WEEK 3: 90-Day Healthy Weight Challenge

PSCteam2JenniferIconBy Jennifer Bement
Social Media Manager
 

As we mentioned in our last newsletter, much of our staff have taken up the challenge of working toward a healthy weight. Each participant was given the following supplements:  Nordic Naturals ProOmega Lemon EPA/DHA (fish oil), Douglas Laboratories Multi-Probiotic 15 billion, Enzymedica Digest Gold (a potent digestive enzyme,) and Metagenics PhytoMulti, a multivitamin and mineral formula. Additionally they were divided into three groups based on the weight loss supplement that was deemed best for them by our staff nurse Jacquie Eubanks.  Each received one of the following: Ortho Molecular CLA, which supports reducing body fat while increasing muscle tone; Douglas Laboratories Super HCA (garcinia cambogia extract), which aids in normal appetite regulation; or Integrative Therapeutics 7-KETO Lean, which helps burn fat, not muscle, and promotes weight loss.

As the challenge moves into its third week, the team continues to amaze withWalkers2 their hard work, leading to great results. For Week 3, the team collectively walked/ran 42.5 miles and did yard work, housework, barn chores, yoga, kick boxing, aerobics, water aerobics, Ta Chi, and stair work for an amazing 47 hours! Weigh-in at the end of Week 3 showed a loss of 69 pounds!

Nurse Jacquie has been guiding each team member through the process with weekly private meetings to assess their progress. “I am thrilled with the results we are getting” she exclaimed. “Not only are they starting to think about the food they are consuming, but this week really showed that they are willing to work for the results.”

The Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic DietJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

The times they are a-changing.  High carb-low fat diets are out.  Low carb-high fat diets are in.  Although low carb-high fat diets have been controversial for years, studies show that a low carb-high fat diet leads to weight loss and lowers risk factors for metabolic syndrome, which is associated with chronic diseases.  A ketogenic diet involves a shifting of your body’s metabolic processes from burning carbohydrates (glucose) for fuel to burning fats instead.  This metabolic state is called nutritional ketosis, which simply means that your body cells are burning fat fragments, known as ketones, as opposed to glucose.  Not to be confused with ketoacidosis, a condition often associated with type 1 diabetes and insulin dependent type 2 diabetes, nutritional ketosis results from a controlled insulin regulated process in response to a lower carb and higher fat dietary intake. 

Some of the controversy surrounding the ketogenic diet stems from confusing diabetic ketoacidosis with nutritional ketosis.  Insulin dependent diabetics produce ketones when they don’t have enough insulin for the body cells to utilize the glucose in their blood streams.  To prevent the body from entering starvation mode, the diabetic body can overproduce ketones, which can lead to critical illness.  However, those on the low carb-high fat diet, who produce insulin normally, become keto-adapted.  Our livers naturally produce ketones from fats and certain amino acids in order to feed our brains, which can only function with glucose and ketones. 

Ketosis is the metabolic process of burning your own body fat for fuel, which is regulated by the insulin levels within the body.  What happens when your body is in the state of ketosis?

  • Your appetite is naturally reduced.  Many of us give up on dieting simply because we get hungry.  When we reduce our consumption of refined carbohydrates, like bagels, chips and sweet treats that raise blood sugar, and increase our consumption of healthy fats such as nuts, avocados and olive and coconut oils, it eliminates the cyclical sugar craving cycle, leaving us more satiated and with more stable blood sugar. 
  • Fats are not the enemy.  And in fact, we need more healthy fats.  Fats are necessary to absorb vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  They help build cell membranes and supply energy.  Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fats, reduce inflammation and the risks of obesity, arthritis, depression and heart disease.  Fats don’t raise blood glucose levels and since they don’t solicit an insulin response, they can’t be stored as body fat. 
  • Your body goes into a fat burning state as opposed to a sugar burning state.  With a high carb diet, which creates and burns glucose, a steady supply of carbohydrates is needed to keep energy levels up.  When more carbs are eaten to satisfy hunger, excess glucose is converted and stored as fat, leaving your body little chance to access and burn stored fat.  To effectively lose weight, our bodies must burn stored fat. 
  • A large percentage of body fat that is lost on low carb-high fat diets is visceral fat, dangerous belly fat that accumulates around body organs.  Belly fat drives inflammation and creates insulin resistance, which can lead to metabolic syndrome, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. 
  • Low calorie-low fat diets essentially starve your body.  The ketogenic diet is not calorie controlled, so you don’t have to go hungry.  Higher fat diets satisfy hunger so you tend to eat less.  A refined carb-low fat diet keeps you in sugar burning mode, while a low carb-high fat diet puts you in fat burning mode. 
  • Eliminating excess sugar and refined carbs reawakens the body’s ability to use ketones as fuel.  As your body becomes more efficient at burning fats for energy, blood sugar is stabilized.  With a diet of refined carbs, insulin levels are increased along with the body’s resistance to insulin.  The high carb-low fat diet encourages fat storage, not fat utilization. 

