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

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

THE METHYLATION CYCLE

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

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

 

Methylation Cycle

Figure 1. Metabolic Pathways in Methylation Cycle

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

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

DESCRIPTION OF PATHWAYS WITHIN THE METHYLATION CYCLE

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

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

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

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

GENETICS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

B VITAMINS AND MINERALS

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

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

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

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

MULTIVITAMINS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi Two Caps or Tablets methylation cycle

B COMPLEX

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

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

FOLATE AS 5-MTHF

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

5-MTHF 1 mg in veggie cap methylation cycle

5-MTHF 1 mg in veggie cap

B-12 as METHYLCOBALAMIN

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

Vitamin B-12 5 mg methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge methylation cycle

Vitamin B-12 – 5 mg Methylcobalamin sublingual lozenge.

MINERALS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Double Zinc Plus supplement with P5P and 25 mg zinc

SUMMARY

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

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

RELATED HPDI BLOG ARTICLES

Homocysteine Genetics – Coenzyme B Vitamins

 

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HOW TO MAKE KETO COFFEE USING pH ADJUST

Fred Liers PhD keto coffee pH Adjust alkalinizeWe can all stand to be more alkaline. The majority of people are acidic due to diet and lifestyle. One of the best formulas for creating alkalinity is pH Adjust. pH Adjust is a good-tasting, fluffy white powder that dissolves easily in water, juice, and yes, coffee.

Shortly after launching pH Adjust as a new product, we began receiving reports from customers that they used pH Adjust in their coffee.

Why put pH Adjust into coffee? Well, first it is a pleasant and convenient carrier for pH Adjust. Second, and most importantly, coffee is acid-forming in the body. By putting pH Adjust directly into coffee, you both can counteract acidity and simultaneously alkalinize the body.

My questions: Was coffee creating acid condition in my body? And would putting pH Adjust in my coffee make a a difference? Short answer: Yes.

I enjoy coffee. I don’t drink it all the time. But after hearing customer comments, I decided to try pH Adjust in my coffee. Within a day or two, I noticed my teeth were stronger! This was welcome news.

In fact, I had been dealing with a few “minor” dental issues, including teeth chipping, enamel wear, and occasional tooth pain. My diet is good and I eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. So how could my teeth be compromised?

I measured my pH using Hydrion pH paper. It was lower than I thought it would be. Simply put: I was more acidic, more of the time, than I knew. Does acidity weaken teeth? Yes, it does.

ph Adjust keto coffee

pH Adjust alkalinizes the body rapidly. It dissolves easily in water, coffee & most drinks.

“Bicarbonate reserves” decline as we age. This makes us more acidic because we don’t buffer acidity as easily as we did when younger. The body must then draw upon minerals in bones and teeth. Yet, even young people are overly acidic in modern society. Everyone who is acidic stands to benefit from increased pH levels. That means most of us.

The proof that acidity causes weaker teeth is the fact that pH Adjust immediately stopped my tooth chipping, enamel wear, and pain. Good thing I put pH Adjust into coffee shortly after HPDI introduced it. And thanks to the customers, employees, and friends of HPDI who told me about it.

ALKALINIZING COFFEE IS HEALTHIER

Coffee with pH Adjust is healthier than plain coffee because it helps alkalinize the body. Taking pH Adjust (without coffee) accomplishes the same thing. But for those who enjoy coffee, adding pH Adjust is an easy way to alkalinize what can otherwise be an acidifying drink. Who wants acidity? Not me.

I now use pH Adjust in coffee by directly adding a 1/2 to 1 teaspoon directly into coffee and stirring. I adjust the dose according to how much coffee I drink.

I also take pH Adjust separately from coffee—usually once or twice daily—about one teaspoon per dose. Taking 1–2 teaspoons total of pH Adjust daily seems to be the right amount. I no longer have issues with my teeth. My bones feel stronger, too.

If you drink coffee, then adding pH Adjust to make it “pH Adjust coffee” may be helpful to you. It reduces acidity and supports mineral balance. It especially provides good levels of potassium and magnesium, minerals that are required for good health—and that are deficient in most people.

If coffee is driving acidity in your body, then pH Adjust may be just the thing for you. Putting pH Adjust in your coffee directly means stopping acidity at the source. pH Adjust dissolves easily in coffee (and most other drinks) and does not add a bad taste. In fact, many people, including me, enjoy the gently sweet flavor it imparts.

pH test paper litmus keto coffee

Test pH using Hydrion litmus paper.

KETOGENIC COFFEE WITH pH ADJUST

More recently, I discovered the benefits of using organic coconut or MCT oil in coffee with organic pasture butter or ghee. This is based on the concept of Bulletproof coffee popularized by Dave Asprey in his Bulletproof Diet, and it fits well into ketogenic diets. Ketogenic diets are low in carbohydrates, high in fats, and include plenty of high-quality protein.

I do not follow a ketogenic diet per se. Yet, I consume relatively high amounts of “good” fats (like coconut, olive, and avocado oils) and few simple carbohydrates. I had even added coconut oil, butter, and ghee into my coffee years ago. But I never blended it into an emulsified concoction, nor was pH Adjust available. So this is truly different!

MAKE KETO COFFEE

I make ketogenic or “keto” coffee using freshly ground organic coffee, organic coconut oil and/or organic MCT oil, and organic unsalted ghee (or pasture butter). It is important the ingredients be organic and pasture fed when possible.

I first brew the coffee, then add coconut oil or MCT oil, and butter or ghee. Then I use a hand blender (or regular blender) to mix completely.

INGREDIENTS

• 8–16 ounces freshly brewed coffee

• 1–2 tablespoons of Coconut oil or MCT oil

• 1 teaspoon–2 tablespoons of unsalted ghee (or unsalted pasture butter)

• 1/2 tsp–2 teaspoons pH Adjust (to taste, depending on quantity desired)

Put freshly brewed coffee in a blender or large container (like a mason jar). Add coconut oil/MCT oil, ghee, and pH Adjust. Blend or use hand blender to mix well. It is important the coffee be hot (or at least warm) in order for the coconut/MCT oil and ghee to mix into it.

You can add the pH Adjust either before or after you mix or blend the coffee. I personally stir in the pH Adjust manually using a long spoon after I’ve already mixed the other ingredients. If you add the pH Adjust after mixing the other ingredients, then be sure to stir well.

Note on amounts: the amounts I list above are suggestions. I often use less coconut or MCT oil, or ghee. That is, some days I use just two teaspoons of coconut/MCT oil, or one rounded teaspoon of ghee. Try using different amounts of ingredients to see what works for you.

Keto Coffee Ghee Butter

Grass-fed ghee is a key ingredient in keto coffee.

One reason for using less coconut/MCT oil or ghee is because this coffee can be “filling.” I am not hungry after I drink it. This is one benefit according to keto coffee experts. In fact, it is recommended that users drink it in the morning before eating. This gives the option of putting off breakfast.

If I have planned to eat breakfast, then I will often use less coconut or MCT oil. The lower level of satiety from the coffee means I eat breakfast without having already been filled by the keto coffee.

Make keto coffee any time of day. It is probably best on an empty stomach and definitely not too late into the afternoon—unless you want to be up late (if coffee affects you that way). You can make it early in the day, and then consume it over the course of the morning and afternoon.

Benefits of Coffee or Keto Coffee with pH Adjust

• Alkalinizes body — an alkaline state is good for overall health

• Provides minerals, especially potassium and magnesium

• May help strengthen teeth and bones

• Some users report improved digestion

• Some users report reduced GERD

• Some users report less Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)

• Potassium helps balance out sodium — and is required for cellular health

• Magnesium is essential for 400 enzyme systems, production of ATP, cardiovascular health, and muscle relaxation

• Many other benefits!

There are many other benefits associated with an alkaline state, which is ideally a pH of 7.35–7.45. You can learn more about the benefits of alkalinization from earlier HPDI blog articles (see resources section below), doing web searches, or talking to your health professional.

