Tag Archives: Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg by Pure Encapsulations

Sugar Consumption and Cardiovascular Health

SugarHealthJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

For decades the tobacco industry misled consumers by withholding revealing scientific data on the deadly health risks of smoking. Today, the sugar industry is in the spotlight for its role in downplaying the damaging health risks of excessive sugar consumption on cardiovascular health. According to a newly published article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, the early signs of the relationship between sugar consumption and coronary heart disease first emerged in the 1950’s. The journal researchers found that a group known as the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) funded research executed by a team of Harvard scientists. Without disclosing their funding, the SRF set the objective, and contributed articles for inclusion. Their goal was to cast doubt about the health hazards of sugar, while promoting fat as the dietary cause of heart disease. The Harvard researchers concluded that cutting out fat, not sugar, was “no doubt” the best dietary intervention to prevent coronary heart disease.

JAMA researchers found that SRF’s internal documents revealed the sugar industry’s successful attempt to influence scientific study and debate. Circumstantial evidence indicates SRF shaped the conclusions of the Harvard review published in 1967. The review, led by the chairman of Harvard’s Public Health Nutrition Department, who was also an ad hoc board member of the SRF, minimized the significance of research that implicated sugar as a coronary health risk, while also influencing public health recommendations for reduced dietary fat consumption. Consequently, as people followed recommendations to eat less dietary fat, sugar consumption rose, along with obesity, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Well into the 1970’s, the sugar industry continued to fund similar research surreptitiously. When asked to comment on the recent findings, the SRF admitted they should have exercised “greater transparency” of its industry funded studies, and added that “funding disclosures and transparency standards were not the norm they are today.” Though the documents that were examined are five decades old, this practice persists. The food industry continues to spend millions on nutrition research, while policy making committees continue to base dietary recommendations on food industry-funded studies. New York University Nutrition scholar, Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, who spent a year informally tracking these studies found that approximately “90 percent of studies funded by the food industry resulted in outcomes that favored the sponsor’s interest.” It appears that when the food industry funds research, it often gets the pro-industry desired conclusion that it paid for.

“The longstanding influence of food industry funding on nutrition research, researchers, and professional societies threatens the credibility of nutrition science,” says Nestle. During a seven-month period, Nestle identified 76 industry-funded studies. Of these, 70 reported results favorable to the sponsor’s interest. Independently funded studies have found correlations between sugary drinks, obesity and poor health, while studies funded by the soda industry did not. Research funded by the National Confectioners Association concluded that children who eat sweets have healthier body weights than those who don’t. Coca-Cola, the world’s largest producer of sugary drinks, backed a “science-based” solution to the obesity crisis. Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which works to convince weight conscious Americans that they simply need to exercise more rather than be overly concerned about how much fast food and soda they consume.

In truth, many Americans do need to be more physically active. However, they also need to eat smarter, as exercise expends far fewer calories than most people realize. Independent scientific research indicates that limiting intake of high glycemic foods, such as refined carbohydrates and sugary foods and drinks, greatly impacts weight management. Sugar sweetened drinks are the largest source of added sugar in the average American diet. Sugar not only delivers empty calories, devoid of fiber, vitamins, minerals and other health promoting nutrients, it may also crowd healthier foods from the diet. Studies show that those with high sugar consumption have a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality, even when they also consume heart healthy vegetables and fruits.

How does sugar harm the heart? Cardiovascular disease is mainly associated with atherosclerosis, a condition in which fatty plaque deposits build up in the linings of blood vessels and restrict blood flow. A 15-year study on added sugar and heart disease found participants who consumed 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease than those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar. This major study published in JAMA found that a sugar-laden diet raised the risk of cardiac morality even in those who were not overweight.  A high sugar diet has been shown to cause abnormalities including high total cholesterol, high triglycerides, insulin resistance, oxidized LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, and abnormal glucose tolerance, all of which are implicated in heart disease.

Sugar’s overall effect on these numerous health markers is likely more detrimental to overall health than consumption of saturated fat, which can increase LDL, but at the same time raise HDL. Sugar contributes to insulin spikes and the inflammation that harms the fragile endothelial lining of blood vessels, and promotes obesity, prediabetes and diabetes type 2, putting those with these conditions at greater risk of atherosclerotic coronary heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons or 100 calories a day of added sugar for women, and no more than 9 teaspoons or 150 calories a day for men. Along with decreased sugar and ultra-processed food consumption, a diet of whole foods, as well as increased exercise is highly recommended for cardiovascular and overall good health.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to support overall wellness:

PGX DailyPGX® Daily by Bioclinic Naturals: This proprietary highly viscous fiber blend is formulated to support healthy glucose metabolism by lowering the glycemic index of meals. Fiber viscosity is associated with increased satiety, reduced appetite, improved regularity and healthy weight maintenance. Gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, and artificial sweetener free.

