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Product Spotlight: Isotonix Vision Formula with Lutein

Is your sharp vision beginning to lessen with age? It is estimated that nearly 13 million Americans have partial vision loss due to poor eye health. Combat weak vision with Isotonix Vision Formula with Lutein. This special formula works to promote healthy vision and support healthy eye tissue and circulation.

This product contains 14 of the known essential vitamins and minerals that contribute to overall vision health. Vitamin A, C, and E provide a much-needed antioxidant defense for your body. They work to combat free radicals that can harm your vision. Little known fact: Vitamin A, in particular, supports healthy night vision.

10 mg of Eyebright are added as additional eye support. This ingredient originated for use in traditional folk medicine and has established a place in vision support products as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Lycopene is the ingredient between the red pigmentation in tomatoes, watermelon, and other fruits and vegetables. Added into the Isotonix Vision Formula with Lutein, Lycopene may help to prevent the onset of cataracts.

Lutein, a key ingredient in this formula, preserves pigment density in the eye, which is essential for crystal clear vision.

Have you used this product before? Leave us a review and let us know how it works for you!

Vitamin D Deficiency Increases Risk of Death in Adults

There’s new evidence showing that adults over 60 with low vitamin D levels have a greater risk of serious illness and death than those with higher levels. The study also showed the same number doubles with regards to adults as they age, especially in the are “frail” (unintentional weight loss, muscle weakness, slow walking, low fitness levels and exhaustion).

The study, conducted at Oregon State University by nutritional epidemiologist Dr. Ellen Smith, looked at a nationally representative group of adults over 60 years old. The results showed that these adults with low vitamin D levels had a 30% greater risk of death than people who had higher levels. When looking at adults considered frail, the risk of death doubled from there.

“What this really means is that it is important to assess vitamin D levels in older adults, and especially among people who are frail,” said lead author Ellen Smith of Oregon State University. “Older adults need to be screened for vitamin D.”

As adults age many lack vitamin D for two reasons: decrease in milk consumption and a shortage of sun. Because milk is one of the primary sources of vitamin D for most people, when adults limit their consumptions, their vitamin D levels decrease. The same is true about the sun.  The risk of melanoma (skin cancer) increases with age so many older adults try to get as little sun as possible.  While limiting skin cancer risk, they are in turn shorting themselves on the necessary vitamin D. There is a happy medium between the two by getting ample but limited sunlight.

The additional benefits of vitamin D are extensive. Vitamin D’s main purpose is to keep bones strong, which is a major reason to maintain healthy levels of it as we age. It is calcium’s partner in crime by allowing maximum absorption during consumption.

According to Dr. Irwin Rosenberg of Tufts University, “adults between 50 and 70 should be getting 400 IU (international units, the measurement usually used on vitamin D labels) of D per day. Once you’re over 70, the recommendation goes up to 600 IU daily.” This is why for many adults, supplementation of vitamin D is recommended.

Antioxidants Could Lower the Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

A diet high in antioxidants could lower the risk of pancreatic cancer by two thirds, according to a new study. After monitoring the diet and health of participants, a clear relationship emerged. Although preliminary research, this is an important stepping stone in cancer prevention research.

In the study conducted by Dr. Andrew Hart in the UK, the long-term health of more than 23,000 people ages 40 to 74 were tracked. After 20 years, results showed that participants who consumed greater amounts of three antioxidants, (selenium and vitamins C and E) were 67 percent less likely to develop pancreatic cancer compared to those with the lowest intake.

This research is the first to show significant results linking the two even though much research is being conducted looking at the relationship between diet and cancer. “Over the years there have been many attempts to find dietary causes for cancer,” said Dr. Vincent Vinciguerra, of the Monter Cancer Center in Lake Success, N.Y. “It is estimated that 35 percent of cancers are related to carcinogens in the diet. Antioxidants have been the subject of numerous trials because in theory they could be instrumental in the prevention of carcinogenesis.”

