Triage Theory of Micronutrients

serotonin chemistry

In October 2009, Dr. Bruce Ames and his research team from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute in Oakland, California, published the article Vitamin K, an example of triage theory: is micronutrient inadequacy linked to diseases of aging? in the October 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

While some insiders immediately recognized the importance of this paper, it wasn’t until February 2010, when Dr. Ames was interviewed in the nutritional supplement trade publication, NutraIngredients, that his breakthrough article finally got the attention it deserved.

What Dr. Ames and his colleagues accomplished was nothing short of amazing. First, they were able to prove that Dr. Ames “triage” theory for macronutrients—a theory that suggests the body prioritizes the use of scarce micronutrients in favor of short-term survival at the expense of long-term health—was indeed correct. Secondly, they were able to clearly demonstrate that the current recommendations for vitamin K intake needs to be increased to prevent heart disease, osteoporosis, and ensure optimal human health.

Triage Theory Origin

Dr. Ames first presented his triage theory of aging back in 2006. At that time, it was just a theory and Dr. Ames did not have the clinical data to support it. But to him, the theory made perfect sense and he knew it was just a matter of time before he could prove it.

What his triage theory says is, like Robin Hood, when the body requires nutrients for short-term health and reproduction, it robs them from organs that are nutrient rich and of lesser importance in order to sustain major organs that are nutrient poor.

FDA Vitamin K Recommendations Too Low!

The FDA’s RDI for vitamin K is 90 mcg per day. However, that amount is strictly based on what is required for healthy blood coagulation and does not take into consideration the amounts required by the body to process calcium for proper bone building, osteoporosis prevention, and protect the heart from atherosclerosis.

Some scientists are recommending adult daily vitamin K doses for maintaining optimal health as follows:

  • Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) 240 mcg
  • Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) 45 mcg

In addition, it should be noted that these are still on the low end of the vitamin K spectrum. People who get no  vitamin K from their diets might consider dosages at double or even triple these amounts.

For example, Dr. Ames says, “If you’re short of iron, you take it out of the liver before you take it out of the heart because if you take it out of the heart, you’re dead. But the downside is, doing this causes long-term DNA damage, which doesn’t show up as cancer for 20 years.”1

“If you’re deficient for years your body weakens, DNA becomes damaged and you get sick and eventually die.” Dr. Ames adds, “If you want maximum life span, your micronutrient needs must be met throughout life.”

So Ames and his team set out to prove his theory and they chose vitamin K as the first place to start because they already knew vitamin K deficiency is quite widespread.

What they found was truly frightening. When the supply of vitamin K was limited, as it is in the typical American diet, the body utilizes what little it can find to protect critical metabolic functions in the liver. Unfortunately, that leaves other vitamin K-dependent proteins, the ones associated with bone building, cancer prevention, and protecting the heart from atherosclerosis, without sufficient vitamin K to function properly. The result of this leaves the body at risk for developing age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Unfortunately, current FDA recommendations for vitamin K (90 mcg/day for adults) are based on levels to ensure adequate blood coagulation, but fail to ensure long-term optimal levels.

From Ames’ triage perspective, much of the population, and patients who are taking warfarin/Coumadin (blood thinners), are not receiving sufficient vitamin K for optimal long-term health.2

“A triage perspective reinforces recommendations of some experts that much of the population, along with warfarin/Coumadin patients, are not getting sufficient vitamin K for optimal function of vitamin K dependent proteins that are important to maintain long-term health,”wrote Dr. Ames.

What you should know about Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it is stored in fatty tissue in the body. Vitamin K is known as the clotting vitamin because without it blood would not clot.

It is important to note, that while Dr. Ames’ study looked at the body’s vitamin K usage as a whole, there are actually two forms of vitamin K, known as vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone).

Is Your Multivitamin Supplement Suffering From Nutrient Deficiencies?

Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and spinach, and makes up about 90% of the vitamin K consumed in the diet. Vitamin K2 accounts for the other 10% and can be found in meat, and fermented food products like cheese, and natto. However, as stated before, most people do not get enough vitamin K (both K1 and K2) from food sources and most multivitamin supplements contain little if any vitamin K.

