It is anecdotally known that gaining proper nutrients in sufficient quantities is absolutely essential to health and supporting Mitochondrial function. Though research for non-pharmaceutical based treatments struggle for funding, “scientific support for the use of vitamin-based and cofactor-based Mitochondrial therapies is accumulating.” Ideally, these nutrients need to come from food. However, even being diligent with a well planned, health-conscious diet, due to many various reasons, today’s food simply does not provide the same level of nutrients as those from years past. Therefore, supplementation becomes an important and much needed aspect of reaching nutritional goals.
Additionally, certain conditions cause the body to either use or waste certain nutrients enough that obtaining sufficient quantities solely from food sources is impractical. Other conditions, such as those effecting the Gastrointestinal system, can hinder or altogether prevent proper nutritional absorption. Further complicating nutritional goals, some medications can be detrimental to the body’s ability to absorb and properly utilize certain nutritional compounds. All of these issues will require supplementation at levels higher than the average person.
NOTE: If GI absorption/utilization issues are suspected, doctor-directed Nutritional IV Therapy is an option to bypass the Gastrointestinal system and allow delivery of essential nutrients directly.
The following list addresses key nutrients that support Mitochondrial health:
A Vitamin (see Vitamin A)
Alpha Lipoic Acid (see Lipoic Acid)
Carotene (see Vitamin A)
Ribose (see D-Ribose)
Nucleobases are nitrogen-containing biological compounds. These “bases” can join with ribose or deoxyribose (glycosidic [sugar] bond) to create Nucleoside compounds. Nucleosides can join with phosphate to create Nucleotides. Whereas the rest of this page lists nutrients in alphabetical order, exception was made to list Nucleobases first due to their tremendous importance to overall health. Adenine (A) and Guanine (G) are purine-bases. Cytosine (C), Uracil (U), and Thymine (T) are pyrimidine-bases. Each of these compounds play a crucial role as both building blocks of life, (with base-pair structures forming ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)), and in energy metabolism and overall capacity of health.
ADENINE: Adenine was previously considered one of three distinct chemical compounds (Adenine, Carnitine & Choline) formerly referred to collectively as Vitamin B4. Choline is now labeled as an Amino Acid. Carnitine is a crucial compound synthesized from Amino Acids. However, Adenine is now known as a Purine Nucleobase that is a vital component of significant biomolecular importance. Purine Nucleobase
Benefits: As a Purine, it plays a vital function in the formation and integrity of both DNA (combined with Thymine) and RNA (combined with Uracil) via its role in the synthesis and stabilization of nucleic acids. When combined with Ribose (D-Ribose), Adenine is transformed into Adenosine, a critical component in production of ATP-energy (Adenosine Triphosphate). Adenosine also helps regulate tissue function and has therapeutic aspects for inflammatory and immune diseases. Adenine is a co-enzyme in other energy related functions, directly contributing to the formation of the high energy molecules NADH (from NAD+) when combined with Niacin (Vitamin B3) and FADH2 when combined with Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). Adenine, in various forms throughout the body, also acts to boost immune system function and may help modulate autoimmune disorders.
Dietary Sources: One of the best sources of all Nucleotides is lentils (ancient name is pulse) and blackeyed peas. Other rich sources are organ meats and eggs. Though not as abundant, these sources also contain Adenine: Rose hips, kelp, spearmint, golden seal and GINGER (which is also vitally important). Though whole grains can also provide Adenine, this source should be used sparingly or avoided completely if you have determined you have issues with gluten, or feel better on a low- or no gluten diet or are using a low carbohydrate diet. RAW HONEY (local, unpasteurized) is a great source of Adenine. Fresh fruits and vegetables are also excellent ways to contribute to your daily intake of Adenine. The best vegetarian sources include: apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and seeds. Maybe an apple a day really can help keep the doctor away.
NUCLEOs LIKE ADENINE CANNOT BE ISOLATED FROM ITS FOOD SOURCE TO BE SUPPLEMENTED! Although its counterparts Carnitine and Choline can be isolated, there is no known natural or artificial “supplement” for Adenine. However, Adenine CAN be derived in adequate quantities from food sources rich in nucleosides/tides. Products like Brewers Yeast or Nutritional Yeast are excellent sources of all Nucleosides/-tides. Nucleo Immune is a “supplement” that contains a Nucleo rich source of yeast along with several other nutrients that have been studied for their immune boosting effects. Furthermore, since Adenine is water soluble, it must be contributed to the diet DAILY. Additionally, it is important to have sufficient Folate and B12 in the diet to ensure proper utilization of Adenine. Additionally, as listed above, there are several interactive nutrients that are important to the many different forms of Adenine. These include Niacin (Vitamin B3), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), and D-Ribose.
Amino Acids “play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism.” There are 20 necessary amino acids for humans. Provided essential nutrients are present, 10 of these can be produced by the human body and are considered non-essential. The other 10 are considered essential or semi-essential. Since excess amino acids are not stored in the body, the 10 essential amino acids must be contributed via daily dietary intake or through supplementation.
ARGININE: Considered semi-essential or “conditionally essential” based on developmental stage and/or health status of the individual.
Health Benefits: Reproductive – Improves uterine and placental growth and improves embryonic and fetal survival and growth. Cell division important in development and growth throughout youth. May reduce healing time – for both bone and soft tissue injuries. Precursor for the synthesis of Nitric Oxide. May help mediate some forms of hypertension. Improves waste removal via kidneys and possibly therapeutic for kidney disease. Arginine is also implicated in improved immunity.
Dietary Sources: Whole eggs, meat (turkey, pork loin, chicken), pumpkin seeds, legumes (soybeans, peanuts, chickpeas, lentils), spirulina (blue-green algae nutrient), dairy (whole milk, cheeses and yogurt).
Supplementing: Arginine is best obtained from dietary sources. Typically, healthy adults consuming a well rounded diet will achieve sufficient levels of Arginine. Premature infants have the highest need for supplementation. Developing youth require much higher levels than adults. Though rare, some conditions or those with a poor diet may require supplementation. The need for and to what extent one should supplement Arginine is best determined by a knowledgeable health care provider.
CAUTION: Though Arginine is touted for its potential in treating heart related issues, there is some evidence to indicate that Arginine can be detrimental if taken AFTER a heart attack.
CARNITINE: Carnitine is not considered an “essential nutrient” because the body can synthesis this compound from an adequate intake of a combination of the amino acids Lysine and Methionine. However, there are some metabolic disorders that can block this process, thus requiring consumption of Carnitine directly.
Benefits: Carnitine is vital in supporting Mito / metabolic, cardio and cognitive health through multiple actions. It is essential in the breakdown of fats/lipids for use as energy and in shuttling fatty acids into and toxin metabolites out of Mitochondria, working synergistically with CoQ10 and Essential Fatty Acids. It is protective for cell membranes and is an overall excellent antioxidant. It may also reduce fatigue during exertion by protecting against lactic acid build-up. Studies show Carnitine can also assist in increasing bone mineral density. New research shows it may also assist in regulating and/or preventing hyperthyroidism.
