Featured Brand – Innate® Response Formulas

Innate_ResponseSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Innate® Response Formulas creates and manufactures clinically driven foundational and nutritional formulas in order to provide therapeutic solutions for wellness. Innate® products focus on targeted ingredients integrated with whole foods, resulting in a truly unique, biologically active, nutrient delivery system. Their mission, as a leader in whole food nutrition, is to provide fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, carefully dried and complexed with essential nutrients and delivered in a bioavailable form that the body will recognize as food.  

Innate® Response sources the finest whole foods, which must pass extensive scrutiny to meet quality standards. Located in New Hampshire, their ISO certified manufacturing facility is equipped with state-of-the-art analytical and manufacturing equipment to ensure the potency and purity of their vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient formulas. All products are rigorously tested both in-house and independently for allergens, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and microbes. The vast majority of their formulas test free of gluten, dairy and soy.

Video Innate Response

Here is a sampling of our customers’ favorite supplements from Innate® Response. For more information, please call or email Professional Supplement Center. To view the complete line of products, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com.

Adrenal ResponseAdrenal Response® – This popular product supports a healthy stress response with clinically studied Sensoril® Ashwagandha extract and traditional adaptogenic herbs, including rhodiola, American ginseng root and holy basil. Our customers report reduced anxiety, increased energy and an overall feeling of wellness when taking Adrenal Response®. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formulation.

One Daily CapOne Daily Cap – Formulated exclusively with select whole food concentrates, One Daily provides a synergistic and comprehensive spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals, bioactive enzymes, amino acids, probiotics, immune supporting herbs and fruit phenols in support of optimal wellness and vitality. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formulation.

Flora 20-14 ULtra Strength (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)Flora 20-14 Ultra Strength – Each capsule provides 20 billion active cells of 14 different strands of probiotics for foundational support of the gastrointestinal system. Designed to repopulate both the large and small intestine and encourage healthy bacterial growth, Flora 20-14 supports intestinal and immune health and bowel regularity. Gently filtered to remove common allergens. Wheat free.

Renewal GreensRenewal Greens – This professional strength formula contains a proprietary blend of highly bioavailable certified organic greens, plus 41 organic high ORAC value antioxidant fruits and vegetables, digestive enzymes, soluble and insoluble fiber, botanicals and non-dairy multi-strain viable probiotics for cardiovascular, immune and overall wellness support. Gluten and dairy free, vegan, organic plant-based flavored formulation.  

B12 – The Little Vitamin That Could

b12JacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

Vitamin B12 is a complex and powerful little vitamin that may not come up on our radar screens very often. Some may think of B12 as the “energy” vitamin, but all B vitamins help to convert carbohydrates into glucose, the fuel that supplies energy to all bodily cells. B vitamins are necessary for the health of our skin, eyes, hair and liver and each has distinct roles to play in bodily functions. Specifically, vitamin B12 helps to maintain healthy nerve cells and assists in the production of DNA and RNA, our genetic material. B12 helps produce red blood cells, aids iron in producing oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and keeps homocysteine levels, a factor in cardiovascular disease, in check.

A healthy functioning body uses B12 efficiently, largely in the course of the recycling of B12 through the liver. Even though B12 is a water soluble vitamin, the liver is capable of storing minute amounts for several years. Yet, according to the National Institutes of Health, B12 deficiency is widespread. Initially, low levels of vitamin B12 may cause a range of symptoms including fatigue, shortness of breath, nervousness, digestive distress and numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes. Unlike other nutrient deficiencies that can be reversed with repletion, B12 is so vital to brain and nervous system health that a deficiency can cause permanent damage.

Dietary B12 is found only in animal products, such as meat, dairy, eggs and seafood and in fortified foods, such as cereal products and tofu. Many of us may not consider how much vitamin B12 we actually obtain through our diets, so supplementation of this highly important nutrient may be the best way to ensure ideal levels for optimal health support. The stages of B12 deficiency may present very slowly, so it can go unnoticed for a long period of time.

  • Stage 1 – Blood levels of B12 begin to decline, signaling the body does not have sufficient available B12
  • Stage 2 – Progression to low cellular concentrations of B12
  • Stage 3 – Increased blood levels of homocysteine, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, along with a decreased rate of DNA synthesis
  • Stage 4 – Macrocytic anemia, a condition associated with a red blood cell abnormality, resulting in both enlargement and insufficient numbers of cells and insufficient hemoglobin content of cells  

Those most at risk for B12 deficiency are the elderly, vegetarians, pregnant women, chronic alcohol abusers and those with renal or intestinal diseases. For example:

  • Those with pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease that results in the failure to produce intrinsic factor, a substance required for B12 absorption that is normally secreted by the stomach. Left untreated, pernicious anemia may progress to megaloblastic anemia and irreversible neurological disorders, even when there is adequate dietary intake. Those who fail to produce intrinsic factor may require prescription injections of vitamin B12.
  • Senior citizens are at higher risk of deficiency, as at around age 50 many people begin to lose the ability to absorb dietary B12.
  • Vegans and strict vegetarians, whose diets don’t include any or insufficient amounts of animal products, are at high risk of deficiency and must be sure to supplement and include dietary foods fortified with B12.
  • Vitamin B12 is bound to the protein in our food, and is released by the activity of hydrochloric acid and gastric protease, two factors that must be present in the stomach for B12 to be absorbed and utilized. Those who have insufficient production of hydrochloric acid may have very limited absorption of B12 and may require very high oral doses of vitamin B12.
  • Those with Crohn’s or celiac disease, disorders that affect nutrient absorption, may not be able to absorb a sufficient amount of B12.
  • Certain medications, such as those for diabetes and long term use of stomach acid reducers, increase the chances of developing a B12 deficiency.

For normal function and optimal health, the body requires essential micronutrients, including at least 30 vitamins, minerals and other nutrient compounds. Working in harmony, synergistic nutrients support the bodily functions that not only keep us healthy but, more importantly, sustain life. A deficiency in one vitamin may affect the functioning of others, meaning that multiple deficiencies may be present simultaneously. Vitamin insufficiency is linked to the development of chronic diseases, including diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia and night blindness to name just a few.

B12 deficiency is a serious health issue that should not be taken lightly. For those at high risk of deficiency, supplementation with vitamin B12 is considered a safe and effective way to support neurological health, energy production, red blood cell formation, nervous system function and DNA synthesis. A multivitamin and mineral formula that includes the full complement of B vitamins or a B-complex formula that contains the complete range of synergistic B vitamins may be the ideal solution to ensure adequate intake for those at a lower risk of deficiency.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other fine products for vitamin B12 supplementation:

Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 by Designs for Health – Each natural berry flavored lozenge delivers 5,000 mcg of activated B12. Formulated to be dissolved in the mouth in order to deliver B12 through the mucous membranes and bypassing the intestines for those with absorption issues. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.

 

Vitamin B-12 2500 mcg (B12-60)Vitamin B12 2500 mcg by Douglas Laboratories – These sublingual tablets, designed to improve absorption and bioavailability, dissolve rapidly to deliver 2500 mcg of pure vitamin B12 for those who wish to increase their B12 intake. Convenient dosing with one daily tablet.

 

B12 5000 LiquidB12 5000 Liquid by Pure Encapsulations – This popular formula provides 5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 in a convenient and bioavailable liquid form. Naturally flavored with apple and black currant juice. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Vegan Vitamin B-12 SublingualVegan Vitamin B12 Sublingual – These pleasant tasting, quick dissolving sublingual tablets supply 1000 mcg of vitamin B12, plus vitamin B6 and folate. This highly bioavailable vegan formulation helps to ensure adequate intake of this essential and very important nutrient. Gluten, soy and dairy free.

 

References:
Vitamin B12. http://www.britannica.com/science/nutritional-disease/Vitamin-B12
Causes and Early Diagnosis of Vitamin B12 Deficiency. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2696961/
Vitamin B12 Deficiency. http://www.lifescript.com/health/a-z/conditions_a-z/conditions/v/vitamin_b12_deficiency.aspx
Vitamin B12. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin

About Those Muscle Cramps

crampsJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

At some point in time, just about everyone experiences the short lived, but excruciating, pain of a muscle spasm — a sudden involuntary muscle contraction often referred to as a charley horse. Muscle spasms, which frequently come without warning while exercising, resting or sleeping, often occur in the arch of the foot or the calf, quadricep, or hamstring muscles. The spasm may last from just a few seconds to an agonizing fifteen minutes and, less commonly, even longer. When the pain is intense, it can seem like an eternity until the forcibly contracted muscle resolves itself, just as spontaneously as it occurred. It’s not uncommon for a spasm to recur several times before it finally abates and, frequently, the aftermath may be discomfort or sore muscles for a day or two. While muscle spasms can happen to anyone, pregnant women and seniors are the most susceptible to recurring muscle cramping.

Although science has yet to determine an exact cause, underlying or known medical conditions, dehydration, overexertion, muscle fatigue and electrolyte imbalances are believed to be contributing factors. An occasional charley horse is common, however, frequent recurring muscle spasms may require a medical diagnosis. As with other health concerns, prevention measures may be the best approach for reducing the chances of developing cramps and muscle spasms.

