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Protein: what is it?

Proteins are often called "proteins" by abuse of language, they constitute a family including proteins, amino acids and peptides. Amino acids are very small molecules combined in the form of peptides which are themselves combined to form proteins.

Characteristics of proteins:
  • Family of amino acids, peptides and proteins
  • There are foods rich in animal proteins and foods rich in plant proteins
  • Essential to all living organisms
  • Have an enzymatic, energetic and structural role
  • A deficiency can be dramatic and must be treated rapidly through diet and/or supplements.

Why eat foods rich in proteins?

Benefits and roles of proteins

Structural role

By providing the body with proteins, we promote the proper manufacture of many body tissues such as myosin, keratin and collagen.

Precursor of hormones and enzymes

Protein is used in the synthesis of many hormones and enzymes involved in digestion, among other things.

Maintenance of the immune system

These are the membrane proteins that contribute to the body's immune system.

Energy role

Proteins are nutrients, they provide 4kcal per gram consumed.

Protein foods

We can distinguish 2 families of foods rich in proteins: foods of animal origin and foods of plant origin.

Animal proteins Vegetable proteins
  • Red meats
  • White meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Seafood and shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products
Plant proteins
  • Pulses: lentils, peas, soybeans                                     
  • Cereals: wheat, rice, corn
  • Oilseeds: avocado, almonds, nuts
Animal proteins are the richest in essential amino acids and are very well digested by the body. No plant food contains all the essential amino acids, so it is preferable to combine them in meals and to vary them.

How to use proteins properly?

Use of proteins

Protein requirements are the same as protein requirements and are set at 0.8g/kg/day for a healthy adult.

Protein supplements

Protein supplements have been very successful in recent years, especially in the sports world. The animal or vegetable protein powders are elaborated to contain a maximum of proteins and to support the development of the muscular mass. In other contexts, protein supplements can be used to enrich the diet and fight against malnutrition. This is often the case for elderly people in a situation of dependence, in the treatment of certain digestive pathologies or certain cancers. In this respect, milk powder or specialized protein products (e.g. oral nutritional supplements) are used.

Undesirable effects of proteins

Consequences of total protein deficiency

In case of protein deficiency, there is increased fatigue and weight loss (loss of muscle mass), oedemas but also a decrease in the immune system. A low level of total protein can be explained by a lack of intake in the diet or a lack of absorption. Other diseases can lead to a decrease in plasma proteins, so it may be wise to have a blood test at least once a year. The determination of proteins in the blood is done by electrophoresis, the migration of proteins subjected to an electric field is studied.

Consequences of an excess of proteins

The consumption of foods rich in proteins can lead to kidney damage, especially renal failure. Moreover, since the foods richest in protein are of animal origin, there is also an increase in colon cancer in people who consume excess protein foods.

Interactions of proteins with various micro-nutrients


Generally speaking, in order to be synthesized and assimilated properly, proteins require an optimal intake of various micro-nutrients (copper, vitamins, etc.). A varied and balanced diet is always the best solution to promote the proper functioning of the body.

Chemical properties


In chemistry, the term protide is used to designate amino acids and all their derivatives: oligopeptides, polypeptides, proteins, etc. The term "protein" is often used to refer to protides. In reality, proteins are a large family that includes several molecules, including proteins.

Amino acids are the smallest unit making up proteins. Several amino acids grouped together by peptide bonds form a peptide. Finally, a set of several peptides consisting of a large number of amino acids form a protein.

History

History of the nutrient

Proteins were first discovered in 1835 by the chemist G. J. Mulder. The name protein means "first" in Greek, in the sense "essential".

It was not until the 20th century that the range of functions and forms adopted by proteins in the human organism (enzyme, tissue constituent, phenotype, etc.) was discovered. Proteins are at the very origin of the evolution of man and his genotype, an evolution still widely studied today.

Sucrose: everything you need to know about sugar

Sucrose is a sugar obtained from sugar beet or sugar cane. It is also called table sugar (used in cooking and baking). Composed of fructose and glucose, sucrose is known for its soft and sweet taste which is particularly appreciated. However, despite the pleasure it brings, sucrose consumed in excess represents a major health hazard.

The main characteristics of sucrose :
  • Sweet and mild taste
  • Table sugar also used by industrialists in processed products
  • Hyperglycemic and energetic
  • Induces insulin secretion
  • In excess, it could promote the appearance of type 2 diabetes and overweight

Why consume foods rich in sucrose?

Benefits and roles of sucrose

Sucrose: definition

Sucrose is the only component of sugar, whatever its form (crystallized, semolina, grains, squares...). It is therefore found in all sweet products and in fruits and vegetables.

Hyperglycemic

When consuming sucrose, the blood sugar level (glycemia) increases considerably. It can then be used to re-sugar oneself during a hypoglycemic malaise.

Energy

Sucrose, or sugar, is a carbohydrate: it therefore provides energy to the body at a rate of 4kcal per gram.

Sucrose: a danger for health?

In spite of its energy role, it seems that the growing worldwide consumption of sugar is a real public health problem. Indeed, sugar would be at the origin of weight gain and triglyceride synthesis. For a long time, it was wrongly thought that only lipids were responsible. Moreover, an overconsumption of sucrose pushes the body to secrete insulin beyond its capacity. In the long term, hyperinsulinism is responsible for the onset of type 2 diabetes and many associated health problems.

Sucrose and diabetes

In the case of a confirmed diabetes, it is preferable to reduce the consumption of sucrose, especially when snacking, in order to avoid hyper and hypoglycemia. However, sucrose should not be totally banned from the diet in case of diabetes, it is rather recommended to consume it moderately and always as part of a balanced meal.

10 foods rich in sucrose

  • Sugar
  • Milk chocolate
  • Chocolate filled cookie
  • Corn flakes
  • Chocolate covered marshmallow
  • Moelleux with chocolate chips
  • Date
  • Jam
  • Canned fruit salad
  • Lemonade

How to use sucrose

Use and dosage of sucrose

Sucrose is also called table sugar. It is the white sugar directly added to hot drinks, yoghurts or used in pastries. However, this is only the visible part because sucrose is also widely used by the food industry in processed products as a preservative or flavor enhancer. For your health, you should not consume more than 10 to 15 g of sucrose per day. This is the equivalent of about 3 sugar cubes or 3 level teaspoons of sugar. In general, to avoid the consumption of "hidden" sugar, it is also recommended to cook as much as possible and to avoid cookies, sodas, ready meals and other processed products containing sugar.

Sweetness of sucrose

The sweetness of a chemical compound is determined in relation to a reference, sucrose, whose sweetness is equal to 1. For example, isolated fructose has a sweetness of 1.3 and glucose of 0.7.

Undesirable effects of sucrose

Sucrose is not necessary for the survival of the body, we do not need it in the strict sense except for pleasure. It should be consumed in moderation. There is no scientific data concerning the minimum requirement of sucrose. It is usually recommended not to consume more than 15 g of sucrose per day.

Consequences of sucrose deficiency

There are no direct consequences of sucrose deficiency since it is not an essential nutrient. However, carbohydrates and more precisely glucose and fructose, which are components of sucrose, are essential and can lead to hypoglycemia if they are not provided in sufficient quantities. Fortunately, they are found in fruits, vegetables, starchy foods and dairy products.

Consequences of an excess of sucrose

Consumed in excess, sucrose can be responsible for dental caries, it also participates in the appearance of obesity and can induce a predisposition to type 2 diabetes. An overconsumption of sucrose could also be the cause of skin problems, a pro-inflammatory state or irritations of the digestive mucosa.

Interactions with natural foods


The consumption of sucrose does not, a priori, interact with the absorption of nutrients. However, an overconsumption of sucrose and sweetened products is in most cases to the detriment of the consumption of natural foods full of micro nutrients. This is the case, for example, with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. For these reasons, it is in any case recommended to limit its consumption of table sugar in favor of a varied and balanced diet.

Properties and chemical formula of sucrose


Sucrose is a sugar obtained from certain plants such as sugar beet or sugar cane. It is a dioside composed of two molecules: one of fructose and one of glucose. The raw formula of sucrose is C12H22O11 and its density is 1.5879 g.cm-3. The molar mass of sucrose is 342.3 g/mol.

The hydrolysis of sucrose has the effect of breaking the bond between the molecule of fructose and that of glucose. This bond being stable, its hydrolysis is facilitated by the presence of the enzyme invertase or by the acidity of gastric juice, among others. The invertase, by releasing the molecules of glucose and fructose in equimolar proportion, induces what is called the inversion of sucrose. We then obtain an invert sugar, which is used in pastry making and industry for its superior sweetness and its texture easier to work.

History

History of sucrose

For many centuries, honey was the sugar of all mankind. Then the sugar cane would have made its appearance in 6000 BC in South East Asia.

In the Middle Ages during the crusades, the West discovered sugar cane. Until the 19th century, sugar remained a very rare and noble product, intended for a bourgeois elite.

In the 19th century, however, something changed: the democratization of sugar beet. The boom is such that the consumption of sugar will be multiplied by 1000 in the space of two centuries.

Since then, sugar consumption has not stopped growing throughout the world. Its use by individuals as well as by the food industry has never been so important.

Mineral salts: all about these essential micro-nutrients

Mineral salts are a category of micro-nutrients derived from rocks and found in foods in their natural form. They are found in many plant foods as well as in mineral water and spring water.

Characteristics of mineral salts :
  • The main mineral salts are calcium, iron, magnesium and sodium
  • They are included in the constitution of most foods
  • Mineral needs are covered by a varied and balanced diet
  • A lack of intake can lead to various consequences, more or less serious depending on the mineral in question

Why eat foods rich in minerals?

Mineral salts: definition and benefits

They all have basic roles in the body: cardiac activity, hair or skin maintenance or blood circulation regulation. The role varies according to the mineral salt concerned, but in all cases they are essential to the body and must be provided in adequate quantities.

Where to find mineral salts in food?

The following table presents the main mineral salts as well as the foods rich in these minerals:

Calcium

  • Dairy products
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Oilseeds

Iron

  • Offal
  • Poultry
  • Meat
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Soy, tofu

Magnesium

  • Cocoa
  • Green vegetables
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Oilseeds
  • Some mineral waters

Phosphorus

  • Dairy products
  • Wheat germ
  • Cocoa
  • Oilseeds

Potassium

  • Banana
  • Legumes
  • Soluble coffee
  • Milk

Sodium

  • Table salt
  • Soy sauce
  • Cold cuts
  • Cheese

Sulphur

  • Offal
  • Meat
  • Fish and seafood
  • Cabbage

How to use mineral salts properly?

Use of mineral salts

Each mineral salt has a specific nutritional recommendation depending on the population. To improve mineral intake, it can be interesting to vary the mineral waters consumed in order to optimally cover all the intakes. In the same way, a varied and balanced diet can cover dietary mineral requirements.

In case of increased need for minerals or difficulty in covering needs through diet, it may be recommended to consider a supplement. There are complete dietary supplements that can effectively help cover needs. However, be careful, a food supplement never replaces the benefits of a varied and balanced diet. It is simply an additional and punctual help.

Undesirable effects of dietary minerals

Consequences of a mineral deficiency or excess

The symptoms of mineral deficiency or excess are specific to each mineral salt. A blood test may reveal a mineral deficiency.

Interactions (with other nutrients)


There is a very close link between an adequate intake of minerals and the metabolism of other micro-nutrients in the body. For example, iron promotes the absorption of vitamin B12 and improves the bioavailability of cobalt and phosphorus. Similarly, a sufficient supply of phosphorus improves the assimilation of vitamins B12, B6 and silicon. This is why it is important to have a diet capable of covering all dietary mineral needs.

Chemical properties


Mineral salts are chemical elements present in foods of animal and vegetable origin. They are systematically found in ionic form, as cations or anions, depending on the mineral in question. Here are the symbols of the main minerals essential to the body:

Name Chemical symbol
  • Calcium Ca
  • Iron Fe
  • Magnesium Mg
  • Phosphorus P
  • Potassium K
  • Sodium Na
  • Sulfur S

Sodium and sodium chloride

Sodium is a mineral that plays an important role in the body's hydration status. It is present in the blood and in the extracellular fluid in which the cells are immersed. Sodium also helps maintain acid-base balance and is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. However, in excess it can have deleterious consequences. This is why current recommendations aim to limit sodium consumption.

Characteristics of sodium :
  • Mineral with a very important role in the distribution of water in the body
  • Influences blood pressure, transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction
  • Found in large quantities in table salt, smoked and pickled products
  • Sodium consumption should be limited
  • In excess, sodium can be dangerous for arterial and kidney health

Why eat sodium-rich foods?

Benefits and roles of sodium in the body

Water balance

The concentration of sodium in the body regulates the movement of water between the different intracellular and extracellular compartments. Through homeostasis and absorption phenomena, sodium in the right quantity is responsible for the body's water balance.

Nerve influx

The presence of sodium in the body makes possible the transmission of nerve impulses to the neurons in the brain via polarization phenomena.

Muscle contraction

A sufficient amount of sodium also allows the mechanism of muscle contraction.

Blood pressure

Sodium is also involved in the regulation of blood pressure. Thus, a high consumption of sodium significantly increases the blood pressure and vice versa. This is why a more or less de-sodiumized diet is often recommended in cases of high blood pressure.

What is the difference between sodium chloride, salt and sodium?

Salt is composed of chlorine and sodium, and is therefore also called sodium chloride. Sodium is only one of the two components of salt. 1g of salt contains 400mg of sodium and 600mg of chlorine. Conversely, 2.5 g of salt are needed to obtain 1 g of sodium.

20 foods rich in sodium

The main sources are prepared and prepackaged foods. In fact, more than 75% of the sodium we consume comes from processed foods such as cheeses, deli meats, pizzas, sauces and soups as well as dried or smoked foods.
  • Miso, fermented products
  • Dehydrated salted beef
  • Table salt
  • Grilled bacon
  • Regular ham, 11% MG, sliced
  • Fish sauce, ready to serve
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Soy, shoyu and tamari sauce
  • Canned legumes
  • Atlantic herring, pickled
  • Salmon, smoked
  • Teriyaki sauce ready to serve
  • Canned tomato sauce
  • Sodium reduced soy sauce
  • Canned anchovies
  • Dill pickles
  • Feta cheese
  • Canned sardines
  • Canned sauerkraut
  • Cottage cheese, 2% MF

How do I use sodium?

Using Sodium

Current recommendations aim to limit salt consumption in the diet. Thus, men should not consume more than 8g of salt per day while women and children should limit their consumption to 6.5g of salt per day.

Regarding sodium, there are recommendations for Adequate Intakes (AI)
  • Infants 0-6 months 120 mg
  • Infants 7-12 months 370 mg
  • Babies 1-3 years 1000 mg
  • Children 4-8 years 1200 mg
  • Boys 9-13 years 1,500 mg
  • Girls 9-13 years 1,500 mg
  • Boys 14-18 years 1,500 mg
  • Girls 14-18 years 1,500 mg
  • Men 19-50 years 1,500 mg
  • Women 19-50 years 1,500 mg
  • Men 50 years and over 1,300 and 1,200 mg if 70+ years          
  • Women 50 years and over 1,300 and 1,200 mg if 70 years and over
  • Pregnant women 1 500 mg
  • Women who are breastfeeding 1,500 mg

Sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate and other forms in food

Although sodium chloride is the main source of dietary sodium, other forms are often found in foods as additives (monosodium glutamate, sodium benzoate, sodium nitrite, disodium pyrophosphate etc.). Sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate are found in many antacid medications.

Adverse effects of sodium

Consequences of sodium deficiency

Sodium deficiency is very rare. Even when dietary sodium intake is low, the body usually adapts by reducing losses through urine and sweat. On the other hand, a deficiency can occur with repeated vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, or excessive sweating. Too little sodium intake can cause some adverse side effects. Symptoms of sodium deficiency include muscle cramps, loss of appetite, dehydration, low blood pressure and confusion.

Too much sodium

Conversely, excessive sodium consumption, which is much more common, can also lead to adverse effects including high blood pressure and bone loss (osteoporosis). High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. The general population consumes much more sodium than it really needs. In fact, the average French person consumes between 2000 and 4800 mg of sodium per day in the form of salt. Individuals with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease as well as the elderly are more likely than the rest of the population to have their blood pressure increased as a result of high sodium intake because they have a higher sensitivity to salt.

Interactions (with other nutrients)


A high intake of potassium would increase the excretion of sodium in the urine and therefore reduce the increase in blood pressure resulting from excessive sodium intake.

