Tag Archives: cardiovascular disease


AtherosclerosisJacquie Eubanks RN BSNCardiovascular disease and stroke prevention by early intervention is of great importance, as heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death and disability in the U.S. Atherosclerosis, often referred to as hardening of the arteries, is a progressive chronic inflammatory disease that damages arterial walls, and results in dysfunctional, stiff, clogged arteries, and improperly regulated blood flow and pressure. Soft, flexible healthy arteries consist of multilayered walls capable of constricting or dilating as needed by the tissues they supply. The loss of artery suppleness and elasticity occurs slowly over time, as plaque formations consisting of fat, cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste and clotting factors, eventually occlude and restrict the flow of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to all parts of the body.

Arterial stiffness, or the loss of vascular elasticity, structure, and function, has been identified as a contributing factor in hypertension, heart attack, stroke, and type II diabetes, as well as liver, kidney and neurodegenerative disorders. Perhaps most importantly, arterial stiffness results in a steady rise in blood pressure, contributing to a vicious cycle of further destruction and loss of flexibility. While aging is certainly a factor, early stages of atherosclerosis may actually begin in childhood, making preventive measures desirable for all ages. A seven-year investigation of cardiovascular risk factors performed by scientists from 15 medical centers found that young persons, males in particular, had evidence of coronary artery disease as early as their mid-teens.

The study showed that those who were overweight, smoked, and had the highest blood pressure, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol levels were most at risk for atherosclerosis and heart disease. The now famous and oft quoted Framingham Heart Study evaluated the impact of high total cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and smoking on cardiac health. Those who were free of all risk factors had only a 5% risk of developing cardiovascular disease by age 95. Contrarily, those with two or more risk factors had a 69% risk, leading one to conclude that healthful behaviors beginning at a young age can go a long way in preventing future heart disease and stroke.

One of the main contributors to loss of arterial stiffness is calcification, which occurs when serum calcium is deposited into the arterial walls. Scientific evidence suggests that vitamins D3 and K2 play important roles in calcium metabolism and management. Working individually and synergistically, vitamins D3 and K2 help to keep calcium out of arteries and promote proper deposit of calcium into bones, where it aids continuous bone remodeling. Several studies have shown that vitamin D3 supplementation is an important approach to preventing or alleviating cardiovascular disease, particularly in high risk groups such as seniors, diabetics, and those with insufficient sunlight exposure and deficiencies in dietary intake. Vitamin K2 helps to activate osteocalcin, a bone protein, and helps to produce proteins that are needed to move calcium from the bloodstream into bone tissue.

Preventing arterial stiffness is essential in the prevention of age-related chronic disorders. While aging and family history of early heart disease are risk factors, the exact cause of atherosclerosis remains unknown. However controllable risk factors can help prevent or delay arterial stiffening. Smoking, chronic inflammation, high serum triglycerides and cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar, as well as an unhealthy diet, obesity and lack of exercise are known largely controllable risk factors. By working to reduce modifiable risk factors, one can help prevent atherosclerosis, improve general health or arrest the progression of the disease.

-Follow a heart and brain healthy, low inflammatory plant-based diet that is low in sodium, added sugars, processed fats, refined grains, processed foods, and allergens. Maintain a healthy body weight to reduce excess pressure on the legs, as well as the risk of developing diabetes.

-Arterial stiffness with aging has been shown to be less pronounced in physically active persons. Regular aerobic exercise can help to fight atherosclerosis by lowering blood pressure and controlling weight. Strengthening the thigh and calf muscles by walking, cycling, swimming or stair climbing promotes good circulation and encourages blood flow.

-Maintain healthy blood sugar levels to prevent or control diabetes. Diabetes can accelerate the progression of atherosclerosis.

-Take short frequent breaks from prolonged sitting or standing which can worsen symptoms. A short walk can help to stimulate circulation. While sitting, perform ankle exercises such as pointing, flexing, and circling the feet to activate the calf muscles.

-Elevate your legs above your heart for 10-15 minutes daily to help reduce blood pooling and pressure on the legs.

-Graduated compression stockings can help with swelling of the lower extremities that often accompanies venous insufficiency. Compression stockings reduce pooling and pressure and may also reduce the risk of forming a deep vein blood clot.

Professional Supplement Center carries many high quality products to help support circulatory and overall heath:

Arterial TherapyArterial Therapy™ by Integrative Therapeutics®: This triple action blend provides three clinically studied synergistic ingredients, garlic extract, pomegranate fruit extract, and vitamin K2, in bioavailable forms to promote optimal arterial function. Gluten, wheat, dairy and sugar free, vegan formulation.