With about 250,000 deaths worldwide a year, pancreatic cancer research is more important than ever. Besides diet, other risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer are genes, smoking, and type 2 diabetes. Antioxidant-rich foods include many fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains and seafood. Supplementation of vitamin C and E is also recommended to go hand-in-hand with a healthy diet.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Shown to Reduce the Risk of Cataracts

By definition, a cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of your eye. Cataracts plague over 20 million Americans above age 40 and 50%percent of adults over 80. Traditionally, Vitamin E has been the predominant nutrient used to relieve stress from eye cells and protect against cataracts. In recent times, however, studies have indicated that the powerful antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin are also helpful in protecting eyes from developing cataracts.

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids, which are pigments that the body can turn into Vitamin A. Carotenoids, primarily found in vegetables, have traditionally been known to act as antioxidants and promote a healthy immune system. Lutein and zeaxanthin are also the only carotenoids actually found in the lens of the eye.

In numerous clinical studies, participants who consumed the greatest amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin have been  found to have an 18% lower risk of developing cataracts. The carotenoids showed that they protected the eye from normal oxidative stress that causes cataract growth.

In another study, eye cells were exposed to different nutrients. After the designated 30 day period, the cells exposed to a lutein and zeaxanthin combination had not been damaged at all. The other untreated cells showed normal deterioration. When the lens in the eye breaks down, cataracts form.

Although nutrition and medication will not cause cataracts to recede, nutrients such as lutein and zeaxanthin can help reduce the risk of cataract damage. Most people don’t get enough lutein and zeaxanthin from diet alone, so supplementation is recommended.

Chronic Inflammation at the Heart of America’s Deadliest Diseases

New science has linked diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s,
stroke, and cancer to one condition: chronic inflammation.
is a condition brought about by obesity and from a diet high
in fatty foods.  This condition can
attack the immune system and clear the way for harmful bacteria to enter the

“You need to have inflammation when you have a wound
and the immune system goes in to heal it. Yet we don’t want too much
inflammation in our system causing
damage to
our arteries
” and other harm, says Wendy Weber, a program director at
the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the
National Institutes of Health.

Chronic inflammation can be caused a few different ways. One
recent discovery showed that fat cells were not solely acting as storage for
excess weight. “Instead, fat cells act like small factories to churn out
molecules known as cytokines, which set inflammation in motion,” says Peter
Libby, chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s
Hospital in Boston.

Besides body weight issues, a diet rich in high-fat foods is
another common cause of chronic inflammation.

What can be done to combat inflammation? First and foremost,
maintaining a healthy body weight is a must. Losing excess weight and fat cells
will counter cytokine production and keep down inflammation. On top of that, a
specialized diet limiting fat consumption can help. However, no diet alone can
completely stop inflammation. “If you weigh 300 pounds and eat healthy,
the weight will still counter any beneficial foods you are eating,”
says Dr.
, a professor of medicine at Harvard University.

The American Heart Association also recommends consuming
omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, and omega-6 fatty acids found in nuts and
vegetable oils to reduce the risk of inflammation. Supplementation is also
recommended if you are not getting the proper amounts.

Probiotics and Weight Management

By Dr. Deedra Mason

Many of us who have difficulty in managing our weight may have been under the impression that our gut, and its microflora—the bacteria within it that aid in our digestion and absorption of nutrients—are in poor health or balance due to our excessive weight…according to recent studies, there is a strong possibility that it is, in fact, the other way around!

Healthy intestinal microflora can be enough to help you “widdle that waist” .  Studies are not sure which particular species are important, but one thing is clear: slender people and obese people do have different gut flora, in different proportions, and the literature supports the use of probiotics to help you keep a healthy weight.

As the researchers reported:

“Even though diet will affect gut flora composition, most studies conclude that gut flora on its own has an effect on weight. Alteration of the gut microbiota can be an important part of a weight loss program.”

Probiotics may assist the gut in gaining energy from polysaccharides, help the body heighten its sensitivity to insulin, and benefit its ability to cope with inflammation.   Several mechanisms have been proposed as to how gut flora regulates weight. Among these is the idea that the bacterial populations in thinner individuals are actually less efficient at storing energy, in effect burning more calories during digestion and decreasing the “net” amount of energy that is stored as fat.

Probably the most important take away from this study was that while no one will argue that a healthy diet will improve over all well-being, there is much more to the story. Having an imbalance in intestinal microflora may lead to sugar cravings and disrupt satiety, and therefore playing a negative role in our food choices and consumption.

One viable option for restoring this balance may be the use of probiotic supplementation. By repopulating the digestive tract with a greater proportion and variety of microorganisms known to be health-promoting, a more effective balance of this internal ecosystem can be established and maintained.

Helpful Hints for Optimizing Vitamin and Mineral Intake

By Dr. Deedra Mason

Every bit as important as ingesting the right nutrients is making sure that they are properly absorbed by the body. The following is a seven-point list that can help ensure your body is making the best use of all it receives:

1.         Fruits and vegetables should be as fresh as possible and organically grown products are preferable. If vegetable and fruit juices are preferred, those freshly prepared are best, but those prepared in advance are good up to 48 hours before they begin to lose their vitamin content, if refrigerated.

2.         Utilize a blender or food processor to help chop up fruits and vegetables to help make digestion easier. Seeds and nuts can also be chopped or ground up and taken with milk or in powder form.

3.         A vegetable or fruit juicer provides you with an excellent means of optimizing vitamin and mineral intake as juices are much more easily digested and absorbed. When using one, do not forget to include the seeds and leafy parts, as they are high in minerals.

4.         Fruits and vegetables, in addition to being high in vitamins and minerals, also provide roughage to maximize bowel function. This decreases the need for laxatives, whose excessive use can lead to an atonic bowel condition.

5.         If taking commercial supplements that are in a tablet form, they will be better absorbed if they are crushed before ingestion. Liquid or capsulized forms are better absorbed by the elderly population, as less digestion is required. They are always more effective if taken with a meal.

6.         Refined carbohydrates such as white and brown sugar will decrease immune function and predispose one to diabetes if used frequently and in large amounts. Calcium and magnesium loss also increases, which leads to wasting of bone and a higher incidence of fractures.

7.         Protein from fish, chicken, rabbit, nuts, tofu and tempe are better than red meats sources due to their having less fats and a wider variety of amino acids which are better utilized by persons over age 25. In addition, ground beef consumed in fast-food establishments are often very high in salt as well as fat.

Hopefully, these points will help provide some simple means for increasing the absorption of these important micronutrients on a daily basis. Remember, you are what you eat, and measures like this can help you be your best!

How To Avoid Getting Burned This Summer

Everyone needs Vitamin D from the sun. However during these hot summer months, we often fall victim to a little too much.  Now, there’s an alternative to lathering yourself in sun lotion every time you step outside. Supplementation of astaxanthin, resveratrol and omega-3 fatty acids can protect your skin internally from the sun.

Sunburn occurs when UV rays from the sun burn skin tissue, causing the skin cells to die. This often causes noticeable discomfort, and skin to turn a reddish color. This is a hint that it’s actually a type of inflammation, and sunburn can be a very serious condition. The greatest danger is that sunburn is the leading cause of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. Becoming sunburned on a routine basis causes an individuals risk for melanoma to increase dramatically, potentially even doubling after four or more serious sunburns.

Effectively reducing your risk of  harmful sunburn can actually start with the nutrients that enter your body. Research suggests that taking these nutrients can help stop sunburn before it strikes.

1)      Astaxanthin

The super-antioxidant astaxanthin is naturally found in algae and animals that eat the algae. In concentrated form, it can also be found in various supplements. As an antioxidant it has been primarily been used to promote a healthy cardiovascular system. However,  recent research has suggested that astaxanthin helps protect the skin from UV rays, helping to potentially prevent sunburn.

2)      Resveratrol

Recently resveratrol, an antioxidant found in grapes, has received a lot of publicity for supporting healthy hearts as well as alleviating certain symptoms related to cancer. This study also suggests that when resveratrol is absorbed into skin cells, it helps them block UV rays.

