New Research: Probiotics May Help to Prevent Neurodegenerative Diseases

I’ve written numerous times about probiotics and their benefits to so many aspects of our health (here’s a good overview on probiotics on our website).

Probiotics help with digestion, the immune system, and reducing antibiotic side effects, though specific strains can be beneficial for IBS, vaginal health, gum disease, and more.

New research has come out linking probiotics and a varied microbiome as a preventative measure against a variety of neurodegenerative diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease are scary, since their onset can be unpredictable, and so much is still unknown about these uncurable diseases.

Scientists have begun to link viral infection as a possible cause of various neurodegenerative diseases (here’s a link to research on Pub Med), and have also linked good bacteria in the gut and a varied microbiome as a possibly preventative to the triggering of neurodegenerative diseases.

The colonization of good bacteria in our bodies known as our microbiome is still not yet completely understood, though now scientists are finding far reaching benefits probiotics and of maintaining a thriving and varied microbiome in our bodies, not just for digestion and the immune system, but also for mood, inflammation, and so much more.

Supplementing with probiotics is something I absolutely believe in, particularly when using a quality probiotic with a good potency and a nice variety of different strains. Different strains of probiotics, or good bacteria, work in different ways in the body, so choosing a probiotic supplement with a diverse makeup is always a good idea.

We have just brought in a new probiotic that I wanted to highlight from a company called Vital Planet, that has a line of probiotics available in both refrigerated and shelf stable varieties at high potency. Their probiotics come in a variety of specific formulas, including some formulated specifically for men or women, and contain 60 billion probiotics per capsule from 60 different strains that also include probiotics, to help those good bacteria to thrive in the body. I’ve been using their Women’s Shelf Stable Probiotic and I really like it.

Our Vital Planet Probiotics will be on sale through the month of September for 25% off, so it’s a great time to try them. We also have a limited amount of $3 off coupons at the store, which make it an even better deal, so stop by to check them out!

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Supplements to Improve Athletic Performance

Q: I’m planning on running my first half marathon, and as I start training, I was wondering if you had information on supplements that might be helpful as I start increasing my mileage.

A: That’s exciting- congratulations! There definitely are supplements that could help.

The first supplement I’d recommend is CoQ10. CoQ10 is a nutrient that is best known for its benefit for heart health and is a common supplement used for cardiovascular health particularly in the aging population.

CoQ10 is a nutrient produced in the human body that works with the mitochondria in each of our cells. Mitochondria are the energy producers in each of the cells in our body, and CoQ10 works to support those energy producers in our cells. It’s almost like CoQ10 is food for those energy producing organisms, which in turn, helps our cells to run better.

Parts of the body that use the most energy, like the heart and other muscle tissues, have the most mitochondria- remember, the mitochondria are the power plants of a cell. Since CoQ10 supports those cellular power plants, it can help with proper cardiovascular functioning and protecting the heart. For example, CoQ10 is often recommended for congestive heart failure, since it has been shown in research to encourage the heart to run properly and have the energy it needs.

CoQ10 can also be beneficial for athletes or anyone on an exercise regimen, since studies have shown that CoQ10 can increase exercise performance, helping people to be able to exercise longer without fatigue.

CoQ10 has also been researched with positive results for helping to reduce muscle damage and soreness after exercise when used on a regular basis. Most studies used 100mg-200mg of CoQ10 daily, and CoQ10 should be taken with food for best absorbtion.

Omega 3 fatty acids can also be helpful in reducing exercise induced muscle damage and soreness. Omega 3s have also been researched with positive results in helping the muscles to repair themselves after exercise, which can improve performance, especially when on a training regimen.

Omega 3s are known as “essential fatty acids” meaning that they must be obtained through diet or supplements since they are not manufactured by the body. Also, be sure to look for a high potency omega 3 supplement that has a good dose of EPA and DHA (the beneficial parts of omega 3s) per pill, since the amounts of those nutrients in a fish oil pill can vary widely. One we would recommend in particular is Solgar’s Omega 950- each softgel has 504mg of DHA and 378mg of DHA, which are really good amounts. Any fish oil or omega 3 supplement should list the amounts of EPA and DHA they contain on the back of the bottle so you can compare. This one by Solgar is the strongest we’ve found, and I don’t really see why a person would take one that’s less potent, since taking a less potent version just seems like a waste of time.

Omega 3s can also help with brain function, joints, and reducing inflammation throughout the body- all good things. Omega 3s have even been researched for reducing cholesterol and helping cardiovascular function. Here’s an article from our website with more information about Omega 3s.

Another supplement that might help would be panax ginseng, also known as Korean ginseng. Ginseng has been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine to help with energy and vitality. I personally take ginseng occasionally in a liquid form since it’s a great energy boost. Research has linked panax ginseng use with a reduction of fatigue and enhancement of physical performance, so it might be a supplement worth trying to see if it helps.

Last, I’d say a protein shake is a good idea after exercise. Protein can help the muscles to repair themselves after strenuous exercise, but it’s important to note that there’s a “magic window” of about 45 minutes after exercising, where consuming protein has the most benefit for repairing muscles. Mega doses of protein aren’t necessary- a shake containing around 20mg of protein is ideal. You can make a protein shake into an entire smoothie with the addition of fruits and whatever else in a blender, but generally the easiest thing is just to mix protein powder in a shaker cup with water, which will also equal out to less additional sugar and calories. We have a good selection of protein shakes at the store including many suitable for people with allergies or dietary restrictions.

Finally, since you’re trying to increase the amount you’re running, you may think of investing in a pair of new shoes. The cushioning and support in running shoes does not last forever. We would recommend a running store in Palos Heights called Running for Kicks, which has been voted to be one of the 50 best running stores in the entire United States, and the people there are extremely knowledgeable about running and running shoes.

Good luck, and happy running!

Beneficial Supplements for Kids of All Ages

August heralds back to school for most kids, and while you begin to get back into the school routine, it’s a great time to begin a supplement regimen for your kids. Below are several different supplement ideas that may be helpful to think for the kids in your life.

MULTIVITAMINS
Multivitamins are important for filling in gaps in the diet, particularly for picky eaters or kids on the go due to sports or activities who do not always have the best of diets. We have a great selection of all natural multis for kids at the store.

PROBIOTICS
Probiotics are Important for the immune system and proper digestion. Probiotic use has been researched with children and has been found to dramatically reduce the amount of respiratory infections children contract (in research, probiotic use reduced respiratory infections by 30%). We have probiotic capsules for older kids, but also a variety of chewable probiotics for younger children.

OMEGA 3S 
Omega 3 fatty acids are crucial for brain function in children. Omega 3s are not produced in the body and must be obtained through foods. If a child is not eating fatty fish or flaxseeds on a regular basis (multiple times a week), it is likely that they are deficient in omega 3s. Omega 3 fatty acids in children have been linked to fewer behavior and attention problems, and have even been in a recent study showing benefits for helping struggling children learning to read when compared with those who took a placebo. Most kids are not getting enough omega 3s through their diet, so supplementation with omega 3s meant for kids can make a real difference in proper brain functioning.
 
OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTS IF NEEDED

STRESS AND ANXIETY
Many children of all ages suffer from stress and anxiety at school. We recommend theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, which helps to produce a calm, focused state. Theanine reduces anxiety without feeling tired, drugged, or “out of it”. Theanine is effective whether it is used every day or only occasionally, and can help sensitive kids have an easier time of it. Theanine is safe for kids and adults of all ages. Also, for high school and college students, we also would recommend trying one of our THC-free CBD gummies, which can be very helpful for reducing stress and anxiety. Stop by the store so we can help you find the right product for your child.

EXTRA IMMUNE HELP
Probiotics are extremely helpful for the immune system, though we do have a number of other immune boosting supplements meant for children which are helpful for both keeping kids healthy, but also helping them to get better faster if they do happen to get sick, since classrooms (particularly in younger grades) are an absolute cesspool of germs.

CALCIUM
Depending on a child’s diet, calcium supplements may be a good idea. Research has found that the majority of children aged 9 to 13 years are calcium deficient. Only about 12% of girls and 17% of boys consumed the recommended daily amount of calcium. For older teens, 42% of boys and only 10% of girls consumed enough calcium daily. Supplements are a simple way to ensure that kids have the proper amounts of calcium needed for healthy bones and are available in chewable forms for kids.

 

Here are a few other articles from our website which may also be beneficial. Please stop by the store so we can help you choose the right supplements for your kids.

  

Preventative Immune Health for Kids and Adults

Improving Children’s Concentration in School

A Helpful Tip: Chewable Gummy Vitamins for Kid’s Lunches

 

DIY Preventative Essential Oil Lice Spray for Hair

Fish Oil + Lutein for Kids to Protect the Eyes from Electronic Devices

 

Natural Help for Colitis- Backed by Scientific Research

Q: I have a family member with colitis who has been having a really difficult time. He has awful stomach pains and frequent diarrhea which makes living difficult. Do you have any suggestions of supplements that could make a difference for him?

A:  Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease with a variety of symptoms which can include extreme weight loss, pain and tenderness in the abdomen, diarrhea and constipation, and loss of appetite. It can be a difficult thing to live with, so thankfully there are a number of science backed supplements that may help with colitis.

The first suggestion would be probiotics, since they help with normalizing digestive functioning and work to crowd out bad bacteria in the digestive tract. There are many different probiotics on the market, but I’d recommend one that is specifically geared towards people with digestive issues called Probi 30 by a company called Solgar. Here is a feature on that probiotic from a previous issue of our newsletter.

They did a study on the specific strain in the Solgar’s Probi probiotic on people with IBS that said that the study found an improvement in 95% of IBS patients who took the specific probiotic strain found in Solgar’s Probi 30. Every participant who took that LP229v strain of probiotics had a reduction in abdominal pain. Another found that the LP229v strain of probiotics reduced intestinal inflammation (linked here).

Another probiotic idea is a probiotic supplement called saccharomyces boulardii. It is a probiotic used for helping with diarrhea from a variety of causes, and is actually taken preventatively for people going to Mexico or on a cruise to prevent diarrhea from bacterial infections. It has been studied with positive results however for colitis (you can see the study here). Of the people with colitis that took the saccharomyces boulardii, 24 patients who completed the study and 17 attained clinical remission, which was confirmed endoscopically.

Both probiotics could be used together, though it may not be a bad idea to take them one at a time to see the results of one over the other. 

Additionally, something that may be helpful is taking aloe vera gel internally. Aloe is very soothing and healing to the entire digestive tract, although the more common aloe vera juice naturally contains an ingredient that can have laxative effects. Aloe gel has the healing effects of the juice without the laxative effect. Here is a link to a placebo controlled study on Pub Med about aloe gel and colitis.

Most people do a ¼ cup of aloe morning and night, though the colitis study linked above gave them 100ml twice a day, which is a little less than half a cup. We have aloe gel at the store that is meant for internal use- it is different from aloe gel in a tube that is meant for topical use.

Something else that may be beneficial, depending on one’s specific issues, are peppermint gels. They can be helpful for reducing intestinal cramping. Here is a link to an article with more information on peppermint gels. Again, it’s talking about for people with IBS, but the benefits could also help with someone dealing with colitis if that is a symptom they’re experiencing. 

Finally, I’d recommend turmeric supplements, and one turmeric supplement in particular by the company Solgar called their Full Spectrum Curcumin. Turmeric is the yellow spice often found in curry powder, and it has strong anti-inflammatory effects. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, but turmeric contains only 4% curcumin, and even in a curcumin extract, it is difficult for the body to absorb.

This company Solgar has made a curcumin extract that has been shown in research to be absorbed 185 times better than standard curcumin or turmeric supplements, so I would recommend that product specifically. Turmeric and curcumin are great anti-inflammatories and can help with a variety of issues. This curcumin supplement can be especially helpful for inflammatory digestive issues since because it is so well absorbed, it does not need to be in a mega dose, which is good because turmeric or curcumin in high doses can be irritating to the stomach.

 

In regards to diet, doing an elimination diet may be helpful since different foods can be triggers to digestive problems, which can be different for each person. This link has more information on how to do an elimination diet.

Following a “gastritis diet” may also be helpful, which eliminates all irritating foods from the diet for a time. Doing this can sometimes help calm an irritated digestive tract and help things to get back to normal.

One step further from a gastritis diet would be the BRAT diet, which stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The BRAT diet uses foods which are very bland and can help with calming the digestive tract.

With all of the above diets, they are not meant as a forever thing, but to be used for a time especially during a flare up of symptoms to help calm and soothe the digestive tract.

Unfortunately with colitis or other inflammatory bowel diseases, sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to discover what may help. Please stop by the store so we can help you further.

New Every Day CBD Sales

CBD is something that rarely goes on sale, but we have been working out a deal with our main CBD company, Green Gorilla, to be able to offer an ongoing sale for two of their products that we can pass on to our customers.

The first is the one I’m most excited about- a 25% off discount on their 1500mg bottle of CBD. The reason I’m so glad that we were able to get that size bottle on discount is that it is a higher potency bottle, and because of that, it’s on the pricey side. Still, we have many customers with more extreme pain or anxiety who have really found benefit from taking a higher dose of CBD, but because it’s a higher dose bottle, it’s more expensive. This sale makes us really happy to be able to pass on this discount so it’s more affordable, particularly for people who need a higher amount of CBD.

With our 1500mg bottle of CBD from Green Gorilla, each pump of CBD oil contains 10mg of CBD, and a bottle contains 150 pumps. For people who need higher amounts of CBD for relief, it’s a great product since it’s so concentrated, though we do have a number of people who are using it for a more standard 20mg dose of CBD. With the 1500mg bottle only 2 pumps are needed to get 20mg, so the bottle would contain 75 20 mg servings, which for most people would last two and a half months.

The regular price for the 1500mg bottle of our Green Gorilla CBD is $149.99, but with this new discount, it takes $37.50 off the list price, bringing the 1500mg size down to $112.49- still a bit expensive, but it works out to be significantly more economical if it’s something you’re using on a regular basis when compared to lower potency bottles. For example, our 600mg bottle of CBD works out to be $2.83 for one 20mg serving (that’s the regular price, not including senior or newsletter discounts), whereas the new sale price on our 1500mg bottle works out to be just $1.50 per 20mg serving, plus the bottle lasts a lot longer.

Our Green Gorilla CBD is one of the only USDA Certified Organic CBD products available in the United States, and it’s also guaranteed to be THC free, and Green Gorilla (as well as all of the CBD products we sell) regularly undergoes third party testing on each of their products to guarantee that what it says on the label is what it really is. A recent study found that 70% of CBD sold online did not match up with what it said on the label when tested, which just shows how important it is to make sure you’re using a quality product. The market is absolutely flooded with CBD as it grows in popularity, and unfortunately many of those products (as determined by research) are not legitimate.

The other CBD product we’ve been able to get a discount that we can pass on is on our new Green Gorilla CBD Gummies. We still recommend liquids as the best way to take CBD, since CBD as an ingredient is difficult for the body to absorb, and liquids are better absorbed since they are first absorbed through the soft tissues in the mouth before being swallowed and digested. Gummies, however, and very convenient and are great for “on the go” for relief while you’re out and about. We have a number of customers who keep a bottle of our CBD gummies in their desks at work to help with stress and anxiety during the day. Our Green Gorilla CBD Gummies are now also on 25% every day sale. Stop in the store and ask to try a sample if you’d never had them! They’re made with entirely organic ingredients, and are vegan and THC-free.

Stop by the store at 7228 W. College Drive in Palos Heights for more information. We also are happy to ship bottles to anywhere in the continental US- shipping for one bottle is $3.50. Call the store to order at 708-448-9114.

A "Miracle Cure" for Sunburn

Sunburns as an adult are so terrible since we’re not children, we should know better. Still, it happens. I wanted to share about what I now think of as a “miracle cure” for sunburn- I wanted to write about it last month but there just wasn’t room in last month’s newsletter.

In May, Liz and I from the store went to Revival’s Yoga Fest in Palos Heights (if you’re not familiar with them, they’re an amazing yoga studio in Palos Heights with fabulous people). It was an absolutely gorgeous day. We had a booth there outside to talk to the people there about supplements and whatever else. It wasn’t that hot and since it was still May, and Liz forgot to use any sunscreen- she was just there in the morning until just a bit after noon, so generally you wouldn’t think the sun would be that strong at that time anyway.

Well, when I saw her at work the next day, her arms were as red as a tomato and she was in so much pain (as anyone who has been badly sunburned will attest to). She took some of our Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel (which has had research done on its benefit for healing burns) from the store as well as Alba Botanicals After Sun Gel, a favorite of both of ours that mixes aloe with cooling plant extracts that are soothing and healing to the skin.

She alternated using both the First Aid Gel and the aloe gel several times throughout the day on her arms, which she felt were absolutely radiating heat. By the NEXT DAY she said her sunburn was so much better, and then when I saw her the day after that, her sunburn was completely gone, and even more amazingly, she had no peeling whatsoever from where her skin was damaged.

To be honest with you, if I had not seen what happened with her sunburn with my own eyes, I would not have believed it. It was literally like a miracle, particularly since I saw how red her arms were in the beginning.

So, first I would definitely recommend using sunscreen if you’re going to be outside, obviously. If the worst happens, and you do forget and find yourself sunburned, I would definitely recommend using this combination. I actually just picked up a bottle of the First Aid Gel by Sovereign Silver to have in the house just in case.

Aloe in general is of course wonderful, but the After Sun Gel by Alba is really worth having- I feel like it’s less sticky and gloppy than other aloe gels I’ve used. In addition to the aloe, their After Sun Gel also contains green tea extract which has been shown in studies to help repair sun damaged skin when used topically as well as probiotics, which have been shown in research to help to reduce skin sensitivity and redness from sun damage when used topically.

 


 



New Heart Health Research

 I’ve come across a couple new heart health studies that I wanted to share. Heart health isn’t a “trending” subject when it comes to supplements, but is really important when you consider that heart disease still remains the number one cause of death in the United States. Below are two supplements that are not traditionally thought of as things for heart health, but that have been researched lately with interesting results.

Beets and beet juice have been popular lately, and a new study confirms their benefits for heart health and increasing blood flow. The study followed people with something called reduced ejection fraction, which means that the heart isn’t contracting effectively and is not providing enough oxygen rich blood to the body. It’s a condition often seen with heart failure and can impact activity since your heart literally is not working to circulate enough oxygen needed for body and brain function.

In the study, the people using the beet juice supplement had significant increases in oxygen uptake during exercise and they were able to exercise longer and remain more active. Frequently athletes will take beet juice supplements for this reason, though the benefits can be seen for most adults, particularly older adults or people with heart issues. The nice thing about supplementing with a beet juice supplement is that there are no negative side effects. Beets are also a fantastic antioxidant

Another study on calcium found that people with lower levels of calcium in the blood had increased rates of sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is fatal in 90 percent of cases and the majority of people experiencing sudden cardiac arrest had no history of heart disease or other high risk warning signs.

Calcium is a tricky thing since it’s necessary for the body, but too much can also be a problem. Calcium supplements should always be taken in divided doses of no more than 500mg at a time, since that is all the body can absorb at once. Also, not all calcium supplements are created equal, so be sure you’re taking a well absorbing form.

 

Natural Help for Perimenopause and Hormone Balance

This month I wanted to write about a supplement that Sarah at the store uses and loves- DIM + CDG by Jarrow. That’s a lot of letter abbreviations, but they stand for Diindolylmethane, an extract from cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, and Calcium D-Glucarate a nutrient found in fruit. So I guess it’s definitely easier to just use the letters.

DIM + CDG is an amazing supplement to help with hormone balance, specifically that it helps your body to be able to balance its own hormones correctly. It can be helpful for women of all ages with hormone related issues, but Sarah has found that it really helps her with regulating her emotions during perimenopause- she actually calls it her “anti-crazy pill”. Jarrow was out of stock of it for a while due to manufacturing issues, and during that time that she didn’t take it, she said she could really feel a difference.

She has said that for her, during perimenopause, she has been feeling “irrationally emotional”, some days going back and forth between crying and laughing and then crying again. She says she sees a huge difference between the times she has been using the supplement and the times when she hasn’t.

DIM, or diindolylmethane, is a supplement that can help the body to balance its own hormones better. It’s not a hormone supplement, but rather, it helps the body to balance the natural estrogens that can form in women’s bodies to achieve better hormone balance and to reduce the negative effects of hormone imbalance so common in perimenopause and menopause. One of the ways those hormone imbalances manifest themselves is in mood swings, which are extremely common in women in the throes or perimenopause.

This supplement by Jarrow is so nice in part because it combines DIM’s hormone balancing action with a supplement called CDG, which actually works as a sort of hormone cleanse, detoxing the body from negative forms of estrogen and working to remove excess estrogens from the body. It’s due to these actions that CDG has been found to be able to reduce the risk of hormone related cancers. GDC and DIM also have a synergistic effect on women’s hormones, working together to be more effective than either product taken alone.

Sarah says she felt like she could feel the DIM + CDG working from within the first week, though each woman’s experience may be slightly different due to their own unique hormone makeup. Still, it’s a supplement that we definitely recommend for hormone related issues for women of all ages, since I think everyone would benefit from a little hormone balance. Plus they’re in easy to swallow capsules that are in a one-a-day formula. Also this month our Jarrow DIM + CDG will be on sale for 25% off, so it’s a great time to try it to see if it works for you!

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Common Questions About CBD

CBD has become so popular lately, and we’ve received many questions about it, so I wanted to address some of those here. CBD is a great supplement with many different benefits, the most common of which are its benefits to helping with pain reduction and anxiety, though benefits are also being researched for cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, depression, insomnia, and many more.

Is CBD the same as marijuana?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a plant extract known as a phytocannabinoid that is found in both marijuana and hemp. Hemp derived CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning that it won’t make you feel “high” or out of it, but it can be of benefit to many people since it is very effective for treating pain (from all causes) and anxiety. Hemp derived CBD is now legal in all 50 states since the 2018 US Farm Bill was put into effect.

Does CBD contain THC? My job requires drug testing.

THC is the compound in marijuana that confers the “high” that the plant is known for. Even though hemp based CBD is not made from marijuana, hemp plants naturally do have trace amounts of THC. To be sold legally in the United States, CBD from hemp cannot contain more than .3% THC. That amount isn’t enough for a person to feel a “high”, but it may be enough to show up on a drug test. If a person is consuming CBD with any amount of THC in it, there is no way to be certain that they won’t have a problem if they needed a drug test for whatever reason.

That being said, there is CBD available that is guaranteed to contain zero THC. At Pass Health Foods we have many CBD products available that contain no THC. If this is an important issue for you, be sure that the CBD you’re using does not contain any THC. Small amounts of THC in a CBD product does not mean that it’s a bad product necessarily, but it is important to know exactly what you’re taking. For example, CBD extracts known as “whole plant” extracts will almost always contain CBD because it is a natural part of the hemp plant, even though it is in small amounts.

There was a television news story just recently about a woman who lost her job because she was taking a CBD product that contained small amounts of THC, which just reiterates the importance of knowing exactly what you’re taking. Personally, I feel like using a zero-THC product is a good decision, since it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Is CBD regulated by the FDA?

Natural products and supplements, like CBD, are regulated by the FDA differently than prescription drugs. CBD is approved as an ingredient to be sold, but individual bottles and products are not specifically tested by the FDA. Because of this, it’s even more important to make sure you’re getting a reputable product sold by a reputable store. When it comes down to it, anyone could put something in a bottle and say it’s CBD. If people started to get sick from taking it, the FDA would probably step in, but otherwise, there would be no way to know that that specific product was fake (other than it not working). In fact, one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 70 percent of CBD sold online did not match the concentrations printed on the labels.

One of the ways to protect yourself against issues of quality when it comes to CBD is to look for brands that do something called “third party testing”, which means that they formulate their product but then send it away to be tested by a laboratory not connected to their brand to confirm the ingredients and that what it says on the label is really true. Every CBD product we carry at Pass Health Foods is third party tested to confirm potency and purity.

What is the best way to take CBD?

CBD is available in many different forms from liquids, gummies, and pills to even foods and drinks infused with CBD. The very best way to take CBD is in a liquid extract; the reason is that CBD is difficult for the body to absorb, and liquids are able to be absorbed so much better. When you take a liquid CBD supplement, it’s recommended that you put it under your tongue for about a minute (longer is even better, but you don’t need to be ridiculous about it). Holding the CBD in your mouth helps the CBD to begin to be absorbed into the bloodstream through the soft tissues in the mouth (similar to if you’ve ever taken a sublingual vitamin). After holding it under your tongue, swish it around your mouth (further enhancing absorption) before swallowing it.

Taking CBD in this way allows your body to absorb it the best it possibly can. Also, liquids are fast acting, with the benefits generally being felt within 20 minutes, which can be extremely helpful is you need relief right away. Gummies are convenient especially for on the go or for people who can’t take liquids for whatever reason, and can be effective, but I would definitely say that liquids are best when it comes to CBD.

Many people worry that a liquid will taste terrible, and to be honest, some do. I’ve tried many different brands of CBD and some are absolutely awful tasting, which can make it difficult to take on a regular basis. The difference in taste from brand to brand comes from a variety of factors, including what carrier oil it’s mixed with and if it’s a whole plant extract, which can be more bitter tasting.

We have several extremely high quality CBD liquids at the store that are great tasting without any bitterness or awfulness. The CBD we most recommend is by a company called Green Gorilla, which I believe has the cleanest, best quality CBD around. They’re USDA Certified Organic (which is incredibly rare when it comes to CBD) and do third party testing on each batch of CBD they make. They also make really nice tasting CBD liquids, making them easy to take.

How much CBD should I take?

First, I’d like to explain about how CBD is sold in regards to potency, since it’s unlike any other supplement. For example, if you wanted to buy Vitamin C, it would say 500mg on the bottle whether it had 30 pills or 500. CBD is not that way, it is measured by how much is in the entire bottle, which can often be confusing. What really matters is the strength of CBD per serving, which varies. We carry CBD in a variety of strengths, the most common being 10 or 20 milligrams of CBD per serving. A 10 milligram dose is on the low side, but can often be enough for someone just experiencing mild pain or anxiety. For people experiencing more severe issues, often a low dose isn’t enough.

The amount of CBD needed for each person if different, depending on the problems they’re experiencing in addition to their individual physiological makeup. In our experience, most people have good results with a 20mg. dose of CBD, though we do have a number of people who use higher amounts to help with more extreme pain. CBD is very safe to take, even in extremely high doses, though there’s no sense in taking a higher dose if a low dose does the trick. That is another nice thing about liquids, with a liquid it is very easy to lower or raise the amount of CBD you take at one time, and also that the benefit is felt quickly, so it is easy to determine if you may need more to help with your individual needs.

I’ve written about some of the more common questions above, but please stop in the store if you have any other questions that we could help you with. Also, all of our health articles are archived on our website at passhealthfoods.com, including many different ones on CBD, its benefits, and how it works. We also have copies available at the store of a wide variety of articles on CBD, so feel free to stop in for more information at 7228 W. College Drive in Palos Heights.

Other articles on our website:

The Science of CBD: How it Works, and Why

CBD: An Overview

A New Approach for Managing GERD and Heartburn

This month I wanted to write about a unique and little known supplement for heartburn and GERD. Digestive enzymes, probiotics, and DGL licorice are all helpful for managing GERD, but there is another supplement ingredient I’ve discovered and have been doing some research on which I believe could be a great help for GERD and heartburn sufferers.

The ingredient I’m talking about is called alginate, also known as algenic acid. It’s an extract from brown algae that absorbs many times its weight in liquid, making a natural gel substance. When that algae gel is combined with natural buffers like sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate and used after a meal, it is actually able to make a gel-like raft that blocks acid reflux into the esophagus.

When the alginate reaches the acids in the stomach, it makes a pliable gel. At the same time, the calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate (also known as baking soda) produce bubbles in the algae gel which make it rise to the top of the stomach, so it is literally floating on top of the contents of your stomach.

By making this floating stomach acid raft, it prevents those stomach acids from coming back up the esophagus, which is what happens in acid reflux, GERD, and heartburn.

It sounds a little strange, and but if you think about it, it makes sense. One of the main reasons so many people suffer from acid reflux is that naturally as we age, the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus known as the esophageal sphincter can weaken, so it doesn’t close all the way. When this happens, it allows acid to begin to travel back up the esophagus from the stomach, causing pain and damage over time.

When this gel raft is formed, it can last several hours in the body (which means that it is effective for that amount of time) before passing through the intestines and being digested like any other fiber.

Research has been done on alginate and its gel barrier method for preventing acid reflux, and when compared with PPIs, other acid blocking drugs, and antacids, it’s been found superior in both safety and effectiveness (here’s a link the abstract of one of those studies on Pub Med). There are no side effects, drug interactions, or toxicity that has been found from using this method since you are not actually taking a drug or anything that is necessarily changing what the body naturally does, but are just preventing acid from going where it shouldn’t be going anyway. It’s very much like fencing a dog in your yard- you aren’t stopping Fido from doing whatever he likes to do in your yard, you’re just preventing him from running in the street.

This alginate combination has been the subject of over fourteen different studies as well as a meta-analysis that examined each of the studies done on these nutrients at Duke University. The results showed that the alginate based supplement was more effective than placebo or antacids. In the studies, the people who took the alginate supplement were 4.42 times more likely to have a complete resolution of their symptoms than the placebo group.

I don’t know why alginate based supplements aren’t more well known, since the research is sound, but I’m happy to be able to share the information I’ve come across, since I think it could help a lot of people.

The supplement we’ve found that has this impressive alginate combination that we carry at the store is called Nutrisec by a company called Nature’s Plus. It’s a chewable tablet that is meant to be taken after a meal or 30 minutes before bedtime to prevent reflux when lying down to sleep at night, which is a very common issue for people with GERD. If you use it before bed, wait a half hour before laying down so the raft has time to get into place so it can work properly.

I’d very much recommend trying it, especially since it has been shown to cause no harm, and that it seems like something that might really help if you’re dealing with acid reflux, GERD, or heartburn. It’s definitely worth a try!

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