Vitamin D Supreme...Vitamin D Supreme with Vitamin K1 and K2 by Designs for Health®: This synergistic product supplies a clinically useful dose of vitamin D3 and highly bioavailable forms of vitamins K1 and K2 in support of optimal bone, arterial and immune health. Non-GMO formulation.

Nutrient 950 with...Nutrient 950® with Vitamin K by Pure Encapsulations®: This hypoallergenic, nutrient rich, highly bioavailable multivitamin/mineral/trace element formula includes superior mineral cofactors, and antioxidants, as well as the active forms of vitamins K1 and K2 to maintain healthy arterial calcium metabolism and vascular activity. Vitamins D and K provide synergistic support for bone heath and blood vessel function. Gluten free, Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

PGX DailyPGX® Daily by Bioclinic Naturals: This proprietary highly viscous fiber blend is formulated to support healthy glucose metabolism by lowering the glycemic index of meals. Fiber viscosity is associated with increased satiety, reduced appetite, improved regularity and healthy weight maintenance. Gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, and artificial sweetener free.

Compression Leg...Compression Leg Sleeve White by Zensah: Made of durable, comfortable, machine washable fabric, these compression sleeves provide calf support, shin splint relief and decreased fatigue. Three sizes available.


Circulation Support,...Quantum Circulation Support by Quantum Nutrition Labs: This unique, proprietary nutraceutical formula promotes healthy microcirculation of blood to peripheral tissues and provides comprehensive support for circulation and associated nerve, heart and arterial health. Vegan formulation.

Arterial stiffness and stroke: de-stiffening strategy, a therapeutic target for stroke. http://svn.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/17/svn-2016-000045
Arteriosclerosis/atherosclerosis.  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350569
What is Arterial Plaque? http://www.secondscount.org/heart-condition-centers/info-detail-2/what-is-arterial-plaque
Atherosclerosis. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/atherosclerosis
What You Can Do to Prevent Atherosclerosis. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=1583
Premature heart disease. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/premature-heart-disease
Atherosclerosis. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/Atherosclerosis_UCM_305564_Article.jsp


Curcumin: The Colorful Nutraceutical

CurcuminJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Medicines derived from plants that have biological or pharmacological activity have played a fundamental role in both ancient and modern medicine. Commonly known as turmeric, this close relative of ginger is a brilliantly colored phytopolyphenol compound isolated from the rhizomes of the Curcuma longa plant. In addition to its culinary uses, turmeric is known to contain a broad spectrum of synergistic pharmacological properties, most notably powerful antioxidant activity, impressive inhibitory effects on proinflammatory cytokines, and the ability to prevent blood platelets from forming clots. For over 4,000 years, turmeric has been utilized in Traditional Ayurvedic medicine as a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease.

Utilized for both prevention and therapy, turmeric is well-documented as an Ayurvedic treatment for inflammatory skin and bowel conditions and respiratory, gastrointestinal, and hepatic disorders. More than 100 components have been isolated from turmeric, including turmerone, a volatile oil, and flavonoid curcuminoids, which are found to be natural antioxidants comparable to vitamins C and E. Turmeric has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimutagenic, antidiabetic, antibacterial, and anti-tumor properties, as well as cardio and hepatoprotective pharmacological activities.

The use of turmeric as both a spice and a remedy is known to be safe and non-toxic. The FDA’s own clinical trials determined that turmeric and its active component curcumin is generally recognized as safe (GRAS). While studies are ongoing as to efficacy of curcumin compounds in western medicine, from its centuries-long history we can conclude that turmeric has a host of potential benefits for both daily and long term medicinal usage. A comprehensive review of over 700 studies on turmeric’s health benefits published by ethnobotanist James A. Duke, PhD., concluded that turmeric appeared to outperform many pharmaceuticals in its effects against several chronic debilitating diseases with virtually no adverse side effects.

Research suggests that turmeric may be helpful to prevent or alleviate the following:

Osteoarthritis: Studies on the efficacy of curcumin have demonstrated improved function, as well as reduced pain and swelling in arthritic conditions. As a multifaceted anti-inflammatory agent, turmeric contains more than two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds, including six COX-2-inhibitors, which block the COX-2 enzyme that promotes pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Neurodegenerative conditions: More than 50 studies have shown that turmeric extracts contain multiple natural agents that block the formation of beta-amyloid, the substance believed to be responsible for the plaques that slowly obstruct cerebral function in Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric’s powerful antioxidant, circulatory and anti-inflammatory effects may be useful in the prevention or treatment of Parkinson’s and other conditions. Curcumin may also boost levels of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a brain hormone that increases growth of new neurons and fights degenerative processes in the brain.

