Last Minute Gift Ideas

gift_ideasSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

 

Still looking for some unique gifts for that discriminating person on your list? Professional Supplement Center offers some lovely and exceptional products that are perfect for stocking stuffers, hostess gifts or gifts to place under the tree. Perhaps you need a small item for a neighbor, a service provider or someone you’d like to remember with a special and personal present that they might not necessarily purchase for themselves. Or maybe a little something for yourself? As this is quite a stressful time of year for most of us, here are some suggestions that provide for rejuvenation, relaxation or stress relief:

Ambiology 1: The Heart CDAmbiology 1: The Heart - Composed by Grammy-award winning producer Barry Goldstein, this CD contains one hour of continuous ambient music composed with a tempo consistent with the heart at a relaxed state. The first in a series of 3 CD’s, this composition provides the listener with a sense of calm and a relaxed state of mind.
 
Body Oil Essentials Kit
 
Body Oil Essentials Kit by Weleda Body Care – Perfect for gifting, this boxed kit provides 6 travel sized bottles of organic body oils designed to replenish, balance, protect, invigorate, harmonize, uplift or de-stress.
 
 
DeVita Deluxe Rx Travel Kit
 
Devita Deluxe Rx Travel Kit by Devita Rx-Professional Skin Care Solutions – This 8 piece deluxe kit includes travel sized natural therapeutic skin care products formulated with organic and ethically wild-crafted pure essential oils and whole herb extracts for healthy and vibrant skin. These cosmeceuticals do not contain chemicals, parabens, pesticides, fragrances or alcohol and are vegan and PETA certified.
 
Comforting Massage Oil
 
Comforting Massage Oil by Now Foods – Natural oils of lavender, chamomile and patchouli are blended and formulated for relaxation and skin rejuvenation. Natural moisturizers make this a perfect complement for a tranquil, therapeutic massage or use as daily moisturizer to leave skin feeling soft, nourished and rejuvenated.
 
 
There’s lots more to choose from at Professional Supplement Center. If you need any assistance or suggestions, be sure to call or email us. We’d be happy to help you find the right gift for that perfect someone. Happy Holidays!
 
 

Healthy Holiday Strategies

healthy_holidaySusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

Along with holiday celebration planning, it’s a good idea to plan a strategy for staying healthy through the season of overindulging. Skimping on sleep, not taking time to exercise, straying too often from a healthy diet, and increased stress all challenge the immune system, which is working overtime to keep you healthy throughout not only the holiday season, but the cold and flu season as well. If you subscribe to the notion that holidays allow for unlimited eating and skipping your workouts, you will likely end up with a few unwanted pounds along with some added regrets come the first of January. Remember, it’s all about moderation and sticking to your normal routine as much as possible.

It’s easier to maintain your weight than to lose those extra pounds. This means limiting your indulgences but not completely abstaining. Give yourself permission to enjoy an occasional and guilt-free holiday treat but limit your choices to one treat per party. If you have several parties to attend in one week, you may want to indulge in a sweet dessert at just one of them.

Skipping meals to save room for later does not add up to weight loss. If you’re starving when you reach the buffet table, you will eat more not less and may not make the best choices. It’s better to have small meals throughout the day to keep your hunger at bay and your blood sugar levels stable. Low blood sugar can lead to cravings for salty, fatty or sugary foods, obviously not the best choices to keep holiday weight gain to a minimum.  

While at the buffet table, eat low to high. Eat low calorie greens, vegetables and lean protein before indulging in higher calorie foods. By the time you get to dessert, a few bites may satisfy. As always, it pays to keep an eye on portion sizes as even healthy foods can come with a high calorie price tag.  

Add some immune boosting foods to your meals each day. Go for high antioxidant berries, high nutrient containing organic fruits and vegetables, and mushrooms, which contain immune activating beta-glucans. Green tea will not only warm your body, it’s full of polyphenols and catechins which aid immune response. Replace processed oils with coconut oil, which is rich in lauric acid that aids the immune system in fighting viruses, bacteria and pathogens.

Shopping while hungry is not a great idea. Eat a nourishing meal before heading out to the mall for a marathon shopping trip. Stopping at the food court is not the best option, so bring along a healthy snack, such as nuts or piece of fruit if you plan to be gone for hours.

It’s easy to confuse hunger with thirst. Be sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to satisfy your body’s need. To know you are getting adequate amounts of water, check the color of your urine. Very light to almost clear urine is an indication that you are well hydrated. If it’s dark yellow, you are dehydrated and need to drink up.

There’s lots of ways to stay fit over the holidays. Ten minute brisk walks do wonders for stress relief. Turn on some holiday or favorite music and dance around the house. Do whatever it takes to just keep moving. Stand whenever possible and get up during TV commercials to do some jumping jacks, jog in place or do some stretching.

It pays to make sleep a priority. While some say you can’t really catch up on missed sleep, if you know you’ll be out late try to get in some extra rest the night before or the day after the celebration. With all that needs to be accomplished, it’s a given that sleep will suffer. Consistently getting 7 -8 hours of sleep each night helps regulate hormones, supports immune health, promotes recovery from the day and gives you energy for the next day. If you are time stressed, decide what activities you can pass on or delegate to others rather than depriving yourself of restful, rejuvenating sleep.

