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Understanding the Krebs Cycle Steps to Improve Your Health | Momental

Understanding the Krebs Cycle Steps to Improve Your Health | Momental

Taking care of our health is one of our top priorities in our daily living. We incorporate health related practices into our daily lives, and these include proper exercise, healthy diet, keeping off unhealthy weight, getting rid of excess fat or avoiding exposure to hazards that can be harmful to our overall well-being. Proper exercise includes proper training and getting into activities that enhance burning fat and weight loss. We also keep a healthy diet by watching what we eat, avoiding an excess of unhealthy fat, and intake of necessary vitamins, and proper supplements.

Need to know more about Nootropics? Check out our Momental Nootropic User Guide. It's full of valuable information and frequently asked questions in an easily digestible format.

Understanding our different body processes is also one way of taking care of our health. There are many of these processes and our understanding of these, allows us to change our behavior to enhance, or to utilize these processes to our advantage. This knowledge allows us to modify our behavior in a manner that best supports our body.

Click here to learn more about our herbal nootropics for complete brain and body health, performance, and recovery. 

 

Understanding the Body’s Metabolic Processes

Take for example the Krebs(no apostrophe, the man’s name is Krebs) cycle. Otherwise known as the Citric acid cycle or tricarboxylic acid cycle, this illustrates how the body produces energy for the body. This process involves the interaction of the food that we consume and the biochemical processes within the body, to produce energy forms that our body consumes to do its work. This is one among many processes found within our cells, but the Krebs cycle remains to be at the center of it as it is a process involved in all pathways that lead to the formation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) or the component used for energy for various processes within the cells.

With the idea of how this cycle works, we can change our diet, and change our behavior or activity to maximize benefits. The Krebs cycle is closely tied to the diet that we maintain, and is directly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats and its conversion to energy that is used primarily by our muscles. The Krebs cycle is a well-studied metabolic process at the cellular level, and knowledge of its process and functionality enables us to better control our body metabolism.


Overview of the Krebs Cycle

Here we look at the Krebs cycle and see how we can take advantage of this knowledge, and how we can utilize it to our benefit. This metabolic process involves many others but we need not go into detail for all of these, but rather focus on the 3 major sources of substrates, carbohydrates, fats, and protein. These three follow different paths in metabolism, but ultimately end up in one common path, which is the Kreb’s cycle.


What is the Kreb’s Cycle?

  • This is the biochemical hub of the cell.
  • It is thru this cycle that energy precursors are converted into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which is the then processed to produce the energy that the body utilizes.
  • This pathway is the final common pathway for the oxidation of fuel molecules, namely - amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates.
  • These molecules undergo processing and enter the cycle in the form of acetyl-coenzyme A.
  • Normally during aerobic conditions (or states wherein oxygen is available for utilization by the body), the body converts carbohydrates into glucose, that is processed to form acetyl-CoA.
  • The Krebs cycle allows the harvesting of high-energy electrons from fuels that we take in.
  • The Krebs cycle forms the first stage of the cellular level of respiration. In this process, acetyl-CoA, coming from multiple sources (glucose, fat, and protein metabolism) is processed to produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which is the primary resource of most energy consuming processes in the body.
  • The Krebs cycle is closely related to other metabolic cycles and can explain how we utilize energy substrates we derived from our diet.
  • Fatty acids and amino acids can both be converted to materials that the cells utilize as sources of energy.
  • Most of the time, the body utilizes glucose, but in specific conditions, the body turns to other sources.
  • Fatty acids, coming from fat, are shuttled into the metabolic pathways, and conditions that have high energy requirements tap into fat stores in the body for extra energy to perform the exercises or movements we want to complete at that time. Using fat energy is much faster than our typical glucose utilization. At least in regard to MCTs.

It is through this mechanism that we burn off the excess fat in our body. However fat did not create the excess fat in your body in the first place. It’s far more likely that excess sugar in your diet contributed to your fat gain. This is because your liver can’t keep up with all that sugar and eventually turns to storing it as fat as a means to deal with it. This is why you have been eating low fat, no fat, processed foods, with loads of added sugar(so they taste good) for years with no success for weight loss. These foods are the real culprits as to why you are fat. The other problem is they have next to no nutritional value, and no not all calories are created equal. If that were the case you could eat 200 calories from sugar and 200 cals from protein and you’d get the same result. The problem being, you DO NOT get the same result. [1]


The Metabolic Pathways Involving The Krebs Cycle

Glucose also plays a major role in the generation of energy via the Krebs cycle, however other materials may be used such as fatty acids and amino acids. Fatty acids come from fat, and amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Though they all end up in a common path towards the Krebs cycle, they are being processed by different mechanisms in the body.

