Health Remedies Blog Natural Remedies For Good Health en-us 60 hourly 1 The Many Health Benefits of Phenylethylamine (PEA) - Your Brain's Natural Stimulant Sun, 13 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0400 I use PEA-based supplements, both to augment the effects of prescription medication and as a stand-alone agent, to treat many different symptoms associated with various conditions:

  • Fatigue
  • Brain fog (fuzzy thinking)
  • Poor concentration/attention/focus
  • Lack of motivation
  • No sense of joy

You will note immediately from the partial list above that such symptoms are commonly found in various of our most common psychiatric disorders including:  ADHD, addictions (substances, food, internet), PTSD, binge eating disorder (BED), and certain types of depression (“atypical depression” for instance).  And it is no wonder; each of these conditions is known to be associated with low levels of PEA. 

Most prescription medications used to treat these core conditions do not address low PEA.  That is why they frequently fail to work, cause troublesome side effects, or both. 

A Review of PEA

Phenylethylamine (PEA) is a hormone-like substance that occurs naturally in your brain and body.  It functions as a neurotransmitter that gives you heightened focus, attention, goal-directed behavior, and task-completion.  Combined with its mood elevating effects, these attributes are why supplementation with PEA can bring about increased get-up-and-go, an enhanced sense of well-being, and optimal cognitive performance. 

Moreover, PEA amplifies the actions of other key brain chemicals – serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine.  As such, PEA is thought to slow down the rate at which your brain and body age, extend health span, and increase longevity. 

Proper supplementation with PEA is designed to provide rapid improvements on mental clarity, mood, stamina, energy, libido, motivation, and joy. 

One potential caution:  PEA supplementation is not advised for people who have elevated levels of PEA such as seen in some individuals suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar mania, and agitated depression.  Often, the clinical picture indicates who is suffering from too much PEA versus too little.  Diagnostic accuracy is greatly improved, however, by measuring levels of PEA in the urine.  Please see our page on Neurotransmitter Screening for details.

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“PEA – Your Brain’s Natural Stimulant for Higher Performance and Increased Longevity.”

“Phenylethylamine: Health Benefits – A Review.”  Narinderpal et al.  World Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. 2016; Volume 5, Issue 4:743-750.


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

Cogniben - The First Multi-target Modulator for Cognitive Support Mon, 24 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 In partnership with TriNutraTM , LLC and Integrative Psychiatry, Inc., we at Health Remedies are pleased to announce the launch of CognibenTM,  a novel multi-target nutraceutical designed to give you:

  • Enhanced focus, concentration, and energy
  • Heightened mental alertness and clarity of thought
  • Optimal cognitive function

The synergistic combination and ratio of ingredients contained in Cogniben™ - PEA (phenylethylamine), Ginkgo biloba, and caffeine - are critical to its demonstrated effectiveness.  For instance, Ginkgo biloba, when combined with PEA, may significantly increase its bio-availability and clinical efficacy. 

Cogniben’s Patented Blend of Core Ingredients

·  Phenylethylamine (PEA) 

An amino acid that has been shown to modulate key brain chemicals:  serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine.  Believed to optimize mental energy/stamina, concentration and attention, motivation, pleasure, and joy.

·  Ginkgo Biloba

A plant that improves blood flow to the brain and has documented cognitive benefits.

·  Caffeine

Cogniben contains approximately the same amount of caffeine as ½ cup of coffee.  The actions of caffeine at adenosine receptors might increase brain activity, alertness, and wakefulness. 

Safety, Tolerability, and Efficacy Demonstrated in Human Subjects

An impressive and distinct combination of synergistic ingredients, Cogniben, unlike most supplements, has data demonstrating its effectiveness in human subjects. 

This efficacy was demonstrated in a recent single-blind outpatient study in 10 adults (18 to 55 years of age) with symptoms of cognitive impairment.  Participants were titrated from half tablet of Cogniben™ daily, up to the maximally allowed dose of two tablets per day by the end of the Week Two. This dose was maintained for an additional 5 weeks. Subjects' symptoms, well-being, and improvements were assessed via questionnaires at baseline and subsequent visits.

A follow-up study involving 60 people is now under way.

Perhaps most impressive clinically is that when Cogniben works, it works quickly, as early as the first dose.  By regulating key brain circuits demonstrated by clinical research to be associated with cogitive functioning - dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, and norepinephrine - Cogniben addresses numerous cognitive domains immediately .*

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

Probiotic Strain - Bifidobacterium longum - in Triflora Reduces Symptoms of Depression in Adults With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Sat, 08 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Recent research out of McMaster University has shown that a core strain found in our Triflora probiotic – Bifidobacterium longum – may lessen symptoms of depression and relieve gastrointestinal upset. 

Investigators from the Farncombe Family Digestive Health Research Institute discovered that twice as many adults suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) experienced improvements in their symptoms of depression when they took a specific probiotic than those who took a placebo.  These findings were published in the Journal of Gastroenterology.

According to the study’s lead author, Dr. Premysl Bercik, the findings provide additional proof that the microbiota environment in the intestines communicates directly with the brain:

"This study shows that consumption of a specific probiotic [Bifidobacterium longum] can improve both gut symptoms and psychological issues in IBS. This opens new avenues not only for the treatment of patients with functional bowel disorders but also for patients with primary psychiatric diseases."

The study included 44 adults with IBS and mild to moderate anxiety or depression. Subjects were followed for 10 weeks;  half took a daily dose of the probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001, while the others had a daily placebo.

At the end six weeks, twice as many subjects taking the probiotic had decreased depression scores, as compared to patients that had been given placebo (64% versus 32%).

Moreover, neuroimaging studies (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging - fMRI) showed that the improvement in depression scores was associated with changes in multiple brain areas involved in the regulation of mood:  “These improvements were associated with changes in brain activation patterns that indicate that this probiotic reduces limbic reactivity.”

For several years, Dr. Dave has been writing and lecturing about the Gut-Brain Connection (Probioitics Shown to Help Women Lose Weight, Probioitcs, Depression, Anxiety, and Obesity, Microbes for Mental Health).  Probiotics have long been a mainstay of many of the treatment protocols we use to address a wide variety of inflammation-driven symptoms including those associated with contemporary diseases of civilization: heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, dementias, depression, obesity, cancer, stroke, MS, Parkinson’s, pain, psoriasis, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and so forth.

For these and other reasons, we remain very proud of our best-selling multi-strain probioitc: Triflora.


  1. Probiotic Bifidobacterium longum NCC3001 Reduces Depression Scores and Alters Brain Activity: a Pilot Study in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Pinto-Sanchez MI, Hall GB, Ghajar K, Nardelli A, Bolino C, Lau JT, Martin FP, Cominetti O, Welsh C, Rieder A, Traynor J, Gregory C, De Palma G, Pigrau M, Ford AC, Macri J, Berner B, Bergonzelli G, Surette MG, Collins SM, Moayyedi P, Bercik P. Gastroenterology. 2017 May 5. pii: S0016-5085(17)35557-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2017.05.003.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid and EPA Help Overweight and Obese Women Lose Weight Sun, 18 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0400 Results of a double-blinded randomized clinical research trial show that α-lipoic acid, separately or in combination with the omega-3 fatty acid EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), “may help to promote weight loss in healthy overweight/obese women following energy-restricted diets.”

The study, led by researchers from the University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain, was published in the February 2015 issue of the journal Obesity.

In addition to its use in weight loss, α-lipoic acid (ALA) has many other purported actions:

  • Serves as a potent anti-oxidant
  • Enhances the body’s ability to use its own insulin thereby lowering blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes
  • Reduces symptoms of nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy) associated with diabetes
  • Promotes eye health
  • Protects your brain against the ravages of oxidative stress
  • Maintain healthy skin
  • Prevent migraine headaches

ALA is a naturally occurring substance made by your body. As we age, however, we produce less and less of the important nutrient. Although there are many sources of ALA such as yeast, spinach, broccoli, potatoes, and organ meats, ALA from food does not seem to increase levels of free ALA in the body. As such, supplementation may be necessary to ensure adequate ALA levels.

Most of ALA’s actions occur at the cellular level and include production of energy, regulation of blood sugar, and scavenging of free radicals. In so doing, ALA offers potential benefits for many of society’s contemporary diseases of civilization: diabetic neuropathy, migraine headaches, metabolic syndrome, and neurodegenerative disorders.

A challenge with conventional ALA supplements is the short half-life of most preparations. This means that they are cleared from your system within just a few short hours. As such, most ALA formulas must be taken several times a day. That is why we favor controlled-release formulations such as IP’s MAX ALA CR or Xymogen’s ALAmax CR designed to be taken once a day. 

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Huerta AE, Navas-Carretero S, Prieto-Hontoria PL, Martínez JA, Moreno-Aliaga MJ. Obesity (Silver Spring). 2015 Feb;23(2):313-21.

Sleep Deprivation Has Become A National Health Priority Sun, 23 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 There’s a common notion that sleep is a waste of time and that we can get away with less than we really need. The stark reality, however, is that cutting corners and burning the candle at both ends leaves us ill-equipped to play at the top of our game. We are less mentally sharp, more prone to mistakes, and generally less pleasant to be around. Just like obesity, smoking, drinking too much, and not exercising enough, sleeping poorly or not long enough causes real harm. Physical and emotional health suffers, workplace performance plummets, and risks for accidents soar.

For example, results from an online study published in the journal, Sleep Health, has given Australia a figurative wake-up call and has implications for the rest of us, as well. Led by researchers at the University of Adelaide, the study found that 33-45% of adults either sleep poorly or not long enough on most nights. Women were significantly more likely than men to have difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early, and feeling sleepy, fatigued, irritable, moody, and unrefreshed even when they got the same amount of sleep as men. On the other hand, men were more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Almost a third of adults reported they had made errors at work during the previous three months due to being sleepy or having problems with sleep. 21% of men and 13% of women said they had actually fallen asleep while at work during the previous month. More alarmingly, 29% of adults admitted to driving while drowsy at least once a month, and an eye-popping one in five people said they had nodded off at the wheel during the past year. 5% conceded they had actually had an accident due to dozing off.

Most ominously, the problem is getting worse. The study authors noted that the number of sleep-related problems among the Aussies is 5 – 10% higher in 2016 than when they last surveyed the nation’s collective sleep health in 2010.

Night time computer use was a major contributor to many of the issues identified: 44% of adults reported being on the internet almost every night just before going to bed and 59% of this group described having three or more sleep-related problems.

Other key findings:

  • Average reported sleep time is 7 hours, although 12% slept less than 5.5 hours and 8% slept more than 9 hours
  • Of those who slept less than 5.5 hours, 75% reported recurrent daytime impairment or sleep-related symptoms
  • Frequent loud snoring was reported by 24% of men and 17% of women; among these, 70% reported daytime impairment or other sleep-related symptoms.

According to Sleep Health Foundation director, Dr. David Hillman, the solution is simple: the country needs to change its attitude towards sleep and get the issue into the national health discussion. “These worrying results just go to show that sleep is not the national health priority it needs to be. We need a fundamental change in the way sleep is viewed by everyone. This habit (our internet addiction) is having a direct and very negative impact on sleep and without a cohesive national strategy to combat it, this won’t change.”

Of course sleep deprivation is not unique to Australians; nearly 1/2 of all American adults don't get enough sleep. 

Sleep Deprivation and Weight

Of more immediate concern to many of you is that sleep deprivation increases cravings for junk food and, particularly in women, can lead to obesity and/or difficulty losing weight (

Sleep Hygiene

Sleep problems are indeed widespread and insidious. We all know the short-term consequences of poor sleep: decreased concentration and attention, daytime sleepiness, low energy, impaired productivity, irritability, and slowed reaction time. Chronic sleep loss is strongly associated with myriad health problems including inflammatory illness, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, mood disorders and even cancer. So what can you do to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep? Collectively,  the following behaviors are known as "sleep hygiene" and should be the starting point for establishing healthful sleep habits:

  • Reduce extraneous sources of light (particularly LED lights) in the evening hours: TV, computer screens, cell phones
  • Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex: no computer use, video gaming, TV, eating, recreation
  • Establish a pre-sleep routine: a warm bath, a few minutes of relaxation or meditation, etc.
  • Go to bed each night at the same time and get up each morning at the same time
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and heavy, spicy foods for 4-6 hours before going to bed
  • Exercise daily, but not immediately before going to bed
  • Limit daytime napping to 45 minutes or less
  • If you wake up and can’t get back to sleep within 10 minutes, get up and do something productive. When you begin to feel sleepy, go back to bed and try again.

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Adams, R.J. et al. Sleep health of Australian adults in 2016: results of the 2016 Sleep Health Foundation national survey. Sleep Health. 2017 Feb; 3(1): 35-42.

The Evidence is "Strong:" Obesity Linked to 11 Cancers Sun, 05 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Yet another reason to manage your weight.  According to a recent study published online in the British Medical Journal, there is "strong" evidence linking obesity to 11 different types of cancer.  

The new study, known as an “umbrella review,” looked at 95 previously published systemic reviews of existing scientific studies and found that excess body fat increases the risk of most cancers of the gastro-intestinal (digestive) tract as well as endometrial and post-menopausal breast cancers in women. 

These findings agree with those of a report last year from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).  In addition, however, to digestive, endometrial, and breast cancers, the IARC also found an association between obesity and ovarian, liver, and thyroid cancers. 

So “strong,” in fact, is the evidence that lead authors write:

The unavoidable conclusion from these data is that preventing excess adult weight gain can reduce the risk of cancer." 

They go on to say that obesity is potentially the second most important modifiable risk factor for cancer after smoking tobacco. 

Moreover, clinicians "can be a powerful force to lower the burden of obesity related cancers," given their role in obesity screening, prevention, and medical weight loss treatment. 

Because we here at Health Remedies treat the whole person, we have gotten more and more serious about helping people manage their weight. As such, we offer many weight loss/weight management strategies you can adopt to lose weight, reduce your risk for cancer, and improve your general health.  We invite you to explore our many weight loss products and programs including our new phenomenally successful Countdown Diet. 

Follow our Medical Director, Dr. Dave on Twitter: @NtegrativePsych

Follow Medscape senior journalist Nick Mulcahy on Twitter: @MulcahyNick

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'Strong Evidence': Obesity Tied to 11 Cancers. Medscape. Feb 28, 2017.

Tune In For The Addiction Recovery Revolution Summit: Sign Up and Listen For Free! Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Hello Friends,

Have you ever wondered if you have a problem with alcohol, drugs, sex, or food?  Do you or a loved one suffer from addiction?  Are you currently in recovery and desperately want and need to stay clean and sober? 

If so, please tune into the upcoming Addiction Recovery Revolution Summit (ARRS) hosted by Debbie Nelson and featuring our own Dr. Dave.

The Addiction Recovery Revolution Summit is a totally FREE online seminar series that guides you down road to enduring recovery.  In this summit you will hear from nationally renown thought leaders in the field of addiction sciences including our own Dr. Dave.  These key opinion leaders will share innovative methods to help stop addiction and keep you in recovery.


  • Be inspired by the top by holistic healers, neuroscientists, psychiatrists, therapists, coaches, interventionists, and advocates in the field.
  • Discover amazing scientific products that will help you with cravings, stress, and sleep.
  • Learn how music, art, and nutritional therapy can aid in your journey of lasting recovery.
  • Explore innovative programs that examine whether you’ll be able to imbibe again.


This online seminar was developed to be an unbiased resource of information and inspiration. We go live March 4th at 4am EST. You’ll be able to see each seminar at your convenience within a 72-hour time frame. Each day for 29 days, you will be inspired and motivated by our experts.

Please use this link and save your seat today:

We look forward to hearing from you.  


Depression Is As Hard On Your Heart As Obesity Sat, 18 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Depression is as bad for your heart as obesity and high cholesterol.  This news, startling to some, comes from a report by researchers from the Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the German Center for Cardiovascular Disease (DZHK), recently published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

We have long known that many types of depression affect the whole person – body, mind, and spirit.  This new research adds further evidence to that claim.  For example, lead investigator Karl-Heinz Ladwig states that: "Meanwhile there is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases." In his new research, Ladwig and company attempted to ascertain the relationships among depression and other known risk factors for heart disease such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol. 

To investigate this question, Ladwig and his team analyzed data from 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74 years and followed them over a period of ten years.  For the analysis, scientists looked at the impact of depression and compared that impact with the other four major risk factors and found that:

Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity."

The Scope of the Problem

The Depression explosion has reached epidemic proportions making it the most common psychiatric disorder in the world. Nearly one in four individuals will experience depression at least once in their lives. Sad and blue feelings are a normal part of grief or stress.  When, however, such feelings persist over a long period of time and become distressing or disabling, a clinical diagnosis of Major Depressive Episode (MDE, Depression) is warranted.

Depression causes profound mental anguish.  It also attacks core biological processes that regulate sleep, appetite, metabolic activity, hormones, glucose control, neurotransmitters, and immunity (collectively known as psycho-neuro-immunology – PNI). These PNI disturbances contribute not only to depression but also to many of contemporary society's most common conditions:  heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, premature aging, and a doubling of death rates in patients with Depression at any age independent of suicide, smoking, or physical illness.  Indeed, it is these PNI perturbations that make Depression as hard on your heart as obesity.  It is also for such reasons that the World Health Organization has ranked Depression as one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide.

For more on the scope of the problem please watch Dr. Dave's video below. 

Symptoms of Depression

If you have any of the following depression symptoms, especially if they persist more than two weeks, there is a good possibility that you are suffering from depression:

  • Sadness or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy
  • Significant weight gain or loss due to changes in appetite
  • Feeling tired all the time, or feeling that moving is too much of an effort
  • Inability to sleep, or sleeping too much
  • Restlessness, inability to remain still
  • Unfounded feelings of guilt or lack of worth
  • Problems focusing, remembering things, or making decisions
  • Thoughts of death and suicide

As can be seen from the above list of symptoms, Depression represents a wide range of clinical entities characterized by loss of interest and enjoyment in previously pleasurable experiences, low mood, sleep and appetite disturbances, and “brain-fog.”

Depression Has Many Causes

Despite greater awareness, and even though it is the most common psychiatric disorder in the world, Depression continues to represent a major healthcare burden for both patients and clinicians. A big reason for this is that Depression is not a single entity.  Rather, it is a description of several distinct but overlapping medical conditions each with its own unique symptoms and biological imbalances. For example, based on the current system of classification (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – DSM), persons suffering from Depression may have very different clusters of symptoms.

Indeed, there are over 200 different combinations of symptoms that can yield the diagnosis of depression. Even so, the tendency in most clinical settings is to treat all of these unique presentations the same way: with the cheapest generic antidepressant medication insurance will pay for. This is the very opposite of the personalized treatment we emphasize here at Health Remedies.  We try to tailor our interventions based on your specific pattern of symptoms, co-existing medical conditions, early life experiences, particularly early life adversity (ELA), individual genetic make-up, and measurable PNI imbalances.

For instance, you can meet criteria for Depression and not be able to sleep or sleep all the time, not be able to eat or eat all the time, not be able to sit still or not be able to move. Common sense and medical research suggest strongly that these vastly different symptom patterns represent vastly different disorders.

It is for this reason we recommend, when practical and affordable, that before initiating treatment for depression you have your unique biochemical mediators measured.  The tests we most often use to do this are listed below:

NeuroAdrenal Profile by Pharmasan Labs and NeuroScience

NeuroAdrenal Lab Test by Labrix

Although we would rather not guess, sometimes for various reasons we have to treat you without this important data.  In such cases, we follow a few symptom-based approaches:

For Type 1 Depression - "Wired for Sound" (can't sleep, can't eat, can't sit still, high anxiety) we are likely to recommend maximum serotonin (Serocor) and GABA (GABA Boost) support and Cortisol Reducer to treat elevated cortisol levels.

For Type 2 Depression - "Wired and Tired" (depresion with nearly equal parts fatigue, "brain fog," and prominent fretfulness, anxiety, and insomnia) we use a supplement that gives balanced support of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine (Brain Balance) and GABA Boost.

For Type 3 Depression - "Just Plain Tired" (fatigue, pain, increased sleep, increased appetite, lethargy, "brain fog") we use maximum support of dopamine and norepinephrine (DOPAMaxx)

For further discussion of the subtypes of depression please see Dr. Dave's webpage at Integrative Psychiatry.

In addition, we often recommend certain supplements to help treat your symptoms and protect your brain regardless of which symptom-based subtype of depression afflicts you:

These foundational brain supplements also have the best scientific data support for use with an existing anti-depressant medication. 

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NeuroAdrenal Profile by Pharmasan Labs and NeuroScience


GABA Boost

Cortisol Reducer

Brain Balance


Super EPA Fish Oil

D3 5000 (Vitamin D3)



Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health. (2017, January 13). Depression as hard on the heart as obesity and cholesterol. ScienceDaily -


GABA Improves Decision-Making Under Stressful Conditions Mon, 16 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a brain chemical, neurotransmitter, that tends to calm down or inhibit your frazzled, over-excited nerves, literally.  This calming down of your “wired” wires in turn leads to GABA’s well known benefits with respect to relaxation, relief from anxiousness, and initiation of sleep. 

GABA and Action Cascading

Recent research (γ-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration improves action selection processes: a randomised controlled trial. Steenbergen L, Sellaro R, Stock AK, Beste C, Colzato LS. Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 31;5:12770.) has also shown that this key brain chemical improves our performance when we are under stress.  Let me explain.  To accomplish a task, real-life conditions require us to develop and implement action-plans to respond rapidly to fast-moving auditory and visual inputs.  The more serious the threat, the more important it is for us to quickly select the appropriate behaviors in order to survive.  The technical term for this phenomenon is Action Selection Processing or Action Cascading. 

The study in question is exciting because it shows for the first time that supplementing with GABA derivatives can help us prioritize and sequence our actions and thereby survive the moment. 

GABA:  A Review

GABA is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter found in our central nervous system. It is our most potent calming brain chemical and is critical for counter-balancing excitatory neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, adrenalin, and glutamate.  These so-called excitatory neurotransmitters are critical to launch an acute stress response (“fight or flight mechanism”) and have been since our early days as humans necessary to survive an immediate threat to our survival.  Such sudden bursts of stress chemicals and hormones are designed to last only moments, long enough to fight or flee. 

These days, we humanoids are bombarded constantly with modern versions of these threats to our existence:  deadlines, bosses, spouses, children, sick and elderly parents, mortgages, crappy diets, chronic sleep deprivation, and environmental toxins. These contemporary stressors activate the same physical and mental mechanisms leaving us in a constant state of high-alert.  This state of unrelenting alarm keeps our brains and bodies a brewing bubbling cauldron of excess stress hormones and neurochemicals. In the face of this assault on our already super-sensitive nervous systems, GABA production cannot keep pace and our levels fall, putting us at risk for anxiousness, impulsiveness, hair-trigger emotional responses and often, attempts to self-medicate with alcohol and marijuana. 

The new research establishes yet another reason – optimization of action cascading - to supplement with GABA especially when we are under more stress than usual. Unfortunately, when GABA is taken orally, GABA levels in the brain do not increase, presumably because the substance itself cannot pass the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system. 1 For this reason, oral GABA supplements cannot replicate the effect of tranquilizing drugs, even though they work through a GABA-related mechanism.  That’s why we use GABA Boost.


GABA Boost

Directions: Take 1-2 capsules up to 3 times per day or as directed by your health care professional.

WARNING: Women who are pregnant or lactating should consult their physicians before using this product. Keep out of the reach of children.

Phenyl-GABA (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid) crosses the blood brain barrier to reduce excitatory activity.

L-Theanine has been studied extensively for its ability to reduce the uptake of the excitatory amino acid glutamate and regulate how much serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are excreted.

L-Taurine inhibits and modulates neurotransmitters in the brain and helps to stabilize cell membranes.Taurine is a potent activator of extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors in the thalamus.


Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine HCL) 10 mg 769% Daily Value

GABA Boost Synergistic Blend 625 mg *

Phenyl-GABA (β-Phenyl-γ-aminobutyric acid)
L-Theanine & L-Taurine

Other Ingredients: Vegetable Cellulose, Vegetable Magnesium Sterate

Bio-Identical Hormone Treatment (BHRT) Adds Years to Your Life AND Life to Your Years Sat, 31 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Middle age brings many wonderful things like wisdom, wealth and accomplishment.  It also brings some definite challenges including a natural decline in our hormone production.   This hormonal decline in turn accelerates the rate at which our physical and mental powers decline and makes it difficult for you to cope with life’s slings and arrows. 

It does NOT have to be this way! Hormone replacement therapy can add more years to your life and more life to your years!

To combat this slow deterioration, we at Health Remedies offer our patients, among myriad other treatments, bio-identical hormone treatment (BHRT).  BHRT restores proper youthful hormone levels through the use of hormones that are identical in structure to those your body naturally produces. 

Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT)

Recent scientific research has shown that hormone replacement with synthetic hormones (hormones that are similar to but different in structure that our natural hormones) can lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Research on bio-identical hormones has shown that these risks are greatly reduced if not eliminated.

We have partnered with OptiWellMD to provide our patients with the highest quality bio-identical hormones, thereby reducing the risk of dangerous biochemical reactions and health problems that can occur with synthetic hormones.

Some of the Benefits of BHRT Include:

  • Increased usable energy
  • Enhanced sense of physical and mental well-being
  • Improved memory and cognitive functioning
  • Decreased symptoms of anxiousness and low mood
  • Heightened libido and sexual performance
  • Fewer mood swings
  • Less irritability
  • Increased lean body mass and decreased body fat

Some Conditions Treated Through Hormone Therapy Include...

  • Fatigue
  • “Brain fog”
  • Lethargy
  • Apathy
  • Low T
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiousness
  • Depressed mood
  • Low mood
  • Weight gain
  • Poor memory
  • Low sex drive

Call today to make an appointment or shop our site for high quality hormone balancing supplements:

(941) 371-7997

Hormone Balance Supplements


Lutein and Zeaxanthin Shown to Protect Against Age-Related Cognitive Decline Sun, 11 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 As we live longer and longer, many of us are becoming more and more concerned that our life-spans (how long we live) will outlast our health-spans (how long we stay healthy).   

This very appropriate concern about health and quality of life has led to an explosion of research aimed at better understanding the mechanisms of aging.  The hope is that knowledge gleaned from such research will help postpone physical and cognitive decline, extend life, and increase health-span. 

Please keep in mind that no single theory can explain all the biological aspects of human aging.  That said, two of the most prevalent of the many theories on the aging process are damage to DNA and decreased functioning of your cells’ power stations, your mitochondria. That is why many of our anti-aging, health building, and symptom relieving strategies focus on supplements, nutraceuticals, and lifestyle modifications that combat age-related changes in your genetic code (DNA) and your cellular energy generators – your mitochondria. 

One of the most dreaded consequences of aging is loss of mental sharpness and acuity.  The overall term used to describe this all too common phenomenon is cognitive impairment or cognitive decline.  We at Health Remedies are always combing the literature to identify new ways of protecting that most cherished of all organs – your brain. 

As such we were intrigued to discover new research out of the University of Georgia demonstrating that supplementation with lutein and zeaxanthin improves cognitive functioning in humans.  This recent study was in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society and used functional MRI (fMRI) technology to examine how levels of these compounds affect brain activity.

We have known for some time from previous research of the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin on eye health, and now more research is emerging for their benefits on cognition.

Patients and healthcare providers are always seeking prevention strategies and ways to minimize age-related memory decline.  Dietary modification and nutritional supplements are key strategies to accomplish this. 

In addition to lutein and zeaxanthin, we employ several other compounds that can be used to protect you against the physical and cognitive decline associated with natural aging:  NAC, vitamin D, and fish oils (Omega-3-fatty acids). 

One way to jumpstart any brain protection program is to get an organic acid test to identify nutrient deficiencies, oxidative stress, and detoxification impairment. In addition, assessing methylation cofactors such as folate and B12 are also important, as these are common deficiencies among people of all ages. 

Our best organic acids test - The Optimal Nutrition Evaluation (ONE) -provides insight into disease risk and treatment options by assessing gastrointestinal dysfunction, detoxification and methylation, neurotransmitter imbalance, and the need for probiotics. it requires a single urine sample you collect at home and mail to the lab.

Even if you are eating a "balanced" or healthy diet and taking supplements, your body may still lack vital and necessary nutrition. The easiest comprehensive nutrition test available, the ONE, requires only the first urine sample of the morning. The ONE will help your doctor understand your individual diet and supplementation needs.

This unique profile:

  • Evaluates overall nutritional status
  • Assesses the functional need for vitamins and minerals
  • Provides specific personalized recommendations for supplementation
  • Includes an innovative "Interpretation at a Glance"


Related Products



Vitamin D

Super EPA


The Optimal Nutrition Evaluation (ONE)





Stay Healthy This Holiday Season Mon, 21 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500


I have always loved the holiday season.  A time of joy, renewal, and reflection.  And for many of us, a time of a dramatic rise in pressure, stress and strife.  During this season of increased demands on our energies, obligations, and personal resources, it is imperative to stick to the fundamentals of health building and maintenance.  There are many habits to emphasize and incorporate into our daily lives, too many to cover in this brief communication.  But I did want to share a "Few of My Favorite Things" (as pertains health, wellness, and happiness).  So, in no particular order:

1.  Sleep On It

We all know the short term consequences of poor sleep: decreased concentration and attention, daytime sleepiness, low energy, impaired productivity, irritability, and slowed reaction times.  But did you also know that chronic sleep loss is strongly associated with myriad health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory illness, mood disorders, and even cancer?

Studies show that lack of sleep may be a contributing factor to the “current epidemic of type 2 diabetes,” and that sleep deprivation decreases our immunity and increases inflammation.  Adults 21-55 years of age who sleep fewer than seven hours a night are three times more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep eight or more hours per night. 

2.  Walk It Off

In addition to its disease-fighting qualities, walking is one of the best activities to promote general health and well-being.  The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Furthermore, recent scientific research has shown that walking – particularly when done as a group activity in Nature – can be a great way to prevent disease and enhance health.   

