THE TRUTH ABOUT ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

The Truth About Essential Fatty Acids

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

BACKGROUND

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

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


essential fatty acids

Figure 1 – Basic diagram of fatty acids structure

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

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

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

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

FATTY ACID METABOLIC PATHWAYS

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

essential fatty acids

Figure 2 – fatty acid metabolism pathways in the body

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

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

EICOSANOIDS/PROSTAGLANDINS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essential Fats

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

ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS – PATHWAYS

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

essential fatty acids

Figure 3 – Essential Fatty Acids – pathways in the body

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

RESEARCH ON ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

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

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

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

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SCIENCE

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

Essential Fats Plus E

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

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

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

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

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

IMPORTANT FUNCTIONS OF ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

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

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

GENETIC TESTING AND ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

REFERENCES

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

REFERENCE 1

Chapkin RS Somers SD Erickson KL

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

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

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

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

 

REFERENCE 2

Chapkin RS Carmichael SL

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

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

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

 

REFERENCE 3

Fan YY Chapkin RS

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

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

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

 

REFERENCE 4

Fan YY Chapkin RS Ramos KS

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

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

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

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

BOOKS

  1. Enig, Mary G. Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol. Bethesda Press, 2000.
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HPDI FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS – VIDEO

Fred Liers PhD foundational supplements nutritionDo you know HPDI has a foundational supplements system? And that HPDI’s system of Foundational Supplements is part of the comprehensive HPDI supplements system?

Foundational supplements are basic supplements providing essential nutrients that should be the “foundation” of everyone’s daily regimen. They are the foundation of a complete nutritional supplement program. They are the like the base of a pyramid in a complete nutritional supplement program.

All six HPDI foundational supplements are designed to provide a complete range of essential nutrients to complement a healthy diet and lifestyle. They help ensure sufficient levels of nutrients necessary for good health. And they are the first supplements we recommend taking as part of a complete nutritional supplement regimen.

Foundational supplements are the cornerstone in the HPDI supplement system. That is, HPDI offers a three-tiered system of nutritional supplements: Foundational Supplements, Enhancement Formulas, and Specific-Condition Formulas. The three “tiers” combined represent a complete nutritional supplement program. When customized appropriately to meet the needs of individuals, the three tiers of nutritional supplements help create optimal health.

You can visualize the HPDI supplement system as a cone or pyramid having a base of Foundational Supplements ascending toward an apex of Enhancement Formulas and Specific Condition Formulas.

foundational supplements HPDI system

The HPDI Supplement System includes six Foundational Supplements—four primary and two secondary—including multivitamins, vitamin C/antioxidants, essential fats, and Rejuvenate! superfoods.

HPDI FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

We recommend six basic types of foundational supplements. The six categories are: 1) multivitamin formulas, 2) vitamin C / antioxidant formulas, 3) essential fats, 4) high-RNA foods (Rejuvenate! superfoods), 5) gut health formulas, and 6) hydrogen formulas.

We further break down the six foundational supplements into “primary” and “secondary” foundational supplements. The first four (listed above) being primary and the last two (gut health and hydrogen formulas) being secondary. This doesn’t mean that gut health or hydrogen formulas are less essential, depending on the person. But typically we recommend the first four in order.

We established the original three types of foundational supplements about 1988. We have always recommended multivitamins, vitamin C and antioxidants, and essential fats, as being the most important nutritional supplements for establishing and maintaining general health.

We later added high-RNA foods (like Rejuvenate! superfoods) as a fourth type of foundational supplement because research indicates dietary nucleic acids are essential nutrients—see our many articles on dietary nucleic acids, Dr. Benjamin S. Frank, and about Rejuvenate! superfoods (Original Greens, PLUS, and Berries & Herbs).

Two categories of foundational supplements were added more recently: gut health formulas (especially Restore) and hydrogen formulas. Hank wrote an article (Amending the HPDI Foundational Program) about these changes in April 2016. We added these two categories after much consideration regarding their benefits, and have written extensively about them (see Resources below).

