Monthly Archives: April 2019

The Theory of Survival Nutrients vs. Longevity Nutrients

Survival NutrientsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

It is generally accepted that nutrients such as proteins, enzymes, vitamins and minerals are critical for daily short-term survival, reproduction and long-term health. An interesting theory proposed by Bruce N. Ames in an article recently published in the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, suggests these nutrients and cofactors can be classified as those needed for immediate survival, appropriately called survival nutrients, and those necessary to protect against future damage, or longevity nutrients associated with disease prevention. He further suggests that in the event of a nutrient deficiency, the body does its own triage, sacrificing the longevity nutrients for the survival nutrients, potentially opening the door to chronic disease that can shorten one’s lifespan.

Ames further states, “Because nutrient deficiencies are highly prevalent in the United States (and elsewhere), appropriate supplementation and/or an improved diet could reduce much of the consequent risk of chronic disease and premature aging.” Ames proposes that an optimal level of thirty known vitamins, essential minerals and additional nutrients, including amino acids, omega-3’s and plant antioxidants, are necessary to promote healthy aging. It has been suggested that a majority of Americans are deficient in vitamins D and E, followed closely by magnesium and calcium. As well, dietary intake of zinc, vitamins A, C, K, B6 and folate is also  insufficient for maintaining long-term health, resulting in cumulative damage that may contribute to overall unhealthy aging, as well as lead to disease later in life.

A healthy nutrient dense diet containing micronutrients, fiber and antioxidants appropriately supports cellular and immune health, healthy aging and longevity. In general, individuals who are proactive regarding preventive health and healthy aging prioritize whole foods and optimal nutrition, and also make informed choices about vitamin and mineral supplementation. As people become more knowledgeable about health and wellness, many turn to nutritional supplements, not only to address deficiencies, but to support specific nutrient requirements at all stages of life. Those who regard supplementation as an investment in long term health, ideally choose supplements that target their individual needs, and are aware that an all-inclusive healthy lifestyle embraces diet, regular exercise, restful sleep and stress reduction.

Getting sufficient, and even excessive daily calories, does not necessarily equate to proper nutritional intake. While nutrient deficiencies are not the only cause of degenerative disease, evidence indicates that a lack of nutrient-rich foods in the standard American diet is a contributing factor to age-related disease development. Nutrient deficiencies impair cellular energy production that can negatively impact energy stores. Insufficient antioxidant intake can result in inadequate cellular defenses, and thereby contribute to poor physical and cognitive health. Fortunately, many vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be addressed  and corrected with good health advice, dietary improvements and supplementation with high quality vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and antioxidant enzymes.

Vitamin D – Rising rates of vitamin D deficiency can be attributed to inadequate sun exposure, especially during winter months and the prolific use of sunscreens. Necessary for bone, neuromuscular and immune health, as well as overall healthy function, vitamin D is one nutrient essential for survival.

Magnesium – Magnesium maintains normal muscle and nerve function, as well as healthy sleep. This extremely important nutrient is a cofactor in hundreds of enzymatic reactions, including metabolism, protein and fatty acid synthesis, bone health, steady heartbeat and energy production.

Protein powders – While protein may be largely obtained through diet, athletes, weekend warriors and seniors can benefit from protein supplementation. Ideal for muscle gain and weight loss, sufficient protein boosts metabolism and can reduce appetite. Both plant and animal based protein powders supply amino acids, highly effective for stimulating muscle growth, retaining muscle mass and improving strength.

Omega-3 – Essential for healthy heart and brain function, as well as a healthy inflammatory response, omega-3 fatty acids are not synthesized by the body and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Choose a formula with a high concentration of EPA and DHA, as well as purity and sustainability certification.

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

O.N.E. MultivitaminO.N.E.™ Multivitamins by Pure Encapsulations®: Suitable for both men and women, this once daily formula provides highly bioavailable forms of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and sustained release CoQ10 in support of cellular, optical and overall health. Hypoallergenic, certified gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

OmegAvail Hi-PoOmegAvail™ Hi-Po by Designs for Health®: Sourced from Alaskan pollock, this high potency fish oil provides 1500 mg of triglyceride-bound EPA and DHA molecularly distilled omega-3 fatty acids per serving. The formula includes lipase to ensure maximum absorption and prevention of aftertaste. Distillation and filtering ensures purity and the removal of heavy metals, PCBs and other contaminants. Gluten free, Non-GMO, natural lemon flavoring.

AntiOxidant FormulaAntiOxidant Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This broad spectrum antioxidant formula provides essential vitamins and minerals, as well as a proprietary carotenoid blend, in support of the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Gluten free, Non-GMO hypoallergenic formulation.

Magnesium BalanceMagnesium Balance by Professional Supplement Center®: This highly absorbable magnesium blend supplies patented chelated magnesium for enhanced absorption. Magnesium supports bone and cardiovascular health, energy production and neuromuscular function. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, animal and dairy products, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Non-GMO formulation.

Whey Cool Protein...Whey Cool Protein™ Natural Vanilla Flavor by Designs for Health®: This proprietary non-denatured whey protein concentrate is sourced from milk from grass-fed cows that graze on pesticide and chemical free pastures. Low temperature drying and filtration preserves the full range of important protein components including lactoferrin, immunoglobulins, serum albumin, active peptides and growth factors. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America. Ames, Bruce N. Prolonging healthy aging: Longevity vitamins and proteins. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/43/10836
Why do we need magnesium? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/286839.php
What are the health benefits of vitamin D? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/161618.php
17 Science-Based Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/17-health-benefits-of-omega-3

The Cholesterol Lowering Properties of Phytosterols

PhytosterolsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

You may not have heard of phytosterols, but you have likely eaten foods that contain them. Phytosterols, comprising plant sterols, stanols and their fatty acid esters, are part of the structure and function of biological membranes of plants. Along with their structural role, phytosterols are precursors to a group of plant hormones that regulate plant growth and development, as well as produce and maintain enzymes important to a plant’s response to  stresses. Phytosterols naturally occur in small quantities in all plant foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains with the highest concentrations found in unrefined vegetable, nut and olive oils. Phytosterols can also be obtained though fortified foods and nutritional supplements.

Similar in structure and function to cholesterol, phytosterols provide the same basic function in plants as cholesterol does in humans, performing as precursors to hormone production and regulating membrane fluidity. Individuals with high blood cholesterol who are at risk of heart disease have been shown to benefit from added sources of phytosterols in their diets. Nutritional phytosterols have been found to inhibit intestinal absorption of dietary cholesterol, thereby reducing serum low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol more than cholesterol-lowering medications alone. While small amounts of phytosterols can be obtained naturally through the diet, larger amounts are needed to effectively reduce high LDL cholesterol levels.

Since the 1950’s abundant research into the LDL cholesterol-lowing effects of phytosterols has shown that a higher consumption of phytosterols through a plant-based diet, as well as inclusion of phytosterol-enriched foods and supplements, is considered a viable adjunct for the management of high LDL cholesterol. Along with a balanced heart-healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle, consumption of approximately one to two grams of plant sterols or stanols daily is needed to obtain cholesterol-lowering benefits. Studies have also shown that consumption of more than two grams daily has little or no additional benefit.

The average American gets only about 80 mg of plant sterols daily, nowhere near enough to make a meaningful impact on cholesterol through natural foods alone. The Asian diet, considered the most sterol-rich diet globally, provides approximately 400 mg daily, while a vegetarian diet may provide about 345 mg per day. In fact, one would have to eat quite a bit of food to obtain significant amounts of phytosterols on a daily basis to achieve a reduction in cholesterol. However, increased consumption of sterols in general can help one avoid high cholesterol before it occurs and can help lower moderately high LDL levels.

Those in the high-risk LDL cholesterol zone who are taking LDL-lowering statin medications can also benefit from increased phytosterol consumption, as each uses a different mechanism to reduce cholesterol. Statin medication lowers LDL by slowing natural cholesterol production and increasing cholesterol removal from the liver, where most of the body’s cholesterol is produced. Phytosterols work by preventing the absorption of cholesterol through the digestive tract. Combining the use of phytosterols with statin medications has been shown to be safe and effective for achieving a greater total reduction of LDL. Plant sterols have no known side effects beyond slightly lowering the absorption of fat-soluble compounds, carotene and vitamin E. However the effect is not significant when following a healthy, balanced colorful diet.

Perhaps, the most surprising aspect of plant sterols effect on cholesterol is that they seem to work for everyone, regardless of an individual’s cholesterol profile or any other factor. Those who do not currently have high LDL cholesterol can decrease the likelihood of ever having high cholesterol by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly and increasing their daily intake of foods naturally rich in plant sterols. As well, foods fortified with plant sterols allow for consumption of the recommended dose of one to two grams daily. Plant sterol supplements are an easy and convenient way to ensure consistent consumption of measured amounts of phytosterols, especially for individuals with high LDL cholesterol levels.

Efficacy and safety data from trials with suitable endpoints have shown that taking a non-statin agent along with a statin medication is a potential strategy to further reduce cardiovascular events. Meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials showed that combination treatment with statins and phytosterols significantly decreased the levels of total cholesterol compared with statins alone. Therapeutic oral intake of phytosterols does not interfere with general health or the metabolism and absorption of foodstuff other than cholesterol. Because phytosterols have very low systemic absorption rates and are already present in healthy diets, increasing intake of phytosterols may be a practical way to reduce coronary heart disease development with minimum risk.

Those taking statins or any other medications should always consult their healthcare practitioner before embarking upon any supplement regimen. Plant sterols should not be used in lieu of medications for those who need them.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other nutritional supplements in support of cardiovascular and overall health:

Phytosterol ComplexPhytosterol Complex™ by Progressive Laboratories®: This purified plant sterol complex provides a blend of three forms of plant sterol esters along with niacin. Phytosterol Complex™ is formulated to relax blood vessels and support healthy circulation, as well as support normal range cholesterol levels.

Foresterol...Foresterol™ Coniferous Plant Sterols/Stanols by Designs for Health®: Foresterol™ is formulated to support healthy LDL cholesterol levels with Reducol®, a blend of 4 free-form phytosterols. This product may be used in conjunction with other cholesterol lowering agents for enhanced activity. Gluten free.

Proto-Sitosterol...Proto-Sitosterol Plant Sterol Esters by Protocol For Life Balance®: This supplement provides CardioAid®-S, a medley of plant sterol esters to help limit the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract. The formula also provides 120 mg of natural fish oil concentrate in support of cardiovascular and overall health. Free of yeast, wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, shellfish and tree nuts.

CholestePureCholestePure by Pure Encapsulations®: This phytosterol complex provides 1,000 mg of a balanced broad spectrum blend of phytosterols in support of healthy lipid metabolism. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

References:
Plant Stanols. Bioactive Nutrients and Cardiovascular Disease. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/plant-stanols
Plant Sterols: Diversity, Biosynthesis, and Physiological Functions. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1134%2FS0006297916080046
LDL-cholesterol-lowering effect of plant sterols and stanols across different dose ranges: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4071994/
Effects on plant stanol or sterol-enriched diets on lipid profiles in patients treated with statins: systematic review and meta-analysis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4990897/
Phytosterols and cholesterol metabolism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15166807

Natura Health Products® – Featured Brand

Natura Health ProductsSusan Brown Health and Wellness Editor

Founded in 2001, Natura Health Products® is a leading edge provider of physician formulated, exceptional quality botanical and nutritional supplements. Natura’s comprehensive formulations are designed to encourage optimal health, vitality and resilience, as well as address a variety of health concerns. Their unique, effective professional formulas contain therapeutic nutrient concentrations, as well as historically and scientifically validated sustainably farmed or wildcrafted botanicals, in support of optimal functioning of all bodily systems for lifelong wellness.

Blending the gifts of nature with the benefits of science, Natura’s innovative, synergistic  formulas are distinguished by their exceptional grade of purity, potency and efficacy. Each ingredient is tested to validate optimal levels of active ingredients, as well as ensure that products are free of pesticides, contaminants and heavy metals. Manufactured in the U.S. in a certified cGMP compliant facility, Natura Health Products® adheres to strict manufacturing, storage and labeling specifications. These highly absorbable, effective products are available exclusively through healthcare practitioners.

To learn more about Natura Health Products®, please visit professionalsupplementcenter.com

Botanical Treasures ...Botanical Treasures®: A comprehensive, highly concentrated herbal extract formula, Botanical Treasures® delivers broad-spectrum free radical fighting nutrients to support cardiovascular and neurological health, proper cellular function and healthy aging. Ingredients include a patented curcumin complex, holy basil, ginger, rosemary, bromelain, quercetin and more. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, fillers and artificial colors and preservatives.

Night GainNight Gain®: This unique blend of amino acid chelates and botanical extracts works at multiple levels to support the body’s natural restorative processes during sleep. These processes promote cellular repair, rebuild lean muscle tissue, encourage healthy libido and help balance the hormonal system. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, fillers and artificial colors and preservatives.

BotanabolBotanabol®: Botanabol® features a concentrated herbal extract of Russian Leuzea standardized to 5% ecdysteroids. When combined with a proper diet and essential amino acids, these compounds optimize energy levels, encourage lean muscle growth, reduce muscle fatigue and support healthy levels of anabolic hormones. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, fillers and artificial colors and preservatives.

InflamAwayInflamAway™: InflamAway™ blends ayurvedic botanicals with Traditional Chinese herbals to support cellular health, homeostasis and a healthy inflammatory response. It works at the cellular level to modulate important pathways to protect the body from the buildup of by-products generated by the inflammatory response. Free of wheat, gluten, soy, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, fillers and artificial colors and preservatives.