If these benefits are not sufficient reason to try using pH Adjust in your coffee to make “pH Adjust alkalinizing coffee” then consider doing it for the taste!

Tip: To make this coffee more hydrating, try adding 8-16 drops of Patrick Flanagan’s Crystal Energy, which makes the water in this drink more bioavailable.

keto coffee ingredients MCT oil ghee

KETO COFFEE TASTES GOOD

Keto coffee tastes good. The oils and fats provide a rich, hearty taste. It is creamy, warm, and delicious. And as I mentioned, it is filling, so it satisfies hunger.

Adding pH Adjust to keto coffee won’t change the taste much. In fact, many people say adding pH Adjust makes it taste better. I agree. This may be due to the fact that the formula contains glycine in the form of potassium glycinate. Glycine tastes good and is naturally “sweet” without the harmful effects of sugar. In fact, to me pH Adjust imparts a slightly sweet flavor that is reminiscent of “caramel.”

pH Adjust may slightly change the texture of your coffee. It may make regular, non-keto coffee appear and taste “creamier.” Most people won’t mind that. As for keto coffee, it is already “creamy” due to the coconut/MCT oil and ghee. pH Adjust might just add a bit more texture to it.

Also, there may be a slight chalky, white residue at the bottom of your cup. This does not happen if you mix in the pH Adjust formula well, or if you re-stir (or swirl) the coffee cup or glass when it’s half full. Remember: if you see this residue, it is pH Adjust. As such, you may wish to drink it as is, or add little more liquid (coffee, water, etc.) and quaff it down.

keto coffee blender drink

Mix the MCT or coconut oil and ghee (or butter) using a blender or stick blender.

DRINK pH ADJUST FOR ALKALINITY

To me, the most important thing about coffee or keto coffee with pH Adjust is not how it tastes or how it reduces hunger, etc. It is how is increases pH levels. Alkalinity is important for health. No matter how you choose to take or drink it, pH Adjust will alkalinize. In spades.

Besides coffee, you can add pH Adjust to juices, teas, smoothies, shakes, water, and even lemonade. The fact is, taking pH Adjust is more important than the drink you choose to take it with. You decide the drink.

That being said, I really like keto coffee with pH Adjust. I add ice for a delightful, cooling concoction in summer. In winter, I drink it hot.

I think you will enjoy keto coffee with pH Adjust, too. And, if you already brew and drink your own version of keto coffee, then increased alkalinity—and better health—is as simple as adding a spoonful of pH Adjust. ~

RESOURCES

HPDI BLOG ARTICLES

Alkalizine with Lemonade Diet and pH Adjust

Got Potassium?

Racing and Recovery with pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula

Alkalinize Rapidly Using pH Adjust

pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula – New Product!

BOOKS & ARTICLES

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

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

Bicarb Magical Mineral Supplement by Dr. Mark Sircus, Ac, OMD

The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey

Head Strong by Dave Asprey

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

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

Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on The Ketogenic Diet by Maria Emmerich

Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss by Suzanne Ryan

The XXL Syndrome by Max Rombi, MD

LISTS & REFERENCE

The Acid Alkaline Food Guide
by Dr. Susan Brown and Larry Trieviei, Jr.

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

Potassium: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake

List of acid-forming and alkaline forming foods

PRODUCTS

pH Adjust
(Dr. Hank Liers’ original formula)

pH paper (roll)
(Hydrion litmus paper)

RACING AND RECOVERY WITH pH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA

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

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

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

TESTING MY pH LEVELS FOR ALKALINITY

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

Irena Ossola ph test pH Adjust

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

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

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

DIET AND pH ADJUST KEEP ME ALKALINE

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

test pH paper

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

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

pH Adjust

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

JUICE CLEANSE AND RECOVERY

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

Irena Ossola ph test ph adjust

Me and my bike!

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

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

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

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

irena ossola rejuvenate superfoods

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

SOURCES & RESOURCES

OssolaSport.com
(Official website)

Irena Ossola page
(HPDI Reseller site)

BLOG ARTICLES

Power Juice & Super Smoothie of Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola

Racing on Rejuvenate! Superfoods

Juice Journey of Cyclist Irena Ossola

All About the Balance – Mind, Body, and Nutrition

Resolving 2014 – Cyclist Irena Ossola on Training

Pro Cyclist Irena Ossola’s Rejuvenate! Smoothie

Get Results with Rejuvenate! Superfoods

Introducing Professional Racing Cyclist, Irena Ossola

PRODUCTS

pH Adjust Alkalining Formula

pH paper
(litmus test paper)

Rejuvenate! superfoods
(comparison chart)

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KIDS VITAMINS – NO KIDDING!

Fred Liers PhD kids mighty multi multivitamin chewableLooking for a high-quality, natural KIDS MULTIVITAMIN? Me, too. Do you look in vitamin stores, natural foods stores, and online marketplaces—in vain? I have.

A couple years ago, HPDI’s formulator, my father Hank Liers, PhD decided to reformulate our already excellent kids multivitamin—the Kids Mighty-Multi!—to make it better. His intentions were good: the world’s best designer of adult multivitamins would improve the best children’s vitamin.

My quandary? While Dr. Hank was busy at work reformulating our kids multi, the existing—and uber-excellent—original Kids Mighty-Multi! went out-of-stock, and never came back. Suddenly, my seven-year-old son’s “go-to” multivitamin was gone…indefinitely!

I took action—kids vitamins became my obsession—because I wanted the best multivitamin for my child. I searched everywhere for high-quality kids vitamins. Leaving no stone unturned, we tried them all—including organic, whole food, gluten-free, vegan-friendly brands with glossy labels. Did we find good ones? Not really.

What DID we find? Well, not much—and a lot. That is, not much in the way of high potency, high-purity, or advanced forms, like coenzyme vitamins. And a lot of false promises and junk ingredients. Like sugar and corn syrup and GMO ingredients—even from “reputable” brands.

Not to mention artificial sweeteners, colorings, flavorings, as well as toxic preservatives and fillers, which are the de facto standard in conventional products. Natural products are better—not always by as much as you’d expect.

chewable kids mighty-Multi! multivitamin

Looking for a good children’s multivitamin? Look no further than chewable Kids Mighty-Multi!

MY MULTIVITAMIN WISHLIST

Now in label-induced miasmic SHOCK…I proposed a reversal of terms. I simply wanted a lot of good things—like complete, balanced nutrients—and not much in the way of toxic additives.

Reeling, I scrawled a brief manifesto or “wishlist” for my ideal kids multivitamin:

“Great taste, high-purity, balanced nutrients at optimal levels, chewable; sugar free, non-GMO. No artificial ingredients, especially toxic sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. No harmful additives or preservatives like sodium benzoate, BHT, or propylene glycol (no antifreeze please!); a few good-for-you functional ingredients.”

Was I asking *too* much? No way. Yet, I was giving up on finding a suitable kids multivitamin. My son instead began taking an HPDI adult multivitamin (Multi Two Caps) we scaled to his sixty five-pound weight. The taste wasn’t great—so we opened capsules directly into his juices and smoothies—because he’s not ready to swallow capsules or tablets whole. At best…a partial solution.

KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI! BACK — BETTER THAN EVER!

Then. It. Happened. Lighting struck—HPDI’s Kids Mighty-Multi! is BACK! Turns out my dad finished reformulating the world’s best kids multivitamin. He broke the news with a smile. Stunned and unbelieving…I took a breath. My heart skipped a beat. Then I grabbed a bottle!

Who knew it would take two years?—and now, who cares!? This month, HPDI proudly introduces a *new* Kids Mighty Multi!. Worth the wait? Yes. Because the new version is better than ever.

I’ve thrown away my wishlist. My search is over. Yours may be, too. Because no kids multivitamin comes *close* to Kids Mighty-Multi!. See the comparison chart and nutrient table (below).

A SERIOUS VITAMIN FOR KIDS – FINALLY!

What makes the new Kids Mighty-Multi! so good, and so much better? Let me count the ways. Here is a summary of benefits before I dive into discussing them in greater detail.

• Kids and adults love the taste!

• Full-spectrum of balanced, essential nutrients needed for creating, supporting, and maintaining excellent health for your child. Includes natural coenzyme form vitamins and Krebs’ cycle bionutrients that work with young bodies to provide energy for metabolic processes, healing, and optimal health.

• Bioavailable vitamin and mineral carriers the body recognizes and can assimilate rapidly. Plus, multiple carriers of individual nutrients ensure assimilation. Chewable form speeds uptake in the body.

Variety of well-known herbal ingredients, including quercetin, grape extract, turmeric, broccoli powder, and octacosanol

Complete, balanced supply of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein

Functional ingredients built into every aspect of the formula, including the taste-enhancing package, herbal ingredients, and cofactors. Functional ingredients serve multiple purposes in supporting health.

• Flavored using only healthy, natural sweeteners and taste enhancers, including mannitol, fructooligosaccharides (FOS) (from chicory root), organic beet root powder, natural fruit flavor, xylitol, and stevia leaf extract. Taste enhancers exhibiting additional positive benefits (i.e., prebiotic effects, cavity prevention, and antioxidant action).

• NO refined sugars, no corn syrup, and…NO GMOs!

• NO artificial colorings or flavorings, artificial sweeteners (like aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose), or hydrogenated vegetable oils

• Excludes common food source allergens like wheat, corn, soy, and dairy

• Excludes unnecessary excipients, including fillers, binders, and additives

• Foundational formula ideal for providing basic nutrients for health. A high-quality multivitamin is the first step toward a complete nutritional supplement regimen. Formulated to work well with other HPDI foundational formulas, such as vitamin C / antioxidant formulas (like PRO-C™) and essential fatty acids (like Essential Fats plus E).

Kids Multivitamin comparison chart

TASTE-ENHANCING COMPLEX: FUNCTIONAL INGREDIENTS

Kids Mighty-Multi! tastes GREAT! Kids and adults LOVE the taste. From the perspective of your child’s taste buds, that’s *all* that matters.

But I want to talk a bit about the importance of healthy sweeteners…and how the best sweeteners perform double duty as health promoters.

WHY does Kids Mighty-Multi! taste so good? (Did I mention it contains NO refined sugars—or any artificial sweeteners or flavorings?)

Because Dr. Liers created a natural taste-enhancing complex. This taste-enhancing package includes xylitol, mannitol, FOS (fructooligosaccharides), beet root juice powder, natural fruit flavors, and stevia leaf extract.

Dr. Hank selected healthy, functional ingredients—as much as possible—in order to enhance the taste. That means these taste enhancers are not only NOT unhealthy like the refined sugars, corn syrups, and artificial sweeteners I found in so many other kids vitamins. But they are GOOD for you!

Functional sweeteners and taste-enhancing ingredients in Kids Mighty-Multi! include:

Xylitol – Proven sweetener that is a polyol (sugar alcohol) known to fight cavities, improve bone health, and more! (see: http://xylitol.org/about-xylitol/)

Mannitol – Natural polyol sweetener with added benefits as an antioxidant. Mannitol surprisingly has a very powerful effect on the hydroxyl free-radical. (see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9090754). Mannitol serves double duty as a healthy sweetener and important hydroxyl radical free-radical trapper.

• Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) (from chicory root) – Naturally sweet with no or low glycemic index. It is also a prebiotic that supports the growth of beneficial bacteria.

• Beet Root Powder (organic) – Naturally sweetens and colors Kids Mighty-Multi!. Beet is a functional ingredient providing methyl donors and easily assimilable iron. Moreover, Dr. Benjamin S. Frank found beets contain an amino acid the body uses to create its own dietary nucleic acids and a nutrient important to brain function (No-Aging Diet, 81).

• Berry & Fruit Extracts / Flavors – Mixed berry, strawberry, raspberry, and pomegranate. These berry extracts provide extremely good, fruity taste—bursting with berry flavors!

