Pox update & the chemistry of weight loss.

Video, TEDx talk, How breathing and metabolism are linked.

The mathematics of weight loss | Ruben Meerman | TEDxQUT (edited version)

The mathematics of weight loss | Ruben Meerman | TEDxQUT (edited version)

This video walks through the chemistry of weight loss – where does weight go? Chemically?

Short answer, we exhale it as carbon. But there is a catch, there is always a catch. We need to have a well functioning respiratory system, including our mitochondria.

The video shares a quest to understand the speaker’s own weight loss better. He does a great job showing us the chemicals that form most of our body. The atoms arranged in the molecular shapes show us that we are kind and of like Lego creatures, built from various shaped building blocks.

For those who watch the video and feel frustrated with his synopsis – eat less to lose weight – I hear you. Other replies also felt similar frustration. The chemistry may seem that simple as the basic equations however add in subclinical hypothyroidism and the basic equations are inadequate to help the person lose weight.

The Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is being discussed in the TEDx talk. It represents how much energy we burn even while sleeping – our need with no additional exercise. Someone with a lower RMR, someone with subclinical hypothyroidism or inadequately treated, would need far fewer calories as a baseline. They could have trouble losing weight on 600-800 calories a day – starvation diet for anyone else.

Bitter tasting phytonutrients in a meal are also key for promoting satiety and preventing insulin resistance. Oregano, garlic, leeks, citrus peel, celery seed, black pepper, basil, cumin, leafy green veggies, – any strongly flavored produce item, herb or spice, likely contains some bitter taste accents.

Breathe in aroma and flavor, and get moving to promote good respiratory health throughout the body’s many mitochondria and the lungs.

Bitter tasting citrus bioflavonoids are very helpful for reducing lung congestion and symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome. Citrus can be a histamine trigger food – caution.

Sunburn pox update

The larger blisters still hurt and itched even after more black seed oil. Aloe Vera gel had helped some yesterday, but today, thinking sunburn pox instead of viral infection, I tried a cold-water washcloth on the worst spots and kept it cold until the itch and pain had faded.

It is a pretty bad urge to scratch . . . the living daylight out of it. But no, self-injury, resist the endorphins. There is some good feeling with scratching initially but that is how it can get worse fast and scab.

Skin care during and after radiation therapy for breast cancer.

It can resemble a sunburn or mild tan afterwards or blistering. It says the severity is unrelated to a person’s tendency to tan or sunburn. That suggests that severity is related to something else, like maybe VAIDs- level of detox or immune function. How quickly can a person clear out the excess oxidative stress chemicals?

Skin care during and after radiation therapy for breast cancer. Pdf of a guide for patients who receive radiation treatment. https://www.dropbox.com/s/7xqmy2pwry7z7xg/skin%20care%20during%20and%20after%20radiation%20treatment%20for%20breast%20cancer.pdf?dl=0.

Addition – 5G roll-out may be affecting more people in subtle ways than we realize and skin rashes may be one of the symptoms of excessive EMF exposure.

Aloe Vera gel is a tip, and avoid extreme hot or cold packs, or rough fabric. I found after thinking of it as a bad sunburn that a cold water-soaked washcloth as a cold compress did help. The black seed oil has not fully helped as much with these larger blisters. Was really itchy today. The cold helped and is the solution for a scald type burn – cool water until it feels like the internal burning has stopped.

green Aloe Vera plant
Aloe Vera plant. The gel within the leaf is soothing fir burns. Photo by Jude Smart on Unsplash

Aloe Vera gel or thinned juice is available for sale in health food stores and needs refrigeration once opened. Emodin (spelling? – is correct (1), is a phytonutrient in aloe which is particularly healing. The jelly like fiber in Aloe gel helps restore our jelly like membrane linings, the Glycocalyx, or extracellular matrix. It may be safer topically than as a juice or food ingredient if used in quantity as there may be some kidney toxicity. (1)

Aloe gel followed by essential oil in a massage base oil can help with skin health or scar reduction. Frankincense and rosemary are good for healing skin. I also add a little tea tree oil as an antiseptic; and be

*This was two posts on my Substack and I have combined them with a few additions.

