(NaturalHealth365) Nucleotides, often the unsung heroes within the body, play a crucial role, particularly in the digestive system. Despite their relative obscurity, these molecules are indispensable for creating new DNA and RNA and are present in nearly every cell. Research highlights their significance in digestive repair and suggests a potential link to cancer prevention.
As approximately 74 percent of Americans currently grapple with gut health issues and digestive discomfort, a staggering statistic emerges. In 2020, the United States recorded 1,603,844 newly diagnosed cancer cases, with 602,347 individuals losing their lives to the disease. In light of this, the question arises – could dietary nucleotide supplementation be a key consideration for you?
Why nucleotides are essential for the digestive system and immune health
The body needs billions of nucleotides to make new copies of DNA every time a cell divides. It also needs nucleotides to make proteins. It can obtain them by salvaging them from old proteins, synthesis from amino acids such as glutamine, and synthesis from sugars. Human beings also receive dietary nucleotides from healthy foods.
One major function of nucleotides is gut healing and repair, especially in areas of intestinal weakness. This is of particular importance for those dealing with gut-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease, but also for those with autoimmune conditions, diabetes, and cancer. Approximately 80 percent of immune system cells reside in the gut, and many experts now link many disease conditions to gut imbalance.
In fact, over 100 years ago, Russian scientist Ilya Metchnikoff suggested that the development of disease and even the aging process itself was a byproduct of “auto-intoxication.” This is when unhealthy bacterial overgrowth causes certain toxic chemicals, such as ammonia, to develop in the digestive tract.
A London-based investigation published in the journal Gut made some exciting discoveries about the function and importance of nucleotides in the digestive system. They write that the digestive system requires an ongoing and hefty supply of nucleotides produced by the liver.
They also found that when enough intrinsically produced (or de novo) nucleotides are produced for the digestive system’s needs, several benefits can be seen, including improved liver regrowth and increased immune system responsiveness – especially against opportunistic microbes. They also warn that bad eating habits may strip the body of energy to produce nucleotides internally.
Nucleotides have also been found to improve the condition of small bowel ulcers, promote intestinal repair after dietary stress (like eating gluten, drinking alcohol, or ingesting NSAIDs), and may help with “gut mucosal defense” – which is a mechanism of the immune system.
Lack of dietary nucleotides may play a role in the early stages of cancer
Discoveries have also linked inadequate amounts of nucleotides in the body and cancer development. A joint study by researchers at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the University of Michigan Medical Center found that oncogenesis may result from inadequate nucleotide levels that cannot support normal DNA replication and stability of genes.
Who needs dietary nucleotide supplementation?
Most nucleotide content not already produced in the body comes from certain kinds of foods. Organic mushrooms, meats such as lamb and fish, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are especially good sources of dietary nucleotides. In fact, most individuals can get all they need from what they eat.
Of course, if you eat based on the “Standard American Diet,” are exposed to toxins, or have chronic stress, you may suffer from low nucleotide production. The effects of this may be noticeable and devastating, including possibly a higher risk for cancer.
If you have a weak immune system or digestion, experts say you may benefit from supplementation with dietary nucleotides in capsule form. Others, however, say that supplementation can also occur during key periods in a person’s life when they need extra energy, balance, and support. This may include times of stress, overwork, lack of sleep, major illness, after injury or surgery, or at the onset of sickness or infection.
There is still a lot that we need to learn about nucleotides, how they function in the body, and especially how supplementation may both help and possibly hinder the body’s natural processes. For these reasons, consult your holistic health practitioner before deciding on nucleotide supplementation.
One thing seems to be certain, however. For specific conditions, for strengthening and repairing the gut, and for specific times of heightened stress, supplementation with nucleotides may be a path to take on your journey to prevent cancer and other disease conditions.
Sources for this article include:
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