Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Dietary Sources of Pyrroloquinolone quinone (PQQ)

Pyrroloquinolone quinone, also known as PQQ, is the third redox cofactor after nicotinamide and flavin in bacteria within the intestine. 

PQQ has been shown to have a variety of benefits to health in the following areas:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Cell metabolism
  • Metabolism
  • Neurological

The Table below lists some of the studies conducted on PQQ.  In no way is this list all inclusive, yet it demonstrates that PQQ has many biologically protective properties.

Health Benefits of Pyrroloquinoline Quinone (PQQ)

CategorySubstanceAbstractReference
Cardiovascular
Cerbral Insufficiency
In this study, the authors demonstrate a neuroprotective effect of pyrroloquinoline quinone in an in vivo cerebral hypoxia/ischemia model in the rodent.1
Heart attack
PQQ given either as Pretreatment or as Treatment at the onset of reperfusion is highly effective in reducing infarct size and improving cardiac function in a dose-related manner in rat models of ischemia and ischemia/reperfusion. The optimal dose in this study, which exhibited neither renal nor hepatic toxicity, was 15 mg/kg, but lower doses may also be efficacious. The authors conclude that PQQ, which appears to act as a free radical scavenger in ischemic myocardium, is a highly effective cardioprotective agent.2
Stroke
PQQ at 10 mg/kg infused at the initiation, or 3 h after the initiation, of rMCAo was effective in reducing cerebral infarct volumes measured 72 h later. At 3 h after ischemia, a dose of 3 mg/kg significantly reduced infarct volume compared to vehicle-treated animals, but 1 mg/kg was ineffective. Neurobehavioral scores were also significantly better in the PQQ-treated group compared to the vehicle controls when PQQ was given at 10 and 3 mg/kg, but not at 1 mg/kg. Thus, PQQ is neuroprotective when given as a single administration at least 3 h after initiation of rMCAo. These data indicate that PQQ may be a useful neuroprotectant in stroke therapy.3
Cell Metabolism
Mitochondrial Biogenesis
Recent studies corroborate the unique ability of PQQ to stimulate the formation of new mitochondria and improve the function of existing mitochondria.  5
Metabolism
Antioxidant
PQQ acts as an antioxidant by significantly enhancingd the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx)6
Neurological
Glutamate-induced neurotoxicity
In this study, the neuroprotective effects of PQQ were observed by pretreatment of NS/PCs with PQQ before glutamate injury, and the possible mechanisms were examined. PQQ stimulated cell proliferation and markedly attenuated glutamate-induced cell damage in a dose-dependent manner. 7
Learning
Rats fed a PQQ-supplemented diet showed better learning ability than rats fed a CoQ(10)-supplemented diet at the early stage of the Morris water maze test. The combination of both compounds resulted in no significant improvement in the learning ability compared with the supplementation of PQQ alone. At the late stage of the test, rats fed PQQ-, CoQ(10)- and PQQ + CoQ(10)-supplemented diets showed similar improved learning abilities.8
Nerve growth factor
PQQ supplementation stimulates the production and release of nerve growth factors in cells that support neurons in the brain9
Parkinson’s disease
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) has been shown to play a role as an anti-oxidant in neuronal cells and prevent neuronal cell death in a rodent stroke model. DJ-1, a causative gene product for a familial form of Parkinson's disease, plays a role in anti-oxidative stress function by self-oxidation of DJ-1. 10
N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor
Under in vitro conditions in which PQQ is presented without an exogenous electron donor, it appears as if the entire neuroprotective effect of PQQ is attributable to a direct oxidation of the NMDA receptor redox site. These results suggest the possibility of a novel role for PQQ, PQQ-like substances, and quinone-containing proteins in the brain, and may represent a novel therapeutic approach for the amelioration of NMDA receptor-mediated neurotoxic injury.11
Mercury induced neurotoxcitity
PQQ significantly decreased the production of ROS, suppressed the lipid peroxidation and increased the antioxidant enzyme activities in PC12 cells exposed to Methylmercury (MeHg). These observations highlighted the potential of PQQ in offering protection against MeHg-induced neuronal toxicity.12
Anti-amyloid fibril-forming reagent
This is the first study to demonstrate the characteristics of PQQ as an anti-amyloid fibril-forming reagent. Agents that prevent the formation of amyloid fibrils might allow a novel therapeutic approach to PD. Therefore, together with further pharmacological approaches, PQQ is a candidate for future anti-PD reagent compounds.13
Alzheimer’s disease
PQQ pretreatment recovered cells from Abeta(25-35)-induced cell death, prevented Abeta(25-35)-induced apoptosis, and decreased ROS production. PQQ strikingly decreased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, and suppressed the cleavage of caspase-3. These results indicated that PQQ could protect SH-SY5Y cells against beta-amyloid induced neurotoxicity.14
Fibrillation of amyloid proteins
The fibril formation of mouse prion protein in the presence of PQQ was dramatically prevented. Similarly, the fibril formation of amyloid beta (1-42) also decreased. With further advanced pharmacological approaches, PQQ may become a leading anti-neurodegenerative compound in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.15