For example, with respect to disease prevention, several studies have demonstrated that replacing sedentary time with equal amounts of light, moderate, or vigorous walking is associated with better general physical health and lower risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and early death.

Similarly, the scientific literature has clearly shown that those who spend time in Nature experience better mental health and well-being, improved attention and concentration, and reduced stress. It turns out that the combination of these two health-promoting activities – walking and being in nature – is particularly powerful.  Group nature walks have been shown to significantly lessen depressive symptoms and lower perceived stress.  These benefits have been particularly striking in individuals who have recently experienced stressful life events such as marital separation, job loss, serious illness, or even the death of a loved one.

So, this holiday season, be sure to take a hike, outdoors, with a friend. 

3.  Clean Up Your Diet

Limit refined sugars and carbohydrates.  Consider giving up the biggest sources of food allergies and sensitivities:  gluten, dairy, and soy.  Add more healthy fats such a fish, avocados, nuts, and olive oil.  Make sure your sources of lean protein are free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides. 

4.  Practice Living in the Moment

One of Sir William Osler's philosophies of life was to live life in “day-tight compartments.”  According to Osler, the regrets of yesterday combined with the fears of tomorrow are more than today can carry. 

It is not our goal to see what lies dimly in the distance but to do what clearly lies at hand.”  ~Thomas Carlisle

Or, as Dale Carnegie wrote, :  If you miss the moment, you miss your life.

Like any health-related habit, to master living in the moment takes practice.  So, practice.

5.  Laugh

Naturally, we all have heard the old expression:  "He who laughs last, laughs longest."  More recently I have come to like a comical twist on the old adage "He who laughs, lasts."  Presumbably, this humorous adulteration of the original was adapted from the early 20th century poem adapted by W.E. Nesom:

If laughter be an aid to health,

Then logic of the strongest

Impels us to the cheerful thought

That he who laughs lasts longest."


Even though I try to incorporate these and other healthful habits into my daily routine, I also take numerous stress-busting vitamins and supplements, especially during hectic times of heightened stress.  So, a few more of my favorite things:

Dr. Wilson's Adrenal C Formula

Stress dramatically increases the need for vitamin C, especially in the adrenal glands. Adrenal C Formula® created by Dr. James Wilson is a sustained release, pH balanced vitamin C complex that neutralizes the excess acidity of ascorbic acid and delivers the specific trace minerals and bioflavonoids the body needs to fully utilize vitamin C and recover from stress.* This is a unique vitamin C formula designed to compensate for the changes in metabolic processes that occur in people experiencing adrenal fatigue and/or stress, and is a superior vitamin C supplement for general use.

GABA Boost

GABA BOOST is a fast-acting all-natural nutraceutical product that quickly reduces tension, anxiousness & stress while uplifting mood. It increases GABA levels three different ways!

GABA Boost contains Phenyl-GABA which is the only form of the neurotransmitter capable of passing the blood-brain barrier in significant amounts to improve neurological function.

GABA Boost contains L-Theanine, which increases levels of GABA, prevents neurotransmitter overstimulation, and keeps the excitatory system in balance. It also contains Taurine which is a potent activator of extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptors in the thalamus.

ImmuWell by NeuroScience

ImmuWell 60 caps by NeuroScience supports the chemical messengers that maintain balance between the nervous and immune systems to promote a healthy stress response and mood.* Acetylcholine (ACh) is the primary neurotransmitter of the parasympathetic nervous system and the cholinergic pathway, which plays a central role in regulating immune activity. ACh also helps modulate the adrenal stress response. Huperzine A from Huperzia serrata inhibits acetylcholinesterase to increase ACh levels.*1 Elevations in ACh levels can suppress norepinephrine activity in the sympathetic nervous system. Tyrosine promotes norepinephrine synthesis to maintain balance between the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems along with glutamic acid.*2Increases in norepinephrine also support the adrenal stress response and positive mood.


Health Remedies Launches a New Telehealth Service Sun, 13 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0500 In order to enhance the experiences of our patients and clients, we at Health Remedies are launching a new telehealth service.  Our innovative mobile health care option combines cutting-edge technology with optimal versatility and ease of use.  You will no longer need to drive across the region or fly across the country to access one of our doctors.  This evolution in the practice of healthcare is being embraced by academia, insurers, policy makers, patients and clients, and truly represents the wave of the future.  We do not intend for telehealth to replace how we practice medicine.  Rather we aim to provide simple solutions that improve access to care for our patients and clients.  The scope of our clinical and education services are state of the art and science.  So, too, should our delivery of these services be just as advanced.  You demand that.  You deserve that. 

Telehealth Defined

The Health Resources Services Administration of the federal government defines telehealth as the use of electronic information and telecommunication technologies to support long-distance clinical health care and health-related education.   

Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services than telemedicine. For example, telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services.  Telehealth, on the other hand, in addition to clinical services, can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as health and wellness consultation and education, and lifestyle modification.

The promise of telehealth comprises better access to medical and psychiatric evaluation and treatment, real-time health education and consulting, and improved patient compliance and outcomes. 

Types of Services Appropriate for Telehealth

Traditional Medical and Psychiatric Clinical Services (only available in the states of Florida and Virginia, i.e. where our clinicians hold an active medical license)

To Relieve suffering and restore functioning:

  1. Initial evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment planning with an emphasis on symptom relief and disease modification
  2. Oredering and review of labs
  3. Patient education
  4. Changes in health and lifestyle behaviors
  5. Medication management (non-controlled substances only)
  6. Individual and family psychotherapy

Health and Wellness Consultation and Coaching

To optimize health, happiness, and longevity:

  1. Health assessment with an emphasis on building and maintaining wellness, effectively pursuing happiness, and aggressively optimizing longevity
  2. Review of labs
  3. Education, coaching, and therapeutic nagging
  4. Identification of barriers to changing behavior

Conditions and Diagnoses

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Memory and other cognitive concerns
  • Obesity
  • Adrenal exhaustion
  • Low testosterone
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Inflammation
  • Anti-aging
  • Neuro-degenerative conditions

Our Telehealth Platform

This new Health Remedies service uses a telehealth engagement platform developed and powered by industry leader WeCounsel™.  It is a HIPAA-compliant platform with an emphasis on integrative medicine, health consulting, and education.  The software surpasses industry encryption standards, undergoes annual 3rd party HIPPAA quality assessment, and employs security protocols (password requirements, auto time-outs, and redundancy measures) to keep your information secure. 

Our telehealth initiative provides many potential benefits:

  • Allows you to meet from the comfort of your home or office
  • Affords more flexible hours
  • Minimizes time lost from work responsibilities, domestic duties, social obligations, and leisure activities
  • Optimizes privacy and anonymity
  • Provide access from any internet connected computer, tablet, or mobile device



Glutathione May Protect You From Age-Related Decline Sun, 30 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body get rid of toxins (detoxification) that come from the environment (air and water pollutants, heavy metals, drugs, and pharmaceuticals) and from your own body’s normal everyday biological processes (free radicals and oxidative stress).  Faulty or impaired ability to eliminate these life toxins has been associated with a variety of conditions: 

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • cancer
  • depression, dementia, and other neurodegenerative conditions
  • skin disorders
  • fatty liver disease and other gastrointestinal maladies
  • aging

In a recent study published in the journal, Redox Biology, researchers at Oregon State University have shown that supplementation with n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) may help maintain adequate glutathione levels and prevent the declines associated with the aging process.  NAC is a form of the amino acid l-cysteine and acts as a powerful free radical scavenger. It is a precursor to and supports tissue levels of glutathione, the principle defense within the body against reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the detoxification of drugs, metabolites and other compounds. NAC also has the ability to aid in the chelation of heavy metals and has been shown to support healthy lung function through its mucolytic capability. It also acts to reduce glutamate over-activity.

Despite the importance of glutathione in protecting your body against the ravages of time and life, levels of this necessary anti-oxidant decline with age.  The more stress you face, the faster your levels diminish.  Indeed, the extent of glutathione depletion reflects the severity of disease and marks the earliest known sign of cellular degeneration.

In this new study, using an animal model, researchers demonstrated that cells from younger animals were more resistant to stress than those from older animals.  Stress in the younger animal cells did not cause the same rapid loss of glutathione as was seen in those of older animals.  Preventative use of NAC increased glutathione levels in the older cells and offset cell death. 

These findings are wholly consistent with similar research conducted in human subjects.  For example, in a study published earlier this year in PLOS ONE researchers from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia demonstrated a potential benefit of NAC in patients with Parkinson's disease. The study found, using brain imaging studies that tracked levels of dopamine, that subjects who received NAC experienced improvement in both mental and physical abilities. 

NAC is a mainstay of many of our treatment strategies.  It can definitely play a significant role in preventing the increased toxicity encountered with aging and the corresponding reduction in your body’s ability to eliminate toxins.  NAC has the ability to improve cellular resilience that is lost during the aging process.  Therefore, using NAC on a regular basis can maintain glutathione levels to provide protection against the ravages of everyday life – poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, interpersonal strife, sleep deprivation, and the aging process itself.   

Additionally, modern technology has provided us with the ability to replace your flagging glutathione levels by supplementing with S-Acetyl Glutathione.  This form of glutathione has the ability to permeate into the membrane of mitochondria where it helps maintain its integrity and function. It can also cross the blood-brain barrier allowing it to directly detoxify and protect the brain. This form is well-absorbed and more stable throughout the digestive tract than other forms of glutathione on the market. In addition, S-Acetyl glutathione has been found to increase intracellular glutathione and improve many biomarkers of oxidative stress. Taking S-Acetyl Glutathione supplement is a great way to protect ourselves from the health problems associated with aging, poor lifestyle and adverse environmental factors.


Related Products

NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) from IP Formulas

S-Acetyl Glutathione

Probiotic (Lactobacillus Plantarum) Found to Delay and Reverse Age-Related Skin Damage Thu, 13 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Many of our most common diseases – obesity, depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, autism spectrum disorders, diabetes, heart disease, to name just a few, are associated with changes in the number and type of microbes (bacteria, viruses, yeast, etc.) that live in the gut (decreased gut microbial diversity).  This condition leads to leaky gut and chronic-low grade inflammation (“metaflammation”).

The beneficial effects of probiotics have been thoroughly identified and widely accepted.  Data from research in animals and humans have shown that regular use of probiotics can help many conditions:

  • Gastro-intestinal disorders such as GERD, IBS, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, burping
  • Frequent infections
  • Obesity
  • Fatigue
  • Low mood
  • Brain Fog
  • Chronic inflammation

What About the Use of Probiotics for Anti-Aging Benefits?

Although there are only a few studies of their anti-aging effects, one specific strain, Lactobacillus plantarum, has been shown to exert anti-aging benefits in skin – improved hydration, decreased wrinkles, and reversal of sun-damage. 

Results of a recent double blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, has confirmed these benefits.  The trial comprised 110 volunteers aged 41 and 59 years who had dry skin and wrinkles. Study participants took either L. plantarum or placebo daily for 12 weeks.  Measures of skin aging - skin hydration, wrinkles, skin gloss, and skin elasticity - were measured at baseline and then again every 4 weeks during the study period.

There were significant increases in the skin water content in the face (p < 0.01) and hands (p < 0.05) at week 12 in the probiotic group. Trans-epidermal water loss was suppressed to a greater extent in the face and forearm in the probiotic group at week 12.  Volunteers in the probiotic group had a significant reduction in wrinkle depth at week 12, and skin gloss was also significantly improved by week 12. Finally, skin elasticity in the probiotic group improved by 13.17% (p < 0.05 vs. controls) after 4 weeks and by 21.73% (p < 0.01 vs. controls) after 12 weeks. Authors of the study concluded that, “These findings are preliminary confirmation of the anti-aging benefit to the skin of L. plantarum HY7714 as a nutricosmetic agent.”

Related Product

UltraFlora Spectrum by Metagenics


Shi LH, Balakrishnan K, Thiagarajah K, Mohd Ismail NI, Yin OS. Trop Life Sci Res. 2016 Aug;27(2):73-90.


Lee DE, Huh CS, Ra J, Choi ID, Jeong JW, Kim SH, Ryu JH, Seo YK, Koh JS, Lee JH, Sim JH, Ahn YT. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2015 Dec 28;25(12):2160-8.

Ashwagandha Helps Chronically Stressed Adults Manage Their Weight Fri, 05 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Ashwagandha, also called Indian Ginseng, has been a staple in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for over 4000 years. Known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-stress properties, ashwagandha, is reported to enhance overall health and increase longevity. Moreover, this ancient herb is believed to protect against cancer, diabetes, and degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Ashwagandha is also known for reducing anxiety and balancing hormones in humans. 

It has even been shown to improve sexual functioning and satisfaction in women (

Now there is even more good news with this versatile adaptogen.  New research recently published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that supplementation with ashwagandha for eight weeks led to statistically significant reductions in weight and body mass index in chronically stressed individuals. 

Per the study protocol, participants were randomized in a double-blinded fashion (neither the researchers nor the subjects knew who got placebo versus ashwagandha) to receive either ashwagandha 300 mg twice daily or placebo twice daily for eight weeks.  Not only did subjects who received ashwagandha show greater reductions in weight and body mass index, they also experienced significant decreases in food cravings and emotional eating. 

In recent years chronic stress has been associated with numerous disorders, including obesity. In this study treatment with Ashwagandha resulted in significant improvements and was found to be safe and well tolerated. The outcome of this study suggests that Ashwagandha root extract can be used safely and effectively for weight management in adults under chronic stress.

According to study investigators:  “The potential of Ashwagandha as a natural anti-stress and anti-anxiety therapeutic has been strongly supported by previous researchers.  The results of the present study have taken this analysis a step further and demonstrated that Ashwagandha may provide a potential additional benefit of supporting the maintenance of normal weight (or even weight loss) in people living with chronic stress.”

We here at Health Remedies often recommend ashwagandha either as a stand-alone supplement or as part of combination preparation to treat symptoms associated with many maladies:

  • Adrenal exhaustion,
  • Fatigue,
  • Depression,
  • Anxiety,
  • Cognition,
  • Neurodegenerative disorders, and
  • Sexual dysfunction

Related Products:

Cortisol Reducer 

Dr. Wilson’s Herbal Adrenal Support Drops

Ashwagandha by Pure Encapsulations


Body Weight Management in Adults Under Chronic Stress Through Treatment With Ashwagandha Root Extract: A Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial.  Choudhary D, Bhattacharyya S, Joshi K. J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Apr 6.

An Apple a Day Keeps Extra Pounds Away Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Could an apple a day actually keep those extra pounds away?  According to a recent study published in the journal, Food Chemistry, the answer is a resounding YES. 

A wealth of research has already found that apples can improve your health in many ways and help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Results of this recent study indicate that apples can aid in the fight against obesity as well.

Sure, we already know that apples are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals including calcium, potassium and phosphorus.  Apples are true nutritional powerhouses.  You may find their weight reducing act even more interesting:  apples promote the growth of “good” bacteria in your gut associated with weight loss.  Let’s break it down. 

The researchers investigated a variety of apple cultivars to determine their content of non-digestible compounds and assess their ability to modulate bacterial populations in the gut. The researchers characterized levels of extractable phenolics, non-extractable proanthocyanidins, and dietary fiber among Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious apples and found significant differences across the board. The Granny Smith cultivar had the highest content of these bioactive compounds.

The team then examined how these compounds affected feces from diet-induced obese mice and found that the Granny Smith bioactives were able to modulate gut bacterial populations in the obese mice to be similar to that found in lean (control) mice. Specifically, results indicated relative abundances in Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Enterococcus, Enterobacteriaceae, Escherichia coli, and Bifidobacterium.

The study authors concluded that the non-digestible compounds found in specific apples, and especially in Granny Smith apples, could help prevent metabolic disorders including obesity by re-establishing the balance of a disturbed gut microbiome.

To summarize, compounds found in apples, some more than others —fiber and polyphenols—remain undigested until they’re fermented in the colon.  These fermented apple fragments serve as food for friendly bacteria that then counterbalance the effects of “bad” junk food bacteria.   Your newly restored microbial balance of powers appears to reduce chronic inflammation and promote weight loss.  Who knew?!

An apple a day is one sweet treat you can feel good about eating.  Just don’t throw it at anybody.   

Related Products:

Apple Curb

Crave Control

Genetic Weight Management Test

Resveratrol Synergy

TriFlora Multi-Strain Probiotic


Condezo-Hoyas, L., Mohanty, I., Noratto, G. Assessing non-digestible compounds in apple cultivars and their potential as modulators of obese faecal microbiota in vitro. Food Chemistry. 2014, 161, 208-215.

Woods, R., Walters, H, Raven, J., et al. Food and nutrient intakes and asthma risk in young adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2003, 78, 414-421.

Our Cinnamon Bark Extract Can Help You Burn Fat and Lose Weight Thu, 07 Apr 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Let’s face it.  For most of us life simply tastes better with a little cinnamon sprinkled on it.  Best known as a culinary spice, cinnamon has recently emerged as a strategy for controlling blood sugar, burning fat, and curbing food cravings.  The most compelling research on the health benefits of this common and ancient spice has focused on a particular type – cassia cinnamon.   

Commonly Cited Benefits of Cinnamon

1. Cinnamon can help Type 2 Diabetes.

Cinnamon may help treat Type 2 Diabetes in several ways.  It makes the cells in your body utilize insulin more effectively thereby improving control of blood sugars.  Additionally, cinnamon lowers blood pressure and improves other bio-markers of diabetes such as lipids and triglycerides. 

2. Cinnamon has anti-microbial actions.

This versatile spice has been used to fight fungal, bacterial, and viral bugs in a host of settings including HIV, the common cold, and food preservation.

3. Cinnamon may alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

Any benefit that cinnamon exerts in these incurable neuro-degenerative conditions likely has to do with its ability to lower inflammation and control blood sugar levels (both of which are associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). 

4. Cinnamon may help regulate inflammation.

Acute inflammation is a normal and necessary part of life.  Chronic smoldering inflammation on the other hand has been associated with most of the contemporary diseases of civilization:  depression, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and dementia. 

5. Cinnamon can help you lose weight.

By burning (oxidizing) fat and increasing energy expenditure, cinnamon has been shown in otherwise healthy subjects to improve weight management.  Authors of a recent study comparing cinnamon to capsaicin (the zesty ingredient found in red chili peppers that is known for its anti-craving and weight management potential) concluded that cinnamon is better tolerated and “potentially more powerful than capsaicin….”

Related Products:

Cinnamon Bark by Gaia Herbs

Cinnamon WS by Pure Encapsulations

Crave Control


Michlig S, Merlini J, Beaumont M, Ledda M, Tavenard A, Mukherjee R, Camacho S, le Coutre J. Effects of. Scientific Reports 6:20795.



The Importance of Walking After a Meal Tue, 29 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Perhaps you have heard.  Walking is good for you.  Walking outdoors with other people after a meal is particularly good for you.  All this is common knowledge.  Less well known, however, are the many reasons after dinner strolling improves your health and happiness.  I have listed a few of my favorite benefits of walking after a meal.  Walking:

  1. Improves digestion of the very meal you just ate. The complicated process of digestion begins even before you take that first bite (salivary digestive enzymes) and continues for several hours after completion of a meal.  Walking has been shown to facilitate digestion far better even than drinking digestive aids such as tea and coffee. This is due to the fact that walking stimulates powerful gastric juices and enzymes required to breakdown and process food.  Walking can also diminish the frequency and severity of acid reflux, bloating, and other unpleasant symptoms that commonly follow meals.  For bests results, it is recommended that you walk within 90-120 minutes of finishing off that last course.  Better metabolism for a healthier life – Walking after eating a hefty meal or any meal for that matter can help boost the metabolism process. It also improves the functioning of other bodily organs.

  2. Maintains blood sugar levels. A well-documented key to healthful diets is to never let your post-meal blood sugar spike.  Rapid and robust increases in blood sugar leads to a corresponding spike in your insulin levels both of which lead to inflammation.  This process has been linked to myriad health problems such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and depression.  One way to prevent post-meal glucose and insulin spikes is to take a short walk of around 15 minutes after your meal.   

  3. Improves the smooth flow of blood throughout your body (and brain).  Walking lowers levels of fatlike triglycerides and cholesterol in your blood and also helps in the smooth circulation of blood to various parts of the body. 

  4. Will help you lose/manage weight.  A short walk after dinner is clearly very beneficial for overall health. At the same time, it has been found to help with weight loss. Walking is considered the best exercise for maintaining a healthy weight as it helps burn all those additional calories.

Walking for Wellness Thomas Jefferson on Walking for Health Remedies

In addition to its disease-fighting qualities, walking is one of the best activities to promote general health and well-bing.  The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Furthermore, recent scientific research has shown that walking – particularly when done as a group activity in Nature – can be a great way to prevent disease and enhance health.   

For example, with respect to disease prevention, several studies have demonstrated that replacing sedentary time with equal amounts of light, moderate, or vigorous walking is associated with better general physical health and lower risks of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and early death.

Similarly, the scientific literature has clearly shown that those who spend time in Nature experience better mental health and well-being, improved attention and concentration, and reduced stress. It turns out that the combination of these two health-promoting activities – walking and being in nature – is particularly powerful.  Group nature walks have been shown to significantly lessen depressive symptoms and lower perceived stress.  These benefits have been particularly striking in individuals who have recently experienced stressful life events such as marital separation, job loss, serious illness, or even the death of a loved one

Well-being is essential for health. Walking has been shown to be an accessible, low-cost activity that can prevent major roadblocks to achieving optimal health:  heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and depression.  Moreover, walking with others in a natural environment confers additional benefits of enhanced emotional well-being, increased vitality, and reduced stress.  There is no better place or time to start or resurrect the habit of walking, particularly after eating a large meal. 

Related (Health Buildilng) Products

Eco Thyroid by Professional Health Products

NeuroActives BrainSustain by Xymogen

Hormone Protect by Xymogen


  1. World Health Organization. Preamble to the Constitution of the World Health Organization as adopted by the International Health Conference, New York, 19 June–22 July 1946; signed on 22 July 1946 by the Representatives of 61 States (Official Records of the World Health Organization, No. 2, p. 100) and Entered into Force on 7 April 1948.
  2. Barwais FA, Cuddihy TF, Tomson LM. Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2013 Oct 29;11:183.
  3. Marselle MR, Irvine KN, Lorenzo-Arribas A, Warber SL. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Dec 23;12(1):106-30.
  4. Marselle MR, Irvine KN, Warber SL. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2013 Oct 29;10(11):5603-28.
Fenugreek Extract Shown to Improve Sexual Functioning in Both Men and Women Tue, 22 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0400 The age-related decrease in testosterone seen in aging males is commonly referred to as “andropause” and can result in negative effects on sexual function, vitality, physical function, cognitive function, anemia, bone density, and cardiovascular status. With an increasingly aging population, finding a potential solution to health issues that arise during andropause could have significant benefits for many men.

Fenugreek is cultivated worldwide and has been used for centuries as a food staple. It is featured prominently in many dishes from the Indian subcontinent. New research led by Amanda Rao of the University of Sydney (Australia) has determined that daily supplements of a standardized extract of fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum, may boost testosterone levels and reduce symptoms of andropause in healthy aging men.

Results of the double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial were published in Aging Male. The study randomly assigned 120 healthy men between 43 and 70 years of age to receive either 600 mg per day of the extract or placebo for 12 weeks. The primary outcome measure was change in the Aging Male Symptom questionnaire (AMS), a measure of possible androgen deficiency symptoms (including libido, sexual frequency and ability to perform, morning erections, general fatigue, muscle weakness, and mood). Secondary outcome measures were sexual function and serum testosterone levels. The researchers found a significant decrease in the AMS score (specifically, in the somatic and sexual function domains) in the men receiving the extract at the end of the 12 week study period along with improvements in sexual function including number of morning erections and frequency of sexual activity. Both total serum and free testosterone levels had increased in the active study group.

While the mechanism of the increase in testosterone levels is unclear from the current study, possibilities include increased testicular sensitivity to luteinizing hormone, stimulation of pulsatile gonadotropin-releasing hormone, increased testosterone synthesis or reduced testosterone catabolism.

A related randomised controlled trial, results of which were published in 2015 in the journal, Phytotherapy Research, demonstrated that this same fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) had positive effects in enhancing sexual function in healthy  women aged 20-49 with self-reported low sexual drive. Compared to a placebo group, women receiving the extract showed significant increases in estradiol and free testosterone, as well as increased sexual desire and arousal. Together, the studies provide evidence that fenugreek extract is a promising botanical agent for hormonal support in both men and women.

Related Products: 

Fenugreek Plus by Metagenics 


Rao A, Steels E, Beccaria G, Inder WJ, Vitetta L. Influence of a specialized Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract (Libifem) on testosterone, estradiol and sexual function in healthy menstruating women, a randomized placebo controlled study. Phytotherapy Research 2015; Aug; 29(8):1123-30.


Rao A, Steels E, Inder WJ, Abrahams S, Vitetta L. Testofen, a specialized Trigonella foenum-graecum seed extract reduces age-related symptoms of androgen decrease, increases testosterone levels and improves sexual function in healthy aging males in a double-blind randomised clinical study. Aging Male 2016; Jan 20:1-9.

Sleep Deprivation Increases Cravings for Junk Food Tue, 15 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0400 Insufficient sleep has long been linked to numerous health problems including excessive weight gain. Research has shown that individuals who skimp on sleep weigh more than those who get enough. For example, The Nurse’s Health Study, which followed more than 60,000 women for up to 16 years, found that women who slept fewer than five hours per night were at greater risk for gaining significant weight – up to thirty pounds – than women who averaged seven or more hours of sleep.

There are many possible reasons for the relationship between poor sleep and weight gain. For one, short sleepers may be too tired to engage in physical activities thereby reducing their chance of burning enough calories. In addition, it has been reported that sleep deprivation increases ghrelin, an appetite-stimulating hormone, while lowering levels of leptin, a hormone that induces satiety. By altering these hormones, sleep deprivation spikes feelings of hunger in general and increases cravings specifically for calorie-rich foods such as processed sugars and junk food. Moreover, simply by being awake more hours each day, sleep deprived persons have more opportunities to eat during their extra waking hours, thus increasing their caloric intake.

The amount of leptin in the blood is inversely correlated with endocannabinoid (eCB) which has a role in regulating appetite, feeding and energy homeostasis. Researchers looked at the possible effect of sleep deprivation on the eCB system through a randomized crossover study involving 14 healthy women and men in their twenties. They investigated the role of insufficient sleep in the activation of the eCB system, and its effect on controlling appetite and fSleep Deprivation Increases Junk Food Munchiesood intake.

In the first stage, the participants spent four nights sleeping for 8.5 hours and in the next stage, they spent 4 nights with sleep restricted to only 4.5 hours. In both stages, they consumed identical meals provided at 9am, 2pm and 7pm and were only allowed to do sedentary activities.

The 24 hour profiles of circulating concentrations of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and its structural analog 2-oleoylglycerol (2-OG) were evaluated. With enough sleep, endocannabinoid 2-AG increases in the morning, further rises after lunchtime and decreases later in the day. On the other hand, during sleep deprivation, subjects showed 33% higher increase in endocannabinoid 2-AG. It was found that the amount of this chemical compound peaks from 2 pm until 9 pm.

Sleep-deprived participants reported increased hunger and appetite particularly in the late afternoon and early evening. After the 4th night of each stage, participants were presented with unhealthy snacks. Sleep curtailed individuals chose snacks with 50% higher calories and nearly twice as much fat content – even though they had just had a full meal within the previous two hours - as those snacks chosen by fully rested subjects. These snacks were also consumed after eating a meal with 90% of their recommended daily calorie intake 2 hours earlier.

The elevation of endocannabinoid 2-AG may boost the cravings for sweet, salty, and high fat foods, as well as stimulate the pleasant feelings of food. This study suggests that the activation of eCBs during periods of sleep debt enhances appetite making it difficult to resist unhealthy foods. The amount of calories in the snacks is also in excess of what they need in their extra waking hours. This proved that sleeping less than the optimal number of hours encourages overeating and contributes to weight gain.

The good news is that increasing the amount of sleep you get by even one hour each night can help you lose up to 14 pounds over the course of a single year. 

Follow this link to learn more about natural ways to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep. 

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Genetics Based Weight Management Tue, 08 Mar 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Ongoing clinical research has shown that individuals placed on a diet appropriate to their DNA can lose up to 76% more weight. We at Health Remedies are proud to announce our new partnership with genoVive, a leader in personalized nutrition, to provide you with a comprehensive weight loss program tailored to your unique genetic profile. 

The genoVive Weight Management Program is based on genetic science. It was developed by genoVive’s world-renowned experts in the emerging fields of nutritional genomics, genetics, biochemistry and food science. The first of its kind, genoVive’s Weight Management Program represents a ground-breaking approach to long term weight management and lifetime health. It allows health professionals like us to create personalized meal and activity solutions featuring optimal combinations of nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) to deliver the most effective outcomes.

More specifically, The genoVive DNA test analyzes a scientifically based group of genes to create a personalized report that provides:

  • Recommended calorie counts
  • Optimal macronutrient ratios
  • Type and intensity of exercise (endurance/power) based on your genetic profile
  • Behavioral rationales (cravings, taste, binge eating, satiety, and mood)


Why is DNA Important for Weight Management?

Nutrigenomics, a branch of nutritional genetics, studies the effects of foods and their constituent parts on the activity of your genes. In other words, your genes influence how you absorb, process, utilize, and eliminate food. Because we all have our own unique genetic endowments, two different individuals eating identical meals are likely to process their food in substantially different ways. 

By identifying specific mutations in key genes, nutrigenomics allows us to develop rational ways to optimize your nutrition. This represents a major step forward in the personalization of weight loss and management. This is important because personalized nutrition and fitness programs created with the help of genetic data integrate parameters such as dietary habits, physical activity, and behavioral traits and may provide a healthier, more efficient path to successful weight management.genoVive Genetic Weight Management Program Look Better Naked

At the heart of our new genoVive weight loss program is a simple cheek-swab DNA test kit that is then sent to the certified genoVive laboratory. The lab analyzes your cheek-swab sample for multiple genetic mutations (SNPs):

  • 12 gene SNPs for fat and carbohydrate metabolism
  • 7 gene SNPs for exercise requirements
  • 6 gene SNPs (including MTHFR) for Eating Behavior


Diet, exercise and supplement programs often fail because they are applied in a haphazard, willy-nilly approach that seldom incorporates your unique combination of genes, life experiences, and biochemistry. In short, these programs fall short because they are not customized to you.


Logically, the most efficient and potentially effective use of diet, activity/exercise, and supplementation to achieve weight loss, optimal body composition and overall wellness is through the utilization of individualized genetic information.

Genetic testing identifies unique variations in your genes or proteins. Historically, genetic testing has only been used to diagnose or rule out hereditary diseases. Only very recently has the technology to reveal such detailed information become available for consumer use.

Now, at the very forefront of health and wellness, genetic testing can identify your individual nutritional needs, exercise requirements, and most direct paths to weight loss and general health.

Can Being Overweight Make You Depressed? Thu, 25 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Having excess weight puts you at risk for an astounding collection of adverse health problems which include heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain types of cancer, which are also some of the leading causes of death. Not only does it affect a person's physical well being, it also puts a toll on emotional health.

A strong link between excess weight and depression has been reported in several studies. Based on the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys in 2005–2010, 43% of depressed adults were obese, and depression boosted the chance of developing obesity.  Likewise, the prevalence of obesity increased with the severity of depressive symptoms.

An Australian study that investigated the link between carrying excess weight and depression among 1200 participants demonstrated that middle-aged overweight Australians have higher odds of becoming anxious or depressed compared to their normal weight counterparts.

Although the significant association between excess weight and depression has been widely established, it is not clear which condition comes first. Research published in 2010 in the Archives of General Psychiatry that reviewed 15 studies suggests a bidirectional relationship. Results indicated that obese individuals had a 55% higher risk of developing depression and depressed individuals were at 58% higher risk of becoming obese. But both conditions may be a result of changes in brain chemistry and the body’s reaction to stress.

In the context of a culture that equates beauty with having a slender physique, overweight individuals tend to have lower confidence and self-worth. The physical discomfort and functional limitations brought about by having extra pounds also trigger depression. On the other hand, high levels of stress hormones among people with depression may result in increased accumulation of fats and many anti-depressant medications can lead to weight gain. Depression may also foster unhealthy eating habits and reduced activity, which are the main culprits for having excess weight.

Both obesity and depression cause profound negative effects on health and overall wellbeing. Aside from the associated health problems, these conditions adversely impact mood and social interactions. Even small reductions in weight can make significant differences. Shedding pounds can help overweight individuals overcome depression and defend against chronic illness.

Adopting healthier eating habits, becoming more active, staying mindful of the kinds of food you eat and the amounts you consume can go a long way toward improving your health and the way you feel. Don’t eat when you are not hungry. When you engage in physical activities, your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Physical activity is a great way to improve your mood while simultaneously burning calories. Exercising regularly can help you lose weight and keep you in good shape, emotionally as well as physically, allowing you to enjoy a more fulfilling life.

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Vitamin B12 deficiency: A common concern among elderly Thu, 18 Feb 2016 00:00:00 -0500 An often overlooked yet common and serious health concern among older adults is vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency. About 20% of people 50 years and above may be low in vitamin B12, and the prevalence of this deficiency advances with age. A recent study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that vitamin B12 deficiency is common among elderly residents in eight Ontario long-term care homes managed by the Schlegel Villages. On admission, 13.8% of the 412 residents were vitamin B12 deficient and more seniors became deficient during their first year at the facility.

Despite its prevalence, vitamin B12 deficiency is usually unrecognized because its clinical manifestations are subtle and are often associated with other illness or signs of aging. It is possible that your parents and grandparents may be suffering from this deficiency without knowing it. Even with healthy meals and multivitamins, older adults may still experience inadequate vitamin B12 because of a reduced ability to absorb it. The reason for this is the lack of a substance called intrinsic factor coupled with decreased production of acids and enzymes in the stomach and small intestine necessary to process this vitamin. Aside from natural aging, other factors that make older adults vulnerable to problems with vitamin B12 absorption are commonly used medications such as metformin, damage to the stomach lining, bacterial overgrowth, alcoholism, Crohn's disease, and stomach or intestinal surgery. If left untreated, it can cause serious health problems.

Vitamin B12 is vital for maintaining health and normal functioning. It is an important component of red blood cells which function as oxygen carriers in the blood. Lack of this vitamin can lead to anemia (inadequate red blood cells),  lethargy, shortness of breath, and jaundice.

Low levels of vitamin B12 can also adversely affect nerve cell function and cause neuropathy characterized by tingling and burning sensations, numbness, poor balance and difficulty walking. Vitamin B12 works to break down glucose in the brain, serves as a key component of myelin (the protective coating of brain cells) and helps create connections in the brain to support learning and memory. Lack of this key vitamin can result in irritability, depression, difficulty with concentration, loss of memory, or dementia.

If you or someone you know has experienced the symptoms described above, it is important to get evaluated for vitamin B12 deficiency. Detected early, vitamin B12 deficiency is reversible with safe and effective treatments. It has historically been believed that vitamin B12 had to be given via shots. More recent data, however, is very reassuring: oral vitamin B12 is as effective and possibly superior to that given intravenously or intramuscularly. Food sources high in vitamin B12 include meat, fish, poultry, liver, dairy products, eggs, and foods specially fortified with vitamin B12.

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8 Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Tue, 15 Dec 2015 00:00:00 -0500 Giving in to temptation seems to be the easiest thing to do during the holiday season, especially when surrounded with holiday treats. Sticking to your diet and exercise routine can be a challenge. Many  people gain an average of 1 to 3 pounds during the holidays and folks who are already overweight pack on an average of 5 pounds during the same time period, equivalent to a pound to a pound and a half weekly through New Year's day.

We often kidd ourselves inro thinking we'll shed those extra pounds after the holiday season but in reality, most people don’t. You may, in fact, just accumulate additional weight, year after year, without ever actually losing it. Research  shows that holiday weight gain is an important factor in adult obesity. But, no need to despair - there are ways you can enjoy the holiday season without putting on a single pound.

  1. Be picky and eat in moderation.

While it may seem like the holidays are a good time to cheat on your diet, such a plan can lead to extra pounds, inches and regret. Yes, there are many tempting food choices, but be responsible and develop a strategy.  Instead of loading up your plate with everything you see on the table, why not choose only the food you really want? That way, you can stave off your cravings and enjoy your meal without stuffing yourself.

Focus on protein, vegetables, fruits and other high-fiber items while limiting sugar and processed foods. Eat protein and fat first and never eat a carb by itself . And to help you practice portion control, use smaller plates.

  1. Don’t overindulge on sweets and desserts.

Holiday cookies, cakes and ­­­­pies are definitely enticing, but remember they are loaded with sugar and calories. Try small portions and practice the three-bite rule.

  1. Practice conscious and mindful eating.

The faster we eat, the more food we consume as our body doesn’t immediately recognize that we are full. Pace yourself, chew slowly, and savor every bite. You'll experience flavorful sensations more intensely and help prevent overeating.

  1. Don’t starve yourself.

Some people skip meals to save their appetite for later, but this can set the stage for binge eating - not an ideal way to maintain your weight. It is best not to skip meals.

  1. Turn your back on temptations.

During the holiday season, temptations lurk in every corner. If you know that you easily give in to your cravings at parties, avoid the buffet and focus on interacting with family and friends. Diverting your attention to something else - people, music, dancing, the decorations, whatever- can help minimize caloric damage.

  1. Limit your alcohol intake.

Aside from the considerable calories you get from alcohol, it can loosen your self-control and encourage irresponsible eating. 

  1. Stay active.

As we enjoy the holiday festivities, many of us become less active. Low physical activity, coupled with loading up on calories can eventually result in unwanted weight gain.

Although it may seem daunting, carving out time for 20-30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week will boost your energy, keep you more active throughout the day and help you manage holiday stress.

  1. Beat stress and get adequate sleep.

Stress can increase appetite and cravings. Try some fun activities and relaxation techniques instead of munching on desserts and holiday treats. Sleep also has a significant effect on appetite. Maintaining a regular sleep schedule with 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily is associated with less weight gain and better general health.

Use these tips to help you enjoy the holiday season and stay healthy and fit for the New Year!







Prediabetes: Prevention and Treatment Tue, 17 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500 In the first article, we discussed risk factors for prediabetes and tests used to identify the condition. Having prediabetes doesn't mean that you are destined to become diabetic. There are ways to prevent and treat this condition which we will discuss in this article. 

Prediabetes is a metabolic state that puts you at risk not only for cardiovascular disease and diabetes but also for nerve damage, blindness, renal failure, impaired immunity and loss of limbs. The best way to control and reverse prediabetes is through positive changes to diet and lifestyle with the goal of decreasing carbohydrate intake and improving insulin eficiency. 

Here are five ways to keep prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes: 

  1. Get rid of excess pounds.

Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for diabetes as increased body fat, particularly in the abdominal area, makes cells more resistant to insulin. According to studies, losing 5% to 7% of body weight can help reverse prediabetes prevent diabetes. You can achieve this with smart eating and physical activity.

  1. Eat the right kind and amount of food. 

If you are aiming to lose weight, you need to reduce your calorie intake, particularly from carbohydrates. A high carbohydrate diet triggers an increase in the production of insulin which may eventually lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. It is best to consume calories from lean proteins, healthy fats and high fiber foods. Fiber can help you feel full longer and reduce food cravings.

Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables, and limit carbohydrates and sugar. Also, choose whole and unprocessed foods that aid in regulating blood sugar, enhancing metabolism, and detoxifying the liver. Be creative in planning your meals, add variety to your diet and eat in moderation.

  1. Be physically active.

Experts recommend exercising 30 to 60 minutes per day on most days of the week. Exercise helps regulate blood sugar and reduce insulin levels. Even simple activities such as brisk walking, jogging and biking can make a huge difference. Resistance training twice a week is also recommended by the American Diabetes Association.  High intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to be beneficial for people with (and without) diabetes.

  1. Beat stress.

Stress can adversely affect blood sugar levels and metabolic function leading to weight gain, insulin resistance and diabetes. Although you cannot eliminate all stress, you can manage your response to it by focusing on activities that you enjoy and participating in yoga, meditation, breathing exercises, or massage.


  1. Get adequate sleep.

Problems with sleep issues have been linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. Adequate and uninterrupted sleep helps to prevent sugar spikes and lessens the risk for developing diabetes.


Incorporating these positive lifestyle changes into your daily routine can improve your health and help you avoid prediabetes along with its associated health problems. 







Prediabetes: Know your risk and get tested Mon, 02 Nov 2015 00:00:00 -0500 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of 3 U.S. adults has prediabetes. Prediabetes is an increasingly common health problem that many people are unaware of. In fact, about 90% of those with this condition don't know that they have it. Prediabetes is a warning sign that diabetes is ahead and that you are at risk for heart disease and stroke.15% to 30% of people with prediabetes will likely develop diabetes within the next 5 years.

Prediabetes is sometimes referred to as impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). Individuals with prediabetes have blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but not high enough to meet the criteria for diabetes. When we eat, our food is broken down into glucose, and in response, our body produces insulin to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood. When you have prediabetes, this system does not function properly. You may not be producing sufficient insulin or your body is not able to utilize insulin efficiently resulting in increased blood sugar levels.  

There are no clear symptoms of prediabetes and the exact causes are unknown, but genetics, family history and lifestyle seem to play an important role in its development. Other predisposing factors include:

  • Age, 45 years and above
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of type 2 diabetes
  • African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, Asian American, or Pacific Islander racial background
  • High blood pressure
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or having given birth to a baby who weighed nine pounds or more
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and high levels of triglycerides

What are the common Diabetes Tests?

Prediabetes can be diagnosed through commonly performed tests. If you have any of the risks mentioned above, it is important that you get tested.

A1C Test

A1C test provides information about the average blood glucose level of an individual over the past two to three months. It measures the amount of hemoglobin A1C or glycosylated hemoglobin, which reflects the amount of glucose that adheres to blood cells in relation to the blood glucose levels. The good thing about A1C test is that there is no need for fasting or ingesting a sugary solution prior to the test. You have prediabetes if the result is 5.7% to 6.4%. 

Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG)

Another method used to diagnose diabetes is by checking fasting blood glucose levels. This requires fasting (no food or drink) for at least 8 hours before the test. Having FBG levels within 100 mg/dl to 125 mg/dl means that you have prediabetes.

Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

An oral glucose tolerance test indicates how the body processes glucose by checking blood glucose levels before and 2 hours after drinking a sugary solution. A level equal to or greater than 140 mg/dl but less than 199 mg/dl is indicative of prediabetes.

These tests may need to be repeated to confirm the results. If you are diagnosed with prediabetes or you have several risk factors, it is recommended that you have your blood glucose checked yearly.

Despite having a higher risk for developing diabetes and other health problems, individuals with prediabetes are not destined to become diabetic. Learning that you  have prediabetes gives you a window of opportunity to turn things around. In the next article, we will discuss ways to prevent and reverse the progression of prediabetes primarily through controlling carbohydrate intake and improving insulin function.

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Vitamin B12: A crucial nutrient for health Thu, 20 Aug 2015 00:00:00 -0400 When we talk about a healthy diet, the first thing that comes to mind is eating vegetables and fruits. Plant-based foods are indeed an integral part of a healthy diet, but to ensure that you get all the nutrients you need from food, you need variety and balance. Following a strict plant-based diet puts a person at risk for nutrient deficiencies as certain nutrients cannot be derived from plants alone. 

For instance, vitamin B12 in its natural form can only be obtained from animal sources such as meat, fish, dairy products and eggs. Hence, vegetarians and vegans are at higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. And as we age, we are more likely to become deficient in vitamin B12 because our ability to absorb it is reduced. Studies show that a large percentage of vegans and many American adults have suboptimal levels of this essential vitamin. About 10 to 30% of older adults cannot efficiently absorb vitamin B12. Neurological changes in people 50 years and older have been associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Vitamin B12 is often referred to as the "energy vitamin" because of its role in energy production. It is also important for red blood cell formation, nervous system development and DNA synthesis. Deficiency in this vitamin is a serious nutritional concern as it can lead to loss of energy, numbness, excessive fatigue, nervous system damage and megaloblastic anemia. Low levels of vitamin B12 can also increase levels of homocysteine. Even a slight elevation in homocysteine levels increases the odds of developing heart disease and stroke as it promotes blockage in arteries. Vitamin B12 deficiency is also associated with psychiatric disorders including mood disturbances, depression, irritability, memory loss, cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. Such conditions develop gradually and symptoms are often manifested after five or more years of inadequate vitamin B12 intake. Although most vegans consume enough vitamin B12 to prevent cognitive problems and anemia, their intake may not be sufficient to avoid pregnancy complications and heart disease.

Most cases of vitamin B12 deficiency are reversible with appropriate supplementation. People following a strict vegan diet can obtain vitamin B12 from nori seaweeds (raw or freeze-dried) and tempeh, as well as from fortified foods. Processed foods, on the other hand, are not recommended sources as they may contain chemicals that can adversely affect health. Vegans and adults 50 years and older are advised to use supplements to meet vitamin B12 requirements.

Vitamin B12 supplements can boost energy and endurance, improve mood, enhance concentration and even strengthen the immune system. They may also provide protection against certain types of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and be useful in treating male infertility, sleep disorders, depression, mental conditions and asthma. Some forms of vitamin B12 are better absorbed than others. Partner with your doctor to find what works best for you.


When Food Alone Isn't Enough: Why We Need an Extra Nutritional Boost Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400 Despite increasing awareness of ways to stay healthy and eat a balanced diet, nutrient deficiency is still prevalent. A large percentage of Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins in spite of the fact that many people are now more conscious of what they eat and choose healthier options whenever possible. So the question now is, “Is it enough to eat healthy to stay fit and achieve optimum health?” Ideally, we would get adequate nourishment from food. That is, if we lived in a perfect world, far from what we have today.

While it is recommended to choose healthy foods before considering supplements, there are many reasons why many of us need an extra nutritional boost.


1. Nutrient depletion in food.

We can eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables daily but still not get the vitamins and minerals we need. This is because our plants no longer contain as many nutrients as they had decades ago. In fact, today's plants have up to 75% fewer micronutrients. Improper farming practices lead to the production of lower quality produce. When plants are grown on the same land over and over, the soil is depleted of nutrients faster than it can be replenished. And even with the aid of fertilizers, plants may not absorb sufficient nutrients to support human health.

Moreover, most produce is transported long distances before it reaches our shelves. This means that most of the fruits and vegetables we eat, especially in urban areas, are not fresh. Longer transportation time translates into greater nutrient losses. And it is not only plants that are lacking in nutrients - even the meat and seafood we consume are often of poor quality. Traditionally, animals raised for food were allowed to roam freely. Today, animals are cooped up in small pens and fed with grains and artificial feeds. Compared to grass-fed animals, grain-fed animals provide meat with lower levels of antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Likewise, farmed seafood (including salmon and shrimp) has fewer nutrients and is more likely to contain high levels of toxins.

2. Exposure to toxins and stress.

Every day we are exposed to toxins from our food and the environment. Commercial food crops are treated with herbicides and pesticides. When we eat those fruits and vegetables, we take in those chemicals. In the case of meat and seafood, we get toxins from the antibiotics injected into the animals and from the feed they consume. Food additives such as artificial flavors, coloring, stabilizers and flavor enhancers are also sources of toxins. In the environment, we are constantly exposed to plastics, BPA, petroleum and pollution. Lack of sleep and stress further taxes our health. Stress undermines the immune system and depletes our nutrient stores.

Fruits that are all good for your health.

3. Impaired digestion and nutrient absorption.

Besides toxins and stress that adversely affect digestion and nutrient uptake, other factors contribute to impaired nutrient absorption - aging, use of medications and poor eating habits. As we age, our ability to absorb nutrients gradually declines. We produce fewer enzymes and our metabolic functions start to diminish. Added to that, we often take medications that interfere with the digestion and absorption of food. These drugs include common prescription and over-the-counter drugs like antibiotics, antacids, acid-blockers and aspirin.

Eating processed and hybridized varieties of food also affects digestion. The human body has not evolved to effectively process such foods. Heavy reliance on them leads to imbalanced intestinal flora, inflammation, and illness. When our digestive system is damaged, our ability to absorb adequate nutrients is compromised.

There is no magic bullet for health. Maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is still the best way to pursue robust health and vitality. Considering the many factors that hinder us from getting the nutrients needed to support optimum health, taking supplements can help bridge nutritional gaps. Consult your doctor before beginning supplements and choose only high quality products.

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Research Suggests Your "Mind's Nose" Can Effect Your Weight Sun, 19 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400 You have no doubt heard, and likely used, the expression:  "In my mind's eye."  Well here is a new one for you. According to recent research, body mass index (BMI), a common measure of obesity, is associated more with the ability to imagine food related aromas than the ability to visualize images of food.  That's right, if you can vividily imagine the smell of your favorite food in your "mind's nose," you are at increased risk of being overweight. 

The new study, led by researchers at the John B. Pierce Laboratory and the Yale School of Medicine, found that individuals able to vividly imagine the aromas of food are more likely to be obese.  Because a keen sense of smell enhances the experience of eating, a heightened ability to imagine the scent of food, investigators argue, may contribute to overeating.

Previous scientific research has already linked an active food imagination to overeating. Moreover, obese persons report more frequent and more severe food cravings  This is the first study, however, to investigate the role imaginary olfactory cues play in overeating and obesity.   The researchers found that the ability to conjure up mental images of the experience of eating a snack or a meal were more likely to be overweight.  Furthermore, it was a strong sense of  imaginary smell that turned out to be the strongest predictor of obesity. 

We use this research to formulate and deploy strategies to help curb cravings.  Take for example our popular Crave Control. 

Crave Control™ contains key "neuro-nutrients" (5-HTP, Glutamine, Tyrosine and dl- Phenylalanine) that supply the brain with raw materials required for normal neurotransmitter production. With neurotransmitters at normal levels, cravings become fewer and weaker, thinking is clearer, and feelings are more positive and focused.

In light of this new data on the effect of having a "super mental sniffer" on weight, we are particularly excited about one of our newer weapons to combat obesity:  SlimBalm. 

The essential oils in SlimBalm contain a powerful local anesthetic, natural stimulants, and other natural compounds that make your brain think it’s full. SlimBalm works quickly because it is absorbed directly into your system through your lips (transdermal) and nose (aromatic). As the aromas waft through your nostrils and the molecules seep deeply into the specialized tissues in your lips, SlimBalm temporarily inhibits your smell and taste nerves. You will know it’s working when you start to feel a tingling sensation!

The reprogramming of your taste, smell, and satiety centers seen with SlimBalm represents a scientific breakthrough that promises to be an effective new strategy for reducing appetite, decreasing food intake, and losing weight.

That is because, according to aroma therapy expert, Alan Hirsch, M.D., “inhaling odors has a direct effect on the satiety center in the brain, which is the area that tells your body when you’ve had enough to eat.” It is in this way that inhaling aromas can help you lose weight.






Vitamin D3 Supplementation Plus Weight Loss Lowers Inflammation in Postmenopausal Women Sat, 11 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400 A study out of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA, recently published in Cancer Prevention Research, finds that "Vitamin D3 supplementation in combination with weight-loss of at least 5% of baseline weight was associated with significant reductions" in markers of systemic inflammation ( 

The study is of note because it marks the first time scientific researchers have demonstrated that weight loss, combined with vitamin D supplementation, exerts a greater effect on lowering chronic inflammation than does weight loss alone.  The clinical significance of this finding is considerable considering just how many of our modern diseases of civilization - obesity, diabetes, Alzheimer's, inflammatory depression, heart disease, and several types of cancer - are associated with chronic, low-grade, systemic inflammation. 

Add this potential benefit to the growing list of Vitamin D uses:

  • Weak bones (osteoporosis)
  • Bone pain
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Asthma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Skin disorders
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Depression

Vitamin D is not really a vitamin at all but rather a steroid hormone that has numerous funtions outside of its widely known role in regulating calcium levels and bone metabolism.  Receptors for Vitamin D  can be found in more than thirty cell types throughout the body and brain.  As such, the research and clinical focus on this critial hormone has recently shifted from bone health to Vitamin D's actions on heart disease, cancer, weight loss, autoimmune diseases, depression, and dementia. 

Despite the importance of adequate levels of Vitamin D, many if not most Americans have inadequate levels of it.  Measurement of Vitamin D levels has became a standard part of our evaluation of nearly all of our patients and clients. Our clinical experience is consistent with the research data:  most of us, many to a profound degree, suffer from clinically significant Vitamin D deficiency.  

Our approach to this widespread medical phenomenon is consistent with our overall philosophy of testing your neurotransmitters, hormones (including Vitamin D), adrenal function, and other biological markers in order to personalize your treatment. 

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Green Tea Extract Combined with Exercise May Improve Cognitive and Behavioral Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease Sun, 05 Jul 2015 00:00:00 -0400 We have written extensively on the multiple health benefits -  cardiovascular and oral health, weight management, and anti-cancer effects -  of regular consumption of green tea and use of green tea extract supplements (  To date, botanical flavonoids such as those found in green tea have been consistently associated with prevention of age-related diseases.  Moreover, numerous research studies strongly suggest that exercise and dietary antioxidants are beneficial in reducing the risk for Alzheimer's Disease (AD). 

Most of the benefits of tea have been attributed to polyphenols of which epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) is the most active. Green tea contains 30%-40% water-extractable polyphenols and black tea contains 3%-10%. Oolong tea lies somewhere in between. A growing body of research indicates that ECGC appears to reduce oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity, promote neural plasticity in mouse hippocampi, decrease beta-amyloid levels and plaques and modulate tau pathology in mice, as well as prevent beta-amyloid-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and decrease beta-amyloid mediated cognitive impairment. 

Tea for Two from Integrative Psychiatry

More Good News About ECGC (epigallocatechin-3-gallate)

New research has shown ECGC from green tea combined with voluntary exercise  can slow the progression and reverse the symptoms Alzheimer’s disease in mice.  The study, "Beneficial Effects of Dietary EGCG and Voluntary Exercise on Behavior in an Alzheimer's Disease Mouse Model," published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, was funded with a grant from the National Institute of Aging. The study, led by Todd Schachtman, professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and colleagues investigated the effects of voluntary exercise and a green tea extract on memory function and amyloid-beta levels in a mouse-model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researches found that both EGCG and voluntary exercise, alone and in combination,improved cognitive performance deficits as well as lowered soluble Aβ1-42 levels (beta-amyloid plaques) in the cortex and hippocampus. The study's authors concluded:  "These results, together with epidemiological and clinical studies in humans, suggest that dietary polyphenols and exercise may have beneficial effects on brain health and slow the progression of AD."Click here to view news source

Check out our best-selling Green Tea Extract from Xymogen

Green Tea 600 

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Anti-inflammatory Diet: Why is it good for health? Thu, 04 Jun 2015 00:00:00 -0400 Recent research reveals that inflammation is the underlying cause of many serious illnesses such as heart diseases, certain cancers, autoimmune diseases and Alzheimer's disease. Inflammation is a normal physiological response to injury, toxic agents and infection characterized by redness, swelling and pain. It is meant to heal and nourish the affected area through immune activity and increased transport of nutrients and oxygen to the damaged tissues. However, persistent and chronic inflammation as a result of malfunctioning immune response can lead to autoimmunity and various diseases. Contributing factors to this condition are poor diet, stress, sedentary lifestyle, exposure to toxins and genetic predisposition.

Preventing and managing inflammation is one way to elude from long-term diseases, and this is possible through positive changes in the diet. Foods contribute to the immune function and inflammatory process. Certain foods promote inflammation while others tend to reduce or inhibit inflammation. The anti-inflammatory diet is designed to aid in maintaining optimum health through proper food choices that positively influence inflammation along with adequate calories, nutrients, dietary fiber and phytonutrients. 

An anti-inflammatory diet is composed of a wide range of food items with balanced amount of calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This promotes eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods, and reducing the intake of processed foods. Antioxidants from fruits and vegetables fight harmful free radicals that can damage the cells and get rid of toxic substances in the body. Similarly, phytochemicals from these food items are believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. This diet also recommends minimizing the consumption of wheat flour, sugar, products with high fructose corn syrup, as well as fast foods. Highly processed foods lead to fluctuations in blood sugar and blood fats which result to inflammation. Reducing the intake of these foods lowers the odds of developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

When it comes to fats and oils, it is suggested to reduce the use of saturated fats (butter, cream, fatty meats and high-fat cheese) and processed vegetable oils (canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil). Most of these oils are rich in omega-6 fatty acids which stimulate the production cytokines, a protein that induce inflammation. In place of these oils, it is better to use olive oil and coconut oil for low heat and high heat cooking, respectively. Eating avocados, nuts and omega-3 rich sources such as salmon, herring and black cod while consuming less animal protein is also recommended in anti-inflammatory diet. Omega-3 fatty acids counteract inflammatory response, and at the same time, fight depression and improve blood pressure. Moreover, the intake of omega-3 fatty acids along with essential nutrients is highly associated with successful management of autoimmune diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, certain cancers, COPD, Chrohn’s disease, diabetes, eczema, heart disease, psoriasis, stroke and ulcerative colitis. 

In general, the increased nutritional intake and reduced white blood cell activity linked to the consumption of anti-inflammatory diet lowers the risk of certain cancers, neurodegenerative conditions, depression and other chronic illnesses. As a bonus, the food selection in this diet increases satiety and contributes to eating less thereby promoting weight loss. Compared to Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) which only target the symptoms and not the root cause of the problem, an anti-inflammatory diet is more effective and safe. Whole foods reduce inflammation through eliminating the root causes without any adverse side effects.

What we eat directly influence our body's function and well-being. In case of illnesses caused by chronic inflammation, our main defense is following an anti-inflammatory diet which not only protects us from serious long-term diseases but also keeps our body in good shape and promotes overall health.



Obesity and Women's Health Mon, 09 Mar 2015 00:00:00 -0400 Today’s inactive lifestyle and poor dietary choices nurture an unhealthy environment that fuels the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity. Overeating and consumption of calorie-dense and fat-laden foods coupled with lack of physical activity are largely to blame for gaining extra pounds. 

Some studies show that women are inclined to overeat because of chemical imbalance. During pleasurable activities such as eating, the brain produces dopamine or the reward chemical messenger. With fewer dopamine receptors found in obese women, they tend to be less satisfied with their meals and often eat more snacks. This puts them at greater risk to gain more weight than those who responded well to this brain chemical. 

Besides diet and physical activity, inherent health factors such as genetics and metabolic conditions can also predispose an individual to obesity. If one or both parents are obese, the risk of being overweight increases by 25%. Several hormones including leptin, sex hormones and growth hormones are involved in appetite regulation, metabolism and body fat distribution. In obese people, the levels of these hormones encourage abnormal metabolism and fat buildup.

Leptin or the hormones that decrease appetite are at high levels in obese individuals, but their leptin receptors are not as sensitive to leptin as receptors found in individuals of more normal weight . In women, estrogen regulates fat distribution, but after menopause and with obesity, the levels of this hormone diminish. This results in increased fat storage around the abdomen thus increasing disease risk. In addition, impaired metabolism in obese people is partly due the inadequate amount of growth hormones.

In the United States, obesity rates have dramatically increased in recent years particularly in women. Along with this comes a high incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and a wide array of other diseases inextricably linked to obesity. Recent analyses of data from population studies of women suggest that obese women are eight times more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease than obese men.

Heart disease is the primary cause of mortality among women. Increased body fat can result in atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries due to the accumulation of fatty deposits in the arteries. This consequently raises the heart rate and interferes with the body’s ability to efficiently transport blood into vessels resulting to an elevated blood pressure, stroke or heart attack.

People with excess weight are at higher risk of having diabetes as they often develop insulin resistance which causes their blood sugar levels to shoot up. In addition to  insulin resistance, most overweight and obese individuals also exhibit abdominal obesity, high blood cholesterol, elevated blood pressure and an increase in a specific clotting factor in the blood. All of these are components of the metabolic syndrome. 
Obese women are more susceptible to breast, colon, gallbladder, cervical, ovarian and uterine cancer. And with extra weight, they are also prone to joint problems such as osteoarthritis specifically of the knees and hips due to the stress placed on those joints. Obesity is also associated with sleep apnea, respiratory problems, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and even infertility in women. 

Psychosocial wellbeing among overweight and obese people is also a big issue. Society sees them as less physically desirable, and they are often subjected to discrimination and bias. In fact, obese individuals, particularly women, have higher chances of becoming depressed due to low self-esteem, stress and physical discomfort. 
It comes as no surprise that many women nowadays struggle to become fit and slim not only for appearance’s sake but also for health gains. But what exactly can women do to combat obesity and its related ills? Weight loss and maintenance of a preferred body weight through a nutritionally sound diet and active lifestyle are the best defenses against obesity and lifestyle diseases.

A healthy diet is composed of varied food items in moderate amounts. It pays to consult a dietitian for an individualized diet to ensure that you are getting the right amount of calories and nutrients to keep you healthy and fit. Exercise is also important to burn calories and excess fat while building and maintaining lean muscles. Engaging in physical activity lowers bad cholesterol levels, improves emotional health and even decreases appetite. To lose weight, cut your calorie intake and engage in more physical activities. And for weight maintenance, the key is balancing calorie consumption and energy expenditure through exercise.

Please check out our Weight Loss Plans section on our website. It includes information on lab testing for metabolism and genetics, as well as helpful weight loss supplements.


SlimBalm - It's The Balm for Weight Loss and Appetite Control Mon, 26 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 As with any new medication, supplement, technique, or procedure, we clinicians don’t really get a feel for the effectiveness and tolerability of a product until we’ve seen it used in patients, clients, and the public at large. That said, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see the early results of a novel weight loss and appetite control innovation: SlimBalm.  

SlimBalm, as its name implies, is a lip balm that decreases your hunger by increasing your sense of being full. It is the first product of its kind in the world. Consisting of an intricate mix of natural essential oils, SlimBalm temporarily reprograms your sense of taste and smell, reduces the appeal and emotional satisfaction of food, and creates a feeling of fullness. The theory is that by using SlimBalm throughout the day, you will eat fewer calories and thereby lose weight.

Although it is simple and safe to use, SlimBalm’s mechanism of action is complex. Basically, the essential oils contained in SlimBalm send chemical messages through your lips and nose telling your brain’s Satiety (Fullness) Center that you are full and that it is time to stop eating.

This approach truly represents a scientific breakthrough that promises to be a safe and effective new strategy for reducing appetite, decreasing food intake, and losing weight.

Please visit our SlimBalm webpage to read more and to place your order.




Why A Detox-Cleanse Is So Important At This Time of Year Sun, 04 Jan 2015 00:00:00 -0500 Why A Detox-Cleanse Is So Important At This Time of Year

It has been the season for mirth and merriment, peace on earth, and good will toward others. Yet, you probably have more toxins circulating in your system and trapped inside your tissues at this time of year than at any other time. And why is that? Because, if like most people during this holidays, you have been:

  • Eating (particularly sugar and bad fats) and drinking more than usual;
  • Sleeping less than usual;
  • Exercising less;
  • Running the pace that kills;
  • Interacting with others just as stressed as you; and
  • Relaxing less.

As such, you have been generating and accumulating toxins faster than your body can get rid of them. And that is on top of your already over-burdened system caused by living in an increasingly toxic world.

We Live in an Increasingly Toxic World

We are constantly being exposed to toxins in our food, water and environment. These external toxins - including hormones, pesticides, herbicides, and industrial chemicals - although abundant in modern societies, did not even exist 30 years ago.

Moreover, lifestyle patterns – poor diet, sleep deprivation, inactivity, and interpersonal strife – produce internal toxins: inflammation, free radicals, and oxidative stress.

When working properly, your body cleans your blood by filtering such harmful substances through your liver, kidneys, lungs, lymph, and skin. Think of detoxification as a continuous set of biological processes that your body needs to survive and thrive. These complex cellular detoxification mechanisms work to keep you healthy all day, every day.

Toxic Accumulation Drives Many Modern Maladies

Given the constant barrage of natural and synthetic chemicals that bombard you daily, it is crucial to your health that this elegant “filtration system” be cleaned out on a regular basis. If not, these external and internal toxins often become trapped in your organs and tissues. When they accumulate faster than you can process and eliminate them, these toxins can wreck your health, diminish energy and vitality, hasten the onset of chronic diseases, and accelerate aging.

Signs that toxins may have accumulated in your body to a harmful degree include:

  • Fatigue
  • Poor sleep
  • Depressed mood
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Digestive problems
  • Constipation
  • Impaired concentration/attention
  • “Brain fog”
  • Recurrent infections
  • Joint pain
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability
  • General malaise

 Beyond relieving the above symptoms, regular detoxification can provide many general health benefits:

  • Renewed energy and vitality
  • Weight loss with reduced body fat
  • Improved sleep
  • Better mood
  • Clearer thinking
  • Healthier skin and hair

A detox-cleanse program can be a powerful self-healing tool by supporting your body in several ways:

  • Resting your filtering organs by reducing consumption of known dietary toxins (processed sugars, unhealthy fats, gluten, dairy, soy);
  • Stimulating the liver to release toxins stored in your tissues;
  • Promoting elimination of these released toxins through your digestive tract, kidneys, and skin;
  • Enhancing blood circulation; and
  • Refueling your body with healthful sources of protein, vitamins, minerals, and herbs to keep the process going.

Daily Detox Practices Are the Foundation of Optimal Health

Detoxification is not a one time or even seasonal event. One of the keys to building health over a lifetime is to support your body’s detox apparatus continuously. This, of course, means adopting healthy lifestyle practices you can use to cleanse your body daily:

  1. Reduce consumption of known dietary toxins such as processed sugar, gluten, dairy, and soy;
  2. Eat plenty of fiber preferably from sustainably grown vegetables and fruits;
  3. Choose lean sources of dietary protein;
  4. Flavor food liberally with common every-day detox-friendly substances such as vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne (not necessarily all at once);
  5. Protect and cleanse your liver by adding herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and burdock;
  6. Consider supplementing with Vitamin C, n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), digestive enzymes, and probiotics;
  7. Get adequate sleep (~ 8 hours/night for most mere mortals);
  8. Slow down. Stress and time pressure are big sources of toxic waste;
  9. Stay active. Start with shooting for 10,000 steps a day; and
  10. Smooth your relationships. Interpersonal strife – threatened, perceived, or actual – is a major source of inflammation, oxidative stress, and toxin accumulation.


Jump Start Your Detox-Cleansing Systems

Ancient Greek biographer and author, Plutarch, wrote: “Character is long-standing habit.” The same can be said of health. Yet, even the most diligent and health conscious of us will need some help from time to time. For that reason, in addition to establishing health detox habits, it is necessary to jump start the detox process with a formal 14 or 21 day detox-cleanse program 2-4 times per year.

Introducing our PaleoCleanse Plus Detoxification Program

Why A Detox-Cleanse Is So Important At This Time of Year

Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 The holiday season is just around the corner. It is the time of the year to celebrate, relax and of course, indulge! Temptations are endless as you will come across lots of appetizing foods at parties and gatherings. Hence, a large proportion of adults gain weight during the holiday season which is difficult to get off and, consequently, adds up year after year. But the good news is - there are several ways to celebrate this season without gaining those extra pounds.

  1. Avoid temptations: While it is tempting to indulge on holiday goodies, you need to resist temptations. Stay away from tempting foods as much as possible. For starters, don’t keep cookies, cakes and candies in your refrigerator at home or at your workspace or pantry in the office. Make a plan on how you will avoid tempting situations or places.
  2. Choose fruits and vegetables: Instead of eating calorie-dense holiday treats, eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for five or more servings a day to keep you nourished and feeling full for longer. Make sure you prepare vegetable dishes and fruits for the holidays or if you are at parties, fill up your plate with more fiber. This way, you will be able to consume fewer calories.
  3. Limit your food intake: It is always good to keep a balanced, varied and moderate food intake whether it is during the holiday season or on regular days of the year. But during the holidays when food temptations peak, limiting your intake is of prime importance. It may be difficult to refrain from consuming desserts or candies, yet you can control how much you eat. One way is by setting a limit of how many sweets you are allowed to eat over the course of a day, maybe just a small slice of cake or a single cookie. Don’t go to a party hungry. Make sure you eat a serving of fruit, vegetable or whole grains before you go to any gathering to avoid overeating. You can also drink a glass of water prior to eating and use a small plate to make sure you don’t consume much food. Avoid fatty and sugar-rich food items.  If someone asks you to eat a specific food, politely decline.
  4. Increase your physical activity: Trying to resist food temptations may not always work and you need to put forth effort to burn those extra calories. Ideally, exercise is done 2-3 times in a week for 20-30 minutes a day, but since you might be eating more than usual during the holidays, you can increase either the number of times you exercise in a week or the duration, or perhaps both.
  5. Use stevia or honey for desserts: Holidays won’t be complete without delightful desserts. If you really have a fancy for desserts and sweets, try preparing some with stevia or honey to control the amount of sugar. Stevia is a no-calorie sweetener known to have a number of health benefits and honey is a healthier alternative to sugar. 

The holiday season is definitely not just about good food; it is a season to spend quality time with your family and friends. So, instead of focusing on food, focus on the people around you and enjoy the holiday cheer!

Do You Have the Guts to Lose Weight? Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Obesity, in simply terms, refers to the unwanted and unhealthy accumulation of fat (adipose) tissue. This you know. It may interest you to learn, on the other hand, that obesity is not a single entity but rather a diverse group of conditions having multiple causes. You are likely familiar with some of these causes such as the over-eating of calorie-rich/nutrient poor foods and a sedentary lifestyle.

It is becoming increasingly recognized, however, that your risk for obesity (and, for that matter, many other related disorders: metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of depression) is largely determined by your gut microbiota.

The gut microbiota refers to the trillions of micro-organisms that inhabit your intestinal tract and that influence nearly all of the biologic functions in your entire body (and brain).

These micro-organisms have evolved with humans over millions of years forming a mostly peaceful and mutually beneficial relationship. Alterations in this symbiotic relationship (a condition referred to as dysbiosis), however, combined with the classic genetic and environmental factors more familiar to you, promote the development of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.

Both the physical presence of these altered bacteria and their metabolic waste products increase energy extraction from the food you eat (which is why you may be gaining weight without eating more), modulate your immune function causing increased inflammation, and alter how your body processes lipids.

More specifically, recent scientific research has demonstrated that your gut bacteria plays a role in obesity via two major pathways:

  1. Your body’s hard-wired immune reaction to specific proteins found in the cell walls of various bacteria leading to inflammation; and
  2. Bacterial metabolites (Bug Poop) of dietary compounds which have biological activity that regulate many of your bodily functions.

Weight management strategies take many forms and we here at Health Remedies leverage this type of scientific data to inform our treatment recommendations. An as yet underexplored treatment option is the direct manipulation of your gut microbiota using probiotics that include specific strains that have been shown to aid weight loss and improve general health.

For more on this notion please review my blog, “Probiotics Shown to Help Women Lose Weight.”

Related Product - Tri-Flora

Dr. Dave's Top Ten Health Tips Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:00:00 -0500 My top ten tips for building and maintaining health, preventing degenerative illness, and effectively pursuing happiness. 

Dr. Dave

Does Food Affect Mental Health? Fri, 17 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Our mental health is as vital as our physical wellbeing. A person can only be considered as truly healthy if he/she is physically and psychologically fit. Optimum mental health allows a person to enjoy life, function well and develop good relationships with other people. On the other hand, having low mental wellbeing makes an individual prone to mental illness and health problems, not to mention its negative social implications. Does food affect mental health?

The food that we eat affects not only our physical functions but our minds as well. As a matter of fact, the growing body of knowledge on mental health reveals that diet significantly influences the development, management and prevention of psychological problems such as depression, ADHD and Alzheimer's disease. Most people with no mental health issues eat fresh fruits or juice, and vegetables every day. Conversely, those suffering from mental health problems mostly consume high sugar and unhealthy foods, and have minimal intake of nutrient-dense food items. Foods high in sugar cause a sudden increase in energy that wears off quickly leading to possible fatigue, irritability and mood swings. High sugar and carbohydrate intake, low fiber intake, and stress have been shown to trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety.

According to recent research by the University of Warwick’s Medical School on mental health, there is a consistent relationship between mental wellbeing, and the intake of fruits and vegetables. The mental wellbeing of 14,000 male and female participants was measured using the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) wherein the top 15% are identified with high mental wellbeing. About 33.5% of the participants with optimum mental health were found to consume five or more portions of fruits and vegetables daily. Whereas 31.4% and 28.4% of those with high mental health ate three to four portions and one to two servings per day, respectively. Only 6.8% of them have a daily intake of less than one portion. Although there are several factors affecting mental health, the consumption of fruits and vegetables has shown the most consistent link in both men and women. These results prove that fruit and vegetable intake has a positive impact on mental wellbeing.

Does food affect mental health?

A diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish and unsaturated fats were also found to be beneficial. Moreover, some of the nutrients essential for brain health are vitamin B1, folate and zinc. These nutrients are known to positively influence mood, especially among people with depression. Similarly, protein with its amino acid tryptophan helps improve mood. There are also a few studies suggesting that omega 3 oil supplementation may reduce the symptoms of depression as an adjunct to anti-depressant medication. Compared to people who consume more meat and dairy products, those who eat this kind of diet have lower chances of developing depression. It is also important to have adequate fluid intake (about 8 glasses of water a day) to avoid dehydration. Studies show that dehydration can lead to fatigue, concentration problems and mood changes.

Adding variety to your diet and eating more fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich foods while avoiding refined carbohydrates and processed food items can help keep your mind and body healthy and functioning at its best.


Want to have a healthy diet and lose weight? Subscribe to our HCG Diet Newsletter Series to get HCG recipes, tips, inspirational stories, activities and more here!

Is High Carbohydrate Intake The Real Cause of Metabolic Syndrome? Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Syndrome X has become very common in the past years, yet not many people are aware of this condition. More so, it has been a subject of debate and controversies as to its real cause and nature. It is more commonly known as metabolic syndrome and it is also called dysmetabolic syndrome, insulin resistance syndrome and obesity syndrome.

A person may be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if he/she has at least three of its signs: high blood pressure, high sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels (high triglycerides and low HDL) and abdominal obesity, which can be determined through laboratory tests and check-up. Compared to having one risk factor alone, the presence of metabolic syndrome sets the stage for more serious illness.

Blood Pressure
Systolic blood pressure (top number): > 130 mm Hg
Diastolic blood pressure (bottom number) : > 85 mm Hg or greater

Blood Sugar
Fasting glucose: > 100 mg/dL

Triglyceride level
> 150 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol
< 40 mg/dL in men and < 50 mg/dL in women

Abdominal obesity
Waist circumference: > 40 inches in men and > 35 inches in women

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease; rather, it is a group of conditions that increases the odds of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is often associated with atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries as a result of the accumulation of fats, cholesterol and other substances in the arterial wall. This causes damage to the arteries, which may later become clogged and lead to heart attack and stroke.

There are several risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome including obesity, unhealthy lifestyle, hormonal imbalance, race, gender and genetics. However, it is believed that insulin resistance is mainly responsible for its development. In this condition, the blood glucose remains at an elevated level because the body is unable to utilize insulin efficiently. This occurs when the body becomes less sensitive to insulin due to consistently high levels of this hormone in the blood for a long period of time. Insulin production and use is highly influenced by carbohydrate intake.

Different Types of Cakes

Current research is now focused on investigating the possible role of consuming high amounts of carbohydrates in the development of metabolic syndrome. Evidence suggests that the manifestations of this condition may largely be attributed to high carbohydrate intake. When we eat carbohydrates, our HDL or good cholesterol decreases while the triglyceride level goes up. Too much intake of carbohydrates (more than 60% of the total calorie intake) can therefore result in a significant reduction in HDL and increase in triglycerides. Interestingly, some research also suggests that carbohydrates have the ability to convert LDL cholesterol into its atherogenic form.

Closely related to metabolic syndrome is fatty liver disease which is also a result of increased consumption of carbohydrates, specifically fructose and high glycemic index foods. When fructose is metabolized in the liver, glucose absorption becomes inefficient and more glucose is synthesized into fats. As a consequence, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia develops. Similarly, foods with a high glycemic index raise the blood glucose rapidly and stimulate insulin production and storage of extra energy as fats in the liver.

Low Carb Meal

Although metabolic syndrome is a serious health problem, this condition may be controlled or even reversed with positive lifestyle changes. A low carbohydrate diet has been shown to improve the conditions associated with metabolic syndrome. Some even argue that it is not fat that needs to be restricted in the diet, especially if the needed calories are compensated with carbohydrates. Instead, carbohydrates should be kept at a minimal level. Consuming a low-carbohydrate diet improves hormonal signaling associated with obesity and enhances satiety thereby inducing weight loss. Even a slight reduction in weight can improve insulin resistance, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also important to engage in physical activity for about 20-30 minutes on most days of the week.

As with most health conditions, proper diet and regular exercise comprise our main defense against metabolic syndrome.


Stimulant Free Thermogenesis and Weight Loss Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Introduction

Strategies for losing weight abound. And, we here at Health Remedies are always looking for safe and effective ways of helping you manage your weight. With that in mind, we would like to showcase a new product developed and manufactured by our trusted partners at Designs for Health: Thermo-EFx.

Thermo-EFx is designed to support healthy weight loss by increasing your body’s metabolism safely without causing the stimulant-like side effects so often seen with other weight loss agents.


Any supplement, of course, is only as good as the mixture and quality of its ingredients and the manufacturing process by which it is made. That Thermo-EFx is being offered by Designs for Health covers both bases. Let’s take a closer look at what makes this weight loss product pack such a wallop.

Product Highlights

Advantra Z® is an extract of bitter orange (Citrus aurantium L.), a widely used flavoring found in various foods and beverages including marmalade, triple sec, and Grand Marnier. It has been shown to increase metabolism and generate heat, two mechanisms that, in theory, burn extra calories. The active ingredients of bitter orange consist of a family of organic compounds - adrenergic amines - that mimic the actions of the neurotransmitter epinephrine (adrenaline) but without its stimulant effects. These amines help stimulate metabolic processes and break down fat. Moreover, bitter orange may increase lean muscle mass by encouraging the uptake of amino acids into muscle tissue. Finally, this versatile compound can help curb your appetite.

Thermo-EFx also contains naringin (Citrus grandis osbeck) and hesperidin, antioxidant- rich bioflavonoids found in grapefruit and many other citrus fruits. Research shows that, when combined, these two bioflavonoids increased the thermogenic effects of p-synephrine (contained in Advantra Z®). Together, naringin and hesperidin work to enhance the expression of adiponectin, the protein hormone secreted by adipocytes (fat cells) which helps to regulate lipid and glucose metabolism.

Green Tea Extract (decaffeinated and standardized to 45%EGCg [epigallocatechin gallate]). EGCg has been shown to stimulate thermogenesis by enhancing your basal metabolic rate. It does this by inhibiting the major enzyme, catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT), that breaks down norepinephrine. The resulting increase in the lifespan of this important neurotransmitter stimulates the release of stored fat from your fat cells.

Green tea also helps your insulin work more efficiently thereby reducing blood sugar absorption.

The green tea extract in Thermo-EFx™ is decaffeinated, making this formula ideal for you even if you have a sensitivity to caffeine. If, on the other hand, you consume caffeine regularly, you can continue to do so based on your particular health status, personal tolerance and advice from other health care practitioners. The addition of caffeine to green tea was shown in studies to increase thermogenesis and metabolic rate more than green tea alone.

Recommended Use

  • As a dietary supplement, take two capsules per day, 1 capsule twice a day, or as directed by your health care practitioner.
  • Caffeine can be added to this regimen from coffee or other sources as discussed above. Green tea (caffeinated or not) can also be consumed when taking this formula to further enhance thermogenesis based on individual tolerance.



What is Gluten Intolerance? Mon, 25 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 What is Gluten Intolerance?

A group of proteins known collectively as gluten is primarily blamed as the culprit for gluten intolerance. Gluten, particularly glutenin and gliadin in wheat, secalin in rye and hordein in barley is useful in baking due to its elastic property. When an individual with gluten intolerance consume baked products or any food with gluten, his/her immune system considers gluten as toxin and treats it as such. This mechanism mainly affects the digestive system and bodily functions.


The term gluten intolerance refers to the whole category of conditions characterized by sensitivity to gluten which includes Celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity and wheat allergy.

Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disorder that disrupts the processes of the small intestine. The immune response in this condition directly attacks the body's own tissues leading to intestinal damage or enteropathy and increased intestinal permeability. This allows toxins, bacteria and undigested food proteins to pass through the gastro-intestinal barrier and diffuse into the blood stream. Similarly, with damaged intestinal tissues, nutrients will not be absorbed efficiently resulting in malnutrition and weight loss in the long run. Celiac disease can be diagnosed through gluten intolerance blood testing, HLA genetic testing, and intestinal biopsy. Some of its symptoms are diarrhea, stomach upset, abdominal pain and bloating.

Gluten Particles

Although gluten intolerance is often associated with Celiac disease, a person can still be gluten intolerant without such disorder. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is a less severe condition that results from an innate immunological response. An innate immune response is not antigen specific and it does not cause any damage to tissues. Most of its symptoms are similar to that of Celiac disease, but without the intestinal damage. Non-celiac gluten intolerance symptoms may also include fatigue, headache, poor concentration, inflammation, joint pain and numbness often manifested hours or days after gluten consumption. It is determined when a person is found to be negative in Celiac disease tests, but cannot tolerate gluten and manifests related symptoms. A very sensitive test for gluten sensitivity is the Cyrex Array 3 .

Wheat allergy is caused by the body's negative immune response to food protein. The effect of wheat allergy often lasts for a short period of time and is not detrimental to body tissues. It can be diagnosed through skin prick tests, IgG blood testing and food challenge.

Recent research suggests that gluten alone may not be the reason for gluten intolerance; instead it is caused by the malabsorption of poorly digested carbohydrates known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligo-di-monosaccharides and polyols). Grains rich in gluten are also high in FODMAPs. Grain mycotoxin and GMO grains also contribute to gluten sensitivity. Nonetheless, further research is needed to support this finding.

Gluten intolerance treatment involves completely eliminating gluten from the diet. Following a gluten-free diet can help control the symptoms and prevent the complications of gluten intolerance. However, it is important to note that there is no cure for gluten intolerance and an individual with this condition needs to maintain a gluten-free diet. It is highly recommended to consult a dietitian for an individualized diet specifically crafted for an individual’s condition and food preference.

Foods with Gluten

Case Study

I recently had a functional medicine phone consultation with a 45 year old woman complaining of brain fog, chronic fatigue, sad mood, poor attention and focus, muscle aches and joint pain. She had seen her primary care doctor and had some blood work including a celiac panel, all of which were normal. Her Neuroadrenal Profile revealed high Epinephrine, Glutamate and Histamine levels; Serotonin, Dopamine, and GABA were low. Her cortisol levels revealed adrenal fatigue. Because of her elevated Histamine and Glutamate levels, we ordered a Cyrex Array 3 which came back positive for gluten sensitivity.

She started a grain and dairy-free Paleo diet, PHP pancreatic enzymes, Adrenal Fatigue drops, GABA Boost, NAC, Leaky Gut Repair powder and Serocor. We also gave her Anti-InflammaLox to reduce inflammation and joint pain. Within 4 weeks, her energy, mood and attention had improved. Within 8 weeks, all of her symptoms had resolved, she was working full-time and she had started an exercise program.


Sweet Cherries - A Powerhouse of Antioxidants Sun, 10 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 I have for years known that sweet cherries are high in fiber and low in calories but did not appreciate the other health-promoting actions of these tasty morsels. A few of these are listed below and detailed quite nicely in the infographic at the bottom of the page (which links to a useful websight that I just discovered). [3]

  1. Protect against Alzheimer's;
  2. Reduce your risk for diabetes;
  3. Fend off many types of cancer;
  4. Battle high blood pressure and reduce risk of stroke;
  5. Lower inflammation;
  6. Combat heart disease; and
  7. Improve sleep.

How can one foodstuff pack such a comprehensive health wallop? It turns out that cherries, espeically sweet cherries, are rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, hydroxycinnamates, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and melatonin. It is believed that these constituent nutrients and bioactive components support the potential preventive health benefits of cherries in relation to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and Alzheimer's disease. [1]

Moreover, from a mechanism of action perspective, cherries contain polyphenols that exhibit high antioxidant activity, low glycemic response, COX 1 and 2 enzyme inhibition, and other anti-carcinogenic effects in animal experiments. This is consistent with the findings of several studies which have shown that the prevention of cancer, heart disease, and obesity are health benefits attributable to phytocompounds found in fruits and vegetables. The significant decrease of markers of inflammation and oxidative stress brought about by eating cherries and related compounds "may have implications for the management of clinical pathologies associated with high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress and suggests that their consumption may have the potential to reduce cardiovascular or chronic diseases in humans." [2]

The Health Benefits of Cherries


  1. Cherries and health: a review. McCune LM, Kubota C, Stendell-Hollis NR, Thomson CA. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2011 Jan;51(1):1-12.
  2. Cherry antioxidants: from farm to table. Ferretti G, Bacchetti T, Belleggia A, Neri D. Molecules. 2010 Oct 12;15(10):6993-7005.



Can Junk Food Make You Lazy? Sat, 02 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Do people who are tired and sedentary become overweight or do people who are overweight become tired and sedentary? That was the question a team from UCLA set out to explore when they placed rats on one of two diets for six months. One diet was highly processed and included substantially more sugar – a proxy for a junk food diet. The other diet consisted of a standard (relatively unprocessed) rat chow. All the rats were given a task (pressing a lever to receive a reward of food or water). After three months, the rats consuming the junk food diet were significantly heavier and took breaks that were nearly twice as long in between tasks as the leaner rats fed the standard chow. The final phase of the study involved switching the rats to the opposite diet for a seven-day period to simulate a dietary binge. No changes were observed either in weight or motivation on the lever task suggesting to the researchers that a pattern of consuming junk food, not just the occasional binge, was responsible for the effects that were seen. Of note, by the end of the six-month study period, the rats on the junk food diet grew large numbers of tumors throughout their bodies. The lean rats had fewer, smaller, and more localized tumors.

Lead researcher, Aaron Blaisdell, stated, “The idea commonly portrayed in the media that people become fat because they are lazy is wrong. Our data suggest that diet-induced obesity is a cause, rather than an effect of laziness. Either the highly processed diet causes fatigue or the diet causes obesity, which causes fatigue.”

Junk Food Causes Laziness

Modern lifestyles are too often characterized by poor quality diets filled with highly processed foods, coupled with sedentary lifestyles. This is a toxic combination and radical departure from the lifestyles (for example during Paleolithic times) practiced by our not-so-distant ancestors; a lifestyle our bodies simply have not had enough time, evolutionally speaking, to adapt to. Our Paleolithic bodies in a modern silicon world leads to a host of chronic conditions known, collectively, as Diseases of Civilization (DOC’s) – heart disease, cancer, obesity, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, depression, multiple sclerosis and more.

Cleaning up one’s diet can go a long way toward helping you avoid or at least delay the onset of these DOC’s. One of the healthiest diets is a Mediterranean style diet. Read our earlier blog post - Mediterranean Diet Magic - for more information.


Blaisdell, A.P., Lau, Y.L.M., Telminova, E., et al. Food quality and motivation: a refined low-fat diet induces obesity and impairs performance on a progressive ratio schedule of instrumental lever pressing in rats. Physiology & Behavior, 2014; 128: 220.

Raspberry Ketones and Strong Healthy Bones Sat, 12 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Aging, menopause, surgical procedures such as hysterectomy, and other conditions are frequently associated with dangerous decreases in bone mass. This decrease in bone density is accompanied by a corresponding increase in bone marrow fat cells (adipocytes). This association recently prompted researchers in Japan to investigate whether raspberry ketone, “which is one of the major aromatic compounds of red raspberry and exhibits anti-obesity action,” could promote local and systemic bone formation. [2]

Results of the study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, found that raspberry ketone promoted bone formation via several distinct mechanisms.

We have reported before on the many potential benefits of raspberry ketone drops (/blog/raspberry-ketone-drops-your-recipe-for-fast-healthy-weight-loss-without-the-fasting/):

  • Can hеlp yоu lose 2-5 pounds а wееk
  • Increases your metabolism
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Purifies your body frоm toxins аnd improves your bowel regularity
  • Provides energy
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Gives yоu а full body detox

Naturally, we were pleased to learn of yet another potential benefit – building bone mass. Click on the link or image below to learn more about our raspberry ketone drops.

Raspberry Ketones Liquid



  1. Lopez HL, Ziegenfuss TN, Hofheins JE, Habowski SM, Arent SM, Weir JP, Ferrando AA. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Apr 19;10(1):22.
  2. Takata T, Morimoto C. J Med Food. 2014 Mar;17(3):332-8.
Strategies to Prevent Rebound Weight Gain Sun, 06 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Ok. So you’ve done the hard work of losing that excess weight. Now what do you do to avoid the all too common problem of rebound weight gain?

New research out of the Clinical Epidemiology Unit and the Obesity Centre at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden sheds some light on this challenging issue. The study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, is a meta-analysis of 20 other studies comprising 27 intervention arms and over 3000 subjects comparing anti-obesity drugs, meal replacements, high-protein diets, dietary supplements, and exercise.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition Logo

Of these, anti-obesity medications, powdered meal replacements, and a high-protein diet proved to be the most effective strategies for preventing rebound weight gain.

The authors hastened to point out that ,athough effective, anti-obesity drugs are often associated with dangerous side effects causing many of them to have been withdrawn from the market. Diets high in protein and meal replacement powders, on the other hand are deemed to be effective, safe, and readily available.

Additionally, the study confirmed what most of us already knew: rebound weight gain is more the rule than the exception following significant weight loss.

Less expected, however, was the finding that exercise had no clear effect on maintaining weight loss.

Study investigators theorized that,

"Meal replacements, rich in nutrients but low in caloric content, work both directly and indirectly to reduce energy intake. Because many obese patients underestimate energy intake, meal replacements can be effective at reducing food choices and therefore facilitate a balanced energy intake."

This is one of the many reasons we are so proud of our best-selling meal replacement protein powder: OptiCleanz GHI by IP Formulas. Please click the image below for more information.

OptiCleanz IP Formulas


Johansson K, Neovius M, Hemmingsson E. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan;99(1):14-23.

Low Dopamine Depression Sun, 22 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 In one of Dr. Dave’s recent installments, A Tale of Two (Hundred Twenty Seven) Depressions, he emphasized the diverse nature of the diagnosis called “depression.” For example, although it is one of the most common mental disorders in the world, depression is not a single entity but rather a description of several distinct but overlapping clinical conditions each with its own unique symptoms and biological correlates.

Because of this and before you take any treatment – meds, supplements, or lifestyle - for symptoms of depression it is crucial to know what type of depression you have.

For example, based on the current classification system (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – DSM), individuals with depression may exhibit more than 220 unique combinations of symptoms. Even so, the standard in most clinical settings is to treat all of these distinct presentations the same way: with the cheapest generic antidepressant medication insurance will pay for. This approach flies directly in the face of our practice philosophy of tailoring treatment to your specific constellation of symptoms, co-existing medical conditions, early life experiences, unique genetic make-up, and measurable imbalances in neurotransmitters and hormones.

For instance, you can meet criteria for depression and be unable to sleep or sleep too much, be unable to eat or eat too much, be unable to sit still or be unable to move. Common sense and, increasingly, scientific literature strongly suggests that such widely disparate symptom clusters represent vastly different disorders.

This variability in clinical symptoms reflects a similar variability in biological dysregulations among depressed persons.low-dopamine-depression.jpg

It is this heterogeneity of symptoms and biological correlates that is responsible for how poorly commonly prescribed antidepressant medications work. In spite of the widespread use of antidepressants, 2 out of 3 patients still suffer from residual depressive symptoms. In fact, only about half of those taking antidepressant drugs experience any reduction in their symptoms, while nearly 90% of users suffer from significant side effects: fatigue, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, somnolence, emotional blunting, and “brain fog.”

More specifically, the net effect of most antidepressant medications is to increase the activity of your existing supply of serotonin. That is all well and good if you suffer from low-serotonin depression. Unfortunately, low-serotonin depression represents only about 1/3 of all depressed individuals.

Not only do such drugs not treat symptoms of low-dopamine depression, they may actually make them worse. Moreover, serotonin-dominant antidepressants (SSRIs and most SNRIs) over time reduce dopamine levels further compounding your already low dopamine status.

Symptoms of Low-Dopamine Depression

So, what exactly does low-dopamine depression look like? Good question. In general, such depressions are associated with the following:

  • Absence/reduction of positive mood and thoughts – “brain fog,” complacency, apathy, anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), and “burnout”
  • Fatigue
  • “Leaden paralysis”
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Increased appetite (carbohydrate cravings) with weight gain
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • PTSD, fibomyalgia, chronic fatigue
  • Overactive immune system with pain and inflammation
  • Low cortisol and low excitatory neurotransmitters

In addition to causing some types of depression, low dopamine levels can cause slow and stiff muscles, dissatisfaction with life, addictions, cravings, compulsions, low sex drive, poor attention, decreased motivation, and lack of focus.

Find out more about the Dopamine Supplements we have available!

Symptoms of Dopamine Deficiency in General

Even if not depressed, you may still be suffering from dopamine deficiency.

  • Do you often feel depressed, flat, bored, and apathetic?
  • Are you low on physical or mental energy? Do you feel tired a lot; have to push yourself to exercise?
  • Is your drive, enthusiasm, and motivation on the low side?
  • Do you have difficulty focusing or concentrating?
  • Are you easily chilled? Do you have cold hands or feet?
  • Do you tend to put on weight too easily?
  • Do you feel the need to get more alert and motivated by consuming a lot of coffee or other "uppers" like sugar, diet soda, ephedra, or cocaine?

If you answered yes to any of the above you could have low dopamine levels.

Test dopamine levels with the NeuroScreen neurotransmitter test. A simple urine test can determine your dopamine levels.

Find out more about the Neurotransmitter Testing for Dopamine Levels we have available!

Why We Test Neurotransmitters Sun, 08 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400  

Here at Health Remedies we practice a unique brand of healthcare known as functional medicine (/blog/functional-medicine-also-called-integrative-medicine-and-curative-medicine/). Central to this approach is our emphasis on the need to address you not simply as a set of signs and symptoms or as a diseased organ but, rather, as a whole person with unique genetic, environmental, and life-related determinants of your health and happiness.

Our approach considers your individual symptoms and their associated biological (hormonal, adrenal, neurotransmitter, and immune) imbalances when developing a specific treatment plan for you incorporating lifestyle, nutritional supplements, and adrenal support.

The study of these biological imbalances is called Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI) and is based on the hypothesis that recurrent stress causes progressive imbalances among multiple physiological systems. These psycho-neuro-immunological perturbations (PNIPs) caused by life stressors have coincided with the steep rise in common Diseases of Civilization (DOCs).

The complex degenerative health conditions collectively known as Diseases of Civilization (DOCs) are often masked by symptoms so common those symptoms lose their diagnostic value. For example, patients with a single condition may be suffering from multiple imbalances (PNIPs: psycho-neuro-immunological perturbations) among their hormones, neurotransmitters, immune cells, and adrenal function. Likewise, vastly disparate conditions may present as a similar set of symptoms.


The good news is that even the most complicated Diseases of Civilization reveal themselves in the form of characteristic biological correlates. Testing a patient's biomarkers, especially neurotransmitter levels (dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, GABA, histamine, glutamate, and so forth), can improve diagnostic accuracy and increase care effectiveness.

Many common symptoms are related to neurotransmitter imbalances

Neurotransmitter imbalances are associated with many of contemporary society’s most common and recurring health conditions. Because neurotransmitters influence the function of the endocrine system (including the adrenal glands) and the immune system, neurotransmitter imbalances can cause far reaching health problems. The following symptoms may indicate imbalances among neurotransmitters:

  • Fatigue
  • Anxiousness
  • Low/depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Changes in appetite and sudden weight loss/gain
  • Adrenal depletion
  • Addictions
  • “Brain fog” (poor mental performance, including issues with memory, attention, and concentration)
  • Inability to enjoy favorite activities

5 Reasons You Should Consider Neurotransmitter Testing

1.gifNeurotransmitters control communication throughout your body.

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that facilitate communication between neurons, which in turn affects every cell, tissue and system in your body.


2.gifSymptoms (and even diagnoses) don’t tell the whole story.

Although you can articulate a long list of symptoms, you can't identify the underlying imbalances causing those symptoms. Neurotransmitter testing gives me more information than your symptoms alone can.



You are unique, your symptoms are not.

Many symptoms, such as fatigue, weight gain, anxiousness, and sleep disturbances can have strikingly different underlying causes. While your poor sleep may be due to low serotonin, someone else’s may be related to high glutamate. Neurotransmitter testing can identify your specific biochemical imbalances.


4.gifComplex health conditions require an integrated approach.

Today’s Diseases of Civilization demand a unified approach that conceptualizes nervous, endocrine and immune functions as an integrated system. Neurotransmitter testing helps us as clinicians uncover adrenal and immune issues that affect proper neural balance.


5.gifTesting biomarkers helps us customize your care.

Most importantly, Once we have the personalized, integrated information from your unique lab results, we can better address underlying imbalances. The promise of such an approach is improved outcomes and less cost.


For more information about our various Neurotransmitter Test Kits please click here:



June Product Spotlight: Omega 3 Fatty Acids Tue, 03 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0400 OmegAvail™ Ultra DHAdfh-omegavail-ultra-240sg-by-designs-for-healthproducts8326promo_pic.jpg

OmegAvail™ Ultra DHA contains highly concentrated DHA from fish oil in its natural TG form. Each softgel provides 500 mg DHA and 110 mg EPA for optimal DHA status.

DHA is a structural molecule in all cell membranes. Studies show that it offers its own unique benefits, such as promoting optimal brain formation and function, making it beneficial for people all ages, including pregnant and breastfeeding moms. DHA is also essential for maintaining eye health, as it is a vital component of the macula and retinal epithelium.


XanthOdfh-xanthomega-krill-oil-120sg-by-designs-for-healthproducts8332promo_pic.jpgmega™ Krill Oil

Krill oil provides a unique way to receive the benefits of omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, while also simultaneously obtaining healthy phospholipids with powerful antioxidants. This formula provides a generous 12 mg per serving of the powerful antioxidant and carotenoid astaxanthin.

Astaxanthin has a wide range of actions and benefits, including powerful antioxidant properties, cardiovascular health, sports performance, eye support, skin health, anti-inflammatory and gastric health support.



OmegAvail™ Lemon Drop Smoothie

This is a delicious tasting, high potency, emulsified fish oil formula. Each 2 teaspoon serving is packed with 1100 mg of EPA and 720 mg DHA (a total of 1820 mg) and is manufactured using a proprietary emulsification technology that significantly reduces the size of fish oil molecules, resulting in enhanced absorption.

This formula tastes great, and is ideal for children and people of all ages who prefer not to swallow softgels.


Mediterranean Diet Magic Sat, 24 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Much has been said about the benefits of adhering to a traditional Mediterranean diet. Several long-term studies have consistently indicated that conforming to it is associated with longevity and new studies appear regularly in leading scientific journals supporting its benefits.

The traditional Mediterranean diet isn’t a “diet” per se. Rather, it is a mix of traditional eating habits seen primarily in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea including Spain, Italy, France, and Greece. It is characterized by large quantities of vegetables, nuts and whole grains with low intakes of meat and meat products, and low to moderate levels of fish and seafood. Dairy is mostly cheese and yogurt and dessert is often fresh fruit and cheese. Olive oil is the main source of dietary fat and, perhaps most famously, a moderate ingestion of wine with meals -one to two glasses daily for men, one glass daily for women (one glass = 5 ounces of wine).

Compared to more Western diets, the Mediterranean diet has been viewed as something of an enigma because of its relatively high fat content yet low prevalence of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity seen in its adherents compared to populations in the United States, Australia, and northern European countries.

But what, exactly, makes it so healthy? Few attempts have been made to investigate the relative importance of the individual components but nine dietary components have been generally accepted as capturing its essence:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • nuts
  • legumes (plants that produce pods with a naturally occurring seam which splits open to reveal a row of seeds - peas, chick peas, lentils, beans)
  • fish
  • seafood
  • cereals
  • meat and meat products
  • dairy products

The first seven components have been presumed to be beneficial; the last two categories, not so much.

The Greek EPIC study attempted to tease out some answers by looking at the traditional diet and lifestyle of nearly 29,000 healthy men and women, aged 20-86 years living in Greece between 1994 and 1997. The participants were followed for an average of 8.5 years. Conformity to the diet was characterized on a scale and ranged from 0 (minimal conformity) to 9 (maximal conformity). Better adherence to a traditional Mediterranean diet was associated with lower overall mortality - specifically, two additional units on the scale (“a realistic change”) correlated with a 14% lower mortality rate.

While the contribution of the nine dietary components was additive, benefits were greater for:

  • moderate (rather than excessive or minimal) alcohol consumption – 24%
  • low consumption of meat and meat products – 17%
  • high consumption of vegetables – 16%
  • high consumption of fruits and nuts – 11%
  • high monounsaturated to saturated fat ratio – 11%
  • high consumption of legumes – 10%
  • high consumption of cereal – 5%
  • low consumption of dairy – 5%

There was a non-significant increase in mortality seen with a high consumption of fish/seafood but the researchers noted that overall intake of fish/seafood in this study was quite low; its effect was “inconsequential” and likely due to chance.

Commenting about their findings, the study authors stated that alcohol in Mediterranean countries is usually consumed with meals and primarily in the form of wine (in contrast to beer used for recreational purposes as is often the case in the U.S. and elsewhere). Reports suggest that even white wines contain antioxidant compounds and that wine may modulate the health benefits of other nutritional compounds in the stomach. The higher ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats was considered beneficial and reflects the high olive oil consumption inherent in a traditional Mediterranean diet.

While we may only dream of basking in the glow of the Mediterranean sun, we can definitely leverage the time-tested (and, incidentally, delicious) Mediterranean diet for better health.


Trichopoulou, A., Barnia, C., Trichopoulos, D. Anatomy of health effects of Mediterranean diet: Greek EPIC prospective cohort study. BMJ 2009; 338: b2337.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month Mon, 12 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Each year, May is recognized as “Mental Health Awareness Month.” This year’s theme is “Mind Your Health” and includes among its goals heightening awareness of mind/body interactions and advocating positive steps for promoting health.

Each year, 60 million Americans experience mental illness – mental illnesses that can be debilitating, costly, and adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic physical conditions such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading cause of disability in the United States accounting for 13.6% of total U.S. disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs). People who have severe mental illness die up to 25 years earlier when compared to the general population.

A recently published Danish population study provides the first comprehensive assessment of lifetime risks for treated mental disorders. During the course of life, approximately 38% of females and 33% of males received some level of treatment for a mental disorder in a psychiatric setting. The peak incidence occurred during the second and third decades of life. While it is heartening that such large numbers of people experiencing mental illness (fully one third of the population of Denmark) sought and obtained treatment for their problems, the prevalence of mental illness is eye-opening. Indeed, an estimated 46% of American adults will experience a mental or substance abuse disorder in their lifetime, according to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.

Optimizing wellness is a long-term, active process – one that can pay enormous dividends. Addressing core issues like sleep, nutrition, diet, physical activity, stress management, cognitive stimulation, social engagement, and working collaboratively with providers who understand and practice integrative approaches to health can propel you forward in your pursuit of happiness and vitality.

Call today to schedule your personalized evaluation.



Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Jin, R., et al. Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005; 62:593-602.

Parks, J., Svendsen, D., Singer, P., Foti, M.E. (2006, October) Morbidity and mortality in people with serious mental illness. Retrieved from

Pedersen, C.B., Mors, O., Bertelsen, A., Waltoft, B.L., Agerbo, E., McGrath, J.J., Mortensen, P.B., Eaton, W.W. A comprehensive nationwide study of the incidence rate and lifetime risk for treated mental disorders. JAMA Psychiatry, 2014; 71(5):573-581.

World Health Organization. (2008) The global burden of disease. Retrieved from

Weight Loss Drops, Which one is right for me? Thu, 08 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Losing weight is not an easy task. It can actually get frustrating especially when your weight loss efforts do not seem to yield positive results. Good thing, there are products that can help you lose some pounds faster and more efficiently. Below are some weight loss products you can use to achieve your desired weight and figure:

Each product encourages weight loss through different mechanisms and offers some unique benefits.

1. HCG Drops 2 Oz FDA Allowed

HCG Drops 2 Ox FDA Allowed

HCG drops aid in losing as much as 0.5 to 3 pounds per day and it is ideal for people who have at least 15 pounds to lose. The HCG hormone is produced from the placenta during the early stage of pregnancy. With this hormone, fats from the different parts of the body are mobilized for energy. HCG also reduces the feeling of hunger, boosts the metabolism and increases energy levels.

When used in combination with the HCG diet, this product can lead to efficient and fast weight loss in just a few days. The HCG diet was created by Dr. Albert Simeons to support weight loss without having to suffer from starvation. This protocol recommends consuming only 500 calories a day and specific food items. Although it may seem too restrictive in terms of the calorie intake, individuals following this diet still get enough energy from body fats which account to around 1500 to 3000 calories per day. The HCG drops formulation is not homeopathic and has no alcohol content.

2. HCG Plus Weight loss drops improved formula 2 oz


Similar to HCG drops, HCG Plus activates fats to be utilized as energy and suppresses the appetite. But this formulation is homeopathic and contains alcohol. It is also more improved and stronger, hence encouraging weight loss effectively without inducing hunger and fatigue. It is best used three times a day with the HCG weight loss plan.

3. ASSIST-P3 Maintenance HCG Diet Support

ASSIST-P3 Maintenance HCG Diet Support

Assist drops is specifically formulated to assist you in your weight loss efforts or during the phase 3 and maintenance phase of the HCG diet. It supports weight loss efforts by controlling the appetite, reducing cravings and burning fats without the need to follow a 500-calorie diet.

4. Pure Green Coffee Extract Extreme Liquid

Pure Green Coffee Extract Extreme Liquid

This liquid vibrational sublingual drop contains pure high quality green coffee bean extract combined with natural fat-burning ingredients. As compared to coffee bean capsules, it is 500% more effective in inducing weight loss. The chlorogenic acid in coffee bean extract promotes better metabolism without the jittery effect. Researches also suggest the potential of this compound in burning fats and improving health by lowering blood pressure, maintaining blood sugar and neutralizing free radicals. Individuals who take this extract are less likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular problems. Additionally, this product promotes healthy regeneration of cells and boosts energy. There is no need for diet change and other medications when taking this extract and as a 100 % natural product, it rarely has any side effects.

5. Pure Saffron Extract Liquid 2 oz

Pure Saffron Extract Liquid 2 oz

As proven in studies, saffron extract suppresses the appetite and improves mood thereby preventing stress eating. It helps lose weight by increasing serotonin, a hormone responsible for regulating the appetite. This pure saffron extract helps control cravings, boosts mood and decreases calorie consumption. Like the coffee bean extract, saffron extract is in the form of sublingual liquid drops which is 500% more absorbable than capsules or pills.

6. GarciniaCambogia Extract Liquid Drops 2oz by IP Formulas

GarciniaCambogia Extract Liquid Drops 2oz by IP Formulas

Garciniacambogia extract also works by decreasing the appetite, reducing cravings specifically for sweets and carbohydrates, and preventing stress eating. But what is unique about this product is its ability to inhibit the formation of fat cells by impeding the action of enzymes that convert unused carbohydrates into fats while promoting the increase of glycogen or stored carbohydrate. This action increases serotonin levels which in turn induces satiety. Just like saffron extract, garciniacambogia extract also enhances mood as it stimulates the production of serotonin. Aside from its positive effects on weight, it aids in regulating cholesterol and insulin function. This formulation is also in the form of liquid vibrational sublingual drops.

7. Raspberry Drops – Raspberry Ketones Liquid

Raspberry Drops – Raspberry Ketones Liquid

The new raspberry ketone drops is a combination of fat burning ingredients such as acai berry, African mango, green tea, raspberry ketone and kelp. This product is packed with powerful antioxidants that not only help in flushing away fats but toxins as well. Unlike garciniacambogia that prevents fat formation, raspberry ketones gets rid of existing fats by encouraging the body to use it as energy. It also suppresses the appetite, improves metabolism and boosts energy levels. Moreover, its detoxifying effect strengthens the immune system, stimulates blood circulation and even improves bowel movements. This formulation is perfect for people who would like to lose weight and detoxify at the same time.

For safe and efficient weight loss, it is recommended to use these products in combination with diet and exercise programs.

  1. /hcg-drops.html
  2. /hcg-diet-plan.html
  3. /dr-simeons-pounds-and-inches.html
  4. /raspberry-ketones-liquid.html
  5. /saffron-extract-liquid.html
  6. /garcinia-cambogia-drops.html
  7. /green-coffee-bean-extract-liquid.html
  8. /assist_hcg_diet_support.html
  9. /hcg_plus_weight_loss_drops.htmlhomeopathic

Two for (Green) Tea Sat, 03 May 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. A time-honored tradition, tea consumption has undergone a stunning transformation from mere ancient beverage and lifestyle habit to substance endowed with prospective neurobiological/pharmacological actions beneficial to human health.

There are three main varieties of tea based on how the leaves are processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and has the highest polyphenol content. The leaves of oolong tea are partially fermented and black tea is fully fermented. The more the leaves are fermented, the lower the polyphenol content and the higher the caffeine content.

Green tea, in particular, has long been thought to confer many beneficial health effects. It has been associated with improved cardiovascular and oral health, has benefits for weight management and has been linked to a decreased risk for Alzheimer’s disease and some cancers including breast, colorectal, prostate, gastrointestinal, endometrial, brain and skin cell cancer lines.

Most of the benefits of tea have been attributed to polyphenols of which epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) is the most active. Green tea contains 30%-40% water-extractable polyphenols and black tea contains 3%-10%. Oolong tea lies somewhere in between. A growing body of research indicates that ECGC appears to reduce oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity, promote neural plasticity in mouse hippocampi, decrease beta-amyloid levels and plaques and modulate tau pathology in mice, as well as prevent beta-amyloid-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, and decrease beta-amyloid mediated cognitive impairment.

Two new studies serve to further highlight potential benefits of green tea extract.

The first builds on previous findings that regular tea-drinkers have lower body mass indices, waist-hip ratios and less body fat than non-tea drinkers. Published online ahead of print in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research and funded by the National Institutes of Health, this study was conducted in mice fed a high fat diet. Investigators found that (decaffeinated) green tea extract (GTE) combined with exercise for 16 weeks reduced abdominal fat by 37% and total body mass by 27%, while decreasing insulin resistance (by 65%), insulin levels (by 65%), and fasting blood sugar (by 17%). In addition, there were significant changes in the expression of genes related to energy metabolism. GTE or exercise alone had less significant effects. While the findings are promising for people, human studies will be needed to verify these results. The average cup of green tea contains 50-150 mg of polyphenols; the dose of GTE used in this study was equivalent to 8-10 cups of green tea daily.

The second study delved into the effects of green tea on cognition. Heralded by the headline, “Green Tea’s Impact on Cognitive Function Now Visible”, healthy male volunteers drank a soft drink either with or without (caffeinated) green tea extract (27.5 grams). Participants then performed working memory tasks while researchers observed activity in their brains via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Those who had consumed the green tea extract (GTE) containing beverage demonstrated enhanced memory performance. Imaging results showed increased connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex areas of the brain that correlated with the measurable improvements in cognitive performance. According to the study authors, this is the first evidence for the putative beneficial effect of green tea on cognitive functioning and suggests changes in short-term plasticity of brain synapses.

Refreshing and delightful, if the simple act of drinking tea can offer such potential benefits, why not give it a try?

Of course tea is not everybody's cup of itself. The good news is that many of tea’s benefits can be obtained by regular consutwo-for-tea-green-tea-extract.pngmption of green tea extract supplements. One of our most popular is Green Tea Extract (decaf) by Pure Encapsulations. This herbal preparation contains catechins, a class of powerful antioxidant compounds known as polyphenols. It contains a minimum of 90% catechins, with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), the most powerful catechin, making up a minimum of 70% of the content. This highly concentrated form of EGCG provides important antioxidant support for all cells in the body.


Green Tea. Retrieved April 29, 2014 from

Sae-tan, S., Rogers, C.J. and Lambert, J.D. (2013), Voluntary exercise and green tea enhance the expression of genes related to energy utilization and attenuate metabolic syndrome in high fat fed mice. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.201300621.

Schmidt, A., Hammann, F., Wolnerhanssen, B., Meyer-Gerspach, A.C., Drewe, J., Beglinger, C., Borgwardt, S. (2014), Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing. Psychopharmacology. doi: 10.1007/s00213-014-3526-1.

Inflammatory Depression Back In the News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 We have been presenting the major themes of our unifying theory of modern Diseases of Civilization (DOCs) for several years now:

  • Chronic degenerative conditions (DOCs) - including most mental disorders - are on the rise and have overtaken infections as the major source of death and illness.
  • This epidemiological transition is due, at least in part, to environmental changes that have increased the disease liability of genetic profiles that were previously benign.
  • These DOCs are associated with increased systemic inflammation stemming from inappropriate stressor-response mechanisms.
  • Much of this inflammation is generated and/or perpetuated by the gut-brain axis.
  • Gut-brain axis derived inflammation leads to disruptions in psycho-neuro-immunological (PNI) balances.
  • Pathophysiological mediators – neurotransmitter, immune cells, adrenal function, hormones, & growth factors - of PNI disturbances can be measured and treated.

Naturally we were gratified to see one of the industry's big dogs, Dr. Mercola, pick up and run with these important motifs in his post earlier today: Psychoneuroimmunology—How Inflammation Affects Your Mental Health.

The more thought leaders we have preaching these messages, the more people with depression and other diseases of civilization we can help.

For my iteration of this discussion please peruse my presentation "Microbes for Mental Health" published back in February.


More Bad News About Prescription Sleeping Pills and Tranquilizers Sat, 12 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 More Bad News About Prescription Sleeping Pills and Tranquilizers

Last fall I wrote a blog ( about the perils of insomnia and the widespread use of hypnotic and sedative agents – sleeping pills and minor tranquilizers. That article included some sobering evidence regarding the significant risks associated with these types of medications: dementia, addiction, fatigue, amnesia, falls, motor vehicle accidents, cancer, pneumonia, and premature death.

Well, the news just keeps getting worse. Recent research (March 2014) out of the Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, found that “anxiolytic and hypnotic drugs were associated with significantly increased risk of mortality over a seven year period, adjusting for a range of potential confounders.”

These findings are consistent with the extant scientific literature showing a statistically and clinically meaningful relationship between the use of prescription anxiolytics and sleeping pills and death.

The profound impactsleep-hygiene.png of these data come into sharper focus when you consider just how common the use of prescription sleep aids among adults in the United States is:

  • Approximately 4% of U.S. adults – or nearly 9 million - over the age of 20 used prescription sleep medications during the past month;
  • Persons with increased age and higher education levels are more likely to use prescription sleep aids;
  • More women than men use sleeping pills;
  • One in six adults with a diagnosed sleep disorder and one in eight adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep medications.

Moreover, in the U.S. alone, over $285 million dollars are spent annually on the Z-drugs. These agents generally fall into three categories:

  1. Benzodiazepines such Restoril, Xanax, Valium, and Ativan;
  2. Non-benzodiazepine drugs including Ambien, Ambien CR, Lunesta, and Sonata; and
  3. Sedating anti-histamines such as Sominex.

These agents are so widely used because insomnia, the inability to fall or stay asleep, is one of the most common medical complaints seen by health care practioners.

Unfortunately, these medications have significant side effects and financial costs to you and to society at large.

Not only do they not address the underlying causes of insomnia, they come with considerable baggage in the form of worrisome side effects – memory loss, daytime sleepiness/fatigue, falls, bone fractures, motor vehicle crashes, plus the potential for tolerance/addiction and increased risk for cancers and death. And the bad news continues to pile up.

For example, a recent study found that if you take these types of medications, all other things being equal, over only the next 2.5 years – by the middle of 2016 – you are more than 4 times (that’s right, more than 400%) more likely to be dead of any cause than if you don’t use such drugs.

The most vulnerable group, however, is the elderly with nearly 7% of individuals over the age of 80 depending on prescription sleep medications.

Surely, there are better options. The first step is to optimize your sleep hygiene:

  • Establish a regular sleep-wake schedule;
  • Develop a relaxing evening routine one hour before going to bed;
  • Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex only, preferably not at the same time;
  • Maintain a very dark room for sleeping – no electronic gadgets or LED lights;
  • Keep the room temperature 70 degrees or less;
  • Limit afternoon naps to 20-30 minutes;
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and excessive alcohol in the evening;
  • Eliminate caffeine in the afternoon and evening; and
  • Find ways to manage emotional turmoil.

As is so often the case, however, these measures, essential for maintaining high quality sleep over time, are seldom adequate to establish regular restorative sleep once insomnia or sleep deprivation has become entrenched in your life.kavinace.gif

But given the dangers of prescription aids, what else can you do? In my opinion, one the most beneficial uses of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is in the arena of natural treatments for sleep problems. I look for supplements that combine ingredients designed to accomplish three things:

  1. Treat the symptom of insomnia, in other words, get and keep you sleeping TONIGHT;
  2. Correct the hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances causing your sleep problems in the first place; and
  3. Re-synchronize your 24-hour clock so that you are sleeping when you want/need to be and fully awake when you want/need to be.

Although I use many different natural sleep supplements, our biggest seller is Kavinace Ultra PM by NeuroScience which uniquely meets the above criteria.

7 Natural and Effective Ways to Detoxify Fri, 11 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 The concept of detox has gained huge popularity in the recent years fueling the birth of numerous detox programs. People from all over the world have joined the detox craze in hopes of losing weight and achieving better health, but is it really important to detox our body?

Our body is highly exposed to chemicals and toxins every day. Whether it's from the environment or the food we eat, chances are, there is an overflowing amount of toxins lingering in our systems. Some organs including the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin naturally flush out foreign substances; however accumulated toxins weaken these defenses and compromise their metabolism.

Toxins can adversely affect vital bodily functions putting our immune system at higher risk. As the immune system wanes, we become more vulnerable to diseases, and we experience skin problems and rapid aging. Apart from weakening our body’s defenses, toxins also hamper the metabolism resulting in lack of energy, mood problems, digestive complications and even weight gain.


To break free from the unwanted effects of toxin build up, detox is a great option. The purpose of detox is to lessen the toxin intake and expel stored toxins. Detox cleanses and rejuvenates the body to keep it functioning at its best.

