Featured Products

New Favorites! New Probiotics & Collagen Peptide Powder

We have two new products this month that I wanted to highlight since they’re both fantastic and a great value (and are both on sale this month).

The first are a new line of shelf stable probiotics by Nature’s Plus. They have both men’s and women’s formulas at a potency of 60 billion per capsule- the highest shelf stable potency we’ve found. They’re amazing probiotics, and they’re also a really good value- much less expensive than others we’d found previously. Also, we have them on sale for 20% off for the month of March, so it’s an even better deal!  They also have a great kid’s shelf stable probiotic that we would recommend that has a 7 billion per capsule potency- again, the highest potency we’ve seen for a kid’s shelf stable probiotic, and for a great price. We’d definitely recommend trying them!

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The next product I wanted to mention is a new Collagen Peptide Powder by Nature’s Plus. I’ve written about collagen previously (here’s the link) and how its beneficial for so many things including joints, bones, digestion, and skin. Out body’s collagen production starts to slow after age 18, and lack of collagen is easily seen in our skin as we age, but the effects are just as pronounced inside out bodies.

The trouble with collagen is that there are several different types, with different benefits for each. Most collagen supplements focus on just one type, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but just would only have that one benefit rather than the full spectrum of benefits.

The nice (and unique) thing about this new collagen peptide supplement is that it contains all the major forms of collagen, so  you’re getting all the benefits collagen has, not just one. Previously you had to take bone broth to get the full spectrum and full benefits of all the types of collagen, and while I do like bone broth, sometimes you don’t want to drink a cup of chicken or beef broth every day. This new collagen peptide powder by Nature’s Plus is especially nice since it’s completely tasteless in a glass of water. It can also be easily added to foods or smoothies. This collagen from Nature’s Plus uses collagen from the best possible sources- grass fed beef, sustainably caught fish, and cage free chicken. The collagen is also in a hydrolyzed form, which means that the particles are broken down into small “peptides” that are easy to digest and absorb, since as with all supplements, the thing that matters is what your body is actually absorbing that makes the difference.

Both the new collagen peptide powder and the new shelf stable probiotics by Nature’s Plus are on sale for 20% off, so it’s a great time to try them, and I just want to reiterate that both of these products are such a good value, even if they weren’t on sale. Be sure to check them out!

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The Many Scientifically Researched Benefits of Black Seed Oil

I wanted to write about Black Seed Oil, also known as Black Cumin Seed Oil, since it has been gaining in popularity, though it seems to have a vagueness that surrounds it as to what it actually does.

Most articles on black seed oil seem to say that it’s “cures everything”, a claim that always makes me extremely skeptical since it brings to mind the unscrupulous snake oil salesmen of the last century.

The more I looked into black seed oil, however, I found that there has been study after study done on its benefits, with great results. Research has found it to have beneficial effects on so many different aspects of health, including metabolic syndrome (a condition characterized by excess weight and high blood sugar), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, respiratory health, skin conditions, and more. It’s impressive due to the sheer volume of studies that have been done that have shown benefit for so many vastly different things.

Here’s a link to a review on Black Seed Oil studies.

This is another review on the researched benefits of black cumin seeds.

One of my favorite benefits for black seed oil is its effect on the immune system. One of black seed oil’s natural compounds is thymoquinone, a potent immune booster that strengthens and activates the immune system’s T-cells (the white blood cells that help to identify harmful invaders like bacteria and viruses). Research has shown black seed to have antibacterial and antiviral effects against a number of infectious diseases including strep and h. pylori bacteria and viruses like hepatitis and even HIV. That isn’t to say that black seed oil is necessarily a cure-all for those conditions, but that it has been found to have beneficial antibacterial and antiviral effects against those diseases.

In addition to immune boosting effects, black seed oil has further benefits to the respiratory system itself, including being extremely helpful for asthma patients. In one study, people with asthma used black seed oil daily for three months and experienced impressive benefits in respiratory functioning and a reduction in asthma symptoms.

The interesting thing about black seed oil is that it does not just seem to have immune boosting effects, but rather has shown to have an immune modulating activity- boosting the immune system when needed, but also helping to calm down the excessive immune response seen in autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. One placebo controlled study on rheumatoid arthritis found that women who took black seed twice daily for a month found a reduction in their symptoms of RA.