Wash your hands thoroughly and often. Germs can live on surfaces for 24 hours or longer. Most illness is transferred through touching infected surfaces as opposed to airborne germs. Health experts recommend washing hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Germ ridden places to be aware of include surfaces such as door knobs, elevator buttons, coffee pots, refrigerator door handles, keyboards, phones and copy machines. You don’t have to become a germaphobe, but keeping some hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes nearby is a practical idea that may help prevent an illness.

Remember to de-stress. For busy families, this may mean cutting back on activities, making fewer commitments or resolving to stick to your holiday budget. Give yourself a gift of time to clear your mind, take a relaxing bath or curl up with that book you’ve been meaning to read. Treating yourself occasionally allows for renewal of the patience and energy necessary to take on the tasks of the season while also taking care of yourself and others.  

Get back to the true spirit of the holidays by giving to those less fortunate. It can be something as simple as including a friend, neighbor or colleague who may be alone during the holidays to share in your family dinner or celebration. Volunteer at your local pet shelter or food kitchen and take the kids with you. Every little bit of giving helps someone in need, and that makes everyone feel good about the holidays.

References:

Holiday Health and Safety Tips. http://www.cdc.gov/family/holiday/

Stay Healthy This Holiday Season.  http://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/stay-healthy-this-holiday-season

Nutrition Advice During the Holidays.  http://greatist.com/eat/holiday-healthy-eating-tips

10 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays.  http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20648861,00.html

8 Ways to Stay Healthy and Happy During The Holidays. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/leana-wen-md/holidays-health_b_2341813.html

Holiday Tips for Pet Owners

pet_xmasSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

It’s that wonderful time of year! Yes, the holidays are upon us and with that comes the hustle and bustle of shopping, wrapping, decorating and entertaining. Just as the holiday season can be a source of joy, it can also be a time of stress and anxiety for everyone including our pets. So, when you are making your list and checking it twice, you may want to add one more to-do item – a reminder to keep your pets safe and healthy during the season of celebrating. Holiday foods, Christmas trees, presents, decorations, and visitors all have the potential to dampen your pet’s holiday spirits. If running to the vet during the holidays because the dog ate a box of chocolate or the cat ingested a ribbon is not your idea of holiday fun, you can rest assured it’s not your pet’s idea of a good time either.

The following tips may help ensure the season is merry and bright for your furry family members:

Visitors:

  • While festivities abound, sticking as closely as possible to your pet’s normal routine will help to keep your pet happy and relaxed. Staying on the same feeding, walking, playtime and rest schedules helps to reduce the confusion of festivities or relieve the stress of a houseful of unfamiliar guests.
  • Not all guests are comfortable around dogs and vice versa, so be sure to provide a safe, quiet and comfortable space where your pet can be confined when necessary.
  • If you choose to let your pet join in the festivities, be aware that pets may need an occasional break from noise or attention. If you have small guests and your pet is not used to their attention, keep a watchful eye for signs of stress and isolate your pet to avoid overstimulation.
  • Be aware that as people come and go during a party or celebration, it’s the perfect opportunity for pets to escape. Be sure they have ID tags on at all times and perhaps consider making one person responsible for their whereabouts during festivities.

Holiday foods:

  • While it may be tempting to give your pets leftovers from the holiday table, keep in mind that some foods can cause gastric upset or may be toxic to your pet. Chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, rich fatty foods, macadamia nuts, alcohol and other foods can sicken or require hospitalization for pets who ingest them.
  • Make sure guests know your rules and keep pet treats or kibble handy for those who can’t resist giving a nibble to the little beggars waiting patiently nearby.
  • Clear plates and glasses from low tables where pets can quickly gobble up food that’s remaining. You may not notice but they will be hyper aware of where any available food may be.
  • Excitement and anxiety can lead to thirst, so be sure your pets have plenty of clean water at all times.

Christmas trees and holiday plants:

  • Keep certain holiday plants, such as mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, and to a lesser extent poinsettias, high and out of reach of pets. When ingested, they may all cause serious and in some cases potentially fatal health issues. Lilies can cause kidney damage in cats, so keep these away from curious kitties or don’t bring them inside at all. Pine needles are also potentially dangerous if eaten, so clean fallen needles regularly.
  • Cats love to climb in Christmas trees and a large dog can easily knock over a tree, so be sure it is securely anchored. Keep ornaments off low lying branches if you have a curious cat that likes to play. Food based garlands are tempting, so reconsider decorating with popcorn or cranberry strands in order to keep your tree upright and your pets safe. You may want to skip the candy canes as well.
  • Breakable glass ornaments can present a danger to pets. Round, shiny ball shaped ornaments can be mistaken for toys and if broken, shards can become imbedded in your pet’s paws, mouth or esophagus. Bubble lights are pretty but they contain methylene chloride. Exposure to this chemical can irritate pet’s eyes, skin, lungs and GI tract.
  • Prevent access to the water in the tree stand by covering it with a tree skirt or use other means to keep pets from drinking the water.
  • Keep electrical cords well hidden, wrapped or in cord containers and make sure they are out of reach for pets who may be tempted to chew on them.

