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Natural Health Products

Harness the Immune Boosting Power of Mushrooms and AHCC

Mushrooms and fungi have been used in medicine for thousands of years. They have been used traditionally to treat and prevent infections, protect the liver and offset the negative effects of stress. There are many different varieties of mushrooms that have demonstrated beneficial effects against cancer cells, boosting the immune system and reducing chemo side effects. Mushrooms contain specific compounds including polysaccharides; in particular β-glucans, polysaccharopeptides (PSP), polysaccharide proteins, and proteins. The various glucans, and especially β-glucans, have become the focus of a great deal of research into immune system modulation, infection prevention and cancer. β-glucans are large polysacharrides, which

How to Make Healthy Habits Fun for the Whole Family

Do you feel like eating healthily is a chore and enjoying food that is good for you is a challenge? If it is the case and you have children, you run the risk of passing this attitude on to them. Studies show that the children of parents with a high BMI often have similar issues. Therefore, genetics aside, it seems that kids do pick up their parent’s lifestyle habits. That is why it is important to try to build some fun into establishing healthy habits, for the benefit of the whole family.  Make It Kid-Friendly Making healthy meals fun can

Don’t Submit to Stress – Support Your Immunity

It’s Fall and everyone is “ramping up”. Whether you are a parent with a new school schedule to manage or an employee managing new projects at work, it seems that as the days get shorter, the To-Do lists get longer. Changes in schedule and workload can contribute to rising levels of stress. As a result, maybe you aren’t getting sufficient sleep, which can lead to even higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Both stress and insomnia can lead to a suppressed immune system, which can in turn lead to increased susceptibility to any colds and flu being passed around

When Vitamins and Supplements are Worth the Investment

We’ve all seen media claims that supplements can be a “waste of money” while other reports illustrate the dangers of “natural products”. So how valid are these claims? It’s all in the fine print. A catchy fear-inducing headline is sure to make waves, but it’s time to break down the science – and the actual text – of this information. When are supplements actually not worth it, and when can they actually make a difference in your health? What outcomes are we looking for? The first thing you need to ask yourself is “What am I looking to achieve?” There

The Mighty Molecule: The Role of PEA in the Endocannabinoid System

Definitions PEA (N-palmitoylethanolamide): An endogenous fatty acid amide synthesized and metabolized by cells that binds to cell receptors. It influences a multitude of physiological functions and has potent anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Endocannabinoid System: A lipid communication network that has critical physiological functions and serves a vital purpose for our health and well-being through signaling processes, homeostasis and hormone regulation. Lipids and the ECS In 1929, scientists George Oswald Burr and his wife, Mildred Burr, discovered that omega 6 fatty acids were essential for health. This kicked off science’s interest into lipids, and by the 1960s a new age of lipid

Quench Chronic Inflammation and Pain With Natural Herbs and Nutrients

Pain is a fact of life. Everyone experiences it at some point or another. As people age, the biggest concern that affects activities of daily living is the ability to move and function without pain and discomfort. However, the latest research suggests that up to 50% of the population may be suffering from some kind of chronic pain, with back pain being the most common. In many cases the pain signal is the result of a viscous cycle of structural damage, tissue breakdown and inflammation. While most people are familiar with the concept of losing cartilage as we age (which

How Astaxanthin Supports Your Health

Astaxanthin is a natural compound and antioxidant that belongs to the carotenoid family. Found naturally in seafood, algae, and plants, this keto-carotenoid is said to be one of the most beneficial compounds to consume on a regular basis. From skincare to eye health, and from neurological benefits to anti-inflammatory properties, astaxanthin brings an array of advantages to the table for its users. Here are a few benefits of astaxanthin to help you understand how exactly this natural compound supports your health, and how could it contribute to the well-being of you and your loved ones. It is Exceptional for Skincare

Natural Health Products: The Hype, Promises and Lies

Do you remember coral calcium, shark cartilage, oxygen drops and structured water? These are some of the natural products (dietary supplements) that fall into the category of hype, promises and outright lies! It is amazing that this industry every now and then (more often than not) heralds a major advancement, the next big thing! How many times have you heard of the word breakthrough when it comes to natural products? It seems that this industry cannot survive without an offering of products with such exaggerated claims otherwise it fears it will go belly up, much to the disdain and exasperation

Probiotics: Marvelous Microorganisms

Throughout our history, humans have been putting things into our mouths and involuntarily ingesting microorganisms and bacteria. Some are bad for us, but some of the billions of microbes present in our guts are vital to our health. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as “live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” There are about 1,000 species of bacteria from four taxonomic groups living in our gut, and, although the population is highly dynamic, it is critical in developing and shaping the gut immune system, and it’s vital for us to keep

Epicatechin: Potential Benefits for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Health

Epicatechin is a flavanol with anti-oxidant properties that is found in cocoa (Theobroma cacao), green tea (Camellia sinensis), and grapes. This naturally occurring flavanol is the most abundant bioactive compound in cocoa, constituting approximately 35% of the total polyphenol content (120–180 g/kg) (1). Epidemiological (2) and clinical studies (3–8) have investigated the effects of cocoa and epicatechin supplementation on cardiovascular and metabolic health. Table 1 summarizes the potential health benefits of epicatechin supplementation. Cardiovascular Health An epidemiological human study has investigated the effect of high consumption of cocoa on the cardiovascular heath of a population of Kuna Indians (2). These

Tocotrienol: High Performance ‘Super Vitamin E’

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient, that protects cells from oxidative stress, and which cannot be made by the body. Oxidative stress results from the overproduction of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells, and con-tributes to the development of chronic dis-ease. The term vitamin E refers to a family of eight closely related compounds: four tocotrienols (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocotrienol) and four tocopherols (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherol). Figure 1 shows the molecular structures for tocotrienol and tocopherol, which are quite similar in that they both consist of a chromanol ring and a phytyl side chain. The

Nutrient Supplements for the Digestive System

As research continues to grow, it becomes more evident just how crucial the integrity of the digestive system is to overall health. It is the main barrier and first defense between the outer world and inner body. From this basic standpoint, the importance of maintaining a healthy gut lining is monumental. Here is a closer look at some key nutritional therapeutics for the purpose of enhancing gut health: L-Glutamine: Maintaining Gut Integrity L-Glutamine is well known as a major fuel and nitrogen source for colonocytes, as well as a component of glutathione.1 These factors alone make it clear that the

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