Dietary Sources: Red meat is, by far, the richest source of Carnitine, (80mg per 100g serving), and particularly lamb (95mg per 100g). Other meat sources provide much less including cod (5.6mg per 100g) and chicken breast (3.9mg per 100g). Dairy, particularly whole milk, can offer 3.3mg per 100mL. With the exception of avocados (2mg per 1 medium fruit), plant-based sources do not provide substantial levels. Also, intake of both Lysine and Methionine (whole eggs are an excellent source of both) can be used together to synthesize Carnitine.
Supplementing: Carnitine supplements are absorbed passively at approx. 14-18%. Dietary Carnitine is absorbed at between 54-87%. Therefore, dietary intake is preferred over supplementation. If supplementing, it is best to use a multi-sourced Carnitine like Life Extension, Optimized Carnitine.
CHOLINE: Choline is an essential amino acid that is water soluble and thus must be contributed to the diet daily.
Benefits: Choline is key to building and maintaining healthy cellular membranes. When combined with Acetyl-CoEnzyme A (Acetyl-CoA), Choline becomes Acetylcholine (ACh), a neurotransmitter that serves several important roles in the autonomic nervous system (peripheral, central and somatic nervous systems). Physiologically, ACh helps to regulate and slow heart rate, activates the process associated with skeletal muscle contraction, stimulates release of norepinephrine during the adrenaline response and aids in proper sweat response. Neurological effects are widespread and include promoting REM sleep, increasing brain plasticity and learning potential, reducing effects of memory disturbances associated with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and reduced symptoms associated with depression. ACh also acts in the arousal and reward portion of the brain, has been shown to improve cortex processing of various visual, auditory and somatosensory stimuli, and sustaining attention. Choline deficiency can quickly result in impaired liver function, increased inflammatory markers and associated DNA damage, Metabolic Syndrome, insulin resistance and elevated triglycerides.
Dietary Sources: Eggs are the best source of Choline , providing approx. 145mg per egg yolk. dairy (fresh milk, yogurt and kefir), cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy and broccoli), shiitake mushrooms, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, legumes (garbanzo beans, lima beans and lentils), beef liver & kidneys, fish eggs (caviar), cod, salmon and chicken livers.
Supplementing: Choline is best obtained from dietary sources.
CREATINE: Also referred to as Methylguanidino Acetic Acid, is not an amino acid itself, but is derived from the amino acids Arginine, Glycine and Methionine.
Benefits: Creatine increases metabolism by increasing cellular aerobic oxidative function, thus increasing formation of ATP and improving endurance. It also normalizes mutagenesis of Mitochondrial DNA. Other research shows possible benefit in combating Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Creatine is a building block that can assist in increasing muscle mass; however, it still requires weight bearing exercises that stimulate muscle growth. Without muscle building exercises, there is the risk of weight gain unassociated with muscle mass.
Dietary Sources: Creatine is easily damaged by cooking at high temperatures. Herring is a good source because it is both high in Creatine, generally low in potential mercury and can be eaten raw as sushi. “Fresh” tuna is another good source that can be cooked at lower temperatures for less time. Lean red meat is quite high in Creatine, and can be cooked medium rare or even rare to avoid heat damage but is more difficult to digest than fish. Chicken is another source high in Creatine; however, for food safety reasons, it should always be cooked thoroughly. Thinner sliced chicken can be cooked to proper temperature quicker (165 degrees), reducing heat damage. Chicken is also a “complete protein” contributing all 20 amino acids; three of which (Arginine, Glycine and Methionine) can be used to synthesis Creatine in the liver, kidneys and pancreas, as long as there is no dysfunction blocking its formation. Whole eggs also contain all necessary amino acids to synthesis Creatine.
Supplementing: Typically, healthy adults consuming a well rounded diet will achieve sufficient levels of Creatine. Most supplemental use is by athletes whose performance goals require much higher levels. Certain conditions can cause Creatine depletion, while others may benefit from higher levels through supplementation. However, in addition to possible unwanted weight gain, high-dose, extended Creatine supplementation may lead to suppression of the body’s ability to produce and store Creatine.
TIP: Caffeine consumption eliminates creatine-loading benefits in torque production during dynamic muscle contraction.
CAUTION: Those with asthma are cautioned that mild asthma-like symptoms have been reported after chronic consumption of Creatine. Additionally, Creatine may cause muscle cramps, renal (kidney) dysfunction, dehydration and heat intolerance.
CYSTEINE – N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE (NAC): NAC is produced from L-Cysteine, which is one of the sulfur-based amino acids.
Benefits: NAC modulates cellular signaling pathways that are believed to ultimately increase Mito resilience. Lipoic Acid and NAC have been shown to reduce Mito-related oxidative stress, possibly through NAC’s action of inducing glutathione replenishment, the primary endogenous antioxidant of the cell. NAC combines with B5 and pyruvatic acid (produced during glycolysis) to produce CoEnzyme A, vital to metabolic processes including proper Mitochondrial function. NAC, Folate and B12 are used in the SAMe cycle to synthesize S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) from Methionine and ATP (this process is key to multiple metabolic reactions). Furthermore, NAC has been shown to have a detoxifying effect and is used to treat acetaminophen poisoning. NAC also modulates inflammation by exerting anti-inflammatory actions. Additionally, NAC provides direct effects on glutamatergic and dopaminergic neurotransmission and may help with depressive symptoms. More recently, NAC is showing promise in loosening thick mucus associated with cystic fibrosis and COPD. Cysteine interacts with a number of processes in the body and thus works in tandum with a number of other nutrients to include: Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate) B12 and C, Chromium, Glutamine, Glycine, Methionine and Serine.
Dietary Sources: Whole eggs are an excellent source of Cysteine. Poultry (chicken and turkey) and dairy (whole milk, yogurt and cottage cheese) are also among the highest contributors of dietary Cysteine.
Supplementing: Adequate levels of Cysteine is generally achievable through dietary sources. If supplementing, it is recommended to consume it with both Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 for proper absorption and utilization. Cysteine intake recommendations are between 500 to 700mg depending on factors such as age, sex and size.
GLUTATHIONE PRECURSOR COMPLEX:
Benefits: Glutathione Precursor Complex: L-Glutamine, L-Glycine, L-Cysteine HCI. Glutathione supports adequate antioxidant and detoxification functions. Mito patients have been shown to have low levels of glutathione. The Cysteine, in addition to B5, are required for the production of CoEnzyme A, vital to metabolic processes including proper Mitochondrial function.
Supplementing: Ecological Formulas offers this complex labeled as GLUCOSE TOLERANCE FACTOR (Non-Yeast GTF)
LYSINE: Lysine is an essential amino acid.
Benefits: Lysine is a building block of protein. The body can use Lysine and Methionine to synthesis Carnitine. Lysine-acetyl has been identified in Mitochondria and appear to regulate gene expression, signaling, and antioxidant defense mechanisms; and to modify cellular respiration, ATP production and apoptosis. Research is being done on possible therapeutic benefits of Lysine in neurodegeneration. It improves calcium absorption and also plays an important role in the production and stabilization of elastin and collagen; fighting osteoporosis and supporting connective tissues such as skin, cartilage, discs, ligaments and tendons. Due to its effect on protein synthesis, Lysine can help improve muscle tissue repair post-exertion. Lysine deficiency can cause agitation, anemia, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and loss of appetite, slow growth, and reproductive disorders.
Dietary Sources: Chicken and turkey breast meat is highest in Lysine. Other sources include tuna, cod, tilapia, snapper, shrimp, lobster, crab, sardines, pork (tenderloin) and cured ham, deer / game meat (lean cuts), beef (lean cuts) and whole eggs.
METHIONINE: Methionine is an essential sulfur-containing amino acid.
Benefits: Methionine is an essential sulfur-containing amino acid and building block of protein. The body can use Methionine and Lysine to synthesis Carnitine. Methionine is a critical precursor to S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), created through bonding with ATP (Cysteine, B12 and Folate are also used in the SAMe cycle and deficiency of these nutrients is linked to reduced SAMe levels). SAMe is a crucial compound found in nearly every tissue and fluid of the body. SAMe regulates gene expression and influences fetal development, improves immune system function, supports proper blood glucose utilization and protects cellular fatty membranes. SAMe plays an important role in brain function by synthesizing and regulating multiple hormones and neurotransmitters such as adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin and melatonin and is being studied for its effects on depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. SAMe assists in cartilage repair and has an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving effect; being studied now as a treatment for osteoarthritis. Promising research also shows its benefits in treating medication or alcoholism induced chronic liver disease. Other research is looking at the ability of SAMe to inhibit cancer tumor cells.
Dietary Sources: Eggs are the best source of Methionine (specifically egg whites, however, eating the whole egg is nutritionally best), chicken and turkey breast meat, tuna, cod, lobster, crab, swordfish, deer / game meat (lean cuts), beef (lean cuts) and pork (tenderloin).
Supplementing: Methionine is best obtained from dietary sources.
CoQ10 – CO-ENZYME Q10 – Ubiquinone / Ubiquinol:
Benefits: Essential electron carrier in the Mitochondrial respiratory Electron Transport Chain. Especially important for high-energy organs such as the heart, brain, liver & kidney. It also acts as an important antioxidant. Certain health issue can cause deficiency or utilization issues. Also taking Statin/cholesterol reducing drugs can reduce available CoQ10. These conditions will require higher doses.
Supplementing: Ubiquinol is slightly more expensive but is the reduced form of Ubiquinone and thus more bioavailable and requires no energy for conversion prior to use.
FISH OILS / OMEGA ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS:
Benefits: Omegas are “essential fatty acids” and are essential to the Mitochondrial respiratory chain, supporting energy metabolism. These fats are shuttled into the cell to be used in ATP production. The combo of Omegas, CoQ10 & L-Carnitine are essential for heart health and can improve blood pressure issues, especially when paired with a low carb diet. The triple-combo is also being studied for its benefits to brain health, including neuro-protective properties that support mental and cognitive health and may protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia and also may reduce symptoms of depression. Omegas are important antioxidants and also display anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce symptoms of arthritis and other joint pain.
Dietary Sources: Wild Alaskan Salmon is said to have the best and most complete set of Omega Essential Fatty Acids.
Supplementing: It is best to use a Complete Omega Complex (there are 17-Omegas), verses the typical 3, 6, & 9 often marketed (also frequently advertised as DHA and EPA which are subunits of Omega 3). Essential Fatty Acids extracted from seafood sources should be wild-caught, cold water versus farm-raised. As an example, wild Alaskan Salmon (like New Chapter, WholeMega) is said to contain the proper ratios of all Omegas. If ratios are not properly balanced, it can actually cause, rather than reduce inflammation.
TIP: Frequent burping of fish / Omega oils seems to be associated with GI / digestive issues. A probiotic may assist. Some foods need to be avoided immediately around consumption of Omegas, such as bananas, which seem to increase burping of this supplement.
Benefits: Improves Mitochondrial function by helping turn glucose into energy and increasing metabolic rate. Its effect can assist in lowering blood sugar levels; therefore, those with hypo- or hyperglycemia should closely monitor blood sugar levels. Studies indicate potential usefulness in treating both peripheral and autonomic neuropathy. Lipoic Acid is a potent antioxidant that can work both in water- and fat-soluble tissue. It easily crosses into the brain and is being studied as post-stroke treatment and potential prevention of conditions such as dementia.
Dietary Sources: Red meat, organ meat (liver), yeast / brewer’s yeast.
Supplementing: R-Lipoic Acid (verses Alpha-Lipoic) is biologically active and thus more recognizable by the body and easier to absorb and synthesize.
Mineral nutrients are chemical elements required to support human health.
(Ca) – CALCIUM
Benefits: Most known for supporting bone health, Ca is required for muscle function, nerve signaling, regulation of blood pressure and in regulating almost every function of the body through regulating release of hormones and use of enzymes. Ca supports proper Mito function through signaling and its effect on cell and Mito permeability.
Dietary Sources: Dietary derived Ca is more bioavailable (easier to digest and absorb) and is thus should be the primary source of Ca intake. As often the case, whole food options are best. Processed foods are often fortified with Ca; however, processed foods should be limited or avoided due to other potential health implications. Dairy sources (milk, buttermilk, whey, “real” cheese [hard, soft and cottage/ricotta] and yogurt), dark leafy greens (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), bok choy, broccoli, figs, leeks, okra, oranges, seaweed, nuts & seeds (almonds, chia seeds, sesame seeds), white beans and oatmeal. A few good meat sources are sardines and salmon.
Note: Increased vitamin D levels improve Ca absorption and utilization. Because vitamin D is so effective at increasing Ca absorption, a well-rounded, healthy diet should contain sufficient amounts of Ca to meet dietary requirements.
Supplementing: “A calcium-poor diet is a primary risk factor for Osteoporosis.” Supplementation of Ca may be necessary if:
- dietary restrictions significantly impair the ability to eat calcium-rich foods
- a medical condition reduces the ability to absorb calcium
- a medical condition requires higher calcium levels
- a medical condition results in diminished calcium levels
- actively treating osteoporosis
If supplementation is required, it is important to stay away from biologically foreign forms of calcium such as limestone, eggshell, oyster shell and bone meal. Most Ca supplements are generally in the form of Ca carbonate or Ca citrate. Both highly absorbed, research shows that Ca carbonate is harder to digest and could lead to acid rebound (increased stomach acid). Therefore, Ca citrate may be the better choice.
