BONE BROTH: Ancient Elixir for Joint Health

By Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNSGettyImages-867056090.jpg

Possibly the “hottest trend in health” today, even though it is centuries old, is using bone broth for its nutritional properties. The media seems to be reporting almost daily on celebrities that are making bone broth a central component of their health and fitness program. Bone broth is a great place to find valuable amino acids, collagen, gelatin, and trace minerals that boost the health of many body systems. It supports healthy inflammation, hair, skin and nail growth, bone health, digestion, and much more.*

Nature’s Multivitamin

There are dozens of different nutrients found within bone broth, many of which can’t be obtained easily from other commonly eaten foods. Plainly put, bone broth is “nature’s multivitamin.”

For as long as humans have been cooking food over fire, bone broth—the simmering stock of bones otherwise discarded—has been a daily part of life, celebrated by cultures around the world. Considered to be one of the most ancient and remarkable nutritional substances on the planet, bone broth is a beneficial “elixir” that imparts significant and broad health benefits, especially on the health of the joints.*

Many people are “bankrupt” of the nutrients provided by bone broth and need to get more readily available portions into their diets on a daily basis. When bone broth is created, the marrow from the bone is decocted to extract certain nutrients, which we don’t get from simply eating the meat. These nutrients include connective tissue proteins such as gelatin, collagen, and GAGs such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid. Also, they contain an abundance of minerals: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and high levels of potassium.

One of the best sources of natural collagen
Collagen is the protein found in vertebrae animals—in their bones, skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and bone marrow. As we get older, our joints naturally experience wear and tear, and we become less flexible.

Why does that matter?
As we age, cartilage diminishes as it gets attacked by antibodies—age-related degradation of joint cartilage. As bone broth simmers, collagen from the animal parts leaches into the broth and becomes readily absorbable to help restore cartilage.

Do you already take collagen powder?
You may be missing out on more than you think. Many collagen supplements are sourced from beef— the hides and hooves—and turned into a powder (Types 1 & 3). Bone Broth Protein contains pure chicken bone broth concentrate which is Type 2, an important collagen people need today in their diets, as well as an abundance of amino acids and important minerals not found in Types 1 and 3.

Since cartilage within our joints is mainly composed of type 2 collagen, bone broth from chicken or turkey works wonders for our connective tissue and is also best for repairing and sealing the gut lining.*

More co-factors for joint health
Bone broth is rich in gelatin, which acts like a soft cushion between bones that helps them “glide” without friction. Gelatin also provides us with building blocks that are needed to form and maintain strong bones; helping take pressure off of aging joints and supporting healthy bone mineral density.

Glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid are found in significant levels in bone broth as well. These key nutrients support the health of your joints, and surrounding connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments.

Bone broth made easy
Two major drawbacks to experiencing the benefits of bone broth is the time to make it at home and expense to buy it pre-packaged. To decoct all of the nutrients in a traditional bone broth recipe, it would take 24-48 hours. It’s hard enough to make it for one person let alone for an entire family on a weekly basis.

Introducing Bone Broth Protein™ —a breakthrough in protein supplementation that delivers the benefits of bone broth in an easy-to-mix, convenient, and on-the-go form.

Not only does Bone Broth Protein™ pack 20g of gut-friendly and paleo-friendly protein per serving, it also provides Bone Broth Co-Factors such as collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin, hyaluronic acid, and key electrolyte minerals—to support the health of your gut, joints, muscles, skin, and healthy detoxification.*

Unlike many of the protein powders on the market currently, Bone Broth Protein does NOT contain any: gluten, grain, dairy, soy, nuts, legumes, or artificial sweeteners. Also, all of the formulas are either very low or absent of carbohydrates, with the chocolate and vanilla flavors providing just 2 grams of carbs and 1 gram of sugar per serving.

So transform your body with Bone Broth Protein™, the ultimate food to support gut health, metabolism, lean muscle, joints, and glowing skin.*


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

March 15, 2019 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Are You at Risk for Stroke?

