Friday, October 31, 2014

7 Facts about trans-Resveratrol

7 Facts about trans-Resveratrol

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

7 Facts about trans-Resveratrol

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 08:00 AM PDT


Propelled to fame as a result of a multitude of studies investigating the phytochemical properties of plant materials, resveratrol more than lives up to its reputation. This very unique antioxidant has been called a fountain of youth for its effectiveness against a variety of age-related diseases. In this post, we're going to explore 7 reasons why you should get it regularly from your diet.

1. What Is It?

Resveratrol is a phenolic compound, a stilbene, created by plants in response to injury, infection, and fungal attack. It exists in two forms, the trans- and cis- molecule forms, with trans-resveratrol being the highly-absorbable form. The compound is regarded as having powerful antioxidant effects, thereby supporting health at the cellular level.

2. Unique Antioxidant

Unlike other antioxidants, resveratrol crosses the blood-brain barrier, offering support for the brain and nervous system. This allows for positive, direct support for neural health. A recent placebo-controlled study of 23 older adults observed significant improvements in memory among participants taking resveratrol, with the additional benefit of improved glucose metabolism. [1]

3. Mimics Caloric Restriction

Reducing calories by 30% supports health and longevity by stimulating low-level biological stressors. Resveratrol stimulates the creation of adiponectin, the same hormone observed to increase in individuals practicing caloric restriction. [2] This hormone promotes metabolic and cardiovascular health through weight loss, lipid metabolism, and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Although the long-term effects of caloric restriction in humans continues to be evaluated, it has shown to advance longevity by 40% or more in some species.

4. Suppresses Inflammation

Numerous studies have noted resveratrol's ability to reduce oxidative stress from free radical damage. One 2011 placebo-controlled study evaluated the response of 20 human volunteers (10 in each group) to resveratrol and placebo over 6 weeks of treatment. Those in the test group enjoyed reduced oxidative stress and lower levels of inflammation commonly associated with numerous age-related diseases. [3]

5. Increases Testosterone Levels in Men

Research indicates resveratrol positively affects fertility and reproductive function in men. One study using animal models reported increased blood testosterone levels in supplemented groups. [4] While this is good news for men of reproductive age, older men could possibly benefit as well. Testosterone strengthens bones, increases muscle mass, and encourages a positive outlook in men.

6. Positive Effects on Estrogen Levels

Women who consume resveratrol appear to enjoy their own benefits. A study of 34 postmenopausal women taking 1 gram of resveratrol daily for 12 weeks reported improvements in estrogen metabolism and an increase of SHBG (steroid hormone binding globulin). [5] SHBG enables the body to make better use of the availability of sex hormones already present. In essence, this study suggests resveratrol may support hormone balance.

7. Sources of Resveratrol

Major dietary sources include red wine, chocolate, grapes, and peanuts. Unfortunately, only 25% of resveratrol from dietary sources is bioavailable due to its quick metabolizing rate. [6] Supplements may offer more concentrated values, making a greater amount of this anti-aging antioxidant available to cells.

What are your thoughts on resveratrol? Do you take antioxidant supplements? Please let us know your opinions in the comments!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Witte AV1, Kerti L2, Margulies DS3, Flel A4. Effects of resveratrol on memory performance, hippocampal functional connectivity, and glucose metabolism in healthy older adults. J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 4;34(23):7862-70. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0385-14.2014.
  2. Renes J1, Rosenow A2, Roumans N2, Noben JP3, Mariman EC2. Calorie restriction-induced changes in the secretome of human adipocytes, comparison with resveratrol-induced secretome effects. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Sep;1844(9):1511-22. doi: 10.1016/j.bbapap.2014.04.023.
  3. Ghanim H1, Sia CL, Abuaysheh S, et al. An antiinflammatory and reactive oxygen species suppressive effects of an extract of Polygonum cuspidatum containing resveratrol. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2010 Sep;95(9):E1-8. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-0482.
  4. Sunhee Shin, Jeong Hee Jeon, Dongsun Park, et al. Trans-resveratrol relaxes the corpus cavernosum ex vivo and enhances testosterone levels and sperm quality in vivo. January 2008, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 83-87, 26 Mar 2008.
  5. Chow HH1, Garland LL, Heckman-Stoddard BM, et al. A pilot clinical study of resveratrol in postmenopausal women with high body mass index: effects on systemic sex steroid hormones. J Transl Med. 2014 Aug 14;12:223. doi: 10.1186/s12967-014-0223-0.
  6. Wenzel E1, Somoza V. Metabolism and bioavailability of trans-resveratrol. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 May;49(5):472-81.