Cardiovascular disease: Early studies have shown that turmeric may be helpful in the prevention of atherosclerosis, the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Its anti-clotting compounds may also prevent blood clots from building up on arterial walls. The inner lining of the blood vessels, or the endothelium, is vulnerable to oxidative stress, and endothelium dysfunction can lead to cardiovascular events. Studies suggest that curcumin’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may improve endothelial function, thereby supporting proper regulation of blood pressure, blood clotting and other functions.

Indigestion: Turmeric stimulates the gallbladder to produce the bile necessary for digestion and has been shown to reduce gas and bloating. The German Commission E, charged with determining which herbs can be safely prescribed, has approved turmeric for digestive problems.

Ulcerative colitis: Those in remission from ulcerative colitis who supplement with curcumin have been shown to be significantly less likely to have a flare up of symptoms as opposed to those who don’t supplement.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a medical condition, or are taking blood thinning, diabetic, or acid reducing medications, please consult your healthcare provider before beginning any supplementation program.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality formulations in support of overall heath:

Ayur-Curcumin ...Ayur-Curcumin (Turmeric) by Douglas Laboratories: One capsule provides 300 mg of curcuma longa standardized to 90% curcumin in support of joint and tissue function. Gluten, wheat, yeast, soy, dairy, sugar and artificial ingredient free.


Curcumin 500 with...Curcumin 500 with Bioperine® by Pure Encapsulations®: One capsule provides 500 mg of curcuma longa standardized to contain 95% curcuminoids in support of healthy liver, colon, and musculoskeletal function and a healthy inflammatory response. The addition of Bioperine® black pepper extract helps to enhance the bioavailability and absorption of curcumin. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


C3 Curcumin ComplexC3 Curcumin Complex® by Designs for Health: C3 Curcumin Complex provides a unique patented composition of three bioactive, health promoting curcuminoids in support of the body’s natural processes. Gluten, wheat, dairy, egg, and artificial ingredient free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Liposomal CurcuminLiposomal Curcumin by DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont: This C3 Complex® with liposomal delivery has been clinically shown to provide antioxidant, brain, cardiovascular, digestive and immune support. Non-GMO formulation.


Curcumin Topical...Curcumin Topical Cream by Neurobiologix: This topical cream applied directly to the skin helps to reduce inflammation, provides free radical protection and supports arterial and whole body health.


Curcumin. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/curcumin#section=Top
Turmeric, the Golden Spice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92752/
Pharmacological Activities of Turmeric (Curcuma longa linn): A Review. https://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/pharmacological-activities-of-turmeric-curcuma-longa-linn-a-review-2167-1206.1000133.php?aid=18775
3 Reasons to Eat Turmeric. https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/nutrition/3-reasons-to-eat-turmeric/
Medicinal and pharmacological properties of Turmeric (Curcuma longa): A review. http://www.academia.edu/10986107/Medicinal_and_pharmacological_properties_of_Turmeric_Curcuma_longa_A_review
Turmeric Overview. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/turmeric
Endothelial Dysfunctions: Cardiovascular Risk Factors, Therapy, and Outcome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1993955/



What Nutrients Are Missing in Your Diet?

WhatsMissingDietJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

If you are focused on losing body fat or increasing lean muscle mass, chances are you are concentrating on your caloric intake, as well as placing your focus on your macronutrient intake, the proteins, carbohydrates and dietary fats that are all a necessary part of a healthy diet. Or, perhaps you follow the standard American diet consisting of foods high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, leading to hunger and overconsumption of far too many empty calories, as the body strives to get the nutrients it needs for proper function. While one of these dietary approaches may be viewed as healthier than the other, chances are neither will consistently deliver sufficient micronutrients necessary for overall good health and bodily functions, leading to a dietary deficiency in vitamins and minerals or micronutrient malnutrition.

While the general nutrition advice is to eat a “balanced” diet, many of us are not sure what that really means and so tend to make choices we like, not necessarily those that are best for heath. Dietary trends over time show Americans are not following healthy eating patterns and are deficient in the micronutrients necessary to maintain optimal health and prevent nutrient deficiency diseases. According to the American Dietetic Association, although deficiencies of essential nutrients have decreased over the last century, the rates of chronic diseases, many of which are related to poor quality diet and a sedentary lifestyle, have dramatically increased to the point where approximately 50% of American adults have one or more preventable diet-related chronic disease.

