Featured Brand: CompliMed

By Susan Brown

Professional Supplement Center is happy to introduce CompliMed®, a professional nutritional supplement and homeopathic line sold exclusively through qualified healthcare professionals.  All products are formulated by holistic healthcare practitioners using clinically researched ingredients.  From raw materials to finished products, CompliMed® assesses, tests and verifies identity, potency, authenticity, stability, purity and safety of all their quality, natural products, which are produced in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliant facilities. 

The manufacturing of CompliMed® homeopathic products happens in FDA registered facilities under full cGMP’s.  Facilities are FDA inspected and audited for excellence in manufacturing and compliance.  Advances in homeopathic research and medical practices is used to create and deliver innovative formulas to provide balanced and effective products.  Their homeopathic products are manufactured following traditional processes and procedures, as outlined in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) established in 1897.  HPUS quality standards and testing guidelines are an essential part of the excellence and integrity of every homeopathic product.  

DysbioX
 
DysbioX™  provides a potent formula intended to address the overgrowth of intestinal yeast and bacteria that can lead to dysbiosis.  DysbioX™ provides nutritive  support for healthy intestinal function. 
 
 
 OsteoPS
OsteoPS
 
is a professional strength osteo formula containing key nutrients intended to provide nutritive support for bone health.  Contains superior amounts of calcium and magnesium along with D-3, vitamin K, trace minerals and other bone supportive ingredients. 
 
G.I. Support CompliBiotic
 
GI Support CompliBiotic is a 4-strain pre and probiotic complex designed to provide nutritive support for healthy intestinal flora.  Hypoallergenic, gluten and dairy free, non-GMO formula. 
 
 
7-System Detox
7-System Detox provides a clinician-formulated selection of pure, premium whole herbs, extracts, and other nutrients to provide gentle ongoing support for each of the body’s seven natural detoxification organs and systems, including the liver, kidneys, bloodstream, skin, lungs, bowels and lymphatic system. 
 
 
Inflammation
 
Inflammation Homeopathic Formula provides temporary relief of inflammation with or without fever, swelling or redness.  Suitable for adults and children over 2 years of age.   

 

Here’s Looking At You

eyesBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Healthy eyes and vision are vital to overall health and wellbeing.  Practicing good eye healthcare now will help ensure healthy vision for a lifetime.  It’s normal to experience some changes in vision as we age, such as the need for reading glasses or some changes in the way we experience colors.  However, vision loss is not a normal part of aging.  People with vision problems are more likely to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure and stroke.  Many eye problems and diseases, such as glaucoma and macular degeneration, can be treated when detected early. 

A regular eye exam is one of the best ways to protect your eyesight.  Another way to safeguard your vision is through diet and proper eye nutrition.  A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help to keep your eyes healthy and disease free.  Following healthy lifestyle guidelines will not only maintain your general health but will also help maintain healthy vision well into your golden years.   Vision is precious and should not be taken for granted.  Beyond seeing your eye care professional for a dilated eye exam, you can help protect your eyesight by following these healthy vision tips:

Nutrition – No surprise here.  Protecting your eyesight begins with the foods you eat.  Nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and vitamins C and E can help ward off age-related vision problems such as dry eye syndrome, cataracts and macular degeneration.  Foods rich in beta-carotenes, found in orange fruits and vegetables, help to protect the retina and keep the eyes functioning smoothly.  A healthy well-balanced diet will help to maintain a healthy weight, lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes which is a leading cause of blindness in adults. 

Exercise -  If you are already exercising, you are on the right track to protecting your eye health.  Exercise increases circulation, which can lower elevated pressure in the eyes, a common problem with glaucoma.  Physical activity is known to reduce inflammation and irregularities in the blood vessel walls associated with macular degeneration and has been shown to lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration by as much as 70%.  Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, lowering your risk of many health problems. 

Lubrication - Keeping your eyes hydrated and lubricated is vital to vision health.  Discomfort and redness aren’t the only symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome.  Studies show that slowed reading speed rates directly correlate to severity of dry eye disease.  Drinking more water, supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids and using lubricating eye drops can often help to alleviate dry eye symptoms.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of developing dry eye syndrome by reducing general inflammation and increasing the levels of anti-inflammatory mediators in the eyes.  Omega-3′s improve the way the meibomian glands in the eyelids produce and secrete the oil that helps stabilize tear production. 

Protection - Sunglasses are more than a fashion statement.  Sunglasses block harmful ultraviolet rays that play a role in the development of macular degeneration and cataracts.  Choose sunglasses that offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays and use them year round. 

Rest – To reduce eyestrain caused by focused activity such as spending long hours looking at a computer screen, look away at least every 20 minutes to give you eyes a break.  When we are truly focused on one thing, we don’t blink as often. This can lead to eyestrain, dry eyes and even broken blood vessels in the eyes.  Studies have shown that the eyes need at least 5 hours of sleep each night to properly replenish so they can work at their full potential the next day.  Lack of sleep can lead to eye spasms, an aggravating although not serious problem that can be corrected by getting enough quality rest each night. 

Safeguarding your health by choosing a healthy lifestyle can prevent the development of age-related eye and health problems.  Getting regular overall physicals and eye exams can lead to early detection of diseases, such as diabetes or systemic conditions, that can affect your vision health.  Eye problems are often hereditary, so if you are experiencing any problems with your eyes, don’t wait to see an eye care professional. 

The following products support eye health and aid eye health related symptoms: 

BioTears by BioSyntrx addresses the underlying inflammatory processes associated with dry eye syndrome.  BioTears relieves symptoms such as dryness, irritation, burning and excessive tearing.  This nutritional formula includes omega-3′s and contains specific nutrient co-factors that support normal tear film production. 

4 Sight by Ortho Molecular is a natural eye health support supplement that is formulated with  lycopene, zinc, xeaxanthin, lutein, antioxidants, herbs and other nutrients for eye health maintenance during the aging process. 

Oculair by BioSyntrx  provides full spectrum vitamins, minerals and organ-specific antioxidants for eye and full body support for the normal aging process. 

Allergy Eye Drops by Natural Ophthalmics addresses allergy symptoms that affect the eyes, such as itching, burning, watering, edema and general ocular sensitivity.  This sterile, non-preserved, pH balanced isotonic solution contains only homeopathic ingredients. 

Summer Hunger Drive

Hungry kid 2ATTN: Sarasota Residents 

Professional Supplement Center is partnering with SkipALunch.org and the All Faiths Food Bank to collect food for the Campaign Against Summer Hunger drive.  We have a collection box in our Sarasota Florida retail store to drop off donations. (5441 Palmer Crossing Circle)

MOST NEEDED FOOD DRIVE ITEMS:
  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • canned tuna
  • chicken or salmon,
  • rice
  • beans of any kind
  • powdered milk
OTHER WELCOME FOOD DRIVE ITEMS:
  • Packaged or canned fruit and fruit drinks
  • canned veggies
  • cereal
  • pasta
  • mac & cheese
  • soup
  • stews
  • kid-friendly snacks
  • canned goods

Please NO glass containers.

Please visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org and www.skipalunch.org  to find out more.  Share and post the info on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Thanks so much for joining us in supporting this worthy cause!

A Healthy Relationship With Food

HealthyBy Susan Brown

The word “diet” has more than one connotation.  It can mean the traditional, established food and drink of a culture, such as the healthy Mediterranean diet.  However, most of us think of “diet” in terms of a highly restrictive eating plan designed to shed unwanted pounds.  Overly restrictive diets can take the enjoyment out of eating, which should be one of life’s great pleasures.  The first step towards healthy weight loss is to lose the “diet” mindset.  Yes, you may need to cut back on calories, but substituting healthy food for less healthy food is the way to overall health and a sustained healthy weight.  Pleasurable healthy eating may not only help you attain your ideal weight but it may also help you to maintain that weight once you reach your weight loss goal. 

Having a healthy relationship with food involves thinking carefully about what you will feed your body each day.  Eating mindfully means paying attention to your hunger and choosing to eat when your hunger is physical as opposed to emotional.  Eating with pleasure helps you to connect to your appetite signals and eat according to your body’s needs.  Mindful eating involves devoting your full attention to your meal and using your senses to savor and actually taste what you eat.  Choosing foods that are pleasurable and nourishing for your body leads to better eating habits.  Encouraging true enjoyment of your food choices and making wise choices is the way to a healthy relationship with “diet.”

The concept of mindful eating has its roots in Buddhist teachings where a pleasuring of both the stomach and the mind, or “food consciousness,” is encouraged.  “This is anti-diet,” said Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, a pediatrician and meditation teacher in Oregon and the author of “Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food.” “I think the fundamental problem is that we go unconscious when we eat.”  Eating slowly and relishing every bite allows you not only to experience food more intensely but to recognize when you have had enough.  Psychological factors, hectic lifestyles and the endless parade of new diet fads all contribute to bottomless bingeing and mindless eating.  We are accustomed to eating fast and on-the-go, and eating while we commute, work, watch TV or surf the internet.  We  habitually eat any time of day or night without restrictions.  We may think about what we may be hungry for but may not give any thought to which foods our bodies hunger for. 

In Deepak Chopra’s book “What Are You Hungry For?” he states, “Energy is about more than fueling your body—a higher kind of energy comes from the joy of eating.”  For a truly enlightened approach to eating, Deepak Chopra shares this advice:

To get the best energy from your food and the most joy and fulfillment, ask yourself these four questions – “Am I in a good mood? Is this meal going to be a positive experience? Is the food attractive and appealing? Can I devote my full attention to enjoying myself?”  If the answer to all is yes, you are on your way to mindful eating and fueling your body for energy.  If the answer is no, postpone eating until your mindset or timing changes.

Change the way you think about “fresh.”  It’s not just fruits and veggies that should be fresh, everything you eat should be fresh.  Eat mostly natural foods as soon as possible after buying them.   The longer foods go uneaten, the more nutrients are lost.  If possible, shop more frequently and buy just enough for a few days at a time. 

Instead of a colorful plate, think about an array of tastes and textures.  If you are craving something sweet after a healthy meal, consider including more tastes in your meals including something sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami.  In the centuries old Ayurvedic approach to nutrition, this will ensure all food groups are represented and leave you with a feeling of completeness.  When your meal is satisfying, you’ll be much less likely to snack afterwards.  

If you are craving something not so healthy, wait a few minutes and think about a healthier choice that may give you the same sense of satisfaction.  According to Deepak, cravings mean that your body is not satisfied.  You can give into that craving and not necessarily with food.   When you tune in and listen, it may be that you need to take a break or go out for a short walk.  The happier and more fulfilled you are, the less likely you are to use food as a crutch. 

As opposed to the advice to simply eat less, think of eating light.  When you stop thinking of what you can’t eat and think in terms of what you can, you will gravitate towards lighter energizing foods as opposed to foods that make you feel heavy and immobile. 

Remember, diet tips only work if we take the time to value our relationship with food.  It might take only 3 minutes to scarf down that fast food burger, but does that really nourish your body and mind?  Re-establish your awareness of hunger and fullness and use those signals to guide eating.  Eating takes time, and believing that you are worth taking the time to sit down and enjoy your food is the true definition of mindful eating.  

Antibacterial Chemicals – Helpful or Harmful?

AntiBacBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Antibacterial chemicals are widely used in everyday products such as soaps, cosmetics, toothpaste, cleaning products, deodorant and even clothing, socks, office supplies and kitchenware.  They are intended to disinfect surfaces, keeping bacteria at bay in the hope of keeping us healthy. Technically, an antibacterial is an agent that interferes with growth and reproduction of bacteria.  It is estimated that 75% of antibacterial soaps and body washes sold in the United States contain the germ killing ingredients triclosan or triclocarban.  Although antibacterials have been shown to effective in killing bacteria, there is considerable controversy surrounding their health benefits. 

Antibacterials and antimicrobials were originally invented for hospital use to prevent the spread of infection.  However, as more and more products were marketed for everyday use, some germs and bacteria have evolved to become resistant to antibacterials, much like their counterparts antibiotics.  Studies suggest that the widespread use of these antimicrobial chemicals are causing the products to lose their effectiveness.  It should be noted that most bacteria are harmless and in many cases, beneficial.  The constant overuse of antibacterial agents tends to disrupt the normal bacteria that act as barriers against invading pathogens. 