• Stevia Extract – Natural sweetens with little or no glycemic value. Kids Mighty-Multi! contains a newer, improved stevia extract which is de-bittered

• Malic Acid – Provides a naturally tart taste, supports the utilization of magnesium, and feeds into the Krebs’ cycle that makes cellular energy (ATP)

Why is choosing “good-for-you” functional sweeteners and taste enhancers important?

Because despite what adults might wish, sweeteners still comprise the largest percentage of kids multivitamins by weight. That means your child will be ingesting significant amounts (of whatever these sweeteners are) relative to the size of their multivitamin.

Who wants the bulk of their child’s multivitamin intake comprised of sugars, corn syrup, sucralose, or worse (think aspartame)? This is the reason natural sweeteners providing functional benefits make all the difference for health.

COMPLETENESS MATTERS – A LOT!

Kids Mighty-Multi! is nothing if not complete. As formulated by Dr. Hank Liers, it provides therapeutic levels of all essential vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and much more.

If you read labels (like I do), you’ll see most kids vitamins are “hit-or-miss.” They provide certain nutrients, but often completely miss others—usually with no rhyme or reason. (What was its formulator thinking?)

Missing important nutrients is bad for consumers—like you and your child—because all nutrients require other nutrients to “do a body good.” It’s called synergy, and it’s the way our cells are designed to work.

That means if you obtain sufficient amounts of a specific nutrient, but not enough of another, you may be unable to effectively utilize the nutrient you have—because utilization requires the nutrient you *don’t* have. Catch-22, huh? I’ll talk more about this later.

Do your child—and yourself—a favor: choose a complete multivitamin like Kids Mighty-Multi!.

kids mighty multi multivitamin

Kids Mighty-Multi! is nothing if not COMPLETE. (Tablets in photo appear larger than actual size.)

ADVANCED FORMS OF NUTRIENTS…LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN

Then, there are advanced forms of nutrients, like coenzyme B vitamins. Most kids vitamins (and adult multivitamins) offer you the B complex vitamins as synthetic forms. How can you tell? Well, coenzyme vitamin B1 in Kids Mighty-Multi! is from Thiamin Diphosphate and is very different from synthetic “thiamine HCl.” Vitamin B2 is from Riboflavin-5′-Phosphate is not synthetic “riboflavin.” The vitamin B6 is from Pyridoxal-5′-Phosphate is not “pyridoxine HCl.” And so on.

What about vitamin B12 as toxic “cyanocobalamin”? Never. Kids Mighty-Multi! provides coenzyme B12 as methylcobalamin. Other brands sometimes use this form, but then provide synthetic forms for other B vitamins. That makes sense—NOT.

Sure, coenzyme B vitamins cost more to source. But the truth is, your body requires far less coenzyme form vitamins because they are the natural forms found in foods—you easily assimilate and utilize them. Kids Mighty-Multi! doesn’t need large amounts of coenzyme vitamins to give you big benefits.

Meanwhile, synthetic forms are not as easily assimilated—most go through a complex enzymatic breakdown before the body can use them. In some cases (for example if your child lacks certain enzymes due to genetics), syntethic forms cannot be broken down—or used—at all!

Case in point: Folate. Most kids vitamins give you “folic acid,” which is synthetic vitamin B1. A large percentage of the population (including me) lacks the gene providing the enzyme required to process folic acid. If folic acid builds up in cells (because it can’t be broken down), then it can be toxic. Solution: we use coenzyme folate—or 5-MTHF (5-methyl tetrahydrofolate) in Kids Mighty-Multi!. Problem solved.

Recall I said Kids Mighty-Multi! is complete?—and the importance of completeness in a multivitamin? Well, for example, if your kids’ multivitamin only provides synthetic vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCl), it won’t be convertable into its biologically active (coenzyme) form without coenzyme vitamin B1 (Riboflavin-5′-Phosphate).

Did you catch that? To convert Pyridoxine HCl (synthetic vitamin B6) to its usable coenzyme form Pyridoxal-5′-Phosphate, you need coenzyme Riboflavin (Riboflavin-5′-Phosphate). You need a coenzyme form of one B vitamin in order to convert another B vitamin to its coenzyme form!

