How Can Yoga Help You?

YogaSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Those of us have seen photos of yogis performing the ultimate in yoga poses may be intimidated to try a class. Many may be interested in yoga but think of themselves as unable to do the poses for a variety of reasons. The truth is, you don’t have to be an expert, young, physically fit, or an ideal weight to experience the many mental, physical and relaxation benefits of a regular yoga practice. All yoga poses are adaptable to different skill levels and a good instructor will know how to use the right props that enable you to get the most benefit out of each pose. Unlike a ballet studio, a typical yoga studio will not have mirrors, as the class is not about comparing yourself to others or being part of a troupe. It’s about improving your own flexibility, strength and balance, reducing stress and centering on your own mindfulness, health and wellbeing. The idea is to explore your own limits to challenge yourself physically without feeling overwhelmed. Poses are intended to align your body and the practice helps you to get in touch with your inner self.

If the idea of a class is too overwhelming, there are numerous tools available that make it easy to practice in the comfort of your own home. It’s okay to start slowly, as adding just a few simple poses to your daily routine can provide some health boosting benefits. While there are many branches of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises (pranayamas), getting into and holding poses (asanas), and finishing with a restful meditation period (savasana). Whatever type you choose should provide relaxation benefits without causing stress or pain. For sure, yoga is not like running on the treadmill or lifting weights at the gym. Yoga is mind/body exercise that can help with reducing anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain, while providing a respite from our everyday overly busy lives.

Yoga has been practiced for 5,000 years, and is widely accepted as a safe and effective alternative therapeutic exercise. It may only take a few months before you begin to see the benefits of daily practice. Regular practice will indeed strengthen and lengthen the muscles, lower heart rate and blood pressure, increase endurance and improve the quality of life for everyone. Yoga has been shown to have a positive impact on those suffering with depression, chronic illness, arthritis or back pain.

Positive body image – Because yoga promotes an inner awareness rather than outward appearance, those who practice yoga regularly are found to be more satisfied with and are less critical of their bodies. Yoga has become part of the treatment for eating disorders and programs that are designed to promote self-esteem and positive body image.

Back Pain – Numerous studies have found that yoga is often effective in reducing chronic back pain, improving back function and creating greater spinal flexibility. Many yoga postures strengthen the back and the abdominal muscles, essential components of the muscular network of the spine. Conditioning these muscles can help to greatly reduce back pain. The stretching and relaxation techniques promote flexibility in muscles and joints, increasing blood flow and allowing nutrients to flow into the area, while letting toxins flow out.

Anxiety and Depression – Studies have shown that healthy people who practice yoga can achieve a more positive outlook on life and develop coping skills. While other physical activities play a role in physical and psychological health, stretching, balancing and strengthening our body’s core muscles all contribute to optimal wellbeing. Researchers have found that yoga is an effective way to alleviate depression and anxiety. Anxiety disorders and depression, the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., are typically treated with pharmaceuticals which treat the symptoms but can have negative side effects. Research on yoga as a therapeutic tool shows evidence that yoga can help treat depression and anxiety though accessing the mind-body connection and changing the patterns of negative self-talk and obsessions.

Cardiovascular benefits – Several studies have found that yoga has a positive effect on blood pressure for people who have hypertension and may also help to improve lipid profiles. Yoga’s stress relieving benefits contribute to good overall and cardiac health, and may offer tremendous benefits in the management of acute emotional distress after a cardiac incident.  The breathing exercises are also thought to improve cardio-respiratory fitness. The American Heart Association recommends continued yoga practice as a preventative measure for long term heart health, and for recovery from cardiac arrest.

Weight loss and maintenance – Researchers have found that those who practice yoga have lower BMI’s, which may be attributed to a state of mindfulness that carries over to a more positive relationship with food and healthy eating. Those who begin at a healthy weight are more likely to maintain their weight. The surprising thing is that the poses don’t have to be difficult to aid weight management. Not surprisingly, yoga helps to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, positively affecting belly fat.

Stress management – By incorporating meditation and mindful breathing, yoga helps to improve metal wellbeing, increase calmness, relieve chronic stress, relax the mind, and improve mental clarity. According to the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, yoga has a demonstrated ability to lower cortisol levels. Similar to the way an adaptogen works, yoga brings the body into balance and can help to normalize cortisol levels that are either too high or too low. Yoga reduces muscle tension and relaxes the mind, helping to deactivate the stress response.

11 Unexpected Health-Promoting Benefits of Yoga.
What Yoga Can and Can’t Do for You.
Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat.
Yoga and Heart Health.
Yoga for anxiety and depression.
Destress with Yoga.

Featured Brand – Pink Horizons Botanical Skin Care™

PinkHorizonsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Professional Supplement Center now carries Pink Horizon’s Botanical Skin Care™, a line of botanical skin care products that takes an integrated, holistic approach to overall health and wellbeing. Pink Horizons utilizes safe, natural, sustainably-sourced organic ingredients chosen for their therapeutic and nurturing properties. Their high performance powerful products contain pure and multi-beneficial ingredients, including essential oils, herbal and botanical extracts, vitamins, minerals, amino acids and probiotics to effectively restore the skin and maintain the skin’s natural protective barrier.

