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ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS – SEVEN ARGUMENTS FOR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

Fred Liers PhD nutrients nutritional supplementsAlmost daily articles, reports, or studies appear claiming nutritional supplements are not effective. The claims vary, but the verdict is always there is little or no scientific evidence proving supplements (or the nutrients in supplements) work. Others assert that people who take supplements have the world’s most expensive urine. This is nonsense! The scientific evidence is clear, available, and it has been for a long time.

Among the many problems with these reports is bashing supplements based on studies using low dose or non-therapeutic levels of nutrients. There is frequently failure to consider the importance of synergy among nutrients. Often there is data manipulation via statistical methods (often in meta-analyses).

Well beyond the question of whether supplements support health are the factors in modern life that create a greater needs for supplementing with important vitamins, minerals, cofactors, and other nutrients.

This month we present “Seven Arguments for Nutritional Supplements.” As the title implies, there are at least seven solid arguments for nutritional supplementation. There are actually a lot more.

To preview these arguments in favor of taking supplements, they are: 1) reduced food quality, 2) nutrient density varies by location, 3) modern lifestyles and stress, 4) environmental pollution, 5) too low RDAs, and 6) promotion of health and delaying of aging, and 7) the human right to correct information.

essential nutrients fatty acids EFA supplement

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) are one type of essential nutrient required for health.

We at HPDI re-publish articles from the Orthomolecular News Service  (OMNS) because the authors provide much needed truth. Truth the form of correcting the false assumptions of anti-supplement propagandists to clarify the benefits of nutritional supplements. This information can help people be healthier easily and at relatively low cost.

HPDI offers a full line of foundational nutritional supplements, including multivitamins, vitamin C and antioxidant formulas, essential fats, and high-RNA Rejuvenate! superfoods. We also offer nearly 100 other nutritional supplements from single nutrients to condition specific formulas. See our full product overview.

Enjoy this article from the Orthomolecular News Service (OMNS). ~

Seven Arguments for Taking Nutritional Supplements

by Dag Viljen Poleszynski, PhD

(OMNS Sept 12 2018)

One of the most vitamin-restrictive countries in the world is Norway. There, authorities limit potencies to only slightly higher than RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) levels for dietary supplements sold outside of pharmacies. The traditional reasoning is that most people receive the nutrients they need from a “balanced diet.” [1]

The authorities are also obsessively concerned that some vitamins and minerals are harmful in high doses. And, since an intake of water-soluble vitamins in excess of needs is excreted in the urine, Norwegian “experts” advise that taking supplements is a waste of money.

Accordingly, the argument goes, the public should be protected not only from possible harm, but also from wasting money on unnecessary nutrients. The official policies on nutritional supplements vary within OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. Some are more liberal, while others are even more restrictive.

The official view on the connection between nutrient intake and possible toxicity is illustrated by the Norwegian Food Authority in a graph. [2]

Perceived risk from intake of nutrients. (Source: Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals. Safe upper limits for Vitamins and Minerals. May 2003: Food Standards Agency, UK.)

The graph illustrates the official view on nutrients, assuming that nutrients function in the same way as pharmaceuticals, which they do not. Supplements of most vitamins, but also minerals and other nutrients, do not have very serious side effects even when taken at very high levels – in contrast with most drugs. [3,4] The fact that most of the chemotherapeutic drugs used against cancer have none or even just marginal effects against most cancers [5], while at the same time cause a lot of serious side effects, is rarely up for discussion.

The idea that nutritional supplements are not safe has a legal underpinning in Norwegian Food Law, which in section 16 prohibits sale of any food which is not safe: “Any food shall be considered not to be safe if it is seen as detrimental to health or not fit for consumption.” [6]

However, the Norwegian authorities do admit that vitamin D supplements are needed during part of the year. [1] Only part of the year? One third of Norway is within the Arctic Circle. Norway has far too little sunshine (especially during winter months) to get adequate levels of vitamin D from UVB radiation on the skin.

The authorities also recommend that pregnant women take folic acid to prevent birth defects, and omega-3-fatty acids may be advisable for those who do not eat fish regularly. Norwegians have a long tradition of giving children cod liver oil, which in a daily tablespoon provides enough vitamin A and D and essential fatty acids to cover basic needs.

Essential and conditionally essential nutrients

There are thousands of dietary supplements on the market, including 40+ essential nutrients alone and in various combinations, i.e. vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fatty acids. However, a number of other nutrients are “conditionally essential”, meaning that the body normally can make these molecules, but some people do not make optimal amounts. Examples are L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid, the methyl donor betaine, [7] chondroitin sulfate, coenzyme Q10, choline, amino acids such as tyrosine or arginine, and “essential” sugars normally formed in the body. [8]

Healthy young people normally make sufficient amounts of conditionally essential molecules in the body, although the levels are not always optimal. With inadequate levels of minerals or vitamins, key enzymes in biochemical pathways may not function optimally.