Cinnamon Biotin...Cinnamon Biotin Chromium Complex by Natrol®: The 100% vegetarian antioxidant complex provides support for sugar, protein, and fat metabolism, and helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within the normal range. Gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, sugar, and artificial ingredient free.

Chromium SynergyChromium Synergy™ by Designs for Health®: This synergistic blend of chelated minerals provides highly absorbable nutrients to assist blood sugar control. Ingredients include zinc, manganese, chromium, taurine and vanadium. Gluten, wheat, yeast, dairy, soy, sugar, preservative, and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: This exceptionally versatile nutrient provides antioxidant protection, as well as support for nerve health, cardiovascular function, and glucose metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Sweet Defense™Sweet Defense™ by Enzymatic Therapy®: This vitamin, mineral, botanical and glandular supplement provides support for glucose, carbohydrate, and energy metabolism. Along with a healthy diet and exercise, Sweet Defense™ may help manage weight and reduce sugar cravings. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, yeast, sugar, and preservative free formulation.

Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2548255?redirect=true
The Food Industry’s Influence In Nutrition Research. https://www.npr.org/2016/09/17/494360187/industry-influence-in-nutrition-research
Corporate Funding of Food and Nutrition Research. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2471609
Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets. https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/09/coca-cola-funds-scientists-who-shift-blame-for-obesity-away-from-bad-diets/
Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying of heart disease. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-too-much-added-sugar-increases-the-risk-of-dying-with-heart-disease-201402067021
Sugar consumption plays greater role in heart disease than saturated fat. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160113103318.htm

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Ketogenic Diet

KetogenicDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

When it comes to nutrition there are always differences of opinion, so perhaps we should approach every new diet with a bit of skepticism. Contrary to popular belief, the ketogenic diet is not solely a trending fad. In fact, the role of fasting in disease treatment dates back thousands of years. In modern times, the use of a ketogenic diet became popular in the 1920’s, when this sugar-free, starch-free diet demonstrated success in treating children with drug resistant epilepsy. Questions remain as to whether the ketogenic diet is a healthy and effective approach for long-term weight loss and maintenance. Because the diet is so restrictive, some may find it difficult to adhere to over the long haul.

For many, quick weight loss is the primary reason to try this high-fat, adequate protein, extremely low-carb diet. The controversy lingers as to whether the ketogenic diet should be restricted to short-term use, perhaps six months or less. The ketogenic diet formed the basis of the popular Dr. Atkins low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet for weight loss that incorporated a very strict, but short, two-week ketogenic phase. Per the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one published study showed beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet for obese individuals. The researchers concluded that the ketogenic diet successfully reduced body weight and body mass index of overweight participants without any significant side effects.

The ketogenic diet targets key underlying causes of weight gain, specifically metabolic dysfunction that develops from an overconsumption of net carbohydrates, largely sugars and grains. Many of today’s life threatening chronic diseases are rooted in hormonal imbalances, notably insulin and leptin resistance. Coupled with high blood sugar, insulin resistance triggers biochemical reactions that cause the body to retain fat, produce inflammation, and damage cellular health.

The principal goal of the high-fat/low-carb ketogenic diet is to put the body into a metabolic state of ketosis. When in ketosis most of the body’s energy is fueled by ketones in the blood stream rather than glucose, the body’s preferred energy source. In response to either starvation, which in itself is ketogenic, or high-fat/low-carb intake, the liver breaks down fats into fatty acids, or ketone bodies, essentially putting the body into starvation mode. While in ketosis, the body burns ketones, or fats, for fuel.

The goal of the ketogenic diet is to get at least 70% of your daily calories from healthy fats that include avocados, macadamia nuts, butter, cold-pressed coconut oil, and olive oil. Protein intake is restricted to no more than 25 percent of daily calories and carbohydrates contribute only 5-10 percent, or approximately 50 grams. Basically, many foods are off limits–no bread, starchy vegetables, rice, oatmeal, sugar or alcohol. This mean you can have full fat dairy, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and some lower carb veggies and fruits, such as berries, mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, peppers and green beans.

Potential benefits:

-One major advantage of the ketogenic diet is that it allows for drastic calorie reduction without producing insatiable hunger. Restricting carbohydrate consumption naturally reduces calorie consumption with little change in diet satisfaction, hunger, or energy levels.

-On a ketogenic diet, blood sugar is lowered and stabilized, which is particularly helpful for individuals with pre-diabetes, as well as type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Under a medical professional’s supervision, ketogenic diets have been shown to have an additional benefit of reducing reliance on diabetes medications.

-A ketogenic diet has been shown to help restore insulin sensitivity, as it helps to eliminate high insulin levels, the root cause of insulin resistance.

-High blood pressure associated with metabolic syndrome has been shown to improve on a ketogenic diet, particularly in those who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes.

-A collection of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome that are highly associated with the risk of diabetes and heart disease have been shown to improve on a low carb diet. These include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and elevated blood sugar and low HDL levels.

-Research has shown that ketogenic diets result in overall improvements in the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol.

-Mental clarity and improved focus are commonly reported benefits, largely a result of an increase in omega-3 fats shown to support improved mood and learning ability.

-A large percentage of fat lost on a ketogenic diet comes from visceral fat found in the abdominal cavity. Visceral fat drives inflammation, insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction.

Potential drawbacks:

-It can take up to two weeks for the body to go through the adaptation phase of the diet. Some experience a level of discomfort during this time that can include fatigue and brain fog.

-The diet is so restrictive, it’s hard to stick with long term. The diet restricts an entire food group. That means very little fruit, restrictions on certain starchy vegetables, and absolutely no grains, beans or flour products. Those who reach their ideal weight while on a strict ketogenic diet may begin to add more healthy complex carbs back into the daily diet, and can cut back again if weight gain occurs.

-A low carb diet may negatively affect athletic performance. The rate of energy production necessary for optimum performance may decrease when the body runs on ketones rather than glucose.

-Constipation is a common side effect, as the diet eliminates fiber-rich whole grains, most fruits and certain vegetables. A fiber supplement can help to ensure healthy digestive function.

-Due to carbohydrate restriction, those on a ketogenic diet should be sure to take a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement to avoid micronutrient deficiencies.

For some, the ketogenic diet is a good way to lose weight, but it’s not for everyone. Extreme diets that essentially eliminate entire food groups do not address underlying behavioral or unhealthy lifestyle issues. If your standard diet resulted in an abnormal weight gain, implementing small sustainable changes may be sufficient to re-establish an eating plan for healthy weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance.

A healthier approach might be dietary improvements that are sustainable over time. Cutting refined carbs and replacing them with fresh whole foods will help maintain long-term health. It appears that medical professionals wholeheartedly endorse a balanced, unprocessed, colorful diet, that encompasses all food groups and limits sugar and white flour. Such a dietary approach presents the best evidence for a disease-free, long and healthy lifespan.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine quality products in support overall health and function:

M.C.T. Liquid ...M.C.T. by Douglas Laboratories: MCT, or medium chain triglycerides, are absorbed by the liver where they are directly used for energy production. This liquid formulation may aid weight reduction and reduced body fat with 100% structured lipids. No yeast, gluten, soy protein, milk/dairy, corn, sodium, sugar, starch, artificial coloring, preservatives or flavoring.

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg by Pure Encapsulations: This exceptionally versatile antioxidant nutrient provides free radical protection, as well as support for various metabolic processes that include nerve health, cardiovascular function and glucose metabolism. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Bone Broth Protein...Bone Broth Protein Pure by Ancient Nutrition: This gut-friendly supplemental food is rich in collagen, gelatin, protein, glucosamine, chondroitin and key minerals that support a wide range of benefits and bodily systems. Free of common allergens, Bone Broth supplies 20 grams of quality Non-GMO protein in a convenient easy to use form. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation. Variety of flavors available.

Multi T/D Two Per...Multi T/D Multivitamin/Mineral by Pure Encapsulations®: This twice daily multivitamin and mineral complex supports overall health and nutrient metabolism. The addition of active vitamin cofactors aids optimal bioavailability and utilization. Hypoallergenic, gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Benefits of ketogenic diets. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/1/238.full
Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you? https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/ketogenic-diet-is-the-ultimate-low-carb-diet-good-for-you-2017072712089
Some thoughts on the keto diet. http://www.mystatesman.com/lifestyles/food–cooking/some-thoughts-the-keto-diet/vbCoQUoGnLUjOKEZORyOYL/
History of the Ketogenic Diet: https://www.news-medical.net/health/History-of-the-Ketogenic-Diet.aspx
Ketogenic diet benefits. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/keto/keto-diet-benefits.html
10 Health Benefits of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets. http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-low-carb-ketogenic-diets#section1
Long-term effect of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2716748/
Top 5 Pros and Cons of Ketogenic Diet. https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/fitness/pros-and-cons-of-ketogenic-diet.html

To Lower Blood Sugar – Reduce Refined Carbohydrates

bloodsugarlowercarbsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you want to lower your blood sugar and at the same time, lose weight without feeling hungry, counting calories, or buying specially prepared calorie restricted processed meals, consider your overall carbohydrate intake. Scientific studies show that a diet low in simple carbs, with the proper ratio of proteins, complex carbohydrates and dietary fats, is key to optimal health, sustainable energy, and relatively effortless weight loss. Diets that restrict added sugars, sugary drinks, refined grains, and white flour products result not only in weight loss, but more stabilized blood sugar, as well as improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Along with regular moderate exercise, a low-carb diet can help to reverse prediabetes and metabolic syndrome and reduce risk factors for other chronic illnesses.

All digestible carbohydrates contain single, double or multiple sugar units that are converted by the body into glucose, the main fuel source for our brain and cells. Typically, simple carbs, such as found in soda, table sugar or juice, are sweet tasting, while vegetables, fresh or frozen fruits, whole grains and fiber are starchy complex carbohydrates. After eating, our blood glucose levels rise, signaling the pancreas to secrete insulin, a hormone that facilitates the transfer of glucose from the blood stream to cells for energy usage, and prompts muscle and liver cells to absorb excess glucose for storage as glycogen. As cells absorb glucose, blood levels of glucose fall, prompting the pancreas to release glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to release stored sugar and keep the body supplied with a steady energy source.

In a healthy person, blood sugar is maintained in a very narrow range. Complex carbs, which contain fiber and nutrients, take longer to digest, resulting in a slower, sustained rise of blood sugar, curbing hunger and maintaining energy. Because of their simple chemical structure, simple carbohydrates are rapidly digested and quickly utilized for energy, leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion. Essentially, to maintain proper blood sugar levels, insulin is secreted when blood sugar is high and glucagon is secreted when blood sugar is low. When we eat a diet high in simple or refined carbs, insulin levels may become chronically elevated and much of the energy-supplying glucose in the blood stream gets deposited and stored in fat cells.

Blood sugar spikes followed by steep drops in blood sugar can result in hunger cravings, low energy reserves and moodiness. Overeating simple and refined carbohydrates leads insulin to aggressively increase fat storage, while at the same time preventing the release of energy producing stored fats. When the body is unable to access stored fat, it’s very difficult, if not impossible to lose weight. By eliminating simple carbs and focusing on nutrient dense carbohydrates, you can moderate the insulin response and eat enough to dispel hunger, increase energy, and lose body fat without feeling deprived or counting calories.

Over time high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, a state in which cells do not respond properly to insulin and don’t easily absorb glucose from the blood stream. The body responds by releasing ever increasing amounts of insulin to aid cellular absorption of the blood glucose, and increasing the risk for developing symptoms such as fatigue, obesity, increased blood pressure, and depression. Because insulin has a role in the process that regulates inflammation, insulin resistance is a risk factor in the development of prediabetes, diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Losing weight, increasing physical activity and concentrating on a diet low in simple carbs and higher in complex carbs can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and restore the body’s normal response to insulin. To consume healthier carbohydrates, opt for unprocessed whole grains, starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, beans and pulses. Supplements that help stabilize blood sugar include:

Alpha-lipoic acid–  ALA is an antioxidant that improves the cells’ response to insulin. Studies have shown that ALA appears to enhance insulin sensitivity, especially in those with diabetes type 2 or metabolic syndrome.

Chromium – This essential mineral helps to stabilize blood sugar and plays a role in how insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Studies have found that chromium supplements may reduce blood sugar levels, as well as the amount of insulin required by diabetics.

CoQ10 – As a powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 helps to re-energize the mitochondria in the heart cells, where energy metabolism occurs. Some studies have found that CoQ10 may improve both heart health and blood sugar control.

Magnesium – Low magnesium levels are often observed in those with high insulin and blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that low magnesium levels may play a role in preventing insulin dysregulation and may be highly protective for those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon has been shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association suggests that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine products to support proper blood sugar levels and overall wellness:

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg by Pure Encapsulations – This free radical fighter supports various metabolic processes, healthy glucose metabolism, and healthy vascular and blood vessel function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Chromium Picolinate...Chromium Picolinate by Douglas Laboratories – This biologically active form of chromium, known as GTF (glucose tolerance factor), increases the effectiveness of insulin, influencing blood sugar, carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.


CoQ10 ST-100™CoQ10 ST-100™ by Metagenics – This high quality, stable formulation provides highly bioavailable CoQ10 for support of energy production, cardiovascular health, overall wellness and healthy aging. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.


Vanadium Complex...Vanadium Complex with Cinnulin PF by Progressive Labs – This blend of natural ingredients supports glucose metabolism, insulin production and sensitivity, normalized blood sugar and reduced sugar and carbohydrate cravings.


Cinnamon Force by New ChapterCinnamon Force by New Chapter Save 15% This proprietary blend of supercritical cinnamon assists in the conversion of glucose into energy, and promotes healthy weight management by helping glucose create immediate cellular energy, discouraging stored potential energy in the form of fat deposits. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.

Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/types/prediabetes-insulin-resistance
Normal Regulation of Blood Glucose. http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/diabetes/normal-regulation-blood-glucose
8 Reasons Why Carbs Help You Lose Weight. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20359383,00.html
Insulin Resistance. http://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/heart/insulin-resistance/
Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215