The post 7 Facts about trans-Resveratrol appeared first on Dr. Group's Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tips for an Eek-O Friendly Halloween

Posted: 30 Oct 2014 04:57 AM PDT

A green Halloween? Yes, it can be done.  As you've probably figured out from walking into any store this October, Halloween has become a bit of a nightmare for the environment.  These days anything short of an entire yard transformed into a lit-up plastic graveyard or petro-chemical-based spider hatchery has come to be considered un-festive.

And here's a spooky Halloween fact: Last year alone more than 40 million kids went trick-or-treating. All that adds up to a huge amount of consumerism and waste with ghoulish impacts on our environment and wild lands.

That said, I love Halloween and I sure don't want to be the neighborhood curmudgeon who shuts herself in and turns off the lights on Halloween night. So I think I'll balance my guilt by having myself a green Halloween. I invite you to join me in any way you can.

Here are ten ideas for making your own green Halloween:

1. Green Halloween Costumes: Leave the toxic Halloween costumes on the rack: Halloween costumes are supposed to be fun-scary, not scary-scary. Yet, store-bought costumes are often made up of nonrecyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers. Those Halloween costumes can include one of the scariest plastics--polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a soft plastic and known carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown. Avoid these toxic Halloween costumes and go for a green Halloween costume made of natural fabrics and materials.

2. Know what's in your Halloween face paint: In their 2009 Pretty Scary report, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent ten kid's make-up sets to a lab and found that all ten contained lead, which can lead to neurological damages in children, as well as nickel, cobalt and chromium. Six out of ten contained cobalt and/or chromium at levels far exceeding safety standards. These metals are not listed on product labels. Look for organic, non-toxic face paints that comply with standards set by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics or try these homemade recipes for your green Halloween face paint:
3. Concoct your own fake blood: Similar to face paint, fake blood can contain stuff that's not so nice to mother nature. Try making your own fake blood from natural products.

4. Shop the ultimate green Halloween markets: Last year alone 41.2 million kids went trick-or-treating, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That's a lot of Halloween costumes, not to mention the packaging they come in. Decrease the waste and have some fun sorting through costume selections at local thrift shops. These places have clearly beefed up their Halloween selections over the years, offering an inspiring selection of used costumes and period pieces these days.

5. Hold a green Halloween costume swap: Arrange a Halloween costume swap at your school, church or community center, or do it in your neighborhood.

6. Select not-so-scary Trick-or-treat bags: Avoid the ubiquitous bright orange plastic jack-o-lanterns that have no chance at ever breaking down in a landfill. Instead use reusable shopping bags, canvas totes or the ole pillowcase trick. A funky thriftshop handbag can add a fun twist to a green Halloween costume as well.

7. Choose green Halloween treats with less packaging: Decrease candy packgaging waste by buying in bulk and selecting Halloween candy that uses the least packaging. Candies that come in individual boxes have a chance at getting recycled, whereas those that come in plastic don't. Other waste-less ideas include pencils made from recycled money, small coins or recyclable items that will find a useful place in a kid's life--as opposed to a home at the bottom of the garbage bin.  One of our staff members reports of a neighbor who hands out books every year. Not a bad idea if you live in a neighborhood with light Halloween traffic.

8. Give organic Halloween candy: Yes, it's a bit pricier but certainly less scarier for the environment. Organic means less environmental damage during production and transportion, as well as healthier ingredients:
  • Endangered species chocolate gives ten percent of net profits to fund endangered species and conservation products. 
  • Yummy Earth certified organic sells individually wrapped lollipops that can be purchased at Wholefoods, Toys R Us, Vitamin Cottage, Sprouts and others.
 9. Green up your Halloween Pumpkins: Buy organic. Save seeds for roasting with a little oil and light salt. Save the pulp for pies, muffins, soup and other recipes. Yum! Compost your pumpkins so they don't add to the landfill where they will produce methane gas, a dangerous greenhouse gas.

10. Make your own green Halloween decorations. Halloween is the second biggest decorating holiday of the year, and so many of the decorations being peddled are made of non-recyclable plastics. If you do buy new items, at least choose durable non-petroleum based items that will last for many years. Otherwise, make a dent in the waste by creating your own homemade decorations with recycled household items.

