If all weight loss were fat loss, successful dieting would be easier. On average, 1 out of every 4 lb lost is lean tissue. For example, when a 200-lb patient drops to 160, on average she's lost 10 lb of muscle. Worse, if she regains the weight, the lost muscle does not return easily. Muscle loss does not have to be collateral damage, as Dr. Ingrid Kohlstadt from John Hopkins School of Medicine reminds us.

It is possible to utilize nutrients to safeguard the muscle by optimizing our mitochondrial function. Mitochondria, a cellular organelle present in every cell in the body, generates the cellular energy packets known as ATP. However, mitochondria cannot function in vacuum. It requires specific nutrients to maintain its proper function. L-carnitine takes fatty acids into the mitochondria. Coenzyme Q10 comprises the mitochondrial electron transport chain while ribose maximizes ATP production from the pentose phosphate pathway.

Nutrients aren't herbs, food, or medication. They are the emblem of our biochemical currency. In certain diseases, such as congestive heart failure, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or neurological degeneration, nutrient needs exceed what the body can produce and no medication can generate those vital nutrients.