4 Things You Didn’t Know Could Help Your Heart

When you think of heart health from a naturopathic perspective, the first thing you might think of could be Omega oils, CoQ10 and maybe Magnesium. Did you know however that there are some easy and natural ways to support your heart health along with a good supplement protocol? These are our best healthy heart lifestyle tips that you probably didn’t associate with heart health until now!

Switch up your exercise routine-
Exercising in the first place is the most important step to a healthy heart, but sometimes if you stick the the same workout and keep it static, you will start to benefit less from a cardiovascular perspective over time. Keeping your workouts dynamic or changing is key to keeping your heart rate adjusting, which in turn can tone cardiac tissue leaving you with a happy healthy heart.

Focus on heart openers-
If you’re a yogi, you probably know what we’re talking about. Heart openers are called that for a reason, they are specific yoga poses that can “expand and open” the heart. There is of course an emotional and physical component to this practice, but to an outsider looking in, these poses would look like good chest stretches. These poses include ones like, cow pose, camel pose, dancer pose, and half moon. Most of them incorporate some sort of back bend component. To keep your heart open and strong, try a series of heart opener poses in your daily routine.

Keep the relationships healthy-
Did you know that bad relationships not only emotionally hurt your heart, but can cause it physical harm as well? A study conducted over a 6 year span showed that men who were in deteriorating relationships also suffered an average 2.74 rise in blood pressure.

-Hit the sauna
A recent Finnish study showed that on average, a 30 minute trip to the sauna showed many of the same effects as exercising by dropping blood pressure, softening artery “stiffness”, and moderately raising heart rate. While you should still exercise, hitting the sauna can be an easy and relaxing way to improve heart health.

Educate your patients by sharing this post on social media


Understanding the Basics of the Endocannabinoid System

The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) is a bit misunderstood and is sometimes completely unknown, even to doctors. Dr. Aimée Shunney has dedicated her time and practice to balancing this system with her patients and perfecting dosing for each individual patient.

Before working with patients on optimization, it’s important to be able to explain what the ECS is, as simply as possible. Understanding the basics of what a system does and how it works helps patients be more conscious of the results they experience.

Dr. Aimee Shunney explains in the video how our ECS is made up of 2 endocannabinoids, endo meaning made within our body. Yep, we make cannabinoids already! These two endocannabinoids are called anandamide and 2AG. Then we have the enzymes that produce and degrade the endocannabinoids, and last we have our cannabinoid receptors. Each of these is what makes the structure of the ECS, and its chief job is to keep us adapting optimally to change. Homeostasis.

Just like any other system, the respiratory system, the digestive system, the endocrine system, the ECS can fall out of balance, and it usually happens when our other systems begin to fall out of balance.

This is where CBD comes in.

Cannabidiol (CBD), is 1 of 80+ Phytocannabinoids, meaning it’s a cannabinoid made by a plant, that can be extracted from a cannabis plant. This single isolated cannabinoid is what doctors are excited about. CBD has endless research studies on effects it can have on the human body. You can read about some of these studies at https://www.theroc.us/research-library.

Dosing is what is very difficult to determine for each individual patient and really depends on what conditions the patient has and what the doctor is trying to treat. Dr. Aimée’s method is simple, low and slow. She starts each patient on a very small dose, determines if the patient is feeling the effects of the treatment or having any side effects. If the patient has a positive reaction, she ups the dose slowly. Once the patient is taking enough to feel tired or drowsy, she backs off and has a personalized dosing schedule for that patient!

For more education on CBD and the ECS, check out our CBD educational resource http://shop.naturalpartners.com/hemp/

Educate your patients by sharing this video on social media

 

Or download it directly to play in your practice

Dr. Aimée Shunney is a naturopathic physician in private practice since 2001, currently at Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine in Santa Cruz, California.

She completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University where she graduated cum laude with a BA in psychology and minors in theatre and women’s studies. After several years of working with teens in residential treatment facilities, she returned to school for her postgraduate pre-medical coursework, and then attended the National College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received her naturopathic medical degree. Dr. Aimée continues to pursue additional postgraduate education with the Institute for Women's Health and Integrative Medicine, International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine, and others. She is licensed to practice medicine by the state of California. 