Decorations and gift wrappings:

  • Lit candles can present a hazard if left on low lying tables where they could easily be knocked over. Pets may find seasonal scented candles tempting for their smell, taste and texture. You may know it’s not apple pie but your pet will not. Keep candles up high and out of reach of pets.
  • Your pets will be able to smell any wrapped food gifts left under the tree or in stockings. Be sure these gifts are placed out of reach of pets unless you want to find an empty box or a sick pet on Christmas morning.
  • Wrappings that include ribbons, yarns, bows or strings present choking or intestinal obstruction hazards to pets. You may want to stick with paper only wrappings and avoid these tempting and potentially dangerous items.
  • Be careful of holiday gifts even if they are made especially for pets. When swallowed, small objects or parts can present choking or obstruction hazards. Choose wisely as toxic chemical residues, preservatives or dyes can also be present. Avoid toys with strong odors, bright colors, flame retardants or stain guard. Buy toys that are suitable to your pet’s age, development and personality.

Pets as gifts:

  • While many may wish to give or receive a puppy or kitten, the holidays are not a good time to bring new pets into the home. New pets will require training and establishing a routine is difficult enough without the commotion of the holidays.
  • Good intentions aside, while pets bring love and companionship, they also bring responsibility and a long-term commitment. Consider waiting until after the holidays and get your new pet when decorations are stored and life is back to its normal routine.
  • Giving a gift certificate for a shelter pet, bedding, food or supplies rather than an actual pet allows recipients to choose the right time to make this important decision. Pet adoption is much more successful when you find the right match for yourself or your family and can give your pet the time, love and attention your new furry family member undoubtedly deserves.  

References:

Winter Holiday Pet Poison Tips. Online. http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-owners/seasons/winter-holiday-pet-poison-tips/

Keeping Your Pets Safe from Holiday Season Dangers. Online. http://www.sdhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ter_release120808

Holiday Safety Tips for Dogs. Marty Smith, DMV. Online. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2098&aid=932

Dogs and Holidays. Online. https://www.akc.org/public_education/holiday_safety.cfm

Featured Brand: Natural Veterinary Pharmaceuticals

Natural_Veterinary_PharmaceuticalsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor (& Animal Lover!)
 

Professional Supplement Center now carries natural synergistic homeopathic remedies formulated exclusively for pets by Natural Veterinary Pharmaceuticals (NVP). Scientifically designed with comprehensive ingredients, these all natural therapies address complex veterinary health problems for dogs, cats, and birds to provide fast, gentle and safe relief without side effects.

NVP formulations are manufactured in the U.S.A. with FDA compliance and in strict accordance with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). These time tested, guaranteed potency liquid formulations are designed to enhance the overall health and vibrancy of your pet, increasing their quality of life by empowering their own natural healing resources.

Easily administered by adding to your pet’s water bowl, these pure, water-based medicines contain no alcohol, sugar or yeast and can be safely combined with other veterinary pharmaceuticals and procedures. These Natural Veterinary Pharmaceuticals are available exclusively through healthcare professionals.

Digestion Reliever/Vet
 
Digestion Reliever – This product provides homeopathic relief of symptoms such as gas, cramping, colic, pain or other abdominal discomforts.
 
 
 
 Skin Irritations & Itch Relief/Vet
Skin Irritations and Itch Relief - This product is designed for fast relief of common skin irritations or generally unhealthy skin and is indicated for symptoms such as itching, scratching, hot spots, hives, eczema or psoriasis.
 
 
 Muscle Joint & Arthritis Reliever /Vet
Muscle Joint and Arthritis Reliever – This product provides fast, safe relief for joint pain and stiffness, muscle tension or cramps, weakness associated with acute or chronic spinal conditions and muscle or joint sprains and strains.
 
 
 Multi Stress Control/Vet
Multi Stress Control - This advanced high-potency formula is designed for fast relief of a wide range of stress induced problems including anxiety, fear, nervousness and separation anxieties. It may also be used for gastric upset, poor eating, stress licking or other neurotic behaviors.
 
 
 Trauma & Wounds/Vet
 
Trauma and Wounds – This formula provides fast relief for a wide range of traumatic injuries including bites, sprains, fever, infection, and may be used post operatively to maximize healing and recovery.
 
 

Does Your Diet Deliver?

diet_deliverJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Vitamins and minerals, so vital to human health, are a constant source of deliberation when it comes to supplementation. While many would agree that a daily multivitamin is a great nutritional insurance policy, others would claim a healthy diet is all we need. However, telling people to simply “eat healthy” may actually be doing the population a disservice, as studies show that nine in ten Americans may falsely believe they are following a healthy and nutritious diet plan. While Americans tend to give themselves high marks for healthy eating, the reality is that the state of the health of Americans says otherwise. One in three American adults is obese, only one-fourth report limiting sugar and harmful fats, and fully two-thirds admit they don’t eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables daily.

