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House of Nutrition Blog

Biotin: Beyond Brittle Nails

Mar 13, 2014

Walk into any health food or vitamin store and ask them about biotin. The most likely response you’ll receive is that it’s essential for strong hair growth, skin and nails. Next, ask them how does it do that?… Silence.

Biotin has a strong reputation for helping strengthen nails and hair but does it really? Yes and no.

Most people who come in looking for biotin are people who already have healthy nails from a medical standpoint. Meaning they do not have any pathological issues occurring with their nails, they typically want their nails to grow quicker and never break. For those people, Biotin may not work very well.

Biotin deficiency is a very rare condition. But here’s a cool fact, people who consume large quantities of egg whites may have a biotin deficiency due to a protein in egg whites called avidin, which inhibits biotin absorption. However this issue is bypassed if you just cook your eggs, which you already should be doing!

So how does biotin get its super nail reputation? Well there are some health conditions, which can cause brittle fingernails, which is most likely a nutrient deficiency but not necessarily biotin deficiency. Brittle fingernails is not just nails that break, but it is fingernails that break often and very easily with very little force.

What Biotin does is it increases epidermal differentiation meaning it allows your epidermal tissue (skin) to grow and this will help fingernail growth (because your nails are just a type of skin tissue).

Yes, biotin will help with brittle nails IF your nails are actually brittle. Not if you just want your nails to be stronger (Bolander, 2006). If you are having hair and nail issues, perhaps the best first step is to take a quality multivitamin with biotin in it such as Life Extensions – Two per Day.

However, what I like to use biotin for is for those with diabetes, but not by its lonesome. Biotin in conjunction with Chromium picolinate has been shown to help regulate blood glucose in diabetics. What is even more astonishing is that it worked well is those with poorly controlled blood glucose like obese individuals. Biotin (2000mcg) + chromium picolinate (600mcg)along with a doctors standard diabetic protocol was shown to better control glucose in type 2 diabetics compared to those that did not use the biotin and chromium (Singer, 2006).

Perhaps you might want to rethink that biotin you have in your cabinet and maybe add some chromium to it!

Ralph Esposito

N.D, L.Ac Candidate 2016 –

UBCNM

B.S Nutrition and Food Studies

References:

Bolander, F. F. Vitamins: not just for enzymes. Curr.Opin.Investig.Drugs 2006;7(10):912-915.

Singer, G. M. and Geohas, J. The effect of chromium picolinate and biotin supplementation on glycemic control in poorly controlled patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a placebo-controlled, double-blinded, randomized trial. Diabetes Technol.Ther. 2006;8(6):636-643

Amazing Fish Oil

Mar 5, 2014

Several weeks ago I was watching CNN on TV regarding a young man who was in a coma. The doctors wanted to pull the plug but the parents refused.  They went against conventional medicine & put Fish Oils in the intravenous.

A long road back: The Virgin family began administering high doses of fish oil to Grant soon after he woke up JJ Virgin, a renowned fitness expert, decided to try any and everything she thought would help her son.

The teen underwent several surgeries to stabilize his condition, but his brain function did not dramatically improve – until a friend suggested they try fish oil and progesterone.

Progesterone has been shown in studies to reduce swelling on the brain – though not when rubbed topically as the Virgin’s did.

The suggestions came after a mine disaster survivor was left brain dead but came back to almost complete normalcy after large doses of fish oil.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2542041/JJ-Virgin-FISH-OIL-woke-son-coma-suffered-run-car-left-clinically-dead-paramedics-revived-him.html#ixzz2sxtnAo9Z
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Stories like the aforementioned aren’t that rare (Refer to blog on “Brain Health” 2/9/10).  Many of our customers have told me wonderful stories about how well they and their family members are doing since using fish oils in their protocol.  It helps with attention deficit disorder (ADD), depression, schizophrenia, dry eyes, IBS  (Irritable Bowl Syndrome) lowering cholesterol, with lessening  inflammation (especially due to arthritis) and, of course, memory.   (Refer to my blog dated 11/10/08 on “Omega Fish Oils for Children”).

As always I recommend a good quality brand, i.e.:

Carlson

Designs for Health

Nordic Natural’s

As most of us know the brain and nervous system are comprised of 60% fat, so ensure your diet is rich in the omega-3  EFA’s (essential fatty acids) found in cold water fish, fish oil and flax oil.   Good fats are also important anti-inflammatories as I have reitterated before in other blogs.