In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Aimée has served as a consultant to the natural products industry since 2011. A dynamic educator, radio personality, and writer, she is on a mission to empower people to take charge of their health with integrative medicine. Whether she is hosting local events, or presenting nationally, her engaging style, emphasis on individualized treatment, and passionate belief in radical self-care make her an audience favorite.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women's health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women's Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the 'Daphne Blayden' award for her 'Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

Check out our Facebook Event Page to stay up to date on the next Live Broadcast

 


Detox All Year

Tired of intense and extreme detoxes or too scared to do one? Don’t worry, you’re not alone and they’re not for everybody. Instead of starving yourself, drinking funky concoctions and risking feeling like death run over, try employing some easy practices in your everyday life to help your body’s own detoxification pathways perform at their best. When you think of it, detoxing is a flexible term, but in general the point is to help your body eliminate its toxic load or burden it has accumulated over time. By chipping away at it daily, your can help eliminate build up as well as tackle the non-stop toxins we encounter everywhere and everyday in today’s world.

Internally

-Supplement Protocol
Work with a physician to develop a supplement protocol that supports what your body needs now. Be sure you are taking professional grade, top quality products to really see results .
-GI Balance
Get your gut in check. If there’s gut dysbiosis, then you can bet your immune system isn’t going to work up to par. Ask your physician which products can support your digestive system, but daily probiotics and digestive enzymes are a great place to start.
-Liver Support
We put our livers through a lot on a daily basis, so help it with some daily support. Ask your physician about incorporating herbs like milk thistle into your daily protocol to help your liver out.
-Clean diet with liver and gut superheroes
Besides supplements, what you eat is of utmost importance. Going organic and plant-based is a great place to start. Incorporating leafy greens that are on the bitter side like dandelion, frisée, and radicchio can help your liver’s natural detox pathways. Introducing natural, low sugar fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and unsweetened nut milk yogurts are also an easy way to introduce healthy organisms into your gut.
-Check your IgG
Also known as your delayed food allergies, this test can be really enlightening because many of the foods you think are good for you can actually be causing inflammatory reactions in your body. Cut the foods out that test positive for at least 3 months and very slowly reintroduce being careful to monitor your symptoms.
-Oil Pull and charcoal toothpaste
When you eat and digest, it actually starts in your mouth. Important enzymes are released into your saliva while chewing so it’s crucial to keep your mouth healthy. Try oil pulling at least 2 days a week to help keep harmful bacteria out of your mouth. If you have never oil pulled before, try swishing a half a teaspoon of high quality coconut oil in your mouth for at least ten minutes then spit into the trash can. Using activated charcoal toothpaste can help trap and eliminated bad bugs in your mouth as well as whiten teeth!

Topically

-Soaks
A good bath can work magic, one of our favorites is just plain old Epsom salts. There are great detox bath products out there that you can introduce into your bathing ritual and bonus, it’s relaxing and stress reducing.
-Dry brushing
Dry brushing is a simple way to stimulate the lymph and brush away dead skin cells and build up. Do a quick dry brush before your shower and you’ll start to see results in just a couple weeks.
-Sweat on the regular
This is really an internal endeavor, but getting into a sweat every day is a great way to keep the detox going. Sweating is a natural method of cooling body temp, but it can also be detoxifying so don’t be afraid to hit the gym, up-level your cardio or try a heated yoga class.

Environmentally

-Pantry clean-out
If it lives in a cabinet in your home, check it out. This includes cleaning products, food, skin care and self care products. Check out the list of common toxins, endocrine disruptors and safe plastics on the Environmental Working Group website to see what is potentially damaging to you and your family.
-Score your exposure
You can actually score your exposure to toxins on the EWG’s website as well. This can serve as a great baseline to identify where you can start making changes in your life to reduce your exposure.

Mentally

-Emotional build up
From a mainstream medical perspective we still really don’t grasp the impact of our emotions on our physical health, but we do know there’s a definite connection. Typically, we hold on to pain and suffering and sometimes we aren’t even aware that we do. Whatever it may be for you, adopt a practice that helps you get some insight into how you can overcome emotional hurdles and baggage and move forward in a healthy place with your life. Mindfulness practice, meditation, yoga, energy work, and counseling are all great places to start.
-Put it to practice
When you identify the methods that work for you, commit to them. Make your practice a regular part of your day to help filter through your emotions in a healthy and productive way. Whether you need to do a 90 minute yoga class or a 5 minute meditation at home, make the time for yourself.


Therapies and Insights into Butyric Acid

This week on Healthy Happenings we are joined by Al Czap who began to experiment with butyric acid several years ago, but recently has made major breakthroughs in a new delivery system where 1 molecule can be isolated with the right degradation enzyme set-up and the right delivery form with a pending patent to his new product ProButyrate. This delivery system helped make butyric acid palatable, delivers one actual molecule at a time and gives you the ability to deliver it efficiently.

Butyric Acid can have a broad therapeutic range in the body, especially with gastroenterology disorders. For example a doctor who had an ostomy in the 70’s and recently had to have it debrided and moved to a different area, he had tried every therapy he could possibly find and nothing was helping. He was given the butyric acid product and eventually was able to heal his legion. Another MD had ulcerative colitis for over 6 weeks and could not get relief from any therapies he could try. He began treatment with the Butyric acid and his symptoms began to improve within 36 hours.

Al shares with us his experience with Max a 6 year-old boy with ASD. After researching more about butyric acid and autism, Al learned that children with ASD can convert too much of their fiber to propionic acid, don’t get enough butyric acid and can be toxic to them. A medical food powder was formulated for Max and his mother saw an enormous difference within 20 hours after taking it in his speech and cognition. He was even able to express his feelings verbally because for the first time he was getting relief from inflammation in his brain.

One of the issues with butyric acid is that it is hard to measure because people look at it in the stool, but it really only gives a measurement of what comes out. The best form of measurement is constant IV via the blood, but that is too difficult in today’s world. This technology now allows for substances that are undeliverable or poorly absorbed to now be delivered. As an example, other delivery forms like liposomals have been proven effective with many substances, but not successful with others.

Al shares his excitement with this isolated molecule technology and the implications it has for the potential to effectively deliver substances in the future. Among these substances is glutathione which has been very difficult to administer in the past. This technology also holds great potential for disorders in patients, especially children at an affordable rate. For example, methylmalonic acidemia is an organic acidemia that children have from birth where they are converting specific amino acids into toxins. Now utilizing this technology, Al Czap is able to develop medical foods that can potentially make a huge breakthrough in their treatment. Other disorders this technology can potentially help include isovaleric acidemia or propionic acidemia where a child is born and they convert 4 amino acids into proionic acid and they can die in a week. This also holds great potential for anti inflammatory plants that hold great potential for patients as well.
Manufacturing these products comes with challenges, but Al is hopeful that we can start seeing several new products released gradually that can potentially create breakthroughs in wellness by delivering substances that have historically been very difficult or impossible.

Al Czap was the Founder (1984) and former owner of Thorne Research, Inc. thorne.com which he sold in 2010. In 1993 he founded and published the Alternative Medicine Review, LLC through 2010. Al created and founded Tesseract Medical Research in 2016 and became the founder and publisher for the Foundational Medicine Review in 2018 (www.foundationalmedicinereview.com). 2018 served as a busy year when he also founded and created Zero Hour Detox (www.zerohd.com), a high-absorption glutathione product. Currently Al is focusing on developing groundbreaking medical foods for individuals with ASD, holding 3 patents and has 1 pending for a unique delivery system of ingredients.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women's health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women's Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the 'Daphne Blayden' award for her 'Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

Check out our Facebook Event Page to stay up to date on the next Live Broadcast


The Benefits of NAD With Dr. Alyssa Dweck

This week on Healthy Happenings we discuss how NAD plays a very important role in our bodies. You can think of it as the central regulator of our metabolism. Every cell needs NAD to function and NAD levels decrease with aging and external stressors like stress and drinking. People are beginning to search for ways to boost NAD levels to enhance our metabolism. Recent research suggests that Vitamin B3 can help boost NAD production.

Taking NAD itself isn’t going to do much for you, that’s why taking the precursors to it is very important. Niacin is the most familiar form of vitamin B3, but can cause a hot flash-like flush for many patients. Niagen is a newer form of B3 that can easily enter cells and create an efficient chemical reaction. This is proving as an easy and effective way for Dr. Dweck’s patients to help themselves boost energy.

Looking at the difference between NAD precursors falls into 3 forms of Vitamin B3; Niacin, NAM (has a more difficult pathway into cells), and Niagen that can be taken orally and has been notified by the FDA as a generally safe substance. Niagen has recently been backed by several human and animal studies as being effective and safe. Like Niacin, Niagen does not seem to cause a flush and can help other proteins in our bodies that help protect our cells from aging. They are essentially a second layer of protection to our cell’s aging process. For dosing, the standard is about 300mg of NR (Niagen) per day. If you take too much, flushing may be a possibility, but is not common.

When talking about cellular health with patients, it can be hard to navigate. Dr. Dweck suggests that there’s no substitute for a good diet, good exercise, stress reduction and supplementation. With trillions of cells in our body, having them all work up to par is important and an extra boost of NAD is something that can help accomplish this. OMG NAD!!!

Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MS, MD, FACOG, is a practicing gynecologist at the CareMount Medical in Westchester County, New York. She provides care to women of all ages; she has delivered thousands of babies. A graduate of Barnard College, she has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Columbia University and her Medical Degree from Hahnemann University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, now named Drexel University. Dr. Dweck trained at Lankenau Medical Center Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, where she was Chief Resident in 1994.
Dr. Dweck practices in Mount Kisco, NY and Carmel, NY and admits to Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, NY. She has been voted “Top Doctor” in New York Magazine and in Westchester County.
She is proficient in minimally invasive surgery including robotic surgery. She has a special interest and expertise in female sexual health and medical sex therapy. She is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a consultant at Massachusetts General Hospital, Vincents Memorial Ob/Gyn Service. She has served on the board of directors of the CareMount Medical in addition to ethics, quality assurance, and peer review committees. She is on the medical advisory board of Hope’s Door, a shelter from Domestic Violence and is a medical consultant for, Stepup-Speakout.org, a web community dedicated to resources and support for breast cancer related lymphedema.

Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN serves as the President of California Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Lucille works at the Los Angeles Free Clinic providing health education, promotion and prevention. Dr. Lucille serves as a Naturopathic physician, an expert on women's health issues. In her private practice, Healing from Within Healthcare in Los Angeles, California, she specializes in Women's Wellness. She has extensive education in various modalities, including homeopathy, clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, body and energy work and mind body and lifestyle counseling. She serves as a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of PhytoPharmica Inc. She serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board at EuroPharma, Inc. She serves as a Member of Medical Advisory Board at Integrative Therapeutics, Inc. She served as Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Enzymatic Therapy, Inc. She serves as Member of Naturopathic Scientific Advisory Committee at Kamedis Bio Herbal Skincare. She is the recipient of the 2004 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine Legacy Award recognizing her incredible service and contributions to the naturopathic medical community. She is a Registered Nurse. Dr. Lucille has Doctorate from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she received the 'Daphne Blayden' award for her 'Commitment to Naturopathic Medicine.

Check out our Facebook Event Page to stay up to date on the next Live Broadcast


Level-Up Your Pre Fertility Plan

When you think about making babies, pre fertility may or may not be the first thing to cross your mind. For some, fertility really is not an issue, but for others, getting pregnant can be a little trickier. As you research pre fertility online, you will come across a never ending stream of advice that can quickly become overwhelming. Here are our best tips simplified to help you towards the ultimate goal of a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Consider Your Environment

  • Reduce exposure to endocrine and hormone disruptors in common skin care, cleaning and home products.
  • What have you been exposed to recently? Harsh chemicals from common items like new carpet, VOC’s from paint, even pesticides from agricultural residue can all build up in your tissues and fat cells. Work with a physician to help your elimination channels like your liver and digestive system work efficiently with a detox. You can even have labs drawn up looking for heavy metal levels, chelation treatment could be in order.

Stressed Because You’re Stressed?

  • The funny thing about stress is that we can make most of it up. Stressing about getting pregnant is one of the least productive things you can do. Take time to find peace with your possible outcomes because ultimately it is out of your control in many ways.
  • Distract yourself with something you love. Instead of being preoccupied with worrying about getting pregnant, throw your thoughts and efforts into something that is good for your soul.

Start with Food

  • Let food be thy medicine! Give your body the best chance you can by fueling it with the right foods. Eating a clean, plant-based diet is a great place to start, but there are some unsung fertility heroes you may want to try adding into your diet. Try plenty of spinach, beans, quinoa, and pumpkin seeds to increase iron levels.
  • During ovulation, Vitamin C, B Vitamins and Zinc are very important. Citrus fruits and berries are a great source of Vitamin C. B vitamins vary, but folate is especially important. Try leafy greens, eggs, and whole complex grains. For zinc, pumpkin seeds again are great, cashews, chickpeas and cocoa. We suggest a whole food chocolate brownie made with chickpea flour!

It Takes Two to Tango

  • Often times women bare the weight of getting pregnant on their shoulders alone, but really men have just as an important role. Be sure both partners are tested for fertility levels, because there are many factors at play for men such as sperm count and motility.
  • When you know which obstacles each individual respectively is facing, then your physician can help you make a plan on how to best work with it.

