Five Supplements to Watch in 2010

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Dr Mark Mincolla PhD, natural health care practioner at Santi Holistic Healing in Massachusetts recently offered his prediction to the Boston Globe on five up-and-coming nutritional supplements that will be beneficial to health management in the coming year. Most of the supplements are still very early in clinical trials, so caution should be taken before recommending these for any health condition.

Anti-ACE Peptides
ACE is an acronym for angiotensin I-converting enzyme, which causes a reaction that increases both the volume of blood flowing through the arteries and the degree of constriction of the blood vessels. ACE inhibitors such as brands Lotensin, Vasotec, and Captopril are used medically to block the action of angiotensin I to treat hypertension, or blood pressure.

An Anti-ACE peptide is a nutritional supplement that is composed of 9 peptides, short protein chains, derived from a fish called bonito, a member of the tuna family traditionally consumed in Japan. These work to lower blood pressure similarly to an ACE inhibitor, in that it converts the angiotensin I enzyme to angiotensin II which relaxes the artery walls and reduces fluid volume.

Currently, there are very few clinical studies on the supplement products. A handful of studies from Japan in the late 1990’s found that Anti-ACE Peptides reduced systolic blood pressure in both animal and human subjects by 10 mmHg and diastolic pressure by about 7 mmHg. More studies are needed before these nutritional supplements can be widely encouraged for those who suffer from hypertension.

The typical daily dosage is 1.5 grams, or three capsules of 500 milligrams each taken three times a day.

Pantethine
Pantethine is the biologically active form of the vitamin pantothenic acid (B5). It is a precursor to coenzyme A, which starts the energy production cycle, known as the Krebs cycle. Most pantethine supplement products combine pantothenic acid with a molecule of cysteamine, which plays a role in cholesterol metabolism.

Panthenine is thought to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising the level of HDL (good) cholesterol. Other claims for the product are that it enhances cognitive abilities and increases energy. Two small studies from the Experimental Toxicology Pathology journal (2001) and the Journal of Atherosclerosis and Thrombosis found pantethine to have positive effects on both mice and humans.

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Doses of Pantethine range from 25 to 50 milligrams. Higher doses may cause unwanted side effects.

Monolaurin
Monolaurin is a glyceride ester derivative of lauric acid which has been used as an anti-microbial agent. It is thought to protect the immune system from a range of infectious agents.

Lauric acid is one of the components of human breast milk which has been shown to protect newborns from Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) and other respiratory tract viruses. Monolaurin works by binding to the lipid-protein coating of a virus which prevents it from attaching and entering host cells. The CDC is studying the compound on influenza virus, Rubeola, Newcastle, Herpes Simplex, Epstein-Barr and Cytomegalovirus. It has also been studied as a non-toxic food preservative.

Monolaurin is included on the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list. Supplements are available in 300 milligram and 600 milligram dosages.

Theanine
Theanine is one of the major amino acid components in green and black tea. L-theanine blocks the binding of L-glutamic acid to glutamate receptors in the brain, which may bring on enhanced relaxation and reduction of stress. Theanine may also affect serotonin to relieve anxiety symptoms. A study of only 12 participants published in the Biology Psychology journal in 2006 found that L-theanine may be beneficial, but overall clinical studies are very limited.

Supplements are available in doses of 100 milligrams. Higher dosages can cause side effects such as lightheadedness.

DMAE
The chemical name for DMAE is dimethyl-amino-ethanol. In Europe it is sold by the brand name Deanol to improve mental alertness. Research has also involved reversing memory loss in Alzheimers patients and as a treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Topically, a cream of DMAE is used in cosmetic dermatology to minimize the effects of aging, such as wrinkles.

Supplements are available in dosages ranging from 100 to 400 milligrams, but a range of 50 to 150 milligrams is recommended as a starting point, as higher doses can lead to anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and muscle tension.

Resources Include: Dr. Mark Mincolla and Dr. Ray Sahelian

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