Posts Tagged ‘digestive health’

Beware of Misleading Nutrition Labels

February 13, 2009

nutritionlabelThere is so much confusion out there about which supplements to take to improve and maintain health that I’ve decided to write a series of posts on how to read and understand nutrition labels. Today, in part one, I’ll be discussing the advantages of pharmaceutical grade supplements, and what the difference is between them and the others, especially for those that suffer with digestive health issues. In today’s economy, it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting what you pay for, and unfortunately, that isn’t always the case when you are purchasing a cheaper brand of supplement or vitamin.

 

What are Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements?

Supplements that say pharmaceutical grade on the nutrition label are 98% pure. This means, for example, if you are trying to improve your digestive health by taking a supplement that contains 50 mg of Magnesium Malate in it, you will get at least 49 mg of the product in its pure form. Not only that, the product will contain virtually no added starches or fillers, which only serve to disrupt your digestion even more. On the other hand, a vitamin that doesn’t say pharmaceutical grade supplement on the label can have a variance of 30%-33%, which means it can claim to have no added starches and fillers but in actuality contain up to 33%. Moreover, this large variance also pertains to the amount of the vitamin or mineral you are taking to supposedly improve your health. So that great deal you thought you got on your vitamins turns out to be a total waste of your money, and even worse, it can actually be doing your body more harm than good.

 

Cheaper, lower grade supplements have a low absorption rate and tax your liver, kidney and endocrine system because they now have to use more energy to filter out the added fillers they contain. On top of that, if you are a person that suffers from poor digestive health, you may find yourself getting bloated and gassy because the cheaper brands, unbeknownst to you, contain products that your body can’t break down. Because these lower grade minerals and vitamins have less of the actual product you thought you were purchasing, they can sell them much cheaper. That’s why you see so many health stores advertising special deals like $6.00 for 60 pills. But these so-called deals are just a big waste of money because you are getting no health benefit from these supplements at all. Pharmaceutical grade supplements may look more expensive at first glance, but when you realize that you are actually getting exactly what the label says, you understand that it is really a much better deal.

 

Another option is supplements that say GMP on the nutrition label. GMP stands for Good Manufacturing Practices, and these minerals and vitamins have a variance of 10%. So they aren’t as good as pharmaceutical grade supplements, but they are much better for your health than the cheaper, lower grade brands. Another example of how misleading nutrition labels can be is Whey Protein Powder. You may buy a protein powder that claims to be 100% whey; but if it doesn’t say pharmaceutical grade or GMP on the label it only means that the whey that is in the container is 100%, not that the container is 100% whey. So, for example, if you bought a two pound container of protein powder that says 100% whey but isn’t pharmaceutical grade, you could actually have 70% of whey in the container while the rest of the 30% is nothing more than fillers, which among other things, can be very disruptive to your digestive health.

 

I know how frustrating it is to try your best to take care of your health, only to find out you are being mislead or confused into thinking something is better for you than it really is. At New Performance Nutrition, we make and sell only pharmaceutical grade supplements, so you can be sure you are getting exactly what you need. Unfortunately, not every nutrition center or health food store can promise you that. So, if you don’t purchase your supplements through us, make sure you read the nutrition label and find ones that specifically say pharmaceutical grade or GMP on them. Your body and your wallet will thank you for it.

 

Make sure to check back next week, when I post part two of this series. Until then, if you have any questions or suggestions on what to add to this series, please add them to our comment section. And if you want to learn more about pharmaceutical grade supplements, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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What are Full Spectrum Probiotics and How Do They Help Improve Digestive Health?

February 5, 2009

I got so much feedback and so many questions regarding digestive health that I decided to write a follow-up to my earlier post titled Bloated and Gassy? How to Improve Your Digestive Health. In fact, “more than 70 million Americans suffer from digestive disorders that interfere with their work and lives,” according to the Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition. But there are ways to combat this annoying, and sometimes painful, problem. One of the best things you can do to help heal damage to your digestive tract is to take a full spectrum probiotic supplement.

Whether you have a chronic problem with digestion, or suffer from its affects on an occassional basis, you know how miserable it feels to live with poor digestive health. Taking a full spectrum probiotic can help heal the damage and alleviate or even eliminate the symptoms that plague you. Becuase they contain a combination of healthy bacteria and yeasts, probiotics help regenerate and repair damage that may have been done to your intestines, and restores the healthy balance of bactieria your body needs to digest and breakdown your food. This is how it’s described in an article by CBS Marketplace, “Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms, including Lactobacillus species, Bifidobaterium species and yeasts, which may beneficially affect the host upon ingestion by improving the balance of intestinal microflora.” So, who should take this supplement and why?

Anybody that has taken a course of antibiotics should absolutely go on a probiotic regimen. This is because along with killing off the bad stuff that’s making you sick, antibiotics destroy the good bacteria your body needs for proper digestive balance. In order to restore your body to optimal digestive health, you need to replace the good bacteria and repair the damage that has been done to your intestinal tract. You also may want to combine this with supplements of L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is essential for the health of the immune system and digestive tract that is very reparative and healing in the gut where it strengthens the mucosal cells and in turn helps leaky gut, sugar cravings and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Another supplement to consider adding is Folic Acid.

According to an article on the Today Show website, “Folic Acid is one of the B vitamins and B vitamins all work together to help our body’s metabolism; They are absolutely essential for the functioning of our nervous system, cardiovascular systems and our digestive tract.” So, you can see that combining these supplements with a course of probiotics is a powerful tool in promoting good digestive health. But you don’t have to have been on antibiotics to benefit or need this type of treatment. Anytime you get sick, or have been put on any type of medication, your body gets thrown out of whack and requires aids like these to restore proper balance to your system. And ladies, you are particularly prone to digestive issues during your cycle. This is because of hormonal fluctuations and a buil-up of blood in the uterus that presses on your colon. That’s why you may experience constipation during that time of the month. The good news is that probiotics are ok to take on a continuous basis

Poor digestive health is no fun, especially when it comes with painful constipation, gas, bloating and/or diarrhea. But you don’t have to let it interfere with your daily life. Taking a full spectrum priobiotic, and combining it with powerful supplements like L-Glutamine and Folic Acid can help ease the pain. I would like to hear what you have to say about this; what have you done to improve your digestive heatlh? Have you ever taken a full spectrum probiotic, and if so, did you find it helpful? Please leave your comments, suggestions or questions, and let’s continue the conversation.

If you would like more information about full spectrum probiotics and/or digestive health, please visit us at www.newpfc.com

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