Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, is a board-certified internist and a lead researcher in the field of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. He has written widely on these subjects, including a recent paper on the use of ribose in the treatment of these issues. He also wrote From Fatigued to Fantastic and markets a line of supplements under that brand name. At Nutracon 2011 he'll present "Product Development: How to Make Healthy & Powerful Energy Drinks," as part of the Energy, Weight & Performance Track.
Fi: What's hot in the weight loss category?
JT: Currently with weight loss, since ephedra got bumped, I truly don't think there is a good weight loss mix available outside of exercise. Caffeine's role in weight loss was dependent on ephedra. And aspirin. It was that mix, those three together, that tipped the metabolism. But the individual components don't seem to do the same thing. So I think what we have are a lot of people running around frantically, looking for something that works without having anything. So we're back to the old things: optimizing thyroid function, optimizing adrenal function.
Fi: So there's no magic bullet for weight loss, then? Do people just have to make the lifestyle choice of choosing to expend more calories than they take in?
JT: You can have two different people – one of them is pigging out and thin as a bean pole, and the other looks at salad and gains 10 pounds. So it's not just a ratio of calories in and calories out. If you're looking for a regimen, including natural remedies for weight loss, then No. 1 you're looking at thyroid. Iodine is [an important ingredient]. We're coming back to an epidemic of iodine deficiency.
Fi: Is that because people have gotten some bad information about iodine and have refrained from using iodized salt?
JT: No. The soil in the country tends to be poor in iodine in general. Most of the iodine in the diet comes from the soil via plants or animals. Most Americans don't get much seafood or seaweed. The intake has been low for most of America's history, low enough that the government mandated adding iodine to salt. What happened was that we kind of fantasized that that did the job because at the same time the bakers said, ‘Hey, we can put iodine into the flour as an anti-caking agent', and it was more the iodine in the flour that brought people to an acceptable level. The iodine in the salt helps a tiny bit, and most of the salt people get comes from food processing, which is not iodized. Most of what we got was from bread, and bakers have now largely switched to bromates instead of iodine. The problem is that the bromates and bromides block iodine function. So you're not just losing a major source of iodine in the diet, you're now putting in a large amount of something that blocks the iodine that people do have.
Fi: You've written widely on the subject of chronic fatigue. What's the best way for people to deal with fatigue issues?
JT: We have about 31 percent of adults now walking around chronically fatigued. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome hits about 4-8 percent of the population.
You have to look at what creates energy in our bodies. [At Nutracon] I'm going to talk about the SHINE protocol for what produces energy from a physical, metabolic point of view.
We'll talk about Sleep. We have 70 million people who have poor sleep habits in this country. We've gone from an average of nine to six-and-a-half hours a night. And that also makes you fat as well as tired.
We'll talk about Hormones, and how the blood tests miss the vast amount of people who need hormonal support. We'll talk about the role of thyroid and adrenal in energy production.
We'll talk about Infections. You don't need to be a pincushion for every new flu vaccine that will make someone a billion dollars. You can keep your immune system running high with a few simple things. But the key infection that also tends to play with weight is candida.
We'll talk about Nutritional support. This is the first time in human history that we have high calorie malnutrition. The "E" is for Exercise.
Fi: How does ribose figure into the energy equation, and what results have you obtained in your research with the ingredient?
JT: Ribose is a sugar that your body uses and has to make as the basic building block of energy in the body. In the most recent study we had 253 people with chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia. So as a model for fatigue these are the worst cases. We gave them ribose and at the end of three weeks there was an average 61 percent increase in energy. When it comes to producing energy, ribose is amazing.
Fi: What is your daily supplement regimen?
JT: I use my morning energy drink. I take the Energy Revitalization System vitamin powder (by Enzymatic Therapy) plus 5 gram (1 scoop) of Bioenergy Ribose in 4-8 oz. of water – turbo charges my energy!
Nutracon highlights: Energy, Performance & Weight Track
Track chair: James Tonkin, president, HealthyBrandBuilders
At Nutracon 2011, drink in the science of this category with Teitelbaum and other top-notch speakers who will help you make products for your consumers to perk up, slim down and achieve clarity. Nutracon is March 9-10, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif., co-located with SupplyExpo and Natural Products Expo West.
- Anthony Almada, MSc, on performance ingredients. Get the lowdown on what's hot in sports supplements.
- Reza Kamarei on energy drinks. Get an overview of the chemistry, pharmacokinetics, metabolism, safety and efficacy of common functional ingredients found in these products. Plus, learn how to conduct clinical trials for functional ingredients based on Good Clinical Practices.
- Don Cox, Ph.D., on the immunity/performance connection. Cox's talk is titled "Emerging Science: Maintaining Immune Health Leads to Improved Performance." Cox is vice president of R&D, healthcare, for Immune Health Basics.
- Jay Udani, MD, on how to measure energy. Udani lays out ways in which energy drinks and supplements can be tested in high-quality clinical trials to support marketing and regulatory claims. FullBar case study from founder Michael Snyder.
- Tom Vierhile on market trends in weight management.