5 Reasons You May Have an Amino Acid Deficiency

5 Reasons For Amino Acid Deficiency

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, many of us learn that in biology growing up. To paint a more in depth picture, amino acids are actually involved in many critical body processes from building muscle to synthesizing important neurotransmitters like GABA and dopamine.

When you digest any food with protein in it, you are breaking it down into these important amino acid compounds. Amino acid deficiency is something that too often gets overlooked, so in this article I’m going to cover the top 5 reasons that someone could become deficient.

The amino acids have been specifically studied for important roles they play in the body. For example, the branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are important for muscle synthesis (1). The amino acid glutamine plays important roles in maintaining gut lining health while also promoting a relaxed mental state.

There are 20 standard amino acids derived through the diet that all serve their own important roles in the body. 11 of these amino acids are considered “non-essential” meaning they are synthesized within the body. The other 9, however, are considered “essential” and must be acquired through the diet.

Poor Diet

One of the more obvious reasons for amino acid deficiency is the simple lack of proper nutrition. If your diet lacks the right foods with all essential amino acids, then you will not have them in your physiological arsenal.

One such diet that I often see amino acid deficiencies is a vegetarian or vegan diet. Because most foods on these diets are not complete proteins (not containing all essential amino acids), they require a little more planning to ensure adequate amounts of amino acids are absorbed into the body.

Also, a diet that relies on the chronic consumption of sugary and starchy foods and damaged fats (such as the standard American diet) can inhibit the ability of the pancreas to release proteolytic enzymes. Proteolytic enzymes are responsible for separating proteins into their individual amino acids.

Leaky Gut & Malnourishment

The lining of the gut is one layer of cells thin. This makes it very delicate but also very good at performing its function of regulating the absorption of nutrients from food. The spaces between these cells are tightly regulated to only allow certain things to pass while keeping the rest out.

When we damage these cells by consuming GMOs, foods with pesticides, chlorinated water, processed foods, taking antibiotics, or even from low-grade food sensitivities, the spaces between these cells are loosened. This is problem because larger food molecules get through into the bloodstream and the body mistakes them for foreign pathogens. This ultimately manifests in the body as sudden food allergies, autoimmunity, systemic inflammation, and malnourishment.

With a damaged gut comes poor digestion. At this point, even someone eating a clean healthy diet may not be extracting all of the important nutrients from their food.

Low Stomach Acid

A huge misinterpreted symptom in the body that I often encounter is heart burn. The traditional approach to correcting heart burn is to take something that neutralizes your elevated stomach acids levels. But what we know now is that heart burn is actually a sign of low stomach acid.

Stomach acid is what signals the esophageal sphincter (connecting the esophagus to the stomach) to close and prevent heart burn. So, the best way to mitigate heart burn is actually to support stomach acid.

Adequate stomach acid production is also critical for proper protein breakdown and amino acid absorption. Along with proteolytic enzymes from the pancreas, stomach acid must be present for proper digestion. Unfortunately, amino acids are also involved in enzyme synthesis so low stomach acid will typically also deplete digestive enzymes.

If you have acid reflux then this should be a huge indication that you need to start supporting your stomach acid production. If you do not have acid reflux but want to test your stomach acid levels, an easy at home test can help with this. Try the baking soda test outlined below and take necessary action steps depending on the outcome.

Blood Sugar Imbalance

Blood sugar imbalances lead to massive fluctuations in insulin and cortisol. When blood sugar spikes too quickly, insulin also spikes to shuttle sugar out of the blood and into the cells. This leads to a rapid drop in blood sugar and a spike in cortisol.

When your body is exposed to a stressor, cortisol will typically increase for a short period. Cortisol is catabolic, meaning it is responsible for breaking things down. After the stress has subsided, a healthy person would have a decrease in cortisol and the body would adapt and grow stronger during this rest period by repairing the damage that was done.

When cortisol is constantly spiking due to blood sugar fluctuations you get continued breakdown of tissues, chronic inflammation, and lowered ability to make important protein digesting enzymes.

The low blood sugar that occurs shortly after a high-sugar meal stimulates the body to shift into a state of gluconeogenesis (the body makes sugar from proteins). When in this state, the body rapidly degrades stored amino acids in the body, resulting in a potential deficiency much quicker (2).

Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue manifests in several stages but ultimately disrupts many key processes in the body. First of all, adrenal fatigue leads to cortisol dysregulation which further exaggerates detrimental effects of blood sugar imbalance. As mentioned above blood sugar imbalance can often lead to gluconeogenesis which depletes amino acids.

Furthermore, adrenal fatigue often throws off key sex hormones that regulate anabolic processes in the body. Because cortisol shares a production pathway with the sex hormones, when adrenal function is hampered and the body’s stress response is dysregulated, the body favors cortisol production.

As mentioned above, chronically elevated cortisol leads to catabolism (breakdown) of body tissues and rapid degradation of amino acids. When sex hormones are compromised, the problem is only made worse.

Solution: Supplemental EAA’s

Essential Amino acids are those which must be consumed through the diet. Whenever I have a patient who has any of the conditions outlined above or I suspect an amino acid deficiency, I recommend taking these in supplemental form.

As I mentioned, amino acids are involved in several key processes in the body. Just as one example, because of their involvement in neurotransmitter production, amino acid deficiency can really throw off your mood. This is one case where supplementing with additional EAA’s can provide powerful relief.

Although not a long-term solution, supplemental EAAs can provide very effective relief while working on the underlying issues.

Additional Benefits of EAA’s

In addition, to their therapeutic benefits, essential amino acids can actually be supplemented for additional health benefits.

Muscle Development

Proper development of muscle tissue relies on amino acids. The branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine have been specifically studied in depth for their role in muscle formation (3).

Not only does this apply to normal growth of the body throughout life, but in other muscle development special cases. One such case is when muscle breakdown occurs due to resistance exercise. Amino acid supplementation can speed recovery and support muscle growth.

Additionally, amino acid supplementation may be helpful in cases of muscle wasting such as severe adrenal fatigue or during cancer treatment.

Bone Strength

The amino acid arginine plays an important role in bone formation and may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

Arginine supplementation increases growth hormone and IGF-1 which both play a role in bone formation. Supplementation also increases nitric oxide in the body which is important for slowing the breakdown of bone (4). The action of these two mechanisms together act to increase bone density.

In addition to all the essential amino acids, you want to ensure you also get plenty of minerals and the vitamins D and K to ensure proper bone health.

Fat Burning

Essential amino acids can aid weight loss in a few different ways.  The amino acids arginine and lysine have been shown to support the production of growth hormone in some cases. Growth hormone has been known for some time to improve fat burning.

Additionally, lysine and methionine interact in the liver to form carnitine, an important transport molecule that moves fat into cells to be used for energy (5). This action literally improves your ability to burn fat.

Immune Health

Glutamine, arginine, and cysteine work to coordinate and support the immune system.

Glutamine interplays with lymphocytes and macrophages to coordinate necessary inflammatory reactions related to adaptive immunity. Arginine and cysteine both play roles in proper T-cell function (also important for adaptive immunity).

Adaptive immunity is the branch of your immune system that helps you build long-lasting defenses to pathogens like viruses and foreign bacteria. This is why most people only get the chicken pox once, their adaptive immune system has built defenses against it after the first exposure.

Deficiencies in these critical amino acids can contribute to significant immune suppression.

Cardiovascular Health

Circulation problems can lead to many health issues. Particularly organs that contain lots of tiny blood vessels, such as the brain, can be heavily impacted. Distal structures of the body such as the hands and feet will also be negatively impacted by poor circulation. Finally, sex organs will typically be impacted.

The amino acids arginine and citrulline may be able to boost circulation by supporting the production of nitric oxide (6). Nitric oxide is responsible for dilating blood vessels and allowing a greater amount of blood to flow through. This effect also helps to lower blood pressure.

Best Sources of EAAS

As I mentioned, amino acids come from foods with protein in them. In my opinion, the best sources of protein are sources that are low in toxins and contain a full array of amino acids.

Pasture-Raised Meats

Pasture raised meats are one of my top choices for getting a full range of amino acids while avoiding toxins that occur in conventionally raised meats. For example, beef from pasture raised cows is not only a great protein source, but also contains anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats.

Whenever buying the meat from an animal, always look for pasture-raised and organic. For beef particularly, look out for the 100% grass-fed signification. The pasture-raised certification also goes for poultry.

Whey Protein

Whey protein from grass-fed dairy is a great source of important amino acids. This source is particularly great for building and maintaining muscle because of its high amounts of the branched chain amino acids.

In addition to coming from grass-fed dairy, you also want a cold-processed, non-denatured whey protein. The heating and processing that a lot of whey proteins go through makes it harder for our bodies to digest and absorb.

Bone Broth

Bone broth has hit the mainstream hard the last few years and for many great reasons. Bone broth is a great source of amino acids along with gut healing nutrients like collagen and glutamine that are naturally occurring. Another huge benefit of bone broth is that most people tolerate it quite well with very little potential for allergies.

I think anyone could benefit from adding bone broth to their diet. It just has so many benefits.

You can buy already made bone broth at many grocery stores now, but there is question about quality variance between brands. You can also make your own using bones from pasture-raised animals. This method obviously requires a quality source of bones and the time needed to slow-simmer your bones.

The greatest bone broth solution to hit the market so far is bone broth protein powder. This bone broth has been dehydrated into a powdered form that contains 20 grams of protein per serving. Also, it tastes amazing. This is a great and economical way to include benefits of bone broth into our fast-paced lifestyles.

Vegan Proteins

There are a few complete sources of protein for vegans such as hemp and quinoa. As someone who doesn’t recommend a lot of grains in the diet, this can be tricky. Additionally, some of my patients have dairy sensitivities that make meeting dietary protein needs difficult.

For these cases I usually recommend a high-quality pea/rice protein. I made my own formula containing pea and rice protein along with several anti-inflammatory nutrients like ginger and l-glutamine. On top of the gut healing nutrients, this protein also serves as a powerful multivitamin source.  Check out the Gut Healing Protein here

In a lot of the cases that protein absorption is compromised, such as in the case of leaky gut, this combination of pea protein and gut healing nutrients can’t be beat. I use this one for many of my tough cases where digestive issues are present. After digestive issues have been resolved, I usually recommend my SuperDigest Protein for my vegan and vegetarian patients.

Amino Strong

When it comes down to it, one of the best ways to get amino acids into the body is to ingest them in their purest form. This way, there is very little energy that goes into breaking down the protein and your body absorbs them quite readily.

I formulated Amino Strong to provide a powerful source of all essential amino acids in specific ratios for therapeutic benefits.  Over 20 human trials have been conducted to arrive at this specific, patent-pending combination of amino acids in the most effective, anabolic ratios. The high absorbability of these amino acids also means greater support for the benefits mentioned above.

This is one of the primary supplements I used in my 20s when I was suffering from debilitating digestive issues and adrenal fatigue. It truly made a difference in my energy and performance and that’s why I have chosen to formulate this powerful blend.

I continue to use it today as a pre-workout powder and notice a huge difference in my strength, energy and muscle tissue development.

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You will want to listen to my presentation on Friday, September 29th as I go through how to apply a ketogenic diet to reduce inflammation in your brain and improve your mood, memory and mindset!!

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Zhang, S., Zeng, X., Ren, M., Mao, X., & Qiao, S. (2017). Novel metabolic and physiological functions of branched chain amino acids: a review. Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology, 8(1), 10. PMID: 28127425
2. Schutz, Y. (2011). Protein turnover, ureagenesis and gluconeogenesis. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, 81(2–3), 101–107. PMID: 22419202
3. Tamanna, N., & Mahmood, N. (2014). Emerging Roles of Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation in Human Diseases. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2014, 1–8. PMID: 27351005
4. Visser, J. J., & Hoekman, K. (1994). Arginine supplementation in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Med Hypotheses, 43(5), 339–342. PMID: 7877530
5. Stephens, F. B., & Galloway, S. D. R. (2013). Carnitine and fat oxidation. In Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series (Vol. 76, pp. 13–23). PMID: 23899751
6. Stone, A. V, Vanderman, K. S., Willey, J. S., David, L., Register, T. C., Shively, C. A., … Ferguson, C. M. (2016). Impaired nitric oxide production in children with MELAS syndrome and the effect of arginine and citrulline supplementation, 23(10), 1780–1789. PMID: 26780180

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5 Easy Exercises to Improve Posture

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5 Easy Exercises to Improve Posture

The natural curve of the spine is reinforced by correct posture. Posture not only influences how you look but helps you breathe, improves concentration, supports vital organ function and stimulates overall well-being.

Ignoring harmful postural habits leads to illness, discomfort and pain, and increases the risk for the development of disease in the body.  You can improve your posture and nervous system function and improve your quality of life significantly.

At the bottom of this article, you will discover a video and narrative for 5 exercises that will help you correct defects and optimize your posture in minutes each day.  Much like we brush and floss our teeth for dental health, we need to work on our posture each and every day!

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Spinal Curve Dictates Health

The body was built with a curve in the spine to provide support and balance to the musculoskeletal system. It is essential for preventing deformation to bones, joints, muscles and tendons. Correct posture protects against disc degeneration that can lead to inflammatory conditions and disease. It is also critical for protecting the central nervous system. (1)

Postural experts understand that poor posture weakens the body’s ability to defend itself against infectious and chronic diseases.  They also view poor posture as a marker for the presence of chronic illness.  Today, many posture focused doctors such as chiropractors advocate for health measures in schools to educate students about correct posture techniques to reduce the current posture epidemic brought on by modern technologies such as cell phones that force us into a forward head shift. (4)

Doctors refer to the natural curve of the neck as the “arch of life.” This arch should have a 40-45 degree curve.  As the arch reduces it becomes unstable and results in a forward head shift, which depending upon the severity can add up to 30 pounds of additional weight on the spinal discs, ligaments and tendons.