In fact, the modern diet, which consists largely of processed foods loaded with sugar, refined flour and processed vegetable oils, is the main reason behind the obesity epidemic and the spike in chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, fatty liver syndrome and other health conditions. According to the USDA, Americans spend only 0.05% of their food budget on green vegetables, while spending 17% on refined grains, 13% on sugars and sweets and 9% on frozen prepared foods. Clearly, consumers are making choices that are totally out of sync with federally recommended guidelines. As American dietary budgets move in the direction of higher expenditures on prepackaged and processed foods, fruit and vegetable consumption decreases, along with vitamin and mineral intake.

Along with our nutrient poor choices comes a diet totally out of balance with the vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber and phytonutrients necessary for optimal function and wellness. While there is little doubt that a refrigerator well stocked with nutrient dense whole foods is the first line of defense for staying healthy, the ever increasing consumption of fabricated nutritionally void products may make its own case for the need for supplementation of essential micronutrients. Simply put, Americans are not eating healthy enough diets to provide optimal levels of a range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Other factors such as aging, medical conditions, genes and certain unhealthy lifestyle habits can also contribute to vitamin deficiencies.

Aging- Mild vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common among seniors and are associated with anemia, cognitive impairment, poor wound healing and a vulnerability to infections. Vitamin deficiencies can include vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin D. Mineral deficiencies can include calcium, zinc and magnesium. The causes are varied and are believed to include malabsorption issues, decreased appetite, poor nutrition and prescription medications. Age related changes that can affect vitamin and mineral deficiencies may also include the increased presence of hormones that decrease appetite, along with the decreased presence of the neurotransmitters that stimulate appetite.

Medical conditions – Certain medical conditions can block the absorption of vitamins and minerals from foods. Inflammation, infections, gastric disorders, diabetes and even certain cardiovascular conditions may result in malabsorption of calcium and vitamins B12, E, K and D. Proteins, carbohydrates and electrolytes may be poorly absorbed as well.

Alcohol consumption- Consuming even moderate amounts of alcohol on a regular basis can cause a folic acid deficiency. Alcohol can inhibit the absorption of nutrients by decreasing the secretion of pancreatic digestive enzymes and by damaging the cells that line the stomach and the intestines. Alcohol inhibits the absorption of fats and as a result negatively affects the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, E and D. Common mineral deficiencies can include calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Chronic heavy drinking is linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies as a result of decreased food intake and, for some, impaired absorption, metabolism and utilization of nutrients.

Medications – Both prescription and OTC medications can cause nutritional deficiencies. These include cholesterol lowering drugs, diabetes medications, oral contraceptives, anti-inflammatories, blood pressure medications, acid blockers and antibiotics among others. B vitamins, CoQ10, folic acid, vitamins C and D, and the minerals magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc are all examples of deficiencies that can occur when taking medications.

It may help to remember that nutrients work synergistically to support biochemical processes. Basic science supports the use of nutritional supplements in disease prevention and the strive for optimal health. While Americans continue to be overfed and undernourished, you can take action to protect your own health by eliminating the processed foods that drive disease, eating more nutritious whole foods, getting regular exercise and taking your recommended daily dose of good quality multivitamins, vitamin D and omega-3 essential fatty acids.

Here are some great recommendations for high quality supplementation in support of overall wellness:

Enzyme Nutrition Two Daily Multi-Vitamin
 
Enzyme Nutrition Two Daily Multi-Vitamin by Enzymedica – This 100% whole food matrix contains guaranteed potency probiotics along with nutrient rich superfoods and daily botanicals. Non-GMO, gluten and soy free and suitable for everyone aged 14 and older.
 
ProOmega D 1000 mg
 
ProOmega D 1000 mg by Nordic Naturals - This exceptional product contains 1,000 I.U. of vitamin D along with high levels of pure, ultra-fresh omega-3 essential fatty acids in support of cardiac, immune, neurological and eye health. Produced in Norway from deep sea fish and third party tested for environmental toxins and heavy metals. Non-GMO and gluten free formula.
 
 
Bio-Multi Plus Iron Free
 
Bio-Multi Plus Iron Free by Biotics Research – This versatile and balanced multiple vitamin and mineral formula supplies unique forms of micronutrients along with bioflavonoids and CoQ10. Gluten free formula.
 
 
 
UltraNutrient
 UltraNutrient by Pure Encapsulations – This high potency advanced formula provides core vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants and standardized phytonutrient extracts in support of cardiovascular, liver and overall health. Gluten and soy free formula.

 

 

References:

http://news.discovery.com/human/health/americans-diet-weight-110104.htm

http://ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2013-february/americans-food-choices-at-home-and-away.aspx#.VG4Zo8lAqkc

http://www.uspharmacist.com/content/d/senior%20care/c/21981/

http://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/aa22.htm

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/vitamin-d-deficiency-united-states/

Everybody’s Talking About Telomeres

Everybody's Talking About TelomeresJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

The relationship of telomere length to cellular aging is a popular subject these days but what are telomeres exactly and how do they affect our longevity and wellbeing?

