Methionine : The essential amino acid which assists with metabolic function, breaks down fat, and is the primary source of sulfur in the body.

Methionine is one of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), meaning that it cannot be produced by the body, and must be provided by the diet. It supplies sulfur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Methionine also belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics, or chemicals that help the liver process fats (lipids). Others in this group include choline, inositol, and betaine (trimethylglycine). Methionine was first isolated in 1922 from casein and belongs to a group of compounds called lipotropics – the others in this group include choline , inositol , and betaine. It is important in the process of methylation where methyl is added to compounds as well as being a precursor to the amino acids cystine and cysteine.

Methionine is an essential amino acid that assists in the breakdown of fats, thus helping to prevent a buildup of fat in the liver and arteries that might obstruct blood flow to the brain, heart, and kidneys.  Methionine helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver’s production of lecithin; reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys. It regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine which reduces bladder irritation. Additionally, the DSIB indicates that studies have shown methionine to help reduce histamine levels, which are amino acids that control dilation of blood vessels and influence brain function

Function and Benefits of Methionine

  • Supplies sulfur and other compounds required by the body for normal metabolism and growth. Improves memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.
  • Methionine amino acid helps the digestive system; helps to detoxify harmful agents such as lead and other heavy metals; helps diminish muscle weakness, prevent brittle hair, and protect against radiation; and is beneficial for people with osteoporosis or chemical allergies.
  • People with AIDS have low levels of methionine. Some researchers suggest this may explain some aspects of the disease process, especially the deterioration that occurs in the nervous system that can cause symptoms, including dementia. A preliminary study has suggested that methionine (6 grams per day) may improve memory recall in people with AIDS-related nervous system degeneration.
  • It is also good for people with Gilbert’s syndrome, an anomaly of liver function, and is required for the synthesis of nucleic acids, collagen, and proteins found in every cell of the body.
  • It is beneficial for women who take oral contraceptives because it promotes the excretion of estrogen.
  • It reduces the level of histamine in the body, which can be useful for people with schizophrenia, whose histamine levels are typically higher than normal.
  • As levels of toxic substances in the body increase, the need for methionine increases. The body can convert methionine into the amino acid cysteine, a precursor of glutathione
  • Methionine  protects glutathione; it helps to prevent glutathione depletion if the body is overloaded with toxins. Since glutathione is a key neutralizer of toxins in the liver, this protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic compounds.
  • It has also been found to act as an antioxidant as its sulfur group removes the free radicals which are harmful to our various organs.
  • Methionine along with other amino acid also forms creatine which is an important constituent of the muscles and provide them strength.

Deficiency Symptoms of Methionine

Severe deficiency may manifest in dementia, while lesser deficiencies may be known by symptoms like fatty liver, slow growth, weakness, edema and skin lesions.

Food Sources of Methionine
  • Good food sources of methionine include:  Almonds, brazil nuts, broccoli, chickpea, beans, eggs, fish, garlic, lentils, meat, oats, onions, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soyabeans, seeds, and yogurt.
  • Because the body uses methionine to derive a brain food called choline, it is wise to supplement the diet with choline or lecithin (which is high in choline) to ensure that the supply of methionine is not depleted.
  •  Most fruits and vegetables contain very little of it.  Also in Sea vegetable like laver and spirulina
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Silicon : A trace element that is critical for healthy bone cartilage, organ and connective tissues (aorta, trachea, artery walls, ligaments and tendons), and for beautiful hair, skin and nails.

Silicon is the second most common element on earth, lead only by oxygen, and is the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, where it is chiefly found in the form of silica or silicon dioxide.  Silicon is never present in its original or free form, and hence, it commonly occurs as silicon dioxide (silica). Silicon is necessary for growth and health of the body’s connective tissue. It is necessary for healthy bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, hair and nails.  Along with calcium and vitamins, silicon dioxide is equally important for proper bone growth, strength and density. Another important health benefit of silicon is that it minimizes aluminum effects on the body, thereby preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

silicon salad

Silicon is an essential mineral for the human body and has a primary function in helping develop and maintain the structural and functional integrity of the connective tissues and the skeletal system. Carbohydrate based compounds known as mucopolysaccharides form much of the “ground” substance or the material matrix of bone and all collagenous tissues in the human body. Most of these compounds and chemical substances contain silicon as an essential component and the presence of this mineral is believed to aid in the formation of all the vital connections between the compounds classed as mucopolysaccharides and the structural proteins. Silicon is thus not only necessary for the formation of the cellular “architecture” that underlies the skeletal system and the connective tissues, but it is essential for the functional strength and stability of the tissues as well. A list of all the tissues in the human body that contain high concentrations of silicon gives an idea of how important silicon is to the maintenance of human health, major tissues in the body such as the skeletal framework, the various blood vessels – the aorta in particular, the heart and musculature, the skin and hair, the cartilage and ligaments, as well as soft tissues like the liver, the lungs and the brain.