This postural issue causes major stress on the musculoskeletal system. Loss of the spine’s natural curve inhibits normal physiological and nervous system functions.  The ability to protect the brain stem and support the communication of nerve impulses throughout the body becomes suppressed.

Effects of Subluxation

Unfortunately, we are a modern age characterized by reoccurring activities that creates stress on the supporting spinal column. Slouching, crossing legs, cell phone use, and incorrect ergonomic practices at home, school and work causes poor posture. This leads to the abnormal curvature of the spine and abnormal stress on the nervous system, which is known as subluxation.

Subluxation interferes with nerve impulses and can manifest in numerous physical symptoms. Examples include: (2, 3)

  • Neuropathy
  • Back pain or neck pain
  • Chronic pain common in the hips, joints, lower back, pelvis and knees
  • Irritation of a specific area such as arm pain
  • Weakened immune system
  • Organ dysfunction
  • Inability to move or exercise normally
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Fatigue

Although our very own chronic habits lead to forward head posture, the spine is also susceptible to trauma from birth, regular physical activities from exercise and sports, as well as accidental injury from car accidents and falls.

Depending on the type of injury and which nerve pathways of the spine become disrupted, spinal subluxations can increase the risk for weakened immunity and lowered quality of life (5).

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Dangers of Forward Head Posture

Vanity is of least concern when it comes to the problems associated with forward head posture. As the head shifts forward, the thoracic spine moves and the weakening of the shoulder blades causes slouching and the appearance of hunchback. These harmful effects trigger the descent downward of vital organs in the chest. There is a decrease in lung capacity, a reduced flow of oxygen into the diaphragm and a lower rate of oxygen reaching the cells.

A reduction in circulating oxygen in the body poses serious health threats. Oxygen is essential for survival because it maintains homeostatic functions including hormone balance, supports blood flow, protects the body from chronic disease and cancer, fuels nutrient absorption and protects the health and healing of cells, tissues and organs. (9)

Studies have shown that forward head posture is an indication of poor health and is reported to cause the impairment of simple activities including walking or sitting comfortably. It is likely that physical limitations of the body marked by poor posture accelerate the aging process and increases inflammation. This is a result of the body’s inability to manage stress and tissue trauma appropriately. (6)

Other evidence supports that the correction of forward head posture: (7, 8)

  • Alleviates symptoms of respiratory complications such as asthma
  • Increases breathing and lung oxygenation essential for physical fitness
  • Strengthens abdominal muscles
  • Restores enlarged tonsils
  • Improves glandular function in the head and neck

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Improvements from Chiropractic Care:

Chiropractic adjustments can help compensate for postural abnormalities leading to an improvement in the health of the spine and the whole body. Research performed by Dr. Morningstar and Dr. Jockers found that chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation exercises lead to the correction of forward head posture and cervical lordosis and restored pulmonary function. (10)

Findings of the study also suggests that chiropractic care can improve the function of the autonomic nervous system by relieving tension that hinders the vital communication between the brain and body.

Corrective care chiropractors are able to identify abnormal features of the spine using x-rays, postural pictures, nerve scans and various technologies. Doctors then develop a specific care plan used to treat each individual’s concern focusing on chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitative techniques like the 5 exercises that follow.

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5 Exercises:

In 30 to 90 days you can improve posture, breathe better, boost oxygenation throughout your body and alleviate tension and pain. Performing each of the following exercises for 1 minute twice a day will boost your body’s total healing potential, reduce your risk of developing degenerative disease and help you to thrive in life.

1)  Hummingbird:

Remove the slouch from poor posture and realign the head with the spine by practicing the hummingbird. This exercise strengthens the muscles between the shoulder blades, improves muscle fibers around the thoracic spinal column, opens up pectoral muscles and lifts the rib cage.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Lift arms so that they are parallel to the floor.
  2. Bend elbows and face palms forward to form a 90 degree angle between the bicep and forearm.
  3. Rotate arms backwards in a circular movement while squeezing shoulder blades together.
  4. Repeat for 1 minute.

2)  The Eagle:

With this exercise imagine opening up your arms just like an eagle spreads its wings. Stretching your arms overhead will open up the lungs. This boosts oxygen intake to stimulate tissue regeneration in the body and increase blood flow.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Start with arms lowered and adjacent to sides.
  3. Simultaneously lift arms above the head,
  4. Pause for a moment; and
  5. Lower arms back down to sides in a slow and controlled movement.
  6. Repeat for 1 minute.

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3)  Butterfly:

The butterfly is an extraordinary exercise to correct forward head posture. Performing this exercise regularly targets muscles in the neck and shoulders that give rise to chronic neck pain.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling.
  2. Bring hands back against head so that thumbs point down. *Optional: If reduced flexibility hinders your ability to lift arms and hands behind head, perform exercise standing flat against a wall. You can also align back of head against car seat.
  3. Use about 10% of strength to push head backward while keeping head straight.
  4. Pause for approximately 10 seconds.
  5. Relax and repeat for 1 minute.

4)  Chin Tuck:

An opposing exercise to the butterfly is the chin tuck. This exercise provides balance to the opposite core muscles in the neck by strengthening the deep neck flexors. Performing the chin tuck helps balance the head and neck reducing the occurrence of forward head shift.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Focus on lifting chest toward the ceiling.
  2. Maintain head position with ears over the neck.
  3. Place 1 hand on forehead; and
  4. Gently push forward with about 10% of strength (muscles in neck should contract and head should appear immobile).
  5. Repeat for 1 minute.

5)  Trap Opener:

The trapezius muscles stabilize the shoulder blades providing support for head and neck movement. Habitual forward head posture pulls and weakens the shoulder blades which consequently also relocates the ribcage.

Unlike the previous four exercise, the trap opener is a favorite amongst patients and is not intended to stretch or strengthen the trap muscles. Rather, perform this exercise to release stress from the trapezius muscles and get rid of the so called “monkey” on your back.

Instructions for Exercise:

  1. Relax shoulders.
  2. Drop the chin towards the chest.
  3. Roll head slightly to the right side.
  4. Use right hand to massage trapezius muscles on the upper left side of the back.
  5. Repeat exercise for opposite side.
  6. Perform for 1 minute.

Summary:

Don’t ignore the signs of poor posture that can impact your ability to sleep restfully at night or concentrate clearly during the day. Poor posture has devastating effects on the body that can only be treated with mindful practices. Utilize these 5 exercises to improve your posture and reap its benefits reflected in overall health and well being.

Sources for this Article Include:

  1. Kim D, Cho M, Park Y, Yang Y. Effect of an exercise program for posture correction on musculoskeletal pain.Journal of Physical Therapy Science. 2015; 27(6):1791-1794. PMCID: 4499985
  2. Kent C. Models of Vertebral Subluxation: A Review. J Verteb Sublux Res. 1996 Aug; 1(1). Link Here
  3. Owens EF. Chiropractic subluxation assessment: what the research tells us.The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2002; 46(4):215-220. PMCID: 2505023
  4. Kim MH, Yi CH, Kwon OY, Cho SH, Yoo WG. Changes in neck muscle electromyography and forward head posture of children when carrying schoolbags. Ergonomics. 2008 Jun;51(6):890-901. PMID: 18484402
  5. Wenban AB, Nielsen MK. Chiropractic maintenance care and quality of life of a patient presenting with chronic low back pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005 Feb;28(2):136-42. PMID: 15800514
  6. Deborah M. Kado, Mei-Hua Huang, Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, Gail A. Greendale; Hyperkyphotic Posture and Poor Physical Functional Ability in Older Community-Dwelling Men and Women: The Rancho Bernardo Study.J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2005; 60 (5): 633-637. Link Here
  7. Ozbek MM, et al. Natural head posture, upper airway morphology and obstructive sleep apnoea severity in adults. Eur J Orthod. 1998 Apr; 20(2): 133-43. PMID: 9633167
  8. Okuro, Renata Tiemi, Morcillo, André Moreno, Ribeiro, Maria Ângela Gonçalves Oliveira, Sakano, Eulália, Conti, Patrícia Blau Margosian, & Ribeiro, José Dirceu. (2011). Mouth breathing and forward head posture: effects on respiratory biomechanics and exercise capacity in children.Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia37(4), 471-479. Link Here
  9. Michiels C. Physiological and Pathological Responses to Hypoxia.The American Journal of Pathology. 2004; 164(6):1875-1882. PMCID: 1615763
  10. Morningstar M, and Jockers D. Improvement in Forward Head Posture, Cervical Lordosis, and Pulmonary Function with Chiropractic Care, Anterior Head Weighting and Whole Body Vibration: A Retrospective Study. J Pediatric, Mat Fam Health. 2009 Oct. Link Here

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The Top 10 Best Food Sources of Glutamine

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Top 10 Best Food Sources of Glutamine

Amino acids are critical players in nearly every metabolic function within the body.  One of the most critical amino acids is L-glutamine which is by far the most abundant free amino acid in the body.  It accounts for over 60% of the free amino acids in blood, brain, organs, and muscle tissue (1).  This article goes over the benefits of L-glutamine and the top 10 best food sources of glutamine.

This critical amino acid is necessary for a number of different functions in our body and boosting our circulating levels of L-glutamine can help a number of different health conditions and improve our overall quality of life.

Glutamine plays a very important role in cardiovascular function by supplying a key energy source for endothelial cells that line blood vessels. Additionally, glutamine regulates nitric oxide synthesis by these endothelial cells (2, 3, 4).  This is critical for maintaining blood vessel tone and reducing inflammation in the blood vessel walls.

Glutamine Improves Neurological Function:

Glutamine is also a very important player in healthy neurological function and has been shown to improve mood, concentration, & memory (5, 6, 7) .  Glutamine easily crosses over the blood-brain barrier where it is converted into L-glutamic acid.  Glutamic acid is essential for cerebral function.  Glutamic acid is unique in that it can be converted into an energy source for neuronal cells when blood sugar is low. This characteristic is thought to be responsible for glutamine’s ability to damper sugar and alcohol cravings.

Glutamine is also a critical part of our digestive system.  It is the primary nutrient for the cells of the intestinal lining where it helps regulate cellular reproduction.  Through this mechanism, glutamine helps prevent and rebuild a leaky gut, which is common in people with inflammatory and auto-immune conditions (8, 9, 10) .   For this reason glutamine supplementation has been shown to be very effective in individuals with ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, & irritable bowel syndrome (11, 12).
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Glutamine Improves the Small Intestine:

Glutamine also helps regulate cells absorb water across the junction between the small intestine and blood stream.  This is a very important part of keeping the body from losing fluid and becoming dehydrated.  When water is not absorbed back into the body diarrhea is the result.  Diarrhea can be disastrous because we lose both water and other vital nutrients.  Glutamine has been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhea (13, 14)

Finally, glutamine plays a very important role in both cellular and systematic detoxification processes.  The lymphatic system maintains fluid and protein balance in the body, carries immune cells, and filters out toxins that are stored in tissues .

Glutamine is a key energy source for lymphatic cells allowing them to better remove toxic debris (15).   Additionally, glutamine acts as a transport molecule to carry ammonia out of major tissues including the brain where it is shipped to the liver for conversion into urea.

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Reduces Food Sensitivity Reactions:

A 2004 study found that L-glutamine benefits the body by regulating IgA immune response (16). IgA attacks bad bacteria and viruses to keep to prevent infections.  Secretory IgA (sIgA) is an anti-body that regulates the mucosal membranes of the intestines, respiratory, urinary and reproductive tracts.

Poorly regulated sIgA responses are associated with food sensitivities and allergies.  Glutamine plays an important role in regulating and modulating sIgA to keep the immune system strong and reduce food sensitivity reactions.

Another study published in the journal of Clinical Immunology found that glutamine normalizes the effects of both the Th1 and TH2 immune response that stimulates inflammatory cytokines (17).  This demonstrates the ability of L-glutamine to balance and modulate the immune system to reduce inflammatory activity and promote an anti-inflammatory environment.

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Best Food Sources of Glutamine:

L-glutamine is synthesized by the body from glutamic acid or glutamate. It is known as a conditionally essential amino acid, because it is used by the body in large amounts.  Here are the top food sources of glutamine.

1) Bone Broth and Bone Broth Protein

2) Grass-fed Whey Protein

3) Grass-fed Raw Dairy

4) Grass-fed beef/Bison

5) Spirulina

6) Cabbage

7) Asparagus

8) Broccoli

9) Venison

10)  Organic poultry  

It is ideal to consume at least 2 servings from this group daily.   Raw dairy products from grass-fed cows and goats are also very high in L-glutamine.  This includes grass-fed, non-denatured whey protein powder which is considered the most bioavailable form of L-glutamine from an animal source.  Using an ample amount of this form of whey protein in a shake with coconut milk, berries, & cinnamon everyday is a fantastic way to naturally boost L-glutamine levels.

Some individuals, especially those with leaky gut and auto-immunity have immune reactivity to whey protein.  This can include grass-fed, non-denatured whey.  If you notice that you have cramping, bloating, increased pain, brain fog, skin reactions, low-energy, sleeplessness, sinusitis or lowered immunity when consuming whey than discontinue immediately.

Red Cabbage is considered the most dense vegetable form of L-glutamine. An amazing way of bringing in the high quality nutrition from red cabbage is through juicing or shredding & fermenting it.  Red cabbage sauerkraut made with apple cider vinegar may be one of the most bioavailable ways to consume L-glutamine due to the deep fermentation processes that create an abundance of enzymes and good bacteria that allow amino acids and other nutrients to be better absorbed and utilized within the body.

I recommend for most of my clients to eat fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut & kimchii daily.  Even having a tablespoon of these each day can make a big difference.

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L-Glutamine Supplementation:

Most people tolerate L-glutamine supplementation very well (1). However, some individuals are unable to metabolize it effectively and can have an excess build-up of glutamate in the brain.  This can cause anxiety and irritablity.  These individuals are typically not methylating well and often deficient in zinc, magnesium, riboflavin, B6, folate and B12.  This reaction is rare but can happen if you are supplementing with heavy doses of L-glutamine while deficient in these B vitamins.

The best dosage for healing leaky gut is to start with about 3-5 grams daily and if you feel good (no increased anxiety or irritability) you can increase your dosage to 5-10+ grams.  I have seen great clinical results using 20+ grams daily for certain individuals.

You want to make sure you have a purified version of L-glutamine that has been clinically tested.  It is always adviseable to consult a trained functional nutritionist or functional medicine doctor before taking more than 5 grams daily.  For L-glutamine supplements you can read more here.  This is what I use with my clients here

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Additional Info on L-Glutamine:

L-glutamine is SO POWERFUL for healing the gut as well as the endothelial lining of the arteries, urinary tract, respiratory tract, etc and stabilizing a highly reactive immune system.  This is why it is one of my go to supplements with auto-immune cases and individuals suffering from damaged arteries, UTI’s, ulcers, leaky gut, painful urination, allergies and sinusitis, etc.

My favorite product to support the strength and healing of the mucousal membranes (gut lining, urinary tract lining, respiratory lining, reproductive lining) is Gut Repair.  This product features four specialized ingredients including L-glutamine (in lower dosage than the product above) for enhanced gastrointestinal support.  You can read about it here

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You are likely hosting one or more parasites–which can enter your body through food, drink, contact with infected persons–and can live within you for years!

At The Parasite Summit, our experts will help you determine if parasites are silently impacting your health–they’re FAR MORE COMMON than you think!

WHY ATTEND?

Parasites aren’t just found in third-world countries, millions are already infected in industrialized countries–they’re far more common than you realize and could be silently hampering your health.

Fortunately, with awareness and appropriate care, parasites can be prevented and treated, once detected.

The Parasite Summit is online and free from September 11-18, 2017!

Do You Have Any of the Following?

Gastrointestinal: pain/cramps, excess gas, bloating, constipation/diarrhea

Infertility and hormone disorders

Skin issues: acne, itching, rashes

Mental health: depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

Challenges with autoimmune disease recovery

If you are dealing with any of these issues than you MUST ATTEND this free online event!

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Ziegler TR, Benfell K, Smith RJ, Young LS, Brown E, Ferrari-Baliviera E, Lowe DK, Wilmore DW. Safety and metabolic effects of L-glutamine administration in humans.  JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1990 Jul-Aug;14(4 Suppl):137S-146S.  PMID:  2119459
2. Mansour A, Mohajeri-Tehrani MR, Qorbani M, Heshmat R, Larijani B, Hosseini S. Effect of glutamine supplementation on cardiovascular risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes.  2015 Jan;31(1):119-26. 2014 Jun 23.  PMID:  25466655
3. Bryk J, Ochoa JB, Correia MI, Munera-Seeley V, Popovic PJ. Effect of citrulline and glutamine on nitric oxide production in RAW 264.7 cells in an arginine-depleted environment.  JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2008 Jul-Aug;32(4):377-83.  PMID:  18596308
4. Arnal JF, Münzel T, Venema RC, James NL, Bai CL, Mitch WE, Harrison DG.Interactionsbetween arginine andglutamine change endothelial NO production. An effect independent of NO synthase substrate availability.  J Clin Invest. 1995 Jun;95(6):2565-72.  PMID:  7539455
5. Young LS, Bye R, Scheltinga M, Ziegler TR, Jacobs DO, Wilmore DW. Patients receiving glutamine-supplemented intravenous feedings report an improvement in mood.  JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1993 Sep-Oct;17(5):422-7.  PMID:  8289407
6. Albrecht J, Sidoryk-Węgrzynowicz M, Zielińska M, Aschner M. Roles of glutamine in neurotransmission.  Neuron Glia Biol. 2010 Nov;6(4):263-76.  PMID:  22018046
7. Albrecht J, Sonnewald U, Waagepetersen HS, Schousboe A. Glutamine in the central nervous system: function and dysfunction.  Front Biosci. 2007 Jan 1;12:332-43. PMID: 17127302
8. Dos Santos RG, Viana ML, Generoso SV, et al. Glutamine supplementation decreases intestinal permeability and preserves gut mucosa integrity in an experimental mouse model. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2010 JulAug;34(4):408-13. [PMID: 20631386]
9. Li N, Neu J. Glutamine deprivation alters intestinal tight junctions via a PI3-K/ Akt mediated pathway in Caco-2 cells. J Nutr. 2009 Apr;139(4):710-14. [PMID:19211824]
10. Tian J, Hao L, Chandra P, et al. Dietary glutamine and oral antibiotics each improve indexes of gut barrier function in rat short bowel syndrome. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2009 Feb;296(2):G348-55. [PMID: 19095767]
11. Xu RY, Wan YP, Zhou YQ, Lu LP, Chen ZQ, Wu YJ, Cai W. Glutamine-supplemented parenteral nutrition and probiotics in four adult autoimmune enteropathy patients.  Gut Liver. 2014 May;8(3):324-8.   PMID: 24827631
12. Fujita T, Sakurai K. Efficacy of glutamine-enriched enteral nutrition in an experimental model of mucosal ulcerative colitis.  Br J Surg. 1995 Jun;82(6):749-51.  PMID: 7627502
13. Yalçin SS, Yurdakök K, Tezcan I, Oner L. Effect of glutamine supplementation on diarrhea, interleukin-8 and secretory immunoglobulin A in children with acute diarrhea.  J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2004 May;38(5):494-501.  PMID:  15097437
14. Kucuktulu E, Guner A, Kahraman I, Topbas M, Kucuktulu U. The protective effects of glutamine on radiation-induced diarrhea.  Support Care Cancer. 2013 Apr;21(4):1071-5. PMID: 23064902
15. Newsholme P. Why is L-glutamine metabolism important to cells of the immune system in health, postinjury, surgery or infection?  J Nutr. 2001 Sep;131(9 Suppl):2515S-22S; discussion 2523S-4S. Review.  PMID: 11533304
16. Lai YN, Yeh SL, Lin MT, Shang HF, Yeh CL, Chen WJ. Glutamine supplementation enhances mucosal immunity in rats with Gut-Derived sepsis.  2004 Mar;20(3):286-91.  PMID: 14990270
17. Chang WK, Yang KD, Shaio MF. Effect of glutamine on Th1 and Th2 cytokine responses of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.  Clin Immunol. 1999 Dec;93(3):294-301.  PMID:  10600341

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8 Ways to Beat Tinnitus Naturally

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8 Ways to Beat Tinnitus Naturally

Tinnitus is a perceived sensation of a ringing, roaring, buzzing, chirping, or humming sound without any actual acoustical stimulation.  It is estimated that over 15 million Americans experience this very disturbing condition on a regular basis.

Research has shown that the many cases of chronic tinnitus are part of a degenerative process characterized by chronic inflammation (1).  Lifestyle based solutions can reverse this inflammatory damage before it is too late.

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Types of Tinnitus:

  • Tonal Tinnitus – This type of Tinnitus generates a continuous sounds like “ringing in the ears”, a single note playing over and over.
  • Pulsatile Tinnitus – The Tinnitus sounds are intermittent, continuous, or pulsating in time with the heartbeat.
  • Whisling Tinnitus:  Tinnitus in which the sound is a ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or a hissing noise.
  • Beeping Tinnitus:  Tinnitus, in which the sounds are described as beeping such as a Morse code type of signal, or even musical notes.
  • Multiple Noise Tinnitus:  Tinnitus that is described as hearing several different types of noises at the same time.

Most people with tinnitus have some degree of hearing loss.  This has led to the theory that one cause of tinnitus may be a compensatory homeostatic response of central dorsal cochlear nucleus auditory neurons that make them hyperactive to any form of auditory stimulus (2).

This means that the ears become more sensitive in order to compensate for the hearing loss.  This sensitivity picks up more faint sounds that create the tinnitus.

From a survival perspective, it would be more important to maintain sensitive hearing in order to be aware of danger quickly and live with tinnitus symptoms than to be insensitive to sounds and unable to respond to danger quickly.

The Most Common Causes of Tinnitus:

Tinnitus can be caused by a number of different conditions including build-up of inner ear wax, ear infections, vestibular disorders, exposure to loud noises, Meniere’s disease, low thyroid function, hypertension, allergies and on very rare cases a tumor.   Over 250 medications list tinnitus as a common side effect of usage including aspirin and anti-biotics (3, 4).

One of the most common causes of tinnitus is due to inflammation and poor circulation within the inner ear. When the body is chronically inflamed certain inflammatory mediating prostaglandins are secreted in high amounts (5).

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to tissue damage.  It can be a very good thing.  If you bang your elbow your body will produce inflammation to clean up debris and initiate the healing process.  However, when our body is in a state of chronic inflammation problems arise.  In fact, all degenerative disease such as arthritis, heart disease, cancer, etc. are associated with inflammation at the cellular level (6).

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Must Control Inflammation:

These pro-inflammatory mediators cause an increase in vasoconstriction and platelet aggregation (7, 8).   This decreases blood flow into the smaller capillaries of the body such as the inner ear.  This inflammatory process also increases the lymphatic fluid in the inner ear.  This combination increases pressure in the inner ear which stimulates the auditory nerve enough to create a series of action potentials that the brain interprets as sound.

The presence of inflammatory based tinnitus may be a warning sign that the entire body is inflamed and disease processes are forming rapidly.  Most inflammatory conditions can be reversed through diet and lifestyle modifications and the use of beneficial supplementation.

Upper Cervical Spine and Tinnitus:

A 2000 study showed that tinnitus is very often caused by instability of the craniocervical junction (9).  This could be related to subluxation and joint deformation or a more significant issue such as a prolapsed intervertebral disc or metastases as low as C3.  Issues with the tempero-mandibular joint (TMJ) of the jaw can also play a role in tinnitus.

Chiropractic care specific to the upper cervical spine and TMJ can reduce stress on the region and improve function.  Several studies have shown that chiropractic care addressing the upper cervical spine and TMJ can improve auditory function and have a beneficial effect on tinnitus(10, 11, 12).

An Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan:

Begin eating an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of phytonutrient dense fruits & vegetables, healthy fat sources, and grass-fed/free-range animal products.  Keep sugar & grains to a minimum.  Use coconut, olive oil, grass-fed meat, free range eggs, avocados, nuts/seeds, and non-starchy vegetables as primary fuels throughout the day.

Load up on anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, dandelion, oregano, garlic, & green tea.  The primary fruits that should be used are low-sugar, anti-oxidant rich sources such as berries, lemons/ limes, & grapefruits.

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High Quality Essential Fats:

Several supplements have been shown to be highly beneficial for reducing inflammation and enhancing circulation throughout the body and in particular the inner ear.   High quality sources of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA & DHA are critical for this process.

Omega 3’s are particularly key for influencing the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory prostaglandin formation (13).   By providing the appropriate balance, these fats help to reduce inflammation and vasoconstriction that are part of the pathogenesis of tinnitus.

Additionally, liposomal curcumin and glutathione are powerful at downregulating inflammatory pathways.  Our Pro Omega CRP product is the best thing I have found for reducing inflammation and improving conditions such as tinnitus.   I really like Nordic Naturals brand due to its commitment to purity through molecular distillation and 3rd party testing.

Vitamin B12 and Tinnitus:

Vitamin B12 is a critical player in the formation of the myelin sheaths that surround and insulate nerve fibers.   A vitamin B12 deficiency makes nerves more susceptible to the inflammatory damage that causes tinnitus (14).

Healthy meat sources are a great way to get Vitamin B12.  Use digestive enzymes and apple cider vinegar with your meat products to enhance protein and B12 absorption.  You can also use specific supplementation to get your B12 levels up.  If you are low in B12, I recommend a sublingual dissolvable form of methyl-B12 in order to get right into the blood stream, so it can go to work without any disruption from the digestive system.

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Boost up Anti-Oxidants:

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play an enormous role in many disease processes because they damage various structural and functional cellular components.  Studies have indicated that individuals who suffer with tinnitus have elevated serum values for reactive oxygen species (15, 16).

A 2007 study demonstrated that oral antioxidant therapy in patients with idiopathic tinnitus seems to reduce the subjective discomfort and tinnitus intensity (17).  Other studies have shown that elevated levels of magnesium, vitamins A, C and E were effective at reducing trauma to the inner ear structures (18).

8 Steps To Beat Tinnitus:

1)  Good Sleep:  It is absolutely critical to sleep well in order to reduce inflammation and heal.  Inadequate sleep will result in elevated stress hormone production and increased inflammation.  Follow these strategies to improve your sleep quality.

2)  Anti-Inflammatory Diet:  Focus on good fats, anti-oxidants and clean proteins.  Good fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados, olives and olive oil and fish oil provide the key fatty acids needed to for optimal neurological function.   Here is a helpful group of shopping lists to help you follow the right diet.

3)  Intermittent Fasting:  Going 16 hours between dinner and breakfast is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation and improve tissue healing.  Consume your meals in an 8 hour window such as 11am – 7pm.  Read this article for more info on fasting.

4)  Optimize Your Vitamin D:  Low vitamin D3 is associated with chronic inflammation (19).  Be sure to increase your vitamin D through good amounts of regular sun exposure and/or taking a high quality vitamin D3/K2 supplement.

5)  Zinc and Magnesium:  Be sure to optimize your zinc and magnesium levels.  Both of these nutrients are key for reducing inflammation and improving the symptoms of tinnitus.  Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of both zinc and magnesium. Additionally, make green drinks or use super green powders and consume healthy organic meat products.

I recommend using zinc glycinate (40mg – 1x daily) and magnesium threonate, which has been shown to cross the blood brain barrier and positively effect the neurological tissue.

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6)  Chiropractic Care:  Chiropractic care works with the upper cervical spine and the connection processes between the brain and the body.  The key areas that correlate with tinnitus include the upper cervical region, TMJ and the forward head posture.   Find a chiropractor that specializes in taking care of the upper cervical spine, TMJ and reducing forward head posture.  I recommend Maximized Living doctors here

7)  B Vitamins:  Be sure to optimize your B Vitamins.  You can get an indepth test to see where your B vitamins are as well as your neurotransmitters and gut microbiome with the organic acid test here.

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8)  Use Lemon & Lime:  Citrus bioflavinoids found in lemon and lime as well as other citrus fruits help to improve capillary permeability.  They do this by protecting the endothelial tissue from oxidative stress.  They not only help to improve blood flow into the inner ear but they also help to protect the internal membranes of the ear from oxidative stress.

Drink lemon water in the morning each day, put a lemon/lime in a fresh made green juice and squeeze lemon/lime on meat and vegetable dishes.

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Sources For This Article Include:

  1. Han BI, Lee HW, Kim TY, Lim JS, Shin KS. Tinnitus: Characteristics, Causes, Mechanisms, and Treatments. Journal of Clinical Neurology (Seoul, Korea). 2009;5(1):11-19.
  2. Schaette R, Kempter R. Development of tinnitus-related neuronal hyperactivity through homeostatic plasticity after hearing loss: a computational model. Eur J Neurosci. 2006 Jun;23(11):3124-38. PMID: 16820003
  3. Han BI, Lee HW, Kim TY, Lim JS, Shin KS. Tinnitus: Characteristics, Causes, Mechanisms, and Treatments. Journal of Clinical Neurology (Seoul, Korea). 2009;5(1):11-19.
  4. Vestibular Disorders Association: Tinnitus: Ringing in the Ears Link Here
  5. Ricciotti E, FitzGerald GA. Prostaglandins and Inflammation. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. 2011;31(5):986-1000.
  6. Edwards T. Inflammation, pain, and chronic disease: an integrative approach to treatment and prevention. Altern Ther Health Med. 2005 Nov-Dec;11(6):20-7; quiz 28, 75. PMID: 16320856
  7. Smith JB. Prostaglandins and platelet aggregation. Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1981;651:91-9. PMID: 7034481
  8. Rajtar G, Cerletti C, Castagnoli MN, Bertelé V, de Gaetano G. Prostaglandins and human platelet aggregation. Implications for the anti-aggregating activity of thromboxane-synthase inhibitors. Biochem Pharmacol. 1985 Feb 1;34(3):307-10. PMID: 3918536
  9. Montazem A. Secondary tinnitus as a symptom of instability of the upper cervical spine: operative management. Int Tinnitus J. 2000;6(2):130-3. PMID: 14689631
  10. Emary PC. Chiropractic management of a 40-year-old female patient with Ménière disease. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2010;9(1):22-27.
  11. Björne A. Assessment of temporomandibular and cervical spine disorders in tinnitus patients. Prog Brain Res. 2007;166:215-9. PMID: 17956785
  12. Cherian K, Cherian N, Cook C, Kaltenbach JA. Improving tinnitus with mechanical treatment of the cervical spine and jaw. J Am Acad Audiol. 2013 Jul-Aug;24(7):544-55. PMID: 24047942
  13. Bagga D, Wang L, Farias-Eisner R, Glaspy JA, Reddy ST. Differential effects of prostaglandin derived from omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on COX-2 expression and IL-6 secretion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Feb 18;100(4):1751-6. PMID: 12578976
  14. Shemesh Z, Attias J, Ornan M, Shapira N, Shahar A. Vitamin B12 deficiency in patients with chronic-tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss. Am J Otolaryngol. 1993 Mar-Apr;14(2):94-9. PMID: 8484483
  15. Neri S, Signorelli S, Pulvirenti D, Mauceri B, Cilio D, Bordonaro F, Abate G, Interlandi D, Misseri M, Ignaccolo L, Savastano M, Azzolina R, Grillo C, Messina A, Serra A, Tsami A. Oxidative stress, nitric oxide, endothelial dysfunction and tinnitus. Free Radic Res. 2006 Jun;40(6):615-8. PMID: 16753839
  16. Neri S, Mauceri B, Cilio D, Bordonaro F, Messina A, Malaguarnera M, Savastano M, Brescia G, Manci S, Celadini M. Tinnitus and oxidative stress in a selected series of elderly patients. Arch Gerontol Geriatr Suppl. 2002;8:219-23. PMID: 14764394
  17. Savastano M, Brescia G, Marioni G. Antioxidant therapy in idiopathic tinnitus: preliminary outcomes. Arch Med Res. 2007 May;38(4):456-9. PMID: 17416295
  18. Le Prell CG, Hughes LF, Miller JM. Free radical scavengers, vitamins A, C, and E, plus magnesium reduces noise trauma. Free radical biology & medicine. 2007;42(9):1454-1463.
  19. Mangin M, Sinha R, Fincher K. Inflammation and vitamin D: the infection connection. Inflamm Res. 2014 Oct;63(10):803-19. PMID: 25048990

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The Highest Quality Protein to Rebuild Your Body

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Highest Quality Protein to Rebuild the Body:

Healthy lean body tissue depends upon an adequate supply of high quality protein.  The protein acts to repair damaged muscle tissue and provide growth factors that improve muscle fiber growth and rejuvenation (1).  Although the quantity of protein consumed is important it is much more important to consider the quality of protein.

High quality protein is completely whole and non-denatured.  It contains essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other natural co-factors.  These components are very important for overall amino acid utilization and energy production.  Protein by nature digests to form an acidic ash.  These co-factors help provide alkaline substances that maintain normal acid/base balance.

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Processing Damages the Protein:

There is a tremendous amount of processing that takes place to produce a protein isolate.  It is completely unnatural.  This processing strips out the natural proteolytic enzymes, minerals & anti-oxidants.  This reduces overall bioavailability and creates a highly acidic and inflammatory food product.

The branched chain amino acids (BCAA’s) leucine, isoleucine and valine are especially important for building muscle.   Many research trials have shown that BCAA’s improve red blood cell count, hemoglobin, hematocrit, serum albumin, fasting glucose levels, increased glycogenesis and rapid improvement in muscular inflammation (2, 3, 4) .  These attributes make optimizing BCAA content extremely important for overall health and performance.

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Branched Chain Amino Acids:

The BCAA leucine is the only amino acid that helps to stimulate muscle cell DNA to increase muscle protein synthesis.  Muscle cells contain an inhibitory enzyme named 4E-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1).  Leucine stimulates the cellular phosphorylation of 4E-BP1, effectively removing it.  The removal of 4E-BP1 allows for greater activation of factors involved with muscle protein synthesis (5, 6, 7) .

The best food sources for BCAA’s such as leucine are found in high quality dairy products.  Raw cheese, raw milk and non-denatured whey protein are the most bioavailable forms of these critical nutrients.  These BCAA’s should always be consumed as whole foods and not as synthetically derived supplements which are of inferior quality.

Additionally, bone broth protein is a rich source of BCAA’s and leucine and helps to stimulate muscle and bone building and fat burning.

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The Daily Leucine Consumption:

The daily leucine consumption should be 1-3 grams per day to maintain body protein.  To optimize the anabolic pathways one would need between 8-16 grams daily.  Optimizing anabolic pathways enhances muscle repair, growth, & rejuvenation.  This is desirable for a healthy physique, anti-aging and maximal performance (8).

Bone broth protein is one of the elite superfoods for human consumption.   It provides the one of the best profile of essential amino acids and conditionally essential amino acids.  Along with whey protein, it is by the most bioavailable form of leucine (9).

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Fast Assimilating Proteins During the Day:

Fast assimilating proteins such as raw, grass-fed whey protein work best to have during daytime hours.  This is very easy on the digestive system and move into muscle tissue and initiate the repair process immediately.

High quality whey protein mixed with organic coconut milk is strikingly similar to mothers milk.  The coconut milk provides an incredible array of medium chain triglycerides.  The whey protein provides the complete protein as well as bioactive immunosupportive compounds.  These include lactoferrin, alpha-lactoglobulins, immunoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, & conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

These sources should ideally be replenished with another 20 grams of protein every 3-4 hours to maximize muscle recovery.  During the daytime hours this should be in a low calorie form to reduce digestive stress and maintain high cognitive and kinetic energy.

Slow Release Proteins at Night:

Slow release proteins are better to have at night as they digest over time and move into muscle tissue and form enzymes in the body slowly.  This maintains optimal protein synthesis and positive nitrogen balance during sleep while the body is in a fasting state.

Slow release proteins are found in healthy meat sources such as grass-fed beef, bison, buffalo & deer.  Raw, grass-fed cheese is an amazing slow release protein.  Free range turkey, chicken, & eggs as well as wild-caught fish are good.  When cooking these proteins be sure to add phytonutrient rich vegetables, fresh lemon & apple cider vinegar to balance the acids and free radicals formed during the cooking process.   They also provide proteolytic enzymes and microorganisms to enhance the protein assimilation process.

A few great sources for high quality, grass-fed animal products include your local farmers and farmers markets, US Wellness Meats and Slankers.

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Non-Dairy Protein Powders:

Many people have food sensitivities to all dairy including grass-fed whey.  With these individuals, I recommend either a collagen protein or a pea protein base with added nutrients to reduce gut inflammation.  I formulated a specific protein powder that is especially good for individuals with leaky gut or autoimmunity.

This product is called gut healing protein that contains a powerful array of anti-oxidant compounds that reduce inflammation, it is completely sugar-free and has 5 grams of L-glutamine in it to support healing leaky gut.  Check it out here

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Sources For This Article Include:

  1. Rieu I, Balage M, Sornet C, Debras E, Ripes S, Rochon-Bonhomme C, Pouyet C, Grizard J, Dardevet D. Increased availability of leucine with leucine-rich whey proteins improves postprandial muscle protein synthesis in aging rats. Nutrition. 2007 Apr;23(4):323-31. PMID: 17367997
  2. Ohtani M, Sugita M, Maruyama K. Amino Acid Mixture Improves Training Efficiency in Athletes Link Here
  3. Takeshita S, Ichikawa T, Nakao K, Miyaaki H, Shibata H, Matsuzaki T, Muraoka T, Honda T, Otani M, Akiyama M, Miuma S, Ozawa E, Fujimito M, Eguchi K. A snack enriched with oral branched-chain amino acids prevents a fall in albumin in patients with liver cirrhosis undergoing chemoembolization for hepatocellular carcinoma. Nutr Res. 2009 Feb;29(2):89-93. PMID: 19285598
  4. Matsumoto K, Koba T, Hamada K, Sakurai M, Higuchi T, Miyata H. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation attenuates muscle soreness, muscle damage and inflammation during an intensive training program. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2009 Dec;49(4):424-31. PMID: 20087302
  5. Yoshizawa F, Hirayama S, Sekizawa H, Nagasawa T, Sugahara K. Oral administration of leucine stimulates phosphorylation of 4E-bP1 and S6K 1 in skeletal muscle but not in liver of diabetic rats. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2002 Feb;48(1):59-64. PMID: 12026190
  6. Anthony JC, Reiter AK, Anthony TG, Crozier SJ, Lang CH, MacLean DA, Kimball SR, Jefferson LS. Orally administered leucine enhances protein synthesis in skeletal muscle of diabetic rats in the absence of increases in 4E-BP1 or S6K1 phosphorylation. Diabetes. 2002 Apr;51(4):928-36. PMID: 11916909
  7. Anthony JC, Anthony TG, Kimball SR, Jefferson LS. Signaling pathways involved in translational control of protein synthesis in skeletal muscle by leucine. J Nutr. 2001 Mar;131(3):856S-860S. PMID: 11238774
  8. Mero A. Leucine supplementation and intensive training. Sports Med. 1999 Jun;27(6):347-58. PMID: 10418071
  9. Bukhari SS, Phillips BE Atherton, Wilkinson DJ, Limb MC, Rankin D, Mitchell WK, Koboyashi H, Greenhaff PL, Smith K, Atherton PJ. Intake of low-dose leucine-rich essential amino acids stimulates muscle anabolism equivalently to bolus whey protein in older women, at rest and after exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Mar 31:ajpendo.00481.2014. PMID: 25827594

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