Monthly Archives: November 2013

What is Reduced Glutathione?

Anyone who has seen iron or steel “rust” has seen the results of oxidation. It is a well-known example of oxidation, and oxygen is actually the culprit in rust, scientists continue to use the term “oxidized” to describe a molecular process which does not always involve oxygen.

Electrons are small, negatively charged particles that orbit the nucleus of the cell. Sound familiar from grade school? Never though this would have been useful in the real world but it is. Each atom has a nucleus which contains positively charged protons and usually neutrally charged neutrons.diagram of an atom

When the number of protons and electrons are equal, the net electrical charge is zero and the molecule is in a stable state. When a molecule has fewer electrons than protons, the net charge is positive and is considered “oxidized”. Oxidized molecules are unstable and seek sufficient electrons to become electrically neutral. These aggressively active molecules are known as free radicals.

Reduced Glutathione

Substances such as vitamin C, in the oxidized state no longer function as an antioxidant. Only when they are reduced, meaning they contain needed electrons, can they effectively function as antioxidants. To learn more about free radicals and Glutathione (GSH). See Dr. Thomas Levy’s book GSH Master Defender Against Disease, Toxins, and Aging.

What are Free Radicals?

Free radicals were little known to most of us 25 years ago. Researchers are beginning to uncover the damage throughout the body that excess free radicals can cause.  To begin understanding free radicals, one must understand basic chemistry.

Your cells are made up of atoms. These atoms are the fundamental building blocks of everything. Atoms can join together to form molecules.

As you may or may not remember from high school, atoms consist of a nucleus, neutrons, protons and electrons. The number of protons (+ charged) in the atom’s nucleus determines the number of electrons (- charged) surrounding the atom. Atoms want to be balanced and stable. These electrons are involved in chemical reactions and are what holds multiple molecules together.

As I previously mentioned atoms want to be stable. They achieve this by filling their outer shells with electrons. For example, at the center of an atom is a nucleus, which holds protons and neutrons. Outside of this is an inner shell that holds two electrons, once filled electrons fill the outer shell until it reaches capacity (8 electrons). When an atom is complete it does not enter in chemical reactions and is considered stable. Because atoms seek a state of stability, an atom will try and fill its outer shell, either by gaining or losing electrons or by sharing electrons with other atoms.

When an atom or group of atoms has at least one unpaired electron, it is considered unstable and highly reactive. These are called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable and will attack other atoms, stealing their electrons. When this occurs the result is another free radical, beginning a chain reaction. The process can result in the disruption of living cells.

How are free radicals formed?

Some free radicals arise during normal functions such as metabolism. There are tens of thousands of free radicals formed in the body every second.  The immune system creates free radicals to neutralize viruses and bacteria. Environmental factors such as pollution, radiation and cigarettes can create free radicals as well. This can cause excessive free radicals that overwhelm the body’s ability to handle them. This imbalance can result in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is damage to the function and structure of a cell by overly reactive oxygen-containing molecules.

While we think of oxygen as vital to life, it is also responsible for the destruction and aging of all living things.

Some great examples of Oxidative Stress are:

oxidative stress in fruitThe skin of fruit provides a barrier against oxidation. This is why fruit looks healthy and delicious at the grocery store but after 7-10 days oxidation breaks down the barrier exposing the individual cells to the air (oxygen molecules). The result is brownish spots and bruising. This is a form of rust. Or how about this apple, the moment the soft inside is exposed to air it begins to brown and oxidize.
oxidative stress on a carAutomobiles- A major problem for car owners is oxidation. If a car’s outer finish is not coated properly, the paint interacts with oxygen molecules damaging the paint. Restoration efforts can be time consuming and expensive therefore professional car detailers recommend at least one layer of wax or protectant every time a car is washed.

If oxidative stress is fast enough to age fruit within moments of exposure and strong enough to eat away at metals and paint, imagine the damage it can inflict on your body. How can you neutralize oxidative stress?

Different Types of Free Radicals

There are six different types of free radicals:

Superoxide Radicals (O2)
Our bodies continuously form these as part of cellular energy production and immune response, but they also come from environmental factors including car exhaust and cigarette smoke. 02 can be converted by iron or copper to the more toxic OH.
Hydroxl Radicals (OH)
Also known as hydrogen peroxide, these are the most aggressive and damaging radicals known. These free radicals interact with anything it touches. These are formed in the body as part of normal metabolism and are particularly harmful to cellular membranes. Approximately 5 to 10% of the oxygen we breathe is converted to OH.
Nitrous Oxide (NO)
Nitrous oxide reacts with oxygen to form the more damaging oxident, nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
Nitrogen Dioxide
Nitrogen dioxide is formed in the body when NO reacts with an oxygen molecule however it is also a component of pollution. NO2 is a major concern to those with lung problems and is found in high concentrations among asthmatics.
Ozone (O3)
An air pollutant which damages the lungs and other vital tissues.
Single Oxygen Molecule (O)
Singlet oxygen is produced in the body through various chemical reactions.

Antioxidants

An Antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits these dangerous molecules. Substances in our diet (namely, vitamin C and vitamin E) neutralize free radicals by donating an electron to stabilize the molecule. Antioxidant molecules do not become free radicals therefore once it has found a free radical and neutralized it, the chain has stopped.

Getting sufficient antioxidants are essential in reducing oxidative stress therefore a proper diet and/or supplementation is necessary to boost levels of vitamin C and E in your body.Controlling the ratio of oxidants to antioxidants is vital to your overall health.

Read more about Antioxidants.

Vitamin C Production in Goats vs Humans

goat produces its own vitamin cNo wonder this goat is so happy. A typical 155 pound goat is capable of producing over 13,000 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) daily. As a comparison, the recommended dietary allowance for humans of vitamin C proposed and used by nutritionists, is 90 milligrams.

If goats are capable of producing their own ascorbic acid, why don’t humans? To see an infographic of the evolution of vitamin C synthesis, scroll to the bottom.

The requirement of ascorbic acid is a common property among living organisms. It has long been considered that all animals with the exceptions of guinea pigs, monkeys, and humans can produce their own vitamin C. Scientist have extensively studied the human genome and identified the defective gene for the synthesis of the active enzyme protein, L-gulonolactone oxidase or GLO (Stone 1979). This mutation is said to have occurred some 60 million years ago. The absence of GLO in the human liver blocks the conversion of glucose into ascorbic acid leading to an illness known as Scurvy (Inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism).

Evolution and the synthesis of Ascorbic Acid

Scientists believe that the ability to synthesize ascorbic acid began in the kidney of amphibians and was transferred to the liver of mammals like the goat. This biological trait disappeared from the guinea pig, flying mammals, the monkey, and man (Chatterjee et all 1975). Other notable animals that do not synthesize vitamin C are insects, invertebrates, and fishes. Some question whether ascorbic acid is an essential requirement for these species. The need for ascorbic acid may be very small for these species therefore they may supplement via their diet to maintain the proper levels of ascorbic acid. Although they can produce some vitamin C, domestic dogs and cats make much less than wild animals. This may explain why pets eventually suffer from the same diseases as humans.

Goat vitamin C production and stress related factors

The ability to synthesize vitamin C was somehow linked through evolutionary development. The step from the aquatic to the terrestial mode of life was a profound change involving a tremendous range of adaptations under strong selection pressure (Chatterjee et all 1975). This would explain why under stress goats were able to produce a higher level of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) than when unstressed (Stone 1979). As a biological defense mechanism, during times of stress ascorbic acid would be created in massive amounts. The beneficial effect of ascorbic acid in stress is now a well-established fact. When facing significant health stresses, C-making animals can dramatically increase ascorbic acid production by as much as 13 times normal levels. This could explain why wild animals tend to remain vibrantly healthy until they succumb to old age. (Levy 2011)

In spite of all this evidence, the recommended dietary allowance remains extremely low. This highlights the need for humans to supplement vitamin C. Is it possible that nature knows something the U.S. Government doesn’t?

Consider the facts:

  • Most animals synthesize their own vitamin C
  • Although defective, humans carry the gene that would provide the ability to synthesize vitamin C
  • C-synthesizing animals produce vastly more vitamin C than the 90 mg government RDA
  • C-producing animals radically increase production when faced with severe health challenges
  • Non-C-producing animals are much more susceptible to disease than animals in the wild

vitamin c animal production

Works Cited

Chatterjee, I. B., A. K. Majumder, B. K. Nandi, and N. Subramanian. “Synthesis And Some Major Functions Of Vitamin C In Animals.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 258.1 Second Confer (1975): 24-47. Print.

Stone, Irwin. “Homo Sapiens Ascorbicus, A Biochemically Corrected Robust Human Mutant.” Medical Hypotheses 5.6 (1979): 711-721. Print.

Levy, Thomas E. “Primal Panacea.” Medfox Publishing. (2011). 53-54. Print

 

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) Benefits

R-ALA has many benefits. It is unique that it is both fat and water soluble while other notable vitamins such as vitamin C are only water soluble. This is important because ALA or Alpha Lipoic Acid has the ability to access all parts of the cell. This increases its antioxidant properties granting it the ability to trap free radicals wherever they may be hiding.

What are Free Radicals?

To understand free radicals, you must first understand a bit about cells and molecules. Here is a great article on What are Free Radicals? however what you need to know is that free radicals are formed when an odd, unpaired electron splits. Free radicals are very unstable and react quickly with other compounds. Generally, free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule, stealing its electron. So you can see that having many free radicals can create chaos on your body at a cellular level.

R-ALA Benefits?

  1. Powerful antioxidant, which protect the body against these destructive free radicals. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, Glutathione and R-ALA neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons. This ends the electron stealing and stabilizes molecules. So wait, wouldn’t the antioxidant become a free radical since it lost an electron? No, these antioxidants are stable in either form. They act as philanthropists, donating electrons to prevent cellular damage and disease.
  2. Crosses the blood/brain barrier – R-Alpha Lipic Acid (R-ALA) is one of the very few substances that can cross the blood/brain barrier. This allows R-ALA to enter the brain and assist in eliminating free radicals. Even more, Alpha Lipoic Acid supplementation causes increased levels of Glutathione, which is another powerful antioxidant. Glutathione protects the brain from free radical damage and low levels of Glutathione has been associated with brain disorders however research continues to better understand the connection between the two.
  3. Recycles itself – Like Glutathione, Alpha Lipoic Acid is able to recycle itself. When an antioxidant neutralizes a free radical, it is lost forever. R-ALA has the unique ability to regenerate itself, as well as other antioxidants such as vitamin C, so they can continue to destroy free radicals. R-ALA is the medic in the field, ensuring its soldiers can continue to win the war against free radical damage.

R-ALA continues to be studied extensively with published studies championing its incredible restorative properties. R-ALA has even been used by professional bodybuilders to build lean muscle mass.

IV Vitamin Therapy Shortage and Alternatives

iv vitamin c therapy

Celebrities have been feeling the heat from the public for depleting our nation’s supply of IV vitamins.

Notable names such as Simon Cowell and Madonna have been linked to these nutrient-rich drips that make you feel and look younger. The fad has taken Hollywood by storm and the drips are now becoming popular for their restorative properties including being used as a hangover cure. Pop singer, Rhianna, even went as far as posting a picture getting treatment via her Twitter account.

Rhianna twitter IV Drip Why are people outraged about this IV vitamin therapy?

The companies that supply IV ingredients to hospitals are selling the same ingredients to private clinics. Where the problem lies is that there is no centralized database that can direct these precious treatments to the people that need them most. Hospitals are struggling to keep up with demand and as a result many are at risk, including premature infants who rely on vitamin supplements to keep them alive and healthy.

“It’s appalling that we are sacrificing the health of our babies for beauty, energy, and hangover relief,” clinical pharmacist Steve Plogsted, who chairs the drug-shortage task force of the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition told the Washingtonian. “We’ve got babies’ lives hanging in the balance while we’re worried about getting through a hangover.”

According to the “Washingtonian”, at least 15 people have died.

Last week, the manufacturer of the most-used adult and pediatric IV multi-vitamin informed health systems that its product—which contains B and C vitamins, among others—is now in shortage. Medical professionals say that, as a result, intravenous B and C vitamins now may be in danger of also going into shortage. In the 1990s, a multi-vitamin shortage led to a widespread thiamin (vitamin B-1) deficiency that caused several deaths.

Amid this public-health crisis, private clinics around the country are using high doses of intravenous B and C vitamins, and other nutrients that are in shortage, for nonmedical purposes. In some cases, clinics are taking nutrients out of the same limited pool that supplies hospitals and home health-care agencies. In other cases, facilities are injecting clients with nutrients from sources that don’t meet hospital safety standards.

Hospitals are competing with other businesses for the same resources, one such business called Hangover Heaven, is a Las Vegas based company that operates buses equipped with as many as 15 IVs to help people after a long night of binge drinking. The problem isn’t with these businesses or private clinics that offer these expensive treatments, the problem lies with how these valuable resources are distributed.

IV Vitamin Therapy

IVs are typically administered in private clinics or physicians offices for 30 to 60 minutes. Another great way to take high dose vitamin C is LivOn Labs Lypo-Spheric supplements. Using liposome encapsulated technology, LivOn Labs’ supplements are able to get straight into your bloodstream without needles.

When all of a nutrient is absorbed into the bloodstream, as in a direct intravenous injection, the bioavailability is 100%. If only a quarter of an ingested nutrient is absorbed, the bioavailability is 25%. Of course, bioavailability also depends on and is limited by other factors such as declining health status, advancing age, and the presence of other substances that compete for absorption.

In one study with non-liposome-encapsulated vitamin C, 19 mg of a 20 mg oral dose entered the bloodstream — a bioavailability of 98%. As the dose size increased beyond 30 mg, the bioavailability decreased drastically. They reported that a dose of 12,000 mg produced a maximum bioavailability of 16%! Liposomal lypo spheric bioavailability

Liposome encapsulation overcomes all these bioavailability and cellular uptake restrictions because liposomes, due to their size and composition, are able to passively absorb through the intestinal wall and through cellular membranes. As a result, liposome-encapsulated nutrients (like Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C) provide a greatly enhanced bioavailability (delivery into the bloodstream) and greatly improved delivery into individual cells.

Pure & Powerful… Lypo-Spheric Supplements

What makes Lypo-Spheric™ products unique? Each Lypo-Spheric™ product is formulated with one goal in mind: to provide you with effective doses of nutrients without the use of binders, fillers, artificial colors or artificial flavors.

The nutrient-filled liposomes in each Lypo-Spheric™ product are small enough – and smart enough – to bypass the body’s restrictive nutrient transport system, and quickly pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. Within minutes of taking a Lypo-Spheric™ product, millions of liposomes will start to move from your bloodstream and into your cells – intact, and ready to work.

Our single-dose packaging protects the product from additional oxygen and moisture, which keeps your product fresh.

LivOn Labs’ products are sugar free, caffeine free, dairy free, meat free and gluten free.

We source ingredients from all over the world so we can use high-potency, non-GMO ingredients from natural sources whenever possible. We now guarantee that our Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C, Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA and Lypo-Spheric™ GSH are 100% non-GMO.

EXTENDING THE SHELF LIFE….

The shelf life on the majority of our nutritional supplements is 12-18 months. To extend the shelf life we recommend refrigeration for maximum effectiveness. Do not freeze or place the products in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.