Originally published November 5 2007
Interview with Dr. Hank Liers Part 2: High-RNA superfoods
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor
The following is part two of an interview between Mike Adams and Dr. Hand Liers, the chief formulator of products sold by Health Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) (www.IntegratedHealth.com). To see all parts of this interview, search this site for "Dr. Hank Liers."
Mike: Let's get to more of your products. What's your new superfood product that everybody is so excited about?
Dr. Liers: Our new product is called Rejuvenate! It's our high RNA rejuvenating superfood. We have been living on it. This is one of the most exciting formulas I have ever designed. I do not know if you are familiar with the work of Dr. Benjamin Frank -- he was a doctor in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s. He wrote a book titled "Dr. Frank's No-Aging Diet." The no-aging diet was something he developed. You are probably familiar with his diet -- and with some of the current developments in the field of ribonucleic acid, RNA.
Dr. Frank suggested that when you give adequate RNA to someone it is unlikely to be absorbed intact. When the body starts breaking it down, it produces peptides retaining enough of their quality to allow the body to rebuild and make RNA. He found that sardines -- maybe you have written about sardines -- are the highest animal food source of RNA. Organ meats, for example, are also tremendous sources of RNA.
Chlorella started gaining more attention in the 1980s and some chlorella supplements came along. Chlorella, as you probably know, is 5 to 15 percent RNA. I thought it was the highest of all foods, and it probably is, but I just learned that nutritional yeast has about 6 percent RNA, which really blew my mind. Dr. Frank was using nutritional yeast and RNA derived from yeast, which has been in health food stores for years.
Dr. Frank found that when he had patients consume a combination of sardines and fish that were high in RNA, along with B complex vitamins and RNA from yeast, he could take almost anyone who was over 50 and in three or four weeks have them looking 10 or 15 years younger. These people would start feeling energetic, and have greater endurance and aerobic capacity.
Our ideas about RNA developed over time. First, we were eating and experimenting with sardines. Then we discovered Dr. Bernard Jensen's work on chlorella. He was the first big proponent in this country of chlorella.
Dr. Jensen was giving it to every one of his patients, and having phenomenal results with it. So we got into chlorella. Then he talked about Dr. Frank and we started putting this whole picture together of what we call the "RNA Lifestyle." It is getting to be huge. It is going to be gigantic. Even from a pharmaceutical point of view -- they are trying to make specific RNA they will inject into your body and repair a genetic defect.
In other words, you can actually reverse aging when you consume nucleic acids. My son, Fred, and I started eating 20 to 30 grams a day of it, maybe more. Then we started combining it with other nutrients. Chlorella growth factor -- which you may be aware of -- for years it was a liquid, and then we found a source where you could get it as a powder.
In Rejuvenate!, we have chlorella, chlorella growth factor, a little spirulina, nutritional yeast, and D-ribose, which is the monosaccharide sugar backbone for RNA and DNA. If you give the body those precursors, it will have an adequate supply of nucleic acids. For example, even while you are actively trying to rebuild RNA in your body through dietary nucleic acid intake, D-ribose enables you to make significantly more RNA.
Mike: It also tastes good, does it not?
Dr. Liers: Yes, it tastes good. Then we put in rice bran solubles, which is a superfood all by itself. We started combining all of these things, including some B complex, because B12, methylcobalamin and folinic acid are right in the pathway as coenzymes for building nucleic acids. We have some of that and magnesium, because magnesium is used in making and using energy.
The RNA will tell the body to make energy, but you have to have the nutrients there to make it. Rejuvenate! started coming together, and for the last year we have been taking the pieces and creating our formula. We give it to our dogs and we all take it. We have all seen us getting younger. Fred looks like he is 25, and he is 41.
[Editor's note: Fred really does look like he's 25. I was astonished to learn he was over 40. - Mike]
When my son Fred started taking Rejuvenate!, his hair changed to a curlier, thicker texture. His skin got smoother. He grew a little bit. You know at age 40 -- this is amazing! We were also taking a lot of chlorella growth factor and we started to fill out muscularly. This is what RNA does for you. The same thing was happening to me. I had all gray hair on my chest. Now it's half-black. My skin started getting better -- my brain started working better.
Rejuvenate! is a combination of all of these things that are synergistic -- working together. You can look at it as rejuvenation. You can look at it as RNA. People are starting to go in that direction, even if they do not always understand what it means yet.
Early research on the health benefits of RNA supplementationMike: The conventional view of the digestion and assimilation of nucleic acids has always been that if everything is broken down into individual aminos, then that is the only way they get in the blood stream, and then they are rebuilt from there. Individual peptides and amino acids really matter. Those become almost pharmaceuticals in the body, only natural medicine instead.
Dr. Liers: Dr. Frank wrote the "No-Aging Diet" for everyone out there, and he had people eating sardines four times a week, and fish every day, and taking RNA and yeast. He also wrote a technical book, which was so far advanced for the 1970s, titled "Nucleic Acid Nutrition and Therapy." He claimed -- and he knew from all of the experiments that he did on animals and humans -- that nucleic acids, or RNA, were a nutritional requirement -- like a vitamin -- for the body to build the RNA. If you cannot take the message of the DNA and get it to the cells, then there is an aging process. If it gets to the cells, there is not.
Dr. Frank documented the effectiveness of supplemental RNA very thoroughly, but people were not ready. It was not the time. There were a few people who understood it. I do not know if you have interviewed Dr. Gary Gordon in Phoenix, but he has liquid RNA drops now. He has twelve different varieties extracted from yeast that they use for different illnesses, and you take them sublingually. He specializes in autism and he achieves really phenomenal results with autistic children.
Maybe you are familiar with glandular extract therapy. Well, no one ever knew how it worked. They simply knew it worked. Now I understand that it is the RNA precursors, the peptides, and the nucleic acids that are in there that the body is using, and they are reminiscent of the organ they come from. Glandular extracts will repair and rebuild an organ.
Mike: There is a pattern. I do not know if you are comfortable with me using this term, but almost like there is a homeopathic pattern to the source of the RNA, that is then broadcast to the person who is taking that in so that it can reform with that same kind of energy. Is that too far out there for our discussion, or what?
Dr. Liers: No, I think there may be an element of that. I was looking on the Internet, and I found a product from England, where they were using RNA and "cell therapy," they called it, and it had these growth factors in it. This product was a nasal spray, which would be more in accordance with the thought that there is some homeopathic element to it. Maybe that is not the exact word to describe it, but if the body just gets a sense of a little bit of it, it says, "Whoopee! Now we can go into business."
Dr. Frank spoke about this at length. He knew that the RNA was not going in, but he knew the results he was getting. He was saying that same thing. Sometimes you can get a few percent in across the gut. It is like chondroitin sulfate. People said, "No, you never get any in." Maybe you do get two or three percent in. You certainly do not get, from a biochemical point of view, enough to make a big difference. It is probably that the body breaks it down to precursors then you can use those for rebuilding in the body. I think it is probably similar to that kind of process.
The other thing is, there are co-factors. He did three experiments. He just did B-complex and he did not see much. There was a little bit. Then he just did the RNA with the sardines or the yeast RNA, and he got good results. Then he combined the two of them and he got even better results. If you look at that, it will make sense.
You need to have nucleic acids and those raw materials in your body, that is, everything the body needs to metabolize, to repair, to rebuild, and to go into those pathways. That is what I am trying to do with Rejuvenate! and the vitamin formulas. It's quite a challenge to get everything you need.
Mike: So, this Rejuvenate! formula is sold in a powder format, correct? Is that typically used in smoothies then? Is that what you recommend?
Dr. Liers: Yes! It has chia seeds in it, too. Again, it was to get some essential fatty acids, and to get, as you know, the fiber from chia seeds, which is a truly wonderful fiber, plus antioxidants, and just a little extra protein. Part of it is, if you put superfoods together in a nice combination, they are each going to contribute in their own way. There is no single thing that does everything.
I think chlorella is as close, in my book, as any single superfood comes to doing it all. I think that you find many vegetarian people who for years have been doing nutritional yeast at 30 grams per day, they feel that yeast is the ultimate in complete nutrition. I combined them; chlorella is my main component in there. It is high in RNA, and high in chlorophyll, more by far than anything else we know.
Consumer expectations: Getting past the "greens" factorMike: In terms of the consumer response to that kind of product, in my experience, some health consumers will only drink those things that look like they have a fruit color, a fruit taste and are sweet enough. Then there is another group, which is, of course, a smaller group that we consider hardcore nutrition people. They do not care if it is green or if it comes from micro-algae. They want the best nutrition and they are willing to drink it now. I know we are all in that group but not everybody is. Are there ways to make this more palatable to other consumers?
Dr. Liers: Yes, after they get past the looks of it. Certainly putting it in fruit smoothies is wonderful. We put a little banana in it or you can put some frozen berries. Eat it with your toast. You can even put it on toast with coconut oil and sliced bananas, and you do not really taste it.
Mike: Wow that is interesting. I am going to try that.
Dr. Liers: Rejuvenate! is now available on our website. We all take it and all our friends are on it. For those who don't like the taste or color of greens, we've developed Rejuvenate! PRO. It contains a coenzyme B complex, more protein, and fruit flavors. When you take Rejuvenate! PRO, you get the basic Rejuvenate! plus the additional nutrients.
If you are an athlete and you are in training, RNA builds muscles amazingly. With Rejuvenate! PRO you get the added effects of the protein, but you still get regeneration, rebuilding, repairing, and strengthening at the same time. We don't do anything too basic, like just rice protein. Everyone else has done that already, and again, we want people functioning at their peak.
At this point, I would like to design for everyone in the world, but I have to do the best I know and lead the way. I think one of my tasks is to be the leader to change the industry, to change the mindsets. Because you can talk to any one of my manufacturers and they will say, "There is nobody out there doing what he does and he insists that we do it his way. We do it because that is his thing."
Mike: That is one of the things that is not readily visible to the consumers on nutritional products. For example, how are the raw materials handled or tested? What is the percentage of excipients and fillers that go into formulas? They do not have to be listed in the same way on the label. What are some of the concrete steps that you take to maximize the quality, or the purity, or the safety of the raw materials that you use?
Principles of quality formulationsDr. Liers: First, I am a tough son of a gun. I do the specifications. Most people who want a vitamin say, "Would you make me a vitamin? I want it to cost this much," and they sell it to price points. I do not do that. I actually select the raw materials. I know all the manufacturers and all the raw material suppliers pretty much. I get certificates of analysis. I look at them. What is it? What is in it? How pure is it? That's the first thing.
Second, I only work with people who I trust. I work with a handful of people who have known me for years and years, and they do it that way. A few times, they goofed up and they got it thrown back at them. I can design something, but if that person is not going to build it the way I designed it, then it is not what I want.
So first, I have to know what I want to design. And then second, I have to work with people who say, "We are going to make it just the way you asked us to make it," unless they have some wisdom to impart. If there is wisdom out there, I will listen to it. But most manufacturers do not think much about these things.
Mike: That is an excellent point that you mentioned: It is typical for a mainstream vitamin manufacturer to first have in their mind the price point. They have to make a bottle for $5 so they can sell it at wholesale for $15, so they can go into the retail channel and sell it retail for $35. There is less than $5 worth of raw material in a bottle that costs $35 at retail.
Obviously, they have to make many choices to keep those costs down. The synthetic forms of B vitamins, the non-coenzyme forms, or the cheapest minerals they can find and so on. That fools many consumers who do not know the difference.
Dr. Liers: I also want to talk a little bit about excipients. You need a certain amount of excipients to make something. You cannot do without them. For example, if you make a 3-milligram melatonin, and it is in the smallest number-four cap you can get, you still must have a hundred milligrams of something else filling it up.
The drug industry uses dicalcium phosphate. I do not go near dicalcium phosphate. I have never used it for anything. We use a wood byproduct called methylcellulose. It is highly pure. It is like giving people fiber. I have a very short list of excipients that I will allow people to put into our products.
We also allow silica, which is little glass beads, and if you could break it apart it would be good for you, and magnesium trisilicate, which gives you some magnesium but it gives you silica again if you can get it. These excipients will absorb moisture to make it work better. Those are my three main ones. Magnesium stearate I use only when I have to, and in tablets, because it enables release from tabletting machines. If you use it in tiny amounts you are okay. If you use it in large amounts it is not. We avoid it whenever possible.
Just to show you the lengths that I will go to avoid excipients, I recently made available a supplement called the Mini Multi. The Mini Multi is a relatively low potency multivitamin and mineral that has all coenzyme vitamins in it, as much as I can get. The minerals are Kreb's cycle minerals -- the transporters that the body recognizes, and this particular vitamin has no excipients whatsoever. Nothing. The powder is put into a veggie cap. That is it. This is made for sensitive people. We just came out with this. We had been having it custom formulated in small quantities in the pharmacy for years because we did not think we could find anyone who would manufacture a product with no excipients whatsoever. It is now available on our website. It is extremely pure. I actually designed it 15 years ago for my wife, when she was chemically sensitive.
About Integrated HealthDr. Hank Liers is the chief formulator of nutritional supplements sold at Integrated Health (www.IntegratedHealth.com), 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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