I'm feeling certain that we have the MTHFR gene issue. So, I'm researching the holistic path to opening the detox pathways (from Whome's advanced study links), BEFORE initiating any (expensive!) supplements which only address a single variable, without the bigger picture.

My *trust* is in whole foods as nourishment for the body and am learning about how important the METHOD of food preparation is to nutrient bio-availability. Taking pills which are not bio-available, or not in combination with other essential minerals, vitamins and probiotics seems to be a bandaide approach, in my paradigm. Additionally, it disrupts the natural balance that the body has.

For instance, grinding and soaking whole grains in an acid medium increases the nutrient availability about 400%. Sue Gregg has a 'Blender Batter' method of baking which is so easy and you get whole food benefits. http://www.suegregg.com/recipes/breakfasts/blenderbatterwaffles/ble...
http://www.rebuild-from-depression.com/resources/book/Chapter13.pdf

Homemade bone broths are nutrient rich in the following vitamins and minerals: calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals, chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, gelatin, Hyaluronic acid, collagen, amino acid-glycine, promotes the secretion of HCl in the stomach for digestion- which is critical to B-vitamins, folic acid, calcium and magnesium absorption, sodium, potassium, protein, etc. The minerals in broth are easily absorbed by the body. You can use it to make soups, sauces, cook rice, or even sip it as a tea. Simple to simmer and an ideal food source of nutrients!
http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/broth.html
http://www.chesapeakegardens.com/articles/brothy.benefits.pdf
http://www.townsendletter.com/FebMarch2005/broth0205.htm

Whole food probiotics. Don't get me started!! But, Kefir and whole food probiotics are an essential aspect to nutrient absorption, ph balance in the body, immune system support, bio-availability of B12, B1, and vitamin K, other B vitamins, such as folic acid, pantothenic acid, and B12, an excellent source of biotin, loads of calcium and magnesium -- both of which are critical for a healthy nervous system, essential amino acid- tryptophan, 37+ major strains of beneficial microbials (probiotics), helps the digestion of lactose, strengthens the immune system, provides amino acids, enzymes, AND is an antioxidant.

http://coproweb.free.fr/kefiranglais.htm
http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=203282
http://etd.sun.ac.za/jspui/bitstream/10019/113/1/PowJE.pdf

Green Juices! They are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and complete amino acids (protein)!
http://gotgreensrevolution.com/green-smoothie.html

These are MUCH cheaper and more bio-available sources of nutrition, imo.

The 5-minute Herb and Dietary Supplement Consult
By Adriane Fugh-Berman

http://books.google.com/books?id=UCR3CtwmjHMC&pg=PA196&lpg=...

Everything about amino acids and food sources: http://www.innvista.com/health/nutrition/amino/default.htm

Top 200 food sources of many vitamins, amino acids, minerals, antioxidants, etc.: http://top200foodsources.com/Nutrients/Glycine/516/g

Comprehensive list of vitamins and food sources:
http://ezinearticles.com/?Best-Bet-Food-Sources-for-Vitamins&id...
"Nutrition Notebook": http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/cat_proteins.html

100 World's Healthiest Foods: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php

30 Essential Nutrients: http://www.whfoods.com/nutrientstoc.php

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Browse Inside SuperFoods Rx: Fourteen Foods That Will Change Your Life, by Steven G. Pratt, MD http://books.google.com/books?id=2-cKNVj_NAwC&dq=Fourteen+Foods...
glycine- Vitamin B-15 or DMG or Di Methyl Glycine or Pangamic Acid: Best Bet Food Sources-- Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, brown rice, meat.

High protein food contains good amounts of glycine and is present in fish, meat, beans, and dairy products.

Top 200 food sources of glycine: http://top200foodsources.com/Nutrients/Glycine/516/g

Comprehensive list of vitamins and food sources: http://ezinearticles.com/?Best-Bet-Food-Sources-for-Vitamins&id...
Methionine is a sulfur containing essential amino acid. This means that it must be obtained through the diet in adequate quantities to meet the body's needs.

Methionine is used in the manufacture of taurine, which is an important amino acid for cardiac function as well as serving as a brain neurotransmitter. Deficiencies of methionine which are found to be associated with a poor-quality dietary protein intake can result in taurine, cysteine, and one-carbon metabolite deficiencies.

Insufficiencies of methionine can result in poor synthesis of phosphatidylcholine and other phospholipids. These substances are essential for nervous system function as well as prevention of blood cell stickiness.

