Alpha Nutrition Formula
Elemental nutrient formulas (ENFs) are hypoallergenic and represent the ultimate reduction of food. ENFs have been called "Space Diets". By replacing food intake with a chemically defined nutrient formula, the body does not have to deal with a host of non-nutrient chemicals. Nutrient formulas that could replace food completely were first used in research and hospital applications. The first formula produced by Environmed Research in 1990 was called ENFood. Several studies demonstrated normal functioning with health benefits for volunteers living on ENFs for weeks at a time.
NASA sponsored ENF development to define the minimum weight and volume requirement for human food. A variety of ENFs had been designed and tested by various research and commercial groups over the past 4 decades. ENFs had been used to manage serious digestive diseases and to provide adequate nourishment when eating food was undesirable or impossible. Early formulas were often administered by tube feeding. Taste and texture were not important. Early applications of ENFs included pre- and post-operative nutrition, the treatment of diarrhea, malabsorption, malnutrition, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, pancreatic disease, and short gut syndrome.
An essential property of the Alpha ENF we designed was the avoidance of all forms of food allergy. The main problem with foods is the supply of a wild mixture of proteins, often in surplus. Proteins trigger immune responses. When proteins are commercially processed or digested, peptides are produced that also trigger immune responses. Instead of adding proteins to Alpha ENF, a complete set of free form amino acids supply the protein requirement. Amino acids do not trigger immune responses.
If food problems are suspected of causing an illness, a trial of clearing on an ENF would confirm or deny food involvement usually within 10-14 days. If the ENF clearing proved successful, the Alpha Nutrition Program style of food reintroduction could become a standard method of redefining a safe diet. By the early 80's it became apparent that there were new opportunities to apply ENFs to solving common health problems. A new theory of food allergy emerged to explain common and chronic diseases such as asthma, eczema, hives, migraine headaches, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome and a number of other conditions. Evidence also linked food protein antigens and immune-modulating substances in food to inflammatory bowel disease, and to several autoimmune diseases; Crohn's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus Erythematosis, and possibly Multiple Sclerosis.
The Design and Structure of Alpha ENF & PMX
Nutrition is built of basic building blocks. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are typical components of foods. Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients. Alpha ENF & PMX is formulated by assembling nutrients into modules. The first way to think about modules is to assemble ingredients according to their classification - vitamins, minerals, sugars, fats, amino acids etc. This is an obvious way to measure and mix ingredients in the laboratory to make a formula. Alpha ENF & PMX contains all these nutrient modules.
Different carbohydrates provide the structure of plants and the energy we
derive from plant foods arrives as sugars. Digestion reduces the complex
carbohydrates to simple sugars, which act as fuel in our body. Similarly fats
and proteins are complex structures in foods which are digested into
fatty acids and amino acids. Fat is the second most important source of energy.
Another way to think about nutritional modules is to consider the
different functions that nutrients serve:
Optimal Nutrient Intake Helps Olympic Athletes Win
The energy requirement of any individual is determined by physical activity. Your energy balances shift with variations in food intake and activity level. A healthy, active adult will usually spend 1000-3000 Kcal per day of food energy (or approximately 33Kcal/Kg). Daily physical exercise is beneficial and tends to promote normal body weight, with energy intake matching output. With food restriction, increased metabolic efficiency allows the body to do better with less. This increased efficiency, induced by caloric restriction, tends to frustrate people seeking to lose weight.
Electrolytes The next functional module of great importance is electrolytes - the salts dissolved in water which form the basis of blood and cellular function.. Sodium, potassium, chloride, and bicarbonate are the essential electrolytes which should arrive in proportion to each other and in the right amounts for proper body function Water is essential and intake determines the concentration of electrolytes in the blood and tissue fluids. The right amount of water is important - more is almost always better than less. Alpha ENF & PMX provide a balanced set of electrolytes including phosphate, which is essential to energy storage and transfer.
Antioxidants The antioxidants are provided in generous quantities in Alpha ENF & PMX because of their many potential health benefits. Vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E and selenium scavenge free oxygen radicals. Cellular combustion can be compared to a wood stove, which needs adequate protection to do its job without burning the house down. As we burn fuel in our cells, some oxygen atoms are given an extra electron and become the radical, O2-. If O2- floats free of the energy engines, it may interact with and damage other molecules.
Cell membranes are vulnerable to O2- injury; damaged membranes disturb the function of the entire cell. Extra O2- reacting with DNA can make the code sticky and can cause mistakes in code reading or replication, resulting in cell mutation. The cumulative damage of trillions of random O2- encounters with critical molecules over many years contributes to accelerated aging and cellular dysfunction. Cells contain oxygen detoxification enzymes: peroxidases, superoxide dismutase, and catalases. The nutrients that combine harmlessly with O2- and are referred to as "antioxidants". Vitamin C is the cheapest, safest, and best antioxidant in town. If you can raise the amount of Vitamin C in cells, you may soak up enough O2- to make a long-term difference. The effect of Vitamin C is enhanced if you present three other nutrient antioxidants alongside, Vitamin E, beta carotene, and selenium.
The Importance of No Proteins, No peptides
One of the therapeutic secrets of ENFs the avoidance of proteins or pieces of proteins known as peptides. Proteins are the most reactive molecules in food allergic disease. Staple foods such as milk, eggs, wheat, and meat contain proteins that frequently causes immune responses and are the basic problem in delayed patterns of food allergy. Protein powders sold as "body-building" supplements are also a source of trouble. Protein powders are often made from cheap proteins such as milk protein (casein, whey), egg white (albumin), soya proteins, or hydrolyzed vegetable proteins.
Alpha ENF avoids the protein problems by using a balanced set of pure amino acids instead of proteins or partially hydrolyzed proteins. Amino acids are the real nutrients derived from proteins by digestion of food. Amino acids do not trigger immune responses. Free amino acids are much more expensive than protein powders, but freeing the immune system from protein challenge is well-worth the cost.
Amino Acids Instead of proteins, free amino acids are provided in Alpha ENF & PMX. A complete set of the nine essential amino acids is complemented by 10 of the non-essential amino acids. Both Alpha ENF and Alpha PMX contain branch-chain amino acids; higher concentration in Alpha PMX is designed to enhance muscle action and growth. Leucine in particular seems to promote muscle growth, acting in concert with insulin. The other two branch-chain amino acids, isoleucine and valine, may also supply muscle fuel if impairment of glucose utilization occurs. Arginine has been effective in improving tissue repair and can be considered growth-promoting. The technique of amino acid proportioning is a frontier in nutritional programming for athletic performance.
Neurotransmitters Some of these amino acids are not destined to be included in body proteins but will be used as neurotransmitters. Tyrosine and phenylalanine, for example, are converted to dopamine, noradrenalin and adrenalin. Trytophan is converted into serotonin. Other neurotransmitter substrates are not amino acids. Choline, for example, becomes acetylcholine and is provided in Alpha ENF & PMX, even though it is not considered an essential nutrient. Acetylcholine is the transmitter used to pass the millions of messages per second which transfer brain movement maps into coordinated muscle movement. If the supply of acetylcholine is low or limited, no amount of training or good intention will avoid performance failure. Some power-down effects must be due to transmitter exhaustion. Choline is the substrate for this transmitter. A study of blood choline levels in runners demonstrated a 40% drop in choline levels following the Boston marathon. Thiamin is the cofactor for this synthesis and is C1 and PMX. Glycine itself is a major neurotransmitter in the spinal cord. Glutamate is another important amino acid - neurotransmitter.