Carlson Labs – Featured Brand

CarlsonSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Founded in 1965 in Chicago, Illinois, family owned and operated Carlson® Labs began with a personal mission to improve the health of a family member by formulating high quality nutritional supplements. Originating with pharmacist Susan Carlson’s creation of one extensively researched vitamin E product, Carlson’s now offers a full array of naturally-sourced vitamin E supplements. Carlson® Labs extensive award winning line includes over 200 science-based vitamin, mineral, fish oil, amino acid, botanical and nutritional products, as well as supplements formulated specifically for children’s wellness. All products are third party tested to be free of GMOs.

Since 1982, Carlson® Labs has specialized in providing the finest fish oils sustainably sourced from Norwegian cold water fish. Closely managed from sea to store, their state-of-the-art bottling facility located in Søvik, Norway ensures the refining, distillation and bottling of the finest fish oils. Renowned for their purity, potency, freshness and taste, Carlson® five-star rated fish oils are tested in an FDA-registered facility according to International Fish Oil Standards, (IFOS), the only third-party testing and certification program exclusively for fish oil supplements.

Additionally, all Carlson® seafood suppliers hold Friend of the Sea (FOS) certifications and follow strict guidelines and procedures for marine conservation. Carlson’s high quality fish oils have been honored with Superior Taste Awards, further ensuring truly clean, great-tasting products.

To see the line of products from Carlson® Labs, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Cod Liver Oil ...Carlson Cod Liver Oil: Abundantly rich in vitamins A and D3, this award winning wild Norwegian cod liver oil delivers 1,100 mg of EPA and DHA essential omega-3 fatty acids per one teaspoon serving in support of cognitive, cardiovascular and joint health. This Non-GMO lemon flavored, pleasant tasting 100% pure cod liver oil is naturally preserved with vitamin E and mixed tocopherols. Freshness, purity and potency guaranteed. Also available in children’s formula and in softgel form.

E-Gems® Elite 400 IUE-Gems® 400 IU: This top selling formula provides an exclusive blend of the entire vitamin E family, including eight forms of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Natural-source vitamin E has powerful antioxidant properties supporting cardiovascular health and optimal wellness. Gluten free. No artificial preservatives.

Very Finest Fish Oil...Very Finest Fish Oil Lemon: This customer favorite provides 800 mg of EPA and 500 mg of DHA omega-3 essential fatty acids per teaspoon in support of brain, cardiovascular, vision, immune joint, nerve and skin health. Third party tested to be free of heavy metals, PCBs and other contaminants. Lemon flavored and naturally preserved with rosemary extract and mixed tocopherols. Gluten free formulation. Also available Orange flavored and in softgel form.

Kid's Multi Gummy...Kid’s Multi Gummy Bears: Formulated for children aged 4 and older, these yummy natural raspberry flavored gummies provide 17 essential bioavailable vitamins and minerals in recommended daily intake amounts. These nutrients support healthy growth and development, promote healthy vision, bones and teeth, provide antioxidant protection and support cardiovascular health, immune function and energy production. Vegetable coloring. Free of high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients.

The Glucose-Diabetes-Dementia Trifecta

The Glucose-Diabetes-Dementia TrifectaJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

While the terms Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are often used interchangeably, Alzheimer’s is actually a very specific common form of dementia. Often associated with aging, dementia is an umbrella term for brain abnormalities linked to advancing cognitive, behavioral and psychological decline. Signs and symptoms of dementia can include increasing confusion, memory impairment, behavioral changes and communication difficulties, as well as a loss of mental and physical abilities that interferes with daily living. For each person, the stages of dementia from mild cognitive impairment to severe decline progress on individual timetables.

As an irreversible, degenerative and currently incurable disease, Alzheimer’s is generally characterized by impaired energy metabolism, mitochondrial dysfunction, chronic oxidative stress, DNA damage and cell apoptosis, as well as an abundance of neurofibrillary tangles and amyloid plaques located between and inside brain neurons. These plaques and tangles are abnormal accumulations of cell-damaging proteins that alter and disrupt cellular function and block neuronal communication. As neurons become injured and neuronal connections break down, brain regions begin to atrophy, eventually resulting in widespread loss of brain volume.

While there is no known cure for dementia and no definitive means of prevention, we do know that lifestyle factors have a profound impact on brain health. Adhering to wholesome lifestyle behaviors that promote healthy aging and reduce chronic disease risk may also inhibit or delay the progression of cognitive decline. General risk prevention and health maintenance strategies include losing excess weight, remaining physically and socially active, getting sufficient healthy sleep and reducing chronic stress. Along with regular physical activity, a healthy diet can lower elevated blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Maintaining weight and blood glucose levels within the normal range may be the most advantageous for keeping the brain healthy and fit as one ages.

Although glucose or blood sugar is the primary source of fuel for the brain and all body cells, high blood sugar is linked to inflammation, obesity and the onset of glucose disorders, such as insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes in older individuals. Although studies have not shown that high blood sugar causes dementia, research does link elevated blood glucose levels with an increased risk of developing dementia and a faster rate of cognitive decline, even in individuals in the non-diabetic range. Numerous studies have documented a strong association between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other types of dementia.

The pathogenesis of cognitive dysfunction remains only partially understood. While researchers continue to study and make significant gains in understanding the effects of diabetes on cognitive dysfunction, we do know that diabetic and prediabetic states consistently present as risk factors for cognitive decline, mild cognitive impairment and dementia. The good news is that diabetes and diabetes-related factors are modifiable, potentially allowing for interventions that may delay or prevent the onset of cognitive deterioration. Modern medicine recognizes the influence of diet quality, as well as lifestyle and environmental factors, on body composition and overall healthy function.

  • An eating plan that greatly reduces or eliminates processed foods, refined carbohydrates and added sugars, as well as incorporates nutrient, fiber and antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits, plant-based proteins, nuts, healthy fats and fish may also promote long-term brain health and positively impact brain structure.
  • Scientific evidence has linked moderate intensity exercise and higher levels of endurance to sharpened memory and enhanced thinking skills. Even more encouraging, middle aged out of shape adults who improved their fitness levels showed the same substantial reduction in dementia risk as those who were fit before midlife.
  • Observational studies suggest that controlling blood pressure through lifestyle factors or medications may lower the risk for Alzheimer’s disease by 16 percent and other forms of dementia by 12 percent.
  • As type 2 diabetes is believed to accelerate brain aging, avoiding obesity and insulin resistance through diet and regular physical activity may be the best investment for safeguarding long-term physical and cognitive health.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of healthy glucose metabolism:

GlucoFunctionGlucoFunction by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic formulation offers a comprehensive blend of key nutrients, antioxidants and herbal extracts in support of healthy glucose metabolism, microcirculation and pancreatic function. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Vital ClearVital Clear® by Vital Nutrients: This powdered formula provides optimal amounts of high quality, naturally pure macro and micronutrients, including plant proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, herbs and essential fatty acids. Vital Clear® is designed to support a healthy inflammatory response and normal detoxification. Free of wheat, barley and rye gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, sugar, coatings and bindings.

Glycemic ManagerGlycemic Manager™ by Integrative Therapeutics®: This comprehensive formula is designed to lessen the impact of high-glycemic foods on blood sugar levels, as well as encourage healthy blood glucose metabolism. Ingredients include vitamins, minerals, botanicals and more. Free of sugar, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, ingredients of animal origin and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Gluco-ResponseGluco-Response™ by NuMedica®: This high potency formula provides a unique combination of bioavailable vitamins, minerals and botanicals in support of the maintenance of healthy blood sugar, blood lipid levels and insulin metabolism. Free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy. Vegetarian formulation.

GlucoSupreme HerbalGlucoSupreme™ Herbal by Designs for Health®: This synergistic herbal formula is designed to help maintain steady blood sugar levels. Ingredients include standardized herbs, botanicals, and ginseng, as well as berberine, a plant compound highly regarded for its efficacy in supporting healthy blood glucose regulation and insulin sensitivity. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Above-normal blood sugar linked to dementia. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/above-normal-blood-sugar-linked-to-dementia-201308076596
The association of diabetes and dementia and possible implications for nondiabetic populations. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3240939/
What Happens to the Brain in Alzheimer’s Disease? https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/what-happens-brain-alzheimers-disease
Alzheimer’s Disease is Type 3 Diabetes-Evidence Reviewed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2769828/
Sugar and the Brain. https://neuro.hms.harvard.edu/harvard-mahoney-neuroscience-institute/brain-newsletter/and-brain-series/sugar-and-brain
Higher brain glucose levels may mean more severe Alzheimer’s. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/higher-brain-glucose-levels-may-mean-more-severe-alzheimers
The Role of Diet in Brain Health. https://www.neurologytimes.com/dementia/role-diet-brain-health
Another Reason to Take Your Blood Pressure Drugs: Lower Dementia Risk. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/12/well/live/blood-pressure-hypertension-drugs-dementia-alzheimers.html

Natural Born Killer Cells

Natural Born Killer cellsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

As their name implies, the sole purpose of natural killer (NK) cells is to monitor, recognize and kill diseased and abnormal cells. NK cells are best known for their ability to destroy virally infected cells, as well as detect and control early signs of cancer. As part of the innate immune system, NK cells quickly and effectively respond to a wide variety of pathological challenges. This rapid response enables NK cells to track down and kill infected body cells, making them highly effective at preventing the spread of pathogens. Unlike other more common, but also highly specialized defender cells, NK cells comprise just 10 – 15 percent of all circulating white blood cells.

Interestingly, these lymphocytes are in constant contact with other cells as they peacefully patrol the body, effectively activating and rapidly multiplying once a target is identified. To determine when to attack a cell, NK cells utilize unique balancing signals from activating and inhibitory receptors on the NK cell surface. Activating receptors recognize molecules that are expressed on the surface of cancer cells and infected cells, and ‘switch on’ the NK cell attack mode. Most normal healthy cells express MCH I receptors, or autorecognition antigens that ensure their survival. These antigens generate a strong inhibitory signal, preventing NK cells from attacking and destroying healthy cells. Cancer cells and infected cells often have reduced MHC I capacity, leaving them susceptible to elimination by an advancing army of NK cells.

While the diverse functions of NK cells is not fully understood, their contribution as first-line defense responders and their essential role as inflammatory mediators is well established. Like tiny but mighty warriors on patrol, NK cells are recognized for their role in tumor immunosurveillance and anti-viral immune stimuli. Critical for defense against a wide variety of pathogens, NK cells possess a unique ability to identify infected cells and appear to form immunological memory. As ongoing efforts to identify strategies to optimize NK cell activity continue, the future looks promising for safe and effective treatment of chronic infections, as well as the potential to advance cell-based cancer immunotherapies.

As we age, our immune system response capability weakens, which increases our vulnerability to  infections and raises the risk of developing age related conditions. Altered immune responses, gut microbiota imbalance and an unhealthy low-fiber, high-sugar diet may all contribute to the growing incidence of inflammatory autoimmune diseases, such as asthma, diabetes, and irritable bowel disease. The highly specialized intestinal microbiome is home to a complex society of diverse beneficial microorganisms, as well as potentially harmful pathogens, viruses and fungi and parasites. NK cells play a key role in the response to intestinal bacterial infections and appear to be involved in the regulation of gut mucosa homeostasis, or balance.

Favorable microorganisms act against pathogens, support immune activity and protect intestinal wall integrity. The intestinal microbiota is continually shaped by diet, aging, antibiotic use, medications, illness and environmental factors. Balance of the microbiota is essential for maintaining immune and overall healthy function, as dysbiosis, or an imbalance in gut microbiota composition, can result in an altered immune response. Imbalances may result from  decreased immune cell production, micronutrient malnutrition, chronic stress, low fiber diet, unhealthy lifestyle choices and other factors. Following general wellness guidelines may support beneficial composition of the gut environment and ensure the proper function of the vast, intricate and interconnected immune system.

Per the World Health Organization (WHO), probiotic organisms confer a benefit to the host when administered in adequate amounts. Some studies have reported that NK cell activity, and subsequently innate immunity, may be enhanced by the addition of certain strains of dietary probiotics, specifically the most studied strains of Lactobacilli, Lactobacillus plantarum, L. paracasei, L. reuteri and L. rhamnosus. Research has shown Bifidobacterium longum may also benefit and stimulate NK cell activity, potentially priming the immune system against harmful pathogens.

Adopting healthy living strategies can naturally protect and help maintain immune, physical, mental and emotional wellness. To support good health and bolster immunity, eat a colorful and balanced, largely plant-based diet filled with nutrient, antioxidant and fiber rich vegetables and fruits, maintain a healthy weight, get adequate sleep, exercise regularly, hydrate sufficiently and minimize stress. As well, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement can help meet micronutrient and cellular energy requirements and support overall healthy function.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of healthy immune function:

NK Killer Cell...NK Killer Cell Support 60 – 90 Senior Essentials by Kirkman® Labs: This hypoallergenic formula blends antioxidant vitamins A, C and E with specialized antioxidant nutrients including CoQ10, lycopene, pycnogenol and resveratrol for powerful protection against free radical cellular damage and increased NK cell activity. Free of soy, wheat, casein, gluten, milk, eggs, yeast, gelatin, flavorings, colorings, peanuts and tree nuts.

 

Probiotic-10™ 25...Probiotic-10™ 25 Billion by Now® Foods: This probiotic formula offers a balanced spectrum of 10 clinically validated, acid resistant, live bacterial strains, including Lactobacillus plantarum, L. paracasei, L. rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium longum in support of intestinal integrity, healthy digestion and proper immune function. Free of dairy, soy, gluten, wheat, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish and tree nuts. Non-GMO, kosher, vegan formulation. Refrigerate to maintain potency.

 

Bifido ComplexBifido Complex by Progressive™ Laboratories: Each capsule provides two billion acid and bile resistant strains of live microorganisms, including Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. casei and L. rhamnosus, in support of overall digestive and immune function. Free of milk, soy, whey, corn, wheat, yeast and preservatives. Heat sensitive.

 

NK-3 Immune™ 500 mgNK-3 Immune™ 500 mg by Source Naturals®: This product is formulated to support natural immune processes by stimulating chemical messenger production and supporting NK and other immune cell activity.

 

AHCC Active Hexose...AHCC® Active Hexose Correlated Compound Powder by Planetary™ Herbals: This proprietary powdered formula blends several species of cultivated enzymatically modified mushroom mycelia in support of healthy immune function and increased NK activity. Also available in capsule form.

References:
Natural Killer Cells. https://www.immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/cells/natural-killer-cells
The major histocompatibility complex and its functions. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27156/
Harnessing the Healing Power of Self through Natural Killer Cells. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK27156/
Activation of Natural Killer Cells by Probiotics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5467532/
Natural Killer Cells: Development, Maturation, and Clinical Utilization. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2018.01869/full
Role of human natural killer cells in health and disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC368214/
Strategies to Enhance NK Cell Function for the Treatment of Tumors and Infections. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343663/