(Mg) – MAGNESIUM:
Benefits: Mg is an important overall supplement and necessary in over 300 bodily processes. Mg serves to stabilize nucleic acid and protein structure and mediates Mg2+ dependent enzymatic reactions as a cofactor, including ATP-related enzymatic reactions and is thus vital to proper Mitochondrial function. Mg assists in relieving muscle rigidity/spasticity and important in overall tendon and ligament health. Mg is also essential to bone health by helping D3 function properly to help utilize calcium. Mg also contributes to the growth and structure of bone. Mg-Threonate has improved absorption through tissue and cell membrane penetration.
Dietary Sources: Some of the highest sources of dietary Magnesium are nuts and seeds (especially almonds, sunflower and sesame seeds), regular oatmeal, whole milk, bananas, beets, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale) and peas.
Supplementing: There are many different forms of Magnesium, but there are only a few that are the best choice when supplementing. In fact, most supplemental Magnesium either is poorly absorbed or capable of causing significant GI upset and diarrhea. (Magnesium is the active ingredient in Milk of Magnesia; but unless your goal is to clean out your GI, little of it will contribute to overall health.) Magnesium L-Threonate has been studied for its ability to not only cross the blood-brain barrier to contribute to cognitive health, but also to stay in an unfractured form and reach cell nuclei; thus offering optimal utilization and without GI upset.
Topical Delivery: Mg in topical forms is easily absorbed, bypassing the GI and speeding delivery to the body. Soaking feet or the whole body in an Epsom Salt bath is well known for helping relieve muscle aches and pains. The mode of action for this result is the Mg. There are also Mg oils and gels that can be applied topically to sore, achy, stiff muscles or painful joint areas to decrease pain and speed healing.
PHOSPHORUS / PHOSPHATE:
Approximately 85% of Phosphorus is found in bone and teeth. It works in tandem with calcium and magnesium to help build, maintain and repair all tissues and cells including bone. Phosphorus helps the body utilize vitamin D, iodine, magnesium and zinc. It also plays a similar role as vitamin K in regulating where and how calcium is utilized in the body.
Dietary Sources: Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, chia, sesame), fish (salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel, sardines), shellfish (scallops, mussels, crab), nuts (brazil, pine nuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios), pork chops, beef and veal, beans (chickpeas, lentils, kidney, pinto, white beans), eggs and dairy products.
Supplementation: Sufficient Phosphate should be obtained from dietary sources. The need for Phosphate supplementation is extremely rare. Due to potential interactions and side effects, Phosphate supplementation should only be done under the supervision of a knowledgeable health care provider.
Potassium acts as a bone guardian, helping to improve bone mass by regulating calcium content. Potassium also acts as “the skeletal compartment’s first line of defense in buffering metabolic acid loads,” protecting against acidity assaults that can leach calcium from the bones.
Dietary Sources: Fruits (bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, oranges, strawberries, watermelon), avocado, potatoes (red, white, sweet), squash (acorn, summer squash, zucchini), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), bamboo shoots, Chinese and Japanese cabbage, celery, beans (lentils, lima, kidney, pinto, white), and dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, dates, figs, peaches, raisins). Meat can also contain potassium, such as wild salmon, cod and tuna; lean red meat, chicken and turkey.
Supplementing: As with a number of nutrients, potassium is best obtained from dietary sources. A well balanced diet should provide sufficient amounts. Therefore, supplementation of potassium should be limited to those have potassium deficient diets or those who have lost significant potassium due to illness or who have a disease that effects potassium levels or require treatment that reduces potassium content.
Trace minerals are a group of metal ions that, though they exist in minimal amounts in the body, are required in sufficient amounts for optimal functioning. Trace minerals include chromium, copper, iodine, iron, manganese and zinc. Unlike “macrominerals” like calcium, magnesium and potassium that the body uses in much larger quantities, it is easy to overload on trace minerals and cause an imbalanced. It is always best to get the bulk of nutrition from whole food sources; this is especially true with trace minerals and eating a well balanced diet can help reach optimal levels. Both excesses and deficiencies of trace minerals can cause impaired functioning. Therefore, supplementation of trace minerals should be done with caution. Monitoring of levels via labs by a qualified health care provider is recommended.
Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that trace minerals can be found from other sources besides whole food. One reason to steer clear of “multi- vitamin/mineral” supplements is that they don’t provide sufficient macro-nutrients but often provide more than enough trace minerals. Some people, in an effort to get higher levels of certain supplements, will take more than the recommended serving of these products, not realizing they are risking overload or toxicity of these micro-nutrient trace minerals. Another source of overload can be fortified foods (cereals, baked goods and processed foods). Otherwise considered “healthy” options (such as shakes and bars) can also run afoul if consumed in large quantities.
Benefits: Copper is a cofactor to Lysine in its function of contributing to collagen production; important to both bone growth, maintenance and resilience. Copper also plays an important roll in bone function of red blood cell production, a deficiency of which causes its own form of anemia. Copper also contributes to proper iron absorption. Copper also aids in nerve conduction and hormone secretion.
Dietary Sources: The riches sources of dietary copper come from oysters and other shellfish, liver, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), legumes, nuts and dark chocolate.
Supplementing: Copper also is best obtained from dietary sources; however, if your diet is deficient in copper-rich foods, copper supplementation may be necessary. It takes remarkably small amounts of copper to make optimal impact. Too much copper, copper toxicity, can have negative effects on emotions/mood, mental function, clarity and memory, and can cause hypothyroidism. Copper excess can also lower magnesium and potassium levels, affecting the sodium/potassium balance which can place the person in chronic “fight or flight” response. The recommended daily allowance averages 1 to 3mg/ day depending on age, sex and other factors. Consuming higher doses may require the assistance of a qualified health care provider. The upper limit of copper supplementation, to avoid possible adverse side effects, is just 10mg/day.
Benefits: Iodine supports healthy cell function and thyroid, which is key to multiple functions throughout the body. Requires B2, B3 and Selenium to function properly in the body.
Dietary Sources: Iodized salt, sea vegetables (kelp/seaweed), seafood (cod, lobster, shrimp, canned tuna), turkey, potatoes, milk and cheese, navy beans, fruit (bananas, cranberries, dried prunes, strawberries), eggs, potatoes and green beans.
Supplementing: Iodoral (fairly expensive, but the best form of iodine and highly recommended by doctors.
CAUTION: Iodine dosage is very individual dependent and and supplementation should be monitored via labs by a qualified health care provider.
