Tag Archives: B-Complex vitamins

Healthy Heart

Healthy HeartJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Even the healthiest among us realize that cardio-metabolic wellness is a top concern with aging. Cardiovascular fitness requires a multifactorial approach that includes a healthy diet and lifestyle. Conventional medicine often includes commonly prescribed life-long medications to treat or improve symptoms of cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure, inadequate blood flow, chest pain and abnormal heart beat. Anticoagulants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, diuretics, vasodilators, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors will often produce desired results, frequently accompanied by side effects. As well, consumers are reaching out for clinically validated, high quality nutritional supplements to complement a holistic approach to cardiac wellness and long-term overall health.

A hard working muscle, the heart is tasked with pumping oxygen and nutrient-rich blood through the circulatory system to all areas of the body. As such, heart health depends upon a strong network of blood vessels. Factors that contribute to a high risk of cardiovascular disease include smoking, obesity, chronic stress, sedentary lifestyle and inadequate nutrition. Conditions associated with cardiovascular disease include: atherosclerosis, a condition in which cholesterol-rich plaque builds up along arterial walls; insulin resistance, which plays a role in regulating inflammation and is a precursor to developing type 2 diabetes; high homocysteine levels, which can contribute to plaque formation and arterial wall damage; and angina pectoris, chest pain that can occur when there is a dramatic decrease of blood flow to the heart.

In addition to a healthy lifestyle, clinically validated supplements can support healthy heart and overall function.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10): CoQ10 is regarded as one of the most important nutrients for cardiovascular disease prevention. Health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes have been linked to low levels of CoQ10. Naturally produced by the body, CoQ10 aids the mitochondria, the cellular powerhouses involved in energy production that supports optimal overall and healthy muscle functioning. A powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 helps to prevent LDL cholesterol oxidation, as well as free radical cellular damage. With aging, the body’s production of this important compound declines. In studies, CoQ10, or its reduced form ubiquinol, may improve heart function, increase energy production and limit oxidative damage. CoQ10 may also increase insulin sensitivity, regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids: Fatty fish and fish oil supplements have proven to be an effective preventive strategy against heart disease. Science supports omega-3 intake to help maintain healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Omega-3’s are healthy fats that may minimize inflammation, lower triglyceride levels, increase good HDL cholesterol and support blood vessel health.

B-complex vitamins: High levels of homocysteine are linked to early development of heart disease and arterial damage. Homocysteine is an amino acid that results from the breakdown of dietary protein. High homocysteine is linked to inadequate intake of vitamins B6 and B12, cofactors in the conversion of homocysteine to methionine, necessary for cellular reactions. Stress can also increase the need for B6 and B12.

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA): Manufactured by the body, ALA is sometimes referred to as the “universal antioxidant,” as it is both water and fat soluble. Found naturally in every cell, ALA affects every organ, including the heart. ALA converts glucose into the energy needed for bodily functions and may improve blood sugar control, as well as cellular insulin response. As an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, it may prevent DNA damage, as well as protect against oxidation of LDL cholesterol, plaque build-up and atherosclerosis.

Garlic: Used traditionally for centuries, modern science has confirmed beneficial health effects associated garlic. Highly nutritious, garlic may improve blood pressure and reduce total and LDL cholesterol, risk factors for heart disease. Its antioxidant properties help protect against cellular damage, a common cause of chronic disease. For those concerned about garlic’s pungent odor, garlic intake may be easily increased with odorless garlic supplements.

Magnesium: A natural calming nutrient, magnesium dilates the arteries, potentially lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow. It serves as a cofactor for hundreds of enzymatic processes and is considered essential for proper cardiovascular function. Magnesium aids healthy sleep, which can help reduce stress, and supports healthy blood sugar levels, a major concern of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Inadequate magnesium intake is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes and arrhythmias.