As our skin is a dynamic, functioning organ that absorbs nutrients as well as toxins, all products are formulated to be free of harmful chemicals, including petroleum-based ingredients, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, artificial colors and synthetic fragrances. These exceptional quality products take a holistic approach to healthy skin care not only by providing products with pure, safe and effective ingredients but also by supporting sustainably sourced and fair trade initiatives.  Their guaranteed fresh ingredients are either Certified Organic, wild harvested or cultivated without chemicals according to organic standards.

To see the full line of Pink Horizon’s Botanical Skin Care® products, please visit

Bio-Nutrient Cleansing Milk (Citrus) by Pink Horizons Botanical Skin CareBio-Nutrient Cleansing Milk – This 95% organic formula, designed for mature skin, contains a unique combination of plant oils and exceptional ingredients that deeply cleanse, nourish, rehydrate and balance the skin, while increasing the skin’s ability to absorb nutrients.    Ingredients include castile soap, calendula oil, chamomile extract and bergamot and lemongrass essential oils.  Gluten and toxin free, eco-friendly, cruelty free, vegan formula.


BioFactor Collagen Gel by Pink Horizons Botanical Skin CareBioFactor Collagen Gel –  This 100% naturally sourced, 89% organic formula increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture, restores suppleness and aids in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.  Ingredients include 10% plant derived collagen mimicking proteins, aloe vera, and cedar wood and lemon essential oils.


Cell Defense Serum for Mature Skin by Pink Horizons Botanical Skin CareCell Defense Serum for Mature Skin – Formulated to protect, moisturize, regenerate and deeply penetrate the skin, this product provides ingredients that nourish, balance, soften, hydrate and repair the skin at the cellular level and support the skin’s natural potential to heal itself given appropriate nutrients. 100% naturally sourced, 99% organic, gluten and toxin free, eco-friendly, cruelty free, vegan formula.



Is PQQ The Fountain of Youth?

PQQSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Continuing studies and preliminary clinical trials researching the health benefits of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a non-chemical protein found in plant foods, are extremely encouraging. Known as a cofactor or coenzyme, PQQ aids enzymatic reactions that fuel biochemical processes. This natural compound uniquely supports mitochondrial biogenesis or the generation of new mitochondria in aging cells. Mitochondrial dysfunction is recognized as a key biomarker for aging, and is linked to the development of virtually all age related degenerative, chronic and deadly diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart failure, cardiac dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

When we age, our mitochondrial energy production diminishes, while the number of mitochondria in our cells significantly lowers. Similar in some ways to CoQ10, which is known to optimize mitochondrial health and energy producing capacity, PQQ is a micronutrient with an antioxidant capacity that provides remarkable defense against mitochondrial decay through its ability to protect mitochondria from oxidative stress. It acts directly on key enzymes involved in cellular energy production and promotes the spontaneous generation of new mitochondria within aging cells. Based on clinical studies, some researchers suggest that PQQ will be the next nutrient superstar with a wide range of benefits for the brain and entire body.

PQQ is not synthesized by the body, yet is believed to be an important nutritional component required for normal growth and development. PQQ is found in miniscule amounts in natto, a fermented soy product, and in foods such as parsley, green peppers and green tea. So, is PQQ the fountain of youth that society has been searching for to optimize health, vitality and longevity? Not quite, however continuing scientific research suggests that PQQ’s high redox recycling ability may give it a pharmacological role in protecting against neurodegeneration and mitochondrial dysfunction. While ongoing investigation on the efficacy of PQQ for conditions that stem from mitochondrial dysfunction proceeds, evidence shows compelling support for PQQ’s role in reducing age-related oxidative stress and rejuvenating healthy mitochondria. Promising research supports PQQ as a potent weapon against cellular aging.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products for PQQ supplementation:

Mito-PQQ by Designs for HealthMito-PQQ by Designs for Health – This formula, featuring PQQ combined with adaptogen rhodiola rosea, is designed to support mitochondrial energy production, critical for healthy aging, optimal energy production and free radical defense. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


PQQ Plus (200559) by Douglas LaboratoriesPQQ Plus by Douglas Laboratories – This formula features an optimal daily dose of BioPQQ™ along with clinically backed Alpha GPC in support of optimal neurological health and the maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis. Gluten free, vegan formula.


MicroPQQ by Progressive Labs

MicroPQQ® by Progressive Labs – This scientifically formulated supplement is designed to support mitochondrial biogenesis and optimal energy production.



Rejuvenating Mitochondria with PQQ.
8 Proven Health Benefits of PQQ.
The Benefits of PQQ for Aging Support.
PQQ – the next nutrients superstar.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.

Got Belly Bloat?

bellybloatJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

We’ve all been there, some of us more frequently than others. Many have experienced that uncomfortable feeling of fullness, where all one can do is crawl to the couch and wait for the feeling to pass. Bloating is a very common complaint among both adults and children, as up to 30% of Americans report experiencing bloating regularly. For some, it may simply be a case of indigestion brought on by overindulgence in food or drink. For others, underlying medical conditions may be the root cause of belly bloat. However, there are many common causes for belly distension and that overstuffed, somewhat painful bloated feeling.

Often times, though uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing, bloating is caused by gas in the digestive tract. This can be the result of too much swallowed air, sometimes brought on by eating too quickly. It can also be the result of the normal breakdown of certain foods in the large intestine. Normally, symptoms will resolve themselves within a few hours. Of course, there are certain health conditions that result in symptoms of gastric distress, including food allergies, hormonal imbalances, inflammation, and gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders. However, excessive gas may often be the result of inadequate protein digestion, or the inability to break down sugars and carbs that require certain enzymes to be fully digested, or dysbiosis, an imbalance of beneficial vs. deleterious gut bacteria.

If along with bloating you experience unexplained weight loss, severe abdominal pain, or fever, it’s best to seek a medical consultation.

Some simple changes can provide relief for that gassy, sometimes painful feeling:

  • Rule out common allergies such as lactose, fructose, eggs, wheat and gluten
  • Avoid swallowing air by eliminating carbonated beverages, don’t gobble down your meal on the run, and stop using a straw while drinking
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, including xylitol and sorbitol, which contain sugar alcohols that can cause gas and bloating
  • Avoid dehydration and constipation by drinking plenty of water
  • Include high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains daily to avoid constipation that can exacerbate bloating symptoms
  • Get regular exercise to keep your digestive system moving along
  • Stop eating when you are 80% full or eat 4 small meals daily as opposed to 3 meals with larger portions
  • Consider digestive enzymes to support the complete digestion of certain food components
  • A daily probiotic can help get intestinal microflora on the right track to improve the gut environment and reduce gas and bloating

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products that support healthy digestion:

Digest Gold™ With ATPro by EnzymedicaDigest Gold™ with ATPro by Enzymedica – This potent broad spectrum digestive enzyme formula assists in the digestion of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber. These enzymes decrease the amount of energy the body uses for digestion, reducing stress on the digestive system and freeing up energy for other systems including the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Digestive Enzymes Ultra w/ HCl by Pure EncapsulationsDigestive Enzymes Ultra w/HCI by Pure Encapsulations – This combination formula provides vegetarian digestive enzymes along with betaine HCI for optimal digestive support and the normal breakdown of proteins, peptides, fats and polysaccharides. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.


UltraFlora® Balance (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT) by Metagenics®UltraFlora® Balance by Metagenics – This very popular nutraceutical formula provides pure and highly viable probiotic strains for multiple levels of intestinal support and healthy digestive function. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.


Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics Professional Formula by Dr. Ohhira's, Essential Formulas Inc.Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics Professional Formula by Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Formulas –  This truly unique professional formula provides 12 synergistic strains of probiotics to promote and improve the gut environment and support healthy immune and inflammatory responses. Room temperature shelf stability makes this formula a perfect travel companion. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO vegan formula.


A Taxonomy of Tummy Bloating: Your Symptoms Explained.
11 Proven Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Bloating.
Controlling Intestinal Gas.

Nutrients for a Healthy Life

NutrientsHealthyLifeJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Good health requires good nutrition, exercise, a little sunshine and an overall healthy lifestyle. Nutritious healthy food is abundant in our society, yet many continue to eat nutrient poor processed and fast foods. This makes for a very unhealthy diet, lacking in the essential nutrients necessary for optimal wellness and contributes to our over-fed but undernourished society.  Nutrients are involved in all bodily processes, and while all nutrients have specific functions, they work together to support health and wellness. Nutrient deficiencies affect bodily functions and processes at the most basic cellular level, including fluid balance, enzyme functions, nerve signaling, metabolism, digestion, brain function, and growth and development. Long term deficiencies can affect both physical and mental health and contribute to overall unhealthy aging.

As trillions of cells rely on vitamins and minerals to create energy, it’s not surprising that fatigue is one of the first signs of deficiencies. According to the Harvard Health Publications, The Truth About Vitamins and Minerals, most Americans are not eating healthy enough diets to provide optimal levels of a range of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. Children, young women, the elderly, and vegetarians are at the highest risk of several deficiencies. Malnutrition, malabsorption, medications, medical conditions and aging all contribute to nutrient deficiencies. In addition, excessive physical activity, smoking, alcohol and sedentary habits all negatively impact micronutrient demands.

The most common nutrient deficiencies include:

Vitamin D – Vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in all age groups, especially in those who chose to avoid any sun exposure or use topical sunscreens, which block vitamin D production. By some estimates, up to half of the general population is either deficient or at risk of deficiency. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, bone disease and peripheral artery disease. To optimize your vitamin D levels practice sensible sun exposure, include some vitamin D enriched foods and supplement with vitamin D3.

