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If you’ve been too busy in clinic or with other activities that keep you from perusing research and following supplement industry trends, you may have missed the tremendous swing of interest to investigating the impact of Nrf2 and Nrf2-inducing substances on health. A simple search of the term Nrf2 in PubMed or other medical publication

PrintThe idea that bacteria in the gut may have many twists in their skill set to enhance human health has been around for a while. That they may have the capability of inducing a cytoprotective enzyme called Nrf2 in local tissues, which in turn promotes the production of glutathione, detoxification and numerous other health supportive elements has until recently been less well understood.[1]

Nrf2 activation upregulates a regulon of genes including those involved in xenobiotic and reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification, as well as pro-restitutive function. This pathway has attracted considerable attention because small molecule inducers of Nrf2 have cytoprotective effects against oxidant and electrophilic environmental stressors.[2],[3]

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.

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