Sunday, May 12th, 2013 at
What is Lipoic Acid ? → Introduction to Lipoic Acid
Alpha Lipoic Acid or ALA is a fatty acid which functions like a vitamin. Lipoic acid is a powerful endogenously synthesized antioxidant and it also regenerates other antioxidants. It is made from fatty acids and cysteine and is considered a conditionally essential nutrient. Biosynthesis declines with age.
The possibility of lipoic acid deficiency was first shown in 1955 when high doses(25-50mg/day intravenously) were used to revive patients in hepatic coma. Low levels have been correlated with a variety of diseases and use has increased steadily ever since.
Lipoic acid is present in almost all foods but it is not immediately available from dietary sources. The amount found is also very low – 10 tons of liver residue yielded 30mg of lipoic acid. As such LA is presently chemically synthesized.
One of the most studied clinical uses of LA is the treatment of diabetes and diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes is associated with accelerated aging and the degenerative diseases that accompany it.
LA has a wide range of effects throughout the human body. Its impact is vast.
What does Lipoic Acid do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- remarkable antioxidant;
- regenerates other antioxidants (glutathione, vit C, vit E, CoQ10);
- stimulates antioxidant biosynthesis;
- reduces insulin resistance & supports healthy glucose levels;
- mimics the effects of insulin; (lowers blood glucose)
- increases glucose & amino acid transport efficiency in muscle cells;
- reduces high blood pressure;
- improves lipid profiles; (reduces high triglycerides, raises HDL)
- protects against cataract formation & prevents retinal cell death; (protects eyesight)
- is anti-inflammatory;
- removes toxic metals (mercury, arsenic, cadmium, lead and others);
- promotes mitochondrial synthesis & protects mitochondria; (cellular energy production)
- increases mitochondrial mass & metabolism in adipocytes; (energy & fat loss)
- improves liver microcirculation & is hepatoprotective; (liver health)
Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at
What does Coffee do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- the main action of caffeine is to block adenosine receptors in the brain;
- reduces feelings of drowsiness, brain fog and fatigue;
- stimulates nervous system – messages are passed faster; (positive)
- stimulates the heart, blood circulation and respiratory system(typically positive effect);
- consistently and significantly raises systolic and diastolic blood pressure throughout the day and night(negative effect);
- raises fatty acids in the blood (increases blood viscosity – typically negative effect);
- stimulates stomach acid production; (positive or negative)
- irritates the stomach lining; (negative effect)
- relaxes smooth muscles of intestines; (makes digestion less effective)
- increases diuresis – urine production; (increases blood pressure);
- increases uric acid excretion – eases and prevents symptoms of gout; this effect is not due to caffeine(believed to be the phenol chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant);
- vasoconstrictive effect on cerebral blood vessels; (positive or negative effect – reason why coffee sometimes treats migraines)
- increases levels of stress hormones, raises anxiety; (negative effect)
- raises adrenaline levels throughout day and night; (negative effect)
- interferes with length and quality of sleep; (negative effect)
- increases elimination of calcium; (negative effect – osteoporosis)
- works synergistically with stress, compounding the effects of stress; (negative effect)
- high dosages of caffeine increase risk of coronary heart disease;
- decreases post gym muscle pain and boosts endurance;
- increase LDL (negative effect) and HDL (positive effect) cholesterol;
How does Coffee work ? → Mechanisms of Action
Caffeine is metabolized in the liver into: paraxanthine (84% – 1,7-dimethylxanthine), theobromine (12% – 3,7-dimethylxanthine), and theophylline (4% – 1,3-dimethylxanthine).
Theophylline relaxes the smooth muscles of the bronchi which increases oxygen levels and energy production. Theophylline has been used in the treatment of asthma.
Sunday, March 31st, 2013 at
What is Piracetam ? → Introduction to Piracetam
Piracetam is a derivative of the amino acid GABA and a member of the racetams. It is a cognitive enhancer which improves memory, concentration, information processing ability, spatial learning, motor mechanisms, creativity and intelligence.