Benefits: Cofactor essential for multiple metabolic processes. Iron helps convert vitamin D into its active form. It helps regulate normal osteoblastic activity and the formation of strong collagen fibers, the foundation of bone. A study in 2003 showed a significant correlation between increased Bone Mineral Density and increased levels of Iron (greater than 20mg/daily). Per Walter Reed, Iron has been used to successfully treat more than 70% of their restless leg patients.
Dietary Sources: Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), asparagus, bok choy, leeks, tumeric. Eggs, organ meat (liver, giblets) and red meat. Seafood (oysters, clams, mussels, squid), fish (haddock, salmon, sardines, tuna), beans/legumes (chickpeas, lentils, lima, kidney, pinto, white beans), seeds (pumpkin, sesame, squash), dried fruit (apricots, peaches, prunes, raisins).
Note: To increase the absorption of Iron from dietary sources, consume Iron-rich foods along with vitamin C rich foods.
Supplementing: As recommended by a Walter Reed Cardio/Pulmonary doctor, the CVS-store brand, Slow Release, Low-dose (45mg) Iron seems to be the best tolerated. However, it is still recommended to take at bedtime to avoid possible side effect of stomach upset.
CAUTION: Iron dosage is very individual dependent and supplementation should be monitored by a qualified health care provider via labs to avoid “Iron Overload,” a state of excessive Iron that can be detrimental to bone health and can cause a number of other health issues. Some Mito disorders DO NOT respond well to Iron supplementation.
Benefits: Manganese is used in the formation and maintenance of bones and connective tissue (a deficiency of which causes bone and connective tissue defects). It is a required cofactor for the enzyme Prolidase, important to the creation and integrity of collagen; important to both bones and joints, in addition to other connective tissue such as skin, blood vessels and intestines. Manganese also plays an important role in blood clotting factors.
Dietary Sources: Grains (oats, brown rice, quinoa), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), garlic, fruits (bananas, pineapple, tomatoes), berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries), vegetables (asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, green beans, green peas, leeks, summer squash, winter squash), sweet potatoes, beets, mushrooms, beans/legumes (black, lentils, lima, kidney, navy, pinto, white), nuts and seeds.
Supplementing: Manganese is best acquired from dietary sources. Though it is an important trace mineral for several aspects of health, high concentrations of Manganese have been associated with neurological disorders similar to Parkinson’s and poor cognitive performance.
Note: Consuming Magnesium at the same time as Manganese can reduce absorption of Manganese.
Recommendations / Upper Limit (U/L): The recommended daily allowance averages between 1 to 2.6mg/day depending on age, sex and other factors. The upper limit of Manganese supplementation, to avoid possible adverse side effects, is just 10mg/day. It is extremely rare that supplementation is necessary and should only be done with assistance of a qualified health care provider.
Benefits: Vital to thyroid function on several levels and, in conjunction with B2 and B3, ensures proper utilization of Iodine. It is also an immune-modulator and is responsible for modifying the body’s inflammatory response. Also the cofactor to Glutathione, Selenium is important in ATP production and is also required for the proper function of 5 out of 8 glutathione peroxidase enzymes that support antioxidant protection. A Selenium deficiency can amplify disruptions of antioxidant activity involving Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Selenium deficiency has also been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and infertility in men. Other research shows Selenium can help combat depression.
Dietary Sources: Seafood (tuna, shrimp, cod, sardines, salmon), crimini and shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, meat (turkey, chicken, beef), eggs, seeds (sunflower and sesame), milk, cabbage, spinach and broccoli.
Supplementing: Selenium content in food is closely related to Selenium content in soil. Depleted soil can lead to Selenium deficiency. However, when considering supplementation, remember that Selenium is a “trace” mineral and more is not necessarily better. High dose supplementation over long periods can cause GI upset, hair loss, white blotchy nails, halitosis, fatigue irritability and nerve damage.
Recommendations / Upper Limit (U/L): The recommended daily allowance averages between 20 to 55mcg; except for pregnant and lactating women who require 60 to 70mcg. The upper limit of Selenium supplementation, to avoid possible adverse side effects, has been set at 400mcg/day.
Benefits: Zinc is an essential trace mineral that stimulates the activity of over 100 enzymes associated with everything from immune health (including activating T lymphocytes [T cells] that attack infected or cancerous cells), wound healing, improving cognitive function and memory, preventing age-related macular degeneration, and facilitating DNA synthesis. In recent years, prevention of osteoporosis has been added to the list of zinc benefits. “Every step of bone metabolism utilizes zinc, and its deficiency is implicated in osteoporosis.” Research is showing how zinc plays as important a role in bone density as does calcium. It has a stimulatory effect of collagen synthesis that “can increase osteogenic effect by stimulating cell proliferation, ALP activity and collagen synthesis in osteoblastic cells.”
Dietary Sources: The riches sources of dietary zinc come from lobster, oyster, egg yolks, beef, pork, lamb, sea vegetables, mushrooms, peanuts and dark chocolate.
Supplementation: Zinc is another nutrient best obtained from dietary sources; however, if your diet is deficient in zinc-rich foods, zinc supplementation is essential. Being a “trace” mineral, it doesn’t take much zinc to make a positive effect on health.
Note: Too much zinc can suppress absorption of copper.
Recommendations / Upper Limit (U/L): The recommended daily allowance averages 10 to 15mg/ day depending on age, sex and other factors. Consuming higher doses may require the assistance of a qualified health care provider. The upper limit of zinc supplementation, to avoid possible adverse side effects, is 40mg/day.
Vitamins are organic compounds considered vital nutrients that cannot be synthesized and thus must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, are easily flushed from the system and must be contributed via daily dietary intake or through supplementation. Additionally, water soluble vitamins are lost much easier through exposure and cooking. Fat soluble vitamins can be stored in the liver and adipose (fat) tissue. Fat soluble vitamins are more stable and less likely to be lost during the cooking process.
(A) – VITAMIN A – CAROTENE COMPLEX:
Benefits: Best known for its vital role in vision health, vitamin A supports antioxidant activity which is essential with Mitochondrial Dysfunction due to increased oxidative stress. Vitamin A also assists in immune response (synthesis of T- and B- immune cells), reduction of inflammation, maintenance of epithelial and mucosal tissues, bone metabolism and creation of red blood cells that can assist in proper oxygenation. Vitamin A is being researched for its role in immune “braking;” a function required to prevent overactive responses by the immune system. Furthermore, carotenoids promote proper cell-to-cell communication and their roll is being looked at for potential cancer prevention.
Dietary Sources: Sweet potatoes, carrots, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach / collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), asparagus, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli and winter squash.
Supplementing: There are three identified carontenoids considered important for health; beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin. Therefore, when supplementing, a good vitamin A complex is best.
Note: Dry eyes, poor vision and night blindness can be symptoms of vitamin A deficiency.