Telomeres are repeated sequences of DNA found on the ends of DNA strands. They help protect our DNA from getting shorter during cell division and provide protection from damage that inevitably leads to cellular death and loss of health. Telomeres are described as the protective caps found on the ends of our chromosomes that enable cells to divide without losing genes. As a cell can normally divide 50 – 70 times during its lifetime, without these protective ends chromosomes could malfunction and corrupt the cell’s genetic makeup.

Telomere length is now considered a marker for cellular aging. Telomeres progressively shorten over time and eventually cells cease to divide, resulting in age-related degeneration of organs and tissues. Short telomeres impair the ability of cells to properly divide, negatively affecting DNA replication, upsetting healthy physiological balance in the body and contributing to the aging process. Short telomere length is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, dementia, inflammatory diseases and a shorter lifespan.

Certain cells produce an enzyme called telomerase, which adds bases to ends of young cells to keep them from wearing down too quickly. In time, with repeated cell division, there is not enough telomerase to prevent the shortening of telomeres. To put this in perspective, white blood cells in newborns contain about 8,000 base pairs, or chains of chemical code, that determine the length of their telomeres. In those same cells, adults would have about 3,000 base pairs and the elderly only 1,500. Every time a cell divides, it can lose 30 – 200 base pairs from the ends of its telomeres.

What’s the good news? Longer telomere length is linked to healthy aging and overall longevity. It appears that telomeres can be influenced by non-genetic, healthy lifestyle factors. Based on studies it appears that certain lifestyle habits may help maintain or possibly lengthen telomeres.

  • Improve your nutrition by following a healthy eating pattern such as the Mediterranean diet. Long touted for its health promoting benefits, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) showed that adherence to the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomere length, a biomarker of aging. Fruits, vegetables and nuts, key components of the Mediterranean diet, are known for their antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties that influence telomere length, the health of your DNA and your genetic material.  
  • If you have yet to start exercising regularly, you may be shortening your lifespan. There’s good reason to participate in vigorous exercise that elevates your heart rate or induces sweating 4 to 5 times each week.
  • To improve your metabolism, maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, try to reduce both your weight and your waist circumference.
  • Enhance your wellbeing by reducing stress. Daily meditation accompanied by mindful breathing helps you to tune into your body and be present in the moment, all helpful for stress reduction. Stress reduction can contribute to increased feelings of personal control and help reduce depression.
  • Nutrients that play a role in supporting, protecting and possibly increasing telomere length include vitamins D, C, E, and B12, omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric and antioxidants such as resveratrol and astaxanthin.  

Products that support healthy aging include:

Resveratrol (200244)Resveratrol (200244) by Douglas Laboratories – As a powerful antioxidant, Resveratrol aids in supporting normal cardiovascular and mitochondrial function. It supports the normal aging process by protecting and supporting telomere elongation and cellular longevity. Gluten, soy, dairy and yeast free formula.

 

Astaxanthin 4 mg

Astaxanthin 4 mg by Pure Encapsulations – Derived from Hawaiian microalgae, this potent antioxidant supports skin, macula, joints, immune, cardiovascular and overall health. Gluten and soy free.

 
 
Meriva-SR Curcumin Phytosome (SF775)
 
Meriva- SR Curcumin Phytosome by Thorne Research – This formula provides highly bioavailable, effective antioxidants to help maintain a normal inflammatory response and support joint and cardiovascular health. Gluten, dairy and yeast free, Non-GMO formula.
 
 
D3 5000
 
D3 5000 by Metagenics – These easy to swallow soft gels support immune, bone, neurological and cardiovascular health with a highly bioavailable form of high potency vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol. Gluten free, Non-GMO formula.

 

References:

Facts About Telomeres and Telomerase. Online. http://www4.utsouthwestern.edu/cellbio/shay-wright/intro/facts/sw_facts.html

Scientists discover an on/off switch for aging cells. Online. http://www.salk.edu/news/pressrelease_details.php?press_id=2052

Mediterranean diet and telomere length in Nurses’ Health Study: population based cohort study. Online. http://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6674

Are Telomeres The Key To Aging And Cancer? Online. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/chromosomes/telomeres/

Mediterranean Diet Leads To Genetically Longer Life. Online. http://www.medicaldaily.com/mediterranean-diet-leads-genetically-longer-life-so-indulge-fish-veggies-nuts-and-312862

 

Winter Cold or Winter Allergies?

IsItACold..JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Many seasonal allergy sufferers are grateful when temperatures cool, as outdoor pollens and allergy triggers temporarily disappear. However, spending more time inside increases our exposure to indoor allergy triggers. Holiday foods, indoor festivities and holiday decorations can all trigger allergic responses, especially for those who may have sensitivities or asthma. Central heating, Christmas trees, overindulging in holiday foods and drinks and skimping on sleep may all cause reactions, which can contribute to asthmatic or allergic responses. Indoor allergens and pollutants can include irritants such as mold spores, dust mites, pet dander, household chemicals and smoke. Mold spores are especially hazardous as, unlike pollens, mold can grow anywhere and requires little more than moisture and oxygen to thrive.