  • Physical exertion – Strenuous activity, failure to adequately warm up before exercising, and overworked, fatigued muscles can frequently result in cramping, sometimes many hours later. To help prevent regular occurrence of spasms, exercise while well hydrated at a proper level for you and, when temperatures are high, consider avoiding outdoor exercise.
  • Dehydration – Excessive fluid loss from perspiration during sports or vigorous exercise increases the likelihood of developing cramps. Sodium loss as a result of excessive sweating and insufficient, irregular fluid intake are likely causes of dehydration.
  • Medications – Many medications, including those designed to control blood pressure, lower cholesterol or treat Parkinson’s disease, can also contribute to cramping. Diuretics may induce cramping by depleting body fluids along with sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  • Low blood levels of calcium and magnesium – Cramping often occurs when calcium and magnesium levels, critical to muscle function, are inadequate. Commonly found in pregnant women and older adults, calcium and magnesium deficiencies, whether caused by inadequate intake, medications, morning sickness, or poor absorption due to vitamin D deficiency, can directly impact the excitability of nerve endings in the muscles they help stimulate.
  • Low potassium – Low potassium levels are commonly associated with muscle weakness but may cause cramping as well. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate nerve and muscle function, hydration, blood pH and blood pressure. Imbalanced electrolytes can lead to either muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions.
  • Nocturnal night cramps – Staying in one position, where a muscle is contracted for an extended period of time, is often cited as a cause of spasms that occur while resting. Daily stretching, adequate hydration and keeping bed linens unrestrictive may help to prevent night time cramps.

When muscle spasms do occur, massaging and stretching the muscle are often effective strategies to minimize discomfort and relieve the cramp more quickly or, at the very least, give you something helpful to do while you wait for the muscle to relax. An Epsom salt bath, replenishing fluids and icing the muscle may help to relieve any residual soreness.

MuscleCramps

To reduce the risk of developing muscle spasms and cramps, stay well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Increase your flexibility by warming up and stretching properly before and after physical activity and remember to work out in accordance with your own fitness level. Routine daily stretching of the calf, the quadriceps and the hamstring muscles may help minimize cramping. Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet, address electrolyte imbalances and make sure you are getting adequate amounts of all essential vitamins and minerals daily.

The following high quality formulas are specifically designed to relieve occasional muscle tension and cramping:

Muscle Cramp/Tension FormulaMuscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This carefully designed formula offers important electrolytes, soothing herbs and vitamin C to help relieve occasional nighttime leg muscle cramps, overall muscle tension and minor muscle cramps related to physical activity. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation

 

BaxaprinBaxaprin™ by Designs for Health – This calming formula contains vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium and botanicals designed to help relieve occasional muscle tension and cramping related to muscular stress or overuse. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Muscle-AidMuscle-Aid by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals – This combination formula of mineral amino acid chelates and vitamins is designed to help control muscle spasms and alleviate cramping, while optimizing energy and providing cardiovascular health support. Natural orange flavored powdered formula easily mixes with food or beverage of choice.

 

Spaz Out Spaz Out® by Metabolic Maintenance – An excellent choice for the physically active, this well-balanced formula is designed to replenish the mineral electrolytes typically found to be deficient in those with muscle cramping. Vegetarian formula.

 

References:
What causes leg cramps?
Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Charley Horse
What are electrolytes?

How Oral Health Affects Overall Health

Oral_HealthJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

We all want to have a bright smile, fresh breath and healthy teeth. Sometimes though, it’s easy to “brush off” daily flossing, biannual dental checkups or even cleaning our teeth before we settle down for the night. When we do this too often, we jeopardize our dental health and increase the risk of acquiring dental decay and gum disease, which can affect not only our dental health, but our overall health as well. Oral health, whether good or bad, mirrors the condition of the health of the body and can have a huge impact on our quality of life.

  • Chronic oral inflammation, resulting from the low grade infection caused by moderate or advanced periodontal disease, is associated with the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
  • Besides being tender and unsightly, chronic swollen and bleeding gums, known as gingivitis, can lead to bone and tooth loss.
  • Studies have shown that oral bacteria resulting from substandard dental hygiene is associated with poor neurological health, memory problems and declining cognitive skills, providing very good motivation to address dental health issues.
  • Tooth abscesses have been linked to infections in other parts of the body, a good reason not to ignore a cavity. Statistics show that hospitalizations resulting from untreated dental abscesses are on the rise.
  • Research has shown similarities between unhealthy gums and joint inflammation, including the destruction of connective tissues, such as seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
  • People with diabetes are at higher risk of gum disease and other infections. Protecting oral health may aid blood sugar control, so be especially diligent with oral care if you have diabetes or risk factors for developing diabetes.
  • Poor oral health during pregnancy is linked to preterm, low-birthrate babies, so it’s very important to properly care for and maintain healthy teeth and gums while pregnant.

Significantly, just as an eye exam may determine health problems in other parts of the body, such as high cholesterol levels, diabetes and high blood pressure, an oral exam can reveal conditions such as osteoporosis, digestive and eating disorders, kidney disease and cancer. As we all want and need our teeth to remain healthy and last for a lifetime, taking good care of your oral health is well worth the few minutes it takes to floss and brush regularly. And those twice yearly visits to your dentist for an exam and cleaning are very important, not just for a beautiful smile, but for the health of your body as well. Research suggests that disciplined people who exercise regularly, make healthy food choices and maintain their weight are more likely to floss daily and take good care of their teeth and gums. Those who make a commitment to their long term health know that one of the secrets to a long and healthy life may just be as simple as living mindfully.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other fine products for dental health support:

Propolis MGO 400+ & Manuka Honey Toothpaste with Manuka OilPropolis MGO 400+ & Manuka Honey Toothpaste with Manuka Oil by Manuka Health – Known for its healing and antibacterial properties, this mild menthol toothpaste contains premium BIO30™ New Zealand Propolis, high grade MGO™ Manuka Honey and pure Manuka Oil with natural plant extracts to gently cleanse. Studies suggest that Manuka honey may be able to reduce oral pathogens within dental plaque. Fluoride, sodium lauryl sulphate and preservative free formula.

IPSAB Herbal Gum Treatment
IPSAB Herbal Gum Treatment by Heritage – Naturally flavored with peppermint spirits, this astringent formula is recommended for healthy gum tissue and effective oral hygiene. Massage into gum tissues to strengthen and help shrink swollen gum tissues.

 

Neem & Pomegranate ToothpasteNeem & Pomegranate Toothpaste by Himalaya Herbal HealthcareThis fluoride and saccharin free toothpaste contains traditional Ayurvedic herbal ingredients such as neem, triphala, thyme, botanicals, essential oils and pomegranate to aid in promoting clean and healthy teeth and gum tissues. Neem has been used for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

 

References:
Oral Warning Signs Can Indicate Serious Medical Conditions
Oral Infections Causing More Hospitalizations
Researchers find potential link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s
Gum Disease (Gingivitis)

Does the Form of Vitamin You Take Matter?

Form_VitaminsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Vitamins and minerals form the foundation of healthy nutrition. Supplements and nutraceuticals that provide essential nutrients come in a wide range of formulations, including tablets, softgels, capsules, powders, liquids, chewables, sublingual lozenges, food bars and injections as prescribed by your physician. Different forms may provide greater benefits to you under certain unique conditions. Those who may have difficulty swallowing capsules or tablets, or those who have poor digestion or absorption issues, may find that liquid or sublingual supplements provide a greater benefit in an easy to take form. Absorption appears to be the top concern among supplement users, with the physical format mostly a matter of personal preference in accordance with their budget and lifestyle.  

High quality supplement manufacturers invest heavily in research and development to ensure their products are shelf stable and are able to break down, generally in a specific amount of time, and be absorbed into the bloodstream for optimal utilization. In order to provide the greatest benefits from the supplement, reputable manufacturers consistently test and retest their formulas to ensure their ability to be properly absorbed. And as with any healthy nutrient, whether from food or a supplement, faster absorption isn’t always better. For this reason, certain essential nutrients are designed in time release formats while others, such as energy or pre- and post-workout products, are designed for faster absorption.

It may help to know that certain supplements are formulated in a particular way because the manufacturer has determined, through research, development and the latest technology, the form they believe can deliver the optimal benefit. To assist in determining the ideal format for you, let’s take a look at the different delivery systems:

Tablets – By far the most cost effective, tablets can be offered in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. While all high quality supplements are tested for shelf life and dated accordingly, tablets are generally designed to retain potency for a longer period of time, which may be a consideration when purchasing larger quantity bottles. Additionally, many tablets are notched, making them easier to split for those who prefer to divide their dose or to aid swallowing of larger tablets.

Capsules – Capsules allow for unique combinations of ingredients and offer protection for sensitive ingredients. Capsules are generally odorless and tasteless, are easy to swallow and the gelatin or vegetarian capsules tend to break down quickly once swallowed. Capsules are likely to be more costly than tablets due to delicate manufacturing processes. Some prefer capsules because they can be taken apart and mixed with liquids or smoothies.

Video Vitamin Form

Liquids – Liquid supplements are ideal for ease of use and offer the most flexibility for individualized dosing. High quality liquid nutrients are readily absorbed into the blood stream and easily utilized. Some may shy away from liquid nutrients under the assumption that they will dislike the taste, but many are naturally flavored and can provide higher concentrations of nutrients. Children, seniors and those who have trouble swallowing tablets or capsules may be good candidates for a liquid format. Vitamin D 3 is a popular supplement that is readily absorbed in liquid form.

Softgels – Softgels are known for ease of swallowing and most often contain liquid or oil-based formulas. They offer less flexibility with dosing determined only by the number of softgels you consume, as they cannot be broken or split. Softgel manufacturing is highly specialized, so products tend to be pricier than tablets or capsules. However, because they are air tight and completely sealed, they offer stability and a long shelf life, ensuring good value for cost.

Chewables – Chewables don’t require much explanation. Chewables for adults are different formulas than those designed for children. Adult chewables may be a good solution for those on the go and or those who just prefer chewables over other formats. Most can be taken with or without food and, although no water is required, a cup or so of liquid ensures all the bits and pieces are swallowed. They are generally lower in potency than capsules or tablets, which some find preferable. They tend to be easy on the stomach, as they are partially broken down by chewing and saliva. Chewables may have added sugar and many are fruit flavored making them pleasant tasting, so be sure to store them out of reach of children.

Sublinguals – Sublingual vitamins, whether in tablet or liquid form, are meant to be dissolved under the tongue and absorbed through the mucosal membranes of the mouth, entirely avoiding the gastrointestinal tract. One vitamin often taken sublingually is vitamin B12. For vitamin B12 to be absorbed in the intestines, intrinsic factor, released by the stomach walls, and sufficient hydrochloric acid must be present. Some people are deficient in hydrochloric acid or don’t produce sufficient amounts of intrinsic factor required for absorption. For those who are not able to absorb B12 via the intestines, sublinguals are a route to enhanced B12 absorption.

Powders – Powdered formulas, especially protein formulas, are increasingly popular for those who rely on breakfast or snack time smoothies to get their full complement of vitamins and minerals, often along with other nutrients such as amino acids, enzymes and antioxidants. Protein powders generally contain high quality protein sources such as whey, soy, or pea protein and most, but not all, contain flavoring such as chocolate or vanilla. Protein powders are an easy way to add protein to your diet while getting essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Not all powders are identical or contain additional nutrients, so be sure to check the list of ingredients to ensure you are meeting your individual needs.

Whatever format you choose, be sure to buy from reputable suppliers where identity, potency, purity and stability is of the utmost importance. To get the most benefit from your supplements, always adhere to label directions or follow your healthcare providers advice. For further information about any of our products, please feel free to call or email Professional Supplement Center.

Featured Brand – Kirkman® Labs

kirkman_labsSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Founded more than 60 years ago, Kirkman® Labs is recognized as a leading provider of nutritional supplements formulated to meet the special health needs of individuals. Kirkman® Labs’ mission statement has always been to provide unique and effective products that are designed to have a positive impact on the health and wellness of individuals with special sensitivities and dietary requirements. All Kirkman® products are manufactured in their own cGMP and NSF certified facility in compliance with the highest industry, regulatory and extensive internal standards. Kirkman® sources premium ingredients from well established top quality suppliers who must meet Kirkman’s own rigorous standards of product testing, identity, quality, safety, stability and purity.

Video Kirkman

With safety and effectiveness their primary concerns, Kirkman® pioneered an Ultra Tested® line of products that are tested for more than 950 environmental contaminants, far exceeding FDA requirements for testing of raw materials and finished products. Every raw ingredient and all finished products are thoroughly tested for potentially harmful pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, endocrine disruptors, bacteria, yeast, mold, 24 heavy metals and common allergens including casein, gluten, soy and peanuts. For those who are gluten sensitive, all Kirkman® supplements are gluten free in the lowest traceable amounts of 5 parts per million.  

Top sellers from Kirkman® Labs include:

Pro-Bio Gold (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)Pro-Bio Gold™ – Hypoallergenic – Considered their signature probiotic, this formula offers broad-spectrum, high-strength, comprehensive resident and transient microorganisms that aid in maintaining and promoting a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Potency, identity and long-term stability is guaranteed through independent testing.

EnZym-Complete/DPP-IVEnZym-Complete/DPP-IV™ –  Kirkman’s most popular broad-spectrum, high-strength digestive enzyme complex is formulated to support maximum digestive activity for a full range of foods. This product contains a unique blend of 18 pure, plant-based enzymes recognized as essential for effective digestion of proteins, carbs, fats, sugars, and fiber under a wide range of pH conditions. The inclusion of the DPP-IV™ enzyme supports the body’s ability to degrade peptides resulting from casein and gluten.

Advanced Adult Multi Vitamin/MineralAdvanced Adult Multi Vitamin/Mineral – Hypoallergenic – This proprietary formula is formulated to offer comprehensive nutrition and is ideal for those with sensitivities or special dietary requirements. In addition to 12 vitamins and 8 minerals , the formula provides antioxidant support with CoQ10 and Resvida™ brand resveratrol. Free of common allergens and ingredients that may trigger sensitivities.  

Should you have any questions about these or any other products from Kirkman® Labs, please call or email Professional Supplement Center.

The Best Time to Take Nutritional Supplements

timingSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Those of us who regularly take vitamins and minerals to support overall health or a specific health challenge know the importance of optimal nutrition. But many may not know the ideal time of day to take specific vitamins, whether to take them on an empty stomach or with food, or what combinations of vitamins to avoid or take together. Timing really is everything, as when you take your supplements can either boost or diminish their effectiveness. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s annual survey of dietary supplements, 71% of women and 65% of men take dietary supplements.

Video Timing Is Everything

By far, the most popular supplements are multivitamins and minerals, with 97% of supplement users relying on these to complement their health. While 90% of supplement users report following label information, this little primer may help those who take multi vitamins and those who take more than one supplement to receive the maximum benefit from their formulas.

Morning:

Probiotics – Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach, so for that reason morning may be best, although some prefer to take them at bedtime. When the stomach is empty, digestive activity is quiet and stomach acid and pH balance are relatively low, increasing the chances for the helpful microorganisms to thrive.

Iron – If you are advised to take iron supplements, take them in the morning, as iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach. Caffeine, dairy and calcium can negatively affect absorption, so it’s best to avoid these for several hours after taking iron. Vitamin C, however, can aid absorption, so by all means wash the iron supplement down with orange juice or lemon water.

Multivitamins – Taking multi’s with your first meal is ideal, as the vitamins are absorbed along with the naturally occurring nutrients contained in the food. As multivitamins contain both water and fat soluble vitamins, be sure to include some healthy fats with your meal for optimal absorption. If your multivitamin formula recommends more than one capsule per day, take them in divided doses at breakfast and lunch.

B-Complex vitamins – Taking B vitamins with breakfast helps to boost your metabolism and convert your food into energy, which can be used throughout the day. As B vitamins help to fight fatigue and create energy, it’s best to avoid taking them late in the day.

Vitamin C Vitamin C is best taken in the morning to support the immune system and boost energy levels. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that lasts only a few hours in the blood stream, so if your formula recommends more than 1 tablet per day, take it in divided doses with meals to get the full benefit.

Vitamin EThis fat soluble antioxidant vitamin is best absorbed when dietary fats are present, so if your breakfast includes some healthy fats, such as yogurt or nut butters, morning is a good time. Otherwise, lunch or dinner time is fine as long as you are having some healthy fats with your meal.

Fish oil – Important to support many aspects of health, fish oil is best taken with a main meal to aid absorption. Take omega-3 supplements at breakfast along with your multivitamins or if more than one capsule is recommended, take them in divided doses at breakfast and dinner.  

Afternoon:

CoQ10 – CoQ10 is involved in energy production and can be found in every cell, especially in the heart, which has high energy requirements. CoQ10 is best taken with a meal that contains dietary fats, and avoid taking it late in the day so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep.

Iodine – Iodine is not stored in the body, so regular intake is needed. Iodine supports normal cognitive function and healthy skin, and also increases energy levels. Table salt is fortified with iodine, but if you are not a regular salt user or use unadulterated salt, kelp tablets taken with lunch may boost midday energy levels.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is best taken with a meal that contains dietary fats. It’s possible that Vitamin D can negatively affect sleep, so lunch time is a good time to get your Vitamin D.

Vitamin K – Vitamin K is best absorbed along with dietary fats and ideally should be taken along with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C. Avoid taking vitamin K if you are taking Coumadin or any anticoagulant prescription drug, as Vitamin K can interfere with the effects of the medication.  

Evening:

Calcium – Calcium aids nerve transmission and muscle function. To get the full benefit, take calcium in the evening along with magnesium.

Magnesium – Magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles and nervous system and may aid restful sleep. Magnesium works synergistically with calcium, so take these together either as individual supplements or in a combined formula.

In addition:

Digestive Enzymes – Digestive enzymes can be taken with any meal or within 30 minutes of your meal. Unless you have serious digestive issues, they don’t necessarily need to be taken with light meals or snacks, but can be very beneficial for optimal breakdown and absorption of nutrients when taken with main meals.

FiberFiber supplements may be taken either first thing in the morning or before bed. Be sure to take fiber with a full glass of water and get plenty of water during the day. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any fiber supplement, as fiber may delay or reduce the absorption of certain medications. Additionally, do not take fiber supplements at the same time as medications.

Should you have any questions about the best time to take any supplements, please call or email Professional Supplement Center. If you are taking any medications, check with your healthcare provider or your pharmacist before starting any supplement regime.

References:
Taking iron supplements.
Best Time to Take Probiotics.
Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins.
Psyllium.
Vitamin K.

Omega-3’s for Dry Eyes

Dry_EyesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

Dry eyes typically occur in those who are otherwise healthy. Common risk factors include normal aging, hormonal changes and gender, as women are affected more often than men. An inability to produce the proper quantity and quality of tears, which lubricate and nourish the eyes, can result in symptoms such as grittiness, irritation, itching, burning, visual disturbances and, ironically, excessively watery eyes. The uncomfortable symptoms caused by chronic dry eyes can also be a result of medications or medical conditions, smoking, long term contact lens use, environmental factors or insufficient blinking, especially when you are staring into a computer screen the majority of your work day. Whatever the reason, when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, both the cornea and the conjunctiva are affected and, if not addressed, chronic dry eyes can lead to damage on the surface of the eye, impaired vision and increased susceptibility to infection.

As tears are naturally anti-inflammatory, a normally functioning eye keeps irritation to a minimum. When the eye does not produce sufficient tears, inflammation results. For this reason, supplements that provide the nutrients that reduce inflammation and aid in tear production are often recommended. Along with taking nutrients, dry eye symptoms can be managed and treated with OTC artificial tear solutions, although prescription medications may be needed if OTC drops don’t provide relief after using them regularly for several weeks. Lifestyle modifications, such as remembering to blink and to look away from the computer screen frequently throughout the day, increasing the humidity in your home or office, wearing sunglasses to reduce your exposure to sun, dust and wind, and not smoking can also help to relieve uncomfortable symptoms. Drinking sufficient water daily can help to relieve mild dehydration, which can worsen symptoms.

Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

As dry eye is inflammatory by nature, omega-3 essential fatty acids found in cold water oily fish and fish oil supplements are frequently recommended, not only to reduce inflammation but also to stimulate tear production. Fish oil is natural and safe for long term use and omega-3’s are important nutrients for the development, function and maintenance of eye tissue. DHA is particularly important for eye health and is found in high concentrations within eye tissue. Research has shown that EPA and DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids not only support healthy tissue moisture and tear production, they help promote overall eye health and vision and help maintain fluid and flexible eye cells and tissues. Additionally, omega-3’s provide benefits for overall health, including cardiac, brain, immune, joint and nervous system health.

Flax Seed Oil

Flax seed oil is rich in ALA, which has been shown to improve symptoms of dry eyes. Flax seed oil is an often recommended economical and alternative source for those who prefer plant-based omega-3’s. ALA is converted by the body into EPA and DHA. Flax seeds should always be ground before use in order to receive the optimal eye and overall health benefits.

In summation, supplementation with fish oil or flax seed oil will help to provide the foundation for the treatment of dry eyes by:

  • Decreasing inflammation of the oil glands that make up the oily layer of the tear film
  • Augmenting the oily layer that allows for better flow and creating a better oil layer covering the tear film
  • Stimulating the water portion of tear production

These high quality supplements are recommended to aid in the relief of symptoms of dry eye:

BioTearsBioTears by BioSyntrx – Highly effective and scientifically designed to address the underlying inflammatory processes associated with dry eye syndrome, BioTears not only addresses the symptoms of dry eyes, it provides the nutrients needed to reduce inflammation and increase normal tear production.

 

Organic Flax Seed Oil 1000 mg (FLX)Organic Flax Seed Oil 1000 mg (FLX) by Douglas Laboratories – These high quality softgels provide 100% pure, unrefined, organically grown flax seed oil containing 55-60% ALA plus additional fatty acids in their natural triglyceride form.

 

Peak Omega-3 Liquid Fish OilPeak Omega-3 Liquid Fish Oil by Wiley’s Finest Wild Alaskan Fish Oil – This naturally lemon flavored, great tasting liquid fish oil provides a pure and concentrated dose of omega-3 fatty acids sourced from sustainable Alaskan fish. Provides 2150 mg of EPA and DHA per teaspoon, along with Non-GMO natural vitamin E.

References:
Dry Eye Syndrome.
Dry Eye.
Current Opinion in Ophthalmology Nutritional Supplement for Dry Eye Syndrome.
Uncomfortable Dry Eyes.

Featured Brand – Genestra Brands™

GenestraSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

For 28 years, Genestra Brands™ has offered comprehensive synergistic formulas backed by clinical research and science-based evidence and has been known for proven safety, efficacy and reliability. Genestra Brands™ imposes rigorous manufacturing standards from raw materials and preparation to bottling and storage to ensure the highest quality dietary supplements. All products are manufactured in compliance with FDA and GMP regulations. In addition, formulas are NSF certified, ensuring that products meet strict standards for public health protection. Pure, natural ingredients are sourced from trusted global suppliers and, in order to meet the needs of those with chemical or allergen sensitivities, all unnecessary agents are avoided.

