Tag Archives: Homocysteine Factors by Pure Encapsulations

Nutrients for Healthy Brain Function

BrainFunctionJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Along with concern over the ability to continue living independently, many seniors are apprehensive about maintaining mental acuity. Most individuals are aware that some degree of forgetfulness and cognitive decline is considered normal with aging. However, cognitive decline greater than what is expected for one’s age and educational level is indeed cause for apprehension, because with age we become increasingly susceptible to chronic and debilitating brain diseases. Although the normal process of brain atrophy occurs even in cognitively healthy persons, the atrophy occurs more rapidly in persons who have cognitive decline that progresses to Alzheimer’s disease.

Growing research has demonstrated the beneficial impact of nutrition as a preventive strategy for reduced risk of cognitive decline and for maintenance of executive function. Executive function is defined as a set of mental skills that enables one to get things done, manage time, pay attention, switch focus, plan, organize, and multitask. Recognizing and reducing the factors that contribute to brain atrophy may be one strategy to slow the process of neurodegeneration. In older adults, research has underscored the potential impact of nutritional factors and individual micronutrients on the brain and cognitive function. Subclinical deficiencies commonly seen in the general population, and seniors in particular, include the B vitamins, folate, B12 and B6.

Science shows that elevated blood levels of homocysteine is one factor that contributes to brain atrophy, as well as to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine is a chemical byproduct of normal protein metabolism found to some degree in everyone’s bloodstream. When homocysteine levels are abnormally high, there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hardening of the arteries, isolated systolic hypertension, blood clots, and dementia, factors which may ultimately lead to heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer’s disease. High homocysteine levels may be attributed to genetics, certain medications, kidney disease, and thyroid hormone insufficiency, as well as B vitamin and folate deficiencies.

While it remains unclear whether high homocysteine levels are the cause or the effect of disease, elevated levels are recognized as being associated with brain atrophy, dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s. Folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 are all involved in the break down and conversion of homocysteine into methionine, a protein building block. Increasing intake of these vitamins may lower blood levels of homocysteine. Folate can be found green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, most beans and fortified foods. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products, seafood, fortified cereals and enriched soy or rice milks. Good sources of B6 include beans, poultry, dark leafy greens and some fruits. A daily multivitamin can help ensure adequate intake of these important vitamins.

There is growing support for the premise that optimal B vitamin status may prevent, slow or even reverse deterioration in memory and other mental capacities important to quality of life in older individuals. Folate, B6 and B12 may function to preserve and protect the integrity of the central nervous system through its role in the prevention of vascular disease. In addition to the B vitamins, vitamins C and D are key to optimal brain health and function. Vitamin C is essential to the production of neurotransmitters that affect the ability to focus, concentrate, and remember. They also control mood, sleep, cravings, addictions, and more.

As a cofactor necessary for serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine production, vitamin C is essential for a positive mood. A potent antioxidant, vitamin C helps to protect the brain from oxidative stress and free radical damage. A meta-analysis of studies found that a diet rich in vitamins C and E was linked to a 20-25% decrease in Alzheimer’s risk. Vitamin C acts as a powerful detoxifier that helps to remove heavy metal accumulation from the brain. By helping to build collagen that keeps arteries flexible, vitamin C improves blood flow, delivering increased oxygen and nutrients to properly nourish the brain. Fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries and watermelon, tomatoes, bell peppers and cruciferous vegetables, especially when eaten raw.

Vitamin D micronutrient deficiency has reached epic proportions, affecting an estimated 77% of Americans. Pre-hormone vitamin D is necessary for normal brain development in utero, as well as throughout childhood. Vitamin D receptors are wide spread in brain tissue, and biologically active Vitamin D has been shown to be neuroprotective, aiding the clearance of amyloid plaques seen in Alzheimer’s. Vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth. Studies suggest that vitamin D protects neurons and reduces damaging inflammation.

A study led by neuroscientist David Llewellyn of the University of Cambridge assessed the correlation between vitamin D levels and cognitive function in 1,700 men and women aged 65 and older. Those deficient in vitamin D exhibited slower information-processing speed, and were up to four times more likely to be cognitively impaired as compared with people with optimum vitamin D levels. Research shows it may be difficult to get sufficient vitamin D from dietary sources alone. Those who are not getting 15-30 minutes of sunshine on their torso a minimum of three times a week, would be well advised to supplement with vitamin D for brain health and overall wellness.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are vital for the maintenance of normal brain development and function throughout life. Low levels of omega-3’s may accelerate brain aging and contribute to deficits in brain function. Fish oil is found to be effective in reducing inflammation in the blood and tissues. Promising studies suggest that fish oil may help relieve mental fatigue and stress and may help women to reduce the risk of developing depression. Research suggests that those with mild cognitive impairment or mild declines in brain function may benefit the most from fish oil supplementation. The Alzheimer’s Association recommends omega-3 fatty acids as a possible defense against Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to support brain and overall health:

Pro Methyl BalancePro Methyl Balance by Professional Supplement Center®: On SALE! Pro Methyl Balance is formulated to provide high levels of highly active and bioavailable forms of folate and vitamin B12 in support of homocysteine management, neurological function, and a healthy inflammatory response. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Homocysteine FactorsHomocysteine Factors by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formula provides the highly bioavailable folate Metafolin®, activated vitamin B6, anhydrous betaine, and vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, in support of healthy homocysteine metabolism. Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

B-Complex with...B Complex with Metafolin® by Douglas Laboratories®: This comprehensive B vitamin supplement provides highly bioavailable B vitamins plus intrinsic factor, a nutrient necessary for optimal B12 absorption. Gluten, soy, dairy, yeast and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Vitamin D3 5,000 IUVitamin D3 5,000 IU by Professional Supplement Center®: On SALE! This product supplies highly bioavailable vitamin D3 in support of proper nervous system function, healthy cardiovascular function and a normal immune response. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

ProDHA Eye 1000 mgProDHA™ 1000 mg by Nordic Naturals®:  On SALE! This high potency formula provides an essential nutrient for brain health, healthy mood, cognitive function, and the structural integrity of the central nervous system. Third party tested for heavy metals and toxins. Gluten, dairy and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO formulation.

Buffered Vitamin CBuffered Vitamin C by Integrative Therapeutics®: One serving supplies one gram of vitamin C buffered with magnesium and calcium in support of healthy skin, collagen production, and connective tissue and bone health. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, and artificial ingredient free, vegetarian formulation.

Vitamin E (with...Vitamin E with Mixed Tocopherols by Pure Encapsulations®: This powerful antioxidant supplement plays a beneficial role in cellular respiration, mitochondrial function, blood vessel health and protein metabolism. Artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
B vitamins, cognition and aging: a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11682586
Bruno, Gene, MS, MHS, Rh. B Vitamins and Cognition, Vitamin Retailer, Dec. 2017.
Nutrition for the ageing brain: Towards evidence for an optimal diet. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1568163716301027
Three of the B Vitamins: Folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-b/
Homocysteine and MTHFR Mutations. Relation to Thrombosis and Coronary Artery Disease. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/111/19/e289
Does Vitamin D Improve Brain Function? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-d-make-a-difference/
Vitamin D and cognitive function. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22536767

 

Homocysteine Levels – Do You Care?

careaboutlevelsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Those who have never heard of homocysteine may wonder why they should care about their homocysteine levels. After all, isn’t homocysteine simply a naturally occurring amino acid produced by the body as part of the critical methylation process? Well, yes, but it is not one of the twenty standard amino acids considered to be the building blocks of protein. Methylation is essential for cellular function, DNA replication, embryonic growth and cellular aging. Improper methylation leads to high homocysteine levels, and that spells trouble for long term health. Homocysteine is not found in the diet but is a byproduct created during protein metabolism, an excess of which is implicated in a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease and viewed as a potential predictor of Alzheimer’s disease.

When dietary proteins are metabolized, they are broken down into individual amino acids including methionine. Methionine is further broken down in multiple processes that produce homocysteine. Like most bodily processes, homocysteine metabolism is highly complex. Homocysteine is removed from the body in two ways. First by methylation, which essentially recycles homocysteine back into methionine. This process requires adequate nutrients and cofactors, specifically vitamins B6, B12 and folic acid. Secondly, with the assistance of enzymes and folic acid, homocysteine can be transformed into the amino acid cysteine, a crucial contributing factor in the production of the antioxidant glutathione.

Possible causes of high homocysteine levels include family history, diabetes, kidney and chronic inflammatory diseases, long term medications, such as birth control pills and drugs for diabetes and high cholesterol, high caffeine and alcohol intake, smoking and poor nutrition. Normal homocysteine levels fall between 4 -15 micromoles/liter. Optimal levels are below 10 -12; moderate levels 15 -30; intermediate 30 -100; and greater than 100 is considered severe. Blood levels of homocysteine are a very good indicator of overall health status. High levels of homocysteine contribute to:

  • Enhanced free radical oxidation and advanced cellular aging.
  • Direct damage to arterial walls, leading to thickening commonly known as atherosclerosis.
  • Higher tendency to form blood clots, increasing stroke risk.
  • Significantly lowered blood levels of nitric oxide, crucial to maintaining flexible arterial walls.
  • Weakened immune system when conversion of homocysteine to cysteine for glutathione production is inefficient.
  • Increased production of inflammatory chemicals that can cause chronic inflammation.
  • Significantly increased risk of chronic health conditions.
  • Increased risk of early miscarriage, premature birth and serious pregnancy complications.
  • Adverse effects on brain processes, hindered brain function and increased risk of depression.

There is good news, however, in that lifestyle changes, particularly dietary improvements and a higher intake of folate, vitamins B12, B6, B2 and zinc, can be very effective in normalizing plasma homocysteine levels. Dietary improvements can include eating more high fiber, high antioxidant vegetables and fruits, consuming only healthy fats, adding in foods high in folate, B vitamins and zinc, and limiting consumption of conventionally raised animal products, caffeinated beverages and alcohol. Testing can determine the necessary dietary changes, as well as the correct supplementation regime. As homocysteine is a key marker for disease development that determines longevity and health throughout life, in the future expect to see a higher appreciation for the importance of folate, B12 and B6 to human health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support healthy homocysteine levels and overall good health:

Glycogenics®Glycogenic® by Metagenics® – Glycogenics® advanced formulation provides a balanced blend of high potency B vitamins along with supportive nutrients in support of healthy homocysteine metabolism, energy metabolism and a healthy stress response. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Homocysteine FactorsHomocysteine Factors by Pure Encapsulations – This product supplies folate as Metafolin®, a naturally occurring, universally metabolized, directly usable form, along with vitamins B12 and B6 in support of promoting healthy homocysteine metabolism. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Methyl Factors ...Methyl Factors by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals™ – This exclusive professional formula provides vitamins B6, B12 and folate in a unique liquid form in support of optimal homocysteine levels for cardiovascular health and proper neurological function.

 

TMG - PowderTMG Powder by Bio-Nutritional Formulas – This 99% pure powdered trimethylglycine product provides naturally sourced betaine made from beets. As a natural source of methyl groups, TMG supports the conversion of homocysteine to methionine in support of cardiovascular health and longevity. Free of binders and fillers.

References:
Methylation and Homocysteine. http://www.foodforthebrain.org/alzheimers-prevention/methylation-and-homocysteine.aspx
The Importance of Homocysteine. http://nurse-practitioners-and-physician-assistants.advanceweb.com/sharedresources/advancefornp/resources/DownloadableResources/NP050106_p31PatHandout.pdf
Homocysteine. http://www.wiley.com/college/boyer/0470003790/cutting_edge/homocysteine/homocysteine.htm
Homocysteine, Diet and Cardiovascular Diseases. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/99/1/178
Dietary strategies for lowering homocysteine concentrations. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/6/1448.full

Healthy Aging – Optimize Glutathione Levels

OptimizeGlutathioneLevelsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Naturally occurring glutathione, considered to be the body’s most powerful antioxidant, is found within all bodily cells. With additional vital roles as an immune booster and a detoxifying agent, this hard working and incredibly beneficial molecule is the only intracellular antioxidant in prime position to help maintain cellular health and performance, as well as provide protection from oxidative stress by neutralizing the free radicals that can cause DNA cell damage. Produced in the liver from three amino acids, glutamic acid, L-cysteine and L-glycine, healthy levels of glutathione reduce the risks of developing age-related diseases. Additionally, glutathione acts to control the inflammation behind the development of chronic diseases, and aids in the elimination of toxins, pollutants and heavy metals.

Extremely important to maintaining cellular health, evidence shows that the chronically ill, heart attack victims, and patients hospitalized with serious diseases are often found to be deficient in glutathione. Low levels of glutathione leave the cells more vulnerable to cellular DNA damage that contributes to the development of cancer, neurological diseases, and other age-related illnesses. Aging, stress, poor diet, injury, and illness all contribute to low cellular levels of glutathione. However, you can help to protect the body from oxidation by supporting the production of glutathione, as glutathione is both produced and recycled within the body.

Increasing the blood levels of glutathione supports immune function, optimizes detoxification, reduces free radicals and enhances heavy metal clearance. As a master antioxidant, glutathione recycles other antioxidants, such as oxidized lipoic acid, and vitamins C and E, and restores them to an active state after they have depleted their electrons neutralizing free radicals. The most effective way to increase glutathione levels is by eating glutathione boosting foods, exercising regularly and supplementing with glutathione and its precursors, the molecules necessary to support glutathione production.

Sufficient levels of glutathione won’t actually make you look younger, but will help to keep you healthier longer. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, practicing functional medicine physician, “A high level of glutathione is critical to recovery from nearly all chronic illness, to preventing disease and to maintaining optimal health and performance.” By exercising, consuming a nutrient dense diet, and supplementing, you can optimize your overall health and wellness goals along with your naturally occurring glutathione levels:

  • Supplementation: Liposomal glutathione/S-Acetyl Glutathione– Glutathione on its own is not readily bioavailable. Liposomal glutathione, however, is believed to be fully absorbable. Liposomes are microscopic fats that surround and essentially hide the glutathione inside. Cells recognize the liposome, which is quickly absorbed into cell along with the glutathione. For optimal absorption and bioavailability, s-acetyl-glutathione provides the acetylated form of glutathione.
  • NAC – One of the most effective ways to improve and ensure healthy levels of glutathione is by supplementing with N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), an essential amino acid and a main building block of glutathione.
  • Pay attention to vitamin intake – Be sure to get adequate levels of vitamins B6, B12, folate and betaine to support critical bodily functions, that include DNA repair, detoxification and immune health.
  • Enhance glutathione synthesis – Consider supplementing with liver-supportive milk thistle, as well as selenium, which supports glutathione recycling, and alpha lipoic acid for support of many bodily processes, including detoxification and energy production.
  • Add concentrated whey protein to your morning smoothie – Bioactive, pesticide and hormone free, whey protein is a great source of cysteine and other amino acids that support glutathione synthesis.
  • Eat smart – Be sure to include sulfur-rich, cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables in your diet. Studies have shown that sulfur amino acids stimulate glutathione production and support higher glutathione levels.
  • Minimize toxin exposure – Toxic overload not only depletes glutathione levels; it also reduces the liver’s ability to produce it. To reduce your toxic load, switch to natural cleaning and body care products, use glass in lieu of plastic to store and reheat food, and when possible, purchase organically grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Another reason to exercise – Studies suggest that moderate exercise, especially cardio exercise in combination with weight training, can increase glutathione levels, which helps to boost immunity, support detoxification and enhance antioxidant defenses.
  • Manage your stress – Unmanaged, chronic stress takes on toll on glutathione levels. Take steps to get stress under control by using any calming techniques that help you to relax. This can be as simple as practicing mindful breathing several times each day.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality nutritional supplements to support overall wellness and healthy aging:

S-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy by Designs for HealthS-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy by Designs for Health – This formula provides a unique acetylated form of glutathione for optimum absorption and bioavailability. Additional ingredients include vitamin B6 and NAC. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

NAC 600 mg by Pure EncapsulationsNAC 600 mg by Pure Encapsulations – As a precursor to glutathione, this free- form amino acid enhances glutathione production, increases tissue levels of glutathione and plays a role in heavy metal detoxification. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Milk Thistle Max-V (77358-) by Douglas LaboratoriesMilk Thistle Max-V by Douglas Laboratories – This product provides standardized Silymarin shown to nutritionally support and enhance normal, healthy liver function, acts to prevent toxins from entering the liver and enhances levels of glutathione. Soy free, vegan formulation.

 

Whey Protein Concentrate by Biotics ResearchWhey Protein Concentrate by Biotics Research – This Non-GMO, hormone-free whey protein concentrate is derived from grass fed New Zealand cows in support of anti-aging, detoxification and liver and gallbladder health. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Homocysteine Factors by Pure EncapsulationsHomocysteine Factors by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides activated B6, folate as Metafolin®, B12 as methylcobalamin, and anhydrous betaine in support of healthy homocysteine metabolism and glutathione production. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
The importance and regulation of hepatic glutathione. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC25960
The Key Benefits of Glutathione. http://aminoacidstudies.org/l-glutathione/
What Glutathione (GSH) is and how it affects your immune health. http://www.immunehealthscience.com/glutathione.html
Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/glutathione-the-mother-of_b_530494.html
What is Glutathione and How Do I Get More of It? http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/05/12/what-is-glutathione-and-how-do-i-get-more-of-it/
Methylation Problems Lead to 100s of Diseases. http://suzycohen.com/articles/methylation-problems/
How Does Liposomal Glutathione Work? http://glutathione.wellwise.org/how-do-liposomes-work