Several years ago a customer asked me for a program that could be helpful to those suffering with bone fractures. A relative had been diagnosed with multiple bone fractures in his ankle.
Since I have been counseling individuals regarding natural treatments for supporting those with bone fractures and injury for many years, I was able to provide a comprehensive program that could be helpful in recovery. More recently, we have introduced products and tools that can be even more supportive. Therefore, in this article we are providing an update to the bone fractures program.
Clearly, the need for such a program is great. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), about six million individuals suffer fractures each year in North America. In about 5–10 percent of cases, patients suffer either delayed healing or fractures that do not heal.
The problem of bone fractures is especially troubling for the elderly, many of whom suffer from osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and break more easily. For an older person, a fracture affects quality of life because it significantly reduces function and mobility, and requires an extended period of recuperation.
The bone fracture program set forth below also works well to support the healing of other types of bone problems, including broken bones, bone surgery, osteoporosis, and wisdom tooth removal.
THE BONE FRACTURE PROGRAM
IMPORTANCE OF FOUNDATIONAL SUPPLEMENTS
The first element of the program consists of Foundational Supplements. This group of supplements ensures the body is being supplied with all of the basic elements needed for optimal function. The primary foundational supplements consists of 1) a therapeutic multivitamin and mineral formula, 2) a complete buffered Vitamin C with antioxidants formula, 3) an essential fatty acids supplement, and 4) a high-RNA superfoods formula.
Our Foundational Supplements are described in great detail on the HPDI website where we provide a free downloadable e-book “The Need for Foundational Supplements” (.pdf). Suffice it to say that the foundational supplements are a essential part of the program that ensure healing will take place quickly and effectively. I encourage everyone to become familiar with this information as foundational supplements are basic to any wellness or healing program.
ENHANCEMENT FORMULAS ARE CRITICAL FOR HEALING BONE FRACTURES
The second element of the program for healing bone fractures consists of Enhancement Formulas that strengthen the body as it relates to dealing with the damaging effects of bone fractures. These include a Vitamin D3 formula with the synergistic nutrients of Vitamin A and Vitamin K2 that are required for the rebuilding of bone as well as strengthening the body in many other ways. The HPDI Vitamin D3 Plus formula to designed to specifically address this need.
A second Enhancement Formula in this program is our comprehensive Bone Guardian formula that is based upon micronized veal bone that provides hydroxyapatite (Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2). Hydroxyapatite is the basic component of human bone that is 50% by volume and 70% by weight. Whereas the Vitamin D3 Plus formula builds the bone matrix, the Bone Guardian fills in the matrix with materials such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, boron, zinc, manganese, copper, silica, and strontium. HPDI sells Bone Guardian in both the tablet and capsule forms. The capsule form may be better for older people who are able to absorb capsules better than tablets.
A third Enhancement Formula to the program is additional amounts of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is known to participate in every step of the process of building collagen, which is a key component of bone. Vitamin C has been shown to increase bone mass density. We recommend slowly increasing your intake of buffered Vitamin C until you reach your bowel tolerance. This can be accomplished by increasing your intake of HPDI’s foundational supplement PRO-C™ formula. The PRO-C has the added value of containing oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from grape seed, skin, & pulp. OPCs in the body are able to strongly crosslink and strengthen new and damaged collagen fibers needed needed to repair bones, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage.
SPECIFIC CONDITION FORMULAS TARGET BONE FRACTURES
The third element in the program are Specific Condition Formulas that directly address issues related to bone fractures. The first of these is the addition of a joint formula that allows the body to build and repair connective tissue and to significantly reduce inflammation in the area of bone fractures. In most cases of fractures there will be damaged ligaments and tendons as well as inflammation in the area.
HPDI’s Joint Health Formula includes the ingredients glucosamine hydrochloride, MSM, and sea cucumber (a significant source of chondroiten sulfate) in addition to anti-inflammatory substances such as turmeric extract, rutin, and grape extract (seed, pulp, and skin) that have been extremely helpful in both repairing connective tissue and reducing pain and inflammation.
A second strongly recommended condition-specific formula is proteolytic enzymes. Because it is highly likely in the case of bone fractures and injury that there is significant tissue damage, a formula with pancreatic and plant enzymes as well as anti-inflammatories can be extremely helpful is clearing out the damaged tissue. This gives the body the opportunity to begin the rebuilding process much sooner.
Our recommended PROLYT formula contains the proteolytic enzymes bromelain, trypsin (pancreatic enzyme), and chymotrypsin (pancreatic enzyme), and the polyphenols/bioflavonoids turmeric extract (95% curcuminoids), quercetin and oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs) from grape extract. This formula when taken on an empty stomach between meals is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and goes to work cleaning up any damaged tissues in the area surrounding a fracture and assists in reducing pain and inflammation.
TOPICAL MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE FOR PAIN AND RAPID HEALING
A final Specific Condition Formula that I highly recommend for healing bone fractures is to rub Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil on and surrounding the fracture area. Bones cannot heal without having adequate amounts of magnesium available. Unfortunately, many people are deficient in magnesium and even taking oral magnesium cannot easily provide sufficient amounts to an area with a bone fracture. Magnesium oil (mostly magnesium chloride) is quickly absorbed transdermally (via skin) and often can provide rapid healing and pain relief!
BODY pH COULD BE A FACTOR IN HEALING BONE FRACTURES
The processed food diets with a high protein and low vegetable content consumed by many people in the U.S. and elsewhere often produce conditions in the body of acidity. This in turn leads to decreased oxygenation of cells and encourages a greater amount of anaerobic processes in metabolism. In addition, when the body is acidic calcium can be taken from bones in order to balance the acidity. This can lead to poor healing of bone fractures.
In order to counter acidic conditions in the body we recommend the use of HPDI’s pH ADJUST formula. As a dietary supplement, take 1 gm (about a rounded ¼ tsp) in 4-8 ounces of purified water preferably away from food, or as directed by a health care professional. For extremely acidic conditions, try 4–10 doses per day, depending on acidity level. Use pH paper to ensure pH levels remain balanced, and do not become too alkaline (alkalosis may occur above pH 8.2).
TESTING pH LEVELS: The best way to test pH levels is to use litmus paper, which HPDI offers in rolls (Hydrion brand) for this purpose. You can test salivary or urinary pH. In order to test salivary pH, simply use a small strip of pH paper to dip into a small amount of saliva. Advantages of pH paper include rapid results, ease of use, and cost effectiveness.
The color of the litmus paper indicates the pH level of the body fluid tested. Most litmus paper comes with an indicator chart showing colors corresponding to various pH levels. Alkaline states will generally produce a dark green, blue or purple color (most basic). Acidic states will range from yellow (most acidic) to light green.
Salivary pH and urinary pH are significantly affected by recent food consumption and other factors, so it it best to test pH hours after meals or in the morning when you awake. We prefer to measure urinary pH since results are more consistent. Measuring urinary pH is a simple as placing a few drops of urine on the paper or dipping the paper into a sample cup of fresh urine.
A consistent pH measurement of less than 7.0 indicates that you are too acidic (values less than 6.2 show extreme acidity). This indicates that you should consume more alkaline forming foods (usually vegetables) and/or take pH ADJUST. A single dose of pH ADJUST can change conditions in the body from acidic to alkaline within a few hours.
GENETIC VARIATIONS IN YOUR VITAMIN D RECEPTOR GENE (VDR) MAY BE AN IMPORTANT FACTOR
The VDR gene (contained in every cell of the body) provides instructions for making a protein called vitamin D receptor (VDR), which allows the body to respond appropriately to vitamin D. This vitamin can be acquired from foods in the diet or made in the body by exposure to from sunlight. Vitamin D is involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body, including calcium and phosphate, which are essential for the normal formation of bones and teeth. One of vitamin D’s major roles is to control the absorption of calcium and phosphate from the intestines into the bloodstream. Vitamin D is also involved in several process unrelated to bone formation.
VDR attaches (binds) to the active form of vitamin D, known as calcitriol. Calcitrol is produced in the body from Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) in the liver and kidneys. The interaction with calcitriol allows VDR to partner with another protein called retinoid X receptor (RXR). The resulting complex of proteins then binds to particular regions of DNA, known as vitamin D response elements, and regulates the activity of vitamin D-responsive genes. By turning these genes on or off, VDR helps control calcium and phosphate absorption and other processes.
In recent years, genetic tests have become available that show VDR variations can cause serious conditions related to low bone density and other important body functions such a higher blood glucose levels or lower immune system function. If a person is having little success in healing bone fractures, it is possible that VDR variations are a key factor of causation.
In such cases, we recommend having genetic testing done to determine if VDR variations are present. Recently, HPDI has teamed with a genetic testing company (BodySync, Inc.) and sells the BodySync test kits on our Reseller site. Please click here to see our blog article regarding the BodySync genetic test. Among the genes tested for in the test are three variations of the VDR gene. Resellers can purchase the test kits directly from HPDI and retail customers can call us (800-228-4265) to find out how we can help them get a test kit and support them with any associated counseling regarding the results.
SUGGESTED SUPPLEMENT SCHEDULE – BONE FRACTURES
I have included all of the above supplements including recommended dosages plus more related to having an excellent diet in the table provided below.
Additional nutrients that may be helpful include pH ADJUST (to balance excess acidity in the body), Warrior Mist™ for pain relief (rub on adjacent area several times daily), Echinacea (as drops or capsules), N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – NAC (2 gms per day), Progesterone Cream – for women (1/4–1/2 tsp twice daily), and TerraFlora probiotics/prebiotics (2 capsules daily) if on antibiotics.
PROPER DIET IS ESSENTIAL
Consume a diet that provides good amounts of protein which is needed by the body to support the healing of bone fractures. Eat meats, poultry and fish (e.g., sardines, salmon, mackerel) in the amount of a 5–10 ounces per day. Ensure a good intake of organic vegetables, including high levels of dietary fiber. Drink 16 oz per day of fresh vegetable juices from carrot, celery, beets, cabbage, etc.
Other healthy foods (preferably organic) include fruits, whole grains (e.g., brown rice, millet, and quinoa), beans, nuts and seeds (sunflower, chia, flax, pumpkin, almond, walnut and sesame in small amounts — 2 or 4 ounces — are good). Try eating Hank’s Vegetable Soup several times a week. Avoid all sweets (sugar), processed/refined foods (white bread and pasta), preservatives, and artificial flavors and colors. Vary your diet.