The entire HPDI supplement system is depicted (above) as a cone. The six types of foundational supplements form the base of the cone. Enhancement Formulas and Specific-Condition formulas sit above toward the apex.

ultimate protector foundational supplements

Ultimate Protector Nrf2 formula is a foundational supplement in the vitamin C / antioxidant category.

FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: BEST PRACTICES

I recommend using all six types of HPDI foundational supplements. I personally take the following supplements (below) and present them here as an example of how they can be integrated into a complete supplement regimen. Foundational Supplements I take:

1. Multivitamin: Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite! (4 per day in divided doses)

2. Vitamin C / antioxidants: PRO-C (6–8 per day) and Ultimate Protector Nrf2 activator (8–12 per day)

3. Essential Fats: Essential Fats Plus E (4 per day)

4. Rejuvenate!™ superfood: All three Rejuvenate! superfoods (2–8 scoops per day)

5. Gut Health: RESTORE For Gut Health (1–2 ounces per day) and/or a soil-based probiotic (1–3 per week)

6. Hydrogen: Megahydrate (2–6 per day) and/or VR Tablets

Taking one supplement from each of the six foundational supplement categories helps build, support, and maintain optimal health.

We at HPDI recommend everyone take one of each type of foundational supplement. That is, we suggest an individual select for personal use a multivitamin, vitamin C/antioxidant formula, essential fats formula, Rejuvenate!™ superfood (or other high-RNA superfood), hydrogen product, and at least one gut health product (typically RESTORE) depending on their gut-health needs).

Likewise, we suggest health care professionals recommend for their clients one of each of the six types of foundational supplements.

The other two categories in the HPDI nutritional supplement system are Enhancement Formulas and Specific-Condition Formulas (see cone diagram). These are not foundational supplements. However, I include the supplements I take in these categories to show how Enhancement and Specific-Condition Formulas fully integrate with Foundational Supplements to form a complete supplement program providing not only essential nutrients required for health, but also particular nutrients required by me. This makes the system fully “customizable” to individual needs.

Enhancement Formulas I take include: B-Complex-50 (B complex), Myo-Mag (magnesium/malic acid), Ubiquinol-50, Bone Guardian, and Vitamin D3 Plus.

Specific Condition Formulas I take include: Joint Health Formula, Allergy Support Formula, Eye & Vision Formula, Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula, and Warrior Mist (pain topical), and Warrior Sleep (sleep topical).

Thus, I take supplements from all three categories (Foundationals, Enhancements, and Specific-Condition) in the HPDI supplement system. However, I always prioritize foundational supplements—I take them first—because they are the all-important “base” on which my personal supplement program rests.

Foundational supplements ideally are the base on which your supplement program—or those of your clients—rests, as well.

We have seen the results of taking a complete set of foundational supplements. They work because the nutrients they provide are needed by everyone.

foundational supplements multivitamin

Muti Two Caps is a high-potency multivitamin with advanced forms for optimal utilization in the body.

SYNERGY OF FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Individuals who use all six types of foundational supplements do best in terms of optimizing health. The reason is that all six foundational supplements provide nutrients required for good health.

All six types of foundational supplement provide unique benefits. Yet, each performs functions required by the human body for good health. That is one reason when they are combined they exert synergistic effects for health going far beyond the benefits just using a few types of foundational supplements, depending on individual needs, of course.

A SYSTEM OF FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS IS NECESSARY

Individuals benefit from a structured system of supplements that can be tailored to their needs. Otherwise basic nutrients may be left out from daily intake.

For example, I know people who may or may not take a multivitamin. And they may or may not take vitamin C. Yet, they may take calcium for their bones, glucosamine for their joints, and lutein for their eyes. Or they may take a low-potency multivitamin providing merely the RDA for all nutrients.