Vitamin K2 – Vitamin K2 works in conjunction with vitamin D3. Neither one can do a proper job without the other. Working synergistically with magnesium and calcium, vitamin K2 plays an important role in bone and heart health. In addition to being responsible for bone building, vitamin K is necessary for the health of arteries and blood vessels and plays a role in tissue renewal and growth. A deficiency can lead to heart disease and osteoporosis. Animal products such as eggs and some cheeses and fermented foods such as natto are good food sources of vitamin K2. If you are taking anticoagulant medication, consult a healthcare provider before supplementing with vitamin K2.

Calcium – Critical to heart, muscle and nerve function, calcium is essential to every cell. Low calcium intake is common in young women and the elderly, where it can affect bone health and lead to osteoporosis. Calcium intake should be balanced with vitamin D, K2 and magnesium to ensure that calcium is used correctly by the body. Excessive calcium intake is never recommended. Calcium can be found in dairy products, fish and dark green leafy veggies.

Magnesium – Essential for heart, muscle and overall health, magnesium deficiency is linked to a higher risk of both high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Magnesium aids heart muscle function, keeps it running smoothly and maintains a proper balance of other minerals to aid heart health. Studies show less than half the population has sufficient magnesium intake. Low magnesium levels are associated with type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease and osteoporosis. Symptoms of deficiency include muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome, fatigue and abnormal heart rhythm. Dietary sources include whole grains, almonds, and leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cell formation, neurological function, DNA synthesis, and homocysteine metabolism, as well as energy metabolism. Causes of insufficiency include dietary deficiency, malabsorption due to gastrointestinal disorders and pernicious anemia, a condition in which people lack intrinsic factor, a compound necessary for B12 absorption and utilization. B12 is found naturally in animal products and fortified foods. Older adults, along with vegans, and vegetarians, especially those who may be pregnant or lactating vegetarians, are at risk of deficiencies and should consult with a healthcare provider regarding B12 supplementation.

Antioxidants – Vitamins C and E, selenium and CoQ10 are chemical compounds that address free radicals and oxidative stress. These nutrients support mitochondrial energy production and help to protect vital organs, including the heart, lungs and brain, that are vulnerable to oxidative injury. An unhealthy lifestyle, aging and malabsorption issues are linked to antioxidant deficiency. Be sure your diet includes an array of fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains and healthy protein each day.

Professional Supplement Center offers exclusive, patented micronutrient testing, not only to measure the level of selected vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential micronutrients, but also to determine whether nutrients are being absorbed and are properly functioning within the body.

Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell LaboratoriesComprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories – This micronutrient test kit measures the function of 35 nutritional components including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids and amino acids to give an accurate analysis of deficiencies. This test includes a complimentary post-test consultation with our Registered Nurse to review the results.

D3 5000™ by Metagenics®D3 5000™ by Metagenics® – This product supplies 5000 IU of a highly absorbable form of vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol in a dosage intended to quickly replenish vitamin D status. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.


Vitamin K2 with D3 by Ortho MolecularVitamin K2 with D3 by Ortho Molecular – This comprehensive and synergistic formula promotes natural bone building processes and provides support for calcium metabolism, healthy bone density, and bone strength. Gluten free.


Calcium with Vitamins D and K2 by Dr. MercolaCalcium with Vitamins D and K2 by Dr. Mercola – This product provides highly bioavailable elemental calcium, along with clinically supported vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol in support of balanced bone strength and increased bone density levels.


Magnesium (citrate) by Pure EncapsulationsMagnesium Citrate by Pure Encapsulations – Each capsule provides 150 mg of highly bioavailable magnesium chelate in support of healthy bones, cardiovascular health, energy production and nutrient metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


B12-Active™ CHERRY by Integrative TherapeuticsB12-Active™ Cherry by Integrative Therapeutics – These naturally flavored chewable tablets provide B12 as methylcobalamin, a highly bioavailable, readily useable form, in support of fast-acting energy support.


BioProtect (Full Spectrum Antioxidant Supplement) by Biotics ResearchBioProtect™ by Biotics Research – This full spectrum antioxidant formula provides antioxidant vitamins, minerals, CoQ10 and amino acids in support of addressing oxidative stress, free radical protection, and prevention of muscle soreness after exercise. Gluten free.


CDC’s Second Nutrition Report.
7 Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Incredibly Common.
Micronutrients: Common Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency States.
Vitamin B12.
The Truth About Vitamins and Minerals. Harvard Health Publications, Boston, MA. 2012
3 Top Nutritional Deficiencies as Fatigue Causes.


Featured Brand – Green Foods™

Green_FoodsSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of Green Foods™, a line of nutritious, balanced, green food powdered formulas. Founded by pharmacological researcher Dr. Yoshihide Hagiwara in 1979, Green Foods™ offers synergistic nutrients found in fresh grasses, fruits, vegetables, herbs and other nutrient-rich whole foods, processed to maintain the delicate beneficial nutrients. After developing over 200 highly successful products for his own pharmaceutical company and suffering from his own health issues, Dr. Hagiwara turned to a natural, nutritional approach to health, and has devoted his life to developing the best natural products available. His research of more than 150 plant species, led him to the discovery of young green barley as “one of the most nutritionally balanced foods in nature.” Published studies have found that barley grass supports cardiovascular function, helps to lower LDL oxidation and free radical activity, and supports normal levels of cholesterol.