Due to genetic mutations, some enzymes may have increased needs for certain cofactors (vitamins), which can prevent them from functioning optimally.[9] Some enzymes only function normally when supplied with cofactors in greater amounts than normally required.

If supplements of essential nutrients prove insufficient for optimal enzyme function, “conditionally essential” nutrients may be added as part of a comprehensive, therapeutic program.

Some reservations

Parents are advised to become familiar with the literature on essential nutrients, for instance by consulting the Orthomolecular News Service. Children should be given supplements in appropriate doses and in a suitable form. Pills should not be given before children can control the swallowing reflex. Multivitamin powder can be given dissolved in water or juice. Parents should not dose vitamin C so high that a child comes to school or kindergarten with loose bowels or diarrhea.

In high doses, niacin may cause unpleasant side effects such as flushing and itching lasting up to several hours. [10] Although this is not dangerous, it may cause a child to feel unwell and anxious. Starting niacin supplementation with a low dose and gradually increasing it will allow the body to adapt and avoid the niacin flush.

A multivitamin supplement containing moderate amounts of niacin is often adequate until a child is 8-10 years old. For younger children, the dosage should start with only a few tens of milligrams, and not increased to more than 50-100 mg/day. Adults may gradually get used to taking 1,000-1,500 mg/d divided into 3 doses per day.

When it comes to omega-3 fatty acids (omega = ω) such as EPA and DHA, children may be given cod liver oil and served fish and/or other seafood 2-3 times a week. It is important to check the dose of vitamin A supplied, as it can be toxic in high doses, especially for children. One problem with cod liver oil today is that vitamin D has been removed during processing, thus changing the natural ratio of the two vitamins so that we ingest relatively too much of vitamin A. [11]

Higher dosages may be given after having consulted a therapist who has measured the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in relevant cell membranes (red blood cells). In most industrialized countries, many people get too much of the omega-6 fatty acids, and would therefore benefit from eating more seafood or taking supplements with omega-3 fatty acids derived from organisms low in the food chain (algae, krill).

Flax seeds contain a high level of the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, and freshly ground flaxseed meal or flax oil can be mixed with breakfast cereals or smoothies. Note that it may be advisable to limit eating farmed fish to once per week, since their fodder contains less omega-3 fatty acids than the food eaten by wild fish, and possibly also contains more contaminants. [12] Some researchers even warn against letting children eat too much fish because of the content of environmental toxins. [13,14]

Reasons for high-dose supplements of micronutrients

I have identified a number of arguments in favor of supplementing the modern diet with essential nutrients, here summarized with seven headlines. Most people should consider taking a multivitamin supplement containing vitamins and minerals even if they eat a nutritionally balanced diet.

Additional nutrients may contribute to better health and, in some cases, can be of vital importance in our modern world. The arguments are presented in random order, i.e. the order does not reflect priority.

1. The agricultural revolution has reduced food quality

The transition from an existence as hunter and gatherers to urban agriculture around 10,000 years ago began an epoch when foods were mass-produced but had lower nutritional density, compared with the previous food eaten by our ancestors. The nutritional density in many foods has fallen significantly since human societies transformed from hunter-gatherers into resident farmers. This is especially true in the last 60-70 years after agriculture was changed from small, versatile ecologically driven family farms to large, chemical-based, industrial agriculture. [15]

The reduction of nutritional content in modern crops, compared with older varieties, is well documented. [16] It is a consequence of soil erosion, loss of essential minerals from continual heavy use, combined with breeding of new varieties, which has increased the size and growth rate of plants by increasing the content of sugar and water and decreasing their mineral content compared to ancient species. At the same time, the relative content of other macronutrients (fat, protein/amino acids) and antioxidants may have been reduced.

Reduced nutritional density in many foods, combined with the use of refined “foods” like sugar, white flour and refined oils, places a greater priority on eating the most nutritious foods.

Farm produce grown organically generally has higher levels of essential nutrients such as trace minerals because the soil contains higher levels of trace minerals and the produce grows slower and thus has more time to absorb nutrients from the soil. Examples of nutrient dense foods are sardines, wild salmon, shellfish, eggs, liver, kale, collards and spinach, sea plants (seaweed), garlic, blueberries, and dark chocolate. [17]

2. Nutritional content of food varies with geographical location

Nutritional density varies considerably geographically between different regions, even with the same agricultural methods. This was documented in the United States in 1948 by a researcher at Rutgers University in the so-called Firman Bear report. [18] At that time agriculture was little mechanized, and artificial fertilizers and pesticides were hardly used.

