Antibacterial Chemicals – Helpful or Harmful?

AntiBacBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Antibacterial chemicals are widely used in everyday products such as soaps, cosmetics, toothpaste, cleaning products, deodorant and even clothing, socks, office supplies and kitchenware.  They are intended to disinfect surfaces, keeping bacteria at bay in the hope of keeping us healthy. Technically, an antibacterial is an agent that interferes with growth and reproduction of bacteria.  It is estimated that 75% of antibacterial soaps and body washes sold in the United States contain the germ killing ingredients triclosan or triclocarban.  Although antibacterials have been shown to effective in killing bacteria, there is considerable controversy surrounding their health benefits. 

Antibacterials and antimicrobials were originally invented for hospital use to prevent the spread of infection.  However, as more and more products were marketed for everyday use, some germs and bacteria have evolved to become resistant to antibacterials, much like their counterparts antibiotics.  Studies suggest that the widespread use of these antimicrobial chemicals are causing the products to lose their effectiveness.  It should be noted that most bacteria are harmless and in many cases, beneficial.  The constant overuse of antibacterial agents tends to disrupt the normal bacteria that act as barriers against invading pathogens. 

Antibacterial resistance is considered by some to be a national health concern.  The widespread use of antibacterial compounds such as triclosan may actually contribute to stronger, more resistant bacterial strains.  Researchers hypothesize that our desire for a germ-free environment provides a selective advantage for these resistant organisms, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus known as MRSA.  The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends avoidance of antibacterial products on the grounds that no data exists to support their efficacy. 

However, antibacterials are useful in settings where the level of sanitation is critical such as hospitals, nursing homes or daycare centers.  A case can be made for its use in home settings where individuals may have a compromised immune system, chronic disease, or are recuperating from transplant surgery or undergoing chemotherapy.  Even then, it is suggested that antibacterials be used according to protocol or under the guidance of a healthcare professional.  For the majority of us, washing with regular soap and water is still considered the most important way to prevent the spread of disease. 

Triclosan is lipophillic, which means it is readily available for absorption and can accumulate in fatty tissues.  Triclosan has been detected at high concentrations in human breast milk and  blood, and The Centers for Disease Control has reportedly found triclosan in 75% of the U.S. populations’ urine samples.  Studies have shown negative health effects of triclosan, such as interference with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism, promotion of early puberty and endocrine disruption.  

Triclosan is prevalent in the environment and has found its way into our nation’s waterways.  Over 95% of triclosan is washed down residential drains and consequently is the most prevalent contaminant not removed by wastewater treatment plants.  Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected compounds with the highest concentrations in our nation’s watersheds, where it is toxic to the immune systems of fish and aquatic animals.  When exposed to sunlight in an aquatic environment, triclosan converts to dioxin, a highly toxic known carcinogen that can cause decreased fertility, miscarriage, birth defects and a weakened immune system.  Currently, triclosan accounts for 60% of all drugs detectable in sewage sludge and 435,000 pounds of it is dumped onto US farmlands each year, contaminating food with drug-resistant microbes and soap chemicals.  These chemicals are thought to persist in soil for 50 years or more. 

The Canadian government has banned triclosan from consumer products.  After triclosan was found in the sediment of 8 Minnesota lakes and rivers including Lake Superior, Minnesota state agencies have stopped buying products that contain tricolsan to reduce the state’s impact on the environment.  Norway has banned its use altogether in consumer products.  Recently the FDA took a step toward the possible elimination of triclosan in everyday products.  Manufacturers have one year to show that these chemicals are not only safe but that they actually outperform plain old soap and water.  Some companies have already taken steps to remove triclosan from their products. 

The removal of these substances from everyday products is an important step towards preserving the efficacy of antibiotics, preventing unnecessary exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and protecting the environment.  In the meantime, you can check ingredient labels for products containing triclosan and triclocarban to reduce your own exposure.  Use regular soap and water to wash your hands.  If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol based or plant based hand sanitizer.  As a general rule to cut down on your exposure to triclosan and triclocarban, avoid products with anti-odor, antimicrobial or germ-killing label claims. 

As our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on our skin has potential to end up in our bodies, consider switching to personal care items that do not contain triclosan, phthalates, heavy metals or GMO ingredients.

Thorne Organics provides a line of personal care products made from certified organic essential oils, resins and botanicals from renewable sources.  These products contain antioxidants, nutrients and enzymes that hydrate and nourish the skin, hair and body.  Thorne Organics Dermal Matrix System products include shampoo, lotions, shower gel, a variety of soaps and other products and are available here at Professional Supplement Center

 

Obesity and Your Health

Obesity1By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Obesity is not the same as being overweight.  Obesity means you have too much body fat, which greatly increases your risks for obesity related health problems.  Rather than being just a cosmetic concern, obesity is a chronic medical disease that diminishes almost every aspect of your health.  At a healthy weight, our bodies, including our brains, muscles, bones and heart, can function efficiently for many years.  Obesity decreases the quality of life and can significantly reduce your life expectancy.  Obesity can  lead to diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and some types of cancers

Unfortunately, in the United States obesity has reached epidemic proportions.  Over 300,000 deaths each year can be directly related to obesity.  Body mass index (BMI), determined by both weight and height, is strongly correlated to body fat content in adults.  A BMI of 25 – 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI above 30 is considered obese.  For those with a BMI over 40, life expectancy can be reduced by as much as 20 years for men and 5 years for women. 

Many factors contribute to obesity.  These can include overeating, a diet too high in simple carbohydrates, physical inactivity, medications, lack of sleep, disease and genetics.  Where body fat is located is of significant importance.  Men, who tend to carry extra weight in the abdomen, are more likely to develop health problems associated with obesity while women, who often carry extra weight on their hips, may have less health risks related to obesity.  Men with a waist measurement of 40″ or greater and women with a waist measurement of 35″ or greater are considered to have increased health risks. 

How obesity raises your health risks: 

Metabolic syndrome – A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome means you have at least three factors that can lead to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. These include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, inflammation and high blood sugar.  Fat cells, especially those located in the belly, secrete hormones that stoke the fires of inflammation.  Chronic inflammation causes a variety of health problems.  Approximately one-third of obese or overweight Americans exhibit metabolic syndrome.

Type 2 diabetes -  Those who are even moderately obese can develop insulin resistance, which effects the way the body metabolizes fats and carbohydrates and leads to high blood sugar levels.  Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of early death, stroke, kidney disease, coronary heart disease and blindness. 

Abnormal blood fats – Obesity puts you at an increased risk of high levels of triglycerides, high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.  These high levels of blood fats increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease. 

Heart disease – With obesity your chances of developing hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, increases tenfold.  Narrowed arteries and decreased blood flow to the heart can cause heart attacks and stroke. 

Stroke – Obesity can lead to a buildup of arterial plaque, which can rupture and form blood clots and increase the risk for stroke.  The stroke risk increases as your BMI increases. 

Cancer- For a woman, being overweight increases the risk of breast, colon, gallbladder, endometrial and uterine cancers.  For men, obesity increases the risk of colon and prostate cancers. 

Obesity can also increase the risk of depression, infertility, respiratory disease, and musculoskeletal disorders.  The good news is that obesity doesn’t have to be a permanent condition.  Weight reduction of 5 – 10% of your body weight and long term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health gains.  It is not necessary to reach an ideal weight but rather a healthier weight, which can bring reduced risks of all of the above mentioned health problems.  The goal for a healthier lifestyle should include eating a healthy, whole food diet, getting 30 minutes of  exercise daily , drinking plenty of water and getting a good night’s sleep.   Remember, you have to eat well to be well.  To further improve your health risks, don’t smoke, drink alcohol moderately, take some time to play and socialize and once you’ve reached a healthy weight, maintain, maintain, maintain! 

The following products may be useful to those who have symptoms relating to metabolic syndrome.

UltraMeal Plus 360 Medical Food Vanilla by Metagenics addresses the management of conditions linked to metabolic syndrome with a clinically tested, low glycemic index medical food.  Researched based ingredients are designed to support blood sugar levels, blood lipid metabolism, healthy homocysteine levels, healthy cholesterol levels and management of triglycerides and fasting insulin levels. 

Diabet Support Pack™ by Douglas Laboratories contains synergistic vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, standardized extracts, CoQ10 and antioxidants in support of healthy blood sugar metabolism. 

Advanced Inflammation Control by Complementary Prescriptions provides a comprehensive formula to help maintain a balanced inflammation response.  This herbal and plant based formula is designed to combat inflammation triggered by obesity, lack of exercise, stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet or other not so healthy lifestyle factors. 

Niacin 100™ by Biotics Research contains vitamin B3 recognized as a cardio-protective agent in support of increased HDL cholesterol, lowered triglycerides and decreased vascular inflammation. 

Featured Brand: Oakmont Labs

By Susan Brown

For more than 30 years, Oakmont Labs has been providing a specialty line of essential fatty acid nutritional supplements.  As industry innovators, Oakmont labs pioneered a solvent free extraction process and was the first to introduce Black Currant oil to the U.S. market.  All of their products are thoroughly tested for potency, purity and truth-in-labeling.  State of the art packaging ensures extended shelf life.  Products are manufactured according to rigorous quality standards throughout the entire production process in GMP certified facilities. 

Professional Supplement Center is pleased to offer this unique line of essential fatty acids available exclusively through healthcare practitioners. 

KrillOmega3 by Oakmont Labs
 
KrillOmega3 provides 1,000 mg of krill oil obtained from ecologically harvested krill.  Easy to swallow softgels contain EPA and DHA plus additional omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin and vitamin A.  Naturally flavored with lemon oil ensuring no fishy aftertaste.  
 
 
PrimEve 1300
PrimEve provides 1300 mg of organic, cold expeller pressed evening primrose seed oil, which supplies gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid and oleic acid for nutritive support of women’s health.  Contains 10% GLA.
 
 
 
LipidOmega3
 
LipidOmega3 provides a triple action, clinically effective combination of red yeast rice and CoQ10 in a base of molecularly distilled fish oil in support of a healthy cardiovascular system. 
 
 
 
Procurrant
 
Procurrant provides nutritive support for overall health with a unique blend of omega-3-6-9 fatty acids.  Pure black currant oil provides alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) plus additional fatty acids 
 
 
Sprouted ProFlax
 
 
Sprouted ProFlax provides nutritional, easily digested milled flax seeds, which contain essential fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins and naturally occurring potassium, calcium and iron. 
 
 
Daily EFA Plus
 
Daily EFA Plus provides comprehensive omega-3-6-9 in a balanced blend of concentrated, molecularly distilled fish oil, certified organic flax oil and hexane free borage oil in support of overall health.  Provides EPA, DHA, GLA, linoleic acid and oleic acid. 

 

Feed Your Brain

brain foodBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Is there such a thing as brain food?  Glucose is the fuel used by brain cells to fuel the mitochondria that are responsible for your brain power.  The brain is constantly hungry for energy and uses more than 20 percent of our daily energy intakeAll foods that we consume greatly impact brain function including learning, memory, mobility, senses and emotions.  The energy produced from our diets is systematically delivered to brain cells, called neurons, through the blood stream.  Because neurons cannot store glucose, a constant supply of fuel must be delivered to the brain to fuel cellular activities. 

Neurons have a high demand for energy as they are constantly in a state of metabolic activity.  Even while we sleep, neurons are hard at work repairing and rebuilding structural components and manufacturing enzymes and neurotransmitters.  Nerve transmissions or communication signals consume half of the brain’s energy usage or nearly 10 percent of the entire body’s energy.  Without efficient energy, our brains cannot function normally.  In fact, without fuel, our bodies don’t function well on any level.  Poor eating habits and eating the wrong foods over a life time can affect the structure and function of the brain.

Glucose, or blood sugar, is obtained from the carbohydrates we consume such as starches, sugars, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables and to a smaller degree dairy products.  Too many refined carbs or sugar in the bloodstream can actually deprive your brain of glucose, depleting its energy supply and compromising concentration and mental activity.  Complex carbs, found mostly in natural, whole foods, have long chains of sugar molecules that take time to break down into the shorter glucose molecules that the brain uses for food.  Simple carbs, such as those found in processed and refined foods, already have short chain sugar molecules so they enter the blood stream quickly. 

Sugary foods, such as soda, candy and foods containing corn syrup, contain glucose that is absorbed directly through the stomach wall and immediately released into bloodstream.  This rapidly raises glucose levels and gives you a short-lived boost.  However, this triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin, which pulls the excess glucose from the bloodstream to store for later use, making it unavailable for the brain to utilize.  Within a few hours, your ability to focus and think suffers and you may feel weak, tired or nervous as the brain signals the need for another boost.  Repeatedly overloading the bloodstream with sugar diminishes the body’s ability to respond to insulin, leading to insulin resistance and increasing the chances of  developing type 2 diabetes. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the best brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes and encourages good blood flow to the brain.  A brain-healthy, heart-healthy diet is most effective when combined with exercise, mental activity and social interaction.  Managing your body weight is also important for overall health of the brain and body, as long-term studies show that obese middle-agers are twice as likely to develop dementia later in life.  Add in high cholesterol and high blood pressure and that risk increases six-fold.  Increasing the intake of protective foods such as healthy fats, antioxidant containing fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and add brain cell protection.  To optimize brain power, consider more frequent but smaller meals to keep blood sugar stable.  The brain appears to function well with about 25 grams of circulating glucose, about the amount found in a banana. 

If you really want to preserve your brain’s health, consider ditching soda, foods with high fructose corn syrup, and high sugar content foods in favor of healthier choices.  The following foods are just a few examples of brain-healthy foods: 

Spinach and leafy greens are loaded with vitamins C and E, which have been shown to improve cognitive abilities.

Fatty fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to help slow cognitive decline that comes with aging. 

Berries, which are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, can help combat oxidative stress associated with aging and appear to support the brain’s signaling capabilities.

Carrots have high levels of luteolin, which could reduce age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain. 

Walnuts contain high levels of antioxidants that may combat the damage to brain cells’ DNA caused by free radicals.

Apples are a great source of quercetin, an antioxidant that helps keep you mentally sharp by protecting brain cells from free radicals, which can damage neurons and lead to cognitive decline. 

On those occasions when we can’t always eat “right”, here are some supplements to support brain health:

Deeper Greens by Ortho Molecular provides a proprietary blend of fruits, greens and antioxidant vegetables with high ORAC value, a value given to foods that increase beneficial blood plasma antioxidant levels.  Organic ingredients used whenever possible. 

OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics provides a healthy balance of highly concentrated omega-3 essential fatty acids from cold water fish.  Produced in Norway, these lemon flavored softgels are stabilized with natural antioxidants to ensure freshness.  Purity guaranteed. 

Brain Energy (98723) by Douglas Laboratories is specially formulated to support dopamine production for a more energetic brain.  Vegetarian formula. 

Brain Support, Q. by Quantum Nutrition Labs provides a comprehensive, live-source formula to promote brain performance, clarity, focus, attention and memory as well as advanced lipid support for the brain. 

Muscle Cramps – All Pain No Gain

MusclePainBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

If you have ever experienced a sudden and severe muscle contraction, and the majority of us have, you’ll know just how painful that experience can be.  While muscle cramps generally last only a few seconds to a few minutes, the often surprising and sudden onset and intensity are not as quickly forgotten.  Muscle soreness may remain for several days and it may take up to a week for the muscle to return to a normal, pain free state.  A cramp occurs when a muscle involuntarily contracts and does not release.  Skeletal muscles, which we voluntarily control, are most likely to be affected.  Most often cramping occurs in the calf, hamstring or quadricep muscles but hand and foot cramps are also common. 

Causes of muscle cramping can include muscle fatigue, inadequate stretching, poor conditioning, dehydration and electrolyte depletion. Low levels of potassium and calcium may also cause muscle cramping, as both minerals contribute to healthy muscle function. Those most susceptible to cramping include athletes, who often develop cramps at the end of intense or prolonged exercise, and the elderly due to normal muscle atrophy and the body’s lessened ability to respond to thirst and temperature changes.  Those who are ill, overweight or taking certain medications are also at high risk of cramping. 

True cramps, one of four basic categories of skeletal muscle cramps, are the most common type.  True cramps are most likely the result of hyperexcitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles and can occur under a variety of circumstances.  These can include:

Injury to the muscle or a broken bone can cause persistent spasms as a protective mechanism to keep the muscle or bone stable in order to recover. 

Strenuous physical activity, overuse of muscles and muscle fatigue can cause cramping during exercise or while at rest many hours later.  Rest cramps, which often strike during the night,  can be painful, frequent and sleep disruptive. 

Dehydration caused by excess fluid loss during vigorous activities increases the likelihood of cramping.  Poor fluid intake, diuretic medications , and sodium depletion are all contributing factors that can result in dehydration. 

Low blood calcium or magnesium levels can directly impact and overstimulate nerve endings and muscles, increasing the predisposition for true muscle cramping.  Low levels of calcium and magnesium can be the result of pregnancy, diuretic medications, inadequate dietary absorption or poorly functioning parathyroid glands, which regulate calcium balance. 

Low potassium blood levels can cause cramping and muscle weakness, as potassium affects the way neuromuscular cells discharge and regenerate energy.  When potassium levels are low, muscles and nerves cannot function properly. 

Vitamin deficiencies including thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5) and pyridoxine (B6) can also lead to muscle cramping although the exact reasons are unclear. 

Poor circulation, which results in decreased oxygen in the muscle tissue, can cause severe pain and cramping. 

Initially, stretching the muscle will often relieve a cramp especially in the feet and legs.  Gentle muscle massage can help to relax the muscle.  Later on, a warm bath or a heating pad may help relieve the soreness that may follow a cramp or muscle spasm often called a Charlie horse.  Fluid and electrolyte, especially sodium and potassium, replacement is critical for treating or preventing cramping.  If cramping is severe or persistent or not associated with an obvious cause, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, which may require a visit to your healthcare professional.   

To prevent muscle cramping, stretch before and after exercise, hydrate before, during and after the activity, and make sure to get adequate amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.  Although cramps are painful, the discomfort is generally short lived.  Giving your muscles a little TLC can prevent or lessen the occurrence of muscle cramping, allowing for a great exercise session or a good night’s sleep. 

Try these products for relief of muscle cramping:

Spaz Out® by Metabolic Maintenance is a balanced mineral formula that is designed to replenish the mineral electrolytes most at risk of deficiency in those with muscle cramping.  Contains calcium, magnesium and potassium and other minerals. 

Muscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations contains important electrolytes and soothing herbs to relieve occasional nighttime muscle cramps, minor muscle cramps associated with exercise and overall muscle tension. 

Restore by Heel/BHI is a homeopathic formula for the temporary relief of muscle soreness, burning  and cramping resulting from physical exertion or lactic acid buildup.

Featured Brand: Organic India

OrganicIndiaBy Susan Brown

Professional Supplement Center announces the addition of Organic India’s line of certified organic and non-GMO products to complement our extensive line of high performing, quality nutritional supplements.

Founded in the 1990′s, Organic India has a mission to provide genuine, organic, exceptional quality wellness products for conscious healthy living.  Organic India has a commitment to support natural sustainable organic and biodynamic agricultural practices that serve and protect nature and support the livelihood and wellbeing of farmers and tribal wildcrafters in rural India.  In doing so, Organic India provides a living wage to the Indian farmers, creates a sustainable environment and brings health and wellbeing to all. 

All farmers are certified organic according to U.S. National Organic Program (NOP) standards and all facilities have been awarded USDA and GMP certifications.  Organic India uses advanced processing methods and dehydration technologies that ensure all products retain their maximum potency levels and the highest possible quality. 

Joy! by Organic India

Joy! contains bacopa, gotu kola, ashwagandha and other herbs to uplift mood, and boost energy and vitality.  Joy! is designed to provide tension and stress relief when overwhelmed, tired or depleted. 

 

 VitalityVitality is formulated with five anti-stress, anti-aging and adaptogenic herbs to help relieve stress and support increased energy without the use of stimulants.  Vitality provides immune system support and provides herbs chosen for their unique nutritional contributions to overall rejuvenation. 
 