HYDROTHERAPY (WATER THERAPY) FOR BONE FRACTURES
An additional treatment that can be useful is hydrotherapy. In particular, hot and cold showers are a very effective way to move the blood and create circulation. This can speed up both detoxification and delivery of healing nutrients to the area of a bone fracture. Here’s how to do this. Once daily, take a complete hot and cold shower. You will start with hot water for one minute, then cold for one minute. Repeat this seven (7) times so the shower should last about 15 minutes.
Another time, daily, you can perform a complete hot and cold shower routine again or a partial one just applying the water directly to or near the area where there is a bone fracture. While you are doing both hot and cold showers, pay special attention to any affected area and massage it as vigorously as is safe and comfortable. If a shower is impossible, then alternate hot packs and ice packs on the area of the bone fracture.
BONE FRACTURES – CONCLUSION
By following the recommendations and suggested supplement schedule, healing time for bone fractures can be significantly reduced and fractures may heal more completely with fewer complications. By ensuring your body receives the proper nutrients it needs to heal itself, and by engaging in other relevant practices (e.g., hydrotherapy), you and/or your loved ones may be able to deal with bone fractures successfully, and continue a healthy, vibrant lifestyle.
Looking for an advanced antioxidant formula? Already using or recommending vitamin C? Curious about cellular Nrf2 activation? Look no further than PRO-C™.
PRO-C™ is among the most effective antioxidant formulas available. It is an HPDI foundational supplement that works most effectively when used with multivitamins, essential fats, and superfoods. However, it is also an excellent standalone formula that can rapidly provide the body with extremely high protection from free radicals.
We ourselves have taken PRO-C daily for many years with excellent results. Our personal experience together with detailed feedback from health professionals and end-users affirms the effectiveness of PRO-C as a super-antioxidant–vitamin C-Nrf2 activator formula.
PRO-C provides 500 mg of buffered vitamin C per capsule (buffered with calcium, magnesium, and zinc) along with grape extract (seed, skin, pulp) and green tea extract (95% polyphenols). In addition, we include a special combination of the “network antioxidants” l-glutathione (reduced), n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), r-lipoic acid, and selenium. Vitamin B2 and Vitamin B6 in coenzyme forms support the enzymatic effectiveness of the “network antioxidants”. The formula works so well because this combination of ingredients leverages the antioxidant power of vitamin C, grape extract, green tea extract, and the other nutrients to act synergistically in order to maximize effectiveness.
FORMULATION HISTORY AND THE SCIENCE BEHIND PRO-C™
What you may not know is the history of the development PRO-C and the scientific knowledge on which Dr. Hank Liers based his formulation of it.
Dr. Hank formulated his first product in 1989. It was a potent antioxidant formula he called PYC-C™ (sounds like “pixie”). PYC-C consisted of a combination of buffered Vitamin C (including magnesium, calcium, and zinc ascorbates) and pycnogenols from pine bark.
By 1997 Dr. Hank had gathered a great deal of new scientific information regarding green tea catechins and the nutrients termed “network antioxidants” by Dr. Lester Packer, director of Packer Lab at University of California, Berkeley. Beyond this information, Dr. Hank studied additional research regarding how various nutrients worked together synergistically. At that point, he was ready to formulate the new, improved PRO-C™ super antioxidant formula.
PRO-C combines the ingredients of PYC-C (now known as OPC-C™) and uses grape pulp, skin, and seed extract with green tea extract (with high polyphenols >95% and EpiGalloCatechinGalate (EGCG) >45%), n-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC), reduced glutathione (GSH), R-lipoic acid, selenium, and coenzyme Vitamins B2 and B6.
HPDI launched PRO-C™ in late 1997. It rapidly became one of our best-selling products. Our customers raved about how effective it was for them if they felt like they were “coming down with something” (like a cold, flu, virus, infection, etc.). Greater skin elasticity greatly helped pregnant women avoid stretch marks and episiotomies. Today, we highly recommend its use together with our other Foundational Supplements to ensure optimal health and anti-aging effects.
THE PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA
PRO-C™ super antioxidant formula is extremely synergistic, especially in so far as it increases the body’s ability to quench free radicals in its aqueous (i.e., water-based) compartments. Because antioxidants may become free radicals themselves after they have done their job, the body has developed an elaborate system for recovery of oxidized antioxidants.
Dr. Lester Packer was the primary researcher investigating the synergistic character of antioxidants. He made this statement in his interview with Dr. Richard Passwater after publication of Packer’s The Antioxidant Miracle (1999):
” [The major theme of] The Antioxidant Miracle is that antioxidants work in a coordinated manner. They interact with one another, and this interaction, which we like to call the antioxidant network, is very important to the overall antioxidant defense that we possess. The key members of the antioxidant network are vitamin E and vitamin C, but there are other participants in this network. These are thiol antioxidants, antioxidants that contain sulfur groups in the body. Glutathione perhaps is the best known of these, but there are other sulfur-containing antioxidants that also are very important.”
Dr. Packer continues:
“This whole antioxidant network works like an orchestra depending on individuals who have, of course, different complements of antioxidants depending upon their nutritional regimens and the individuality of their own body metabolisms. The idea behind having a network of antioxidants is that if one antioxidant happens to be deficient the others can compensate and still keep the antioxidant defense system strong.”