There is actually plethora of detox programs you can choose from, but here are some natural and effective ways to purge away those toxins.


1. Eat healthy foods.

Choose natural and nutritious food items over processed foods packed with chemicals and additives. If possible, choose organic products and consume more raw foods such as salads and fresh

fruits. Bulk up your meal with more vegetables and fruits to increase your intake of nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.When you keep your body nourished, your immune system can efficiently function to remove toxins. You can also consume oranges, lemon and lime for better detox. Citrus fruits dissolve toxins and support the function of the liver.

2. Drink pure water.

Make sure to drink pure and clean water. Water helps eliminate toxins and supports the metabolism.

3. Be physically active.

There are several ways by which regular exercise aids in the detoxification process. Exercise promotes the removal of toxins through sweating and it also stimulates the lymphatic system. Similarly, exercise encourages blood circulation thereby supplying the necessary nutrients to the organs that perform natural detox. It also helps burn excess fats which serve as storage for toxins.

4. Practice clean living.

Say no to cigarettes and avoid drinking too much alcohol. Cigarettes contains thousands of poisonous chemicals that can accumulate in the body and cause detrimental health effects. Too much alcohol, on the other hand, negatively affects the metabolism and impedes utilization of nutrients. It can also lead to weight gain and fat build up.

5. Use natural products.

Even our environment and the products we use can add up to our toxin intake. As much as possible, use natural cleaning and personal care products or at least select the ones with no hazardous ingredients.

6. Get a massage.

Massage is a relaxing way to get rid of toxins. It stimulates blood circulation, as well as the lymphatic system that works to eliminate toxins within the body.

7. Keep a positive vibes.

Stress can lead to toxin and fat build up, so don't let stress beat you! Always relax and keep a positive outlook. Try some recreational activities or perhaps, yoga and meditation.


Detox will not only boost your immune system and metabolism, it can also improve your physical and psychological health. And certainly, detox can help you feel good inside and out!

8. Use a detox supplement

Our favorite detox supplement is OPTICLEANZ, in addition to helping to rid the body of toxins stored in your fat cells and organs it provides 26 grams of protein.




Garcinia Cambogia's Weight Loss Wonders Fri, 04 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Highly recognized for its weight loss benefits, Garcinia cambogia is now attracting more attention in the health industry. Garcinia cambogia is actually a small fruit also known to some as tamarind. For over a hundred years, this fruit has been used in traditional dishes, and for curing and preservation. It originated from Indonesia, but it is also common in other Asian countries, as well as in India and Africa.


The weight loss effects of Garcinia cambogia are mainly due to the hydroxycitric acid (HCA) found in its rind. HCA essentially works by reducing body fat and controlling hunger through diverse mechanisms.

Our body naturally converts unused energy or extra calories into glycogen and fat stores, but with the action of HCA, fat conversion is impeded. HCA competes with ATP-citrate lyase which is the primary enzyme that helps metabolize fatty acids, cholesterol and triglycerides. This significantly lowers the accumulation of unwanted fat and promotes the storage of energy as glycogen instead of fats. HCA aids in purging fat metabolites in the urine and destroying perilipin proteins which encourage fat storage while inhibiting the use of fats for energy. It also enhances the body's ability to regulate genes that cause obesity.

The effect of HCA on the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats turns off the hunger signals from the brain. This induces satiety for a longer period of time, thus eliminating cravings and suppressing the appetite. Even more interesting, HCA also stimulates the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that improves mood and sleeping patterns. Increased serotonin may help prevent emotional eating. When you feel stressed, anxious or depressed, you are more likely to consume foods high in sugar and fats to feel better, but with the aid of serotonin, you gain more control of your food consumption and choices.

In a study of overweight participants, the use of HCA was associated with significant weight loss. Recent research has also shown that individuals who take HCA supplements reduce up to three times more fat than those who do not. The use of HCA supplements was found to be safe at recommended doses and needs to be taken on an empty stomach.


Aside from helping you shed some pounds, HCA is also good for cardiovascular health because it reduces bad cholesterol in the body. Regulation of sugar is also enhanced with HCA as it helps maintain proper insulin function.

You can get these benefits from the Garcinia cambogia extract in the form of Liquid Garcinia Drops. This supplement is easily absorbed by the body and goes directly into the blood stream. Compared to Garcinia pills, the liquid extract is far more effective for weight loss. Garcinia ambogia extract can be used together with human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) drops for even better reults.

Garcinia cambogia with its HCA content can effectively promote weight loss of up to four pounds in a month. Nonetheless, its effects are enhanced when combined with proper diet and regular exercise to ensure safe, efficient and sustainable weight loss.

Check out our professional strength Garcinia Drops. These sublingual drops are absorbed directly into the blood stream and are more effective than garcinia capsules or pills.


Click to Buy


Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Quit Smoking Without Gaining Weight

smoking-lips.jpg2014 is the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health. While smoking rates have dropped dramatically since, tobacco use is still a human catastrophe and the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. Indeed, today’s cigarette smokers have a higher risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease than did those who smoked in 1964 despite smoking fewer cigarettes because of the higher number of chemical additives now used. A new Surgeon General’s report, “The Health Consequences of Smoking -50 Years of Progress,” links cigarettes to type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and ectopic pregnancy, and confirms that secondhand smoke is causally linked to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory illnesses, and adverse health effects on infants and children.

And now, recent research links secondhand smoke in childhood to irreversible damage to children’s carotid arteries. Tsmoking-physician2.jpghe study, published in the European Heart Journal, included nearly 4000 people in Australia and Finland. Researchers found that individuals exposed to cigarette smoke from both parents during childhood have thickened carotid artery walls to a degree that adds 3.3 years to the “age” of their blood vessels by adulthood, demonstrating the pervasive effect of exposure to parental smoking on children’s vascular health up to 25 years later.

In the universe of reasons to stop smoking, sparing your children a lifetime of harmful health consequences is a compelling one.

People with addictions to any substance including smokers may have neurotransmitter levels so low that diet alone cannot provide the amino acids necessary to rebuild and restore brain balance. One of our favorite agents at Health Remedies is Crave Control. It contains key amino acids, vitamins, and minerals needed for the manufacture of neurotransmitters including dopamine and norepinephrine to help restore brain chemistry balance. With neurotransmitters at normal levels, cravings become fewer and weaker, thinking clearer and feelings more positive helping you reach your goals for stopping smoking. In addition, Crave Control contains chromium which is purported to have direct anti-craving properties and may curtail (through its beneficial effects on blood glucose management) weight gain once you stop smoking.


A good way to kick your smoking habit (or any for that matter) without replacing it with another such as over-eating is to ensure you have an adequate supply of neurotransmitter building blocks: the amino acids, vitamins, and minerals found in Crave Control.

And I ain’t blowing smoke.



U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014. (page 2 and 3 of the Executive Summary have a couple of nice diagrams illustrating the organ consequences of smoking directly and from secondhand exposure)

Gall, S., Huynh, Q., Magnussen, C., et al. Exposure to parental smoking in childhood or adolescence is associated with increased carotid intima-media thickness in young adults: evidence from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns study and the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study. European Heart Journal (2014).

Functional Genetics and Diseases of Civilization Fri, 14 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Functional Genetic Testing and Diseases of Civilization -

In partnership with Pharmasan Labs’ Genetic Division and our trusted colleagues at Neuroscience, Inc., we are pleased to announce the launch of a new line of testing – Functional Genetics - that will further equip us to personalize the evaluation and treatment of your unique symptoms.

Functional Genetics simply refers to how your genes are expressed in a given environment. You possess a genetic fingerprint that is uniquely yours. Included in this genetic endowment are specific mutations known as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Such SNPs are the most common type of genetic mutation and often result in alterations in the structure and function of key enzymes and metabolic pathways. These very variations are associated with many of the Diseases of Civilization currently wrecking the health of Americans.

The promise of such testing is that by analyzing your unique genetic makeup we can identify specific patterns of mutations that increase your risk for various diseases of civilization before they erupt into full-blown illness.

We have embraced this type of genetic testing because it is consonant with our unifying theory of modern Diseases of Civilization and consistent with our overall clinical approach: when possible, “Test Don’t Guess.”

These functional genetic panels are not designed to diagnose any specific disorder but rather serve to identify SNP profiles putting you at risk. In so doing, we can treat, forestall, and even prevent chronic degenerative disorders before they ruin your health. This approach represents a big step forward in personalized intervention including lifestyle, nutritional supplements, medical foods, and prescription medications.

The table below lists these new functional genetic test panels based on the pathophysiology-specific (as opposed to diagnostic-specific) attributes of your genetic makeup and their corresponding tendencies.


We are in the process of rolling out this new set of functional genetic tests and hope you will check back often for more details.

Probiotics, Depression, Anxiety, & Obesity Tue, 11 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0400 Probiotics, Depression, Anxiety, and Obesity

The storyline behind the modern epidemic of inflammation driven disease goes as follows:
• Chronic degenerative conditions (Diseases of Civilization – DOCs) are on the rise and have overtaken infections as the major source of death and illness.
• This epidemiological transition is due, at least in part, to environmental changes that have increased the disease liability of genetic profiles that were previously benign.
• These DOCs are associated with increased systemic inflammation stemming from inappropriate stressor-response mechanisms.
• Much of this inflammation is generated and/or perpetuated by the gut-brain axis.
• Gut-brain axis derived inflammation leads to disruptions in psycho-neuro-immunological (PNI) balances.
• Pathophysiological mediators of PNI disturbances can be measured and treated.
• A cornerstone of said treatment is the regular consumption of a high quality multi-strain probiotic.
The carefully selected strains in Tri-Flora have been shown to:
• Decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines;
• Increase anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10;
• Stimulate regulatory immune cells;
• Inhibit immune response to LPS (lipopolysaccharide) transduction;
• Improve intestinal barrier function;
• Enhance mucosal and systemic immune responses;
• Produce and deliver neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin.

And in so doing accomplish some very intriguing clinical feats:
1. Lessen symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome;
2. Act as an adjunct to standard care in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder;
3. Improve anxiety and reduce brain cell death; and
4. Help women lose weight.

It is for reasons such as this, that my most commonly recommended supplement for most people is a high quality probiotic. Tri-Flora by IP Formulas is our new favorite.

Can't Lose Weight? Let Your DNA Guide the Way Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Introduction

You are doing all the right things. You exercise, eat right, and get plenty of sleep (well, try to at least). You’ve tried countless supplements and followed more than a few fads. Yet you still cannot achieve and maintain your ideal weight. What gives?

If you are not getting the results you desire or expect despite considerable effort and expense, before throwing in the towel, consider genetic testing. That’s right, let your DNA guide the way.

Why Genetic Testing?

Diet, exercise and supplement programs often fail because they are applied in a haphazard, willy-nilly approach that seldom incorporates your unique combination of genes, life experiences, and biochemistry. In short, these programs fall short because they are not customized to you.

Logically, the most efficient and potentially effective use of diet, activity/exercise, and supplementation to achieve weight loss, optimal body composition and overall wellness is through the utilization of individualized genetic information.

Genetic testing identifies unique variations in your genes or proteins. Historically, genetic testing has only been used to diagnose or rule out hereditary diseases. Only very recently has the technology to reveal such detailed information become available for consumer use.

Now, at the very forefront of health and wellness, genetic testing can identify your individual nutritional needs, exercise requirements, and most direct paths to weight loss and general health.

It’s no secret that your genes are the key to knowing exactly how your body operates. For example, we have known for some time that a specific gene, commonly called the FTO gene, is associated with an increased risk of obesity. Simply, the goal of genetic sequencing is to help you better understand your body’s needs including your risk of obesity and the most effective and efficient ways to optimize your health and wellness.

Test Don’t Guess

Consistent with our overarching philosophy here at Health Remedies, we practice what we preach: Test Don’t Guess. You by now likely know we often recommend testing of the unique biological mediators – neurotransmitters, adrenal function, hormones, immune status, and growth factors – driving one’s specific signs and symptoms.

So imagine how excited we are to be able to offer you for the first time the ability to leverage genetic testing to uncover the secrets of your individual metabolism and path to weight loss. Your path is yours and no one else’s. Our new test, powered by Simplified Genetics and co-promoted with Designs for Health, provides you with a clear and comprehensive report with easy to understand DO, EAT and TAKE strategies for simple and immediate implementation.

The state of the art research that went into the Fit by Design genetic test combines years of dedication and knowledge in science, diet, nutrition, exercise and supplements to develop the results for your individual genotype yielding a clear and simple prescription: DO, EAT, TAKE. The protocol Simplified Genetics developed guides you step-by-step to find your ideal weight and level of fitness, making the Fit by Design test the most comprehensive on the market.

Click on the image below to learn more about Fit by Design now available at Health Remedies or follow this link to see a sample report.




The Depression-Zinc Link Fri, 28 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Do You Need to be (Re)Tested for Gluten Sensitivity? Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 How do you know if you need to be tested for gluten sensitivity? If you're breathing.

We are all at risk for the emerging syndrome called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS). Even if you have been tested in the past for celiac disease, because of the limited utility of tests routinely used in clinical practice, you may still suffer from gluten mediated symptoms and conditions.


Moreover, NCGS is frequently missed because it often shows up as extra-intestinal symptoms such as brain fog, depression, anxiety, pain, and headaches.

Most importantly, newer generation testing technologies are finally sensitive enough to determine if your historically hard to diagnose symptoms might actually turn out to be due to gluten and/or other dietary toxins.

One such test, and the one we use most often at Health Remedies, is the Cyrex Array 3.

The Cyrex Array 3 – Wheat Gluten Autoimmunity Reactivity Profile is the most sensitive test available for gluten reactivity. Measuring immune response to an array of wheat antigens increases the sensitivity and specificity, and will provide greater confidence in formulation of a diagnosis that allows for better patient compliance with a gluten-free diet.

Assessing wheat/gluten reactivity and intestinal autoimmunity is recommended for patients who:
  • Have gut dysbiosis, which appears to be resistant to standard therapy
  • Are suspected of having intestinal mucosal damage
  • Complain of food allergy and intolerance
  • Complain of chemical hypersensitivity
  • Present multiple-symptom complaints (including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia)
  • Suffer from abnormal immune cell count and function
  • May suffer from blood-brain barrier permeability, depression, or neuroautoimmunity
Testing for NCGS using the Cyrex Array 3 is also helpful for those with Neuro-autoimmune issues to consider:
Pernicious Anemia
Do you need to be (re-) tested? Probably. Check out our Cyrex Array 3.
Be True To Your Heart: Lower Your Inflammation and Lower Your Weight Fri, 14 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Be True to Your Heart: Lower Your Inflammation and Lower Your Weight

Happy Valentine’s Day. Earlier this week, Dr. Oz, in his TV episode that aired Monday February 10, 2014, offered some good ideas about rapid weight loss ( Oz emphasized three separate but related strategies:

  • Block fat storage;
  • Burn fat after every meal; and
  • Activate calorie burning mechanisms.

These strategies are sound and consistent with our own philosophy of maintaining a healthy weight.

During that episode, he mentioned several products and, although I’ve not heard of them, the theory behind them sounds feasible and is similar to some of the features of our more established products such as green coffee bean extract. I am heartened by the mini-experiment he ran on 30 women from his audience. At the same time, such results are not scientific and should not supplant more rigorous research findings.

Either way, when choosing weight loss/management products, it is vital that you have an overarching theory and a specific plan that fits your theory.

An article highlighting a very high quality research study published back in 2008 entitled, “Dietary Strategies for Improving Post-Prandial Glucose, Lipids, Inflammation, and Cardiovascular Health,” serves as the cornerstone of our over philosophy of weight-related health: never let your post-meal blood sugar and triglycerides spike.

The article reviews a critical contribution to the explosion of chronic degenerative disorders currently holding the globe captive. In brief, according to the authors, “the highly processed, calorie-dense, nutrient-depleted diet favored in the current American culture frequently leads to exaggerated supraphysiological post-prandial [post-meal] spikes in blood glucose and lipids.” This state, which they call “postprandial dysmetabolism” (and I call “trouble”), is associated with:

  • Oxidative stress;
  • A transient increase in free radicals;
  • Inflammation;
  • Increased stress neurotransmitters;
  • Thickening of the blood; and
  • Damage to and premature aging of the cells lining your blood vessels.

What’s more, this state of post-meal inflammation proves to be an independent predictor of future heart attacks even in non-diabetic individuals.

The overwhelming good news, however, is that certain dietary strategies have been shown to produce immediate and profound benefits in your inflammatory status and cardiovascular health. Specifically, diets “high in minimally processed, high-fiber, plant-based foods such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts will markedly blunt the post-meal increase in glucose, triglycerides, and inflammation.”

In addition, rather than deprive yourself by only eliminating tasty morsels from your diet, add one or more items from the following list to every meal/snack:

  • Lean protein;
  • Vinegar (nothing special about pomegranate vinegar);
  • Fish oil;
  • Tea;
  • Cinnamon; and
  • Low-dose alcohol.


Each of these has been proven to protect you against postprandial dysmetabolism by reducing your inflammation.

Along these lines, many of our best-selling weight loss supplements leverage the science behind this strategy. For example, our Garcinia Cambogia Extract Liquid has been shown in preclinical studies to accomplish many of the same goals as the anti-inflammatory diet referenced in the above study:

  • Inhibits the enzyme that converts carbohydrates from your diet into fat;
  • Blocks fat storage;
  • Reduces the formation of new fat cells; and
  • Suppress appetite and curbs “emotional” eating.


Similarly, one of the beauties of our high quality Green Coffee Bean Extract Liquid is that it slows down the rate at which your post-meal blood sugars and triglycerides spike: the very strategy endorsed by the authors of our featured research study.

The real take home message is less about any particular supplement or even weight loss in general. Do not make weight loss your goal but rather an intended consequence of becoming healthier overall.

In other words, manage your inflammation and you will manage your weight.

Probiotics Shown to Help Women Lose Weight Sat, 01 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0500 According to a recent study, certain probiotics – including one of the strains in our new Tri-Flora Multi-Strain Probiotic Blend (Lactobacillus rhamnosus) – could help women lose weight.

Multiple lines of research have already shown that the gut ecology (intestinal flora) of obese persons differs significantly from that found in most thin individuals.

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition by a team of researchers headed by Université Laval Professor Angelo Tremblay, sought to determine whether the regular consumption of probiotics could help tilt the balance of microbial powers in favor of gut bugs that promote healthy weight.

To do so, researchers enrolled 125 overweight men and women in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial and put them all on a 12-week weight loss diet as well as an additional 12 week extension phase aimed at maintaining any gains made during the initial study period.

Each subject consumed two capsules per day of either a placebo or a formulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LPR group). Body weight and composition were measured at baseline, at week 12, and at week 24. The analysis showed that at both the 12-week and 24-week measurements the mean weight loss in women in the LPR group was significantly higher than that in women in the placebo group (P= 0.02) after the first 12 weeks, whereas it was similar in men in the two groups (P= 0.53).

Moreover, female subjects in the LPR group continued to lose body weight and fat mass during the weight-maintenance period, whereas opposite changes were seen in the placebo group.

Changes in body weight and fat mass during the weight-maintenance period were similar in men in both the groups. LPR-induced weight loss in women was also associated with significant reductions in fat mass and circulating leptin concentrations.

This recent study is just one more example of the many potential benefits of IP’s new Tri-Flora Probiotic Blend. Not onlytriflora_lactobacillus_rhamnosus.png does Tri-Flora contain a strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus, it also contains additional strains – Lactobacillus helveticus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Saccharomyces boulardii – that have been shown to be associated with many health-promoting actions:

  • Decrease pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-8, IL-6, TNFα; IFNγ
  • Increase anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10;
  • Stimulate regulatory immune cells;
  • Inhibit immune response to LPS (lipopolysaccharide) transduction;
  • Improve intestinal barrier function;
  • Enhance mucosal and systemic immune responses;
  • Produce and deliver neurotransmitters such as GABA and serotonin.

What this means clinically is that the carefully selected strains in Tri-Flora have been demonstrated to accomplish some very intriguing feats:

  1. Lessen symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome;
  2. Act as an adjunct to standard care in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder;
  3. Improve anxiety and reduce brain cell death; and
  4. Help women lose weight.

It is for reasons such as this, that my most commonly recommended supplement for most people is a high quality probiotic. Tri-Flora by IP Formulas is my new favorite.


Effect of Lactobacillus rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 supplementation on weight loss and maintenance in obese men and women. Sanchez M, Darimont C, Drapeau V, Emady-Azar S, Lepage M, Rezzonico E, Ngom-Bru C, Berger B, Philippe L, Ammon-Zuffrey C, Leone P, Chevrier G, St-Amand E, Marette A, Doré J, Tremblay A. Br J Nutr. 2013 Dec 3:1-13.

Melancholic microbes: a link between gut microbiota and depression? Dinan TG, Cryan JF. Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2013 Sep;25(9):713-9.

Maes M. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2008 Jun;29(3):287-91.

Major depressive disorder: probiotics may be an adjuvant therapy. Logan AC, Katzman M. Med Hypotheses. 2005;64(3):533-8.

Psychobiotics: a novel class of psychotropic. Dinan TG, Stanton C, Cryan JF. Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Nov 15;74(10):720-6.

Thomas S, Przesdzing I, Metzke D, Schmitz J, Radbruch A, Baumgart DC. Clin Exp Immunol. 2009 Apr;156(1):78-87

New Insights Into Depression, Medications, and L-methylfolate Sun, 26 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Last month I wrote about depression, inflammation, low brain folate levels, and response to antidepressants (Why Are You Still Depressed?). Just last weekend I had the opportunity to particpate in a scientific symposium sponsored by PamLab, the makers of Deplin brand of L-methylfolate. The sessions were outstandiing featuring some of the best minds in psychiatry and primary care medicine.dr._dave_does_new_orleans.png

Among the most intriguing findings presented was that there are several specific variables that predict whether or not you are at risk for depression: genes (for example a mutation in one of your enzymes that metabolizes folate - MTHFR enzyme), ELA (early life adversity), obesity, and inflammation. These same factors predict that you will not respond well to antidepressants.

So what should you do with this new information?

First, consider whether you may have low central nervous system (CNS) folate levels (you likely do). Why this matters: L-methylfolate is a critical vitamin needed by your brain to transform amino acids (from dietary protein) into key brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine. If your brain folate levels are low, you cannot make sufficient neurotransmitters. If so, not even the best antidepressant will work optimally. You may get better, but will you get well?

I have put together in a new Slideshare the signs (fatigue, inflammation, pain, being overweight, and other sickness behaviors), causes (diet, inflammation, environmental toxins, lifestyle, genetic mutations), and risk factors (age, depression, medications, other medical conditions) for low folate. You will recognize some of these slides from my earlier post but they are important enough to go over again.

Another exciting aspect of recent research is that we now have a clearer picture of the features of those persons most likely to benefit from L-methylfolate:

  • Depressed;
  • Overweight or obese;
  • Inflamed; and
  • Hetero- or homo-zygous for the MTHFR SNP (mutated).

Won’t the folic acid in your current multi-vitamin or B vitamin complex take care of this? Probably not. For many people with depression, they cannot convert this synthetic form of folate (or for that matter, they cannot convert dietary folate from green leafy vegetables) into the only form of folate – L-methylfolate - that can get through the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and into their brains. You may be one of those.

For that reason, we only use that specific form of folate: L-methylfolate. But be careful, not all L- methyfolate is the same. The two that we trust and use the most often, depending on your insurance coverage and whether we are acting as your personal physician or your health consultant, are Deplin and our own IP Formula’s Methyl Esssentials.

Deplin, a medical food, requires a prescription from your clinician, and if not covered by your insurance may make it unaffordable. It is of high quality made by a superb company supported by topnotch sales and marketing team. You cannot buy it directly, however.

We also trust our over-the-counter form of L-methyfolate: Methyl Essentials. It too is of very high quality, is competitively priced, is ideally dosed, and combines with it the most bio-active form of Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin). This is particularly important in our elder patients and clients.

Here are the specs on Methyl Essentials:
IP Formulas Methyl Essentials L 5 MTHF 6.5 mg & B12 2mg contains the most bio active form of L 5-Methyl folate and methylcobalamin-vitamin B12 and is the only form that crosses the blood brain barrier.
Increases production of dopamine, melatonin, serotonin, and DNA

It can be ordered online here:

Leaky Gut Syndrome: Do You Have It? Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Leaky gut syndrome is also known as intestinal barrier permeability. Your intestinal wall is a force field that defends against many harmful substances such as environmental toxins, bacteria, food, and microbes. In fact, 80% of your immune cells live underneath the lining of your intestinal tract.


Research has shown that the cause of many immune reactions is due to a compromise in the integrity of the gut barrier which increases the entry of undigested antigens or food particles into the circulation thus challenging the immune system.

The immune system then becomes reactive to these antigens resulting in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and antibodies which further contribute to leaky gut syndrome or increased intestinal barrier permeability.

Your body then responds with an over active immune response and an ongoing increase in chronic systemic inflammation, and multiple inflammatory cytokines.

This eventually leads to autoimmune disease, a condition in which the body’s immune system starts to attack itself.

What causes leaky gut syndrome?

Numerous things can contribute to leaky gut syndrome, but here are the most common:

  • Chronic yeast infections
  • Excessive alcohol or caffeine use
  • Low fiber diet
  • Standard American diet (processed foods, sugar, gluten)
  • Past or current use of antibiotics, steroids, and NSAIDS such as Motrin, Advil , Aleve.
  • Stress ( emotional or physical)
  • Dysbiosis ( viruses, parasites, bacteria, yeast)
  • Genetic Vulnerability

Increased intestinal permeability is associated with systemic inflammatory conditions. Inflammation can cause leaky gut syndrome, and leaky gut syndrome can also contribute to inflammation.

This can lead to:

  • Food allergies
  • Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease
  • Neurological conditions (multiple sclerosis,mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression schizophrenia)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Other autoimmune diseases

Helpful lab test to discover if you have leaky gut syndrome, intestinal permeability or contributory factors.

The Cyrex Array 2 intestinal antigenic permeability screen is a blood test that accurately identifies either antibodies or antigenic molecules which trigger the destruction of your intestinal barrier .checks for the existence of IGA and I GM against bacterial

The G.I.Effects stool analysis can determine the presence of yeast, parasites, inflammation, and bad bacteria that contribute to permeability issues.

If you think you have intestinal permeability issues or leaky gut what do you do now?

The first the most important step to take at this point is to seal and heal your gut.


The 4 R Program to Seal and Heal the Gut.


Remove the offending toxins, infections, and inflammatory foods. Change your diet.

Eliminate processed foods, alcohol, bad fats, caffeine, sugar, soy, dairy, and gluten. Try an elimination diet or take a food sensitivity test to help identify foods that you react to. Take a GI detox drink such as Opticleanz GHI to remove toxins and reduce inflammation. Reduce stress and increase blood flow to your injured intestines through exercise.


Repair your adrenal glands which produce a substance called secretory IgA. Secretory IgA is your gut’s first line of mucosal immune defense. A simple saliva test can determine the health of your adrenal glands. Repair and support your hormone and neurotransmitter levels. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin are actually produced in the gut as well as the brain.

Change your diet. There are two diets that have been shown to help heal the gut, reduce inflammation, and reduce or eliminate symptoms of autoimmunity.

The Paleo diet and the GAPS diet which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Both of these diets remove common allergens and inflammatory agents that weaken your gut lining and are designed to restore gut health. Both are gluten-free, and both recommend removing processed foods from your diet.

-Use homemade bone broth

-Eat fermented foods- Increasing your intake of fermented foods help restore beneficial microbes into your gastrointestinal tract.

-Take healing supplements such as:

-Leaky Gut Repair powder IP Formulas contains L-Glutamine, licorice, Aloe Vera and Arabinogalactan

-ActiNutrients by Xymogen

-Super EPA omega (reduces inflammation)

3. Restore

Restoring the beneficial bacteria is crucial for recovery. Taking a good probiotic such as Tri Flora which contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces Boulardiiis, and Bifidobacterium can help restore the balance between the good and bad bacteria. Bad bacterial overgrowth is often the starting point for intestinal decline. Restore immune system balance with Neuro Immune PRP spray. This spray regulates an over or under active immune system.

4. Replace

Replace the good that might have been affected by poor digestion and absorption such as pancreatic digestive enzymes, bile acids, and hydrochloric acid.

We hope this helps start you on the path towards healing. If you need more guidance our practitioners are very knowledgeable and are available for phone consultations. Call us at 800 385-7863 to schedule.

Dr. Dave's Holidaze Hangover Cure Fri, 03 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0500 Why Are You Still Depressed? Tue, 24 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0500 Why Are You Still Depressed?

You may be one of the millions of Americans who are depressed and taking a medication. Indeed, every year in the United States more than 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are filled, making them one of the most-prescribed class of drugs (2nd only to cholesterol lowering statins) in the nation.

Likewise, you may be one of the >80% who feels somewhat better but not all the way well. Most people with depression who take an antidepressant report residual functional impairment, with a full 27 percent reporting that it is extremely difficult to do everyday tasks like work, getting things done at home, or getting along with others because of their condition.



What happens if you don’t get well?

  1. Failure to achieve full remission (even in a first depressive episode) is linked to more severe relapsing, chronic future courses and shorter durations of wellness between episodes.
  2. Failure to fully remit is associated with significant social and interpersonal impairment. Depression can impair your capacity to maintain your roles in the family as spouses, parents, resource providers resulting in increased stress, family disorder. Children with depressed parents experience difficulty functioning effectively in school and have poorer performance. Depressed patients have substantial trouble in the workplace with high levels of unemployment, underemployment, disability and decreased work performance.
  3. If you are already sick depression will make you even sicker according to the largest scale study ever done into the links between depression and chronic illness published in the September 2007 Lancet.
  4. We know:
  • There is a significant relationship between depression and risk of stroke death.
  • Data from clinical trials link depression and diabetes complications. Evidence suggests the possibility of a reciprocal interaction suggesting that treating depression may be beneficial to both mood and diabetes.
  • Depression following myocardial infarction (MI) is an independent risk factor for mortality at 6 months, and its impact is equivalent to that of previous MI. Depression is a negative prognostic factor for patients with cardiovascular disease and congestive heart failure.
  • Research also highlights the negative impact of depression on the decline and mortality associated with HIV.
  1. Two-thirds of depressed patients exhibit suicidal ideation.

