Nucleotides: The Forgotten Nutrients? Part 2

Today’s episode is part 2 of a two-part interview with Swiss doctor and researcher Dr Peter Koeppel & Nutritional Pharmacist Jane Mackenzie. Nutrition has become so complicated nowadays: one minute you should eat something, the next it’s vilified for be carcinogenic! Who do you trust? Well I’m a huge believer in well, trusting yourself and your own body! That’s easier said than done I know but a good first step is to get a clue! The more you learn about your body and how it works, what makes it tick and what causes it to react, the better your nutrition and health choices become. There are many supplements out there, many experts advising us on how and when and which is best to take but there is only one true expert on you – yourself!

My chat centres on an exciting area in nutrition because it takes us back to basics. Although I’ll be first to admit it’s the basics that we don’t really get taught, at least not until university. To recap from my previous post, we are multi-cellular organisms and our bodies are made up of trillions of cells. Our body uses the food we consume as the building blocks for new cells. These cells divide constantly to make new cells in order to maintain life, and cells get replaced according to their lifespans. Consider your car or house: you may clean certain parts every day, others every week, other parts must be replaced every month or couple of months and so forth. This essentially means that every day we have the opportunity to change our body because certain cells have certain lifespans: for example our stomach lining cells divide or replace themselves every two days, our red blood cells every four months, the cells of our pancreas take about a year and our bones about 25 – 30 years. In each cell in our body, is a nucleus, it’s like the cell’s head office or command centre – issuing instructions for the cell –and in this nucleus is our DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid. Our DNA holds our hereditary or genetic information: that is, info that has been passed down and will be passed on when the cell replicates in order to ensure that all the information in the cell and therefore in the body, is copied correctly when it divides. Nearly every cell in your body has the same DNA. Many DNA make up genes and many genes make up chromosomes. So ultimately DNA, is like a blueprint and RNA, or ribonucleic acid, helps carry out this blueprint's guideline. And the building blocks of DNA are called nucleotides. So we discuss how the body gets nucleotides (if we have a deficient diet) and why we really need them. A complete set of genetic material within a cell is known as the genome, so ensuring you get adequate nucleotides into your system mean that you start to influence your genetic material! Easy enough?!

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