In the decision making that we as consumers make when we select foods, it is rare that we also consider the mutual needs of our bacteria found in the gut. Yet we have co-evolved with those bacteria over millennia. As scientists continue to study the intricate signalling that takes place between that which we ingest and that which we bacterially metabolize, they turn up new evidence of significant beneficial partnerships.
Foods, when consumed in their full, natural and nutrient rich state, contain a number of messenger molecules released by digestion and metabolism. These molecules impart specific cues to influence our genes.
Most of us agree that food-derived antioxidants have a positive role to play in human health. Contemporary understanding indicates that antioxidants and oxidants deliver their health benefits best when they operate on a dynamic continuum. In effect, we live and function in a perpetual dance between fire and the quenching of fire, a redox balancing act. The emerging model of hormesis – the idea that a stressor or oxidant in a small dose can elicit a positive biological response, the opposite effect of a large dose – is increasingly appreciated to add nuance and depth to this model. Hormesis suggests that modest stressors, when adequately supported by buffering agents, actually add health generating qualities, including the management of our essential organelles: the mitochondria.1
So what does this have to do with greens? A lot. Foods, when consumed in their full, natural and nutrient rich state contain a number of messenger molecules released by digestion and metabolism. These molecules impart specific cues to influence our genes via signalling molecules called transcription factors. These include Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptors,2 Sirtuins,3 peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors4 and others that enhance numerous health mechanisms such as the cytochrome P450 enzyme families and antioxidant generating pathways.5 These and other historical and deeply encoded mechanisms developed in response to our 7 million year heritage, which stressed us with periods of substantive thermal and nutrient challenges.6 The result is our elegant and resilient system of cellular repair mechanisms. These respond to nutrient-rich foods, which offer numerous health benefits including the generation and maintenance of new, healthy and vibrant mitochondria.
It is here that the opportunity of uniquely enhancing the effects of phytochemical rich green drinks becomes apparent. Membrane specific phospholipids demonstrated in human clinical studies to enhance mitochondrial fitness7 can be mixed with green food concentrates and mucosal immune supporting probiotics to provide a unique platform for reinventing history (without the periods of extreme hunger and cold!) and gently stimulate health and healing. Nutrient dense greens, combined with moderate but consistent exercise8 and a sensible constraint on food selection and intake,9 promote regeneration of essential tissues and cell organelles. More recently discovered is the multi-point intervention of a qualified virgin, red palm oil-extracted vitamin E known as full-spectrum tocotrienols that has numerous points of interaction in health maintenance, age related decline and cognitive health,10 which in turn enhances your ability to remember to take the vitality enhancing greens every day!
- Ristow M, Schmeisser K. Mitohormesis: Promoting Health and Lifespan by Increased Levels of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). Dose Response. 2014 Jan 31;12(2):288-341. PMID: 24910588 View Abstract
- Hooper LV. You AhR what you eat: linking diet and immunity. Cell. 2011 Oct 28;147(3):489-91. PMID: 22036556 View Abstract
- Sandoval-Acuña C, Ferreira J, Speisky H. Polyphenols and mitochondria: An update on their increasingly emerging ROS-scavenging independent actions. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2014 Oct 1;559C:75-90. PMID: 24875147 View Abstract
- Kumar H, Kim IS, More SV, Kim BW, Choi DK. Natural product-derived pharmacological modulators of Nrf2/ARE pathway for chronic diseases. Nat Prod Rep. 2014 Jan;31(1):109-39. PMID: 24292194 View Abstract
- Cheung KL, Kong AN. Molecular targets of dietary phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane for cancer chemoprevention. AAPS J. 2010 Mar;12(1):87-97 PMID: 20013083 View Abstract
- Cronise RJ, Sinclair DA, Bremer AA. The “metabolic winter” hypothesis: a cause of the current epidemics of obesity and cardiometabolic disease. Metab Syndr Relat Disord. 2014 Sep;12(7):355-61. PMID: 24918620 View Abstract
- Nicolson GL, Ash ME. Lipid Replacement Therapy: a natural medicine approach to replacing damaged lipids in cellular membranes and organelles and restoring function. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jun;1838(6):1657-79. PMID: 24269541 View Abstract
- Ding H, Zhang ZY, Zhang JW, Zhang Y. Zhongguo Ying Yong Sheng Li Xue Za Zhi. Role of mitochondrial quality control in exercise-induced health adaptation. 2013 Nov;29(6):543-53. PMID: 24654538 View Abstract
- le Coutre J, Mattson MP, Dillin A, Friedman J, Bistrian B. Nutrition and the biology of human ageing: cognitive decline/food intake and caloric restriction. J Nutr Health Aging. 2013;17(8):717-20. PMID: 24097030 View Abstract
- Sen CK, Rink C, Khanna S. Palm oil-derived natural vitamin E alpha-tocotrienol in brain health and disease. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3 Suppl):314S-323S. PMID: 20823491 View Abstract