It has been shown to harmonize and synchronize the two hemispheres of the brain, promote youthful neurologic function, increase brain metabolism and intercellular communication.
It has over 30 years of clinical use and more than 800 studies have been published on it.
What does Piracetam do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- increases the sensitivity of receptors in the brain involved in memory and learning;
- improves the ability of brain cells to produce energy;
- increases blood flow, oxygen usage & glucose metabolic rate in the brain;
- protects brain tissue from a broad range of toxins and other physical and chemical insults (ex: free radicals);
- enhances cellular protein synthesis;
- partially or completely reverses the toxic effects of a wide array of chemicals;
- significantly reduces lipofuscin levels in brain & ?(lipofuscin is a pigment that accumulates with age and is involved in the degeneration of cellular metabolism and brain function);
- restores acethylcholine receptor numbers to youthful levels;
- increases synthesis and turnover of cytochrome b5(key component of ATP energy production in mitochondria);
- increases mitochondrial membrane permeability for some intermediaries of the Krebs cycle(aids ATP production);
- increases ATP turnover and cyclic AMP(cAMP) levels;
- boosts interhemisphere communication;
- protects against hypoxia and ?excessive alcohol consumption?;
- lessens arrhythmia(decreases rhythm and increases contraction amplitude of heart);
- increases the activity of adenylate kinase (catalyzes this ATP generating reaction: 2 ADP ⇔ ATP + AMP);
- anti-thrombotic agent(inhibits platelet aggregation & enhances erythrocyte deformability)
- lowers the production of acetylcholinesterase, thus increasing acetylcholine;
Friday, March 1st, 2013 at
What does SAMe do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- increases glutathione – antioxidant which is also critical for detoxification;
- improves mitochondrial function – cellular energy production;
- protects & repairs cell membranes – increases membrane fluidity & cell communication;
- prevents DNA mutations and repairs DNA;
- protects hepatocytes against: MAO inhibitors, anti-convulsants, alcohol, drugs, active hepatitis, heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, harmful metabolites and toxins;
- enhances bile flow and prevents cholestasis; (bile blockage/impairment)
- donates methyl groups to other molecules – increases methylation;
- increases transsulphuration;
- stimulates polyamine synthesis – positively influences gene expression (epigenetic control of cellular function), cell growth, cell differentiation, neuron regeneration and homeostasis;
- regulates brain metabolism – increases levels of key neurotransmitters and hormones (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine / noradrenaline);
- protects neurons against lack of oxygen; (ischemia)
- promotes remyelation and regenerates nerves; (brain health; mood)
- protects heart cells & supports healthy endothelial function; (cardiovascular diseases)
- supports melatonin synthesis from serotonin; (sleep and rejuvenation)
- lowers homocysteine, if adequate folic acid, B6 & B12 exist; (cardiovascular diseases)
- protects synovial cells and stimulates cartilage growth; (arthritis)
- protects the cells of the gall bladder;
- counteracts toxicity of inflammatory cytokines (cell-signaling protein molecules that influence immune and nervous system cells); (immunity; neurodegeneration)
- combats inflammation and pain in joints and in bones; (antiaging)
- raises glycogen and lowers bilirubin levels; (energy; liver health)
How does SAMe work ? → Mechanisms of Action
SAMe works by:
- increasing methylation;
- stimulating polyamine synthesis;
- increasing transsulphuration.
By donating methyl groups (methylation) SAMe stimulates synthesis of: DNA(repair), RNA(gene transcription), proteins, neurotransmitters(brain function) and phospholipids. As a methylating agent SAMe repairs DNA damage and mutations, supports normal growth and differentiation of cells, allows individual cells to better communicate and react with their environment and supports cognitive function.