This deficiency is putting the vast majority of the population at risk for age-related disease like arterial calcification, osteoporosis and bone fracture, and cancer.

  1. Downey, Michael.  The triage theory offers a new look at aging. Natural Foods Merchandiser. Jan. 1, 2007
  2. McCann JC, Ames BN, Vitamin K, an example of triage theory: is micronutrient inadequacy linked to diseases of aging? Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Aug 19. [Epub ahead of print]

Low Serotonin Solution Without Drugs

Sunshine

SunshineSerotonin, or 5-hydroxytryptomine (5-HT), was first identified over 50 years ago. Since then, scientists have found that low serotonin can be a serious problem for many people. It is responsible for a wide variety of central nervous system effects, including emotional equanimity, restful sleep, the regulation and perception of pain, sexual behavior, appetite control, and our general level of satisfaction and happiness with the world around us.

You may recognize the symptoms of low serotonin. They can affect anyone with anything from common, garden-variety malaise to serious emotional disorders. Here are just some of the symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Low self esteem
  • Loss of interest and pleasure in usual activities
  • Sleep and appetite disturbances

Even worse, research indicates that low serotonin is associated with aggressive and violent behavior, as well as suicide, which appears to be on the rise.

Surprisingly, there are several inexpensive, safe, and effective nutritional approaches to enhance serotonin levels. In fact, solid scientific evidence that these nutritional approaches may actually work as well as (or even better) than Prozac® or similar types of drugs known as SSRI’s, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.

But you wouldn’t know this if you only followed mainstream information. These drugs are big, big business — reaping billions a year in profits for the big drug companies. There is a strong commercial interest in keeping them on the market, regardless of the methods and consequences.

Nobody disputes the fact that SSRI’s and other antidepressants have a place in the world. And we don’t advocate anyone terminating any subscription medication and trying alternative treatments without consulting their physician beforehand.

But we do believe, and studies have proven, that there is a place for nutritionally-based supplements in the fight against depression, anxiety, all the related illnesses, and even just for those of us who often “just don’t feel well.”

Supplements that act on serotonin levels have been proven effective in a variety of treatments:

Depression: In a series of studies dating back to the late 1960s and early 1970s, 5-HTP given to seriously depressed people was reported to produce dramatic and sudden improvements.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: L-Tryptophan was found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of OCD.

Anxiety: Ten patients with anxiety were treated with 5-HTP, and significant reduction in anxiety was measured on three different scales designed to measure anxiety. And in a study of 20 people with panic disorders, several experienced relief after receiving 5-HTP.

Protect Serotonin Photo
Formerly known as Prosera

Preventing Migraine Headaches: One study showed that 5-HTP can reduce the intensity and duration of migraine headaches. Another study showed that 5-HTP is even more effective in preventing migraines.

Enhancing Sleep: The action of 5-HTP and tryptophan in promoting sleep without a drugged feeling or morning hangover are similar to the hormone melatonin, which is well-known for its sleep-regulating function. This is probably due to the fact that some of the serotonin produced in the body is converted directly into melatonin. Serotonin may also promote sleep by helping the brain “tune out” unwanted stimulation. One French study found that administration of 5-HTP to “mildly insomniac” people resulted in significant improvement.

Suppressing Appetite: According to a British obesity expert, among the most effective and safest candidates for drugs that genuinely suppress appetite are those that increase serotonin in the brain. Not surprisingly, one of the most common uses of SSRIs these days has been to suppress appetite with the goal of losing weight. But in one well-controlled study researchers found significant weight loss in a group treated with 5-HTP.

Fibromyalgia Relief: Two major studies in Italy demonstrated significant improvement in patients according to six different criteria.

Preventing Heart Disease: One surprising benefit of minimizing depression, anxiety and stress is a correlation with a reduction in the danger of heart disease. This has been demonstrated by a host of studies, but is far too complex a subject to investigate within the scope of this article. However, the connection is well documented.

Please review the following articles to read more about low serotonin and related health issues.

Magnolia is Nature’s Stress Fighter!

