July 26, 2012

ASEA Metabolite Research Findings FAQ

ASEA = Redox Signaling Molecules that Detect, Protect, Repair and Replace

ASEA Metabolite Findings FAQ

Q. Who conducted this research?

A. This research took place at the North Carolina Research Institute, a collaborative entity involving seven universities (Duke, UNC Chapel Hill, NC State, UNC 

Charlotte, NC Central, NC A&T State, UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State). The research was led by the Appalachian State University’s Human Performance Laboratory 

under the direction of Dr. David Nieman. Dr. Nieman and his team of Ph.Ds. are renowned for their rigorous research into the effects of supplementation on exercise 

and exertion. 

Q. How was the research conducted?
A. The research team selected 20 highly fit cyclists, then 

randomized them into two groups of 10. Using double-

blinded techniques in which neither the athletes nor 
the researchers knew which group received ASEA and 
which received a placebo, one group drank four ounces 
of ASEA each day for seven days, while the other drank 
equal amounts of placebo. At the end of seven days, 
both groups undertook a 75-km cycling trial. Blood was 
drawn immediately before the trial, immediately after, 
and one hour after.

After a washout period in which the athletes drank 
neither ASEA nor placebo, the crossover portion of the 
research took place. Again double-blinded, the original 
ASEA group now drank the placebo for seven days, and 
the original placebo group drank ASEA. At the end of the 
seven days, both groups did the same 75-km cycling trial, 
and blood was drawn just as before.

Q. What was used as a placebo?
A. The answer to this question is extremely enlightening, 
especially if you’ve ever heard someone say that ASEA 
is just salt water. In the research that was conducted by 
the Human Performance Laboratory, the placebo was salt 
water! In other words, the research compared ASEA to 
salt water and found significant and substantial differences, 
so there is no way anyone can ever say that ASEA 
is simply salt water.

Q. What were the results of the research?
A. The researchers expected to see some difference in 
metabolite shift between ASEA and the placebo. However, 
they expected to see those shifts AFTER exercise, since 
most researched supplements express metabolite shifts 
due to the combination of supplement and exercise.

To their surprise, they found that athletes who drank 
ASEA experienced a significant shift in metabolites PRIOR 
to exercise. In total, researchers found a shift in 43 
metabolites simply from drinking ASEA, even before they 
began to cycle. The results were so extraordinary that Dr. 
Neiman said, “When I saw it, I couldn’t believe it.”

Q. What are metabolites?
A. Metabolism is the name we give to the chemical reactions 
that take place inside our cells in order to sustain 
life. Metabolites are the molecules that participate in our 
metabolism cycles. They are very small molecules in the 
blood that shift in response to supplementation and/or exercise. 
Metabolomics, the study of these metabolite shifts, 
is the very latest tool used by researchers to understand 
what effects supplementation has in the human body. 

Q. Why was this shift in metabolites so surprising 
to the researchers?
A. In this research, 108 metabolites were mapped, and 
so the first thing that caught the scientists off guard was 
that a shift in 43 metabolites represented about 40% of 
the total. The sheer number of shifts was enough to get 
the researchers’ attention.

But even more surprising, these shifts occurred PRIOR to 
exercise. Most supplements tested by the Human Performance 
Lab express metabolite shifts AFTER exercise. In 
other words, most supplements cause metabolite shifts 
when combined with exercise. ASEA, on the other hand, 
caused a major shift in metabolites even before the athletes 
began cycling. Simply drinking ASEA caused these 

Q. What do these metabolite shifts mean?
A. The specific metabolite shifts in the athletes who 
drank ASEA pointed mostly to a vast mobilization of free 
fatty acids. Fatty acids are the main source of fuel for the 
body, and they mostly come from fat stores in the body 
known as adipose tissue.

Q. Free fatty acids? Why is that significant?
A. When anyone, athlete or not, begins to exercise, the 
muscles need fuel. Initially, the fuel source for this physical 
effort is blood glucose and muscle glycogen. When 
muscle glycogen is depleted, the body shifts to another 
source of fuel: fatty acids from adipose tissue. The body 
converts triglycerides in adipose tissue into free fatty 
acids, which “mobilizes” those fatty acids – puts them in 
the blood stream for the muscles to use as fuel.

What makes the research results so surprising is that even 
before exercise – before using muscle glycogen to the 
point of depletion – fatty acids are mobilized and ready 
to use as fuel for the muscles. The body is being “primed 
for exercise,” as one Ph.D. on the research team put it.

Q. What effect does this have on muscle 
A. The implication is that muscle glycogen is likely being 
spared by drinking ASEA. While further research is being 
done to confirm this, the ramifications are huge. Athletes 
take months to train their bodies to spare glycogen and 
use fatty acids as fuel. And here it appears to be happening 
simply from drinking ASEA.

Q. What if I’m not an athlete? Does this research 
mean anything for me?
A. The mobilization of free fatty acids is incredible news 
for athletes, but it also has meaning for the rest of us, 
as well. Once these fatty acids are mobilized, they will 
be used by the body as fuel. They are the primary fuel 
source for a body at rest. The body needs fuel simply to 
stay alive, so the freed-up fatty acids will be burned no 
matter what.

Q. Does this make ASEA a weight-loss product?
A. It is wrong to think of ASEA as a weight-loss product. 
Exercise is a weight-loss product. Proper nutrition is a 
weight-loss product. But that said, one very clear conclusion 
coming from the research is this: If you want to burn 
more fat during exercise, drink ASEA.

Q. I understand that the research also indicated 
a release of ascorbic acid (probably from the 
adrenal cortex). What does that mean?
A. The research did show a spike in the release of ascorbic 
acid post-exercise, but it’s simply too early to draw 
any conclusions about what this means. Further research 
will be done to learn more.

Q. How does Redox Signaling tie into this 
A. Redox Signaling works on a cellular level, and its 
primary functions ensure the ongoing vitality of our cells, 
including proper cell metabolism. Metabolites are the 
“fingerprints” left behind during cell metabolism, an 
indication of the chemical reactions that take place inside 
the cell. This research helps reveal some of the effects of 
the world’s first and only Redox Signaling supplement on 
cell metabolism.
©2012 Asea, LLC. All Rights Reserved. May 2012

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