A few green Halloween decorating ideas:

  • Giant Spider: Use black trash bags for a giant tarantula (stuff with garden leaves--or newspapers but be sure to recycle the newspapers and trash bags when you're done). How to here.
  • Ghosts: Stuff old bed sheets with leaves or newspaper, tie with a string to form a head and hang  from trees.
  • Spiderwebs: Make with shredded black pantyhose or cotton balls, instead of the sythetic messy ones from the store. If you're extra crafty, and want a dramatic look, weave a web of yarn near your entryway. Just select organic cotton or other eco-friendly yarns: Yarn web instructions.
  • Eco-friendly Halloween craft ideas
  • Halloween craft ideas from recycled items: To make these extra eco-friendly, choose non-toxic paints with low or no VOCs and other kid and earth friendly craft supplies.
  • Plastic pumpkin makeovers: If you've already got plastic Halloween trick-or-treat pumpkins from yesteryear, the ones the kids have outgrown, but that are too faded or cracked to donate, don't throw them away. Those pumpkins can be given new life. Just be sure to use non-toxic eco-friendly paint and second-hand props for these ideas Check out these ideas.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ending the confusion, once and for all.

I find it disturbing that there are people who are working really hard to prevent the truth about this industry from getting out. I personally like to know what I am eating. That is why I spend so much time researching the facts about our food system and why I have dedicated my life to sharing the information I uncover with you.

Read the latest here.

I know many of you are buying these products (billions of gallons are sold every year), and feel it is crucial for you to know this information I am sharing with you today. After you read this new post, you'll hopefully bookmark it to share over and over again when someone asks you why you make the food choices you do. And if you aren't already making this choice, I hope this post inspires you to start making better decisions at the grocery store, at restaurants and with your family.

If the truth gets out, no one can stop us. We are too powerful together. Thank you for standing with me.

Read the brand new post now.










P.O. Box 31521 Charlotte, NC 28231

If you would like to stop receiving free food investigations, recipes and healthy living tips, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

For Friday.

Last weekend, I was sitting around minding my own business reading the Sunday newspaper and couldn't help but notice all the advertisements marketing the worst kind of treats to celebrate Halloween on Friday. I opened one ad for a major store and there wasn't one item I would consider putting in my mouth. Not one!

So instead of festering in my anger, I thought I would share with you a compilation of posts that I have written throughout the years that will make this upcoming holiday more enjoyable and healthy – while avoiding toxic ingredients!

I vote with my dollars every single day, and I hope you will too and join me in not supporting the companies that continue to sell us controversial chemicals, GMOs and other additives like artificial food dyes.

For candy swaps to popular junk brands check this post:

For some other ideas that are not candy, consider handing out:

  • Organic Granola Bars
  • Organic raisins
  • Small Tangerines
  • Glow Sticks
  • Stickers
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Hot Cocoa Mix 

For party snacks to enjoy while the trick or treaters come by, check out the recipes below:

Hope you enjoy checking out these links. Tomorrow I've got a new post for you! One that I hope you'll refer to, use and share over and over again! It's going to be good.




P.O. Box 31521 Charlotte, NC 28231

If you would like to stop receiving free food investigations, recipes and healthy living tips, click here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Natural Moisturizers for Winter Skin Care

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:42 PM PDT

Keep your skin glowing through the dry winter days. Try these natural moisturizers for winter skin care.

Plant-derived oils and naturally sourced fats and ingredients are better for your skin and body than chemical preservatives and stabilizers. Along with the rest of nature, our skin changes as the seasons turn. With winter comes low humidity, which strips skin of its natural moisture, leaving it dry and more susceptible to damage. To protect your skin from the cold, turn to natural moisturizers with healing natural ingredients.

Four Homemade Moisturizers

Moisturizing Basics for Winter Skin Care

When choosing a commercial moisturizer, your first consideration should be your skin type. For oily skin, use a light moisturizer; for normal to oily skin, use a moisturizing lotion; and for dry skin, use a moisturizing cream.

Next, analyze a product's ingredient list: Nearly every moisturizer contains some combination of emollients, humectants, emulsifiers, "active ingredients" and penetration enhancers.

Emollients, such as phospholipids and lecithin, soften, heal and hydrate. Plant oils such as olive, castor, jojoba and coconut make great emollients because they mimic the soothing oils our own skin produces.

