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Ori Hofmekler - Warrior Newsletter

Ori Hofmekler - Warrior Newsletter

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Published by: BigNat7774 on Apr 26, 2009
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The Warrior Newsletter - Issue 13
Critical Carbs
By Ori Hofmekler
With Marc Salzman
 Dietary Carbohydrate’s Critical Role in Building Tissues, Igniting Energy and  Improving Survival Capabilities
Dietary carbs are currently regarded as the culprit for most modern human diseases includingdiabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. Indeed, numerous studiesdemonstrate the association between over consumption of carbs and a high percentage of bloodsugar problems, obesity and cognitive impairments among modern humans from all age groups.Consequently, carb-bashing today is at an all-time high. Many people develop carb phobia andlow or no carb diets are now the darling of the media. As it seems, the two most popular dietarymethods are currently carb or calorie restriction. Most, if not all diets are based on either one or  both methods.Yet, in spite of the growing awareness of the hazards of over consumption of carbs and calories,the rate of weight gain, obesity and blood sugar related diseases is still accelerating. To makematters worse, people who follow extreme low calorie or low carb diets often face unpleasantsymptoms including mental and physical fatigue, chronic cravings for carbs (in particular sweets), loss of libido and severe mood swings. Bodybuilders, who try to slim down via lowcalorie low carb diets, often face similar adverse symptoms in addition to loss of muscle massand strength.Obviously, something must be wrong with the assumption that chronic carb and calorierestrictions are the practical solution for most of modern human’s disease. Even though the ideaof carb and calorie restriction may very well work theoretically, in practical terms (in vivo) itfails.The purpose of this article is to shed some light on the critical role of dietary carbs in humanmetabolism as well as to challenge the notion that carbs aren’t essential for human survival.Finally, conclusions are presented together with some practical methods as to how to takeadvantage of dietary carbs for reaching a desired metabolic potential to build lean tissue(including muscles), burn fat and increase energy production.
Maximum Oxygenation
Maximum oxygenation is a biological term that describes maximum energy production frommetabolic processes that require oxygen. Active individuals, including athletes and bodybuilders,should note that maximum oxygenation is a principal key to maximum performance. The
 2upcoming paragraph may be somewhat technical. Nevertheless, understanding this topic couldmean the difference between average and superior capability to build muscles and ignite energy.Living organisms derive most of their energy from oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions, whichinvolve the transfer of electrons to the respiratory chain complex (an aerobic energy-yieldingmetabolic process that involves interaction between hydrogen protons and oxygen). Aerobicenergy production requires oxygen and yields most of the energy needed for survival. In fact, theelectron transfer system (oxidative phosphorylation) yields ten times more energy than the kreb’scycle itself.Dr. Otto Warburg, one of the world’s foremost leading biochemists, won a Nobel Prize for his basic work with respiratory enzymes and cellular energy production. He discovered andcharacterized certain nucleotide compounds and proteins, which are necessary for the actions of the respiratory chain, which, as noted, yields most of the energy needed to maintain an optimummetabolic state.Dr. Warburg suggested that energy released in the oxidation of foodstuff may be conserved andtransferred via a special mechanism for use in synthesis and growth. On the other hand,anaerobic respiration (an energy yielding metabolic process that does not require oxygen) mayadversely catabolize and damage healthy tissues. Dr. Warburg and other researchers showed thatthere is indeed a relationship between anaerobic respiration, tissue destruction and cancer. Dr.Abram Hoffer and Dr. Morton Walker, in their book 
Smart Nutrition
(Avery 1994), suggestedthat anaerobic respiration is the most primitive energy producing method compared to aerobicrespiration which is a later development in the evolution of life from unicellular to multicellular organisms. It is likely that multicellular organisms did not develop until cells became aerobic.According to this theory, the switch back from aerobic to anaerobic respiration brings the cell back to a primitive condition that may cause uncontrolled cell division and a resultantcatastrophic damage to the whole organism. As you’re about to see, aerobic respiration clearlydepends on dietary carb utilization and the production of substrates and enzymes that serve asenergy molecules. All energy molecules are, in fact, made from nucleotides. Most important, allnucleotide material, including all energy molecules, are derived from glucose that is then predominantly derived from dietary carbs.
The Essential Role of Carbs
It is commonly assumed that carbs serve as fuel and nothing more. This assumption is wrong andquite misleading since it fails to recognize the main biological functions of carbs, which go far  beyond being just a sheer substrate for energy. Evidently, optimum carb utilization from food iscritically necessary in order to afford full activation of two vitally important metabolic pathways,which are bound together:
) the pentose phosphate pathway and
) the uronic acid pathway.As you’ll soon see, these pathways play essential roles in facilitating DNA, RNA and nucleotidessynthesis as well as steroid hormones production, enhancing immunity and generation of energy.As such, these pathways regulate hormonal actions, rate of tissue regeneration as well as protection against DNA damage and disease. Most important, both pathways’ actions dependupon dietary carb consumption and utilization.
The Pentose Phosphate Pathway
The pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) is an anabolic process that is derived from glucosemetabolism and occurs mostly (but not exclusively) in the liver. It utilizes pentose (a five-carbonsugar) from and glucose (a six-carbon sugar).1.
The pentose phosphate pathway’s primary functions are:2.
To generate the energy molecule NADPH for biosynthesis reaction in the cells3.
To provide ribose-5 phosphate for the synthesis of nucleotides and nucleic acid includingDNA and RNA4.
To metabolize dietary pentose from the digestion of nucleic acid5.
To biosynthesize steroid hormones and fatty acids (by utilizing in NADPH)6.
To regenerate the most powerful antioxidant glutathione enzyme and thereby protect cellsand mitochondrial DNA from oxidative stress and aging7.
To support the production of UDP glucuronic acid, that is essentially important for overalldetoxification. Hormonal transport production of proteoglycan and glycoproteins and thesynthesis of sphingolipids (lipids that are necessary for detox and neural protection)
The Adverse Effects of Low Calorie and Low Carb Diets
As you can see, the pentose phosphate pathway controls critical metabolic functions. However,in times of a desperate need for energy, such as during prolonged fasting or due to low caloriediets, the pentose phosphate pathway may shut down its main functions and instead switch intosheer energy production. It is likely that energy demand is a top priority for the body andtherefore, in times of desperate need for energy, the body would suppress certain importantmetabolic pathways to accelerate immediate energy production. In fact, 30 percent of liver glucose oxidation can occur via the pentose phosphate pathway.Consequently, dietary carb utilization is a factor that can significantly influence the pentose phosphate pathway’s actions. Since the synthesis of glucose from protein or fat (gluconeogenesis)is in fact a limited metabolic process that occurs mostly in the liver (muscle can’t produceglucose), it is reasonable to conclude that severe low carb diets, for active individuals in particular, which chronically over-restrict dietary carb consumption (under 100g of carbs per day), may adversely affect the pentose phosphate pathway due to insufficient glucose supply andincreased energy demand.The pentose phosphate pathway’s actions also decreases with age, a fact that may contribute tothe decline in steroid hormone production, muscle waste, increased vulnerability to disease andreduced energy production. Finally, it’s important to note that insulin sensitivity is necessary for optimum glucose utilization and the activation of the pentose phosphate pathway.

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