Bonus

Chocolate Cashew Butter Chickpea Brownies

1 can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup cashew butter

⅓ cup agave nectar or sweetener of choice

⅓ cup cocoa powder

1 egg

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ cup dark chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend together the chickpeas, cashew butter, agave, cocoa, egg, coconut oil, salt, and vanilla until it forms a smooth consistency. Next pulse in the baking powder and soda until blended. Remove the blade and fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  2. Transfer the mix to a greased brownie pan and spread the mix evenly. Tap the bottom so that any air bubbles can escape.
  3. Bake about 40-45 minutes until the edges are crispy. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and store in an airtight container.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

 


Prenatal Vitamins from Natural Partners- Real Families, Real Results

When it comes to choosing a prenatal vitamin and supplements, we know you don’t take it lightly. Mothers, families, and developing babies in particular need the very best and that is why we don’t compromise on finding the highest quality products that are right for your individual needs. At Natural Partners, we’re family and look out for each other so it’s no wonder why people from our team choose prenatals and supplements from our trusted brand partners for their families. We have affectionately dubbed our Natural Partners babies the “Natty Peanuts”. Take a closer look at some of our favorite products from real parents who used them to support a happy and healthy pregnancy for their little Natty Peanuts.

Lauren C.-

I had a terrible time finding a prenatal that worked for me. I was so sensitive to everything and had a horrible first trimester with both of my boys. I was so nauseous all of the time and could eat very little without feeling the need to vomit. When I tried some prenatals, they made me instantly throw them back up, sorry TMI. I became hopeless and worried because I knew I wasn’t getting the nutrition I needed from my diet alone and the first trimester is a crucial development phase. Finally a friend suggested I try a whole food supplement because your body recognizes it like just that, whole food. I tried the Mykind Organic Prenatal Multi from Garden of Life and had ZERO nausea or any other issues. It was such a great solution and I stressed way less knowing that I was getting the nutrition that my babes and I needed. They both ended up being healthy, beautiful, big babies and I know I have my prenatal to thank for much of that!

 

Kate D.-

I took the New Chapter Perfect Prenatal Multivitamin during my pregnancy. I dealt with awful morning sickness and my prenatal really helped me get through it. I was also worried about getting the right Omega’s because I’m a vegetarian so I tried the Algae Omega From Nordic Naturals and it worked great for me!

 

 

 

Brittany J.-

I took a whole food prenatal because I have a sensitive stomach that got extra sensitive during pregnancy. This was especially crucial at the beginning when I had morning sickness and had more food aversions than cravings. I also took magnesium because it gave me extra energy and helped me sleep at night. Lastly, I took fish oils because I wanted my baby to be smart.

 

 

 

Yukhi K.-

My wife took the Wholemega Prenatal from New Chapter. We were really happy with this product. Our first baby is a happy, healthy and smart little girl!

 

 

 

 

Malori M.-

I took Prenatal Nutrients from Pure during my pregnancy. I was able to rest easy knowing they are a great quality professional brand and that my baby girl was getting enough of the right nutrients. I was also prone to digestive issues during pregnancy so the HMF Maternity Probiotic from Seroyal/Genestra really helped me out and kept my immune system strong. I was really lucky to have a healthy and beautiful baby girl.

 

 


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


Supplements Tainted with Unapproved Drugs- Another Hurdle for Business Fighting the Good Fight

A recent article published by the Washington Post shed light on dietary supplements for diet, weight loss and sexual vitality being tainted with unapproved drugs. The California Department of Food and Agriculture reported that between 2007-2016,776  FDA tested supplements were contaminated with pharmaceuticals such as sildenafil, sibutramine, phenolphthalein, and steroids. Nearly 90% of these tainted supplements fell into the sports, sex and weight loss categories. Besides the obvious health risks this can pose, negligent and irresponsible manufacturing like this casts a dark cloud over an industry constantly fighting for clinical validation and legitimacy.

Having personally been exposed to the nutritional supplement industry for the better part of 25 years, findings like this make my heart break for the companies and manufacturers who have put their blood, sweat, and tears into creating potent, pure and effective products. I have seen first-hand on many occasions, how lives can be transformed by the benefits of quality supplements used properly. Findings like this only further validate the importance of doing due-diligence as either a consumer or practitioner when it comes to choosing vitamins and supplements.

When companies are trying to get their piece of the $35 billion supplement market, it is inevitable that corners will be cut and products will be pushed to market with the bottom line and only the bottom line in mind. Studies on the actual composition of many supplements (retail especially) prove that you’re better off eating cardboard. The long-term effects of this are two-fold: it proliferates an idea that supplements aren’t effective and creates a lack of credibility for the entire industry, even to those who are experts at developing and manufacturing quality nutritional supplements.

