Top 10 Exercise Tips for Dummies

Top 10 Exercise Tips for Dummies

Exercise is the proverbial trump card. It’s the one thing that everyone can benefit from. Unfortunately, it’s the one thing lacking from many people’s lives.

When done right, exercise can improve strength, cardiovascular health, energy, mood, and overall well being. It can decrease the risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis, and it’s an important part of the treatment process for cancer, Alzheimer’s, and chronic fatigue.

If you are exercising (if not, start immediately), follow these 10 tips to make sure you’re doing it right and getting the most out of your training program.

Tip 1: Get an assessment. Before you start any training program, it’s a good idea to get an exercise assessment. This will reveal where your weaknesses lie and establish where you need to focus your training. Correcting weaknesses and dysfunctions is a great way to prevent injury and increase training longevity. Remember, if you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing.

Tip 2: Have a plan. Know what you want to accomplish before you get to the gym and have your workout on paper, preferably with space to make notes and record weights. You should also know what you want to accomplish long term and have a plan to achieve it. Remember, “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.”

Tip 3: Perform strength training and cardiovascular training. Walk into any commercial fitness center and you’ll see mostly women on the cardio equipment and mostly men lifting weights. A sound training program should include both weight training – to build and strengthen muscles – and cardio – to improve cardiovascular health. It’s best to lift weights before you do cardio, or perform them on separate days.

Tip 4: Stay hydrated. Drinking plain old H20 before, during, and after your workout (and throughout the day) is a great way to ensure maximum performance in the gym. You can use the pee color test to determine your hydration level.

Tip 5: Make it enjoyable. Training hard at the gym is effective, but it’s not always fun. Balance the arduous with the enjoyable by adding in activities that combine exercise and a good time. This can include playing a sport, rock climbing, or mountain biking.

Tip 6: Be consistent. Results take time. The people who make significant changes in their physique are the ones who are consistent with their diet and training month after month, year after year. Remember, “slow and steady wins the race.”

Tip 7: Use the buddy system. There will be days when you dread going to the gym. On these days, a motivated training partner who will hold you accountable can be invaluable. Some friendly competition doesn’t hurt either, and sometimes it can be the only thing keeping you motivated (and that’s perfectly fine).

Tip 8: Set SMART goals:

  • Specific – instead of saying, “I want to lose weight,” set a goal of losing a specific amount of weight.
  • Measurable – set goals that you can measure and track. For example, set a goal to lose 4 inches off your waist, and then record your waist circumference once a week.
  • Adjustable – you aren’t always going to achieve your goals exactly as you laid them out, and there will surely be set backs along the way. Allow some wiggle room so you can adjust your goals as you go – particularly long term goals – but not so much that you’re making them easier or allowing yourself to cheat.
  • Realistic – it’s great to set your sights high, but don’t set yourself up for failure. Set goals that you can actually achieve and reward yourself when you do.
  • Time-sensitive – set a date that you want to achieve your goal by, or try to accomplish it within a certain time frame.

Tip 9: Rest and recover. Taking one or two days off from intense training per week will help keep you feeling fresh and focused. Don’t just sit on your butt, though, use this time for active recovery like foam rolling, stretching, and light cardio.

Tip 10: Hire an expert. When all else fails, hire an expert to write your training programs or train you one-on-one. Make sure you do your homework: ask friends or fellow gym-goers about their experiences with personal trainers, check their credentials, and ask for a trial session to make sure your personalities match.

To review: make a plan, be consistent, measure and record, and adjust accordingly. Balance necessary hard work in the gym with enjoyable activities and rest. If your motivation is lacking, find a workout partner or hire an expert. Most importantly, stick with it; changes take time and the benefits are too great to quit.

What’s in Your Water?

What’s in Your Water?

“We never know the worth of water ‘til the well is dry.” – Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia

 

Water is an important part of sustaining life on Earth. It’s used by almost every plant and animal species, it’s required for most of the cellular processes in our bodies, and more than a week or so without it and you’ll be dead. While water may be essential for life, what’s in your water is another story. Despite the vast modernization of our culture, we still seem to have trouble making clean, palatable tap water widely available.

Maybe the problem is that it’s free. People are clearly willing to pay more money for “cleaner,” better tasting bottled water, even with the deleterious environmental toll beget by billions of extra pounds of plastic waste. And most homes have some sort of water filter in the fridge, on the faucet, or under the sink. But, is it worth spending the extra money for cleaner, safer, better-tasting water? The short answer: yes. The long answer: keep reading.

With water covering 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, you’d think there’d be plenty of it to go around. The problem is most of that 70 percent is salt water which is of minimal use to us humans (though fish seem to love it). The majority of our tap water comes from a combination of fresh water reservoirs, lakes, and rivers, and reclaimed and remediated waste water. Using a complex system of underground pipes, water treatment facilities and municipal utility companies deliver fresh, clean drinking water to thousands of homes. Well, that’s what they intendto do.

Contamination

Even high-tech filtration systems and advanced chemical treatments can’t eliminate every impurity. And by the time purified water travels from the treatment facility to your cup, it’s definitely gathered many of the contaminants listed below.

Pathogens. Fresh water is a wonderland for microorganisms like bacteria, parasites, and viruses. These charming critters include E. coliCampylobacter, and Giardia lamblia, which are infamous for the cruel things they do to your gastrointestinal tract (diarrhea, vomiting, bloody stool, etc.). Infestation with pathogens is caused by contamination of drinking water with waste water. Most underground systems transport both, and old, leaky pipes and overflows from flooding can cause the two to mix. Treatment facilities do their best to kill any microscopic organisms, but no matter how hard they try some germs will inevitably survive the trip to your faucet.

Disinfectant by-products. One of the ways water reclamation facilities eliminate pathogens is through chlorination. Chlorine is a very good germ killer, but it can react with naturally occurring organic matter in the water to create bromate, chlorate, haloacetic acid, trihalomethanes, and other disinfectant by-products. According to some epidemiological research, these chemicals may be carcinogenic, although very few studies have examined their long-term effects. Regardless, the World Health Organization (WHO) and United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) have set limits for the amount of disinfectant by-products allowed in public drinking water.

Heavy metals. Old, corroded municipal water pipes can cause more problems than germ contamination; they can also leach lead into tap water, and allow arsenic, mercury, and other heavy metals into drinking water from polluted ground water run-off. Both acute and long-term lead exposure can cause significant damage to many of the body’s systems and organs. Children are particularly susceptible to lead’s damaging effects on the nervous system and brain which can lead to severe developmental and cognitive disorders. Both mercury and arsenic are extremely toxic, potentially carcinogenic, and can cause a number of health problems. It’s a good idea to have your water – and yourself – routinely tested for heavy metals.

Other bad stuff. Polluted ground water run-off and waste water contamination are sources of several other impurities including pesticides from farms, Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) from gas stations, perchlorates from agricultural fertilizers, and even trace amounts of prescription drugs from human waste. Any number of these impurities can be found in tap water in homes across the country.

A Solution

The only way to minimize contaminants is to filter water again before it you drink it, freeze it, or cook with it. There are a number of point-of-use filtration options on the market including reverse osmosis, ion exchange, activated carbon, and antimicrobial systems.

