines by inhibiting proliferation from 30% to 100%. At 100 microg/ml, PJ, EA, punicalagin and TPT induced apoptosis in HT-29 colon cells. However, in the HCT116 colon cells, EA, punicalagin and TPT but not PJ induced apoptosis. The trend in antioxidant activity was PJ>TPT>punicalagin>EA. The superior bioactivity of PJ compared to its purified polyphenols illustrated the multifactorial effects and chemical synergy of the action of multiple compounds compared to single purified active ingredients.

Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 7;6:34246. doi: 10.1038/srep34246.
Pomegranate extract decreases oxidative stress and alleviates mitochondrial impairment by activating AMPK-Nrf2 in hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of spontaneously hypertensive rats.
Authors: Sun W1,2, Yan C3, Frost B4, Wang X5, Hou C3, Zeng M3, Gao H2, Kang Y2, Liu J3.

Abstract

High blood pressure, or “hypertension,” is associated with high levels of oxidative stress in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. While pomegranate extract is a known antioxidant that is thought to have antihypertensive effects, the mechanism whereby pomegranate extract lowers blood pressure and the tissue that mediates its antihypertensive effects are currently unknown. We have used a spontaneously hypertensive rat model to investigate the antihypertensive properties of pomegranate extract. We found that chronic treatment of hypertensive rats with pomegranate extract significantly reduced blood pressure and cardiac hypertrophy. Furthermore, pomegranate extract reduced oxidative stress, increased the antioxidant defense system, and decreased inflammation in the paraventricular nucleus of hypertensive rats. We determined that pomegranate extract reduced mitochondrial superoxide anion levels and increased mitochondrial function in the paraventricular nucleus of hypertensive rats by promoting mitochondrial biogenesis and improving mitochondrial dynamics and clearance. We went on to identify the AMPK-nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway as a mechanism whereby pomegranate extract reduces oxidative stress in the paraventricular nucleus to relieve hypertension. Our findings demonstrate that pomegranate extract alleviates hypertension by reducing oxidative stress and improving mitochondrial function in the paraventricular nucleus, and reveal multiple novel targets for therapeutic treatment of hypertension.

Molecules 2017, 22(1), 177;
Pomegranate for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer: An Update
1 Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
2 Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA

Abstract

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and those who survive cancer may experience lasting difficulties, including treatment side effects, as well as physical, cognitive, and psychosocial struggles. Naturally-occurring agents from dietary fruits and vegetables have received considerable attention for the prevention and treatment of cancers. These natural agents are safe and cost efficient in contrast to expensive chemotherapeutic agents, which may induce significant side effects. The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) fruit has been used for the prevention and treatment of a multitude of diseases and ailments for centuries in ancient cultures. Pomegranate exhibits strong antioxidant activity and is a rich source of anthocyanins, ellagitannins, and hydrolysable tannins. Studies have shown that the pomegranate fruit as well as its juice, extract, and oil exert anti-inflammatory, anti-proliferative, and anti-tumorigenic properties by modulating multiple signaling pathways, which suggest its use as a promising chemopreventive/chemotherapeutic agent. This review summarizes preclinical and clinical studies highlighting the role of pomegranate in prevention and treatment of skin, breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers.

SUMMARY

Pomegranates are an important fruit full of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and Nrf2 activators that help to make Ultimate Protector+ such an outstanding nutritional supplement.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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MAXIMIZING HYDROGEN SUPPLEMENTS—MEGAHYDRATE AND ACTIVE H2 ULTRA—WITH pH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA

Fred Liers PhD pH adjust hydrogen supplementsToday, I talk about hydrogen supplements with a twist. Specifically, I discovered that a unique combination of three products—MegahydrateActive H2 Ultra, and pH ADJUST Alkalinizing Formula—provides surprising benefits. I put this combination, or concoction, into water to produce a hydrogen-infused drink with potent antioxidant quenching capacity that also rapidly alkalinizes the body (increasing pH levels and buffering acids), and provides the important minerals potassium and magnesium.