It is fine that individuals take supplements they regard as important or useful. But that does not guarantee that a wide range—and sufficient levels—of nutrients necessary for health are available to the body on a regular basis.

In fact, I regard the supplement intake programs of most persons to be “hit-or-miss.” They may consume nutrients important for a few functions in the body, yet fail to obtain other essential nutrients required for the nutrients they take to work most effectively. We have written extensively on this topic on our website and in blog articles (see below).

Not taking regularly a complete set of foundational supplements likely means key nutrients (and key levels of nutrients) go missing. Over time, this means fewer and lower levels of nutrients available to support the body’s needs for them at levels known to sustain the good health.

The best way to ensure a sufficient range of nutrients at plentiful levels is to take foundational supplements. After a baseline of nutrients is established by taking foundational supplements, additional supplements can be added, as necessary. Following such a system and using it to customize a personal supplement regimen means there is a far better opportunity to obtain essential nutrients on a daily basis. And not to miss nutrients that help create optimal health.

rejuvenate superfood foundational supplements

High-RNA foods like Rejuvenate! PLUS superfood provide dietary nucleic acids important for health.

A COMPLETE SUPPLEMENT SYSTEM INCLUDES FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

After obtaining sufficient levels of basic nutrients required for health, then a person can add (or you can recommend) specific nutrients or formulas that target certain problems or issues. This is the basis for HPDI’s creation of Enhancement Formulas and Specific-Condition Formulas.

Nutritional supplements in the categories of Enhancement Formulas and Specific-Condition Formulas “stack” on top of HPDI’s Foundational Supplements (see cone diagram above). In this way, a complete nutritional supplement program begins with the most essential nutrients and continues with customizations based on the unique needs of an individual.

ENHANCEMENT FORMULAS

Enhancement Formulas in the HPDI system are supplements we regard as falling into the next tier in terms of importance, at least for most people. They do not necessarily provide essential nutrients, and yet many people (including myself) benefit significantly from them.

Enhancement Formulas include: magnesium formulas (topical and capsule), Vitamin D3 Plus, Nascent Iodine, Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin), mushroom-based products (like Immune-Assist™), Prolyt (proteolytic enzymes), Digase (plant-based enzymes), and Warrior Mist (topical pain reliever), and many other formulas.

SPECIFIC-CONDITION FORMULAS

In the HPDI system, individuals can add (in a modular way) various formulas and single nutrients designed to support a particular set of needs or a target a specific condition.

We offer a complete range of supplements (almost 100) including a range of supplements formulated to address specific conditions. These include Joint Health Formula, Eye & Vision Formula, Blood Sugar Support, Allergy Support, Prosta Plus, Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula, and many other formulas.

ONE SYSTEM. THREE TIERS. HPDI NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS.

HPDI Foundational Supplements collectively form the base tier of a complete nutritional supplement system comprised of three tiers: 1) Foundational Supplements (six types), 2) Enhancement Formulas (or simply “Enhancements”), and 3) Specific-Condition Formulas.

Foundational Supplements are necessary because they provide nutrients foundational to health. Taking them daily or recommending your clients take them daily can help mean big differences in health, nutrition, and quality of life.

We at HPDI design our nutritional supplements to be the most effective dietary supplements available. HPDI products are known for: 1) Advanced Formulation (including use of superior forms of nutrients), 2) Ultra-High Purity, 3) Avoidance of Harmful Ingredients, and 4) being made with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). For more details, please see The HPDI Difference and our Statement on Additives (Excipients).

At least 40 of HPDI’s products are formulated by Dr. Hank Liers. They fall in all categories in HPDI’s supplement system. They can be found under “Dr. Hank Liers original formulas.”

foundational supplement EFA

Essential Fats Plus E provides well-balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

ADDENDUM: THE BODYSYNC GENETIC TEST & ACTION PLAN

In recent years, genetic tests have become available that show gene variations can cause or predispose a person to serious conditions relating to important body functions such a lessened ability to process synthetic B vitamins (like folic acid), higher blood glucose levels, lower immune system function, and bone density problems relating to variants in the vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene, for example.

