NMO Gut Health Journal

Deuterium Depletion for Optimal Health

Deuterium Depletion for Optimal Health

Sleep is a deuterium depletion process


I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr Laszlo Boros today. He teaches biochemistry at UCLA and has been since 1998. He is a medical doctor by training. He grew up in a small town in Hungry and studied medicine in Germany. He eventually made his way to the United States. He was working for the department of pediatrics but his work was research-related, studying metabolism using glucose molecules. In 2002 he came across deuterium working with Dr Gabor Somlyai. Read on to learn about how deuterium can be detrimental to your health, how the ketogenic diet can help, why you shouldn’t drink excessive amounts of water, and why you need to get a good night's rest!

What is Deuterium (Heavy Hydrogen)?

Imagine playing a game of football with a medicine ball. This is the analogy of deuterium. It is a heavy version of a football that destroys the game. It’s exactly what happens in our cells when deuterium gets into particular parts of your mitochondria. 

By definition: Deuterium is a heavy isotope of hydrogen. It has a proton and a neutron in its nucleus while hydrogen has only a proton. This extra neutron makes deuterium twice as heavy as hydrogen. As in any biological process, the transfer of atoms and energy in the form of deuterium ends up slowing down. Deuterium can devastate some of our basic cellular functions. 

It’s a form of hydrogen, it’s twice as heavy as typical hydrogen and it can interfere with the biological processes in the body.-Kriben Govender

Since deuterium is twice as heavy it makes it worse because there is no other atoms or biological component in an anatomical scale that has such a dramatic weight increase when it comes to biochemistry or physiology. 

For Example Carbon has 12 particles in the nucleus but it also has a stable isotope that we call 13C….BUT unlike deuterium, it is only 10% heavier than its 12C counterpart.

Deuterium is so detrimental because it's much heavier than it’s isotope counterpart. It tries to participate in every chemical reaction that hydrogen would which leads to devastating effects on our bodies…..

What Are the Devastating Effects of Excess Deuterium in the Body?

Our mitochondria have the most difficult time processing deuterium. Mitochondria are cell organelles that produce water and energy using oxygen from air and hydrogen from the food that we burn. The result of this is carbon dioxide which we breathe out and water which we don't see much of it because it is recycled in a chain of reactions. Hydrogen is active in mitochondria and more importantly, it powers our protein nanomotors which produce ATP (energy for our cells). These nanomotors are spinning at high velocity at about 9000 rotations per minute…. With a twice as heavy hydrogen isotope you can imagine what it does to a delicate protein system moving at that speed, it:

-Makes it unbalanced

-Breaks it

Deuterium compromises our mitochondrial energy production significantly.

 It also slows down many other processes in our cells that are related to biochemistry. It can alter the structure of proteins and the structure of our DNA. This is because hydrogen bonds are important in holding together the helices of DNA. When these helices are bound by deuterium, their enzymes can't go through. 

It is like if you were to mow your lawn and there was a big chunk of grass or a physical barrier and you have to go around. Deuterium physically damages cellular components that are necessary for energy production and healthy functions. 

What are Peroxisomes?

Peroxisomes are cell organelles responsible for oxidation reactions that break down fatty acids and amino acids. Mitochondria use elementary oxygen carried by haemoglobin. It is very active oxygen because it is looking for a partner. Deuterium and oxygen react very quickly. The oxygen and hydrogen mixture makes water. That is what happens in the mitochondria, in a controlled fashion. 

On the other hand, peroxisomes, use molecular oxygen which is in the air and does not require hemoglobin for carrying it. For that reason, peroxisomes can use this oxygen and hydrogen from fat to produce hydrogen peroxide first. This is rapidly broken down to the water in our cells by the enzyme called catalase

It is all about deuterium….. When hydrogen captures oxygen in molecular or elementary forms both organelles deliver molecular water which will have certain biochemical roles. It may cycle the water or become part of the DNA. They are all connected, linked, and originate from this water production process in mitochondria. 

heavy water

How Much Metabolic Water is Circulated Throughout Our Bodies?

Mitochondria in every human being, circulate ~7200 litres of metabolic water a day. This is immediately recycled and is equivalent to the volume of blood that we circulate. It is not that surprising if you work with a cardiologist just to see how much work your heart performs circulating blood throughout your body. If you look at an average life span, we recycle a river flow of water. Almost 700 thousand cubic meters! This is just to simply run the system. It is recycled with the same protons. We get new oxygen and new carbons but it is like your cars cooling water, it just recycles so many times throughout the engine. It is not a huge volume because it is recycled….

If you look in your physiology book there are other shocking numbers as well. For example:

Kidneys: Your kidneys produce about 800 litres of filtrate a day which is recycled back into your circulation. 

Heart: Your heart pumps about 7200 litres of blood throughout your body a day. And your mitochondria produce the same amount of water which has to be deuterium depleted to function properly. It cannot have this heavy water! Heavy water is so different in its characteristics that they use it to control atomic reactions in atomic power plants. It is a fundamental and critical knowledge but it has never been applied to medicine until Dr Gabor Somlyai started working on some cancer models. Once deuterium was brought down to a physiological level, the effects on humans were dramatic. 

What is the Level of Deuterium that is Normal vs Elevated Levels from an Environmental Perspective?

We measure deuterium by ppm (parts per million) and that number will tell you how much deuterium is amongst a million hydrogen atoms. In Budapest for example, drinking water has 146-150 ppm and this is very typical of a middle European city. Coastlines usually have higher levels because deuterium comes from the ocean in the form of rain and vapour. Oceans are the largest bodies of water on our planet and contain the highest concentration of deuterium. 

Evaporation of deuterium from oceanic water comes in the form of rain and becomes part of our crops and vegetation. This has shown some dramatic patterns based on temperature, wind direction, and speed. It depends on these physical processes yet biological systems have tried to filter it completed out using these nanometers (spinning proteins). 

If you look back 20,000 years ago, deuterium in water vapour was ~ 10 ppm lower. If you drank water from a river 20,000 years ago instead of 150 ppm it may have been 135 ppm. If we are drinking deuterium from external sources it should be in this range. If you go back 100,000 years ago, most of this water was in the 120 ppm range. This is why we believe that we need to bring the deuterium back to these levels, because of its impact on biological processes. Reducing deuterium may have health benefits for all of the warm-blooded species. It doesn't seem like a big difference in numbers but because of the velocity and transfer of protons in our system, this small difference goes very far. This will impact how often the DNA or protons need to be repaired or how often deuterium needs to be removed from our system

Why Has the Deuterium Level Increased from the Paleolithic Times vs Now?

Climate change may be the most significant factor. There were studies done in New Zealand where they captured volcanic ash from 15,000 years ago. Since New Zealand is small and covered by oceanic vapour, this ash was combined with the water vapour and they captured the deuterium content. It was 10-15ppm lower than it is today! This measurement showed that in ancient times deuterium was lower in the environment because of the lower oceanic temperatures…. Once we went through geographic and environmental changes, deuterium content altered based on these temperatures. Also, consider the development of  industrial processes that increase deuterium content in food products and we believe that these elevations may cause:



-Some neurodegenerative diseases

The environmental conditions, including climate change and the warming of the oceans, has resulted in a deuterium level that is much higher than what our ancestors would have been exposed to.

Cows on a greenery

What Foods Are High vs Low in Deuterium?

Two basic types of food are oxidised in our mitochondria:

Carbohydrates: They are carbon dissolved in water. Glucose has 6 carbons, 12 hydrogens and 6 oxygen. 6 carbons get dissolved into 6 water molecules in a chemical form. The hydrogen is attached to carbons.

Fat: This is more of a hydrocarbon meaning that there is no water in it, it's only carbons and hydrogen. That is the best source of hydrogen simply because fat can only be produced from citric acid which is part of mitochondria metabolism. Mitochondria can filter out the deuterium with the nanomotors. 

Biological systems produce their fat from one of the metabolites (citrate) that can only be synthesized in mitochondria.

For this reason, natural fat such as grass-fed animals, are low in deuterium. It needs to be grass-fed naturally produced fat. This is because the deuterium discrimination process starts in the grass. Photosynthesis cannot break the deuterium bond. Photosynthesis discriminates against deuterium:

  1. The water from the ground is soaked up by the tree leaves
  2. The tree leaves break the bond
  3. The hydrogen will be attached to carbon dioxide and oxygen is released. 

This is why trees use oxygen and carbon dioxide. The circle of life starts with the deuterium discrimination process in plants. Animal fat will then be turned into metabolic water after we eat it. That is the best way of producing low deuterium water because it is discriminated against in plants. 

Fruits, on the other hand, are synthesized by trees and plants using other biochemical reactions. They use glucose to wrap the important seed material for their propagation and then it is carried in the belly of animals after they eat the fruit. The deuterium will be filtered out by the gut flora, the animals will have diarrhea, and they will spread the seeds. The fruit is purposely produced to have high deuterium simply to spread their seeds. This is because high deuterium food is not efficiently absorbed into our circulation. Our gut flora and other chemical processes are going to filter them out. These high deuterium sugars stay in the bowel which doesn’t make them very desirable for our deuterium content.

Carbohydrates and proteins depend on biochemical reactions but they are usually high in deuterium as well. A carbohydrate diet will contain about 150 ppm but a natural ketogenic diet would only contain ~115ppm of deuterium. Making metabolic water from fat in our mitochondria is a lot more efficient and beneficial for our cells. This is because it’s low in deuterium and it gives you the highest rate of carbon to hydrogen which powers our ATP the most efficiently. You use the benefits of these basic biochemical principles in a ketogenic diet.

Effect of High Deuterium Levels on your Gut Microbiome

What is the Effect of High Deuterium Levels on your Gut Microbiome?

This leads us to prokaryotes. They are single life forms that cannot control their deuterium content AND they retain the deuterium because of spinning their protein nanomotors in the opposite direction. In yeast, these nanomotors spin in a direction that retains deuterium for the yeast cells and as a result, their DNA is constantly contaminated with deuterium. This leads them to grow CONSTANTLY. The bacteria in the gut do us a great favour because they filter out the deuterium from our food. BUT there is a downside... they constantly grow. 

Low deuterium food usually depletes the bacteria amounts and there will be less stool production. But with fructose, high fructose corn syrup, carbohydrates, flour, and bread you can increase the number of bad bacteria in your gut. 

Our eukaryotic cells have mitochondria that can deplete deuterium. Their DNA is less contaminated so they can wrap it up in a nucleus. This means that those DNA particle compartments can rest for a while while the cell is delivering more sophisticated functions. Instead of dividing constantly as bacteria do. 

Eukaryotes, because they can control their deuterium, help prokaryotes because they absorb deuterium or process it in the gut. We are just learning this new function of deuterium on gut flora. The gut flora will normalize or try to process deuterium in the gut before it gets absorbed. But if there is too much in food, in the crops, or the routines we have around eaten then the deuterium will be too much for the gut bacteria to deplete it completely. Our bodies can be more and more saturated with the diseased process. Our human cells can even become prokaryotes. It might accumulate and become uncontrolled in the form of cancer. 

Is There a Level of Deuterium That Can be Damaging to Prokaryotes or Eukaryotes?

Eukaryotes: We believe that anything above 170ppm is damaging to eukaryotes. 

Prokaryotes: There is not an upper limit BUT they put deuterium back into the environment because they aren't stable lifeforms. Rapid growth is followed by rapid death. Yeast is famous for making things rotten because of the high deuterium saturation. With low deuterium contents below 140ppm, nothing would grow. Even prokaryotes growth rates would slow down significantly. 

The lower limits are much more precisely defined than the higher limits. Especially when it comes to prokaryotes. We need to understand:

-How we distribute deuterium among different cellular forms

-How we split the duty of controlling deuterium content in our cells

-How to deplete it as much as possible when it comes to mitochondrial processes….

The future is questionable because the epidemiological processes would be much better handled once deuterium biochemistry or deuterium based medicine starts taking a role

How Does Breathing Effect Deuterium?

Breathing your vapour depletes deuterium. Human breath is between 135-140 ppm and this is simply because our metabolic water that comes from our tissue is being exhaled and it’s depleted by breathing. By breathing it can dilate your vessels and there is more efficient oxygen delivery especially when there is increasing carbon dioxide. Breathing controls metabolic water production through dissolved oxygen in your plasma. Oxygen is bound to haemoglobin and carried to cells and the mitochondria. These factors control metabolic water production with a very important hormone:

-ADH- Antidiuretic Hormone: This hormone retains water in our cells that is if we don't dilute it and drink external water. 

Breathing and light are also very important because red light can resonate the oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon energy bonds. Red light makes water less viscous which makes it easier to flow in our mitochondria. Mitochondria have surface water that has to be controlled by viscosity to regulate cellular functions and red light helps our cells. Mitochondria resonate with red light and communicate with our cells. Deuterium does not absorb the energy of light so this is why light and breathing are very important for deuterium depletion. 

A lady sleeping

How are Light, Sleep, and Melatonin Connected to Deuterium Depletion?

Sleep is a deuterium depletion process! Melatonin is released in the dark. When it gets dark, our melatonin gets released and accumulates in mitochondria and peroxisomes. When you fall asleep, you will very quickly use up your glucose in your circulation. If you were awake you would be hungry and you would eat but since you are asleep you allow your body and melatonin to oxidise low deuterium fat to produce metabolic water to deplete your deuterium that has been accumulating when you were awake.

The light cycle regulates this deuterium depletion process using hormones that are activated in our mitochondria and our peroxisomes. When we wake up we have less deuterium in our circulation and we burn fat efficiently in our peroxisomes which results in producing low deuterium water so we are ready to go again in the light cycle.

There is a study that if there is light during sleep it comprises melatonin secretion and the result of that could lead to cancer. In a cancer model, scientists can show that cancer injected in mice grows much more rapidly when there is light in the cycle. The biological behaviour of cancer will change. This information links light and melatonin to cancer progression and we also added in deuterium to fully understand how the system works. If we follow the natural light patterns (sleeping in dark) and allow our melatonin to hit high concentrations in our mitochondria and peroxisomes then:

-We may need less time to sleep

-We are more rested

-Our deuterium will be more depleted

-This will preserve our health. 

What Situations Would People Need to use Deuterium Depleted Water (Around 25ppm)?

In healthy people, I recommend to drink when you are thirsty and wait a bit and then if you are still thirsty drink more. This is because our antidiuretic hormone is very important in many psychological processes. Drinking rainwater (that is somewhat deuterium depleted) or drinking deuterium depleted water around 120ppm or below is desirable. If someone has a disease such as cancer, diabetes, or obesity and they want a quick start of deuterium depletion then we recommend that they should drink water under 80ppm. This may send them on the fast track of slowing down the growth of their disease. We also use the deuterium depleting ketogenic diet to treat type 1 diabetes. 

ppm amount of deuterium

Australian Drinking Water is 154 ppm, what is your take on this?

This is a dangerous zone and it is not appropriate for human consumption. Australians need to eat more pork fat and beef to help produce more water in their mitochondria. Wait until you get thirsty and don't drink just because someone told you to drink a lot. You should produce your own water when you can't trust your external water. Do not doubt your mitochondria, they can produce the correct amount of deuterium depleted water for your physiological health. Even if you are thirsty, you should not drink water above 136ppm. Your external water in Australia, because of this vapour from the ocean, will be high in deuterium. Check out our collection of Bottled Deuterium Depleted Water.

What is One Thing you Recommend for Mitochondrial Health?

Listen to your body as far as hunger, thirst and the knowledge of how to sense deuterium in the environment. Animals can differentiate water with low vs high deuterium. We can also do this, you just need to train yourself! I was in China and they gave us water with deuterium depletion at 105ppm and we all picked this water blindly. Humans lost their ability to sense viscosity or acidity of water and both of those are controlled by deuterium. You can learn this quickly. You can guide yourself to what you should or shouldn't drink. 

You will find that it is mostly ketogenic with vegetables and greens are beneficial. I recommend the following:

-Exclude processed foods

-Drink deuterium depleted water

-Be exposed to light as much as possible in your local environment

-Consume mostly fat-based meats. 

-Allow your body to produce and retain its own water 

-Sleep in the dark

There are many things that you can do to help improve your Mitochondrial health. Remember that a ketogenic diet is the best practice for deuterium depletion in the form of your diet. Drink water only when you are thirsty because you do not want to ingest water that is high in deuterium. Sleep in a dark room at night because sleep is a natural deuterium depletion process! You can buy deuterium depleted water from Nourishme Organics to help kick start your journey. Share this with a friend that would benefit from this information!

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