Combining hydrogen supplements with pH ADJUST creates a hydrogen-infused drink giving you benefits from 1) Two types of hydrogen, hydride (H-) and molecular hydrogen (H2) with antioxidant and energizing properties, 2) Increased pH levels (greater alkalinity) to balance pH levels, 3) Bicarbonates helping buffer acids and replenish bicarbonate reserves in the body, and 4) Essential minerals (potassium, magnesium) in bio-available forms.

In practical terms, this drink is energizing, anti-aging (party due to free-radical quenching effects), hydrating, and powerfully alkaline-forming! What this means for you might be a revolutionary drink that by giving your body all the antioxidant benefits of hydrogen plus increasing your pH levels turns can significantly improve multiple aspects of health.

By buffering acidity and making you alkaline, this drink can improve things like the strength of bones and teeth (via buffering and remineralization), supports kidney health (as kidneys are responsible for your bicarbonate reserves), boosts oxygenation (and thereby supports easier breathing) because alkaline cells hold more oxygen, and stops or reduces acid indigestion, acid reflux, and other acid-related problems. That could be just the beginning of the benefits you might receive because increasing your pH levels and normalizing alkaline conditions (i.e., pH 7.35–7.45) positively impacts many systems in the body.

WHY COMBINE pH ADJUST AND HYDROGEN SUPPLEMENTS?

pH Adjust, Megahydrate, and Active H2 Ultra are good supplements when used by themselves. That is, they work well as stand alone supplements. But I have found the combination of all three offers maximum antioxidant, alkalization, buffering, and mineralization benefits.

pH Adjust maximizes the effects of hydrogen supplements by boosting alkalinity and buffering capacity through the inclusion of effective, natural forms of important minerals and bicarbonates, including: potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate.

SYNERGY: HOW EACH PRODUCT CONTRIBUTES TO THE DRINK

There are potent synergistic effects to the combination of all three products. In particular, using both hydrogen negative ions (H-) or hydride and molecular hydrogen (H2) creates cascade effects in which hydrogen ions “recycle” themselves as antioxidants. The addition of pH Adjust brings its own set of benefits.

MEGAHYDRATE provides hydride or hydrogen negative ions (H-), also known as anions, that act significantly as antioxidants. These hydrogen ions can last up to three weeks in water. In the body, after the H- has donated its electron, it becomes simply “H” and proceeds to pair with another hydrogen atom to form H2 (molecular hydrogen), thereby continuing to exert free-radical quenching action. This is a major benefit of consuming H- in the quantities provided by Megahydrate.

ACTIVE H2 ULTRA provides molecular hydrogen (H2) directly into the body in significant amounts. Molecular hydrogen offers many benefits to the body, especially antioxidant benefits. Being an extremely small molecule, molecular hydrogen can enter into the smallest cellular compartments, including the nucleus of the cell, a place where most antioxidants are too large to enter) where it can exert its antioxidant capabilities. Molecular hydrogen actually provides a wide range of health benefits. (See the Molecular Hydrogen Institute (MHI) website for more information.)

pH ADJUST Alkalinizing Formula provides effective alkalinizing and buffering functions, as well as minerals (like potassium and magnesium) and bicarbonates needed for health. It is a fluffy, white powder that mixes easily in water, teas, coffee, and other liquids. It is formulated to rapidly increase pH levels, and acts as a buffering agent to balance pH in the body.

pH Adjust was created by my father, Dr. Hank Liers, HPDI’s founder and formulator of all “Dr. Liers Original” supplements. Dr. Hank been designing effective nutritional supplements since before 1988, the year he founded HPDI.

ph adjust hydrogen supplements active h2 ultra

ACID-BASE BALANCE CRITICAL FOR HEALTH

Acid-base balance is critical in the body, where a pH level of 7.35–7.45 must be maintained. Modern diets and lifestyles tend to be acidifying for the body. Diets high in animal foods that are not adequately balanced with vegetable foods lead to acidity. Other factors include overconsumption of grains, alcohol, and other acid-forming foods. Stress can also play a role due too the acidifying effects of stress hormones like cortisol.