If you have only synthetic forms of these B vitamins, your body must go through multiple conversion processes in order to first convert synthetic Riboflavin into coenzyme Riboflavin so that you can convert synthetic vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCl) into its coenzyme B6 form (Pyridoxal-5′-Phosphate).

Yes, you can *survive* on synthetic forms of B vitamins. But why make your body work so hard? Why survive when you can *thrive* (with coenzyme vitamins)?

Why other kids vitamins don’t include coenzyme forms is BEYOND ME. If other brands go with conventional (and sometimes toxic) synthetic forms, so be it. Run, and go with Kids Mighty-Multi!.

Other advanced forms include vitamin D as D3 (cholecalciferol), vitamin K as K1 and K2 (Menaquinone-7), and minerals using Krebs’ cycle carriers (like citrates, malates, fumarates, succinates, and aspartates) that are best recognized and utilized in the body because they plug into the body’s energy (ATP) production system.

KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI!™ NUTRIENT TABLE

NUTRIENT

AMOUNT

% Daily Value

Vitamin A
(as beta-carotene from Dunaliella salinas)
470 IU 10
Vitamin C
(from potassium, magnesium, and calcium ascorbates)
16 mg 27
Vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) 50 IU 13
Vitamin E (from d-alpha tocopheryl succinate and 5 mg natural mixed tocopherols) 13 IU 42
Vitamin K (10 mcg as phylloquinone (K1) and 5 mcg as MK-7 (K2)) 15 mcg 18
Vitamin B1 (from thiamin diphosphate) 1.6 mg 107
Vitamin B2 (from riboflavin-5′-phosphate) 1.6 mg 94
Vitamin B3 (80% from niacinamide and 20% from niacin) 12 mg 60
Pantothenic Acid (from calcium pantothenate) 5 mg 50
Vitamin B6 (from pyridoxal-5′-phosphate) 2.5 mg 125
Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) 15 mcg 250
Folate (from 5-MTHF – Quatrefolic®†) 50 mcg 13
Biotin (pure crystalline) 30 mcg 10
Magnesium (from malate) 6 mg 1.5
Calcium (from Krebs cycle bionutrients) 6 mg 0.6
Potassium (from citrate) 4.7 mg <1
Zinc (from citrate) 1.25 mg 8.3
Iron (from fumarate) 0.3 mg 1.7
Manganese (from citrate) 0.3 mg 15
Copper (from aspartate) 0.125 mg 6.3
Chromium (from polynicotinate) 13 mcg 11
Molybdenum (from citrate) 6 mcg 8
Selenium (from l-selenomethionine) 5 mcg 7
Choline (from bitartrate) 6 mg *
Inositol (pure crystalline) 15 mg *
N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) 5 mg *
L-Taurine 5 mg *
Betaine HCl 3 mg *
Quercetin (as dihydrate) 3 mg *
Turmeric (from Curcuma longa) (root) 3 mg *
Broccoli Sprouts Powder 2 mg *
Grape Extract (Vitis vinifera) (from seed, skin, and stem) 1 mg *
Lycopene (tomato extract) (fruit) 200 mcg *
Boron (from glycinate and aspartate) 125 mcg *
Lutein (from Calendula officinalis) (flower) 70 mcg *
Octacosanol (from policosanol) 15 mcg *
Vanadium (from BGOV – bis glycinato oxo vanadium) 6 mcg *

* No established Daily Value
† Quatrefolic® is a registered trademark of Gnosis SPD

SCALABLE DOSING – CALLING ALL KIDS – AND ADULTS!

Maybe the best feature of Kids Mighty-Multi! is scalable dosing. Scalability makes it suitable for children and youth of all sizes—and adults, too!

Glancing at Kids Mighty-Multi!‘s label, you might assume it’s as low potency as the most kids’ vitamins available in stores. Not so fast.

Because Dr. Hank designed this multivitamin for everyone, including adults. How do I know? Because he told me: he takes these chewables himself!