Antibacterial resistance is considered by some to be a national health concern.  The widespread use of antibacterial compounds such as triclosan may actually contribute to stronger, more resistant bacterial strains.  Researchers hypothesize that our desire for a germ-free environment provides a selective advantage for these resistant organisms, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus known as MRSA.  The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends avoidance of antibacterial products on the grounds that no data exists to support their efficacy. 

However, antibacterials are useful in settings where the level of sanitation is critical such as hospitals, nursing homes or daycare centers.  A case can be made for its use in home settings where individuals may have a compromised immune system, chronic disease, or are recuperating from transplant surgery or undergoing chemotherapy.  Even then, it is suggested that antibacterials be used according to protocol or under the guidance of a healthcare professional.  For the majority of us, washing with regular soap and water is still considered the most important way to prevent the spread of disease. 

Triclosan is lipophillic, which means it is readily available for absorption and can accumulate in fatty tissues.  Triclosan has been detected at high concentrations in human breast milk and  blood, and The Centers for Disease Control has reportedly found triclosan in 75% of the U.S. populations’ urine samples.  Studies have shown negative health effects of triclosan, such as interference with the body’s thyroid hormone metabolism, promotion of early puberty and endocrine disruption.  

Triclosan is prevalent in the environment and has found its way into our nation’s waterways.  Over 95% of triclosan is washed down residential drains and consequently is the most prevalent contaminant not removed by wastewater treatment plants.  Triclosan is one of the most frequently detected compounds with the highest concentrations in our nation’s watersheds, where it is toxic to the immune systems of fish and aquatic animals.  When exposed to sunlight in an aquatic environment, triclosan converts to dioxin, a highly toxic known carcinogen that can cause decreased fertility, miscarriage, birth defects and a weakened immune system.  Currently, triclosan accounts for 60% of all drugs detectable in sewage sludge and 435,000 pounds of it is dumped onto US farmlands each year, contaminating food with drug-resistant microbes and soap chemicals.  These chemicals are thought to persist in soil for 50 years or more. 

The Canadian government has banned triclosan from consumer products.  After triclosan was found in the sediment of 8 Minnesota lakes and rivers including Lake Superior, Minnesota state agencies have stopped buying products that contain tricolsan to reduce the state’s impact on the environment.  Norway has banned its use altogether in consumer products.  Recently the FDA took a step toward the possible elimination of triclosan in everyday products.  Manufacturers have one year to show that these chemicals are not only safe but that they actually outperform plain old soap and water.  Some companies have already taken steps to remove triclosan from their products. 

The removal of these substances from everyday products is an important step towards preserving the efficacy of antibiotics, preventing unnecessary exposure to potentially harmful chemicals and protecting the environment.  In the meantime, you can check ingredient labels for products containing triclosan and triclocarban to reduce your own exposure.  Use regular soap and water to wash your hands.  If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol based or plant based hand sanitizer.  As a general rule to cut down on your exposure to triclosan and triclocarban, avoid products with anti-odor, antimicrobial or germ-killing label claims. 

As our skin is our largest organ and everything we put on our skin has potential to end up in our bodies, consider switching to personal care items that do not contain triclosan, phthalates, heavy metals or GMO ingredients.

Thorne Organics provides a line of personal care products made from certified organic essential oils, resins and botanicals from renewable sources.  These products contain antioxidants, nutrients and enzymes that hydrate and nourish the skin, hair and body.  Thorne Organics Dermal Matrix System products include shampoo, lotions, shower gel, a variety of soaps and other products and are available here at Professional Supplement Center

 

Obesity and Your Health

Obesity1By Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Obesity is not the same as being overweight.  Obesity means you have too much body fat, which greatly increases your risks for obesity related health problems.  Rather than being just a cosmetic concern, obesity is a chronic medical disease that diminishes almost every aspect of your health.  At a healthy weight, our bodies, including our brains, muscles, bones and heart, can function efficiently for many years.  Obesity decreases the quality of life and can significantly reduce your life expectancy.  Obesity can  lead to diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and some types of cancers

Unfortunately, in the United States obesity has reached epidemic proportions.  Over 300,000 deaths each year can be directly related to obesity.  Body mass index (BMI), determined by both weight and height, is strongly correlated to body fat content in adults.  A BMI of 25 – 29.9 is considered overweight, while a BMI above 30 is considered obese.  For those with a BMI over 40, life expectancy can be reduced by as much as 20 years for men and 5 years for women. 

Many factors contribute to obesity.  These can include overeating, a diet too high in simple carbohydrates, physical inactivity, medications, lack of sleep, disease and genetics.  Where body fat is located is of significant importance.  Men, who tend to carry extra weight in the abdomen, are more likely to develop health problems associated with obesity while women, who often carry extra weight on their hips, may have less health risks related to obesity.  Men with a waist measurement of 40″ or greater and women with a waist measurement of 35″ or greater are considered to have increased health risks. 

How obesity raises your health risks: 

Metabolic syndrome – A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome means you have at least three factors that can lead to heart disease, diabetes and stroke. These include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats, inflammation and high blood sugar.  Fat cells, especially those located in the belly, secrete hormones that stoke the fires of inflammation.  Chronic inflammation causes a variety of health problems.  Approximately one-third of obese or overweight Americans exhibit metabolic syndrome.

Type 2 diabetes -  Those who are even moderately obese can develop insulin resistance, which effects the way the body metabolizes fats and carbohydrates and leads to high blood sugar levels.  Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of early death, stroke, kidney disease, coronary heart disease and blindness. 

Abnormal blood fats – Obesity puts you at an increased risk of high levels of triglycerides, high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.  These high levels of blood fats increase your chances of developing coronary heart disease. 

Heart disease – With obesity your chances of developing hardening of the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, increases tenfold.  Narrowed arteries and decreased blood flow to the heart can cause heart attacks and stroke. 

Stroke – Obesity can lead to a buildup of arterial plaque, which can rupture and form blood clots and increase the risk for stroke.  The stroke risk increases as your BMI increases. 

Cancer- For a woman, being overweight increases the risk of breast, colon, gallbladder, endometrial and uterine cancers.  For men, obesity increases the risk of colon and prostate cancers. 

Obesity can also increase the risk of depression, infertility, respiratory disease, and musculoskeletal disorders.  The good news is that obesity doesn’t have to be a permanent condition.  Weight reduction of 5 – 10% of your body weight and long term maintenance of that weight loss can bring significant health gains.  It is not necessary to reach an ideal weight but rather a healthier weight, which can bring reduced risks of all of the above mentioned health problems.  The goal for a healthier lifestyle should include eating a healthy, whole food diet, getting 30 minutes of  exercise daily , drinking plenty of water and getting a good night’s sleep.   Remember, you have to eat well to be well.  To further improve your health risks, don’t smoke, drink alcohol moderately, take some time to play and socialize and once you’ve reached a healthy weight, maintain, maintain, maintain! 

The following products may be useful to those who have symptoms relating to metabolic syndrome.

UltraMeal Plus 360 Medical Food Vanilla by Metagenics addresses the management of conditions linked to metabolic syndrome with a clinically tested, low glycemic index medical food.  Researched based ingredients are designed to support blood sugar levels, blood lipid metabolism, healthy homocysteine levels, healthy cholesterol levels and management of triglycerides and fasting insulin levels. 

Diabet Support Pack™ by Douglas Laboratories contains synergistic vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, standardized extracts, CoQ10 and antioxidants in support of healthy blood sugar metabolism. 

Advanced Inflammation Control by Complementary Prescriptions provides a comprehensive formula to help maintain a balanced inflammation response.  This herbal and plant based formula is designed to combat inflammation triggered by obesity, lack of exercise, stress, sleep deprivation, poor diet or other not so healthy lifestyle factors. 

Niacin 100™ by Biotics Research contains vitamin B3 recognized as a cardio-protective agent in support of increased HDL cholesterol, lowered triglycerides and decreased vascular inflammation. 

Featured Brand: Oakmont Labs

By Susan Brown

For more than 30 years, Oakmont Labs has been providing a specialty line of essential fatty acid nutritional supplements.  As industry innovators, Oakmont labs pioneered a solvent free extraction process and was the first to introduce Black Currant oil to the U.S. market.  All of their products are thoroughly tested for potency, purity and truth-in-labeling.  State of the art packaging ensures extended shelf life.  Products are manufactured according to rigorous quality standards throughout the entire production process in GMP certified facilities. 