Moreover, the aging process itself depletes bicarbonate reserves. As noted, pH Adjust contains bicarbonates that help replenish bicarbonate reserves necessary for buffering acids. Finally, a significant portion of the population has low intake of potassium and magnesium, which pH Adjust includes as part of its design.

pH Adjust also includes sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which is a well known acidity buffer and alkalinizer. For users, advantages of pH Adjust over pure sodium bicarbonate include reduced sodium intake, improved taste, and the provision of potassium and magnesium.

POTASSIUM & MAGNESIUM FOR HEALTH

Potassium is critical in the body not only for alkalinity, but also for its role in the sodium-potassium pump which is important in the production of cellular energy (ATP) and for preventing too high levels of sodium from entering cells.

Magnesium is essential in the body and plays a role in wide range of functions, including cellular energy production, immune function, muscle and connective tissue health, and more than 400 enzyme reactions.

pH ADJUST is a highly effective buffering formula, which tends to bring pH levels (low or high) back into the optimal range (7.35-7.45). This buffering capacity means users can both avoid acidosis (high acidity) and alkalosis (high alkalinity).

MAKE THE DRINK

OPTIMIZE MEGAHYDRATE & ACTIVE H2 ULTRA BY ADDING pH ADJUST

Start with 8–16 ounces of fresh, purified water. Add 1–2 scoops of pH ADJUST, 1–2 capsules (or 1-2 scoops) of MEGAHYDRATE, and 1–2 ACTIVE H2 ULTRA tablets. Add the Active H2 Ultra tablets last, and let them effervesce completely (about 1 minute) before drinking.

This alkaline-forming, hydrogen-infused water is best taken on an empty stomach. It is ideal to drink in the morning or the afternoon (away from food). Allow at least 15–30 minutes before eating, or see what works for you. I sometimes eat light foods 10 minutes after taking this drink.

I recommend testing your pH levels (salivary and/or urinary) using pH test paper (litmus paper). pH test paper gives you a way to accurately track your pH levels. You can also use it to measure the pH of foods you consume, such as hydrogen-infused water and drinks containing pH Adjust.

Note: Many HPDI customers use pH Adjust in other drinks, including tea, coffee, and ketogenic coffee. Coffee can be acidic and acid-forming beverage, so adding pH Adjust helps buffer the acidity. Many users say pH Adjust tastes mild or good in coffee, and some say it adds a certain creaminess to it.

USE THIS ALKALINIZING HYDROGEN DRINK!

The only way you will know how beneficial hydrogen-infused water with pH Adjust can be—or how well it works for you—is to make it and use it! You will likely find yourself surprised by how energizing, alkalinizing, and mineralizing it truly is for you. And how good you feel when you drink it!

Consider testing the pH of your water first using pH test paper. Many people drink highly acidic water (pH 6 or less) without realizing it. Just because your water is filtered or purified does not necessarily mean it is alkaline. pH Adjust can “fix” this problem. Other people report that their water is highly alkaline (8.0+). Either way, pH Adjust can buffer the water to put it into the range slightly alkaline range of about 7.35–7.45. If you have extremely acidic water, you might need to use two servings of pH Adjust in 8–16 ounces of water. Play with it.

Let us know how this works out for you. We welcome your feedback and success stories!

MANY OTHER WAYS TO USE pH ADJUST

Hydrogen supplements and pH Adjust are made for each other, and create wonderfully alkalinizing hydrogen-infused water. But there are other ways to use pH Adjust. As I mentioned, you might like to read about making pH Adjust Coffee or Ketogenic Coffee using pH Adjust. Or watch my videos below. Also, did you know you can use pH Adjust in lemonade and other juices?