With additional time spent indoors, allergic individuals are more likely to suffer from symptoms that are often attributed to colds, such as runny nose, sinus irritation, sore throat, headache, fatigue and congestion. Both colds and allergies set off immune responses and, while many symptoms overlap, cold sufferers are more likely to have fever or body aches as opposed to itchy eyes or throat . Usually with colds, symptoms gradually get better within a week or so. If symptoms persist or are intermittent, allergens may be responsible. People who have allergies are more likely to develop asthma and those who have asthma may be particularly sensitive to indoor allergens. Insufficient sleep, eating too many sugary holiday treats and getting overexcited can also trigger asthma attacks.

Knowing your triggers and limiting your exposure is one way to control winter allergies.

  • Christmas trees are often blamed for an onset of allergy symptoms. While some may be sensitive to the strong scent of pine, others will be sensitive to pollen and microscopic mold spores that may be present on the tree and released into the air. If you have the time and the space, hosing down the tree and letting it dry outdoors before bringing it inside may help to reduce allergens. For those with sensitivities, limit the amount of time a live tree stays indoors to less than two weeks, or perhaps consider an artificial tree.
  • Molds can be found indoors and out and are well known allergy triggers. Mold can hide in many indoor spaces, especially basements and bathrooms. Increasing ventilation in damp areas can help combat mold. If you store your holiday decorations in the basement, be sure they are stored in sealed containers and wash your hands thoroughly after moving any boxes. Firewood stored outdoors can also be mold contaminated, so wear gloves when bringing it inside and be aware that burning the wood indoors can trigger the release of airborne pollutants.
  • Dust mites, microscopic allergy-inducing relatives of the spider, are known to live on mattresses, bedding, upholstered furniture, carpets and drapes. Stuffed animals can collect dust mites too, but they can be limited by placing unwashable favorites in a plastic bag and putting the bag in the freezer for a few hours each week. It’s unlikely that dust mites can be entirely eliminated but you can reduce their number by washing bedding in hot water once a week and, if you live in cold climates, you can leave non-washable bedding outside overnight to kill dust mites. Frequent vacuuming with a cleaner that has a HEPA filter can help to trap allergens. Those who are super sensitive should consider wearing a mask while vacuuming to reduce exposure to dust, dust mites and mold spores. Better yet, when possible, have someone without sensitivities do it for you.
  • Animal dander can cause allergic reactions in people who have a reaction to the proteins found in dead skin cells that are shed by the animal. While we don’t want to leave our family pets out in the cold, there’s increased exposure to dander during winter months spent largely indoors. Bathing pets regularly often helps reduce allergens , as does keeping pets out of our bedrooms and especially our beds. Ideally, your pet should sleep in a less used area of the home.

Although not recognized as an allergen, sugar invokes an inflammatory response and suppresses the immune system, so be wary of too many indulgent holiday treats if you want to stay healthy this winter. In addition, insufficient sleep can compromise the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to viruses and infections. Studies show that our amounts of killer T cells go down and inflammatory cytokines go up when we are sleep deprived, leaving us more susceptible to the pathogens that cause colds and flu. Continuing on with a healthy lifestyle during the holidays and reducing exposure to your known triggers is the best way to combat indoor allergies, hopefully enabling you to feel well enough to enjoy those holiday parties!

Great product suggestions for seasonal allergies include:

Natural D-HistNatural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular - This very popular product provides natural relief of allergy discomfort with carefully selected nutrients. The formula contains anti-inflammatories, antioxidants and flavonoids, which help to manage histamine levels, support natural antioxidant activity and support sinus, nasal passage and respiratory health. Gluten, soy, corn, and yeast free.
 
D-Hist Jr.
 
D-Hist Jr. by Ortho Molecular, formulated especially for children, provides relief from seasonal allergy discomfort in an easy to take lemon-lime flavored chewable tablet. Gluten, soy and yeast free. No artificial colors or flavors.
 
 
Allergy Response
 
Allergy Response by Innate Response Formulas – This product supports healthy allergy and inflammatory responses and helps stabilize histamine release with vitamin C, quercetin and nettle leaf extract. Gluten, soy, dairy, sugar and corn free formula.

 

And for immune support and cold and flu symptom relief try:

Immune Support Packets
 
Immune Support Packets by Designs for Health – These individual packets provide antibacterial and antiviral support with a comprehensive arsenal of immune supportive herbs and nutrients, which aid in building a strong immune defense during cold and flu season.
 
Hevert Cold & Flu ReliefHevert Cold & Flu Relief by Hevert Pharmaceuticals – This product provides homeopathic support for the temporary relief of cold and flu symptoms. This formula will not cause drowsiness and contains no artificial ingredients. Formulated for adults and children over 6 years of age.
 
References:
 
Comparative degree and type of sensitization to common indoor and outdoor allergens in subjects with allergic rhinitis and/or asthma. Online. ww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9117881
 
Tips to Control Indoor Allergens: Online. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=18&cont=533
 
Allergy: Lifestyle Management. Online. Henry, Milgram, M.D. http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/allergy/lifestyle/holiday-tips/
 
Sleep and Immune Function. Online. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/
 
Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers. Online. http://acaai.org/allergies/types/seasonal
 
Allergies, Asthma and Winter Holidays. Online. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/allergies,-asthma-and-winter-holidays.aspx
 
 

 

Featured Brand: Progressive Laboratories

ProgressiveLabsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

Since 1972, Progressive Laboratories has been on a mission to maximize the potential for health and wellness by delivering a complete line of quality science-based nutraceutical products to effectively optimize health. Based on the highest standards, Progressive Labs sources raw materials from worldwide preferred suppliers. All certified raw materials are identified and verified for proper potency, purity and efficacy.   All products are manufactured under strict standards in compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), FDA registered manufacturing standards and analytical testing and evaluations. By setting the standard for purity, potency and clinical efficacy, Progressive Laboratories is able to offer real-world application of excellent, superior-quality nutritional support products available through healthcare professionals.

Customer Favorites from Progressive Laboratories include:

Osteo-Mins AM
Osteo-Mins AM – This popular formula contains select minerals meant to be taken in the morning for optimal assimilation.   Also available Osteo-Mins PM with D and Osteo-Mins PM with D +K1, K2, formulas meant to be taken at bedtime for improved assimilation.
 
 
 
Magnezyme
 
Magnezyme - Formulated with elemental magnesium, Magnezyme supports many bodily chemical functions including support for neurological function, carbohydrate and protein metabolism, energy production and bone health.
 
 
 
 Thyro Complex
Thyro Complex – This soy-free glandular formula contains synergistic ingredients to support the endocrine system. No artificial colors, preservatives, synthetic hormones or chemical pesticides.
 
 
 
 U-Tract
U-Tract – This product supports digestive tract health with D-Mannose, a naturally occurring simple sugar, which works to remove harmful bacteria from the intestinal and urinary tracts without interfering with blood sugar regulation or affecting beneficial bacteria.  
 
 Aller-B®
 
 
Aller-B® – This product delivers a high potency B complex formula with no allergy provoking fillers or binders.
 
 
 
 M.C.H.C. WITH K (Formerly MCHC Plus Caps)
 
M.C.H.C. with K - This product provides bioavailable micro-crystalline calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamins K1 and K2 in support of bone, joint and muscular health.
 
 
 
 

Tired and Stressed? Adaptogens Can Help

AdaptogensCanHelpJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Adaptogenic herbs have been successfully used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia to boost both energy and resilience to stress. By promoting balance and stability, known as homeostasis, these natural herbs are believed to balance the endocrine system and strengthen the immune system, thereby aiding the body’s ability to cope with anxiety, fatigue and trauma. The term “adaptogen” was coined by Dr. Nikolai Lazarev in the 1940’s to identify an agent that raises the body’s resistance to stress while countering undesired physical, emotional, chemical or biological stressors.

This means that, by definition, adaptogenic herbs have the potential to reduce the negative impact of all these different forms of stress which can adversely affect our physiological and psychological wellbeing. Chronic stress can upset hormone balance, disrupt digestion, negatively impact the immune system and trigger an unhealthy inflammatory response. To be considered an adaptogen, an herb must possess three qualities:

  • It should produce a response that allows the whole body, including multiple organ systems, to increase resistance against harm from stress, anxiety or trauma. Adaptogens are thought to normalize the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis which, among other functions, regulates the body’s response to stress.
  • It should aid the body in a return to homeostasis by tamping down hyper-functioning systems or ramping up hypo-functioning systems. In other words, they must be able to adapt their functions according to the body’s specific needs.
  • It must be non-toxic at normal doses, causing no significant side effects even with prolonged use.

Adaptogenic herbs are believed to naturally restore vitality, protect the body against degeneration and support healthy aging. They are believed to produce generalized health benefits for the entire body by their ability to normalize immune and endocrine functions, improve circulation, control inflammation, and their ability to act in a self limiting capacity.

Adaptogenic herbs are categorized as:

Global system regulators – Herbs such as ginseng, rhodiola, ashwagandha and Holy Basil fall into this category for their healthy aging benefits and for their ability to have a global impact on the whole body.

Cellular and immune regulators – These herbs provide immune support and aid in preventing degenerative diseases and can include turmeric, resveratrol and ginger.

Specific regulators – These herbs target specific areas, such as ginkgo biloba for circulation, gotu kola for connective tissue and licorice for the gastrointestinal tract.  

Some of the more widely known adaptogenic herbs used to balance, restore, support and protect the body are:  

Ashwagandha – Known for its powerful balancing and antioxidant properties, ashwagandha is used to help increase vitality, energy, endurance and stamina. It is also believed to promote longevity, strengthen the immune system and relieve symptoms associated with exhaustion by enhancing endocrine function and encouraging more optimal bodily functions.

American Ginseng – Notably used as an overall health tonic, ginseng is believed to improve immune function, support cognitive function and counterbalance stress by reducing the secretion of stress-related hormones.

Eleuthero – Also known as Siberian ginseng, eleuthero is believed to increase energy and stamina, improve immune function and support cardiovascular health.