Ideally, cardio-metabolic wellness begins with a lifelong journey of healthy choices and an active lifestyle. For those in mid-life who are not physically fit, it’s not too late to improve future health and reverse the beginnings of heart damage, as becoming physically active has a high impact on heart health. A recent study published in the journal, Circulation, involving individual in their early 50s, found that high and moderate intensity exercise four to five times each week improved heart elasticity, as well as oxygen uptake. Regular exercise can help to lower blood pressure, control cholesterol, reduce blood sugar and maintain weight, all contributing factors for a healthy heart.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of cardiac and overall wellness:

CoQ10 100 mgCoQ10 100 mg by Professional Supplement Center®: ON SALE Each serving provides 100 mg of highly bioavailable CoQ10 as ubiquinone in support of cardiovascular, periodontal, immune and liver health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid...Alpha Lipoic Acid 200 mg by Pure Encapsulations®: Alpha Lipoic Acid helps maintain healthy glucose metabolism, supports the nervous system and provides nutritional support for metabolic processes. Gluten free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic vegan formulation.

Garlic 6000Garlic 6000 by Vital Nutrients: These enteric coated garlic caplets support the maintenance of  healthy cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as help sustain cholesterol levels already within the normal range. Gluten, dairy, soy, egg and sugar free formulation.

 

Chelated MagnesiumChelated Magnesium by Douglas Laboratories®: Each tablet provides 100 mg of elemental magnesium as magnesium amino acid chelate in support of cardiac health and skeletal muscle physiology. Yeast, wheat, gluten, soy protein, milk/dairy, corn, sodium, sugar, starch and  artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

Omega Pro-DOmega Pro-D by Professional Supplement Center®:  ON SALE Omega Pro-D provides 1000 IU of highly bioavailable vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol blended with pure, wild-sourced, molecularly distilled omega-3 essential fatty acids in support of immune and neurological function, as well as cardiovascular, joint and skin health. Gluten free and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

References:
Out of shape and middle-aged? It’s not too late to turn it around. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/09/27/out-of-shape-and-middle-aged-its-not-too-late-to-turn-it-around
Cardiac Medications. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/treatment-of-a-heart-attack/cardiac-medications
9 Benefits of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coenzyme-q10
Magnesium for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. https://openheart.bmj.com/content/5/2/e000775
You Can Prevent Hardening of the Arteries. https://www.consumerreports.org/heart-disease/prevent-hardening-of-arteries/

 

Nutrients for Healthy Hair

HealthyHairJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

 

 

Healthy looking hair is a good visual indicator of overall health. Hair is growing tissue, the health of which is positively influenced by proper nutrition and physical wellbeing and negatively influenced by stress, inadequate sleep, hormonal imbalances, smoking and dietary deficiencies. Similar to other bodily cells, hair requires care and nutritional support to remain strong, yet soft, manageable and vibrant. A balanced, nutritious diet including adequate protein, omega-3 essential fatty acids and B-complex vitamins is vital to fortify both the hair and the scalp. As well, inadequate nutrition will affect not only overall health but will strip your hair of its natural beauty.

We are born with approximately 5 million hair follicles, 100,000 of which are located on the scalp. While hair is simple in structure, its growth process is not. Each hair travels through four stages over a period of years as part of the growth cycle. The hair that we can see and touch is composed of cells packed with keratin, a protein rich in sulphurous amino acids. These cells rapidly die as the amino acids form chains and the hair is gradually pushed upwards through the hair shaft.

A steady supply of nutrients is needed to maintain normal, healthy hair growth during the lengthy growth phase. As the root receives nourishment and hormones from blood vessels, the living cells divide, grow and build the hair shaft, which eventually emerges through the skin. Along the way, oil glands moisturize the hair. From the beginning of growth to the falling out stage, each hair will pass through the anagen or growing phase, the catagen or regression phase, the telogen or resting phase and finally the exogen or shedding phase.

The growth phase lasts an average of 3 – 5 years and may sometimes last as long as 7 years. Because each hair may be at a different stage of the growth cycle, it’s normal to lose 50 – 100 hairs a day, as the individual hairs progress to their shedding phase. Once an old hair detaches from the follicle, a new one will begin to grow to take its place. How can you know if your hair is truly healthy? It’s shiny and smooth and has lots of elasticity. It detangles easily and sheds the normal amount.

Nutrients that enhance the health of your hair and scalp and help your hair reach its full potential include:

Protein – Necessary for cell growth and repair, protein boosts hair strength and helps to keep hair healthy. A diet that is too low in protein can result in dry, brittle or weak hair. Extremely low protein intake may result in hair loss.

B-complex vitamins -Biotin, niacin and cobalamin help to restore shine and thickness and protect against hair loss and brittle hair. B vitamins promote new hair growth and healthier texture, and protect against dryness, flaky scalp and breakage.

Iron – Too little iron is a major cause of anemia-related hair loss in women of child bearing age. When serum iron levels fall, the nutrient and oxygen supply to the hair follicle is disrupted, which can affect the hair growth cycle and result in shedding. Premenopausal women should ensure their diet includes iron rich foods, such as spinach, beans or seafood. A simple blood test can indicate iron deficiency. Consult your healthcare provider before supplementing with iron.

Vitamin C – Vitamin C aids the absorption of food-based iron, and supports the production of collagen, which strengthens the capillaries that supply nutrients to the hair shafts. Vitamin C can improve hair growth, prevent hair loss and promote thicker, healthier hair.

Vitamin D – In addition to addressing vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin D supplement is important for hair follicle cycling and may help to activate hair growth.

Vitamin A – The body uses vitamin A to make sebum, an oily substance created by our hairs’ sebaceous glands. Sebum acts as a natural conditioner, supporting the health of the scalp and preventing dryness and itchiness.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids – EPA and DHA not only support heart and brain health, they also regulate oil production and help to keep the skin, scalp and hair hydrated. Omega-3’s help to boost hair shine and prevent dry hair and flaky scalp.

Zinc and selenium – Zinc and selenium support hair growth and help to prevent hair loss and dry, flaky scalp.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support and enhance the health of your hair:

Hair, Skin & NailsHair, Skin & Nails by Now Foods – This clinically advanced formula provides the nutrients that nurture the health of hair, skin and nails, including a patented and bioavailable form of solubilized keratin that helps to maintain full, lustrous hair. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Hair/Skin/Nails UltraHair/Skin/Nails Ultra by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides key building blocks and proper nutrients that support skin elasticity and hydration, healthy hair, and nail strength. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

BioSil® Skin, Hair, NailsBioSil® Skin, Hair, Nails by Natural Factors – This formula helps to thicken and strengthen hair, increase skin elasticity and strengthen nails. BioSil® aids in generating collagen by supporting the body’s own collagen producing cells. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.

 

Hair, Skin and Nails Plus Formula (82924-)Hair, Skin and Nail Plus Formula by Douglas Laboratories – This formula supplies beneficial amounts of the specific vitamins, minerals and botanicals that support the health of hair, skin and nails. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.

 

References:
6 Nutrients for Healthy Hair. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20734150_4,00.html
How hair grows. https://www.aad.org/how-hair-grows
What to eat for healthy hair. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/what-eat-healthy-hair
Vitamins & Minerals For Hair That’s Healthier, Stronger and Shinier. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/18/vitamins-minerals-for-hair-health_n_3451747.html
6 Supplements for Glowy Skin and Gorgeous Hair. http://www.everydayhealth.com/pictures/supplements-skin-hair/#05

The Best Time to Take Nutritional Supplements

timingSusanBiconBy Susan Brown
Health & Wellness Editor

Those of us who regularly take vitamins and minerals to support overall health or a specific health challenge know the importance of optimal nutrition. But many may not know the ideal time of day to take specific vitamins, whether to take them on an empty stomach or with food, or what combinations of vitamins to avoid or take together. Timing really is everything, as when you take your supplements can either boost or diminish their effectiveness. According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s annual survey of dietary supplements, 71% of women and 65% of men take dietary supplements.

Video Timing Is Everything

By far, the most popular supplements are multivitamins and minerals, with 97% of supplement users relying on these to complement their health. While 90% of supplement users report following label information, this little primer may help those who take multi vitamins and those who take more than one supplement to receive the maximum benefit from their formulas.

Morning:

Probiotics – Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach, so for that reason morning may be best, although some prefer to take them at bedtime. When the stomach is empty, digestive activity is quiet and stomach acid and pH balance are relatively low, increasing the chances for the helpful microorganisms to thrive.

Iron – If you are advised to take iron supplements, take them in the morning, as iron is best absorbed on an empty stomach. Caffeine, dairy and calcium can negatively affect absorption, so it’s best to avoid these for several hours after taking iron. Vitamin C, however, can aid absorption, so by all means wash the iron supplement down with orange juice or lemon water.

Multivitamins – Taking multi’s with your first meal is ideal, as the vitamins are absorbed along with the naturally occurring nutrients contained in the food. As multivitamins contain both water and fat soluble vitamins, be sure to include some healthy fats with your meal for optimal absorption. If your multivitamin formula recommends more than one capsule per day, take them in divided doses at breakfast and lunch.

B-Complex vitamins – Taking B vitamins with breakfast helps to boost your metabolism and convert your food into energy, which can be used throughout the day. As B vitamins help to fight fatigue and create energy, it’s best to avoid taking them late in the day.

Vitamin C Vitamin C is best taken in the morning to support the immune system and boost energy levels. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that lasts only a few hours in the blood stream, so if your formula recommends more than 1 tablet per day, take it in divided doses with meals to get the full benefit.

Vitamin EThis fat soluble antioxidant vitamin is best absorbed when dietary fats are present, so if your breakfast includes some healthy fats, such as yogurt or nut butters, morning is a good time. Otherwise, lunch or dinner time is fine as long as you are having some healthy fats with your meal.

Fish oil – Important to support many aspects of health, fish oil is best taken with a main meal to aid absorption. Take omega-3 supplements at breakfast along with your multivitamins or if more than one capsule is recommended, take them in divided doses at breakfast and dinner.  

Afternoon:

CoQ10 – CoQ10 is involved in energy production and can be found in every cell, especially in the heart, which has high energy requirements. CoQ10 is best taken with a meal that contains dietary fats, and avoid taking it late in the day so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep.

Iodine – Iodine is not stored in the body, so regular intake is needed. Iodine supports normal cognitive function and healthy skin, and also increases energy levels. Table salt is fortified with iodine, but if you are not a regular salt user or use unadulterated salt, kelp tablets taken with lunch may boost midday energy levels.

Vitamin D – Vitamin D is best taken with a meal that contains dietary fats. It’s possible that Vitamin D can negatively affect sleep, so lunch time is a good time to get your Vitamin D.

Vitamin K – Vitamin K is best absorbed along with dietary fats and ideally should be taken along with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin C. Avoid taking vitamin K if you are taking Coumadin or any anticoagulant prescription drug, as Vitamin K can interfere with the effects of the medication.  

Evening:

Calcium – Calcium aids nerve transmission and muscle function. To get the full benefit, take calcium in the evening along with magnesium.

Magnesium – Magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles and nervous system and may aid restful sleep. Magnesium works synergistically with calcium, so take these together either as individual supplements or in a combined formula.

In addition:

Digestive Enzymes – Digestive enzymes can be taken with any meal or within 30 minutes of your meal. Unless you have serious digestive issues, they don’t necessarily need to be taken with light meals or snacks, but can be very beneficial for optimal breakdown and absorption of nutrients when taken with main meals.

FiberFiber supplements may be taken either first thing in the morning or before bed. Be sure to take fiber with a full glass of water and get plenty of water during the day. Always check with your healthcare provider before taking any fiber supplement, as fiber may delay or reduce the absorption of certain medications. Additionally, do not take fiber supplements at the same time as medications.

Should you have any questions about the best time to take any supplements, please call or email Professional Supplement Center. If you are taking any medications, check with your healthcare provider or your pharmacist before starting any supplement regime.

References:
Taking iron supplements.
Best Time to Take Probiotics.
Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins.
Psyllium.
Vitamin K.