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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.

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/


For The Love of Your Heart, Exercise!

For the love of your heartJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you haven’t yet made wellness resolutions for the new year, today may be the perfect day to begin. Those who resolve to exercise more and eat healthier in order to lose weight may not fully appreciate the cardiovascular benefits of physical activity. Yes, exercise does burn calories, which along with a healthy diet and portion control can help one reach and maintain a healthy weight. A regular exercise routine also modifies or controls many of the risk factors linked to less than optimal cardiovascular health. Similar to the increased risk of developing heart disease due to smoking and high cholesterol and blood pressure, a sedentary lifestyle lacking sufficient physical activity can double the heart disease fatality risk. As well, studies have shown that those who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer a sudden heart attack or other life-threatening cardiac event.

Consistent exercise strengthens the heart and all the muscles of the body. Regular physical activity increases the efficiency of the heart muscle, allowing for a slower more effective heartbeat. Exercise stresses the body, but continued training allows the body to adapt and become conditioned to the stress. During exercise, cardiac output significantly increases to provide oxygenated blood to the muscles, as well as oxygen and nutrients to the brain and other vital organs. As the cardiovascular system strengthens, blood pressure becomes more stabilized and physical fitness and endurance improve. Exercise also allows for better blood flow in the small blood vessels around the heart that can become clogged with fatty deposits. Regular moderate exercise can both lower unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels and raise healthy HDL levels, resulting in overall improved cholesterol levels.

For exercise to be effective, it needs to raise the heartbeat. Experts agree that 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity most days of the week will improve cardiac and overall health. Cardio fitness measures how well the body performs during moderate to high intensity activity for an extended period of time. Overall fitness refers to the relationship between the cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal systems, as all must work together efficiently to increase fitness. Those new to exercise can start slowly and do whatever they can manage, as even five minutes of activity is helpful. Improving cardio fitness takes time, commitment and effort. However, consistency builds both energy and endurance, while also improving mood and lowering chronic disease risks.

A heart-healthy exercise plan should include both aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling strengthens the heart and lungs, improving the ability to use oxygen. Anaerobic exercise such as weight training helps build muscle,  strengthens the immune system and increases metabolism, helping to burn more calories while at rest.

  • Walking – Considered a weight bearing aerobic exercise, walking can be done outdoors weather permitting or on a treadmill indoors. In addition to strengthening the heart muscle walking burns calories, aiding weight maintenance. Taking a 15 minute walk after a meal may improve blood sugar levels, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Walking improves mood by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression and helps to clear the mind, allowing for more creative thinking. Taking a moderate paced walk each day can fulfill the recommended daily aerobic activity for people of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Swimming – For those who have access to safe water, swimming provides an all-over  workout, without the impact of stress on the joints and body. Swimming keeps the heart rate up and builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness, while alleviating every day stress and improving flexibility. Many find swimming to be a relaxing and peaceful form of exercise.
  • Cycling – Cycling is a low impact form of aerobic exercise that uses all major muscle groups and increases stamina, strength and cardiovascular fitness. A fun way to get fit, as well as a time-efficient mode of transportation, cycling helps to strengthen bones, improves joint mobility, reduces stress and improves posture and coordination.
  • Weight training – Simple weight bearing exercises performed for 20 – 30 minutes twice weekly strengthens the bones, muscles, and connective tissues. Resistance training helps to preserve the quality of life and supports one’s ability to maintain an active and independent lifestyle. Considered a valuable companion to aerobic exercise, weight training increases blood flow to the limbs and results in a longer-lasting drop in blood pressure after exercise.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products in support of cardiovascular and overall health:

CoQ10 100 mgCoQ10 100 mg by Professional Supplement Center®: A naturally present antioxidant, CoQ10 is well known for its heart and vascular health benefits. Found in every bodily cell and crucial to cellular energy production, CoQ10 synthesis declines with age. This highly bioavailable CoQ10, as ubiquinone, is recommended to support cardiovascular, immune, periodontal and liver health. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Heart Science™Heart Science™ by Source Naturals: This multi-nutrient Bio-Aligned™ formula is designed to support normal heart function and healthy blood circulation. Ingredients include vitamins, minerals, turmeric rhizome extract, CoQ10 and resveratrol.


Cholesterol SupportCholesterol Support by Wiley’s Finest™ Alaskan Fish Oil: Specifically formulated with synergistic nutrients to promote heart heath, blood vessel function and healthy circulation, Cholesterol Support provides concentrated omega-3 fish oil along with plant sterol esters. Sourced from certified sustainable Alaskan pollock. Free of gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, sugar, shellfish and artificial ingredients. Naturally preserved with Non-GMO mixed tocopherols.

CardioVenCardioVen™ by Premier Research Labs: This nutraceutical formula provides targeted support for cardiovascular health with nutrients such as herbals, fruits, vegetables, turmeric, mixed tocopherols and CoQ10 as ubiquinone. Gluten free, vegan formulation.


Exercise Helps Your Heart: https://wa.kaiserpermanente.org/healthAndWellness/index.jhtml?item=%2Fcommon%2FhealthAndWellness%2Fconditions%2FheartDisease%2FexerciseBenefit.html
Exercise and the Heart. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/clinical_services/centers_excellence/womens_cardiovascular_health_center/patient_information/health_topics/exercise_heart.html
The many ways exercise helps your heart. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-many-ways-exercise-helps-your-heart
10 Surprises About Heart-Healthy Exercise. https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/heart-healthy-living/exercise-facts/
Weight Training Has Unique Heart Benefits, Study Suggests. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/207417.php

Health or Consequences

HealthConsequencesJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Two very important aspects of a healthy lifestyle are a nutritious diet and regular exercise.  A nutritious diet is defined as one that is balanced, but what does this mean exactly? While we might think of a balanced diet as one that includes a variety of foods, a balanced diet is meant to provide the appropriate amount of caloric energy needed to maintain the body’s energy balance. Energy balance means that daily caloric intake is equal to the calories utilized by the body to maintain proper function. A balanced diet should be high in essential nutrients found in whole foods, including fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, nuts, proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, and low in undesirable high sodium processed foods, unhealthy fats, junk foods, and sugar.