3)      Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

A diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to combat the inflammatory response of skin after it’s been exposed to the sun for too long. This can limit the harmful effects of sunburn as well as reduce the risk of melanoma. Omega-3 acid is found naturally in fish, but supplementation may be suggested, to ensure that both proper quantity and quality is received.

These nutrients have all shown to be effective in combatting UV rays. Try out these suggestions and let us know if you’ve noticed a decrease in sunburn frequency and intensity.

In Response To Calcium Critiques

By Dr. Deedra Mason

The recent study out of Zurich has gotten people up in arms about their calcium supplementation.  Should we, or shouldn’t we use it?  No one, including those that conducted the study, is refuting the benefits of calcium consumption–both dietary and supplemental–for the health of our bones; but is it hurting our hearts?

The study reported findings of cardiovascular events after following nearly 25,000 participants over an 11-year period of time. The age range of those participating spanned the ages 35-64 years of age, and those participants who did have a heart attack also happened to self-report taking a calcium supplement, either in combination with other nutrients or alone.  The study also listed greater risk–roughly a factor of two–for a cardiac event for those using a calcium supplement alone.

What do we know?

  • The study reported a significant number of heart attack sufferers were supplement takers, with an increase in incidence of heart attack for those that were taking a calcium supplement alone.
  • That while some participants who did not have a cardiovascular event were also supplement takers, there was a common denominator of supplement use in participants who had experienced a heart attack.
  • Those that were supplement takers did not have, based on the report findings, higher incidence of stroke or other cardiovascular events.

“No statistically significant association was found between calcium supplementation and either stroke risk or overall CVD mortality.”

The incidence of MI (myocardial infarction, or heart attack) increased with greater consumption of supplemental calcium, but those that consumed less than the 3rd quartile of elemental calcium did not have a statically significant risk.

“Further exclusion of supplement users from analyses did not substantially change the risk estimates for total and source-specific dietary calcium intakes”

The study reported it was not designed to evaluate cardiovascular incidence, and therefore only eliminated those participants ages 35-64 that had a cardiovascular event within the first two years of the 11 year study, but didn’t eliminate those that had an elevated cholesterol at baseline, with no cardiovascular event within the first two years of the study.

What else do we know?

Read the rest of this entry »

More Than Iron: Supplement Necessities for Anemia

Anemia is a condition in which there are not enough red blood cells present in the body to adequately carry healthy levels of oxygen through the bloodstream. Anemia can impact someone for a short amount of time or it can be long-term, ranging in levels of severity.

Most noticeably, anemia causes you to be tired and sluggish- even if you’ve had adequate rest. It can cause tingling and numbness in your hands and feet and can also lead to poor concentration and forgetfulness. A telltale sign of anemia is a swollen, red tongue.

It is well-known that a boost of iron is essential for those with anemia, as it helps to increase the count of your red blood cells. An adult female (at a great risk for developing anemia) requires 18 mg/day. Adult males require 8 mg/day. If you have been diagnosed as anemic, when assessing your multivitamin it is important to consider one that includes iron.

Anemia includes other vitamin and mineral deficiencies aside from iron. Decreased vitamin B12 and folic acid absorption can lead to anemia and factor in to other health problems, especially during pregnancy. In particular, folic acid is essential to ensure proper fetal development. Though meats, eggs, and other dairy products are high in B12, an activated supplement is a good choice to maximize rapid absorption.

Sickle Cell Anemia, the most severe form of anemia, pairs regular symptoms of fatigue with severe bone pain that is experienced through isolated episodes. Sickle Cell is a genetic form of anemia, typically identified at no earlier than 4 months of age and lasting for an entire lifetime. Research shows that taking supplemental Omega-3 fish oils can help to reduce the severity and frequency of episodes. Ask your health care provider what the suggested Omega-3 intake is for your age group.

Remember, if your body is unable to maintain sufficient levels of iron, it’s likely that you have other deficiencies as well. If you suspect you are suffering from anemia, have your blood tested and together with a physician, come up with a plan to maximize your health.

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