There are a number of foods that contain PQQ.  PQQ can be consumed as a separate or combined supplement or in the diet.  Supplementation will guarantee higher dosages of PQQ than in the diet, however, it is advisable to obtain PQQ first from the diet than supplement with capsules to obtain therapeutic dosages.  The usual therapeutic dosage of PQQ is considered to be 1 – 2 mg per day.

The Table below lists the foods that contain PQQ.  These food are sorted in descending order based on PQQ quantity.

Dietary Sources of Pyrroloquinolone quinone (PQQ) (in descending order)

FoodPQQ (ng/g)PQQ (mcg/g)PQQ (mg/g)
Natto61.60.06166.16E-5
Parsley34.20.03423.42E-5
Green tea 29.60.02962.96E-5
Green pepper 28.20.02822.82E-5
Oolong (tea) 27.70.02772.77E-5
Kiwi fruit 27.40.02742.74E-5
Papaya 26.70.02672.67E-5
Tofu24.40.02442.44E-5
Spinach 21.90.02192.19E-5
Broad bean 17.80.01781.78E-5
Carrot 16.80.01681.68E-5
Miso16.70.01671.67E-5
Potato 16.60.01661.66E-5
Cabbage 16.30.01631.63E-5
Sweet potato13.30.01331.33E-5
Banana 12.60.01261.26E-5
Green soybeans 9.260.009269.26E-6
Tomato 9.240.009249.24E-6
Bread 9.140.009149.14E-6
Orange 6.830.006836.83E-6
Celery 6.330.006336.33E-6
Apple 6.090.006096.09E-6
Wine 5.790.005795.79E-6
Sake3.650.003653.65E-6
(Source: Levels of pyrroloquinoline quinone in various foods)

Clearly, natto contains the highest concentrations of PQQ than any other food.  Nattō, also known in Japanese as なっとう or 納豆 is a traditional Japanese food made from soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis var. natto.

Figure 1:  Natto


Resources:

Megumi Organic Natto


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Bacterial Communication

Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria “talk” to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry — and our understanding of ourselves.

In 2002, bearing her microscope on a microbe that lives in the gut of fish, Bonnie Bassler isolated an elusive molecule called AI-2, and uncovered the mechanism behind mysterious behavior called quorum sensing — or bacterial communication. She showed that bacterial chatter is hardly exceptional or anomolous behavior, as was once thought — and in fact, most bacteria do it, and most do it all the time. (She calls the signaling molecules “bacterial Esperanto.”)

In February 2009, Bonnie Bassler gave a Ted Talk entitled:  How Bacteria “talk”


Bonnie Bassler teaches molecular biology at Princeton, where she continues her years-long study of V. harveyi, one such social microbe that is mainly responsible for glow-in-the-dark sushi.

Annatto Seeds are a Natural Source of Tocotrienols with No Tocopherols

Achiote, known by its botanical name, Bixa orellana, is a shrub or small tree originating from the tropical region of the Americas.  The Achiote tree is sometimes called the lipstick tree due to the fact that people would use the seeds to make red body paint and lipstick.

The bright red seeds of the Achiote tree is called annatto.  Annatto seeds impart a slight peppery taste with a hint of nutmeg.  They have been used in cooking methods in Latin America and to color cheeses. 

Annatto seeds are a rich source of tocotrienols.  Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family.  Vitamin E is actually made up of two families:

  • Tocotrienols
  • Tocopherols

Tocotrienols are made up of four fractions:

  • alpha
  • beta
  • gamma
  • delta

Tocopherols are made up of four fractions:

  • alpha
  • beta
  • gamma
  • delta

The difference between tocotrienols and tocopherols lies in the unsaturated side chain of tocotrienols, having three double bonds in its farnesyl isoprenoid tail.

Supplemental tocotrienols are derived primarily from three sources:

  • Palm oil
  • Rice bran
  • Annatto seeds

Annatto seeds are a superior source of tocotrienols since it is the only natural source that contains only tocotrienols and no tocopherols.  Palm oil and Rice bran have a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols.  The Table below illustrates the percentages of tocotrienols and tocopherols of palm oil, rice bran and annatto seeds:

Content of Tocotrienols and Tocopherols of Palm oil, Rice bran and Annatto seeds

Vitamin EPalm oilRice branAnnatto seeds
Delta tocotrienols50%35%90%
Gamma tocotrienols25%10%
Alpha & Beta tocotrienols15%
Tocopherol25%50%0%
(Source: American River Nutrition)

A common method to obtain the tocotrienols from annatto seeds is to steep them in a healthy oil, also known as Annatto oil.   Oils that are often used are:

  • Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Mustard oil
  • Walnut oil

Most recommendations on creating Annatto oil advise that you heat the oil in a frying pan and then add the annatto seeds.  The inherent problem with this approach is that when you heat any oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, it becomes oxidized and therefore rancid.  Consuming this rancid (heated) oil is detrimental to your health.

Instead of heating the oil, simply place the annatto seeds into the oil bottle and let it steep in the oil for as long you use the oil.  It is also advisable to not place the oil bottle in direct sunlight as this may also oxidize the oil.

Recipe for Annatto oil

For every cup of oil, use 6 tablespoons of annatto seeds. 

Heating the oil tends to infuse the annatto seeds into the oil faster, yet you end up with rancid oil. 

By placing the annatto seeds into the oil or oil bottle, the annatto seeds will infuse into the oil over a longer period of time and provide a higher concentration of tocotrienols.


Informational References:

DeltaGOLD™ is supplemental tocotrienols derived exclusively from Annatto developed by American River Nutrition


Resources:

Annatto Seeds  (Spice Jungle)


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C-reactive protein (CRP): Effects and Natural Substances that May Lower CRP

C-reactive protein (CRP) is produced by the liver. The level of CRP rises when there is inflammation throughout the body. It is one of a group of proteins called “acute phase reactants” that go up in response to inflammation.

A high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) test, which is more sensitive than a standard test, also can be used to evaluate your risk of developing coronary artery disease.

High levels of CRP are associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline in comparison to lower levels. [1]  

Table:  Effects of C-reactive protein (CRP)

C-Reactive Protein

 

 

Cause

Effect

Reference(s)

Alzheimer’s

 

 

 

The brains of Alzheimer’s Disease patients contain higher than normal levels of C-Reactive Protein.

  [2]

Multiple-Infarct Dementia

 

 

 

The brains of multiple-Infarct dementia patients contain higher than normal levels of C-Reactive Protein.

  [3]   [4]

 

Table:  Nootropics/Nutraceuticals/Foods/Herbs that may Lower C-Reactive Protein*

C-Reactive Protein

 

 

Category

Nootropics/Nutraceuticals/Foods/Herbs

Reference(s)

Amino Acids

 

 

 

Arginine

  [5]

Carotenoids

 

 

 

Astaxanthin

  [6]

Enzymes

 

 

 

Proteolytic enzymes

  [7]

Foods

 

 

 

Cacao

  [8]

Herbs

 

 

 

Green Tea

  [9]

 

Golden Root

  [10]

 

Nettle

  [11]

 

Red Clover

  [12]

Hormones

 

 

 

DHEA

  [13]

Lipids

 

 

 

Alpha-Linolenic Acid

  [14]

 

EPA

  [15]

Minerals

 

 

 

Magnesium

  [16]   [17]

 

Selenium

  [18]

Polyphenols

 

 

 

Curcumin

  [19]

 

Kaempferol

  [20]

 

Malvidin

  [21]

 

Quercetin

  [22]

 

Resveratrol

  [23]

Probiotics

 

 

 

Lactobacillus rhamnosus

  [24]

Vitamins

 

 

 

Folic Acid

  [25]

 

Vitamin B6

  [26]

 

Vitamin C

  [27]

 

Vitamin D

  [28]   [29]

 

Vitamin E

  [30]

*Note:  The contents of this document have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any substances referred to in this document are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your treating doctor. BioFoundations does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, consult your physician.


Download PDF:  C-reactive protein (CRP): Effects and Natural Substances that May Lower CRP

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References:

[1] Yaffe, K., Lindquist, K., Penninx, B. W., et al. Inflammatory markers and cognition in well-functioning African-American and white elders. Neurology. 2003;61(1):76–80

[2] Iwamoto, N., et al.  Demonstration of CRP immunoreactivity in brains of Alzheimer’s disease:  immunohistochemical study using formic acid pretreatment of tissue sections.  Neurosci Lett.  177(1-2):23-26, 1994.

Schmidt, R., et al.  Early inflammation and dementia:  a 25-year follow-up of the Honolulu-Asia aging study.  Annals of Neurology.  52(2):168-174, 2002.

Van Dijk,.E. J., et al.  C-reactive protein and cerebral small-vessel disease: the Rotterdam Scan Study.  Circulation.  112(6):900-905, 2005.

[3] Schmidt, R., et al.  Early inflammation and dementia:  a 25-year follow-up of the Honolulu-Asia aging study.  Annals of Neurology.  52(2):168-174, 2002.

Van Dijk,.E. J., et al.  C-reactive protein and cerebral small-vessel disease: the Rotterdam Scan Study.  Circulation.  112(6):900-905, 2005.

[5] Wells, B. J., et al.  Association between dietary arginine and C-reactive protein.  Nutrition.  21(2):125-130, 2005.

[6] Parks, J. S., et al.  Astaxanthin decreased oxidative stress and inflammation and enhanced immune response in humans.  Nutr Metab (Lond).  7(1):18, 2010.

[7] Dean, W.  C-reactive protein:  biomarker and cardiovascular risk factor—what to do about it.  Vitamin Research News.  17(12), 2003.

Cichoke, A.  Enzymes hasten pain relief.  Nutrition Science News.  February 2001

[8] di Giuseppe, R., et al.  Regular consumption of dark chocolate is associated with low serum concentrations of C-reactive protein in a healthy Italian population.  Journal of Nutrition.  138(10):1939-1945, 2008.

[9] De Bacquer, D., Clays, E., Delanghe, J., and De Backer, G. Epidemiological evidence for an association between habitual tea consumption and markers of chronic inflammation. Atherosclerosis. 2006;189(2):428–435

[10] Abidov, M., et al.  Extract of Rhodiola rosea radix reduces the level of C-reactive protein and creatinine kinase in the blood.  Bull Exp Biol Med.  138(1):63-64, 2004.

[11] More bad news on estrogen drugs and heart health.  Life Extension.  7(3), 2001.

[12] Asgary, S., et al.  Effects of dietary red clover on blood factors and cardiovascular fatty streak formation in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.  Phytotherapy Research.  21(8):768-770, 2007.

[13] ·       More bad news on estrogen drugs and heart health.  Life Extension.  7(3), 2001.

[14] Klein-Platat, C., et al.  Plasma fatty acid composition is associated with the metabolic syndrome and low-grade inflammation in overweight adolescents.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  82(6):1178-1184, 2005.

Lopez-Garcia, E., et al.  Consumption of (n-3) fatty acids is related to plasma biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial activation in women.  Journal of Nutrition.  134(7):1806-1811, 2004.

Rallidis, L. S., et al.  Dietary alpha-linolenic acid decreases C-reactive protein, serum amyloid A and interleukin-6 in dyslipidaemic patients.  Atherosclerosis.  167(2):237-242, 2003.

Zhao, G., et al.  Dietary {alpha}-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women.  Journal of Nutrition.  134(11):2991-2997, 2004.

[15] Bloomer, R. J., et al.  Effect of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid on resting and exercise-induced inflammatory and oxidative stress biomarkers:  a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over study.  Lipids Health Dis.  8(1):36, 2009.

Klein-Platat, C., et al.  Plasma fatty acid composition is associated with the metabolic syndrome and low-grade inflammation in overweight adolescents.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  82(6):1178-1184, 2005.

Micallef, M. A., et al.  An inverse relationship between plasma n-3 fatty acids and C-reactive protein in healthy individuals.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  2009.

[16] Guerrwero-Romero, F., et al.  Relationship between serum magnesium levels and C-reactive protein concentration, in non-diabetic, non-hypertensive obese subjects.  Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord.  26(4):469-474, 2002.

King, D. E., et al.  Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels.  J Am Coll Nutr.  24(3):166-171, 2005.

King, D. E., et al.  Magnesium intake and serum C-reactive protein levels in children.  Magnesium Research.  20(1):32-36, 2007.

Rodriguez-Moran, M., et al.  Serum magnesium and C-reactive protein levels.  Arch Dis Child.  2007.

Song, Y., et al.  Magnesium intake and plasma concentrations of markers of systemic inflammation and endothelial dysfunction in women.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  85(4):1068-1074, 2007.

[17] Cavicchia, P. P., Steck, S. E., Hurley, T. G., et al. A new dietary inflammatory index predicts interval changes in serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein. Journal of Nutrition. 2009;139(12):2365–2372

[18] Duntas, L. H.  Selenium and inflammation:  underlying anti-inflammatory mechanisms.  Horm Metab Res.  41(6):443-447, 2009.

[19] Banerjee, M., et al.  Modulation of inflammatory mediators by ibuprofen and curcumin treatment during chronic inflammation in rat.  Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol.  25(2):213-224, 2003.

[20] ·       Chun, O. K., et al.  Serum C-reactive protein concentrations are inversely associated with dietary flavonoid intake in U.S. adults.  Journal of Nutrition.  138(4):753-760, 2008.

[21] Chun, O. K., et al.  Serum C-reactive protein concentrations are inversely associated with dietary flavonoid intake in U.S. adults.  Journal of Nutrition.  138(4):753-760, 2008.

[22] Chun, O. K., et al.  Serum C-reactive protein concentrations are inversely associated with dietary flavonoid intake in U.S. adults.  Journal of Nutrition.  138(4):753-760, 2008.

Kaur, G., et al.  Effect of wine phenolics on cytokine-induced C-reactive protein expression.  J Thromb Haemost.  5(6):1309-1317, 2007.

[23] Kaur, G., et al.  Effect of wine phenolics on cytokine-induced C-reactive protein expression.  J Thromb Haemost.  5(6):1309-1317, 2007.

[24] Kekkonen, R. A., et al.  Probiotic intervention has strain-specific anti-inflammatory effects in healthy adults.  World J Gastroenterol.  14(13):2029-206, 2008.

[25] Solini, A., et al.  Effect of short-term folic acid supplementation on insulin sensitivity and inflammatory markers in overweight subjects.  Int J Obes (London).  30(8):1197-1202, 2006.

[26] Friso, S., et al.  Low circulating vitamin B(6) is associated with elevation of the inflammation marker C-reactive protein independently of plasma homocysteine levels.  Circulation.  103(23):2788-2791, 2001.

Friso, S., et al.  Low plasma vitamin B-6 concentrations and modulation of coronary artery disease risk.  Am J Clin Nutr.  79(6):992-998, 2004.

[27] Block, G., et al.  Plasma C-reactive protein concentrations in active and passive smokers: influence of antioxidant supplementation.  J Am Coll Nutr.  23(2):141-147, 2004.

Block, G., et al.  Vitamin C treatment reduces elevated C-reactive protein.  Free Radic Biol Med.  2008.

Langlois, M., et al.  Serum vitamin C concentration is low in peripheral arterial disease and is associated with inflammation and severity of atherosclerosis.  Circulation.  103(14):1863-1868, 2001.

[28] Ngo, D. T., et al.  Does vitamin D modulate asymmetric dimethylarginine and C-reactive protein concentrations?  Am J Med.  123(4):335-341, 2010.

Timms, P. M., et al.  Circulating MMP9, vitamin D and variation in the TIMP-1 response with VDR genotype: 

Van den Berghe, G., et al.  Bone turnover in prolonged critical illness: effect of vitamin D.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab.  88(10):4623-4632, 2003.

[29] Liu, L. C. Y., Voors, A. A., van Veldhuisen, D. J., et al. Vitamin D status and outcomes in heart failure patients. Eur. J. Heart Fail. 2011;13(6):619–625

[30] Devaraj, S., et al.  Alpha tocopherol supplementation decreases serum C-reactive protein and monocyte interleukin-6 levels in normal volunteers and type 2 diabetic patients.  Free Radical Biology and Medicine.  29(8):790-792, 2000.

Murphy, R. T., et al.  Vitamin E modulation of C-reactive protein in smokers with acute coronary syndromes.  Free Radic Biol Med.  36(8):959-965, 2004.

Upritchard, J. E., et al.  Effect of supplementation with tomato juice, vitamin E, and vitamin C on LDL oxidation and products of inflammatory activity in Type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes Care.  23:733-738, 2000.

Wang, X. L., et al.  Cosupplementation with vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 reduces circulating markers of inflammation in baboons.  Am J Clin Nutr.  80(3):649-655, 2004.

Matrix Gla protein: The Calcification Inhibitor

Matrix gamma-carboxylated glutamate (GLA) protein (MGP) is a protein found in numerous body tissues, including the bones, heart, kidney and lungs.

Matrix Gla Protein is a calcification inhibitor which assists to prevent calcification of the arteries. Increasing Matrix Gla Protein production in the arteries may assist in the prevention Atherosclerosis. [1]

Matrix Gla protein requires Vitamin K for optimum function. [2]

Vitamin A and D3 stimulates the production of Matrix Gla protein. [3]


References:

[1]  Bostrom, K., et al. Insights into the mechanism of vascular calcification. Am J Cardiol. 88(2A):20E-22E, 2001

Shearer,. M. J. Role of vitamin K and Gla proteins in the pathophysiology of osteoporosis and vascular calcification. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 3(6):433-438, 2000

[2]  Garber, A. K., et al. Comparison of phylloquinone bioavailability from food sources or a supplement in human subjects. Journal of Nutrition. 129(6):1201-1203, 1999

[3] Cancela, M. L., et al. Retinoic acid induces matrix Gla protein gene expression in human cells. Endocrinology. 130(1):102-108, 1992

Price, P. A. Gla-containing proteins of bone. Connect Tissue Res. 21(1-4):51-57, 1989

Matrix Gla-protein: the calcification inhibitor in need of vitamin K

The Role of Vitamin K in Soft-Tissue Calcification

Vitamin K-dependent carboxylation of matrix Gla-protein: a crucial switch to control ectopic mineralization

Retinoic acid induces matrix Gla protein gene expression in human cells

Gla-containing proteins of bone


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The Changing Biochemistry of the Brain

The biochemistry of the brain changes as we age and as a result the structural integrity and functions of the brain may be compromised. These biochemical changes include:

  • Loss of key neurotransmitters
  • Excess glucocorticoid steroids caused by long-term chronic stress
  • Shrinkage and stiffening of neurons
  • Inflammation of neurons
  • Reduction in chemical messengers
  • Neuronal connections are lost
  • Neurotransmitter imbalances
  • Mutations in mitochondria
  • Shrinkage of neurons (Cerebral atrophy)
  • Loss of myelin sheath
  • Loss of synapses
  • No new synapses
  • Senile plaques
  • Neurofibrillary tangles

Preventive steps can be taken to preserve a youthful neurological biochemistry. Various nutrients have been studied for their ability to protect the brain from the changes associated with aging.

There are a number of approaches to enhance brain function:

  • Increase circulation and oxygenation to the brain
  • Maintain the structural and functional integrity of the neuronal membranes
  • Protect the brain from free radical oxidative stress
  • Improve energy production in the brain
  • Increase the efficiency that neurons communicate with one another through their synaptic connections, known as neurotransmitters.
  • Increasing the number of brain cells, neurons, that the brain possesses by a process called neurogenesis.
  • Increasing the number and strength of the connections, synapses, between the brain’s neurons, known as synaptic plasticity. Synaptic plasticity occurs within the cells of the brain and is the ability to form new connections.
  • Increasing the efficiency neurons communicate with one another through their synaptic connections
  • Consuming omega-3 fats as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  • Exercising
  • Sleeping well
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Getting out into the sun
  • Turning off the TV
  • Protecting your brain from cell phones
  • Challenging your brain
  • Avoiding foods that contain artificial sweeteners and additives

Informational References:

Brain Health Tips from Dr. Daniel Amen – SuperheroYou   (Video)


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Aphanizomenon flos-aquae: Blue-green algae

Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, a blue-green algae, is a species of cyanobacteria that generates energy via the chemical process of photosynthesis. The single-celled organism has been found to contain a myriad of nutrients. These include, but are not limited to, vitamins (i.e., vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, etc.), proteins, amino acids, minerals (i.e., calcium, iron, potassium, etc.), and essential fatty acids (i.e., alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid).

