Internal Body pH Balance

phJacquieIcon

By Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Internal body pH balance refers to the ratio of acids to alkalis found in our body fluids and tissues. To achieve and maintain good heath, our body’s internal environment must maintain a proper pH balance just slightly above a neutral 7.0. This delicate pH balance is largely controlled by our lungs, kidneys, intestines and skin, which work to keep our internal environment in a slightly alkaline rather than an acidic state. This is no small feat, as various organs, tissues and fluids require different pH levels for optimal function, and acidic by-products from biochemical functions, food metabolism, exercise, immune responses and prolonged stress must all be neutralized. This means the body must maintain adequate alkaline reserves for optimal pH adjustment, while at the same time eliminating waste products. In order to accomplish this amazing feat, the body needs oxygen, water and acid-buffering minerals.

Why is pH balance so important? Simply put, balanced body chemistry supports long-term health. We thrive when our blood chemistry is slightly alkaline, ideally with a pH of 7.4. For numerous bodily functions, including metabolic, chemical, immunological and enzymatic reactions, a narrow pH range is necessary and even small changes can affect overall function and energy levels. Chronic imbalance in either direction can lead to illness and disease and put our body in a state of acidosis or alkalosis. Alkalosis, while uncommon, may be caused by hyperventilation, dehydration or certain medical conditions. Acidosis is largely due to the negative effects of our overly acidic diets, stressful lifestyles and certain health conditions, such as impaired breathing, diabetes and kidney or liver damage. Acidosis can lead to accelerated cell aging, inflammation, chronic fatigue, demineralization and organ damage, and may set the stage for a host of chronic health problems.

  • Respiratory acidosis occurs when the lungs cannot acquire sufficient oxygen, causing carbon dioxide levels in the blood to increase
  • Metabolic acidosis, a serious life-threatening condition, occurs when the kidneys are unable to filter all the acids from the blood
  • Diabetic acidosis or ketoacidosis occurs when the body cannot regulate blood sugar levels causing ketones build up in the blood stream
  • Lactic acidosis may occur after an intense period of physical exercise or a result of heart, kidney or liver disease

What can happen when our bodies are in an acidic state? Accelerated cell aging can be caused by toxin accumulation, stress and nutritional deficiencies, which all affect pH levels. Continuous exposure of cells to an overly acidic environment may cause alterations in cell structure, leading to deterioration of the cells. As your body draws from its alkaline mineral stores to neutralize excess acids, demineralization of stored minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium can potentially affect body organs and pose serious health risks. Fatigue is a common symptom of chronic acidosis. In an acidic body environment, diminished blood oxygen supply to the organs, cells and tissues impairs the ability of cell functions including repair, nutrient absorption, communication and mitochondrial energy production. Inflammation may occur as a result of chronic acid buildup, which may leave the organs more susceptible to infections and disease. Many disorders are associated with acidosis, including osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, organ failure, autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disease. 

As Americans, many of us live with chronic, low-grade metabolic acidosis. While a diet high in alkaline forming elements, such as most fruits and vegetables, is essential to the maintenance of sustained health, many of the foods we eat negatively affect our naturally alkaline environment. To work towards a healthy pH body level, make smart choices and build a diet around alkaline forming foods. As with any healthy diet, this involves cutting back on processed foods and oils, fried foods and foods high in sugar. Alkaline forming foods include most fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbal teas. Acid forming foods include most grains, meats, beans and dairy. Lean towards a more whole food plant-based diet of 60 -80% alkaline-forming foods and 20-40% acid-forming foods.

According to researchers, total healing of chronic illness takes place when the blood is restored to or maintained in a normal, slightly alkaline pH. Poor lifestyle choices and toxic chemical environments challenge our bodies to maintain homeostasis. You can help to tip the scale towards a healthier pH by eating a diet high in mineral-rich plant foods. Testing strips are available for home use to determine your own pH levels and to monitor how you are doing with your dietary changes. Consider plant-based dietary enzymes with your meals to assist in breaking down and assimilating nutrients, regardless of their pH. Supplementing with calcium, potassium and magnesium, getting moderate daily exercise and hydrating with plenty of water can aid your body in its continual quest for a balanced pH and homeostasis.

Products to monitor and aid your pH balance include:

pH Test StripspH Test Strips by Brightcore Nutrition – These super sensitive test strips provide a simple and convenient way to monitor your body’s acidity levels. Strips may be used for both urine and saliva samples. Easy to use, fast results. Each package contains 100 test strips.
 
 
pH-Basic™pH-Basic™ by Enzymedica – Designed to help maintain optimal pH levels, this product contains a synergistic blend of enzymes, nutrients and botanicals to enhance digestion and metabolic efficiency. Test strips to determine the effectiveness of the formula are included. Individual pH Strips also available. Gluten, soy and dairy free formula.
 
 
Acid to Alkaline (pH strips provided)
Acid to Alkaline by Neurobiologix – This non-chemical proprietary formula contains a blend of organic and wild crafted herbs to naturally assist alkaline pH balance for overall health. Test strips included. Gluten and lactose free, Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.
 
 
References:
The Importance of Maintaining a Proper pH Level.
http://centerforadvancedhealth.com/default.asp.pg-ImportanceofmaintainingaproperPhlevel
Acid-Base Balance.
http://www.healthline.com/health/acid-base-balance#Overview1
How You Rot & Rust.
http://biomedx.com/microscopes/rrintro/rr1.html
Acid-Alkaline Balance and Its Importance to Your Health. http://www.burtongoldberg.com/page84.html
Acid Alkaline Diet.
http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/acid-alkaline-diet

Got Menopause? Try Estrovera®

EstroveraSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

Truly, this is one product I am never without. As someone whose hot flashes never abated, I tried every natural solution I could get my hands on. Although, there are other natural alternatives that appeared to work well for others, none really seemed to provide relief from my own uncomfortable menopausal symptoms. Then I discovered Estrovera®, manufactured by Metagenics. Within a short period of time, natural, safe and clinically proven Estrovera® dramatically reduced the multiple hot flashes I had experienced on a daily basis. Even now, one year later, I still take Estrovera® every day. Occasionally, I miss a dose or two and I notice how quickly my symptoms return. If you are looking for non-hormonal support as you naturally transition through menopause, Estrovera® may be your solution as well.

Menopausal symptoms can vary for each woman and typically include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, brain fog and vaginal dryness. To relieve symptoms, some women opt for hormone replacement therapy, which has clear benefits for short-term use along with notable health risks for long-term use. For those who prefer the natural route, Estrovera is an exclusive, patented formula containing ERr 731®, an effective phytoestrogen obtained from rhapontic (Siberian) rhubarb root extract. In clinical trials, Estrovera®, which has been safely used for more than 20 years, has been shown to provide up to an 83% reduction in multiple menopausal symptoms, rivaling low-dose hormone replacement therapy without the adverse effects for long-term use.

How can Estrovera® help you? Clinical trials have demonstrated relief from a wide range of symptoms relating to menopause including sleep disturbances, irritability, physical exhaustion, urinary tract symptoms, sexual problems and of course, hot flashes. Estrovera® provides a clinically effective dose with just one tablet daily. Metagenics recommends taking the tablet around the same time each day. Personal preference should determine the best time for you. For women who experience most of their symptoms during the day, mornings might be best. For those who experience most of their symptoms during the night, evenings may be the best approach.

Highly rated by our customers, many report finding relief within a short period of time. For sure, Estrovera® works for me!

Should you have any questions about Estrovera® or any other product, please call or email Professional Supplement Center.

The Role of Protein In Exercise and Recovery

ProteinPowderJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

 

Healthy nutrition involves a balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats and fiber rich foods. Unless you are an athlete, you may not be aware that physically active people require more protein than sedentary folks. Vast research supports the belief that higher protein intake may actually improve exercise performance and optimize exercise recovery. The International Society of Sports Nutrition takes the following stand on the relationship between protein and exercise:

  • Adequate protein is essential to proper exercise recovery, immune function and the growth and maintenance of lean body mass
  • Factors that determine an optimal amount of protein for regular exercisers include protein quality, carbohydrate intake, type and intensity of exercise and timing of protein intake
  • Higher protein intake for healthy, active people may improve exercise training
  • Appropriately timed protein intake is an important part of an overall exercise training program
  • In healthy active people, higher protein intake, when part of a balanced nutrient dense diet, is not detrimental to kidney function or bone metabolism.
  • Protein supplementation is a practical way to ensure adequate quality protein intake for athletes
  • Specific amino acid supplements, such as branched-chain amino acids, may aid in exercise recovery or improve performance
  • Consuming insufficient amounts of protein can result in a negative nitrogen balance, which can lead to increased catabolism and impaired recovery

Not surprisingly, there is controversy regarding the safety and effectiveness of consuming protein in excess of daily recommended amounts. It is often reported that a long-term high protein diet may be unhealthy or put unnecessary strain on the kidneys, or contribute to osteoporosis by leaching calcium from bones and increasing calcium excretion. Others suggest that a higher protein intake will not have adverse effects in healthy, physically active individuals with normal kidney function. Currently, the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for protein, 56 grams per day for men and 46 grams per day for women, is based on body weight and a sedentary lifestyle. This is a fairly meager protein intake recommendation, enough to prevent deficiencies but maybe not quite enough for optimal health and body composition.

It’s fair to say that the right amount of protein varies considerably for each individual, and depends on factors such as activity levels, age, muscle mass, physique goals and current state of health. Whether your goal is to lose weight or build muscle, train for a marathon or improve overall health, an increase in quality complete proteins may work to your advantage. According to the National Institutes of Health, “There is significant evidence that individuals who are engaged in intense training require more dietary protein than their sedentary peers and that consuming protein and/or amino acids before, during and after exercise can enhance recovery, immune function and the growth and maintenance of lean body mass. Supplementing with protein and amino acids is a convenient way to ensure timely and adequate intake for the physically active. Adequate intake and appropriate timing has been shown to be beneficial in endurance, anaerobic and strength training exercise. “

The American College of Sports Medicine states that exercising on an empty stomach can lead to an increase in protein loss, making it more difficult for the body to repair and build muscle. Protein supplementation pre-exercise can help to improve body composition by increasing resting energy expenditure for up to 48 hours after exercise, helping to increase muscle mass and strength, improving recovery and aiding weight loss. Protein supplementation after exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis for up to three hours, while failing to eat after exercise may limit potential progress in lean muscle tissue development.

In short, physically active individuals require more dietary protein than those who are sedentary, and this can be obtained through whole foods and high quality supplemental protein sources:

Protein Plus GFCF - (Natural Vanilla)Protein Plus GFCF – Natural Vanilla by Neurobiologix – This well rounded plant protein blend features 5 hypoallergenic, vegan sources including pea, rice, hemp, chia and cranberry. This formula provides a well balanced amino acid profile and other unique ingredients to support detoxification and immune, digestive, bone and urinary tract health. Gluten, soy and dairy free vegetarian formula. Also available as Chocolate Delight.
 
 
Klean Isolate (KA57534P)
 
Klean Isolate (KA57534P) by Klean Athlete – One serving provides 20 g of pure, whey protein isolate. Gluten and soy free.   NSF certified for sport.
 
 
 
 
PaleoMeal - ChocolatePaleoMeal Chocolate by Designs for Health – This great tasting, nutrient-rich powdered meal supplement is designed to promote an optimal intake of the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals necessary for overall wellness. Contains biologically active proprietary whey protein with a complete complement of amino acids. Also available in Vanilla and Strawberry flavors.
 
Perfect Protein Vanilla
 
Perfect Protein Vanilla by Metagenics – This product is designed for athletes or those who desire naturally occurring whey protein isolate with a high biological value and an increased branched-chain amino acid profile. Mixes easily with food, water or juice.   Gluten free, non-GMO formula. Also available in Chocolate flavor.
 
References:
International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. http://www.jissn.com/content/pdf/1550-2783-4-8.pdf
Protein for exercise and recovery.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20048505
Protein Intake for Optimal Muscle Maintenance.  https://www.acsm.org/docs/default-source/brochures/protein-intake-for-optimal-muscle-maintenance.pdf?sfvrsn=4
 

Featured Brand – Pure Encapsulations

pureSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

As a leading developer and manufacturer of science-based, clinically relevant, hypoallergenic supplements, Pure Encapsulations is committed to providing bioavailable nutritional supplements that optimize long term health and wellness. All ingredients are selected on the basis of quality and purity and are provided in their most bioavailable forms by trusted suppliers from the U.S., France, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. Ingredient providers must meet rigorous testing and quality criteria to qualify as a supplier. No added coatings, fillers, binders, artificial ingredients or excipients are ever utilized in their hypoallergenic formulas. All products are manufactured in their own state-of-the-art GMP certified plant and are tested by certified independent laboratories. Independent microbiological testing ensures purity, safety, efficacy and potency.  

As Pure Encapsulations recognizes the importance of the guidance of a qualified health care professional, their high quality supplements are available only through licensed health care practitioners.

B Complex Plus
B Complex Plus – This exceptional combination of B vitamins provides nutrients in optimal bioavailable forms. B vitamins support hemoglobin formation, nervous system function, hormone synthesis and energy metabolism. Gluten and soy free, non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 
L-Glutamine 1,000 mg.L-Glutamine 1,000 mg – This product nutritionally supports the mucosal lining and the healthy functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. L-glutamine provides an important energy source for the GI tract, especially during stress or increased metabolic demand. Gluten and soy free, non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
 
UltraNutrient
UltraNutrient – This advanced formula provides broad spectrum nutritional support with core vitamins and minerals along with antioxidants and standardized phytonutrient extracts. UltraNutrient provides enhanced antioxidant, cardiovascular and liver support. Gluten and soy free, non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
NAC 600 mg
NAC 600 mg – This free-from amino acid delivers powerful antioxidant support and specifically supports immune and respiratory health and plays a role in heavy metal detoxification. One capsule provides 600 mg of extensively purified NAC along with 5 mg of Vitamin C. Gluten free, non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
 
Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 mg
 Alpha Lipoic Acid 600 mg – ALA is a multifunctional, versatile nutrient that supports metabolic processes and provides antioxidant protection from free radicals. ALA promotes healthy vascular and blood vessel function and supports healthy glucose metabolism. Gluten and soy free, non-GMO vegetarian formula.
 
 

Have Creaky Joints? Try MSM

MSMJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 
 

Methylsulfonylmethane, commonly known as MSM, is a naturally occurring organic sulfur compound that is becoming increasingly recognized as necessary for good health. MSM occurs naturally in the human body, largely as a result of the food we eat. Originating in seawater, MSM collects in the stratosphere where it is oxidized by ultraviolet light into dimethylsufloxide (DMSO) and further converted into MSM. Returning to earth along with rain, MSM is rapidly absorbed by plant roots and concentrated within the plant, which then converts MSM to sulfur-containing essential amino acids. MSM is abundantly found in raw, green plant foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and in seafood and animal products, especially when allowed to have their natural diet.

Along with calcium and phosphorus, sulfur is abundant in human body cells. Most is held in muscle tissue, skin and the skeletal system. High sulfur content is also found in hair and nails and in cartilage, collagen and connective tissues. Sulfur is vital to many biochemical processes and has remarkable biological, preventative and therapeutic properties, which help us to stay youthful and energetic. The many key functions of MSM include cellular energy production, collagen synthesis, detoxification and relief of pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, due to its volatile nature, most of the MSM found in food is lost during processing. Heat, pasteurization, irradiation and freezing for long periods of time results in poor food content of this very helpful and necessary chemical element.

Research shows that our bodies need a constant supply of MSM for optimal good health, as sulfur has beneficial effects on the normal function and structure of the human body. Studies show that most of us could benefit from supplementing with MSM, which is believed to quickly deliver elemental sulfur to the body in a usable way, especially when combined with vitamin C. Although outright deficiency is uncommon, science shows that joint degeneration, often seen in the aging population, parallels decreased sulfur content of cartilage. Critical to good joint health, sulfur strengthens joint tissues and is one of the fundamental building blocks of joint cartilage. MSM supplementation as an adjunct to a healthy diet has been studied extensively, and published peer-reviewed clinical research has shown that MSM is a safe and effective anti-inflammatory agent, resulting in increased joint comfort, reduced swelling, support for a normal range of motion and reduced muscle soreness.  

MSM is believed to support the body’s own repair and maintenance systems. In addition to its detoxifying potential, health benefits may include alleviation of allergy symptoms, as MSM helps to stabilize and increase the permeability of cell walls, allowing for removal of toxins and allergens. MSM may be useful in treating asthma due to its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to regulate the exchange of gases. MSM plays an important role in the production of glutathione, a very important antioxidant. Sulfur aids in the production of collagen and keratin, which are vital for healthy hair, skin and nails. MSM, or biologically active sulfur, has been widely tested as a food ingredient without any reports of allergic reactions or toxicity. As deficiencies can result in less than optimal functioning of cells, tissues and organs, there’s good reason to supplement with this “forgotten nutrient.” Dietary supplements are rich sources of beneficial biologically active sulfur, an oft overlooked nutrient considered extremely important to overall health and wellbeing.  

Now that you know about the importance of MSM, here are some suggestions for high quality supplementation:

MSM powder
MSM Powder by Pure Encapsulations - This popular joint health formula contains patented MSM, which provides 34% elemental sulfur that is crucial to maintaining connective tissue health. Also available in capsule form. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
 
 
 
MSM 1000 mg
 MSM 1000 mg by Designs for Health – This supplement provides 1000 mg of pure, premium MSM in support of overall health. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Kosher and Halal-certified vegetarian formulation. Also available as MSM Ultra Lemon and MSM Powder formulas.
 
 
 
MSM + Vitamin C (Fundamental Sulfur Tablets) (MSM)
MSM + Vitamin C by Douglas Laboratories – Each tablet provides 500 mg of MSM along with 100 mg of vitamin C and 25 mcg of cofactor molybdenum to assist in proper metabolism of sulfur. This well absorbed formula supports connective tissue health and aids in detoxification. Soy free vegetarian formula.
 
 
 
 MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)
 
MSM by Biotics Research – This supplemental source of pure MSM provides 830 mg per capsule. Gluten free formulation. Also available as MSM Powder.
 
 
 
References:
MSM Guide. Online. http://www.msmguide.com/facts/safety/
Efficacy of MSM. Online. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16309928
 
 

Recipe For Good Health In 8 Easy Steps

Eight_StepsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

We’ve all seen or read numerous interesting and informative articles reciting the rules for a long and healthy life. How many of us follow them? It seems we all know what we should do, but many of us with good intentions are not actually following a healthy lifestyle even though we hope for good health. Your healthy lifestyle may not necessarily be a perfect one but it can be one that makes it easy for you to support your health and wellness. That doesn’t mean it won’t take some effort to choose healthy foods over convenience or choose to exercise when you would really rather binge watch a great TV show.  

If you have read this far, it tells me that you are attuned to how lifestyle may affect your health.  As the Health and Wellness Editor for Professional Supplement Center, I’d like to share what I’ve personally learned from many hours of research. Basic healthy living comes down to 8 simple steps for maintaining good health and supporting healthy aging.   As you will see, they are all interconnected.

Here’s a brief synopsis of each step:

#1 – Eat nutritiously – I really can’t stress enough the importance of nutrition. It may help to remember that you have to eat well to be well. Eating well is not about dieting, counting calories or deprivation. To eat well is to eat simply, by choosing nutritious foods as close to their natural state as possible. Rather than concern yourself with limitations, think in terms of balance, freshness, color and variety. Here are some simple questions that I use to determine my own food choices: If I eat this food, will I feel good afterwards or will I feel bloated, cranky, tired or guilty? Will this food provide the nourishment my body needs or just tummy stuffing empty calories? For me, it comes down to choosing foods that feed either wellness or illness. If health is not the answer, I move on to something more nutritious. Equally important is hydration, so be sure to drink sufficient water every day to satisfy your thirst.

#2- Exercise regularly – We all know we should exercise every day, yet many of us can’t or won’t find the time to give our body the activity it craves. As a former ballet dancer, I know how good it feels to move your body and how well the body responds to frequent exercise. The thing about exercise is this, the more you move, the more your desire to move increases. By making exercise a part of your daily routine, you will start to see positive changes to your body image along with your physical and mental health and may actually find yourself looking forward to physical activity. Diabetes? Heart disease? Metabolic Syndrome? Nope, not for me, not if I have a better chance of avoiding disease by adding exercise to my daily routine. And not for you either if you can find some physical activity you enjoy and do it regularly. Your body is designed to move, so move it! Besides, you can always watch that TV show later without guilt, after you’ve exercised.

#3 – Get sufficient sleep - For those who want to maintain their health, scientific evidence supports sufficient sleep as an adjunct to a nutritious diet and 8stepsexercise. A poor night’s sleep not only affects our ability to create and concentrate, it also affects our ability to make healthy food choices. Insufficient sleep promotes hunger and increased appetite and negatively affects appetite hormone regulation and insulin response. Making a good night’s rest a priority not only aids attentiveness, productivity and mental alertness, it can aid in your quest for optimal weight and wellness. So put down those devices, turn off the TV and get regular, restful sleep and wake refreshed, energized and ready to tackle the day.

#4 – Maintain a healthy weight – Notice that I didn’t say you need to be as thin as a runway model. You can be slightly overweight and still be healthy. However, weight is more than a cosmetic concern. While at a healthy weight, our bodies can function efficiently for many years. On the other hand, obesity, largely attributed to poor lifestyle choices and other factors, is connected to many chronic diseases. If you are overweight, a reduction of 5 -10% of your body weight and long term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health gains and a reduced risk of developing chronic disease.

#5 – Reduce stress - Repeated exposure to prolonged and continuous stressors results in the chronic over-release of stress hormones and the subsequent breakdown or deregulation of many bodily systems and degenerating health. Chronic stress can accelerate the onset of disease, especially when combined with unhealthy life style habits including poor food choices, smoking or high alcohol consumption. Physical activity helps to deplete stress hormones and releases mood enhancing endorphins. Combine that with a good night’s sleep and some stress management activities such as yoga, meditation, or taking a nature walk and you are on your way to improved mental health and physical wellbeing.

#6 – Drink alcohol in moderation - This is an easy one for those of us who enjoy a daily glass of wine, a cocktail or a beer after work. It’s a hard step for those who have trouble stopping at one or two. Alcohol related liver disease is due to excessive consumption and is the most common preventable cause of liver disease. Liver health is crucial to over 500 essential functions relating to digestion, metabolism, immunity, detoxification and nutrient storage. As with any illness that comes with lifestyle choices, the best time to think about your health is before problems develop. Enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage, just be moderate in your intake.

#7 – Don’t smoke - Quitting smoking reduces the health risks caused by exposure to tobacco smoke for smokers and non-smokers alike. It is the single best thing you can do to support and improve your health. Quitting is difficult as the urge to smoke is powerful, but the addiction can be overcome. Don’t be one of those smokers who intend to quit “someday.” The right time is now and here’s why – If you can’t breathe, nothing else matters. If you’re a former smoker, bravo! There’s very good evidence that you have added quality years to your life.

#8 – Supplement with high quality nutraceuticals – Supplementing with high quality vitamins and nutraceuticals can fill in nutritional voids, support specific health concerns and keep our systems functioning optimally. While some of us may enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 25% of the population actually gets the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day and a startling 92% are deficient in one or more essential vitamins. Vitamins and minerals work synergistically, which means we need recommended amounts of all vitamins and minerals for our body to use them efficiently.

My best advice, listen to your body. If your body could choose between an apple or a candy bar, it would choose the apple. A glass of water or a soda? You know the answer. To recap, eat healthy most of the time, exercise most days and get restful sleep most nights, as this lifestyle trifecta helps to form a healthy weight. Following these simple steps, along with not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, reducing stress and taking your daily essential vitamin and mineral supplements, puts you on the right track to wellness and well on your way to overall healthy aging.  

Featured Brand – Herbalist and Alchemist

Herbalist_AlchemistSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

Professional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of Herbalist and Alchemist, a line of quality, safe and effective herbal supplements designed to support health and wellness. H&A was founded in 1982 by David Winston, a clinical herbal practitioner who had a mission to develop and manufacture the highest quality herbal supplements using only organically grown, ethically wild crafted or sustainably harvested plant material. H&A has created an environment of teamwork under which every process is continually monitored. H&A fosters long-term relationships with organic farmers and sustainable wildcrafters through fair and honest business practices to source whole, fresh raw materials locally and worldwide.

All extracts are produced on sight under Good Manufacturing Practices guidelines using a trademarked BIO-SPECIFIC™ process. These formulas are developed by herbalists trained in Western, Chinese, Ayurvedic and Cherokee herbal medicine. H&A works in conjunction with Rutgers University New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Department to optimize botanical selection and extraction processes. Identity and third party testing ensure species authentication and that all raw material and finished products are free of heavy metals and pesticides.  

Adrenal Balance Compound
 
Adrenal Balance Compound – This highly concentrated herbal compound is formulated according to each herbal ingredient’s distinct chemical makeup and is useful for promoting energy and balancing stress.
 
 
 Ashwagandha Extract
 
 
Ashwagandha (ASW) – Long used in Ayurvedic medicine to nourish the blood and rejuvenate the body, this formula, derived from withania somnifera root, aids in balancing endocrine function.
 
 Immune Balance Compound
 
 Immune Balance Compound™ – This immune balancing formula contains reishi fungus, turmeric rhizome, ashwagandha, licorice root and other herbs in support of overall healthy immune function.
 
 
 Men's Formula
 
Men’s Formula™ – This compound, comprised of ashwagandha root, maca root, panax ginseng and other herbs, is formulated for overall support of the male reproductive system and to support healthy sexual libido and function.
 
Sinus Support Compound
 
 
Sinus Support compound – Formulated with herbals such as echinacea root, eyebright and horseradish root, this formula supports healthy sinus function.
 
 
 Muscle/Joint Tonic
 
Muscle/Joint Tonic – This concentrated herbal extract contains sarsaparilla, turmeric and ginger rhizomes along with willow bark and other herbs in support of healthy muscle and joint function.
 

Nutrients for Healthy Skin

Healthy_SkinJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 
 

The combination of a nutritious diet and the right dietary supplements can help to give your skin a radiant, healthy and more youthful glow. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals obtained from good food and high quality supplements play an integral role in skin health and make an important difference in the overall look and feel of your skin. Many of us may slather our skin with expensive lotions and potions in pursuit of healthy looking skin without thinking about nutrition. While there are many very good personal skin care products for external application, it’s important to nourish your skin from the inside out if you really want to have the healthiest skin possible. To put your best face forward, fill your shopping cart with powerhouse foods that provide the nutrients your skin needs to fight age-related damage and look its best at every age.

For the healthiest skin, a combination of strategies, including diet, supplements, moisturizers, sunscreens, and healthy lifestyle habits, is necessary. Excessive sunlight exposure, smoking and environmental pollutants all contribute to photodamage, wrinkles and poor skin texture. Concentration on a healthy diet that includes a variety of antioxidant rich foods can provide valuable skin protection, as research shows antioxidant vitamins help support collagen and elastin and protect against DNA and sun damage. Conversely, limiting unhealthy processed foods and oils helps to reduce the negative effects of aging that contribute to unhealthy looking skin. A well rounded diet of healthy fats, sufficient protein and lots of nutrient rich fruit and vegetables is a recipe for a beautiful complexion.

Truth holds that we are what we eat, as studies have shown that people with poor diets, high in sugar and refined ingredients, are likely to have more wrinkles, less elasticity and more collagen loss. Diets rich in the nutrients that hinder inflammation help keep skin supple, provide natural sun protection and increase skin elasticity. Chronic skin conditions, such as acne or premature aging, are linked to chronic inflammation. Reducing inflammation by boosting immune function through good nutrition, detoxification and hormonal balance can significantly soothe and improve the skin.

Some might say that skin is a great communicator, as skin is often the first area where visible signs of aging are noticed. It pays to look inward to understand what’s going on with your health, as eventually health problems will show up on the skin. Apparently, beauty is not just skin deep, as skin health is linked to major functions of the immune, respiratory, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Paying attention to the health of your skin is one of the easiest ways to see how well your body is functioning. To ensure optimal skin and support overall health, make sure to feed your body the nutrition it requires and deserves including vitamins C, E, A, K and B complex, minerals such as zinc and selenium and omega-3 essential fatty acids.  

Moisturizers, such as those that contain antioxidant vitamins C and E, are great for overly dry or itchy skin. Topical applications of micronutrients in addition to dietary consumption can help feed the skin and maintain and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. Be sure to hydrate your body and your skin daily by drinking enough water to satisfy your thirst. Drinking a glass of water with each meal, one between meals and one before and after exercise is a good rule of thumb for sufficient hydration. While gravity and genetics may play a role, to maintain healthy skin as you age pay close attention to what you feed it. A balanced diet augmented with nutritional supplements and a healthy lifestyle may just be the best approach for overall health and lovely skin.

Supplement recommendations for vibrant and healthy skin include:

Skin Assist™Skin Assist™ by Vitanica – This product promotes healthy skin with supportive antioxidant nutrients along with B vitamins, minerals and herbs. These ingredients support physiological functions of the skin and balanced hormonal effect on the sebaceous glands in support of blemish-free skin. Wheat, dairy and sugar free vegetarian formula.
 
 
 
MSM powderMSM powder by Pure Encapsulations – This highly recommended product provides 34% bioavailable elemental sulfur necessary for maintaining connective tissue health, particularly collagen and keratin. MSM has anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties that help to benefit and strengthen the skin’s support matrix.
 
 
BioSil® Skin, Hair, Nails
 
BioSil® Skin, Hair, Nails by Natural Factors – BioSil® helps to increase skin elasticity by providing natural and safe ingredients that support the body’s own natural collagen production. Gluten, soy and dairy free formula.
 
 
 
Ultra HNS (201345)
Ultra HNS (201345) by Douglas Laboratories – This product is designed to support healthy skin aging as well as improve the strength and appearance of the skin, hair and nails. Ultra HNS provides high dose biotin, zinc and vitamin C along with patented, solubilized keratin for skin structural support.
 
 
 
MSM Liposome Lotion
 
MSM® Liposome Lotion by Now Foods – Manufactured to contain the purest level of MSM, this lotion uses liposome technology for superior topical penetration and absorption to promote healthy skin and maintain skin elasticity. ON SALE!  30% OFF  Shop Now
 
 
References:
Micronutrients and Skin Health. 
http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/skin.html
Nutrients for Healthy Skin: Inside and Out. 
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=50505
Wrinkles In-Depth Report. 
http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/wrinkles/print.html

Protect Your Eye Health With Nutrition

Eye_HealthJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Beautiful eyes attract attention and are an incredibly useful form of natural communication. A wink or a rapid blinking of the eyelashes has been known to set countless hearts aflutter. Eye contact allows for numerous non-verbal signals that can indicate interest, desire, affection, aggression, anger and a sea of other positive and negative emotions. While many may think of ways to make their eyes ever more attractive through the use of makeup, surgical intervention or colored lenses, underlying eye health is more important than beauty. When we’re young adults, we may not think a lot about the health of our eyes beyond an annual eye exam. The aging population, however, may be far more aware of the risks of age-related deteriorating eye health.

Degenerative eye disease such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and cataracts all contribute to age-related vision loss. As with most age-related diseases, prevention strategies are the best way to avoid the risks of developing chronic eye conditions. The good news is that research shows a strong connection between eye health maintenance and healthy lifestyle habits, especially good nutrition, not smoking and a sustained healthy weight. To aid in maintaining healthy vision well into your golden years, it’s particularly important to feed your eyes specific nutrients through a combination of diet and supplements.

A diet rich in high antioxidant colorful fruits and vegetables, especially reds, greens and blues, contains distinct nutrients that benefit the eyes as well as overall health. These nutrients are essential to eye health and may possibly improve eyesight and prevent or slow the progression of vision related conditions. Those of us with a steady diet of processed and fast foods are unlikely to obtain the daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain eye and overall health. Fortunately, along with a healthy diet, high quality supplements and nutraceuticals can assure that you are getting the full complement of nutrients. What are these nutrients and what is their role in eye health?

Phytochemicals, flavonoids and polyphenols – Plant chemicals aid overall health and wellness and represent the greatest deficiency in the American diet. In order to maintain optimal health and vision, add a variety of vegetables and fruits to your daily diet to take advantage of their health promoting and disease fighting properties.

Astaxanthin – There’s good reason to supplement with this powerful antioxidant. As a naturally occurring carotenoid, astaxanthin supports eye health by its ability to cross barriers in order to reach the retina. Clinical trials have shown that astaxanthin aids diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, helps fight eye fatigue and reduces inflammation.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids – Along with other numerous health benefits, omega-3’s appear to promote healthy eyes and vision, provide protection against age-related oxidative damage and benefit dry eye syndrome by supporting healthy tissue moisture and tear production. Scientific evidence supports omega-3’s for proper visual development, retinal function and maintenance of eye tissue throughout life.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin – Studies have shown these eye friendly nutrients reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases including AMD and cataracts. Lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in large amounts in the macula and the peripheral retina of the eyes, function as antioxidants and filter out eye damaging blue light.

Vitamin A – Not only essential for maintaining healthy skin and a healthy immune system, vitamin A aids in supporting retinal health and plays a role in producing the tears that moisturize the eyes. Vitamin A also helps prevent night blindness and inhibits the formation of cataracts.

Vitamin C – Evidence suggests that vitamin C’s antioxidant properties may lower the risk of developing cataracts and when taken in combination with other essential nutrients, can slow the progression of AMD, cataract formation and visual acuity loss.

Vitamin E – Vitamin E reduces the progression of cataract formation and in combination with vitamin C and zinc, can slow the progression of advanced AMD in individuals at high risk for the disease. As the body does not synthesize vitamin E, daily intake through diet or supplementation is important for good eye health maintenance.

Zinc – Necessary to help in the absorption of antioxidants and in the transport of vitamin A, zinc is highly concentrated in the eyes, particularly the retina. Impaired vision and poor night vision are linked to zinc deficiency. As another nutrient not synthesized by the body, zinc must be obtained through dietary or supplemental sources to help slow the progression of AMD and to protect against night blindness.  

The following highly rated, advanced formulas support eye and vision health:

Eye & Body Complete (Formerly Macula Complete)
 
Eye & Body Complete by BioSyntrx – This high energy, broad spectrum, properly balanced, all-in-one formula is designed to support optimal eye, body and mitochondrial energy function with vitamins, minerals and antioxidant phytochemicals.
 
VisionPro Nutrients
 
VisionPro Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations – This comprehensive multivitamin/mineral formula is designed to support ocular heath, visual function, tear production, eye integrity and overall health. Non-GMO formulation.
 
 
Optic-Plus
 
Optic-Plus by Biotics Research – This formula provides vitamins, minerals, antioxidant enzymes, key carotenoids and phytochemicals in support of healthy ocular function.
 
 
 
Lutein-Plus (83031)Lutein-Plus (83031) by Douglas Laboratories – This product contains lutein naturally sourced from marigold flowers along with a proprietary blend of green phytonutrients and carotenoids. These ingredients support overall eye health and provide protection from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Gluten, soy and dairy free formula.
 
 
References:
Nutrition for Healthy Eyes.  http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/nutrition_summary.htm
Adding Powerful Antioxidants To Your Diet Can Improve Your Eye Health.  http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition?sso=y
Healthy Eyes – Eating Right for the Eyes.  http://www.eyehealthweb.com/healthy-eyes/
5 Reasons to Take Astaxanthin Every Day. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzy-cohen-rph/astaxanthin_b_2750910.html
Look to Fruits and Vegetables for Good Eye Health. https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/0911/

Featured Brand – SmartyPants

SmartyPantsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor
 

Professional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of SmartyPants, a line of all-in-one gummy vitamins suitable for children and adults alike. SmartyPants supplements combine well researched and supported nutrients, multivitamins, omega-3’s, and vitamins D3 and B12 into an easy-to-take healthy and delicious formula to provide wellness support. SmartyPants vitamins are manufactured in California in a GMP certified/FDA compliant facility using only high quality, bioavailable nutrients sourced in the USA and Canada. USP certified eco-friendly fish oil is sourced from wild-caught, sustainably harvested sardine and anchovy fisheries in Peru.

All ingredients are third party tested for purity, efficacy and environmental toxins. All products are gluten, dairy, iron, MSG and GMO free and contain no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, synthetic sweeteners or high fructose corn syrup. Only certified organic cane sugar, natural flavors and food based colors are utilized in their formulas.

Adult Complete
Adult Complete – Naturally flavored orange, lemon and strawberry-banana gummies provide bioavailable forms of key vitamins and minerals, EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids and 900 IU of vitamin D3. 100% non-GMO formulation.
 
 
Adult Complete Travel Packs
Adult Complete Travel Packs – Each handy travel pack contains the recommended daily serving of 6 naturally flavored gummies. These good for you gumdrops make it easy to get your multi’s, omega 3’s, and vitamins D3 and B12 while you are on the go. 100% non-GMO formulation. Travel Packs are also available in children’s formula.
 
Adult Complete + Fiber
 
Adult Complete + Fiber – This formula contains all the ingredients of Adult Complete with the addition of naturally sourced soluble fiber and no added sugar. This product supports wellness along with digestive health and regularity and aids in stimulating friendly, beneficial microflora.
 
 
Kids CompleteKids Complete – This Non-GMO formula provides 4-in-1 high quality goodness without artificial ingredients or high fructose corn syrup and is specifically formulated to support children’s health with multivitamins, omega-3’s, and vitamins D3 and B12. Kids are sure to love these yummy, naturally flavored orange, lemon and cherry flavored gumdrops that offer a complete wellness formula.
 
Kids Fiber Complete
Kids Fiber Complete – This formula removes the added sugar and adds fiber for children who need additional fiber. One serving provides 4 g of soluble fiber to help keep kids digestive systems on track and promote overall health. Also available as Kids Fiber Complete Travel Packs for on the go families.