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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


What’s Causing Your Heartburn?

HeartburnJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Many of us think that certain foods and excessive stomach acid are the only causes of frequent heartburn. While some acidic foods, such as citrus, tomatoes, chocolate, coffee and tea, may cause problems for some individuals, odds are that foods are not as problematic as we think. The acid in foods is miniscule compared to the approximately two liters of hydrochloric acid the stomach produces daily. Almost everyone experiences heartburn at times, but if it’s happening frequently, two days per week or more, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is the likely culprit. While we are quick to pop some OTC antacids or acid blocking drugs for fast relief of the miserable burning sensation, frequent use of common acid reflux medications suppresses or eliminates stomach acid production and raises the pH level of the stomach.

OTC antacids neutralize stomach acid but do not suppress acid production. Acid blocking medications such as proton pump inhibitors suppress the body’s natural secretion of gastric juices. This can alter specific gut bacteria in a way that promotes liver injury, and chronic liver disease and may also promote gallstones, colitis, diverticulitis, gastritis and ulcers. The importance of stomach acid cannot be understated. It’s essential to immune health in its role in eliminating deleterious microbodies and parasites, it activates enzymes needed for proper digestion, it’s necessary for B12 absorption, and it performs essential digestive functions, as well initiating movement of food through the digestive tract. Suppressing stomach acid for long periods of time can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and result in long-term health consequences.

Many may be surprised to learn that low stomach acidity may actually be the cause of reflux. Food enters the stomach through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) valve, which also prohibits the reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus. The autonomic nervous system activates the LES in response to increased stomach acidity. When stomach acid increases, the closing pressure on the valve increases. When the stomach does not reach the proper level of acidity, the valve remains open and stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus. Furthering the problem, the pyloric sphincter, the valve which holds stomach contents for proper and complete digestion before opening to release the contents into the intestines, will remain closed without the proper level of acidity, resulting in indigestion, bloating and possible forced release of stomach contents into the esophagus.

Be aware that there are serious health issues that can feel a lot like heartburn.

  • Heartburn that occurs during strenuous or moderate activity can be an indication of angina. If you’re 50 and older, have heart risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, or family history of heart disease, or have any doubts about your symptoms, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • Gallstones can cause stomach cramping or pain immediately after a meal. If you experience stomach pain after eating that doesn’t go away with OTC medication, gallstones may be responsible.
  • Allergies and certain medications for pain and osteoporosis can cause irritation and inflammation of the esophagus or esophagitis, which can result in frequent heartburn, as well as difficulty swallowing.
  • A hiatal hernia, in which a portion of the upper stomach pokes through the diaphragm in to the chest cavity, can push stomach contents up into the esophagus, resulting in symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, belching and chest pain. Eating smaller meals, avoiding alcohol and not eating right before bed can help alleviate symptoms.

It appears that when it comes to heartburn flareups, when and how much we eat are as important as what we eat.

-Eating and drinking too close to bedtime can trigger heartburn. Lying down with a full stomach allows stomach contents to slide up into the esophagus. Avoid consuming a large amount of food at one sitting, as overfilling the stomach can also bring on heartburn.

-Identify and eliminate foods that you know cause problems for you. For some it may be spicy or fatty foods, for others it may be gluten. Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption may also help relieve symptoms.

-For many the source of reflux is inflammation of the stomach lining and esophageal tissues. Addressing inflammation with natural remedies and an anti-inflammatory diet can often relieve painful symptoms.

– Carrying excess weight slows the digestive process, creates more pressure within the abdomen and loosens the LES valve that prevents gastric juices and partially digested food from backing up into the esophagus. Losing weight when needed can reduce the risk of heartburn.

-Digestive enzymes taken with your meals can increase digestive efficiency and reduce the amount of time it takes for foods to be transported from the stomach to the intestines.

-Probiotics and fermented foods provide live microorganisms that engage and neutralize toxins, supporting digestive, overall and immune health.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to support digestive and overall health:

Heartburn EssentialsHeartburn Essentials by Pure Encapsulations®: This botanical and proprietary enzyme blend helps to soothe the digestive tract, enhance digestion and maintain healthy gastric secretion, thereby offering relief for occasional heartburn and indigestion. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

GI Repair NutrientsGI Repair Nutrients by Vital Nutrients: This well reviewed product provides specific nutrients that promote the integrity of the intestinal mucosal lining, maintain healthy intestinal permeability and support the growth and health of the gastrointestinal lining. Ingredients include L-glutamine, quercetin, and lactobacillus sporogenes. Gluten, wheat, dairy and soy free formulation.

Digestive Enzymes...Digestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encapsulations®: This ultra-strength propriety blend of vegetarian enzymes supports enhanced protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber and dairy digestion, promotes optimal nutrient bioavailability and absorption, and relieves occasional bloating and gas. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

BioDoph-7 PlusBioDoph-7 Plus® by Biotics® Research: This unique product supplies a proprietary blend of pre-and probiotics along with botanicals in support of healthy gastrointestinal tract and proper digestive function. At the time of manufacture, each capsule contains more than 200 billion microorganisms. Gluten free.

Dr. Ohhira's...Dr. Ohhira’s Propolis Plus® by Dr. Ohhira’s Essential Formulas®: This whole health innovative formula promotes a healthy immune and inflammatory response and balanced micro-ecology in the intestinal system. Ingredients include superior grade Brazilian green propolis, astaxanthin, and proprietary probiotic extract. Gluten, wheat, dairy and soy free formulation.

It’s Not Food Causing Your Heartburn-Here are the 5 Real Culprits. https://www.prevention.com/food/5-real-causes-heartburn
Heartburn or Heart Attack? How to Tell the Difference. http://www.health.com/health/condition-article/0,,20278772,00.html
9 Serious Conditions That Mimic Heartburn. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20528575,00.html#heartburn-or-something-else–1
The Mediterranean Diet Might Improve Acid Reflux Better Than Drugs. https://www.prevention.com/health/mediterranean-diet-acid-reflux
Common Acid Reflux Medications Promote Chronic Liver Disease. https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2017-10-10-common-acid-reflux-medications-promote-chronic-liver-disease.aspx


The Importance of Digestive Enzymes

DigestiveEnzymesJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks

By some estimates, more than 100 million Americans appear to have digestive issues that can impact their ability to properly digest their food.  The inability to completely digest foods can lead to uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal pain and problems with elimination.  For some, this can be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition including Crohn’s disease, celiac disease or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).  For many others, low-grade inflammation, infections, allergies, dysbiosis, food intolerances, poor diet or simply aging may lead to improper digestion of food and poor absorption of nutrients.  A properly working digestive system allows for food to be broken down into small, usable molecules and for the complete absorption of the nutrients without causing intestinal discomfort.

Enzymes are not only essential but are required for all biochemical and metabolic processes and play a critical role in everyday health and maintenance.  They turn the food we eat into energy, support the immune system and hormone production, and enable the ability to utilize vitamins and minerals.  In order to utilize nutrients from foods, several organs release specific enzymes that individually break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats as well as vitamins, minerals and other compounds into small absorbable particles. 

  • Amylase and other sugar-specific enzymes break down large starch or carbohydrate molecules into a two-sugar molecule known as maltose.  Other digestive enzymes are released in the small intestine to further break down maltose into simple sugars, which are then absorbed by the cells. 
  • Lipase is manufactured by the pancreas and, when combined with bile produced by the liver, breaks down dietary fats, or triglycerides, into fatty acids and monoglyceride molecules that then can pass through the small intestine and into the blood stream. 
  • Protease, peptidase and other protein digestive enzymes break down large protein molecules into a pool of single amino acids, which are then absorbed by the small intestine. 
  • Lactase is essential to the complete digestion of milk and dairy products.  Lactase breaks down lactose, a simple milk sugar.  When an insufficient amount of lactase is present, lactose intolerance or the inability to digest milk sugar can result. 

Intestinal health is critical to the health of your immune system and your optimal health.  A properly working digestive tract is essential to energy production, proper bodily functions, and overall wellness.  Insufficient digestion can lead to a very wide range of health concerns including autoimmune disease, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and migraine headaches.  Lifestyle changes, dietary modification and enzyme supplementation can often help to lessen the uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms associated with impaired digestion.  Although we produce enzymes in our bodies, we must continually replenish enzymes through proper nutrition and good eating habits. 

  • Consume more raw foods, especially organically grown raw foods, as they naturally contain the necessary enzymes needed to digest and absorb the nutrients contained in the food.  Processing and cooking destroy natural food enzymes.  Food enzyme deficiency places unnecessary stress on the pancreas and other enzyme releasing organs to produce the additional enzymes needed for proper digestion. 
  • To reduce inflammation in the digestive tract, add more cleansing and alkalizing vegetables and eat a small amount of fruits.  Celery, cucumber, avocado, arugula, melon, pineapple, and blueberries are helpful choices. 
  • Avoid pro-inflammatory foods such as gluten, sugar, alcohol and processed foods.  Foods processed with additives, preservatives or nitrates are often lacking the enzymes needed for proper digestion. 
  • Consume more anti-inflammatory foods including essential fatty acids found in cold water fish and eat leafy greens, high fiber whole fruits and vegetables, and fermented foods, which support a healthy gut microflora. 
  • The proper chewing of food, along with the enzymes and lubricants contained in saliva, initiates the digestive process, allows for food to enter the stomach in a pre-digestive state, and relieves some of the stress on an overburdened digestive system.  Unfortunately, many of us do not properly chew our food. When we rush through our meals, foods entering the stomach can be sadly lacking in pre-digestive enzymes. 
  • Regular supplementation with digestive enzymes can take the stress off the pancreas and the entire body.  Powerful digestive enzymes support normal body organ functioning while preserving the natural production of digestive enzymes.  Taking a digestive enzyme supplement with meals reduces the amount of energy we spend digesting our foods and helps to maximize our enzyme producing potential. 

Below is a sampling of enzyme supplements for digestive support.  Choose the one that’s right for you and say goodbye to common digestive inefficiency and hello to healthy digestion and increased nutrient absorption. 

Digest Gold™ Plus ProbioticsDigest Gold™ Plus Probiotics by Enzymedica provides award winning, high potency digestive enzymes along with guaranteed delivery of specially coated TherActive™ probiotic cultures for maximum performance.  Formulated to assist in the digestion of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fiber, these digestive enzymes plus probiotics supply a complete formula for optimal digestive health. 

Similase® (Tyler)Similase® (Tyler) by Integrative Therapeutics provides comprehensive support for digestion and absorption of all food groups including protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber and phytate.  This physician developed formula contains pure plant enzymes, including amylase, protease, lipase, lactase, phytase, cellulase, sucrase and maltase, that are active in both acidic and alkaline gastrointestinal environments. 

Digestzyme-VDigestzyme-V by Ortho Molecular contains a full spectrum of 20 vegetarian digestive enzymes to provide comprehensive digestive support in a broad range of pH levels.  This unique formula also includes artichoke and gentian root, which stimulate bile production and support the body’s natural enzyme production. 

Digestive Enzymes UltraDigestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encapsulations contains a high-strength blend of vegetarian enzymes that support enhanced digestion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, dairy, and fiber that promote optimal nutrient absorption and bioavailability.