The analysis found large differences in the content of minerals in the same food. The largest variations were found for potassium, sodium, boron and iron in spinach, while the greatest differences in calcium, magnesium and copper content were found in tomatoes.

The soil in areas with relatively low rainfall may in some cases contain an extremely high concentration of minerals, which is reflected in the plants growing there. This was well documented 70 years ago in the book Tomorrow’s Food. [19] The dentist George W. Heard found that the soil in Hereford, Texas, was exceptionally rich in minerals.[20]

Hereford became known as the “town without a toothache” after a newspaper article from January 29, 1942, reported that Hereford had the lowest incidence of tooth decay of any city in the United States. [21] Dr. Heard found that people in Hereford had exceptionally few dental cavities and also that the soil locally was especially rich in minerals. He emphasized that the population in the county ate unprocessed food and was drinking raw milk. [19]

Recent research shows that differences in the content of the selenium in the soil can cause major differences in the concentration of selenium in meat. [22] For instance, since the soil in Finland is poor in selenium, the authorities decided in the early 1980s to add selenate to commercial fertilizers. A survey of selenium status among 108 healthy young people showed an increase in the blood selenium level of about 50 percent after four years. [23]

A similar problem with the level of minerals in the soil exists for the content of magnesium. Often when the soil gets depleted of magnesium from heavy use, this essential mineral is not included in soil amendment with fertilizers. Produce grown in soil with an adequate level of magnesium will contain more magnesium than produce grown in soil deficient in magnesium.

Perhaps as many as 70-80% of the US population is magnesium-deficient, which causes many health problems. [24] Magnesium supplements (chloride, malate or citrate) can provide an adequate level when vegetables grown in soil with adequate magnesium are not available.

3. Stress and the modern lifestyle increase the need for nutrients

Mental stress increases the excretion and hence the need for many nutrients. Among the most important are magnesium and vitamin C, both of which are used by the body in larger quantities during periods of physical and mental stress. [24,25] Compared with our past as hunters and gatherers, today´s stress is often of a more permanent nature. Instead of experiencing occasional situations where we had to fight or flee, many of us live with recurring stress day in and out.

Vitamin C protects the brain and nervous system from damage caused by stress because the synthesis and maintenance of chemical neurotransmitters such as adrenaline and noradrenaline requires adequate levels of vitamin C. [25]

Vitamin C is also needed to repair collagen which is essential for skin, blood vessels, bones and joints, and muscles. When these are damaged by physical stress, extra vitamin C is necessary.

A controlled trial of 91 adults who experienced increased anxiety and stress 2-3 months after an earthquake in New Zealand in 2011 was divided into three groups, two were given a broad spectrum supplement of micronutrients in low or higher doses. [26] The supplements were found to alleviate the experience of stress, with the biggest dose having the biggest effect.

Our sedate, modern lifestyle reduces the need for energy from food, which implies a lower food intake or obesity. Loren Cordain, PhD, and coworkers have estimated that hunter-gatherers had significantly higher energy needs than the typical modern office worker. [27]

A lower energy intake generally reduces the absolute intake of all nutrients, while the need for some nutrients is not always reduced proportionally with energy intake. Overall this suggests that more exercise along with a more nutritious diet, including supplements of essential nutrients and less carbohydrates, will help to prevent obesity and maintain health.

Processing of food reduces its nutritional content, and the finished products are often based on fractions of the original foods. One example is milling grain to make white flour, [1] which has a lower nutritional density than whole grain flour.

The reduction in nutritional value has accelerated since whole foods are now divided into pieces, for example, boneless chicken breast. When meat is injected with saline to increase the volume, the relative level of essential nutrients is reduced. In the United States, many supermarkets in low-income rural and inner city areas have a limited selection of nutrient-dense foods, compared with high-income areas. [28]

4. Environmental pollutants increase the need for nutrients

The need for efficient detoxification and excretion is greatly increased by environmental pollution from the chemical industry, herbicides and pesticides used by industrial agriculture, antibiotic treatment of animals, transport, and plastic packaging. [29]

In our polluted world, the increased toxic load may be compensated for by an increase in nutrients to promote detoxification. One can respond by taking large doses of supplements of essential nutrients, for example, antioxidants vitamin C and E, and an adequate dose of selenium, which help the body detoxify harmful chemicals. Also helpful is regularly taking sauna baths, fasting periodically, and eating an excellent diet that includes generous portions of dark green leafy vegetables and colorful vegetables and fruits. [30]

A recent study predicts that global warming may reduce the nutrient density in many foods worldwide. [31] Atmospheric CO2 is estimated to surpass 550 ppm in the next 30-80 years, leading to larger crops with lower content of protein, iron and zinc per energy unit.

Assuming that diets remain constant, while excluding other climate impacts on food production, the researchers estimated that elevated CO2 could cause an additional 175 million people to be zinc deficient and an additional 122 million people to be protein deficient in 2050. Anemia would increase significantly if crops lose even a small amount of iron. The highest risk regions – South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East – are especially vulnerable, since they do not have the means and access to compensate using nutritional supplements.

5. The RDA for essential nutrients is too low

The recommended nutrient reference intake (NRI) has been defined by UK authorities and the EU Food Safety Agency as the dose that is adequate for 95 percent of the population. [32] These authorities have given recommendations for a total of 41 chemical substances, [33] including 13 vitamins, 17 minerals/trace elements, 9 amino acids and two fatty acids. The problem with such guidelines is that when using the same 0.95 fraction for just 16 of the essential nutrients, the fraction of the overall population that has their needs met with the RDA is less than half (0.9516 = 0.44).

Given the above assumption, the proportion of the population having all nutrient needs met falls below 25 percent for 30 nutrients (0.9530 = 0.21). These 25 percent will not necessarily get optimal amounts, just enough so that they probably will have no deficiencies in accordance with established standards. Each individual is different and has different biochemical needs, so we all need different doses of essential nutrients. Many vitamins and minerals can give additional benefit when taken at higher doses.

The need for several essential nutrients increases with age and sickness. This applies, for example, to vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and iron. In 2017 the Norwegian Food Safety Authority proposed to revise the official maximum levels for vitamins and minerals in dietary supplements. [34]

Their proposal introduced four different age categories with separate maximum intakes. Initially, the agencies proposed to revise the daily doses allowed in dietary supplements for folic acid, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C and D. At the same time, maximum rates were temporarily suspended for vitamins A, E, K, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenate (B5), pyridoxine (B6), cobalamine (B12), biotin, and for phosphorus, iron, copper, iodine, zinc, manganese, selenium, chromium, molybdenum, sodium, potassium, fluoride, chloride, boron and silicon.

The upper limits for some nutrients may be changed in the future. Unfortunately, Norwegian nutrition “experts” will likely continue to limit allowable doses below those freely available in the US and even Sweden.

6. An optimal nutrient intake promotes health and delays aging

A spokesperson for optimal nutritional intake is the well-known biochemist Bruce Ames, who proposed the “triage theory of nutrients,” in which enzymes responsible for cell maintenance functions evolved to have lower affinity for the essential vitamin and mineral cofactors than the enzymes responsible for short-term survival, to preserve life during times of famine. [35]

Thus, higher levels of vitamins and minerals may delay mitochondrial aging, speed up the repair of large molecules such as DNA and collagen, and generally improve other cellular functions. This is an important rationale for taking higher doses of vitamins and minerals than recommended reference intakes.

Dietary supplements can slow the aging process, in part by reducing the harmful effects of free radicals, known to be involved in many diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. [36]

Naturally occurring hormones and/or supplements of cofactors needed for optimal hormone production in the body can have a significant life-prolonging effect if the body produces less than optimal amounts. [37] This is especially relevant for those with a genetic predisposition for disease.

An optimum intake of all nutrients is difficult to achieve even for those who eat almost exclusively an excellent diet of nutrient dense foods, such as meat and innards, fish, shellfish, fowl, eggs, nuts, mushrooms, and vegetables, berries and nutritious fruits. Some nutrients such as folic acid or carotenoids in vegetables are absorbed better from processed than unprocessed foods.

Although vegetables are often considered to be a good source of vitamins, for example vitamin A from carrots, vitamin A is only found in animal products such as liver, egg yolk, fish cod and cod liver oil. Although eating raw vegetables is helpful for several reasons (vitamin C, fiber, microbiota), carotenoids (alpha/beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene) in vegetables are less well absorbed from raw than cooked food and better absorbed in the presence of added fat. [38,39].

Nutrients in vegetables are better absorbed when finely chewed, graded, or mashed [38], and cooking and grinding meat reduces the energy required to digest it [40] and increases nutrient absorption [41].

Orthomolecular pioneer Abram Hoffer and Orthomolecular News Service Editor Andrew W. Saul suggested this list of daily intakes of vitamins and minerals. [42] The Norwegian 2017 recommendations for adult men and women [43] are given in comparison. Individual needs may vary substantially from person to person and also with health status.

The figures for optimal intake are obtained from the Independent Vitamin Safety Review Panel of physicians, researchers and academics, who concluded:

“People are deceived in believing that they can get all the nutrients they need from a ‘balanced diet’ consisting of processed foods. To achieve an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, a diet of unprocessed whole foods, along with intelligent use of dietary supplements is more than just a good idea: it is vital.” [44: 55]

A well-known example is vitamin C, which can effectively fight viral infections, prevent or reverse disease caused by bacteria, and help the body detoxify organic and inorganic toxins. [45] Vitamin C also reduces the risk for cancer, strengthens connective tissues (collagen), and counteracts stress by increasing the adrenal´s production of cortisol. The dose required is set according to the body’s need.

Nobel Price Laureate Linus Pauling suggested that an optimal daily intake of vitamin C could vary from at least 250 mg up to 20 grams per day. [46] Because unabsorbed vitamin C attracts water into the gut, some people may experience loose stools, gas and/or diarrhea by ingesting only 1-2 grams at a time, while others with a higher level of stress may tolerate 5-6 grams or more. The dose that causes loose stools is called the “bowel tolerance” for vitamin C. [47] To avoid the laxative effect of high doses, it is best to take vitamin C throughout the day in smaller divided doses.

When the body is stressed by disease, the gut will naturally absorb more vitamin C because the body needs more. To find the optimal dose, the intake should be increased until bowel tolerance is reached. Some people can tolerate more than 100,000 mg/d of vitamin C in divided doses during serious illness without having loose stool.

Liposomal vitamin C bypasses the normal bowel tolerance because it is absorbed directly through cell membranes, so higher doses can be tolerated without diarrhea.

7. A human right to receive correct information

Access to correct information about food and essential nutrients, including knowledge about the importance of food for health is a fundamental human right. Such information should not only provide a summary of the nutrient content of food, but in our opinion should also explain how dietary supplements can counteract deficiencies and prevent and reverse disease caused by nutrient deficiencies.

We should be free to purchase quality-controlled supplements of essential nutrients and to use them to counteract aging and damage from stress as part of a long-term health plan. The right to reject recommendations by doctors for symptomatic treatment with synthetic, some times life-threatening, drugs to alleviate symptoms should be included. [48,49]

I have not found any formulation of such rights from the Norwegian authorities. The role of parents and their right to receive correct health information is addressed in a book by lawyer Anne Kjersti C. Befring, a fellow at the University of Oslo since 2014. [50]

Summary

The use of dietary supplements is widespread. High doses of vitamins are thought to be helpful because they help the body recover from damage and maintain itself long-term. Many vitamins are not harmful in doses even 10 to 100-fold higher than officially recommended.

Some governments warn about possible negative side effects, even including increased mortality from “excessive” intake of certain supplements. However, supplements of essential nutrients have been available for more than 80 years. They are known to be safe, and the observed side effects are generally mild with few exceptions.

It is possible to ingest too much of certain vitamins and minerals (vitamin A, calcium, iron, copper, selenium) which may exacerbate an existing imbalance or lack of another mineral (magnesium, zinc). It is also important to balance intake of fatty acids in the omega-6 and omega-3 series, as most people get too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3.

Small children can be overdosed with adult doses of for example vitamin A or iron, and pills may be dangerous for babies or young children because they can get stuck in the throat. Therefore, I recommend consulting a doctor or nutritionist educated in orthomolecular medicine. Most people are likely to benefit from taking a broad-spectrum multivitamin/mineral supplement as a basic insurance against deficiencies.

Compared to pharmaceutical drugs, supplements of most essential nutrients are quite harmless. However, some supplements may have poor quality, or contain toxic metals such as lead or cadmium. Therefore, it is the duty of our authorities to ensure that potentially hazardous products or supplements of poor quality are not sold, and that consumers are offered fair prices in a free market.

An example where the Norwegian authorities do not follow up such basic duties is that pharmacies demand more than 1,600 Norwegian Kroner (about $190) per kg of vitamin C in powder form, which would cost less than $20 with free competition and no restrictions in permitted doses or outlets.

Those who want to use natural healing methods, such as the use of food and supplements of essential nutrients to prevent or reverse illness, should consult therapists who are qualified to give advice on how natural therapies can help.

I recommend that anyone interested in supplements read the references for this article as well as the archives of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/ and the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml . Both are free access online.

(Dag Viljen Poleszynski, PhD, is the editor of Helsemagasinet [Health Magazine] https://vof.no/arkiv/ . He has translated and published a large number of OMNS releases in Norwegian.)

 

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39. Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK et al. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. The Journal of Nutrition 2005; 135: 431-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15735074

40. Boback SM, Cox CL, Ott BD et al. Cooking and grinding reduces the cost of meat digestion. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, molecular & integrative physiology 2007; 148: 651-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17827047

41. Carmody RN, Wrangham RW. Cooking and the human commitment to a high-quality diet. Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology 2009; 74: 427-34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19843593

42. Hoffer A, Saul AW. Orthomolecular medicine for everyone. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health Publications, Inc., 2008. ISBN-13: 978-1591202264

43. Hjartåker A, Pedersen JI, Müller H mfl. Grunnleggende ernæringslære. 3. utgave. [Basic nutrition] Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag AS, 2017.

44. Levy TE. Vitamin C, infectious diseases, & toxins. Curing the incurable. 3rd Edition. (c)Thomas E. Levy 2011. Medfox Pub. ISBN-13: 978-0977952021

45. Pauling L. How to live longer and feel better. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1986. ISBN-13: 978-0870710964

46. Cathcart, RF III. The method of determining proper doses of vitamin C for the treatment of disease by titrating to bowel tolerance. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 1981; 10: 125-32. http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/1981/pdf/1981-v10n02-p125.pdf

47. Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN. Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients. A meta-analysis of prospective studies. JAMA 1998; 279: 1200-5. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/187436

48. Moore TJ, Cohen MR, Furberg CD. Serious adverse drug events reported to the Food and Drug Administration, 1998-2005. Archives of Internal Medicine 2007; 167: 1752-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17846394 .

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D-RIBOSE: ENERGIZING SMART SUGAR

Fred Liers PhD riboseAvoiding excess dietary sugars is one of the healthiest things. But there is one sugar that really is good for you. That sugar is D-ribose.

In fact, D-ribose is so healthy for you, it may be the one sugar you won’t want to live without. A little background to this amazing sugar.

D-ribose is a 5-carbon monosaccharide occurring naturally in living cells. D-ribose importantly forms the carbohydrate parts of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). That means d-ribose is the sugar essential for the biological function of all living creatures, including humans.

Supplemental D-ribose is associated with many benefits. These benefits include greater energy, less fatigue, and faster muscle recovery. These benefits relate to the capacities of D-ribose as a total body energizer because it boosts energy production (as ATP) in the body.

For individuals suffering low energy levels associated with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), low energy levels, and other problems related to low energy (ATP) production, D-ribose can mean a significantly higher level of energy. In cases of extremely low energy, it can mean the capacity to function more normally.

ribose energy woman power health

D-ribose energizes every cell in our bodies.

Athletes and bodybuilders were among the earliest to recognize D-ribose for purposes of improving performance and recovery times. D-Ribose also exerts anti-anxiety, stress reduction, and potential anti-depressant properties. There is additional evidence suggesting that supraphysiological amounts of ribose may have cardioprotective effects, especially for the ischemic heart.

Supplemental D-ribose usually comes in the form of a sweet, crystalline, water-soluble powder. It is also available in capsules or tablets, including chewable tablets.

Humans synthesize d-ribose from foods, including glucose and various dietary sugars. But there are benefits to supplemental D-ribose. One of the major reasons is the important role of D-ribose in the production of energy (ATP) in human cells.

D-RIBOSE BENEFITS

• GREATER ENERGY (ATP) PRODUCTION

• FASTER RECOVERY

• REDUCED FATIGUE

• IMPROVES ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

• SUPPORTS MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION

• AIDS CHRONIC FATIGUE AND FIBROMYALGIA

• SUSTAINS CARDIAC AND SKELETAL MUSCLE

• BETTERS PHYSIOLOGICAL FUNCTION UNDER ANAEROBIC CONDITIONS

• SUPPORTS LONGEVITY OF BLOOD CELLS

• ANTI-ANXIETY EFFECTS

• STRESS REDUCTION

ribose sugar natural heart energy ATP RNA

D-ribose is heart healthy unlike most dietary sugars (e.g., sucrose).

RIBOSE FOR ENERGY (ATP) PRODUCTION

The body uses D-ribose to generate adenosine triphosphate (ATP).  ATP provides energy for all bodily movements and every chemical reaction in cells. ATP is the source of all energy in the body and it’s constantly broken down and recreated due to the processes of life.

The adenine portion of ATP consists of one molecule of adenine and ribose (i.e., five-carbon sugar). The triphosphate portion of ATP consists of three phosphate molecules. When a phosphate breaks off from ATP, then energy is released. The compound then becomes adenosine diphosphate (ADP), which consists of adenosine and two phosphate molecules. When another phosphate molecule breaks off, it becomes adenosine monophosphate (AMP).

It is well established that ratios of ATP, ADP, and AMP are essential for regulating energy in cells. Under extreme physiological stress (e.g., high-intensity exercise), our cells cannot recreate ATP rapidly enough to supply cells with required energy. Concentrations of ADP and AMP rise causing a reduction in cellular energy. When the body’s rate of ATP use continues exceeding the rate at which it can be generated, cells “lose” nucleotides in order to restore the ratio between ATP, ADP, and AMP.

During anaerobic metabolism, AMP levels can rise within cells, thereby disturbing the ratios of ATP to ADP and AMP. The body can reduce AMP concentrations by degrading AMP to simpler end products resulting in a significant decrease in the adenine nucleotide pool. Under extreme conditions (e.g., prolonged high-intensity exercise or the diminished blood flow to tissues witnessed in ischemia), the adenine nucleotide pool may decrease by 30–50%. These effects can significantly compromise physical performance.

Here is where D-ribose supplementation works to support energy production. Supplemental D-ribose allows the body to bypass relatively slow conversion steps required for recreating the adenosine nucleotide providing critical material for ATP production. That is, D-ribose can increase the speed of nucleotide replacement. This has implications not only for sports performance, but also for general health. D-ribose is especially useful in situations where greater energy may be required, as in low energy, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, or combating the effects of aging.

D-RIBOSE RATE-LIMITING SUGAR FOR NUCLEOTIDE SYNTHESIS

One of the most important aspects of D-ribose for health relates to the fact that it is the rate-limiting compound that regulates the activity of the purine nucleotide pathway of adenine nucleotide metabolism. As such, ribose plays a central role not only in the synthesis of ATP, but also of coenzyme-A, flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), DNA, RNA, and other important cellular constituents.

In fact, D-ribose is the only known compound the body can use for performing this critical metabolic function. Specifically, ribose administration bypasses the slow and rate-limited pentose phosphate pathway to stimulate adenine nucleotide synthesis and salvage in vivo. In addition, it has been shown that de novo adenine nucleotide synthesis in skeletal muscle is rate limited by the availability of ribose.

Specifically, human muscle cells (e.g., heart and skeletal muscle cells) do not rapidly replace lost nucleotides because of the lack of two rate-limiting enzymes in the pentose phosphate pathway metabolizing glucose to ribose-5-phosphate. Ribose itself forms 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate, a rate-limiting compound in nucleotide synthesis. As noted, supplemental D-ribose allow the body to bypass the rate-limited steps of the pentose phosphate pathway, thereby accelerating nucleotide synthesis (and salvage).

STOPPING THE VICIOUS CYCLE OF ENERGY DEPLETION

It should not take a genius to figure out that when energy production is optimized, overall health will improve. Yet, the same principle also applies in reverse. That is, there are many instances in which low energy levels can fuel lower energy levels. For example, when illness, stressors, or other factors deplete large amounts of the body’s supply of energy, they can gradually (or not so gradually) lessen the body’s capacity to produce more by overtaxing the energy production system.

This cascade of reduced energy production can become a vicious cycle in which there are few reserves left to support the body’s need for greater energy. D-Ribose is one of the only nutrients that can reverse the downward spiral in ATP production when demands exceed supply. By feeding the body’s own system for producing energy, and thereby supplying the raw material required to produce it, supplemental D-ribose can helps break the cycle of low energy levels.

fatigue ribose natural sugar energy atp cells

Chronic low energy? D-ribose is required for creating energy for all biological functions.

A ROLE FOR SUPPLEMENTAL D-RIBOSE

To recap the importance of supplemental D-ribose: D-ribose increases the rate at which ATP is generated. This improves exercise performance and allows for faster muscle growth. All this is possible because supplemental ribose helps the body bypass the conversion steps needed to create or re-create adenosine nucleotides.

Because replacing adenine nucleotides normally requires a certain amount of time, providing the body with D-ribose supplementally via diet can reduce rates of healing and repair in muscle cells. That is, supplemental D-ribose can increase the speed at which adenosine nucleotides are replaced by providing raw material for the creation of more ATP. That is how D-ribose improves athletic performance and supports optimal energy production, as well as optimal muscle health.

The significance of the science behind ATP production is that almost everyone can benefit from supplemental D-ribose. Whether you are an athlete requiring rapid repletion of energy, a person suffering from low energy levels or chronic fatigue, or anyone who wishes to improve energy production supporting optimal health.

ribose energizes beautiful athletic girl with colorful balloons jumping on the beach

Fatigued to fantastic: a plentiful supply of D-ribose helps ensure an abundance of energy.

REJUVENATE! SUPERFOODS INCLUDE D-RIBOSE

We at HPDI have focused our efforts on formulating the most effective nutritional supplements and superfoods. When Dr. Hank Liers formulated our original high-RNA Rejuvenate! superfood, he put D-ribose into it. In fact, all of our Rejuvenate! superfoods provide significant amounts of D-ribose.

Rejuvenate! (original greens) provides 1,500 mg D-ribose per serving (one small scoop). Rejuvenate! PLUS provides 1,800 mg per serving (two scoops). Rejuvenate! Berries & Herbs provides 2,000 mg per serving (two scoops).

ribose energy dietary nucleic acids rejuvenate superfoods

All Rejuvenate! superfoods provide high levels of D-Ribose.

A major reason HPDI includes D-ribose in its superfoods–and perhaps the most obvious one–is simply that we formulate unique, high-RNA superfoods to support optimal energy production in the body. D-ribose supports that goal by various means.

D-ribose is the rate-limiting sugar for the uptake and assimilation of dietary nucleic acids (RNA, DNA, nucleotides, and nucleosides). This is because D-ribose is actually the sugar backbone of these nutrients. As such, the body requires D-ribose in order to utilize and create (or recreate) dietary nucleic acids.

For example, nucleotides are the molecular building blocks of DNA and RNA. They are chemical compounds consisting of a heterocyclic base, a 5-carbon sugar (ribose or deoxyribose) and at least one phosphate group. They are the monomers of nucleic acids, and 3 or more can bond together to form a nucleic acid.

Nucleosides are glycosylamines consisting of a base (or nucleobase) to a ribose (or deoxyribose) ring. Some nucleosides are cytidine, adenosine, guanosine, and inosine. When nucleosides are phosphorylated in cells, they produce nucleotides (see above).

Thus, D-ribose plays important roles as an essential part of nucleic acids, nucleotides, and nucleosides; in the production of energy (as ATP); and the synthesis and salvage of nucleotides in the body.

Rejuvenate! superfoods are formulated to provide high levels of nucleic acids. D-ribose helps the body optimize its use of nucleic acids and their constituent components. Having D-ribose in our superfoods not only supports energy production directly, but also allows maximum use of the dietary RNA they are formulated to provide.

Rejuvenate! superfoods provide nutrients that boost energy levels significantly and consistently for optimal health, healing, and wellness. The inclusion of D-ribose importantly supports the powerful nucleic acid nutrition these superfoods offer, as well as supplements the body’s intake and synthesis of D-ribose.

ribose energy rejuvenate plus (500g) RNA nucleic acids doctor hank liers original

REJUVENATE! PLUS provides 1,800 mg of D-ribose per serving.

SUMMARY

D-Ribose of one of the most important natural sugars for life and health. It is one of the few nutrients that can boost energy levels naturally. When taken with other important biological nutrients, including dietary RNA, DNA, nucleotides, and nucleosides, D-ribose is truly a nutritional powerhouse that can support good health and the energy levels required to live life to its fullest. We believe the best way to obtain supplemental D-ribose is to consume Rejuvenate! superfoods.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

REJUVENATE! SUPERFOODS

REJUVENATE! PLUS

REJUVENATE! BERRIES & HERBS

REJUVENATE! ORIGINAL (GREENS)

REJUVENATE! COMPARISON GUIDE

HPDI BLOG ARTICLES

GET RESULTS WITH REJUVENATE SUPERFOODS

9 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT REJUVENATE! SUPERFOODS

DIETARY RNA FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Pentose-Phosphate Pathway: Elsevier’s Review of Biochemistry

From Fatigued to Fantastic (excerpt) by Jacob Teitelbaum, MD

D-Ribose technical information (Vista Chemicals)

Enhancing Cardiac Energy with Ribose (LEF)

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES

The Use of D-Ribose in Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (J Altern Complement Med.)

D-Ribose Aids Advanced Ischemic Heart Failure Patients (Int J Cardiol.)

D-Ribose, a Metabolic Substrate for Congestive Heart Failure (Prog Cardiovasc Nurs.)

D-Ribose as a Supplement for Cardiac Energy Metabolism (J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther.)

Ribose Accelerates the Repletion of the ATP Pool During Recovery from Reversible Ischemia of the Rat Myocardium (J Mol Cell Cardiol.)

Significance of the 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate pool for cardiac purine and pyrimidine nucleotide synthesis: studies with ribose, adenine, inosine, and orotic acid in rats (Cardiovasc Drugs Ther.)

Stimulation of Myocardial Adenine Nucleotide Biosynthesis by Pentoses and Pentitols (Pflugers Arch.)

The Role of Ribose on Oxidative Stress During Hypoxic Exercise (J. Med. Food)

D-Ribose Benefits Restless Legs Syndrome (J Altern Complement Med.)