There are also other essential functions that silicon fulfills in the human body in combination with mucopolysaccharides such as in the rapid healing of tissues, chemical regulations involving the transfer of nutrients and water in the membranes of the connective tissues as well as embryonic development and growth.

silicon salad

Functions of Silicon in Our Body

  • Helps in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and osteoporosis.
  • It is also essential for the muscles, skin, nerves, nails, hair, connective tissue, pancreas, tooth enamel, and thymus.
  • Silicon is essential for the proper functioning of nerve cells and tissues , and the synthesis of vitamin B1 in the human body.
  • Other possible uses of silica or silicon that are under investigation are to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease, to treat arthritis and other joint or cartilage problems, gastric ulcers, and other conditions where tissue repair and healing are needed.
  • Silicon is important to bone formation, as it is found in active areas of calcification.

Silicon Deficiency

  • The Deficiency of silicon can lead to osteoporosis, aging signs, like poor hair nails and bones, and serves sensitivity to cold.
  •  A silicon deficiency causes weak and malformed bones of the arms, legs and head.
  • Rapid aging, tendonitis, bone decalcification, cardiovascular disease, abnormal skeletal formation, artherosclerosis.
  • Brittle nails.

Natural Sources of Silicon

Sources of silicon are whole grains, barley,  millets, oats, corn; fruits like apple, plum,  berries, strawberries, guavas, oranges, raisins, figs, honey, cherries; nuts like almonds, dates, walnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, groundnuts; vegetables; vegetables like alfalfa, kelp, asparagus, beets, cucumber, celery, onions, cabbage, spinach, endives, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, dandelion, lettuce, green leafy vegetable, eggplants, red beets, pumpkin,  parsnip, horsetail and nettle.

Inositol : The vitamin that promotes healthy brain development and function, and works closely with choline to move fats out of the heart and liver.

Inositol, which also goes by the name cyclohexane, is a glucose isomer, which has an important role to play in the body. It is said to be a member of vitamin B complex. Myo-inositol is used by the body to form phospholipids, which are incorporated into the brain and other tissues.

Inosital aids in the metabolism of  fats. It is good for regulating hormone function and controlling cholesterol.  Inositol is found in Vitamin B complex and is used in the body’s cell membranes. Inositol helps with the transportation of fats throughout the body and also helps neurons communicate better with the body’s nervous system.

Inositol and choline combine to produce lecithin, a type of lipid that is needed to form healthy membranes for every living cell in the body. Lecithin helps keep the brain, heart, and liver healthy, and aids in the absorption of thiamin (vitamin B1) and vitamin A. Inositol protects the arteries against cholesterol and hardening. It helps in production of healthy cells in the bone marrow, intestines and eye membranes. Inositol is important for hair growth.  A very important use of inositol is prevention and treatment of cancer. It helps diabetic patients to improve nerve conduction. If taken in moderate amount, it helps serotonin, a neurotransmitter, which is important to fight depression.

Inositol Benefits

  • Inositol is vital for hair growth.
  • Choline and inositol combine to produce lecithin which helps to prevent high cholesterol.
  • inositol is said to have a calming effect on the nervous system and is therefore being studied for a possible treatment for nerve related illnesses such as depression, panic attacks and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Premature babies with respiratory distress symptoms are given inositol and it has been show to reduce death and disability.
  • Inositol compounds have demonstrated qualities needed in the prevention and treatment of cancer.
  • An inositol supplement can help to improve nerve conduction velocities in diabetics. Inositol can be used to treat constipation due to its stimulating effect on the muscular action of the alimentary canal.
Inositol deficiency  cause poor liver function, arteriosclerosis, constipation, hair loss, high cholesterol, irritability, mood swings, and skin eruptions.
Although the consumption of large amounts of caffeine may cause a shortage of inositol in the body, deficiencies of choline are rare. Nevertheless, heavy coffee drinkers should probably consider taking supplemental inositol.
How does the body produce its own supply of inositol? Bacteria in the intestines convert the phytic acid found in plant fibers into inositol, so the body is able to manufacture its own supply of this substance. Inositol is also found in a variety of foods containing myo-inositol.
 Vegetables and fruits that are particularly rich in inositol are almond, cabbage, beans, garbanzo beans, leafy green vegetable,  lentils, legumes, peanuts, seeds, sprouts, tomatoes, oats, onion, wheat,  zucchini, nuts, cantaloupe, bananas, raisins, oranges and other citrus fruits

Choline : Essential for proper liver function, metabolism of fats and proteins and nerve functions

English: Drawing comparing how a brain of an A...
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Choline is a chemical similar to the B-vitamins, and is often lumped in with them, is necessary for proper liver function, metabolism of fats and proteins and nerve functions.  It was only relatively recently that choline was officially classified as a vitamin and an essential nutrient. Its RDA was established for the first time in 1998.  However, its key benefits have been known since the 1930s, when it was found to prevent fatty build up in the liver.

Choline is also good for the brain.  It has been established that choline is necessary for optimal cognitive function.  It is a basic nutrient needed for the production of acetylcholine, the signaling molecule or neurotransmitter that is essential for many brain and nerve functions.  Choline is extremely important in brain and memory function, and is helpful in treating Alzheimer’s. Choline prevents gallstone formation, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, kidney damage, nephritis, glaucoma, and myasthenia gravis. It is also used in the treatment of bipolar depression (manic depression).

CHOLINE BENEFITS & FUNCTIONS

  • constituent of lecithin (phosphatidylcholine), a key building block of cell membranes, important for cell formation and tissue growth and repair
  • needed for proper functioning of cell membranes, to allow passage of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells
  • needed for production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a chemical that is vital for many brain and nerve functions; is being experimented with for improving neuromuscular function in Alzheimer’s disease
  • essential for optimal brain functioning, learning and memory
  • needed for nerves to interact with muscles
  •  may help nervous system disorders like epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease
  • regulates the gallbladder and helps prevent gallstones
  •  regulates liver function, helps eliminate toxins, and is beneficial for liver damage related to hepatitis and cirrhosis
  • for fat and cholesterol transport and metabolism as an energy source
  •  natural lipotropic agent that minimizes excess fat in the liver
  • converts homocysteine in the blood to other substances, which lowers its level and helps prevent cardiovascular problems
  •  preliminary research shows that, in combination with betaine, may help reduce chronic inflammation linked to disorders such as osteoporosis, heart disease, brain decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and type II diabetes

Deficiency Symptoms

  • impaired fat metabolism and transport, which hinders fat from being an energy source, and is symptomized by decrease in blood levels of VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein) which the liver uses to transport fats
  •  fatty build-up in the liver, which may lead to fatty degeneration of the liver, cirrhosis, and liver damage
  • raised levels of cholesterol or triglyceride (a type of fats)
  •  high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • high levels of homocysteine in blood, leading to risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular and circulatory problems
  •  respiratory distress in newborns or nerve degeneration or nerve-muscle imbalances due to insufficient acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that cannot be made without choline
  • anemia arising from lack of red blood cell formation, as a cell membrane component, phosphatidylcholine, needs choline for its production
  •  kidney hemorrhage or kidneys unable to concentrate urine, due to insufficient phosphatidylcholine
  •  abnormal bone formation
  •  impaired growth in newborns
  •  fatigue
  •  insomnia
  • infertility
  •  as choline is critical for brain function and intake decreases with age, deficiency might lead to impaired memory or brain function or senile dementia (shortage of acetylcholine in the brain has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease)
Choline Foods sources
banana, cauliflower, flax seed, leafy green vegetable, legumes, nuts,  oranges, peanuts,   potatoes , seeds, tomatoes, vegetable oils and whole grains
Choline is  found abundantly in lecithin , egg yolks are equally rich. Blackstrap molasses is also a rich source of choline.  Lecithin (usually derived from soybeans) ·soybeans and soybean products.  Sunflower lecithin contain 25% more lecithin than soy lecithin.
 Lecithin helps the body digest absorb, and carry fat and fat-soluble vitamins in the bloodstream. It helps less fat and cholesterol to be deposited in the arteries and liver. Without it, the arteries become clogged, leading to hypertension and cardiac problems. Lecithin is not only essential for fat metabolism, but is needed for the synthesis of nucleic acids (DNA and RNA).
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