Inositol (Vitamin B10), Potassium, and Phosphoric Acid
The following is a transcription of the December 1957 issue of Dr. Royal Lee’s Applied Trophology newsletter, originally published by Standard Process Laboratories.
Also in this issue:
- Influence of Vitamin E on Glucose Metabolism
- Tip of the Month (Potassium Deficiency)
- New Fats in Diet May Be Cause of Heart Disease
- High Points of Inositol
Inositol (Vitamin B10), Potassium, and Phosphoric Acid
“The function of inositol is unknown,” say Bicknell and Prescott in their book The Vitamins in Medicine. But the clinical effects certainly are known, and they throw a little light on the possible biochemical role of inositol.
- Inositol deficiency is characterized by slow growth and normocytic anemia.1
- Inositol has a high antiketogenic effect in test animals fed high fat diets.2
- Inositol administration reduced blood cholesterol in patients with initially high levels.3
- Inositol reduced serum cholesterol and phospholipids in diabetic patients.4
- Skin eruptions and stubborn pruritic lesions were successfully treated by inositol administration.5
- Inositol may increase peristalsis and has been considered an important factor in gastrointestinal motility.6
- Inositol synergizes with choline, biotin, pantothenic acid, and other B vitamins in preventing fatty degeneration of the liver.7
- Inositol has been found important in promoting lactation. The use of feeds high in inositol, such as wheat bran, for cows is known to be an important economic factor in the dairy business.8
- Lindane, the synthetic bug poison, is a specific antimetabolite for inositol and can cause death by interference with its utilization.9
Inositol has a molecular structure quite similar to glucose, the blood sugar. (Please distinguish here between natural glucose and the synthetic stuff sold as corn sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, etc. See Dr. Wiley’s comment in his book The History of a Crime Against the Food Law. Also see the September 1950 issue of Vitamin News, free upon request from Vitamin Products Company, Milwaukee 3, Wisconsin, for a complete review.)
This structure of inositol may be a clue to its function. It is not useful, like glucose, as fuel to supply energy for living tissue. Such energy comes from very biologically complex reactions that revolve around hexose phosphates of various kinds, one of which is known as phosphagen (dipotassium-creatine-hexose-phosphate).9 When the sugar (the hexose) is oxidized to produce energy, the phosphagen will disintegrate and lose its components by way of the blood and kidneys, unless, maybe, inositol is present to take the place temporarily of the hexose (until the next meal), thereby preventing valuable parts of the fuel-utilizing mechanism from being junked—just as a ship must load up with stone ballast if there is no cargo to carry to keep her from capsizing.
It is known that vitamin E and F cooperate in this protection of the sugar-metabolizing cycle. Meyerhof long ago showed that oxygen assimilation depends on vitamin E, and investigators later demonstrated that vitamin E deficiency permits a waste of oxygen (and fuel) up to 2.5 times normal.
In muscular dystrophy resulting from vitamin E deficiency, urinary loss of creatine is characteristic. Potassium and phosphate losses are parallel, showing that it is the phosphagen that is disintegrating. There are several links in this chain of phosphagen protection, so unless the investigator knows about them, he may so misconduct his experiments as to decide that inositol (or any other one factor) may be unnecessary. Inositol will not help muscular dystrophy if there is a deficiency of vitamin E, or vice versa.
Note that muscular function is impaired by inositol deficiency, that the liver converts sugar excessively to fat if inositol is absent, and that growth and lactation are impaired by inositol deficiency. (Lactation involves sugar metabolism to form lactose.) It would appear that every diabetic, every pregnant female, and every nursing mother should get inositol. Of course, normally and naturally, they do get inositol, for natural whole wheat contains an ample amount. But in our day of refined foods—white bleached flour, refined sugar—to say nothing of the synthetic glucose and hydrogenated synthetic fats that raise blood cholesterol, acute inositol deficiency may be common.
We do know from clinical reports, in selling inositol tablets, that the mother who has too little milk for her baby usually responds promptly to inositol. We know most diabetics feel far better and note a progressive drop in sugar with inositol.
The cooking of foods and pasteurizing of milk have a lot to do with depriving us of inositol. To assimilate the phytates in whole grains, the enzyme phosphatase (often called phytase) is essential. The human digestive system does not secrete this enzyme, although our friend the rat does. (In this feature, as in the case of the need for vitamin C, the rat has an advantage over us: he makes his own vitamin C and his own phosphatase.)
Unless we get phosphatase in our food, we cannot assimilate phytates, which are salts of inositol-phosphoric acid. We suffer from alkalosis due to the lack of releases of the phosphoric acid; develop the calcium deposits of hypertrophic arthritis, of bursitis, of kidney stones; and at the same time, we fail to maintain the integrity of our bones because we cannot assimilate or even transport the mineral elements of bone. We lose our teeth, incur osteoporosis, and break our hip bones from their weakness at an unduly early age.
In Deaf Smith County, Texas, where the bone minerals and the enzyme activator manganese are high in the soil, the average age of victims of broken hips is twenty years greater than the average for the rest of Texas.10
There is plenty of phosphatase in the raw whole grains, in bran, or in unpasteurized milk. Note: Dr. F.M. Pottenger Jr., who fed cats raw milk and compared the report of this feeding with cats fed cooked meat and pasteurized milk. The first reaction was constipation (failure of peristalsis), then loss of teeth, liver disease, heart disease, and finally arthritis in every animal, while the controls on raw milk were perfectly healthy. The destruction of phosphatase and the resultant deficiency of inositol and phosphoric acid alone would explain all these reactions.
(Dr. Pottenger’s report is available from Lee Foundation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Reprint No. 27 at 50 cents each. Also available from them is Form VD-240, “The Importance of Food Enzymes in Promoting Mineral Assimilation.” It deals with the same subject and is free upon request.)
The importance of potassium—in fact, its real function in the tissues—is here apparent for the first time. Matthews tells us, “Potassium is necessary for the life of every living thing so far tested.” He also notes that the male test animal needs twice as much potassium as the female. The sperm requirement for phosphagen is the reason. Remember, the need of the sperm for stored power is like that of a rocket or torpedo; it can travel thousands of times its length.
Phosphagen is a compound, like nitroglycerin, of endothermic formation. It is no doubt so highly developed in certain sedentary persons as to make their body actually combustible, subject to ignition—burning like wet gunpowder under some circumstances. (See Jack Moffitt’s article in Los Angeles Herald-Express, March 14, 1956, reviewing a number of such cases.)
Potassium deficiency can cause paralysis, according to recent studies.11
The adrenals regulate potassium use and disposal. If the adrenals are damaged, as in Addison’s disease, then phosphagen is not formed. The victim is weak and has flabby tissues, viscous blood, and poor circulation. He cannot get rid of potassium taken in; to him it is poison. He cannot retain sodium and has to eat salt in great amounts. It was recently discovered that common licorice normalizes the sodium-potassium levels of the body fluids of these patients. Licorice tea made from the shredded root is one way to use it (now available from Vitamin Products Company, Milwaukee 3, Wisconsin).
Adrenal weakness in lesser severity is a common disorder. The victim has no stamina, tires easily, and suffers with complications of the thyroid and sex gland type. In fact, most menopausal complaints are probably of this origin. The value of a common proprietary remedy for female complaints was recently found to be the licorice used for covering up the unpleasant taste of the drugs it contained rather than the drugs themselves.
- Jukes et al. Nutrition, 33:1–12, 1947.
- Wiebelhaus et al. Biochem., 13:379–388, 1947.
- Balatre et al. R. Soc. Biol., 143:1032–1033, 1949.
- Felch, W.C., and Dotti, L.B. Soc. Exper., Biol. & Med., 72:376–378, November 1949.
- Vorhaus et al. Jol. Dig. Dis., 10:45, 1943.
- Martin et al. Jol. Dig. Dis., 8:290, 1941.
- Gavin, G., and McHenry, E.W. Biol. Chem., 139:485, 1941.
- Kirkwood, S., and Phillips, B.H. Biol. Chem., 163:251, 1946.
- Beard, H.H. Creatine and Creatinine Metabolism, p. 185. Chem. Pub. Co., 1943.
- Barnett, L.B. Am. Acad. Appl. Nutrition, 7:318, 1954.
- Nutrition Reviews, p. 298, October 1957.
Influence of Vitamin E on Glucose Metabolism
Oral administration of vitamin E (200 mg daily for ten days) lowered the peaks and shortened the plateaus of the blood sugar curve after a loading dose of glucose was given to normal and diabetic subjects. Glycosuria in moderate diabetes was greatly decreased or even abolished. An activation of phosphorylation in various tissues (liver, kidneys, muscle, pancreas, etc.) is postulated to account for the role of vitamin E.
—Erich Hirschberg, Chem. Ab., Vol. 48, November 25, 1954, 13852i, regarding a study by F. Romeo and A. Parrinello, University of Messina, Italy, published in Acta Vitaminol, 8:129–34, 1954 (in Italian).
Tip of the Month (Potassium Deficiency)
Potassium deficiency may prevent the normal response in chronic fever patients tak Calcium Lactate. During the critical period, try ¼ teaspoonful of Potassium Bicarbonate per day, in water, in addition to the Calcium Lact
One of the commonest mistakes is to interpret the demineralization found in elderly women, sometimes with pathologic fractures, as primary calcium, or calcium and vitamin D, deficiency. This may be the cause in some cases, but in most of them the deficiency seems to be related to an endocrine factor accompanying or following menopause. Not all senile demineralization is calcium deficiency, though many patients with senile demineralization would appear to be ideal subjects for such a diagnosis. Demineralization occurs with chronic illness of various sorts, especially that involving bed rest. Other and usually severer demineralization is seen with parathyroid disease and with chronic nephritis. In these conditions the serum calcium level, instead of being lowered, is elevated, and phosphatase activity is greatly increased.
—J.A.M.A., Vol. 143, p. 1255, August 5, 1950.
“Listen to the patient’s story! He is telling you the diagnosis.”
— The Cancer Bulletin
New Fats in Diet May Be Cause of Heart Disease
“Decreased physical activity and increased consumption of hydrogenated and heat processed fats in the past twenty-five years may well be responsible for the rising incidence of heart disease in the United States,” says Dr. Ancel Keys, University of Minnesota, scientist.
Dr. Keys, a leading investigator in the area of possible relationship between the human diet and heart disease, says, “Many scientists have been working intensely to pinpoint any effects the food we eat may have in promoting problems of the heart.
“It was first suspected that cholesterol, present in animal fats, might be a culprit, but there is convincing evidence that it is not the cholesterol that causes the trouble but rather the high total fat level in the American diet.
“The adult diet contains at least 40 percent calories from fat. This should be cut to about 25 percent. And the safest way for us to lower our fat intake is to eliminate the processed and chemically manipulated fats, which are newcomers to our diet. Other fats such as butterfat, meat fats, and the fat in poultry and eggs are combined with high- quality protein and essential mineral and vitamins. We do not want to reduce intake of these nutrients and reduce the quality of our diet.
“Cooking fats and oils and oils in dressings account for almost half of all the fats we eat. Frying, in particular, especially in deep fat, should be limited, and so must the liberal use of fat-rich sauces, gravies, and salad dressings.”
Aside from the statistical fact that hydrogenated fats and oils are a new factor in the American diet and their increased use parallels the rise in heart disease, is their scientific evidence that prompts investigators to suspect these foods. “Yes,” says Dr. Keys:
“In general it would appear that too much of the more fully saturated fat and insufficient intake of unsaturated fatty acids can cause conditions in the bloodstream that lead to heart problems. Animal fats contain a relatively high level of saturated fatty acids, as do hydrogenated vegetable oils. But, additionally, fats and oils that are hydrogenated contain, after the processing, certain unnatural fatty acids called trans-acids, the effects of which are unknown and may be harmful. And when fats and oils are heated in processing, toxic fatty acid peroxides and polymerized fats may be produced.
“To reduce our intake of saturated fatty acids, I would eliminate the fats that are manipulated in processing in favor of our traditional high-quality foods that contain fat. Through the latter we can best meet our needs for essential fatty acids without consuming too many calories or too much fat.”
—Hoard’s Dairyman, September 25, 1957
High Points of Standard Process Nutritional Adjuncts
Inositol is found naturally in the liver and other animal and plant tissues. It is a valuable adjunct in diabetes by helping to activate insulin and lower blood sugar; it cooperates in this respect with Cardiotrophin.