Video Green Foods

To see additional products from Green Foods™, please visit

Green Magma Powder by Green FoodsGreen Magma® – Backed by over 40 years of research, this organic barley grass juice extract provides vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids and other valuable phytochemicals in support of whole body health and wellness. Nutrient dense, highly absorbable, mildly alkaline, and grown in the USA without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Soy, wheat and yeast free, Non-GMO, organic vegan powdered formula.

Matcha Green Tea by Green FoodsMatcha Green Tea – Organically grown and hand-picked in its native Japan, this ceremonial grade matcha is specially hand cultivated and ground on a stone mill, contributing to a mild and smooth taste, soft texture and mild flavor. This exceptionally potent, high ORAC value tea, provides strong antioxidant protection and powerful immune support. The high concentration of amino acid L-theanine contributes to relaxation, reduced stress and improved cognition. Gluten, soy and yeast free, 100% organic vegan formulation.

Wheat Grass Shots by Green FoodsWheat Grass Shots – This 100% certified organic pure wheat grass juice powder provides the benefits of freshly squeezed wheat grass in a convenient and easy to use form. Gentle juicing and spray drying under low temperatures maintains critical active enzymes and provides high concentrations of chlorophyll in a tasty, smooth, non-gritty, highly absorbable drink. Wheat grass provides vitamins, minerals and enzymes to support digestion, energy production and detoxification. No additional ingredients. Gluten, soy, and yeast free, Non-GMO vegan formula.

Barley Cat by Green FoodsBarley Cat® – Cats naturally love to eat fresh green grass but they may also ingest harmful chemicals and pesticides that can cause irritation or stomach upset. Barley Cat® sprinkled on your pet’s food provides all the benefits of green food, specially formulated with poultry liver for a flavor enticing boost. Barley Grass juice powder provides active enzymes, vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, amino acids, chlorophylls, bioflavonoids and essential trace minerals. Regular intake promotes healthy skin and coat, improves digestion, reduces bad breath and restores energy, especially in senior pets.

Barley Dog by Green FoodsBarley Dog® – Studies have shown that eating grass is a normal behavior of domestic dogs. Barley Dog® provides green food for your pet without the worry of chemicals or pesticides. Sprinkle a teaspoon on your pets’ food to get the daily benefits of healthy skin and coat, improved digestion, reduced bad breath and restored energy, especially in senior pets. Similar to the Barley Cat® formula, but with a hickory smoked bacon flavor that dogs love. Low heat processed to retain nutritional value. Vegan formula.

Could Your Immune System Use Some Support?

ImmuneSystemJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

The strength of the immune system is directly influenced by lifestyle habits. When one eats well, avoids tobacco products, and gets sufficient sleep, the immune system is strengthened. On the other hand, if one is chronically stressed, suffers from lack of sleep and seldom eats fruits and vegetables, the immune system may not operate at an optimal level. The fact that our environment teems with bacteria and viruses, yet we remain reasonably healthy the majority of the time, may give you some idea of how hard our immune systems work to keep us from succumbing to illness or disease. Essential to survival, the immune system is a bit like a surveillance system, constantly seeking out and protecting us from harmful substances. As long as the system is running smoothly, we rarely think about how effective and amazing this complicated system of organs, cells, and antibodies actually is.

When the immune system is weakened or compromised, we are left vulnerable to attack by foreign invaders and pathogens. Conversely, when the immune system is strong enough to defend against attack and is able to initiate repair, the healthier we are or the faster our recovery if we do get sick. The key to a healthy immune system lies in its extraordinary ability to recognize the body’s own cells from foreign cells, peacefully existing until called to action. In abnormal situations, the body can mistake its own cells for antigens and launch an attack. This can result in the development of an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or celiac disease. Common allergies occur when the immune system falsely responds to a normally harmless material such as pollen or dust. More often, the immune system stockpiles a huge arsenal of cells that work cooperatively to seek out and destroy highly specific targets, often leaving sentries behind, building immunity and guarding against future antigen attacks.

To keep your immune system strong and healthy adopt a healthy lifestyle as a first line of defense:

  • Consider a probiotic supplement. As 80% of the immune system resides in the digestive tract, maintaining a healthy gut is imperative for optimal health. Most of the approximately 500 microflora species that live in the gastrointestinal tract are beneficial, aiding digestion and nutrient absorption. Some are harmful and wreak havoc with digestion, encouraging inflammation while lying in wait for an opportunity to flourish. The ratio between beneficial and deleterious bacteria is a critical factor in determining overall health. Probiotic supplements and health enhancing, fermented probiotic foods replenish and promote proliferation of beneficial microorganisms supporting intestinal, immune and overall health.
  • Eliminate toxic food from your diet. The innumerable chemicals, preservatives, artificial and unnatural substances found in processed and commercial foods can irritate the gut lining and cause an overgrowth of bad bacteria. When it comes to immunity and gut health, it’s equally important to avoid feeding bad bacteria as it is to fertilize good bacteria. Avoid added sugars, starches and refined carbs that provide fodder for bad bacteria to flourish, and focus on whole, fresh, real food to promote the growth of good bacteria. Eat a largely plant based diet that provides soluble and insoluble fiber and good quality proteins to encourage a healthy microbiome.
  • Physiological stress raises vulnerability to illness. Short term stress brought on by an emergency or a dangerous situation results in a natural, helpful physiological response. However, stress for that lasts for days on end, negatively effects immune health. Ongoing stress makes us susceptible to illness and disease because the brain sends signals to the endocrine system, which then releases a cascade of hormones that get us ready for emergency situations, while at the same time severely depressing immunity.
  • Sleep deprivation’s effect on the immune system mirrors physical stress. Sleep and the circadian system exert a strong regulatory influence on immune function. Prolonged sleep loss and the accompanying stress response evoke the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, resulting in low-grade inflammation and immunodeficiency, which have detrimental effects on health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine products to support immune and overall health:

Pro-Flora™ Immune Probiotic Pearls™ by Integrative Therapeutics

Pro-Flora™ Immune Probiotic Pearls™ –  This unique, dual action probiotic formula is designed to strengthen and support the digestive tract and the immune system. Sugar, wheat and yeast free formulation.



Probiotic IMM (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT) by Pure Encapsulations

Probiotic IMM by Pure Encapsulations – This blend of 5 probiotic strains provides a shelf stable formula to support immune function and maintain eye, nose and throat health. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Broad Spectrum Probiotic & Prebiotic by Prescript - AssistBroad Spectrum Probiotic & Prebiotic by Prescript-Assist™ – This broad-spectrum formula delivers a proprietary blend of 29 separate strains of beneficial microflora to help support optimal gut and immune health and a normal balance of beneficial bacteria in the intestinal tract. This formula promotes a healthy gastrointestinal environment, relives occasional abdominal discomfort, promotes regularity, and supports overall wellness and vitality. Gluten and dairy free, vegan formulation.

NuSera® by Metagenics®NuSera® by Metagenics – This science-based, clinically effective formula provides relief and promotes calmness during stressful moments. Designed with natural ingredients to promote a healthy stress response and provide a safe approach to strategic short-term stress. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Insomnitol by Designs for HealthInsomnitol™ by Designs for Health – This blend of botanicals, nutrients, and neurotransmitter precursors provides nutritional support for calm brain activity and helps to promote the natural ability to support quality, restful sleep. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.



How does the immune system work?
Understanding the Immune System.
Probiotics helps as 80% of Immune System in your GI Tract.
Sleep and immune function.
How Stress Affects the Immune System.

All About Antioxidants

AntioxidentsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

To understand the role of antioxidants in the body, one must first understand oxidation and to the same extent oxidative stress. Every bodily function requires oxygen in varying degrees and oxidation occurs as a result of normal respiration. As we know, oxygen is so essential to life that the human body won’t survive much beyond three minutes without it. Yet, the process of oxygenation plays a role in the breakdown of our body’s functionality, potentially damaging cellular proteins, lipids and DNA. This occurs when oxygen interacts with certain molecules, creating cell damaging, highly reactive and unstable free oxygen radicals. While the body produces important antioxidants to combat cell damage, oxidative stress occurs when the production of free radicals goes beyond the body’s protective mechanisms, creating an imbalance between pro-oxidants and antioxidants.

While the body does require some free radical cells for cell signaling and immune defense, high levels of free radicals can lead to dysfunction and disease. In addition to oxidation, free radicals can be the result of poor nutrition, chronic stress, cigarette smoke, alcohol consumption, inflammation, environmental pollutants, x-rays, heavy metals and sunlight exposure. Once formed, these free radicals begin plundering and pillaging from other normal healthy cells in their quest to find electrons and become “whole.” When free radicals react with important cellular components, such as DNA or the cell membrane, cells begin to function poorly and die. Free radical damage is implicated in the aging process, as well as the development of other chronic diseases, including the formation of certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cataracts and other age related chronic illnesses.

Thus, the importance of antioxidants in keeping our bodies in balance and toxin free. Produced by the body and obtained through food and supplements, antioxidants provide critical defense by becoming oxidized: meaning they donate electrons to stabilize and neutralize free radicals without becoming damaged themselves. Bruce Ames, a biochemist at the University of California at Berkeley, estimates that every cell endures 10,000 oxidative hits each day from errant free radicals and most are immediately repaired, as the body has evolved a broad spectrum of protective responses to combat free radical damage.