Reverse osmosis. In junior high science, you probably learned about osmosis, the movement of water from a region of high concentration to a region of low concentration through a semi-permeable membrane. Reverse osmosis is, simply, the reverse of that process, or the movement of water from low concentration (meaning a high amount of solutes; in this case, impurities) to high concentration (in this case, purified water). Reverse osmosis is great for removing salt, fluoride, calcium, and other mineral deposits in the water, but it’s also very wasteful (for every gallon of purified water, reverse osmosis creates about 5 gallons of waste water).

Ion exchange. This process uses small resin beads – about 1-2 mm in diameter – that freely and easily exchange ions with particles in the water. In ion exchange filters, the resin beads replace heavy metal contaminants in the water with safer ions like sodium or potassium.

Activated carbon. The activated (positively charged) carbon attracts the negatively charged contaminants and can reduce or eliminate bad taste, odor, chlorine, disinfectant by-products, pathogens, pesticides, and many heavy metals. Activated carbon is found in many popular water filters including Pur and Brita. When buying an activated carbon filter, be sure that it’s NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified.

Antimicrobial. Many activated carbon filters contain silver to prevent the growth of bacteria, and ultraviolet light purifiers can be added to most home filtration systems to kill all types of microorganisms.

The WHO and EPA have established upper limits for impurities in drinking water, and municipal water companies are required to notify customers when levels of contaminants exceed these maximums. That doesn’t always mean it happens. The best way to keep you and your family safe is to filter your water yourself before you use it. It’s a good idea to have your water tested for any impurities and pick the best filter based on the results, or install a combination of filters to remove all contamination. You should also have yourself tested for heavy metals and pathogenic organisms to make sure levels in your body are within safe limits.

Vitamin Rich Foods

Vitamins in Everyday Foods

Vitamins Appearing in Everyday Foods

It’s no doubt that vitamins are important for your health. They support immune system function, healthy blood sugar, cognitive function, energy production, and a stable mood. More often than not, the best form of a vitamin doesn’t come from a lab, it comes from nature, and adequate dietary intake of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods is often enough to support basic vitamin requirements.

Below is a list of the most important vitamins for health and their best dietary sources:

Vitamin A

Also known as: retinol; beta-, alpha-, and gamma-carotene; and beta-cryptoxanthin

Benefits: antioxidant; immune system support; eye, skin, and bone health

Best sources: organ meats (liver, giblets, etc.), carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and leafy greens (kale, spinach, collard greens, etc.)

Vitamin B1

Also known as: thiamine

Benefits: energy production, cognitive function, prevents Wernicke’s encephalopathy

Best sources: liver, eggs, beef, poultry, fish, dried beans

Vitamin B2

Also known as: riboflavin

Benefits: energy production, eye and skin health, helps treat neonatal jaundice

Best sources: liver, eggs, beef, poultry, fish, and leafy greens

Vitamin B3

Also known as: niacin

Benefits: energy production, elevates HDL (“good”) cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, helps prevent cardiovascular disease

Best sources: liver, eggs, beef, poultry, fish, peanuts, dried beans

Vitamin B5

Also known as: pantothenic acid

Benefits: energy production, lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides

Best sources: beef, poultry, eggs, mushrooms, yeast, wheat germ, and rice

Vitamin B6

Also known as: pyridoxine

Benefits: energy production, immune system support, neurotransmitter synthesis, helps lower homocysteine, helps prevent cardiovascular disease risk

Best sources: liver, milk, beef, poultry, eggs, and chickpeas

Vitamin B7

Also known as: biotin

Benefits: assists in the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; may help support blood sugar and hair re-growth

Best sources: organ meats, egg yolk, legumes, and nuts

Vitamin B9

Also known as: folic acid or folate

Benefits: prevents neural tube birth defects, may help prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, depression, and rheumatoid arthritis, can benefit cognitive function

Best sources: liver, grains, leafy greens, citrus fruit juices, legumes

Vitamin B12

Also known as: cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin

Benefits: energy production, adequate intake prevents pernicious anemia, fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment

Best sources: organ meats, eggs, beef, poultry, and shellfish

Vitamin C

Also known as: ascorbic acid

Benefits: antioxidant, anti-viral (especially when administered intravenously), prevents scurvy

Best sources: most fruits, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), and red and green bell peppers

Vitamin D

Also known as: ergocalciferol (D2) and cholecalciferol (D3)

Benefits: immune support, assists calcium absorption, may enhance fat loss, can help prevent heart disease and cancer, prevents rickets

Best sources: fatty fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel, catfish), mushrooms, liver, and eggs

Vitamin E

Also known as: tocopherol and tocotrienol

Benefits: antioxidant, nervous system health

Best sources: vegetable and nut oils (corn, safflower, etc.), tomato products (sauce, paste, etc.), spinach, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and nuts

Vitamin K

Also known as: phylloquinone (K1) and menaquinone (K2)

Benefits: assists in blood coagulation and bone metabolism

Best sources: leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, beef, eggs

Sources of Sickness

Three Hidden Sources of Sickness

Our bodies are constantly being bombarded by organisms too tiny to see without a microscope, but nonetheless capable of causing an array of health problems ranging from the common cold to cancer. Three of these hidden sources of sickness – bacteria, fungi, and viruses – are examined below, as are some steps you can take to protect yourself from these harmful microorganisms.

1. Bacteria

Bacteria are ubiquitous; they live in the soil, on kitchen counters, in our gastrointestinal tracts, and some can even survive and thrive in nuclear waste. They play a significant role in the environment through various tasks such as nitrogen fixation, putrefaction, and fermentation. Bacteria also play an important role in your internal environment by aiding in the digestion of food, assimilating nutrients, and supporting your immune system. In fact, optimizing the levels of beneficial bacteria in your gut through the use of a probiotic supplement is one of the best ways to enhance your overall health.

 

Probiotic support for beneficial bacteria

 

Not all bacteria benefit your health, however, and the overgrowth of pathogenic (harmful) bacteria can cause gastrointestinal dysfunction, acute illness, nutrient deficiencies, and even some debilitating diseases. A small sample of pathogenic bacteria and the health problems they can cause include:

Borrelia burgdorferi – Lyme Disease, non-Hodgkin lymphomas

Chlamydia pneumoniae – pneumonia, bronchitis, possibly lung cancer

Helicobacter pylori – chronic gastritis, ulcers, possibly stomach cancer

Streptococcus sanguis – endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart)

Treponema pallidum – syphilis

2. Fungi

Fungi encompass an entire kingdom that includes molds, yeast, mycotoxins, and other microorganisms. Like bacteria, fungi perform many beneficial tasks in the environment and can promote human health directly (e.g., medicinal mushrooms like cordyceps sinensis) and indirectly (e.g., in the production of antibiotics). Some fungi, on the other hand, can pose a serious risk to your health. Molds are particularly dangerous because they are often hidden under carpets, behind walls, or in air ducts and vents. There they produce toxic mold spores and mycotoxins that can cause allergic reactions, respiratory problems, and in high enough quantities even death. The Northwestern United States has seen a recent increase in reported cases of a particularly virulent environmental fungus called Cryptococcus gattii. Infection with this fungus has resulted in an abnormally high death rate.

 

Mold growing on rotten fruit
(source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schimmelmandarijn.jpg)

 

Yeast are another problematic fungi that can wreak havoc on your health, particularly in your gastrointestinal tract. One of the most infamous fungi (and often a scapegoat amongst alternative health professionals) is Candida albicans which can cause a variety of symptoms including gastrointestinal distress, yeast infections, chronic fatigue, and brain fog. Pathogenic fungi can also thrive on your skin’s surface (especially in warm, moist areas) causing conditions like jock itch and athlete’s foot.

3. Viruses

Viruses are among the most abundant organisms on the planet, yet most require a powerful electron microscope to be seen. They also have the unique trait of only being able to survive in other living organisms, and at any given time there are millions of viruses in your body. For the most part, these viruses remain latent, and some – like the herpes virus – can actually enhance your resistance to some strains of pathogenic bacteria. As long as your immune system is functioning properly, these viruses typically don’t pose a threat to your health. Even HIV can remain dormant and asymptomatic for many years. When your immune system is weakened, however, these latent viruses can proliferate and begin exerting their harmful effects. Due to their interaction with the host’s own DNA, viral infections are particularly difficult to eliminate once there is an infection. Some of the pathologies associated with viruses include the following:

  • Avian flu
  • Cancer
  • Chickenpox
  • Chronic fatigue*
  • Common cold
  • Ebola
  • Hepatitis
  • Herpes/cold sores
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Measles
  • Multiple sclerosis*
  • SARS
  • Swine flu/H1N1

 

A virus up close
(source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rotavirus_Reconstruction.jpg)

 

Preventing bacterial, fungal, and viral infections in the first place is the best way to stay healthy. This can be accomplished through the following means:

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Regularly clean and disinfect high traffic areas in your house and anywhere you prepare or serve food
  • Have your house checked for mold at least once a year
  • Practice safe sex
  • Use only sterilized, single-use needles for injections, tattoos, acupuncture, etc.
  • Optimize immune function through immune boosting nutrients, proper diet, exercise, and sleep
  • Optimize levels of good bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract with probiotics and fermented foods
  • Get vaccinated if you’re in a high-risk group (infants, elderly, and the immunocompromised)

 

An excellent source of immune boosting nutrients

 

In the event of an infection, there are several ways to eliminate any harmful microorganisms:

  • Antibiotics and antifungals – these drugs are traditionally the first choice for eliminating acute bacterial and fungal infections, and when used appropriately they can be extremely effective. There are caveats to these drugs, however, as they can cause harmful side effects; they can lead to chronic, drug-resistant bacterial infections that are difficult to eliminate; and they can kill off beneficial bacteria in your gut reducing your body’s natural ability to fight off infections. It is recommended that you supplement with probiotics during and after a course of antibiotics or antifungals.
  • Antivirals – at this time, antivirals can only help with a limited number of virus-based conditions (HIV, herpes, hepatitis, and influenza), and like antibiotics and antifungals they can lead to drug-resistant strains. New classes of antivirals are in development that, instead of directly attacking the virus, provoke the body’s immune system to attack the virus thus eliminating drug resistance altogether.
  • Supplements and nutrient IVs – HPS Gut Health Cleanse and HPS Yeast Health Cleanse contain ingredients that are safe, natural, and effective alternatives to antibiotics and antifungals. These products can kill off numerous microbial strains without harmful side effects, drug-resistance, or the killing of beneficial bacteria. There are also nutrients like vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide that when administered intravenously can eliminate bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses.

Before beginning any antimicrobial regimen, consult with your health care provider to determine what drugs and supplements are the most appropriate for your condition.

An important part of complementary medicine includes testing for bacterial, fungal, and viral infections and instituting safe and effective ways to eliminate any infections or imbalances. Removing these microscopic organisms from your house and from your body can have an enormous positive impact on your health and help keep you and your family safe.

*Viral cause is still under investigation

Unhealthy lifestyles

This Just In: Unhealthy lifestyles are unhealthy

Warning: A lack of exercise can lead to obesity.

STOP: That cheesecake could cause diabetes, especially if you eat the entire thing.

Precaucion: Pan frito no es comida saludable.

Okay, we’re just making sure you have been properly warned. We don’t want to get sued because we didn’t do our due diligence to prevent you from becoming overweight, getting diabetes, or dieing from heart disease.

This may come off as a bit smartass-ish, but considering some of the ridiculous lawsuits that have been filed in this country, one can’t be too diligent with the warnings. You probably remember the old lady who sued McDonald’s for not warning her that her coffee would be hot. No kidding. More recently, baseball bat manufacturer Louisville Slugger was successfully sued in the death of an 18 year old baseball player. The player died from injuries he sustained after being hit by a baseball. He didn’t get hit by the bat, he got hit by a baseball hit off of the bat. The jury claimed that Louisville Slugger didn’t provide proper warning that an aluminum bat could be dangerous.

By no means are we trying to make light of or dismiss the seriousness of these situations, it’s just that at some point you have to bear the burden of responsibility. You have to realize that there is some risk involved in playing a sport where a hard ball is flying through the air at speeds over 90 mph. You have to realize that when you order hot coffee it’s going to be hot, and you should take the necessary precautions so that you don’t get burned. You have to realize that if you eat McDonald’s or other garbage foods everyday and don’t exercise you’re going to eventually become overweight, get diabetes, or die from heart disease.

Most people want to live a long, healthy life, but aren’t willing to make the changes necessary to do so. They aren’t willing to eat more nutritious foods or to set aside time everyday in their “busy” schedules to exercise. They aren’t willing to pay for “expensive” testing to find out why they feel like crap all the time. Most people just keep doing the same things and expect different results.

At some point you have to stop the insanity and consider the costs of your actions. You have to stop and ask yourself, “Self, is what I’m doing leading me to where I want to go?” Part of being a responsible adult means answering that question honestly. It also means being aware of the consequences of your decisions, because the choices you make in life don’t always come with a warning.

This is Your Brain on Smart Drugs

The class of supplements and pharmaceuticals known as nootropics (pronounced NEW-tropics), or smart drugs, has gained tremendous popularity over the past several years. Their positive effects on brain health and mental performance have made them useful for enhancing athletic and scholastic performance, reversing the cognitive decline associated with aging, and even preventing and treating conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Besides benefiting the brain, most nootropics also promote overall health through antioxidant activity, anti-inflammation and, improved energy production. Three of these smart drugs – acetyl-L-carnitine, curcumin, and idebenone – represent three distinct ways this class of nutrients can help maximize mental performance and improve overall health.

Acetyl-L-carnitine

Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is produced by the body and is present in many foods, especially red meat and dairy. Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is essentially the same thing as carnitine except for the addition of an acetyl functional group to enhance absorption. One of the key ways ALC improves cognitive function is by increasing the brain’s utilization of lipids and ketones as energy sources. Ordinarily the brain uses glucose (sugar) for energy. In the presence of reduced glucose levels – be it through a reduced carbohydrate diet or some disease process – cognitive function decreases because the brain has a difficult time using non-glucose sources for energy. By increasing the brain’s use of fats and ketones, ALC can help avoid this decline in cognitive function.