GettyImages-639896942.jpg By Dr. Jen Palmer Naturopathic Doctor (ND) & NEEDS Education Director

One of the most dreaded health issues concerning Americans is suffering physical debilitation or death from stroke, partially because it can happen suddenly and without warning. Mainstream medicine may say that high cholesterol, diabetes, and hypertension are the primary risk factors for stroke, but in truth, there is a deeper cause behind each of these conditions that must be addressed in order to assess your risk.

There are two primary types of stroke: 1) hemorrhagic stroke, accounting for less than 20% of strokes, where the blood vessel bursts, causing bleeding in the brain, and 2) ischemic stroke, which entails blockage of a crucial vessel that delivers blood and oxygen to the brain. The focus of this article is on the more prevalent ischemic type, and the steps you can take to lower the risk and put your mind at ease.

In reviewing the research, it appears that systemic inflammation is one of the primary causes for ischemic stroke. Inflammation causes white blood cells to aggregate and secrete chemicals that initiate platelet aggregation and clot formation. One of the causes of inflammation can be infection, because it triggers an immune response, which in turn brings white blood cells to the area to fight the pathogen. Some studies show that infections, such as dental, bacterial, and respiratory, can be an underlying cause of stroke. Inflammation can also be caused by diet, environmental toxins, hormonal changes, stress, and other common factors.

More than just a Cholesterol Issue

Research shows that people with a high C-Reactive Protein (CRP) level, a marker that measures systemic inflammation, have double the risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke as compared to people with only high cholesterol. People with the lowest CRP levels had the lowest risk of heart attack and those with high CRP plus high cholesterol had the greatest risk of heart attack. Another study showed that CRP was a better predictor for heart problems than cholesterol levels and that women with the highest levels of CRP had four times the risk of suffering from a heart attack or blood vessel problem than women with the lowest measurements.

The standard list of risk factors for stroke and cardiovascular disease, such as diabetes, hypertension, overweight, high cholesterol, and smoking, all have the same common thread, that being inflammation. The obvious remedy is to tone down inflammation as a means to relieve a multitude of health problems. Despite the typical doctor’s recommendation, the health benefits will be greatest if you do more than a simple “aspirin a day” regime. If you desire to lower inflammation naturally, and want to see measurable results, then here are a few scientifically proven suggestions to lower CRP.

Going Natural to Subdue Inflammation 

Curcumin, extracted from the glowing orange Indian spice Curcuma longa, has been shown to decrease inflammation and CRP specifically. In one study, mice were fed a high cholesterol diet and given either curcumin or a cholesterol-lowering statin medication. Both treatments helped prevent development of atherosclerosis, and curcumin significantly reduced CRP levels, along with lowering total cholesterol and LDL, while raising HDL levels.

Antioxidants, by blocking free radical damage, can halt the inflammatory process and have been shown to lower CRP. In one moderate-sized clinical trial, CRP values were assessed in “healthy” smokers. The group that took 1000 mg of vitamin C daily for two months had a significant reduction in CRP levels (approximately 25%) as compared to the placebo group, specifically for those who started the study with elevated CRP. As an interesting side note, it was found that among those in the trial who were considered obese, 75% had elevated CRP levels at baseline, proving an important direct correlation between obesity and inflammation.

An effective, yet often overlooked anti-inflammatory choice is fiber. A very large study looked at fiber intake in people with diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. These groups are considered to be at high risk for developing cardiovascular disease, with a proclivity for elevated CRP levels. It was found that in these groups, those who consumed the most dietary fiber (20 grams daily or more, equivalent to a cup of black beans and an apple) had significantly lower CRP than people who consumed the least fiber, regardless of whether they qualified for one or all of these high-risk categories. Interestingly, their dietary intake of different types of fat, protein, and carbs did not show a consistent correlation with CRP levels; it was only the fiber that strongly correlated. The relationship between fiber and inflammation is not completely understood, but there may be some association between fiber and intestinal flora that results in altering inflammatory chemical production.