MY YOUTUBE VIDEOS

pH ADJUST COFFEE: https://youtu.be/72fAz9ob3bo
“How to use pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula in Coffee”

KETOGENIC COFFEE VIDEO: https://youtu.be/yzyVbFD_JVA
“How to Make Keto Coffee with pH Adjust – Alkalinizing Coffee”

HOW TO USE PH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA: https://youtu.be/kuP2BuvMSXA

HOW TO MAKE LEMONADE AND USE pH ADJUST: https://youtu.be/deF7BZcFtEs

HYDROGEN SUPPLEMENTS IN DEPTH: ACTIVE H2 ULTRA and MEGAHYDRATE: https://youtu.be/gwFLv6M4uMo

PRODUCTS: pH ADJUST AND HYDROGEN

pH Adjust, Megahydrate, and Active H2 Ultra are available from Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI):

pH ADJUST: http://www.integratedhealth.com/ph-adjust.html

MEGAHYDRATE: http://www.integratedhealth.com/megahydrate-60-caps.html

ACTIVE H2 ULTRA: http://www.integratedhealth.com/hydrogen-tablets.html

PH TEST PAPER (Hydrion brand): http://www.integratedhealth.com/ph-paper.html

HPDI RESOURCES

HPDI WEBSITE: http://www.IntegratedHealth.com
RESELLER SITE: http://www.HealthProductsDistributors.com

HPDI BLOG: http://www.integratedhealthblog.com
RESELLER BLOG: http://www.healthproductsdistributors.com/blog (a blog just for HPDI resellers)

HPDI NEWSLETTER: http://www.integratedhealth.com/newsletter.html

HPDI OFFICE (Oracle, AZ): 1-800-228-4265 (M-F 8–3:45 pm Arizona Time)

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/healthproductsdistributors
FACEBOOK GROUP (Creating Health Naturally): https://www.facebook.com/groups/creatinghealthnaturally

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/HPDIHealth

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REJUVENATE! BERRIES & HERBS – SUPERFOOD FORMULA UPDATED

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs superfoodToday I talk about my REJUVENATE!™ BERRIES & HERBS high-RNA superfood. I designed it to be a super-delicious, intensely berry flavored superfood with no greens. I put in real organic berries—BLUEBERRY, STRAWBERRY, RASPBERRY, and CRANBERRY—so it bursts with true berry flavors! I recently updated the formula, so it is is more delicious and nutritious than ever.

REJUVENATE! BERRIES & HERBS – A COMPLETE SUPERFOOD

Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs is a delicious high-RNA (390 mg), high-protein (14.6 g) (organic pea and organic rice), high-antioxidant (ORAC value of 14,000+), high fiber (13 g) superfood with a creamy smoothness and rich berry flavor that tastes beyond great! It also boosts health with a complete multivitamin-multimineral sub-formula and important cell-protective herbs (herbal complex) that includes ginger, dandelion, burdock, turmeric, green tea extract, astragalus, and many other health-building herbs.

How to use Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs? Just mix in water, juices, nut milks, or smoothies to create a drink with superb health benefits. Or use it creatively in foods, such as nut butters, salads, fruits, sauce/dressings, or desserts. It tastes so good, some people like to eat it by itself—or mixed in a little purified water.

rejuvenate berries herbs

HEALTHY AND HIGH-RNA BY DESIGN

Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs is among HPDI’s premier high-RNA superfoods. That is, Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs is one of three Rejuvenate! superfoods, which are the world’s first—and only—dedicated high-RNA superfoods. High-RNA nutrition means high in dietary nucleic acids, which Dr. Benjamin S. Frank considers to be essential nutrients, like vitamins and minerals (Dietary Nucleic Acid Nutrition & Therapy). Dr. Frank’s studies demonstrate many benefits of nucleic acids, including: greater energy, endurance, functional strength, easier breathing (anti-anoxic effect), as well as cardiovascular benefits and cosmetic benefits (smoother skin and a more youthful appearance).

Highlights of Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs:

• Delicious Berry Flavor Bursts with Real Organic Berries!
• Powerful Organic and Wildcrafted Cell-Protective Herbs
• High ORAC Value (~14,270 units)
• 390 mg Dietary Nucleic Acids (RNA/DNA) from Vegetarian Sources
• Multiple Prebiotics Supporting your Microbiome
• Gluten Free, Vegan/Vegetarian, No Artificial Ingredients
• Mixes Well with other Rejuvenate!™ Superfoods

My updated formula (as of 12/2018) features, per serving:

– 2.6 g more protein (14.6 g total)
– Very little sugar (1.2 g total)
– 7.0 g more fiber (13 g total)
– 100 mg of organic BiAloe® aloe vera gel powder with over 18% acemannan
– 700 mcg of folate as 5-MTHF (natural, coenzyme folate)
– A smooth & delicious taste (even better than before!)

