Tag Archives: Vitamin C

Eye Health Support

EyeHealthJacquie Eubanks RN BSNDesigned as an adjunct to a healthy diet, researched backed nutritional supplements have been shown to be beneficial for the maintenance of vision and eye health. Ongoing research continues to explore health protective nutrition in prevention of age-related eye changes that can cause visual disturbances and the loss of visual acuity. Beginning around age 40, adults may start to notice vision changes, such as an inability to focus on near objects, the need for brighter lights in reading or work areas, and changes in color perception, as well as reduced tear production, resulting in dry, irritated eyes. As we continue to age, the risk for developing eye and vision problems increases. Early warning signs of eye health problems can include:

Vision fluctuation – Vision that fluctuates throughout the day can be attributed to several causes, including general fatigue, eye muscle spasms resulting from intense focusing for an extended period, or progressing presbyopia, a common age-related inability to focus on near items, such as a newspaper or menu, especially in dim light.

Eye floaters and flashes of bright light – Specks or thread-like images that appear in the field of vision are generally harmless and may become less noticeable with time. Floaters indicate that the vitreous humor, a gel-like substance that makes up a large majority of the eye behind the lens, is slowly shrinking with age, creating strands that cast their shadows on the retina. Flashing occurs when the vitreous gel tugs or bumps the retina. Although floaters and flashers can be annoying, they are generally considered harmless. However, a new onset of floaters or increased flashes can signal more serious vision problems, such as retinal detachment or a retinal tear, requiring a visit to your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Loss of peripheral vision – Peripheral or side vision is the ability to see movement and objects located outside your central or direct line of vision. Also known as tunnel vision, loss of wide angle vison is commonly the result of optic nerve damage, resulting from glaucoma, a detached retina, brain or neurological damage or a head injury.

Distorted images – Wavy or blurred images or loss of central vision may be signs of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss among adults aged 50 and older. Although there are exceptions, macular degeneration generally progresses slowly. The greatest risk factor is aging, making regular comprehensive eye exams crucial for seniors. Additional risk factors include diabetes, genetics, and side effects of medications taken for chronic conditions.

A colorful and varied diet, rich in omega-3 fats, whole fruits and dark green leafy vegetables is emphasized for eye, vision and overall health. As well, protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light, avoiding smoking, reducing screen related eye strain, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight along with normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, may help to prevent macular degeneration or slow its progression. Age Related Eye Disease (ARED) studies revealed that antioxidant multivitamins can help to protect against progression to advanced stages of macular degeneration in those who have been diagnosed with the condition.

Poor diet resulting in inadequate nutrition is associated with many serious health conditions including vision loss. Research shows that vitamins and nutrients that help reduce inflammation and control oxidative stress are beneficial for maintaining eye and vision health and may offer protection from degenerative diseases, including macular degeneration and cataracts.

Vitamin A promotes good vision, especially in low light. Well known for its supportive role in healthy vision and prevention of night blindness, vitamin A helps to protect the cornea and mucous membranes of the eye surface, helping to reduce the risk of eye infections.

B Complex vitamins help to reduce chronic inflammation and elevated homocysteine levels associated with retinal vascular problems. B vitamins may also help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties that help protect the eye lens by preventing oxidation, which can result in a clouded lens associated with cataract formation.

Vitamin D sufficiency is associated with a lower risk of macular degeneration, while a deficiency is strongly associated with dry eye and its level of severity.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that are found in the eyes. Many studies have shown that lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health and reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, including cataracts and macular degeneration.

Omega-3 essential fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are among the most important nutrients for proper visual development, retinal function, and life-long eye maintenance. DHA is found in the highest concentration in the retina. Omega-3 deficiency is linked to dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration. Essential fatty acids help to restore and maintain tear formation and eye lubrication.

Bioflavonoids are pigments responsible for giving plants, fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors. These biologically active antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds aid the absorption of vitamin C, help increase antioxidant efficiency, and support capillary health, including eye capillaries.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements and nutraceuticals in support of eye and overall health:

Vision ProtectVision Protect™ by LuxVite Naturals – Ophthalmologist formulated with ingredients based on the ARED2 study, Vision Protect™ contains antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, lutein, and zeaxanthin, providing eye health support for macular degeneration. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Doctor's Choice™ Eye...Doctor’s Choice™ Eye Formula by Enzymatic Therapy – This vitamin, mineral and botanical formula provides comprehensive nutritional support for eye health and healthy vision. Gluten and dairy free formulation.

 

ProDHA Eye 1000 mgON SALE ProDHA Eye® by Nordic Naturals – This synergistic blend of purified pharmaceutical-grade fish oil provides a high concentration of DHA, plus antioxidant vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin in support of healthy vision and moisture levels, as well as age-related oxidative damage protection. Gluten and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

 

Eye & Body Complete ...Eye and Body Complete™ by BioSyntrx – This full-spectrum, balanced, whole body nutritional formula provides superior active ingredients to support vision function, macular and retinal health, and address vascular-related inflammatory diseases of the body and retina.

 

Lutein/ZeaxanthinLutein/Zeaxanthin by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides a high strength carotenoid blend of lutein and zeaxanthin to specifically support the macula and overall vision health and function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
What you can do about floaters and flashes in the eye. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-you-can-do-about-floaters-and-flashes-in-the-eye-201306106336
Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration. https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
Facts About Presbyopia. https://nei.nih.gov/health/errors/presbyopia
What is Macular Degeneration? https://www.macular.org/what-macular-degeneration
Adult Vision: 41 to 60 Years of Age. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-41-to-60-years-of-age?sso=y
Essential Fatty Acids, Omega 3. http://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/diet-and-nutrition/essential-fatty-acids?sso=y

 

Immune Boosting Strategies

Immune_StrategiesJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you are seeking a path to vibrant health, look to a healthy, vigorous, hardworking immune system. When cold and flu season is in full swing, strategically supporting the immune response may help to prevent illness and promote healing. Throughout life, we encounter harmful microbes, and unfortunately, sickness and infections are inevitable. When our immune cells combat and destroy viruses and bacteria, it also builds antibodies against those specific pathogens, strengthening immunity for the long haul. As influenza is a highly contagious airborne virus, even those with a strong immune system may contract the flu. However, those with the most robust immune systems may recover faster and experience less complications.

The youngest among us, who have not had time to build immunity, and seniors, whose immune functions weaken with age, are not only more susceptible to winter colds, influenza and strep throat, but are more vulnerable to a wide range of complications as well. Complications can range from moderate conditions, such as sinus and ear infections, to the more severe life threatening complications of pneumonia and organ inflammation. Those with chronic conditions, such as asthma, as well as heart and lung diseases, are most at risk of experiencing a worsening of their health conditions triggered by the flu.

Per the National Institutes of Health, a compromised immune system simply cannot perform as well as a fully functioning one. It appears to be in everyone’s best interest to take positive steps to avoid winter maladies by initiating strategies to support the immune system throughout the immunity building phase and when naturally declining as part of the aging process. Unhealthy lifestyle habits, including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can decrease the immune system’s ability to fight off illnesses. Good general health habits help keep the immune defenses strong and alert.

Sleep on it – There are times when many of us are guilty of skimping on sleep. Prioritizing sleep strengthens the immune response, while chronic sleep deprivation elevates inflammation- promoting chemicals, weakening and suppressing immune health. Regular sufficient sleep, which means seven to eight hours nightly, will support overall good health and help to keep the immune system in top fighting form.

Feed it – Feed your body a variety of nutrient-rich foods for long term healthy function. Include live cultured foods like a low-sugar organic yogurt or kimchi, traditional Korean fermented vegetables. Multi-strain probiotic supplements help to enhance beneficial intestinal microorganisms, which aids intestinal homeostasis, helps to keep inflammation in check and supports proper immune and gastrointestinal functions.

Work it – Exercise boosts the immune system by strengthening its ability to create antibodies and the white blood cells that fight off deleterious pathogenic invaders. Prioritizing 20-30 minutes each day for physical activity will help boost immune performance, as well as reduce tension and relieve stress.

Chill out – Long term stress taxes both the adrenals and the immune system, raising the risk for poor overall health and  suppressed immune reaction. By directly affecting the immune response chronically stressed, but otherwise healthy people, are more vulnerable to infectious and autoimmune diseases. Chronic stress acts as a trigger for anxiety and depression, and can bring about poor quality sleep, high blood pressure, heart disease and digestive issues.

Get happy – Chronic depression appears to increase proinflammatory cytokine activity and inflammation, negatively affecting immune health. Per the NIH, there is strong evidence that depression alters multiple aspects of immunity that may contribute to the development of several disorders and diseases.