Humectants attract moisture to the skin. Look for moisturizers made with glycerin and sorbitol derived from natural sources. (To find out if the ingredients are from natural sources, consult the ingredients list or peruse the company's website.)

Emulsifiers are used to keep the ingredients in a moisturizer from separating. Lanolin is an excellent natural emulsifier. Similar to the natural oil in human skin, lanolin, commonly called wool fat, is a fatty substance naturally produced in sheepskin. It coats wool, acting as a protective agent against cold and dampness, and is extracted from shorn wool by centrifugal separators. This cream, which can be found at any health-food store, is typically used in moisturizers as a water-absorbing emulsifier.

A product's "active ingredients" are usually responsible for providing its advertised effects, such as soothing, treating blemishes or preventing signs of aging. For example, zinc oxide is a natural active ingredient that protects against sun damage. Be careful when choosing skin products purported to remove wrinkles, blemishes or dark spots: These often contain harsh chemicals. To find out more about natural active ingredients, see "The Best Active Ingredients in Moisturizers" further in this article.

Penetration enhancers help a product's active ingredients absorb into the skin. Look for moisturizers with natural penetration enhancers such as essential oils (menthol or chamomile are common), vegetable squalene, linoleic acid and oleic acid rather than synthetic penetration enhancers such as propylene glycol and tetrasodium EDTA.

Avoid poor-quality ingredients such as mineral oils, harsh chemicals, and artificial colors and fragrances. Harsh chemicals such as parabens, formaldehyde and propylene glycol are often used to give moisturizers a longer shelf life and help them absorb into the skin, but they can have side effects ranging from skin irritation to potential reproductive disorders. You can find effective, safe natural moisturizers or make your own simple, inexpensive moisturizer using this Homemade Moisturizer Recipe. For more information on ingredients in personal-care products to avoid and extensive listings of safer options, read Come Clean: Natural Alternatives to Chemical-Laden Personal-Care Products.

5 Moisturizer Ingredients to Avoid

  • Formaldehyde: A human carcinogen; watch for ingredients dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, and 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1, 3-diol or bronopol
  • Fragrance: Usually contains phthalates, linked to hormone disruption, possible birth defects, infertility and breast cancer
  • Parabens: May cause reproductive disorders and has been detected in breast cancer tissue; watch for any ingredient ending in -paraben
  • Propylene glycol: May cause hives, allergic reactions and other skin irritation in concentrations as low as 2 percent; synonyms include PPG, 1,2-dihydroxypropane, 2-hydroxypropanol, methylethyl glycol, 1,2-propanediol, and propane-1,2-diol
  • Retinyl palmitate and retinol (vitamin A): Rich in antioxidants and anti-aging properties; may also speed up the development of cancerous skin tumors when exposed to the sun; excessive amounts may be toxic to a developing fetus if pregnant women are exposed

The Best Active Ingredients in Moisturizers

  • Anti-aging: Boswellia serrata, CoQ10
  • Antibacterial and antifungal: Tea tree oil
  • Anti-irritants: Comfrey leaf and root, Aloe vera, licorice root, marshmallow root, chamomile, white willow bark, vitamin C
  • Soothing: Aloe vera, licorice root, green tea, chamomile extract
  • Sun protection: Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide

Top 5 Best Organic Foods for Weight Loss

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:42 PM PDT

Many Americans struggle with maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. Many of them have even tried multiple diets and lifestyle changes only to become frustrated with their weight and give up. Eating certain organic foods can actually help you lose weight.

Here are some organic foods that can help with weight loss and dieting.

Free-Range Eggs: Eggs often get a bad reputation because many people fear the cholesterol is too high. Thanks for recent research, eggs actually are a great way to start your day, especially if the eggs are free-range eggs. Eating eggs instead of a bagel in the morning leads to fewer calories consumed throughout the next 36 hours according to a recent study. With free-range eggs, more good fats like omega-3 fatty acids are consumed. Omega-3 fatty acids may help fight heart disease and Alzheimer's disease.

Organic Apples: Eating an apple every day really can help you lose weight. That's because those who ate an apple before a pasta meal consumed less than those who chose another snack, according to a study. Also the antioxidants in apples may also prevent a condition called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is what many overweight Americans suffer for -- it gives them that "apple-looking" shape in their belly. So, eat apples to prevent looking like an apple in your belly.

Blueberries: Thanks to the antioxidants and rich in fiber content, blueberries are a great choice for a morning or afternoon snack.

Yogurt: Dieticians typically recommend yogurt to those on a diet because of its benefits. There are good carbs, protein and fats in a serving of yogurt. Thanks to yogurt dieters often find themselves satisfied and not craving snacks after eating it.

Green Tea: Even though it's not a food, green tea is a great option for refreshment. Even if you don't change your diet at all, studies have shown that green tea drinkers still lose more weight than people who don't drink it. There's also the natural energy that green tea gives you and this helps with a faster metabolism.

Other Helpers: Almonds are a great snack that can reduce hunger and it may even reduce the risk of heart disease. Try adding almonds to your daily snack or quick lunch. Also, try adding more beans and lentils to your diet.

10 Trends Shifting The Way Products Are Being Made

Posted: 27 Oct 2014 03:42 PM PDT

New Hope 360 sat down with market watchers Liz Sloane, Steve French and Doug Kalman, and toured the show floor at SupplySide West in Las Vegas in October, and came away with new insights into consumer demands that savvy companies can use to help direct their new product development efforts.

The "Free-From" Movement Marches On

The "free-from" movement has legs. What was once fat-free or sugar-free has grown to a movement of exclusion diets against unhealthy food ingredients. Lactose. Nuts. Soy. Meat. Market watcher Liz Sloane, at the SupplySide West trade show in Las Vegas Oct. 7, said free-from sales are pegged at $2.6 billion in the U.S. alone (gluten-free comprises 62 percent of that, with the millennials market making up the largest demographic segment), growing at 14 percent a year. What's more, almost one-third of all consumers have tried some specialized diet or eating approach in the last year, she said.

How Big is Gluten-Free Really?

On gluten-free, Sloane said market estimates regarding the size of the market are all over the map, from Euromonitor pegging it at $486 million in 2013, and Nielsen saying it's a $23 billion market. Regardless of the raw numbers, both Nielsen and Mintel (which says it's a middle-ground $10.6 billion market) peg growth at about 16 percent a year. "But half of consumers who bought a gluten-free food or beverage did not know it was gluten-free," said Sloane. "How do we really assess how big it is and how many people really intend on buying these products? It's one of the most frustrating markets I've ever seen." That frustration has birthed bearishness, and Sloane said the market is due for a flattening.

Will GMO Labeling Win at the Ballot Box?

In the last year, Gallup and other survey firms have inquired about the GMO issue. They found that about half of all consumers are aware of it. "And they want it labeled," said Sloane. "Moms are instrumental in driving this." The number of consumers indicating they would be less likely to purchase a food product if it was labeled that it contained GMOs rose from 63 percent in 2012 to 69 percent in 2013, said French, and almost one-third of consumers say they would stop buying a brand if they learned it has GMOs. That translates to significant volume declines for manufacturers – which is the big reason most mainstream brands oppose labeling. Voters will have the opportunity to weigh in on GMO labeling in the states of Colorado and Oregon come Nov. 4. It remains to be seen whether the alleged consumer desire to label it will change to don't label it after all after consumers face the barrage of biotech-supported ads telling them their food prices will go up and their local farmers will suffer. We'll get back to you on that after election day.

Organic = Best of the Best

The flip side of GMOs is organic. Look at it this way: GMOs represent the worst ingredient out there. Organics represent the best. So companies that label that they are GMO-free are essentially saying we don't have the worst. But organics by definition contain no GMOs, and there is also a passel of other regulations around it vouchsafing the integrity of the entire production process around organic beyond just avoid the worst. According to 2014 unpublished data from the Hartman Group, about three-quarters of all consumers use organic, a number that is unchanged from the year prior. "Millennials and their parents have really upped their interest," said Sloane. "Every organic category is up – dairy, breads, meats, snacks, condiments – with the exception of beverages, which is only stable at 7 percent growth."

Transparency & Traceability

The four previous slides represent ethics that are all based on amped consumer sensitivity toward all things that are in the products they consume. In a word, transparency. "It used to be consumers accepted what was in a product. Now they want to know about what's inside," said Steve French, managing partner and owner of market watcher Natural Marketing Institute. "They want to know what's inside, whether your particular product is safe and effective, and where it's from. You get into the issue of GMOs." Across generations, nearly seven in 10 consumers are reading labels. "This notion of transparency lends itself to the clean-label trend, which is a macro shift across many industries. Marketing loves this. R&D hates it."

At the core of this transparency of ingredients trend is clean, minimally processed, with the finished ingredient name one that are easily read and more or less understood. What are consumers checking most? French broke it down to negative and positive items. Atop the negative list are calories, sugar, sodium and total fat. The second tier bad guys are trans fat, saturated fat, high fructose corn syrup. Only after eliminating the negative to consumers then look to the positive: fiber, protein, whole grains, vitamins, omega-3s, protein, probiotics, superfruits. The fastest-growing concerns are the big eight allergens: wheat, soy, shellfish, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, milk.

It's also broken down by age bracket, with boomers and matures looking at the content of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, sweetener type, carbohydrates, trans fats and saturated fats, while the millennials tend to look for organic ingredients, vitamins and protein. "The closer you can get to Mother Nature, the better," concluded French.

ADHD - Can Supplements Help?

Mothers are also driving the continued concern about their children's mental and intellectual development and concentration in schools. We're talking ADHD here - can supplements help? So they're looking at both the negative and positive in ingredients. "Moms are making a strong effort to have no artificial flavors or colors (in what they buy for their children)," said Sloane. "They're also looking for supplements like DHA to help with symptoms."

For years, mothers (and others) have been looking for supplemental solutions to their children's ADHD issues. While no silver bullet currently exists, research carries on. It has succeeded in identifying various lipids as well as botanicals that can help with a range of cognitive issues – not solving them but potentially ameliorating certain symptoms.

Millennials (Finally) Dig Healthy Ingredients

The big news in healthy ingredients is millennials. That age group, born between roughly 1980 and 2000, seems to be finally coming around to the natural products industry. "Five years ago I would have said millennials have not adopted health and wellness. We've just started to see this," said French.
  • Protein: Two of every five consumers are increasing the amount of protein in their diet, whether it's to help increase energy, maintain muscle mass and strength or to help them manage their weight. "Consumers understand the benefits," said French. "Consumers don't buy the ingredient – protein – but the benefit, which is three-fold: energy, muscle, weight."
  • Omega-3s: Sure, an estimated 12 million consumers left the category in the last two years – the misguided concern about prostate health and questions about cardio veracity wiped out large swaths of the over-50 male, and young women stopped hearing the drumbeat about omega-3 benefits. But is it a stall, or are we primed for a rebuild? The national rollout of a PR campaign extolling the "always a good idea" benefits of omega-3s begins in 2015, and we expect to see momentum moving back toward consumers re-embracing the many different forms of omega-3 DHA and EPA.
  • Probiotics: The market continues to grow. It was an estimated $28 billion global market in 2011, said French, and estimated to grow at 6.8% CAGR to an estimated $45 billion by 2018. While regulatory bodies to date have strived to keep claims only to digestive health, the tsunami of research on other areas of health and wellness will work to expand official approvals – contingent on science (read: dosage) related to specific strains aligning with marketing on finished products.


Not so very long ago, the only people looking for a boost in sports performance were serious athletes and bodybuilders. But that's all changed now as performance has turned on office slobs and energy has become mainstream. "The whole notion of energy has transformed over the last decade," said French. "Just one huge example is the energy shot in the convenience store. Now when you ask consumers what they're most concerned about as they age, it's energy. Energy to do the things I want to do."

Fitness & The Female Market

Sports nutrition is a $5 billion annual consumer spend. Which sounds like a rich opportunity, until you consider the "fitness nutrition" world. This comprises such non-Olympic sports as using weight machines, stretching, fishing, biking, running, walking, treadmill. Heck, it even includes bowling and billiards. In fact, a person engaged in so-called fitness nutrition even has an official definition – if you are "active" for at least 151 days a year. These people – pretty much everyone this side of couch potatoes – represents a $70 billion/year market. Yeah, baby! Fitness aficionados want protein. They eat nutrition bars – and women consume more than 15 million nutrition bars every year, compared to 12.4 million men. Talk about a major opportunity to start developing nutrition products geared especially for women! Doug Kalman, Ph.D., research director at Miami Research Associates, likes a branded ingredient called KoAct – a unique combination of calcium and collagen that, research shows, increases bone mineral density in a way that is superior to either alone. "To me this makes KoAct an unbelievable ingredient that is not known enough in the market," said Kalman. "Fifty-five percent of the bar market is females. I see a great opportunity there, not only using protein but with bone-building health."

Custom Supplement Formats

The biggest increase in supplements intake between 2009 and 2013 is among younger consumers, said French, who have discovered that they have to take care of themselves. "They have actually increased their pill intake by one full type of product. It went from half of millennials who had taken a supplement in the last 30 days. Now it's almost seven in 10. That's a huge increase."

 Of note, these younger consumers want their supplements available in forms other than pills. Polls showed that in 2009, about 30 percent of millennials wanted supplements available in a form other than pills. By 2013, that had risen to fully 50 percent. Related, when asked if they would like it available in "liquid capsules," what was 26 percent in 2009 grew to 46 percent by 2013. That spells opportunity for marketers and manufacturers looking to target this large demographic group. One lesson here is that one size doesn't fit all. "Don't think you can develop a product relevant for the entire population," said French.

Digestive and Systemic Enzymes: 7 Things to Know

Digestive and Systemic Enzymes: 7 Things to Know

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Digestive and Systemic Enzymes: 7 Things to Know

Posted: 26 Oct 2014 08:00 AM PDT


The thousands of metabolic processes needed for life depend on enzymes. Enzymes are essential for digesting food, initiating cellular activity, and breaking down and removing toxins. Inadequate enzyme levels result in organ dysfunction, chronic illness, and disease. In today's world, enzyme deficiency is becoming more commonplace. Fortunately, protecting against enzyme deficiency is simple. Here are 7 facts you need to know about these two essential front-line enzymes.

What Are Digestive Enzymes?

Aptly named, digestive enzymes aid the digestive process. Naturally produced and released by the body along the upper gastrointestinal tract, digestive enzymes break down food so the body can absorb nutrients into the bloodstream. Specific enzymes break down specific foods: lipase for fat, protease for protein, amylase for carbs, lactase for sugar, and cellulose for fiber.

What Are Systemic Enzymes?

Rather than working strictly in the digestive tract, systemic enzymes work throughout the body to support immune health, breakdown fibrin in the blood stream, remove toxins, reduce blood clots, and neutralize allergens. This allows cells to regenerate faster and gears other bodily processes toward quicker recovery time. Systemic enzymes are also called proteolytic enzymes.

What Are the Best Natural Sources?

While the human body creates digestive and systemic enzymes like trypsin and chymotrypsin, the modern diet overloads the system with nondigestible foods, toxins, and harmful organisms. Two enzymes–papain and bromelain–occur naturally in papaya and pineapple and are two well-known digestive aids. Raw foods (organic, uncooked) naturally provide digestive and systemic enzymes which activate in the acidic environment of the stomach.

Are Enzyme Supplements Needed?

The pancreas naturally creates enzymes; however, when dealing with increased toxin loads and processed foods the body can easily get overwhelmed. While natural, raw foods supply enzymes, processed, refined, and over-cooked foods don't. Cooked and processed foods are robbed of their enzymes during processing. Simply put, the modern diet does not provide enough enzymes to aid digestion and immune activity.

What Are the Symptoms of Poor Enzyme Levels?

Inadequate digestive enzyme levels lead to food rotting in the intestines. This can create bloating, indigestion, gas, and abdominal discomfort. A lack of systemic enzymes also allows waste to buildup throughout the bloodstream and lymph system, stressing the immune system's ability to keep up.

How Do They Reduce Inflammation?

Many people use systemic enzymes rather than NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to treat pain and inflammation. These enzymes actually target harmful circulating immune complexes (called CICs) while leaving the good immune cells active.

Systemic enzymes specifically appear to target the causes of inflammation throughout the body. While it's a natural response to injury, excessive inflammation can slow the healing process. Studies have looked at the effect of proteolytic enzymes on rheumatic arthritis, a chronic autoimmune disorder which causes inflammation in the joints. The results of all of them suggest supplementing with proteolytic enzymes as these enzymes reduce swelling and provide analgesic effects. [1]

Are There Additional Benefits to Enzyme Supplementation?

Another study found proteolytic enzymes supported immune health following radiation and chemotherapy. Some studies even suggest the enzymes remove unwanted cells, slowing tumor growth. [2] Other health benefits include eliminating bacteria, viruses and fungi, dissolving scar tissue, cleansing the blood, improving circulation, reducing pain and bruising, supporting heart health, and lowering blood pressure. Digestive enzymes support digestion and natural bowel flora, increasing nutrient availability from foods. These also reduce the chances of food irritants entering the bloodstream.

