Cellular Health

If we heal our cells, we heal ourselves. You & I are trillions of cells, all working together trying to be awesome. And then there is the control centre – our brain and neurons which will dictate the quality of your life and help you achieve your life’s dreams. And that is why, my bigger focus is on improving brain health, reducing inflammation and especially brain inflammation and improving health at cellular level. Proteins, fats and carbs of course still matter and so do micro nutrients but there is only so much you can fiddle around with that stuff. You really can’t have a beautiful thriving brain in a body that’s falling apart. And it’s also not a guarantee that a drop dead perfect brain resides in a well sculpted body, the one we see on cover of health magazines. Or as Dr Daniel Amen, 9 times New York time bestseller author and a brain expert explained – He sees most beautiful brains in people who are active and workout a few times a week but not excessively or heavy workout every single day. Overdoing in the gym may make you look good naked but it leads to inflammation and elevated stress levels. So not ideal for your brain or anti-ageing efforts. I often find myself walking this tight rope between increasing my strength as much as I can and yet I don’t want to it to interfere it with my anti-ageing and keeping inflammation at as low levels as I can. Of course it all depends on what’s your priority. Muscles and strength above everything on one hand vs caloric restriction to achieve anti-ageing on the other? My top priority is to have energy to go after all of my life’s dreams and never not be able to achieve them for lack of it. Secondly avoid the big chronic diseases plaguing our modern culture for as long as possible. An ideal scenario in this regard would be that up until the day I died I wasn’t suffering from a chronic and degenerative disease like MS, Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes or cardio vascular issues. So if I could, I want to spend a total of 60 minutes for the rest of my life in hospital on account of my health.

The master plan has below 4 as major components:

  1. An elastic-plastic brain – A thriving brain that’s willing to unlearn and learn new things.
  2. Extremely low inflammation levels – So that I am not besieged by chronic or auto immune diseases or worse auto immune diseases that are neurological like MS, Alzheimer’s, Dementia.
  3. High blood sugar control or insulin sensitivity – Insulin is the hormone general which keeps all other hormones in check. If your food and lifestyle keeps you Insulin sensitive, you are doing a pretty good job.
  4. A lean and strong body – I don’t need to be the most buffed up guy in the room but neither do I want unwanted fat.

This is where ensuring cellular health comes in to address these cross cutting concerns. A bit more complicated than just working on your biceps.

And healthy cellular membranes underlies cellular health. Imagine your cells are like a football or a child’s plastic ball and membrane is the thick shell or thin skin of this ball. Now some problems are obvious if there were to be holes in this skin. It’s actually far more complex than that. You don’t really end up with holes but you could end up with an unstable membrane. Fats are an essential ingredient needed to build the cellular membranes. If the fats you eat are unstable so will be the cellular membranes. For example, if you have lived on a diet of vegetable oils and margarines which are primarily unstable PUFA (poly unsaturated fatty acids). Compare this with MUFA (Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid) or Saturated Fat found in avocado, olive oil, butter, coconut oil or meat of ruminants like goat and lamb, which tend to be stable fats especially the Saturated Fat. It takes nearly 4 years for the cellular membranes to recycle themselves. High quality undamaged fats are one of the big focus of my diet and have been for last 2 years. What this means is that I am nearly half way through fixing my cells and results have been palpable and very pleasing – whether its resilience or getting stronger.

But the job is only half done as of now and a nutrition Ninja has more than one weapon they can wield.

Calcium 2 AEP aka Vitamin M1

Enters Ca-2AEP also known as Vitamin M1. Calcium 2-Amino Ethyl Phosphoric Acid. Ca-AEP is a vital component in the cell membrane.

Consider some of its functions:

  1. Cell sealer and protector – Ca-AEP decreases water solubility and seals the membrane pores, decreasing the permeability of the outer cell membrane by foreign substances. This protects the cell from invasion by toxins, bacteria, viruses etc.
  2. Nutrient carrier – A cell has nutrient carriers in the membranes. We eat fat, proteins and carbs which are broken down into fatty acids, amino acids and glucose. Ca-AEP helps with the absorption of these and vitamins through the ‘active transport pores’ of cell membranes.
  3. Maintains cell electrical charge – Ca-AEP maintains and repairs cellular neurotransmission.Restoring levels of Ca-AEP in the cellular membranes improves membrane integrity.

If you are still not impressed, consider diseases involving disturbance of cell membranes

  1. Multiple Sclerosis
  2. Inflammatory disorders like arthritis
  3. Diabetes and diabetic complications like diabetic neuropathy
  4. Osteoporosis (brittle bones)
  5. Lung diseases like Asthma

Diabetes

It’s a bit hard to join the dots between healthy cellular membrane and treating diabetes. How can Ca-AEP possibly help with Diabetes?

Consider this. Sometimes it’s not a problem of reduced insulin production but rather cells becoming insulin resistance or inability to transport glucose into cells (look at the point number 2. Nutrient carrier above). So when you eat excess carbohydrates, you have excess blood sugar in the blood which is not getting clear fast enough. The solution is not to not eat enough, you could end up with low blood sugar. By fixing the cell membranes and glucose transport by extension, this problem goes away.

Elevated glucose and insulin levels create other complications as well. For example, they damage numerous body structures like protein, red blood haemoglobin. This incrementally damages major body system and causes degenerative diseases. Ca-AEP seals the cell membrane that prevents toxic glucose metabolites from entering and damaging the cells.

Ca-2AEP Supplementation

First when I found out about Ca-2AEP I wondered why I can’t seem to find it in health stores especially given its importance. Folks working over at the health store didn’t seem to know as well. And that’s because it’s available as a Cell Repair supplement.

Cell Repair

Here is what Ca-2AEP that I have ordered from New Zealand Longevity Foundation has to say:

Ca-2AEP

CA-2AEP also known as the Vitamin M1 or membrane integrity factor, performs this function in every cell of the human body tissue by restoring/maintaining the electric voltage potential in the cytoplasm of the membrane. This will deny entry to unwanted cells invaders…..”

Summary

1. Fix your cells by fixing the cellular membranes.

2. Undamaged and stable fats will lead to stable cellular membranes.

3. Supplement intermittently with Ca-2AEP.

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Mars and Venus

So what’s the first thing that came to your mind when you read the caption? Perhaps ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’? Dr John Gray, author of several books in this Mars and Venus series was recently on BulletProof Radio. The podcast kind of blew my mind. Most times I listen to a health podcast like BulletProof Radio or Paleo Solution I hope that I will  learn one new thing about healthy lifestyle. I think I walked away with at least 5 gems in this podcast and not just the usual fats-proteins-and-carbs. Important as it is, that stuff gets boring really fast. Brain health and brain anti-ageing is much more fun because brains at the center of everything and pretty much a mystery. Reducing brain inflammation is fun. Mind you, food and lifestyle choices that lead to body inflammation will also cause brain inflammation because brain and body are one. It’s fascinating to hear about health and nutrition from the lens of brain rather than body weight. You want to look good and be healthy for as long as possible and thriving brain has to be the focal point of this strategy. Mars Venus series Dr John Gray has sold over 50 million books and his work has been in translated into 50 languages. He is considered one of the foremost relationship experts and so I expected them to talk about relationships and sexuality and how men and women are different. The first book has been out for 2 decades now. Around 15 years ago, the Dr shifted his focus from just relationships to relationships and brain health. Not to mention that he was facing a personal crisis, he was in early stages of Alzheimer’s. Conventional medicine has a pathetic record for treating such complex and chronic diseases. So he ended up not taking this route. Through  lifestyle change, nutrient dense diet and vitamin-mineral support he managed to reverse his symptoms. He also inadvertently fixed his ADD which he always had but never really thought about it till his wife mentioned to him that he was much calmer now or doesn’t procrastinate. It’s amazing that Dr understands not only the big picture about male female relationships in terms of emotional and sexual differences, but has mapped these down to hormonal differences, all the way down to mineral and nutrient deficiencies in our body and brains. No small feat. And he totally digs BulletProof coffee. Super impressed with the guy. Let’s dig into the show:

1. Attention Deficit Disorder(ADD), stimulants and Dopamine effect – ADD manifests in 4 different forms – Hyper sensitive, Hyper focussed, Hyper distracted, Hyper compulsive. Dopamine is pleasure, motivation, focus and interest. When you hear something new and you are interested, huge amount of dopamine gets produced. So whenever you have high dopamine response the brain gives you fewer dopamine receptor sites and then it’s gone. So you need to do it again and again. If you over stimulate, you lose receptor sites! On first use of cocaine, you lose 30% of receptor sites temporarily, so life feels 30% less pleasurable, interest and focussed and so they seek that cocaine stimulation again. Kids with ADD have low dopamine levels in the brain. So these kids are pushing too hard and seeking stimulation. When they are given a drug like Speed, Adderall basically Methamphetamine, these kids calm down. Why? Well it produces dopamine. If you allow the brain to make more dopamine, it slows down or starts behaving normally – calm and focussed. Other stimulants are sugar, processed carbs, video games and pornography. You will have to take away the over stimulation (cocaine, sugar, porn) for the receptor sites to come back up. Coffee works through a different pathway than methamphetamine or sugar or Speed which are dopamine stimulants. Coffee doesn’t overstimulate unless you do too much. And putting butter and MCT oil prevents this overstimulation. Dr jokes half seriously – “Why don’t you just give the kid coffee or bulletproof coffee and parents are horrified that they can’t give coffee. So they don’t have a problem giving a drug with effects like cocaine but coffee is a problem?”

2. Flow state – Flow state is not quite over stimulation but you can easily deplete you brain of nutrients and minerals by being in flow state for too long. I can personally attest to this that whenever I have done my best work in the morning after bulletproof coffee in flow state, once you are done with that creative piece of work, you feel exhausted afterwards. You are like a race car and you deplete nutrients and minerals. You also need healthy gut flora to make these nutrients. Lot of high performers in the history get into flow states, produce master pieces and then crash and burn until next time when body has again enough nutrients to get into flow state. Dave: “It takes more zinc and copper to lift more, create more, remain longer in flow state.”

3. What else triggers dopamine? Success stimulates dopamine. So does Danger. If you have a successful career or relationship, you are making enough dopamine. But imagine a 19 years old with bleak outlook who seeks dopamine dose. He may end up joining a gang and introducing a bit of danger in his life and that becomes his addiction. Drama in marriage between the couples – arguing and yelling. Anytime you are yelling and shouting it implies danger. Grieving – You can become addicted to grieving to get dopamine dose especially if you don’t have a nutrient dense diet. Parents are chronically grieving loss of a child – they are hopelessly depressed and on medication and can’t get out of the state. When parents were shown the photo of the child, same parts of brain lit up on the brain scan as when you take cocaine.

4. Dr eats good high quality meat (not a lot) and doesn’t demand perfection in his food. He is not dogmatic about it. Whole food based.

5. Blood sugar – Imbalance in blood sugar, hiking and falling, is one of the biggest problems because glucose is one of the fuels for the brain and you brain goes haywire. Your blood sugar spikes and falls and your brains a mess. This is where Dr revealed 3 amazing supplements (2 of which I didn’t know). First two have to with calcium regulation and first one is important for blood sugar regulation–

i. Membrane support via AEP (Calcium 2-AEP Or Calcium-Mag-Pot-2AEP) – Work of Dr Nieper from Germany has patent on this and he bonded calcium, magnesium and potassium.  It provides cellular membrane support. Dave has been taking Calcium 2-AEP for 15 years to get membrane support and kidney protection (Dave has only 1 kidney). I think it’s vital to stress this point – healthy cell membranes. That is what can stop pathogens from getting into the cells or health of receptors on the cells (think insulin receptors if you are wondering how it helps with blood sugar regulation). Cell membranes are made of fat and this is why you would want to eat butter and avocado (undamaged fats) and not margarine. It’s the raw material for your cells folks and it takes time to rebuild them. Dr: “Nobody knows about this guy (Nieper) and everyone should be taking this.”

ii. Vitamin K2 – Calcium regulation and metabolism is vital. Anybody who is depressed is not making enough GABBA in the brain because there is issue with calcium regulation. It allows brain receptor sites to remove calcium and regenerate themselves. Calcification also stiffens the veins leading to cardiovascular issues. I already supplement with K2 and I also get it nutritionally via butter, pastured egg yolks and chicken livers.

iii. Lithium-Orotate – One of the minerals people lose most when they eat sugar is lithium. One of the functions of lithium is to regulate calcium in the brain and lithium is considered a medicine for ‘bi-polar’ people. You would want lithium orotate and not lithium carbonate which is want psychiatrists recommend. Food that has the most lithium in it is beetroots. Where do we get most our sugar from? Beets. As always things naturally exist in a balance and that’s how they should be consumed. Personally, I intend to make Calcium 2-AEP and Lithium-Orotate part of my supplement stack. A very close family member has a history of nerve issues and bipolarity and is already on some lithium supplementation probably the carbonate one. I really hope this helps them.

6. Women and blood sugar – When women get hungry, their blood sugar has already dropped and drops much further than men. It’s already an emergency situation, cortisol rises and it’s like a bear is chasing her. Too bad, you are the only person around and so she will remember every mistake you have ever made. Get her some food already with a bit of healthy carbs. Nut and goji berries? An apple?

It’s astonishing the amount of supplements he has reviewed on his website.

http://www.marsvenus.com/list/john-gray-mars-venus-health