We recommend a genetic test to determine whether individuals have certain gene variations impacting health. HPDI has teamed with a genetic testing company (BodySync, Inc.) and sells BodySync test kits on our Reseller site. To read about the BodySync genetic test and test kits click here. Genes tested for in the Bodysync test include variations in genes impacting folate assimilation, cardiovascular health, detoxification, bone health, and more. Resellers can purchase the test kits directly from HPDI and retail customers can call us (800-228-4265) to find out how we can help them get a test kit and support them with any associated counseling regarding the results.

Genetic testing allows individuals to gain a clearer picture of where they may require additional or specific nutritional supplementation. In this respect, HPDI foundational supplements can play a significant role in providing the amounts and range of important nutrients that can help mitigate the adverse effects of certain gene variations in addition to diet, exercise, and lifestyle factors. After testing, you will receive a Bodysync Action Plan that makes recommendations for a healthy diet and lifestyle customized to your unique genetic profile.

FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

We frequently get questions from HPDI clients and resellers regarding foundational supplements. These questions include:

“Why did you add gut health and hydrogen products to your foundational supplements program?”
We found it necessary to add categories for gut health and hydrogen because they provide nutrients that are support the body and help ensure the foundational supplement system supports health most effectively. You can read more in previous blog articles (see below).

“Which is the better multivitamin: Multi Two or Mighty Multi-Vite!™?”
It depends on whether you need more B vitamins or antioxidants. Multi Two provides more B vitamins and Mighty Multi-Vite™ provides more antioxidants and cofactors. I take a separate HPDI B-Complex-50 formula, so I take Mighty Multi-Vite!™ as my primary multivitamin.

“What are the differences between Rejuvenate!™ Original, PLUS, and Berries & Herbs superfoods?”
They each provide about 340 mg of dietary nucleic acids. Original is the “greenest” with a large percentage of dietary nucleic acids coming from chlorella and spirunlina. PLUS is our most popular and 30% is identical to Original with more protein and a built-in multivitamin complex. Berries & Herbs contains no greens, yet more nucleic acids (390 mg), protein, and a built-in multivitamin. See our Rejuvenate! comparison page for more information.

“Should I take a vitamin C formula with antioxidants like PRO-C or one with Nrf2 activators like Ultimate Protector?”
Both provide vitamin C and Nrf2 activators, but Ultimate Protector provides more types of Nrf2 activators. Ultimate Protector capsules are smaller than PRO-C capsules, so a daily dose may require taking more capsules.

“How important are hydrogen supplements?”
Very important for energy production, recovery, antioxidant functions, and gut health. Hydrogen supplements like VR Tablets and Megahydrate ensure high levels of hydrogen are available in the body.

What are your best products for supporting gut health?
It depends on your needs: cleansing (Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula), probiotic/microbiome support, or tightening tight junctions in the gut (RESTORE)? We offer products for all these purposes. Typically, the first gut health formula we recommend is RESTORE because so many people require extra support for microbiome health and to restore gut integrity.

These are just a few questions frequently asked about HPDI foundational supplements. If you need more information about products, please contact the HPDI office (800-228-4265) or email support@healthproductsdistributors.com.

You can also contact Fred Liers, PhD or Hank Liers, PhD (formulator) with questions you may have regarding specific products, single nutrients, or formulation.

