Featured Brand: BioSyntrx

BiosyntrxSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health Writer
 

According to the American Optometric Association, good nutrition is very important not just for overall health but for eye health as well.  Research shows that nutrients such as essential fatty acids, lutein/zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and zinc help to reduce the risk of certain age-related eye diseases, including macular degeneration and cataract formation. 

BioSyntrx researches and develops science-based, biochemically-balanced nutritional supplements using only the best quality ingredients proven to benefit eye and full body health.   Their peer-reviewed nutritional formulations are manufactured in a state-of-the art GMP compliant facility in accordance with FDA regulatory guidelines.  All products undergo highly respected NSF third party testing, including multiple checks on raw materials, weight, potency, quality assurance and label adherence. These products are designed to meet the micronutrient needs of dye eye syndrome, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. 

Macula CompleteMacula Complete – This high-energy, premium supplement contains broad spectrum support for retinal and full body function.  Macula Complete contains optimal amounts of 43 superior biochemically-balanced ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, bioflavonoids and antioxidant phytochemicals and is designed to address nutritional deficiencies associated with age related diseases of the retina and body.
 
BioTearsBioTears - Designed in 1998, BioTears addresses the root inflammatory cause and effects of dry eye syndrome.  Formulated with vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and nutrient co-factors, BioTears safely and effectively relieves symptoms such as dryness, irritation, burning, excessive tearing and light sensitivity, while stimulating the natural production of tear film and addressing inflammatory processes. 
 
Oculair
 
Oculair – Formulated to address the micronutrient needs associated with aging, this potent full spectrum supplement includes 40 biochemically-balanced and bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support eye and full body health. 
 
 
 
SightC+SightC+ – Designed for daily or occasional use, this high-potency, pH balanced, buffered vitamin C can be safely taken with BioSyntrx multiples.  Vitamin C has been shown to help decrease the risk of developing glaucoma, dry eyes, macular degeneration, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. 
 
Zo-Omega3
 
Zo-Omega 3 – This molecularly distilled, pure pharmaceutical grade omega-3 marine lipid concentrate provides nutritional support for the development, function and maintenance of eye tissue and promotes healthy eyes, moisture production and vision.  Guaranteed mercury and PCB free. 

The American Diet Dichotomy

shoppinggirlSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health Writer
 

Is the overconsumption of nutritionally devoid calories at the root of the obesity epidemic?  New studies suggest the interesting contradiction that obesity correlates with malnourishment.  Malnutrition develops when the body is deprived of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients required for proper functioning and health maintenance.  In the U.S. today, many people suffer from malnutrition due to dietary imbalances, nutrient deficient foods and the inability to digest and absorb the nutrients that foods contain.  Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is calorie dense but sadly lacking in the nutrients necessary for biochemical processes such as brain function, immune support, weight management and efficient energy production and usage. 

The overconsumption of an abundance of empty calorie foods means that we are not getting the vitamins and minerals our bodies need.  Many health care providers promote the idea of nutrition as natural medicine and that’s very healthy advice.  However, today’s SAD is not only deleterious to our health, it may slowly be starving us nutritionally.  (See article; The Standard American Diet – Time For a Revamp).  To properly maintain health and to function efficiently, our bodies require nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, anti-inflammatory compounds, amino acids and fiber.  Our bodies thrive on a diet based on proteins, healthy fats and plant based carbohydrates. 

When we don’t feed our bodies the nutrients it requires, cyclical cravings result.  Our hunger is not satiated and, as a neurological response, our bodies cry out for more food.  Yet, when we just eat more nutritionally devoid foods that temporarily satisfy our hunger, we are not really listening.  Simply put, we are over-consuming too many of the wrong calories.  Possibly because for years we have been told that “a calorie is a calorie.”  However, science has shown that all calories are not created equally, and that believing otherwise may be the basis for the many health problems associated with SAD. 

  • While soda manufacturers would like us to believe that soda is healthy because it is “hydrating,” until we start to recognize that the 120 calories found in a glass of 2% milk are more nutritious than the 140 calories found in a can of soda, our health and the health of our children will not improve.  A can of cola contains carbonated water, 39 grams of sugar in the form of ultra refined high fructose corn syrup, sodium, caramel coloring, phosphoric acid, “secret ingredient” natural flavors and caffeine.  No vitamins, no minerals, no protein and no healthy fats.  By contrast, the milk contains healthy fats, sodium, 11 grams of natural sugar, 9 grams of protein, vitamins A, D and C, plus potassium, calcium and a trace amount of iron.  American kids today drink more soda than milk, which means they are not getting the nutritional benefits that milk naturally provides. 
  • We are not eating our vegetables.  Research shows that more than 30% of Americans are lacking in plant-derived nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, potassium, fiber and vitamins A, C and E.  According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a large majority of adults are deficient in vitamin D3 and omega-3 essential fatty acids.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that in addition, we are not getting enough vitamin B12 nor vitamin K. 
  • Convenient and inexpensive, processed foods have taken over our supermarket aisles.  Many of these foods contain high sodium, refined flours, trans-fats, chemical additives, artificial colors and flavorings, and the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup.  Convenient and addictive?  Yes.  Nutritious?  Not likely. 
  • More often than not, our meals come from fast food restaurants.  Statistics show that one in four Americans visits a fast food restaurant every day.  While these foods are loaded with empty calories and unhealthy fats in super-sized portions that can easily contain a full day’s caloric need, they are designed only to satisfy taste and stuff our tummies, not to meet our nutritional needs. And, once again, we find ourselves eating more as our nutritional needs remain unsatiated.
  • Industrial agriculture increasingly results in poor soil management and degraded soil  quality.  For centuries, fruits and vegetables have traditionally received their vitamin, mineral and nutrient content from the earth.  Science shows that the plant foods grown today are less nutritious than the foods grown a few decades ago.  Many plant foods are now designed for rapid growth, yet their ability to manufacture or uptake nutrients from the soil cannot keep pace.  This does not mean that they do not contain phytonutrients, but it may mean that we need to consume more of them in order to receive the same health benefits. 

At some point, we need to stop blaming food manufacturers and start taking responsibility for our own choices.  When we stop eating nutritionally devoid foods and take the time to prepare our food and opt for a more prudent and healthy diet, cravings naturally subside and our nutritional values improve along with our long term health.  A diet based on whole foods prepared at home means that we have only health benefits to gain and unhealthy weight to lose.  The choice is clear.  When we choose food that is healthy and nutritious it primes our bodies for optimal function, reduces body fat, restores energy and vigor and improves our chances of long term health and wellness.  What will you choose? 

What Constitutes A Healthy Diet?

healthy dietJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

With so many conflicting studies, negotiating the maze of nutrition advice is not easy.  Many of us rely on government recommendations in deciding what constitutes a healthy diet and what foods we should or should not eat and in what amounts.  However, large corporations and lobbyists often dictate government policy, everything about our food is now big business, and the agricultural industry is set up to produce subsidized grain products for lower margins and higher profits, not health.  Walk any supermarket aisle and you will see thousands of food products that are low in fat and high in added sugars, refined oils and processed grains, all designed for shelf life but which may be secretly sabotaging your health.  Where does that leave people who believe that nutrition is the most important factor in protecting their health and avoiding chronic disease?  The fact is that it’s your body and your health and we are all left to make our own informed choices. 

Grains, grain products and added sugars are the most pervasive foods in the American diet.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which developed the Food Guide Pyramid, recommends a diet that keeps all fats, even healthy fats, to a minimum and suggests that the largest portion of the daily diet be devoted to grain products, including breads, cereals and pastas.  More recent scientific research suggests that turning the food pyramid upside down may be a much healthier option.  Healthy fats, it turns out, are not only necessary but are good for your health and help you to better manage your weight.  Many nutritionists, physicians and scientists are now challenging the belief that grain carbohydrates should form the basis of our diets.  Refined carbohydrates, it seems, cause inflammation.  Inflammation is the basis for most chronic illnesses, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune disorders and some types of cancer. 

A number of health professionals now believe that a low carbohydrate diet, higher in saturated fat and protein, is a much better option when it comes to avoiding obesity and other chronic diseases.  Some health advocates now think that in 10 years time, a low-carb, high-fat diet will become the norm.  And although dietary cholesterol was, and in many circles still is, touted as a precursor to developing cardiovascular disease, cholesterol is vital to many bodily functions, most importantly cognitive functions such as learning and memory.  Some wonder when the war waged against cholesterol will end and are questioning the science behind the dietary cholesterol blockade, as studies show that dietary cholesterol does not raise the blood levels of unhealthy cholesterol in the body. 

As nutrition science changes, the conflicting information may leave one to wonder what exactly constitutes a healthy diet.  A good approach is a balanced nutritional lifestyle that maintains growth and energy and promotes good health.  Current popular lifestyle approaches include the Paleo diet, the Mediterranean diet, the gluten-free diet and the low carb-high fat diet.  While the scientific debate continues, perhaps taking good advice from all of these diets is a sensible approach.  Again, eating whole foods as close to nature as possible is highly recommended for overall health and wellness.  Essentially, to ensure you are getting your daily vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber:

  • Eat mostly plant foods, including a good variety of vegetables, especially cruciferous and green leafy types, fruit in moderation, and legumes for fiber and protein.
  • Many people need to avoid gluten, but if you are not gluten sensitive, consume whole stone ground grain products also in moderation.  Try naturally gluten-free grains such as wild rice, amaranth or quinoa. 
  • Limit or avoid refined grains as found in white bread, pasta and snack foods, which have been stripped of nutrients and contain little or no dietary fiber. 
  • Avoid added sugars found in soda, candy, alcohol and other foods, which are simply empty calories with a high glycemic load and raise blood sugar and insulin levels associated with cardio-metabolic diseases.   
  • Eat more fatty fish, preferably wild caught, to get the benefit of omega-3 fatty acids. 
  • Consume healthy fat as found in butter, dairy, nuts, avocados, coconuts, olives and olive oil.   
  • Eliminate trans fats, hydrogenated and refined oils, which are found in fried foods and most pre-packaged and processed foods, and are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease and inflammation.   
  • Eggs are considered a perfect protein.  Add them back into your diet if you have been avoiding them due to cholesterol concerns.   
  • Eat good quality complete protein, such as grass fed beef, to get the full complement of amino acids, essential minerals, B vitamins and enzymes.
  • Drink enough water every day to stay hydrated.  In general terms, drink water with each meal, between meals and before, during and after exercise. 
  • No healthy lifestyle would essentially be complete without a recommendation for 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. 

4 Products from Apex Energetics that support wellbeing: 

Immune Terrain™ (T-1) provides specially selected ingredients to support the nutritional needs of a busy and stressful lifestyle.  Immune Terrain™ supplies a unique formula consisting of suspended minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, herbs, flower essences and select vitamins that support adrenal and immune function in a convenient, easy to take liquid form. 

Resvero™ Active (K-76) provides 250 mg of  concentrated resveratrol in an emulsified micronized liquid for support of  metabolic pathways and the immune and gastrointestinal systems.  The unique syringe delivery system ensures specific serving needs are met. 

Turmero™ Active (K-75) provides a concentrated source of curcuminoids for immune system and liver biotransformation process support.  Syringe delivery ensures 400 mg per serving of turmeric extract. 

Immu-Zyme™ (Z-16) contains a proprietary blend of immune supporting herbs, amino acids and colostrum for overall immune health.

Featured Brand: Lotus Moon

LotusMoonSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health Writer
 

Lotus Moon, a line of active, natural, and organic skin care products created and developed by SkinMindBody Essentials (SMB), is now available at Professional Supplement Center.  Launched in 2002, SMB is a beauty and wellness products company committed to providing safe and natural skin and body care products based on the principles of sustainability and whole body wellness.  As a Certified Green Business, SMB operates in an environmentally responsible and socially equitable way by minimally impacting the environment and by using sustainable ingredient sourcing and fair labor practices.

Using fair trade and organic ingredients, Lotus Moon‘s high quality, effective personal care products are formulated with therapeutic blends of essential oils and concentrated levels of fresh, active ingredients that repair, stabilize and stimulate the skin.  All products are non-toxic, non-GMO, and paraben and petrochemical free.  No synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, preservatives nor any hidden ingredients.  Just fresh, pure ingredients provided by Mother Nature. 

ABUNDANT Shampoo
 
ABUNDANT Shampoo  provides a deep cleansing, pH balanced formula for dry, brittle or damaged hair.  Formulated with castor seed and shea butter oil to strengthen hair and  intensely moisturize both hair and scalp.  Essential fruit oils provide a light and clean scent. 
 
 
HEALTHY Conditioner
 
HEALTHY Conditioner  contains wheat protein and rosehip seed oil to nourish and repair dry or damaged hair while aloe vera, lavender and chamomile soften hair and boost shine.  Safe for color treated hair, this gentle, naturally scented conditioner helps to restore hair elasticity.
 
 
Amaranth Gentle Cleanse
 
 
Amaranth Gentle Cleanse  thoroughly removes excess oil and make-up, leaving skin soft, clean and supple without removing the skin’s natural moisture.  This gentle coconut-derived cleanser is ideal for all skin types.
 
 
Cocoa Mango Luxury Hand Creme
 
Cocoa Mango Luxury Hand Creme softens, soothes, protects and reenergizes dry, chapped hands without leaving an oily residue.  Formulated with organic ingredients, vitamin E and naturally scented with essential oils. 
 
 
 
Organic Honey Purifying Masque
 
Organic Honey Purifying Masque  is formulated with honey, aloe vera and jojoba oil to rehydrate, heal, soften, soothe and firm facial skin.  Suitable for all skin types, including acne prone, mature and sensitive skin.
 
 
 Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 10%
Pumpkin Enzyme Peel 10%  helps clear clogged pores and stimulate cellular renewal with a professional strength blend of pumpkin puree and skin smoothing enzymes.  Recommended for mature, sun damaged, oily or combination skin types.    

The Importance of Digestive Enzymes

DigestiveEnzymesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

By some estimates, more than 100 million Americans appear to have digestive issues that can impact their ability to properly digest their food.  The inability to completely digest foods can lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and problems with elimination.  For some, this can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).  For many others, low-grade inflammation, infections, allergies, dysbiosis, food intolerances, poor diet or simply aging may lead to improper digestion of food and poor absorption of nutrients.  A properly working digestive system allows for food to be broken down into small, usable molecules and for the complete absorption of the nutrients without causing intestinal discomfort.

Enzymes are not only essential but are required for all biochemical and metabolic processes and play a critical role in everyday health and maintenance.  They turn the food we eat into energy, support the immune system and hormone production, and enable the ability to utilize vitamins and minerals.  In order to utilize nutrients from foods, several organs release specific enzymes that individually break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well as vitamins, minerals and other compounds into small absorbable particles. 

  • Amylase and other sugar-specific enzymes break down large starch or carbohydrate molecules into a two-sugar molecule known as maltose.  Other digestive enzymes are released in the small intestine to further break down maltose into simple sugars, which are then absorbed by the cells. 
  • Lipase is manufactured by the pancreas and, when combined with bile produced by the liver, breaks down dietary fats, or triglycerides, into fatty acids and monoglyceride molecules that then can pass through the small intestine and into the blood stream. 
  • Protease, peptidase and other protein digestive enzymes break down large protein molecules into a pool of single amino acids, which are then absorbed by the small intestine. 
  • Lactase is essential to the complete digestion of milk and dairy products.  Lactase breaks down lactose, a simple milk sugar.  When an insufficient amount of lactase is present, lactose intolerance or the inability to digest milk sugar can result. 

Intestinal health is critical to the health of your immune system and your optimal health.  A properly working digestive tract is essential to energy production, proper bodily functions, and overall wellness.  Insufficient digestion can lead to a very wide range of health concerns including autoimmune disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and migraine headaches.  Lifestyle changes, dietary modification and enzyme supplementation can often help to lessen the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms associated with impaired digestion.  Although we produce enzymes in our bodies, we must continually replenish enzymes through proper nutrition and good eating habits. 

  • Consume more raw foods, especially organically grown raw foods, as they naturally contain the necessary enzymes needed to digest and absorb the nutrients contained in the food.  Processing and cooking destroy natural food enzymes.  Food enzyme deficiency places unnecessary stress on the pancreas and other enzyme releasing organs to produce the additional enzymes needed for proper digestion. 
  • To reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, add more cleansing and alkalizing vegetables and eat a small amount of fruits.  Celery, cucumber, avocado, arugula, melon, pineapple, and blueberries are helpful choices. 
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as gluten, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.  Foods processed with additives, preservatives or nitrates are often lacking the enzymes needed for proper digestion. 
  • Consume more anti-inflammatory foods including essential fatty acids found in cold water fish and eat leafy greens, high fiber whole fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods, which support a healthy gut microflora. 
  • The proper chewing of food, along with the enzymes and lubricants contained in saliva, initiates the digestive process, allows for food to enter the stomach in a pre-digestive state, and relieves some of the stress on an overburdened digestive system.  Unfortunately, many of us do not properly chew our food. When we rush through our meals, foods entering the stomach can be sadly lacking in pre-digestive enzymes. 
  • Regular supplementation with digestive enzymes can take the stress off the pancreas and the entire body.  Powerful digestive enzymes support normal body organ functioning while preserving the natural production of digestive enzymes.  Taking a digestive enzyme supplement with meals reduces the amount of energy we spend digesting our foods and helps to maximize our enzyme producing potential. 

Below is a sampling of enzyme supplements for digestive support.  Choose the one that’s right for you and say goodbye to common digestive inefficiency and hello to healthy digestion and increased nutrient absorption. 

Digest Gold™ Plus ProbioticsDigest Gold™ Plus Probiotics by Enzymedica provides award winning, high potency digestive enzymes along with guaranteed delivery of specially coated TherActive™ probiotic cultures for maximum performance.  Formulated to assist in the digestion of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber, these digestive enzymes plus probiotics supply a complete formula for optimal digestive health. 

Similase® (Tyler)Similase® (Tyler) by Integrative Therapeutics provides comprehensive support for digestion and absorption of all food groups including protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber and phytate.  This physician developed formula contains pure plant enzymes, including amylase, protease, lipase, lactase, phytase, cellulase, sucrase and maltase, that are active in both acidic and alkaline gastrointestinal environments. 

Digestzyme-VDigestzyme-V by Ortho Molecular contains a full spectrum of 20 vegetarian digestive enzymes to provide comprehensive digestive support in a broad range of pH levels.  This unique formula also includes artichoke and gentian root, which stimulate bile production and support the body’s natural enzyme production. 

Digestive Enzymes UltraDigestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encapsulations contains a high-strength blend of vegetarian enzymes that support enhanced digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dairy, and fiber that promote optimal nutrient absorption and bioavailability.  

Got Hot Flashes?

GotHotFlashesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Perimenopause, a time of shifting hormonal fluctuations, generally begins between the ages of 45 -55 and can begin up to 10 years prior to actual menopause.  During this time of transition to gradually occurring natural menopause, which most women reach around age 51, many women experience some very uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, vaginal dryness and atrophy vaginitis.  While not all women experience these and other symptoms, approximately 80% of women suffer from some form of hot flashes or flushing before, during and after menopause.  Hot flashes are a very common symptom that may wax and wane in severity and are likely due to hormonal and biochemical fluctuations caused by declining estrogen levels.  Although the average length of time that women experience hot flashes is about 5 years, the extent and severity of symptoms is unique to each woman.  While some women have minimal problems, others have symptoms that can last for an extended time period. 

Lifestyle habits such as smoking, poor nutrition, less than ideal weight, lack of exercise and high stress levels may contribute to more severe symptoms.  Likewise, healthy lifestyle habits including proper nutrition, regular exercise, not smoking and losing weight if needed, all contribute to overall health and wellness.  At this stage of life, women are more susceptible to developing other health conditions.  Low estrogen levels can contribute to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. 

  • Regular exercise can strengthen your bones, help you to maintain proper weight and can elevate your mood. 
  • Smoking can trigger hot flashes and is a risk factor in the development of many serious health conditions including heart disease and osteoporosis. 
  • Reducing excess body fat supports more balanced estrogen and progesterone ratios. 
  • Decreasing your caffeine and sugar intake may help to limit bone loss and support the liver’s ability to metabolize estrogen. 
  • Properly balanced  microflora in the digestive tract aids in the metabolism and utilization of estrogen. 
  • Stress reduction helps to keep hormones and neurotransmitters in balance, which may help to limit hot flashes and stabilize mood.   

Studies show that up to 80% of women may use non-prescription products, such as dietary herbal and nutritional supplements, to relieve menopausal symptoms.  An important thing to remember is that menopause is a natural part of life with symptoms that can be managed. 

Favorite supplements that our customers recommend for relief of menopausal symptoms include: 

Estrovera by MetagenicsThis completely natural formula has been clinically shown to be significantly effective in decreasing menopausal hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disturbances and other menopausal symptoms without the risk of side effects. 

AM/PM Menopause Formula by Integrative TherapeuticsThis formula provides an herbal hormone-free solution for natural relief of menopausal symptoms.  The morning tablet provides an energizing formula for day and the evening tablet provides sleep support without morning grogginess. 

Kavinace Flash-Ease by NeuroScienceThis proprietary blend addresses hot flashes, helps to manage stress and supports healthy mood and sleep. 

OstaDerm V by Bezwecken – With daily application, this cream provides relief of symptoms associated with vaginal dryness and atrophy vaginitis.  This product contains plant derived estrogen and progesterone extracted from wild yam and may also be effective for insomnia, hot flashes and mood swings. 

Menopause Support by Vital NutrientsThis combination herbal formula is specifically designed to alleviate hot flashes and other common menopausal symptoms. 

 

 

 

 

Featured Brand: Nature’s All Foods

SusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health Writer
 
 Professional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of Nature’s All Foods’ healthy snack line, which includes USDA Certified Organic Freeze-Dried Fruits including Fair Trade Certified™ varieties.  Nature’s All Foods is committed to upholding high social, economic and environmental standards that promote a healthy environment.  Fair Trade Certified™ fruits support local farmers and cooperatives with fair wages and improved living conditions.  Sustainable Organic farming practices reduce water use and help to maintain local ecosystems.  Banning the use of fertilizers and pesticides ensures you are getting only clean, wholesome, high quality delicious fruits. 
 
Perfect for snacking at home or on the go and just the right size for your child’s lunchbox, these organic, crunchy and sweet fruits are flash frozen to maintain all their nutritional benefits.  Eat them right out of the package or add them to cereals, smoothies or baked goods for an exceptionally nutritious treat.  All products are gluten-free and Non-GMO Verified with no added sugar, coloring or preservatives.  Try some today!
 
USDA Organic varieties include Organic Strawberries, Organic Pineapples, Organic Blueberries, Organic Raspberries, Organic Mangoes and Organic Apples. 
 
Fair Trade Certified Fruits include Organic Bananas, Organic Bananas and Strawberries, and Organic Tropical Fruits.
 
 

Could the Paleo Diet Be The Key To Long Term Health?

Paleo2JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

One benefit of eating the Paleo way is a rebalanced body chemistry.  A balanced body chemistry generally results in a reduction in body fat, lowered cholesterol, tryglyceride and blood sugar levels, and reduced risk of developing chronic and debilitating diseases.  The more modern paleo diet, in combination with regular exercise, is meant to be a lifestyle not a quick fix weight loss plan, although weight loss is often a benefit.  The theory behind the paleo lifestyle is this:

  • When we eat foods that are consistent with our genetic ancestry, we can avoid many of the diseases associated with our modern diets. 
  • That by eliminating sugars, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates, we can effectively eliminate underlying causes of modern disease such as diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and high cholesterol. 
  • This way of eating results in stable blood sugar, reduced inflammation, a reduction in stored body fat, improved sleep patterns and better overall health. 

Emory University research suggests that our Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) ancestors ate a balanced diet of 35% fats, 35% carbohydrates and 30% protein.  For two million years or more, this diet consisted of whole foods that could be hunted, gathered, fished or foraged.  Proponents of the paleo diet believe it’s the healthiest way to eat because it nutritionally supports our genetics and keeps us lean, strong and energetic.  The Standard American Diet (SAD) consists of refined grains, processed foods, unhealthy fats and added sugars.  Most grains, including whole grains, corn, soybeans, canola and sugar beets are now genetically modified and came into existence in the mid 90′s.  Some estimates show that 75% of processed foods now contain GMO ingredients that are certainly not part of our genetic ancestry. 

A strict Paleo diet consists solely of whole foods such as fresh fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean meats (preferably from free-range grass fed animals and free-roaming chickens), wild caught seafood, nuts and seeds, eggs, healthy fats such as avocado, nut oils and coconut, and raw honey.  This requires avoidance of foods that did not exist at the time of our ancestors including dairy, grains, processed food, sugars, legumes, starches and alcohol.  Evidence suggests good reasons to give up dietary refined carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods.  The constant consumption of these foods desensitizes the body’s insulin response, leading to insulin resistance.  Studies suggest that lower levels of refined carbohydrates and higher levels of protein lead to weight loss and improved metabolic responses, improved insulin sensitivity, improved blood lipids and lowered blood pressure. 

The Paleo diet is based on the study, “The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food Groups,” conducted by Loren Cordain, PhD of the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, which concluded the following:

  • Using contemporary foods currently available in food stores, it is entirely possible to emulate the essential characteristics of a nutritious, balanced hunter-gatherer diet that mimics the food groups and types of food available during the Paleolithic Age.
  • Despite the elimination of two major food groups (grains and dairy), the trace nutrient density remains exceptionally high. 
  • The macronutrient content of the Paleo diet (38% protein, 39% fat and 23% carbohydrate) varies considerably from current western values.
  • Contemporary diets based on Paleolithic food groups maintains both trace and macronutrients qualities that are known to reduce the risk of a variety of chronic diseases.  Although the contemporary Paleo diet provides no dietary vitamin D, hunter-gatherers would have obtained vitamin D from sunlight exposure. 
  • Other characteristics of the Paleo diet, including a high intake of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals along with low salt intake. further reduces the risk of developing chronic diseases. 
  • As a result of a mismatch between the contemporary diet and our genetically determined physiology, many diseases of civilization have emerged.