Why, though, are so many people feeling so low, even though antidepressants -- the supposed “cure” for depression -- are so widely available? And if you are one of these individuals what should you do about it?


Should you switch antidepressants or have another major psychotropic medication added to your existing antidepressant? Before you do this, consider whether you may have low central nervous system (CNS) folate levels.

The Folate Connection

Folate is a critical vitamin needed by your brain to transform amino acids (from dietary protein) into key brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and acetylcholine.

If your brain folate levels are low, you cannot make sufficient neurotransmitters. If so, not even the best antidepressant will work optimally. You may get better, but will you get well?

The following relationships between low folate and depressive illnesses may surprise you:

  1. Low serum and red blood cell folate status makes you less likely to respond to antidepressant treatment and more likely to relapse;
  2. If you have low folate, you are 6X more likely not to respond to antidepressant therapy or reach full remission;
  3. Low folate is associated with a higher incidence of depression with as many as 56% of depressed patients having suboptimal folate levels;
  4. Severity and duration of depressive episodes as well as onset of clinical improvement are inversely related to folate status;
  5. Low CNS L-methylfolate status is linked to decreased neurotransmitter synthesis; and
  6. Even if you have normal serum folate status you may still benefit from L-methylfolate therapy, because peripheral folate levels may not accurately reflect your central nervous system (CNS) L-methylfolate levels.

One of the main variables that links low folate to depression is inflammation. For example, low folate leads to inflammation and inflammation is associated with poorer response to antidepressant medication.


In other words, if you are inflamed, you are less likely to respond to antidepressants, and if you haven’t responded to your antidepressant(s), you are more likely to be inflamed.

Other Signs You May Be Inflamed

There are many other signs (fatigue, inflammation, pain, being overweight, and other sickness behaviors), causes (diet, inflammation, environmental toxins, lifestyle, genetic mutations), and risk factors (age, depression, medications, other medical conditions) for low folate.



Inflammation Depletes Your Neurotransmitters

There are many consequences of inflammation that can affect all aspects of your health and well-being. One of the most critical effects is that it lowers your levels of key neurotransmitters.


What else besides inflammation may be causing your low folate status?

As the slide below indicates, many variables, alone or in combination, increase your risk of having low folate.



Genetics and Low Folate

The last bullet point – genetics - on the above slide deserves further comment. One of the most frequent questions we get here at Health Remedies is whether or not genetic testing for the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the methylene-tetra-hydro-folate- reductase enzyme (MTHFR) is necessary. This is the enzyme that ultimately converts synthetic folic acid or dietary folate into a form, L-methylfolate, that can get into the brain and be used to make neurotransmitters. The slide below gives you an idea just how common genetic defects in this gene are.



Won’t the folic acid in your current multi-vitamin or B vitamin complex take care of this? Probably not. For many people with depression, they cannot convert this synthetic form of folate (or for that matter, they cannot convert dietary folate from green leafy vegetables) into the only form of folate – L-methylfolate - that can get through the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) and into their brains. You may be one of these individuals. The only way to know for sure is to get tested.

For that reason, we at Health Remedies only use that specific form of folate: L-methylfolate. But be careful, not all L- methyfolate is the same. The two that we trust and use the most often, depending on your insurance coverage and whether we are acting as your personal physician or your health consultant, are Deplin and our own IP Formula’s Methyl Esssentials.


Deplin, a medical food, requires a prescription from your clinician, and if not covered by your insurance may make it unaffordable. It is of high quality made by a superb company supported by topnotch sales and marketing team. You cannot buy it directly, however.

That is why we developed our own over-the-counter form of L-methyfolate: Methyl Essentials. It too is of very high quality, is competitively priced, is ideally dosed, and combines with it the most bio-active form of Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin). This is particularly important in our elder patients and clients.

Here are the specs on our Methyl Essentials:
IP Formulas Methyl Essentials L 5 MTHF 6.5 mg & B12 2mg contains the most bio active form of L 5-Methyl folate and methylcobalamin-vitamin B12 and is the only form that crosses the blood brain barrier.
Increases production of dopamine, melatonin, serotonin, and DNA

Give Methyl Essentials a try. We think you’ll be glad you did.



What to do if You're Alone or Feeling Alone or Grieving for the Holidays Fri, 20 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0500 Television commercials, movies and greeting cards paint the cozy Norman Rockwell image of the holidays -- happy families sitting at a long, elaborately decorated table passing around platters of food while laughing and smiling as the fireplace crackles in the background.

If you’re facing an illness, death or divorce this holiday season, be sure to express your feelings openly and seek out support from friends, family and/or local support groups.As much as people may want to live up to this beautiful image, it isn’t the reality for many -- particularly for families who are struggling with overwhelming feelings of unhappiness. Life changes or stressors such as recent separation, divorce, deployment, death or aloneness can all lead to feelings of sadness and grief during the holidays.

Unfortunately, these idealized images that flood our living rooms are a myth that tends to exacerbate isolation and feelings of being flawed for the millions of people who will be alone during this season.

“There’s so much hype for this wonderful time of togetherness,”

Elaine Rodino, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., told PsychCentral,

“that it accentuates the feeling of being alone and disconnected.”

Holidays can be most difficult, bringing up feelings of anger and sadness, for those who lost loved ones and are going through the grieving process.

Remembering Loved Ones in Your Own Unique Way

Everyone grieves in their own way and there really "there aren’t any right or wrong ways" of doing it, however it’s important to keep communication lines with other family members open. You should also reach out for support when you need it.

Most of all, listen to your heart and come up with a coping plan for the holiday season. One special way to help ease the pain is by honoring your loved ones at this time of year with symbolic and meaningful traditions. Here are some ways you can do this:

  • Pick up a special candle and light it in memory of your loved one.
  • Make an ornament out of something that reminds you of your loved one, such as incorporating a favorite color or saying, or decorating the ornament with a picture of them.
  • Prepare a favorite or traditional meal your loved one enjoyed making and invite your friends, family and/or neighbors over for a special meal (even after the Holiday) to help them get over might be their Post Holiday Blues.
  • Visit the cemetery or go to a place you shared special times together such as a favorite restaurant.
  • Plant a tree or bush in your garden so you have something special to remember them by each year.
  • Put together a scrapbook with pictures and captions. You can then reminisce over fond memories of your loved ones during holiday get-togethers.
  • Donate to a charity that meant something to your loved one such as a favorite religious or educational institution, veteran organization or private foundation.

Going through the holiday season after dealing with a life stressor can generate feelings of heartbreak and exhaustion. Experts say the key to facing these difficult life transitions is the delicate balancing act of finding ways to create new memories and traditions while honoring the old ones.

Here are some tips to keeping communication open with your family during these difficult times, along with ideas to build new traditions:

Be Honest with Your Children

Your child may express wishes to bring a loved one back, whether it’s a loved one lost or not there due to divorce. It’s important to acknowledge their feelings and then gently explain to them that the loved one will not be there.

Hold a Family Meeting

Before the frantic pace of the holidays sets in, plan to have a family meeting to get everything out in the open and discuss any issues, difficulties and expectations. Make it fun and light, sitting around a fireplace or with the soothing atmosphere of candles lit and holiday music in the background. Everyone should be encouraged to participate and voice their feelings openly -- and be given respect if they don’t feel up to sharing.

Honor the empty seat if there has been a death or absent family member and allow yourself to be happy

Put together a posterboard collage of pictures and familiar sayings of those who are absent and remember that it's not a showing of disloyalty to the loved ones to laugh and have a good time.

Overcome feelings of rejection brought on by divorce

You can deal with your sense of loss by doing something simple, yet symbolic, like lighting candles at the dinner table as representation that you are moving on with your life.

Start a new tradition

You could get out in nature and take a walk in the woods alone or with your family or take a drive to your special sanctuary that brings you comfort and peace.Or, watch a favorite funny holiday movie like The Christmas Story or National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and reap the benefits of hearty laughter, which can be as therapeutic as a good cry.

Reach out to others when you feel alone or find others in your situation and invite them over for dinner.

Let friends and family know that you would enjoy sharing their holiday celebration with them. Getting together with others or inviting others to your home that are in the same circumstance can lead to enriching experiences. You can ask them to bring a favorite dish to share.

Do something spiritual

This could be something as simple as keeping a gratitude journal and writing down everything and everyone you are grateful for. This will help you keep a positive attitude, improve your well-being and lessen the focus on the loss of your loved ones.

Acknowledge your pain

Release your emotions if you feel the need. Cry, get angry, punch a pillow or scream in the privacy of your home or even in your car. Letting your feelings out will create an opening in your heart to allow happiness in from the holiday season.

Nurture your mind and body

If you feel the need to spend time alone, do nurturing things for yourself such as buying some beautiful flowers, preparing a loving dinner for yourself, listening to your favorite music and focusing on all the things that bring you happiness.

Volunteer: Bring yourself back to the real meaning of the holidays by giving back to others

When you volunteer, you can expect two big rewards. Volunteering will nurture your soul and give you feelings of fulfillment, and surrounding yourself with others dedicated to the same cause will energize your spirit of giving while helping others less fortunate.

Enjoying Your Alone Time

Whether you are alone during the holidays out of choice or circumstance, you can still have a fulfilling holiday season. Even if you’re not alone, we recommend carving out some time from your hectic holiday schedule to treat yourself to some alone time.

Here are four things to do to make your alone time memorable:

Get out and embrace the holiday season.

    Visit places that make you feel good or stimulate your interests such as museums, holiday festivals, plays, the local zoo or driving around and looking at festive holiday decorations.

Tackle a home project you’ve wanted to accomplish.

    Work on that guest room, repaint a bathroom in need of updating or do some indoor planting.

Rekindle a hobby.

    Pick up an old hobby or talent like painting, writing or playing a musical instrument.

Indulge in your own personal spa treatment.

    Read your favorite novel or watch a movie you’ve wanted to see under a comfy blanket on the couch. You can make some hot chocolate to stay cozy and warm.

Is it the Holiday Blues or Serious Depression?

Find Peace and Calmness Within Yourself by Such Things as: Listening to Inspiring Music, Creating a Gratitude Journal and or write Loving Notes of Appreciation to loved ones to send after the Holidays, wishing them a Happy New Year! Volunteer some of your time at local homeless food pantry and or animal shelter. Also many people find that pets rejuvenate their lives with their unconditional love.Experts say that many people get the holiday blues and more than 19 million Americans suffer from depression year-round and struggle with it to a much greater degree around the holidays.

It is important to know the difference between the occasional holiday blues and slipping into a serious depression.

“If anyone shows a lack of interest in usual activities, sleep disturbances, weight changes or physical symptoms for several weeks, they should see a healthcare professional to determine if they have clinical depression,”

said Debra L. Wentz, Ph.D., chief executive officer of New Jersey Association of Mental Health Agencies, Inc., in Stanford’s Wellsphere.

"Treatments and other support are available and have been proven effective. However, without treatment, depression can lead to many serious complications, such as physical illness, drug or alcohol addiction or suicidal thoughts."

Symptoms of holiday blues include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Changes in appetite
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased interest in activities that are usually enjoyable

The key distinction to be on the lookout for is the length of time you experience these symptoms. Holiday blues usually continue on for a few days to a few weeks after the holiday season ends.

"In addition to having strategies for relieving stress, individuals can try to avoid situations that cause stress or alcohol or drug cravings. Having at least one friend or family member to provide support is equally important",

said Dr. Wentz.

Tips to Keep Your Spirits High and Stress Levels Down this Holiday Season

If you’re facing a stressful holiday this year, please use these top tips to keep your stress levels to a minimum:

  • Eat healthy foods to keep your energy levels high and your junk-food cravings low.
  • Avoid alcohol at parties -- Choose non-alcoholic beverages, as alcohol is a depressant.
  • Keep your stress levels down with plenty of sleep, regular exercise and staying out of family arguments.
  • Clear your mind of the day’s stressors and bring peace to the end of your day by listening to relaxing music.
  • Be sure to seek professional help if your feelings of sadness or grief become overwhelming during the holiday season or any time of year. Find the one professional who can help you to embark on transforming your stress into life-enhancing experiences.


Washington Post

Psychology Today

Wells phere Coping W ith Being Alone for the Holidays Alone During the Holidays? Join the Crowd

The Not So Sweet Effects of Sugar Sun, 15 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0500 toothache.jpg

Sugar can be nice and sweet, but its effects on the body can make you feel sour or even bitter. Sugar is a natural substance in the body that provides energy to our cells. It produces the “feel good” neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, that boost our energy and enhance our mood. Although it can give you a rush in the short run, excessive consumption of sugar in the long run can be dangerous to your health.

Sugar Consumption: Now and Then

Back in the day, people did not consume as much sugar as we consume now. In 1700, Americans only took in about four pounds of sugar annually. Imagine how low that is. By the 1800s, that amount increased to 18 pounds per year. That’s still not much by today’s standards. But during the twentieth century, the consumption of sugar has drastically increased to about 90 pounds per person per year. According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the sudden increase in sugar intake occurred when corn syrup was introduced to the public in 1950. Corn Syrup, which is very high in fructose, caused the 39% increase from 1950 to 2000. This increase is even more alarming because of the fact that it is unnatural.

Why Is it Hard to Let Go of Sugar?

5594436-cherry-with-sugar-lips-between-woman-perfect-teeth-macro-mouth.jpgThe answer is easy – sugar tastes good and boosts our mood and energy. It also produces an analgesic effect, which eases pain. That is the reason why when people are feeling low, they eat cakes and other foods that have high sugar content. But, the positive effects of sugar to the body is not long-lasting. What’s long-lasting are the not so sweet effects of it.

The Bitter Truth About Sugar

Sugar is good for the body, but only when you only take the right amount of it. The USDA suggests that people should consume only 40 grams or 10 teaspoons of sugar a day. If you take more than that, you are at risk for many diseases such as the following:

    Diabetes: Sugar consumption increases blood sugar, which can lead to diabetes or make your diabetes worse. This can even lead to blindness, high blood pressure, heart failure and other conditions.
    Heart disease: High sugar intake is also associated with coronary heart and cardiovascular diseases.
    High Cholesterol: Sugar increases cholesterol levels as well as triglycerides, which are risk factors for heart diseases.
    Obesity: Sugary foods are very high in calories. Thus, they can cause obesity.
    Tooth Decay: Sugar also increases your risk of getting tooth decay. As you consume sugar, it combines with protein to create glycoproteins that can form plaque. This can even get worse when bacteria stick to glycoproteins, feed on the sugar on the teeth and secrete lactic acid that dissolves your tooth enamel. Furthermore, tooth decay is linked to other conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, endocarditis, pregnancy complications and Alzheimer’s.

How to Control Sugar Consumption


If you want to stay fit and healthy, you need to control your sweet tooth and your sugar consumption. Here are some expert tips that you can do:

    Go on a sugar detox, but take it slowly: To effectively control your sugar intake, take it slow. Eliminate one sugary food a day until you can go on a day with only 10 teaspoons of sugar. If you completely stop eating sugar, it will only cause you to crave for it. Let your body adjust to the changes.
    Choose natural sugar: If your sweet tooth asks you to eat something sweet, choose food with natural sugar. Go on with whole fruits, unsweetened yogurt or milk.
    Better eat fiber and protein-rich food: Eat more protein and fiber-rich foods that will satisfy you and make you feel full.
    Say no to processed foods: Processed foods are high in sugar. Go for whole foods instead.
    Take natural supplements: There are many natural food supplements such as IP Formulas Crave Control that suppress your cravings for sweets and help in producing serotonin and dopamine that can boost your energy. That way, you wouldn’t have to rely on to sugar to feel good and have the energy to go through the day.

Sugar tastes good and makes you feel good. However, these positive effects only last for a short time while the negative effects last for a long time. If you don’t want to suffer from the not so sweet effects of sugar, you should control your intake of it.

Anti Aging Medicine Fri, 22 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month Sun, 17 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 As the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 65, we are seeing a corresponding tsunami of new cases of the most dreaded of all diseases of aging: Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Indeed, nearly 10 million baby boomers will get Alzheimer’s. If you live to be 85 or older, you have a 50% chance of developing this devastating, deteriorating, debilitating, and heartbreaking disorder.


AD is a progressive and fatal disorder that attacks your brain causing problems with memory, personality, thinking, and behavior. It is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is a general term referring to a general decline in mental ability sufficiently severe to interfere with daily life.

Eventually, Alzheimer’s kills, but not before it robs you of everything you hold precious: memories, judgment, independence, and the ability to perform even the simplest activities of daily living. Moreover, AD deprives spouses of lifetime companions and children of parents and grandparents. It decimates the financial security of families and threatens to bankrupt the healthcare systems of entire nations.


Cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease are major causes of death and disease-burden worldwide and cause significant hardship to the affected persons, their caregivers, and society in general. Extensive research over the past 20 years has provided important insights on the nature of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline and the magnitude of the problem:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States;
  • The # of Americans that die each year from AD has risen 66% since 2000;
  • Each year, AD kills more Americans than breast and prostate cancers combined;
  • AD is the only disease of civilization in the top 10 causes of death in America with no cure;
  • Death rates for other major diseases, including the #1 killer (heart disease) have declined – largely due to the government’s commitment to research spending. Such is not the case with Alzheimer’s.


Highly successful campaigns to raise awareness (for example breast cancer’s pink ribbon ((and everything else)) strategy during the month of October) and our country’s significant research commitment have resulted in decreased death rates for many of our biggest killers – HIV, stroke, heart disease, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.

For Alzheimer’s disease, on the other hand, the federal government’s (and private sector’s for that matter) efforts have been meager. As a result, death rates have been skyrocketing; over 80,000 Americans die each year of Alzheimer’s – but only after a very long and painful good-bye. In this day and age, there are no Alzheimer’s survivors.


Alzheimer’s disease was first described in 1906 by German psychiatrist Alois Alzheimer, who observed the pathological hallmarks of the disease—abnormal clumps of protein (beta-amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of protein fibers (neurofibrillary tangles)—in the brain of a female patient who had experienced memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior.

Since first described, Alzheimer’s disease has gone from a rarely diagnosed disorder to one of the most common disabling diseases among older adults. The increasing proportion of older adults in the U.S. population reinforces the urgent need for prevention and treatment of all chronic diseases of civilization including Alzheimer’s disease. For most people, cognitive health and performance remain stable over the lifetime, with only a gradual decline in short-term memory and processing speed. For millions of others, however, the decline in memory and other cognitive functions progresses to a more serious state of impairment or into various forms of dementia.


Mild cognitive impairment is characterized by problems with memory, language, or other essential cognitive functions that are severe enough to be noticed by others and are reflected on cognitive tests, but are not severe enough to interfere with daily life. Dementia is characterized by progressive global deterioration of cognitive abilities in multiple domains including memory and at least one additional area—learning, orientation, language, comprehension, and judgment—severe enough to interfere with daily life.

To date, numerous studies have attempted to describe the etiology and factors associated with the risk for development and progression of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, generating an abundance of theories on potential risk factors and therapies. Age is the strongest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.

The New View of Early Memory Loss

Early memory loss is associated with loss of brain cells (neurons). At some point this loss crosses over from everyday annoying forgetfulness to clinically significant symptoms. In the past, scientists and we clinicians believed, in contrast, that normal aging is associated with similar loss of neurons, just at a slower rate. Results of more recent research, however, strongly suggest that there may be very little nerve cell loss with normal aging.

Think about the far reaching ramifications of this new data. Two in particular stand out:

  1. It is more important than ever to identify and aggressively address signs and symptoms of early memory loss, and
  2. In addition to screening for early memory loss, we must proactively promote the health of nerve cells and optimize neurotransmitter and hormonal balance before you begin to experience memory and other cognitive decline.

The Link Between Dementia and Homocysteine

To this end, we have been developing better ways of assessing your risk for the most aggressive form of memory loss: Alzheimer’s disease (AD). One of the best predictors of your future risk for this dreaded form of dementia is whether or not you have elevated levels of homocysteine in your blood.

For example, the Framingham Study, one of the most well-known and informative studies on the prevalence of diseases (epidemiology), demonstrated that plasma homocysteine level is a strong predictor of future Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, for every 5 units increase in homocysteine, the risk of AD was increased by 40%. Moreover, plasma homocysteine concentrations > 14 μmol/L nearly doubled the risk of AD.

Their finding led investigators in this study to conclude that plasma homocysteine is a strong, independent risk factor for the development of dementia in general or specifically, AD. Not only that, in persons who already have Alzheimer’s, increased Hcy levels in the brain may accelerate the progression of the disease.

The Folate Connection

Another set of studies has found that these elevations of homocysteine are associated with low levels of folate in the central nervous system. As such, early intervention with a certain type of folate supplementation may prevent the age-related increase in homocysteine.

One quick cautionary note. You may be fortunate enough to have a savvy primary care clinician who is familiar with this data. He or she may even have been proactive enough to measure folate levels in your blood. If so, and your level came back normal, be aware that brain levels of folate do not correlate to serum folate levels. In fact, a study by Serot, et al, found that people with AD often have normal serum folate levels despite very low CNS (central nervous system) folate levels. So if your homocysteine levels are high, even if your serum folate levels are normal, you still need treatment with folate supplementation.

In addition, several other studies linking low folate levels to high homocysteine levels concluded the following:

  • High total folate intake is associated with reduced risk of AD (Corrada M, Kawas C. et al. Reduced Risk of Alzheimer's Disease with High Folate Intake: The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Alzheimer's & Dementia. 2005 July 1.); and
  • High total folate intake may protect against AD (Luchsinger JA, Tang MX, Miller J, Green R, Mayeux R. Relation of higher folate intake to lower risk of Alzheimer disease in the elderly. Arch Neurol. 2007 Jan;64(1):86-92.).

Yet another study found that folate supplementation for 3 years significantly improved 5 domains of cognitive function (memory, sensorimotor speed, information processing, complex speed, global cognitive function – in some individuals, to the level of performance of an individual 7 years younger- that tend to decline with age.

What About The Other B Vitamins?

Good question. It turns out that elevated plasma homocysteine is also an important bio-marker for low vitamin B12 levels. The story on B12 is particularly interesting. For example, studies have shown that there is a direct relationship between serum B12 and serum folate such that optimum levels of both vitamins are necessary to protect you from cognitive decline. More specifically, low B12 and normal or even high folate levels do not protect against memory loss. Hence the need to ensure normal B12 levels when supplementing with folate. It is for this reason that in our best-selling memory supplement – FolaNAC – we have combined both of these crucial vitamins.


(Image credit: tongdang / 123RF Stock Photo)

It has historically been believed that vitamin B12 had to be given via shots. The more recent data, however, is very reassuring: oral cobalamin is as effective and possibly superior to parenteral (IV or IM) therapy.

The net effect of this dynamic duo is to ensure that you are able to continue making that neurotransmitter most closely aligned with memory and cognition: acetylcholine.

As you might suspect, in the earliest stages of memory loss, you have an imbalance in your acetylcholine activity that results in increased need for new synthesis of this all important brain chemical. New acetylcholine is formed through a series of chemical reactions first initiated by L-methylfolate (the type of folate that your brain can utilize) along with methyl-B12 and in the process reduces your elevated homocysteine levels.

Slowing Brain Degeneration

A logical question arises: how exactly does elevated homocysteine cause memory loss and brain deterioration? The answer to this question is obviously complex but several possible mechanisms have been identified:

  • Homocysteine activates a specific brain receptor – NMDA – that has been implicated in many different brain disorders including depression, dementia, Parkinson’s, migraines, epilepsy, and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Some believe that homocysteine is at least as neurotoxic as excess glutamate.
  • Activation of the NMDA receptor ultimately leads to nerve cell death.
  • Homocysteine causes oxidative stress that accelerates the rate at which you burn through your acetycholine.
  • Homocysteine at the same time slows down the rate at which you make acetylcholine.

Because of the havoc elevated homocysteine levels can wreak, in addition to combining L-methylfolate and B12, we have added a powerful anti-oxidant and NMDA receptor stabilizer, namely, n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), to FolaNAC. NAC is one of the most widely studied and used supplements in the field of integrative psychiatry because of its potential effectiveness and its proven safety and tolerability.


In addition to its potent antioxidant properties, NAC lowers homocysteine and prevents nerve cell death.

One Last Point

Not all folate is created equal. There is a good chance, particularly if you already have early memory loss (or depression for that matter), that the dietary folate you get from green leafy vegetables (you have to eat them first) and the synthetic folic acid that pollutes your multi-vitamin or your B complex, cannot get from your gut/blood past your blood-brain-barrier and into your brain. If it can’t, it won’t reduce your brain homocysteine levels and won’t protect you from cognitive decline.

It is imperative that you take folate in the L-methylfolate form that readily crosses from your systemic circulation into your brain.


  1. Daviglus ML, Bell CC, Berrettini W, Bowen PE, Connolly ES Jr, Cox NJ, Dunbar-Jacob JM, Granieri EC, Hunt G, McGarry K, Patel D, Potosky AL, Sanders-Bush E, Silberberg D, Trevisan M. NIH state-of-the-science conference statement: Preventing Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline. NIH Consens State Sci Statements. 2010 Apr 28;27(4):1-30.
  2. Defina PA, Moser RS, Glenn M, Lichtenstein JD, Fellus J. Alzheimer's Disease Clinical and Research Update for Health Care Practitioners. J Aging Res. 2013;2013:207178. Epub 2013 Sep 4.

10 Easy Steps To Detoxify Your Body And Improve Your Health Thu, 07 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0500 10 Easy Steps to Detoxify Your Body and Improve Your Health

The environment we live in is full of toxins. We inhale them in the air we breathe, ingest them with our food and water, and absorb them through the pores in our skin. Even the personal care products and cleaning supplies that we take for granted are full of poisons that are harmful to our bodies.

While we are surrounded by pollutants from the environment, the human body produces its own toxins. Our metabolic processes result in chemical wastes which can compromise our health.

The accumulation of these harmful substances in the body is known as "toxic load" - sometimes referred to as "body burden." Over time, the buildup of environmental toxins in our systems can lead to chronic or severe health problems.

Some medical researchers estimate that nearly 75% of the diseases that afflict us are largely due to the toxicity of our systems. Headaches, chronic respiratory illness, cancer, and even autism have been linked to the accumulation of unsafe chemicals in the body.

The good news is that, although it is impossible to completely isolate ourselves from these harmful substances, we can reduce our exposure to them and decrease their impact through a simple detoxification program. By following these 10 easy steps, you will rid your body of many harmful chemicals, putting yourself on the path to a healthful lifestyle and greater sense of well-being.

1. Get plenty of restorative sleep. Adequate rest is critical to your body's ability to heal itself and perform its many biological functions properly.

2. Plan your meals with good nutrition in mind. Be sure to eat plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables; avoid processed and pre-packaged foods, refined flour and sugar products, trans-fats, and red meats. Proper nutritional balance is important for maintaining healthy organ function, especially the excretion of toxic elements through the liver.

* A cleansing diet designed to flush toxic matter from your digestive system may be incorporated into your detox program. Keep in mind that these diets are meant for the short term only, and people who are being treated for a medical condition should not undertake a restrictive diet without the approval of their physician.

3. Adapt a stress management technique that suits your lifestyle, such as yoga, meditation, or another soothing activity that you enjoy. Stress is responsible for the production of hormones which can be harmful, leading to heart disease and other severe illness; stress management reduces levels of these hormones and boosts your ability to cope with the challenges of life.

4. Physical activity heightens your body's ability to excrete toxins, as well as providing an overall health benefit. Exercise is important to the success of your detoxification efforts, in addition to being necessary for a healthy lifestyle.

5. Avoid behaviors that are detrimental to your health, like smoking, drinking alcohol in excess, and recreational drug use; stay away from artificial stimulants like caffeine. These substances will inevitably slow down your detoxification progress.

6. Taking herbal detoxification supplements can strengthen liver detoxification pathways. There are several detoxifying herbs which are available in either tea or capsule form. These include dandelion, milk thistle, burdock, and red clover. Ginger root and the popular acai berry are also known for their detoxifying properties, as is Vitamin C. Purchase a body cleansing supplement. These consist of natural detox products that flush toxins from your liver and colon, restoring optimal function.We recommend OptiCleanz

7. Drink plenty of water. Adequate hydration is needed to remove toxic elements from your body.

8. Massage therapy is not only relaxing and restorative, it allows your body to excrete toxins up to 200 times faster than on its own.

9. Take a sauna or a hot bath regularly. The skin is a major excretory organ, and the heat of a sauna or bath opens the pores and increases your body's rate of natural detoxification.

10. Reduce exposure to toxic elements. An air filter in your home will drastically improve the quality of the air you breathe; use natural cleaners and personal care products whenever possible to prevent the absorption of toxins through your skin. Sticking to organic foods lowers your risk of ingesting dangerous pesticides. Watch out for foods wrapped in plastic wrap; plastic contains chemicals called phthalates which are known to cause cancer and developmental problems, including early-onset puberty.

While it is impossible to completely eliminate your exposure to dangerous chemicals in the environment, by following these steps you can greatly diminish their harmful impact on your health.

For more information on detoxification and detoxification supplements visit .

How to Tell If You are Toxic Rich and Health Poor Fri, 01 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0400 How to Tell If You are Toxic Rich and Health Poor

It is very possible even in rich countries to be exposed to too many environmental toxins. Even with a lot of exercise and a good diet, your health still can be affected by the toxins in the environment around you.

For example, these are some of the common toxic chemicals that are part of the U.S. environment:

Bisphenol-A: This chemical is common in plastic water bottles, toys, lining of cans that contain food and drinks, and much more. Some scientists think that this chemical can promote cancer.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): Gases that can come from paint, air fresheners, carpet and other materials from buildings. Can cause cancer and liver and kidney damage.

