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Nutritional supplements

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S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a natural substance present in the cells of the body. It is a direct metabolite of the essential amino acid L-methionine. It is variously known as ademetionine, S-adenosylmethione, SAM, SAMe and SAM-e. SAMe plays a crucial biochemical role in the body by donating a one-carbon methyl group in a process called transmethylation. SAMe, formed from the reaction of L-methionine and adenosine triphosphate catalyzed by the enzyme S-adenosylmethionine synthetase, is the methyl-group donor in the biosynthesis of both DNA and RNA nucleic acids, phospholipids, proteins, epinephrine, melatonin, creatine and other molecules.

Pyruvate serves as a biological fuel by being converted to acetyl coenzyme A, which enters the tricarboxylic acid or Krebs cycle where it is metabolized to produce ATP aerobically. Energy can also be obtained anaerobically from pyruvate via its conversion to lactate. At supraphysiological levels, pyruvate increases contractile function of hearts when metabolizing glucose or fatty acids. yruvate may aid weight loss efforts. A clinical trial found that supplementation with 22–44 grams per day of pyruvate, when compared with placebo, enhanced weight loss and resulted in a greater reduction of body fat in overweight adults consuming a low-fat diet.

Chromium picolinate is a necessary factor in carbohydrate and sugar metabolism. The trace mineral chromium plays a major role in the sensitivity of cells to insulin. Insulin helps cells absorb and use glucose effectively. This popular nutritional supplement is a combination of the element chromium and picolinic acid. Chromium is a naturally-occurring mineral, trace amounts of which are found in everyday foods like meat, poultry, fish, and whole-grain breads.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) are two important coenzymes found in cells. NADH is the reduced form and NAD+ is the oxidized form of NAD. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is a coenzyme derived from the vitamin, niacin. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is the biochemical active form of vitamin B3. It is found in every human cell and is essential in energy production. NADH is found exogenously in muscle tissue of fish, cattle, poultry and products containing yeast.

Propolis contains protein, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. For this reason, some people use propolis as a general nutritional supplement, although it would take large amounts of propolis to supply meaningful amounts of these nutrients. Propolis may stimulate the body’s immune system, according to preliminary human studies, and a controlled trial found propolis-containing mouthwash effective in healing surgical wounds in the mouth. Propolis has antibiotic activities that help the hive block out viruses, bacteria, and other organisms.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for the proper functioning of our brains as adults, and for the development of our nervous system and visual abilities during the first six months of life. Lack of sufficient DHA may be associated with impaired mental and visual functioning as well as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. Low levels have also been associated with depression and Alzheimer's disease in adults. DHA-containing phospholipids in the cell membranes of the neurons appear to be necessary for neurite elongation and formation of synapses. DHA-containing phospholipids in these cells are believed to be vital for cell signaling.

7-oxo DHEA is a derivative of DHEA that also declines with age and has been demonstrated to promote T-cell function in human lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Of the three types of immune system response, T-cell, or cellular immunity is the one in which abnormalities have been most consistently found in older individuals. People with impaired cellular immunity frequently have a less than optimal response to flu vaccination, rendering the vaccine less beneficial. DHEA is a hormone whose decline with aging is believed to contribute to some age-associated conditions, including impairment of immune function. The decline in immune function that occurs in older individuals can predispose this population to increased susceptibility to infection and even cancer.

Oxytocin is a nine amino acid peptide hormone synthesized in the hypothalamus and released by the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland. It is peptide chain composed of nine amino acids that is synthesized in hypothalamic neurons and then carried through a support of axons to the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland to be distributed into the bloodstream. An important function of this oxytocin hormone is executed when a women has reached the end of gestation, when she is in labor.