Black seed oil also appears to have protective effects for a number of the body’s different systems and organs, reducing destructive, toxic effects on the brain, liver, lungs cardiovascular system, and the digestive tract. This article has more in-depth information on the significant protection black seed has from toxic damage from a variety of sources (scroll down to about halfway through to read more about black seed oil’s beneficial protective effects).

Black seed oil can also have beneficial effects on eczema and psoriasis and for those conditions can be taken both internally and used topically for relief.

I feel like I’ve gone on and on already about the benefits of black seed oil, but in truth, there are so many more and I’ve only mentioned a few. Black seed oil has a long history of use for a variety of ailments. It is native to the Middle East and Africa, and has been mentioned in both the Old Testament and the Quran. The prophet Muhammad is even quoted as saying, “Use the Black Seed for indeed, it is a cure for all diseases except death.” Suffice it to say that it has a long history of impressive benefits and use- even back to the time of the Egyptians!

The black seed oil we recommend is by a company called Talya. As many of you know, we’re particular about the brands and products we carry. We chose this brand of black seed oil specifically since it has the highest amount of the beneficial active ingredients in black seed oil and is unrefined and cold pressed. Also, Talya does third party testing on each batch of black seed oil for potency and to make sure that it is free from pesticides, herbicides, as well as other chemicals and contaminants. Talya’s black seed oil meets France’s standards for “Eco Certification” and is in the process of undergoing organic certification processes by the USDA.

The recommended dosages for black seed oil is one teaspoon twice daily for preventative health or two teaspoons twice daily, up to as much as six teaspoons a day (in divided doses) for acute needs or for recovering from an illness.

Black seed oil should be taken with food to help absorption and it’s also important to shake the bottle vigorously before using it, since its beneficial compounds can separate when the bottle sits.

We will have a representative in the store on Saturday, March 9th from 10-2 to offer samples of our Talya black seed oil and to offer further information. Be sure to stop by!

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

We’ve written about fish oil many times before, especially on how great it is for kids.

I’ve read a few new studies lately that have made me want to highlight it again, plus we’ve just found a new fish oil for kids by Barleans that has added lutein, which is the first kid’s product I’ve ever seen combining the two nutrients.

The benefits of omega 3 fish oil for kids are many, with a whole list of researched and documented benefits including better performance at school- especially reading scores, better impulse control and behavior, and even a new study that reported that kids who took omega 3 fish oil slept better at night than those who didn’t.

In addition, supplementation of omega 3 fish oil for kids is especially important since omega 3s must be obtained either through diet or supplements since the body cannot make the nutrient itself. Many adults eat fatty fish multiple times a week, but it’s extremely rare for that to be the case with kids (and if you’re the rare person whose child is eating salmon four times a week, I definitely commend you!), so in most cases, supplementation of omega 3 fish oil is necessary.

Fish oil as a kid’s supplement is something that has been around for many years, but the fantastic addition of lutein can really make a difference in kid’s health.

Many adults take lutein to protect and preserve their vision, but new research is highlighting the importance of lutein  (a nutrient related to vitamin A) to protect children’s eyesight against strain and damage from exposure to blue light from electronic devices like phones and tablets.

Research suggests that continued exposure to blue light from electronic devices can lead to damage in the cells in the retina, damage that is most often manifests over the years as macular degeneration.

Macular degeneration is something usually seen in older adults, and is the leading cause of vision loss as we age. Scientists are now speculating that the ubiquitous use of electronic devices among children (now starting at younger and younger ages) may, as time passes, cause vision problems earlier than ever seen before.