So continue to include healthy fats in your diets for a better you.

To Healthy Living!

C. Lombardo, CNHC

Bone Density & Vitamin D

Mar 4, 2014

This is an addendum to the following blog that I wrote in February, 2009.  Many of our customers are coming in for Vitamin D (at their doctors’ request) because they have extremely low levels.  Surprisingly, even those that are exposed to the sun & warm climate still have low levels.

Every year over a million people are hospitalized due to fractures (unaware that they have osteoporosis). There are many factors involved besides aging.  In the young it is usually due to poor diet (low calcium, magnesium and D3 intake). In most people (men as well as women), it’s due to hormone changes as well as lack of exercise, smoking, not eating enough calcium and magnesium rich foods, use of corticosteroid drugs and not taking the proper supplements.

New studies link hip fractures to fluoridated water. Fluoridated water literally leaches calcium out of the bones.

In women change of life (low hormones levels) and removal of ovaries puts you at a greater risk. Depression in both men and women is another factor, especially when they are extremely underweight.

Many people aren’t aware of what calcium supplements they should be taking. Keep in mind it’s very important not to take more than 600 mgs. at once because you cannot absorb more than that at a given time. The best way to take calcium is two to three times a day with a synergistic blend of B12, zinc, copper, manganese, potassium, boron, magnesium, D3, Vitamin C and Vitamin K2 (MK7).

Each vitamin and mineral plays an important role in helping the body to improve bone density. Jarrow Bone-Up is an excellent choice because it contains all of the aforementioned.  Also, it’s a good idea to take extra D from 400 IU – 5000 IU, depending on your levels.  Usually, when using for cancer or other illnesses the doctor’s are recommending very high doses the first week or so.  Then cut down to lower doses.  Patients should have a repeat test of their 25 (OH) D level to confirm that they are in the normal range.  If the 25(OH)D concentration remains persistently low despite several attempts at corrections with oral D, doctor will suggest an alternative.

I prefer using liquid D3 by Designs for Health or Carlson.  If you can’t tolerate liquid use softgels or capsules by Carlson,  Country Life, Designs for Health or Jarrow.

After 35 years of age have a bone density test (which is non-invasive) at least every two years or whatever your doctor recommends.   The following is a quote from Medscape:

Posted: 11/11/2010; US Pharmacist © 2010 Jobson Publishing

“Emerging research supports the possible role of vitamin D in protecting against cancer, heart disease, fractures and falls, autoimmune diseases, influenza, type 2 diabetes, and depression. Many health care providers have increased their recommendations for vitamin D supplementation to at least 1,000 IU”.

C. Lombardo, CNHC

THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN B’s

Jan 21, 2014

This blog is dedicated to all our customers that ask… Do I need B vitamins?

B vitamins are imperative for many functions of our bodies.  They help create metabolic coenzymes, which help enzymes facilitate critical reactions.  Some B vitamins give us energy, while some help build new cells that deliver nutrients to others .  I hope the following will help clarify any confusion:

B1 – Thiamine:  plays a major role in energy production and helps synthesize critical neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine which is necessary for memory, mood and mental performance.  Researchers investigated the effects of long-term supplementation with nine vitamins (Journal Psychopharmacology), including thiamine.  After twelve (12) months, the researchers found that thiamine improved attention in female (not men) subjects.

Also, people who suffer from loss of appetite, weakness, fatigue, cramps, burning feet and confusion, may be deficient in B1.  Beriberi (B1 deficiency) means “I can’t, I can’t”,  in Sinhalese.  Beriberi patients, even near death, suffering from severe fluid retention and completely incapacitated, can be on their feet and almost completely recovered within a couple hours after receiving a thiamine injection.

B2- Riboflavin:  is responsible for producing ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), the body’s basic energy currency. The body uses ATP anytime energy is needed.  When deficient, our energy reserves become depleted making us lethargic.  Also, it helps manufacture glutathione, imperative for every cell in our body (especially liver).

Signs of deficiency include cut on side of  lips, migraine headaches and  cataracts.  Researchers from the University of Liege, in Belgium, found that B1 was more effective than the placebo at reducing the frequency and duration of migraine headaches.  The researchers also observed that B1 and beta blockers acted through different mechanisms and might, therefore, have complementary functions.

B3-Niacin:  plays a role in helping enzymes convert food into energy.  These enzymes help produce hormones and metabolize fat and cholesterol.  Niacin has been used to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol). Researchers from the Coronary Drug Project found in their study that nicotinic acid significantly decreased total cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduced the risk of heart attack and stroke.  This is the form that causes a flush.

Caution:  consult with your physician before using the aforementioned form of Niacin.  Also, if you use it start with a low dose – 50 to 100 milligrams with meals.    Never use sustained-release niacin, which may be toxic to the liver.

Inositol hexanicinate form doesn’t cause flush, which can be used in higher doses (100 mgs. to 500 mgs.).  I would still check with your MD.

B5-Pantothenic Acid: Greek for “everywhere”.  Highest form is found naturally occuring in royal jelly.  B5 plays a role in over a hundred (100) critical body processes, including energy production, manufacturing of steroids, helps metabolize amino acids properly, helps produce adrenal hormones, helps make neurotransmitters  and hemoglobin.  Along with the other B’s it helps lower cholesterol and triglyceride blood levels.

Food sources include liver, milk, fish, poultry, cruciferous veggies, sweet potatoes, oranges and strawberries (to name a few).

For general dose take up to 500 milligrams — less if you eat enough of the aforementioned foods.  People with rheumatoid arthritis should take up to 2,000 milligrams (2 grams) daily.  For lowering cholesterol and triglycerides take up to 300 milligrams 3X a day.

B6-Pyridoxine: is imperative for the formation of  body proteins and structural compounds, chemical transmitters in the nervous system, red blood and prostaglandins.  It’s critical in maintaining hormonal balance and proper immune function.  Along with B12 and Folic Acid it helps lower homocysteine, a protein in the blood, when too high, is indicative of inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.

B6 deficiency has been associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  Additionally, researchers at Tufts University in Boston have reported a positive association between B6 status and memory in older men.  Also, deficiency may increase the risk of cancer in smokers and has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, kidney stones and carpal tunnel syndrome.  Designs for Health has included B6 in Arthrosoothe, which I myself use.  More and more companies are including B vitamins in their products for both bone density and arthritis.

Studies also show B6 may help alleviate asthma symptoms.

B7-Biotin: is most popular for strengthening hair and nails, as well as promoting growth.  It  acts as a coenzyme that helps transport carbon dioxide between compounds.   It plays a role in protein synthesis, the formation of long-chain fatty acids and the Krebs cycle, the basic biological process that releases energy from food.  Recommended dosage is usually 1-5 mcgs. (1,000 – 5,000 milligrams).

The best sources of biotin are cheese, organ meats (no longer sold) and soybean.  Good sources are cauliflower,  eggs, mushrooms, nuts, peanuts (legumes), and whole wheat.

It is also beneficial to prevent scaly bumps and dandruff.  It’s beneficial for treating Seborrheic Dermatitis (known as cradle cap in infants).  Women who are breast feeding should make sure they continue their Prenatal by Country Life or New Chapter (to name a couple), to make sure they’re getting an ample supply of this B vitamin along with the other nutrients.

Biotin is also important for diabetics because it helps improve glucose metabolism.

B9-Folic Acid(Folate):  is necessary for a variety of functions and body processes, from cellular maintenance to the prevention of birth defects in developing fetuses.  Especially, in cases of Spina Bifida, which is a neural tube defect.  Folic acid deficiency is also linked to depression, atherosclerosis and osteoporosis.   Along with methionine and B12 it helps with synthesis of SAMe (S-Adenosylmethionine), which is a methyl donor, which help manufacture DNA and brain neurotransmitters.

5-methyl-tetra-hydrofolate (folinic acid)  is the most active form of folic acid and is more efficient at raising body stores than folic acid.  Designs for Health, Life Extension and Solgar carry this form (to mention a few).

Generally, the recommended dosage is 400 micrograms, ask your doctor if you could take a higher dose for problematic conditions as mentioned above.

B12-Cyanocobalamin:  as we know by now B12 works synergistically with B6 and Folic Acid (aforementioned).  It was isolated originally from liver extract in 1948 and identified as the nutritional factor in liver that prevented pernicious anemia, a deadly type of anemia characterized by large, immature red blood cells.

B12 is very beneficial in protecting the myelin sheath, therefore, may be helpful for those suffering from MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and nerve and muscular diseases.   B12 deficiency includes many problems including memory loss, confusion, delusion, fatigue, loss of balance, depression, dementia, numbness and tingling the hands, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and decreased reflexes.

I prefer the methylcobalamin form,  which Country Life, Designs for Health, Life Extension, Natural Factors & Solgar (among many other brands that we carry).  The recommended dosage is usually 1000 micrograms – 5000 micrograms (1 milligram – 5 milligram) in this form.  Usually found in a sublingual tablet or liquid.

As I learned in my Natural Health studies, it’s best to take a B-complex or a multivitamin/mineral supplement with full complement of B vitamins.  B vitamins work synergistically.

C. Lombardo, CNHC

Pre-Workouts Made Simple

Jan 16, 2014

Getting an extra edge in the gym is always appealing for athletes to the average Joe. Pre-workout supplements are a great way to get a boost in the gym to help put up a few extra reps and speed up lean muscle gains.

How do you know which one is the best? I am going to help you and guide your eye in to what to look for in a pre-workout. We’re also going to look at some options of making your own pre-workout!

Arginine vs. Citrulline

Nitric oxide (NO) was founded in 1992 by three scientists which they ended up winning the Nobel Prize. Although it is a common molecule in the body it has had profound impacts in medicine and the understanding of the human body. A precursor to NOis L-Arginine, an amino acid that is used by NO synthase to make NO. NO works to vasodilate blood vessels increasing nutrient, oxygen and flow to muscles.

Arginine however has an activity time of about 1 hour. That means its effects are very short term. When looking at a pre-workout supplement look for something that has a combination of arginine AND citrulline. Citrulline is a precursor to arginine and allows for a steady increase in NO, this means sustained pumps, sustained blood flow to the muscles and better muscle metabolism.(Schwedhelm et al., 2008)

Creatine

Many popular pre-workout products contain some form on creatine (monohydrate, Hcl, ethyl-ester). The creatine with the most research is creatine monohydrate (mentioned here in a previous blog). Unfortuenly creatine requires insulin to be absorbed, this means it needs to be taken with some type of carbohydrate, yet most pre-workouts lack carbs. Therefore I would not consider creatine as a necessity in a pre-workout, and those that do have creatine are only in low doses (1-2g).

Beta-alanine

This may be my favorite nutrient in a pre-workout. Beta-alanine has been shown to increase carnosine levels in muscle which acts as a pH buffer. This means during high intensity exercise the muscle typically becomes more acidic due to lactic acid, which is combated by carnosine. Carnosine also the muscle to become less acidic which results in increased exercise capacity(Sale, Saunders, & Harris, 2010).

For new users, beta alanine can give a tingly feeling. This is normal and will subside (I find it gives me a nice stimulus before lifting).

BCAA

Branch-chain amino acids (BCAA) are amino acids with a unique structure including valine, leucine, isoleucine. These amino acids easily enter muscle tissues and they are used efficiently as energy for muscle tissue. This is especially beneficial during lifting because it prevents muscle catabolism (break down).

Glutamine

Skeletal muscle is a major site of glutamine synthesis and during exercise glutamine is used up very quickly during exercise. If this amino acid is used up the body will begin to break down additional muscle protein. By taking glutamine and BCAAs the breakdown of muscle protein is spared.

Caffeine

Caffeine has long been know for its benefits in exercise. It increase epinephrine and increases the free fatty acids in the blood to be used as energy. A collection of studies have shown that 3-6mg/kg of caffeine can increase athletic performance by providing muscles more fatty acids for energy. For workout purposes 200mg to 300mg of caffeine pre workout have scientifically been shown to increase athletic performance. I do think this is quite a high amount for the average person, but most people consume this amount in their daily coffee intake. If you’re looking for a pre-workout with caffeine then lay off the coffee or go decaf.

Summary: What to look for in your Pre-workout

*Personally I make my own pre-workout, so I know exactly what I am taking and what is working or not working for me. But for the convenience of a pre workout mix, look for these ingredients. Here are a few pre-workouts that you may like.

  • Optimum Nutrition – Platinum-Pre
  • MHP – Trac NO
  • Gaspari – Superpump Max

Citrulline is better than arginine

How much? 4-6 g

Now L-citrulline Powder

Beta-alanine

How much? 2g

Now Beta-Alanine Powder

BCAA

How much?

  • Leucine 2.5-3g
  • Valine 1.5 g
  • Isoleucine 1.5 g

Optimum Nutrition BCAA

Glutamine

How much? 5g

Jarrow Glutamine

Caffeine*

How much? 200-300 mg  (2-3 cups of coffee)

Happy lifting!

Ralph Esposito
N.D, L.Ac Candidate 2016 – UBCNM
B.S Nutrition and Food Studies

*If you have a heart condition or any other health condition it is imperative you consult with your physician about coffee/caffeine intake.

1. Sale, C., Saunders, B., & Harris, R. (2010). Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance. Amino Acids, 39(2), 321–333. doi:10.1007/s00726-009-0443-4

2. Schwedhelm, E., Maas, R., Freese, R., Jung, D., Lukacs, Z., Jambrecina, A., … Böger, R. H. (2008). Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine: impact on nitric oxide metabolism. British journal of clinical pharmacology, 65(1), 51–9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2125.2007.02990.x

Testosterone and the Fountain of Youth

Jan 6, 2014

The Fountain of Youth is the ever-desired aspect of each generation. A young 21-year-old man feels like Superman, and the 50 year old man wishes for the youth of his 20s. Oftentimes older men seek testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), as their free testosterone levels tend to drop in their middle years. Unfortunately TRT has several side effects including acne, decreased testicle size and even more serious conditions such as increased risk of prostate cancer and increased risk of blood clots.

Oftentimes the best option is to seek a natural alternative before testosterone replacement therapy. Why? Well once you begin testosterone treatment, it is quite difficult to come off of treatment and it usually results in side effects such as depression and decreased energy. Sometimes men tend to feel worse after therapy than they did originally.

If you’re dealing with low energy, mental fog, low sex drive, decreased muscle gains and you’re a middle aged man then perhaps it’s a good idea to get your testosterone levels checked. Besides these things, low testosterone can lead to osteoporosis and heart problems.

So what is a 50-year-old guy to do? One option with extensive research backing and excellent results is Nettle Root (Urtica dioica). Nettle root works as a sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) inhibitor. Assuming you’re not in the health field allow me to better explain.

Testosterone (T) in the body exits as free or bound T. Free T is what the body uses and bound T is not available for use by cells. The bound T is bound to SHBG and therefore the body can’t use it. Nettle root binds to SHBG and prevents it from attaching to SHBG so that means there is more free T and less bound T. More free T allows testosterone to be used for muscle gains, energy, mental clarity and sex drive.

Studies show 600 to 1200 mg of Nettle Root extract can have profound impacts on increasing free testosterone. (Yarnell, Abascal, & Hooper, 2002).

Several studies also suggest Nettle may be helpful for prostate cancer and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia. (Yarnell et al., 2002)(Chrubasik, Roufogalis, Wagner, & Chrubasik, 2007).

Before you think about beginning the lifelong injections or applications of testosterone perhaps you may want to think about a natural alternative and avoid the side effects. Nettle root is an excellent herb to help with low testosterone and BPH, the key is the find the cause. If you find out why you have low T, ranging from excess fat tissue to certain drugs, then you can really cure the body.

A few reputable products to look at:

Solaray – Nettle Root

Eclectic Institute – Nettle Root

Now Foods-Nettle Root

Life Extension – Super Miraforte (A House of Nutrition Customer Favorite)

Until next time.

Ralph Esposito
N.D, L.Ac Candidate 2016 – UBCNM
B.S Nutrition and Food Studies

Aloe Plant

Dec 2, 2013

Did you know that the inner fillet of aloe is the most beneficial part of the plant. It aids in healing dysbiosis (microbial imbalance inside the body), ulcers, constipation and hemorrhoids and may also help with arthritis. When choicing aloe, I suggest the inner fillet. However, people that want the laxative effect can choose the outer leave or whole leaf.

Keep in mind, the outer leave and/or whole leaf should only be used for short periods of time. Whereas the inner fillet can be used daily.


Also, for those trying to stay young, definitely choose the inner fillet for optimal benefits. Aloe Vera is known to regenerate the skin after burns and cuts because of its excellent anti-inflammatory and healing properties thus scars, burns and minor cuts recover quickly and skin grows back smoothly after applying aloe gel. Therefore, if it’s good for regenerating damaged cells it’s likely ideal for fighting wrinkles. For anti-aging benefits drink the inner fillet everyday.

In fact, because the outer leaf contains aloin and anthraquinone glycosides, which are toxic, good quality companies remove these toxic properties before putting the bottles on the shelves. The gel itself has 75 known nutrients found, which contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, and polysaccharides which gives aloe vera its health benefits.

The gel remains inside the inner fillet of the leaf. Another whole leaf extraction method involves the same cold process leaf processing in the first step, but then utilizes short duration low temperature controlled sterilization techniques that kill off bacteria without the addition of chemicals. The resulting gel is then concentrated in a vacuum chamber and subsequently dehydrated into a water soluble compound that retains the biochemical activity indefinitely without the addition of any preservatives. This method is currently regarded as the most efficient method, even though heat is used in the process.

The heating process is closely controlled and it never reaches more than 65 degrees or is applied over periods longer than 15 minutes at a time. Longer exposure times or higher temperatures would deteriorate the final product. It is very important to read the label of your aloe product carefully and research the methods of extraction and actual composition of the final product as there are huge differences between manufacturers.

One of my favorite tasting and high quality Aloe Vera Juices is Country Life:

• Exclusive to Country Life, Realfood Organics® Liquid Aloe Vera
• Includes 15 mg of polysaccharides per serving
• Supports increased B12 absorption using only one ounce
• Supports Vitamin C & E absorption using only two ounces
Certified Vegan; Certified Gluten-Free; No GMO’s, No Yeast or Wheat

Country Life also makes Aloe Vera +, which contains anti-inflammatory & cleansing herbs. This is also an excellent detox, similiar to Flora Essence (ref. my 9/8/08 blog). My other favorite is their Cran-Aloe, which I highly recommend for chronic UTI’s (Urinary Tract Infections). Before using any of the aforementioned, discuss any medications you’re on with health professional.

For those who prefer capsules I recommend Nature’s Way Aloe capsules. They make several different formulas depending on your specific needs.

CAUTION: If pregnant or nursing, taking medication or planning to have surgery, consult with your doctor before using this product.

Carol Lombardo

Glyconutrients

Nov 13, 2013

Glyconutrients are amino sugars that are very beneficial to our health. I’d like to clarify that glucosamine (an amino sugar) from crustasceans doesn’t affect blood sugar. As we all know, our body makes glucosamine for healthy cartilage. However, as we age, we sometimes need to supplement to help rebuild cartilage.

Many people think glucosamine works quickly, however, it takes weeks and sometimes months to see any symptom relief. Especially, beneficial when used with MSM, turmeric, boswellia, manganese, etc. (Designs for Health’s Arthrosoothe). People with seafood allergies should use shellfish-free Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM by Solgar.

Here is a list of some other glyconutrients:

D-Mannose is beneficial for bacterial infections associated with urinary tract (UTI’s). Within the bladder, it can adhere to bacterial lectins, preventing them from sticking to the bladder lining.

Once the process occurs, they can be flushed away during urination. The body only utilizes small amounts of D-Mannose, therefore, it doesn’t interfere with normal blood sugar regulation. D-Mannose is beneficial to both women and men — without any side effects.

L-Arabinose is a substance obtained from plant polysaccharides to help regulate blood sugar by blocking the complete absorption of sugar and may control weight gain as well. It has been sold in granule form in the United Kingdom. It’s now available here in the United States. Nature’s Sunshine makes Sweet FX combined with L-Theanine, which may control emotional eating and cinnamon, which has been shown to maintain healthy blood sugar and insulin levels.

D-Ribose can help restore body’s energy, giving hearts and muscles the power they need to fully recharge. It’s important for the production of cellular energy (ATP) — Adenosine Triphosphate, which makes it possible for cells to produce, store, and exchange chemical energy. Initially, ATP allows us to synthesize proteins, contract muscles, lift weights, etc.

Xylitol is naturally produced by the human body, as well as by many plants, fruits, and vegetables. Did you know, humans produce as much as 15 grams of xylitol everyday during normal metabolism. First synthesized by French and German chemists in the late 1800’s, xylitol’s potential wasn’t commercially realized until the 1970’s, when it began showing up in chewing gums throughtout various regions of France, Switzerland and Finland.

Xylitol helps inhibit oral bacteria, helps prevent plaque and cavities, therefore, it’s now used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, chewing gums, lozenges, and crystalline powder. As a powder it’s a great alternative to sugar (may have a laxative effect). It’s also used in nasal sprays (Xlear). Xlear gently cleans, moisturizes and soothes the sinuses & nasal passages.

According to the book “Sugars that Heal” by Dr. Emil I. Mondoa, Maitake D-Fraction is considered to be a glyconutrient along with other mushrooms. These mushrooms have been shown to be very beneficial in HIV patients. I have been selling Maitake D-Fraction to customers with Hepatitis. Their liver enzymes went down in several months after taking it.

Also, my customers have found that their immune system, in general, has improved significantly. Use of mushrooms like Maitake D-Fraction, Shitake and Cordyceps (glyconutrients) have been used for centuries in Chinese Medicine for immune support. Paul Stamets makes an excellent product called Host Defense, with a blend of mushrooms.

Cordyceps not only boost immunity but it also helps support kidney function. Designs for Health has made an excellent product called: Kidney Korrect, which contains Cordyceps along with several other beneficial herbs. I gave this to several customers with low kidney function and after a few months their kidney function was back to normal.

There are more glyconutrients to discuss but I’ll do so at another time.

If Pregnant don’t use anything without speaking with your doctor

Carol Lombardo, CNHC

Anorexia Nervosa

Nov 12, 2013

As we all know, obesity has become an epidemic in most of the United States.  However, I feel like some people are so concerned about obesity that they’re forgetting about people being too thin, who are anorexic.   These people are so obsessed about being thin that they get carried away without caring about their health.  Anorexia means loss of appetite, however, ironically, people who have anorexia nervosa actually force themselves to be thin not because they have no appetite.

Anorexia

They think they’re are fat (maybe because they once were, in few cases) and continue to adapt to unusual eating patterns.  They actually have a distorted body image.  They will work out after every meal; take laxatives daily and constantly check the scale.  Please be aware if you see this behavior in a loved one.

It was once considered to affect only women, however, more and more men have this disorder as well.  I know several men that  who are skeletal.  It so sad they look at every product to see the calories, refusing to eat more than 100 calories.  Men, like many women, who have this disorder are constantly weighing their food talking about being fat (when they’re not).  The little meat on their body they consider fat.  In older people, they will look ten to twenty years older than what they are.

Anorexia

By depriving themselves of the proper nutrients they lose their hair, get sick more often, lower their hormone levels and lose their bone density.  These are just some of the problems that occur.  Some of these people actually start out eating healthy with good intentions to look and feel better.  However, when they have this disorder they no longer have control.
It’s very sad.  Sometimes the cause is psychological and because they can’t control their life the only thing they can control is their food intake and they take it to the extreme.  When a family member comes to me, I recommend counseling, spiritual guidance and the following protocol:

The aforementioned protocol is a start, however, these people usually won’t take anything that they think will put on weight.  They have called me to ask how many calories are in the vitamins.  This is a serious obsession.  We can’t give up on them because it can become very fatal.


I had to write this blog because I’m very concerned that this disorder is being ignored.  Please take this disorder very seriously. If you have a loved one or someone close to you with this disorder, please get them help.

We need to focus on the goodness in others not how fat they are.  Too many people are misguided and don’t love themselves for qualities within.  As parents it’s important to focus on our children’s mind and spirit.  Children learn what they live, however, they are influenced by others outside the house.  Initially, they usually come back to their true selves.

As adults we are still haunted by our past.  Therefore, we must learn to let go and move on to a better future.  Again, get the help you need because it’s never too late.

Be healthy and happy!

Carol Lombardo, CNHC

Creatine: The True Science

Nov 4, 2013

Creatine: The True Science

One sport supplement known to most people is creatine and yet it seems to be the least understood among many athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Creatine, because many people do not understand its metabolic and biochemical action, is often looked down upon as being deemed un-natural and dangerous.

Creatine is naturally made and used in the body and if you eat foods like meats and fish you are already consuming creatine.

Lets dig deep to better understand this nutrient.

What is creatine?


Creatine is an amino acid made in the liver and kidneys from arginine, glycine and methionine (S-adenosyl-methionine). It is a primary amino acid used in the production and recycling of ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate, which the body uses to produce energy). It is found mostly in muscles at high levels.
When the body uses ATP for energy, it becomes ADP. Think of it like a match – an unlit match has the ability to create energy/fire. Once the match is lit it has this fire/energy, and when the match goes out then all the energy is lost. ATP is the unlit match and ADP is the used match. Creatine can relight the match, it can help remake ATP and therefore more energy for muscles! [1]

Is it dangerous?


In most healthy individuals creatine is safe. The consensus seems to be indicating there are no side effects of creatine on renal, liver, cardiac and kidney function [2]. Does this mean everyone should take creatine? No and we will discuss who it is best for, but it is considered a safe supplement and can provide beneficial results especially for athletics and fitness.
Oftentimes people claim creatine is bad for your kidneys and liver. Most research indicates this is not true, however most people do not drink enough water regardless of their creatine consumption. Try to drink half your body weight in ounces (if you weight 180 lbs. then drink 90 oz/day) to make sure you provide the body and muscles with the essentials to grow. This should be followed even if you’re not consuming creatine. Coffee is a diuretic meaning it makes your body lose more water. I recommend drinking an extra cup of water for every cup of coffee.

Benefits of Creatine


Well if creatine increases energy and ATP then it can be used for any sport, right? Wrong. Creatine is best for resistant training including weights and high intensity (HIT) training like cross fit or sprinting. In intense, explosive types of exercise like HIT and weight lifting the body will rely first on ATP from creatine (specifically creatine phosphate) before any other energy source. This means creatine will provide more energy, which results in increased strength and muscle growth. [1,3]It is not beneficial for endurance athletes like runners and cyclists because they do not rely heavily on creatine.

Creatine has the ability to:
• Increase muscle mass
• Increase muscle strength
• Enhance muscle recovery

All three of these benefits equates to enhanced results in the weight room.

Creatine and your Heart
Wouldn’t it make sense for creatine to help muscles that work really hard? Like the heart?! Interestingly there are some studies indicating creatine can be used in people with heart failure to help with heart strength and exercise capacity [4].

Creatine Ethyl Ester vs. Monohydrate

Creatine monohydrate has been used for decades in athletics and bodybuilding with the most beneficial results over other creatines. Recently creatine ethyl ester (CEE) has been gaining some popularity as being superior to creatine monohydrate. One study showed CEE to be inferior to Creatine monohydrate, showing the monohydrate to increase blood levels higher than CEE. Considering creatine monohydrate has been used for many years by many successful athletes and bodybuilders, I would suggest to stick to what we know works. [5]

Here are a few creatine products you should take a look at:
Country Life – Creatine Monohydrate
Jarrow Formulas – Creatine Caps 800
Life Extension – Creatine Powder

I know many people who assume they understand or know what creatine is simply because it is popular. I hope now you can understand the science a bit better.
Happy lifting!

In health,
Ralph Esposito
N.D, L.Ac Candidate 2016 – UBCNM
B.S Nutrition and Food Studies

Before taking on any supplement regimen it is always best to consult your health care provider.













References:

1. Smith, Colleen M., Allan D. Marks, M. A. Lieberman, Dawn B. Marks, and Dawn B. Marks. “47.” Marks’ Basic Medical Biochemistry: A Clinical Approach. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005. N. pag. Print.
2. Persky AM, Rawson ES. Safety of creatine supplementation. SubcellBiochem. 2007;46:275-89. Review.
3. Jeff S Volek, Eric S Rawson, Scientific basis and practical aspects of creatine supplementation for athletes, Nutrition, Volume 20, Issues 7–8, July–August 2004, Pages 609-614, ISSN 0899-9007, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2004.04.014.
4. Klaus K.A. Witte, Andrew L. Clark, John G.F. Cleland, Chronic heart failure and micronutrients, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Volume 37, Issue 7, 1 June 2001, Pages 1765-1774, ISSN 0735-1097,
5. Spillane, Mike, Ryan Schoch, Matt Cooke, Travis Harvey, Mike Greenwood, Richard Kreider, and Darryn S. Willoughby. “The Effects of Creatine Ethyl Ester Supplementation Combined with Heavy Resistance Training on Body Composition, Muscle Performance, and Serum and Muscle Creatine Levels.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 6.1 (2009): 6. Print.