Consider medicinal foods – Medicinal plants such as ginseng, astragalus, and garlic provide immune enhancing phytochemicals. As well, medicinal mushrooms, including shiitake, reishi and maitake, have antimicrobial properties that help support a balanced immune environment.

Address micronutrient deficiencies – Studies have linked deficiencies in zinc, selenium, folic acid and vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E to reduced immune function.

-Sufficient vitamin D plays several roles in supporting proper immune function, while a deficiency contributes to infection susceptibility.

-Zinc is essential for the proper development, maintenance and function of the immune system.

-Vitamin A helps regulate and support healthy development of immune cells.

-Vitamin C plays a variety of roles in immune function, including enhanced function of white blood cells and increased antibody levels.

-In addition to energy production, B vitamins support serotonin and neurotransmitter production, helping to reduce stress and improve mood.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support overall and immune health:

UltraNutrientUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This comprehensive, high potency, bioavailable formula includes core vitamins and minerals, advanced antioxidants, and standardized phytonutrient extracts providing exceptional broad spectrum nutrients for enhanced cardiovascular, liver and overall health support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Astragalus Max-V 500...Astragalus Max-V 500 mg by Douglas Laboratories – Used since ancient times in Traditional Chinese medicine, Astragalus is widely known for its immune-stimulating properties. One capsule provides 500 mg of standardized astragalus in support of the immune, cardiovascular, renal and hepatic systems. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.

SR-StaminaSR-Stamina™ by Iagen Naturals – This pharmaceutical grade blend of adaptogenic herbs and traditional botanicals provides ingredients known to increase stamina, enhance physical performance, and promote a healthy immune response, as well as decrease stress, anxiety and sore muscles.

L-PhenylalanineL-Phenylalanine by Metabolic Maintenance – This product provides support for the normal production of mood-elevating neurotransmitters and addresses physical discomforts by blocking a nervous system enzyme that amplifies pain signals. Excipient free, preservative free, vegan formulation.

Mushroom Immune...Mushroom Immune Defense™ by Source NaturalsON SALE This broad spectrum, high potency blend provides mycelia and extracts from 16 well-studied species of health supporting mushrooms in support of immune health. Vegetarian formulation.

 

References:
12 Strategies to Strengthen Your Immune System. http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/nutrition/strengthen-your-immune-system-zmaz10aszraw
Flu Symptoms & Complications. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/complications.htm
Depression, Inflammation, Immunity and Infection. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/health-matters/200903/depression-inflammation-immunity-and-infection
Strengthen Your Immune System. http://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/guide-to-essential-nutrients/strengthen-your-immune-system/

Featured Product – EZC Pak™

EZC_PakSusan Brown Health and Wellness EditorProfessional Supplement Center now carries EZC Pak™, a physician formulated nutritional support pack intended to provide the core components for appropriate immune support while reducing unnecessary antibiotic usage.  Concern over the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs led physician and Medical Director Sarath Malepati to tackle the fundamental problem of inappropriate antibiotic over-prescribing for common viral infections.  Misuse of antibiotics can have harmful consequences for both the patient and for global public health, as many scientists and health professionals are concerned about the rise of superbugs and antibiotic resistance.

Dr. Malepati developed EZC Pak to assist a “wait and watch” approach and relieve the pressure to prescribe unnecessary antibiotics.  He believes that, “While there is certainly a time and place for antibiotics, usage should be limited to the right medicine at the right time.”  EZC Pak™ is a vitamin, mineral and herbal OTC formulation based on the best available evidence of the active core components and the U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) guidelines.  Only high quality ingredients, including certified organic echinacea, zinc and vitamin C, are utilized in this well tolerated, appropriately formulated immune support pak.

EZC Pak™ contains 14 vegetable cellulose capsules intended for 5-day tapered immune support: 

Vitamin C – Water soluble vitamin C supports many metabolic functions and is found in high concentrations in the immune cells.  Vitamin C is believed to promote the immune response by supporting the immune cells that are involved in fighting viral and bacterial infections.  Regular intake of vitamin C has been shown to reduce both the incidence and the duration of illness.

Zinc – Zinc supports the immune system and a wide range of critical functions.  When initiated within 24 hours of the onset of illness, zinc has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of illness symptoms.  General recommended use of moderately higher doses of zinc is 5 days.

Proprietary Echinacea blend – Long used in traditional medicine, echinacea is believed to aid the immune system’s ability to help clear viral infections by promoting immune T-cell activity. Echinacea is intended to be used at the first signs of illness, generally within 48 hours of onset, and continued for 5-7 days.