Here are our the frequently asked questions we get from our customers. We’re sure you can find some answers to your questions simply here. But please do not heistiate to contact us directly if you need more information.
An NPN is assigned by Health Canada to a product whose manufacturer has submitted enough human evidence to support that manufacturer’s health claim for that particular product. It essentially means that the manufacturer has fulfilled all of the requirements of Health Canada for the registration of the product, and that the product has been deemed safe and effective when used according to the label.
Hypromellose is an encapsulating substance and microcrystalline cellulose is a filler. Both come from cellulose (from trees). Cellulose is first methoxylated to methylcellulose by exposing cellulose to caustic. Then, variable numbers of methoxy groups are converted to propyl groups. Depending on the number of methoxy groups that are substituted, different molecular weights and physical behaviors are created.
Powder products may vary in volume due to aeration vs non-aeration or due to a higher or lower potency or density. AOR powder-based products are filled by weight, not by volume. All AOR powder labels indicate this.
Yes, capsule and softgel contents can be emptied out. Enterically coated tablets cannot be broken up however, as the contents may upset the stomach or the ingredients rendered ineffective.
Long-term use is fine. The on-off cycle of 3 months on and one month off is a good general rule to give the body a break, but not due to side effects. For a more serious condition e.g. a liver condition like cirrhosis brought upon by alcohol or hepatitis, 6 months on and 1 month off might be better. There are clinical studies to back up such recommendations.
Almost all experimental testing usually occurs in animals before humans, so most products are likely safe for animals. However, it is always good to check with a vet who is familiar with animal supplementation, dosing, and contraindications for different types of animals.
Many drugs are designed to use CYP450 enzymes to be activated in the body to make them work or to deactivate certain drugs. Many herbs inhibit these enzymes, potentially making a drug less effective, or keeping it in the body longer which can be toxic. As a general rule, it is always good to take supplements and medications at least 2 hours apart to minimize these effects. In addition, some substances may have cumulative effects or counterproductive effects. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check with a health care practitioner when wanting to take medications and herbal products at the same time.
AOR does use synthetic ingredients in some products. Most supplement manufacturers do. The most important point to note is that synthetic ingredients are not unnatural, they are not inferior and they are not less safe than ingredients derived from plants. A natural ingredient, that is identical in every way to one found in a plant, can be synthesized in a laboratory. There are many reasons why this may be done. It may be more economical, provide a dependable supply, produce a purer product with less contamination, or be more environmentally friendly (for example a plant may be endangered, require large, clear-cut areas to grow, or may be a primary food source for a nation). In short, in most cases an ingredient made in the lab is still a natural ingredient and will be identical to and just as effective as one obtained from a natural source. Exceptions include certain molecules that we are unable to synthesize exactly. These include supplements like vitamin E, which cannot be correctly duplicated in a lab. With ingredients like vitamin E, AOR always only uses naturally-sourced versions.
When possible and practical, AOR does choose non-GMO and organic suppliers. However, AOR is careful not to claim organic or GMO-free on the label since sometimes feedstock (for animals, plant soil or microbes) is not GMO-free, or some suppliers farm organic and non-GMO materials but are not certified as such by a large regulatory body depending on requirements and availability and therefore cannot be attested to be as such by AOR. In addition, it is difficult if not impossible to find vegetable oils (which usually contain soy) that are not GMO as they are either rare or expensive.
AOR is compliant with both GMP and NHPD guidelines, this ensures that rigorous quality control procedures are followed every step of the way, from raw material to finished product. AOR also performs quality control testing using third party testing companies, ensuring accurate, unbiased results.
AOR sources its materials from all over the world including the USA, India, China, Japan, Europe, and others based on supply and demand, availability, quality, practicality, established relationships with suppliers and cost.
Because our bodies all have varying chemical make-ups, some products may work well for some, may not work for others, and still others may even have a reaction to certain products. If you think you have experienced an adverse reaction discontinue use of the product and speak to a qualified healthcare professional.
Return the product to your retailer (with at least 50% of the product left) for a refund, and have your retailer return the product to AOR with an adverse reaction report.
AOR will take returns from retailers and practitioners who have purchased directly from AOR. If you are an end-consumer, please contact your retailer or health care practitioner and discuss the return with them.
AOR uses fillers and non-medicinal ingredients in products only when necessary to produce a high-quality product. Sometimes a medicinal ingredient requires only a small amount for therapeutic results. In such cases, fillers are necessary to help fill the capsule to maintain its integrity and structure. AOR only uses one filler called microcrystalline cellulose. Non-medicinal ingredients are sometimes required to help process or stabilize an ingredient so that it can be made available to the public for consumption: without these agents, certain products would not be available at all.
AOR uses sweeteners only in certain tablets and powders where taste is an important factor. These sweeteners are usually derivatives of sugar, such as sugar alcohols or non-digestible sugars that pass through the body without being metabolized, or non-sugar natural sweeteners such as stevia or sweet proteins like thaumatin. Some products might require small amounts (in the microgram range) of sugars to stabilize certain ingredients, while others such as probiotics might include minute amounts of sugars for the probiotics to feed on.
Sucrose is used as a stabilizing agent for some ingredients or for probiotics to feed on in other cases. If the sucrose was not added, some of the ingredients would degrade and would not be able to be used in the product. It is present in microgram amounts (far less than you would get from most foods) and will not impact blood sugar.
AOR strives to source the purest ingredients with minimal allergen risk. When this cannot be avoided, any allergen risk will be indicated on the label.
If an allergen does not appear in the guarantee on the product label, this usually means that the product was produced in a facility that also produces items containing this allergen. Following GMP guidelines prevents cross contamination of materials used in the same facility, so in these cases, the risk of the allergen being present in the product is absolute minimal to none.
If a product label indicates that it contains a certain allergen, this means that one of the ingredients has been sourced from an allergen or may have come into contact with allergens in production. However, this does not necessarily mean that the allergen is present in the product, and if it is present, the quantity is often almost undetectable. However, for those with severe allergies to particular items, it is wise to avoid such products.
Some label cautions are relative and may have a greater or lesser degree of relevance to certain consumers, while other cautions are well warranted. If unsure, check with your qualified health care practitioner, or contact AOR tech support to find out more.
AOR uses both sources in a limited number of products.
Good Manufacturing Processes (GMPs) are manufacturing standards developed by a relevant regulatory body to give industry manufacturers guidance in producing safe products. The NHPD of Health Canada has developed GMPs for the natural health product industry to which AOR adheres and often exceeds.
Standards vary by the manufacturing step. Before using any material, it is sent for analysis by independent labs in order to ensure that the material is safe, and exactly the material we want. Each step of manufacturing, such as blending, encapsulation, polishing, bottling, labeling and packaging, are supervised by Quality Control (QC) personnel, and require approval from QC before any material or product can move to the next stage. The work of QC continues after a product is sold to a customer as well. Representative samples from every production run are stored for long term stability testing, ensuring that the product maintains potency up until the expiry date.
Micronized basically means that an ingredient has been broken down into smaller particle sizes, however it is a general term for this process and does not refer to a specific range of particle sizes. Smaller particle sizes are generally better absorbed. AOR uses ingredients of optimal particle sizes as much as possible where technology permits. When this is not possible, other technologies are used to enhance absorption and bioavailability. However, the term “mirconized” is not used for AOR products due to its lack of specificity and because many ingredients are already processed for optimal size. For certain proucts, AOR uses the term “nanoparticle”, which refers to a particle size smaller than 200 microns.
D-5-MTHF is a more highly absorbed, ineffective and potentially harmful version of the activated folate 5-MTHF that is actually banned in Europe. Some products exist on the market that are a 50/50 mix of the L- and D-forms, which have questionable efficacy, and may be harmful. In accordance with AOR’s philosophy and quality control standards, all of AOR’s 5-MTHF products contain only the highest purity L-5-MTHF on the market, which is guaranteed to be greater than 99% L-5-MTHF. Look for the labels of all of AOR’s products containing 5-MTHF to be updated in the near future with this information.
ORTHO CORE is AOR most advanced and most complete multivitamin and features more than 50 nutrients that have been shown to be beneficial for health. Multi Basics 3 is a 3 day multi vitamin/mineral with some phytonutrients, and Essential Mix is a powdered multivitamin/mineral.
Yes! Many research scientists and nutritionists, backed by extensive published research papers, agree that tocotrienols, being a natural more potent vitamin E and have many additional biological benefits over the normal tocopherols, will be the vitamin E for the 21st century. There are researchers who remarked that instead of focusing on tocopherols, people should start taking tocotrienols as the better vitamin E.
The various human studies and dosage used in these studies specifically for a therapeutic condition are: 1. Since the early 1990s, there were hints that antioxidants could have some effect in showing regression of arteriosclerosis (improvement of artery health and blood flow). Dr Anthony Verlangieri of the Atherosclerosis Laboratory at the University of Mississippi published his research in reversing atherosclerosis in monkeys with antioxidant nutrients. A report in JAMA in 1995 showed that antioxidant vitamins slowed progression of coronary atherosclerosis. In a three-year, double-blind clinical study at the Kenneth Jordan Heart Foundation, New Jersey, on 50 patients with Carotid Stenosis (blockage of the carotid artery, the main artery that supplies blood to the brain), patients were given a supplementation of 240mg palm tocotrienol complex per day. Within 6 months, 92% of the patients had an improvement in their blood flow through the carotid artery, indicating the ability of palm tocotrienol complex to reverse artery blockage and improve artery health. 2. Palm tocotrienol complex has been proven by numerous human and animal studies to have the ability to inhibit cholesterol production in the liver. Tocotrienols are potent and effective natural antioxidant nutrients to have the ability to inhibit the key enzyme that is responsible for cholesterol production in the body: HMG Co A Reductase. In human cholesterol lowering human studies, mild hypercholesterolemia patients were given a supplementation of 200mg palm based tocotrienols per day. Significant reduction of total serum cholesterol was observed within 6 to 8 weeks. The reduction of total serum cholesterol was between 15-33% whereas the HDL level was no affected. In another cross-over human study carried out at the Science University of Malaysia, randomly picked subjects with uncontrolled diet was given supplementation of 100mg palm tocotrienols per day. Within 8 to 10 weeks, there was a significant reduction of 10-12% of total cholesterol level in the group that received tocotrienols. 3. There are four reputable research centers that are currently furthering their research on the ability of palm tocotrienol complex to inhibit both the estrogen positive and negative human breast cancer cells. The research centers are University of Reading, UK, University of Louisiana, University of Western Ontario, and Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB). At the moment, research is focused on elucidating the mechanism of inhibition of breast cancer cells by tocotrienols, In addition, the University of Wisconsin is currently carrying out studies on the inhibitory effect of tocotrienols on hepatocarcinogenesis.
The proven additional health benefits (by over 128 research papers in human, animal models and in-vitro) are: 1. Palm tocotrienol complex has been shown by the Kenneth Jordan Heart Foundation (US) in a double-blind human study to have the ability to reverse arteriosclerosis. Palm based tocotrienols have the ability to reverse blockage of the carotid artery and hence, reduce the risk of stroke and arteriosclerosis. 2. Tocotrienols have been shown by human and animal studies to have the ability to reduce the production of total serum cholesterols. They inhibit the enzyme HMG-CoA Reductase in the liver that is responsible for the production of cholesterols. Tocopherols have no effect on serum cholesterol. 3. Tocotrienols are very much more potent antioxidant than tocopherols. It has been shown by published research paper that alpha-tocotrienol is 40-60 times more potent than alpha-tocopherol in the prevention of lipid peroxidation. Delta-tocotrienol is the most potent of all the commercially available tocotrienols. 4. In a recent article published in Clin. Exp. Hypertens. (1999), found that tocotrienol is an effective natural agent to prevent increased in blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats. It also enhanced total antioxidant status in plasma and blood vessels. 5. Tocotrienols especially delta and gamma-tocotrienols have been shown to inhibit certain type of cancers especially human breast cancer cells. Palm based tocotrienols have been shown by four different research centers in the world to have the ability to inhibit both the estrogen positive and estrogen negative breast cancer cells. In those studies, alpha tocopherol has no effect at all on human breast cancer cells. 6. Palm tocotrienol complex has been proven to inhibit platelet aggregation. Alpha tocopherol does not. 7. Tocotrienols, with their unsaturated side chain, allow them to pass through the membrane bi-layer (mainly made up of unsaturated fatty acid) in a more efficient manner and faster rate compared to the all saturated tocopherol. Hence facilitating the absorption of tocotrienols. 8. Palm tocotrienol complex has also been shown by the University of California, Berkeley to be effective in preventing protein oxidation and lipid peroxidation after a strenuous bout of exercise. Athletes especially body builders and sprinters generate tremendous amount of free radicals in their body. Hence, tocotrienols being a very potent antioxidant and vitamin E protects athletes and body builders against protein and lipid peroxidation.
Almost all of the in-vitro, animal, human studies published so far, on the health benefits of tocotrienols was carried out with palm tocotrienol Complex. Palm tocotrienol complex has very different chemistry and contents from rice based tocotrienols. The ratio of tocotrienols to tocopherol in palm tocotrienol complex is very much higher at 3.5 to 1.0. In rice base tocotrienols, it is approximately 1.0 to 1.0. In addition, palm based tocotrienols contains additional phytonutrients such as phytosterols (which have been shown to prevent absorption of cholesterol in the intestine) and plant squalene (strong antioxidant) that are naturally extracted together with tocotrienols from the fruits of oil palm.
Look for a natural, palm derived tocotrienol complex product. If minimally processed, it should also contain the other phyto-nutrients found naturally in palm oil. These include phytosterols, squalene and mixed carotenoids, thus offering a platter of a natural and wholesome phyto-nutrient complex. Other rice-derived tocotrienols are also available in the market.
There is a synergy between vitamin K and vitamin D for improving bone density. Coumadin/warfarin is contraindicated in patients taking vitamin K because its clot-promoting effects can be counterproductive (actually up to 80mcg of vitamin K can be tolerated by patients taking Coumadin but still it is precautionary). Vitamin K has been found to be linked to bone mineral density in the elderly and correlative studies have noted decreased vitamin K dependent enzyme activity in individuals with kidney stones.
Health Canada regards only a maximum of 120 mcg of Vitamin K necessary for good health. This dose does contribute to good bone and arterial health. Other doses have been clinically studied, and are accepted in other countries.
Vitamin K2 is better absorbed than Vitamin K1 but otherwise both function in the same manner. MK-4 is converted from K1 in the first place so there is likely some sort of positive feedback mechanism that is yet to be understood. The conversion occurs in the tissues which have adequate stores of MK-4, which is a form of vitamin K2.
Some meta-analyses have been done on calcium salts (ie. calcium citrate, calcium carbonate, etc.) showing that these sources of calcium increased the risk of heart disease. Calcium salts tend to release very quickly into the blood stream. Since calcium is one component of arterial plaque, the theory is that excessive calcium in the blood can cause more arterial calcification. This risk has only been shown to increase at the start of supplementation when the body was adjusting to the supplement. In addition, food sources of calcium are absorbed more slowly into the bloodstream, are not known to contribute to heart disease and were not even included in these studies. Bone meal, or MCHC, is a food source of calcium. Calcium also needs to be taken with Vitamins D and K in order to be absorbed and used effectively. Bone Basics (and Ortho Bone) provide balanced formulas for optimal calcium absorption and effectiveness. Calcium should never be supplemented alone. Finally, a more recent study actually showed that those who supplemented with calcium actually extended their lifespan slightly. The conclusion of the matter is this: everything in balance and moderation.
Vegetable oil (containing soybean oil) droplets surround the vitamin D3 to help stabilize it, as D3 in a powder form is unstable on its own. Any supplement in powder form containing vitamin D3 will be the same case. This includes all AOR’s multis and bone multis, etc. The amount, however, is tiny (ie. micrograms).
Health Canada does not allow the use of more than 1000 IU of vitamin D per day as a recommended dose in dietary supplements. Higher doses are available as a prescription.
Refined palm olein (palm cooking oil) has some tocotrienols as well as tocopherols but the levels found are very low, approximately 0.08%. In order to get the amount of tocotrienols (50 mg 100 mg per day) that medical studies suggest may have a beneficial effect; one would have to consume about 80g 160g (about one to two tea cup) of palm olein a day. Other cooking oils from corn, soy-bean and sunflower contain virtually no tocotrienols.
Most of the oils and food contain tocopherols but virtually no tocotrienols. Tocotrienols only occur at very low level (below 800ppm) in nature with the highest concentration found in palm oil. Other sources are rice bran, barley, wheat germ, saw palmetto and certain types of nuts and grains. Due to their low level, it is practically impossible to attain the amount of tocotrienols studies suggest may have a beneficial effect, from diet alone. For example, one has to take a cup of palm oil per day to attain this level.
The idea of using tocotrienols in cosmetic and personal care products is fairly new and recent. Being a more potent vitamin E, research scientists especially at the University of California, Berkeley, have started to investigate the additional benefits of tocotrienols over the alpha tocopherol vitamin E in the prevention of skin aging and skin damage. A study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley showed that diet-derived or topically applied tocotrienols preferentially accumulate at the stratum corneum to defend against free radicals generated by exposure to environment agents such as sun ray (UV), ozone, chemicals, etc.
Toxicological and pharmacological studies showed that supplementation with palm based tocotrienols up to 2500mg per day per kilogram of body did not produce any significant side effects. Tocotrienols are natural compound found in various food and oils such as palm olein, rice bran oil, wheat germ, barley, etc. They are vitamin E and one may be taking tocotrienols through these normal foods without even realizing it. In addition, tocotrienols have been approved for use in dietary supplements in Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and US.
The effect of antioxidants, and likewise tocotrienols, only become apparent in the long term. Supplementing daily with tocotrienols will result in the reduction in cholesterol level and reduce the risk of free-radical degenerative diseases.
Individuals interested in enhancing their antioxidant status should take tocotrienols. Most Vitamin E supplements contain only alpha-tocopherol whereas palm based tocotrienols contain tocotrienols, phytosterols (proven to prevent absorption of cholesterol), squalene (a powerful antioxidant) and carotenoids. A combination of all these phytonutrients in which recent research have suggested may be highly effective in the overall maintenance of health.
Tocotrienols are fat soluble. It is absorbed in the same manner as fat, just like other fat-soluble vitamins (A, D and K) and phytonutrients like carotenoids. The absorption of these compounds is dependent on the physiological processes in the stomach and small intestines, induced by food, especially fat intake. Only when sufficient pancreatic juice and bile are secreted to emulsify the fat and fat soluble vitamins do we get satisfactory absorption. Since factors such as foods and fat intake tend to be variable, the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients will also be variable.
Tocotrienols are part of the Vitamin E family. Tocotrienols have similar structure to tocopherols (Alpha-Tocopherol as the most common Vitamin E in the market), but contain three double bonds in the carbon side chain of the molecule. The Vitamin E family is comprised of eight different compounds : alpha, beta, gamma and delta of both tocotrienols and tocopherols.
Methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), which is the form of folic acid in this product) is the most biologically active form of folic acid, making it the best form for pregnancy and those trying to conceive.
In nature, the level of tocotrienols is at such a low level (part per million level) that is it takes a huge amount of the raw material to extract out 1kg of tocotrienols. For example, for every 1000kg of soy fatty acid distillate, one can extract out about 70kg of the tocopherols. In comparison, every 1000kg of palm oil, one can only theoretically extract out 0.5kg of tocotrienols. In addition, the process to extract tocotrienols by molecular distillation is an expensive process compared to the convention distillation processes.
From the Health Canada statement on Boron use, it appears that individuals living in locations with Boron concentrations up to 29 mg/L show no deleterious effects. Aside from that, Health Canada has a chronic reference dose for multivitamins (0.7 mg/day) and a maximum chronic dose for bone mineralization (osteoporosis) of 3.36 mg/day. Boron has also been used in the long term treatment of epilepsy, at dosages far higher than 3 mg/day. Basically, long term use of boron at low amounts should be perfectly healthy.
Research suggests that too low folic acid can be related to certain conditions and cancers while high amounts of folic acid can be related to other types of cancers. Other studies show that high doses of folate can be beneficial in other cases. The evidence is inconclusive. The best suggestion is to use folate in moderation at the recommended dietary intake levels.
A tolerance and/or “dependency” should not develop. We do not develop “dependency” to probiotics but we do depend on a healthy flora. There are no long-term side effects of taking Saccharomyces, although studies do not go beyond 3 years. Very safe unless one has a yeast infection, then caution has to be exercised. Most probably represent a big proportion of the adult human gut flora. Therefore, long term may not make much sense unless the patient is hospitalized or is in other high risk situations. Advanced Biotics or Probiotic 3 would be more useful for that purpose.
Yes, Probiotic 3 is a blend of 3 strains of probiotics that has been studied extensively under the trademarked name BioThree. Studies have shown that the different strains are synergistic, hence the lower number of organisms required to be effective.