Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2017 issue.
Healing is energy on a cellular level. The amount of energy a cell has is directly proportional to its ability to create proteins. Without proteins, your cells can’t divide; without cell division, you can’t grow or heal. Proteins are the building blocks of life, your DNA and everything. Proteins synthesis for the purpose of building our body up instead of tearing it down is influenced by the amount of foreign substance and inflammation you have in your body.
Our net epidemiological loads (or that which composes the stressors that lead us from health) from an integrative health perspective boils down to our nutrition and food supply, environmental toxins, fragmented family and chronic stress, rising poverty, indoor living or lack of nature, and sedentary lifestyles. We enhance integration of our body’s healthy power by creating consciousness and power of awareness of the environments we create and ingest. One of the greatest modifiable factors comes from diet and the integration of nutrition.
Nutritional support is best achieved through diets rich in natural non-GMO organic foods, fruits and vegetables that come more quickly from local sources. Through nutrition, we should account for all the proteins, vitamins, minerals and fiber our bodies need. Supplements (the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and nutrients you can buy) may be used when one’s diet is deficient or requiring extra healing. Supplements are not recommended by the American Medical Association and U.S. Food and Drug Administration for non-physiological reasons. This is despite common sense to serve the body by giving it what it needs or lacks, especially if we can avoid pharmacological prescriptions our medical system so readily sells as “cures.”
For example, while the FDA still forces supplementation of things like folate and non-physiologic forms of fluoride, most everyone these days is (rather) deficient in magnesium, the fourth most abundant mineral in the body that is essential for more than 300 biochemical reactions that help restore and heal tissues of your nerves, muscles, bones and immune system. It also makes you sleepy — anyone with chronic pain or injuries having trouble sleeping?
I find the following functional categories useful when determining what supplements might be most useful to you:
Acute Inflammation and Pain:
Curcumin/turmeric is a powerful yet natural anti-inflammatory substance for the entire body.
Magnesium plus zinc support nighttime muscle restoration while you sleep. Vitamin-K (bananas) is essential for protein synthesis, building muscle and proper nerve function. B-vitamins support functioning of all our metabolic processes, and Coenzyme-Q strengthens that response for enhanced activity, improved strength and reduced oxidative stress.
Chronic Bone Support:
Calcium, Vitamin-D and morning sunshine. Manganese also helps the body absorb calcium and form connective tissue, which is especially useful during wound healing.
Bone Degeneration and Arthritis:
Glucosamine containing substances or MSM provide sulfur, which is the binding molecule for proteins that comprise our joint tissues including but not limited to cartilage, tendons and joint fluid.
Anti-oxidation, Anti-aging and Detoxification:
Vitamin-C offers electrons to free radicals to help with their elimination. Bioflavinoids are the naturally occurring antioxidants in green tea and fruits. Glutathione reduces toxic di-sulphide bonds and drives metabolic processes that regenerate other naturally occurring antioxidants like Vitamin-C and E. Alpha Lipioc Acid (ALA) scavenges free radicals, especially in muscles, and chelates them; it also helps convert glucose to energy and enhances oxygenation of cells; ALA is often combined with glutathione because it augments glutathione activity. Calcium- AEP works much like glutathione at the level of the nerve membranes.
Arginine opens blood vessels for enhanced tissue oxygenation. Carnitine boosts energy and strength by burning triglycerides and free fat instead of stored forms of energy or tissues; it thus decreases muscle fatigue and is also great for cardiovascular health because it lets you burn your fats first. Lysine helps carnitine work better.
For Growth and Healing:
Lysine is the primary stimulus for muscle protein synthesis and therefore opposes muscle degradation; it is also important for proper growth and collagen development, and therefore also prevents bone and tissue breakdown. Proline is a component of collagen. Valine aids B and other vitamin metabolism, especially in muscles.
On a final note, no metabolic process of the body, whether for building or detoxifying, will run well without adequate amounts of fresh/clean water, not the kind we get from our city water supplies. At least half your body weight in ounces per day is required on a normal day and you need even more when challenged in any way for exercise, healing or illness.
Photo by Brandon Smith Photography.