1. Neuroscience. 2009; 158(3):1049-61 2. Stroke. 1996;27:2204-2206
3. NEJM. 2002; 347:1557-1565  4. NEJM. 2000; 342(12): 836-43 5. JPEN. 2006;30(1):45-51
6. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2011 Nov 7. doi: 10.1002/ mnfr.201100440. [Epub ahead of print]    8. Free Radic Biol Med. 2008 Aug 15; 45(4):377–84 9. Diabetes Care. 2005; 28(6):1487-89

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

February 20, 2019 at 1:03 pm Leave a comment

Whole Body Cleansing in a TOXIC WORLD

By Jeremy Appleton, ND

No matter where or how you live, it is impossible to avoid exposure to environmental toxins. Toxins accumulate in our fat stores and liver, which exert many damaging health effects. The range and concentration of toxin exposure is staggering and includes: pesticides, solvents, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, chlorine, phthalates, and heavy metals. These pollutants have been implicated in a disturbing array of chronic diseases, such as cancer, autoimmune disease, infertility, and developmental defects.

While reducing environmental exposures is critical, we must also address those toxins that have already accumulated in our bodies. Herbal and nutritional cleansing offers one of the few means of protection and recovery from exposures. Throughout history, many cultures have practiced cleansing regimes. The most important principle to remember is that detoxification is a whole-body process. Multiple, interdependent pathways of elimination must be activated simultaneously. Otherwise, harmful toxins can be mobilized from tissues without adequate means of elimination, resulting in an exacerbation of toxicity symptoms.


The LIVER is the master organ of metabolism and cleansing. As blood passes through the liver, toxins are transformed to make them easier to excrete. The liver makes toxins more water-soluble for excretion via the urinary tract and conjugates them to promote excretion via bile and feces. Supporting your liver and gall bladder function is vital to effective cleansing.


MILK THISTLE (Silybum marianum) provides rich nutrition for the restoration of damaged tissues, especially the liver. Its bitter properties also stimulate digestion and bile flow. Milk thistle seed extracts are rich in silymarin, an antioxidant bioflavonoid. Milk thistle should be standardized to contain 80% silymarin.

ARTICHOKE (Cynara scolymus) has anti-toxic effects in the liver. It is a liver restorative and tonic, which stimulates the production of bile. Artichoke has also been shown to stimulate liver cell regeneration.

TURMERIC (Curcuma longa rhizome) has powerful antioxidant properties and protects against exposure to many toxins. Turmeric promotes healthy toxin elimination and is thought to help prevent chronic diseases, including cancer.

DANDELION (Taraxacum officinale) effectively supports the internal organs and is especially effective in gout and liver disease. Dandelion is a mild laxative that cleanses the blood, stimulates bile flow, and is richly nutritive.

URINARY TRACT: Hydration is an important part of cleansing because water is the medium through which many toxins are excreted. Herbal diuretics increase urine production and therefore, facilitate toxin elimination via the urinary tract. Drink at least 64 ounces of water per day during a cleanse. Herbs that stimulate urinary elimination include: cranberry (which balances urine pH and prevents urinary tract infections), asparagus (a diuretic that also promotes sweating), and parsley (a powerful diuretic).

 SKIN: Fat deposits under the skin may become a major reservoir for toxins, which is why skin reactions are a common side effect of detoxification regimens. Blood cleansing herbs are popular for their specific effects on the skin and include: burdock (Arctium lappa), red clover (Trifolium pratense), cleavers (Galium aparine), and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquafolium).


Low dietary fiber intake is linked with chronic constipation. Both soluble and insoluble fibers are indigestible and therefore, good bulking agents for the stool. Fiber—particularly insoluble—absorbs and facilitates the removal of toxins, balances intestinal pH, and encourages the growth of beneficial gut flora, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. Soluble fiber forms a gel in the gut, which has a soothing and bulking effect.