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

Foundational Supplements

HPDI Full Product Overview

The Need for Foundational Supplements (.pdf)

The HPDI Difference (4 Pillars of Formulation)

HPDI BLOG ARTICLES

Amending the HPDI Foundational Supplements Program

Foundational Supplements Remain Fundamental

Vitamin C / Antioxidants

PRO-C and Ultimate Protector Comparison

Questions and Answers about Ultimate Protector

The Amazing Healing Potential of Natural Nrf2 Activators

Ultimate Protector™: First Impressions

Ultimate Protector™ Brunswick Labs ORAC5.0™ Test Results

Preventing Free-Radical Damage Using Ultimate Protector™

Description and Comparison of ORAC Tests for Well Known Plant Ingredients and Ultimate Protector™

Ultimate Protector and the Role of Foundational Supplements for Health

Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention

New Directions for Preventing Free Radical Damage

Review of Scientific Research on Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC)” by Dr. Hank Liers

“Vitamin C – An Amazing Nutrient” by Dr. Hank Liers

High-RNA Superfoods

Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs: Ingredients for Optimal Nutrition

“9 Things to Know About Rejuvenate!™ Superfoods”

“High-RNA Rejuvenate!™ Superfood”

“Natural Phytochemical NRF2 Activators for Chemoprevention”

Review of Scientific Research on Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPC)

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

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

Super-Tasty Morning Nutritional Drinks

Hydrogen

The Science Behind Megahydrate

Hydrogen for Optimal Health

Wonders of Molecular Hydrogen

Gut Health

Gut Health – Effects of Glyphosate and Antibiotics

Gut Health – Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula

PRODUCTS

Vitamin formulas, including multivitamins

Rejuvenate!™ Berries & Herbs

Rejuvenate!™ PLUS

Rejuvenate!™ (Original)

Rejuvenate! Superfoods: Product Comparison

Ultimate Protector™ Nrf2 Activator (vitamin C/antioxidant)

PRO-C™ (Vitamin C/Antioxidant formula)

Essential Fats Plus E

Intestinal Rejuvenation Formula (gut health)

Restore For Gut Health (lignite formula)

Active H2 (hydrogen)

Megahydrate (hydrogen)

VR Tablets (hydrogen)

Prescript-Assist™ (probiotic/prebiotic)

HPDI FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

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DISCOVERING NUTRITIONAL NEEDS THROUGH ADVANCED GENETIC TESTING

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD genetic testing bodysync

Last fall we exhibited at the American Academy for Advancement in Medicine (ACAM) annual meeting and were delighted to discover BodySync, a company specializing in genetic testing. BodySync is committed to empowering individuals to make informed nutrition and fitness decisions based on their key personal genetic data.

BodySync’s novel approach to personal wellness incorporates advanced genotyping and lifestyle analyses of genes which research has shown to have impact on nutrient metabolism and fitness capacity.

Developed by leading genetic scientists, genomic nutritionists, kinesiologists, and bioinformaticians, BodySync’s clinically tested DNA Nutrition and Fitness Systems are used by thousands of health care professionals, physicians, and researchers around the world.

Genetic Testing

In our discussions it became clear there is a good match between what BodySync scientists learn from genetic testing and the high-quality products Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) offers that can be used to correct for nutritional deficiencies identified in the testing.

It is HPDI’s intention to associate with BodySync by introducing our professional clients to the test, including selling the test on our Reseller website and offering our recommended products to health professionals and their patients who participate in BodySync’s genetic testing.

THE POTENTIAL OF NUTRITIONAL GENOMICS

The first insights of how nutritional genomics will impact personal health have already begun to be appreciated. As research goes forward, we expect a continually expanding knowledge base that promises to have extensive benefits for health care in general and personal health in particular.

Major Anticipated Contributions

  • Greater understanding of the role of genetics in health and disease (particularly chronic disease)
  • More effective therapeutic interventions for dealing with existing disease.
  • Early identification of disease susceptibility and initiation of risk reduction strategies.
  • A shift within health care from a disease management focus to one of health promotion and disease prevention.
  • Identification of the molecular mechanisms underpinning the interactions among genes and environmental factors, including components in food.
  • Individualization of dietary choices based on a person’s genotype.
  • A new dimension to food, one of genes being dietary targets with food having the ability to change gene expression.
  • Changes in food choices, including: a) increased selection of functional foods that scientific research has shown to reduce susceptibility to diet-related diseases, b) isolation and purification of bioactive food components for use in development of new functional foods or for enrichment of commonly eaten foods and dietary supplements.
  • Public health messages conveying the role of genes and environment in health and disease and the ability of food to modify the outcome of these interactions, allowing diet and health to be tailored to an individual’s genetic variations.
  • Empowerment of consumers to take responsibility for their health through enhanced knowledge of appropriate food choices for their genotype.

Such benefits will be possible because of existing and emerging research findings associated with nutritional genomics, as described in the points that follow.

INTERACTIONS BETWEEN GENES AND FOOD

One such finding is the discovery that there is the molecular equivalent of communication between genes and environmental factors, including bioactive molecules found in food. Our genes impact how we respond to different food choices. Likewise, the food choices we make influence the “goodness-of-fit” between us and our environment as well as the expression of our genes.

The sum total of these interactions adds up to whether we will survive and thrive in a particular environment. For conditions that are diet-related, there is the potential to modify disease expression and severity by changing key environmental factors, such as our food and lifestyle choices.

GENETIC UNIQUENESS OF INDIVIDUALS

Another finding is the recognition that each individual is genetically unique. Although all human beings share virtually the same type and amount of genetic information, subtle differences—called genetic variations—make each of us slightly different, from our physical appearance to our responses to food. Advances in genetic technology make it possible to detect these genetic variations so that each person’s genetic signature can be identified and factored into our diet and lifestyle choices. This knowledge is leading to more personalized medical care, as well as a sense of personal responsibility for one’s health.

POTENTIAL FOR DIET TO CHANGE DISEASE OUTCOMES

An important finding is that many of today’s common, chronic diseases are, in part, diet-related. These diseases are being associated with particular genes and, within those genes, with specific genetic variations and their interaction with specific bioactive components within food.

Many disease outcomes, including those for which we are genetically susceptible, may be increasingly modifiable through targeted diet and lifestyle choices, affording us new approaches to managing existing disease and the potential for preventing future disease. As specific bioactive components in food are identified and isolated, food will take on a new dimension.

Particular foods will be promoted as beneficial for particular genetic variations. New functional foods will be available and some of the purified bioactive food components will be used to fortify commonly eaten foods.

MORE ABOUT BODYSYNC GENETIC TESTING PROGRAMS

BodySync Personal Genetics provides advanced nutrition and fitness tools to individuals, healthcare professionals, and organizations seeking a proactive and more personal approach to wellness. BodySync DNA Nutrition and Fitness™ Assessments and Solutions Systems are based on multi-patented suites of well-researched gene/nutrient and gene/fitness associations.

BodySync’s genotyping services are carried out in a wholly owned, CLIA-Certified laboratory. Customer data is processed through proprietary Gene/Lifestyle™ Integration technology in secure data centers.

Simple Action Plans designed to improve nutrition and fitness programs are prepared based upon assessment results and personal questionnaire data. The following figure shows an aspect of the benefits of the BodySync Action Plan.

Benefits of BodySync Action Plan genetic testing

GENETIC ASSESSMENTS

BodySync develops DNA Assessments targeting gene/nutrient and gene/fitness connections that are backed by well-established clinical research. Analyzing a carefully selected but robust number of genes, BodySync DNA™ Nutrition and Fitness Assessments focus on genetic variations that have been frequently associated with an individual’s ability to metabolize specific nutrients and benefit from certain types of exercise.

BodySync develops a variety of genetic assessments for different wellness applications, and are focused on healthy nutrition and/or fitness measures that can be implemented at home. BodySync DNA Assessments are simple and practical. Individuals provide DNA-rich cheek swab samples to BodySync’s in-house CLIA-Certified DNA Laboratory, along with an in-depth, online LifeStyle Questionnaire.