(B1) – VITAMIN B1 – THIAMINE / THIAMIN:
Benefits: Improves Mito function/energy metabolism, most notably in the Krebs cycle. Improves utilization of glucose. Improves brain function and muscle function. Anti-inflammatory. Depletion of thiamine is equivalent to oxygen deficiency in regards to cellular energy production. Deficiency of Thiamine is known to cause shrinkage of Mitochondria. Thiamine increases collagen production supporting joints and connective tissue.
Dietary Sources: Seeds (sunflower, flax, sesame); beans (black, kidney, lentils, lima, navy, pinto); barley and oats; dried peas and green peas, asparagus, peanuts, sweet potatoes
Supplementing: Supplementation highly recommended. It is difficult to obtain sufficient quantities of Thiamine from diet. Furthermore, absorption is limited if not consumed with the required co-factor. Therefore, enriched and fortified foods, often lacking this co-factor, have poor absorption rates.
Upper Limit (U/L): There are no reports of adverse effects from consumption of “excessive” B1 from either diet or supplements; therefore, no upper limit has been established.
Note: Thiamine levels cannot be substantially increased unless consumed WITH its sulfur-based co-factor, best derived from oxidized garlic (fresh, chopped or crushed garlic exposed to air for at least 10 minutes prior to consumption). Thiamine Tetrahydrofurfuryl Disulfide (TTFD) is a natural supplement formulated to include this co-factor. (Ecological Formulas carries Allithiamine, the name referencing the Allium sulfur co-factor.) Benfotiamine, a recent form often prescribed, is a synthetic meant to mimic TTFD and its naturally sourced Allium co-factor.
(B2) – VITAMIN B2 – RIBOFLAVIN:
Benefits: Improves Mitochondrial function/energy metabolism, most notably in the Krebs cycle, as a cofactor to the ATP process. “Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is an essential dietary compound used for the enzymatic biosynthesis of FMN [Flavin Mononucleotide] and FAD [Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide].” Adenine combines with B2 to create FAD and ultimately FADH2, one of two high energy compounds used to carry electrons into the Electron Transport Chain to create ATP-energy. B2 also combines with certain proteins and phosphate to create (FMN) which is vital to the initiation of Complex I of the Electron Transport Chain. Both FAD and FMN are considered Flavoproteins and are vitally important to overall health. B2 also assists in the utilization of iodine and supports thyroid health. B2 deficiency has also been implicated in migraine headaches.
Dietary Sources: Beef liver and other organ meat, brewer’s yeast, lamb, whole eggs, whole milk, natural yogurt, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach and almonds. Whole grains, wheat germ and wild rice also contain B2; however these sources should be limited for those adhering to a low carb diet. (Extended cooking times may reduce B2 content.)
Supplementing: B2 deficiency can be common if dietary intake is not consistent because it is water soluble and continuously excreted via the urine. (This is why urine becomes bright yellow with supplementation.) Absorption and utilization can be enhanced by the presence of vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7 and B12. Other nutrients that work with B2 are Chromium, Copper, Cysteine, Folate, Glutathione, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphate, Potassium, and Zinc.
U/L: There are no reports of toxicity from consumption of “excessive” B2 from either diet or supplements; therefore, no upper limit has been established.
(B3) – VITAMIN B3 – NIACIN:
Benefits: Improves Mitochondrial function/energy metabolism, most notably in the Krebs cycle, as a cofactor to the ATP process. B3 also increases NAD+ and is being researched for it’s ability to stimulate Mitochondrial DNA Repair and increase overall Repair Rate. B3 assists in the utilization of iodine and supports thyroid health. Other benefits are highly dependent on the form used and can help improve cholesterol levels and treat diabetic conditions.
Dietary Sources: Tuna, by far, is the most concentrated form of B3 from a food source, packing 25mg per 4oz serving. Chicken and turkey rank next at 15 and 13mg respectively. Rounding out the “excellent” sources are salmon (9mg), lamb (8mg) and beef (7mg). A quarter-cup of peanuts can provide nearly 4.5mg.
Nicotinamide Riboside (NR): Nicotinamide form of B3 combined with a Pyridine-Nucleoside (i.e. Ribose combined with a Pyridine Nucleobase of either Cytosine, Thymine or Uracil). NR acts as a precursor to Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD).
Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD): NR combines with the a Purine-Nucleoside (Ribose combined with the Purine Nucleobase Adenine), in addition to phosphate groups creating a dinucleotide structure. Its oxidized form is known as NAD+ and its reduced form is known as NADH. These act as one of two high energy compounds used to carry electrons into the Electron Transport Chain to create ATP-energy.
Supplementing: Niacin is the basic name for B3. There are several forms that include Nicotinic Acid (Pyridine-3-Carboxylic Acid), Nicotinamide (Nicotinic Acid Amide), Niacinamide and other derivatives such as Inositol Hexanicotinate “that exhibit the biological activity of nicotinamide” (see, Institute of Medicine [IOM] 1998). It combines in several phases to create larger molecules that contribute to health and function in many different aspects. It is important to note that both the different isolated forms of B3 and the many different compounds can have very different biological effects. These differences should be considered when considering supplementation.Certain forms of B3 can cause possible flushing. Inositol Hexanicotinate is a non-flushing formula that can be considered if flushing is an issue. Also, taking it at night before bedtime can help avoid any side effects.
(B5) – VITAMIN B5 – PANTOTHENIC ACID:
Benefits: Improves Mitochondrial function/energy metabolism, most notably in the Krebs cycle. You cannot consume the vital coenzyme molecule, Coenzyme A (CoA). CoA must be produced by the body through a process that utilizes Pyruvic Acid (generated through glycolysis), B5 and Cysteine. CoA is necessary to utilize fatty acids and pyruvate. Every genome sequenced to date and 4% of all cellular enzymes also use CoA.
Dietary Sources: Shiitake mushrooms pack the biggest punch with 1/2 cup providing 2.5mg. One cup of sweet potato or avocado can provide up to 2mg. Chicken, turkey, salmon, lentils, broccoli and yogurt can provide 1mg. One whole egg provides 0.7mg.
Supplementing: It is difficult to substantially increase B5 intake through diet. Therefore, supplementation should be considered. Minimum dosage for someone 14 or older is 5mg.
U/L: There are no reports of toxicity from consumption of “excessive” B5 from either diet or supplements; therefore, no upper limit has been established. In fact, studies providing 5000mg daily (1000 times more than RDA) showed no discernible side effects.
(B6) – VITAMIN B6 – PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE:
Benefits: B6 has been shown to be protective of cells via modification of mitochondria and boosting function. Additionally, research has shown B6 can reduce diabetic complications & cognitive aging, and may help prevent coronary heart disease. B6 is essential to proper liver function and helps to detoxify the liver.
(B7) – VITAMIN B7 – BIOTIN:
Benefits: B7 maintains biochemical integrity of the Krebs cycle. B7 deficiency causes Heme deficiency. B7 deficiency has been shown to negatively impact mitochondrial function, particularly in Complex IV, among other metabolic processes.