Those wishing to increase their intake of antioxidants should be sure to eat healthy servings of rainbow colored fruits and vegetables daily, as plants have evolved to produce nutrients that counteract the oxidative stress they endure as a result of photosynthesis. Those who need just one more reason to get off the couch for daily exercise should note that although exercise causes oxidative stress, those who exercise regularly become highly efficient at detoxifying free radicals, offsetting the free radicals generated. Occasional exercisers and weekend warriors beware. Chemist Richard G. Cutler of the Gerontology Research Center of the National Institute of Aging suggests “weekend exercising may be as bad for you as binge sunbathing.” Regular exercise builds up a protection against oxidative stress, while weekend or occasional exercise may actually accelerate the aging process.

Glutathione, sometimes called “the Mother of all antioxidants,” is a master detoxifier, critical immune system supporter and antioxidant recycler. While glutathione is produced by the body, it’s easily depleted by stress, medications, pollution, poor diet, aging, illness and radiation. People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune diseases are often found to be deficient in glutathione. Unsurprisingly, our ability to produce and maintain a high level of glutathione is critical to preventing disease and maintaining optimal health. Glutathione has been shown to support peak mental and physical functions. Healthy levels of glutathione help to increase strength and endurance, decrease muscle damage and reduce exercise recovery time.

According to Mark Hyman, M.D., you can optimize your glutathione levels by consuming sulfur-rich foods, exercising 30 minutes each day, and supplementing with selenium, alpha lipoic acid, milk thistle and vitamins A, C and E, which work together to recycle glutathione.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products for antioxidant support:

AntiOxidant Formula by Pure EncapsulationsAntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This synergistic, broad spectrum formula offers a range of antioxidant nutrients to promote cellular health and enhance the body’s natural defense system against free radicals. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.


BioProtect (Full Spectrum Antioxidant Supplement) by Biotics ResearchBioProtect by Biotics Research – This natural antioxidant formula supplies antioxidant vitamins, minerals, CoQ10 and amino acids for broad spectrum support against free radical damage and oxidative stress. Gluten free.


Liposomal Glutathione (HEAT SENSITIVE PRODUCT) by Empirical LabsLiposomal Glutathione by Empirical Labs – This all natural liposomal reduced glutathione formula provides 500 mg of the most potent and versatile antioxidant delivered in a scientifically studied method for maximum absorption. Non-GMO formulation.


S-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy by Designs for HealthS-Acetyl Glutathione Synergy by Designs for Health – This product supplies 200 mg of an acetylated form of glutathione for optimal absorption and bioavailability. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Liposomal Glutathione by Pure EncapsulationsLiposomal Glutathione by Pure Encapsulations – This product offers support for cellular function, homeostasis, and free radical protection with a highly absorbable form of liposomal glutathione. Non-GMO formulation.


Understanding Oxidative Stress.
Antioxidants and free radicals.
Free Radicals; The Price We Pay For Breathing.
Glutathione: The Mother of All Antioxidants.
What are Antioxidants.

Featured Brand – Lucky Tiger

Lucky_TigerSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center is pleased to announce the addition of Lucky Tiger®, a line of classic grooming products specifically designed for men. The Lucky Tiger brand was launched in the 1920’s when Benjamin Clarke, an amateur scientist and apparently quite talented barber, created a hair and scalp tonic he named Lucky Tiger® Tonic.  Initially available only to barber shop customers, the popularity of the product quickly grew. Lucky Tiger® was trademarked in 1935, and the line was expanded to include shaving creams, mustache waxes, and hair dressings along with shampoos and facial cleansers. As time went on, the line was expanded once again to include products intended for home use. To this day, Lucky Tiger® maintains a loyal following and continues on its quest to provide the ultimate products for a top quality grooming experience.

Video Lucky Tiger

To see additional products from Lucky Tiger, please visit

After Shave and Face Tonic by Lucky TigerAfter Shave and Face Tonic – This modern take on a classic tonic is produced from a select combination of natural botanicals including aloe vera, calendula, chamomile and borage oil. Calming, moisturizing and rejuvenating, this soothing tonic provides the perfect after shave to promote a healthy, glowing polished look. Lightly and pleasantly scented with citrus essential oils.

Liquid Cream Shave by Lucky TigerLiquid Cream Shave – This creamy product goes on like a lotion but turns into a rich lather that softens even the toughest of beards. Formulated with natural botanicals that replenish, hydrate, moisturize, and nourish the skin, while reducing razor burn. Finish with a splash of After Shave and Face Tonic and you’re ready to face the day!

Head to Tail Shampoo and Body Wash by Lucky TigerHead to Tail Shampoo and Body Wash – This non-drying peppermint and olive oil shampoo and body wash provides all-over hydration and cleansing. Gentle and long lasting, this concentrated vegetable-based men’s body wash offers an invigorating cleanser made with rosemary extract and pure peppermint, olive, and coconut oils. Paraben free.

Head to Tail Muscle Rub by Lucky TigerHead to Tail Muscle Rub – This concentrated essential oil formula penetrates and soothes aches and pains in muscles and joints. Formulated with lanolin, eucalyptus, wintergreen and menthol in a base of natural oils and pure beeswax.