Glucose metabolism undergoes processing by way of glycolysis, which has an end product of pyruvate, is converted to Acetyl-CoA, that then goes into the Krebs cycle. Fatty acids are broken down via Beta-oxidation, that forms acyl-CoA, that is then processed into Acetyl-CoA. Amino acids on the other hand also follow a different process. Protein is broken down and later on forms amino acids, which undergo transamination, that is either stored when not used, in the form of fat or glycogen, made into new protein in the body, or it is oxidized for energy.

The body utilizes these different pathways to provide you with adequate energy for every scenario and state possible. We can take advantage of the knowledge of these pathways and states to tailor fit our diet and physical activity to maximize our health benefits.


Exercise and Energy Metabolism

Now, under normal conditions, wherein we don't exercise, and are just doing normal daily activities, we utilize materials coming from the metabolism of glucose from our diet. Anything in excess is converted into energy stores, and in such a manner, anything we eat that is beyond our energy requirement is being stored by the body in different forms, primarily fat, and will remain as such until our body enters a state of high energy requirement (e.g. increased physical activity, ketogenic diet, supplements).

Hence, we limit the intake of glucose or carbohydrates to an amount that estimates our caloric requirement, hence preventing the accumulation of fat stores. Also pay attention to the sugar you are getting daily. The FDA says that science doesn’t know how to determine a %daily value for sugar, but somehow we know for everything else. Amazing right? Here is a quote from their website

“Use the Nutrition Facts Label as your tool for monitoring consumption of sugars. The Nutrition Facts Label on food and beverage packages shows the amount in grams (g) of sugars in one serving of the food.”

Sugars have no percent Daily Value (%DV), so use the amount of grams (g) as a guide.”

Here is a link to the FDA sugar page. I encourage everyone to read it. They aren’t exactly lying, when they tell you sugar converts to glucose which is common energy used by the body (referred to as blood sugar), but the unapologetic language that is used in place of what should really be written to educate the public is appalling, and crooked. They do mention that you should eat a diet high in nutrients and low in added sugars to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but they also seem quite concerned with cavities. If you knew all of the terrible things the excess sugar was doing to your body, cavities would be the least of your concern. Again, it’s not like they are lying on this page, but the way the facts are presented would lead a laymen reader to reflect on this highlight

“The human body breaks down sugars into glucose. Glucose in the blood (often referred to as “blood sugar”) is the primary energy source for the body.” - This is technically correct, but really doesn’t tell the whole story.

Some come up with supplements to modify their diet, which gives us a full eating experience without having to sacrifice our need to limit our calorie requirement. We exercise and take advantage of how our body utilizes glucose for energy and turning to stored fats as extra sources of energy. We exercise to put our bodies in a state wherein fat stores are tapped into for extra energy, resulting overall in weight loss and less fat in the body.

The metabolism of protein also provides us with information that it may be shuttled off to increased fat stores or glycogen stores, or it can be used for protein building within the body or used for energy. Those who are trying to build up muscle mass take in increased amounts of protein to help their body in building up protein, by providing it with the building blocks through food intake or supplementation.

These metabolic cycles, also explain how we accumulate lactate in the muscles. During states of exercise, wherein there is depletion of energy stores, as well as that of oxygen, the body turns to metabolic pathways that shuttle substrates into a pathway that produce lactate, which allows the continued energy production with glucose, in the absence of oxygen, which later on leads to lactate accumulation in the muscle tissues.


Dieting With Nootropic Supplements

With this knowledge, we can then modify our behavior accordingly so as to support our natural metabolic processes. We prevent the storage of fat from excess food and sugar intake, and by exercising or by increasing physical activity; we promote the use of fat storage. When we diet, we limit the amount of food or prevent the intake of food beyond the energy requirement of the body to prevent storage of excess diet in the body in the form of fat.

Note that there are means to diet, wherein, energy requirements are not taken in excess without sacrificing the need to satisfy satiety. Supplements are available, which enhance satiety but closely regulates the caloric intake, or rather keeps it to a minimum.

Take for example, our MIND formula, which is a full nootropic meal replacement. This provides necessary fats(MCTs) for energy and satiety, while lowering overall caloric intake, and provides mental support as well. If you take it in the morning, you aren’t going to be reaching for those sugary breakfast foods that give you short lasting energy. There just isn’t a lot of calories in Momental Mind. Since it’s loaded with herbal nootropics, it also provides support for cognitive function as well. Truly, it is a nootropic supplement for brain health, but with organic greens, healthy fats, and grass fed collagen for muscle, joint, and tissue recovery, it is so much more than just a nootropic supplement.


What Are Nootropics?

  • Nootropics are substances, more commonly known as supplements that improve brain function; processing and recovery.
  • They are also called cognitive enhancers or popularly called “smart drugs.”
  • Nootropics were first recognized to increase memory, and later on, to include creativity, motivation, perception, language, psychomotor functions, processing and attention.
  • Piracetam was the first synthetic nootropic to be identified to have cognitive enhancing effects, which were seen during clinical trials. However this is not an herbal substrate, like we use in our products, but rather it alters your synaptic uptake or inhibition, changing the way your neurotransmitters (nerve cell communicators) are operating.
  • Since then, nootropics have been the subject of many studies.
  • Nootropics have been found to act on multiple pathways within the brain to produce desired effects.
  • Aside from these neurological benefits, some of these substances have been observed to produce beneficial effects beyond that of the brain alone.
  • Some of these have been shown to enhance fat metabolism, regulation of sugar within the blood, or lowering blood pressure.
  • Studies have explored nootropic substances at the cellular level in order to understand how these substances work.
  • These substances may be natural products, which is where Momental Mind comes in. We included only herbal nootropic substrates that elevate levels of naturally occurring compounds in your brain and body. Herbals like ginkgo biloba, bacopa, algal DHA, phosphatidylserine, tapioca, collagen, alpha lipoic acid, cats claw, l-theanine, and B vitamins. Ginkgo biloba, as with all of the other nootropics listed, have been studied extensively and show beneficial effects for cognition and general health.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics?

Nootropics have been shown to produce significant cognitive gains. These cognitive enhancements refer to a capacity to process information, knowledge application and improved memory and decision making. It involves multiple mental abilities that cover memory, perception, language and much more. And beyond increasing mental capacity and function, nootropics have been looked into as treatments for cognitive deficits for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia, stroke, ADHD, and old age related mental deficits.


Why Do Nootropics Help Cognitive Function?

People with medical conditions that affect cognition would greatly benefit from nootropics, by counteracting the degeneration of their cognitive functions or by enhancing or restoring their damaged cognition. It allows people with cognition affecting diseases to potentially retain their mental faculties and maintain their functionality and be free from being dependent on their caretakers or other people for longer periods of their lives. The big change from using nootropic substances for the elderly who exhibit cognitive decline, has been the addition of nootropics for the healthy looking to enhance, and maintain higher cognitive processing for as long as possible. The shift has occurred from, “how do we help the sick” to “how do we improve the healthy” in order to live even longer, more fruitful lives. As Alzheimer’s disease has become more prominent in people’s lives, and as most people have one degree of separation from, or a direct family member or friend with Alzheimer’s, more and more are looking to optimize their diet for the long haul. People used to just think that grandma or grandpa were losing it, but now we know many of the underlying processes that contribute to this kind of cognitive decline. Those with a healthy diet who receive regular exercise, and are more proactive with their mental work have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s, age related cognitive decline, and dementia.

Those without medical conditions or cognitive deficits, who simply want to enhance their brain capacity and functionality, would benefit from memory and recall enhancers. They can help prevent and further slow the development of cognitive problems by using neuroprotective agents. All with the aim to target the cognition affecting problems before they even begin. Apart from being killed early in some spontaneous event, most people who take care of themselves can expect a lifespan between 80-90 years. Yes some are living longer, and many are dying sooner, but what will your quality of life be when you are in your 80s.

As a practitioner, I have seen an incredible disparity with some in their 80’s looking and moving like 60 year olds, and others as if they were approaching 100. Yes, genetics will play a big role, but there were a few commonalities I noticed of those who were still excelling past 80. They had a regular habit or hobby of some mindful activity, whether a crossword puzzle, tinkering on old cars, reading or writing. They also got regular exercise, typically walking in the neighborhood, some more than others. And they ate better than their counterparts. Either they still cooked, or someone cooked for them, and thus the meals were more robust, with greater nutrient value.

Now this current generation past 80 years old is not one to supplement, unless they are receiving Boost or Ensure, which are both loaded with sugar. Seriously, can we please get our elderly something better than Boost and Ensure. It’s basically sugar water with some calories. As a society, we can do so much better. They’ve cornered that market so thoroughly, especially because this generation really isn’t online to see all of the better options they could be having. Besides that they would also need to have the wherewithal that they need something better. Back to the point at hand. You may live 80-90 years but what is your quality of life going to be? I know that I want mine to be high, and I’m greedy. I want it to be high in my 80s, my 90s, and beyond. So if keeping your mind active, getting a little exercise each day, and eating a mildly robust diet for better nutrition has the current generation lasting into their mid 80s and early 90s, what do you think we can do with a concentrated effort on the matter. I want a high quality of life until the end, even if the sources of “fun” change over time. So who’s coming with me?