Video Genestra

Genestra Brands™ adheres to full label disclosure, listing all ingredients, including standardization of herbal extracts and the true elemental weight of minerals. Independent testing validates the quality, stability, potency and purity of every formula from raw materials to finished products. Genestra Brands™ is committed to supporting the advancement of clinical excellence in patient centered care and does so by collaborating with naturopathic physicians, healthcare professionals and various healthcare institutions. Genestra Brands™ quality formulas are available solely through healthcare professionals.

Top selling customer favorites include:

HMF Forte (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT)HMF Forte – This moderate level, long-term maintenance probiotic provides 2 strains of proprietary human-sourced Lactobacillus acidophilus, plus Bifidobacterium bifidum and the prebiotic fructooligosaccharides (FOS). Provides 10 billion CFU per dose. Gluten and soy free, vegan formula.

Liquid B ComplexLiquid B Complex – This easy to take, well balanced, high potency formula provides an excellent source of broad spectrum B-complex vitamins to aid dietary metabolism, red blood cell formation and maintenance of overall good health. Pleasant tasting, natural cherry flavor. Gluten and soy free, vegan formula.

Bio Enzymes (chewable)Bio Enzymes – Naturally peppermint flavored chewable tablets provide a complete spectrum of digestive enzymes in support of optimal digestion and absorption of nutrients. Gluten and soy free formulation.

D-Mulsion 1000D-Mulsion 1000 – This liquid vitamin D formula utilizes a patented emulsification process that potentially improves bioavailability. Great tasting spearmint flavored liquid may be dropped directly onto the tongue or mixed with liquid.   Gluten free.

Does Big Food Influence Food Guidelines?

usdaSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

American Dietary Guidelines are formed by the Dietary Guidelines Committee in conjunction with recommendations made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. Okay, that sounds reasonable enough from the outset. But when you look at who actually sits on that committee, you may be surprised to learn that the committee is largely made up members with financial ties to the food industry and has included members from McDonald’s, Coca Cola, the Sugar Association, the American Meat Institute, the pharmaceutical industry, the egg and dairy boards and various candy manufacturers. The answer then is that Big Food has a tremendous amount of influence on dietary guidelines that may deleteriously affect our overall long term health and longevity.

On to the next question – Should the committee that helps the federal government draw up our dietary guidelines be dominated by members with ties to Big Food? As the American Dietary Guidelines form the basis of all federal food programs, including the National School Lunch Program, and is the most influential and relied upon source of nutrition information for millions, one would question whether corporate interests come before public health. One AskTheNursesimply needs to consider the alarming state of a very large percentage of Americans with chronic poor health and the skyrocketing levels of obesity, type 2 diabetes and other diet related diseases to realize that the epidemic proportions of chronic disease is fueled by poor nutritional advice and unhealthy food choices. It appears that letting profit driven companies write the guidelines that pad their bottom lines is not only a conflict of interest, it is profoundly compromised and definitely not in the best interest of public health.

So in the matter of wealth vs. health, pro-industry bias is not only winning but exacting a terrible toll, as our dietary decisions are heavily influenced by the food industry, government policy and our own personal knowledge or lack thereof. Even as the food industry is well aware of the effects of their products on public health and their manipulation of consumer dietary habits, they continue to actively lobby state and federal politicians and spend billions on advertising and promotion to limit any negative public image and protect their commercial interests and, above all, their profits.

It appears the only way to reorient the nation’s health toward prevention, wellness and self care is to be your own best health advisor when it comes to nutrition choices. We make dozens of decisions every day about our food choices based on income, taste, nutritional beliefs and other factors. Some question whether we have lost our ability to make informed decisions about what we eat, allowing these decisions to made by big food producers. Unfortunately, accurate and impartial dietary advice based on the latest scientific research is strongly protested by the powerful food and drug industries. Add to that the fact the USDA is not only responsible for the dietary advice, it also has the responsibility to support and promote the agricultural industry.

On a positive note, there are organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Union of Concerned Citizens, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Center for Food Safety that actively work on the public’s behalf to counterbalance corporate interests and positively influence nutrition and food quality policy. So armed with this knowledge, where does a health conscious consumer turn for healthy nutritional advice? New dietary guidelines are scheduled to be released this fall along with changes to food labels. Many hope to see an emphasis on plant based diets, a focus on fiber-rich whole foods and healthy fats, recommendations to eat less red meat and processed foods, and a definite reduction in sugar intake.

References:
Recipe for Disaster: Scientists with Industry Ties Dominate Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
Food Industry and Political Influences on American Nutrition. 
What the new U.S. dietary guidelines will probably advise Americans to eat. 
Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. 
Big Industries Influence USDA Food Guidelines.