Critics of the Paleo diet say it’s too restrictive, which makes it difficult to follow long term.  There’s no question that changing your dietary and lifestyle habits takes real commitment.   Whether or not you want to follow a strict Paleo diet or a more modified one that might include dairy and legumes, there are some good points you can take from it:

  • The consumption of whole foods, as close to nature as possible, supports overall health. 
  • The elimination of the same forbidden foods that the Harvard Medical School recommends for the avoidance of heart disease, including sugar, processed foods, fast foods, refined and processed grains and carbohydrates.
  • The Paleo diet is low in sodium and high in potassium, which supports vascular health and lowered blood pressure. 
  • Reduction of added refined sugars, which contribute to insulin resistance, obesity, and heart disease. 
  • The replacement of refined carbohydrates with more high nutrient dense vegetables and fruits provides necessary calcium and nutrients, while eliminating spikes in blood glucose levels.  Elimination of refined grains aids in the reduction of abdominal fat, which contributes to fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • The addition of omega-3 fatty acids from fish and the consumption healthy saturated fats supports heart, brain and immune health. 
  • There’s no calorie counting.  Just consume real whole foods that keep you satiated, reduce hunger pangs and break the addictive sugar craving cycle. 

Products that support the Paleo lifestyle include: 

PaleoMeal® by Designs for Health -  PaleoMeal® is a great-tasting, nutrient-rich powdered meal supplement designed to help promote an optimal intake of protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in support of overall wellness.  This minimally processed product is available in either plant-derived or whey-derived protein formulas.   Available in a variety of natural flavors.
 
PaleoGreens™ Organic Powder by Designs for Health PaleoGreens is a great tasting, unflavored greens food made with organic ingredients with the principles of wholesome Paleolithic nutrition in mind.  It contains cleansing, regenerative and alkalinizing grass juices, algae, enzymes, and prebiotics, combined with high ORAC value vegetables, fruits and berries.  Also available in Mint and Lemon/Lime flavored formulas.
 
PaleoCleanse™  -  PaleoCleanse contains quality macronutrients to fuel detoxification pathways.  This product contains a full array of multivitamins and minerals for detoxification enzyme support, all the nutrients needed to support and balance phase I and II metabolic pathways, and high levels of antioxidant support for safe detoxification.
 

PaleoBar™ -  Available in a variety of flavors, PaleoBars are a micronutrient dense, health promoting snack/meal supplement that can be very beneficial in the implementation of a successful low-carbohydrate eating plan.  Available in dairy free and whey protein formulas. 

 

Ubiquinol

UbiquinolJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 
 Many of us may have heard of the energy-producing antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is naturally found in all bodily cells.  Less well known may be ubiquinol, the non-oxidized, electron-rich, active form of CoQ10 that has powerful antioxidant potential.  Antioxidants scavenge free radicals and help prevent cellular damage that can lead to cancer, heart disease and a host of chronic age-related diseases.  Free radicals, which are unstable electron deficient cells, are the result of normal metabolism, cellular respiration and energy production.  The body naturally produces and circulates antioxidant enzymes to control the destruction of healthy cells by free radicals, which seek to steal electrons.  However, free radicals that are produced as a biological response to exposure to environmental toxins, chemicals, cigarette smoke, statin medications and sun exposure challenge the body’s ability to control oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress occurs when free radicals outnumber antioxidant defenses, leaving us more susceptible to the deleterious effects of aging.   
 
Ubiquinol is the biologically active “reduced” form of CoQ10 that your body utilizes for important biochemical functions, including the maintenance of cardiovascular health.  In this case, “reduced” means that it has two extra electrons that can be donated to free radicals, effectively rendering them harmless.  Extensive research shows that when we are younger than 30 years old, the body easily converts CoQ10 to ubiquinol.  As we age, it becomes increasingly challenging for the body to produce CoQ10 and make the conversion to ubiquinol, resulting in less efficient cellular energy production and the development of acute and chronic disease.  After age 40, ubiquinol is a more effectively absorbed form of CoQ10.  Ubiquinol supplementation has been shown to be beneficial for raising the blood levels of a reduced and potentially more potent and active form of CoQ10. 
 
Eating healthy whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables that contain the antioxidant vitamins C and E, carotenoids and phytonutrients, increases the body’s ability to neutralize free radical damage.  Some of the best food sources of CoQ10 are the sulfurous vegetables broccoli and cauliflower, nuts and seeds, oily fish and meats.  A typical American diet generally provides 10 mg of CoQ10, nowhere near the recommended daily amount of 30 to 200 mg daily.  Supplementation has been shown to be beneficial in preventing oxidative stress and supporting optimal function of the heart muscle, the health of high energy organs (heart, brain, kidneys and liver), the maintenance of normal LDL cholesterol levels, cellular energy production and cardiovascular health. 
 
Ubiquinol-QH 100 mg by Pure Encapsulations provides a readily available active state of CoQ10 suitable for older individuals that may need greater levels of antioxidant support. 
 
Ubiquinol-QH (201899) by Douglas Laboratories provides 100 mg of the biologically reduced form of CoQ10 along with vitamin E. 
 
Ubiquinol CoQ10  100 mg by Vital Nutrients offers 100 mg of activated CoQ10 for superior bioavailability.
 
UBQH™Ubiquinol 100 mg by Integrative Therapeutics provides active form, reduced CoQ10 for cellular energy and overall wellness support. 

 

Pass The Buttuh!

Pass The ButtuhBy Susan Brown

The good news – Statistics and studies now show that the saturated fats and dietary cholesterol found in butter, eggs, meat, and full fat dairy do not cause heart disease.  In fact, research indicates that in moderate amounts, they may actually be good for our health.  For over 5 decades, saturated fats and cholesterol have been touted as the main dietary culprits believed to cause clogged arteries and heart attacks.  As a result of recommendations made in 1980 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to reduce dietary cholesterol and fats in our diets, butter consumption in the United States has declined by over 75%.  That same year, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) concurred with the USDA and issued dietary guidelines that recommended all Americans over the age of two eliminate dietary saturated fats and cholesterol containing foods. 

The result – Not what we hoped.  Americans are sicker and more obese than ever.  Type 2 diabetes has increased 166% and cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States. 

The not so good news – Even though death rates from heart disease have fallen, more than one third of Americans are now obese.  Factor in the overweight and that number rises to more than two thirds of the population.  Many experts attribute falling cardiac death rates to better emergency care, the widespread use of cholesterol-lowering statin medications and certain lifestyle changes, such as less smoking.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 1990 through 2010 there was a dramatic increase of obesity in the United States.  Since the 1970′s, obesity rates have more than doubled for both adults and children.  So, we are exercising more and watching our fat intake yet the rates of largely preventable obesity-related health conditions, which include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer, have risen dramatically.

Changing the mindset along with dietary guidelines -  Along with the recommendations for a low fat diet, came an explosion of seemingly healthy low-fat processed foods.  As a result of the availability of relatively inexpensive convenience foods, recommendations to replace dietary fats with more vegetables and fruits went largely unnoticed.  In order to make these low-fat foods tasty and appealing, manufacturers added more sugar, trans-fats, hydrogenated oils and sodium to their refined carbohydrate products.  Many nutritionists, doctors and scientists now believe the argument against dietary saturated fat was significantly flawed.  Current research suggests that it’s the overconsumption of processed foods, refined carbohydrates, sugars and sweeteners that are responsible for both the obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics.  Statistics show that 95% of Americans’ diets consist of 70% processed foods.  A typical American grocery store now stocks over 30,000 processed food items.  To improve our health we need to reduce our consumption of processed foods and replace them with quality whole foods.  Convincing Americans to change their eating habits will not happen quickly, as processed foods are convenient, inexpensive and are designed to taste delicious.  Many are actually formulated to be addictive, leaving us constantly wanting more, while steadily increasing our waistlines and damaging our health.        

In addition – Butter substitutes, that consisted largely of processed and hydrogenated oils  and artificial trans-fats, replaced real butter on our breakfast and dinner tables.  The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Institute of Medicine now recommends keeping trans-fat consumption to a minimum.  In fact, if you want to reduce your risk factors for coronary heart disease, they should be eliminated entirely.  Reliable studies show that these fats not only raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol, they are also contributing factors in the development of arteriosclerosis.  As a result of these recommendations, plus increased public awareness, proposed nutrition label changes and state and local government restrictions, the food industry has made efforts to reformulate many processed foods.  However, countless foods, including fried foods, margarines, frozen pizzas, microwave snacks, cookies and other foods, are still major dietary contributors of artificial trans-fats, added sugars and hydrogenated oils. 

In conclusion – If you want to add years to your life along with life to your years and get the benefit of an 80% reduction in risk factors for chronic disease,  eat a wholesome diet consisting of largely plant-based foods.  Replace processed food with home cooked food and reduce consumption of sugar, high fructose corn syrup and refined grains.  Include large amounts of vegetables, a low to moderate amount of fresh fruit and high-quality protein and eat healthy fats as found in dairy, eggs, avocados, nuts, coconuts, seafood and preferably grass-fed meats.