The Connection Between Nobel Prizes and Nutrition: Revolutionary (Part 2/3)

Coenzyme Q (Ubiquinone). Energizing the Cells

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded in 1978 to Peter D. Mitchell for his revolutionary chemiosmotic theory, which explains how cells generate energy through electron transport and proton gradients across membranes. This theory laid the groundwork for understanding the role of coenzyme Q, or ubiquinone, in cellular respiration and energy production. Coenzyme Q is a crucial component of the electron transport chain in mitochondria, where it helps convert nutrients into usable energy (ATP). This discovery showcased the vital link between nutrition and the body’s energy production processes.

CoQ is required for energy to be produced in the body, which means a deficiency will affect every pathway of the human body.  CoQ is produced in the human body, but as we age, we make less.  The richest source of CoQ is heart tissue, which is eaten raw by hunters worldwide.  CoQ is now used therapeutically to slow aging, cancer, heart disease, and more.

Nitric Oxide

Regulating Vascular Health

In 1998, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was jointly awarded to Robert F. Furchgott, Louis J. Ignarro, and Ferid Murad for their groundbreaking research on nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system. Their work unveiled the pivotal role of nitric oxide in dilating blood vessels, regulating blood pressure, and maintaining vascular health. Nitric oxide’s discovery highlighted the intricate interplay between nutrition and cardiovascular function, emphasizing the importance of a balanced diet in supporting heart health.  Many vegetables enhance the body’s production of nitric oxide, particularly beets, which deserve to be put on a pedestal in health.  Nitric oxide (NO) is used therapeutically via supplements and food concentrates to improve immune function, heart rate, and blood pressure.

ImmunoPower for Cancer

Fasting and Autophagy

Taming Cellular Waste DisposalPeople in developed countries eat too much, too often, and the wrong foods.  Too often can be addressed by practicing intermittent fasting, which clearly slows the aging process and restore brain function.  In 2016, Yoshinori Ohsumi was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his groundbreaking research on autophagy, a cellular recycling process that only takes place while fasting. Autophagy plays a significant role in maintaining cellular health by eliminating damaged components and recycling cellular materials. This process becomes especially relevant when considering the recycling of nutrients during periods of caloric restriction, highlighting the intricate connections between nutrition and cellular maintenance.

Many clinicians are using intermittent fasting (IF) to “biohack” the mind for better focus among the cognitive elite.  Others are using IF for dramatic and sustained weight loss and also as a viable “cure” for type 2 diabetes.

Immunology and Nutrition

Eli Metchnikoff stands as a pioneer who made profound contributions to our understanding of the immune system and its interactions with the human body. However, Metchnikoff’s impact extends beyond immunology; he also laid the groundwork for the exploration of beneficial bacteria, such as those found in yogurt. Let’s delve into the life and achievements of this remarkable scientist.

The Immune System Visionary

In 1908, Eli Metchnikoff was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, alongside Paul Ehrlich, for their groundbreaking work on the immune system. Metchnikoff’s work revolved around the concept of phagocytosis—the process by which immune cells engulf and digest foreign particles, thereby protecting the body from infection. His observations on how white blood cells play a critical role in defending the body against pathogens laid the foundation for modern immunology.

Metchnikoff’s pioneering studies opened the door to understanding the complexities of the immune response, influencing medical practice, vaccine development, and the treatment of various diseases. His work provided a key insight into the body’s defense mechanisms, allowing for more targeted and effective interventions.

Yogurt’s Bacterial Emissary

Beyond his contributions to immunology, Metchnikoff’s curiosity led him down a path that would influence our understanding of gut health and beneficial bacteria. In the early 20th century, he became fascinated by the longevity and health of Bulgarian peasants, attributing their well-being to their consumption of fermented dairy products. This interest led him to investigate the properties of Lactobacillus bacteria, commonly found in yogurt.

Metchnikoff proposed the idea that the ingestion of live bacteria—probiotics—could positively influence gut health and contribute to overall well-being. He hypothesized that these bacteria could help combat harmful pathogens in the gut and contribute to a healthier microbial balance. Although the full implications of his theories were not fully understood during his time, his ideas laid the foundation for the modern exploration of the gut microbiome and its impact on health.
A Lasting Legacy

Eli Metchnikoff’s contributions to immunology and his early insights into the potential health benefits of beneficial bacteria have left an enduring mark on the scientific community. His work not only transformed our understanding of the immune system’s intricacies but also sparked investigations into the world of the microbiome, leading to discoveries that continue to reshape our approach to health and well-being.

The integrity of the immune system is intimately tied to nutrition.  Many foods and supplements have a marked impact on the quality and quantity of immune cells to fight cancer, infections, and aging.  With advances in understanding the microbiome, we are only beginning to research and utilize the power of fermented foods in nourishing the gut and the immune system.

Read Part 1/3 here The Connection Between Nobel Prizes and Nutrition: A Fascinating Insight

Patrick Quillin

Dr. Patrick Quillin, PhD,RD,CNS is an internationally recognized expert in the area of nutrition and cancer. He has 30 years experience as a clinical nutritionist, of which 10 years were spent as the Vice President for a leading cancer hospital system where he worked with thousands of cancer patients in a hospital setting. His a Best Selling Author with 17 books which have sold over 2 million copies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *