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Episode 12: Enhance | Bioavailability and Its Importance in Human Health

Posted by Manoj Perumal on

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About This Episode

Enhance | Bioavailability and Its Importance in Human Health

In this episode of Discover | Dr. Dan Proactive Health, Dr. Dan tells all about the amazing product developed at Brilliant called, Brilliant Enhance. Listen to the full podcast below to learn about this incredible product’s conception and evolution.

Fixing Human Health Through Efflux Pumps

Dr. Dan Gubler acknowledges that human health has come to the forefront of recent concerns, as human health is at a critical standpoint and is continuously worsening over time. To help fight the downfall of human health, Dr. Dan aided in the exploration of different phytonutrients that help to enhance and improve the cell’s ability to retain good compounds from plants. Humankind’s decreasing ability to retain helpful plant compounds can be attributed to soil depletion and poor quality of life, including malnutrition, anxiety and heightened levels of stress. These factors all aid in the malfunction of efflux pumps on cells, which act as lids that allow good compounds to enter the cell and toxins to exit the cell. According to Dr. Dan, “These plumps open and close like a garbage can lid to let both vital nutrients in and expel waste and toxins.” With this information in mind, Dr. Dan set out to find plant-based compounds that increased the efflux pump’s capability to preserve vital nutrients.  

Vital Nutrients From Plant Compounds 

Having traveled all over the world in his search for plant-based compounds, or phytonutrients, Dr. Dan’s research led him to identify particular compounds that deliver the greatest benefits to efflux pumps in human cells. Some of these most notable plant products include bee propolis, chrysin, trans-Pterostilbene, chitosan and piperine. Each of these natural compounds play a key role in efflux pump functionality and cell nutrient retention. Bee propolis is a resin produced by honey bees to help hold their hive together. From a cell standpoint, propolis builds and produces efflux pumps by targeting particular constructive genes. Being found in honey, Chrysin is not commonly studied yet it offers various healthful benefits. Brilliant was one of the first firms to separate this compound and to identify its profound effects on human health. Trans-Pterostilbene is a natural product found in grapes which helps to break down broken efflux pumps by communicating with the cell surface when a pump is no longer useful. “Trans-Pterostilbene sends a message to the cell surface saying, ‘Hey, this pump isn’t working, it’s malfunctioning. Break it down.’” Chitosan is derived from bioactive compounds found in the ocean. These molecules are quite greasy in nature and provide a seal for efflux pumps that are left ajar. Piperine is a product of many different types of peppercorns. Being used in ancient and modern medicine, piperine offers many benefits because it increases the absorption of bioactive compounds. Brilliant Enhance is composed of all of these natural products, offering the best of enhanced nutrition.    

Foods that Increase Bioavailability

Dr. Dan takes a deep dive into what foods can greatly increase bioavailability. He says, “Bioactive compounds, bioavailability, is significantly influenced by what you eat. So, another reason to eat healthy.” Some of the most beneficial foods humankind can eat to increase bioavailability are simple foods most commonly found at the grocery store. Resveratrol and polyphenols from grapes, caffeic acid from coffee and artichokes and capsaicin from chili peppers are all extremely helpful for flourishing bioactivity. On this note, Dr. Dan makes the point, “We need to make sure that there’s large amounts of compounds in the cell, and there’s a few different novel ways of doing this and this patent pending efflux pump technology from Brilliant is one way to do that.” By eating the right foods, living a balanced lifestyle of reduced stress, and taking Brilliant Enhance, human health is sure to recover with longevity.

To learn more about Brilliant Enhance and all of its many benefits for human health, check out the Discover | Dr. Dan Proactive Health podcast episode below, and be sure to subscribe for new episodes each Tuesday.


Dr. Dan Gubler: (00:09)

Welcome to Discover with Dr. Dan | The Proactive Health Podcast sponsored by Brilliant. Brilliant helps you live a happier, healthier, more brilliant life by using natural ingredients to formulate products that help to maximize your proactive wellness. Feel it to believe it at Today, we’re going to discuss the topic of bioavailability, what it means, it’s importance in human health, and the tactics we can use to enhance the efficacy and effectiveness of the good food we are already eating. As we’ve talked about before in this podcast, human health is at a crisis point and continues to get worse. Constant innovation and proactive wellness solutions are needed to fight back against the poor health plague like obesity and other diseases and health states that are sweeping the earth. One area that is ripe for innovation and is of critical importance is a way to increase the bioavailability of beneficial compounds in the body.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (01:08)

Now, when we speak of bioavailability, it simply means the concentration of bioactive natural medicines in the cell that can improve health. Now obviously, the larger the concentration of bioactive natural medicines in the cell, the healthier ourselves and thus our bodies will be. Good food is medicine. And as we’ve talked about before in several instances, the medicinal components of plants are called phytonutrients. Other names for phytonutrients are bioactive compounds or natural medicines. Bioactive compounds from plants have a tremendous impact on overall human health. Previously we’ve seen that bioactive molecules from plants can help to maintain biosignaling reactions in the body, as well as inhibit quorum sensing, as seen in our Connect and Defend products. Quorum sensing is the ability of bad bacteria to communicate with each other. One alarming fact that is negatively impacting human health is the reduced amount of bioactive compounds in plants, which I refer to as the bioactive compound drain, or the phytonutrient drain. This reduction in bioactive compounds from plants we eat as occurring due to soil depletion.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (02:15)

Now, soil depletion is happening because of overuse of planting crops and less implementation of letting fields lie fallow in order to feed an ever-expanding population of 7 billion-plus because of the hunger crisis. Genetic alterations in plant species to improve characteristics like increased yield, drought resistance, size, shape, and so on deliver a better fruit or a better vegetable visually, but a lot of these species have much lower amounts of bioactive compounds. This makes it more imperative to get the most out of the good foods we eat. Soil depletion is a huge deal. And what we know is that the food that we eat today, the concentration of bioactive compounds in that food is much less than what our parents and certainly our grandparents ate. So bioavailability, increasing that concentration is a big deal.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (03:06)

Sitting on the surface of every human cell are complexes of different types of proteins that come together to form what is called an efflux pump. The structure of these pumps are essential, it’s essentially a channel that extends from the inside to the outside of the cell and a lid is placed on top of this channel on the outside of the cell. These pumps open and close like a garbage can lid to let both vital nutrients in and expel waste and toxins. So there’s over 12 different efflux pump types expressed on the cell membrane. And these pumps play a vital role in human health. For example, when you’re bitten by a snake, the venom travels through the bloodstream, into the cells and causes damage. Well, these efflux pumps work by recognizing these toxins and they push it out of the cell so that it stays out of the cell into the bloodstream so the bloodstream can wash it out. So efflux pumps are very important. Other toxins, when they come in the efflux pumps recognize it and push it out.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (04:03)

Also when the cells are going through the millions of chemical reactions that they do every single second, they produce waste products and those waste products need to be pushed out of the cell and into the bloodstream so it doesn’t slow things down. So efflux pumps are a way that the cell can defrag itself. So lifestyle factors like poor diet, stress, anxiety, and others can cause several of these efflux pumps to malfunction such that they start to pump out the good bioactive compounds from food. This is also true in pharmaceutical sciences where drugs that can fight disease are pumped out of the cell. So new solutions are needed to repair these malfunctioning efflux pumps. Pharma drugs aren’t the answer. They bind too tight and cause bad side effects. Pharmaceutical drugs that bind so tight are called suicide inhibitors. They don’t come on and off.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (04:53)

We need something that can pop on and off, not a suicide inhibitor, but yet to help these faulty efflux pumps. So as we’ve traveled around the world, studying compounds in plants, we bring those plants into Brilliant and study thousands of them every single year. We thought that there could be plants and compounds in plants that could interact and slightly inhibit these pumps and bring them back into working function. And we thought that would be the case because plants definitely need a way to protect themselves against bacteria and pathogens and other things that can destroy plants. So you would think that they need a way to push the detrimental compounds that come in from bacterial cells out of these plant cells. And so in looking into this more, we did indeed find that there are several natural products from plants and otherwise that have efflux pump activity that could bring these pumps back into balance.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (05:51)

Some examples are the following. Chrysin is a compound that is found in trace amounts in many different plants and in large amounts in honey. Despite its ubiquitous nature, scientists hadn’t really studied and experimented with this bioactive compound. What it does, how it’s used. We were one of the first people to do that here at Brilliant. So it’s a sweet white powder. It’s traditionally used to support eczema, wound healing and in different types of stomach health, type traditional medicine brews. Our research has found that chrysin can turn on the genes or the chemical switches inside the cell that come to the surface, interact with the efflux pumps and repair them. So Chrysin, it’s kind of like an on-demand plumber, right? When you have a problem, you call the plumber and he’s there in 20, 30 minutes to fix your drain. So that’s what Chrysin does. When it gets into the cell, it interacts, it turns on the genes and sends these messengers, kind of like a five-alarm fire to go fix the efflux pumps. So it’s a really cool ingredient. Not many people are using it. No one is really using it. And it has really good efflux pump repair properties.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (06:56)

Bee propolis is a sticky substance that honey bees use as glue to hold the hive together. It’s also the food that honey bees use to feed the larva. And because of that, it contains a lot of really cool bioactive compounds. So a major class of bioactive compounds inside propolis are called flavanols. And what flavonols do is when they get into the cell, they go to the nucleus and they turn on the genes, or switches, that are responsible for producing the efflux pumps. And they tell the cell to produce more efflux pumps. So efflux pumps are manufactured outside of the nucleus, they’re transported to the cell surface. These efflux pumps are then organized and arranged so that they’re active and now they can pull in beneficial compounds and help them to be absorbed more in the cell. And so bee propolis actually helps to increase the number of good pumps on the cell so that you could then pull more goods nutrients in. Now, grapes contain a lot of really cool bioactive compounds. Resveratrol, we’ve talked about before, and its anti-aging and its biosignaling properties. There’s another really interesting ingredient in grapes called trans-Pterostilbene and this ingredient does a really cool thing. It actually helps to break down the efflux pumps. So when efflux pumps are broken and they’re just sitting there, broken and not working, trans-Pterostilbene sends a message to the cell surface saying, “Hey, this pump isn’t working, it’s malfunctioning. Break it down.” And so it breaks it down and removes it. And then like we talked about before with chrysin, chrysin actually produces more chrysin and bee propolis produce more pumps. So those go to the surface. And so it’s a recycling process, but both of those help to interact with efflux pumps and maintain their properties. So trans-Pterostilbene is a really cool compound.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (08:51)

Chitosan is a polymer that comes from many different sources in the ocean. Natural products, bioactive compounds from the oceans is a really understudied area and needs to be studied more. We talked about that on the show previously when we had Bill Fenical and he talked about the critical importance of natural medicines from the sea. And so chitosan is one of these natural medicines, bioactive compounds from the sea and chitosan works by a couple of different routes on efflux pumps. Chitosan is a really greasy molecule and so what it does is it sits on the top of these pumps that aren’t closing all the way. So what can happen with these efflux pumps is the lid is broken a little bit. It doesn’t close all the way, so it opens all the way and then it doesn’t close. Well, chitosan can form kind of a little grease in between that section where it’s normally open where it’s slightly ajar, chitosan goes in there and seals it. So it does that. It’s really good for that. The other thing that chitosan does is it helps with delivery of bioactive compounds. So chitosan, when it’s in solution, when it’s in water and the cells are on water, obviously when chitosan is in water, it forms this nanoparticle. Forms this little bubble or shell, and what can happen, what does happen is that small molecules like flavanols and polyphenols and other good bioactive compounds, they slide inside the chitosan bubble and they’re transported into the cell.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (10:20)

So the way it works, chitosan is hydrophobic inside, meaning it doesn’t like water and it’s hydrophilic on the outside, meaning it likes water. And these small bioactive compounds are all hydrophobic. So what they do as a hangout in the center, this nanoparticle, chitosan, goes, it binds to the cell membrane and it looks just like the cell membrane lipids, right? So they were like, “Hey buddy, how’s it going?” And he kind of shimmies his way through the membrane and into the nucleus, into the cytosol actually, and drops these compounds. So chitosan is both a repair or modulator of efflux pumps and also helps to deliver bioactive compounds into the cell.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (11:04)

Piperine is a really, it’s a fiery black and pungent powder, as we know. It comes from all different types of peppercorns: black, white, green, and so forth. Black pepper is known as the king of spices due to its universality in both traditional medicine concoction and food. You know, as I go around the world looking at and talking with traditional medicine healers, it’s interesting that when they put these concoctions together, invariably at the very end or during the process, they’ll throw in a little bit of black pepper. They’ll crush it up in their mortar and pestle and throw it in. I’ve always found that interesting and I asked the person why he did it and he didn’t really know. This was in Malaysia, in the forest of Malaysia. And he didn’t know a lot of English, but he did say, “Make better.” So, and it’s cool that science actually shows that. Piperine actually helps to increase the absorption of compounds, bioactive compounds, into the cell. It’s called an [inaudible], that’s the scientific term.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (12:00)

But simplistically speaking, piperine makes the cell membranes a bit leaky. So it kind of opens up these holes, just kind of like offensive linemen open up a hole in a football game that the running back can go through. Same thing here. Piperine makes the cell membranes a bit leaky and while it opens up, the bioactive compounds come in. And so it’s a really cool ingredient. And these ingredients, as we’ve mentioned are really cool. There’s many different ways to interact and inhibit a modulate efflux pumps and we see here that these ingredients do that in different ways.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (12:34)

So here at Brilliant, we took these ingredients and we combined them in a formulation that could help increase bioavailability of all the good food that you’re eating, right? All the food that you eat has these bioactive compounds, natural medicines. Supplements that you take have bioactive compounds. And so like we talked about, whenever you’re taking food and supplements nowadays, when efflux pumps are malfunctioning, that nutrition just goes out. It comes into the cell and right away it’s pumped right out.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (13:02)

And so this technology, we created a product called Brilliant Enhance, that actually helps to close these pumps so that the nutrition, the bioactive compounds that go into yourself, stay there so that they can exert their beneficial effects, like turn on gene expression, have antioxidant properties and so forth. But if they go in and out, there’s no time for that to happen. So Brilliant Enhance helps to fix, support the efflux pumps. It’s a powerhouse product. Any good food that you eat, any supplement that you eat, will be enhanced and the efficacy will be greatly improved. So we ran clinical studies on this product. We took these pancreatic cells and we treated them with, and without Enhance, with this bioactive fluorescent compound. And so what happens is the bioactive fluorescent compound goes into the cell and then it’s naturally going to leak out because of efflux pumps, right?

Dr. Dan Gubler: (13:59)

And so fluorescence normally would be a little bit less, it would be diminished inside the cell. And what we found is that when we treat these cells with Enhance, the fluorescence inside the cell is greatly increased. And what that means is that we’re keeping the good bioactive compounds inside the cell. Their concentration is increasing because we are controlling those efflux pumps. And so that was really cool. We saw that in cell culture. We’re running human studies and we’re seeing an interesting trend that when you take in bioactive compounds, like carotenoids for instance, we’re able to scan and check the amount of carotenoids in the skin. And what we’re finding is that Brilliant Enhance actually increases carotenoid concentration in the cells so much that the carotenoid is immediately used for different functions in the cell. So immediately it’s used up.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (14:55)

So what we find is that there’s a decrease of carotenoids concentration in the bloodstream, but an increase of carotenoids inside the cell, which means Brilliant Enhance is working. So it’s a really cool technology. As we mentioned, soil depletion is a huge factor in degrading human health. And most people don’t know it. And so this product addresses kind of an unrealized need that we are helping people to realize and to see here at Brilliant. So this is bioavailability. It’s important in human health. We need to make sure that there are large amounts of compounds in the cell, and there are a few different novel ways of doing this and this patent-pending efflux pump technology from Brilliant is one way to do that.

Dr. Dan Gubler: (15:46)

Let’s now answer a question related to bioavailability. So we’ve talked about technology like this that can improve bioavailability, and I’m often asked, are there certain foods that we can eat that can increase bioavailability? Well, there are, there are some other foods. Some natural products from foods are efflux pump inhibitors. Some of them, we talked about pterostilbene from grapes, resveratrol and other polyphenols from grapes will do that. Caffeic acid will do that. Caffeic acid is found in coffee and honey as well. Capsaicin from chili peppers, genistein from soybeans and other compounds, so caffeic acid derivatives from artichokes. So all of these ingredients in these foods can inhibit efflux pumps. And so this is interesting because this tells you that there are efflux pump inhibitors in many different types of foods, right? Which underscores the need that we need to eat a wide range of fruits and vegetables and grains and other foods because that’s how we can get all the different natural molecules, bioactive molecules, that help to address all the different needs states in the body. So bioactive compounds, bioavailability, are significantly influenced by what you eat. So another reason to eat healthily. Anyways, I hope you found this information compelling and eye-opening. If you’d like to check out the supplements that we develop here at Brilliant, especially Brilliant Enhance focused on this efflux pump technology, check out this product on Thank you, my friends. Thanks for listening. This is Dr. Dan, signing off.

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