Where does protein fit into the ketogenic diet?  The ketogenic diet includes moderate amounts of protein, as excess protein is converted to glucose.  Excess glucose increases insulin release and inhibits the body’s ability to burn fatty acids and go into a state of ketosis.  With a ketogenic diet, it is not necessary to buy special foods.  Whole foods prepared at home are the basis of the diet.  Add more healthy omega-3 fats by eating wild caught fish or taking a fish oil supplement, and include saturated and monounsaturated fats such as full fat dairy, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, macadamia nuts and eggs.  When possible, choose clean proteins such as organic or grass fed animal foods, which have a higher fatty acid profile.  Choose non-starchy vegetables and greens and limit sweeter vegetables and fruits. 

Most would agree that the American diet needs to change in order to reduce obesity and related illnesses.  The goal of nutrition should be to create health and discourage disease.  With a ketogenic diet, in addition to weight loss and increased energy, you may have lowered blood pressure, better balanced cholesterol levels, a drop in fasting blood sugar levels, clearer thinking and more stable moods.  A diet that contains less added sugar, refined and processed foods and oils, and more heart-healthy, brain-healthy fats may not only add years to your life but can increase the quality of life during those years.

Helpful supplements for the start of a ketogenic eating plan include:

Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg
 
Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg by Pure Encapsulations - This multifunctional nutrient plays a key role in metabolic processes and provides potent antioxidants.  ALA supports glucose metabolism, nerve health and cardiovascular function. 
 
 
Biotin-8 (8,000mcg) (B118)
 
Biotin-8 (8,000mcg) (B118) by Thorne ResearchBiotin supports glucose metabolism and helps maintain already normal blood sugar levels.  Biotin enhances muscle insulin sensitivity by increasing uptake of glucose by the muscle cells. 
 
 
Coconut Oil Organic Extra Virgin
 
Coconut Oil Organic Extra Virgin by Nutiva - This certified organic, non-GMO pure coconut oil is comprised of 50%  lauric acid, an essential fatty acid found in mother’s milk, which has been  shown to have health protecting properties.  Cholesterol and trans-fat free.  Made from cold pressed fresh coconuts. 
 
Enzyme Nutrition Two Daily Multi-Vitamin
 
 
Enzyme Nutrition Two Daily Multi-Vitamin by Enzymedica – This amazing whole food supplement contains high potency enzymes, antioxidants, probiotics and daily botanicals in support of energy, immune function and overall health.
 
 

Can Your Unique Microflora Influence Your Diet Choices?

microfloraJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

When we are watching our waistlines, most of us would like to believe we have the willpower to make healthy food choices.  Although we are aware of healthy food options, we often err on the side of the less healthy choices.  Afterwards, we may blame a lack of willpower and resolve to make better choices next time.  But is lack of willpower the real culprit sabotaging our eating patterns?  A new scientific review suggests that our gut bacteria may be influencing our food choices.  Apparently, some of those sneaky little microorganisms can be quite manipulative.  The secret to a healthy gut is a balanced microbiome and, according to Carlo Maley, PhD, director of the Center for Evolution and Cancer at the University of California, some of our microbiota are aligned with our dietary goals and some are not. 

The human gut microbiome contains tens of trillions of microorganisms containing more than a thousand different species, which collectively contain more than 100 times as many genes as the body does.  Bacterial DNA control many bodily tasks including proper digestion, immune and intestinal function, energy metabolism and vitamin production.  Of these trillions of microbiota, about one third are common to most people, leaving two thirds specific to each person, similar to fingerprints.  Each person’s unique microflora begins at birth, continues to evolve throughout life, and is largely determined by our diet and our environment. 

How do our gut bacteria influence our choices?  According to the study authored by Maley and Athena Aktipis, PhD and published in the Journal BioEssays, microbes may be under pressure to manipulate eating patterns in order to increase their own fitness.  The study found certain microorganisms may generate cravings for foods that supply the sustenance for their specific  need or foods that suppress their competitors.  Another strategy may be inducing dysbiosis, a loss of the normal balance of microflora, which is linked to obesity, diabetes, inflammation, allergies or functional bowel disorders. The study concluded that microbes exhibit influence on reward and satiety pathways, our taste receptors and mood altering chemical production. 

Ideally, the ratio of beneficial to pathogenic bacteria should be approximately 85% helpful to 15% harmful.   The constant ingestion of unhealthy food options can keep microbiome balance skewed in the wrong direction for optimal health.  Fortunately, we can influence our beneficial colonies by reseeding our gut with probiotics and by eating fermented foods.  Your diet can alter the composition of gut flora and have a significant impact on your health when you avoid low nutrient foods, chemical additives and sugar.  Having a healthy microbiome profoundly and positively influences the activity of hundreds of genes that fight disease and maintain health. 

  • Eat a fiber rich, whole food diet with lots of vegetables, beans, nuts, and fruits, which feed the beneficial bacteria. 
  • Limit sugar and chemically laden processed foods which cause inflammation and feed unhealthy bacteria.
  • Take probiotics daily to reestablish healthy microflora, which improve digestive health and reduce inflammation. 
  • Take antibiotics only when absolutely necessary and avoid acid blockers and OTC anti-inflammatory medications, which negatively impact good bacteria. 
FloraMend Prime Probiotic (SF811)
 
FloraMend Prime Probiotic (SF811) by Thorne Research provides an allergy free, proprietary blend of 3 essential strains of vital probiotics to help replenish intestinal flora and promote overall and digestive health.  Stomach acid resistant capsule ensures delivery throughout the intestinal tract.  Stable at room temperature – no refrigeration needed.  Non-GMO and gluten, soy and dairy free. 
 
Probiotic HPSS (High Potency, Shelf Stable
 
Probiotic HPSS by Metabolic Maintenance supplies 60 billion CFU per capsule of high potency, shelf stable probiotics to support digestive and immune health.  Targeted release, acid resistant capsule helps to maximize bioavailability.  Gluten, dairy and soy free. 
 
Strengtia (K-61)
Strengtia™ (K-61) by Apex Energetics targets and supports the intestinal environment with a specially developed scientific formula.  Stomach acid resistant pre and probiotic formula contains selected strains that remain viable at room temperature.  
 
 
Ther-Biotic Complete...Ther-Biotic Complete by Klaire Labs offers a high potency, hypoallergenic blend of 12 certified probiotics for broad-spectrum coverage to support a healthy balance of microflora across the entire intestinal tract.  This unique combination of colonizing and transient strains is formulated with a full spectrum of synergistic and complementary species.  Heat sensitive – refrigerate to maintain potency.  Gluten, soy, dairy, and yeast free. 
 
Ther-Biotic Children...Ther-Biotic Children’s Chewable by Klaire Labs provides a broad-spectrum, hypoallergenic probiotic supplement designed specifically for children aged 2 and older.  Naturally flavored chewable tablets benefit gastrointestinal, immune and oral health.  Gluten, soy, dairy and yeast free.  Refrigerate to maintain potency.
 

Featured Brand: BIO TECH™ Pharmacal, Inc.

Featured Brand BioTechSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Writer
 

BIO TECH™ Pharmacal partners with over 60 prestigious institutions and universities, including Memorial Sloan-Kettering, the Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and the Universities of Florida, Chicago, Wisconsin and Michigan Medical Centers and supplies products for use in their clinical research.  BIO TECH™ complies with all U.S. FDA regulations and follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) to insure the highest standards of excellence in the formulation of pure, bio-available vitamin and mineral forms.  BIO TECH™  has long term established relationships with trust worthy suppliers that consistently deliver high quality ingredients, yet they test all ingredients for identity, strength and contaminants before those ingredients are used in manufacturing.  Their two-piece encapsulation technology eliminates the need for binders, lubricants, or coatings.  No added colors or flavors are used.

D3 1000 IU
 
D3-5 5000 IU provides highly bioavailable, water soluble, natural vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol for overall wellbeing and to promote bone, cardiovascular, neuromuscular and immune health and function. 
 
 
Tri-Salts Capsules
Tri-Salts Capsules is a unique nutritional buffering supplement that is specially formulated to neutralize increased acidity.  Tri-Salts contains significant amounts of essential macrominerals including calcium, magnesium and potassium and does not contain sodium or other salts. 
 
 
Folic Acid 20 mg
 
Folic Acid 20 mg contains the essential nutrient folate, which is required for proper cell growth and maintenance and is necessary to the synthesis and metabolism of DNA and certain amino acids. 
 
 
 
OsteoTech™Osteo-Tech™ provides vitamins, minerals, cofactors and a proprietary blend to promote healthy bones and joints.  Osteo-Tech™ contains minerals important for calcium metabolism and bone structure, vitamin K1 and K2 for direct calcium deposition into bones, and vitamins C and B12 for maintenance of healthy bone collagen. 
 
B6 + Folic Acid
 
B6 + Folic Acid is formulated with active forms of vitamin B6, folate and vitamin B12 to provide support for healthy homocysteine levels and cardiovascular, bone and nervous system health. 
 
 
C-Max 1000
 
C-Max 1000 provides buffered vitamin C in a blend of natural citrus bioflavonoids and fully reacted mineral ascorbates to support immune health and normal histamine levels.  C-Max is  formulated to be gentle on the digestive system. 

 

 

 

90-Day Healthy Weight Challenge

PSCteam2At Professional Supplement Center, our staff isn’t just talking the talk about the supplements we sell, but as a result of our 90-Day Healthy Weight Challenge, we have taken up the gauntlet and are literally walking the walk.

Participants are just a couple of weeks into the challenge, but they are already showing great success with over 50 lbs lost!  They are also noticing that they have more energy and feel more satisfied, while actually eating less.  Exercise has become a part of their routines with hours spent walking, running, doing Tai Chi, gardening, kick boxing, or just sweating it out at the gym.

Here’s how the challenge works:

  1. Each participant had a private assessment with Jacquie Eubanks, Professional Supplement Center’s Nurse and health coach, who specializes in developing a plan to optimize one’s health with nutrition along with the informed use of pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements.
  2. All participants were given the following supplements:  Nordic Naturals ProOmega Lemon EPA/DHA (fish oil), Douglas Laboratories Multi-Probiotic 15 billion, Enzymedica Digest Gold (a potent digestive enzyme,) and Metagenics PhytoMulti, a multivitamin and mineral formula. 
  3. The participants were divided into three groups based on the weight loss supplement that was deemed best for them by Nurse Eubanks.  Each received one of the following: Ortho Molecular CLA, which supports reducing body fat while increasing muscle tone; Douglas Laboratories Super HCA (garcinia cambogia extract), which aids in normal appetite regulation; or Integrative Therapeutics 7-KETO Lean, which helps burn fat, not muscle, and promotes weight loss.
  4. Nurse Eubanks also counseled on which foods to avoid and which to add in order to optimize their nutrition.
  5. Each participant has been tracking their progress by keeping a daily food diary, noting how they are feeling, and what sort of activity they are doing.
  6. Weekly private weigh-ins with Nurse Eubanks give the participants a chance to further refine their plan on the way to a healthier weight.

 “Having the opportunity to help our staff become more cognizant of what they are putting into their bodies and getting to see the positive results they are experiencing has been a very rewarding experience for me” stated Nurse Eubanks.

 The challenge will end in November, but the hope is that the healthy habits gained over the three months will continue for a lifetime.

Featured Brand: Nutritional Fundamentals for Health

NFHSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Writer
 

Professional Supplement Center has added Nutritional Fundamentals for Health (NFH) to our exceptional line of high quality nutraceuticals.  The mission of NFH is to improve health and wellness through their development of safe and effective nutraceuticals, which are produced under the highest standards for quality and efficacy.  Increasingly, science is demonstrating the benefits of natural food based products in improving health by reducing the risk of developing age-related diseases.  NFH believes their nutraceutical formulations demonstrate a physiological benefit and provide a natural route for disease prevention.

Herbal, vitamin and mineral formulas are produced and developed through a process guided by two advisory panels.  The Scientific Advisory Panel and The Medical Consultancy Group set an unprecedented standard of excellence for optimal absorption, effectiveness and safety.  As such, these high quality formulations are available exclusively through healthcare practitioners.  All finished products are third party tested for impurities, heavy metals, and pesticides.

Adrenal SAPAdrenal SAP provides a combination of vitamins, minerals and adaptogenic herbs that support and strengthen the adrenal glands to improve adrenal function.  Nutritive and botanical support aids the body by improving energy levels and supporting immune function, physical performance, and the ability to better withstand the effects of acute and chronic stress.  This product is soy, gluten, dairy, sugar, wheat and dairy free and contains no artificial colors or flavors.
 
B-Complex SAP
 
B-Complex SAP contains a sophisticated combination of synergistic essential B vitamins formulated for energy and cardiovascular support.  This hypoallergenic formula is GMO, dairy, and preservative free and contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. 
 
 
 
Osteo SAPOsteo SAP provides a compatible and complementary blend of MCHA, calcium, minerals, vitamins and amino acids to enhance bone-building cells.  Osteo SAP contains an ideal elemental 2:1 ratio of calcium and magnesium plus cofactors to enhance calcium uptake.  Free of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. 
 
 
 
InflaCalm SAPInflaCalm SAP is a synergistic combination of well researched nutraceuticals and herbs designed for maximum anti-inflammatory effect in controlling the production of inflammatory mediators and managing inflammation.  Contains no sugar, dairy, starch, wheat, gluten, yeast, soy, citrus, corn, egg or any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. 
 
 
Prostate SAP
 
Prostate SAP is targeted therapy for males over aged 40 to help maintain a healthy prostate and urinary tract system and help reduce benign prostatic hypertrophy.  Contains no sugar, dairy, starch, gluten, wheat , yeast, citrus, egg or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.   
 
 

How Your Lifestyle Habits Affect Your Immune System

ExerciseDietHealthJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

While we may be constantly challenged by disease causing micro-organisms, our bodies do a great job fighting pathogens and fending off invaders.  Most of the time, that is.  Are you one of those fortunate people who rarely comes down with a cold, stomach bug or other viral related illness?  You may wonder why some people are less susceptible than others when both are exposed to the same illness.  It may all come down to a balanced immune system.  An out of balance immune system not only fails to protect the body, it may cause the body to attack itself, as evidenced by the development of autoimmune diseases.  Your immune system can only function at its best when general good health guidelines are followed.  Immune system strength is influenced by lifestyle factors, which can either boost or deplete the body’s reserves. 

We are all born with innate immunity.  Innate immunity involves barriers such as the skin and the cough reflex, which prevent antigens from entering the body.  As we are exposed to various pathogens along the way, we develop acquired immunity, as our immune systems build a defense against  specific antigens. Young people and the elderly are most vulnerable to illness.  Children’s immature immune systems make them more susceptible to sickness.  Many researchers believe that aging leads to a reduced immune response, leaving the elderly far more likely to contract infectious diseases.

An immune system that functions efficiently protects against disease, while a poorly functioning immune system allows disease to develop.  Certain lifestyle factors can weaken immune function including poor diet, smoking, chronic stress, inefficient sleep, lack of vitamin D and excessive alcohol consumption.  Conversely, a healthy lifestyle can strengthen and support your immune system and lead to better overall health. 

Your diet plays a major role in immune health.  Poor diet or malnutrition can lead to immune deficiency.  Fried foods and oils that contain disproportionate amounts of omega-6 fatty acids can cause inflammation, which over time can lead to a host of chronic diseases.  Refined sugar can suppress the immune system’s white blood cells and reduce their ability to destroy pathogens.  A diet devoid of whole foods does not provide the nutrients and antioxidants the immune system relies on to fight against free radical cell damage.  A diet rich in whole fresh foods, including vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish and healthy fats, will provide the body with the nutrients it requires for healthy immune and overall function. 

Nicotine and the chronic inhalation of cigarette smoke is believed to trigger inflammation and suppress immune system function, putting smokers more at risk of developing bacterial, viral or fungal infections.  The toxins in cigarette smoke also overstress the liver, leaving it more vulnerable to disease.  The good news is that within 30 days of quitting smoking, immune activity begins to improve.  After about 3 months, immune system efficiency is greatly improved.

Over time, stress puts your health at risk by overexposing the body to cortisol and other stress hormones, which can disrupt other bodily functions.  Chronic stress can result in an increased susceptibility to colds or infections and can slow the recovery process.  Studies show a stress-related imbalance in the immune system can lead to chronic inflammation, a known contributor to many chronic age-related diseases.  Learning to reduce or at least manage stress can get our stress hormone levels down to more normal, healthier responses.  Getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy balanced meals and maintaining social relationships all help to alleviate stress and support a well functioning immune system.   

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep deprivation is believed to compromise the immune system by activating the stress response and elevating inflammatory chemicals.  A University of Helsinki study showed that insufficient sleep affects the immune system by altering gene pathways related to immune function, triggering an inflammatory response and increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Other studies have shown an association between sleep deprivation and obesity and hypertension.  In short, sufficient sleep appears to support immune system function while sleep loss is a risk factor for impairment. 

Vitamin D insufficiency has wide ranging health consequences and plays a critical role in our immune response, influencing both the innate and acquired immunity.  Lacking sufficient vitamin D,  killer cells known as T-cells are unable to activate to fight off serious infections.  T- cells are also part of our adaptive immune system, helping the immune system to recognize a pathogen at the next encounter.  Without sufficient vitamin D, T-cells remain dormant and don’t even begin to mobilize.  To get sufficient vitamin D, spend 10 minutes each day in the sunshine without sunscreen or take a good quality supplement containing 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, especially in winter. 

Excess alcohol consumption can lead to immunodeficiency and increased risk of illness and liver disease.  Overindulging appears to deprive the body of immune boosting nutrients necessary for white blood cell production, such as vitamin A, impeding the body’s ability to fight infection and disease.  Studies also suggest that excessive alcohol consumption suppresses the immune system by impairing the function of natural killer cells and decreasing the release of pro- inflammatory cytokines, necessary to combat foreign invaders.  Conversely, a small amount of red wine each day, which contains of high levels of antioxidants, is believed to support immune functions. 

To enhance overall health and support immune function, eat a healthy diet with lots of antioxidant fruits and vegetables, get sufficient sleep, de-stress your life, exercise regularly, spend a little time outdoors in the sunshine, don’t smoke and enjoy that small glass of red wine with friends! 

Supplements to support immune health include:

Vitamin A 25,000 I.U. (A97)
 
Vitamin A 25,000 IU (A97) by Thorne Research provides pure vitamin A for enhanced immunity, healthy vision, and cellular development.  Essential for a healthy immune system, vitamin A supports the normal function of white blood cells and natural killer T-cells.  Non-GMO,  gluten, soy and lactose free. 
 
Vitamin D-3 2000 IU
 
Vitamin D3 2,000 IU by Innate Response Formulas provides an effective whole food form of vitamin D, complete with amino acids and sterols for enhanced utilization.  This formula contains an immune blend, bioactive enzymes, proteins, and probiotics.  Non-GMO, gluten and soy free. 
 
ImmuCore
 
ImmuCore by Metagenics provides advanced immune support with antioxidants, vitamins D and C, and ingredients that enhance the function of natural killer cells and protect a stressed immune system.  Non-GMO and gluten free.
 
 
Phyto Immune
 
 
Phyto Immune by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals contains a comprehensive blend of vitamins and standardized herbal extracts to support a healthy immune system especially during stressful times. 

 

 

Should You Give Up Diet Drinks?

DietSoda2SusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Writer
 

Most people choose diet drinks because they contain zero calories.  Some choose diet drinks over regular drinks because they believe it’s a healthier choice.  But is it?  People who drink artificially sweetened beverages to cut down on calories or to help them lose weight may be in for a surprise.  According to a study by researchers at Purdue University, drinking diet soda is associated with weight gain, not loss, and puts you at risk of developing obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, just like regular soda or other sugary drinks. 

Turns out, we love our diet drinks and the amount we’re consuming has risen at an alarming rate over the past ten years.  While adults are drinking 25% more diet soda, children’s consumption has doubled.  And while controversy remains among researchers and medical personnel as to whether diet soda is causing weight problems or whether obese people tend to drink more diet soda in order to cut calories, most agree that there are reasons to be concerned about high consumption of diet drinks. 

There is no physiological need for diet soda, so your body gets no nutritional benefit.  While artificially sweetened drinks may be calorie free, they have a strong statistical association with increased health risks. 

  • According to The American Diabetes Association, consumption of one diet soda daily is associated with a 36% greater relative risk of developing metabolic syndrome and a 67% greater relative risk of type 2 diabetes as compared to non-consumers. 
  • Instead of helping weight loss, diet soda may be sabotaging your metabolism and tricking your brain.  Artificial sweeteners, which are far sweeter than sugar, trigger insulin release in anticipation of digestion.  When there is nothing to digest, insulin spikes keep blood sugar high and contribute to fat storage, which can lead to weight gain and increased belly fat.  When the body doesn’t receive the nutrition it was expecting, food cravings can result in overeating. 
  • Over the course of a ten year study, researchers at the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center found that waistlines of diet soda drinkers increased 70% as compared to non-diet drinkers. 
  • Researchers from the University of Miami and Columbia University found that drinking diet soda daily increased the risk of a vascular event by 43% over a ten year period. 

According to Dr. David Katz, the founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite and keep the brain primed for more sugar, which can lead to poor dietary choices.  According to Dr. Katz, removing foods with artificial and hidden sugars from your diet will make you more sensitive to sweet foods and reduce sweetness cravings over time. 

As more studies are needed to determine the potential effects of diet drinks on appetite and hormones, these findings may mean that people who drink diet sodas have less healthy diets overall.  Or it may be that people are more likely to overeat because they believe they are saving calories when they drink diet soda.  While the jury is still out on the negative health effects of diet drinks, to reduce your risks of obesity, metabolic syndrome or diabetes type 2, limit your consumption of diet soda to an occasional treat, as the studies do show an association between daily consumption and higher risks of chronic disease.  As water is essential for bodily processes, you’d likely be better off quenching your thirst with healthier, calorie-free plain or sparkling water or unsweetened tea. 

 

Featured Brand: Garden of Life

Featured Brand Garden Of LifeSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Writer

Garden of Life was founded to empower people to take control of their own health with lifestyle changes and advanced nutrition.  Their mission is to bring people to a new level of wellbeing and lasting good health through their innovative health and wellness regimens.  Many of Garden of Life’s supplements are USDA Certified Organic and, as such, contain no pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones or GMO ingredients.   All of Garden of Life’s premium quality products are manufactured under strict guidelines in cGMP compliant facilities.  All raw materials must meet the highest quality standards for identity, purity and efficacy.  Garden of Life works closely with leading experts in the fields of medicine, science, nutrition and technology to provide the highest quality innovative products for health and wellness. 

Vitamin Code Raw B-ComplexVitamin Code Raw B-Complex provides a comprehensive, essential whole food B complex formula for support of mental and physical energy, healthy immune and cardiac function and a healthy stress response.  In addition, this complex contains probiotics, enzymes and an organic fruit and vegetable blend.  Gluten and GMO free.   Suitable for vegans and vegetarians. 
 
Perfect Food RAW Organic PowderPerfect Food RAW Organic Powder provides foundational whole food nutrition with naturally occurring antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, essential fatty acids, pre- and probiotics, and phytonutrients.  This nutrient dense product provides support for the immune system, healthy blood sugar levels and healthy detoxification, digestion and elimination.  Gluten and GMO free.  
 
RAW Protein
RAW Protein provides 17 grams of certified organic, raw, vegan protein powder sourced from sprouted brown rice.  In addition, this product contains vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and enzymes in a highly nutritious, nutrient dense, easily digestible protein formula. 
 
 
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is produced using centuries old methods with shredded and cold-pressed meat obtained from fresh, organically grown coconuts.  This oil is not hydrogenated, refined or deodorized.  Raw, vegan and non-GMO.
 
 
RAW Organic Fiber
 RAW Organic Fiber provides an excellent source of fiber as well as omega-3 fatty acids sourced from chia and flax seeds.  This certified organic fiber supports healthy intestinal flora balance, regular bowel function, healthy cardiovascular function and overall health.  Gluten and GMO free. 
 
 

Take Steps to Lower Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

Type2DiaJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Largely preventable with a healthy lifestyle, type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the United States.  What was once known as adult-onset diabetes, type 2 diabetes now also affects American children in alarming numbers.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if the current increase in diabetes cases stays constant, the number of children with type 2 diabetes may increase by almost 50% by the year 2050.  As it is, in the last 15 years, American adults with type 2 diabetes did increase by more than 50% in 42 states and by more than 100% in 18 states.

It’s clear that Americans who want to live long and healthy lives need to look at their lifestyle habits and make the necessary changes to reduce the risks of developing largely preventable type 2 diabetes.  Although for some people genetics is an uncontrollable risk factor, for others a healthy lifestyle can dramatically lower the chances of developing the disease.  As an added health bonus, adopting healthy habits now will not only help to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes but will reduce your risks for cardiovascular disease as well.  The good news is you need only take small steps in order to succeed in adopting healthier lifestyle habits. 

The first step is to acknowledge that you need and want to make changes.  Setting one or two reachable goals is a good place to start.  Keep your goals realistic and be specific about what they are.  For instance, if you want to increase your physical activity, set a goal such as walking for 15 minutes after dinner, 5 nights per week, rather than “exercise more.”  Changing your eating habits could involve a commitment to eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day rather than just “eat healthier.”  As these small changes become long term habits, you can then begin to set new reachable goals. 

Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is the one of the best ways to reduce your risks.  In addition to type 2 diabetes, obesity related health conditions include insulin resistance, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, stroke and cardiovascular disease.  Overweight people are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes because body fat can interfere with the body’s ability to use insulin, eventually exhausting the pancreas.  Studies show that a 7 – 10% weight loss provides a recognized advantage for prevention, meaning that you do not have to reach an ideal weight in order to experience health benefits. To improve insulin sensitivity, you simply need to engage in the process of weight loss and keep moving forward.

Increasing your physical activity helps to lower your blood glucose levels.  Exercise not only benefits weight loss, it aids your muscles’ ability to use insulin and absorb glucose.  When you exercise regularly, insulin sensitivity is increased, enabling your muscles to better use insulin to take up glucose both during and after activity.  Exercise helps to manage blood sugar by increasing blood flow to the muscles, which demand higher quantities of glucose during increased activity. 

Most importantly, improve your diet by making healthier choices.  According to a study from the Harvard School of Public Health, people who made an effort to reduce their added sugar and refined grain consumption and include more fruits, vegetables and fiber-filled whole grains in their diet lowered their risk for type 2 diabetes by 20%, even when they failed to exercise or lose weight.  By combining weight loss, regular exercise and a healthy diet you can further reduce your risks.  By staying lean and active, you can improve the quality of your life and increase the chances of having years of diabetes-free healthy living. 

Products for blood sugar support:  

GlucoBalance®
 
GlucoBalance® by Biotics Research provides targeted support for individuals with undesirable blood sugar levels by addressing special dietary needs for higher amounts of important micronutrients. 
 
 
Chromium Picolinate (500mcg) (M255)
 
Chromium Picolinate (500 mcg) (M255) by Thorne Research provides an essential mineral that assists insulin in regulating blood sugar levels and may also help support cellular glucose uptake. 
 
 
 
Diabet Support Pack
 
Diabet-Support Pack by Douglas Laboratories contains a synergistic combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutrients designed to support healthy blood sugar metabolism.