Another way ALC helps maintain a healthy brain is by protecting neurons, the basic functional unit of the brain and nervous system. In order to learn, remember, and recall information, we need a healthy network of neurons. Aging and certain diseases can degrade this neural network and thus lead to difficulties with ordinary mental activities (e.g., remembering where you put your keys, knowing what day – or month – it is, etc.). Combine this with ALC’s ability to prevent changes in the brain’s dopamine system, and you have a recipe for possibly treating and even preventing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

Curcumin

Curcumin has quickly become one of the most popular dietary supplements on the market because of its numerous potential health benefits. It is derived from the East Indian spice turmeric and is what gives the spice its distinct yellow color. It is purported that turmeric has been used successfully in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments.

 

Curcumin gives turmeric its distinct yellow color
(source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kurkumina.jpg)

 

Curcumin’s role in cognitive enhancement is beget by its powerful antioxidant activity. In particular, curcumin has been shown to reduce decreases in cognitive function and memory deficits due to stress by protecting neurons in the brain (specifically in the hippocampus) from the toxicity of certain stress hormones. Like ALC, curcumin can potentially protect against Alzheimer’s disease by preventing neurotoxicity of the cells in the brain that produce dopamine, one the main culprits for the onset of the disease. Another potential culprit for both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease is a build up of toxic metals in the brain, particularly aluminum. Curcumin is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and neutralizing these metals to prevent neurotoxicity and subsequent alterations in the brain’s structure and function.

Idebenone

You’ve probably heard of ALC and curcumin, but chances are you haven’t heard of idebenone. You also might not have heard of some of the diseases it helps treat, like Leigh syndrome and Friedreich’s ataxia. That doesn’t diminish its effectiveness, though, and idebenone boasts some impressive benefits to neurological health and disease prevention.

Idebenone is beneficial to brain health and cognitive function through a variety of mechanisms. It is neuroprotective in that it helps prevent brain cells from oxidative damage, and like curcumin it protects neurons in the hippocampus from toxicity. It also protects mitochondrial function which leads to increased energy utilization by the brain (and thus a greater rate of information processing). Finally, idebenone increases serotonin production (an important chemical for memory, learning, and mood stabilization) and is one of only a few nootropics that promotes information transfer across the corpus callosum, the membrane separating the right and left hemispheres of the brain. This can help increase creativity and may also benefit people with dyslexia.

The Terms of Alternative Medicine

Definitions of Alternative Medicine: Complementary, Integrative, Holistic, Naturopathic, and Homeopathy

When researching alternative medicine, there are a number of different terms you might see or hear. Some of these terms, such as naturopathic treatment, holistic practitioner, or integrative medicine, might be unfamiliar. We’ll try to sort things out for you and give you an idea of the concepts that these terms refer to as well as their role in alternative medicine.

Complementary and alternative medicine

Also known as CAM. These terms are generally used together to define any type of alternative medicine or non-conventional method of treatment. Complementary medicine alone can include alternative practices that are used along with conventional medicine. For example, the use of electro-acupuncture in which electrical stimulation is added to acupuncture needles. Alternative medicine includes treatment methods used instead of conventional medicine, such as chiropractic medicine, nutritional supplementation, and diet-based therapy.

Complementary and alternative medicine is sometimes further subdivided into five groups: whole medical systems, mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices, and energy medicine.

  • Whole medical systems encompass multiple complementary and alternative medicine groups and include practices like homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicine
  • Mind-body medicine incorporates the mind, body, and spirit and includes meditation, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, etc.
  • Biologically based practice is the use of therapeutic substances found in nature such as herbs, dietary supplements, and even foods
  • Manipulative and body-based practices including chiropractic and osteopathic treatments like spinal manipulation and massage
  • Energy medicine deals with energy fields and electromagnetism

Integrative medicine

Integrative medicine is similar to complementary medicine in that it combines alternative and conventional therapies, but differs in that it involves only procedures that have been scientifically investigated and for which there is clinical evidence of their effectiveness. One of the major caveats of alternative medicine is that many of the treatment methods are not backed by scientific support; however, this often has more to do with a lack of quality clinical investigations than ineffective treatment protocols. In other words, there isn’t any scientific support because (a) no one has done the research or (b) the existing research is of poor quality. Integrative medicine also emphasizes prevention, lifestyle changes, and the patient-doctor relationship.

Holistic medicine

Holistic medicine treats the patient as a whole and not the sum of individual parts or systems.  It not only looks at the physical aspects of a person’s illness, but the nutritional, environmental, emotional, spiritual, social, and lifestyle issues as well. Holistic alternative medicine combines an holistic approach with alternative treatment methods. Mind-body medicine – meditation, progressive relaxation, etc. – is an example of holistic alternative medicine.

Naturopathic medicine

Also referred to as naturopathy or natural medicine, naturopathic medicine uses natural remedies and relies on the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Naturopathic treatments are a form of holistic alternative medicine and include such therapeutic approaches as diet and lifestyle changes, acupuncture, prolotherapy, and platelet rich plasma therapy.

Homeopathic medicine

Homeopathy is a type of alternative medicine treatment founded on the idea that an illness can be treated with a very tiny dose of a drug or extract that causes the same symptoms as the illness itself.  According to homeopathic practitioners, by administering highly diluted amounts of the drug, the body’s immune system is stimulated to fight the illness.

Human Health Specialists is proficient in all types of complementary and alternative medicine from dietary supplements and diet-based treatments to acupuncture and spinal manipulation. We also often recommend conventional therapies like prescription medications and therapeutic ultrasound. While we are typically considered a complementary or integrative medicine clinic, we don’t limit ourselves to one scope of treatment; rather, we use whatever therapies are necessary to get results for our patients. To get a better understanding of how Human Health Specialists can assist you, contact us for a consultation.

The Bountiful Benefits of Blueberries

Vaccinium cyanococcus, also known as the common blueberry, is regularly touted as a “superfood,” a “miracle fruit,” and “very tasty.” Blueberries have earned such high praise; their list of health benefits ranges from preventing cancer to improving cognitive function, and their combination of sweet and tart makes them a true delicacy. These minuscule berries and their minuscule-er parts offer colossal health benefits that make them a quintessential health food and a daily dietary necessity.

 

Fresh blueberries
(source: brx0 www.flickr.com/photos/atul666/257551906/)

Benefits

As far back as the 1950s, blueberries were being extolled for treating common ailments like diarrhea, pinwork infections, and infantile dyspepsia. Today, they’re more famous for their antioxidant potential – beget by their rich anthocyanin and phenol content – which is the reason for so many of their incredible health benefits. Some of these benefits include the following:

• Prevent cancer
• Prevent cognitive decline associated with aging and various diseases
• Prevent bone loss
• Lower blood pressure
• Reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes
• Help prevent urinary tract infections
• Reduce inflammation
• Reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress

It’s not just the antioxidants in blueberries that promote optimal health (they just happen to get all the attention). Blueberries also contain a whole bunch of vitamins and minerals, are a good source of fiber, and are an excellent source of low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates. One hundred grams of fresh blueberries (~2/3 C) contains 2.4 grams of fiber, 77 milligrams of potassium, 14.5 grams of carbohydrates and only 57 calories. This amount of berries also has an oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC, a higher-is-better measure of free radical scavenging power) of 6552; that’s about 1500 and 3000 points higher than the same amount of raspberries and strawberries, respectively.

Processing and presentation

Besides being healthy, blueberries are also versatile. They come in forms ranging from fresh and frozen to canned, jammed, jellied and juiced. But do all of these various forms of blueberry goodness offer the same great health benefits? The short answer is no. Each of these methods does preserve the blueberry’s antioxidant content, but other factors must also be considered including shelf life, fiber content, and the addition of other ingredients (especially milk* and sugar). The following chart lists the pros and cons of the various blueberry processing methods and gives each an overall grade.

 

Muffins are a popular way to enjoy the benefits of blueberries.
(source: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blueberry_muffins.jpg)

 

Type Pros Cons Grade
Frozen • High antioxidant and nutrient content
• Fiber is preserved
• Long shelf life
• Antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content may still be reduced over time A
Fresh • High antioxidant and nutrient content
• Fiber is preserved
• Pesticides can be washed off
• Perishable
• Seasonal
• Expensive
A
Cooked • Antioxidant content is preserved
• Most vitamins and minerals are preserved
• Fiber is preserved
• Pesticides can be washed off before cooking
• Antiproliferative** activity is reduced (depending on the degree of heat used)
• Some vitamins and minerals may be destroyed
• Additional calories may be necessary depending on use
B
Dried • Antioxidant content is preserved
• Some vitamins and minerals may be concentrated
• Fiber is preserved
• Long shelf life
• Antiproliferative activity is reduced (varies according to drying method)
• Pesticides are concentrated
• Sugar content is concentrated
• Some vitamins and minerals may be destroyed
• Water content is lost
C
Canned • Antioxidant content is preserved
• Most vitamins and minerals are preserved
• Fiber is preserved
• Antiproliferative activity is reduced
• Pesticides may not be removed
• Some vitamins and minerals may be destroyed
• Extra sugar is usually added
• Additional calories are necessary for use in pies and pastries
C
Juice • Antioxidant content is preserved and extra may be added
• Most vitamins and minerals are preserved and extra may be added
• Antiproliferative activity is reduced
• Pesticides may not be removed
• Fiber is lost
• Some vitamins and minerals may be destroyed
• Sugar content is concentrated and extra may be added
D
Jam/jelly/spread • Antioxidant content is preserved
• Most vitamins and minerals are preserved
• Antiproliferative activity is reduced
• Pesticides may not be removed
• Fiber is lost
• Some vitamins and minerals may be destroyed
• Sugar content is concentrated and extra may be added
D
Beer • Gets you drunk • Gets you drunk n/a

 

Conclusion

Blueberries offer tremendous health benefits in a small, tasty package. You should be eating at least a cup of them (or at least some type of berry) everyday. Preferably, they would be of the fresh or frozen variety, but other forms still contain many health promoting ingredients and can be added to many dishes and desserts to improve their nutrient content.

*Combining blueberries with dairy, especially whole milk, reduces their antioxidant capacity.

**Antiproliferative in this case refers to inhibiting the growth of cancer cells.

The Amazing Amino Acids

People almost always associate amino acids with protein and muscle building. While it is true that they are the foundation of both, their physiological roles extend far beyond building big guns. Amino acids are also the precursors of neurotransmitters, chemical messengers essential for movement, cognition, energy, and mood, and they play an important role in immune system function, athletic performance, and learning and memorizing information. Below, we’ve listed some common health problems and the appropriate amino acids that can provide some benefit.

Problem: Acute or chronic fatigue leading to poor quality of life, poor workouts, or poor athletic performance.

Beneficial aminos:

L-tyrosine – Tyrosine is a precursor to dopamine, which is the precursor to epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Epinephrine and norepinephrine are the chemicals in your body largely responsible for energy production. In many cases of fatigue, dopamine, epinephrine, and/or norepinephrine may be depleted; supplemental L-tyrosine – or the better absorbed N-acetyl-L-tyrosine – can help replenish these neurotransmitters and restore energy levels.

DL-phenylalanine – Phenylalanine is a precursor to tyrosine, so it has the same physiological benefits as tyrosine (increases dopamine). The main difference between the two lies in tolerability. Some people who don’t respond to tyrosine or have adverse effects from it may do well with phenylalanine, and vice-versa. As well, phenylketonurics must avoid all sources of phenylalanine, so L-tyrosine would be the better option for them. For those that can use phenylalanine, we recommend DL-phenylalanine.

Beta alanine – Beta alanine has become one of the most popular sports supplements in the world because of its ability to delay fatigue during exercise. It works by increasing the amount of carnosine which slows the accumulation of fatigue-inducing hydrogen ions. Oddly, supplemental carnosine doesn’t provide the same benefit because beta-alanine limits the production of carnosine in the body, so more beta-alanine is needed to allow for more carnosine to be produced. These benefits may not transfer outside of high intensity workouts, but beta-alanine is safe, well tolerated, and inexpensive so it may be worth a shot.

Carnitine – Carnitine (as L-carnitine-L-tartrate or acetyl-L-carnitine) may improve energy in people with chronic fatigue, metabolic disorders, and cancer patients going through chemotherapy. Glycine-propionyl-L-carnitine, a form of carnitine combined with the amino acid glycine, can enhance circulation which may improve energy and exercise performance in people with circulatory conditions such as peripheral arterial disease or those with cardiovascular disease.

Problem: Depression, anxiety, nervousness.

Beneficial aminos:

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – Increasing GABA can have relaxing, anti-anxiety, and mood stabilizing effects. Many natural mood and sleep support products affect the GABA system, and several herbal supplements can increase GABA including valerian, lemon balm, skullcap, and kava. Prescription drugs like benzodiazepines and barbituates also work via their effects on GABA, though we rarely recommend them.

L-theanine – The amino acid theanine can help induce relaxation and help with sleep by reducing the negative effects of stress. It can also benefit mood and cognitive function by increasing levels of GABA and dopamine. Theanine is found naturally in green tea.

Taurine – Taurine can reduce anxiety through its effects on GABA receptors, and it is included in many popular energy drinks for its ability to soften the stimulating effects of caffeine.

L-lysine – Lysine can help reduce anxiety by increasing levels of serotonin. Deficiencies of serotonin are associated with depression.

L-tryptophan – Tryoptophan is a precursor to serotonin, so increasing levels of tryptophan can increase serotonin. Most supplements for mood support use 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP).

Problem: Sick, poor immune function.

Beneficial aminos:

N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) – NAC is the most bioavailable precursor to glutathione, one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants. Glutathione is essential for proper immune system function and enhances the effects of lymphocytes. Taking glutathione orally is not effective at increasing glutathione levels in the body, so N-acetyl-cysteine or intravenous glutathione administration are the best options.

L-glutamine – Glutamine supports immunity through several mechanisms including increasing levels of immune system cells. Glutamine also plays an important role in the maintenance of intestinal structure and function which is vital to proper immune system function.

Selenomethionine – Selenomethionine provides a highly absorbable source of selenium. A selenium deficiency can increase the risk of viral infections like influenza.

L-lysine + L-arginine – Lysine and arginine in combination can support immune function by increasing the microbe-destructive potential of neutrophils.

Problem: Small, scrawny, whimpy.

Beneficial aminos:

As we already mentioned, most people associate amino acids with protein and muscle. In order to build big biceps, adequate amino acid intake is necessary, but some are more beneficial than others.

L-leucine – Leucine is the predominant amino acid involved in stimulating protein synthesis. We recommend consuming leucine along with the rest of the essential amino acids or with a complete protein source (like whey).

Creatine – Creatine is technically not an amino acid, but it is made from amino acids (arginine, glycine, and methionine). It is also cheap, well tolerated, and effective at increasing strength which means more weight lifted and more muscle growth. It is also gaining some notoriety for its potential therapeutic effects against neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases like ALS, Parkinson’s disease, and muscular dystrophy.

D-aspartic acid – D-aspartic acid increases luteinizing hormone which can optimize levels of other hormones. Optimizing hormone levels creates an environment that promotes muscle growth. D-aspartic acid also has positive effects on energy and cognitive function which can help you through the most intense workouts.

Amino acids perform a wide range of important physiological functions. Supplementing with the appropriate ones can often provide therapeutic effects, and they are widely available, well tolerated, and often inexpensive.

Supplement Strategy

Acetyl-L-carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) is an amino acid with numerous benefits including improved memory, more energy, and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

1 capsule contains:

Acetyl-L-carnitine – 500 mg

aGPC + PS

Alpha-GPC (aGPC) and phosphatidylserine (PS) improve cognitive function, especially as you age.

1 capsule contains:

Alphaglycerophosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC) – 600 mg

Phosphatidylserine – 100 mg

Alpha Lipoic Acid

Alpha lipoic acid (ALA) is a powerful antioxidant that can also help improve insulin sensitivity and slow age-related memory loss.

1 capsule contains:

Alpha lipoic acid – 100 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 8 mg

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb which means it can help improve the stress response including less cortisol and lower blood pressure.

1 capsule contains:

Ashwagandha extract (standardized to contain 2.5% withanolides) – 500 mg

B-complex

The B vitamins play important roles in brain function, energy production, growth and development, and much more.

1 capsule contains:

Thiamin (as thiamin HCl) (B1) – 100 mg
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 5 mg
Niacin (as niacinamide) (B3) – 100 mg
Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxine HCl) – 10 mg
Folate (as Metafolin®, L-5-MTHF) (B9) – 400 mcg
Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) – 400 mcg
Biotin – 400 mcg
Pantothenic acid (as calcium pantothenate) (B5) – 100 mg
Riboflavin 5′ phosphate (activated B2) – 10 mg
Pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (activated B6) – 10 mg
Inositol hexaniacinate (no-flush niacin) – 10 mg
Ascorbyl palmitate (fat-soluble vitamin C) – 16 mg

BCM-95

BCM-95 is a highly bioavailable turmeric extract standardized for curcumin/curcuminoids. Curcumin is a power anti-inflammatory with anti-cancer benefits.

1 capsule contains:

BCM-95® curcumin (standardized to contain 95% total curcuminoids) – 400 mg

Berberine

Berberine is a natural antibiotic that is effect against fungi, parasites, bacteria, and other types of pathogenic infections.

1 capsule contains:

Berberine HCl – 500 mg
Alpha lipoic acid – 50 mg
Grape Seed extract – 50 mg

Bioflavonoids

The terms flavonoid and bioflavonoid are interchangeable. Flavonoids are antioxidants derived from plants.

1 tablet contains:

Citrus Bioflavonoids – 500 mg
Orange Bioflavonoids – 200 mg
Lemon Bioflavonoids – 200 mg
Quercetin – 50 mg
Rutin – 50 mg

Biotin

Biotin is one of the B vitamins (B7). It has many important metabolic functions especially strengthening hair and nails.

1 capsule contains:

Biotin – 8 mg

Blueberry & Resveratrol

Resveratrol is an antioxidant found in red grapes and thus red wine. It is associated with anti-aging and also has cardiovascular and neurological benefits. Pterostilbene is related to resveratrol and is also found in red grapes and blueberries. It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and may help prevent cancer.

2 capsules contain:

Resveratrol (Standardized to contain 98% Trans-Resveratrol) – 250 mg
Pterostilbene – 50 mg
AuroraBlue® (Organically Grown Alaskan Wild Crafted Blueberry) – 50 mg

Boswellia serrata

Boswellia serrata is an impressive anti-inflammatory that can improve cognitive function and help relieve joint pain.

1 capsule contains:

Boswellia serrata extract (standardized to contain 20% 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-ß-boswellic acid (AKBA)) – 100 mg

Caprylic acid

Caprylic acid is a fatty acid with antimicrobial properties.

1 capsule contains:

Magnesium (as magnesium caprylate) – 20 mg

Calcium (as calcium caprylate) – 45 mg

Total caprylic acid – 500mg

Cat’s Claw

Cat’s claw is an anti-inflammatory herb that is beneficial for osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.

1 capsule contains:

Cat’s claw (standardized to contain 3% oxindole alkaloids) – 450 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

Cholicalciferol

Cholicalciferol is vitamin D3. It’s required for absorption of calcium and supports bone health, brain health, immune function, and much more.

1 capsule contains:

Cholicalciferol (vitamin D3) – 400 IU

Chromium picolinate

Chromium is a mineral that can improve insulin sensitivity.

1 capsule contains:

Chromium picolinate – 200 mcg

Coenzyme A precursor (pantethine)

Pantethine is an easily absorbed form of vitamin B5. It is a precursor to coenzyme A and plays an important role in fatty acid oxidation.

1 softgel contains:

Pantesin(r) Pantethine – 300 mg

Cognitive aminos

The amino acids tyrosine, acetyl-L-carnitine, taurine, and DL-phenylalanine are precursors to neurotransmitters involved in memory, focus, mood, and other areas of cognitive health.

2 softgels contain:

DL-phenylalanine – 250 mg
Taurine – 250 mg

L-tyrosine – 250 mg

Acetyl-L-carnitine – 250 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

Commiphora mukul (guggul extract)

Commiphora mukul extract contains guggulsterones which can assist in lowering elevated lipids and support cardiovascular health.

1 capsule contains:

Guggul extract (standardized to contain 2.5% guggulsterones) – 500 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 25 mg

Copper glycinate

Copper is an essential trace mineral necessary for proper health. Copper glycinate is copper bound to the amino acid glycine which enhances copper’s absorption.

1 capsule contains:

Copper glycinate – 2 mg

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is an important hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is an intermediate in the body’s production of estrogens and androgens, and is important for brain function, immune system function, and metabolism.

1 capsule contains:

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) – 25 mg

Diindolylmethane (DIM)

Diindolylmethane naturally occurs in small amounts in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, etc.). DIM can metabolize harmful estrogens into less harmful forms which may play an important role in preventing estrogen-related cancers.

1 capsule contains:

Diindolylmethane (DIM) – 100 mg

DL-phenylalanine (free form)

DL-phenylalanine is an amino acid precursor to dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. It can improve mood and cognitive function.

1 capsule contains:

DL-phenylalanine (free form) – 500 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

Elderberry

Elderberry may inhibit the influenza virus and help alleviate allergies.

1 capsule contains:

European elder (elderberry) extract (fruit) – 500 mg

Essential amino acids

The essential amino acids are the amino acids that the body can not synthesize on its own and must be supplied through diet or supplementation.

1 capsule contains:

L-histidine (free-form) – 50 mg
L-isoleucine (free-form) – 79 mg
L-leucine (free-form) – 138 mg
L-lysine (HCl) – 150 mg
L-methionine (free-form) – 77 mg
L-phenylalanine (free-form) – 58 mg
L-threonine (free-form) – 68 mg
L-valine (free-form) – 75 mg
Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 9 mg

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are antioxidants derived from plants.

1 capsule contains:

Broccoli extract (standardized to contain 4% glucosinolates) – 400 mg
Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) – 80 mg
Watercress extract – 50 mg
Rosemary extract (standardized to contain 20% diterpenic compounds) – 50 mg
Cat’s Claw extract – 50 mg
Apigenin – 25 mg
Cabbage extract – 25 mg
Diindolylmethane (DIM) – 14 mg

Flax/borage oil

Flax and borage are vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids, especially alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma linolenic acid (GLA).

1 softgel contains:

Vitamin E (as d-alpha-tocopherol succinate) – 10 i.u.
Flax seed oil – 500 mg
Borage seed oil – 100 mg

provides:

Alpha linolenic acid (ALA) – 225-250 mg

Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) – 18-22 mg

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)

GABA is an amino acid that supports relaxation, reduces anxiety, and can improve sleep.

1 capsule contains:

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) – 700 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

Grape seed Extract

Grape seed extract is a source of the antioxidant polyphenols proanthocyanidins.

1 capsule contains:

Oligomeric proanthocyanidins (from grape seed extract) – 100 mg

Green tea extract (94% EGCG)

Green tea extract contains antioxidant catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) that can increase energy, improve cognitive function, and enhance fat loss.

1 capsule contains:

Green tea extract (leaf) (stanadardized to contain 94% EGCG) – 150 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

HyperImmune Egg i26(r)

Each capsule contains powdered egg with immune components. HyperImmune Egg improves immune system function.

IgG (colostrum)

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) from colostrum improves immune system function.

1 capsule contains:

Colostrum (30% immunoglobulin) – 500 mg

Iron

Iron is an essential trace mineral.

1 capsule contains:

Iron (as Ferrochel® ferrous bisglycinate chelate) – 27 mg

K complex

The K vitamins (K1 and K2) are involved in bone health and blood coagulation.

1 capsule contains:

vitamin D (as cholecalciferol)(D3) – 200 i.u.
vitamin K1 – 500 mcg
vitamin K2 (menaquinone-4) – 1,000 mcg
vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) – 45 mcg

L-arginine

Arginine is an amino acid that your body cannot produce. It supplies sulfur and can prevent disorders of the hair, skin and nails. Studies have shown that is has improved immune responses to bacteria, viruses & tumor cells; promotes wound healing and regeneration of the liver; causes the release of growth hormones; considered crucial for optimal muscle growth and tissue repair.

1 capsule contains:

L-arginine – 750 mg

L-asparagine

Asparagine is an amino acid that your body can produce. It is required by the nervous system to maintain equilibrium and is also required for amino acid transformation from one form to the other which is achieved in the liver.

1 capsule contains:

L-asparagine – 500 mg

L-carnitine (free form)

L-Carnitine is synthesized from the essential amino acids lysine and methionine, but enough vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B6 (pyridoxine) must be available. It is used for long-chain fatty acid transport and is required for entry of these long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria of the cell, as well as for the removal of short-chain organic acids from the mitochondria. It is therefore important for the energy supply within the cell, as well as muscles, assists in preventing fatty build-up in areas such as the heart, liver, and skeletal muscles. It may also reduce the risk of poor fat metabolism in diabetes, alcohol-induced fatty liver as well as the risk of heart problems. Carnitine has also been shown to improve the antioxidant effect of vitamin C as well as E. Primarily, carnitine deficiency occurs because of a genetic defect preventing carnitine transport and a deficiency may result in confusion, heart pain, muscular weakness as well as obesity. Carnitine may have functions in cellular metabolism such as plasma membrane fatty acid remodeling, gene regulation and modulation of cytokine concentrations in experimental sepsis and cancer cachexia.

1 capsule contains:

L-carnitine (from 500 mg of L-carnitine-L-tartrate) – 340 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 12 mg

L-glutamine

Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that is converted to glutamic acid in the brain and increases the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is required for brain functioning and mental activity. It is used in skeletal muscle for the synthesis of muscle proteins and used for the treatment of wasting muscles after illness or post-operative care. It further is used in the body to balance the acid/alkaline level and is also the basis or building blocks of RNA and DNA. It serves as a source of fuel for cells lining the intestines and it is also used by white blood cells and is important for immune function. Deficiency of this nutrient is rare, since it can be manufactured by the body but deficiencies can develop during periods of fasting, starvation, strict dieting, cirrhosis, and weight loss associated with AIDS and cancer. People suffering from arthritis, fibrosis, connective tissue disease, peptic ulcers, ulcerative colitis, as well as epilepsy, fatigue, impotence and senility may find benefit from an increase of this nutrient, as well as people busy with alcohol abuse withdrawal and patients living with HIV. In animal research, glutamine has anti-inflammatory effects. Glutamine also decreases the craving for sweets and sugar, which is beneficial to people wishing to lose weight.

1 capsule contains:

L-glutamine (free form) – 1000 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

L-glycine

Glycine is an amino acid that your body can produce. Helps trigger the release of oxygen to the energy requiring cell-making process; Important in the manufacturing of hormones responsible for a strong immune system.

1 capsule contains:

L-glycine – 500 mg

L-lysine HCl

Lysine is an amino acid that your body cannot produce. It insures the adequate absorption of calcium; helps form collagen (which makes up bone cartilage & connective tissues); aids in the production of antibodies, hormones & enzymes. Recent studies have shown that Lysine may be effective against herpes by improving the balance of nutrients that reduce viral growth. A deficiency may result in tiredness, inability to concentrate, irritability, bloodshot eyes, retarded growth, hair loss anemia & reproductive problems.

1 capsule contains:

L-lysine HCl – 500 mg

L-serine

Serine is an amino acid that your body can produce. A storage source of glucose by the liver and muscles; helps strengthen the immune system by providing antibodies; synthesizes fatty acid sheath around nerve fibers.

1 capsule contains:

L-serine – 500 mg

L-theanine

Theanine is an amino acid found in high amounts in green tea. It has relaxation and anti-anxiety benefits.

1 capsule contains:

L-theanine (Suntheanine®) – 200 mg

L-tyrosine

Tyrosine is an amino acid that your body can produce. Transmits nerve impulses to the brain; helps overcome depression; Improves memory; increases mental alertness; promotes the healthy functioning of the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands.

1 capsule contains:

L-tyrosine – 600 mg

Maca extract (4:1)

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is an herbal aphrodisiac that can also enhance mood and energy.

1 capsule contains:

Maca extract (4:1) – 525 mg

Magnesium L-threonate

Magnesium L-threonate is form of the mineral magnesium that enhances cognitive function.

3 capsule contains:

Magnesium (from 2000 mg Magtein™ magnesium L-threonate) – 144 mg

Manganese

Manganese is an essential trace mineral needed for enzyme structure.

1 capsule contains:

Manganese (as manganese aspartate and manganese citrate) – 8 mg

MicroLactin® milk protein

MicroLactin is whey protein with immunoglobulins.

2 capsules contain:

MicroLactin® milk protein concentrate – 1000 mg

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) – 6 mg

Mixed tocopherols

Tocopherols are a form of vitamin E.

1 capsule contains:

Vitamin E (as natural d-alpha tocopherol) – 268 mg (400 iu)

Other tocopherols – 67 mg

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is necessary for the function of the kidneys and liver, essential for the metabolism of nitrogen, involved in enzymatic functions, supports the storage of iron and other cellular functions such as growth.

1 tablet contains:

Molybdenum (bis-glycinate) – 250 mcg

Monolaurin

Monolaurin is a fatty acid found in coconut oil and human breast milk that has antimicrobial properties.

1 capsule contains:

Monolaurin – 300 mg

Inosine – 7.5 mg

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)

A non-essential amino acid; one of the few amino acids that contains sulfur which allows cysteine to bond in a special way and maintain the structure of proteins in the body; as a component of glutathione, cysteine provides glutathione with its biological potency and is a powerful antioxidant (but can be oxidized with itself to form cysteine); detoxification agent; component of some prostaglandins; an amino acid transporter across membranes; the formation of cysteine from homocysteine (another sulfur-containing amino acid) is one pathway to reduce an elevated homocysteine status (elevated homocysteine is toxic to arteries, thrombogenic, may promote oxidation of blood lipids, and moderate hyperhomocysteinemia is an important independent risk factor for premature vascular disease); produces the amino acid taurine which is used in the formation of bile and nerve function; occasionally converted into glucose and used as a source of energy; strengthens the protective lining of the stomach and intestines which may help prevent damage caused by aspirin and similar drugs; and plays an important role in the communication between immune system cells.

1 capsule contains:

N-acetyl cysteine – 600 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 5 mg

Nattokinase (Gluten free)

Nattokinase has blood thinning properties that can help prevent cardiovascular disease.

1 capsule contains:

Nattokinase – 100 mg

Nettle root extract

Saw palmetto extract, pumpkin seed oil, pygeum extract, and nettle root extract contribute to prostate health and can help treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

1 capsule contains:

Rye saw palmetto extract (fruit) (standardized to contain 85% total fatty acids) – 160 mg

Pumpkin seed oil – 320 mg

Pygeum extract – 20 mg

Nettle root extract – 200 mg

Nutrient 950 w/NAC

Nutrient 950 is a high quality multivitamin and multimineral with N-acetyl-cysteine.

Panax ginseng extract (root)

Panax ginseng (or Asian ginseng) is an adaptogenic herb that helps modulate the stress response. Panax ginseng extracts standardized for ginsenosides can improve energy, increase cognitive function, and support healthy blood sugar levels.

1 capsule contains:

Panax ginseng (standardized to contain 15% total ginsenosides) – 250 mg

Pycnogenol

Pycnogenol is an antioxidant that supports heart, skin, brain, and joint health.

1 capsule contains:

Pycnogenol – 100 mg

Rhodiola rosea

Rhiodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb that modulates the stress response. It supports healthy energy levels.

1 capsule contains:

Rhodiola rosea extract  (standardized to contain 3% total rosavins and min. 1% salidrosides) – 100 mg

Selenomethionine

Selenomethionine is an amino acid that contains the mineral selenium. Selenium can support immune system function.

1 capsule contains:

Selenium (as selenomethionine) – 200 mcg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 2 mg

Sinatrol

Sinatrol is designed to promote healthy gut flora and optimal immune system function.

3 capsules contain:

N-acetyl cysteine – 750 mg

Andrographis paniculata extract  (standardized to contain 30% andrographolides) – 300 mg

Thyme herb extract (5:1) – 300 mg

Turmeric root extract (standardized to contain 95% curcumin) – 300 mg

Eleuthero root extract (standardized to contain .8% eleutherosides) – 250 mg

Bromelain (2400 GDU/g) – 200 mg

Berberine sulfate hydrate – 100 mg

Licorice root extract (standardized to contain 12% glycyrrhizin complex) – 100 mg

Succinic Acid

Succinate, or succinic acid, is used to treat the symptoms of menopause.

1 capsule contains:

Succinic acid (from 250 mg DMSA) – 162 mg

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that supports cardiovascular function, memory, and muscle.

1 capsule contains:

Taurine – 1000 mg

Vitamin C (as ascorbyl palmitate) – 10 mg

Tocomin® SupraBio

Vitamin E is an antioxidant.

1 softgel contains:

Vitamin E – 20 IU

Tocomin® SupraBioTM (providing a minimum 50 mg tocotrienols) – 263 mg

Ubiquinol CoQ10

Ubiquinol is the most bioavailable form of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). CoQ10 supports cardiovascular health, lowers high  blood pressure, and reduces fatigue.

1 softgel contains:

Ubiquinol (as Kaneka QH® reduced form of CoQ10) – 100 mg

Vanadium Krebs

Vanadium is a mineral useful in treating diabetes and blood sugar disorders.

1 tablet contains:

Vanadium (Krebs) – 250 mcg

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is involved in every cell in the human body. It is important for brain and nervous system function and energy and metabolism.

1 tablet contains:

Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin) – 5000 mcg

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that has many important roles in health.

1 capsule contains:

Pure ascorbic acid – 1000 mg

Vitamin D3 (drops)

Vitamin D3 is required for absorption of calcium and supports bone health, brain health, immune function, and much more.

1 mL drop contains:

Vitamin D3 – 10,000 IU

Wobenzym®

Wobenzym® is an anti-inflammatory enzyme formula that relieves aches and pains, improves joint pain, and increases flexibility and mobility.

Pancreatin – 300 mg
Papain – 180 mg
Bromelain – 135 mg
Trypsin – 72 mg
Chymotrypsin – 3 mg
Rutoside trihydrate – 150 mg

Yohimbe bark extract

Yohimbe contains yohimbine alkaloids which have stimulant and aphrodisiac effects.

1 capsule contains:

Yohimbe bark extract (standardized to contain 2% yohimbine alkaloids) – 500 mg

Zinc L-carnosine

Zinc L-carnosine is effective against stomach and intestinal ulcers.

1 capsule contains:

Calcium (from 200 mg of Calcium Carbonate) – 70 mg
Zinc – 8 mg
PepZin GI® (Zinc-L-Carnosine Complex) – 37.5 mg
L-Carnosine (from PepZin GI®) – 28 mg
Mastic Gum – 100 mg
Slippery Elm – 100 mg

References

Barhwal, K., et al., Acetyl-L-carnitine ameliorates hypobaric hypoxic impairment and spatial memory deficits in rats. European Journal of Pharmacology, 2007. 570(1-3): p. 97-107.

Malaguarnera, M., et al., L-Carnitine treatment reduces severity of physical and mental fatigue and increases cognitive functions in centenarians: a randomized and controlled clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 2007. 86(6): p. 1738-44.

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