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Articles from 2012 In September


NBJ

NBJ Education Award Winner Dr. Jeffrey Bland

Dr. Jeffrey Bland's long and illustrious career began with, and continues to center around, education. He was the first member of the Board of Trustees of Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington—the first federally funded accredited university in the United States offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in natural medicine. He contributed significantly to both its founding as well as its accreditation. Shortly after that, in 1981, he was invited to be the Director of Nutritional Supplement Analysis at the Linus Pauling Institute in Palo Alto, California.

Dr. Bland founded the Natural Products Quality Assurance Alliance, and served as the Chief Science Officer of Metagenics from 2000 to 2012. It was announced the first week in October that Dr. Bland will now head a new organization, The Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute, a 501(c)(3) focused on promoting the importance of personalized lifestyle medicine as the safest and most effective approach to the management of early stages of chronic illness.

In this interview at the 2012 NBJ Summit, Dr. Bland talks about his commitment to education and to better health through better knowledge.

 

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Delicious Living

Natural ways to regulate your menstrual cycle

Natural ways to regulate your menstrual cycle

Forget what the school nurse told you back in fifth grade—hardly anyone has a menstrual cycle that lasts exactly 28 days. There’s wide variation among women, says Marcelle Pick, an ob-gyn nurse practitioner and cofounder of the Yarmouth, Maine-based Women to Women holistic health program. What’s important is when your normal shifts. Even then, an occasional irregular cycle is nothing to worry about, she says.

But hormonal shifts that produce significant and frequent cycle disruption are signals to pay closer attention. “Healthy menstruation is an indication of a healthy state of mind and a healthy body,” says Bobby Clennell, author of The Woman’s Yoga Book (Rodmell, 2007).

Balance is key, says Alicia Stanton, MD, an integrative physician and coauthor of Hormone Harmony (Healthy Life Library, 2009). At the beginning of your cycle, estrogen helps the egg develop; the ovulated egg then forms the corpus luteum cyst, which makes progesterone. Estrogen helps thicken the uterine lining; progesterone stops growth and stabilizes the lining for embryo implantation, she explains. If you don’t get pregnant, progesterone declines sharply and the lining sloughs off during the next few days. Or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. When it doesn’t, a few common causes are prime suspects.

Symptom: Heavy, frequent bleeding.

If your period suddenly starts coming more frequently for a few cycles in a row (say, every 20 days instead of your usual 28), or lasting longer (say, six days instead of three), or brings abnormally heavy bleeding that prevents you from doing your usual activities, it’s often a sign that your body is not producing enough progesterone to balance estrogen, Stanton says. So the lining keeps thickening until it breaks off and repeatedly sheds in fragmented pieces, she explains.

Common culprits

  1. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). About 1 in 15 women has PCOS, a hormone-imbalance condition associated with insulin resistance. In PCOS, egg follicles form but they don’t release, leading to insufficient progesterone and sometimes heavy bleeding, Stanton explains. Even if you don’t have PCOS or insulin resistance, it’s important to shed excess weight. “Women who have a lot of belly fat have a lot of estrogen,” she says.
  2. Perimenopause. The earliest menopause signs—including hormone imbalance and failure to ovulate—can start in your late 30s and lead to heavy bleeding, says Pick. Chronic stress worsens the imbalance, because the adrenal glands direct cortisol production toward stress response instead of using cortisol as a building block for progesterone.
  3. A health condition or infection. Structural problems, such as endometriosis, uterine polyps and fibroids; low thyroid function; prolonged antibiotic use; and even infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to irregular, heavier periods.