This unique new kid’s fish oil and lutein combination we’re recommending by Barleans is called Omega Pals Hooty Fruity Tangerine Fish Oil + Eye Nutrition, which is kind of a mouthful. It combines not only omega 3 fish oil with lutein, but also has added zeaxanthin and astaxanthin, two other eye nutrients that work with lutein to further protect the eyes- particularly the retina and the macula, the two parts of the eye crucial to sharp, clear vision where damage is most often seen over time.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that these kid’s fish oils by Barleans are absolutely delicious. Most parents laugh at the idea of trying to get their kids to take liquid fish oil, but Barleans has found a way to make a flavored fish oil that is not at all fishy tasting, but also one that is made in a way that keeps it from being oily- it’s more of a creamy or custardy consistency, with a nice orange flavor. I have given my daughter the kid’s liquid fish oils from Barleans since she was about two years old, and she absolutely loves the taste. I even have a picture from years ago, when she was in her highchair and had somehow gotten a hold of the Barleans liquid fish oil I had on the table (it was a lemon cream flavor that they had at the time), and she  had grabbed the bottle and was literally pouring it into her mouth since she liked the taste so much!

The nice thing is that there is no downside to supplementation with lutein and eye supplements for kids, only benefits. There is no conclusive proof that has shown that years of exposure to electronic devices, beginning in childhood, will absolutely cause eye damage and degeneration. That’s because this has never happened before. Children growing up now are the first generation to be exposed to electronic devices practically since birth. The light now coming from computers, phones, and tablets is something different than any of us grew up with.

If thirty or forty years from now all those kids who were using electronic devices so much as kids grow up to have perfect eyes, well that would be wonderful, but the possible (and exceedingly likely) alternative- an entire generation of adults who will grow up to have vision problems like macular degeneration, appearing earlier and younger than ever before, is something to be prevented if at all possible.

Macular degeneration, as many adults know, is something that cannot be treated. There is no way to reverse it, but it can be prevented or slowed by proper nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin which help to protect the eyes against damage.

This new product by Barleans containing both fish oil and eye supplements for kids is something that can make a real difference for kids, both for their health now as well as eye health long term.

Stop by the store for more information and so we can help you further!

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Barlean’s Omega Pals Hooty Fruity Tangerine Fish Oil + Eye Nutrition:

  • For children ages 1 year+

  • Made with Barlean’s ultra-purified, Fresh Catch® fish oil

  • Contains Lutemax 2020® Lutein & Zeaxanthin plus Astaxanthin to protect eyes from digital device use*

  • 500mg Omega-3 EPA & DHA per serving

  • Sweet taste and creamy texture

  • Emulsified for 3X better absorption

  • Non-GMO, gluten Free, sugar free, dairy free

  • No artificial flavors or colors

  • No fish burps!


New Delicious Elderberry Zinc Gummies for Both Kids and Adults

We have a new product for the winter “Fight Against Illness” in stock that I’ve been really impressed with- our new Zand Elderberry Zinc Gummies. Zinc is a fantastic immune booster, and has also been shown in numerous studies to help reduce the duration of colds and respiratory infections. 

The trouble with zinc is that it generally tastes terrible (sorry zinc lozenges, but you know it’s true). I don’t know what kind of witchery Zand has performed on these gummies, but they taste amazing (and they still contain a bunch of zinc).

Elderberry is a potent antiviral, and taking zinc at the very first signs of illness has been shown to help reduce the duration of colds.

These new gummies are perfect for picky kids (or adults) as an immune boosting treat. I’ve been putting a couple in my daughter’s lunch every day and she loves them (honestly, she says like they taste like candy).

Best of all, they’re on sale this month for 25% off, so be sure to give them a try!

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A New Favorite: Renew Life’s Organic Prebiotic + Probiotics

We have a new line of probiotics that I wanted to write about since I’ve been really impressed with them. It’s a new line of probiotics from Renew Life that combine well researched probiotic strains with organic prebiotics.

Prebiotics are special fibers that help good bacteria to flourish in our bodies. Prebiotics are a newer ingredient, and the idea of combining them with probiotics into a supplement seems like a really smart one to me, since you’re not just taking probiotics, you’re giving those good bacteria what they need to multiply and be sustained in your body.

I’ve been taking their Strong and Ready Organic Prebiotic + Probiotic for a little over a month now, and have been really happy with it. They’re in easy to swallow vegetarian capsules, which I love, and the strains contained in that formula have been researched to help specifically with boosting the immune system and preventing respiratory infections, which definitely sounds good to me!  They’re also gluten, dairy, and soy free, which I appreciate.

They also have several different formulas with targeted probiotics for a variety of issues like constipation or diarrhea or even for women’s health that contain cranberry for preventing UTIs as well as unique strains that help with vaginal health.