Supplementation with methionine is often seen in soy-based protein formulas to improve the protein quality. L-methionine supplementation of soy protein will raise its protein efficiency ratio by providing enhanced levels of this amino acid which is deficient in soy protein. Excessive intake of methionine can aggravate some forms of schizophrenia and encourage stuvite kidney stone formation in sensitive individuals. Therapeutic doses of methionine range between 500 and 1,000 mg per day.

Methionine is converted to S-adenosyl methionine, which then serves as a methyl group donor for the synthesis of substances such as ethanolamine. Ethanolamine is further methylated in the body and converted to phosphatidylcholine, which is found in lecithin.

Methionine is also converted into homocysteine, which reconverted back to methionine through the trans-sulfuration pathway. Homocysteine should not build up in the body; if it does, it is associated with an increased risk to heart disease and atherosclerosis. The poor conversion of homocysteine to methionine is caused by vitamin B-6 deficiency in genetically susceptible individuals.

Methionine is incorporated into proteins. A major route of its metabolism involves conversion to S-adenosyl methionine (SAM). SAM is a key intermediate in the transsulfuration pathway, which results in the manufacture of diverse substances such as taurine and carnitine. SAM is converted to homocysteine, which can be reconverted to methionine, but adequate levels of vitamin B-6 are required. A genetic defect has been found which prevents proper conversion of homocysteine to methionine. This is associated with increased risk to atherosclerosis (coronary artery disease). This block can be overcome by administering higher levels of vitamin B-6 and/or betaine, which promote these sluggish enzymes and facilitate better conversion of homocysteine to methionine.

Foods high in methionine include:


· Cottage cheese (dry) 1,200 mg/cup

· Cottage cheese (crmd) 854 mg/cup

· Fish & other seafoods 2,000-3,500 mg/lb

· Meats 750-2,500 mg/lb · Poultry 1,500-2,000 mg/lb

· Peanuts, roasted w skin 640 mg/cup

· Sesame seeds 1,400 mg/cup · Dry, whole lentils 350 mg/cup

http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/proteins_methionine.html
Food sources which abound in methionine include foods such as beans, eggs and fish, various lentils, poultry and meat, onions and garlic, soybeans, seeds and yogurt. Methionine is used by the body to synthesize a particular molecular brain food called choline. Diets must be supplemented either with choline or lecithin - another compound high in choline - so as to ensure an adequate supply of methionine at all times.

The levels of the neuro-transmitting substances such as dopamine, nor-epinephrine and epinephrine are increased by methionine. The amino acid is also utilized in controlling hypertension; it is used to lower the potency of allergic symptoms in people affected by such conditions. Methionine is also used to bring relief from chronic pain and as an aid to reduce all kinds of inflammation. It is also used to lower cholesterol and to protect the person from the bad effects of aspirin and related chemicals. Methionine supplements are also beneficial in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia especially in the early stages.

A lot of methionine is generally consumed by the majority of people as a part of total proteins in the average diet. However, neural tube defects in new born babies has been linked to lowered intake of methionine - the real significance of this observation is still not charted and there may be a possible relation between normal fetal development and levels of methionine in the body of expectant mothers.

http://www.herbs2000.com/amino_acids/methionine.htm
phenylalanine- L-phenylalanine can be converted into L-tyrosine, a non-essential amino acid, which is in turn converted into L-DOPA. L-DOPA is a precursor for dopamine, norepinephrine (noradrenalin), and epinephrine (adrenaline). Some clinical evidence suggests that phenylalanine may be effective as part of a comprehensive therapy for depression. Individuals have reported improvement in mood when taking phenylalanine. This is thought to be due to enhanced production of brain chemicals, such as dopamine and norepinephrine.

DL-phenylalanine may cause anxiety, jitteriness, and hyperactivity in children. This nutrient could prove of benefit to people suffering from Parkinson's disease, tiredness, depression, busy with alcohol withdrawal, rheumatoid arthritis, osteo-arthritis and vitiligo.

Foods high in phenylalanine include:

· Cottage cheese (dry) 2,300 mg/cup
· Cottage cheese (crmd) 1,647 mg/cup
· Fish & other seafoods 3,000-4,500 mg/lb
· Meats 1,000-4,500 mg/lb
· Poultry 2,000-4,500 mg/lb
· Peanuts, roasted w skin 3,500 mg/cup
· Sesame seeds 3,000 mg/cup

http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/amino-acids/phenylalanine-benefits-...
· Dry, whole lentils 2,500 mg/cup

L-phenylalanine is found in most foods that contain protein such as beef, poultry, pork, fish, milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, soy products (including soy protein isolate, soybean flour, and tofu), and certain nuts and seeds. The artificial sweetener aspartame is also high in phenylalanine.
Apparently, honey is different because of the fructose, in addition to glucose. Fructose is stored in the liver for future needs of blood sugar regulation. The glucose formed from the fructose is stored in the liver and released only if and when blood glucose falls. AND "The Fructose Paradox" allows for glucose uptake into the liver and therefore prevents a rapid rise in blood glucose.

The first and third links talk about the melatonin connection also. Also related to growth hormone production.
http://www.apitherapy.org/pdfs/Website.Article.Fessenden.HoneyFood2...
http://www.isoactive.com/hd/honey.htm
http://www.prohoneyandhealth.com/UserFiles/image/EDU%20POSTER%20NO%...

From the second article:

Quote:
Any fall in blood glucose is dangerous for the brain. Even a minor fall in blood glucose will cause the brain to panic. This will cause the adrenal glands to be activated, to go into hyper drive and the adrenal hormones are, if overproduced toxic to human biology.
The hormones are of course essential for the type of crisis mentioned but these hormones (stress hormones) make us sick if we produce them chronically.

Chronic overproduction of the adrenal glands is the condition of modern man and will lead to conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes (non insulin dependent), poor immune function, depression and other distressing conditions with which we are all familiar.


If we can look after our liver glycogen store, by including in our diet the correct balance of carbohydrates so that both the liver and therefore the brain are catered for at all times of the day and night we reduce the requirement for production of the adrenal hormones, and we can then reserve our adrenal glands for their correct function which is for fight or flight.

How do we do this?

By stabilizing blood glucose.

How do we do this?

By looking after our liver glycogen store in the way that nature intended, by using natural fructose from fruit, dried fruit, fruit juice and the other natural source, honey.



And, there's more! Honey contains small amounts of a wide array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants (and probiotics). The vitamins found in honey may include (depending on floral variety) niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid; minerals present include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
http://www.foodreference.com/html/art-honey-health.html


"recommend not more than 10 teaspoons of honey (which is about 50ml)"

Different varietals of honey possess a large amount of friendly bacteria (6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria), which may explain many of the "mysterious therapeutic properties of honey."
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?t...dspice&dbid=96
http://www.prohoneyandhealth.com/Use...m%20Report.pdf

Clinical studies have shown that honey enhances the growth of healthful bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The effect of honey was similar to that of commercial FOS, GOS and inulin. Sweeteners other than honey did not appear to have an effect on stimulating bifidobacteria growth.

1. Honey can enhance the growth of acid production of human Bifidobacterium ss. Journal of Food Protection. 2002; 65(1); 214-8
2. Honey enhances the production of lactic acid from Bifidobacteria, Journal of Food Science, 2001;66(3): 478-481
http://www.weebeehoney.net/honey_for_health.html




I'm rather impressed with honey! I didn't realize the extent of the benefits.


Pat
smoothies:
I make them daily (at least once a day!)

Here's what I do:
one protein:
almond butter
pecans
salba
hemp
chia

one fat:
eggs
raw butter (rarely)
coconut oil (most often)
avocado

fruit:
cherries
strawberries
acai
blueberries
peaches
banana
pineapple
mango

greens:

celery
spinach
parsley
chard
wheat grass
kale

a booster or base:

green juice (instead of throwing in fresh I sometimes juice)
green powder (vitamineral green is my favorite)
herbal infusions (nettle, alfalfa, red raspberry leaf, oatstraw, rose hip etc.)

I just mix and match and it's generally wonderful.

Per Elizabeth, FF, PB, SB...
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)- The number one symptom for Vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and lethargic.


Recommended dietary allowances are 2.4 micrograms per day for adults and adolescents aged 14 years and older, 2.6 micrograms per day for adult and adolescent pregnant females, 2.8 micrograms per day for adult and adolescent lactating females.

The following is a list of the amount of folate contained in 100g of these foods:

* calf liver (fried) – 58 micrograms
* cheddar cheese – 2.4 micrograms
* salmon (grilled) – 5 micrograms
* steak – 2 micrograms

Food sources of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in most foods of animal origin. Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, and milk and milk products.



http://www.enutritionnews.com/2007/02/vitamin-b12-benefits-deficien...
biotin- What is biotin?