(B9) – VITAMIN B9 – FOLATE:
Benefits: B9/Folate works synergistically with B12 and is needed for maintenance of nuclear and Mitochondrial genome integrity (DNA synthesis) and formation of red blood cells which increases oxygen availability. B9/Folate is also essential for metabolism of amino acids. NOTE: Research is showing that the natural form of Folate is more effective without the potential side effects associated with Folic Acid.
Supplementing: Bioavailable Folate – Quatrefolic
(B12) – VITAMIN B12:
Benefits: B12 works synergistically with B9 and is needed for maintenance of nuclear and Mitochondrial genome integrity (DNA synthesis) and the formation of red blood cells which increases oxygen availability. B12 is critical for producing cellular energy and in maintaining healthy nervous system function. B12 can also treat some forms of neuropathy. NOTE: If you are sensitive to the effects of B12, use caution with timing of dosages to avoid possible interference with sleep. Vitamin C should be separated from B12 doses as it interferes with absorption and utilization of B12.
Supplementing: Methylcobalamin administered through sublingual delivery (under the tongue) is considered the best oral supplementation of B12.
Note: Some medical conditions can cause B12 “dependency” (verses deficiency). Dependency is when the body either uses or wastes a nutrient at such a high rate that deficiency occurs frequently even with supplementation. B12 dependency may require B12 shots in conjunction with daily oral supplementation.
(C) – VITAMIN C:
Benefits: Supports immune system and is needed to counter higher levels of oxidation from Mitochondrial dysfunction (antioxidant). Supports joint health by both building and repairing cartilage and can significantly reduce symptoms of arthritis; especially in conjunction with Allithiamine. Helps to build collagen & support skin health. Vitamin C should be separated from B12 as it interferes with absorption and utilization of B12.
Dietary Sources: The best sources of vitamin C are papaya, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, oranges and other citrus.
Supplementing: Vitamin C supplementation should be from naturally sourced, multi-sourced vitamin C (preferably in powder form that can be easily added to a beverage). Look for Ascorbate verses Ascorbic Acid.
UPDATE: Since 2016, naturally sourced, high-dose vitamin C powder has become practically unavailable. Contacting multiple brands and distributors, I have been unable to get answers as to why each product has been removed from the market. There are Ascorbate C products available that contain Bioflavonoids (rose hips still being one of the most researched for its proven benefits); however, they are generally low dose per serving size. (Make sure you are looking for actual vitamin C content and not the amount of the source-product of the vitamin C.)
NOTE: The presence of Vitamin C, especially in high doses, can block the absorption and utilization of Vitamin B12. Ideally, take Vitamin C at night; then B12 can be reserved for early to mid-day dosing to prevent interference.
(D3) – VITAMIN D: Vitamin D, unlike most other “vitamins,” is actually a hormone.
Benefits: D3 has a wide-ranging health benefits that include genetic expression and cellular communication, cardiovascular and respiratory health, and demonstrates anti-cancer effects. By augmenting muscle Mitochondrial maximal oxidative phosphorylation, Vitamin D can increase muscle efficiency and skeletal muscle function, help fight fatigue and improve myopathy symptoms. Further evidence suggests it can help regulate sleep patterns and mood and help combat depression. Immune System: Vitamin D is a major factor in maintaining a healthy immune system, triggering your natural defenses (over 200 different anti-microbial peptides). These peptides attack both viral and bacterial infections. Bone Health: Everyone knows bones need calcium. However, most people don’t know you need vitamin D to facilitate the absorption of calcium (the reason vitamin D is added to milk) and to help regulate serum calcium and phosphate levels. Vitamin D also increases absorption and utilization of calcium and is being used in conjunction with Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin K Complex to address and even reverse Osteoporosis.
Dietary Sources: It is near impossible to obtain sufficient vitamin D from food sources; however, the following food sources can contribute to increased levels: Atlantic herring, wild catfish, tuna canned in water, sardines canned in oil, vitamin D fortified milk and yogurt, beef or calf liver, egg yolks and cheese.
Best Natural Source: The best source of vitamin D is to allow the body to produce it through safe sun exposure. Many factors can influence whether one produces sufficient vitamin D. Most people do not get enough unfiltered sunlight to reach optimal vitamin D levels. (UVB rays are easily “filtered” out by glass, sunscreen, clouds and air pollution.)
It is believed that in the US, of those who DO NOT supplement, more than half are at risk for vitamin D insufficiency. A Lanolin sourced D3 is closest to what the body produces from sun exposure – D3 is the reduced form of D2. D2 must be converted in order for the body to use it. For this reason, consuming high dose D2 has a higher potential of causing overdose (see caution below).
Note: Vitamin D requires fat to allow for absorption and utilization; therefore, always consume vitamin D supplements along with a fat-containing snack or meal.
Recommendations / Upper Limit (U/L): Per research out of Japan and the UK, optimum levels are between 80-90 ng/mL.
CAUTION: Only use vitamin D2 under close supervision and monitoring by a knowledgeable health care provider. D2 has a higher affinity toward build up to toxic levels since it must first be converted to D3 before the body can utilize it.
(E) – VITAMIN E:
Benefits: Also supports immune system and boosts the antioxidant effect of Vitamin C. Always take Vitamin E with Vitamin C as they compliment each other to increase absorption and utilization. Increases function of muscles. Assists in production of red blood cells that can lead to better oxygenation of tissues. Protective against heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. Being studied for protective benefit against diabetic-induced damage, particularly to the eyes.
Supplementing: TwinLab – Super E Complex – 400 IU SoftGels (Contains a multi-sourced Vitamin E)
(K) – VITAMIN K COMPLEX: K1 and K2 (MK-4) and K2 (MK-7)
Benefits: Vitamin K is important to bone metabolism and is protective against osteoporosis and could assist in reversing it. There are several forms of vitamin K essential to the effective utilization of calcium throughout the body and to prevent other disorders like calcium based stones and calcification of arteries, veins, organs, etc. In short, vitamin K puts calcium where you need it and keeps it from building up where you don’t. If using “high-dose” vitamin D supplementation and/or have issues with calcium based stones, or other calcification issues, maximizing vitamin K intake is essential.
Dietary Sources: Herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, collard / mustard / turnip greens, kale), brassica vegetables (brussels spouts, broccoli, cabbage), asparagus, leeks, okra, cucumber, prunes, alfalfa sprouts and mung bean sprouts.
Supplementing: If supplementing, it is important to get one that contains a combination of K1 and both K2 (MK-4) and K2 (MK-7).
CAUTION: Vitamin K can reduce the effectiveness of blood thinners like Warfarin and Coumadin. If you take blood thinners, check with your health care provider.
COLLAGEN: Of the many various types of protein found in the body, the majority is collagen, approx. 30%.
Benefits: Collagen can breakdown with age or in conjunction with certain medical conditions. It is considered the glue that holds the body together and is found in muscle, bone, skin and all connective tissues of the body. Consumption and synthesis of collagen are vitally important to bone, joint and connective tissue, skin and GI health.
Dietary Sources: Gelatin is an excellent way to contribute the building blocks of collagen.
* BONUS HEALTH TIP: Sipping hot gelatin can often help sooth an upset stomach.
Gelatin — Sweet: A tasty treat for many, gelatin (like brand name Jell-O) is an excellent source of collagen. It can be consumed in its traditional cold form or as a hot drink. (To serve hot, follow mixing directions of your favorite flavor but serve hot instead of chilling. NOTE: you cannot re-liquefy Jell-O-like products after it has been chilled.) Gelatin is generally high in sugar so look to sugar-free versions if you are diabetic or eating low-carb/ketogenic.
Gelatin — Savory: Since gelatin is a combo of peptides and proteins derived from cooking collagen-rich foods such as skin, bones and connective tissues from beef, pork and chicken, you can also enjoy gelatin in a non-gelatinous, savory form. Don’t discard nutrient-rich juices from cooked meats, especially meats containing bones (referred to as bone broth or bone stock), because it is full of liquefied gelatin. Yes, all that juice (or soft gelatin if it has been chilled) at the bottom of that rotisserie chicken container counts too. Use it to make a hot beverage to sip, for flavoring other dishes or for making delicious soups. You can make your own bone broth (check out this thorough tutorial), or purchase what is referred to as “bone broth.”
** THOSE WITH A PORK ALLERGY OR INTOLERANCE: The majority of gelatin is derived, at least in part, from pork. Consequently, “most” processed foods that contain gelatin are pork-based. There are a few Kosher approved gelatins that are certified pork-free. Pork is also be hidden in a variety of other foods you would never consider. These include specialty (low-fat / no-fat) dairy items including butter, spreads, cheese (especially parmesan and most all processed cheeses including Kraft singles and Velvetta), fresh and frozen yogurt and ice cream; bread products, canned biscuits, crackers, certain potato chips; cereal, especially those with marshmallows (most all marshmallow products), frosted shredded wheat; Rice Crispy Treats, candies, gum and even mints like Altoids. These hidden pork and pork bi-products can cause undue and seemingly unexplainable GI issues that can wreak havoc on pork-sensitive individuals. Since Jews and Muslims are prohibited from eating “unclean” items such as pork, looking for Kosher certified items can assist in picking truly pork-free products. Click HERE for an excellent resource.
A good Collagen supplement should contain high-quality HYDROLYZED Collagen, AND essential amino acids that help with the absorption and utilization of the Collagen. Arthred is a patented collagen formula available from several sources such as NutriCology and Source Naturals (so buy whichever you can find the cheapest). Depending on serving size, it contains approximately 10.5g Hydrolyzed Collagen, 10g Protein and an Amino Acid Composition boasting 18 of the 20 amino acids required by humans. This collagen powder dissolves quickly in any liquid and has little to no taste, allowing for ease of use in drinks, shakes and smoothies.
D-RIBOSE: Though not considered “essential” because it can be manufactured by the body, the older one gets and certain conditions can reduce production of this key nutrient.
Benefits: Enhances Mitochondrial function by stimulating energy (ATP) production; D-ribose combines with Adenine and is transformed into Adenosine, a critical component in production of ATP-energy (Adenosine Triphosphate). It can “significantly reduce clinical symptoms of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” It is beneficial as “metabolic support for [the heart], can improve outcome of stable coronary artery disease…. and is protective against myocardial ischemia.” It can also improve glucose utilization as “an important intermediate in the pentose phosphate pathway of glucose metabolism.” ADP-ribose (created by NAD+ using ADP and ribose) has been shown to “regulate the translation and stability of mRNAs upon stress” and “was shown to participate in the cellular recovery from DNA damage.”
Dietary Sources: Though Ribose can be found in food sources, quantities are extremely small. Ribose can be made inside cells; however, as one gets older or with certain conditions, Ribose production becomes diminished and supplementation may become necessary to optimize metabolic function and DNA/RNA protective aspects.
Supplementing: BulkSupplements via Amazon is one of the cheapest, yet high quality sources of D-Ribose (1kg bulk with free shipping will last approx 3+ months). Serving size: 1 tsp = 5g. It has little to no flavor and can easily be added to any drink.
CAUTION: D-Ribose can increase utilization of glucose and thus lower blood glucose levels; therefore, diabetics should closely monitor blood sugar.
GINGER ROOT EXTRACT:
Benefits: Helps to regulate blood sugar levels that can be elevated due to Mitochondrial dysfunction and diabetes. Assists in digestion and supports immune system, both of which can be effected by Mito dysfunction. Protects against generation of Reactive Oxygen Species during Mito stress. Ginger can be neuroprotective against certain neurotoxins. Improves intra- and extra-Mito enzymes and is nephro-protective and being studied on ability to REVERSE diabetic-induced complications. Ginger also acts as a GI cleanse and can also destroy parasites and their eggs in the GI system.
Dietary Sources: Ginger Root
Supplementing: Zingiber Officinate, food grade, preferably alcohol free. Due to it’s GI cleansing effects, the first week of use may cause minor softening of stool. To avoid issues or if loose stools continue past a week or become uncomfortable, use smaller dosages per use and build up.
CAUTION: Can lower blood glucose levels, diabetics should closely monitor blood sugar.
Benefits: Nrf2 Activators, and specifically Protandim, have been shown to trigger the gene responsible for the production of Superoxide Dismutase (SOD), a cellular enzyme that speeds up certain chemical reactions and acts as a potent, natural antioxidant. One molecule of a consumed antioxidant can mediate one molecule of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS); comparatively, one molecule of SOD can mediate up to 1 million ROS. SOD must be produced in the body, it cannot be consumed. SOD production generally diminishes with age. Nrf2 turns on the gene, and increases overall SOD within the body.
Supplementing: Most NRF2 Activators are expensive prescriptions. However, LifeVantage’s Protamdim is an all natural, herbal based NRF2 Activator that has been, and continues to be studied for its benefits for a number of medical conditions that positively respond to antioxidant therapy.
DISCLAIMER: LifeVantage products such as Protandim can be purchased through independent distributors. If you are interested in learning more about Protandim, please visit the Oxygen Oasis Health LifeVantage PROTANDIM page.
MORE INFO ON SUPPLEMENTS:
Be an informed buyer. Not all supplements are created equal. Research both the companies and their individual products to ensure they take steps to ensure purity and efficacy of their supplements.
FDA finds majority of herbal supplements at GNC, Walmart, Walgreens, and Target don’t contain what they claim – instead cheap fillers like wheat and soy powder.