Edible Mushrooms – Time Honored Functional Foods

edibleMushroomsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor



Long collected and cultivated in Asian countries for their health promoting benefits, scientific studies over the last 20 years have recognized that certain cellular constituents of edible fungi can improve the quality of human health and show promise for preventing disease. Once viewed as exotics in western cultures, some varieties of mushrooms may now be found at farmer’s markets or on grocery store shelves, while less common medicinal mushrooms may be available dried, as liquid extracts or in capsule form. Of the thousands of known mushroom varieties, perhaps we are most familiar with button, cremini and Portobello mushrooms, which deliver important nutrients including antioxidants, niacin, selenium, riboflavin, vitamin D, magnesium and potassium.

To be considered functional, a food must provide benefits beyond the nutrients it contains. For their own protection, fungi have developed an arsenal of medicinal compounds. Ongoing studies and clinical trials have found or suggested that in addition to improving nutrition, medicinal mushrooms have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-tumor properties. A rapidly growing body of evidence suggests that certain mushrooms may have an immune-modulating effect on immune compromised persons. New data showed positive effects on brain health and dementia precursors, including mild cognitive impairment and beta-amyloid peptide toxicity. Multiple clinical trials have found the anti-inflammatory characteristics to be beneficial in arthritic and respiratory conditions.

Nutritional benefits of mushrooms include:

  • Mushroom consumption is associated with better quality diets and improved nutrition
  • Mushrooms are high in fiber and certain enzymes that can help balance cholesterol levels
  • Mushrooms provide a good source of highly absorbable iron
  • Mushrooms contain a significant amount of beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, which have been shown to have anti-tumor effects
  • Mushrooms are known to contain compounds that support the proper functioning of the liver, pancreas and other endocrine glands
  • Mushrooms support bone health by providing vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium
  • Mushrooms contain ergothioneine, a powerful antioxidant unique to fungi that provides free radical protection along with B-Complex vitamins and vitamin C, which supports immune health
  • Mushrooms provide potassium, supporting healthy blood pressure and cognitive function
  • Mushrooms contain high a high amount of selenium, providing a good vegetarian source of this powerful antioxidant

Beneficial properties of functional medicinal mushrooms, otherwise termed mushroom nutraceuticals, include:

Antibiotic, antimicrobial and antifungal activity – Mushrooms developed their own antibiotic compounds to protect themselves in their natural environment. Mushroom compounds that have activities against multi-resistant bacterial strains have been shown to inhibit the growth of microorganisms, including specific types of staphylococcus. Certain mushrooms contain biologically active fungal metabolites and oxalic acid shown to inhibit microbial activity.

Anti-cancer – Published studies have shown that different species of medicinal mushrooms may have beneficial activity against many forms of cancer including breast, cervical, colorectal, liver, lymphoma, prostate, melanoma and others.

Antiviral – Whole extracts and isolated compounds of mushrooms, including polysaccharides, water soluble lignans, and other complex molecules, have been shown to boost immune defense, inhibiting certain viral enzymes, and increasing killer cell activity.

Immune response modulation – Certain mushrooms have compounds that act as immune stimulators, increasing T cells and natural killer cells, as well as supporting long-term immune enhancement.

Thousands of beneficial mushroom species have been identified, however many of us know some mushrooms contain toxic compounds. As toxic mushrooms may look similar to non-toxic varieties, foraging for wild mushrooms is ill-advised. Additionally, mushrooms have the ability to absorb whatever medium they are grown in. While this ability is the source of many of their benefits, mushrooms grown in natural conditions are exposed to more contamination from heavy metals, and pollutants in the ground, air and water than mushrooms that are cultivated or organically grown. For this reason, organically grown mushrooms and extracts are highly recommended.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine products in support of health and wellness:

MyCommunity by Host DefenseMyCommunity by Host DefenseSave 15% This certified organic comprehensive formula contains a unique combination of 17 potent species of mushroom mycelium and fruit bodies, providing a diverse and full spectrum of nutrients in support of natural immunity. Non-GMO, contaminant free, organically grown vegetarian formula.


Rei-Shi Mushrooms by Now FoodsRei-Shi Mushrooms by Now FoodsSave 30% This combination of two specialized mushroom strains is produced from live mycelial and fruiting fungi grown in a controlled, environment in support of general wellness and vitality. Gluten, soy, dairy and yeast free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.


Mycocyclin® 6 Mushroom Mycelial Complex by Allergy Research GroupMycocyclin® 6 Mushroom Mycelial Complex by Allergy Research Group – This liquid extract formula provides a blend of 6 mushrooms, harvested when active ingredients are most concentrated in support of immune and overall health. Gluten and soy free formulation.


The Science of Mushrooms & Health.
Nutrition Benefits.
Edible Mushrooms As A Source Of Valuable Nutritive Constituents.
Mushrooms As Functional Foods.
Stamets, Paul. MycoMedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms, MycoMedia® Productions, 2002
Health Benefits of Mushrooms.
Antimicrobial properties, antioxidant activity and bioactive compounds from six wild edible mushrooms.
The Pharmacological Potential of Mushrooms.
Six Cancer-Fighting Medicinal Mushrooms.