Extraordinary Health Magazine Volume 41 - Page 36

Combining Specific Nutritional Supplements is Akin to the Synergy of an Orchestra

by : David Perlmutter , M . D ., F . A . C . N
A leading expert on the human microbiome , America ’ s brain health expert and # 1 New York Times best-selling author , David Perlmutter , M . D ., is a board-certified neurologist and a fellow of the American College of Nutrition . Additionally , Dr . Perlmutter is a founding member and fellow of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine .
It ’ s often said that “ the whole is greater than the sum of the parts .” And this is particularly true when it comes to what we can gain from combining specific nutritional supplements . For example , while taking an antioxidant can offer up a level of protection against the damaging effects of harmful chemicals called free radicals , supporting an antioxidant supplement with another component that helps it regenerate itself offers up a much more effective strategy for quenching free radicals than simply using the antioxidant by itself .
Yes , there ’ s great utility in the notion of combined , multifaceted supplements . Especially as it relates to confronting the key underpinnings of what threatens our health . And despite the incredible array of supplements available , by and large their ultimate purpose really focuses on just a few threatening mechanisms . These include the damaging effects of free radicals , ( more generally termed oxidative stress ), inflammation , damage to the gut microbiome , cellular senescence ( aging and loss of function of cells ), and loss of mitochondrial function which threatens the cell ’ s ability to make energy .
So , let ’ s unpack a unique compilation of supplements and explore not just the value of each component , but more importantly , how they work synergistically .
The lead-off hitter is quercetin . While quercetin has been available for decades as a supplement , it is only more recently that research has revealed just how powerful and broad-reaching quercetin has turned out to be in terms of its health benefits . Quercetin is a plant derived flavonoid found in abundance in grapes , berries , cherries , onions , kale , apples , red wine , and black tea . As an antioxidant , quercetin rivals vitamins C and E . And this antioxidant activity coupled with its strong anti-inflammatory activity explains why quercetin is so extensively studied in animal models of various diseases in which oxidative stress and inflammation play important roles . These include Alzheimer ’ s disease , complications of diabetes , and various forms of arthritis . But perhaps the newest and most exciting property of quercetin , only recently discovered , is its ability to lower uric acid levels as demonstrated in human studies . Uric acid , the end product of the metabolism of fructose sugar as well as nucleotides derived from food and cellular DNA and RNA has , until only recently , been considered to be simply a waste product . And uric acid elevation was only thought to be a health risk when related to gout or kidney stones . But with the pioneering work of Dr . Richard Johnson at the University of Colorado , we now recognize that uric acid elevation is implicated as playing an important role in such pervasive issues as elevated blood pressure , insulin resistance , obesity , fatty liver disease , and diabetes . This new paradigm certainly elevates the value of quercetin beyond its historical virtues .
Like quercetin , luteolin is a flavonoid , plant derived compound with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity . It is found in abundance in green pepper , celery , and broccoli . The anti-inflammatory effects of luteolin have been extensively studied in laboratory animals as well as in human cells in the laboratory setting . More recently , a human , interventional trial demonstrated remarkable lowering of markers of inflammation ( Il-6 and TNF-alpha ) in subjects treated with this natural plant compound . Even more exciting is the emerging research evaluating luteolin ’ s effectiveness in terms of lowering uric acid . In this regard , luteolin is even more powerful than quercetin . In fact , luteolin ’ s ability to lower uric acid , at least in the laboratory , may be comparable to a drug commonly used to treat gout .
34 Vol 41 • Extraordinary Health