Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Eating right means getting enough of the right kind of Protein

Reviewed August 2017

  • protein
  • complete protein
  • amino acids (AA)
  • limiting amino acid
  • essential and non-essential amino acids (conditionally essential)

Protein deficiency is the most serious nutritional problem in the world.

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Protein Deficiency is less of a problem in US - except the following groups are likely to be at risk:
       Pregnant and lactating women   
       Newborn babies    
       Poor people
       Old people
       People who are Ill - especially children
       People who avoid protein-rich food

Second only to water in the body's physical makeup, protein makes up about 20% of our body weight.  Protein is necessary to the makeup of muscles, hair, nails, skin, eyes and brain - well, every part of the body.   Protein makes up the components of our immune system, hemoglobin, hormones and all bodily functions.

You must eat protein to provide the building blocks for the various amino acids required for the body to grow, function and make repairs.   Your body also needs vitamins, minerals and fatty acids to work with the various  Amino Acids.

Proteins are complex molecules which are comprised of a combination  of 22 naturally occurring amino acids (this number varies depending on the reference).  Each protein has its own unique amino acid sequence, structure and function in the body.   Essential amino acids are those which our bodies cannot synthesize - that is, they must be acquired daily in the diet.

Animal foods are considered as 'complete' proteins because they contain the 8 (or 9, depending on the reference source) essential Amino Acids (AA).  Vegetables and fruits contain adequate levels of many of the essential AAs, but may be low or lacking in others.  By definition these are incomplete protein foods.

There are some important facts about the way that the body deals with proteins.

  1. The very young, very old and very ill will have extra-ordinary amino acid needs.  This includes the non-essential AAs as well as the essential ones.  In other words, the body may not be capable of building a non-essential (but necessary for that individual) AA fast enough to meet specific body nutritional needs.
  2.  It is critical that ALL essential AAs be present in adequate amounts!  If just one is low or missing, even temporarily, protein synthesis will fall to a low level - or may stop all together.  This is one reason that persons on a vegetarian or very low protein diet are at greater risk of protein malnutrition. To obtain a complete protein meal from incomplete protein foods, one must combine foods so as to balance one with a low or missing AA with a food with an adequate amount of the low or missing AA(s)
  3. Older people are at special risk because they often prefer a low protein diet.  As a group they often have a poor appetite, don't smell aromas well and don't taste worth a darn.    If they are living alone it is likely to be too much trouble to prepare a healthy meal.  They often have digestive complaints - not to mention that many drugs interfere with digestion and absorption of the foods they do eat.  While many older people take a multi vitamin supplement, they do not often include a complete protein supplement.

Daily recommendations from the Institute of Medicine

As you can see the requirement vary by  age and amount of energy expended - as well as general health and demands of growth and tissue repair. WebMD also recommended that 10% to 35% of your daily calories come from protein.

Food labels show the percent of 50 grams based on a 2000 calorie diet for adults  The following recommendations are VERY general...
     Babies     10 grams
     Kids         19 to 34 grams
     Teen Boys     up to 52 grams
     Teen Girls     46 grams
     Men         56 grams
     Women    46 grams
     Pregnant and Lactating Women     71 grams

Note: Vegetable proteins have low biologic value for humans because each one has a  low level of  one or more essential AAs.  Examples:
                      Plant Source    <--->     Deficient Amino Acid
                      Corn                           Tryptophan, Threonine
                      Grain Cereals             Lysine
                      Legumes                    Methionine, Tryptophan
                      Peanuts                       Methionine, Lysine
                      Soybeans                    Methionine

To arrive at optimal daily requirements is a challenge because the need varies so much.
  1. The amount and kind of protein{s} one needs depends on sex, body size and activity.
  2. Age has to be factored in - as does the need of a pregnant or lactating mother.  

Signs of Amino Acid/Protein deficiencies

  1. Lack of amino acids and proteins is exhibited by growth and tissue abnormalities.  
  2. Adults may suffer from lack of vigor and stamina, mental depression, poor resistance to disease and slow recovery from disease and injury.  
  3. In fact, in times of stress, such as surgery, protein needs increase dramatically.

Which Amino Acids are important?

Essential (must be provided daily)    **Non-Essential or Conditionally Essential
   Histidine                                              Alanine
   Isoleucine                                            Arginine* (essential for growth)
   Leucine                                                Asparagine
   Lysine                                                  Aspartic Acid
   Methionine                                          Cysteine* (some enzyme deficiency diseases)
   Phenylalanine                                      Glutamic acid
   Threonine                                            Glutamine*
   Tryptophan                                          Glycine
   Valine                                                  Ornithine
                                                               Tyrosine* (some enzyme deficiency diseases)
* Starred AAs are essential in some circumstances
**Note:  this list varies by reference

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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Are you taking prescription drugs - and/or Nutritional Supplements - and/or Herbs?

There are some things You Need to Know.

written by John W Jones, MD, MPH and Marilyn Sidwell
Updated March 2016

It is strongly recommended that a qualified health care provider evaluate your nutritional needs and coordinate a nutritional program with Medical considerations.

Know the Facts:

  1. Supplements can (and do) interact with each other
  2. Supplements can interact with medications and herbs
  3. Medications can interact with herbs and supplements (as well as with each other)

Nutritional Supplement Facts:

  • These are my Minimum Recommendations: Ultra Vites and Ultra Omega-Linic
  • For optimum benefit, all nutrients must be present and in proper balance daily.
  • Very high levels of fat soluble nutrients such as vitamins A or D can reach toxic levels
  • All the minerals need to be balanced, and high levels of certain minerals such as selenium can reach toxic levels
  • B vitamins are generally safe, but should be used in balance.  High levels of vitamin B6, for example, can cause neurologic symptoms and problems.
  • High levels of Folic Acid can mask a B12 deficiency.  Ultra Vites, Ultra Preventive and Ultra Preventive + Iron contain 1000 mcg of Vitamin B12 to balance Folic Acid.
  • Yes, supplements and drugs can work synergistically, but they  can have adverse reactions as well as good results.
Example of a good result: the use of a probiotic with antibiotics may decrease the instance of diarrhea and colon irritation that can be caused by the use of broad spectrum antibiotics.

Example of a bad result: the action of some nutrients can interfere with some drugs used for chemotherapy.

Drugs and Nutrients Interact. for example, Statin drugs reduce the formation of coenzyme Q10 in the body.  
     Here is an example of potential problems from the most widely used prescription drug: Statins.   The statin class of drugs, such as Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol or Crestor are commonly used to control hyperlipidemia.   Statin drugs are HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors and can reduce the formation of CoQ10.   The use of Ultra CoQ10-100 can minimize this reaction.   Where the statin drugs lower cholesterol levels there are significant side effects affecting muscle physiology.  There are noted frequent side effects from statin drugs, such as flu like symptoms, myopathy, myositis, peripheral neuropathy, and muscle wasting disease.  Consider natural remedies for hyperlipidemia.

A single vitamin or  mineral should not be used by itself: for instance, when high levels of zinc are used zinc needs to be balanced with copper and other minerals   We recommend a highly researched multi vitamin such as Ultra Vites before using a higher level of any individual nutrient.

The effects of high levels of supplements needs to be evaluated.

Example: High levels of calcium can suppress the absorption of magnesium and zinc

Common Misconceptions about nutrients

 #1: herbs are natural, therefore safe.  Herbs have been used for centuries to help people solve many health problems.  In fact, their use is the basis for modern medicine.   Herbal lore attributes different properties to different parts of plants, and many herbs operate synergistically with other herbs and nutrients.
Jean-Claude LaPraz, MD is a pioneer who promotes the concept of using the ‘wisdom of the plant’ to affect and normalize body systems.

Be aware, however, that there can be adverse reactions to herbs.  In addition, there are herb/herb, herb/drug and herb/nutrient interaction problems.

#2: herbs must be standardized.  Standardizing means manipulating an herb so that it contains a guaranteed amount of a certain botanical constituent.  Plants are very complex chemically.  They contain hundreds to thousands of constituents.  The majority of plant constituents have yet to be identified or understood by modern science.  It is the synergy of the various constituents that is responsible for the medicinal activity of herbs  “The Standardization of Herbs” from Time Labs contains more information on this issue.

#3: your doctor knows what you are taking (medicines and supplements) and knows your complete health history. 

Very often you are seeing several different doctors for a variety of health issues.  In addition, you may be getting prescriptions from different pharmacies.  It is possible, therefore, that there is no one person who is coordinating your entire medication, nutritional supplements and herbal intake.

Given what we know about nutritional excesses and imbalances, an unsupervised approach to your entire dietary intake may be contributing to your symptoms.

Here are some take-charge recommendations for you:

  • Make a list of all your doctors
  • Make sure that all of your doctors have a complete list of all of your medications, herbs and nutrients
  • Record the major Health events in your life

More Suggestions

  • Discuss everything you are taking with your qualified health care provider or pharmacist.  People taking 6 or more daily medications are more likely to have a negative drug reaction.   It is especially important that you learn the consequences of taking multiple drugs as well as potential drug/drug adverse reactions.
  • Learn the effects, good and bad, of all the medications
  • Do read the information that comes with the prescription.
These suggestions are from an article in USA Weekend, Jan 21-23, 2005. “Raise your Prescription IQ”
  • List every pill (medications, vitamins, herbs, etc), cream and ointment
  • Visit a pharmacist or doctor to review this list
  • Side effects can mimic many things, such as signs of aging
  • Drugs can Interact w/nutrients. Some nutrients can disable the effect of the drug, and some drugs can interfere with the nutrient.

For more information:

“The Nutritional Cost of Prescription Drugs” is a book which explains how to maintain good nutrition while using prescription drugs, and the various effects these drugs have on nutrition. Paperback, by Ross Pelton, R.Ph. and James B. LaVelle, R.Ph.
  • It lists the drugs and shows how they can affect nutrients.
  • Then it lists nutrients and show which drugs affect them.
Prescription Drugs and Vitamin Depletion” from Blue Cross of Idaho had an interesting article in one of their publications several years ago.  The article started out by saying: “Some medications may affect the storage and absorption of vital nutrients you need to stay healthy.   For the most part, prescription medications do not have this affect on the body unless they are taken at  high doses for long periods of time.  However, some medications can deprive your body of specific vitamins and or minerals at any dose.”

Well Said!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.