Why is a balanced diet so important for health?

While occasional indulgence of low-nutrient foods may not be problematic, even a short term unhealthy diet can have negative health consequences. Unhealthy eating means consuming excess calories, consuming empty calorie foods that have little or no nutritive value, and consuming foods known to be hazardous to health, such as fried foods, sugary drinks, and low fiber highly processed foods. While a balanced diet includes foods that provide the most nourishment for the calories they contain, an imbalanced diet may result in nutritional deficiencies, weight gain, and a compromised immune system. Without proper nutrition, the body is prone to infection, fatigue, disease and poor performance. The core of a balanced diet includes foods that are low in unnecessary sugars and refined carbohydrates and high in whole food nutrients.

Short-term effects of an unhealthy diet:

Brain function – The brain requires sufficient nutrients, such as glucose, healthy fats and antioxidants, for nourishment and normal functioning. A diet lacking in proper nutrients can result in reduced alertness, as well as poor memory and concentration. While vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and phytonutrients may protect memory and slow age-related cognitive decline, a diet high in processed foods and sugars is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress and accelerated cognitive decline.

Energy – A balanced diet keeps energy levels steady, while sugary and refined foods provide a burst of energy followed by an energy slump. Poor diets are often deficient in nutrients and enzymes that support mitochondrial energy production and oxygen transport, such as B vitamins, CoQ10 and iron. Inadequate nutrients can result in poor muscle strength, endurance, and coordination, as well as physical weakness.

Mood – A healthy diet can support memory, balance brain chemistry, and stabilize blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes and crashes are associated with mood swings, crankiness and depression. Good nutrition is necessary for the production and proper function of brain chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, that promote positive mood and regulate sleep.

Sleep – Good nutrition aids the production of neurotransmitters necessary for adequate sleep and provides the nutrients that build amino acids also involved in sleep. Studies show that eating less fiber and more unhealthy fats and sugars during the day may result in interrupted less restorative sleep. Poor sleep patterns are linked to higher rates of obesity and metabolic diseases, while good nutrient choices can optimize circadian rhythm and keep all bodily functions running on schedule.

Skin health – We may not think about feeding our skin, but those who want healthy, glowing skin should optimize their nutrition and hydration. Nutrient dense foods supply the vitamins, minerals and amino acids needed to build the collagen and elastin that keep skin strong and supple. Sufficient protein is essential for repair and replacement of new, healthy skin cells. Foods high in antioxidants help protect cells from sun damage and fight free radicals that break down collagen over time. A diet rich in vitamins, A, D, C and E as well as phytonutrients appears to have a beneficial effect on promoting and protecting skin health.

Digestive discomfort – Digestive distress can be a sign of a low dietary fiber intake. Whole foods rich in soluble and insoluble fiber keep the digestive system running smoothly and support balanced healthy microflora. Poor digestion can wreak havoc on the body, mood and sense of wellbeing. Elimination of chemical laden, highly processed foods and sugars can help keep gut microflora healthy and well-balanced, thereby reducing discomfort and improving nutrient absorption.

In the long term, eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise and maintaining a proper weight can add healthy years to your life and reduce the risk of certain diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and obesity. In the short-term it can also make you feel and look your best, give you more energy, improve sleep and digestion, and help maintain a healthy weight.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products in support of good nutrition and overall wellness:

CoQ10 100 mgCoQ10 100 mg by Professional Supplement Center: This product supplies highly bioavailable CoQ10, an important antioxidant that aids carbohydrate metabolism, oxygen utilization and cellular energy production. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


DFH Complete Multi...DFH Complete Multi™ with Copper (Iron-Free) by Designs for Health®: This full-spectrum multivitamin with Albion chelated minerals provides highly absorbable bioavailable nutrients in support of optimal wellness.


Enzyme Nutrition...Enzyme Nutrition™ Multi-vitamin for Men by Enzymedica: Designed to meet the unique needs of men, this whole food multi contains Enzyme Activated Nutrients™ plus Thera-blend™ enzymes that enhance the utilization of the nutrients. The formula also includes certified organic superfoods and botanicals as well as guaranteed potency probiotics. Gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, preservative and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO formulation. Also available: Enzyme Nutrition™ Multi-Vitamin for Women.


Digestive Enzymes...Digestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encapsulations®: This high-strength mixture of vegetarian enzymes supports enhanced protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, and dairy digestion, and promotes optimal nutrient bioavailability and absorption. Gluten free, Non-GMO, hypoallergenic vegetarian formulation.

A healthy, balanced diet.   https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/healthydiet/healthybalanceddiet.html
Short-Term Effects of Bad Eating Habits. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/short-term-effects-bad-eating-habits-2579.html
Short-Term Effects of Good Eating. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/shortterm-effects-good-eating-11400.html
What is the Difference Between a Balanced Diet & an Unbalanced Diet?  http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/differencee-between-balanced-diet-unbalanced-diet-10916.html
Balanced Diet. https://www.healthline.com/health/balanced-diet#Overview1
Eating to boost energy. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/eating-to-boost-energy
Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626
How What You Eat Affects Your Sleep. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/how-what-you-eat-affects-how-you-sleep-ncna805256