Restore balance

  1. Reduce body fat through diet and exercise.
  2. Manage stress. Try meditation or a gratitude journal. “You can’t feel gratitude and stress at the same time,” Stanton says.
  3. Consider vitex or black cohosh supplements. Or, if you prefer an Eastern approach, consult an acupuncturist for treatment, which may include traditional Chinese “blood-moving” herbs.
  4. Apply warm castor oil. To stabilize flow, moisten a flannel pack (available at natural products stores; a folded, old T-shirt will do in a pinch) with warmed castor oil; place oil-side down on your lower abdomen with a hot-water bottle on top; cover with a towel. Do this daily for an hour (but not during your period) for a few months; then gradually reduce frequency to twice a month. Your period might initially become heavier or more painful, but that’s just stagnation clearing from the uterus, says Claudia Welch, author of Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life (Da Capo, 2011).
  5. Try yoga. Before your period, do supported versions of standing poses like triangle and half-moon to create space and ease in the pelvic region, suggests Clennell. During your period, restorative yoga postures such as reclining bound-ankle pose can restore energy and relax abdominal organs. The rest of the month, practice seated postures, such as seated wide- angle pose, to tone reproductive organs and relieve abdominal tension; and inversions, such as standing forward bends and supported head or shoulder stand, to stabilize hormonal output and regulate flow.

Symptom: Light, infrequent periods.

If your period comes infrequently, gets very light, or seems to stop altogether—and you’re not yet menopausal—stress of some sort is likely a primary factor.

Common culprits

  1. Low hormone levels. Intense exercisers often have very low body fat, which can diminish hormone levels and prevent the uterus from building up a lining, Stanton says. Chronic or extreme stress can worsen the problem by reducing effectiveness of the brain’s hypothalamus, which signals the ovaries to produce hormones. Women may not be aware of “invisible” stressors such as food allergies, toxins, and unstable blood sugar, she adds. Stress can also lead to PCOS, says Pick. Although the syndrome can create very heavy periods, it sometimes has the opposite effect, she explains.
  2. Insufficient nourishment. When nutrition and sleep levels are chronically low, the body prioritizes survival over reproduction, Welch says. The most common stress-related nutrient deficiencies include essential fatty acids (such as omega-3s), B vitamins (especially B6), and minerals (especially magnesium and zinc).
  3. Early menopause. “If you’re in your 30s and suddenly have low or scanty periods, get your hormone levels checked,” Stanton says. Family history, illness, and certain medical procedures can cause some women to go through menopause well before age 51, the average for U.S. women.

Restore balance

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Cut out empty calories from processed and sugary foods, and aim to eat lean protein (along with vegetables and whole grains) every two to three hours. It’ll help stabilize your blood sugar and reduce cortisol demand.
  2. Sleep well. Aim for at least 7 1⁄2 hours nightly. Supplement with a high- quality multivitamin and fish oil. You may want to look for a multi that targets stress, or take additional supplements of B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. Ayurvedic and Chinese herbs such as shatavari, vidari, and dong quai may also help.
  3. Do forward bends. During your period, Clennell recommends practicing forward bends, which reduce tension in the abdomen, boost circulation in the pelvis, strengthen the internal reproductive organs, and help glands function properly during menstruation. Save back bends, lateral twists, and inversions for the rest of the month.

 

Delicious Living

6 tips to get rid of gas and bloating

6 tips to get rid of gas and bloating

You planned to wear your new jeans today, but after eating that breakfast burrito, you’re reaching for sweatpants instead. Don’t panic; most people experience bloating at one time or another as a symptom of gastrointestinal distress. “As an internist, I see one or two of these cases every day,” says Timothy Harlan, MD, author of Just Tell Me What to Eat! (Da Capo, 2011). The challenge is to figure out the causes, which vary from water retention to food intolerances, he says. Banish the bloat with these tips. 

Eat slowly

When you eat too fast, you swallow more air, which can lead to bloating, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of The Flexitarian Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2009). Plus, digestion starts in your mouth; if food is only partially digested by the time it reaches your gut, intestinal bacteria have to work harder to break it down—and produce more gas in the process. Take your time and chew until food reaches applesauce consistency.

Watch salt

Sodium maintains the body’s healthy fluid balance, but wherever sodium goes, water tends to follow, says Jeannie Gazzaniga-Moloo, PhD, RD. Sodium affects PMS bloating, too. Just before menstruation begins, fluid levels fluctuate and women tend to hold onto more water, she says. “That’s a really important time to pay attention to the amount of sodium you’re taking in because it’s only going to make it worse.”

To avoid fluid retention, keep daily sodium to 2,300 mg or less daily, or 1,500 mg a day if you’re over 50, black, or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. Check food labels carefully; look for 115 mg or less per serving, ideally, and certainly no more than 500 mg per serving, Blatner recommends. You can also counteract sodium’s effects by drinking plenty of water and eating potassium-rich foods, says Blatner. Good sources include sweet potatoes, white beans, and bananas.

Lose the bubbles

Fizzy drinks are common bloat culprits because the carbon-dioxide bubbles have a hard time escaping after reaching your stomach, says Gazzaniga-Moloo. So avoid carbonated drinks, but don’t skimp on fluids. “Everyone who suffers from bloating, regardless of the cause, should make sure they drink enough water,” she says. Though you might think water makes bloating worse, it actually helps the body flush out things that might be exacerbating it, including sodium.

Limit sugar-free foods

Many low-calorie foods, such as salad dressings and low-cal ice creams, include

sugar alcohols, which cause gas and bloating in some people. “It’s the very first question I usually ask patients [with bloating and gas]: Are you chewing sugar-free gum? Are you eating sugar-free foods?” says Harlan. If yes, cut back on foods with sugar alcohols, such as mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol, in their ingredient lists.

Identify sensitivities

Bloating is a common symptom of food sensitivities, such as intolerance to lactose or gluten. Keep a food diary, suggests Harlan, so you can alert your health care practitioner of any patterns. (Here’s how to do an elimination diet.) If you’re lactose intolerant, you can try milk products that many people find easier to digest, such as yogurt, goat’s milk, and aged cheeses.

Most of the time, bloating is just a temporary annoyance. But if it starts affecting the quality of your life, lasts for more than two weeks, or is accompanied by other symptoms like weight changes or pain, be sure to see your doctor. 

Delicious Living

Exceptional oils: 6 healthy upgrades for everyday cooking

Branch out beyond the olive and become familiar with the wonderful world of healthy oils out there .

Beauty supplements feature improved formulations at Expo East 2012

Beauty supplements feature improved formulations at Expo East 2012

I must admit that I feel a certain connection to the nutricosmetics category—kind of like that science fair project that gauged the progress of a cell in a Petri dish: If it did what you hypothesized—thrive and morph into a unique organism—you could win the blue ribbon. If it didn’t, well, there was always next year.

For a long time, I was left relying on that next-year optimism, as the nutricosmetics category struggled to pick up momentum in the United States. Then in 2011, growth and education around the category started to become apparent as it saw an 11 percent sales increase in natural products stores.

Though nutricosmetics in the United States have yet to rival the success they’ve seen in the Japanese or European markets, the awareness among health-conscious consumers makes it a category worth watching this year, next year and beyond.

The innovative, more complex approaches to beauty supplements I saw at Expo East 2012 in Baltimore only reinforced that consumers understand this category more and more and manufacturers are exploring new ways to deliver quality.

Hot new products in the nutricosmetics category 

Delicious Living readers often tell us that they look to certain nutrients found in whole foods for beauty benefits. The question to this month’s natural products giveaway was: Does beauty come from within? Check out some of our readers’ answers.

This, of course, is the core idea behind nutricosmetics: What you put in your body affects your skin, hair and nails.

But it’s also important to realize that certain key beauty or antiaging nutrients aren’t available in in whole foods, or not in high enough quantities. These nutrients include collagen, omega-7s, resveratrol and hyaluronic acid. Beyond that, foods can't always provide the best combinations of these nutrients.

This is where I noticed brands excelling at Expo East, introducing new products that don’t just highlight one stellar beauty ingredient but efficacious combinations. Collagen, just as it has been in Japan for years, seems to be even more important to the U.S. category. But it’s no longer just about collagen. These supplements offer more.

NeoCell Collagen Beauty Builder

The latest from NeoCell smartly boasts the words, “Beauty is an expression of health.” The capsules not only contain 6,000 mg types 1 & 3 collagen—a protein known for its ability to keep skin taut and reduce the appearance of wrinkles—but also “nature’s moisture magnet” hyaluronic acid and 3,000 mcg biotin for hair and nails health.

According to the company, “These nutrients have a synergistic effect and have been show to help skin radiance and hydration, hair thickness and nail strength, as well as help fight the aging process.”

NeoCell also launched its Beauty Burst that contains collagen, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin C. I haven’t been a big fan of candy-like nutricosmetics... until now. I have to admit these taste great—like a Starburst, only sans artificial flavors and with 2,000 mg of an ingredient that promises to smooth out your wrinkles. Mmmm.

Reserveage Ultra Collagen Booster
A new super-powered beauty supplement from Reserveage is taking the company beyond its resveratrol reputation. Its Ultra Collagen Booster (the name says it all, doesn’t it?) features three branded beauty-from-within ingredients.

One is BioCell collagen—a research-backed collagen all star. The other is a new ingredient created specifically for the beauty-from-within industry called Dermaval—a complex blend of fruit and vegetable extracts. Finally, it incorporates Pro-Longevity Resveratrol Blend, the company’s proprietary blend of trans-resveratrol (the most potent and effective form) and full-spectrum, polyphenol-rich ingredients.

Together, Reserveage says these ingredients support skin’s firmness, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and plump skin.

The company also launched a combo product under its Fembody Nutrition Brand. Its Hair, Nails & Skin Beauty Activator provides high doses of bamboo extract, biotin, cysteine, and opti-MSM (a form of bioactive sulfur), along with a beauty antioxidant complex including ALA and green tea and mineral minerals such as zinc. All in a once-daily formula.

Which nutricosmetic ingredients or products do you think are standouts? 

 

Dr. Jeffrey Bland heads Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute

 

Jeffrey Bland, PhD and Metagenics, Inc., a nutrigenomics and lifestyle medicine company focused on improving health and reversing chronic illness, today announced the formation of a new organization, the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute (PLMI). The PLMI, founded by Dr. Bland, will be a not-for-profit organization focused on promoting the importance of personalized lifestyle medicine as the safest and most effective approach to the management of early stages of chronic illness. To help reach its goal of reducing the rising global burden of chronic illness, Metagenics is providing the founding grant to the new organization.

“With its rich 30-year history in developing science-based nutritional therapeutics to improve health and reduce chronic illnesses, Metagenics recognizes the years of contribution that Dr. Bland has made to the evolution of the company as its Chief Science Officer, and is the right person to launch this innovative and revolutionary institute,” commented Fred Howard, Chief Executive Officer of Metagenics. “Forming this institute is an exciting step forward in helping to pave the way for personalized lifestyle medicine to be viewed as a key element in global healthcare systems.”

Dr. Bland, who has been the Chief Science Officer for Metagenics for the past 12 years, is an internationally known research scientist and educator in lifestyle and functional medicine.  He will lead the Institute in its mission to integrate the principles of personalized lifestyle medicine into healthcare systems around the world.

Dr. Bland brings a unique background as the President of the PLMI:

·       More than a decade as Chief Science Officer and principal of Metagenics, and President of its research division MetaProteomics, shaping its scientific and clinical research and development in the field of nutrigenomics

·       Chief Executive Officer of KinDex Therapeutics, a biotechnology company

·       Research director at the Linus Pauling Institute for Science and Medicine

·       Co-founder of the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)

·       Founder of HealthComm International, a company that trained healthcare providers on the application of functional medicine in clinical practice (and merged with Metagenics in 2000)

The PLMI will collaborate with some of the most dedicated and well-regarded thought leaders and decision makers in lifestyle medicine, each to serve an active role in the development of the organization. The PLMI will work to engage researchers, clinicians, health science educators, patient advocacy groups, medical institutions, medical societies, and regulatory and legislative groups to help move its mission forward and further the adoption of lifestyle medicine worldwide. The PLMI will provide educational resources that will facilitate the successful adoption of this approach to the global community through its website (www.plminstitute.org).

 “I could not be happier to join forces with some of the most dedicated and well-regarded thought leaders and decision makers in the evolving discipline of lifestyle medicine to share information and foster scientific support for this field,” said Dr. Bland. “This institute will unite researchers, clinicians, health science educators, patient advocacy groups, medical institutions, medical societies, and regulatory and legislative groups to further the adoption of lifestyle medicine.” 

“Within this role and my deep involvement and dedication to educating, publishing and advocacy through the institute, I believe I will make the greatest contribution toward my personal and professional mission: improving health through nutrigenomics and lifestyle medicine,” Dr. Bland concluded.

In his new role, Dr. Bland will continue to serve on the Metagenics Board of Directors. He will provide continuing medical education programs sponsored by Metagenics and other organizations that promote the delivery of personalized lifestyle medicine as the best initial approach for the prevention and management of chronic disease.   

The PLMI is based in Seattle, WA, and can be reached at 206-922-2915 or [email protected]

NBJ

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Topics covered in this webinar:

  • The latest NBJ research for the supplement industry
  • Whole food research and impact
  • Regulatory concerns
  • Industry outlook
  • All registrants will recieve a free 20 page preview of NBJ's Business Supplement Report

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New Hope 360 Blog

Can we make over school lunch by going local?

When I was growing up, school lunch basically looked like this:

school lunch

Notice how the foods are all roughly the same brownish color aside from the oddly rosy apple cup? The inevitable sugar crash, from empty carbs, occurred around the time I'd get home from school. So I'd I'd find a smiliarily nutrient voint, blood-sugar raising snack to hold me over until dinner.

Thanks to a speedy metabolism and the occasional game of kick the can, I never worried about how much I weighed or even considered dieting. Kids today, unfortunately, may not be able to say the same. While school lunch looks the same, texting and video games have replaced bike riding, hopscotch and jump rope. Obesity is on the rise and elementary kids are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—totally unheard of in my day.  

I follow campaigns dedicated to making over our U.S. school lunch programs with optimism, but I wonder if these often one-stop solutions for getting kids to eat healthier could really work in schools across the country.

Would it really be feasible, for example, to install a year round salad bar in Aberdeen, S.D., which is basically in the middle of nowhere and has a growing season as long as my pinky finger? How many carbon miles would be racked up trucking in fresh produce?

Going local for school lunches

I believe that changing school lunch begins with taking another look at how we eat and shop in our communities. That's why I'm loving the recent announcement from Colorado’s RE-1 school district that it's working with Crystal River Meats in Carbondale, Colo. to supply 17,000 lbs of grass fed beef in cafeterias throughout the 2012-13 school year.

“With the national news reporting on cases of pink slime at school cafeterias, we’re excited to show parents that our school children are eating healthy, natural foods from right in our backyard,” Michelle Hammond, Food Service Director from the RE-1 school district said in a release.

Since the RE-1 school district is in the heart of cattle country, it makes sense to work with local producers to bring high quality beef into  schools. For another district, say schools in Marin County, Calif., doing the same would probably not be as cost effective or make much sense.  

In addition to saving food miles by getting beef from neighboring ranches, grass-fed beef is lower in calories than grain-fed beef, higher in omega 3s and guarantees students high-quality protein which will sustain them throughout the day and minimize Little Debbie cravings.  

I hope more districts take note of what the RE-1 district is doing and consider looking at local resources to revamp their cafeteria offerings. 

5 beverage standouts from Expo East 2012

 

From low-calorie, low-sugar refreshers to natural soda and chai, here are our favorite sips from Natural Products Expo East 2012. Delicious Living's head foodie Elisa Bosley joins Caren Baginski, newhope360 senior editor, to share a bevy of beverages.
 
Products in this video: