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You Need Polyphenols

Hi, it's Dr. Jeffrey Mark here.  Many of you have followed this series on essential supplements that we all need.   I have recommended supplements as an important part of all our programs involving anti-aging, functional, and regenerative medicine.  We’ve recently discussed how the soil no longer provides abundant nutrients, how we are feeding our livestock with mostly genetically modified grains and corn, and how most of us are not eating a wide enough variety of vegetables and nutrients.  Supplements are not just a convenience but arguably a necessity in our modern times to optimize our health.  Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve listed the first 3 most important nutrients to supplement.  I’ve found that over 80 percent of people I see are vitamin D deficient and as a likely consequence of this almost all of the people I see with inflammatory bowel disease and autoimmune patients improve in whatever treatment plan we use once their vitamin D is corrected.  The number two supplement I have people take are omega fatty acids including omega 3 with DHA and EPA in balance with omega 6, 7 and 9.  Most of these fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and in the right balance they help optimize brain function including memory, learning, and mood.  I covered the third major supplement I recommend for everyone which are the B vitamins, especially methyl folate and methyl cobalamin last week. We discussed taking a specific blend of the B-vitamins called B supreme which support healthy carbohydrate metabolism, a healthy nervous system with adrenal and immune function, cardiovascular health and healthy mental function and mood. Also, advanced glycation end products or AGEs are reduced resulting in a decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. The fourth essential supplement we discussed were micronutrients, vitamins, and specific mitochondrial nutrients and antioxidants for cellular energy. Mitochondria are the source of all the cell’s energy. The key nutrients we discussed to optimize our mitochondrial function included Acetyl L-carnitine, N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC), and alpha lipoic acid.  We’ll also reviewed essential micronutrients and phytonutrients including green tea, broccoli seed extract and resveratrol. The vitamins E and C also play a role in mitochondrial energy production as well. All these nutrients to optimize the mitochondria are found in the product MitoMax.

 

This week I want to discuss a whole class of essential nutrients that are sourced from plants. They include phytonutrients and polyphenols, prebiotic fibers, and non-dairy probiotics. They play a key role in acting as antioxidants to stabilize free radicals, aide in detoxification and digestion, and help optimize our cellular energy as well.  I mentioned how most of us are low in vitamin D. The other area that most of us are quite deficient in is in polyphenols. These are plant compounds that researchers have shown to actually improve the flexibility of blood vessels. When people don't take these compounds, their blood vessels are actually very stiff. And there's a saying in longevity that we are only as young as our blood vessels are flexible. There is also published data that these compounds make the inside a wall of our blood vessels are slick or silky smooth which  makes them resistant to oxidation and attacked by cholesterol. And we can show that when we remove these compounds that in fact, they become sticky again. And when we reintroduce them, they become slippery again.  Polyphenols were studied in the paper in Nutrients. 2013 Oct; 5(10): 3779–3827. Published online 2013 Sep 26 entitled Polyphenols: Benefits to the Cardiovascular System in Health and in Aging by lead author Sandhya Khurana.  The French diet with copious amounts of red wine, the culture of green tea consumption in far eastern diets, the centrality of turmeric in South Asian diet and the Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil allow for cuisines that are all dense in polyphenols.  These people groups are, of course known for their healthy cardiovascular systems, prolonged good quality of life with healthy aging, and longevity of life. Key polyphenols include resveratrol from grapes and berries, EGCG from green tea, curcumin from the turmeric root, olive oil from olives, quercetin from apples and onions, and protective anthocyanin, flavonoids, and tannins from berries.

Plants designed these polyphenol compounds and concentrated them in their fruit and leaves to resist insects and protect against sunburn or damage from excessive sun exposure.  These polyphenols provide you with a host of beneficial effects when metabolized by your gut bacteria. 

Just to show you how much concentration there is of polyphenols in the leaves, look at a leaf in the fall and typically you’ll the see the plant packing away the energy producing chlorophyll as it prepares for winter. It leaves behind the beautiful fall colors, which now are on display in the leaf that was hidden before by all the chlorophyll. Those colors are the polyphenols that were there protecting the leaves from excessive sun exposure, the environment and insects.  In fact, there is a higher concentration of polyphenols in the leaves than in the fruit of the plant. This is one of the reasons we use olive leaf extract, which has more polyphenols that is found in the fruit or oil, in our various formulations. Apple leaves also have more polyphenols than in the fruit itself.   These polyphenols have benefits that include blocking the formation of the atherosclerosis-causing trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) from the animal proteins carnitine and choline and actively dilating your blood vessels. Polyphenol compounds are so important that we formulated a blend of polyphenols and extensive phytonutrients along with a specialized mix of prebiotic fibers and nutrients to support several beneficial strains of non-diary plant based probiotics. We call this special supplemental powder ProBio Phyto.  We put in over 50 certified organic ingredients and this powder mixes easily with water and is pleasant tasting. Even though I eat well, I could not get even a quarter as much of the polyphenols, phytonutrients and herbs, or antioxidants in this powdered mix on a daily basis.  ProBio Phyto includes Organic Acacia Fiber and Inulin, Organic Green Tea Powder with ECGC, Organic Spirulina, Organic Compliant Nondairy Probiotics (includes  Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, and Streptococcus thermophilus (in organic inulin)), Organic Fiber Blend (includes Organic Inulin, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Alfalfa (from Sprout), and Organic Brown Rice Bran), Organic Herbal Blend (includes Organic Parsley, Organic Turmeric, Organic Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Seed Powder, Organic Ginger, and Organic Aloe Leaf Powders), Organic Vegetable Blend (includes Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Broccoli, Organic Chlorella, Organic Spinach, and Organic Beets), Organic Berry Blend (includes Organic Strawberries, Organic Red Raspberries, Organic Acerola Berry Extract, Organic Blueberries, Organic Cherries, Organic Concord Grape Powder, Organic Blackberries, Organic Black Raspberries, Organic Bilberries, Organic Cranberries, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Acai, Organic Hawthorne Berries, and Organic Schizandra Berries to provide a complement of nutrients and the antioxidant vitamin C), and an Organic Fruit Blend ( includes Organic Bananas, Organic Pineapple, Organic Plums, Organic Peaches, Organic Papaya, Organic Mango, Organic Rose Hips, Organic Apples, Organic Lemons, and Organic Pomegranates).   

Each of the vegetable and fruit blends, prebiotic fibers, and probiotics serve key roles to support free radical stabilization, detoxification, digestive health, and overall cellular energy.  The Organic Acacia Fiber is a natural, pure, certified organic soluble fiber produced from the gum of the Acacia tree (also known as gum arabic). As a prebiotic, it supports the development of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria in the large intestine, which supports bowel function and regularity. Organic Green Tea Powder comes from the Camellia plant, which is rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols work by stabilizing free radicals; therefore green tea helps maintain healthy cells and tissues and is frequently recommended to support normal aging and skin care. Organic Spirulina is a microalga that can be consumed by humans and animals. As a whole food, it supports overall health and wellness.  Spirulina is well known for its ability to support the healthy functioning of the liver and immune system, which aids in the detoxification of harmful pollutants. The Organic Compliant Nondairy Probiotics Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, and Streptococcus thermophilus (in organic inulin) span the entire GI tract. Because each strain has an affinity for a different part of the digestive tract, and a unique mechanism of action, this mix delivers multiple strains (preferable to single strain products) for digestive tract and colonic support. The Organic Fiber Blend includes Organic Inulin, Organic Milled Flaxseed, Organic Alfalfa (from Sprout), and Organic Brown Rice Bran to support your digestive health and regularity. The Organic Fiber also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria. Organic Herbal Blend includes Organic Parsley, Organic Turmeric, Organic Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) Seed Powder, Organic Ginger, and Organic Aloe Leaf Powders to support liver function.* The Organic Vegetable Blend includes Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Broccoli, Organic Chlorella, Organic Spinach, and Organic Beets, to provide sustainable energy from the powerful combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. The  Organic Berry Blend includes Organic Strawberries, Organic Red Raspberries, Organic Acerola Berry Extract, Organic Blueberries, Organic Cherries, Organic Concord Grape Powder, Organic Blackberries, Organic Black Raspberries, Organic Bilberries, Organic Cranberries, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Acai, Organic Hawthorne Berries, and Organic Schizandra Berries to provide a complement of nutrients and the antioxidant vitamin C to help fight and neutralize free radicals even in the face of oxidative stress. The Organic Fruit Blend includes Organic Bananas, Organic Pineapple, Organic Plums, Organic Peaches, Organic Papaya, Organic Mango, Organic Rose Hips, Organic Apples, Organic Lemons, and Organic Pomegranates to provide sustainable energy from the powerful combination of natural carbohydrates, protein, and fiber.

In a perfect world the ideal way would be to eat as much of these vegetables, fruits and herbs organically grown and systematically at least several times a week.  Realistically most people only have the time or resources for eating some of them while supplementing for the rest through grape seed extracts, drinking green tea, taking pills or mixtures of berberine, cinnamon, mulberry, pomegranate, and making green smoothies with Spinach.  Some people try to avoid lactins in grains and grasses and lectin free wheatgrass, barley grass, or oat grass are hard to find.  It is with all these things in mind that we find Probio Phyto a convenient way for the people in our programs to get the recommended polyphenols, phytonutrients, and herbs to optimize their health. The prebiotic fibers, antioxidants, and probiotics are an added bonus and greatly supports digestion, bowel regularity, and detoxification.  

 

So to have the positive cardiovascular health like the French, the prolonged good quality of life like the Asians, and the longevity of some of the Mediterranean peoples, you need polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables, phytonutrients, and herbs. You need a wide variety organically grown, and taken on a regular basis. It’s getting harder and harder to do by solely relying on the diet and supplementation is a way to get all adequate polyphenols in a consistent day to day manner to stabilize free radicals for vascular health, aide in detoxification and digestion, and help optimize our cellular energy.  We’ve made it easier by formulating all the essential nutrients formulated in one product, ProBio Phyto.   For more information or to purchase you can click here .

If you want to learn about how functional medicine can help you with gut health, brain health, or immune health, you can contact us at info@jeffreymarkmd.com or  call (925) 736-9828.

If you have comments, questions, or want to learn how functional medicine can help with improving your gut, maintaining brain health, and optimizing immune function call our office at (925) 736-9828 or email info@jeffreymarkmd.com.

Here are links for  more information on:  MitoMax for optimizing liver detoxification, immune function, cardiovascular function, and brain function; D3 & K2 dropsOmegas Complete ,  and B Supreme.

 Take Care and Stay Healthy.

 

 Jeffrey Mark, M.D.

Author
Jeffrey Mark, M.D. Helping clients with compassionate and comprehensive medical care for over 25 years with 4 board certifications in functional medicine, gastroenterology, internal medicine, and anti-aging/ regenerative medicine . IFMCP, ABIM Gastroenterology, NPAS Internal Medicine, ABAARM.

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