How does it work? You simply take two (2) tablets per 20 pounds of body weight—up to six tablets—for kids. But since most older kids and adults weigh more than 60 pounds, you can take 8–10+ tablets and approximate the nutrition you would get from your regular adult vitamin. How cool is that!

Scalable dosing works well for people who don’t like swallowing capsules or tablets, or who prefer a good-tasting chewable. And who doesn’t, sometimes? It is especially useful for traveling because the entire family can use it.

In my case, I usually take four capsules per day of Hank & Brian’s Mighty Multi-Vite! , which my favorite adult multivitamin, and the inspiration for creating the Kids Mighty-Multi!. Yet, there are many days when I thrill to the taste of the new chewable kids multivitamin—knowing I get a significant amount of nutritional value. That means a lot. A lot of goodness. And not much to worry about.

Chewable Kids Mighty-Multi! multivitamin

Dr. Hank Liers pulled out the stops in formulating Kids Mighty-Multi!

CHOOSE KIDS MIGHTY-MULTI!

You’ve got choices. You can go online or to your local natural market, pharmacy, or big box store and fill up on whatever kids vitamins you find. Take your chances. Or you can try Kids Mighty-Multi! to discover how good a children’s multivitamin can (and should) be—a truly superior formula.

Choose our awesome kids multivitamin. Dr. Hank did his job. We’re 110% confident it meets—or exceeds—the needs and expectations of your child, and likely you, too. And definitely those of your clients, if you’re a health professional.

Of course, you’ve got a brain. But this choice is a “no-brainer.” Go for Kids Mighty Multi!. Your kids will never go back to their old multivitamin. And they’ll be healthier for it.

 

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Products

Kids Mighty-Multi! Multivitamin

HPDI Multivitamins

References

Coenzyme Vitamins (HPDI)

Fructooligosaccharides Abstracts (HPDI)

Statement on Additives (Excipients) (HPDI)

The HPDI Difference: Four Pillars of Excellence

Percent Daily Values (DV) Calculation Table (FDA)

Xylitol.org

Dr. Frank’s No-Aging Diet
by Benjamin S. Frank, MD, PhD

Studies

Oxygen free radical scavenging abilities of vitamins C and E, and a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract in vitro.” Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol. 95(2):179-89.
(Study includes mannitol benefits)

0

GOT POTASSIUM?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE “NEGLECTED” MINERAL?

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

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

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

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

POTASSIUM FACTS

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

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

POTASSIUM BASICS:

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

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

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

• Maintains proper acid-base balance in the body

BENEFITS OF HIGH (ADEQUATE) POTASSIUM:

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

• Reduces risk of stroke

• Lowers blood pressure

• Protects against loss of muscle mass

• Preserves bone mineral density

• Reduces formation of kidney stones

POTASSIUM – NEEDED MORE THAN EVER?

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

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

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

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

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

Potassium Sodium Pump cell

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

SODIUM – POTASSIUM RELATIONSHIP:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

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

POTASSIUM ALKALINIZES YOUR BODY

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

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

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

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

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

fruits vegetables potassium alkalinization

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

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

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

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

IT’S REALLY ABOUT DIET?

TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM…TOO MUCH SODIUM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DIET REMAINS BEST TO INCREASE POTASSIUM INTAKE

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

spinach leafy greens potassium alkalinity

Got spinach? It provides 800 mg potassium per cup!

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING POTASSIUM AND REDUCING SODIUM

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

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

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

sodium salt shaker potassium

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

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

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

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

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pH ADJUST & POTASSIUM

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

pH Adjust potassium bicarbonate magnesium carbonate

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

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

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

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

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

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

pH ADJUST: MINERALS FOR ALKALINITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

supplement facts pH Adjust potassium magnesium sodium

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

FINAL WORDS

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

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

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

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

 

RESOURCES

BLOG ARTICLES

Alkalinize Rapidly Using pH Adjust

pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula – New Product!

BOOKS & SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

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

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

The XXL Syndrome by Max Rombi, MD

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

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

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

LIST OF HIGH-POTASSIUM FOODS

Potassium: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake

 

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