Professional Supplement Center is pleased to offer this unique line of essential fatty acids available exclusively through healthcare practitioners. 

KrillOmega3 by Oakmont Labs
 
KrillOmega3 provides 1,000 mg of krill oil obtained from ecologically harvested krill.  Easy to swallow softgels contain EPA and DHA plus additional omega-3 fatty acids, astaxanthin and vitamin A.  Naturally flavored with lemon oil ensuring no fishy aftertaste.  
 
 
PrimEve 1300
PrimEve provides 1300 mg of organic, cold expeller pressed evening primrose seed oil, which supplies gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid and oleic acid for nutritive support of women’s health.  Contains 10% GLA.
 
 
 
LipidOmega3
 
LipidOmega3 provides a triple action, clinically effective combination of red yeast rice and CoQ10 in a base of molecularly distilled fish oil in support of a healthy cardiovascular system. 
 
 
 
Procurrant
 
Procurrant provides nutritive support for overall health with a unique blend of omega-3-6-9 fatty acids.  Pure black currant oil provides alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) plus additional fatty acids 
 
 
Sprouted ProFlax
 
 
Sprouted ProFlax provides nutritional, easily digested milled flax seeds, which contain essential fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins and naturally occurring potassium, calcium and iron. 
 
 
Daily EFA Plus
 
Daily EFA Plus provides comprehensive omega-3-6-9 in a balanced blend of concentrated, molecularly distilled fish oil, certified organic flax oil and hexane free borage oil in support of overall health.  Provides EPA, DHA, GLA, linoleic acid and oleic acid. 

 

Feed Your Brain

brain foodBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Is there such a thing as brain food?  Glucose is the fuel used by brain cells to fuel the mitochondria that are responsible for your brain power.  The brain is constantly hungry for energy and uses more than 20 percent of our daily energy intakeAll foods that we consume greatly impact brain function including learning, memory, mobility, senses and emotions.  The energy produced from our diets is systematically delivered to brain cells, called neurons, through the blood stream.  Because neurons cannot store glucose, a constant supply of fuel must be delivered to the brain to fuel cellular activities. 

Neurons have a high demand for energy as they are constantly in a state of metabolic activity.  Even while we sleep, neurons are hard at work repairing and rebuilding structural components and manufacturing enzymes and neurotransmitters.  Nerve transmissions or communication signals consume half of the brain’s energy usage or nearly 10 percent of the entire body’s energy.  Without efficient energy, our brains cannot function normally.  In fact, without fuel, our bodies don’t function well on any level.  Poor eating habits and eating the wrong foods over a life time can affect the structure and function of the brain.

Glucose, or blood sugar, is obtained from the carbohydrates we consume such as starches, sugars, grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables and to a smaller degree dairy products.  Too many refined carbs or sugar in the bloodstream can actually deprive your brain of glucose, depleting its energy supply and compromising concentration and mental activity.  Complex carbs, found mostly in natural, whole foods, have long chains of sugar molecules that take time to break down into the shorter glucose molecules that the brain uses for food.  Simple carbs, such as those found in processed and refined foods, already have short chain sugar molecules so they enter the blood stream quickly. 

Sugary foods, such as soda, candy and foods containing corn syrup, contain glucose that is absorbed directly through the stomach wall and immediately released into bloodstream.  This rapidly raises glucose levels and gives you a short-lived boost.  However, this triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin, which pulls the excess glucose from the bloodstream to store for later use, making it unavailable for the brain to utilize.  Within a few hours, your ability to focus and think suffers and you may feel weak, tired or nervous as the brain signals the need for another boost.  Repeatedly overloading the bloodstream with sugar diminishes the body’s ability to respond to insulin, leading to insulin resistance and increasing the chances of  developing type 2 diabetes. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the best brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes and encourages good blood flow to the brain.  A brain-healthy, heart-healthy diet is most effective when combined with exercise, mental activity and social interaction.  Managing your body weight is also important for overall health of the brain and body, as long-term studies show that obese middle-agers are twice as likely to develop dementia later in life.  Add in high cholesterol and high blood pressure and that risk increases six-fold.  Increasing the intake of protective foods such as healthy fats, antioxidant containing fruits and vegetables, and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and add brain cell protection.  To optimize brain power, consider more frequent but smaller meals to keep blood sugar stable.  The brain appears to function well with about 25 grams of circulating glucose, about the amount found in a banana. 

If you really want to preserve your brain’s health, consider ditching soda, foods with high fructose corn syrup, and high sugar content foods in favor of healthier choices.  The following foods are just a few examples of brain-healthy foods: 

Spinach and leafy greens are loaded with vitamins C and E, which have been shown to improve cognitive abilities.

Fatty fish, high in omega-3 fatty acids, has been shown to help slow cognitive decline that comes with aging. 

Berries, which are chock full of vitamins and antioxidants, can help combat oxidative stress associated with aging and appear to support the brain’s signaling capabilities.

Carrots have high levels of luteolin, which could reduce age-related memory deficits and inflammation in the brain. 

Walnuts contain high levels of antioxidants that may combat the damage to brain cells’ DNA caused by free radicals.

Apples are a great source of quercetin, an antioxidant that helps keep you mentally sharp by protecting brain cells from free radicals, which can damage neurons and lead to cognitive decline. 

On those occasions when we can’t always eat “right”, here are some supplements to support brain health:

Deeper Greens by Ortho Molecular provides a proprietary blend of fruits, greens and antioxidant vegetables with high ORAC value, a value given to foods that increase beneficial blood plasma antioxidant levels.  Organic ingredients used whenever possible. 

OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics provides a healthy balance of highly concentrated omega-3 essential fatty acids from cold water fish.  Produced in Norway, these lemon flavored softgels are stabilized with natural antioxidants to ensure freshness.  Purity guaranteed. 

Brain Energy (98723) by Douglas Laboratories is specially formulated to support dopamine production for a more energetic brain.  Vegetarian formula. 

Brain Support, Q. by Quantum Nutrition Labs provides a comprehensive, live-source formula to promote brain performance, clarity, focus, attention and memory as well as advanced lipid support for the brain. 

Muscle Cramps – All Pain No Gain

MusclePainBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

If you have ever experienced a sudden and severe muscle contraction, and the majority of us have, you’ll know just how painful that experience can be.  While muscle cramps generally last only a few seconds to a few minutes, the often surprising and sudden onset and intensity are not as quickly forgotten.  Muscle soreness may remain for several days and it may take up to a week for the muscle to return to a normal, pain free state.  A cramp occurs when a muscle involuntarily contracts and does not release.  Skeletal muscles, which we voluntarily control, are most likely to be affected.  Most often cramping occurs in the calf, hamstring or quadricep muscles but hand and foot cramps are also common. 

Causes of muscle cramping can include muscle fatigue, inadequate stretching, poor conditioning, dehydration and electrolyte depletion. Low levels of potassium and calcium may also cause muscle cramping, as both minerals contribute to healthy muscle function. Those most susceptible to cramping include athletes, who often develop cramps at the end of intense or prolonged exercise, and the elderly due to normal muscle atrophy and the body’s lessened ability to respond to thirst and temperature changes.  Those who are ill, overweight or taking certain medications are also at high risk of cramping. 

True cramps, one of four basic categories of skeletal muscle cramps, are the most common type.  True cramps are most likely the result of hyperexcitability of the nerves that stimulate the muscles and can occur under a variety of circumstances.  These can include:

Injury to the muscle or a broken bone can cause persistent spasms as a protective mechanism to keep the muscle or bone stable in order to recover. 

Strenuous physical activity, overuse of muscles and muscle fatigue can cause cramping during exercise or while at rest many hours later.  Rest cramps, which often strike during the night,  can be painful, frequent and sleep disruptive. 

Dehydration caused by excess fluid loss during vigorous activities increases the likelihood of cramping.  Poor fluid intake, diuretic medications , and sodium depletion are all contributing factors that can result in dehydration. 

Low blood calcium or magnesium levels can directly impact and overstimulate nerve endings and muscles, increasing the predisposition for true muscle cramping.  Low levels of calcium and magnesium can be the result of pregnancy, diuretic medications, inadequate dietary absorption or poorly functioning parathyroid glands, which regulate calcium balance. 

Low potassium blood levels can cause cramping and muscle weakness, as potassium affects the way neuromuscular cells discharge and regenerate energy.  When potassium levels are low, muscles and nerves cannot function properly. 

Vitamin deficiencies including thiamine (B1), pantothenic acid (B5) and pyridoxine (B6) can also lead to muscle cramping although the exact reasons are unclear. 

Poor circulation, which results in decreased oxygen in the muscle tissue, can cause severe pain and cramping. 

Initially, stretching the muscle will often relieve a cramp especially in the feet and legs.  Gentle muscle massage can help to relax the muscle.  Later on, a warm bath or a heating pad may help relieve the soreness that may follow a cramp or muscle spasm often called a Charlie horse.  Fluid and electrolyte, especially sodium and potassium, replacement is critical for treating or preventing cramping.  If cramping is severe or persistent or not associated with an obvious cause, it can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, which may require a visit to your healthcare professional.   

To prevent muscle cramping, stretch before and after exercise, hydrate before, during and after the activity, and make sure to get adequate amounts of calcium, potassium and magnesium.  Although cramps are painful, the discomfort is generally short lived.  Giving your muscles a little TLC can prevent or lessen the occurrence of muscle cramping, allowing for a great exercise session or a good night’s sleep. 

Try these products for relief of muscle cramping:

Spaz Out® by Metabolic Maintenance is a balanced mineral formula that is designed to replenish the mineral electrolytes most at risk of deficiency in those with muscle cramping.  Contains calcium, magnesium and potassium and other minerals. 

Muscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations contains important electrolytes and soothing herbs to relieve occasional nighttime muscle cramps, minor muscle cramps associated with exercise and overall muscle tension. 

Restore by Heel/BHI is a homeopathic formula for the temporary relief of muscle soreness, burning  and cramping resulting from physical exertion or lactic acid buildup.

Featured Brand: Organic India

OrganicIndiaBy Susan Brown

Professional Supplement Center announces the addition of Organic India’s line of certified organic and non-GMO products to complement our extensive line of high performing, quality nutritional supplements.

Founded in the 1990′s, Organic India has a mission to provide genuine, organic, exceptional quality wellness products for conscious healthy living.  Organic India has a commitment to support natural sustainable organic and biodynamic agricultural practices that serve and protect nature and support the livelihood and wellbeing of farmers and tribal wildcrafters in rural India.  In doing so, Organic India provides a living wage to the Indian farmers, creates a sustainable environment and brings health and wellbeing to all. 

All farmers are certified organic according to U.S. National Organic Program (NOP) standards and all facilities have been awarded USDA and GMP certifications.  Organic India uses advanced processing methods and dehydration technologies that ensure all products retain their maximum potency levels and the highest possible quality. 

Joy! by Organic India

Joy! contains bacopa, gotu kola, ashwagandha and other herbs to uplift mood, and boost energy and vitality.  Joy! is designed to provide tension and stress relief when overwhelmed, tired or depleted. 

 

 VitalityVitality is formulated with five anti-stress, anti-aging and adaptogenic herbs to help relieve stress and support increased energy without the use of stimulants.  Vitality provides immune system support and provides herbs chosen for their unique nutritional contributions to overall rejuvenation. 
 
 
 
Tulsi-Holy Basil
 
Tulsi-Holy Basil has been used for centuries to promote immunity and stress resilience, support strength and stamina and enhance calmness and clarity.  Tulsi-Holy Basil is one of the most cherished healing herbs of India. 
 
 
 

AmalakiAmalaki is considered a superfruit as it provides a fully bioavailable source of natural and easily assimilated vitamin C.  Amalaki aids in detoxifying and rejuvenating the digestive system and is naturally abundant in antioxidants providing free radical protection and support for the immune system. 

 

MoringaMoringa is considered one of the most complete and nutrient dense plants as it contains over 90 nutrients, 46 antioxidants and abundant minerals.  A true superfood, Moringa supplies protein, vitamins, beta carotene, trace minerals, all essential amino acids and antioxidant polyphenols.