 
 
Tulsi-Holy Basil
 
Tulsi-Holy Basil has been used for centuries to promote immunity and stress resilience, support strength and stamina and enhance calmness and clarity.  Tulsi-Holy Basil is one of the most cherished healing herbs of India. 
 
 
 

AmalakiAmalaki is considered a superfruit as it provides a fully bioavailable source of natural and easily assimilated vitamin C.  Amalaki aids in detoxifying and rejuvenating the digestive system and is naturally abundant in antioxidants providing free radical protection and support for the immune system. 

 

MoringaMoringa is considered one of the most complete and nutrient dense plants as it contains over 90 nutrients, 46 antioxidants and abundant minerals.  A true superfood, Moringa supplies protein, vitamins, beta carotene, trace minerals, all essential amino acids and antioxidant polyphenols. 

 

Digestive Health

digestiveBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Gut health begins at birth when the digestive system immediately fills with trillions of bacteria.  The digestive system is among the most complex, intricate and important bodily systems. When working properly, it ensures that every cell receives the nutrients that sustain life.  When the digestive system is not functioning properly, the body struggles to break down, absorb and utilize nutrients, which can quickly lead to nutritional deficiencies.  When digestive issues are not addressed, syndromes and diseases can result.  The American diet, which tends to be low in fiber and high in sugar and processed foods, is one major reason that our digestive systems can become imbalanced.  Causes of digestive problems can include:

Stress and digestion are both controlled by the autonomic nervous system.  When under physical, emotional or mental stress, energy, blood, enzymes and oxygen are diverted from the digestive system to other parts of the body, which can have a major impact on digestive efficiency.  Stress reduces digestive activity as the body perceives digestion as a non-essential activity during a crisis or hard physical work.  Being under stress can upset the delicate balance of microflora, killing off good flora and allowing harmful pathogens to flourish. 

Antibiotics can destroy beneficial intestinal bacteria and upset the delicate balance of both pathogenic and helpful microflora.  Opportunistic bacteria, fungi and yeasts can become dominant, where they can damage the gut wall, create toxins and negatively affect the immune system.  Too much bad and not enough good flora is a major culprit when it comes to digestive disorders and can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease.

Poor diet and poor eating habits including processed and junk foods, low fiber diets, improper chewing and food sensitivities can lead to slow transit times, mineral depletion, indigestion, gas or bloating and toxic build up.  The stomach is the great communicator.  If it’s gurgling and gassy, there’s a reason why.  It may be signaling a problem that is linked to bacteria, stress or the foods you eat. 

Medications including prescription, OTC and anti-inflammatory remedies can irritate the stomach lining and impair digestion.  Some medications can cause nerve and muscle activity to slow down in the stomach, slowing the rate that the stomach is able to empty itself.  Many medications simply mask symptoms and do not get to the root cause of digestive issues.  Over use of medications can damage the gut and block normal digestive function. 

Genetics can influence our ability to digest food, resist disease and withstand stress.  Food sensitivities such as lactose or gluten intolerance interfere with the digestion and absorption of nutrients and can wreak havoc on the digestive tract when not properly addressed.

Environmental toxins including chemicals and food additives require the body to detoxify, taking energy away from proper digestive function.   

What happens when the digestive system work doesn’t properly?  Over time, continued digestive system abuses can affect the body’s ability to produce hydrochloric acid (HCI), which is critical to the good health and function of the digestive system.  HCI aids in protein digestion, activates pepsin, encourages bile flow, facilitates mineral absorption and destroys parasites, harmful bacteria and viruses.  Aging, stress and infections can lead to a decrease in digestive and metabolic enzymes that break down all foods into usable states.  Without proper enzymes, food cannot be broken down, forcing undigested food through the digestive tract.  Imbalanced intestinal pH can also lead to incomplete digestion. 

Without a healthy and efficient digestive system, many health problems are almost unavoidable.  Imbalance of gut flora, intestinal toxins, and low enzyme and HCI production can all lead to leaky gut syndrome, in which improperly digested food or bacteria makes its way into the bloodstream through a breach in the intestinal wall.  Leaky gut can lead to major health consequences and life threatening metabolic disorders, ulcers, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis and colon cancer.  An unhealthy gut contributes to diabetes, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis and depression. 

To keep your digestive system running smoothly, eliminate offending foods, take steps to manage stress, stay well hydrated, slow down and relax during meals, feed your intestinal flora with fiber rich foods and eat fresh, natural unrefined foods.  Consider taking a probiotic to rekindle and reboot your intestinal healthy micoflora.  Remember, a healthy gut is central to your overall health.  Supporting your intestinal health and restoring the integrity of your gut may be two of the most important steps you can take to achieve optimal wellness.  Here are some products that might help.

Digest Gold by Enzymedica is one of the most potent digestive enzyme formulas available.  It is designed to assist with the digestion of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber and to decrease the amount of energy the body uses for digestion. 

Berberine HCI by Biotics Research has a long history of use in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine in support of gastrointestinal function.  Berberine has been shown to negatively impact a wide variety of pathogenic organisms including bacteria, yeasts, fungus and parasites. 

Saccharomyces Boulardii by Ortho Molecular provides 5 billion CFU of probiotic per capsule.  It has been well studied for use in supporting prevention of gastrointestinal disturbances often associated with antibiotic use.  Saccharomyces boulardii is also known to support the GI system during times of travel and associated intestinal issues. 

Vegyzyme by Progressive Labs is a safe and natural all-vegetable digestive that works in both the acidic stomach environment and the alkaline environment of the intestines.  Vegyzyme contains biologically active enzymes to aid in the digestion of proteins, fats, starches and fibrous foods. 

Digest, Q. by Quantum Nutrition provides full spectrum and highly effective digestive support with plant sourced enzymes necessary for digestion of all foods especially cooked foods. 

 

Featured Brand: Lane Medical

LaneMedicalBy Susan Brown

Founded in 1994 Lane Medical, a division of Lane Labs, offers natural products that are backed by scientific and clinical research.  Lane continually invests in natural technologies to enhance the health benefits of their products and strives to provide excellence and superior value with their exceptional and effective supplements.  All key ingredients are produced with advanced technology and regulatory oversight.  All products are continuously tested for label claim potency, pathogens and heavy metals.  Lane Labs adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and FDA regulations.  Their products consistently meet the U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) dissolutions and disintegrations standards. 

Lane partners with the Alliance for Natural Health USA, which is part of an international organization dedicated to promoting sustainable health with an integrative approach to incorporating functional foods, dietary supplements and healthy lifestyles as a way to improve and maintain health.

3A Calcium3A Calcium is a patented, ionic calcium that provides superior calcium absorption and parathyroid modulation. Calcium Oxide and calcium hydroxide sourced from smelted oyster shell, combined with HAI, a patented amino acid complex from superheated hijiki seaweed, has been scientifically shown to significantly increase calcium absorption.  3A Calcium is backed by 20 years of clinical research and more than 30 published scientific studies that show consistent, substantial increases in bone density in both pre- and post- menopausal women.  Contains 1000 mg of AAACa calcium and 1000 IU of vitamin D3 per daily serving. 

3A Calcium Ultra (New Formulation)3A Calcium Ultra contains the same bone supporting ingredients as 3A Calcium with the addition of 7 bone nutrients such as magnesium, minerals, vitamin C and vitamin K2.  Clinical research and published scientific articles have shown similar bone density increase results as 3A Calcium with the added benefit of reduced fracture rates. 

3A Magnesia3A Magnesia provides gentle, natural and effective support for daily regularity.  The patented Active Magnesia in 3A magnesia works by drawing quadruple the amount of water into the colon for highly effective and comfortable elimination.  Small, easy to swallow tablets help to cleanse the colon, eliminate toxins and keep your system healthy without cramping, bloating or discomfort.  Gentle and safe for everyday use. 

An In-Depth Look at Glutamine

glutamine1By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body.  Glutamine is considered a non-essential amino acid, meaning it can be synthesized by the body under normal situations.  In the case of injury, illness, intense exercise or extreme stress, however, glutamine can be considered a conditionally-essential amino acid as the body may not be able to produce adequate amounts.  Glutamine plays a major role in many bodily processes including muscle preservation and metabolism, protein synthesis, wound healing and cell proliferation.  Glutamine is a major energy source for the immune system, a nutritional source for gastrointestinal cells and a source of fuel for the brain in the form of glutamic acid. 