Key dietary recommendations suggest following a healthy eating pattern that focuses on variety across all food groups, nutrient density and portion size. An eating pattern can be described as a combination of foods and beverages that constitute a person’s complete dietary intake over time. Nutrient density encompasses foods and beverages that provide vitamins, minerals, naturally occurring components such as fiber, and beneficial phytonutrients, all of which have positive effects on health. Variety refers to consuming a diverse assortment of foods and beverages from all food groups, without exceeding limits for calories and other components, such as added sugars and sodium.

Nutrition and physical activity-related health conditions include:

  • Obesity – For the past 25 years, more than half of the adult population has been overweight or obese, especially those aged 40 and older. Abdominal obesity prevalence now affects half of U.S adults of all ages. Nearly one in three youths aged 2 – 19 are overweight or obese.
  • Cardiovascular disease – Three-fourths of those who are overweight and half of those who are normal weight have at least one cardiometabolic risk factor, including high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids, diabetes or smoking.
  • Diabetes – 2012 statistics showed that over 29 million adults have type 2 diabetes. Highly prevalent in the senior population, the rates of diabetes among young adults and children is steadily rising.
  • Cancer – Breast cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., followed closely by colorectal cancer, the second leading cause.
  • Bone disease – Bone disease is common in the U.S., especially among the elderly, which puts them at risk of fractures. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 10 million people currently have osteoporosis and another 18 million are at risk of developing the disease. By 2020, one in two Americans is expected to have or be at risk of developing osteoporosis of the hip.

With the abundance of food available in the U.S., one might assume that Americans are well nourished and that nutrient deficiencies are no longer a health issue. Contrary to what the media may have you believe; deficiencies are very much present. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a major program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is responsible for producing vital health statistics for the U.S. This includes an assessment of the health and nutritional status of American citizens. A 2015 analysis showed that approximately 31% of adults had one nutrient deficiency, 6% had 2 nutrient deficiencies, and 2% had 3 or more deficiencies. They concluded that about 1 out of 3 Americans have at least one vitamin or mineral deficiency.

Despite recent arguments that dietary supplement users are wasting their money, data shows that adults who take full-spectrum vitamin and mineral supplements have a significantly lower prevalence of deficiency as compared to non-users. In fact, non-users are 2.5 times more likely to have a deficiency compared to a full-spectrum multivitamin user. Data continues to show that individuals, even those who follow a whole food diet, who take a daily multi are more likely to fill any nutritional gaps and achieve micronutrient sufficiency. As far as your money goes, the cost of a multivitamin supplement is likely the least expensive health insurance you can buy!

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality vitamin and mineral supplements to support optimal wellness:

UltraNutrient by Pure EncapsulationsUltraNutrient® by Pure Encapsulations – This advanced formula provides exceptional broad spectrum, bioavailable nutritional support with a full spectrum of core vitamins and minerals, advanced antioxidants, standardized phytonutrient extracts and botanicals for enhanced antioxidant, cardiovascular, liver and overall wellness support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Ultra Preventive Teen (201036) by Douglas LaboratoriesUltra Preventive Teen by Douglas Laboratories – This unique, carefully designed supplement is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of teenagers. Vanilla flavored, easy-to-swallow tablets provide over 30 vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients in bioavailable form to support growth and development and good health maintenance. Gluten and soy free, vegetarian formulation.

Multigenics® Chewable Orange by Metagenics®Multigenics® Chewable Orange – This comprehensive bioavailable formula provides a broad spectrum of essential vitamins along with highly absorbable mineral amino acid chelates. Suitable for children and adults who prefer a great tasting, chewable tablet. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO formulation.

Comprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell LaboratoriesComprehensive Nutritional Panel by Spectracell Laboratories – This micronutrient test kit offers an accurate, scientifically proven assessment of nutritional deficiencies, including 31 vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, antioxidants and metabolites. This kit includes a complimentary post-test consultation with our Registered Nurse by phone or in person at our Sarasota location.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 -2020. https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/2015-2020_Dietary_Guidelines.pdf
Overall Numbers, Diabetes and Prediabetes. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/
The Frequency of Bone Disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK45515/
Osteoporosis/Bone Health in Adults as a National Public Health Priority. http://www.aaos.org/CustomTemplates/Content.aspx?id=5604&ssopc=1
Think Nutrient Deficiencies are History in the US? Think Again. http://www.dsm.com/campaigns/talkingnutrition/en_US/talkingnutrition-dsm-com/2015/03/ExpBio_Abstract_586Point2.html
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes/