WEEK 10: Healthy Weight Challenge

ChallengeJenniferIconBy Jennifer Bement
Social Media Manager

The team is moving into the homestretch now, having collectively lost nearly 140 lbs! Nurse Jacquie is finding that many of the suggestions she has made, have now become second nature to the team. Everyone is making healthier choices when it comes to food, an important habit to form going into the holiday season where temptation will be around every corner, but hopefully not in the lunchroom.

Some staffers who were not fans of exercise are now gung-ho to get to the gym or head out for a brisk walk. We are headquartered in Florida, so even early in the morning it has been hot and humid, but there is a change on the air and we’ll be ushering in Fall soon, so going out for that walk will be even more refreshing.

With just a couple of weeks left in the challenge, the participants are now pushing hard to reach their goals. Actually, six of them already have surpassed the goal they set for themselves and are working on maintaining and even shooting for a higher amount lost. Keep up the good work team!

Featured Brand: Advanced Naturals

advnat2SusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Since 1998, Advanced Naturals™ has formulated superior quality digestive care supplements with the understanding that a properly functioning digestive system promotes overall good health. Because digestive care is their sole focus, Advanced Naturals™ concentrates on providing the highest level of natural and effective whole-health digestive care support. Their innovative product line consists of formulations that address a broad range of gastrointestinal health concerns including dysbiosis, inadequate nutrient breakdown and gastro-immune balance.

Available exclusively through health care professionals, Advanced Naturals™ pharmaceutical grade formulations are manufactured under strict GMP guidelines. Their high potency probiotics, superior enzyme formulas, essential fatty acids, fiber supplements and internal cleansing formulas contain only naturally active ingredients. All products are free of contaminants, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and PCBs. No added binders or fillers are utilized and their cutting edge manufacturing process eliminates the need for flow agents, lubricants and excipients, further ensuring the purity of the products.  

DigestMaxSuitable for all who want to maximize nutrients in their diet, DigestMax contains 10 plant-based digestive enzymes along with herbs and nutraceuticals for complete digestive support.
CleanseMax - This advanced total body cleanse formula supports the body’s natural cleansing process with 15 herbs which aid in liver detoxification, and 8 natural ingredients which cleanse the colon and support the body’s elimination channels.
Colon Max – Rated 5 stars by our customers, this product provides a unique and natural herbal and magnesium solution to stimulate and strengthen bowel contractions and relieve occasional constipation.
Ultimate FloraMax 30 Billion
Ultimate Flora Max 30 Billion – Another customer favorite, this high-potency, daily care formula contains 30 billion live probiotic cultures per capsule. These 10 beneficial probiotic strains include a higher level of Bifidobacterium for relief of digestive discomfort, maintenance of digestive balance and overall health support.
Super Critical Omega
Super Critical Omega This prescription-strength, super-concentrated Omega-3 formula is enhanced with vitamin D in support of cardiovascular, immune and joint health and a more normal inflammation response.
Organic Triple FiberMax Powder
 Organic Triple FiberMax PowderThis 100% organic product contains a blend of 3 key types of fibers that promote regularity and support digestive, cardiovascular and overall health.

Stay Healthy: Immune Supporting Tips

immumne2JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

It’s the beginning of flu season and the thought of that looming threat may make some of us a little uneasy. Fortunately, most of us who may get the illness will not develop complications and will recover with rest, proper nutrition, adequate hydration and OTC medications. For some, an antiviral prescription medication may be recommended, which can be effective at reducing the severity of the illness when taken as soon as possible after symptoms develop.

Many factors contribute to your risk of coming down with the flu, including age, as infants, children and the elderly are more vulnerable. Others at high risk of hospitalization from complications of the flu include those with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems, those under chronic stress, the severely obese and pregnant women.

Do you ever wonder why some will come down with flu symptoms while others appear to be able to resist the bugs that cause the illness? Are you one of those people who seem to catch every viral infection that makes the rounds in the office or at school? Perhaps your immune system could use some attention. Following are some reasons why your immune system may be functioning at less than optimal levels:

Poor diet – Malnutrition impairs immune function. Diets high in sugar, fast food and processed foods don’t provide the rich nutrients your immune system needs to build its army of white blood cells, which fight infections and pathogens. Surprised? Don’t be, as it’s the diets high in vegetables, fruits, nuts, protein and healthy fats that promote overall health and provide the nutrients the immune system requires for optimal function.

Stressful lifestyle – Chronic stress puts the immune system under duress, leaving the body more vulnerable to illness. Scientific data shows that the negative effects of stress on the immune system have implications for health, including reduced antibody production and decreased lymphocyte proliferation. You can cut your chances of succumbing to a cold or the flu by mindfully reducing stress. Studies show that people who meditate have 50% reduced risk of illness, likely because meditation reduces the physical effects of stress that weaken the immune system. Massage on a regular basis has also been shown to produce positive changes in immune function.

Lack of sleep – Sleep deprivation raises the risks of illness by activating the stress response, elevating inflammatory chemicals and suppressing immune function. Sleep loss appears to cause changes to the system that activates our immune defense by decreasing the production of infection fighting antibodies and cytokines, chemical messengers that regulate the response of the immune system. Adequate sleep of 7 -8 hours a night for adults and up to 10 hours for children supports immune function by enhancing the body’s ability to form an initial response to invading pathogens.

Inactivity – Just as a weakened immune system generally accompanies a sedentary lifestyle, physical fitness is associated with healthy immune function. The human body was not designed for an inactive lifestyle, as studies show a sedentary lifestyle disrupts normal body functions that are necessary to maintain good health. Physical inactivity increases susceptibility to viral infections, while regular moderate exercise enhances natural immunity. It would appear that getting active is a good prescription for getting and staying healthy. During exercise, antibodies and white blood cells circulate more rapidly throughout the body, increasing the chances of detecting illnesses earlier.

Vitamin D deficiency - Scientists have found that vitamin D is crucial to immune defenses. However, vitamin D deficiency has seen a dramatic increase among children, teens and adults in the U.S., leading to compromised immune function and inflammation. Studies indicate that the effects of vitamin D deficiency include an elevated risk of developing chronic disease and immune system abnormalities, which can result in infections and autoimmune disease. Without sufficient vitamin D, killer T cells, which fight infections, remain dormant and don’t complete the necessary activation process needed to seek out and destroy pathogens. Supplementation, fortified foods and natural sunshine exposure for at least 15 minutes, 2 – 3 times a week will help to support adequate blood levels of vitamin D.  

Gastrointestinal health – Digestive health directly impacts your immune health, as your GI system is the headquarters for your immune system. A poorly functioning digestive system negatively influences the health of your immune and nervous systems and impacts hormonal health as well. Gastrointestinal immune cells secrete lymphocytes, which attack harmful pathogens. Beneficial intestinal microflora help prevent the overgrowth of harmful microbes, enhance the function of natural killer T cells and form a barrier to prevent germs or pathogens from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Supplements such as pre- and probiotics provide live strains of beneficial bacteria that offer significant support for optimal digestive and immune function.  

In addition to following these healthy tips, here are some great supplement choices for immune support:

Immune Support Packets
Immune Support Packets by Designs For Health – These twice daily packets provide a comprehensive formula of immune supportive herbs and nutrients to help build a strong defense during cold and flu season.
Bio-D-Mulsion by Biotics Research – This super absorbable emulsified liquid formula supplies 400 IU of vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol per drop.
Digest Gold™ W/ATPro
 Digest Gold by Enzymedica – This potent digestive enzyme formula is designed to support optimal digestive function, enhancing immune and overall health.

Neurotransmitters Wide Ranging Influence

Neurotransmitters Wide Ranging InfluenceJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

Neurotransmitters communicate neurologic information to other cells throughout the brain and the body. These specialized brain messenger biochemical substances released by nerve cells, or neurons, shape everyday life and functioning. Human behavior and emotions are all modulated by neurotransmitters. The central nervous system manages and orchestrates thousands of signals every second, twenty-four hours a day. The more than 60 identified neurotransmitters affect sleep, mood and behavior, motor coordination and physiological activities such as heart beat, respiration, appetite and digestion. Many factors can contribute to suboptimal neurotransmitter levels including cortisol and hormonal imbalance, chronic stress, poor diet, inactivity, neurotoxins, pharmaceutical and recreational drugs and alcohol. In fact, many medications work by altering or blocking neurotransmissions.

Neurotransmitters are categorized as “excitatory,” which stimulate the brain, and “inhibitory” which calm the brain and create balanced moods. Excitatory neurotransmitters increase the chances that a neuron will fire an action potential, a process that causes a rapid increase in the positive charge of a nerve fiber, basically resulting in an electrical impulse. Inhibitory neurotransmitters decrease the likelihood for an action potential.  

The Excitatory Neurotransmitters include:

Dopamine – As what has become known as the reward motivator, the chemical dopamine controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and, as such, plays a complex role in dependencies. Dopamine helps us to focus and stay on task and is involved in many important functions including motivation, decision making, attention, cognition, movement, memory, sleep and emotional responses. A deficit of dopamine may trigger poor impulse control and is a contributing factor in Parkinson’s disease, as dopamine is involved in controlling fine muscle movements

Norepinephrine - Considered both a neurotransmitter and a stress hormone, norepinephrine is released in response to a stressful situation, commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response. When facing a potentially perilous or unsafe situation, norepinephrine helps the body function as efficiently as possible by increasing heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and blood sugar, and by shutting down metabolic processes like digestion or insulin release. Within the brain, norepinephrine is believed to be involved in functions such as attention, alertness, focus and arousal. Low levels of norepinephrine are associated with sleep problems, low energy and decreased ability to focus.

Epinephrine – Also known as adrenaline, epinephrine, as a precursor to norepinephrine, provides immediate strength and single focused concentration to prepare the body for swift action or strenuous activity.   As a powerful vasopressor, epinephrine overrides inhibitory neurotransmitters and increases cardiac output, blood pressure and blood flow in response to strong emotions such as fear or anger. Chronic stress and insomnia can deplete levels of epinephrine, which can result in low energy levels, depression and muscle weakness.

Glutamate – Considered to be the main excitatory neurotransmitter, glutamate works in conjunction with GABA and is essential to memory, learning, alertness and wakefulness. Glutamate is synthesized by the body and is necessary for brain function and metabolism. An overabundance of glutamate is associated with disorders such as Alzheimer’s, ALS, Huntington’s, MS and many others. A lack of glutamate results in decreased mental focus and inability to synthesize GABA. Adequate GABA is necessary to keep glutamate and the constant barrage of stimuli in balance.

Acetylcholine – A widely distributed excitatory neurotransmitter, acetylcholine triggers muscle contraction and stimulates hormone secretion. It plays a role in wakefulness, attentiveness, energy conservation, anger, aggression and sexuality. Lack of acetylcholine is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, manic behavior and poor recent memory.

The Inhibitory Neurotransmitters include:

GABA – As a critical and primary neurotransmitter, GABA’s natural function is to reduce nerve excitation and stimulation, and lessen aggression, fear and anxiety. Synthesized in the brain, GABA is widely distributed among brain neurons and contributes to motor control, vision and neurological development. Stress tolerance, sleep patterns, behavioral disorders and mood all improve with adequate levels of GABA. Stress management and nutritional support for GABA production can have a huge positive influence on daily life. Nutritional support for GABA production can include glycine, magnesium and L-theanine.

Serotonin – Synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan, serotonin plays an important role in a wide range of brain functions, including sleep regulation, body temperature, hormonal activity and pain perception. As an inhibitory neurotransmitter, serotonin does not stimulate the brain but helps to balance an over-release of excitatory neurotransmitters, reducing aggression and stabilizing mood. Depression, impulsive behavior, sleep disturbance and irritability is associated with imbalances in serotonin.

The following products developed by NeuroScience, Inc. specifically target the spectrum of neurotransmitter imbalances:

Balance D®
Balance D® – This amino acid formula provides nutrient dense sustenance for dopamine synthesis to bolster support for memory function, muscle control and impulsive behaviors.
ExcitaPlus® – This formula contains an L-tyrosine and proprietary herbal extract blend plus vitamins and minerals in support of dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine production.
GABA Trex (Grape Flavor)
GABA Trex – These easy to take grape flavored, rapid delivery chewables provide L-theanine, delivering calming relief for high glutamate levels. GABA Trex addresses overstimulation and improves focus while reducing the negative effects of stress.
 NorLox (Formerly Inflam B)
NorLox - This product supports a healthy immune response and provides support for serotonin levels, resulting in a calming effect.

WEEK 9: 90-Day Healthy Weight Challenge

137JenniferIconBy Jennifer Bement
Social Media Manager

The team continues on in their effort to drop down to a healthy weight and now have lost a total of 137 lbs! We have talked about the supplements they are taking and how they fit into a healthy lifestyle, so now we’re going to share a bit about the diet guidelines they are following.

While each participant has been given unique, detailed instruction from Nurse Jacquie, they all are following roughly the same plan – an anti-inflammatory eating plan. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of degenerative and lifestyle-caused diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and certain cancers. Changing to an anti-inflammatory diet can have an impact on overall health, that in turn can lead to a more active lifestyle and weight loss.

The Basics of an Anti-Inflammatory Diet:

  • Lots of fruits and vegetables in a wide range of colors
  • Whole grains like brown rice and quinoa
  • Beans for fiber
  • Healthy fats such as olive, canola, and sunflower oils
  • Seafood – rich in omega-3s
  • Spices and herbs – many spices contain naturally anti-inflammatory properties
  • Seeds and nuts – contain protein and healthy fats
  • Water, lots of it
  • Avoid processed foods, excess sugar, and hydrogenated oils

By following this plan, the team members are learning to make healthier choices and are totally shifting the way they look at food. Since the challenge is for 90 days, it gives the team a chance to really cement these healthy habits into their lifestyle, so that it is not so much about losing the weight, but leading a healthy life.

Featured Brand: Viatrexx Bio Incorporated

ViatrexxSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of a line of biodynamic homeopathic oral sprays formulated by Viatrexx Bio Inc. Using advanced technologies, these products were developed with the understanding that good health is connected to the body’s matrix. This concept involves activating stronger messenger molecule signaling thereby providing better cell reception. Through various levels of metabolic factors, these intuitive and living remedies address physiological aspects of human health. Viatrexx formulas are based on 3 principles:

  1. Drainage and Detox – Drainage opens the valves to allow toxin release while detox provides a deep cleansing aspect to address both extra-cellular and intra-cellular aspects of cells and tissues.
  2. Regeneration – Specific nutrients provide necessary components for proper nourishment, support and energy of cells and tissues in order to enable healing, growth and effective function.
  3. Oxygenation – Addresses all aspects of metabolism, respiration and energy production, all dependent on the flow and movement of oxygen.

All products are crafted, manufactured and stored under ideal conditions and contain only organic, biodynamic ingredients that perform at optimal levels. These concentrated essences, which address physical challenges, physiological function and emotional dispositions, are available through healthcare professionals.

Immunexx Oral Spray
Immunexx Oral Spray – This homeopathic solution provides support for the adrenals and immune system function.
Foods Oral Spray
 Foods Oral Spray – This product provides homeopathic support for common food sensitivities, mental clarity and hormonal imbalances.
Infla Oral Spray
Infla Oral Spray – As a homeopathic remedy for relief of inflammatory symptoms, this calming product provides pain relief and helps to encourage a reduction of inflammation.
MuSkel Oral Spray
MuSkel Oral Spray – This homeopathic spray provides assistance for muscle, nerve and skeletal repair and regeneration and helps to strengthen cartilage, joints, bones, muscles and tendons.
Neuro 3 Oral Spray
Neuro 3 Oral Spray – This product provides homeopathic support for balance of the entire neurological system including fatigue, nervousness, and sleep regulation.


How Dental Health Affects Overall Health

Dental2JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

By now, many of us are armed with the knowledge that a healthy lifestyle can help ward off age-related chronic diseases. But did you know that unhealthy gums and teeth are often found in combination with heart disease and other health conditions? Gingivitis, an inflammation of the tissues that surround the teeth, generally results from poor oral hygiene, such as lack of brushing and flossing. However, smoking, stress, poor nutrition, hormonal changes and certain medications are among other contributing factors. Left untreated, this condition can lead to a more serious infection known as periodontitis, which occurs below the gum line and damages the soft connective tissues and the bone that support the teeth. This largely preventable condition can cause bone and tooth loss and potentially increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and chronic disease.

If your gums are red and puffy and bleed easily when brushing or eating, seeking dental care sooner rather than later can help reverse any damage and potentially prevent other health problems. The long term effects of extended bacterial exposure is a source of disease for the entire body, as highly aggressive bacteria can make their way into the bloodstream. These periodontal pathogens are believed to be a contributing source of immune overreaction in the inflammatory disease patterns of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and possibly Alzheimer’s. As nearly half of the U.S. population over 30 years of age is estimated to have or be at risk for chronic periodontitis, this destructive inflammatory disorder needs to be addressed in order to protect general health.  

  • Diabetes – The association between diabetes and inflammatory periodontal disease has been well documented. Often considered a complication of diabetes, research suggests that periodontal disease adversely affects the metabolic control of diabetes. Conversely, diabetes increases the risk of developing periodontitis.
  • Cardiovascular disease – Studies have shown a strong connection between the importance of oral health in connection to heart health. The potential causal relationship between periodontal disease and heart disease suggests that treatment of gum disease may reduce the incidence of atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries that can cause heart attacks and strokes. While medical science cannot confirm that periodontitis causes heart disease, scientists believe the link involves more than the common shared inflammation response risk factor. General medical recommendations for people with periodontal disease include a medical evaluation for heart problems. For people with heart disease a dental exam is recommended to evaluate signs of periodontal disease.
  • Respiratory diseases – Current scientific findings suggest a link between periodontal disease and the development of respiratory tract diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and pneumonia, especially in the elderly population. Oral bacteria can reach the lungs through aspiration or inhalation, causing infections or a worsening of existing lung conditions.

Treatment for periodontal disease can involve deep cleaning, surgical and restorative procedures. Good lifestyle habits, including a well balanced and nutritious diet and not smoking, are important steps towards regaining periodontal health. As always, prevention, including habitual dental exams and good oral hygiene, and healthy habits, such as frequent brushing and daily flossing, are critical to preventing gum disease and maintaining good oral and overall health. One more tip, when the bristles on your toothbrush begin to wear and fray, it’s time to invest in a new brush!

Here are some suggestions for products and supplements that support oral health:

PerioBiotic Fennel Toothpaste
PerioBiotic Fennel Toothpaste by Designs for Health – This fluoride-free toothpaste contains a strain of probiotic that competes with unhealthy strains of oral bacteria. Additional active ingredients have been shown to promote dental and oral health. Also available in spearmint flavor.
CoQ10 ST 100
CoQ10 ST 100 by Metagenics - This highly bioavailable antioxidant formula helps to suppress the inflammatory response and helps prevent CoQ10 deficiency often seen in those with periodontal disease.
OraBliss™ by Quantum Nutrition Labs – This formula provides a unique patented probiotic for support of healthy teeth and gums. Suitable for ages 5 and up.
Ultimate-E (E143)
Ultimate-E (E143) by Thorne Research – This pure, undiluted vitamin E contains naturally occurring mixed tocopherols, which have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and help heal and preserve periodontal tissues.
Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste
Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste by Himalaya Herbal Healthcare – This fluoride and saccharin free toothpaste contains dependable time tested ingredients neem, triphala and pomegranate to keep teeth and tissues clean and healthy. Neem has been used for centuries for its powerful antimicrobial and antifungal properties.

Heart Healthy Strategies

Heart Healthy StrategiesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

As age is a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease, one reality of aging may be the realization that we need to pay more attention to cardiovascular fitness. In the U.S., heart disease is a major cause of disability and the number one cause of death. Prevention involves not just avoidance of serious heart health issues, but also includes circumventing lifestyle limitations, which might include high blood pressure, shortness of breath, fatigue or physical limitations. To reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease, lifestyle management strategies such as avoidance of smoking, limited alcohol consumption, stress reduction, restricted sodium intake, heart-healthy eating, and frequent moderate exercise are often highly recommended.

While blood pressure, weight and cholesterol levels are important in measuring heart health, chronic inflammation also puts your health at risk. Clinical studies have shown a compelling relationship between inflammation markers and the risk of future cardiac events. Chronic inflammation can potentially damage artery linings and contribute to the growth of artery clogging plaque formations. Taking steps to reduce smoldering, systemic inflammation can limit the damaging effects on the heart. Fortunately, the same lifestyle strategies that reduce cardiovascular risks, also reduce inflammation.

An anti-inflammatory diet, such as the Mediterranean diet, and maintaining a healthy weight are at the top of the list, as fat cells, especially those located in the abdomen, are like little inflammation factories that produce inflammatory proteins. In other words, fat cells are not inert; they play an active role in harming the body through a pro-inflammatory response. The most powerful way to reduce inflammation is through diet and the loss of excess weight. In general terms, barring genetic factors, your overall health largely depends on your own lifestyle choices, as many age-related diseases are preventable.

Supplements, in combination with healthy, nutrient dense foods and exercise, can ensure you are getting the full daily recommendations of vitamins and minerals in support of overall and cardiac health. Key areas for cardiovascular wellness include blood pressure maintenance, controlling blood lipid and blood sugar levels and stress management. The effective use of dietary supplements can provide support as you endeavor to maintain cardiac vitality.

Omega-3 fatty acids – Thought by many to be the most beneficial for protecting heart health, omega-3’s also help to reduce inflammation and support healthy blood pressure.

Coenzyme Q10 – As a very important nutrient for healthy heart function, CoQ10, and its reduced form ubiquinol, supports the heart muscle and contributes to healthy circulation and blood pressure.

Phytosterols – These naturally occurring compounds found in plant cell membranes are structurally similar to the body’s cholesterol. As a result, they compete with cholesterol for absorption in the digestive tract, which helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. The fiber found in plant foods has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol.

Astaxanthin – In addition to its powerful antioxidant and pain relieving benefits, astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory. By reducing inflammatory compounds, astaxanthin helps to reduce the risks of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

Lycopene – Studies show that lycopene helps to boost the body’s natural antioxidant defenses protecting against DNA cell damage. Additionally, lycopene is believed to be cardio-protective for its inflammation and blood pressure reduction benefits.

In addition to adopting the recommended healthy lifestyles guidelines, here are some unique supplements that will aid you in your quest for cardiac and overall wellness:

CardioCardio by NovaHue – This clinically supported complex contains patented standardized tomato extract plus a proprietary blend of 5 relevant phytosterols in support of heart health, a healthy circulatory system and maintenance of blood pressure already within the normal range.
Lycopene by Progressive Labs – As an effective free radical scavenging antioxidant, Lycopene may help to reduce the risks of heart and other age-related degenerative disease by lowering oxidized LDL cholesterol.
Astaxanthin 4 mg
Astaxanthin 4 mg by Pure Encapsulations – Derived from Hawaiian microalgae cultivated under pristine conditions, this powerful antioxidant supports the skin, macula, joints, immune and cardiovascular wellness.
Ubiquinol-QH (201899)
Ubiquinol-QH (201899) by Douglas Laboratories – This biologically reduced form of CoQ10 supports antioxidant, energy and cardiovascular function.
Plant Sterols
Plant Sterols by Ortho Molecular - Designed to provide support for healthy cholesterol levels, this product contains plant sterol esters for natural cardiovascular support.


WEEK 8: 90-Day Healthy Weight Challenge

Week8JenniferIconBy Jennifer Bement
Social Media Manager

Hoorah! The group made it past the plateau! After a couple of lackluster weeks, the team put up an impressive number this week – 18.5 lbs down in just one week! That brings the total lost up to 129 lbs with just five weeks to go.

This week’s loss goes to show that if you feel you aren’t making the gains you want, you just have to continue with the plan and push through. In looking at the group’s activity, it showed that many of them increased their exercise in order to make it past the plateau – some even doubled the distance they were walking and the amount of time they were spending at the gym. The vitamins and supplements do a great job of getting the body in the right set to lose the weight, but the work has to be put in to actually burn the weight off.

We have been so impressed with the tenacity of the group over the past eight weeks. They have changed their eating habits to healthier foods – no more junk food in the cafeteria; they are all doing some form of exercise; and the chatter around the office is incredibly supportive and collaborative. We can’t wait to see what the next five weeks bring!

Vitamin K’s Role In Health Support

VitKJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

Many of us are familiar with the mainstream vitamins A, B, C, D and E. If you have not yet heard about the benefits of vitamin K, read on, as it is fast becoming known as a key player in bone and cardiovascular health. Derived from the German word “koagulation,” vitamin K is actually a group of fat soluble vitamins that play a major role in blood clotting, protein synthesis and calcium uptake in bones. With vitamin K deficiency, bones can weaken, arteries and other soft tissues can calcify, blood clotting is critically impaired and the risk of excessive bleeding and osteoporosis is increased.

Naturally occurring vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is photosynthesized by plants, especially green leafy vegetables, making it the most predominant dietary form. Together with the liver, vitamin K1 helps to maintain healthy blood clotting. Vitamin K2, the most biologically active form, includes a range of vitamins, known as menaquinones. Vitamin K2 is synthesized by the microbiota located in the intestinal tract and can also be found in fermented foods. Vitamin K2 is utilized by blood vessel walls, bones and other tissues.

Even as our bodies make the most of all forms of vitamin K, the body’s ability to store vitamin K is limited. As such, stores are rapidly depleted and must be replenished on a daily basis. To increase your dietary intake, fermented soy-based foods naturally high in vitamin K2 such as natto, miso and tempe, are recommended. Naturally occurring vitamin K2 is often utilized in supplement formulations. Studies suggest that the absorption rate of supplemental vitamin K is higher than the rate of dietary absorption. A note of caution, those who take blood thinning medications that influence blood clotting, should avoid supplementing with vitamin K and should discuss their dietary vitamin K intake with their healthcare professional.  

True vitamin K deficiency, which can lead to excessive bleeding, is rare. Mild deficiencies can be caused by poor diet, medications, antibiotics and diseases such as celiac, liver, gallbladder or Crohn’s. Studies show that many of us may get enough Vitamin K from our diets to maintain adequate blood clotting but not enough to protect against arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis. Most importantly, taking calcium without complimentary nutrients, namely magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K, can have adverse effects, including the buildup of plaque in coronary arteries.

  • Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium. However, it’s the vitamin K that directs calcium into the bones and prevents it from being deposited in the soft tissues, organs and arteries.
  • The very complex process of clotting is dependent on at least 12 proteins, four of which require vitamin K to complete the process.
  • Research shows that a high intake of natural vitamin K2 may be cardio-protective through a reduced risk of arterial calcification.
  • Vitamin K2 is essential for the proper synthesis of the bone protein, osteocalcin, often used as a marker for bone formation processes. Higher blood levels of osteocalcin are well correlated with increased bone mineral density, as it helps to bind calcium into the bone matrix.  
  • Increasing evidence shows that vitamin K improves bone health and reduces the risk of bone fractures, especially in postmenopausal women at risk for developing osteoporosis.
  • Vitamin K is believed to be a critical nutrient for protecting cells that line blood vessels, including arteries and veins.

Now that you know about the role of vitamin K in protecting the health of your heart, blood vessels, organs and bones, here are great recommendations for supplementation:

 K-Force by Ortho Molecular – This supplement provides support for cardiovascular and bone health with a formulation that contains 180 mcg of K2 (as MK-7) plus 5000 IU of vitamin D3 per capsule. Gluten, yeast and soy free formula.
Vitamin K2 Menaquinone 7 (200913)
Vitamin K2 Menaquinone 7 (200913) by Douglas Laboratories – Each vegetarian capsule provides 90 mcg of Vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7. Wheat, soy, gluten and dairy free formula.
Vitamin K2 Liquid (1mg/drop) (K170)
 Vitamin K2 Liquid (K-170) by Thorne Research – This convenient, concentrated liquid form of vitamin K2 (as MK-4) provides 1 mg per drop in support of bone health. Non-GMO, gluten, soy and dairy free.
K1-1000™ (Vitamin K-1)
Vitamin K1 -1000™ (Vitamin K-1) by Bio-Tech - This supplement provides 1000 mcg of vitamin K1 per capsule in support of normal blood clotting and bone health. Gluten and soy free.
Rebuild Plus Osteoporosis Formula
Rebuild Plus Osteoporosis Formula by Metabolic Maintenance - This balanced formula contains magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3, and vitamin K1, plus additional minerals in support of healthy bones. Vegetarian capsule, excipient-free.