Sunday, February 17th, 2013 at
What does Green Tea Extract do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- highly potent antioxidant;
- protects cellular DNA, membranes and other cell components;
- maintains the health of the arterial wall;
- immune stimulating qualities;
- inhibits telomerase (an enzyme that permits cancer cells to divide indefinitely) and increases cell death in tumor, but not normal cells – apoptosis promoters prevent metastasis, while tumor promoters often inhibit apoptosis ;
- influences cholesterol levels, lowers LDL and raises HDL;
- reduces LDL oxidation (reduces formation of atherosclerotic plaque);
- anti-hyperglycemic effects (without affecting insulin levels);
- promotes thermogenesis (beyond its caffeine content);
- anti-inflammatory, antithrombotic;
- detoxification (boosts enzymatic phase II detoxification);
- inhibits the enzyme 5-alpha reductase type 1, thus reducing the synthesis of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – a potent form of testosterone implicated in contributing to prostate enlargement and cancer;
How does it do it? → Mechanisms of Action
Green tea’s effects can be attributed to the following components:
A – four polyphenols called catechins – the best known of which is EGCG; catechins are powerfull water-soluble antioxidants that are significantly more potent than grape juice and red wine.
They also have: anti-inflamatory, antithrobogenic and antiproliferative effects, fluid stabilizing properties, immuno-stimulatory effects and, they support healthy cell proliferation. They also maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride blood levels.
- reduce atherosclerotic plaque formation through antioxidant and blood lipid lowering effects, but have no effect on existing plaque
- are believed to be involved in pathways related to the regulation of healthy cellular metabolism, activation of survival genes and in cell signaling mechanisms linked to neuroprotective benefits;
- inhibit angiogenesis (one of two major conditions of cancer) – this explains green teas effectiveness in so many types of cancer.
Friday, February 1st, 2013 at
What does CoQ10 do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- enhances cellular energy production;
- protects against oxidative stress;
- enhances immune function;
- improves blood pressure, bioenergetics in heart muscle and hemodynamics (movement of blood through arteries and veins);
- optimizes blood sugar levels;
- protects against and treats endothelial dysfunction, atherosclerosis;
- improves sperm motility and protect sperm from oxidative stress;
- reverses CoQ10-lowering side effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins);
- reduces oxidation of LDL cholesterol – atherosclerosis;
- regenerates vitamin E and prevents pro-oxidant effects of vitamin E;
- regenerates vitamin C;
- involved in gene regulation; (cell signaling, metabolism)
- protects the dopamine producing region of brain (the part which is afflicted by Parkinson)
- inhibits angiogenesis (slows tumor growth);
- protects DNA and mitochondrial DNA from oxidative stress;
- protects against cytotoxic drugs used in cancer chemotherapy (increases survival rates);
How does CoQ10 work ? → Mechanisms of Action
CoQ10 achieves its effects by two main causeways:
A) by being incorporated into the mitochondria of cells and allowing them to produce more energy;
B) by acting as a very potent antioxidant.
For any cell in the body to exist, it must produce its own energy in order to maintain basic metabolic functions such as taking up and utilizing nutrients, synthesizing new proteins and discarding waste material. In response to systemic cellular energy deficit, the organism first encounters health disorders and then dies.
Without adequate coenzyme Q10, the ability of cells to utilize energy substrates declines precipitously. The end result is the development of multiple disorders characteristic of “normal” (untreated) aging. The main difference between an old and a young adult is found in their cells ability to produce energy.
Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at
What is Carnitine ? → Introduction to Carnitine
Carnitine is a coenzyme that is similar to B vitamins. Carnitine is an essential(life or death) nutrient that helps the body burn fat for energy. It shuttles fatty acids into mitochondria where they are oxidized to produce ATP. It is critical for optimal cellular energy production. Muscles, liver, kidney and heart all require carnitine to convert fat into energy.
Humans naturally synthesize carnitine from the amino acid lysine. In optimal conditions only about 25% of required carnitine can be synthesized. The rest must come from diet or supplements.
Animal products generally contain carnitine(ex: meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs). Stone Age hunters likely got more than 500mg/day from red meat consumption. Average consumption today is estimated at 30-50mg/day. This means most people are carnitine deficient.
The heart is the hardest working muscle and 60% of its energy comes from burning fat. Carnitine thus has a very direct effect upon heart health.