Chemical properties


The symbol of sodium is Na and its atomic number is 11. Its atomic mass is 22.98976928 u. In its natural state, it is a soft alkaline metal with a silvery color.

In the body, sodium is essential and intervenes at many levels often coupled with potassium. In the right quantities, it maintains homeostasis, water distribution, blood pressure, the functioning of the nervous system and muscle contraction.

Sodium hydroxide, also called caustic soda, is the solid form of sodium. Its chemical formula is NaOH. It is generally used to produce soaps, detergents and other relatively aggressive detergents.

History

History of the nutrient

Sodium was first isolated in 1807 by H. Davy, from hydroxyl of soda. In the Middle Ages, sodium was already used in remedies for headaches. It is still found in very large quantities in effervescent medicines.

For a very long time, salt has also been used to preserve food and to enhance its taste. This explains, in part, its ever increasing use by the food industry. Indeed, the consumption of salt continues to increase throughout the world, despite the nutritional recommendations.

Satiety: definition of this sensation

Feeling full is not as obvious as it seems. But to reach this sensation at the end of a meal and to recognize it is very important in the food balance.

One word, one sensation but multiple definitions. So what is it really? Where does the feeling of satiety come from and how can we learn to recognize it? Let's detail this sensation to know more.

Process of satiety


It all starts with a first sensation: hunger. Hunger is a message that the body sends to the brain. Thanks to various hormonal processes, it manifests itself to warn that the body is, or will soon be, in need of energy. Often a rather unpleasant sensation appears, like an emptiness in the stomach.

The remedy: eating. Eating allows us to bring different nutrients to the body and therefore to give it the energy it needs. Little by little, the stomach fills up. At this point, we can be satisfied with what we are eating. Being full means that we no longer feel like eating a certain dish but we are still hungry. For example: we don't want to finish our plate but we are still hungry for dessert.

Satiety occurs when enough food has been absorbed. This means that the body has received the energy it needed and that we no longer feel hungry. This sensation is a signal that indicates that you should stop eating.

What happens in the body?

During a meal, once hunger is almost satisfied, signals are sent to the brain. The first signal is satiety for a particular food or dish, but hunger may still be present. Then the gastrointestinal tract triggers other signals. At this point, the brain is alerted to the quality and quantity of the food consumed. Hormones are released. These are mainly leptin. The brain center of satiety is then stimulated and this sensation appears.

How does it occur?

To recognize it, you must not have missed the first step which is the feeling of hunger. The signs of satiety can be very different from one person to another. It is then essential to learn to know and listen to yourself. This can take time.

In some cases, it is possible to have less desire for the dish eaten, to get tired of the meal, to eat more slowly or to want to leave the table. If at the end of the meal you feel sick to your stomach, bloated or very tired, it is certainly because you are no longer full. It may therefore be interesting to reduce the quantities at the next meal.

Solutions to reach satiety


Everything starts with hunger. When you feel this sensation of hunger, it is good to go to the table 10 to 30 minutes later. If you eat without feeling hungry, it is impossible to recognize satiety.

Duration and conditions of the meal

When eating, it is very important to take the time to eat, slowly and chew the food properly. Twenty minutes is the minimum time for a good meal. If the meal is eaten very quickly, satiety takes longer to arrive and we can therefore eat more than necessary. 

The conditions of the meal are also important. It is preferable to eat, seated, at the table without too many distractions. This allows you to concentrate on what you are eating, on your sensations and therefore to better listen to your body. Satiety will then be well recognized.

Listening to your food cravings can also help you reach satiety. If your body is tired, exhausted or craving a comfort food and you eat a plate of raw vegetables, your body's needs will not be covered. Satiety is then difficult to achieve.

Satiety according to food

The types of food consumed also have an importance in the feeling of satiety and its duration. When we eat a very fatty dish such as a fast food sandwich, the fat intake is very important. One can quickly feel the sensation of satiety or a feeling of fullness. But in this case, we do not necessarily meet our nutritional needs.

Even if the meal brought an excess of calories, if it did not bring the right nutrients, hunger can quickly be felt a few hours later. It is therefore preferable to eat mostly complete and balanced meals that contain all the food families. However, the quantities should be adjusted from one meal to the next, according to these sensations.

Satiety: an important indicator for a balanced diet


Satiety is a physiological state that follows a feeling of hunger. It appears when the food intake has satisfied the need to eat. Satiety is different from satiety, which corresponds to the end of the desire to eat a particular food. In short, satiety is defined as the inhibition of hunger.

It allows us to regulate our food intake in terms of both quality and quantity. This allows you to regulate and stabilize your weight.

This better listening also allows us to bring the right nutrients to our body and therefore to prevent certain pathologies by perfectly meeting these needs. 

Serine: everything about this amino acid

Serine is a very common amino acid in proteins. It is a non-essential amino acid and is therefore synthesized by the body. In the body, serine has a very important role, especially in the nervous and immune systems.

Characteristics of serine :
  • Non essential amino acid
  • Present in animal products, oilseeds and cereals
  • Precursor of other amino acids
  • Important role in the nervous and immune systems
  • As a dietary supplement, it can be used to treat mental fatigue, concentration problems or to promote muscle development

Why consume foods rich in serine?

Serine: definition and benefits

Neuronal activator

Serine acts as a neuronal signal by activating specific receptors in the brain.

Amino acid precursor

Glycine, cysteine and tryptophan are also made from serine.

Boosts the immune system

Sufficient serine intake allows for an effective immune system to fight off minor ailments.

10 foods rich in serine

Serine can be synthesized by the body, however some foods contain it in significant quantities. The table of nutritional composition of foods does not detail the precise contents, however the list below includes the foods richest in serine:
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Soybeans
  • Peanuts
  • Meat
  • Corn
  • Rye
  • Beans

How to use serine properly?

How to use serine?

The recommended dose of serine is 500 to 3000mg per day for a healthy adult.

Serine in the form of food supplements

Serine is used in the composition of numerous food supplements, often in association with other molecules. In the form of L-serine, it is indicated to support the development of the muscular mass, to stimulate the lipidic metabolism, to preserve the cognitive functions or to fight against the disorders of the concentration. In all cases, before considering serine supplementation, please consult a physician.

Are amino acids effective for losing weight?

Amino acids, by promoting the synthesis of hormones, have a positive effect on the body's ability to burn fat. This is why some amino acid-based supplements are promoted as having weight loss benefits. However, more precise scientific studies are needed before a direct link can be established between the consumption of amino acids and weight loss. A varied and balanced diet remains the best solution for maintaining a healthy weight.

Undesirable effects of serine

Consequences of a serine deficiency

There is no scientific study showing a possible serine deficiency since it is synthesized by the body.

Consequences of an excess of serine

There is no information about an excess of serine in the body.

Interactions (with other nutrients)


The origin of serine comes from the synthesis of certain vitamins such as B3, B6 and folic acid.

Chemical properties


The semi developed formula of serine is C3H7NO3, its molar mass is 105.0926 g/mol. Serine is a proteinogenic amino acid. Serine forms a polar residue with an alcohol function. It is one of the most abundant amino acids in organisms. It is found in particular encoded on the messenger RNA.

Sorbitol: a sweetener like no other

Sorbitol is a sweetener with half the sweetening power of sucrose (known as "table sugar"). It is mainly used as a food additive but is also used in the composition of many medications. In excess, it can however become laxative and expose the body to certain dangers.

Characteristics of sorbitol :

  • Sweetener used in food, pharmacology and cosmetology
  • Does not influence blood sugar levels because it is not insulin-dependent
  • Has a laxative and depurative effect on the liver and gallbladder
  • Can be responsible for malabsorption
  • Found mostly in fruits

Why eat foods rich in sorbitol?

Sorbitol: definition and benefits

Does not affect blood sugar levels

Sorbitol can be used to give a sweet taste to food without increasing blood sugar levels. It can therefore be consumed by diabetics without the risk of unbalancing their diabetes.

Laxative effect of sorbitol to fight against constipation

In controlled quantities, sorbitol can help fight constipation because of its mild laxative effect. It is used in the composition of certain laxative medications widely used in Europe. In some cases, it is also used to purify the liver system.

Sorbitol in cosmetics

Sorbitol powder is used in cosmetics for its humectant, stabilizing and thickening properties.

Foods rich in sorbitol

Sorbitol is found in most sweets intended for diabetics (food additive listed under the name E420), and in its natural state in fruits.
  • Sweets for diabetics
  • Jams for diabetics
  • Prunes
  • Dried peaches
  • Blueberry jam
  • Dry apricot
  • Pear juice
  • Cherry
  • Plum
  • Sultana grape
  • Apricot
  • Apple
  • Beer

How to use sorbitol ?

Use of sorbitol

There are no nutritional recommendations to date concerning sorbitol.

Sorbitol is used in the composition of some osmotic laxatives. It creates a call for water in the intestine and increases the volume of stools, thus facilitating intestinal transit. Sorbitol-based laxatives contain an average of 5g of sorbitol per dose and are indicated in the treatment of constipation. They can also be indicated to purge the liver and gallbladder. These laxatives must be taken on the advice of a doctor, as they can have side effects that should not be ignored.

Side effects and dangers of sorbitol

Consequences of a sorbitol deficiency

There are no studies showing any problems related to a sorbitol deficiency in the body.

Consequence of an excess of sorbitol

Consumed in excess, sorbitol has a significant laxative effect. It can also cause digestion problems in the body. Its accumulation is often implicated in the occurrence of cataracts or certain neuropathies.

Sorbitol malabsorption and allergy

Sorbitol can, in some people, cause malabsorption and significant digestive discomfort. Even if it is not an allergy as such, this difficulty in digesting sorbitol can cause various unpleasant symptoms: bloating, gas, gastric pain, diarrhea, etc. In this case, there is an accumulation of sorbitol in the intestine which prevents its normal digestion. As in the case of fructose intolerance, the poorly absorbed sorbitol remains accumulated in the intestine and is fermented by the intestinal flora. It is this fermentation that is responsible for the digestive discomfort. In case of sorbitol malabsorption, it may be wise to follow the FODMAP diet.

Interactions with hyperkalemia and hypokalemia


In case of treatment for hyperkalemia or hypokalemia, it is strongly advised not to consume sorbitol in excess. Its laxative effect can precipitate the elimination of electrolytes and lead to colonic necrosis, which can lead to death.

Chemical properties


Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol, or sweetener. Its gross formula is C6H14O6 and its molar mass 182.1718 g/mol. It is a natural polyol which has a much lower sweetening power than table sugar.

It is composed of 6 carbon atoms and 6 alcohol groups. Unlike oses, it has no ketone or aldehyde function.

This sugar alcohol has three isomers, the best known being mannitol. It is soluble in water and very little in ethanol.

History


Sorbitol is a major product of plant photosynthesis. It takes its name from the rowan tree since its fruits are very rich in sorbitol.

Discovered in 1872 by a French chemist, it has since been used in a wide range of fields. In food, sorbitol is the additive E420 used in many dietetic products but also as emollient and anti-crystallizing. It provides barely 3kcal per gram and raises the blood sugar level very little, which gives it a strong nutritional interest. More and more, its non-insulin-dependent character is used in the elaboration of products for diabetics.

Sorbitol is also found in cosmetic products, in some specific fuels and also in some medications.

What is selenium? All about this trace element

Selenium is a trace element essential to the body. This bioelement intervenes in the body through many metabolic reactions. It is a powerful antioxidant that is able to detoxify the body from heavy metals and to preserve the heart. However, selenium intake must be carefully controlled because of its potential toxicity.

Characteristics of selenium :
  • Antioxidant trace element essential to the body
  • Found mostly in seafood
  • Supports the immune and cardiovascular systems
  • Selenium deficiency can lead to serious heart problems and even death
  • In excess, selenium is toxic and can lead to selenosis

Why eat selenium-rich foods?

Selenium: health benefits and roles in the body

Antioxidant

Selenium is one of the molecules with antioxidant power. Indeed, it is part of the composition of several enzymes responsible for neutralizing excess free radicals and therefore oxidation in the body. Moreover, selenium participates in the regeneration of vitamins that are themselves antioxidants (vitamins C and E). Therefore, a good selenium intake helps fight against oxidative stress and premature cell aging.

Detoxifies the body of heavy metals

Selenium is recognized for its depurative virtues. It allows to clean the body of toxic and foreign molecules and notably of heavy metals such as mercury or lead.

Health of the heart

A selenium deficiency can be the cause of serious cardiomyopathies that can lead to death. This trace element is involved in the regulation of the heart rhythm and participates in the prevention of heart disease.

Selenium, hair and skin beauty

This trace element has a beneficial role on the quality of the phanera (hair, nails) and the skin. Selenium-based yeast and supplements are also known to promote skin radiance and hair strength.

20 foods rich in selenium

Selenium is found in significant quantities in seafood, offal, meat and oilseeds. A balanced diet should cover the body's needs in this trace element.
  • Dehydrated Brazil nuts
  • Pacific oysters, raw or steamed
  • Canned tuna
  • Turkey or chicken offal, braised
  • Swordfish or plaice, baked or broiled
  • Herring, Atlantic, marinated
  • Sardines, Atlantic, canned
  • Mixed nuts, including peanuts, roasted
  • Canned clams
  • Cooked pork chops
  • Tuna, halibut, cod, redfish, haddock, salmon, baked or broiled                 
  • Shiitake mushrooms, dried
  • Crab or lobster, steamed or boiled
  • Salmon, baked or canned
  • Shrimp, raw or cooked
  • Lamb, shoulder, braised
  • Beef
  • Duck
  • Regular ham (11% fat), roasted
  • Poached egg

How to use selenium ?

Use of selenium

Daily needs

  • Babies 0-6 months 15 µg*
  • Babies 7-12 months 20 µg*
  • Children 1-18 years 1 µg per kilo
  • Men 19-50 years 70 µg
  • Women 19-50 years 70 µg
  • Men 50 years and over 80 µg
  • Women 50 years and over 80 µg
  • Pregnant women 80 µg
  • Women who are breastfeeding 80 µg
* Adequate intake

Selenium-based food supplements

Selenium supplements are often indicated to eliminate heavy metal residues in the body, to maintain the cardiac system or to preserve the beauty of hair and skin. Selenium supplementation can also help fight against oxidative stress and strengthen the immune system. The dosage varies depending on the problem and the context. Ask your doctor's advice and do not exceed a dose of 150 micrograms per day without medical supervision.

Use of brewer's yeast rich in selenium and zinc

Brewer's yeast, in powder or capsule form, is a concentrate of B vitamins, selenium and zinc. It can be useful to meet the body's needs and maintain healthy skin and hair.

Adverse effects of selenium

Is selenium dangerous in excess?

In very high doses, selenium is responsible for selenosis. This excess intake results in intense fatigue, hair loss and extreme dryness of the skin. People suffering from selenosis have a characteristic breath (garlic smell) and suffer from digestive problems (nausea, bloating, etc.). In France, the competent authorities recommend not to consume more than 150 micrograms of selenium per day.

Consequence of a selenium deficiency

Selenium deficiency can result in a drop in immune defenses, heart rhythm disorders or anemia. It can, to a lesser extent, lead to thyroid disorders, intense fatigue and generalized weakness. In the most severe cases, and in the absence of supplementation, it can be responsible for Keshan disease. This is a heart disease attributable to selenium deficiency and can lead to death.

Interactions with other nutrients


Excessive dietary fiber tends to prevent the proper assimilation of selenium. The same is true for phosphorus and heavy metals such as mercury.

On the contrary, zinc and selenium have a synergistic action in the body. A good intake of these two nutrients provides an optimal antioxidant effect.

Chemical properties of selenium


The symbol of selenium is Se, its atomic number is 34. This trace element has an atomic mass of 78.971 u and a density of 4.79 g.cm-3. It is a non-metal with a gray color. Selenium shares many chemical properties with sulfur. Essential in small quantities, this bioelement can be very toxic for the body when consumed in excess.

Selenium disulfide is a salt composed of sulfur and selenium. Its raw formula is SeS2 and its molar mass is 143.09 g/mol. It is an excellent antimycotic and antifungal used in therapy to treat mycoses and certain other skin pathologies.

History

History of the nutrient

Selenium has been extensively studied for its numerous interventions in metabolic reactions. Currently, many studies are underway to establish the potential beneficial effects of selenium in the prevention of certain cancers (prostate, digestive, etc.). These studies are particularly delicate because of the high toxicity of selenium at doses that can be easily reached by medicinal supplementation.

Silicon: what is silicon?

Silicon is a trace element found in the body as well as in certain plant foods. Although it is not an essential trace element, it is important for the immune system and for maintaining good bone health.

Characteristics of silicon :
  • Non-essential trace element but important for the body
  • Found in mineral water and plant foods
  • Allows to fix calcium and to fight against bone demineralization
  • Organic silicon is used to relieve various ailments, mainly bone, joint and skin problems

Why eat foods rich in silicon?

Benefits of silicon

Binds calcium

Silicon plays a role in the fixation of calcium. Silicon is found in the osteoid border where bone is built.

Participates in immunity

A high concentration of silicon is found in the thymus, an essential organ of the immune system. It also plays a role in the manufacture of antibodies.

Fights against osteoarthritis

It seems that silicon taken as a supplement to a balanced diet has a positive effect on people suffering from osteoarthritis.

Silicon and hair

Organic silicon participates in the structuring of connective tissue and phanera (skin, nails, hair). Silicon stimulates the production of keratin and thus helps keep hair healthy.

Foods rich in silicon

The ANSES table of nutritional composition of foods does not indicate the precise silicon content of foods. Here is a list of the 20 foods richest in silicon:
  • Wheat and oat bran
  • Whole wheat
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Spelt
  • Whole grain bread
  • White beans
  • Lentils
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Almonds
  • Nuts
  • Dates
  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Parsley
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Drinking water

How to use silicon properly?

Use of organic silicon

In 2000, the AFSSA determined an intake of 5mg of silicon per day for a healthy adult.

What is silicon dioxide?

Silicon dioxide has little to do with organic silicon. It is a combination of oxygen and synthetic silicon used as a food additive (E551) for its anti-caking properties.

Organic silicon G5: benefits and advice

Silicon G5 is the form of organic silicon best assimilated by the body. It minimizes the risks of crystallization in the kidneys since it is the form naturally present in the tissues: bones, skin, hair, tendons, etc.

Dietary supplements based on organic silicon are often found in the form of gel, capsules or drinkable solution. Their use is generally recommended for people suffering from bone and joint pathologies (osteoarthritis, arthritis, osteoporosis, etc.). They are also recommended for certain elderly people to prevent bone demineralization. Before taking silicon, please ask your doctor for advice. Indeed, there are some contraindications to the use of organic silicon.

Is organic silicon dangerous?

Organic silicon is a trace element that has been debated for many years. While some define it as a miracle supplement, others think it is ineffective or even dangerous. At the present time, there is no proven danger of organic silicon on health. However, there are no scientific studies that demonstrate or justify its effectiveness.

How long should a silicon cure last?

An intensive silicon cure generally lasts between 1 and 6 months depending on the problem and the context. To know the dosage adapted to your situation, please consult a health professional.

Undesirable effects of silicon

Consequences of silicon deficiency

No study has demonstrated the result of silicon deficiency in humans. However, in rats, a decrease in collagen and bone abnormalities have been observed in cases of deficiency. The silicon content of the body does not decrease with age, but its distribution changes. Thus the skin, the thymus or the cartilage will see their silicon concentration decrease for example.

Side effects in case of excess silicon

Excess silicon is directly eliminated by the kidneys, so there is no risk to the body except in cases of renal insufficiency.

Interaction of silicon with aluminium


Silicon reduces the assimilation and accumulation of aluminum. It could thus participate in the prevention of certain neurodegenerative diseases by reducing the toxicity of aluminum on the cells of the nervous system.

Chemical properties


The symbol of silicon is Si, its atomic number is 14. Silicon has an atomic mass of 28.0855 u. After oxygen, it is the most abundant element in the earth's crust, of which it makes up over 25%. In its natural state, it is a solid element of dark gray color.

History

History of the nutrient

Silica has been known since antiquity. However, it was only in 1823 that J. Jacob Berzelius succeeded in isolating silicon. Much later, in 1957, the synthesis of organic silicon was made possible by N. Duffaut who managed to stabilize it with salicylic acid. Very quickly, organic silicon was subjected to numerous clinical trials, particularly in the fields of cardiology, oncology and rheumatology.

In the 1970s, Dr. Loïc Ribault became interested by chance in the benefits of organic silicon on skin diseases. He then realized that a multitude of conditions responded favorably to silicon-based treatments. Thus, in the 1980s, the two men joined forces to finally develop silicon G5, which was not launched until 1994. Since then, silicon G5, although controversial, has been used worldwide to relieve various bone, joint and skin conditions, etc.

Sulfur: a mineral with many benefits

Sulfur is a very important mineral for the body. It is used to synthesize two essential amino acids: methionine and cysteine. It is mainly found stored in the bones, nails and hair. Sulfur is also very effective in disinfecting and fighting against skin disorders.

Characteristics of sulfur :
  • Participates in the health of the phanera (hair and nails)
  • Allows the synthesis of essential amino acids
  • Found mainly in meat products
  • Used to treat skin diseases
  • Is used in the composition of repellents used in organic agriculture

Why eat foods rich in sulfur?

Benefits of sulfur

Hair and nail health

The keratin that makes up hair and nails is itself composed of sulfur, so it is essential for good hair and nail health.

Promotes the assimilation of other minerals

Sulfur is found in large quantities in bone, where it helps in the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Structure of proteins

Sulfur is the basis for the synthesis of 2 essential amino acids: cysteine and methionine.

20 foods rich in sulfur

  • Kidneys
  • Liver
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Shellfish
  • Oysters
  • Cooked egg yolk
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Shallot
  • Cabbage
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Cashew nuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Pistachios
  • Pecan nuts

How to use sulfur properly?

Use of sulfur

Scientific literature has not established numerical requirements, but nutritional recommendations of 13 to 14 mg of sulfur per kg per day can be found.

Organic sulfur soap is often used to treat skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis or severe acne. Indeed, it is a sebo regulator, a very effective anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. In the same way, a sulfur bath against scabies is very often recommended to patients suffering from this condition. For this, sulphur flower powder is used on the skin. Be careful, however, as this product can be quite aggressive, it is necessary to seek medical advice before using it.

Finally, liquid sulfur is used more in botany. It is a natural repellent and antifungal agent that is particularly effective in maintaining organic gardens.

Undesirable effects of sulfur

Consequences of sulfur deficiency

There are few scientific studies on sulfur deficiency, but it has been reported that hair and nail growth are stunted in people who experience sulfur deficiency.

Is excess sulfur dangerous?

In the case of high sulfur consumption, the excess is eliminated directly in the urine. Therefore, it is not a real danger to the body.

Interactions with other nutrients


Group B vitamins potentiate the bioavailability and assimilation of sulfur. Overall, it is also considered that a diet rich in vitamins D, C, magnesium, zinc and manganese allows a better assimilation of sulfur in the body.

Chemical properties


The chemical symbol of sulfur is S, the sulfur atom has the atomic number 16. Its atomic mass is 32.065 u and its density is 2.07g/cm-3. It is a yellow metal belonging to the group of chalogens, it is insoluble in water.

Sulfur dioxide is a gas obtained by combustion of sulfur, in water it turns into sulfuric acid. It is an antioxidant used to stabilize wine.

Sulfur is also a component of hydrogen sulfide, sulfates and petroleum.

History

History of the nutrient

Sulfur is a metal that has been known since ancient times. Already then, it was used to keep epidemics away from the vines. In the Bible, we find several references to sulfur.

Later on, during war, it was frequently ground into powder and burned to scare off the enemy. Indeed, the smoke which emerges from it has a very strong smell and is irritating and toxic.

In the 11th century, sulfur was already used to make gunpowder in Asia. In the 15th century, it was used to disinfect against the Black Death.

It was not until the 1800s that the role of sulfur in the body was described more precisely. H.A. Vogel discovered traces of sulfur in the bile and blood of animals, and realized that it was a constituent of two essential amino acids.

From the 1850s onwards, it began to be used more and more often in botany as a repellent and antifungal agent. Even today, sulfur is used in organic agriculture. It is a very good alternative to chemical pesticides.

Vitamin B1 or thiamine: what is it used for?

Thiamine is also called vitamin B1, it is essential to transform carbohydrates into energy in the body. It cannot be synthesized by the human body, so it is essential to provide it through the diet. This vitamin interacts in the body with vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9.

  • Water-soluble vitamin essential for energy production and the nervous system
  • Essential vitamin that cannot be synthesized by humans
  • Transforms into thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) in the liver
  • Intervenes in the treatment of various diseases (alcoholism, fatigue, undernutrition, etc.)
  • Found in large quantities in seeds and food yeast

Why eat foods rich in vitamin B1?

