NEW RESEARCH: Whey Powder + Nutrients Help Support Stronger Muscles

By Jen Morganti, Naturopathic Doctor (ND) & NEEDS Education Director

 Sarcopenia is the medical term that describes the common age-related decline in muscle strength and mass. Sarcopenia is to blame for many health-related problems in seniors, such as loss of balance that can cause falls and/ or bone fractures. Sarcopenia also leads to frailty, which can decrease a person’s ability to care for themselves and puts the elderly at a much higher risk for mortality.

As we grow older, it’s important to take steps to fight the progression of sarcopenia and maintain independence, quality of life, and longevity. There are proactive steps that can be taken to slow muscle loss and improve strength and balance.

A recent study helped prove that a combination of specific nutritional supplements, paired with a simple exercise program can help slow the progression of sarcopenia. In this study, 49 relatively healthy men over 60-years-old participated in an 18-week program to determine if supplementation and exercise could improve their muscle mass. Twice a day for 6 weeks, they consumed a supplement containing whey protein, creatine, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 oils. After the 6-week span, they participated in an exercise program that involved strength/resistance training and high-intensity interval training for 12 more weeks—all while continually taking the supplements or a placebo. They were also instructed not to change their regular daily diet.

After the initial 6-week time period, which did not include exercise, the group taking the supplements gained 700 grams of lean body mass (muscle) and the placebo group showed no change in lean body mass. After the 18-week program, which did include exercise, the group taking the supplements lost fat mass and gained muscle strength; whereas, the group that did not take supplements gained fat slightly.

The takeaway message from this study is that exercise alone may not increase muscle mass, but supplementing with protein and various nutrients in addition to exercise can help to prevent sarcopenia from developing.

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


Kirsten E. Bell et. al., A whey protein-based multi-ingredient nutritional supplement stimulates gains in lean body mass and strength in healthy older men: A randomized controlled trial. PLOSONE, 2017; 12 (7): e0181387.

October 18, 2017 at 9:39 am Leave a comment

Keep Your Cholesterol in Check

High cholesterol affects over 65 million Americans! It is a serious condition that can increase your risk for heart disease. Lowering excessively-high cholesterol levels can help lessen your risk for developing heart disease and reduce the chance of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease.

We know that diet, exercise, and supplements are all necessary to keep cholesterol levels in check. Low fat diets can be beneficial as well, but don’t cut out the healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, and be careful not to load up on sugar as a substitute for fat. When we consume more sugar than our body needs (for energy or exercise), it gets converted to glycogen and is stored in the body—just in case your body needs more energy later. Once those stores are filled, the excess sugar gets converted in the liver to fatty acids, triglycerides, and then gets stored in fat cells.

Red yeast rice (RYR) is one of the most effective nutrients to reduce total cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. Statins, the most commonly used cholesterol drugs, mimic the key chemical in red yeast rice called lovastatin. Small clinical trials have shown that RYR can reduce LDL by about 25% in just a few months. The recommended dosage is 1,200–2,400 mg per day.

The plant compound, phytosterol, also lowers cholesterol by enhancing the excretion of cholesterol and reducing the synthesis and absorption of cholesterol from food. Phytosterols are naturally occurring in plant-based foods, such as rice bran, wheat germ, and nuts, but it is hard to eat enough of these foods daily to get therapeutic dosages. Supplementation is the most convenient and effective option, with the optimal dosage being 2,000 mg daily. The results are dose-dependent, which means smaller quantities will lower cholesterol a little and taking higher doses will lower cholesterol more dramatically.

Natur-Tyme’s Prolessterol is a cholesterol-balancing formula containing red yeast rice, with guggul, policosinol, and inositol to keep cholesterol levels in check, along with turmeric to support the liver as it metabolizes cholesterol. Many NEEDS customers have informed our Wellness Educators that they have had great results when using Prolessterol. If you have been struggling to manage your cholesterol levels, it may also help you!

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

September 5, 2017 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

Trace Minerals–The Foundation for Health

By Dr. Darrin Starkey, N.D., Manager of Education and Training for TMR

 When you look at the health of our society today, minerals are clearly being overlooked as an important part of the typical American diet. Trace minerals are not only as important as vitamins, but in many cases, they are more important especially when it comes to the health issues we face. Trace minerals make up just one hundredth of our body weight, but I believe nearly everyone is deficient in these minerals. But oftentimes, we take for granted their importance when it comes to our overall health.

No matter where I travel in this nation, whenever I give a seminar on the importance of supplementing our body with minerals consumers tell me, “I eat a healthy raw organic diet” or “I take a good multivitamin.” My response to these statements is always the same, “Where is the soil that your food is being grown in?”, “Are you sure it’s healthy and rich with a full-spectrum of balanced minerals?”, and “Does your multivitamin have all the trace minerals that exist in nature?” Unfortunately, most of us can’t answer these questions.

Did you know that 90% of our blood, 85% of our brain, 70% of our tissue, and 30% of our bone is water? We must look at water as a supplement! There are so many beverage choices that complicate our internal health and cause dehydration. I’m always pleased when I find out that some have already embraced this idea of “supplementing” their body with water. I recommend that the average person should be drinking—at minimum—half their body weight in ounces of water per day (200 lbs=100 oz of water). To do this, many are choosing distilled or RO (purified) water. But here’s the caveat, though these water options provide “clean” water that is stripped of impurities, they are also stripped of the very trace minerals that our bodies desperately need! Therefore, it’s important to put clean trace minerals back into your water.

ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops contain a full-spectrum of over 72 naturally-occurring, water-soluble ionic trace minerals and elements that can be added to water to remineralize those that have been removed through the purification process. But, what makes trace minerals so important? We must first explain what ionic trace minerals are, just like the ionic trace minerals that are found in ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops. An ionic mineral is defined as an atom or group of atoms with either a positive or negative charge. This means they conduct electrical impulses within the body to keep organs, such as the brain and heart functioning. Keep in mind that an ion is the smallest form of a mineral. Because an ionic mineral is the smallest form of a mineral, it’s the easiest form for the body to assimilate because it is small enough to pass through cell walls. Ionic minerals also create a proper pH balance and are found naturally in raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.

The problem is that we have depleted the trace mineral balance in our soil by adding herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers to enhance the quantity of food we can grow. Sadly, while we have increased productivity of the soil, we have reduced its quality. And if it’s not in the soil, it’s not in the food. It has been proven that the foods we eat today don’t have the nutrient density they used to have, especially trace minerals. This is the reason I strongly believe in the need for trace mineral supplementation.

Trace minerals work synergistically with one another to ensure that proper absorption, activation, regulation, and pH balance occurs within the body. An example of this synergistic relationship is the one between molybdenum and iron. All the iron in the world will do you no good without molybdenum. Molybdenum performs a very important, but basic function by mobilizing iron from its storage location in the liver so that it can help blood carry oxygen to cells and tissues. This important, but often overlooked mineral is vital in sustaining our lives and only recently was its purpose discovered.

Many ask me, “Who should be taking these trace minerals?” or “Should I be taking trace minerals every day?” I like to answer those questions this way, we lose between 2½-3 cups of body fluid daily just by breathing. Through respiration, perspiration, urination, defecation, and—for women—menstruation, can you imagine just how many trace minerals we lose in one day? Plus, with summer upon us, we spend more and more time sweating away the very trace minerals we need to help ensure our health. Whether you are working, exercising, or simply enjoying an outdoor activity in the scorching summer sun, you’re losing trace minerals.

Because the ionic trace minerals in ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops are harvested and NOT manufactured, I believe it is perfection in a bottle! Mother Nature has provided minerals for us, just as she has provided the very foods we consume. So the real question is…are you consuming enough good, clean remineralized water? Do you ingest enough trace minerals through your diet for your body to be able to replace your mineral output? I urge you to make water and trace minerals a part of your daily supplement regimen. ConcenTrace® is the perfect way to replenish your body with all the elements you need to plug in and recharge!†

† These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

August 4, 2017 at 10:51 am Leave a comment

NEW RESEARCH: Adaptogenic Ashwagandha for Improved Memory

Adaptogens are herbs that support various bodily functions and serve to balance, rather than force a particular action. Adaptogenic herbs are generally very gentle and can be safely taken at high doses, without risk of side effects. An adaptogen is particularly effective in supporting the body’s response to stress and helps the body manage the negative effects of stress.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an adaptogenic herb with a long history of use in India. It’s known for its restorative properties that benefit the adrenals, but also the immune system and thyroid. This ancient herb is useful for many modern day problems, including chronic stress, chronic fatigue, and poor concentration. It’s a calming agent that also improves thinking and memory. Over 200 studies have confirmed its benefits, including counteracting the damaging effects of stress on the brain and cognitive function. Because it is so safe and helps with balance, ashwagandha is an excellent addition to a variety of herbal formulas, especially those relieving stress.

The adrenals secrete cortisol, a hormone meant to help the body adapt to stress, in reaction to dealing with emotional or physical challenges. When under long-term, chronic stress, cortisol levels can become excessively high. Cortisol is beneficial in small doses; when excessive, cortisol causes blood sugar imbalances, sleep disruption, low immune function, and impaired thinking and memory. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha can help regulate cortisol levels and reduce its damaging effects.

In a new study, researchers measured the effects of ashwagandha on brain function, including memory and thinking skills. In this study, 50 patients with mild cognitive impairment were divided into 2 groups and took either ashwagandha root extract, 300 mg twice daily or a placebo. The study lasted 8 weeks and baseline measurements for memory and thinking skills were recorded at the beginning of the study. The same tests were given at the end of the study to determine if there were any improvements. At the end of the 8 weeks, the group taking ashwagandha showed significant improvement in the tests and demonstrated enhanced memory, improved attention, and were better able to process information, as compared to the group taking the placebo.

Memory decline is a common and prevalent problem for aging Americans, and to date, very few options are available to slow loss of memory. Based on the results of this study, ashwagandha may be an effective herb to add to a supplement regimen to improve brain function. It’s not fully understood how the herb helps with memory and attention, but some scientists believe that it inhibits acetylcholine-esterase, an enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a chemical that helps brain cells communicate and supports the brain in creating memories. An acetylcholine esterase inhibitor decreases levels of this important neurotransmitter.

Adaptogenic Ashwagandha can help your body cope with external and internal stresses that affect our daily lives. This ancient herb has been shown to combat the effects of stress, support the immune system, promote brain health, and much more! Ashwagandha is a safe, effective, and powerful herb that is most well-known for its restorative benefits and makes an excellent addition to any herbal formula.


Journal of Dietary Supplements. (2017). Volume 14, Issue 6.

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

July 24, 2017 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

The Power of Organic Coconut Water

Organic coconut water is naturally isotonic, which means it contains similar concentrations of salts and sugars as the human body—making it a highly bioavailable beverage. It contains electrolytes that support the body’s natural ability to balance pH levels as well as naturally occurring potassium and magnesium that promote hydration, endurance, and support the muscular system. Coconuts are also a source of cytokinins (plant hormones), which can support cell and tissue health.

Pure Planet’s coconut powder is a freeze-dried, highly-soluble powder that is both certified kosher and organic and doesn’t contain any fillers.  The coconuts are sourced from subsistence farmers in the Philippine Islands that use sustainable, organic farming with NO early harvesting. Instead, when coconuts reach optimum ripeness at 9 to 10 months, they are hand-harvested, then immediately processed and freeze-dried in modern, state-of-the-art facilities to preserve the coconut’s natural nutrient density and flavor profile.

 ENERGY | Mango Tea

Today’s fast-paced lifestyle has created a demand for energy drinks for millions of Americans. They need the physical and mental performance boost without the crash associated with super-caffeinated, artificial drinks and shots. Pure Planet delivers a balanced energy boost, plus natural hydration.

Green Tea is an antioxidant that can help promote cognitive, dermal, and muscle health. The phytochemical found in green tea, known as EGCG, helps support weight management goals.* Organic Yerba Mate is a delicious tea-like plant known for its mood and energy enhancement as well as its ability to help promote weight management goals. The chlorogenic acid found in yerba mate seems to support the process by which the body turns fat and carbohydrates into energy.*

REHYDRATE | Hibiscus Ginger

Active, fit people want products that support their healthy lifestyle, not compromise it. Organic coconut water with added mineral salts is the answer. Organic Rooibos Extract is an antioxidant that supports the entire body. It contains minerals to help support the body’s natural ability to maintain electrolyte balance and hydration. Minerals Salts help support the body’s natural ability to balance acidic and alkaline fluids, while also supporting the muscles. Organic Ginger Root supports natural nutrient absorption and breakdown, while also supporting circulation.

JOINT RESCUE | Paradise Pineapple

Liquid joint support products have always been popular, but they haven’t always been this delicious! Whether it is for daily use or after a hard workout, Joint Rescue is just what weekend warriors’ need. Turmeric contains curcumin, which supports a healthy response to exertion, such as high-impact sports activities, and recovery. Turmeric can also help support a healthy digestive system. Plus, Black Pepper to help support the body’s ability to utilize curcumin.


Coconut water is one of the fastest growing product segments in the natural products industry. It is also one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. These organic coconut water powders are available in 3 delicious flavors that boost your specific needs and come in convenient, lightweight packets that are perfect for travel or your busy, on-the-go lifestyle. Hydrate your body the way nature intended with Pure Planet’s organic coconut water!

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

July 6, 2017 at 2:57 pm Leave a comment

The True Science Behind Collagen

Submitted by NeoCell

Collagen is a protein, but it’s no ordinary protein. Collagen defines the structural integrity of our bodies and contributes greatly to the vitality that is typically associated with youth. As the body ages, collagen supplies and the ability to regenerate them decrease. This compromises our structural integrity, leading to overall degradation of cell form and function.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and can be found in bones, skin, organs, muscles, eyes, nails, teeth, and hair. Best known for their ability to help connective tissue stay vibrant and flexible, collagen proteins serve two main functions in the body—structure and regeneration.

The Roles of Collagen in the Body

Collagen is a necessary component of skin, hair, joints, and bones. Seventy percent of the skin is made of collagen Type 1 and 3, one hundred percent of tendons are made of collagen Type 1 and 3, and over one third of healthy bone is composed of collagen.

Collagen proteins are also responsible for regenerating and forming new tissue. Worker cells in the body produce a collagen fiber matrix to form the structure of tissues. Over time, the collagen fibers naturally break down into disorganized collagen fragments known as peptides, which float loosely in the extracellular fluid.

True Science: Collagen Depletion

Although abundant in our youth, the body’s natural collagen production typically slows at a rate of 1.5% per year after the age of 25. As collagen production slows, collagen fibers in the body become brittle and begin to break down, resulting in many of the telltale signs of aging such as wrinkles, tendon injuries, and joint pain.

To compensate for lost collagen fibers as we age, worker cells have molecular receptors that detect the presence of loose peptides. Once the loose collagen peptides build up to a certain concentration in the extracellular fluid, the molecular receptors “turn on” the worker cells and new collagen fibers are produced.

However, this regeneration cycle of collagen fibers slows down as we age, resulting in fewer replacement collagen fibers and a weakened collagen matrix in the body’s tissues. This degrading matrix of collagen fibers results in many signs of aging, such as wrinkling skin, thinning hair, and less stable connective tissue. But, there is a solution.

By supplementing with NeoCell products, additional collagen peptides are introduced into the extracellular fluid. The molecular receptors of the worker cells are “turned on” more frequently, thus continuing the regeneration cycle at a healthy rate and rebuilding the collagen matrix more quickly.*

True Science: Natural Law of Regeneration

All natural systems exist in a fluid equilibrium of continuous replenishment, renewal, and decay that is regulated by equal and opposing forces. Imbalance in these forces leads either to adaptation or system decline and eventually failure. Sophisticated natural systems, biological or ecological, maintain a feedback loop that detects and responds to significant changes that would otherwise alter the harmony of the system, thus sustaining vitality and enabling adaptation. NeoCell Collagen is formulated to work with your body’s natural regenerative cycles.

Dosage is meaningless if absorption is minimal. At 400,000 daltons molecular weight, collagen is one of the biggest molecules in your body. Because of its size, it takes a long time to break down under conventional digestion, significantly reducing absorption. BioActive NeoCell Collagen is standardized to a very low molecular weight and enzymatically hydrolyzed for high absorption and bioactivity.

 NeoCell Collagen is Bioactive, Effective, and Safe

NeoCell adheres to the highest standards to ensure absolute safety and the utmost purity for every product it sells—every batch is tested by certified third-party labs. Each NeoCell product is designed specifically to support the collagen systems in our bodies such as those that maintain vibrant youth, radiant beauty, and total body wellness!

 †Based on 2014 NeoCell Collagen study.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

June 13, 2017 at 2:01 pm Leave a comment

New Research: Can Prebiotics Support Weight Loss?

By Jen Morganti, ND, NEEDS Education Director

Obesity rates in the United States have more than doubled over the past 40 years. With nearly two thirds of the population dealing with the physical and emotional health effects of being obese or overweight, America needs to get serious about solving the obesity epidemic. The fact is, very few treatments are truly successful. Solutions such as dietary stimulants and bariatric surgery can be prohibitively expensive and come with significant risks.

These factors make it very difficult for healthcare providers to help their patients lose weight, especially children. There is a serious need to research and develop safer, more effective weight loss treatments to enhance the effects of standard weight loss recommendations, such as exercise, calorie reduction, and healthy food choices.

 Prebiotics and Weight Loss

Prebiotics are plant-based fibers that nourish and help promote the growth of the good bacteria, called probiotics, which live in your gut. These bacteria are critical to good digestion and a healthy gastrointestinal system.

Although you can take a prebiotic supplement, you can also get prebiotics through your diet. Prebiotic foods are rich in inulin, which promotes healthy gut bacteria, reduces constipation, and helps break down fat. Inulin has even been shown to boost your immune system and improve metabolic health.

 10 Inulin-Rich Prebiotic Foods:

  • Chicory Root
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Garlic
  • Leeks

 Some of the prebiotic fiber content may be altered during cooking, so it is best to try and consume them raw rather than cooked.

Prebiotics and Weight Loss for Children

Recently, a study was conducted to determine if prebiotics could be beneficial for weight loss in children. In this study, children with a high BMI (considered obese), aged 7-12, were split into 2 groups. One group took 8 grams of prebiotics daily and the other took a placebo. The two groups were monitored daily while eating breakfast and they were permitted to eat as much as they wanted. Over the course of 16 weeks, the group taking the prebiotics felt significantly fuller after eating and therefore ate less.

Two hormones related to weight and appetite were measured to track the progress throughout the study. Ghrelin, which signals a sense of fullness and adiponectin, related to insulin sensitivity, both increased overall in the group taking the prebiotics. This indicates the positive effects of prebiotics on weight loss.

This research suggests that foods or supplements rich in prebiotic fibers can be very beneficial in helping children win their battle against obesity. Best of all, because prebiotics are naturally occurring in foods, we know they are very safe for children to take without any serious side effects.

 Conclusions on Prebiotics

In general, increased prebiotic intake, whether through diet or supplementation, contributes to a balanced GI environment that ultimately leads to better overall health. Prebiotics are extremely safe and have the potential to help with weight loss, especially when combined with exercise and a healthy diet.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2017 Apr; 105(4): 790-799. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140947. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

June 5, 2017 at 10:20 am Leave a comment

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