Most of the body’s glutamine is produced in muscle tissue, where about 60% of all glutamine is synthesized.  The lungs and the brain also release small amounts.  The liver regulates the large amounts of glutamine derived from the gut.  Although intestinal cells, kidney cells and activated immune cells are the largest users, glutamine provides nitrogen and carbon in the form of fuel to many bodily cells.  After surgery or injury, nitrogen is necessary to heal wounds and keep vital organs functioning.  Much of this nitrogen comes from glutamine.  Glutamine provides support for muscle function and post exercise recovery and resistance.  It helps maintain the integrity of the intestinal tract and enhances the protective mucosal lining, which helps in nutrient utilization and absorption.

When the body uses glutamine more quickly than it can produce it, muscle wasting as well as decreased immunity function can occur.  Supplemental L-glutamine can be useful in the treatment of arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and intestinal disorders.  Because it can enhance mental function, it can be useful treating a wide range of problems such as developmental disability, fatigue, depression and senility.  L-glutamine is used to counter side effects of chemotherapy and can help protect the immune and digestive systems while undergoing radiation therapy.  L-glutamine is known to increase wellbeing in those who have suffered traumatic injuries and to aid in preventing infections in the critically ill.  L-glutamine is often used after surgery to reduce healing times and improve nitrogen balance, intestinal permeability and lymphocyte recovery.

L-Glutamine Powder by Pure Encapsulations provides free-form L-glutamine derived from fermented vegetables. 

L-Glutamine 500 mg (7940) by Douglas Laboratories supports the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract and its extensive immune system.

L-Glutamine Powder (Free-Form Amino Acid) by Biotics Research supports the rapid turnover of tissues such as intestinal cells and components of the immune system.

Featured Brand: Anabolic Laboratories

By Susan Brown

Family owned since 1924, Anabolic Laboratories has been committed to providing nutritional products of the highest quality that ensure total clinical satisfaction.  Anabolic Laboratories manufactures “pharmaceutical made” products in a federally regulated and inspected pharmaceutical facility.  From extensive raw material quarantine and testing through highly intensive manufacturing and stability testing processes, Anabolic Laboratories guarantees that all label claims have been verified for purity, potency, efficacy, absorbability and shelf life. 

Professional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of Anabolic Laboratories’ excellent nutritional products to complement our exceptional and extensive offering of top-of -the-line supplements. 

Essential Nutrition PackEssential Nutrition Pack contains 30 individual packets to provide a solid nutritional foundation, promote health and prevent disease.  Each packet contains a disintegration-tested multivitamin tablet, concentrated EPA/DHA omega-3 fish oil softgels (2), vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol softgels (2) and magnesium capsules from organic chelate sources (2).
 
Bone Support Formula
 
Bone Support Formula includes three premium sources of calcium plus macro minerals, key vitamins and minerals, and soy isoflavones to support bone metabolism and menopausal health. 
 
 
 
Clinical Antioxidant Complex
Clinical Antioxidant Complex contains a potent blend of phyto-protective antioxidants to help maintain cell membrane integrity and fluidity while reducing damage from free radicals.  Key ingredients such as ALA, quercetin, green tea and grape seed extracts, along with vitamin C and lutein have strong scientific support and are included to insure maximum natural benefit. 
 
 
Salizain
 Salizain is an all natural pain reliever made from white willow bark extract which can eliminate minor discomforts, allowing healing to progress.  This formula includes bromelain to aid in soft tissue damage repair and select herbs to facilitate relief from minor aches and pains.
 
 
Neuro-EaseNeuro-Ease is a scientifically formulated nutrient complex that supports proper muscle tonicity and aids nervous system relaxation.   This non-drowsy formula contains standardized botanicals, high potency magnesium, and select vitamins, minerals and plant extracts to ease stress and aid inflammation management. 
 
Joint Support Formula
 
Joint Support Formula is a three part combination formula designed to provide a nutritional foundation for long term joint health as well as acute joint problems.  This product contains vitamin and mineral support, a botanical complex to fight inflammation and glucosamine sulfate as a primary connective tissue building block.