Benefits

Maintenance of the nervous system

By intervening in the Krebs cycle, thiamine participates in the production of energy from carbohydrates, which are themselves mainly used by the brain and the nervous system.

Participates in muscle function

Vitamin B1 is involved in the functioning of all the muscles of the body and will therefore facilitate digestion by stimulating the muscles of the digestive sphere.

Energy production

Vitamin B1 is transformed into TPP or thiamine pyrophosphate in the liver, this is its active form. Thiamine pyrophosphate is essential for the proper functioning of metabolisms and certain enzymes. It allows, among other things, the production of energy from sugars.

Degradation of alcohol

Thiamine is directly involved in the breakdown of alcohol molecules. This is why supplementation is often recommended to help with withdrawal in cases of chronic alcoholism.

Vitamin B1: in which foods is it found?

Foods rich in vitamin B1 can be of plant or animal origin. They are generally common foods that are easily accessible and widely consumed in developed countries.

Here is a list of 20 foods rich in vitamin B1 (or thiamine):

  • Brewer's yeast flakes
  • Sunflower seed
  • Wheat germ
  • Soybeans
  • Baker's yeast
  • Fish eggs
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Salami
  • Poppy seed
  • Pistachio
  • Bacon
  • Chipolata
  • Ham
  • Dry bean
  • Pecan nuts
  • Paprika
  • Chorizo
  • Cumin seed
  • Brazil nuts

How to use thiamine properly?

Use of vitamin B1

The recommendations are 1.3 to 1.5 mg of thiamine per day for a healthy adult.

Where to find vitamin B1 as a supplement to the diet?

Today, many thiamine-based dietary supplements can be found in pharmacies and specialty stores. It is generally recommended to take 100 to 1000 mg per day to help meet the body's thiamine needs. Taking thiamine-based dietary supplements is particularly indicated in cases of intense fatigue or malnutrition. It is also recommended during withdrawal from chronic alcoholism and after certain digestive surgeries, in case of malabsorption. However, be careful, food supplements should never replace a varied and balanced diet. Ask your doctor for advice.

Side effects of thiamine

Consequences of a thiamine deficiency

Vitamin B1 deficiency results in a loss of appetite, intense fatigue and weight loss. In cases of severe undernutrition, the deficiency can result in neurological and cardiac disorders.

Consequences of an excess of thiamine

There is no toxicity for vitamin B1 since the body eliminates it through urine in case of excessive consumption.

Interactions with other nutrients


Certain foods and medications can alter the proper assimilation of vitamin B1 and its action in the body. This is the case with certain cruciferous vegetables and raw fish. Excessive alcohol consumption also inhibits the action of thiamine. Finally, some medications used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease have a deleterious effect on the metabolism of vitamin B1.

Chemical properties


The gross formula of thiamine is C12H17N4OS, its molar mass is 265.355 g/mol and its decomposition temperature is 248°C. It is a water-soluble vitamin essential for humans, but it is synthesized by plants and bacteria.

Thiamine is a precursor of thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), its activated form in the liver. TPP is also an essential co-enzyme at the metabolic level. Indeed, in the Krebs cycle, it allows the transformation of carbohydrates into energy. It is also involved in the functioning of the nervous and muscular systems.

History

History of the nutrient

Thiamine was the very first vitamin to be isolated, in 1912. Its chance discovery was made during an attempt to find a cure for a disease called ac. aberic.

It was in 1931 that its chemical formula was established by R. Williams. Five years later in 1936, the synthesis of vitamin B1 was achieved by the scientist Andersag.

Today, thiamine is recognized by the WHO (World Health Organization) as an essential medication for humans.

Tyrosine: everything about this amino acid

Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid (component of proteins) that can be synthesized by the body. However, tyrosine is also found in protein-rich foods or in the form of dietary supplements adapted to athletes.

Characteristics of tyrosine :
  • Non-essential amino acid but important for the body
  • Participates in the synthesis of many neuromediators
  • Found mainly in animal products and oilseeds
  • L-tyrosine supplements are widely used in sports and to fight against fatigue
  • Antioxidant action that slows down cellular aging

Why consume foods rich in tyrosine?

Benefits and roles of tyrosine

Hormonal synthesis

Tyrosine is involved in the synthesis of adrenaline and noradrenaline but also of melanin (skin and hair pigment) and thyroid hormones.

Anti-oxidant

Tyrosine has an anti-oxidant action that helps limit cell aging.

Anti-fatigue and anti-stress

In case of intense physical activity, a tyrosine supplementation can be considered in order to stimulate the production of dopamine and to have a better recovery.

20 foods rich in tyrosine

The food composition table does not specify the tyrosine content, however the list below shows the richest foods.
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Nuts
  • Cashew nuts
  • Almond
  • Avocado
  • Mushroom
  • Green bean
  • Potato
  • Eggplant
  • Beet
  • Radish
  • Asparagus
  • Parsley
  • Cucumber
  • Red onion
  • Spinach
  • Rye

How to use tyrosine properly?

Use of tyrosine

The daily needs are estimated at 1 to 2 grams of tyrosine for a healthy adult.

Tyrosine supplements: advice and contraindications

The food complements in L-tyrosine are generally prescribed to support the psychic awakening and the energy, in particular at the sportsman. They allow to fight effectively against physical and mental fatigue. Concerning tyrosine supplementation, the dosage is often 500 mg of L-tyrosine per day, to be taken preferably in the first part of the day when the synthesis of neuromediators in the brain reaches a peak.

Tyrosine kinase inhibitors are often used to inhibit tumor growth in the body. These inhibitors block the growth of tyrosine kinase which is an enzyme directly involved in the development and growth of atypical cells.

Side effects of tyrosine

Is tyrosine deficiency a health hazard?

Tyrosine is essentially synthesized by the body, but it can be insufficient. In these situations, we note a significant fatigue and a weak resistance to stress.

Consequences of an excess of tyrosine

The scientific literature does not mention tyrosine excess.

Tyrosine and Parkinson's disease


Tyrosine in food supplements is strongly discouraged in people treated for dopaminergic disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Moreover, tyrosine in high doses can interact with the action of thyroid hormones, so in case of thyroid pathology it is advised to consult a doctor before taking L-tyrosine.

Chemical properties


The gross formula of tyrosine is C9H11NO3, its molar mass is 181.1885 g/mol. Tyrosine is a non-essential amino acid for the human body. Indeed, we know how to synthesize it. However, it can be produced in insufficient quantities, hence the need to provide enough of it through the diet.

Tyrosine is characterized by its phenol group, whose hydroxyl is acidic. This amino acid is synthesized from phenylalanine. It has a very important role since it participates in the synthesis of many essential substances: dopamine, noradrenaline, adrenaline, etc. Moreover, it is a precursor of the thyroid hormones and melanin.

History

History of the nutrient

Amino acid with many roles in the body, tyrosine was also for a long time a molecule of choice for the treatment of certain ailments. Indeed, several patents were obtained for the use of tyrosine in a therapeutic framework and in particular to treat the depressions, the diseases of parkinson or the states of shock.

Even today, the combination of DOPA and tyrosine is used to treat certain attention disorders such as hyperactivity.

Threonine, an essential amino acid for good digestion

Description of threonine


Threonine is an essential amino acid, it must be provided by the diet, the body is not able to synthesize it.

Roles of threonine in the body

Role in digestion

Threonine is actively involved in digestion at the level of nutrient absorption in the blood.

Threonine and epilepsy

Recent studies have demonstrated the value of threonine in the treatment of epileptic seizures, so it is recommended that people with epilepsy regularly consume foods rich in threonine.

Food sources of threonine

What are the main sources of threonine?

Threonine is an amino acid found mainly in meat and fish. It is also found in oleaginous fruits.

20 foods that contain the most threonine

Food, Serving size, Amount of threonine (g)

  • Soybeans 250g 1,8g
  • Veal 100g 1,6g
  • Turkey 100g 1,6g
  • Dried salted cod 55g 1,5g
  • Venison 100g 1,4g
  • Cuttlefish 100g 1,4g
  • Pheasant 125g 1,4g
  • Rabbit 100g 1,4g
  • Wild boar 100g 1,3g
  • Red tuna 100g 1,3g
  • Sirloin steak 100g 1,3g
  • Chicken 100g 1,3g
  • Octopus 100g 1,3g
  • Salmon 100g 1,3g
  • Horse 100g 1,3g
  • Lamb 100g 1,2g
  • Quail 100g 1,2g
  • Trout 100g 1,2g
  • Mackerel 100g 1,1g
  • Goose 100g 1,1g

Daily threonine requirements


It is recommended to provide 500 to 1500mg of threonine to the body through the diet every day in order to maintain an optimal state of health.

