Ramp Up Immune Defenses Before Cold and Flu Season

Immune_DefenseJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



If you are not already thinking about it, now is the time to ramp up your immune defenses to help you stay healthy during the upcoming cold and flu season. We are all, at times, exposed to cold and flu viruses, but not everyone succumbs to every little bug that the children may bring home or a coworker may bring to the office. If you are highly susceptible and seem to catch colds often or get the flu every winter, perhaps you should take a closer look at how well you support the health of your immune system.

The immune system is not a single entity. For optimal function, the entire immune system requires balance and homeostasis. For optimal function, your immune system would likely welcome a little help on your part. Other than the obvious advice to wash your hands frequently, politely decline handshaking and avoid getting close to people who are coughing, sneezing and sniffling, there are steps you can take to minimize your chances of getting sick or, at the very least, lessen the severity or duration of a cold or flu illness.

Perhaps the best way to fight off colds and flu is through preventative measures. When the immune system operates at peak function, your body has the upper hand in warding off invading pathogens to keep you illness free. When the immune system is impaired, a virus is much more likely to gain a foot hold. As 70% of your immune function originates in your intestinal tract, a strong immune system must rely on a healthy and well functioning gut.

The health of our gut flora is critical for overall immunity. Gastrointestinal immune cells are among the first line of defense, as white blood cells, T-cells and B-cells rush to defend the digestive tract against invading bacteria and pathogens that cause illness. These beneficial bacteria provide additional immune defense by protecting the intestinal wall to prevent the absorption of pathogens into the blood stream.

  • Probiotic foods and supplements ensure that there are plenty of friendly microbes to help reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. One study showed that those who took probiotics were 42% less likely to succumb to a cold virus. Prebiotics, such as FOS, and fermented foods, such as kimchi and kefir, support the health of beneficial microbes.
  • Don’t skimp on nutrition or hydration. Studies show that those who restrict their diets during flu season are more likely to catch the flu and suffer more ill effects and a longer duration. Staying well hydrated helps your mucous membranes and immune cells defend against cold viruses.
  • Ramp up your defenses with high antioxidant foods, such as berries and walnuts, and with supplements that support immunity and fight inflammation. Avoid sugar and processed foods that feed the pathogens and viruses that are detrimental to immune health.
  • Don’t use weather as an excuse to stay indoors. You are more likely to pick up viruses indoors rather than outdoors. Being outside and getting regular, moderate physical activity helps to boost your immune defenses and increase your resistance to illness, which may result in fewer colds.
  • Don’t ignore your allergies. Allergies are an immune disorder that cause the immune system to mistakenly attack a harmless substance. If your upper respiratory tract is already inflamed, it’s easier to acquire a virus. Research has shown that high levels of stress can exacerbate existing allergies. Mediation, which helps to reduce the physical effects of stress that weaken the immune system, may also help improve allergy symptoms.
  • Don’t skimp on sleep. Although many of us don’t get enough sleep, making sleep a priority can help keep you healthy through the winter flu season. Your immune system is most effective when you are not sleep deprived. According to a study at Carnegie Mellon University, poor sleepers were almost 3 times more likely to catch a cold. Aim for 7- 8 hours of sleep nightly.
  • Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D by getting small amounts of sunshine, eating vitamin D fortified foods and supplementing. Published studies show that vitamin D is a very effective antimicrobial agent that can aid your body in fighting and preventing illness.
  • Zinc has powerful immune-boosting properties and may prevent cold cells from replicating, which may help to shorten the duration of a cold and the severity of symptoms, especially when taken at the first signs of illness.
  • Find ways to add garlic to your diet or take a garlic supplement. Allicin, a substance found in garlic, has been shown to fight viruses and help prevent colds. Other herbs and spices, such as oregano and turmeric, have also been shown to support immunity.
  • Those who regularly drink green tea appear to have an overall lower rate of infection. Add in some manuka honey with propolis for an additional immune and antioxidant boost.
  • Medicinal mushrooms contain some of the most potent immunosupportive agents, providing both nutrition and health benefits. Long considered a functional food, mushrooms, such as shiitake, reishi, cordyceps and turkey tail, have been shown to have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, which may offer some protection from seasonal colds and flu by boosting immune defenses.
  • Deficiencies in micronutrients can increase susceptibility to infection and illness, as nutritional status and immunity are closely linked. Take out additional insurance by getting your full array of vitamins and minerals daily to help your immune system fight off colds and flu.

Supplements that support immune health include:

UltraNutrientUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This advanced formula is designed to provide high potency, broad spectrum nutritional support. The formula includes core vitamins and minerals, advanced antioxidants, standardized phytonutrients and herbal extracts in bioavailable forms. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Immunitone PlusImmunitone Plus by Designs for Health – This powerful immune supportive formula contains standardized herbs known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties. Contains green tea extract, echinacea, astragalus, beta glucans, an array of medicinal mushrooms plus additional herbal extracts. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formula.


ImmuneProImmunePro by PRO Symbiotics – This immune system stabilizer provides professional strength immune boosting Colostrum with Immulox. The formula contains a high concentration of immunoglobulins and proline-rich polypeptides along with beta glucans. Gluten free.


Vital-Immune Biotic (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)Vital-Immune Biotic by Klaire Labs – This hypoallergenic blend of 3 strains of lactobacillus plus bifidobacterium is designed to assist the growth and maintenance of beneficial microflora that support immune system function. One daily capsule provides 5+ billion CFUs. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formula.


Immune Support Kit for KidsImmune Support Kit for Kids by Childlife® Essentials – This immune support kit for children contains 3 liquid formulas – vitamin C, echinacea and First Defense, a unique herbal and mineral formula designed to stimulate natural immune responses. Suitable for ages 6 months to 12 years. Gluten, soy, dairy and egg free.