*Monkey/sunburn pox update – ouch, the sunburn spots didn’t go away as quickly as my previous smaller spots. The cold compress helped, I used that a lot on the worst day, and fell asleep with it. Flaw: then cold clammy damp fabric led to a few more spots. Moderation and good skin care – wash with soap occasionally, re black seed oil, change tops as wetness occurs. A bandage almost seems like it could be protective. No clothes on it is better, but cold.

The first spots have flattened and scabbed a little. This is no fun but the black seed oil does help, the cold compresses helped a lot during the worst of the itchiness or stinging pain. I used aloe vera gel a couple times. I have used artemisinin once or twice a day and a spoonful of black seed oil am and pm by mouth. I take a variety of supplements routinely.

I napped more, and avoiding heavy yardwork for a few days. Pushing myself initially did lead to more of the sunburn spots on my shoulder. Rest is important when the body is inflamed and trying to clean out the oxidative stress chemicals.

High dose niacin is still my go too, but for the half hour of niacin flush, cold compress time on the sunburn pox! The itching is worse with these bigger blisters.

In general now, when feeling a little sicker I take the niacin three instead of two times a day. Yes there is a half hour worsening during the flush of warmth and itchiness. The body will be removing inflammation though all day, so the benefit outweighs the discomfort in my opinion.

Serotonin deficiency is a risk if you suddenly stop taking high dose niacin…

(and melatonin – I take both, melatonin 15 minutes prior, I set a timer or I will forget).

Addition 9/7/2022: *Also once you are following the high dose niacin protocol you need to maintain or only gradually reduce the doses to prevent serotonin disruption. Adding more rapidly can lead to excess serotonin, suddenly stopping high doses may lead to a drop in serotonin and “Crying over nothing” TM moods – sadness and depression. While this article does not mention niacin or tryptophan it does review what symptoms low serotonin might lead to: Serotonin Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes, Tests, Treatments (healthline). Drops in serotonin level may also lead to irritability, aggression, impulsiveness, and may be linked to suicidal urges, PTSD, and bowel trouble/IBS. Healthy gut microbes make most of our serotonin for us and some gets transported to the brain via the vagus nerve – our superhighway between our central and peripheral nervous systems. Axons are tubules between nerve cells and chemicals, mitochondria and exosomes can travel along the route.

Niacin, melatonin, artemisinin, black seed oil, methyl B complex – things I have been using.

The niacin also tends to leave me less congested and more clear-headed and energetic. The methyl B complex is also important and other mitochondrial cofactors and trace minerals. Our mitochondria burn energy most efficiently and need nutrients to be able to do so. Also not having excess Retinoic Acid or a high saturated fat diet (previous post) is needed so the PDK is not inhibiting use of the Citric Acid Cycle.

Overweight often is inflammation and a diet that is too high in carbohydrates and/or fat and low in other nutrients. This leads to inefficient burning of energy by the mitochondria. The Citric Acid Cycle is much more efficient, quantum biology efficient possibly. Cancer and other degenerative diseases are also linked to the mitochondria switching to fermentation for energy production.

How many carbon atoms will be exhaled depends on part on whether the person’s mitochondria are using the Citric Acid Cycle or fermentation.

It helps to understand the basics, the forest – the overall picture, and also to see the many trees that make up the forest – the variables that make the easy answer into a complex one.

  • Still need to get out my laptop, I am taking an EMF vacation for pox healing purposes or a mental health break or both.

Disclaimer: This information is being shared for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use and is not intended to provide individual health care guidance. Please seek a functional health practitioner for individual health care guidance. Thanks for reading!

Reference List

  1. Dong X, Zeng Y, Liu Y, You L, Yin X, Fu J, Ni J. Aloe-emodin: A review of its pharmacology, toxicity, and pharmacokinetics. Phytother Res. 2020 Feb;34(2):270-281. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6532. Epub 2019 Nov 3. PMID: 31680350. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31680350/

d bergamot or geranium for fragrance and other benefits.

Nature is glorious – not my pic, bioluminescent algae or something like that is the magic.

Good night, sleep tight!

Disclaimer: This information is being shared for educational purposes within the guidelines of Fair Use. It is not intended for individual health care guidance. Please seek a functional health practitioner for individualized health care.

*phone post.

9/6/2022 edited

Niacin may help prevent or treat migraines.

Niacin may help prevent migraines or tension-type headaches when taken daily based on a review of nine articles about niacin use and migraines or tension-type headaches. It may also help end a migraine that is occurring with the cooling effect that follows the skin-reddening niacin flush.

  • The treatment of migraines and tension-type headaches with intravenous and oral niacin (nicotinic acid): systematic review of the literature. (1)

Chronic tension-type headaches are also associated with cerebrospinal pressure or intracranial venous pressure (or both) [26]. In fact, tension-type headaches are more similar to migraine headaches than they are dissimilar, in that they seem to progress into migraine headaches due to an escalating pathophysiological process [27].” (1)

Niacin may also help reduce a migraine that is occurring, with a 500 mg dose taken to cause the niacin flush.

Regarding one of the articles reviewed: “In this [self] report, Hall describes the use of niacin for his migraine headaches remarking that the migraines resolved when intense flushing occurred.” (1)

The vasodilation in the skin that causes the warm feeling and reddening of the skin is followed by a vasoconstriction and cooling effect on the body and brain. Older research confirmed vasoconstriction in the brain occurs as well as in the peripheral blood vessels, however current research is needed. (1)

From the Discussion section (1) : “When taken intravenously or orally, niacin causes cutaneous flushing that might abort the acute symptoms of migraine by vasodilating the intracranial vessels, thus preventing the subsequent vasoconstriction of the extracranial vessels.

There is evidence that niacin is an effective peripheral vasodilator, but its ability to influence central mechanisms (i.e., cerebral blood flow and cranial hemodynamics) involved in migraine headaches have not been well studied. Niacin causes peripheral vasodilation and cutaneous flushing by inducing the production of prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) in the skin, leading to a marked increase of its metabolite, 9α, 11β-PGF2, in the plasma [22].

When niacin is administered orally in amounts of 500 mg or topically via a 6-inch patch of 10-1 M aqueous methylnicotinate on the forearm, PGD2 is markedly released in the skin and its metabolite appears in high amounts in the plasma [2223]. It is not known if PGD2 causes vasodilation of the intracranial arteries, but niacin’s ability to abort acute migraine headaches suggests that this might be what is occurring.

Old reports cited by Bicknell and Prescott [24], demonstrate that niacin does indeed cause vasodilation of the cerebral and spinal vessels, and that intravenous administration increases the rate of intracranial blood flow in human beings for 20–60 minutes without any significant change in blood pressure. Unfortunately, there have not been more recent reports examining the effects that niacin has upon cerebral blood flow in human subjects.” (1)

Niacin (B3) is needed for Mitochondrial function…

…so are riboflavin (B2), other B vitamins; many trace minerals including magnesium; amino acid derived creatine and cysteine; and the internally made antioxidants CoQ10, glutathione and alpha-lipoic acid.

Niacin helps mitochondria function to burn glucose for energy use or to release as heat (such as in brown fat). Riboflavin and coenzyme Q10 and other nutrients are also used by the mitochondria. (1)

A deficit of mitochondrial energy metabolism may play a role in the pathogenesis of migraine. Since niacin improves mitochondrial energy metabolism by increasing substrate availability to complex I, it might also be an effective agent for migraine prevention.” (1)

Citric Acid Cycle – used for aerobic glycolysis of glucose by the many many Mitochondria within all of our cells.

Graphic (via Dmitry Kats, PhD, @NiacinisHealth) shows the many nutrients that are used in the Citric Acid Cycle by mitochondria when they are metabolizing glucose aerobically, with oxygen, as typical of their normal function. Anaerobic glycolysis, fermentation of glucose or glutamate without oxygen, by mitochondria is associated with cancerous cells.
Nutrients include: B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), Mg++ (magnesium), Mn++ (manganese), K+ (potassium), zinc, iron, copper, sulfate, CoQ10, carnitine, cysteine, glutathione, Lipoic acid.

B vitamins are very important and we need them in balance because they work as a team. Niacin might not help as much if there is significant lack of the other B vitamins or some of the minerals, amino acids or antioxidants needed for the Citric Acid Cycle to function. The nutrients mentioned as cofactors for the chemical reactions in the above graphic include:

  • B vitamins: B1 (Thiamin) (3) , B2 (Riboflavin) (4), B3 (Niacin) (810), B5 (Pantothenic acid) (5), B6 (Pyridoxine) (67), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folate) (9),
  • Minerals (17): Mg++ (Magnesium) (111213), Mn++ (Manganese), K+ (Potassium) (13), Zinc (1415), Iron (16), Copper, Sulfate,
  • Amino acids: Carnitine (derived from lysine), Cysteine,
  • Antioxidants: CoQ10, Glutathione, Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA).

The cofactors used in the Citric Acid Cycle by mitochondria when they are performing aerobic glycolysis may be a limiting factor in chronic degeneration or cancer. Aerobic glycolysis is the process of metabolizing sugar with the use of oxygen, fermentation is anaerobic glycolysis. Mitochondrial dysfunction and a shift to anaerobic metabolism of sugar or glutamate, fermentation, is associated with cancer cells and other chronic degenerative disease. The cause may be limited nutrients – the list of cofactors needed is long and includes niacin.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.

Reference List

  1. Prousky, J., Seely, D. The treatment of migraines and tension-type headaches with intravenous and oral niacin (nicotinic acid): systematic review of the literature. Nutr J4, 3 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-4-3 https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-4-3
  2. Dmitry Kats, PhD, @NiacinisHealth Citric Acid Cycle graphic
  3. Thiamin: people with anorexia or alcoholism are more at risk for vitamin B1 deficiency. Aug 21, 2013 https://transcendingsquare.com/2013/08/21/thiamin/
  4. Riboflavin – Vitamin B2, May 23, 2018, https://transcendingsquare.com/2018/05/23/riboflavin-vitamin-b2/
  5. Pantothenic Acid – vitamin B5, May 24, 2018 https://transcendingsquare.com/2018/05/24/pantothenic-acid-vitamin-b5/
  6. Vitamin B6, https://transcendingsquare.com/2013/08/21/vitamin-b6-2/
  7. Pyroluria, anxiety and deficiency of B6 and zinc, most recent update, 4/9/2017 https://transcendingsquare.com/2014/09/22/pyroluria-anxiety-and-deficiency-of-b6-and-zinc/
  8. Niacin, & early treatment in general for SARS-CoV-2 is sensible, reduces hospitalization and mortality rate. https://transcendingsquare.com/2021/01/22/niacin-early-treatment-in-general-for-sars-cov-2-is-sensible-reduces-hospitalization-and-mortality-rate/
  9. Folate is essential and Folic Acid is commonly available. Aug 21, 2013, https://transcendingsquare.com/2013/08/21/folate-and-folic-acid-2/
  10. Niacin, Aug 21, 2013, https://transcendingsquare.com/2013/08/21/niacin/
  11. To have optimal Magnesium needs Protein and Phospholipids too. July 20, 2018, https://transcendingsquare.com/2018/07/20/to-have-optimal-magnesium-needs-protein-and-phospholipids-too/
  12. Magnesium – essential for eighty percent of our body’s chemistry. July 1, 2019, https://transcendingsquare.com/2019/07/01/magnesium-essential-for-eighty-percent-of-our-bodys-chemistry/
  13. Electrolytes are essential, magnesium helps protect brain cells. Feb 10, 2011, https://transcendingsquare.com/2011/02/10/electrolytes-r-us-magnesium-saves-brain-cells/
  14. Zinc, https://jenniferdepew.com/zinc
  15. Zinc and the immune system, https://www.peace-is-happy.org/post/zinc-and-the-immune-system
  16. Iron and anemia of chronic inflammation. https://www.peace-is-happy.org/post/iron-and-anemia-of-chronic-inflammation
  17. Trace Minerals – It’s Teamwork. https://www.peace-is-happy.org/post/trace-minerals-it-s-teamwork

Demyelination, continued.

