Tag Archives: Ester-C & Flavonoids by Pure Encapsulations

Get Smart with Flavonoids

GetSmartFlavonoidsJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Did you ever wonder what is responsible for the spectacular displays of colorful foliage that many look forward to seeing every autumn? Would it surprise you to learn that the plant pigments that color seeds, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and leaves are actually known as flavonoids? Naturally present in fruits and vegetables, as well as red wine, tea and chocolate, these phytochemicals do more than provide color. They are known to have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as a wide a variety of health supportive and disease preventive benefits. A well-balanced diet, rich in a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, is associated with reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke and neurodegenerative disease. Similar to other antioxidants, flavonoids reduce free radical damage. In addition, some have anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antimicrobial, anticancer and memory and mood enhancing properties.

Plants synthesize flavonoids as a defensive strategy in direct response to environmental stresses, such as ultraviolet radiation, draught, pathogen infestation, and carbon dioxide levels. Flavonoids are categorized by group and subgroups, each with their own metabolic functions. For example, flavones, found largely in herbs and hot peppers, are associated with overall antioxidant benefits. Anthocyanidins, found in red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables, are associated with heart health, free radical protection and diabetes prevention. Flavanones, found abundantly in citrus fruits, are associated with cardiovascular health, relaxation and overall antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Isoflavones or phytoestrogens, highly concentrated in soy, soy products, and legumes, may be beneficial in lowering the risk of hormonal cancers, including breast, endometrial and prostate cancers. Flavanols, widely known as catechins, are associated with cardiovascular and neurological health, as well as lowered cholesterol levels.

Known for a wide range of diverse physiological activities, flavonols are a widely distributed and well-known subgroup of flavonoids that include kaempferol and quercetin. Kaempferol is naturally present in foods such as apples, onions, grapes and red wine. Its strong antioxidant properties help to prevent oxidative damage to cells, lipids and DNA. Studies have confirmed that kaempferol acts as a chemopreventive agent, prohibiting the formation of cancer cells. It also plays a role in preventing atherosclerotic plaque formation. Together, kaempferol and quercetin appear to act synergistically in reducing cancer cell proliferation. Typically found in red and orange fruits and vegetables, quercetin is considered a very powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and pain reducer. A number of studies have shown that quercetin is cardio-protective and may help to reduce LDL cholesterol and reduce the amount of plaque in blood vessels.

Science has shown that antioxidants protect against and may even help reverse normal age-related cognitive decline. As the body’s largest consumer of oxygen, the brain is particularly subject to free radical attacks. Cumulative damage from free radicals is implicated in memory decline, slowing of body movements, and symptoms of depression, including fatigue, irritability and mood disturbances. A study led by Columbia University Medical Center scientists showed that one component of age-related memory decline is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain, and that this particular memory decline could be improved by dietary intervention. Prior animal studies had shown that flavanols extracted from cocoa beans improved neuronal connections. Participants who consumed a high-flavanol diet, as well as a proprietary- processed high-flavanol cocoa drink, for three months had noticeable improvements on memory tests, averaging the memory of a typical 30- or 40-year old.

It’s important to note that the cocoa used in the study is not the same as found in your average chocolate bar. Most methods of cocoa processing remove many of the antioxidant properties and bioavailability of the beneficial flavanols found in the raw beans. To attain optimal health benefits from cocoa, avoid products with high sugar content, as well as products processed with alkali, which can damage flavonoids. High quality dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, as well as healthy fats, iron, and magnesium. Chocolate that contains 70% or more cacao will provide a higher percentage of antioxidant flavanols. A diet rich in colorful plant foods is certain to provide an array of antioxidants. Fortunately for chocolate lovers on a quest for overall wellness, there’s room for an ounce or two of healthy dark chocolate indulgence daily.

Professional Supplement Center carries many fine products to support health and wellness:

FlavonALL (FVA)FlavonALL® by Douglas Laboratories®: This dietary complex provides a broad spectrum of beneficial antioxidant flavonoids in nutritionally meaningful amounts. Ingredients include green tea extract, Pycnogenol® pine bark extract, red grape seed extract and a citrus bioflavonoid complex. Soy free, vegan formulation.

 

Ester-C® FlavonoidsEster-C® Flavonoids by Pure Encapsulations®: This synergistic dietary supplement supplies natural, non-acidic, water-soluble and highly bioavailable vitamin C, quercetin and various flavonoid compounds in support of antioxidant, immune, and vascular integrity support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Super FlavonoidsSuper Flavonoids by Genestra™: This product supplies a broad range of bioflavonoids and botanicals for antioxidant and wellness support. Gluten, soy, dairy, wheat, sugar, preservative and artificial ingredient free, vegan formulation.

 

Pycnogenol® ComplexPycnogenol® Complex by Source Naturals®: This potent antioxidant complex supplies ten plant-derived antioxidants to provide natural and power-packed health support.

 

ProWhey with Organic...ProWhey with Organic Raw Chocolate by Vital Nutrients: This minimally processed whey protein concentrate is produced in New Zealand from milk provided by cows grazing on chemical and pesticide free natural grass pastures. The fair trade organic raw cacao provides a natural source of antioxidants, iron, magnesium and fiber. Independently tested for authenticity, stability, protein potency, heavy metals, bacteria and residues.

References:
Some Facts About Flavonols. http://nutrition.ucdavis.edu/content/infosheets/fact-pro-flavonol.pdf
The Effect of Flavonols on Health and Exercise. http://easacademy.org/trainer-resources/article/the-effect-of-flavonols-on-health-and-exercise-eas-academy
Flavonoids: biosynthesis, biological functions, and biotechnological applications. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3460232/
Phytochemicals. http://www.phytochemicals.info/phytochemicals/kaempferol.php
Dietary Flavanols Reverse Age-Related Memory Decline. http://newsroom.cumc.columbia.edu/blog/2014/10/26/flavanols-memory-decline/
Flavanol and flavanol contents of cocoa powder products: influence of the manufacturing process.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18412367
Cocoa Flavanol Science. http://cocoaflavanolscience.com/
Flavanols and cardiovascular disease prevention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20852295

 

 

Have You Had Your Flavonoids Today?

FlavanoidsJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

Flavonoids, you say? You may not have heard of them, but you are likely experiencing some of their health benefits if you are regularly drinking tea, eating colorful fruits and veggies, or are enjoying a glass of red wine with dinner. There are over 5,000 identified compounds of naturally occurring plant pigments known as flavonoids. In general, the more colorful the plant-based food, the more beneficial flavonoids it contains. As antioxidants, flavonoids play a role in reducing heart disease, stroke and cancer risks and may protect against cognitive and age-related functional decline. Flavonoids, however, are not just your average antioxidants. Scientists have discovered that certain flavonoids have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, anticancer and antihistamine benefits and may have mood and memory enhancing properties as well.

Flavonoids are bioactive phytonutrients that are chemically classified as polyphenols. Also known as flavonols, isoflavones and anthocyanidins, flavonoids play a wide variety of roles in human, plant and animal health. Flavonols are believed to be plant protective and play a functional role in plant wound repair and providing living plants protection against pests and diseases. In the human diet, whole plant foods provide life sustaining essential nutrients and other beneficial compounds. In addition to basic nutrition, the bioactive components found in functional foods are not only health promoting, they also play a significant role in chronic disease prevention. According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, it is estimated that one third of all cancer deaths in the United States might be avoided with appropriate dietary changes, including increased consumption of nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains.  

In addition to fruits and vegetables, tea is rich in polyphenols, the antioxidants that counteract cell-damaging free radicals. Green tea, for example, contains high concentrations of the polyphenol EGCG, which has great antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties, along with distinctive benefits for protecting the brain and nervous system against diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Research suggests that those who drink 2 cups or more of tea daily have lower total and LDL cholesterol and are less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke. There is also evidence that tea drinkers have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and are able to recover more quickly from stress related issues.  

Good news for chocolate lovers — dark chocolate with a high cocoa content (70-90%) contains flavonols that may reduce arterial inflammation, lowering the risk of plaque formation in the arteries that can lead to heart disease and atherosclerosis. And according to Harvard Health Publications, dark chocolate and unsweetened cocoa may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure and may have positive effects on blood clotting and insulin sensitivity. The bad news — you don’t need to eat much to enjoy the health benefits. Just a few small squares or about 1/2 oz. daily is all you need. And watch out for added sugar and milk, ingredients that drastically reduce the beneficial effects. Ideally, raw organic dark chocolate is the healthiest, as the darker and less processed the chocolate is the more cacao seeds and healthy compounds it contains.

The National Academy of Sciences recommends consuming a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily to promote adequate intake of their synergistic health promoting and disease preventive phytonutrients. Two good things to remember — take a walk on the wild side and choose a wide variety of colorful foods, including some you may not have tried before. And be sure to include some raw foods, as the closer the food is to its natural raw state, the higher its nutritional value, providing greater benefits for your overall wellness.  

For those who shy away from veggies or those who consume more processed foods than whole foods, here are some high quality supplement options:

PhytoganixPhytoganix™ by Metagenics – Designed to provide a daily supply of certified organic phytonutrients, this convenient, delicious and highly nutritious powdered formula supplies antioxidant-rich superfoods along with polyphenol-rich green tea, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Gluten free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.  

 

NitroGreensNitro Greens® by Biotics Research – This whole food concentrate supplies an all organic proprietary blend of greens, veggies, fruits and sprouts to supply a rich source of phytonutrients, including polyphenols and isoflavones, as well as naturally occurring enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals. Gluten and dairy free.

 

Bioflavonoid Complex (80116-)Bioflavonoid Complex by Douglas Labs – This synergistic formula supplies naturally sourced antioxidant citrus bioflavonoids to aid in supporting circulatory and immune health and the healthy metabolism of collagen, cholesterol and histamine.   Gluten, soy and dairy free.

 

Ultra Greens pHUltra Greens pH by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals – This nutrient-rich powdered greens formula contains phytonutrients, antioxidants and supportive enzymes and provides a simple and convenient way to improve overall nutritional balance and support balanced body pH.

 

Ester-C® & FlavonoidsEster-C® & Flavonoids by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides natural, non-acidic, bioavailable and highly absorbable vitamin C plus complementary flavonoid compounds in support of synergistic antioxidant, immune and vascular integrity support. Non-GMO formulation.

 

References:
Health Protective Effects of Phytonutrients: Green Tea Extract. http://www4.dr-rath-foundation.org/research_news/articles/issue-38-health-information-protective-effects-of-phytonutrients-green-tea-extract.html
Flavonoids in food and their health benefits. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15678717#
Health benefits of cocoa flavonoids. http://www.eufic.org/article/en/artid/health-benefits-cocoa-flavanoids/
Health benefits of fruit and vegetables are from additive and synergistic combinations of phytochemicals. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/78/3/517S.full
What are Flavonoids? http://www.news-medical.net/health/What-are-Flavonoids.aspx

Hidden Benefits of Good Nutrition

HappyLadyBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

A healthy diet, made up of nutrient rich whole foods, provides the life sustaining vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the body needs for overall health and function.  A healthy, well-balanced diet contributes toward increased energy levels, improved health, better mood and sustained weight maintenance, and there are additional benefits as well.  A healthy diet can decrease your risk for a number of serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, hypertension, or diabetes.  For some, focusing on a healthier diet may mean learning new ways to eat, including cutting back on sugar, refined grains, processed foods and fast foods, and consuming more vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, whole grains and lean proteins. 

Most people know that a healthy diet aids physical health.  But, there is also a link between diet and mood, energy, sleep and cognitive function.  An unhealthy diet, low in nutritional value, weakens the immune system, taxes organ functions and leaves you vulnerable to illness and disease.  To make the progression towards a healthier diet, put the focus on nutrient dense foods and maintain calorie balance to achieve and sustain a healthy weight.  Strive for dietary balance by including a variety of foods from each food group and practice moderation by eating only until you feel satisfied.  Here are some ways good nutrition can enhance overall wellbeing: 

Sustained elevated mood – Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains not only help to stabilize blood sugar levels, they support the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which elevates mood, suppresses appetite and provides a sense of calm. 

Increased energy levels – Adequate levels of iron, which carries oxygen throughout the body, contributes to sufficient energy production.  Leafy greens such as spinach, red meat and eggs are rich sources of iron.  Insufficient thiamine contributes to fatigue and poor mood.  Getting enough thiamine from sources like cauliflower and grains increases wellbeing and your overall energy level.  Steer clear of refined sugars, which give you a quick energy burst but quickly deplete energy stores.  Drinking adequate amounts of water daily also helps to regulate energy levels. 

Improved sleep – Adequate sleep is necessary for healthy function. Sleep not only rejuvenates the body, it regulates mood and is associated with cognitive function.  Sleep deprivation causes leptin (an appetite regulating hormone) levels to drop, promoting increased appetite.  Among the best natural sedatives is tryptophan, an amino-acid component of many plant and animal proteins.  Tryptophan is a precursor for serotonin production, necessary for a good night’s sleep. 

Reduced food cravings – Spikes, followed by rapid drops in blood sugar, can result in unhealthy food cravings.  High quality carbs and lean proteins help stabilize blood sugar levels, reducing dramatic swings in energy and hunger.  Cravings for unhealthy foods will begin to decrease as your diet becomes more balanced. 

Enhanced cognitive function – Healthy foods benefit your mind and nourish the cells within the brain.  Getting proper nutrients supports cognitive function while dietary deficiencies decrease cognition.  Proteins supply amino acids necessary to produce brain signaling chemicals required for cognition.  Omega-3’s, B vitamins, and vitamins C and E all support healthy brain function and nerve communication.  Good cognitive brain function requires minerals like sodium, potassium and calcium.  Salmon and kale are two foods that are particularly rich in brain-friendly nutrients. 

Healthier skin – Skin requires essential fatty acids to maintain a proper barrier between internal organs and environmental toxins and pathogens.  Fruits and vegetables have a high water content, which helps to moisturize and hydrate the skin.  Antioxidants help protect against cell damage.  Vitamin C helps to maintain skin health by supporting collagen production and, in conjunction with vitamin E, protects the skin from sun damage.  Vitamin D controls the growth and development of deep skin cells and also helps to protect the skin from harmful UV rays.  Minerals such as zinc and selenium also support skin health. 

The key to good nutrition is the consumption of whole food and the avoidance of ultra-processed empty-calorie food.  Junk food, whether it claims to be low-fat, low-sugar or low-sodium, is still filled with empty calories that stack the deck against health.  Overconsumption is the norm these days, so be sure to control portion sizes to help you reach and then maintain a healthy weight. 

Products that support good nutrition include:

Sweet Kale by Brightcore Nutrition delivers all the nutrient-dense benefits of raw kale in a quality, organic, non-GMO formula. 

Ester-C® & Flavonoids by Pure Encapsulations provides highly absorbable vitamin C and varied flavonoid compounds for synergistic antioxidant, immune and vascular integrity support.

Natural Vitamin E Complex 400 IU with Mixed Tocopherols by Douglas Laboratories contains pure, natural, mixed tocopherols including alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherols, which assure superior antioxidant protection.

Deeper Greens Powder by Ortho Molecular utilizes the highest ORAC fruits and vegetables with excellent antioxidant, pH, and fiber values.  Formulated with organically grown fruits and greens where available.