Happy People

If you need help in reducing your stress and anxiety levels—and most of us probably do—you should be aware of Magnolia Extract, an ancient Chinese medicine that has been proven as a powerful antioxidant, anticancer weapon, and an amazingly effective tool to combat the stress and anxiety of modern life.

To learn more about the stress-busting power of Magnolia, please read the article, Relieve Stress with Honokiol and Magnolol from Magnolia Extract!

To your health,

Us Smart Publications

 

Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3

A balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is essential to promoting and maintaining health. According to Artemis Simpoulos, M.D., President of the Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health in Washington D.C. and co-author of The Omega Plan (Harper Collins, 1998), “The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids in the typical Western diet is betweeen 10-to-1 and 21-to-1, whereas the diet humans evolved on had a ratio of 1-to-1. One of the most important medical findings of recent years is that eating a balanced ratio of EFAs brings your diet back in sync with your genes and helps you experience optimal health.”

Current thinking is that omega-6 and omega-3 fats need to be balanced in the diet at a ratio of 1-to-1 or 2-to-1. And the best way to do that is to supplement your diet with an excellent fish oil nutritional supplement, and/or eat fish several times a week.

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids should be distinguished because they are metabolically and functionally distinct, as well as having opposing physiological functions, says Simpoulos. “Omega-3s and omega-6s work differently in the body. When they’re in balance, they’re both very good. When the omega-6s are in excess, they become bad.”

Here’s what happens: omega-3s produce hormone-like eicosanoids that are anti-inflammatory. These eicosanoids help support normal blood pressure by relaxing the arteries and blood vessels and decreasing blood lipids. They also decrease blood clotting factors and support immune function.

Omega-6s, however, can produce both anti-inflammatory and/or inflammatory and vasoconstricting eicosanoids. To oversimplify just a bit: omega-6s are good for you if you take them in the right amount with omega-3s. However, in the absence of omega-3s they can be very bad indeed.

Too many omega-6s in your diet in the absence of sufficient omega-3s can produce potent inflammatory agents that set the stage for autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, and a host of other health problems.

But the eicosanoids produced by omega-3s help inhibit the production of these inflammatory agents. To clarify further: LA gets made into GLA, then into DGLA and then into either AA (arachidonic acid), which then gets made into inflammatory eicosanoids, or the DGLA gets made into a series of VERY BENEFICIAL eicosanoids that have, among other effects, antiviral and anti-vaso-constrictive effects.

What determines whether DGLA goes to AA or to the beneficial eicosanoids?

Well, low EPA and high insulin will cause DGLA to go to AA (that’s why Americans have such high levels of AA; we make it in our own bodies). If you have good levels of EPA and low insulin (by doing an insulin-smart diet) then your body will NOT make AA from DGLA … instead the DGLA will get made into the beneficial eicosanoids.

So, in a word, to turn omega-6 fats into a positive biological reaction, you take omega-3s! Confusing enough yet?

Even though omega-6 is an essential fatty acid, too much of it can do more harm than good. Insulin encourages the conversion of (omega-6) Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) into arachidonic acid. So does consumption of sugar, alcohol, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids, diabetes, aging, stress, and some prescription medications. Low levels of EPA also strongly encourage the conversion of omega-6 into AA. In essence, everything about the modern Western World diet encourages the conversion of dietary LA into heart disease causing AA! The solution? Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates and take fish oil!

Read more about Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids here:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids From Fish Oil Protect Your Heart, Brain and Overall Health

PS & DHA for a Healthy Brain

Brain Neurons Firing

Brain Neurons FiringPS (phosphatidylserine) has been the subject of numerous human clinical trials of memory loss, mood, and cognitive performance such as learning ability, concentration, and processing. Many of the studies show that PS can be helpful for those with age-related memory impairment. It can even enhance cognition and mental function in those with no cognitive impairment.

PS plays a crucial role in many membrane-associated nerve cell processes and by increasing the number of neurotransmitter receptor sites. The increased number of receptor sites may explain why the memory-enhancing effects last for up to a month even after the supplement is discontinued.

DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) found in marine organisms and omega 3 fatty acid supplements is also required for maintenance of normal brain functions. The enrichment of diets with omega 3 fatty acids has been shown to improve learning abilities, whereas deficiency has been associated with learning deficits. DHA is taken up by the brain in preference to other fatty acids. And, as it turns out, PS is the natural delivery system for getting DHA into the brain.

PS & DHA supplementation just might be the natural solution for preventing cognitive dysfunction. If you are concerned about your long-term brain health and protecting yourself from Alzheimer’s or age-related dementia, you should consider combining PS & DHA for enhanced benefits.

Read More

Premium MCT’s Support Brain and Body

Coconut and its Oils

MCT Oil (medium chain triglycerides) are digested and utilized differently than other fatty acids. Instead of being packaged into lipoproteins that circulate in the bloodstream, they are absorbed directly into the bloodstream through the portal vein, and are then transported to the liver. Because they don’t need bile or pancreatic enzymes to break down, they are easier to digest. And because they are easier to digest, they provide your body with quick energy, like carbohydrates.

Easy MCT
New Easy MCT Coconut Milk Mixer

Another exciting fact about MCT oil is it provides cellular energy very quickly – without relying on glucose. This is particularly significant when the supply of glucose is compromised due to insulin resistance, a common health concern.

And there is good cause for concern. Insulin resistance is a growing health concern and predisposes many serious health problems. Between 1994 and 2002, a 23% growth rate brought the number to 6.8% of the total U.S. population.

But not all MCT oils are the same

MCT Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Product Choices

Most MCT oils consist primarily of C-8, C-10, and C-12 carbon lengths. While these are good general purpose oils that will not store as fat, the ketone potential is limited. As mentioned earlier, MCT oil is rapidly converted to energy producing ketones or excreted. Most people can’t tolerate the multiple tablespoons of traditional MCT oil required to stimulate meaningful amounts of ketones. Stomach upset and diarrhea are the likely result. Only C-8 MCT oil supports an abundance of ketones with a dosage free of gastric side effects. With the lower dosage comes a lower calorie content and more effective stimulation of the fat to ketone energy cycle.

A recent study concluded C8 MCT was about three times more ketogenic than C10 and about six times more ketogenic than C12.

Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481320/

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C-8 MCT Oil

Please click here to read more about MCT Oil and see what else is available from our sponsors.

Be well,

Us Smart

Why is Vitamin D so important?

At least one-third of American adults, and 75% of adults with cardiovascular disease may be deficient in vitamin D.

We now know that every body cell has a receptor for vitamin D, which is why it is so crucial to overall health. Adequate vitamin D is necessary for reducing the risk for bone disease, is believed to play a role in the reduction of falls, as well as reducing pain, autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, mortality and supporting cognitive function.

Click here to read more

To your health,
Us Smart Publications

Adrafinil: Alertness Without Stimulation

Non-narcoleptic users generally find that adrafinil gives them increased energy and reduces fatigue, while improving cognitive function, mental focus, concentration, and memory. It has been reported that quiet people who take adrafinil become more talkative, reserved people become more open, and passive people become more active.

Of course, many stimulant drugs, ranging from caffeine to methamphetamine, are known to produce similar alerting/energizing effects. Adrafinil has been described by some users as a “kinder, gentler” stimulant, because it provides these benefits but usually with much less of the anxiety, agitation, insomnia, associated with conventional stimulants.

Read More

Oxytocin Improves Sex, Sociability and Mood

Frisky Couple

Have you heard about oxytocin? It turns out that many people with anxiety, depression, poor social bonding or sexual difficulties are low in oxytocin and you can use low doses of oxytocin as a natural supplement (like you would melatonin or DHEA). It is safe and natural (good for you, actually) and now available without a prescription.

According to Dr. Thierry Hertoghe, a leading anti-aging physician practicing in Brussels who has experimented with supplemental oxytocin:

“After oxytocin I was enjoying chatting with people. So it seemed like oxytocin made me more sociable and warm-hearted. It made me much more attached [to his wife] in a romantic way; the attachment was a deep warm-hearted feeling. In my experience, in most of my patients and myself using it, it works to increase all relationships that you have.”

Click here to read about oxytocin.