Related Research and Studies on Nootropic Ingredients

The most recent studies on nootropics have been focusing on the specific areas of the brain, particularly the biochemical pathways, upon which these nootropic substances take effect. Most other studies are done to show the cognitive benefits these chemical compounds/products produce.

 

Scientific Studies on Nootropic Substrates

There are plenty of nootropics available, aside from ginkgo biloba. Huperzine A, alpha lipoic acid, and phosphatidylserine to name a few. There’s plenty of scientific evidence to back up the benefits being attributed to these substances.

Scientific journals that support the claim of cognitive benefits and the specific targets in the brain’s processes and pathways are shown in multiple studies shown in the National Center for Biotechnology Information. [2] [3] [4]

Other research also points to the potential of supplements that, while enhancing energy production by enhancing ATP, enhances cognitive function as well.

Multiple benefits of these metabolic agents show multiple effects with beneficial outcomes for the body and mind. While there are many products out there that lay claim on a multitude of benefits, it is prudent to see to it that it is well studied and has scientific basis.


Nootropic Product Research

If you’re interested in the research behind all of our ingredients in Momental Mind and Mend, check out our nutrition blog, all articles include in text citation, with full reference link at the bottom of each article.

https://www.getmomental.com/blogs/nutrition contains plenty of information and research studies that support the use of herbal nootropics products. We go to great lengths to discuss the specific cognitive benefits and any precautions to be taken with the use of nootropics. Side effects are very rare, even at very high doses of nootropic substrates.

There are plenty of positive aspects within the body’s metabolism that we can exploit by supplementing our diet. There are ketone supplements, which enhance the fat burning process, without compromising the energy requirement of the body that is usually gained from the use of carbohydrates or glucose. Ketone products can be found at www.perfectketo.com.

Other healthy supplements, which provide the nutrient requirements, and the substrates needed by the body to function fully are available at www.equipfoods.com. There are supplements here that complement exercises to provide the right amount of nutrients and energy source of the body. They also contain the necessary vitamins and minerals that enhance the metabolism and maintains the normal body functionalities.


Summary for Understanding The Krebs Cycle 

While there are many aspects of our body’s functions that are still unclear and in the process of being studied, the Krebs cycle remains one of the most well understood metabolic processes. It cannot be claimed outright that we know everything about the Krebs cycle, as with everything else, the study of the metabolic processes in the body remains to be a perpetually expanding field of study; there is still much to learn and more and more information is being unveiled year after year.

But at this point, we do know enough about this metabolic process, and the metabolic processing of carbohydrates, fat, and protein, so that we are able to modify our diet and behavior to take advantage of this process. We can enhance, and control these processes, by adjusting the components of our food and nutrient intake. We limit the number of carbohydrates to prevent the shift of the metabolic process to storing fats. We take in ketones to favor one process over another which has a more desirable effect for our body. In the same manner, behavior can be tailored to enhance or take advantage of our knowledge of these processes at the cellular level by using specific herbal substrates that promote desired outcomes. For example, 5-htp to increase tryptophan and NAD+ levels known to decline with aging. Phosphatidylserine for phospholipid layering(healthy fat layering around all cells). Alpha GPC choline to increase acetylcholine and so on.

We know that metabolism favors utilization of fat stores for energy during decreased food intake when we are dieting, or that we can force the utilization of these energy stores by putting our body in a state of increased demand such as exercise. Though we know based on experience that these methods work in promoting a healthy body, our understanding of the processes on a cellular level enables us to combine and create a regimen that promotes the best outcomes in our body. This is why we position Momental Mind as a meal replacement, because you really can and should skip meals. If you’re losing weight beyond your set point then you can reintroduce those meals, but the vast majority of people are in the net positive for weight gain. Trust me, you aren’t just going to disappear before picking up the fork again. Those who are training for weight gain, and mass can simply use our products as additives to their regimens, and would definitely benefit from additional collagen, protein, and MCTs.


Supplement Market For Nootropics

There are many sources of supplements available in the market, and many different kinds of nootropics but what makes Momental different is that we use herbal substrates to naturally raise levels of antioxidants, neurotransmitter function, phytonutrients like flavonoids, and polyphenols, rather than using synthetic synaptic uptake altering or inhibiting substances that alter your chemical makeup and have a far greater chance for dependency.  




References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21163/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5021479
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23042218
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17266573
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257700

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