Why are all soft drinks carbonated?

Bicarbonate is crucial to the pH buffering system. Enzymes work best at certain pHs. Carbonated drinks could be affecting pH levels in the gut and thereby altering actions of various enzymes in the gut. A small lift could result upon drinking a carbonated drink. That small lift multiplied a billion times could translate into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Seltzer, which is carbonated water, with absolutely no added ingredients may be a safe drink imparting a very small lift. Any added ingredients would ruin the seltzer. 98% of seltzer water has been ruined by added ingredients.

Quercetin is an iron chelator, is bioavailable and crosses the blood-brain barrier


Quercetin is a very effective iron chelator. Supplemental quercetin is bioavailable increasing blood levels dose-dependently. Quercetin also crosses the blood-brain barrier. Quercetin is being investigated for use in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

If iron chelators work in Parkinson’s there should be some positive effect with supplemental quercetin. I very much doubt there will be. See the page on Parkinson’s disease. If quercetin does not work in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease then the narrative that treatment of Parkinson’s disease requires iron chelation has to be re-thought. I would avoid supplementing with quercetin until there are definite clinical studies to the effect that quercetin in the real world ameliorates symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which I think will be never.

Quercetin is found in fruits and vegetables. Querectin found in foods could have benefcial effects. Like other antioxidants, when obtained from food, quercetin could have beneficial effects.

Why lipoic acid should never be supplemented

The sodium-dependent multivitamin transporter transports biotin, pantothenic acid and lipoate (Prasad et al. 1997). The three vitamins competitively inhibit transport of each other. Lipoate inhibits the transport of biotin and pantothenic acid (Prasad et al. 1998). Biotin is taken in microgram quanties while lipoic acid is taken in 600 milligram and higher quantites. What is more lipoate is synthesized on proteins whereby there is no need for free lipoic acid. All supplemental lipoic acid would be doing is blocking the transport of biotin and pantothenic acid.

Gut microbiota and bipolar depression

Biotin is synthesized by by micororganisms in the gut. Pantothenic acid is also synthesized by microorganisms in the gut. L-carnitine is metabolized by microorganisms in the gut. Biotin, pantohenic acid and l-carnitine are involved in bipolar depression. See the page on Bipolar depression. Changes is gut microbiota could, by affecting biotin synthesis, pantothenic acid synthesis and L-carnitine degradation, have an effect on bipolar depression.

The choice to between taking L-carnine could be between not taking l-carnitine supplements, having low TMAO and being very depressed and taking l-carnitne supplements and improving heart function and glycemic control. L-carnitine must be taken with branched-chain amino acids. L-carnitine taken alone is not helpful.

Taurine, which could also helpful in bipolar depression, lowers cardiovascular risks. Taurine reduces cholesterol levels by inducing cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase, the rate limiting enzyme in bile acid synthesis. Bile acids are synthesized from cholesterol.

Occam’s razor and mood stabilizing drugs for bipolar disorder


Occam’s razor – the simplest explanation is usually the right one. How do mood stabilizers work to stabilize mood?

Lithium can stabilize sodium-dependent transporters and sodium-dependent G-protein coupled receptors in inactive states. Lithium  reduces activity of various sodium-dependent transporters, for example, Na(+)-coupled inorganic phosphate cotransporters (Andrini et al., 2012), Na+/Cl)/glycine cotransport (Pérez-Siles et al., 2011) and the sodium-myo-inositol co-transporter (Willmroth et al., 2007).

Blocking sodium channels is one of the key mechanisms by which anticonvulsants work (Brodie,  2017). Carbamazepine, valproic acid and lamotrigine are anticonvulsants used to treat bipolar disorder (Bowden and Karren, 2006.). Carbamazepine is a sodium channel blocker (Kennebäck et al., 1995). Valproic acid blocks sodium channels (Zanatta et al., 2019). Lamotrigine also blocks sodium channels (Kuo, 1998).

Occam’s razor applied to mood stabilizers – Mood stabilizers work by affecting sodium-dependent transporters and/or sodium-dependent G-protein coupled receptors.

Autism, intracellular calcium and taurine

Dysregulations of intracellular calcium are thought to play a role in autism. Taurine regulates intracellular calcium in neurons. A subgroup of children with autistic spectrum disorders, 21 out of 66, had low taurine concentrations (<106 μM).

Children with autism spectrum disorders have low bone mineral density. Taurine is involved in bone formation via stimulating bone growth and inhibiting bone loss.

Children with autism had lower serum 25(OH)D (a metabolite of vitamin D) concentrations than did control subjects (19 vs. 33 ng/ml), despite parents of each group reporting the same amount of sun exposure. Taurine conjugated to bile acids assists in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin K is fat-soluble vitamin involved in bone formation via osteocalcin. Vitamin K deficiencies could co-occur with vitamin D deficiencies as in both cases there could be a failure to absorb fat-soluble vitamins due to deficiencies in taurine.

Dysregulations of taurine could play a key role in the development of autism. A treatment for autism could look a lot like a treatment for osteoporosis. Taurine, vitamin D3, vitamin K2 MK-7, which is better absorbed than other forms of vitamin K, and calcium from calcium carbonate could be helpful in a subgroup of children with autism who also have low taurine levels. No studies of taurine, vitamin D3, vitamin K (MK-7) and calcium from calcium carbonate in the treatment of autism have yet been done.

CACNA1C (Cav1.2) and psychiatric disease

The calcium channel, voltage-dependent, L type, alpha 1C subunit is a protein that is encoded by the CACNA1C gene. Via calcium channels calcium influxes into cells. Mutations in CACNA1C are associated with bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia and autism. Gain of function mutations in CACNA1C are associated with disease, for example, autism.

Taurine regulates intracellular calcium levels by preventing influxes of calcium into cells but not effluxes of calcium out of cells. Via regulating influxes of calcium into cells taurine has a role in the treatment of psychiatric disorders that are in part due to gain of function mutations in CACNA1C.

A very tepid positive take on the use of EPA in major depression

In a study by Rapaport et al., on the use of EPA in major depression there is this sentence in the abstract, ‘While overall treatment group differences were negligible (ES=−0.13 to +0.04), subjects with any “high” inflammation improved more on EPA than placebo…’ That is a very tepid positive take.

EPA enteric coated softgels do not work. EPA + DHA softgels must be bitten, the contents swallowed and then softgel capsules thrown away for EPA + DHA to work against major depression

ProEPAxtra was the EPA product used in the Rapoport study. Here is an ad for ProEPAxtra on Amazon. The ad does not explicitly state that the softgel is enteric coated, however, the ad states ‘no fishy aftertaste’ and ‘better absorbed’ both of which are warnings than the soft gel could have some sort of enteric coat. Enteric coated fish oil soft gel capsules appear to be frosty or dull. The softgels in the ad appear to be dull in appearance. The quality of the fish oils themselves is not being questioned.