The nice thing about these blends are that they address specific conditions, while still having the basic strains needed for everyday health. I feel like this is especially noteworthy, since we have several probiotics at the store that we would especially recommend for specific, acute issues, but they are just kind of focused on those problems, and wouldn’t fill the role of your “every day probiotic” for general digestive and immune health.

Another thing about these prebiotic + probiotic blends is that they contain documented types and amounts of prebiotics (the substances that help to feed and support the body’s own good bacteria) that have been shown in scientific research to make a true difference. In speaking to an educator at Renew Life about these new products, he had a quote I wanted to share since I really liked it. He said a lot of probiotics (and I would say many supplements in general), “Shout on the front, whisper on the back”, meaning that prebiotics have become a buzzword of sorts, and that many products have advertising “shouting” something on the front of the label, but then will have just a whisper (or a tiny, negligible amount) of actual beneficial ingredients on the back of the label where it lists the nutrition facts. That’s what we’re about at Pass Health Foods- finding and offering supplements that make a real difference, that are scientifically documented as being effective, beyond whatever the advertising says.

Since we’re featuring them this month, we’ll be having all the new organic probiotic + probiotics from Renew Life on sale for 25% off from now through the end of December. Additionally, we have a good supply of $3 off coupons for them, so with the sale plus the coupon it works out to a really good deal!  If you’re looking to change up your probiotic, or you don’t take one on a regular basis, this is a great one to try.

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Collagen for Bone Health and Increased Bone Flexibility

Collagen supplements are something that have been around for a long time. They’re well known supplements that have many great uses with benefits for skin, joints, digestive health, and even bone health (which I will write about more in depth in this article).

Collagen supplements are available in many forms including powders, chews, pills, and even in its natural form as bone broth- here’s an article from our website on bone broth and its benefits:

Bone Broth is Amazing for Joints, Digestive Issues, and More

Other than bone broth and bone broth concentrates and powders, the reason why collagen supplements are generally taken in powders or chews is that you need to take a fair amount of it to make a real difference, and if taken as a pill or softgel, generally you would need to take a good handful to  get the recommended amount (which is doable, but sometimes powders can be easier).

We recommend bone broth especially when it comes to wanting to take a collagen supplement. There are two mail types of collagen (more on that below) and with supplements they will usually focus on one or the other. Both types have different benefits though most everyone would benefit from both, which is why bone broth is nice, since it contains a more complete collagen profile. We in particular recommend Jarrow’s Bone Broth Powder. It makes a delicious broth which can be very warming and comforting on a cold day (it’s available in both beef or chicken).

Another collagen powder supplement that we recommend is by NeoCell. It is a hydrolyzed collagen, which means the collagen has been broken up into smaller particles so it is easier for the body to absorb. The reason we most like NeoCell powders is that they are odorless and tasteless, so it can easily be added to foods or drinks without issue.

Collagen for Bone Health

Collagen is absolutely crucial for bone health. While our bones are made up of calcium crystals, they are held together in a bone collagen matrix. Collagen helps to make up our actual bone structure, and gives our bones flexibility and durability. When one thinks of “brittle bones” lack of collagen is a major factor contributing to that. Collagen helps to make the bones more stable and elastic.

Interestingly, in addition to helping with joint flexibility (which is part of the way our bodies avoid fractures) type 1 collagen can actually help to stimulate osteoblast formation, cells that help to regulate passage of calcium into the bones. Type 1 collagen can also help to reduce the formation of cells that break down the bone matrix.

Type 1 collagen is found in both skin and bones. While we can’t see our bones without a bone scan, we can see our skin. It’s easy to see the effects of collagen loss in our skin- as we age our skin becomes thinner with reduced elasticity and even becomes more fragile. Those can be outward signs of collagen loss, which affects our bones in similar ways that we cannot see, with our bones becoming more brittle and less flexible.

There are different types of collagen (there are more than two types, though I am only focusing on the first two since they have the most benefit). Type 1 collagen is the kind most found in skin, tendons, and bones; while type 2 collagen is more present in bone cartilage and being beneficial to digestive health. Bone broth contains both kinds, being  a whole food product, and we like going that route since the two types of collagen have different but wonderful benefits). We have a great bone broth powder concentrate by Jarrow available at the store, which is much more economical than buying liquid bone broth. We also have supplements of powders or chews which focus more on specific types of collagen with more specific benefits. Stop by the store so we can help you find the collagen products which are best for your specific needs.

Preventative Immune Health for Kids and Adults

Now is the time for preventative immune health for both kids and adults, particularly since it’s been such a warm fall, transitioning to cooler, damp weather can sometimes be a shock to the system- not to say that cold weather causes illness, but being indoors more frequently with other people’s germs makes falling prey to illness more likely. Also, interestingly, some viruses like rhinovirus (the cause of the common cold) replicates better at cooler temperatures, and the flu virus is thought to survive better in cool, dry temperatures.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’m going to post some links to previous articles about a variety of immune boosters which can help both prevent and reduce the duration of illness.

Our Favorite Immune Boosting Supplements

This article really runs down the full list of immune supplements and how they work.

Zinc Lozenges: Clinically Proven to Boost the Immune System

A Natural, Herbal Version of Tamiflu for Flu Recovery

Experts are already forecasting a bad flu season for this year (I can’t imagine how they know that, but I’m inclined to believe it). If there’s one thing that is best against the flu virus (and that’s backed up by research), it’s elderberry.

Vitamin D, How Much to Take?

Ester C, a Better Form of Vitamin C for Boosting Immune Function

Keeping Kids Healthy This Winter

We also have a new kid’s probiotic that I wanted to mention, a chewable kids probiotic from Renew Life called Ear, Nose, and Throat. It contains a combination of probiotics that have been specifically chosen for their researched benefits for the entire respiratory system (literally the ears, nose, and throat, like the name), one of the probiotics it contains has even been positively researched for its benefit in helping to prevent strep throat and other bacterial infections.

One study published on PubMed found that kids with recurrent strep throat who took this specific probiotic strain and had an 80% reduction in streptococcal infections when compared with the control group. I do feel like certain kids are more prone to strep throat for whatever reason, so while this probiotic would be great for all kids during cold and flu season, I would definitely recommend it for those kids who have had recurrent strep throat.

Eating fish may not be the best way to get your Omega 3s

Omega 3s are absolutely crucial for our health; they’re called essential fatty acids because they must be obtained through either our diet or supplements and cannot be manufactured in the body. Omega 3 fish oil is beneficial to cardiovascular health, brain function, and joint health. Omega 3s can help to lower cholesterol, boost mood, and reduce inflammation in the body, and have been the subject of countless positive research studies for a long list of ailments over the years.

In the past, if a person ate fish a couple times a week, they would usually think that their omega 3 needs would be covered, though new research is finding that eating fish might not be equal to fish oil supplements.

Unfortunately, most of the fish available to us in the United States are farmed fish, which aren’t as high in omega 3 fatty acids. Additionally, popular fish like tilapia are more concentrated in omega 6 fatty acids than omega 3s. The American diet is very high in omega 6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and other sources, and low in omega 3s. Another popular fish, cod, stores very little omega 3 fatty acids in its flesh, and is often cooked in omega 6 oils.

Another concern, other than the lower omega 3 content of many fish, is the unfortunate impurity of our ocean waters. Many fish are now found with very high levels of mercury, including tuna, swordfish, orange roughy, king mackerel, tilefish, and more. Pregnant women are advised to avoid these fish, but in truth, no amount of mercury or other ocean contaminants are good for us.

In contrast, quality fish oil supplements (not all brands, so be sure to check) are tested to be free of mercury, lead, and other toxic metals. Additionally, omega 3 supplements will list exactly how much EPA and DHA (the beneficial parts of the omega 3 oils) that they contain.

95% of the American population does not consume enough EPA and DHA to benefit heart health, and since the potency of fish oil supplements can vary widely, it’s important to choose a product that is specifically made to have a high potency of EPA and DHA per pill, so you get the best benefit from your fish oil supplements.

A fantastic, high quality fish oil supplement that we recommend is Carlson’s Elite Omega. Carlson is a family owned Illinois company that specializes in wild caught, sustainably sourced fish oils from Norway. Their Elite Omegas have an amazing 1,600mg of omega 3s per serving, and also contain a bit of lemon oil inside their softgels, which can take care of any of the fishiness some people may experience from fish oil supplements.

Our Carlson Elite Omega Fish Oil Supplements will be on sale for 20% off for the month of October, so it’s a great time to give them a try!

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Why Certified Organic CBD is So Important- Plus a New Organic CBD Balm

Last year, CBD Oil was something people were just learning about, the hemp extract that has been shown to be so beneficial for pain, anxiety, and so many other issues. Back then CBD seemed to be difficult to find, and people were always excited to find that we carried it in the store.

Now, a year later, it seems that CBD is everywhere and is sold by a hundred (even more than that, truly) different brands. With the recent flood of different CBD products in the market, it’s even more important to be sure that you are choosing a quality brand with certified ingredients. Companies have even gotten caught selling “fake CBD”, here is an article from CBS News where 52 people became sick after buying fake CBD Oil.

With so many CBD products now available, we have remained true to the choice we made in the beginning, to sell only USDA Certified Organic CBD oil in our store, since we believe that having to comply with the USDA Organic Certification is just another level of standards. USDA Organic Certification of CBD products are rare, since it is a stringent and difficult process to comply with their standards, standards we think are especially important when it comes to CBD products.

Hemp is  a bio-accumulator plant that has been found to suck more toxins into its plant fibers than other plants, toxins which are then present in non-organic hemp and CBD products. Lots of brands say that they are organic or have organic ingredients, but in actuality will say nothing about organic on the label. If a product is truly organic, it should be listed on the label, you shouldn’t have to “take someone’s word for it” when it comes to quality or certifications.

The primary brand of CBD we carry is Green Gorilla, which has a variety of concentrations of organic CBD oil. We have also just found another certified organic CBD oil by Barlean’s that we are bringing in this month.

Another reason that Green Gorilla is our favorite CBD oil is that it contains absolutely zero THC, the part of both marijuana and hemp which shows up on a drug test. Legally, CBD products have to be less that .3% THC to be sold in the United States. While .3% isn’t enough to make someone feel “high”, it may be enough to show up on a blood test with regular use, which is why choosing an organic CBD without any level of THC is a good idea.

Green Gorilla as an organic brand also has the most seals and certifications that we have ever seen, their products are not only USDA Certified Organic, but are also independently verified, gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, and have the Good Manufacturing Seal and are also produced in an FDA Registered Facility.

This month we also have a brand new topical organic CBD product that we are excited to share- a new CBD topical balm for pain by Green Gorilla. We’ve had several customers try it with good results. Stop by the store so we can show you our new variety of organic CBD products!


 


 

Q: Why don't you have a store brand?

Q: Why don’t you have a store brand?

A: While who can say what the future holds, the reason we do not currently have our own store brand is that it’s important for us to recommend the very best supplement for a person’s needs, and it’s impossible to find the best products for each category in one brand. Additionally, with new research and advancements, the best product for a specific issue can change. 

For example, for eyes, previously the very best product we had found for eye health was by NOW Foods, their Lutein and Zeaxanthin combination, which contains 25mg of the eye vitamin lutein as well as 5 mg of zeaxanthin (another nutrient crucial for eye health). Just this month, however, the company Jarrow Formulas has come out with an eye formula called Macula Protective Factors, which blows it out of the water, due to the rare form of zeaxanthin it contains that has been shown in scientific research to be much more effective than conventional zeaxanthin supplements (you can read more about the new Macula Protective Factors in the September issue of our newsletter).

Another example would be with curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric), a potent anti-inflammatory supplement. In the past, the best curcumin supplement we had found was Jarrow’s curcumin phytosome, which research found was 29 times better absorbed than regular curcumin. That changed when the company Solgar came out with a new curcumin supplement, a branded extract was able to increase curcumin’s absorption by an incredible 185 times when compared to standard curcumin supplements (a claim confirmed by scientific research).

We make a point to stay on top of new research about supplements and natural health, so we can recommend the most science-based, potent, and effective supplements, whatever the brand. We also offer extensive sales and discounts every day (15% off daily for seniors, college students, and firefighters and police with an ID, as well as 10% off with our “secret word” found in our email newsletter or website) to help make living a healthy lifestyle more affordable.