Consequences of threonine deficiency


In the case of threonine deficiency, the most common symptoms are severe digestive problems. Irritability and skin problems can also be noticed.

Consequences of an excess of threonine


The scientific literature does not yet show any significant health consequences of excessive threonine consumption.

Tryptophan: an essential amino acid

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid for the body, it is also a constituent of proteins. It is one of the precursors of serotonin and thus helps promote good sleep and fight against depressive disorders. Tryptophan is mainly found in plant products because animals cannot synthesize it.

Characteristics of tryptophan :
  • Essential amino acid, precursor of serotonin
  • Promotes good sleep and helps fight against depressive disorders
  • Found in plant foods
  • Tryptophan-based dietary supplements are subject to controversy
  • A deficiency in dietary tryptophan can promote mood disorders

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Why eat foods rich in tryptophan?

Benefits

Tryptophan, serotonin and sleep

Tryptophan is involved in the synthesis of serotonin which is responsible for mood but also facilitates sleep.

Anti-depressant

By helping the synthesis of serotonin, it has been demonstrated that tryptophan has a positive effect on the treatment of depression.

Foods rich in tryptophan

The table of nutritional composition of foods does not detail the precise levels of tryptophan. However, we can note that the foods below are the richest in tryptophan.
  • Whole grain rice
  • Meat and poultry
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Soy protein
  • Peanuts
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Chocolate
  • Banana
  • Almonds
  • Cashew nuts
  • Brewer's yeast

How to use tryptophan?

Use of tryptophan

The nutritional recommendations are to consume 500 to 2000mg of tryptophan per day for a healthy adult.

Tryptophan contraindications and advice

Tryptophan in food supplements is contraindicated in case of allergy to one of its components. Scientific opinions differ widely on the subject of tryptophan supplementation, which may be indicated to treat various conditions: bipolar disorders, depression, difficult sleep, addiction, hyperactivity, etc. In fact, this type of long-term medication could lead to neurological and circulatory risks (vasoconstriction). In the first instance, it is therefore strongly recommended to increase tryptophan intake naturally and through diet. In all cases, ask your doctor for advice before considering tryptophan supplementation.

Side effects of tryptophan

Consequences of a tryptophan deficiency

A few studies have shown that there may be a link between depression and a diet low in tryptophan.

Is an excess of dietary tryptophan a danger to health?

To date, there are no scientific studies concerning excess dietary tryptophan in humans. However, in animals, insulin resistance has been observed in case of excessive tryptophan consumption.

Interactions with sedatives and other medications


Sedatives and certain medications used to treat depression interact very strongly with tryptophan. It is therefore recommended that medical advice be sought before any self-medication.

Chemical properties

The gross formula of tryptophan is C11H12N2O2, its molar mass is 204.2252 g/mol and its decomposition temperature 250°C. Tryptophan is one of the so-called essential amino acids for the human body. Like phenylalanine, it is an apolar aromatic amino acid.

Tryptophan has two fundamental roles, on the one hand it enters into the composition of proteins and RNA and on the other hand it is the precursor of substances which are essential for the human body: serotonin, melatonin, etc.

History

History of the nutrient

At the end of the 1980s, tryptophan was massively marketed in the United States in the form of food supplements. The tryptophan in question is then synthesized from specific bacteria. This marketing will give rise to an epidemic of the eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome, a muscular disease entirely induced by the massive intake of this form of tryptophan.

Following these dramatic episodes that killed and crippled thousands of people, tryptophan was withdrawn from the market for 15 years.

Recently, tryptophan-based dietary supplements deemed harmless have been put back on the world market. They are mainly used to treat bipolar, sleep, depressive or hyperactivity disorders.

Valine, to recover after a physical effort

Description of valine


Valine is an essential amino acid, it is therefore essential to provide it in the diet because the human body is not able to synthesize it.

Roles of valine in the body

Recovery after exercise

Valine helps recovery after intense physical effort because it is quickly assimilated and immediately distributed to the muscles. It is sometimes consumed in combination with leucine and isoleucine to increase muscle mass.

ntervention of the nervous system

It can also be noted that valine has a basic role in the neurotransmissions of the brain.

Food sources of valine

10 foods that contain the most valine

Food, Portion, Amount of valine (mg)

  • Parmesan cheese 100g 2853mg
  • Skim milk powder 100g 2420mg
  • Gruyere cheese 100g 2243mg
  • Goat cheese 100g 1485mg
  • Pumpkin seeds 100g 1559mg
  • Pistachios 100g 1239mg
  • Sunflower seeds 100g 1158mg
  • Chia seeds 100g 1051mg
  • Chickpeas 100g 809mg
  • Lupin 100g 650mg

Daily valine requirements


Daily valine requirements have not been clearly defined by the health authorities, but we note that we should not exceed 20g of valine per day.

Consequence of a valine deficiency


Valine deficiency is rare and has sometimes been observed in infants. The deficiency then results in a delay in growth.

Consequences of a valine excess


People who have consumed very large quantities of valine (in supplementation) have reported a sensation of tingling in their limbs and in some cases hallucinations.

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a group B vitamin and is therefore water-soluble. It is a very important vitamin for the functioning of the brain, the nervous system and in the synthesis of DNA. This vitamin must be provided by the diet, the populations most at risk of deficiency are vegans and the elderly because of their low consumption of animal foods.


Characteristics of vitamin B12 :
  • Found in animal products
  • Essential for a healthy nervous system
  • Its deficiency can lead to anemia
  • Supplementation is necessary in case of vegan diet

Why consume foods rich in vitamin B12?

What is vitamin B12 used for?

Role in hematopoiesis


Vitamin B12 has an anti-anemic role, it also helps the assimilation of folic acid (vitamin B9).

Maintenance of the nervous system

It is particularly at the level of the myelin sheath that vitamin B12 plays a role in the protection of nerve cells.

Anti-allergic role

Associated with an anti-histamine, vitamin B12 can have a beneficial role on the disappearance of allergic symptoms. In addition, it is also detoxifying and helps the body to purge toxins accumulated in the liver.

Vitamin B12 and cancer

To date, a few scientific studies have highlighted the detoxifying role of vitamin B12 following certain chemotherapies.

Where is vitamin B12 found? 20 foods rich in vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is mainly found in foods of animal origin since animal food is itself supplemented with B12. No animal or plant is capable of synthesizing B12, only certain bacteria are capable of doing so. Here are 20 foods where you can find vitamin B12 in good quantity.

Food Serving size  Amount of vitamin B12 (μg)   

  • Beef liver 100g 65μg
  • Veal liver 100g 60μg
  • Lamb liver 100g 35μg
  • Caviar 100g 16μg
  • Oysters 100g 14,5μg
  • Liver pâté 100g 13,5μg
  • Rabbit 100g 10μg
  • Liver dumplings 100g 10μg
  • Mackerel 100g 9μg
  • Herring 100g 8,5μg
  • Mussels 100g 8,5μg
  • Beef 100g 5μg
  • Wild boar 100g 5μg
  • Trout 100g 4,5μg
  • Tuna 100g 4,3μg
  • Goose 100g 4μg
  • Wild salmon 100g 3,5μg
  • Camembert cheese 100g 3,1μg
  • Emmental cheese 100g 3,1μg

How to use vitamin B12?

Use of vitamin B12

ANSES recommends an intake of 2.4 μg of vitamin B12 per day for a healthy adult.

Vitamin B12 supplementation in case of a vegan diet

Vitamin B12 supplementation is recommended for populations following a vegan diet or consuming very little food of animal origin. Whatever the form (tablet, ampoule, injection...), vitamin B12 is absorbed in the same way by the body.

When consuming this vitamin B12 in the form of a dietary supplement, the dosage can go up to 5000 μg, which is far from the recommended dose of 2.4μg daily. This can be explained by the storage of vitamin B12 in the body allowing some dietary supplements to be taken monthly and not daily. At the same time, the vitamin B12 contained in a tablet is not fully absorbed by the body, so it will be necessary to take a supplement with a high dose to cover its needs. To know which vitamin B12 to choose in your case, please ask your doctor's advice.