Phthalates: Found in soft plastics that include wraps, food containers, and a number of personal care products. Can cause cancer, immune suppression and organ damage.

Organophosphates: Pesticides that can cause cancer and poor male fertility.

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs): Lines many cooking pans and clothing that has no wrinkles. A cancer causing agent.

Mercury: The most common exposure is from eating fish, but it also can come from fillings and some forms of air and water pollution.

Some of the severe health problems that can result from overexposure to these chemicals include asthma, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, ADHD, diabetes, seizures, cancer, thyroid problems and more.

How to Improve Your Health and Avoid These Toxins

There are some simple ways to alter how you live and reduce your exposure to these very harmful toxins.

These include:

Buy Organic

The processed foods that you buy at the grocery store often have preservatives and other unhealthy additives. Try to choose organic products that are free of harmful additives and chemicals, including wholesome, organic produce, meat and eggs.

Remove Chemicals Cleaners From Home

Regular cleaning products and air fresheners can actually raise your risk of getting asthma by 50%!

Instead, select antimicrobial cleaning products, which are what hospitals use. If it is good enough for the health professionals, it certainly is good enough for your home.

Use Chemical-Free Toiletries

Your local health food store should have toiletries that do not have any chemicals in them. Also, try not to use laundry detergents and fabric softeners with chemicals. Those dryer sheets you buy are full of toxins that make your clothes soft – AND harm your health.

Remove Your Shoes at the Door

The bottom of your shoes is loaded with germs and chemical contaminants. Keep your house germ-free by taking your shoes off before you come inside. This is really important if you have young children or toddlers.

Clean the Air

A recent EPA study found that 20 harmful compounds tended to be in higher levels in the home, not outside. Try to keep your home’s air clean by opening the windows, running the fans in your bathrooms and other rooms, and buy an air circulation system to move fresh air into your home.

Avoid Plastic Water Bottles and Food Packages

Buy storage containers made of glass for your food and drinks. Do not heat up your food in plastic containers, or with plastic wrap over the top. You also can buy your own reusable bottle for water that is made of BPA-free plastic.

Detoxify Your Body

The best way to detox your body is to take a few drops of a natural tincture every day. You can simply place it in your water or juice. This will help to remove helpful toxins from your body over time.

If you take some of these steps above, you will remove toxins from your environment and improve your health!

Test Don't Guess Tue, 29 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Get your neurotransmitter levels, hormones, and adrenal function measured at Integrative Psychiatry. Lab order provided.


Control Your Cravings Before They Control You Sun, 06 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400

Control Your Cravings Before They Control You

It is time to stop beating yourself up for not being able to control your appetites. We have suspected for some time that the inability to kick bad habits or adopt healthy ones – lose weight, slow down, get organized, spend more time with family and friends – is due to imbalances in your key hormones and neurotransmitters.

Such habits offer you either immediate relief or substantial gratification or both, and can be extremely difficult to change. Is it really poor self-control that prevents you from making headway toward changing your behavior? Probably not. Neurotransmitter imbalance is likely to blame.

Before we look in greater detail at your neurotransmitters, however, I want to point out several lines of new research indicating that much of the current obesity epidemic may actually be the result an addiction to intense sweetness.

Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Addiction

crave-control-black.pngFor example, highly processed (refined) sugars such as sucrose and fructose were not present in the diets of most people until very recently in human history. Current overconsumption of calorie-dense, high-sugar foods has been linked to obesity and related diseases. No surprises there. What might surprise you, however, are the results of a recent study clearly demonstrating that intense sweetness can surpass cocaine reward, even in drug-sensitized and-addicted individuals. The study methodology, widely accepted as the standard for determining the addictive nature of a substance or food, consisted of given research subjects the choice – in a double blinded fashion (i.e. neither the subject nor the investigator knew which substance was which until after the study was completed) of either saccharin or IV cocaine.

The vast majority of the subjects (94%) chose the sweet taste of saccharin to cocaine. [1]

A High Glycemic-Index (GI) Meal Stimulates Brain Regions Involved in Reward and Craving

Consistent with these findings, in an even more recent study published in The American Journal Clinical Nutrition, researchers reported that compared with a low glycemic index meal with the same number of total calories, a meal with a high glycemic index (a standard measure of how high and how quickly your blood sugar spikes after eating) differs in several important ways. The high GI meal:

  1. Caused a rebound hypoglycemia (reactive low blood sugar) resulting in;
  2. Increased hunger and craving over the next few hours; and
  3. Selectively stimulated brain regions associated with reward, craving, and addiction in the late post-meal period, which is a time with special significance to what you eat at your next meal. [2]

Fructose Similar to Alcohol’s Metabolic, Inflammatory, and Addictive Properties

In a very interesting and thoughtful article published by the American Dietetic Association, scientists discuss several parallels between the consumption of fructose and the consumption of alcohol. First, they pointed out that both alcohol and fructose promote insulin resistance – a pathway that leads to metabolic syndrome and diabetes – elevated lipids, and fatty liver disease. Secondly, both alcohol and fructose cause liver and system-wide inflammation. Thirdly, by stimulating the “hedonic pathway” of the brain circuitry, fructose, like alcohol, creates addiction and dependence leading to a vicious cycle of over-consumption and disease. [3]

Obese Women and Lean Women Possess Equal Impulse Control

In another line of scientific discovery, supporting the idea that obesity is not due to weakness or lack of will power, researchers have found that obese women and lean women show equal impulse control. [4]

Back to Your Neurotransmitters

Addictions in general, including habituation to and cravings for fructose and other intensely sweet substances, are mediated by a complex interaction of many different biological systems including hormones, growth factors, immune cells, neurotransmitters. The study of these systems is called Psycho- Neuro- Immunology (PNI).

Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that travel between nerve cells (neurons) and communicate information throughcatecholamine-cascade.jpgout your brain and body. Neurotransmitters influence – among other things – the way you act, think, feel, move, learn, eat, and sleep. Imbalances among these chemical messengers may cause any number of physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.

While a variety of neurotransmitters affect your behavior, dopamine is the one most strongly associated with the pleasure and reward mechanisms in the brain. Drugs like opioids, nicotine and alcohol directly or indirectly target the brain’s reward system by flooding the circuit with dopamine. And as it turns out, sweets are just if not more addicting than any of these other substances/activities likely through their actions in dopamine pathways.

Risky behaviors like gambling and sex addiction also increase dopamine levels. If it feels good, dopamine neurons are probably involved.

In addition, dopamine, derived from the amino acid tyrosine, plays a pivotal role in a wide range of brain functions: movement, emotions, the experience of pleasure, and memory.

Moreover, as a member of the catecholamine family, dopamine is also a building block for two other critical energizing neurotransmitters: norepinephrine and epinephrine. This means that too much or too little dopamine can also contribute to symptoms associated with norepinephrine and epinephrine imbalance.

Insufficient levels of dopamine, in addition to making you vulnerable to the addictive nature of sugary foods, can lead to a wide range of serious symptoms, including:

  • Low mood;
  • Inability to focus;
  • Difficulty getting your body moving;
  • Reduced sex drive;
  • Cravings or addictions;
  • Lack of motivation;
  • Compulsions;
  • Loss of pleasure or satisfaction.

If your dopamine is low, you may experience feelings of boredom, apathy, or even depressed mood. You may lack the energy and motivation to carry out ordinary tasks, and you may have trouble focusing or making decisions. In addition, you may experience physical symptoms such as becoming easily chilled, and you may have a tendency to put on weight.

So what should you do if you think your dopamine level is low or out of balance with your other neurotransmitters?

Ideally, you should have your dopamine level checked. We offer several safe, reliable, non-invasive, and convenient laboratory kits that can measure dopamine and your other neurotransmitters:


Identifying neurotransmitter imbalances and correcting them with nutritional therapies creates a foundation for addressing not only addiction but also many core total-person functions: improved sleep, increased energy, sharpened focus and concentration, heightened motivation, lower anxiety, less intense cravings and improved sense of well-being.

If you already know you’re addicted to food, then you may want to forgo testing and check out some of our supplements that support dopamine and curb cravings.

The one we use most often for various addiction including food and sugar is Crave Control. Crave Control contains key amino acids and precursors (5-HTP, Glutamine, Tyrosine and dl- Phenylalanine) plus vitamins B6 and C that help convert these amino acids into brain neurotransmitters involved in appetite modulation, cravings for carbohydrates, drugs and alcohol, energy levels and mood. Chromium picolinate is present to aid in blood glucose management.

Crave Control™ contains key "neuro-nutrients" that supply the brain with raw materials required for normal neurotransmitter production. With neurotransmitters at normal levels, cravings become fewer and weaker, thinking is clearer, and feelings are more positive and focused. Sleep improves.

Crave Control™ contains targeted amino acids specifically needed for manufacture of dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These neurotransmitters enable "brain reward" activity. By providing nutrients for replenishing neurotransmitter stores, Crave Control helps to restore brain chemistry balance and related feelings of well-being and satisfaction. In addicted individuals, brain neurotransmitter levels may be so depleted that diet alone cannot provide the amino acids necessary to restore balance.

Eight Capsules Contain:appe-curb-240ccrave-controlbalav.jpg

dl-Phenylalanine 2000mg
L-Glutamine 750mg
L-Tyrosine 1500mg
5-Hydroxytryptophan(5-HTP) 150mg
Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine HCI) 75mg
Chromium (Picolinate) 1000mcg
Vitamin C 1000mg

For a review of our complete line of weight management products please click on the button below.


  1. Lenoir M, et al. PLoS ONE. 2007; 2(8):e698.
  2. Lennerz BS, et al. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2013 June 26.
  3. Lustig RH. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Sep; 110(9): 1307-21.
  4. Daniel TO, et al. Appetite. 2013 July 31.
(Life) Style Matters Thu, 03 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Busy week. Just getting back from a whirlwind Roanoke-Orlando-Las Vegas tour of lecturing. I was pleased with the turnout and level of interest of the clinicians, scientists, and members of industry that attended. And of course it was great to catch up with so many of my colleagues scattered throughout the country. 2013_accordio_docs-and-nei2-title-slide-2.png

You will recognize the themes I stressed in my lectures (see my recent article

  1. Diseases of Civilization (DOCs) are on the rise;
  2. They are on the rise, at least in part, as a result of environmental changes (stressors or “triggers”) that have changed or activated our genetic vulnerabilities;
  3. These DOCs are associated with increased total body (including brain) inflammation;
  4. Multiple lines of study have shown that the primary cause of this inflammation may be the dysfunction of the “gut-brain axis.”

In most cases, these DOCs flourish, not only because of environmental or genetic factors beyond our control but rather because of how we choose to live our lives. For instance, Dr. Raphael Levey has summed it up nicely: “Even as far back as when I was in medical school [Harvard, 1955] articles demonstrated that 80% of the health care budget was consumed by five behavioral issues: smoking, excessive drinking, over-eating, stress, and habitual inactivity.”

Unfortunately, despite this knowledge only 5% of each health care dollar spent is devoted to modifying these high risk behaviors that contribute to the main killers in the world: heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.


In the discussion about healthcare reform and Obama-care, it is important to remember, we have a crisis care procedure-oriented health care system that is reimbursed several-fold higher than preventive strategies. No matter what constraints we put on it, if we do not focus on disease prevention, more high technology and capital intensive procedures will be utilized and paid for, eventually bankrupting our health care system.

One of the reasons I harp on lifestyle so much is that not enough physicians do. Whether that’s because they don’t know, don’t care, or, more likely, don’t get reimbursed by insurance companies to give such guidance, the end result is the same.

For example, although 60 percent to 80 percent of doctor's visits involve stress-related health problems, primary care physicians counsel patients on how to reduce their stress only 3 percent of the time, according to a published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Similarly, researchers noted that physicians in the study offered little more lifestyle advice in other areas, including nutrition counseling (17 percent of visits), physical activity counseling (12 percent) and weight counseling (6 percent).

As with all of these relatively infrequent interventions, physicians' main barrier to discussing stress-reduction is time, MyHealthNewsDaily reported, adding that such advice indeed took longer.

Read more: Physicians rarely counsel patients on stress reduction - FiercePracticeManagement


Because you are not likely to get it from your personal physician, and because lifestyle modification remains the foundation of a total person treatment approach to control inflammation and combat diseases of civilization, I want to once again put forth my Top 10 Lifestyle Tips as well as review some of the data that went into my selections.


As a reminder, some of my tips are idiosyncratic and need further explanation. They also change from time to time. Further details and explanation of these tips can be found in my article " all starts with lifestyle." Or you can consider getting my book "Act Out, Burn Out, Freeze Out."burn-out-book-cover-feb-17-2013.jpg

The following phenomena are broken down into two categories: those that increase inflammation and those that decrease it. In addition, each is rated based on one of three levels of strength-of-evidence: strong, medium, limited.

Strong Evidence

Those things that have the strongest for causing or increasing inflammation include the usual suspects:

  • Aging
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diets high in energy dense foods (processed and refined sugars, for example)
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stress (particularly work)-related burnout and exhaustion

It would make sense to minimize your exposure to such things. Likewise, try to incorporate more of those habits and behaviors that have the strongest evidence for lowering inflammation:


  • Exercise/activity
  • Fish/fish oil
  • Fruits/vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Weight loss
  • Smoking cessation
  • Calorie restriction
  • Regular sleep

A few quick words about exercise. Inflammation can hasten adrenal burnout. And although exercise can help reduce inflammation, if your adrenals are worn out, be careful about what type of activity to engage in.

Strenuous Exercise Causes Low Cortisol Levels to Get Worse!

If you are in the low cortisol stage of adrenal fatigue doing exercise that forces your already tired adrenals to use the precious amounts of cortisol you have left can make you feel even more tired and run down, taking days to recover.

Anabolic Exercise- Better for You, Better For Your Adrenal Glands

Anabolic exercise helps promote healing, builds muscle, and reduces stress. It will not leave you feeling spent and worse than before you exercised. Anabolic exercise can also have the same beneficial cardiovascular effects but without enlarging your heart and causing you to metabolize your own healthy tissue.

Examples of healthy anabolic exercise are:

    • Weight Training
    • Qi Gong
    • Tai Chi

Let your Body be Your Guide

Listen to your body! Exercise should make you feel energized afterward. If you feel fatigued instead you are probably over doing it.

Make sure you do not exercise within 3 hours of going to bed.

Start slow, use lighter weights and slowly build up.

Hydrate. Drink plenty of fluids afterward.

Medium Evidenceevidence-medium.png

You will likewise be familiar with many of those variables that are supported by a medium level of evidence.

Pro-inflammatory (i.e. increase inflammation)

  • Fast food
  • High omega 6:3 fatty acid ratio
  • Low fiber intake
  • Fructose/glucose
  • Air pollution
  • High glycemic load diets
  • Economic insecurity

Now on to the medium level strength-of-evidence anti-inflammatory variables;

  • Moderate alcohol
  • Capsaicin
  • Garlic
  • Grapes/raisins
  • Herbs/spices
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Olive oil/vinegar
  • Tea/green tea (sipping on some even as I type)

You will notice that most of the inflammation lowering strategies for which there is good evidence have to do with things we ingest. One of the common denominators is the beneficial effects such foodstuffs - wine, cocoa, grapes, raisins, berries, vegetables - have on our intestinal microbes. Another commonly recurring theme has to do with the positive effects many of these strategies have on maintaining healthy blood sugar levels: lemon, vinegar, olive oil, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, fiber, lean protein, healthy fat, moderate alcohol intake, and so forth.

Limited Evidence


As you review the graphic on those inflammation variables having only limited evidence, keep in mind that in addition to lifestyle modification, you may benefit from supplements specifically aimed at lowering inflammation.

Strategic Supplementation

One such supplement is our Anti-InfammaLox. Anti-InflammaLox contains ingredients backed by years of use in traditional herbal medicine, as well as by published research in peer-reviewed journals. Boswellia serrata, white willow bark and bioflavonoids have all been shown to possess good anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties through the inhibition of COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes. The proprietary bioflavonoid blend provides antioxidant protection against damage to soft tissue.
* Anti-inflammatory
* Analgesic
* Antioxidant Support

Moreover, no matter where it started, if you are inflamed, you have a "leaky gut." For that reason,th regardless of which DOC you suffer from, we are likely to recommend that you "seal and heal" your gut. Lifestyle alone is unlikely to be able to do this, particularly as quickly as you need.

We use many products to accomplish this often starting with one of our ace vegetable-based protein powder meal replacement: OptiCleanz GHI.

What is so special about OptiCleanz is that it can prevent/reduce inflammation regardless of where it is coming from. Moreover, by providing easily digested and absorbed plant based protein, this all inclusive supplement helps repair your leaky gut (once inflamed for any reason, your gut begins to leak) and mobilize and eliminate toxic metabolic compounds generated by your inflammation

In addition, OptiCleanz is chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that help improve control of blood sugars (by itself an anti-inflammatory effect), decrease carbohydrate cravings, balance your immune system, and support liver detoxification pathways.

What’s more, OptiCleanz provides you with the necessary amino acid building blocks and the vitamin and mineral co-factors needed to manufacture your brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) which become depleted whenever you are battling toxic or inflammatory states.

Think of OptiCleanz as your “Garbage Disposal Reset Button in a Powder.” It will help you all by itself plus make you more likely to positively respond to subsequent interventions whether that be more targeted amino acid therapy, condition or imbalance specific supplements, or even prescription medication.

OPTICLEANZ GHI: “Wonderful Product”

Don’t just take my word, however, about the merits of OptiCleanz. In a recent review on, OptiCleanz was described as a “Wonderful Product!”

To learn more about OptiCleanz or to purchase a tub of it, follow this link OptiCleanz.opticleanse-ghi-new-vanilla-812gopticleanzbalav.jpg


Brain Inflammation- Is the Fat You're Eating Fueling Your Flames? Wed, 02 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0400

Brain Inflammation- Is the Fat You're Eating Fueling Your Flames?

By Valerie Balandra ARNP

Omega3 fats-omega-6 fats-brain

Prostaglandins are substances made in the brain which are crucial to our mental health. They are part of a family of substances called eicosanoids. Prostaglandins are made from omega-3 and omega six fatty acids and regulate the narrow circuits throughout the brain and body. When we have a decline in our prostaglandin levels, it can cause increased inflammation. This increases our chances for depression, ADHD, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, among others.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Balancing Act

The ratios of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats must be in balance. An ideal ratio is 1:1, the typical American diet can have a ratio of 1 part omega 3 to 30 parts omega 6.­ This is enough to start a brain fire!

A diet high in Omega-6 fatty acids and low in Omega 3 fatty acids disrupts the balance of pro inflammatory and anti-inflammatory agents in the body. This causes chronic inflammation.

Vegetable oils marketed as “healthy” are found in many foods we eat. When our diet consists of mainly Omega 6 fats, chronic inflammation takes place.

The fats that you cook with, such as corn, soy, canola, safflower, sunflower, peanut, sesame, wheat germ, cottonseed, and walnut oil reduce your levels of brain healthy Omega 3’s.

These oils easily become rancid which means that they are oxidized in your body. Oxidation causes damage and inflammation to your cells and tissues, especially those in the brain.

The worst fats are trans fatty acids, the artery-clogging fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening. These are ones found in fried deep-fried foods and those containing hydrogenated vegetable oils.

After you eat trans-fats, they are taken directly into the brain and block the conversion of the good essential fats, such as GLA, DHA and prostaglandins. French fries have about 40 percent trans fats. Cookies, cakes and crackers range from 30-50%.

Trans fat increases blood levels of (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, and lowers your levels of (HDL) or "good" cholesterol. It is oxidized, unstable fat that contributes to inflammation, which causes depression, dementia, increased risk of heart disease, clogged arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. Eating a diet high in bad fats and fried food can increase your oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and body. This can interfere with neurotransmitter function in the brain and interfere with the neurotransmitter production of dopamine. This leads to depression, mood swings, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Parkinson's disease.

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids use the same enzymes and transport systems to produce chemicals in our body. We need both of them for good mental health. However, if we consume a diet that is higher in Omega-6 fats, a greater amount of inflammatory compounds will be created, and fewer enzymes will be available for Omega-3 fats to create chemicals that reduce inflammation.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Contributors to Omega 3 deficiency include increased use of Omega 6 oils, decreased fish consumption, and increased use of sugar. This interferes with the synthesis of fatty acids. Studies have shown those with an Omega-3 deficiency have much higher incidence of suicidal thoughts, aggressive behavior, and psychosis.

Omega 3 fatty acids consist of:

Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). ALA can be found in plant sources such as flaxseeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables. ALA is an essential nutrient because our body cannot produce it on its own.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). EPA is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid found in oily fish and certain algae. EPA is converted into substances called prostaglandins by the body to regulate cell activity and maintain healthy cardiovascular function.

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA is another long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fats also found in fatty fish and certain algae. DHA is predominately in the brain and the retina, and is essential for proper function of the brain, eyes and nerves. Low levels of DHA have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Coffee (High Test) May Reduce Suicide Risk in Men and Women Sun, 22 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 More Good News About Coffee

coffee-and-suicide.pngAccording to a recently published study out of the Harvard School of Public Health, people who drink 2-4 cups of joe per day are significantly less likely to kill themselves than those drink no coffee, less than 2 cups per day, and those who drink de-caffeinated coffee.

The study, published in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry (Lucas M, O'Reilly EJ, Pan A, Mirzaei F, Willett WC, Okereke OI, Ascherio A. World J Biol Psychiatry. 2013 Jul 2. [Epub ahead of print]), followed more than 200,000 subjects for 16 years.

Coffee and Your Brain Chemistry

Such studies often can't establish causation. That said, according to lead investigator Michel Lucas, it’s the caffeine that’s primarily responsible for these effects, pointing to the production boost of several of your key neurotransmitters - serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline - that caffeine provides. All three of these brain chemicals act in concert to regulate your mood, mental alertness, motivation, impulse control, appetite, sleep, and general sense of well-being.

Not A Coffee Lover

Not a problem. In case you don't like coffee you can still get the same benefits of drinking caffinated coffee with Green Coffee Bean Extract Extreme Liquid.

Still, There's No Substitute For Testing Your Neurotransmitters

For these and other reasons supported by the scientific literature, when consumed in the proper manner, coffee can be an effective


part of your overall health and fitness plan.

On the other hand, as promising as this research is, please remember that sipping a few cups of your morning brew is no substitute for professional help if you’re suffering from depression or having thoughts of suicide. In fact, those who drank more than four cups of coffee a day actually had a heightened risk of depression (perhaps they were attempting to “self-medicate” with caffeine). Moreover, excess caffeine consumption can have unpleasant side effects like insomnia, palpitations, nervousness, and restlessness. So if you’re struggling with depression, it still makes sense to seek professional help.

An Integrated Approach

There are many approaches to treating symptoms of depression. All have their merits, and their limitations. As part of our general approach, we like to use treatments that actually help you manufacture your own key neurotransmitters from basic amino acid building blocks and critical vitamin and mineral cofactors. To do this you must be lucky enough to have the perfect diet and overall lifestyle which is nearly impossible these days in this country. Instead, most of us need to help our systems out by taking supplements. Incidentally, this is why antidepressant medications so often fail to adequate relieve symptoms of depression – they do nothing to increase your supply of neurotransmitters and indeed often deplete your stores more rapidly.

Consistent with this overall philosophy, we usually recommend that you have your levels of neurotransmitters tested (along with your adrenal function) before starting your regimen of supplements.

For many good reasons, not everybody opts for neurotransmitter testing. If that is you, then a good starting point for kind and gentle neurotransmitter support we often recommend is Brain Balance in the morning and Serocor at night:

Depression and Testosterone Mon, 16 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Depression and Low Testosterone

Is it Depression or Is idepression-or-low-t.pngt Low Testosterone?

You know you’ve lost your edge. Maybe you are just getting old. Or perhaps your wife and your primary care clinician are right: you are depressed. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, you are one of the 25 million American men between the ages of 40-55 who is experiencing signs and symptoms of low testosterone (low T).

We have seen surging numbers, both in our office practice as well as our consulting business, of men with low testosterone. And almost none of them present complaining of or even suspecting that they suffer from low sex hormones.

Surprisingly, it is not just you “grumpy old men” that come in with below normal testosterone levels. Coinciding with the huge increases in childhood and adolescent obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, we are also seeing unprecedented numbers of decreased sperm counts, small penis size, estrogen excess, and low testosterone even in young men.

Why the dramatic increase in low T? The answer to that is complicated and beyond the scope of this blog but can be summarized roughly as follows: Environmental influences (toxins, poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, pace, sedentary lifestyle, rampant vitamin D deficiency, inflammation, etc.) accelerate the rate at which you use up your T (as well as other hormones and neurotransmitters) while at the same time slow down the rate at which you can replenish them.

So what does low T look like? How can it be discovered? And what can be done about it? Several points bear emphasizing.

#1) Look for changes in behavior and mood.

A classic presentation of low testosterone is the so-called “mid-life crisis.” When men become bored with life – careers, wives, religion, and friends – seeking stimulation and motivation elsewhere – cars, drugs, thrills, affairs, and so on – think low testosterone. Often such behavior represents a misguided attempt to resurrect a zest for living that has been killed off by plummeting hormone levels.

Alternatively, men with low testosterone often experience decreased motivation, drive, get-up-and-go, vim, vigor, and vitality. They circle life’s wagons, give up, and begin to age at an accelerated rate. If nothing is done, they run the risk of depression and despair.

Other signs of low testosterone include:prevalence-of-low-t.png

  • Decreased interest in sex
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Loss of muscle
  • Difficulty getting or maintaining erections
  • Weight gain particularly around the waist
  • Anemia
  • Reduced bone mineral density
  • Depression
  • Poor memory and concentration
  • Irritability

#2) The presence of depression in a middle-aged man is hormonal imbalance until proved otherwise.

This is particularly true if you do not have a history of depressed mood or have never been depressed before. Even at an early age, it is important to aggressively test for biochemical mediators of depression (neurotransmitters, adrenal and sex hormones, immune function, thyroid). This is particularly true for middle-aged and older men.

Another clue is that even if you meet official criteria for the diagnosis of depression, if you have low T, you are unlikely to respond adequately to antidepressant medications.

#3) Low T is usually associated with other hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances.

low-t-and-obesity-a-vicious-cycle.pngMiddle and older aged men frequently have multiple hormonal imbalances including thyroid, cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, and insulin. Many studies suggest these hormonal imbalances are powerful predictors of frailty and mortality in older persons. Not only that, current scientific research reveals that “derangement” of multiple hormones causes cognitive decline and accelerated brain aging. Or, as the old adage goes, “Your hormones don’t fall because you age; you age because your hormones fall.”

It is for these kinds of reasons that we so strongly recommend specialized testing of your adrenal and sex hormones and your neurotransmitters.

Take for example the lab values of one of our recent clients. He is a 50ish year old man who presented with fatigue, lack of motivation, decreased drive, low libido, and reduced interest in social and family functions. He didn’t fancy himself depressed but reluctantly agreed to try an SSRI antidepressant. The medication didn’t help; indeed it made his fatigue and sexual impairment worse.

His wife found us online and called to arrange consultation. Naturally, practicing what we preach, we recommended testing. Here are some of his results.

The first thing you will notice is that his 24 hour cortisol curve is low and flat causing part of his fatigue and lethargy and also putting him at increased risk of early aging, frailty, and cognitive decline. In addition, his DHEA, a potent male sex hormone is also very low.


Making matters worse, his testosterone is in the low end of the normal range. It is little wonder that he did not respond to his antidepressant.


Finally, several of his energizing/excitatory neurotransmitters – PEA, dopamine, epinephrine – are also suboptimal.


Armed with this information, utilizing lifestyle, supplements, and adrenal support measures, he has gotten back on track.

For more information about Neuro Hormone testing click here.

#4) Replenish before replacing.

Our general approach to replenishing testosterone is very similar to that which we use for adrenal and other hormonal imbalances.

  • Improve lean body and bone mass with resistance (e.g. light weight lifting) and moderate aerobic exercise
  • Mediterranean-like diet
  • Restore sleep
  • Remove toxins
  • Support Adrenal Glands
    • Omega-3 fatty acids
    • B vitamins, vitamins C and D
    • DHEA and pregnenolone
    • Trace minerals
    • Herbal and botanical adaptogens
    • Prostate specific supplements
      • Zinc
      • Saw palmetto
      • Lycopene
      • Pygeum
      • Pumpkin seed
      • Nettle leaf
      • In severe cases, consider testosterone replacement. This needs to be discussed with and monitored by a clinician well versed in the risks and benefits of treatment with testosterone.
Can Exercise Make Adrenal Fatigue Worse? Tue, 10 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0400 Exercise can be essential for reducing stress and improving adrenal function. The right kind of exercise can balance your cortisol levels and promote healing.

Exercise can help:

    • Balance your blood sugar
    • Increase your energy
    • Stimulate your immune system
    • Balance your hormones
    • Improve constipation
    • Decrease stress
    • Improve detoxification
    • Decrease inflammation
    • Improve sleep
    • Increase bone density

exercise and adrenal healthMost people are not aware that there are Good Exercises and Bad Exercises for those with adrenal fatigue.

Bad Exercise for Adrenal Fatigue Recovery – Cardio or Aerobic Exercise

Most people think they need to be running, using elipticle machines, treadmills, or taking strenouse aerobic classes to be healthy. But what they don’t realize is that strenuous aerobic exercise causes your already stressed adrenal glands to become worse.

Strenuous Exercise Breaks Down Healthy Cells

Strenuous Aerobic exercise stimulates cortisol release and promotes catabolism in your body. Catabolism causes the breakdown of healthy cells; this can cause you to actually lose muscle instead of build it. If you are in the early stages of adrenal fatigue and have elevated cortisol levels this form of exercise can slow your recovery and make your symptoms worse.