Allergies and the Immune System. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/conditions/allergy_and_asthma/allergies_and_the_immune_system_85,P00039/
7 Ways to Boost Your Immune System for Cold and Flu Season. http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/boost-your-immune-system-cold-flu-season/#07
The “forbidden fruit” of medicinal mushrooms. http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/02/health/tedmed-mushroom-man/
23 Immunity-Boosting Tips. http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/colds-flu-prevention-strategies-and-immune-boosters
How to Boost Your Immune System. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

Let’s Talk Neurotransmitters

NeurotransmittersJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that allow signals to cross synapses to transmit information from a nerve cell or neuron to a target cell. Essentially, a synapse is the junction point between two neurons. As the basic working unit of the brain, neurons are specialized cells within the nervous system that allow the brain to transmit electrically charged messages to other nerve, gland and muscle cells. Because neurotransmitters relay information that causes reactions, such as telling a muscle to contract or a gland to secrete a hormone, anything that affects the behavior of neurotransmitters affects the function of the body. By their effects on neurotransmitter receptor cells, neurotransmitters coordinate behavior by stimulating an action or inhibiting an impulse.

Scientists have identified at least 100 neurotransmitters, and evidence suggests we may have a significantly higher amount. Many neurotransmitters are synthesized from precursors like amino acids. Each one performs specific tasks and plays a major role in everyday life and function. To be identified as a neurotransmitter, a chemical must be synthesized in a neuron, must be released and produce a targeted response and must have a mechanism to remove the chemical from the activation site once it has finished its intended function. Neurotransmitters are commonly described as either inhibitory or excitatory.

Neurotransmitter imbalances are connected to diseases and health conditions, including Parkinson’s, depression, insomnia, anxiety, cravings, ADHD, memory loss, fatigue, low libido, weight problems and addictions. Aging, chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, environmental toxins and alcohol and drug abuse are believed to be primary contributors to neurotransmitter imbalances. Many medications are designed to address symptoms of illness by effectively targeting and altering neurotransmitter activity. The identification and function of neurotransmitters remains an open field of scientific study. However, we do now know that a single neuron can produce several different neurotransmitters.

Some of the more familiar identified neurotransmitters include:

Dopamine – Dopamine functions as both an inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitter and is critical for memory and motor skills. Dopamine plays a role in behavior, learning, sleep, mood, focus, attention, immune health and pleasurable reward. Pleasurable situations, such as eating and sexual activity, stimulate the release of dopamine. Abnormal dopamine levels are associated with attention deficit, exhaustion, Parkinson’s disease and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Certain addictive drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, inhibit the re-uptake of dopamine, increasing the amount of dopamine in the reward centers. Stimulants, such as prescription medications that address symptoms of ADD and ADHD, temporarily address symptoms of low dopamine.

GABA – As the major inhibitory neurotransmitter widely distributed in the brain, GABA is considered a significant mood modulator. When GABA levels are too low or GABA action is impaired, neurons can become overexcited, which can lead to restlessness, anxiety and irritability. The natural function of GABA is to reduce any overactivity or over-excitability of neurons throughout the nervous system, promoting calmness and relaxation and decreasing brain activity. GABA aids neurons in recovery after firing, helping to reduce anxiety and worry. Pharmaceuticals that enhance GABA action are used to treat anxiety, seizures, restless sleep and other neurological or psychological disorders.

Glutamate – The most common neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, glutamate is an excitatory relative of GABA that is involved in most aspects of brain functioning, including cognition, learning and memory. Glutamate is considered a major mediator of excitatory signals, regulating brain development as well as the elimination and formation of nerve synapses. Glutamate is located within the cells, where it remains relatively inactive until needed. It is released in highly controlled amounts and is quickly taken back into the neuron once the message has been delivered. High levels of glutamate are actually toxic and can inflict massive neuron damage if spilled into brain tissue, such as when caused by a stroke or traumatic brain injury.

Serotonin – Present in the brain and digestive tract, inhibitory neurotransmitter Serotonin has been identified as an important factor in mood, depression, anxiety, sleep quality, emotions and the regulation of appetite and body temperature. Serotonin imbalances are involved in depression, impulsive behavior, sleep and emotional disorders, increased appetite and aggressiveness. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are commonly prescribed medications that ease symptoms of depression and anxiety. Pharmaceuticals that help people with depression work by preventing neurons from mopping up excess serotonin.

Acetylcholine (ACh) – This widely distributed excitatory neurotransmitter was the first neurotransmitter to be identified. ACh triggers voluntary muscle contraction, controls the heartbeat and stimulates the excretion of certain hormones. Research suggests that ACh may be critical for sleep, attentiveness, sexuality and memory. Alzheimer’s disease is associated with a lack of ACh in certain brain regions. Medications that increase ACh in the brain are the primary drugs used to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

Video Let's Talk Neurotransmitters

Norepinephrine – Also known as nor-adrenaline and widely distributed throughout the body, norepinephrine acts as a neuromodulator, optimizing brain performance. As part of the body’s fight or flight response, norepinephrine quickly provides an accurate assessment of danger or stressful situations. Excessive amounts of this chemical, especially when no actual danger exists, can leave you anxious and hyperactive, while moderately low amounts have beneficial effects on sleep, concentration, inflammation and stress resilience.

Epinephrine – Widely known as adrenaline, epinephrine is both a neurotransmitter and a hormone that is essential to metabolism, attention, mental focus and our innate response to stress, fear, anger, panic or excitement. Synthesized from norepinephrine and released by the adrenal glands, epinephrine results in a state of hyperawareness followed by an energy surge that quickens the heartbeat, strengthens the force of the heart’s contraction and opens air passages in the lungs. Abnormal levels of epinephrine are linked to sleep disorders, anxiety, hypertension and lowered immunity.

The importance of neurotransmitters cannot be understated. Neurotransmitters control our wondrous and highly complicated human body, including our thought patterns, senses, moods, breathing, heart rate, appetite, digestion, voluntary and involuntary movement, reflexes, hormones, emotions, desires, memories, obsessions and personality. Nutritional support for neurotransmitter synthesis includes amino acids, fundamental building blocks of neurotransmitter production. Turmeric, glutathione, NAC, selenium and magnesium all support neurotransmitter activity. In addition, 30 minutes of daily exercise is believed to boost brain serotonin levels.

NAC 600 mgNAC 600 mg by Pure Encapsulations – This free-form amino acid combined with vitamin C provides powerful antioxidant support. As a precursor to glutathione, NAC aids in support of healthy lung function and helps maintain a healthy immune response. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Liposomal Glutathione (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)Liposomal Glutathione by Empirical Labs – Scientifically studied liposomal technology allows for the use of non-hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine as a delivery system for glutathione. Each serving provides 500 mg of reduced glutathione along with 400 mg of natural phosphatidylcholine for optimal absorption, maximum nutrition and potent antioxidant protection. Non-GMO formulation.


Turmeric Max-V 100 mg (77377)Turmeric Max-V 100 mg by Douglas Laboratories – Turmeric’s powerful antioxidant properties are believed to play a role in supporting neurological and cardiovascular function. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to support ocular and gastrointestinal function, one capsule supplies 100 mg of turmeric herbal extract standardized to 95% curcuminoids. Soy free, vegan formula.


Gaba 750 mgGABA 750 mg by Integrative Therapeutics – Produced naturally in the brain, this amino acid aids in the production of inhibitory neurotransmitters, calming overexcited nerve impulses, reducing anxiety and aiding relaxation. Gluten, lactose and soy free, vegetarian formula.


The Neuron. http://www.brainfacts.org/brain-basics/neuroanatomy/articles/2012/the-neuron/
Neurotransmitter – Function and Characteristics. http://science.jrank.org/pages/4624/Neurotransmitter.html
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/ssris/art-20044825
Dopamine Functions. http://www.news-medical.net/health/Dopamine-Functions.aspx
The Neurotransporter Group. http://neurotransporter.org/glutamate.html
Protecting the Brain from a Glutamate Storm. http://www.dana.org/Cerebrum/2007/Protecting_the_Brain_from_a_Glutamate_Storm/
Effects of Nutrients on Neurotransmitter Release. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK209058/

Featured Brand – Metagenics®

metagenicsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor



Since 1983, Metagenics® has strived to offer a unique and natural approach to wellness by delivering effective, safe and reliable formulas for targeted, enhanced health support. As an industry leader and pioneer of the scientific concept known as Nutrigenomics, Metagenics® develops research-based medical foods, nutraceuticals and lifestyle medical programs designed to address an individual’s health and genetic potential through nutrition. In order to provide innovative formulas of the highest possible quality, Metagenics® remains committed to genomic and proteomic (cellular protein) research in order to identify plant-based derivatives and nutrients that positively influence health.

Video Metagenics

Beginning with sound scientific research, Metagenics® verifies every ingredient for proper form, safety, identity, purity, and efficacy and monitors every stage of production to deliver quality products that live up to their scientific promise. Metagenics® has received three independent certifications for Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) and continues to exceed these requirements with additional in-house and independent third party testing. To ensure consistent and successful outcomes for patients, Metagenics® works directly with healthcare professionals and, as such, their high caliber, Non-GMO formulas and resources are available solely through clinicians and healthcare providers.

Top selling formulas from Metagenics® include:

OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720OmegaGenics® EPA-DHA 720 – This product provides a healthy balance of pharmaceutical grade omega-3 essential fatty acids in support of healthy blood lipids and cardiovascular and overall health. Contaminant free, preserved with natural antioxidants and produced in a licensed Norwegian laboratory from sustainably sourced cold water fish. Natural lemon-lime flavor in a gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.


EstroveraEstrovera® – This exclusive, patented formula provides clinically proven, non-hormonal, highly effective support for menopausal symptom relief. This very popular natural product is validated for safety and effectiveness by long-term clinical studies and has been shown to dramatically reduce multiple uncomfortable menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, irritability and emotional exhaustion. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


UltraFlora Balance (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)UltraFlora® Balance – This 5 star rated product provides a nutraceutical blend of pure and highly viable strains of probiotics in support of intestinal integrity, digestive function and immune health. One daily capsule provides 15 billion viable microorganisms. Gluten, dairy and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Mag GlycinateMag Glycinate – This easily absorbable, well-tolerated magnesium amino acid chelate is designed to support muscle relaxation and nervous system health, while improving bowel tolerance of magnesium. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Should you have any questions about these or any other products from Metagenics®, please visit, call or email Professional Supplement Center


Now Where Did I Put My Keys?

Where_KeysJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Forgetfulness happens to all of us. We walk into a room and can’t remember what we were looking for, or we’re late getting out the door in the morning and have no idea where we put the car keys. We forget names, where we left our glasses, an appointment, an item at the grocery store or some of the seemingly millions of other little details we are tasked to remember every day. As we age, these incidents may occur more frequently and most of the time are simply a part of normal aging and not a cause for concern. It can be frustrating, worrying or annoying, but small memory lapses or forgetfulness do not necessarily indicate more serious cognitive impairment. The majority of the time, when we stop to think for just a moment longer, we find what we were looking for, remember the name of the person we recently met or realize that, yes, we did turn off the coffee pot or lock the door before we left the house.

Increasing memory loss or memory lapses that interfere with normal life are indeed a cause for concern and a good reason to check in with your doctor. However, worrying and fretting about occasional memory slips can actually make matters worse. Stress, anxiety, depression and sleep deprivation are the major causes of forgetfulness in aging brains. Distraction, inattentiveness, fatigue, medications and trying to juggle our overly busy lives can also affect how well we remember. The ability to immediately recall names or faces may actually begin to slow years before we notice, as the ability to recall information ebbs and flows over a lifespan. And while reaction times and certain memory abilities may slow with age, other skills such as increased vocabulary, the ability to use both sides of our brains simultaneously and a heightened ability to reconcile our thoughts with our feelings may not peak until our mid-sixties.

Let’s consider some of the more likely causes of memory slips:

Chronic stress – While some stress is unavoidable, chronic stress can cause damage to both bodily and brain functions. Constant exposure to the stress hormone cortisol can cause our brain to lose synapses and can reduce neurotransmitter receptors. Basically, overexposure to cortisol temporarily interferes with normal brain cell communication, making it more difficult to learn new concepts and retrieve information.

Sleep deprivation – While we sleep, our brains are busy sorting and storing memories. Those with impaired sleep and sleep disorders can experience symptoms of impaired memory and concentration, reduced reaction time, anxiety and fatigue.

Thyroid dysfunction – The thyroid is critical to many metabolic functions, including energy metabolism. An underactive thyroid, not uncommon in older adults, can cause difficulty with memory and attention span and leave you unable to think clearly. Although not generally considered to be the root cause of memory lapses, if you are experiencing cognitive problems along with sensitivity to cold, fatigue or depression and these symptoms persist, a simple blood test can confirm if the thyroid hormone level is inadequate for normal function.  

Anxiety and depression – There’s strong evidence indicating mood disorders can disrupt our brain’s neural circuitry involved in storing and retrieving memories. Severe depression may also bring about equally severe memory loss. Often times, when depression lifts, memory loss improves along with mood.

Menopausal symptoms – Women who experience hot flashes know that feeling of “brain fog,” which actually may worsen the ability to remember names and experiences. Although the symptoms are temporary, other menopausal symptoms, such as sleep disturbances, can also contribute to memory issues.

Certain medications – Some commonly prescribed medications, including antidepressants, anxiety meds, painkillers and sleep aids, can cause forgetfulness or confusion by interfering with the brain processes that move short-term memories to long-term storage.

Vitamin B12 deficiency – Commonly found in older adults, an unrecognized vitamin B12 deficiency can not only negatively affect memory, it can cause severe neurological problems. Fortunately, a severe deficiency can be corrected with weekly vitamin B12 injections or daily high dose vitamin B12 supplements. A mild deficiency can be corrected with a daily high quality B complex or multivitamin.  

As we age, it can become more difficult to maintain a high level of concentration when attempting to multitask, leading us to believe we are having memory problems when we simply need to divide our tasks into more manageable portions. This doesn’t mean that we should just accept or ignore any memory impairment. Fortunately, our brains are malleable and we can boost our brain power with simple but powerful interventions. Begin by getting better sleep, cleaning up your diet and getting some all important daily exercise. Everything that is good for heart and overall health is also good for boosting brain health. To help maintain a mental edge, give your brain a daily workout by consciously acquiring new skills and challenging your brain to learn something new.

Remember, unless memory lapses become extreme or persistent, forgetfulness is within the scope of normal aging. Abnormal forgetfulness is more complex than just failing to remember. Loss of abilities, deteriorating functions and negative changes in behavior patterns all indicate a need to seek a medical diagnosis. Generally speaking, if you are aware of your memory lapses and those close to you are not worried, it’s likely annoying but not necessarily an indication of a more serious condition. However, if family members are concerned or the forgetfulness is interfering with normal everyday tasks or your ability to care for yourself and is happening whether you are stressed or not, sleeping well or poorly, it may be a sign of early cognitive impairment that should be addressed sooner rather than later.

Supplements to support healthy cognitive function include:

PhosphatidylCholine 420mgPhosphatidylcholine 420 mg by Designs for Health® – An integral component of every bodily cell, extensively researched Phosphatidylcholine supports mental energy and plays an important role as a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential to learning and memory. Additionally, Phosphatidylcholine helps maintain cell structure and supports fat metabolism, nerve signaling and liver health. Gluten and dairy free. Contains soy.


Alpha-GPCAlpha-GPC by Pure Encapsulations – This product provides a source of choline, a precursor for synthesis of the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and phosphatidylcholine. Alpha-GPC supports memory and cognitive and neurological function. Non-GMO formula. Contains soy.


Memoractiv (SF737)Memoractiv by Thorne Research – This comprehensive memory-enhancing formula provides a synergistic blend of widely researched nutrients and botanicals in support of cognitive function and enhanced memory, learning and focus. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula. Contains soy.


ProDHA 1000 mg StrawberryProDHA™ 1000 mg Strawberry by Nordic Naturals – This high potency, omega-3 formula is suitable for children, teenagers and pregnant women. DHA is an essential nutrient for brain health and supports healthy mood and neurological and cognitive functions. ProDHA™ is third party tested for heavy metals, has a natural strawberry flavor and is naturally preserved with rosemary extract. Gluten free, Non-GMO.

The four horsemen of forgetfulness. http://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/the-four-horsemen-of-forgetfulness
Just Forgetful, or Is It Dementia? https://www.alzinfo.org/articles/forgetful-dementia/
12 Unexpected Things that Mess With Your Memory. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20845146_5,00.html
Reversible causes of memory loss. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046326?pg=2
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780

A Case for Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Case_for_VitaminsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Most of us are aware of the importance of macronutrients–proteins, carbohydrates and fats–that are a necessary part of a healthy diet, so perhaps we should start with identifying essential micronutrients. The 27 essential micronutrients that our bodies require include vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), B12 (cyanocobalamin), C, D, E, K, plus choline, calcium, chromium, copper, iron, iodine, potassium, magnesium, manganese, molybedenum, sodium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. According to the National Institutes of Health, research has shown that micronutrient deficiency is scientifically linked to a higher risk of obesity and chronic and debilitating diseases.

Day after day, we see, hear or receive negative information about dietary supplements, mostly suggesting that they are unnecessary when we follow a healthy diet and sometimes even going so far as to suggest that vitamin and mineral supplementation may be more harmful than helpful. Yet, according to a study published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition, four popular diet plans, including the medically based DASH diet, the low fat South Beach Diet, the low carb Atkins diet, and the Mediterranean style Best Life diet, did not meet 100% sufficiency by Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) guidelines for each of the 27 micronutrients, even though many consider the RDI recommendations to be just high enough to prevent deficiencies, but not necessarily enough to support optimal health.

Video A Case for Multivitamin and Mineral Supplementation

Centering on these 4 diet plans, researchers set out to determine the nutritional content of three days of suggested daily meals for each plan to see if, when followed as directed, the diet would deliver 100% of the RDI of the 27 essential nutrients. Every meal ingredient from each plan was evaluated separately for micronutrient content and calories, averaging 15 meals and 75 ingredients. If the meal did meet 100% of the RDI, the calorie content was uniformly increased, using whole food only, until the nutrient level was achieved for each of the essential nutrients. The study determined that an average caloric intake of 27,575 (give or take 4660) would be required to achieve sufficiency in all 27 micronutrients!

Six micronutrients that were determined to be consistently low or non-existent were vitamin B7, vitamin D, vitamin E, chromium, iodine and molybedenum. Even when these were removed from the equation, additional analysis determined that an average consumption of 3475 calories would be necessary to reach 100% sufficiency in the remaining 21 micronutrients. Further, it was determined that the low carb diet delivered 100% sufficiency for 12 of the 27 essential nutrients and contained 1,786 calories, the Mediterranean style diet delivered 100% RDI for 15 of the 27 nutrients in 1,793 calories, the medically based diet delivered 100% sufficiency for 14 of 27 nutrients in 2,217 calories and the low fat diet delivered 100% of only 6 of 27 nutrients in 1,197 calories.

Overall, the sufficiency level averaged 43.5% and 1,748 calories. In conclusion, if it takes an unrealistic average of over 27,000 calories to become 100% sufficient in all the 27 essential vitamins and minerals when following a healthy diet, there must be an increased likelihood of deficiency in those who follow a standard American diet. Micronutrient deficiency has been shown to increase the likelihood of obesity by 80% and is scientifically linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cognitive decline, stroke and osteoporosis.

The researchers concluded that “following a healthy, balanced diet cannot consistently deliver all the essential vitamins and minerals through whole food alone and that supplementation should be considered as a viable, low cost method to achieve micronutrient sufficiency and reduce the risks for some of today’s most prevalent and devastating health conditions and diseases.” The study recommended that all individuals would benefit from and should take a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement to fill any nutritional gaps and achieve micronutrient sufficiency, even when following a whole food diet. Good health and vitality is so much more than just the absence of disease. Take your multis!

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality multivitamin and mineral supplements:

UltraNutrientUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This quality formula combines core vitamins and minerals with advanced antioxidants and standardized phytonutrients to provide exceptional broad-spectrum nutritional support. Non-GMO formulation.


DFH Complete Multi with Copper (Iron-Free)DFH Complete Multi Copper & Iron Free by Designs for Heath® – This full spectrum multiple vitamin and mineral complex provides highly bioavailable vitamins and Albion-chelated minerals for maximum absorption and utilization. This formula is suitable for men and postmenopausal women. Gluten free.


Clinical Nutrients For Female TeensClinical Nutrients for Female Teens by Integrative Therapeutics – Designed especially for female teens, this multivitamin/mineral complex is formulated with additional iron to replenish that lost during menstrual cycles, calcium and magnesium to support bone health, vitamins A and C to support skin health and additional B6 to support hormonal maintenance. Gluten, dairy and yeast free.


Clinical Nutrients Male Teens (Iron Free)Clinical Nutrients for Male Teens by Integrative Therapeutics – This iron free formula provides a strong nutritional foundation for active teen lifestyles. Formulated with extra vitamin A and zinc in support of maturing reproductive glands, skin health and a healthy immune system. Gluten, dairy and yeast free.


AVED-Multi-Iron FreeAVED-Multi Iron Free by Anabolic Laboratories – This very high quality formula provides high potency, bioavailable premium nutrients, amino acid chelated minerals, balanced potencies of B-complex vitamins, antioxidants and trace minerals in support of optimal health and wellness.


Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans. Jayson B. Calton. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2905334/
Average American diet deficient in key nutrients. http://www.naturalnews.com/033719_American_diet_nutritional_deficiencies.html
Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition in the U.S. Population 2012. http://www.cdc.gov/nutritionreport/pdf/exesummary_web_032612.pdf
Prevalence on micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans. http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/24

Featured Brand – Lane Medical

LaneMedicalSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor



Since 1994, Lane Medical has offered innovative, performance-based supplements formulated on the basis of clinical and scientific research. Lane Medical continually invests in natural technologies to better understand their capabilities and enhance their benefits, and continually strives for excellence in all business practices. All key ingredients are produced under regulatory oversight and all raw materials and finished products are continuously tested for label claim potency, pathogens and heavy metals.

Video Lane Medical

All of their products are produced under cGMP and FDA regulations and consistently meet U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) standards. Lane Medical believes their safe, natural and efficacious products provide your body with the resources it needs to fortify, revitalize and renew itself.

Best selling products from Lane Medical include:

3A Magnesia3A MagnesiaSAVE 20% Shop Now – This very popular, 5 star rated product provides gentle and highly effective support for daily regularity without cramping, bloating or discomfort. Daily use helps to calm the system and establish a new pattern of regularity. Also suitable for occasional overnight relief and gentle, thorough colon cleansing. Non-habit forming.


Kefiran by LaneLabsKefiran™ – This unique product delivers the best of conventional kefir drinks in an easy-to-swallow vegetarian capsule. Two daily capsules provide 20 mg of the polysaccharide kefiran, produced from fermented Non-GMO rice, plus a blend of 7 strands of 50 billion viable probiotic cultures. This product supports healthy digestion and intestinal health. Gluten and lactose free, vegan formulation.


3A Calcium3A CalciumSAVE 20% Shop Now – Backed by 20 years of clinical research and published scientific studies, this patented formula provides a blend of highly absorbable calcium and a hijiki seaweed amino acid complex, which has been shown to significantly increase calcium absorption. Gluten and lactose free. Also available as 3A Calcium™ Ultra, fortified with additional vitamins and minerals. Gluten and lactose free.


EcoOmegaEcoOmega® – This product supplies omega 3 essential fatty acids, with a higher concentration of DHA to EPA, obtained from sustainably sourced, environmentally responsible Calamarine® calamari oil. These easy-to-swallow, natural orange/berry flavored pearls support brain, heart, eye and nervous system health. Lead and mercury free and no fishy aftertaste. Gluten and lactose free.


To Improve Blood Pressure – Exercise!

BloodPressure_ExerciseJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Research has shown that approximately 50 million Americans lead a sedentary life with no regular physical activity program. The bad news — high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle are closely related. In an article published in The Lancet, high systolic blood pressure landed in the top spot as the most prevalent risk factor for global deaths, followed by smoking and obesity. Other lifestyle related factors such as high cholesterol, high blood sugar, poor nutrition and alcohol use rounded out the top risk factors for developing largely preventable chronic disease. According to the author of the study, Dr. Alan Lopez, chair of Global Health and Burden of Disease Measurement at the University of Melbourne, “just under 60% of premature deaths are preventable.”

The good news — you don’t need to train for a marathon to actively lower your systolic blood pressure and further reduce your risks of heart attacks, strokes and premature death. Exercising regularly for a minimum of three months can have a desirable effect on blood pressure. Most of us are aware that exercise is good for our health and that becoming more physically active may lead to a longer, healthier lifespan. Studies show that fitness levels are a significant predictor of mortality, yet millions choose to ignore the health promoting benefits of exercise, including reducing, controlling and maintaining healthy blood pressure, helping to maintain a healthy weight and reducing stress. Physical activity strengthens the heart muscle and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body, reducing arterial strain and supporting cardiovascular health.

Depending on your age, overall health, medical conditions or physical limitations, it is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine. For those who may have cardiovascular risk factors, low intensity aerobic training tends to have the lowest increases in systolic blood pressure and is believed to be the safest form of exercise for those just beginning an exercise program. Weight training should be approached with caution, as heavy weight training can pose a risk for those with hypertension. Even low intensity weight training can cause a temporary spike in blood pressure, so if you have hypertension, be sure to get your doctor’s okay before adding weight training to your routine.   Generally, lighter weights and more repetitions are recommended to provide greater long-term benefits to blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

As exercise helps to increase blood flow, the benefits are most pronounced immediately after a workout. For this reason, smaller amounts of exercise, say for 10 minutes or so, spread throughout the day may be more effective at preventing temporary blood pressure spikes during exercise for those with hypertension. Studies show that a combination of both aerobic and strength training exercise provides the most effective health benefits. Find time in your schedule to include 30 – 45 minutes of aerobic activity daily and doctor approved resistance training 2 – 3 times per week. Along with healthy nutrition, this amount of regular activity appears to be the ideal goal for reaching and maintaining optimal health. People who don’t engage in physical activity are much more likely to develop health problems and increase their risk factors for overall unhealthy aging. Continuing to be active on a regular basis can help to keep blood pressure levels stable as you age.

For those inactive, but otherwise healthy, people or those who may be hesitant to start exercising, take heart. There’s an activity that’s right for you no matter what your level of fitness. Just be sure to start out slowly and increase your activity as you become stronger and more physically fit. The best exercises to reduce blood pressure appear to be any aerobic exercise that gets you moving. Walking, cycling, light weight training, gardening, swimming, dancing, household chores and standing up frequently throughout the day are all beneficial when performed regularly. For those of us required to sit all day at work or school, remember to get out of your chair for a few minutes every hour, as recent studies show too much sitting may be quite damaging to your long term overall health even when you exercise regularly.

More good news — exercise intensity does not appear to play a significant role in controlling blood pressure. Going for a stroll several times a day or finding ways to stand more often throughout the day can help to develop healthier blood pressure levels. You can also choose a variety of activities to strengthen your cardiovascular system, increase muscle strength and help you stay motivated. Small changes can add up to big benefits when it comes to your risk of chronic illness. Be sure to include stretching exercises or yoga postures to increase your flexibility, prevent muscle cramping and decrease injury risk. Remember to breathe easily and continuously while exercising.

Supplements to support cardiovascular health, athletic endeavors and weight loss include:

Bio-CardioSirt BPBio-CardioSirt BP™ by Biotics Research – This patent-pending powdered formula supplies a unique combination of 7 key micronutrients that have been clinically proven to support normal, healthy blood pressure levels. Gluten and dairy free.


Athletic NutrientsAthletic Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations – This high potency, nutrient rich, highly bioavailable multivitamin, mineral and antioxidant formula supports exercise performance, promotes energy and aids muscle fatigue. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Cardio PeakCardio Peak™ by Life Extension – Cardiotonics are traditionally used to support heart function and vitality. Extensive research shows the botanical extracts Hawthorn and Arjuna deliver optimum support for normal heart muscle function and coronary artery health. Standardized formulation.


PGX Weight Loss Meal Replacement Double ChocolatePGX® Weight Loss Meal Replacement by Bioclinic Naturals – This highly purified fiber and whey protein complex provides a full complement of vitamins and minerals to support healthy micronutrient metabolism and promote healthy weight loss by increasing satiety and reducing cravings. Low glycemic load helps to normalize blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Clinically shown to enhance body fat loss while preserving lean muscle. Available in French Vanilla, Very Strawberry and Double Chocolate flavors. Wheat free formulation.


Klean Endurance (KA201245)Klean Endurance™ by Klean Athlete – NSF Certified for Sport® all natural D-Ribose is clinically proven to help restore and replenish core energy. These vanilla and orange flavored chewables contain a natural pentose sugar that supports ATP production and promotes cardiovascular health, energy production and mitochondrial function.


Exercise: A drug-free approach to lowering high blood pressure.   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/high-blood-pressure/art-20045206
Physical Activity and Blood Pressure. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/PreventionTreatmentofHighBloodPressure/Physical-Activity-and-Blood-Pressure_UCM_301882_Article.jsp
The Best Exercise to Reduce Blood Pressure. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/18/ask-well-the-best-exercise-to-reduce-blood-pressure/?rref=health&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Health&pgtype=Blogs
The Good News and Bad News About How People Die. http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/09/18/441435120/the-good-news-and-bad-news-about-how-people-die
Sedentary Lives Can Be Deadly: Physical Inactivity Poses Greatest Health Risk to Americans. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090810024825.htm

Let Plant Foods Be Thy Medicine

Plants_MedicineJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



For thousands of years, before the invention of pharmaceuticals, plants and plant foods were utilized to prevent and treat many common illnesses and symptoms. Civilization, as a whole, appears to have forgotten that these foods are a source of phytonutrients, many of which have therapeutic healing and medicinal properties that can enhance health and support wellbeing. While we eat for pleasure and sustenance, we should also consider that eating the right foods may improve both our genetic and metabolic bodily functions. When you begin to look at individual foods as being either helpful or harmful to your long term and overall health, you may be surprised to see how quickly you lose your taste for high calorie, high sugar, non-nutritious foods.

Because plants and humans evolved together over millions of years, our bodies recognize the substances found in plants and are able to metabolize and utilize the nutrients. And while plants evolved to have natural properties to protect them from drought, pests, blight and oxidation, these properties often perform similar functions in the human body. Since we have consumed plants in natural, fermented or juiced forms since the beginning of time, their nutrients are part of our own composition and chemistry. Archeological discoveries of ancient human burials dating back 60,000 years have found medical kits containing herbal remedies, some of which are still in use today. Plant medicines are derived from flowers, berries, seeds, leaves, stems, stalks and roots. Today, we know that specific plants contain anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-viral, anti-tussive and anti-hypertensive properties to name just a few. In addition, many have cardio-protective, sedative and analgesic effects.

Plants and their derivatives are the original source materials for approximately 40% of the pharmaceuticals in use in the U.S. today. These pharmaceuticals contain either plant derived materials or chemically copied or synthesized materials derived from plant agents. For example, quinine, which is used to treat malaria, originated from the bark of the cinchona tree. Silymarin, found in milk thistle, is used to treat liver problems, and leaves and flowers of the herb senna are used as a laxative to treat constipation. A plant compound called Taxol, found in the bark of the Pacific Yew and now chemically synthesized, is a very effective and widely utilized drug in breast and ovarian cancer treatment. References to the poisonous properties of the Pacific Yew are found in ancient Roman literature and in the writings of Shakespeare.

While pharmaceuticals certainly have value, let’s remember the well documented, non-toxic and inexpensive healing properties of whole foods. To get the benefit of healing plant foods, choose minimally processed foods known to contribute to good health. Everything you eat sends a message to your genes. By choosing to eat the healthiest of foods, you can choose health over disease. It’s important to eat a variety of colorful foods, as plants use colors as their protective mechanisms and those mechanisms help our bodies to function better. To get your plant-based medicine every day, try to get as many of the thousands of beneficial plant chemicals as possible by eating a diverse painter’s palette of colors.

Herbs, spices, hot peppers and alliums, otherwise known as onions, garlic, chives, scallions, shallots and leeks – Used for both culinary and medicinal properties these foods may be helpful in many medical conditions including nausea, infections, high blood pressure, and inflammatory conditions.

Fruits and vegetables – Abundant in antioxidants and phytochemicals, high vegetable and fruit consumption helps to reduce the risk of developing many chronic diseases including cancer, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, macular degeneration and obesity. Fruits and veggies have a low glycemic load and are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins and minerals. Plus they’re low calorie when consumed in their natural form without added sugars or sauces.

Medicinal Mushrooms – Long used in traditional Chinese medicine for their therapeutic properties, mushrooms such as Turkey Tail, Reishi and Cordyceps offer many important health benefits including antioxidant and immune support and cholesterol-lowering properties. In addition, medicinal mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, anti-hypertensive, anti-viral and anti-microbial effects as well.

Unprocessed whole grains, nuts and seeds – A higher consumption of unrefined whole grains is associated with a reduced risk of early aging and diseases, including cardiovascular disease, digestive disorders, type 2 diabetes, arthritis and cancer. Whole grains provide a high level of minerals, energy supporting B vitamins, plus fiber and essential fats. Nuts are high in antioxidants and healthy fats and are linked to lower risks of cardiovascular disease and help regulate insulin and blood sugar. Seeds are actually embryonic plants that have high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes. Seeds are living foods that should be eaten in raw form to get the most nutritional benefits.

Formulas to aid you in getting an array of plant foods every day include:

Power Greens Premium BerryPower Greens® Premium Berry by NuMedica – It’s easy to get your daily dose of energizing phytonutrients with this great tasting all inclusive blend of plant extracts and certified organic whole foods. This great tasting premium formula provides a full complement of vitamins and minerals, along with high quality fruits, vegetables, high ORAC value antioxidants, fiber, digestive enzymes and adaptogenic herbs. Gluten, dairy and soy free, vegetarian formula.


Mycoceutics MycoPhyto Complex®Mycoceutics MycoPhyto Complex® by EcoNugenics – Physician formulated and cultivated on immune-enhancing herbs, this medicinal mushroom formula provides powerful immune support with a proprietary blend of 6 medicinal mushrooms plus beta-glucans, natural immune promoting phytochemicals. Gluten and allergen free, vegan formula.


Power Fruits and Veggies for KidsPower Fruits and Veggies for Kids by NuMedica – Perfect for children who refuse to eat their veggies, this tasty and nutritious formula provides natural vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes and probiotics. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formula.


Super Garlic 6000Super Garlic 6000 by Metagenics® – This popular product delivers high concentrations of potency-preserved allicin and other naturally occurring, health supporting constituents found in garlic. Special enteric coating is designed to dissolve in the intestine, avoiding stomach upset and preventing garlic breath. Guaranteed to supply 6000 mcg of allicin per tablet in support of cardiovascular and immune system health. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

Plant Based Drugs and Medicines. http://www.rain-tree.com/plantdrugs.htm
Cinchona Bark. https://www.lib.umn.edu/bell/tradeproducts/cinchonabark
A Brief History of Taxol. http://www.research.vt.edu/resmag/1999resmag/taxol.html
What Do Specific Foods Do? http://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/food-medicine/what-do-specific-foods-do
Healing Foods Pyramid™ 2010. http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/food-pyramid/
The Healing Power of Medicinal Mushrooms. http://fantasticfungi.com/healing-power-medicinal-mushrooms/

Featured Brand – Vitanica®

VitanicaSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor



Vitanica® was founded on the premise of providing natural health solutions for women. All of their vegetarian formulations are based on scientific and/or clinical research, and the experience of women’s health practitioner Dr. Tori Hudson, N.D., a well respected authority on the natural health care needs of women. Their products include optimal dosages of superior choice nutrients, which are clinically scrutinized for maximum therapeutic benefit.

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Vitanica® is committed to utilizing only the highest quality, premium grade organic or wildcrafted herbs selected on the basis of purity and bioactivity. All formulas are produced in small batches to ensure the freshest possible products. The entire product line, which includes support for bone, breast and cardiovascular health, is developed to be suitable for all women during all stages of life.

Top selling products from Vitanica® include:

Women's Symmetry®Women’s Symmetry® – This hypoallergenic, high potency multivitamin and mineral supplement is formulated with premium nutrients for maximum bioavailability in order to meet the nutritional needs of women in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. Soy, dairy, wheat and iron free vegetarian formulation.


Adrenal AssistAdrenal Assist™ – This nutritional and adaptogenic herbal formula is formulated to support healthy adrenal function and to promote enhanced stress resistance. Contains key vitamins and minerals plus adaptogens including Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Astragalus, Panax ginseng and Holy basil. Gluten and dairy free, vegetarian formulation.


Yeast Arrest SuppositoriesYeast Arrest™ – These unique homeopathic suppositories are designed for a natural approach for relief of symptoms associated with vaginal yeast infections. Homeopathic ingredients are presented in an all natural herbal and cocoa butter base. Additional ingredients include neem oil, tea tree oil and vitamin E. Vegetarian formulation.


Mid-Life SymmetryMid-Life Symmetry™ – Formulated for women aged 50-65, this hypoallergenic, preservative free, high potency multivitamin, mineral and herbal supplement provides support for the nutritional needs of peri- and postmenopausal women. Designed for maximum absorption and effect, age-specific nutrients and botanicals are included to support healthy aging and optimal wellness. Gluten and dairy free, vegetarian formula.


CardioBlendCardioBlend™ – Based on numerous studies of natural cardiovascular health, this formula is designed to support healthy cholesterol levels, the heart muscle and blood vessel walls. Includes antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, minerals and herbals, such as garlic and grape seed extracts. Wheat and dairy free vegetarian formulation.

Supplements for Bone and Joint Health Support

Bone_SupplementsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN



Supplements that support bone health and keep joints flexible are not just for seniors. Younger people, who are looking towards prevention rather than treatment, are increasingly turning to supplements, as a way to maintain bone and joint health and decrease the risk of injuries or a future destined for arthritis or osteoporosis. As people are becoming more aware of the role that chronic inflammation plays in the development of chronic diseases, including bone and joint diseases, many are opting for a healthier lifestyle and increasingly better dietary habits. Although we may not think about it, bone is living tissue that contains biologically active cells. A healthy diet and high quality supplementation can provide the nutrients that support bone and joint health and function.

In a process known as bone remodeling, cells called osteoblasts constantly build bone tissue by laying down new bone mineral on the bone surface, while osteoclasts break down and reabsorb bone tissue. The delicate balance between these two cellular activities determines whether bone is made, maintained or lost. When bone mineral deposits are equal to the resorption of those minerals, bone strength is preserved. This intensive process keeps bones strong but light and flexible enough to absorb the stress of high impact movement without breaking. Hormones, such as estrogen and to a lesser extent testosterone, help to modulate bone remodeling, thereby performing a crucial role in bone growth, structure and healing.

Most people will reach their peak bone mass by age of 30 and by the time we reach the age of 40, we slowly begin to lose bone mass. For this reason, it’s important to build bone mass during our years of rapid growth. While the size and structure of our bones are predetermined by genetics, during childhood, adolescence and young adulthood we can influence the cells involved in bone physiology and increase our bone mass largely through healthy nutrition and regular exercise. It’s never too late or too early to support bone and joint health.

Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce the stress on weight bearing joints, such as the knees, hips and back. Research shows that for every pound gained, the pressure on the knees increases four fold. Exercise can increase flexibility, help maintain a proper weight, strengthen bones and build stronger muscle, which can help support the joints and decrease the risk of falls and broken bones, especially in the elderly. An anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce overall inflammation and aid in providing nourishing vitamins and minerals that are so important to joint and bone health.

Calcium and vitamin D – While both calcium and vitamin D play multiple roles in bodily functions, research suggests that calcium and vitamin D work synergistically to support bone health. All but 1% of the calcium in our bodies is stored in the bones and teeth. When you don’t have sufficient calcium in your blood supply, the body will take what it needs from your bones. Vitamin D aids in the efficient absorption of calcium into the bones and aids in ensuring proper renewal and mineralization of bone tissue. Studies have shown that women with sufficient vitamin D levels are 30% less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than women that have low vitamin D levels.

Magnesium and vitamin K – Among its many functions, magnesium aids bone formation and helps to regulate bone homeostasis. Magnesium must be present for calcium absorption, and research has shown that magnesium positively influences bone mineral density in both men and women. More recent studies suggest that increasing magnesium intake from both food and supplements may strengthen bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. Vitamin K is necessary for the body to use calcium to build bone. Increasingly, consistent evidence reveals that vitamin K improves bone health and shows that those with higher levels of vitamin K have greater bone density. Vitamins D and K are believed to work synergistically on bone metabolism and bone density.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate – Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are substances found naturally in healthy cartilage. For those under age 30, glucosamine supplementation can help to stimulate the formation and repair of cartilage, while chondroitin can help to maintain the structural integrity of the tissue. For those suffering an injury or bone trauma, supplementation can aid in the building of new cartilage and help to maintain cartilage health.

MSM – A building block of healthy joints, MSM is an organic, bioavailable sulfur compound that helps to form connective tissue and may help relieve pain, swelling and stiffness and improve the strength and physical functioning of the joints. Sulfur is critical to maintaining good joint function and connective tissue health. MSM is believed to deliver sulfur in a very usable, bioavailable way. In the body, MSM functions as an anti-inflammatory, a natural pain reliever and a muscle relaxant.  

Anti-inflammatory compounds – Dietary components can affect inflammatory responses within the body, which is why an anti-inflammatory eating plan is highly recommended. Higher intakes of EPA and DHA omega 3 fatty acids are generally associated with decreased markers of inflammation. Certain spices and botanicals such as turmeric, ginger and boswellia may work as well as OTC medications to relieve joint pain and inflammation and reduce oxidative stress.

High quality supplements to aid in supporting bone and joint health include:

Cal Apatite Bone Builder Forte (Formerly Cal Apatite Forte)Cal Apatite Bone Builder® Forte by Metagenics – This product supplies a full spectrum of macro and micro minerals that naturally comprise healthy bone, including MCHC, which contains naturally occurring calcium, phosphorus, type 1 collagen protein and bioactive bone growth factors. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


Bone Strength Take CareBone Strength Take Care™ by New Chapter® – This product promotes bone health by providing whole plant food nutrition, including a bioactive and highly bioavailable form of vitamin K2, whole food complexed vitamin D3 and sustainably sourced calcium and magnesium. Gluten free, 100% vegetarian formulation.


MSM powderMSM Powder or Capsules by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides 34% elemental sulfur in a patented, naturally occurring, 99.7% pure organic compound in support of joint health and wellness. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.  


Theracurmin 600 mgTheracurmin® by Integrative Therapeutics – This unique and highly absorbable turmeric formula utilizes a patented dispersion technology to maximize the anti-inflammatory and other biological effects of curcumin.   Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.


Bone Remodeling. http://courses.washington.edu/conj/bess/bone/bone2.html
Pathophysiology: Biological Causes of Osteoporosis. http://www.iofbonehealth.org/pathophysiology-biological-causes-osteoporosis
How MSM Works to Improve Joint Health. http://www.msmguide.com/
Vitamin D. http://www.iofbonehealth.org/osteoporosis-musculoskeletal-disorders/osteoporosis/prevention/vitamin-d
Magnesium. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
Vitamin K and bone health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684396
Healthy Bones at Every Age. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00127
Chondroitin. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/chondroitin