Researchers have identified a substance in raw egg white - a sugar and protein-containing molecule (glycoprotein) called avidin - that can bind together with biotin and prevent its absorption. Food scientists have also identified the egg yolk as one of the most dense sources of biotin in the diet.

Food Sources

What foods provide biotin?

Excellent sources of biotin include chard, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and carrots. Very good sources include almonds, chicken eggs, onions, cabbage, cucumber, and cauliflower. Good sources includes goat's milk, cow's milk, raspberries, strawberries, halibut, oats, and walnuts.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=42

Pat
pantothenic acid - B5
What high-B5 foods can do for you:

* Help turn carbohydrates and fats into usable energy
* Improve your ability to respond to stress by supporting your adrenal glands
* Assure adequate production of healthy fats in your cells

What events can indicate a need for more high-B5 foods?

* Fatigue
* Listlessness
* Sensations of weakness
* Numbness, tingling, and burning/shooting pain in the feet

Liver and Mushrooms are an excellent food source of vitamin B5 while cauliflower is a very good source. Good sources of vitamin B5 include broccoli, turnip greens and sunflower seeds, tomato, strawberries, yogurt, eggs, winter squash, collard greens, chard and corn.

Vitamins B12, folate, and biotin are required for proper use of vitamin B5 in the body's biochemical pathways. In addition, vitamin C appears to help prevent B5 deficiency.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=87

Pat
Carnitine plays a critical role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized ("burned") to produce energy. It also transports the toxic compounds generated out of this cellular organelle to prevent their accumulation.

Healthy children and adults do not need to consume carnitine from food or supplements, as the liver and kidneys produce sufficient amounts from the amino acids lysine and methionine to meet daily needs.

What foods provide carnitine?

Animal products like meat, fish, poultry, and milk are the best sources. In general, the redder the meat, the higher its carnitine content. Dairy products contain carnitine primarily in the whey fraction.

Carnitine occurs in two forms, known as D and L, that are mirror images (isomers) of each other. Only L-carnitine is active in the body and is the form found in food.

The kidneys efficiently conserve carnitine, so even carnitine-poor diets have little impact on the body's total carnitine content.
http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/carnitine.asp

Vegans and those with little meat or dairy consumption could have an issue, it seems.


Pat
http://delano.com/Articles/Theanine-Sharpe.html
From the link above, "anyone being treated for cancer, autoimmune disease or any other serious illness should supplement with theanine only under the supervision of a health care professional. Likewise, as previously mentioned, theanine should be used with caution by anyone undergoing treatment for depression with a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, since according to some reports theanine can decrease brain levels of this neurotransmitter."

"It was also shown to affect levels of dopamine and serotonin in animals. "

Theanine-induced reduction of brain serotonin concentration in rats.
"Following the administration of theanine, the brain tryptophan content significantly increased or tended to increase, but the contents of serotonin and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5HIAA) decreased."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9614715?dopt=Citation

Effects of theanine, r-glutamylethylamide, on neurotransmitter release and its relationship with glutamic acid neurotransmission. "These results suggested that the mechanism of dopamine release caused by theanine is different from glutamate transporter blockers or glutamic acid."

This is rather profound:

Abstract

Theanine (r-glutamylethylamide) is one of the major amino acid components in green tea. Recent studies suggest that theanine affects neurotransmission, especially inhibitory neurotransmission.
In this study, we investigated whether theanine affects brain development in infant rats, because inhibitory neurotransmission is required for mature brain function. Mother rats were fed theanine ad libitum after confinement. The body weight gain rate of infants was not different from control infants. We detected theanine in the infant serum and measured neurotransmitter concentration and nerve growth factor (NGF) mRNA level in the infant rat brain.



Some neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, glycine and GABA concentration, increased in the infant brain and NGF mRNA level increased in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus. However, these differences were lost by the end of nerve maturity. These results suggest that theanine enhanced synthesis of nerve growth factor and neurotransmitters during a nerve maturing period and promoted central nerve system maturation (CNS). Thus, theanine accelerated maturation. In conclusion, theanine may assist in healthy brain function development."
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6T99-...


In a study comparing Theanine and Xanax, Theanine, a naturally occurring substance found in Green Tea, is extremely more effective at reducing stress and anxiety than the prescription medication Xanax. http://recommended-vitamins.com/amino-acid-supplements/natural-substance-in-green-tea-more-effective-than-xanax-at-relieving-stress-and-anxiety.html (this was in the presence of caffeine, I believe)




Food sources: Camellia sinensis, the source of green tea


Pat, added green tea to my list of To Do.

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