The purpose of this site is to collect lab research by medical doctors about herbs that are proven to treat illnesses and counter the false attacks on herbs by the medical industry and false claims by alternative medicine. I let the science tell the facts.
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Sodium Potassium Pump

The Sodium Potassium Pump is one of several gateways into cells and there may be hundreds of thousands of Sodium Potassium Pumps into a single cell. To see how the pump works view this animation of the sodium potassium pump

The proper function of this pump affects the entire body because it produces both electricity and a chemical transfer required to run the body. The pump is regulated by hormones see item 3 below. What this means to us is that Excito Toxins are interupting proper function of hormones and they are essential for proper function of the pumps. (3) An improper function of these pumps is reported to cause heart problems.(2)

1. "Na+/K+-ATPase (fully Sodium-Potassium Adenosine Triphosphatase, also known as the Na+/K+ pump, sodium-potassium pump, or simply sodium pump, for short) is an enzyme (EC located in the plasma membrane (to be specific, an electrogenic transmembrane ATPase) in all animals...Active transport is responsible for cells containing relatively high concentrations of potassium ions but low concentrations of sodium ions. The mechanism responsible for this is the sodium-potassium pump, which moves these two ions in opposite directions across the plasma membrane. This was investigated by following the passage of radioactively labeled ions across the plasma membrane of certain cells. It was found that the concentrations of sodium and potassium ions on the two other sides of the membrane are interdependent, suggesting that the same carrier transports both ions. It is now known that the carrier is an ATP-ase and that it pumps three sodium ions out of the cell for every two potassium ions pumped in."

2. "The ionic transport conducted by sodium pumps creates both an electrical and chemical gradient across the plasma membrane. This is critical not only for that cell but, in many cases, for directional fluid and electrolyte movement across epithelial sheets. Some key examples include: The cell's resting membrane potential is a manifestation of the electrical gradient, and the gradient is the basis for excitability in nerve and muscle cells. Export of sodium from the cell provides the driving force for several facilitated transporters, which import glucose, amino acids and other nutrients into the cell. Translocation of sodium from one side of an epithelium to the other side creates an osmostic gradient that drives absorption of water. Important instances of this phenomenon can be found in the absorption of water from the lumen of the small intestine and in the kidney. Depending on cell type, there are between 800,000 and 30 million pumps on the surface of cells. They may be distributed fairly evenly, or clustered in certain membrane domains, as in the basolateral membranes of polarized epithelial cells in the kidney and intestine. bnormalities in the number or function of Na+-K+-ATPases are thought to be involved in several pathologic states, particular heart disease and hypertension. Well-studied examples of this linkage include: Several types of heart failure are associated with significant reductions in myocardial concentration of Na+-K+-ATPase. Excessive renal reabsorption of sodium due to oversecretion of aldosterone has been associated with hypertension in humans"...

3. "Major hormonal controls over pump activity can be summarized as follows:
Thyroid hormones appear to be a major player in maintaining steady-state concentrations of pumps in most tissues. This effect appears to result from stimulation of subunit gene transcription.
Aldosterone is a steroid hormone with major effects on sodium homeostasis. It stimulates both rapid and sustained increases in pump numbers within several tissues. The sustained effect is due to enhanced transcription of the genes for both subunits.
Catecholamines have varied effects, depending on the specific hormone and tissue. For example, dopamine inhibits Na+-K+-ATPase activity in kidney, while epinephrine stimulates pump activity in skeletal muscle. These effects seem to be mediated via phosphorylation or dephosphorylation of the pumps.
Insulin is a major regulator of potassium homeostasis and has multiple effects on sodium pump activity. Within minutes of elevated insulin secretion, pumps containing alpha-1 and 2 isoforms have increased affinity for sodium and increased turnover rate. Sustained elevations in insulin causes upregulation of alpha-2 synthesis. In skeletal muscle, insulin may also recruit pumps stored in the cytoplasm or activate latent pumps already present in the membrane."

4. "The effect of quercetin, a plant-derived bioflavonoid with documented positive effect on the cardiovascular system,...Quercetin induced a decrease of Na,K-ATPase activity in the presence of all ATP and Na(+) concentrations investigated..." PMID: 21081803 This is an essential bit of research because Quercetin is important to run these pumps. see our page on Quercetin

5. "Quercetin derivatives in onions have been regarded as the most important flavonoids to improve diabetic status in cells and animal models...OPE showed greater potency than pure quercetin equivalent. These findings provide a basis for the use of onion peel to improve insulin insensitivity in type 2 diabetes..." OPE stands for onion peel


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