The following diagram shows some of the relationships in the antioxidant network and how they support each other.
Figure 1 – Dr. Packer’s Antioxidant Network
We see, for example, reduced glutathione (GSH) has the ability to reduce oxidized Vitamin C back to its unoxidized state. Vitamin C reduces oxidized Vitamin E back to its unoxidized state, and both reduces glutathione and spares it for other important functions, including detoxification and immune enhancement.
Many polyphenols (e.g., oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), anthocyanidins and catechins) found in red grape and green tea extracts spare Vitamin C and glutathione in the body, as well as operate as powerful antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and connective tissue strengtheners.
Grapes provide antioxidant nutrients such as polyphenols, OPCs, anthocyans, and resveratrol.
R-Lipoic Acid (see abstracts below) operates as an antioxidant both in its oxidized and reduced states, reduces the oxidized forms of both Vitamin E and Vitamin C, and and has been shown to enhance glutathione levels. Because several of these substances are able to protect Vitamin E contained in cell membranes, this combination also has a significant beneficial effect on the fat soluble antioxidant status of the body!
The nutrients in PRO-C have been carefully selected and balanced to provide optimal effects, especially as related to free radical protection, detoxification, immune system enhancement, connective tissue strengthening, and reduction of inflammation. PRO-C therefore provides outstanding nutritional support in a wide variety of conditions of poor health, as well as acts to support and maintain a state of health and well-being.
It the last several years the research results on Nrf2 activators have become well known and products developed that take advantage of these nutrients. For details see our blog article Natural Phytochemical Nrf2 Activators for Chemoprevention. Researchers have been studying specifically how enzyme-activating substances such as OPCs and anthocyans activate a transcription factor known as Nrf2 that causes the body to endogenously produce higher levels of a wide variety of protective enzymes including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase.
Although we did not know about Nrf2 activators in 1997 when we formulated PRO-C, we have subsequently learned that four of the ingredients in the formula have powerful Nrf2 activity. These include grape seed extract, green tea extract, NAC, and r-lipoic acid. With this knowledge, we now understand that PRO-C provides both powerful external antioxidants (with extremely high ORAC5.0 values) that support redox cycles within the body, but also provides ingredients that allow the body to endogenously produce powerful protective enzymes for even greater free-radical protection and health.
PRO-C™ ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA INGREDIENTS
PRO-C contains buffered vitamin C (in the form of powdered calcium, magnesium, and zinc ascorbates), high-potency grape extract (from grape pulp, skins, and seeds), green tea extract (with>95% polyphenols and >45% EGCG), reduced glutathione, N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), R-lipoic acid, coenzyme forms of vitamin B2 (R5P) and vitamin B6 (P5P), and selenium.
Below we will discuss each ingredient and show some of the research that confirms its effectiveness.
Vitamin C typically is called l-ascorbic acid or ascorbate and is an essential nutrient for humans and other animal species. The term “vitamin C” refers to a number of vitamins that have vitamin C activity in animals, including ascorbic acid and its salts (e.g., magnesium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, etc.), and some oxidized forms such as dehydroascorbate and semidehydroascorbate.
Vitamin C is known to perform many critical functions within the body involving detoxification, tissue building, immune enhancement, pain control, and controlling or killing pathogenic organisms. It is also known to be helpful for wound and bone healing, healthy skin and eyes, fighting infections, stress control, toxic exposure, and repairing damaged tissue of all types. For much more information on the many benefits of Vitamin C see our blog article Vitamin C – An Amazing Nutrient.
Below are two abstracts that show some of the beneficial effects of Vitamin C when used with other network antioxidants:
ABSTRACT 1: Exhaustive physical exercise causes oxidation of glutathione status in blood: prevention by antioxidant administration.
Sastre J, Asensi M, Gasco E, Pallardo FV, Ferrero JA, Furukawa T, Vina J
In: Am J Physiol (1992 Nov) 263(5 Pt 2):R992-5
We have studied the effect of exhaustive concentric physical exercise on glutathione redox status and the possible relationship between blood glutathione oxidation and blood lactate and pyruvate levels. Levels of oxidized glutathione (GSSG) in blood increase after exhaustive concentric physical exercise in trained humans. GSSG levels were 72% higher immediately after exercise than at rest. They returned to normal values 1 h after exercise. Blood reduced glutathione (GSH) levels did not change significantly after the exercise. We have found a linear relationship between GSSG-to-GSH and lactate-to-pyruvate ratios in human blood before, during, and after exhaustive exercise. In rats, physical exercise also caused an increase in blood GSSG levels that were 200% higher after physical exercise than at rest. GSH levels did not change significantly. Thus, both in rats and humans, exhaustive physical exercise causes a change in glutathione redox status in blood. We have also found that antioxidant administration, i.e., oral vitamin C, N-acetyl-L- cysteine, or glutathione, is effective in preventing oxidation of the blood glutathione pool after physical exercise in rats.
The effect of glutathione and vitamins A, C, and E on acute skin flap survival.