Given all the upgrades I recently made to the formula, I certainly hope you will give it a try. I’m so happy with it, and I use it daily. Berries & Herbs hardly feels (or tastes!) like a nutritional supplement. But believe me, there are few superfoods anywhere that provide as much nutrition—or nutrient density!

HIGHEST QUALITY INGREDIENTS – INCLUDING ORGANIC AND WILDCRAFTED

To give you a better idea of the high-quality ingredients I put into Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs, check out this complete list of ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: REJUVENATE! BERRIES & HERBS contains: pea protein*, rice protein*, flax seed powder*, rice bran solubles, d-ribose, cranberry powder*, blueberry powder*, raspberry powder*, strawberry powder*, nutritional yeast, sunflower lecithin, inulin (from chicory root), broccoli sprouts powder*, mannitol, xylitol* (from hardwood), magnesium malate, VitaBerry® Plus† (from freeze dried wild blueberry, cranberry, raspberry, strawberry, prune, cherry, wild bilberry, whole grape powders, resveratrol, and quercetin), l-lysine hydrochloride, mixed berry flavoring* (on gum acacia), vanilla flavoring* (on gum acacia), RNA (from yeast), magnesium ascorbate, chlorella growth factor (CGF), burdock root powder*, astragalus powder*, turmeric root powder*, ginger root powder*, digestive multienzyme complex, choline bitartrate, malic acid, dulse*, kelp*, aloe vera* (BiAloe® concentrate), n-acetyl-l-cysteine, rutin, milk thistle extract, green tea extract, licorice root powder*, dandelion root powder*, rhodolia extract, inositol, biotin, stevia leaf extract, alpha lipoic acid, d-alpha tocopheryl succinate, niacinamide (Vit. B3), whole grape extract, high-gamma mixed tocopherols, phylloquinone (Vit. K1), immune assist mushroom extract, pantothenic acid, resveratrol, methylcobalamin (Vit. B12), pyridoxal-5’-phospate (Vit. B6), thiamin diphosphate (Vit. B1), riboflavin-5’-phosphate (Vit. B2), l-selenomethionone, cholecalciferol (Vit. D3), and calcium L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate.

*Organic ingredient
†VitaBerry Plus® is a registered trademark of VDF Futureceuticals, Inc.

Rejuvenate berries and herbs nutrition facts table

Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs is available from Health Products Distributors, Inc.:

Try Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs  (organic and wildcrafted berries & herbs)

You may also like: Rejuvenate! PLUS (light, sweet green superfood)

There are three Rejuvenate! superfoods. Which one is best for you? See our Rejuvenate!™ comparison page.

BLOG ARTICLE:

TASTY SMOOTHIE WITH REJUVENATE! BERRIES & HERBS by Fred Liers

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VITAMIN B12: THE NEGLECTED NUTRIENT

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

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

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

vitamin B12

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

YOUR NEED FOR VITAMIN B12

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

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

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

SOURCES OF VITAMIN B12

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

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

vitamin B12 salmon

Salmon is a good source of Vitamin B12

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

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

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

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

ABSORPTION OF VITAMIN B12

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

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

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

Vitamin B12 – 5 mg methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge

Vitamin B12 – 5 mg Methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge.

VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY

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

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

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

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

FUNCTIONS AND ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN B12 STATUS IN THE BODY

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

MORE DETAILS ASSOCIATED WITH VITAMIN B12 STATUS IN THE BODY

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Groups at Risk of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Health Risks from Excessive Vitamin B12

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

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

Interactions with Medications

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

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

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

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

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

REFERENCES

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

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

ABSTRACT

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

 

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