Rhodiola – Known to increase stamina, rhodiola is thought to balance the levels of stress-related hormones, while boosting the body’s endorphins or feel good hormones. As a powerful antioxidant, rhodiola helps prevent cell damage, supports cellular energy metabolism and is believed to aid and support the liver’s detoxification processes.

Reishi mushrooms – Known as the mushroom of immortality in Chinese medicine, reishi mushrooms are believed to promote immune function, fight fatigue and support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Reishi has antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties.  

Holy Basil – Also known as Tulsi, this herb has been valued for centuries for its antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to have its greatest potential in stress relief and relaxation. As an adaptogen, Holy Basil helps the body to function optimally during times of stress by enhancing the body’s natural response to both physical and mental stressors.

For maximum benefits, these natural herbs are meant to be used as tonics and are generally taken over a period of time, often at least 3 months, to strengthen and benefit the entire body. However, if you are taking any medications or have a chronic illness, its best to consult your healthcare professional before use. Adaptogenic herbs are not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Here are some great suggestions for supplementation:

Adapten-All
 
Adapten-All by Ortho Molecular – This product provides comprehensive adrenal support with a special blend of nutrients, botanicals, and adaptogens such as eleuthero, rhodiola, ashwagandha and licorice root extracts. Gluten-free formula.
 
 
 
HPA Adapt
HPA Adapt by Integrative Therapeutics – This formula combines 5 powerful adaptogenic herbs to aid in a healthy mental and physical stress response via the HPA axis. Contains key ingredients such as rhodiola, ashwagandha, Holy Basil and eleuthero extracts. Gluten and soy free formula.
 
 
 
Rhodiola (SF755)
Rhodiola by Thorne Research - This botanical adaptogen provides support for the neurotransmitters that aid in resistance to chemical, biological and physical stressors while also supporting beta-endorphins. Non-GMO, gluten, soy and lactose free.
 
 
 
Ashwagandha (Standardized Extract)
 
Ashwagandha by Pure Encapsulations – This formula supplies 500 mg of standardized ashwagandha extract to counteract the effects of occasional stress and for the support of overall wellness. Gluten and soy free formula.
 
 
 
References:
 
Adaptogens. Online. http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/alt-adaptogens#2
 
Adaptogenic Herbs: The Key to Longevity and Optimal Health. Dr. Bertrand Babinet, Ph.D., LAc. Online. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-bertrand-babinet-phd-lac/natural-herbs_b_1167592.html
 
Ayurveda. Online. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/treatment/ayurveda
 
 

Metagenics – Top 5 Sellers

Metagenics4x4SusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 
 

Trusted worldwide by healthcare providers, Metagenics offers research-based medical foods, nutraceuticals and turnkey programs that address individual and unique health needs with targeted nutritional support. As an industry leader, Metagenics provides innovative formulas that live up to their scientific promise to deliver a high degree of safety, effectiveness and reliability to put you on the path to better overall health and wellness.

If you have yet to try any of Metagenics’ impressive formulations, now is the time to take advantage of these great prices. Here’s a closer look at a few of these highly regarded supplements given 5 star ratings by our customers for great results and noticeable impacts on health.

D3 50005 StarsD3 5000Vitamin D deficiency is now a global concern. Worldwide an estimated 1 billion people have inadequate levels of vitamin D. Ramp up your disease fighting potential with this high potency vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol, a substantially bioavailable form designed for optimal absorbability. Many of our customers report improved vitamin D levels after taking this supplement.
 
UltraFlora Balance (Formerly Ultra Flora Plus DF Capsules) (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)5 StarsUltraFlora Balance - Maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial intestinal flora equates to healthy digestion and favorable immune function. Optimize your disease fighting potential before the start of cold and flu season with this 50/50 blend of pure and viable probiotic strains. Numerous customers, including those who have experienced chronic digestive issues, report greatly improved digestive function along with an enhanced feeling of wellness.
 
OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 7205 StarsOmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720 - Abundant scientific evidence supports the importance of omega- 3 fatty acids for proper cardiac, circulatory, joint and brain health. Produced in Norway from cold water fish, these naturally flavored lemon softgels provide a healthy balance of highly concentrated EPA and DHA for support of overall health. Customers frequently report improved maintenance of cholesterol and triglyceride levels while taking this product.
 
Mag Glycinate5 StarsMag Glycinate - Magnesium is a mighty mineral necessary for more than 300 biochemical processes. Formulated with an exclusive patented process, this fully reacted magnesium amino acid chelate is designed for enhanced intestinal absorption in support of bone, heart, muscle and nervous system health. Our customers report great satisfaction with better regulated digestive systems and reduced incidence of leg cramps.  
 
Vessel Care (New Formulation)5 StarsVessel CareElevated homocysteine levels are believed to contribute to plaque formation by damaging arterial walls. This comprehensive formula features key nutrients that aid in the maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels and promote healthy homocysteine metabolism in support of overall cardiovascular health. This brand new formulation is already rated 5 stars by a customer who reports great satisfaction with both the quality and the results.