Hayden RE, Paniello RC, Yeung CS, Bello SL, Dawson SM
In: Laryngoscope (1987 Oct) 97(10):1176-9
Vitamins A, C, and E act as antioxidants and as free radical scavengers in biological systems. Glutathione is involved in several reactions in vitamin metabolism and also plays an important role in cell membrane protection against lipid peroxidation by free radicals. We sought to use these natural defense mechanisms against oxygen free radicals formed during reperfusion of ischemic skin flaps. An acute axial random skin flap model was utilized in the rat. Vitamins or glutathione were administered by oral gastric tube or intravenously in the perioperative period, and survival of the flap was measured at 1 week. Glutathione, beta-carotene, ascorbic acid and alpha-D- tocopherol showed mean flap survival of 84% to 89%, each of which was significantly improved over saline controls (67% p less than .0005). The mechanisms and biochemistry of these vitamins, and their interactions with other vitamins and with glutathione, are discussed, along with clinical implications of free radical scavenging and skin flap survival.
Grape extract (seeds, skin, pulp) contain highly bioavailable bioflavonoid complexes that in research studies have been shown to have powerful antioxidant capability. The Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (OPCs) in grape seed extract are able to strengthen collagen fibers in aging or damaged connective tissue and can act as a preventative against connective tissue degradation.
Some research indicates that anthocyans, which are found in extracts of grape skin and stems (but not in grape seed extract), can reduce oxidized glutathione while at the same time become reduced themselves. In addition, extracts of grape skin and stems (but not those of grape seed extract) contain a material called trans-resveratrol that has been shown to have chemopreventive effects.
ABSTRACT 3: Protective effects of grape seed proanthocyanidins and selected antioxidants against TPA-induced hepatic and brain lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation, and peritoneal macrophage activation in mice. Bagchi D, Garg A, Krohn RL, Bagchi M, Bagchi DJ, Balmoori J, Stohs SJ
In: Gen Pharmacol (1998 May) 30(5):771-6
1. The comparative protective abilities of a grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) (25-100 mg/kg), vitamin C (100 mg/kg), vitamin E succinate (VES) (100 mg/kg) and beta-carotene (50 mg/kg) on 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)-induced lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation in the hepatic and brain tissues, as well as production of reactive oxygen species by peritoneal macrophages, were assessed. 2. Treatment of mice with GSPE (100 mg/kg), vitamin C, VES and beta-carotene decreased TPA-induced production of reactive oxygen species, as evidenced by decreases in the chemiluminescence response in peritoneal macrophages by approximately 70%, 18%, 47% and 16%, respectively, and cytochrome c reduction by approximately 65%, 15%, 37% and 19%, respectively, compared with controls. 3. GSPE, vitamin C, VES and beta-carotene decreased TPA-induced DNA fragmentation by approximately 47%, 10%, 30% and 11%, respectively, in the hepatic tissues, and 50%, 14%, 31% and 11%, respectively, in the brain tissues, at the doses that were used. Similar results were observed with respect to lipid peroxidation in hepatic mitochondria and microsomes and in brain homogenates. 4. GSPE exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition of TPA- induced lipid peroxidation and DNA fragmentation in liver and brain, as well as a dose-dependent inhibition of TPA-induced reactive oxygen species production in peritoneal macrophages. 5. GSPE and other antioxidants provided significant protection against TPA-induced oxidative damage, with GSPE providing better protection than did other antioxidants at the doses that were employed.
ABSTRACT 4: Clinical and capillaroscopic evaluation of chronic uncomplicated venous insufficiency with procyanidins extracted from vitis vinifera
Costantini A, De Bernardi T, Gotti A
In: Minerva Cardioangiol (1999 Jan-Feb) 47(1-2):39-46
BACKGROUND: The pharmacological treatment of non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency is a current and well-debated topic. The introduction of new products with action on the venous system, improved knowledge on the physiopathology of venous insufficiency and the possibility provided by new analytical instruments, have given new impulse to the consolidation of the clinical value of phlebotonics in this indication. METHODS: In light of this, 24 patients with non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency were treated with oral administration of Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins (Pycnogenols-OPC) 100 mg/day. To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the treatment, an instrumental evaluation by optical probe capillaroscope was employed in addition to the traditional subjective clinical parameters: swelling, itching, heaviness and pain. The videocapillaroscope examination was performed at the lower third of the leg and the first toe. Edema in the capillaroscopic field, the number of observable capillaries and the capillary dilatation were the parameter chosen to evaluate the efficacy of treatment. All patients completed the study with no reports of adverse events during the period of observation. RESULTS: The results obtained show a positive clinical response (improved or absent symptoms) in over 80% of patients, with significant improvement of symptoms already evident after the first 10 days of treatment. The mechanism of action of the OPCs explains the rapid reduction of the swelling of the lower limbs and correlated with this are the other evaluable symptoms: heaviness and itching. Particularly striking results were observed for itching and pain which completely disappeared during the course of therapy in 80% and 53% of the patients respectively. Noteworthy is the good correlation between the clinical and instrumental data, with improvement in a total of 70% of patients. CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained in the course of this clinical experience, with evident improvement already during the first weeks of treatment, the absence of adverse events added to the benefit of a once-a-day administration, justify the use of OPC in the treatment of non-complicated chronic venous insufficiency.
Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is an important transcription factor that regulates antioxidant response element (ARE)-driven phase II detoxification enzymes. In this study, induction of phase II enzymes via Nrf2/ARE activation in the cytoprotective effect of crude polyphenol extract (CPE), oligomeric procyanidin fraction (OPF), and polymeric procyanidin fraction (PPF) from defatted grape seeds in HepG2 cells was evaluated. Among these treatments, the treatment with PPF significantly increased Nrf2 protein expression in the nuclear fraction. Treating the samples increased heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) protein expression in a dose-dependent manner, and PPF significantly increased the levels of phase II enzymes. Cellular generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were effectively reduced by PPF. These results suggest that pretreatment with PPF shows a cytoprotective effect by inhibiting ROS production and inducing HO-1 and NQO1 expression via Nrf2 activation in HepG2 cells.
GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Green tea extract is obtained from the unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis for which numerous biological activities have been reported including: antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, and protective against tumorigenesis. Below we have selected a few of the many abstracts we have on file showing the benefit of green tea extract.
Green tea leaves are high in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins.
ABSTRACT 6: Enhancement of antioxidant and phase II enzymes by oral feeding of green tea polyphenols in drinking water to SKH-1 hairless mice: possible role in cancer chemoprevention.
Khan SG, Katiyar SK, Agarwal R, Mukhtar H
In: Cancer Res (1992 Jul 15) 52(14):4050-2
Following the oral feeding of a polyphenolic fraction isolated from green tea (GTP) in drinking water, an increase in the activities of antioxidant and phase II enzymes in skin, small bowel, liver, and lung of female SKH-1 hairless mice was observed. GTP feeding (0.2%, w/v) to mice for 30 days significantly increased the activities of glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and quinone reductase in small bowel, liver, and lungs, and glutathione S-transferase in small bowel and liver. GTP feeding to mice also resulted in considerable enhancement of glutathione reductase activity in liver. In general, the increase in antioxidant and phase II enzyme activities was more pronounced in lung and small bowel as compared to liver and skin. The significance of these results can be implicated in relation to the cancer chemopreventive effects of GTP against the induction of tumors in various target organs.
ABSTRACT 7: INHIBITORY EFFECT OF SIX GREEN TEA CATECHINS AND CAFFEINE ON THE GROWTH OF FOUR SELECTED HUMAN TUMOR CELL LINES. In: Anticancer Drugs (1996 Jun) 7(4):461-8
Institutional address: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology College of Pharmacy University of Arizona Tucson 85721 USA.
Green tea is an aqueous infusion of dried unfermented leaves of Camellia sinensis (family Theaceae) from which numerous biological activities have been reported including antimutagenic, antibacterial, hypocholesterolemic, antioxidant, antitumor and cancer preventive activities. From the aqueous-alcoholic extract of green tea leaves, six compounds (+)-gallocatechin (GC), (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)- epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), (-)- epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and caffeine, were isolated and purified. Together with (+)-catechin, these compounds were tested against each of four human tumor cells lines (MCF-7 breast carcinoma, HT-29 colon carcinoma, A-427 lung carcinoma and UACC-375 melanoma). The three most potent green tea components against all four tumor cell lines were EGCG, GC and EGC. EGCG was the most potent of the seven green tea components against three out of the four cell lines (i.e. MCF-7 breast cancer, HT-29 colon cancer and UACC-375 melanoma). On the basis of these extensive in vitro studies, it would be of considerable interest to evaluate all three of these components in comparative preclinical in vivo animal tumor model systems before final decisions are made concerning which of these potential chemopreventive drugs should be taken into broad clinical trials.
GLUTATHIONE AND N-ACETYL-L-CYSTEINE (NAC)
Glutathione and NAC (a major precursor of glutathione) both provide important protection against toxins and free radicals, and can strengthen the immune system. Glutathione is considered to be one of the most important protective substances in the human body with almost 60% of liver detoxification accounted for by this key substance. In addition, glutathione is one of the most potent anti-viral substances known.
Some research has indicated that glutathione may not be able to enter easily into certain types of cells, but NAC is able to enter these cells and be converted into glutathione once inside the cell. Thus, the combination of glutathione and NAC appear to be more potent than either alone.
ABSTRACT 8 GSH rescue by N-acetylcysteine.
Ruffmann R Wendel A
In: Klin Wochenschr (1991 Nov 15) 69(18):857-62
Reduced glutathione (GSH) is the main intracellular low molecular weight thiol. GSH acts as a nucleophilic scavenger and as an enzyme-catalyzed antioxidant in the event of electrophilic/oxidative tissue injury. Therefore, GSH has a major role as a protector of biological structures and functions. GSH depletion has been recognized as a hazardous condition during paracetamol intoxication. Conversely, GSH rescue, meaning recovery of the protective potential of GSH by early administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), has been found to be life-saving. Lack of GSH and electrophilic/oxidative injury have been identified among the causes of the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Experimental and early clinical data (in ARDS) point to the role of NAC in the treatment of these conditions. Recently, orally given NAC has been shown to enhance the levels of GSH in the liver, in plasma, and notably in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Rescue of GSH through NAC needs to be appreciated as an independent treatment modality for an array of different disease, all of which have one feature in common: pathogenetically relevant loss of GSH.
ABSTRACT 9 Cysteine and glutathione concentrations in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid after treatment with N-acetylcysteine.
Bridgeman MM Marsden M MacNee W Flenley DC Ryle AP
In: Thorax (1991 Jan) 46(1):39-42
N-acetylcysteine (600 mg/day) was given to patients by mouth for five days before bronchoscopy and bronchoalveolar lavage to determine whether N-acetylcysteine could increase the concentrations of the antioxidant reduced glutathione in plasma and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Bronchoalveolar lavage was performed 1-3 hours (group 2, n = 9) and 16-20 hours (group 3, n = 10) after the last dose of N-acetylcysteine and the values were compared with those in a control group receiving no N-acetylcysteine (group 1, n = 8). N-Acetylcysteine was not detected in plasma or lavage fluid. Plasma concentrations of cysteine, the main metabolite of N-acetylcysteine and a precursor of reduced glutathione, were greater in the groups receiving treatment (groups 2 and 3) than in group 1. Cysteine concentrations in lavage fluid were similar in the three groups. Concentrations of reduced glutathione were greater in both plasma and lavage fluid in group 2 than in group 1. These data suggest that N-acetylcysteine given by mouth is rapidly deacetylated to cysteine, with resulting increases in the concentrations of cysteine in plasma and of reduced glutathione in plasma and the airways, which thus temporarily increase the antioxidant capacity of the lung.
R-LIPOIC ACID / ALPHA-LIPOIC ACID
R-Lipoic Acid is normally made at low levels in the human body, where it functions primarily as an important metabolic nutrient in the conversion of pyruvic acid into acetyl coenzyme A. As such, it plays a crucial role in the metabolism of both fats and carbohydrates into energy. In addition, r-lipoic acid functions as an extremely powerful antioxidant capable of trapping many different types of free radicals in the body.
Because it is both water and fat soluble, lipoic acid is able to operate in a broader range of body tissues than most other antioxidants. Its small size allows lipoic acid to enter areas of the body not easily accessible to many other substances; this allows lipoic acid, for example, to enter the cell nucleus and prevent free-radical damage to DNA.
Because it is such a powerful antioxidant and can easily function as such in both a reduced and oxidized state, lipoic acid is able to protect other important antioxidants such as glutathione, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C. R-lipoic acid is also able to chelate heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, free iron, and free copper out of the body.
Below we provide relevant scientific abstracts from our database regarding R-Lipoic acid.
ABSTRACT 10: Alpha-Lipoic acid as a biological antioxidant.
Packer L Witt EH Tritschler HJ
In: Free Radic Biol Med (1995 Aug) 19(2):227-50
alpha-Lipoic acid, which plays an essential role in mitochondrial dehydrogenase reactions, has recently gained considerable attention as an antioxidant. Lipoate, or its reduced form, dihydrolipoate, reacts with reactive oxygen species such as superoxide radicals, hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorous acid, peroxyl radicals, and singlet oxygen. It also protects membranes by interacting with vitamin C and glutathione, which may in turn recycle vitamin E. In addition to its antioxidant activities, dihydrolipoate may exert prooxidant actions through reduction of iron. alpha-Lipoic acid administration has been shown to be beneficial in a number of oxidative stress models such as ischemia-reperfusion injury, diabetes (both alpha-lipoic acid and dihydrolipoic acid exhibit hydrophobic binding to proteins such as albumin, which can prevent glycation reactions), cataract formation, HIV activation, neurodegeneration, and radiation injury. Furthermore, lipoate can function as a redox regulator of proteins such as myoglobin, prolactin, thioredoxin and NF-kappa B transcription factor. We review the properties of lipoate in terms of (1) reactions with reactive oxygen species; (2) interactions with other antioxidants; (3) beneficial effects in oxidative stress models or clinical conditions.
Alpha-lipoic acid (α-LA) is an important antioxidant that is capable of regenerating other antioxidants, such as glutathione (GSH). However, the underlying molecular mechanism by which α-LA regenerates GSH remains poorly understood. The current study aimed to investigate whether α-LA regenerates GSH by activation of Nrf2 to alleviate cadmium-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. In the present study, we found that cadmium induced cell death by depletion of GSH through inactivation of Nrf2. Addition of α-LA to cadmium-treated cells reactivated Nrf2 and regenerated GSH through elevating the Nrf2-downstream genes γ-glutamate-cysteine ligase (γ-GCL) and GR, both of which are key enzymes for GSH synthesis. However, blocking Nrf2 with brusatol in the cells co-treated with α-LA and cadmium reduced the mRNA and the protein levels of γ-GCL and GR, thus suppressed GSH regeneration by α-LA. Our results indicated that α-LA activated Nrf2 signaling pathway, which upregulated the transcription of the enzymes for GSH synthesis and therefore GSH contents to alleviate cadmium-induced cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells.
Selenium has been shown by clinical research to be a key mineral in the body’s defenses against free radicals and has been shown to be a major factor in reducing the symptoms of HIV infections and in the prevention of tumors. Selenium is used in conjunction with glutathione to form the powerful enzyme glutathione peroxidase that is responsible for detoxification of peroxides formed during the process of aerobic metabolism in humans and other animals.
ABSTRACT 12 Serum selenium concentrations in rheumatoid arthritis.