When the liver is in a heightened state of detoxification, hastening transit time of waste through the intestines becomes imperative. Constipation can be dangerous during a cleansing regimen because its slow transit through the bowels means toxins have more opportunity to be reabsorbed through the intestinal walls. During cleanses, the bowels should be stimulated to move at least once per day. Laxatives can be either stimulant or nonstimulant, depending on the mechanism by which they promote bowel movements.

Stimulants contain substances that mildly irritate the intestinal walls, increasing fluid accumulation in the bowel, thus stimulating bowel movements. Stimulant laxatives, such as Cascara sagrada, are ideal for short-term use in otherwise healthy adults. Use with caution in children, elderly, and those prone to laxative abuse.

Non-stimulants also increase fluid retention in the intestines, but the mechanism is by osmosis. Magnesium hydroxide, the active ingredient in milk of magnesia, is perhaps the best known nonstimulant laxative.

Triphala is a popular Ayurvedic herbal formula. It is a gentle, but powerful tonic formula containing three fruits: Haritake (Terminalia chebula), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), and Bibhitake (Terminalia bellerica). Triphala is said to remove stagnation and excess, improve digestion and assimilation of nutrients, and to balance the three vital humours. It has many beneficial properties for cleansing—e.g. laxative, astringent, lubricant, and blood cleansing.


During a cleanse, some symptoms of detox may occur, such as headache, nausea, or skin rashes. These are common; but should always be followed-up by a qualified healthcare provider. The use of cascara is sometimes associated with abdominal discomfort or cramping. If this is a problem, consider switching to a nonstimulant laxative, like magnesium hydroxide.

Cleansing is a natural process that should be done minimally once per year, and ideally two to four times per year. The transitions between seasons (winter and summer solstice; vernal and autumnal equinox) are traditional times for cleansing. When choosing a cleansing program, make sure that it addresses all of the organ systems of detoxification: liver, skin, urinary tract, digestive tract, and bowels. Also make sure key ingredients are present in sufficient amounts to be effective, of the highest purity and quality, and correctly standardized.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

January 31, 2019 at 9:11 am Leave a comment

Better Sleep for Shorter Days

Submitted by Vital Nutrients

Better Sleep

During the winter and early spring, reduced exposure to light during the day can actually interfere with proper melatonin secretion, which can exacerbate insomnia. An estimated 64 million Americans suffer from insomnia each year, reporting difficulty falling asleep, waking too early, and general sluggishness. Chronic sleep deprivation due to insomnia can lead to a deterioration of cognitive alertness, ability to function in the daytime, and may be associated with conditions, such as anxiety, depression, stress reaction, pain, sleep apnea, and hormonal changes.

Sleep hygiene may help people with insomnia improve the amount and quality of their sleep. When the days are shorter, this may include a regimen of light exposure in the early morning hours (before 10 am), whether by going outside, sitting by a window, or using a light box for about 30 minutes to help stimulate melatonin production and promote a healthy circadian rhythm. It is also helpful to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, limit caffeine to the morning, and avoid eating, vigorous exercise, and exposure to bright overhead lighting or computer screens in the few hours before bedtime.

In addition, certain herbal and nutritional supplements, along with a physiological dose of melatonin (0.25 mg in the hour before bedtime) may help promote relaxation of mind and body. It’s recommended to take a synergistic combination of some or all of the below botanicals and nutrients to help calm the central nervous system and support restful, refreshing sleep.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a popular herbal remedy for anxiety and insomnia, with a long history of use in North America. Two studies have demonstrated its effectiveness in treating anxiety and in one of the studies it was found to be as effective as benzodiazepine medications. However, unlike benzodiazepines, regular use of passionflower extract does not appear to lead to dependence.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a medicinal plant in the mint family with mild sedative properties. It has traditionally been used for its calming effects on both the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. In research studies, lemon balm has improved self-rated mood, increased calmness, and enhanced cognitive functioning in healthy people under ordinary circumstances, while performing stress-inducing tasks.