What does it do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- enhances the transport of fatty acids into mitochondria & raises ATP;
- it enhances the immune function by raising ATP levels;
- antioxidant – scavenges superoxide radical;
- boosts the levels of glutathione & CoQ10 – reduces free radical damage & increases energy production;
- increases the fluidity of mitochondrial membranes -> increases energy production;
- optimizes fat and carbohydrate metabolism;
- facilitates the clearance of toxic levels of fatty acids from mitochondria;
- improves insulin sensitivity -> glucose storage -> lowers blood glucose;
- improves long term glucose control(hemoglobin A1C);
- improves blood lipid profiles(raises HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides/lipids, decreases blood viscosity) -> increases blood flow;
- restores blood pressure, increases blood oxygen & inhibits oxygen starvation -> allows cells to function well even under conditions of decreased oxygen;
- counteracts glycation (possible cataracts prevention);
- counteracts ammonia toxicity;
- ALC improves the energy metabolism of neurons;
- able to reverse hippocampal neuronal loss;
- improves the interhemispheric flow of information across the corpus callosum – memory & learning;
- increases the density of neurotransmitter receptors(ex: for acetylcholine & dopamine)
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 at
Introduction/What is it ? Creatine is an organic acid. It is a high energy compound naturally produced by the human body from the amino acids methionine, glycine and arginine at a rate of about 2 grams per day. The average person’s body contains approximately 120 grams of creatine stored as creatine phosphate. Creatine is involved in the cellular production of energy.
Creatine is a lactic acid buffer, it is a backup energy source. Creatine recharges ATP. ATP gives your muscles the spark of energy it needs to do a muscle contraction. If you had no ATP in your arm you could not move it.
What does it do ? → Effects
- improves the ability of cells to produce energy;
- maintains and raises ATP levels;
- increases protein synthesis and reduces amino acid oxidation and protein breakdown;
- in resting conditions and at high dosages (20g) creatine has been shown to enhance growth hormone secretion;
- prevents tissue damage by stabilizing cellular membranes and maintaining reserves of ATP;
- reduces homocysteine levels by lowering methylation demands on the body imposed by the manufacture of creatine (creatine production consumes more methyl groups than all other methylation reactions in the body put together);
- provides energy for short term explosive exercises;
How does it work ? → Mechanisms of Action
Creatine is first metabolized in the liver and then stored in the body as Creatine Phosphate(CP).
Creatine + Pi → CP
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is a compound formed in the mitochondria which is the main energy source for …
Click Here for the rest of the guide -> Nutritional Supplements – Creatine Guide
Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 at
What is Glutamine ? → Introduction to Glutamine
Glutamine(Gln) is an amino acid. It is the most abundant free amino acid in muscle and plasma and is the preferred energy source for enterocytes and immune cells. Its most profound effects are on the gastrointestinal system, the immune system, wound healing and body rejuvenation. It also assists in body detoxification and neurotransmission in the brain.
Glutamine is most necessary for rapidly dividing cells, such as enterocytes and immune cells. Glutamine deficiency leads to intestinal atrophy and immune function break down.
The need for glutamine is very high in cases of increased metabolism, critical illness, surgery, sepsis, inflammatory states, burns or high psychological stress. In such instances the bodies requirement for glutamine exceeds both muscle reserves and synthesis capacity. Glutamine deficiency leads to muscle wasting because muscle proteins are scavenged for extra glutamine.
Glutamine supplementation is important for people who exercise, aging individuals, people about to undergo surgery and anyone experiencing physical or emotional trauma. It is also important for those who wish to protect themselves against Alzheimer, heal their gut, increase growth hormone levels, lose body fat or increase their energy levels.
What does it do ? → Effects (biochemical cellular effects)
- fuels enterocytes – improves gut structure & function – promotes intestinal healing;
- increases nutrient absorption via its action on intestinal wall villi;
- fuel for immune cells; (immune booster – anticancer)
- fuel for liver and kidney cells – enhances function;