Genetic assessment results are combined with questionnaire data using BodySync’s proprietary Gene/Lifestyle™ Integration Technology, which generates an Action Plan that includes nutrient metabolism and detailed athletic profiling information.

GENETIC ACTION PLANS

BodySync Action Plans are prepared in easy-to-understand language, including simple graphics, and provide guidance on achieving nutrition and/or fitness goals. Customers can update the LifeStyle Questionnaire periodically and receive new Action Plans to track progress. The genetic data underpinning BodySync Action Plans can be used to “genotype,” generating updated nutrition and fitness programs, or create new personalized meal and workout planning programs.

BodySync’s highly sophisticated and individualized nutrition and fitness strategy tools are not replacements for expert advice from a certified personal training professional and/or physician. BodySync DNA Assessments are neither diagnostic nor predictive of disease and are not available to the public as stand-alone products.

BodySync technology is designed to develop unique assessments and are available through a select group of distributors, physicians, health care, nutrition, fitness, gym, and corporate wellness professionals.

DNA HEALTH & WELLNESS

BodySync DNA Assessments target gene/nutrient and gene/fitness associations based on well-researched, clinically documented genetic correlations to nutrient metabolism and exercise benefit potential.

BodySync DNA Assessment and Solutions Systems can provide individuals with important insight into gene and lifestyle factors that may play a role in enhanced nutrition and fitness. It this way it may help individuals and organizations identify potentially new wellness opportunities based on genetics.

DNA NUTRITION SYSTEMS

Knowledge about genes and lifestyle can provide important guidance on which nutrients can potentially work most effectively with your system. BodySync DNA Nutrition™ Systems include key genetic assessments, practical action plans, and important data that can help individuals and organizations add personalization to diet strategies. This can transform personal nutrition based on the vast potential of nutrigenetic science.

Initially designed for nutrition professionals, BodySync DNA Nutrition™ Assessments, Action Plans, and Solutions Systems provide individuals with practical dietary insights and advice based on a combination of an advanced nutrigenetic analysis and online LifeStyle Questionnaire results.

NUTRIGENETIC DATA APPLICATIONS

The genetic data providing the foundation of BodySync Nutrition Action Plans can be used to “genotype,” update existing nutrition programs, or create new meal planning systems, based on an individual’s nutrigenetic profile. BodySync genetically guided nutrition systems can be adapted to help organizations develop and enhance ongoing nutrition programs, as well as help individuals strive to reach their genetic nutrition potential.

BodySync’s DNA Nutrition Assessments include a personal Action Plan, which can provide the basis for a host of genetically guided nutrition products and services, including the development of highly personalized diet regimens and companion products.

BodySync DNA Nutrition Assessments are the subject of ongoing nutrigenomic clinical studies designed to validate the utility of genetics in supporting healthy nutrition.

THE PATIENT’S EXPERIENCE

EASY TO FOLLOW PROCESS – EASY TO READ RESULTS

Once a medical professional gives a patient a NutriSync Assessment package, the patient registers online, completes an online Lifestyle Survey, collects their DNA using the provided cheek swabs, and send their cheek swabs to our CLIA-certified laboratory. The patient’s DNA results are combined with their LifeStyle Survey answers using an advanced Gene/Lifestyle™ Integration Technology. About a month later, the medical professional receives a Report Summary for the patient. 48 hours later, the patient will be notified via email that their NutriSync Action Plan is ready to view on their HIPAA-secure, private web portal.BodySync genetic testing

THE FUTURE: COMING SOON

In the next several months we hope to start selling the NutriSync Assessment package on our Reseller website. In addition, we will prepare a blog article providing many details concerning the genetic testing that is done in the NutriSync Assessment program. On our Retail website we will provide information concerning the NutriSync Assessment package and how a person can learn more and sign up for the program.