Hops (Humulus lupulus) are mostly known for their use in flavoring beer. It also can be used as a medicinal treatment for insomnia and anxiety and has been supported by animal and in vitro studies. Studies suggest that hops extract quiets the central nervous system by increasing GABA activity and activating melatonin receptors.

California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californicum) is a flowering plant in the poppy family that is known for its sedative effects and has been used historically for insomnia, nervous tension, and sensitivity to weather changes. Its ability to influence the metabolism of several neurotransmitters, including acetylcholine and serotonin, has been documented.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a flowering perennial plant well known for its ability to ease nervousness and promote sleep. Studies suggest that valerian terpenoids and flavonoids may exert anxiolytic and sedative properties by affecting GABA and GABA receptors. Some studies comparing valerian extract to benzodiazepines have found them to have similar effects.

L-theanine (N-ethyl-L-glutamine) is an amino acid present in green tea. In human studies, L-theanine supplementation increased alpha brainwave activity, indicating a more relaxed state. It also reduced physiologic signs of stress in people given stress-inducing tasks in the laboratory.

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavendula angustafolia) is a perennial flowering shrub with a distinctive fragrance that is widely believed to ease tension and enhance relaxation. Aromatherapy with lavender oil has had relaxing to sedating effects in a number of studies. Inhaling lavender oil during sleep increased deep, slow-wave sleep, decreased rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, and increased a reported sense of vigor upon morning waking in one study. A preliminary study also found that aromatherapy with lavender oil improved sleep in people with insomnia.

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland to regulate the sleep/ wake cycle. Melatonin release is strongly affected by light and darkness, with levels normally dropping during daylight hours and rising at night to induce drowsiness and lower body temperature.

Melatonin levels are low in people with insomnia and supplemental melatonin has been found to be an effective treatment for insomnia in controlled trials. Melatonin may also help shift the sleep phase and improve sleep in shift workers and people with jet lag. In addition, melatonin is a powerful antioxidant.

Incorporating sleep hygiene techniques and supplementation into your daily routine can help improve the quality of your sleep and help decrease mental health and sleep related issues that occur during the cold weather months.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

November 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm Leave a comment

Bolster Your Immune System Naturally

Boost Immune SystemBy Jen Palmer, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) & NEEDS Education Director

As the dreaded flu season descends upon us, you may be feeling a lot of pressure to get a flu vaccination. Television commercials, internet articles, and maybe even family and coworkers tell you it’s the only way to stay healthy. Vaccines are presented as a cheap and easy way to stay healthy, but as we all know, the flu vaccination has a low success rate for all ages and an even lower effectiveness in seniors.

If you’re looking for better odds when it comes to your health, a healthier bet is to boost your immune system naturally to give your body a fighting chance. A strong immune system will not only keep the flu away, but it will also enhance your overall health and longevity. Here are a few suggestions to help you breeze through the cold weather season!

 Vitamin D

There’s an abundance of research on vitamin D that shows it supports bone strength, immune function, and has a slew of other benefits. One of the many published studies looked at its role in cold and flu prevention. The focus of this 2007 study was actually to evaluate vitamin D’s role in bone strength, but they also happened to track incidence of colds and flu in the participants.

For the first two years of the study, participants were given either 400 IU of vitamin D3 per day or a placebo. For the third and final year, the vitamin D dosage was increased to 2,000 IU per day. At the end of the study, 34 out of 208 participants (total) reported cold or flu symptoms; only eight were from the vitamin D group and the remaining 26 were taking the placebo. In those taking the placebo, colds and flu were clustered in the winter months, while those taking vitamin D had less infections, which were scattered throughout the year. And when they took 2,000 IU of vitamin D, only one person reported having a cold or flu.

Thorne’s Arabinex

Thorne’s Arabinex (Larch arabinogalactan) is a polysaccharide powder derived from the wood of the Larch pine tree (Larix species) and it’s comprised of approximately 98 percent arabinogalactan. Arabinogalactans are found in a variety of plants, but they are more abundant in the Larch pine tree. Larch arabinogalactan is a safe and effective immune-stimulating phytochemical that has been shown to stimulate natural killer cell activity. It is also FDA approved

for use as a dietary fiber and may aid the intestinal immune system. The typical adult dosage is one to three tablespoons per day in divided doses and the powder is usually mixed with water or juice, but it can be added to food if desired.


Oregano contains the active chemical rosmarinic acid, which is a potent antioxidant with immune benefits. It also contains phytochemicals that are antimicrobial and anti-viral, which can help prevent respiratory problems related to the flu. You can use oregano in your cooking, but you can get a super dose in supplement form. OregaMax, a wild oregano formula, supports natural mineral intake and more. This wild oregano grows directly on rock in the Mediterranean mountains, making it rich in natural trace minerals. Unlike commercial oregano, OregaMax is undiluted. This is the crude herb of wild, high-mountain oregano in combination with Rhus Coriaria, organic garlic powder, and organic onion powder. It is the most potent wild oregano whole herb available.

 Natural Immune Support

It’s smart to bolster your ability to stay healthy during the cold and flu season with a little help from immune support supplements. Some of the immune support products should be taken consistently throughout the entire winter season and others are designed to be used just when

you start to feel initial symptoms. It’s good to have these on hand so you can start them the second you need them, since that ensures a better success rate. Nutrients and herbs can add that extra boost your immune system needs during the challenging winter months.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

November 1, 2018 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

The All-Around Health Benefits of Aged Garlic Extract

By Carmia Borek, Ph.D.Aged Garlic

Garlic ranks highly among health protecting foods, largely due to its antioxidant sulfur compounds. Fresh garlic, however, is not for everyone; it can cause indigestion and its odor is a possible social deterrent. But, the health benefits of garlic do not depend on freshness or pungency. Scientific studies show that aged garlic extract (AGE), which is odorless and richer in antioxidants than fresh or other forms of garlic preparations, is more effective in boosting immunity and protecting against cardiovascular disease, cancer, aging, and drug toxicity.


AGE is produced by extracting and aging organic, fresh garlic at room temperature for 20 months. By combining this extraction/aging process, the antioxidant levels in the extract becomes higher than those in fresh garlic. The process also converts garlic’s more unstable substances that are generally not bioavailable to the body, such as its odor-generating compound oxidant allicin, to more stable, bioavailable, and health-promoting substances.

Garlic aged in this way contains stable water-soluble sulfur substances, including S-allyl mercaptocysteine (SAMC) and S-allyl cysteine (SAC), which are powerful antioxidants and have high bioavailability with 98 percent absorption into the blood. Also present are some oil-soluble sulfur compounds, flavonoids, a phenol allixin, and other nutrients, including selenium. However, it’s the water-soluble sulfur compounds that are largely responsible for the health benefits of AGE.


Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which include free radicals, are toxic by-products of a normal metabolism. ROS increase during inflammation, exercise, and exposure to environmental pollutants, radiation, and sunlight. ROS damage DNA, lipids, and proteins, which leads to aging and disease.

AGE’s antioxidant activity enhances the body’s ability to make glutathione, providing powerful protection against ROS damage.


The risk of heart disease, stroke, and dementia increases with high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, platelet stickiness (promotes aggregation and clotting), and high homocysteine (the possible result of a folate deficiency). Clinical studies show that aged garlic and its major compound SAC reduce those risks. Taken at a dosage of 2.4 gm to 4.8 gm per day for six months, AGE lowered total cholesterol by 5 to 7 percent; reduced LDL, triglycerides, and blood pressure; prevented platelet aggregation; and increased HDL (good) cholesterol. SACs act similarly to statin drugs and can work synergistically with them to reduce cholesterol. With a folate deficiency, aged garlic lowers homocysteine, which helps prevent the serious consequences of this toxic amino acid.

In a recent breakthrough at the University of California (LA), cardiologists reported that AGE cut risk factors for heart attack by 50 percent. The placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial showed that AGE given to cardiac patients, at 1,200 mg per day for a year, reduced coronary artery plaque build-up by more than 50 percent and increased HDL compared to the placebo. AGE lowered blood homocysteine, while patients on the placebo showed an increase.

These results add to a growing body of data showing an AGE supplement lowers cardiovascular disease risk factors, including anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory effects, stimulation of blood circulation, and the reduction of LDL, triglycerides and blood pressure.


AGE boosts immunity more effectively than fresh garlic by enhancing immune cell numbers and activity, improving specific immune actions in AIDS patients, and increasing the activity of natural killer (NK) cells that destroy invading organisms and cancer cells. In a three week clinical study, subjects ingesting 1,800 mg of aged garlic increased NK cell activity by 155.5 percent, while those receiving 35 grams of fresh garlic per day (the equivalent of 10 cloves) had a 139.9 percent increase, indicating superior immune-enhancing benefits. A study with AIDS patients showed that NK cells depleted by AIDS, rose to normal levels after six weeks of supplementation with the aged garlic.

Aged garlic is anti-fungal, preventing the growth of Candida albicans, the cause of infections in HIV-positive patients and in sexually transmitted conditions. AGE also kills Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori), the bacteria linked to stomach ulcers and cancer, which is resistant to antibiotic treatment in 84 percent of infected individuals.


Cancer is caused by damage (or mutations) in DNA that accumulates over time; ROS injury and chemical carcinogen binding are major causes of DNA damage. Garlic has potent anti-cancer effects, reducing the risk of human stomach, colon, and prostate cancer. In pre-clinical studies, AGE prevented cancers of the mammary glands, bladder, colon, stomach, liver, lung, and esophagus. The anti-cancer effects include: eliminating toxic ROS, increasing glutathione, preventing carcinogens from binding to DNA, and increasing carcinogen disposal.


The water-soluble SAMC, which is unique to AGE due to the aging process, may also help in cancer therapy. SAMC and SAC stop human prostate cancer cell growth by 80 percent as it lowers testosterone levels needed for their growth and reduces PSA, the prostate cancer marker. SAMC prevents the growth of breast cancer cells and inhibits colon cancer cell growth by 71 percent, inducing cell suicide (apoptosis).


The pain killer acetaminophen (Tylenol) produces ROS. If taken in excess, acetaminophen depletes the liver of detoxifying glutathione and may lead to liver failure and death. Antioxidant rich aged garlic prevents acetaminophen toxicity by scavenging ROS, increasing glutathione, and acting as an antidote in cases of overdose. Volunteers ingesting 10 ml per day of AGE for three months, then given one gram of acetaminophen before and after the AGE course, were protected against acetaminophen toxicity.

Aged garlic may also help in cancer treatment by protecting against side effects of ROS-producing anti-cancer drugs. AGE prevents liver toxicity from methotrexate and fluorouracil and protects heart cells against doxorubicin toxicity.

 These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

October 5, 2018 at 11:54 am Leave a comment

Is Your Cholesterol High Enough to be Healthy?

By Jen Palmer, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) & NEEDS Education DirectorCholesterol

Cholesterol serves many important functions within the body and lowering it too much can actually be harmful to our health. Unfortunately, the guidelines recommending extremely low cholesterol levels have led to the over-prescription of statin drugs (cholesterol-lowering medications), which may lead to potentially dangerous side effects.

Moderate levels of cholesterol are not the enemy we’ve been told they are. Cholesterol actually plays several important roles in the body; it’s a precursor for many hormones, serves as “insulation” around nerves, helps form bile acids (which help us digest fats and absorb fat-soluble vitamins), and it’s an important component of every cell’s membrane.

Low cholesterol levels may account for many symptoms of diseases. In women, it can lead to hormonal imbalances and negatively affect the menstrual cycle. Low cholesterol levels have also been associated with mental issues, such as depression and violent tendencies. Depression can occur in an individual with a total cholesterol level of just 150-160 (mg/dL), but it can subside when cholesterol levels increase.

Some research studies indicate that excessively low cholesterol levels may result in other health problems and increase mortality rates; therefore, the level considered to be “healthy” (200 mg/dL) should be adjusted upwards. In a cholesterol study conducted in Japan, 11,869 people were monitored for almost 12 years. Their cholesterol levels were recorded and they were divided into one of four groups based on their total cholesterol levels.

Those in the group with the lowest levels (<160 mg/dL) were shown to have a significant increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke and heart failure, excluding myocardial infarction, as compared to those with higher levels of cholesterol. They also found that there was no significant increased risk of these cardiovascular events in people with the highest levels of total cholesterol.

Statins can have a variety of side effects. Published studies indicate that some of the effects include: memory loss, neuropathy, mitochondrial dysfunction, confusion, increased blood sugar levels, liver disorders, and muscle pain.

 Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice is one supplement that can reduce total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol. It contains the natural form of lovastatin, the chemical that statin drugs mimic. Small clinical trials have shown that it can reduce total cholesterol and LDL by about 25 percent in a few month, whereas the placebo only reduced LDL by 6 percent. The recommended dosage is 1,200- 2,400 mg per day.


CoQ10 is a naturally-occurring substance produced by the liver and is vital to energy production at the mitochondrial level of the body’s cells. Mitochondria are microscopic organs within a cell that are responsible for combining oxygen and the nutrients from food to produce the energy necessary to power the cell. The heart, in particular, contains an especially high concentration of mitochondria and CoQ10.

CoQ10 is a multifaceted nutrient. As a powerful antioxidant, it may help prevent damage to tissues in the body from free radicals. It also helps preserve vitamin E in the body. Studies have linked vitamin E with helping to prevent the oxidation of cholesterol, which damages arterial walls. Cholesterol oxidation may also be associated with atherosclerosis—the build up of fatty deposits within arteries, which is connected to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.

As we age, our CoQ10 levels drop. Research also shows that CoQ10 levels in people with heart disease are lower. Plus, those who are taking statin drugs tend to experience lower levels of CoQ10, since the same mechanism that inhibits cholesterol production also inhibits the body’s production of CoQ10.

 Plant Sterols

Plant sterols and their esters are naturally-occurring plant compounds that are similar in structure, yet slightly different from cholesterol. Plant sterols can be found in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, grains, and certain oils. Research shows that these compounds compete with the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the gastrointestinal tract. Supplementation with high doses of plant sterols can significantly lower cholesterol levels and have been shown to work synergistically with other cholesterol-lowering therapies.

Research has shown plant sterols, or sterol esters, to be so effective that numerous food manufacturers, such as those making orange juice and rice drinks, are now incorporating them into their products. Increasingly, dietary supplements are also including plant sterols and using the health claim that has been allowed for products containing at least 800 mg of plant sterols daily.

 Fish Oil

Fish oil contains high amounts of polyunsaturated fats called omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other types of cold-water fish are plentiful in omega-3s, which comes from the plankton that they—or the fish they eat—live on. Omega-3s from fish contain both EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA is the direct precursor for the anti-inflammatory prostaglandins and may help prevent the blood vessel inflammation associated with atherosclerosis. DHA is of primary importance to the structural integrity of the membranes of the nervous system.

The consumption of omega-3s supplements from fish have been associated with support of the cardiovascular system as well as the maintenance of neurological, ocular, joint, and skin health. Look for fish oils from cold-water fish and those that are rigorously tested for the absence of heavy metals and other environmental toxins.

For anyone trying to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and cardiac function, natural solutions like red yeast rice, CoQ10, plant sterols, and fish oil have been extensively researched and have anecdotal evidence to support their effectiveness.

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

September 14, 2018 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

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