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Originally published October 28 2007

Interview with Dr. Hank Liers, Part 1: Nutritional supplements and cellular energy

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Mike: Hello everyone, this is Mike Adams and today I am joined by Dr. Hank Liers of HPDI. Dr. Liers, tell us a little about yourself.

Dr. Liers: I am Dr. Hank Liers, and I am the president of several companies, including Health Products Distributors Inc. (HPDI). The website is

Mike: Let's start with your chia products. I understand you have actually been a proponent of chia for a long time. What first got you interested in chia?

Dr. Liers: Well, certainly seeds are the progenitors of life. Any time you have a seed, you have everything needed to make it into something wonderful. I think oftentimes you just have to follow your intuition on things -- you see it and eat some of it, and it just feels right to you. My interest in chia bubbled under the surface for years because they were not readily available.

Chia seeds probably will last 20 or 30 years. They do not go bad. Someone bought a container of them and distributed small amounts to health food stores throughout the U.S., and that container probably lasted for 15 years. The seeds were good. If you planted them, they would grow.

Flax seeds have been used in a number of different products and people use de-oiled flax meal and whatever. When chia came to me, I realized from the research I was doing that it had great antioxidant value, which the flax does not. More recently we found that the Indians -- I think it was the Aztecs -- would grind it into flour and it would not oxidize. It would stay for years. It was self-protective. To me that is still a little bit unbelievable.

When I was doing a design project for an all-in-one meal replacement, we were trying to get everything you would need, but essential fatty acids are hard to get in one of those kinds of products. Flax is too big and would oxidize. I did not want to grind the flax down, because that would make the product have a shorter shelf life. Then chia came along. These little seeds fit beautifully into the matrix of the powders. You could chew on it. You could eat it. It did not settle or sift out. It was kind of a perfect mix. It was for the essential fatty acids that we were doing it initially.

Mike: What is the name of this product?

Dr. Liers: Living Fuel. I co-developed it with K.C. Craichy, the CEO of Living Fuel Inc. The website for Living Fuel Inc. is and we have two versions of it. One is the original, the Super Greens, and then we did another version, because half the people in the country have an aversion to greens. We made a berry version with all-organic, freeze-dried blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries called Living Fuel Super Berry. The ingredients are organic freeze-dried berries and chia, along with rice protein, pea protein, enzymes, and probiotics. It's also got multivitamins, herbs, antioxidants, and minerals. That is an all-in-one. You can live on that.

The primary difference between the Super Greens and the Super Berry is that one has vegetable greens and the other has berries. So they are slightly different. The Super Berry is sweetened with tagatose, as well as xylitol, fructooligosaccharides, and a little stevia. In the Super Greens, we have mannitol, xylitol, fructooligosaccharides, and a little stevia. These are' the basic differences.

Mike: That is the only ingredient I would ever be concerned about. I do not like the sugar alcohols.

Dr. Liers: Why is that?

Mike: Gastrointestinal effects.

Dr. Liers: There are different levels for gastrointestinal effects. There is an adaptation process to xylitol typically. If you go and look at the literature -- you can take 75 grams a day before you might start getting gastrointestinal discomfort. Mannitol is 25 grams. Fructooligosaccharides, which also have that characteristic, may be more like 20 to 25 grams. In Japan, you have to say on the package that it might cause gastrointestinal discomfort if you take too much at once.

You do not absorb them in your body. They are feeding the bacteria mainly in your colon. When the current bacteria are not used to xylitol, then they start metabolizing like crazy. You do get gassy. It's not harmful in any way, it's just that you get gassy or you can have diarrhea. If you build up slowly, you have an adaptive mechanism. You get a different population of probiotics in your gut and you can tolerate more and more. After about three weeks, it is not a problem unless you have hit your limit. There are people who do get gassy. We found by putting in alpha-galactosidase -- which is the natural enzyme in Beano -- that really helped dramatically.

Mike: You also have probiotics in there.

Dr. Liers: It has probiotics in it. There are so many moderating factors with the herbs in there. We put in marshmallow root, and that kind of soothes and calms the intestines. We have glutamine. I think early on we had more gas problems; now, not so much.

High-end nutrients

Mike: On this product, I also see that you use many more expensive and higher purity forms of various nutrients, like methylcobalamin, for example, is one of the things I look for in supplements for B12. That is impressive. Then, you have turmeric, dandelion and ginger, which, we could do a whole article about those. Your calcium and magnesium are from the Kreb's cycle bionutrients. I think some readers know what the Kreb's cycle is, but what specifically is meant by Kreb's cycle bionutrients?

Dr. Liers: In the human body, the Kreb's cycle is the aerobic energy cycle. People normally draw it as a little circle. From a biochemical point of view, you feed it into this biochemical cycle, which is called the Kreb's cycle. Hans Krebs won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. The Kreb's cycle takes you through citrate, alpha-ketoglutarate, succinate, fumarate, and malate. Those are the five Kreb's cycle bionutrients that are actually produced in the process of making ATP in the body.

Mike: Yes, this is the primary cellular energy.

Dr. Liers: Yes, it is the energy form. Every single mitochondria and cell in the body knows what Kreb's cycle bionutrients are. They live with it. They understand it. They use it in other ways beyond just making energy. Alpha-ketoglutarate is a great detoxifier in the liver, for example. The whole idea, for me, was to put something into the body that the body can use in addition to being a carrier.

In other words, you may want the magnesium or the calcium. The body understands those carriers and uses them in biochemical reactions in the body. I am always putting things in that the body recognizes because either it is in foods, or it is part of the biochemistry of the body. The Kreb's cycle bionutrients means you have calcium citrate, calcium succinate, calcium alpha-ketoglutarate, calcium fumarate, and calcium malate in a balanced mixture. You want to keep that balance in the body.

Mike: This is remarkable to hear. Your approach, I think, is representative of a higher strata of supplement companies that truly understand biochemistry and are not just out to claim a number of instantly recognizable words on the label, like calcium, B12 or omega-3 fatty acids. You understand the way the body needs these nutrients delivered. I would also think that because of the forms that these nutrients are in Living Fuel, it actually donates energy to the body rather than stealing energy from it in the assimilation of these nutrients, correct?

Dr. Liers: If you look on the label -- we use coenzyme B vitamins and they are all coenzymes. The B1 and B2 are coenzymes. We use pantethine, which is a B5 coenzyme. The B6 is a coenzyme. Methylcobalamin is a B12 coenzyme. Folinic acid is a folate coenzyme. Coenzymes are the way these things are used in the body.

The body has to do more work to get the benefit if you are taking something that is not a coenzyme vitamin, typically most of the stuff found in the vitamins out there. For example, the body cannot use pyridoxine hydrochloride (synthetic vitamin B6). It has to grab an ATP and be phosphorylated before becoming a coenzyme that can be used. I went into supplement design because my wife was chemically sensitive. I became her "doctor" in 1984 and ever since then, I have been finding nutrients, such as coenzyme vitamins and other nutrients that are consistent with human body function -- that work with the body.

Coenzymes are not a drag on the human body. The body can just go, "Boom! Used it! It is great. I feel good. It works." That is our thing; we give you something that works to make you healthy. That is why I am in the business; for no other reason than that.

About Integrated Health

Dr. Hank Liers is the chief formulator of nutritional supplements sold at Integrated Health (, located in Southern Arizona. Integrated Health is a specialty provider of high-end nutritional supplements and superfoods, all made without filler or chemical additives of any kind. NaturalNews readers receive a 10% discount on all products from Integrated Health by using coupon code NT2008

This interview continues in subsequent articles…

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