A Final Thought

These days, the human body is having a challenging time keeping up with the toxic, processed-food overload. The simplest approach for many common conditions is to supplement with a systemic and digestive enzyme blend. This will encourage digestion and promote cardiovascular, immune, and metabolic health. When the body's core systems work well, aging slows too, offering yet another incredible benefit.

Tried digestive and systemic enzymes? Share your story with us!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Leipner J1, Iten F, Saller R. Therapy with proteolytic enzymes in rheumatic disorders. BioDrugs. 2001;15(12):779-89.
  2. Leipner J1, Saller R. Systemic enzyme therapy in oncology: effect and mode of action. Drugs. 2000 Apr;59(4):769-80.

The post Digestive and Systemic Enzymes: 7 Things to Know appeared first on Dr. Group's Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pomegranate’s Incredible Health Benefits: 5 Facts

Pomegranate’s Incredible Health Benefits: 5 Facts

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Pomegranate’s Incredible Health Benefits: 5 Facts

Posted: 24 Oct 2014 08:00 AM PDT


Pomegranate has become very popular among health-conscious foodists thanks in part to emerging research showing its powerful antioxidant content and high nutritional values. The fruit is rich in vitamin C (a natural antioxidant), magnesium, potassium, and copper. As research continues to discover more and more benefits, it appears that pomegranate's place in nutrition and healthy-eating circles is here to stay. Here are 5 facts you should know about pomegranate and how it supports your health.

1. Pomegranates Supply Two Powerful Antioxidants

Pomegranates contain anthocyanins, flavonoids that give pomegranates their deep and intense red color. Punicalagins, a potent and versatile antioxidant, is responsible for pomegranate’s main antioxidant activity. In addition to the fruit’s antioxidant effects, anthocyanins appear to provide analgesic effects. Studies indicate punicalagins may possess cytotoxic properties in addition to their antioxidant activity. [1]

2. Promotes Health at the Cellular Level

Studies report those who eat pomegranate or supplement with the extract have lower levels of 8-Oxo-DG, a biochemical released by DNA oxidation. Individuals with high levels of this biomarker often suffer from muscle weakness, decreased liver function, skin aging, and reduced brain function. The lower the levels of 8-Oxo-DG, the healthier the cells.

3. Supports Cardiovascular Healing

Punicalagins seem to affect the heart and vascular system directly. One study had 10 participants drink one ounce of pomegranate juice each day for a year. At the end of that year, the participant's blood pressure lowered by 12% and atherosclerotic plaque levels reduced by 30%. [2] It also appears to inhibit LDL cholesterol from clumping, thereby reducing potential damage and lowering cholesterol levels. [3]

4. Prevents AGE Damage

Advanced Glycation End Products, or AGEs, play a role on the onset of diseases such as type-II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. As appropriate by the products' acronym, AGEs also contribute to aging. Studies suggest pomegranate offers a natural means for fighting these diseases. In addition to scavenging for free radicals, punicalagin appears to target these specific AGEs. [4]

5. Mood Support

Research suggests pomegranate does more than just work at the cellular level; in fact, some research is showing that the fruit may aid mental and emotional health. In a study involving both men and women, pomegranate juice improved outlook and mood, as well as response to anxiety. [5]

How to Add Pomegranate to Your Diet

The seeds of the pomegranate make a nutritious snack, while pomegranate juice offers easier access to the antioxidants and nutrients, minus the fiber. Pomegranate extract used in many supplements provides potent, concentrated antioxidants, and are often combined with other health-promoting herbs.

Do you drink pomegranate juice? Why, or why not? Please let us know how it makes you feel!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Kulkarni AP1, Mahal HS, Kapoor S, Aradhya SM. In vitro studies on the binding, antioxidant, and cytotoxic actions of punicalagin. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Feb 21;55(4):1491-500.
  2. Aviram M1, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr. 2004 Jun;23(3):423-33.
  3. Aviram M1, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5):1062-76.
  4. Liu W1, Ma H, Frost L, Yuan T, Dain JA, Seeram NP. Pomegranate phenolics inhibit formation of advanced glycation endproducts by scavenging reactive carbonyl species. Food Funct. 2014 Sep 18.
  5. Emad Al-Dujaili & Nacer Smail. Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 28 P313.

The post Pomegranate’s Incredible Health Benefits: 5 Facts appeared first on Dr. Group's Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.