While finding superior manufacturing and formulations will continue to be an uphill battle for the growing dietary supplement industry, you have to keep your personal health at the forefront. At the end of the day, some people take supplements because they want to lose some weight or have better looking skin, and then there are those who are fighting life-threatening illness or recovering from serious injury. Whatever your goals may be, investigating manufacturers in today’s climate is just plain good sense. Here are some tips that can help you in your search:

  1. Talk to a licensed health care practitioner about all the medications and supplements you are taking or may want to take.
  2. Your health is an investment, chances are that the cheapest possible options aren’t the best, not even close.
  3. Research your chosen brands- Look for GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified facilities, batch testing, responsibly sourced raw ingredients, independent party formula testing, and Organic certifications
  4. Watch for fillers and excipients. Here’s an article to help you identify common ones: https://enzymedica.com/blogs/naturaldigestivehealth/common-fillers-and-excipients-in-supplements
  5. Ask for valid 3rd party testing. Formulations should have published studies on effectiveness.

Seeing growth in the supplement industry is a good thing, it means people are starting to identify their health as a priority. Similar to other industries like food, skincare, and even pet food, manufacturers and marketing can be dishonest and misleading. The good news is, consumers and practitioners have power. Educate yourself, seek out the best products from an informed perspective and hopefully the inferior products simply won’t survive in a competitive climate. It’s up to you!  

By Dr. Holly Lucille, ND, RN


Take Your Medicine (we mean supplements) Week

Patient compliance can be a massive hurdle for health care providers and rightfully so because most people are not used to integrating supplements and other products into their already busy lives.  On top of that you can hit other roadblocks such as patients disliking the taste, other symptoms like stomach ache, and even patients stop using a product because they don’t see results right away. Here are 6 quick tips we recommend for rebounding from supplement compliance issues.

Know your products-

If you’re prescribing a product, you should be versed on the brand and specifically that product. If you haven’t used it before or want to try it, check reviews online. Some products can seem perfect on paper, but have a bad taste, texture, or even smell in real life. If the product is a must, then educate your patient or customer first and give them a warning and a way to cope with it. For example, if a product smells bad, tell them to plug their nose when taking or if a powder is lumpy or grainy, give them good suggestions for blending.

Breathe-

It sounds strange, but adults can have anxiety about swallowing pills especially when there are several to take. Most people on a supplement protocol find themselves taking upwards of 4 pills morning and night. If your clients and patients have a hard time swallowing pills or have anxiety about choking on them, have them take 3 deep full breaths in and out before taking the pills to relax the esophagus. Once they have put the pills in their mouth and taken in the liquid they will swallow them with, have them breathe in fully through their nose adding as much air as they can. Immediately tilt head back and swallow, keeping your muscles as relaxed as possible.

Optimize-

Let’s face it, many great products just don’t taste that great on their own, so they need to be “optimized” for flavor. For very earthy and herbaceous tonics, try mixing them with a couple ounces of a strong juice such as cranberry, then add that to some sparkling water for a refreshing tonic. For chalky powders like protein powders, try adding them to a smoothie using a good blender. Add frozen bananas and nut milk to achieve creaminess. If you prescribe fish oils and people do not want to take it by the spoonful or in a capsule, try an emulsion variety.

Pencil it In-

Help your patients set daily alerts and reminders in their phones or digital calendars. Make sure you plan on a time that fits in with their meals and works well with where they physically are. For example, don’t set your alerts for times they will be in the car, getting to work, etc.

Wellness Journaling-

Journaling has been a proven stress reducer and is a great opportunity to record their daily health and wellness findings. Because people like instant gratification, it helps to look back on a day to day basis to see if certain products or supplements have made a difference for them over time. When patients and clients are also doing something temporary like detoxing or are going on a weight management protocol, it’s super to record where they started, their ups and downs in between and their final results. This practice gives perspective and is a great tool for wellness management.

Autoship-

Natural Partners and Fullscript offer convenient autoship features where practitioners and patients can choose the frequency products are automatically shipped to them. This is a simple and easy to use feature and it ensures people do not run out of the products they rely on. This takes a hurdle out of the actual process of having easy access to supplements and other products. Try autoship to simplify your life.

Want more compliance tips?

Watch this video that explains how to get your kids to take their supplements

Learn how to properly read a Supplement Label