The last post got a little long and it included a link to another health writer who was summarizing a large amount of material on the topic of demyelination – it is amazing what you can learn by reading. I only mentioned the article, (22), briefly because it was already a long post and I hadn’t checked the other writer’s references, (it is primarily all medical research from peer reviewed journals (22.1)); and some of his recommendations are not typical, however I had read of them elsewhere so it seemed thorough and well written. The truly intriguing part for me was just how many other conditions there are that may be susceptible to demyelination and increased negative symptoms due to nerve degeneration.

I have a few of the problems that were mentioned and I have had early symptoms of nerve numbness and pain in my extremities – fingertips particularly. Health is easier to maintain then to restore once chronic conditions develop. I have managed to reverse the nerve numbness and occasional pain that I was having in my fingertips but it is with several daily or weekly health habits, not just a simple take-this-medication-once-a-day solution.

The list of psychiatric conditions that may also have demyelination summarized in an article about possible ways to regenerate myelin, (22):

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Depression 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Dyslexia 
  • Language disorders 
  • Stuttering 
  • Autism 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder 
  • Cognitive decline 
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Tourette’s syndrome 
  • Schizophrenia 
  • Tone deafness
  • Pathological lying
  • (22)

That is quite a list – protect your oligodendrocytes, because they protect your ability to think and communicate, to control your ability to control your movements and to have stable moods, reduce anxiety, and control your ability to be able to read and speak and to be able to control your impulses and ability to prevent yourself from lying or saying things you don’t intend to say, and to be able to understand that your thoughts are your own thoughts, and to be able to hear accurately. The reference given for the information is this article: [45].

Neurology is the study of the nervous system, Psychiatry or Psychology is the study of mental health and neuropsychiatry is the study of mental symptoms caused by neurological conditions.

This topic of psychiatric conditions and other conditions that may also have demyelination is also reviewed in a summary of Neurotoxicology for neurologists: (6.Neurotoxicology). Neurology is the study of the nerves and nervous system. The nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord and all of the nerves throughout the body. It is subdivided into two main categories: the Central Nervous System (CNS) refers to the brain, the spinal cord and nerves of the brain and spinal cord; and the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) refers to the nerves throughout the rest of the body. Neurologists are medical doctors who specialize in conditions affecting the nervous system. They may focus on a subspeciality within the field of neurology (What is a neurologist?, HealthLine) Interestingly dementia, chronic headaches, and Multiple sclerosis are mentioned as possible conditions they treat but all the other psychiatric conditions mentioned in the list that may involve demyelination are not mentioned.

The overview article on Neurotoxicology does mention that psychiatric symptoms may occur in patients with neurological conditions but that the symptoms tend to be dismissed by neurologists, and are not studied in depth, so more reliable information is needed about psychiatric symptoms presenting with neurological disorders  – see “Psychiatric and behavioural disorders.” (6.Neurotoxicology) An article for neurologists goes into more detail about psychiatric symptoms that might deserve consultation with a neurologist rather than having the patient only see a psychiatrist: Neurological syndromes which can be mistaken for psychiatric conditions. Early symptoms of Multiple sclerosis for example sometimes may be mistaken for a psychiatric condition. (Neurological syndromes) Talk therapy or psychiatric medications are not going to help a patient regenerate their myelin after all. Neuropyschiatrists are neurologists that also have a degree in psychology and specialize in treating patients with mental health and behavioral symptoms related to neurological disorders. (neuropsychiatrists)

PTSD was also mentioned as a psychiatric condition that may have demyelination.[45]

Reading the article that was referenced for the list of psychiatric conditions that may also have demyelination [45] provided an additional condition that was not added to the list in the summary article about potential ways to help regenerate myelin (22) – PTSD also may involve demyelination, and confirmed the rest of the list were mentioned [45] . The article also includes more background information about the function and development of the myelin sheath in learning and behavior.

Nerves with myelin provide a much faster signal and oligodendrocytes myelinate several different nerves so there is additional benefit in signals that work in a coordinated manner to also improve speed of function. The myelination occurs over time so the phrase practice, practice, practice applies. Peak time of life to learn skills is in our youth because that is when the majority of myelination occurs -starting in early childhood and continuing until the early twenties even up to age thirty. Healing after injury or learning a new skill later in life would still require the practice, practice, practice so the speedy pathways between groups of nerve cells develop their myelin sheaths in coordinated connections. [45]

This information may help show the difficulties faced by people with PTSD or other psychiatric conditions – the brain connections are coordinated in patterns learned from traumatic memories or are stuck in Obsessive Compulsive patterns. The problem with impulse control might also make more sense if there is simply “leaky” wiring in the brain. Signals that were intended to do one thing might end up activating other behaviors because the myelin sheath is no longer functioning as expected.

A cognitive therapy technique, involving frequent practice/repetition of new ways to talk to yourself – it might help strengthen more positive neural networks with new myelin sheath connections.

Learning new patterns of thinking, replacing traumatic or anxious thoughts that were learned as a child or during a traumatic phase of life can take time and a lot of repetition but it is possible, just like it can be possible to relearn how to walk or do other basic life skills after a stroke or traumatic physical injury. A book by Shad Helmstetter, PhD discusses how to rephrase your own internal self talk to be more positive and gives examples for a number of different types of concerns. I found the technique helpful for emotional overeating and share phrases that I wrote regarding healthy eating and lifestyle and a link to the book in a previous post: “What to Say When You’re Talking to Yourself.” The recommendation that I followed was to read the statements several times every day – for a while, months even. I don’t remember how long I read them daily but it was for quite a while and I still have the little ring binder of statements that I wrote.

Often changing behavior patterns is easier when the new pattern is created first, rather then trying to stop the old first. Build the new and then the old is no longer needed.  Addition, I found the source of that idea:

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

A new way to think about demyelination – what is the underlying problem? Possibly excess cell death, at rates above the ability to breakdown and remove nucleotides (ATP, ADP, UTP, UDP).

The article on demyelination and cognitive disorders, [45] , also mentioned that adenosine plays a role in signaling oligodendrocytes to make myelin and an article with more information on the topic mentions that increased amounts of ATP, ADP, UTP, UDP can signal breakdown of myelin. Increased presence of those chemicals was suggested to possibly be due to increased cell death without normal clearing away of the old cellular material. And some types of Multiple sclerosis seems to involve increased levels of the enzyme that breaks down adenosine so there would be less available to signal the production of myelin. (8.adenosine in MS)

Take home point – protect against excessive cell death and/or mitochondria damage by not having excessive glutamate (11.link) or aspartate – excitatory amino acids that may be overly available in the modern processed food diet – and by having adequate magnesium to protect the cells from their interior by providing the needed energy to block ion channels in the cell membrane and prevent excessive amounts of calcium, glutamate or aspartate from being able to cross the cell membrane and enter the cell’s interior.

As usual however, it is not that simple, (not that avoiding glutamate and aspartate in the diet is easy, they are in many processed foods), other things can also cause excessive cell death.

  • Exposure to toxins in the environment or due to drug use, illicit or legal, can cause excessive cell death and lead to demyelination disorders. An overview:(6.Neurotoxicology)
  • Lack of oxygen can also be a cause. Lack of nutrients in general can increase the breakdown of cellular parts to provide enough nutrients however if malnutrition is severe and ongoing the breakdown (autophagy) can become excessive. (7.Metabolic Stress, Autophagy & Cell Death)
  • Traumatic injury and infection can increase the  rate of cell death above the level that the body’s detoxification systems can cope with clearing away the cellular material. Traumatic injury is associated with increased risk for infection for reasons that are not well understood, the immune system is considered functionally suppressed: (10.Immunobiology of Trauma) Also mentioned briefly in the Skeletal Muscle section of this overview: (6.Neurotoxicology).
  • Anything that causes excess oxidative stress may cause increased rates of mitochondria breakdown so protecting against stress is protecting the mitochondria which is protecting the cells. (7.Metabolic Stress, Autophagy & Cell Death) Mitochondria are the main energy producers within cells and make up about thirty percent of the volume of cardiac/heart cells. Other type of mitochondrial problems can also increase risk of their switching from promoting health through energy production into a mode that promotes cell death. One of the roles mitochondria play in normal health is storage of excess intracellular calcium. If the mitochondria become dysfunctional then the extra calcium is released into the cell where it can signal increased activity such as release of cannabinoids from the membranes. (9.mitochondria in CVD)

This is approaching really long again, so I am stopping here for now.

/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./ 

  1. Jordan Fallis, 27 Proven Ways to Promote the Regeneration of Myelin. Feb. 18, 2017, Optimal Living Dynamics,   https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/blog/25-proven-ways-to-promote-the-regeneration-of-myelin (22)
  2. Reference list: https://www.optimallivingdynamics.com/myelin-references (22.1)
  3. R. Douglas Fields, White Matter in Learning, Cognition, and Psychiatric DisordersTrends Neurosci. 2008 Jul; 31(7): 361–370.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2486416/ [45]
  4. Butler CZeman AZJ, Neurological syndromes which can be mistaken for psychiatric conditions
  5. Anne Masi, Marilena M. DeMayo, Nicholas Glozier, Adam J. Guastella, An Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Heterogeneity and Treatment Options. Neuroscience Bulletin, Vol 33, Iss 2, pp 183–193, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12264-017-0100-y (autism link)
  6. Harris JBBlain PG, Neurotoxicology: what the neurologist needs to know.


  7. Brian J. Altman, Jeffrey C. Rathmell, Metabolic Stress in Autophagy and Cell Death Pathways. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2012 Sep 1;4(9):a008763 http://cshperspectives.cshlp.org/content/4/9/a008763.full (7.Metabolic Stress & Cell Death)
  8. Marek Cieślak, Filip Kukulski, Michał Komoszyński, Emerging Role of Extracellular Nucleotides and Adenosine in Multiple sclerosisPurinergic Signal. 2011 Dec; 7(4): 393–402.   https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3224637/ (8.adenosine in MS)
  9. Sang-Bing Ong, Asa B. Gustafsson, New roles for mitochondria in cell death in the reperfused myocardium. Cardiovascular Research, Vol. 94, Issue 2, 1 May 2012, pp 190–196, https://academic.oup.com/cardiovascres/article/94/2/190/268169 (9.mitochondria in CVD)
  10. Dr. Daniel Remick, pre-ARC Director, Immunobiology of Trauma, pre-Affinity Research Collaborative (ARC), Boston University Medical Center, http://www.bumc.bu.edu/evanscenteribr/files/2009/07/pre-arcimmunologytrauma.pdf  (10.Immunobiology of Trauma)
  11. Howard Prentice, Jigar Pravinchandra Modi, Jang-Yen Wu, Mechanisms of Neuronal Protection against Excitotoxicity, Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress, and Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Stroke and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Vol. 2015, Article ID 964518, 7 pages,Hindawi.com https://www.hindawi.com/journals/omcl/2015/964518/ (11.link
  12. Blaylock, R.L. (1996). Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Health Press. ISBN 0-929173-25-2
  13. Blaylock, R.L. (a neurosurgeon) podcast Excitotoxinshttp://www.blaylockhealthchannel.com/bhc-ep-18-excitotoxins (Excitotoxins podcast)
  14. Excitotoxicity, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excitotoxicity (Excitotoxicity)
  15. Aspartic Acid, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartic_acid (Aspartic Acid/Aspartate)

Choline and betaine – water soluble nutrients

Choline is a newer discovery in the nutrient world. It is considered to be a member of the water soluble B vitamins group which are nutrients involved in metabolism – the use of energy within the body. We can produce small amounts of choline so it isn’t considered a vitamin but as we can not produce enough for health it is considered an essential nutrient. (1) Betaine is a slightly different form of choline. Choline is found throughout the body but is particularly important within the brain and is needed for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Betaine is a metabolite of choline.

Choline, a water soluble nutrient. Foods Sources and symptoms of deficiency.

Choline is most typically found within phospholipids (such as phosphatidylcholine) which are important in membranes and as messenger chemicals within the brain and in the immune system. It may play a role in prenatal brain development but research on supplementation within pregnancy r to protect cognitive skills in the elderly is still in early stages. (1)

Choline is a  methyl donor (1) which means it can share a methyl group – essentially one carbon atom with three hydrogen atoms with an overall neutral charge.

An important role of methyl groups is in the release of energy from sugar within mitochondria. The methyl group is passed back and forth between nutrients and enzymes that are involved in breaking down a molecule of fat or sugar for use of the stored energy that is released when a double bond is broken. The methyl group is combined with an acetyl group when it is removed from the area on the chain of carbon molecules when a double bond is broken. An acetyl group is an atom of carbon combined with one atom of hydrogen and the group has a negative charge. The process for breaking down the glucose sugar molecule is called the Krebs cycle and most beginning level organic chemistry or nutrition students will remember having to memorize all of the steps involved. My summary may be inaccurate – college was a long time ago – the important point is that B vitamins and methyl donors are needed for mitochondria to be able to release energy from glucose/sugar molecules).

  • (The Krebs cycle is also known as the “citric acid cycle or the tricarboxylic acid (TCAcycle.” More info: Krebs cycle.)

Methyl groups are also important in controlling gene activity. They act like an on/off switch for genes. A gene that is fully methylated – all the available double bonds between carbon atoms are broken into single bonds with a methyl group added instead – is in the off position, the protein that the gene would encode is not being made. Genes that are unmethylated have double bonds and are in the on position, the pattern for assembling amino acids into a protein can be read by a matching strand of RNA and the protein can be formed (generally in the endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi apparatus areas of a cell).

Betaine and the more familiar B vitamins folate (B9 if anyone is counting), B6 and B12 are also methyl donors. Folate deficiency has been associated with less gene methylation (a histone is part of a gene). (2) More about methyl donors as a group is available here:  Methyl Donors and BPA.

  • The number system for naming B vitamins was derived at an earlier stage of research and some of the chemicals that were given numbers at the time were discovered to not be essential nutrients – meaning the body was able to form them within the normal health and didn’t essentially need to have them included in the diet (so that is why we don’t hear about a B4, B8, B10 or B11).

Excessive intake of choline above 7500 milligrams may cause a drop in blood pressure, sweating, vomiting and digestive upset, and change in body odor. The recommended Upper Limit is 3,500 mg/day. It would be difficult to reach that amount with food sources. (Safety information, lpi.oregonstate.edu)

Food Sources of Choline:

Good sources of choline include meats, fish & shellfish, eggs/egg yolks, cheese, milk, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi and other cruciferous vegetables, green leafy vegetables, pomegranate seeds, sesame seeds, tahini, peanuts,  soybeans, beans, brown rice, whole grains.

Food Sources of Betaine:

Sweet potatoes, meats, cheese, beets, basil, spinach, green leafy vegetables, brown rice, whole grains.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes.


  1. Choline, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/choline
  2. Benjamin A. Garcia, Zigmund Luka, Lioudmila V. Loukachevitch, Natarajan V. Bhanu, Conrad Wagner, Folate deficiency affects histone methylation,

    Medical Hypotheses, Volume 88, March 2016, Pages 63-67, ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306987716000116

  3. Foods used in the 30% Calories from Carbohydrates Menu Plans, https://effectiveselfcare.info/2018/05/19/healthy-hair-is-the-proof-of-a-healing-diet/