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One Reason Taking Supplements Increases Longevity

I hope you are expecting a different twist on why supplements increase your health and longevity because that is exactly what I present here.


First, a quick story from the past. At the beginning of my journey to create a better health system, I was introduced to a Masshole who recently sold his supplement company for $40MM. He stated, "I made a lot of money creating healthy sewer water." Now you know why I used that negative term for the individual. Needless to say, I did not pursue a business opportunity with him.


Today, I watched an interesting MedCram video focusing on sodium levels and their relationship to longevity. BE WARNED that it is NEVER one thing. Human physiology is way too integrated for one change to be highly impactful. Of course, there are exceptions like vitamin D and A status.


Here is the video from MedCram titled "High Serum Sodium Associated with Mortality and Chronic Disease."


 

BRIEF INTERLUDE - SUPPLEMENTS AND LONGEVITY - SURPRISE ANSWER!

What does taking supplements have to do with this? I don't drink enough water. When I take supplements, my water intake increases dramatically. Thus, taking supplements has the side benefit of increasing water intake - at least by me - but I suspect it also increases the water intake of many others.

 

Sodium is an absolutely crucial mineral that regulates active transport through the sodium-potassium pump. Note that this pump is not just a sodium pump. So, conversations around sodium should also include potassium.


The case for potassium is made in many studies, with this paper being one of many and is titled "Dietary Potassium Intake and 20-Year All-Cause Mortality in Older Adults: The Rancho Bernardo Study." Again, this study should also include sodium in their discussion, and it does! Even though sodium is not in the paper's title, they recognize the key sodium/potassium relationship.


"The function of potassium in the body is closely linked with sodium. Both high and low levels of sodium intake are associated with high blood pressure and increased mortality risk.


We did not examine mortality in relation to the sodium:potassium ratio because food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) have substantial potential for systematic error in dietary sodium assessment. Thus, FFQs are not recommended to assess associations of sodium intake with health outcomes.


Our observation of a significant association between potassium intake and mortality persisted after adjustment for sodium intake, suggesting an independent association between potassium intake and mortality beyond potassium’s relationship with sodium."


Lewis's comment: Maybe this is true - both sodium and potassium are important independently, but the combination undeniably impacts cellular health.


Sodium/potassium pump overview:


To appreciate the importance of the sodium-potassium pump, you need to know more about the roles of sodium and potassium in the body. Both are essential dietary minerals, meaning you must obtain them from the foods you eat.


Both sodium and potassium are also electrolytes, meaning that they dissociate into ions (charged particles) in solution, which allows them to conduct electricity. Normal body functions require a very narrow range of sodium and potassium ions concentrations in body fluids, both inside and outside of cells.


  • Sodium is the principal ion in the fluid outside of cells. Normal sodium concentrations are about 10 times higher outside than inside of cells.

  • Potassium is the principal ion in the fluid inside of cells. Normal potassium concentrations are about 30 times higher inside than outside of cells.


These differences in concentration create an electrical gradient across the cell membrane, called the membrane potential. Using the energy of the electrochemical gradient created by the primary active transport system, other substances such as amino acids and glucose can be brought into the cell through membrane channels.


ATP itself is formed through secondary active transport using a hydrogen ion gradient in the mitochondrion. Tightly controlling the membrane potential is critical for vital body functions, including the transmission of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscles.


A large percentage of the body's energy goes to maintaining this potential across the membranes of its trillions of cells with the sodium-potassium pump - up to 33% of your total energy expenditure.


Here is an excellent article on active transport and the sodium/potassium pump.



I recommend that everyone take potassium with sodium. Blood chemistry testing is probably inadequate for determining your sodium and potassium status concerning the need to run the sodium/potassium pump.


DO NOT FEAR SALT - IT IS CRITICAL TO HEALTH - MAKE SURE YOU BALANCE SODIUM AND POTASSIUM.


Here is my blog on potassium and how to make an energy-enhancing healthy salt.


 

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One part of Dr. Max Gerson’s(Gerson Therapy) theory was that a normal body is “active”(ionized potassium/minerals with positive electrical potential) and in a sick body(mainly cancer) potassium is “inactive”(sodium/minerals are ionized with negative potentials).

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