Studies have found that aphanizomenon flos-aquae possess antioxidant properties because blue-green algae contain the pigment phycocyanin that provides protection against radicals. As a result, it can scavenge free radicals and prevent cells from being damaged by oxidative stress (See Antioxidants). In addition, the study had also found that the algae possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Other studies have found that a moderate amount of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae can induce rapid changes in the immune system. This includes increasing the amount of T cells and B cells in the body while reducing the number of natural killer cells present. As a result, aphanizomenon flos-aquae can increase the body’s surveillance for foreign pathogens without activating an immune response.

Furthermore, the algae can also help increase both the messenger RNA levels of interleukin-1 beta, a cytokine protein that is produced by macrophages (one type of white blood cells) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a small cell-signaling protein molecule that is involved in immunity. Thus, aphanizomenon flos-aquae can effectively activate monocytes – making it a potential cancer immunotherapy.


References:

Antioxidant properties of a novel phycocyanin extract from the blue-green alga Aphanizomenon flos-aquae

Isolation of three high molecular weight polysaccharide preparations with potent immunostimulatory activity from Spirulina platensis, aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Chlorella pyrenoidosa

Mobilization of human CD34+CD133+ and CD34+CD133− stem cells in vivo by consumption of an extract from Aphanizomenon flos-aquae—related to modulation of CXCR4 expression by an L-selectin ligand?

Natural Killer Cell Activation and Modulation of Chemokine Receptor Profile In Vitro by an Extract from the Cyanophyta Aphanizomenon flos-aquae

Purification and Characterization of a Corrinoid-Compound in an Edible Cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon flos-aquae as a Nutritional Supplementary Food

Antimutagenic properties of fresh-water blue-green algae

Effects of blue-green algae extracts on the proliferation of human adult stem cells in vitro: a preliminary study


Resources:

E3Live – E3AFA


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Lithium Orotate

Lithium is a chemical element with symbol Li and atomic number 3.

Lithium compounds are used as a psychiatric medication. A number of salts of lithium are used as mood-stabilizing drugs, primarily in the treatment of bipolar disorder, where they have a role in treating depression and, particularly, of mania, both acutely and in the long term.

Lithium carbonate is the most commonly prescribed, while lithium citrate is also used in conventional pharmacological treatments. Lithium orotate , has been presented as an alternative based on the studies by Hans Nieper, M.D. [1]

A very interesting article on lithium orotate has been written by Dr. Jonathan V. Wright M.D. In this two part article, Dr. Wright provides excellent evidence for the everyday use of lithium orotate for overall neurological health.

Lithium – The Misunderstood Mineral Part 1

Lithium – The Misunderstood Mineral Part 2


References:

[1] Nieper HA (1973). “The clinical applications of lithium orotate. A two years study”. Agressologie. 14 (6): 407–11. PMID 4607169


Informational References:

Dr. Jonathan Wright, MD – Tahoma Clinic


Resources:

Lithium Orotate – Advanced Research/Nutrient Carriers


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The International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) Program: Fish Oil Testing

The International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) Program was created and is exclusively provided by Nutrasource Diagnostics Inc. (NDI), a full service contract research organization and consulting firm specializing in the commercialization of consumer health products.

The IFOS Program is the only third party testing and certification program exclusively for fish oils.  As a voluntary, subscription-based service available to the entire fish oil supply chain, IFOS tests products by lot, using direct analysis, for active ingredient content, contaminants and freshness.

The purpose of IFOS is to allow companies to showcase their high quality, premium products, and to provide consumers with an easy, transparent way to compare fish oil products before they buy.

The International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) Program


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Phenol-Explorer

An excellent and well researched website is Phenol-Explorer. 

Phenol-Explorer is the first comprehensive database on polyphenol content in foods. The database contains more than 35,000 content values for 500 different polyphenols in over 400 foods. These data are derived from the systematic collection of more than 60,000 original content values found in more than 1,300 scientific publications. Each of these publications has been critically evaluated before inclusion in the database. The whole data on the polyphenol composition of foods is available for download.

Phenol-Explorer has been developed at INRA in collaboration with AFSSA, the University of Alberta, the University of Barcelona, IARC and In Siliflo. The work has been made possible thanks to the financial support of the French government, the Institut National du Cancer (France), Unilever, Danone and Nestlé.

Phenol-Explorer


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