In: Ann Rheum Dis (1991 Jun) 50(6):376-8
O’Dell JR, Lemley-Gillespie S, Palmer WR, Weaver AL, Moore GF, Klassen LW
Selenium is a trace element and an essential part of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which protects cells from oxidative damage. Selenium has been shown to have antiproliferative, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and immune altering effects. Serum selenium concentrations in 101 patients with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis were found to be significantly lower than those in 29 normal, healthy controls (mean (SD) 148 (42) v 160 (25) micrograms/l) and also lower than those in eight patients with fibrositis (148 (42) v 166 (25) micrograms/l). It is speculated that serum selenium concentrations may modulate the effect of viral or other infections in subjects with the appropriate genetic background and in this way enhance the development or progression of rheumatoid arthritis.
ABSTRACT 13 Studies on selenium in top athletes.
Dragan I, Ploesteanu E, Cristea E, Mohora M, Dinu V, Troescu VS
In: Physiologie (1988 Oct-Dec) 25(4):187-90
The authors performed a controlled trial in 18 top athletes (9 weight lifters and 9 rowers, girls) in order to make evident some chronic and acute effects (antioxidant) of selenium. Nonprotein–SH (essential glutathione), lipid peroxides (MDA-malondialdehyde), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenases (G-6-PDH) and fructose-1,6- diphosphate aldolase in serum, have been recorded initially on basal conditions, after 3 weeks of treatment (100 micrograms/day selenium or placebo) and again after 3 weeks of treatment, also on basal conditions, when crossing over the groups (between a free interval of 10 days). In another trial we registered these parameters on basal conditions and after two hours of hard training accompanied by a per oral administration of 150 micrograms selenium (respectively placebo). The results show significant changes under selenium treatment of the peroxides, G-6-PDH and light changes, not significant of the nonprotein–SH, changes which could suggest an antioxidant effect of this element.
VITAMINS B2 and B6 IN COENZYME FORMS
Vitamin B2 as coenzyme riboflavin-5-phosphate is a key vitamin that supports the regeneration of glutathione (via glutathione reductase). Vitamin B6 as coenzyme pyridoxal-5-phosphate is a key vitamin that supports the ability of glutathione to combine with toxic substances (via glutathione transferase) in the process of eliminating them from the body. They are especially effective in their coenzyme forms which allows them to be directly utilized by the body starting in the intestinal tract.
MAGNESIUM, CALCIUM, AND ZINC
Magnesium, zinc, and calcium synergistically work with (and enhance the effects of) the other ingredients in PRO-C. Minerals are especially needed as active components of enzymes that drive metabolic activity. For example, magnesium is required in the functioning of more than 325 types of enzymes.
PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA BENEFITS
HIGHLY EFFECTIVE VITAMIN C FORMULA PLUS ANTIOXIDANTS. A complete vitamin C formula, a powerful antioxidant Formula, and Nrf2 activator combined in a single advanced supplement!
POWERFUL, SYNERGISTIC FREE-RADICAL QUENCHING FORMULA. PRO-C™ components work together to quench free radicals in your body. Vitamin C enables grape seed extract to function more effectively, and conversely grape seed extract potentiates vitamin C. Green tea extract boosts ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) value.
PROVIDES SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF POWERFUL NRF2 ACTIVATORS (from Grape Extract, Green Tea Extract, NAC, and R-Lipoic Acid) that stimulate the production of the body’s own protective antioxidants including superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and heme oxygenase.
SUPERIOR, BUFFERED (NON-ACIDIC) FORM OF VITAMIN C. Mineral Ascorbates never acidify your body, keeping you pH balanced. Staying alkaline is an important element in maintaining a healthy body.
RAPID ASSIMILATION. Capsule form ensures rapid uptake and assimilation in the body. You may also empty capsule contents into water, food, or directly Into mouth, if desired. Good, mildly tart taste!
COMPOSITION OF PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA
One (1) vegetarian capsule of PRO-C provides the following percentages of the Daily Value:
% Daily Value
Vitamin C (from mineral ascorbates)
BioVin® Grape Extract
Green Tea Extract
Calcium (from calcium ascorbate)
Magnesium (from magnesium ascorbate)
Zinc (from zinc ascorbate)
Vitamin B2 (from riboflavin-5′-phosphate)
Vitamin B6 (from pyridoxal-5′-phosphate)
Selenium (from l-selenomethionine)
* No established Daily Value
DIRECTIONS: As a dietary supplement take 1–3 capsules or more daily in divided doses (i.e., spread out over the day), or as recommended by a health care professional. It initially may be useful to take up to 6 capsules per day in divided doses for one week. The contents of the capsule may be emptied into juice or food, as needed.
INGREDIENTS: PRO-C™ SUPER ANTIOXIDANT FORMULA contains only the highest-quality USP grade magnesium ascorbate, USP grade calcium ascorbate, BioVin® grape extract (greater than 75% polyphenols, 93% OPC, greater than 3.5% anthocyanidins from grape pulp, skins, and seeds, and a small amount of trans resveratrol), green tea extract (95% min. polyphenols and 45% min. EGCG), l-glutathione (reduced), USP grade n-acetyl-l-cysteine, USP grade zinc ascorbate, r-(+)-lipoic acid, riboflavin-5′-phosphate, pyridoxal-5′-phosphate, l-selenomethionine, the smallest amounts of microcrystalline cellulose and silica in a vegetarian capsule.
PRO-C™ does not contain wheat, rye, oats, corn antigen, barley, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, yeast, sugar, sulfates, phosphates (other than coenzyme forms), fats, chlorides, GMOs, wax, preservatives, colorings, or artificial flavorings.