In certain particular cases, vitamin B12 can be administered in the form of an injection. For example, in cases of severe malabsorption or following digestive surgery. However, vitamin B12 injections can cause some undesirable side effects: pruritus, urticaria, eczema, etc.

Adverse effects of cobalamin (vitamin B12)

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Many symptoms can appear in case of vitamin B12 deficiency, among the most frequent are neurological symptoms (tingling, pain), anemia (low level of iron in the blood) and digestive disorders (constipation, diarrhea). Vitamin B12, in case of deficiency, can also cause more general symptoms such as hair loss, paleness, etc. In case of doubt, please contact your doctor. He or she will be able to tell you how to treat a vitamin B12 deficiency if necessary and according to your case.

Too much vitamin B12 in the blood, what are the symptoms?

It is very rare to bring too much vitamin B12 to one's organism. To date, the only side effect noticed in case of excess consumption of B12 is a flare-up of acne, no real toxicity has been demonstrated.

Interactions of vitamin B12 with other elements


Many nutrients have a positive effect on the metabolism of vitamin B12, and vice versa. For example, vitamin B9 needs vitamin B12 to be activated, so a vitamin B12 deficiency often induces a concomitant vitamin B9 deficiency.

In addition, vitamin B12 needs vitamin B7 and magnesium to be bio-activated.

Finally, vitamins B2 and B3 as well as calcium are essential for the metabolism of vitamin B12. It can then be judicious to take a multi-vitamin complex in addition to vitamin B12 and in case of deficiency.

Chemical properties


Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a water-soluble vitamin of group B. Its chemical formula is C72H100CoN18O17P and its molar mass 1579, 5818 g/mol. This vitamin is directly involved in the proper functioning of the nervous system and in the production of DNA.

Vitamin B12 exists in 8 distinct forms all derived from cobalamins. Cobalamin has a structure similar to that of heme. The central iron atom is however replaced by a cobalt atom.

History

History of the nutrient

It was in the 1800s that scientific research became interested in vitamin B12. Indeed, the deadly pernicious anemia pushed the scientific community to be interested in this vitamin. The role of vitamin B12 in anemia and in the synthesis of red blood cells was discovered soon after.

In 1948, Dorothy Hodgkin identified the three-dimensional configuration of vitamin B12.

It was not until 2007 that the study of vitamin B12 synthesis by microorganisms was completed.

Pyridoxine: What is vitamin B6 used for?

Vitamin B6 is one of the micro-nutrients essential to the proper functioning of the body. As the latter is not able to synthesize or store it, it is essential to provide it sufficiently via the diet. Also called pyridoxine, B6 is involved in many metabolic reactions and particularly in the production of red blood cells and proteins.

Characteristics of vitamin B6 :
  • Water-soluble vitamin belonging to the B group
  • There are 7 active and interconvertible forms of vitamin B6 in the body
  • Found mainly in fatty fish, offal and meat
  • Plays a very important role in the synthesis of amino acids, neurotransmitters and red blood cells
  • In excess, pyridoxine is neurotoxic

Why eat foods rich in vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6: benefits and roles in the body

Renewal of red blood cells

Pyridoxine is involved in the synthesis and renewal of red blood cells. A significant lack of this vitamin can lead to megaloblastic anemia.

Immune system

Pyridoxine ensures the balance of the immune system, the production of white blood cells and the health of lymphoid organs. A good intake of this vitamin helps the body defend itself against infections and external pathogens.

Protein metabolism

Vitamin B6 is involved in the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids and proteins. It is particularly active in the metabolism of tryptophan, as it allows it to be transformed into vitamin B3.

Production of hormones and neurotransmitters

In the body, B6 also allows the production of neurotransmitters and essential hormones: serotonin, noradrenalin, adrenalin, etc. Thus, it promotes exchanges between the various neurons and hormonal balance.

Foods rich in vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is mainly found in foods of animal origin, here is a ranking of the 20 foods that are richest in vitamin B6:
  • Turkey 100 g 1,3 mg
  • Tuna 100 g 1.0 mg
  • Sautéed or braised beef liver 100 g 1.0 mg
  • Bonito 100 g 1.0 mg
  • Lamb or veal liver, sautéed 100 g 0.9-1.0 mg
  • Atlantic salmon 100 g 0.6-0.9 mg
  • Atlantic cod, dehydrated and salted 100 g 0,9 g
  • Octopus, steamed or boiled 100 g 0.7 mg
  • Potato with skin on, baked 1 medium (175 g) 0.6 mg
  • Canned chickpeas 1/2 cup 0.6 mg
  • Chicken, flesh only, roasted 100 g 0.5 mg
  • Pistachios, dry roasted 1/4 cup 0.4 mg
  • Atlantic or Pacific halibut, grilled 100 g 0.4 mg
  • Swordfish, grilled 100 g 0.4 mg
  • Banana 1 medium fruit 0.4 mg
  • Dried or cooked shiitake mushrooms 4-10 mushrooms (40 g) 0.1-0.4 mg
  • Canned prune juice 125 mL 0.3 mg
  • Sesame seeds, whole, roasted or dehydrated 1/4 cup 0.3 mg
  • Sunflower seeds, dry roasted or in oil 1/4 cup 0.3 mg
  • Dehydrated prunes, cooked or uncooked 1/4 cup 0.2-0.3 mg

How do I use vitamin B6?

Use of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 needs

  • Babies 0-6 months 0.1 mg*
  • Babies 7-12 months 0.3 mg*
  • Babies 1-3 years 0.5 mg
  • Children 4-8 years 0.6 mg
  • Boys 9-13 years 1.0 mg
  • Girls 9-13 years 1.0 mg
  • Boys 14-18 years 1.3 mg
  • Girls 14-18 years 1.2 mg
  • Men 19-50 years 1.3 mg
  • Women 19-50 years 1.3 mg
  • Men 50 years and over 1.7 mg
  • Women 50+ years 1.5 mg
  • Pregnant women 1.9 mg
  • Women who are breastfeeding 2.0 mg
* Adequate intake

Vitamin B6 food supplements

There are many food supplements rich in vitamin B6. They are generally indicated to promote vitality, hormonal balance, memory or to fight against temporary fatigue. In more specific cases, they may be recommended in cases of rheumatoid arthritis, chronic alcoholism or to prevent neurodegenerative diseases. The dosage varies according to the problem and the context, ask the advice of a health professional.

Vitamin B6 and pregnancy

Food supplements containing vitamin B6 could prevent the risk of pre-eclampsia, promote the proper development of the nervous system of the fetus or reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. However, no scientific evidence has been found to definitively validate these hypotheses. In view of the deleterious consequences that an excess of vitamin B6 can have on the body, it is recommended to consult a doctor before taking pyridoxine during pregnancy.

Adverse effects of pyridoxine

Vitamin B6 deficiency

As vitamin B6 is found in most foods, it is extremely rare to find cases of deficiency in the healthy population. There are rare cases of pyridoxine deficiency in undernourished people, in cases of renal insufficiency or in alcoholics. It results in glossitis (inflammation of the tongue), intense fatigue, depression, skin disorders, megaloblastic anemia, etc.

Excess of vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 in high doses is neurotoxic, causing memory problems and affecting the nervous system in a fairly serious way. It is recommended not to exceed the daily dose of 6 mg of pyridoxine.

Interactions with other B vitamins


Pyridoxine requires the presence of all other B vitamins in adequate amounts to be properly absorbed. Vitamin B6 considerably increases the assimilation and action of vitamin B12 and magnesium in the body, it is interesting to associate these molecules.

However, it can interact with certain treatments and reduce their effectiveness. This is the case with Levodopa, a treatment used to treat Parkinson's disease.

Chemical properties


The gross formula of pyridoxine is C8H11NO3, its molar mass is 169.1778 g/mol. It is a water-soluble vitamin. It is one of the best known forms of vitamin B6. This vitamin, which is very widespread in the body and in food, has 7 active and interconvertible forms. Among them, the most important are pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxine phosphate and pyridoxal phosphate.

Vitamin B6 acts as a co-factor in many metabolic reactions. It plays a very important role in the synthesis of red blood cells and protein molecules.

History

History of the nutrient

Vitamin B6 was identified in 1935 by Gyorgy, but at that time no one knew exactly what its role was in the body. Four years later in 1939, it was synthesized and named pyridoxine for the first time. Since then, scientists have continued to discover its essential roles in various metabolic pathways.

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