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Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ

General Questions

  • Why should I chose EverLife?

    The difference between a low price generic and our premium supplements is QUALITY. Raw materials, selected from the finest sources around the world, are only the beginning. Other ways to identify our quality brand include:

    - Amber glass bottles increase shelf life by protecting your product from light and moisture and ensuring the product remains at full potency through the Best By date and they are most easily recycled

    - Prolonged release coatings on appropriate supplements release nutrients at the most beneficial time for optimum absorption by the body

    - Unique ingredients and balanced formulations provide the latest in nutritional science in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian formulas

    - Two safety seals protect against tampering — a full body heat-sealed plastic sleeve plus a seal under the cap

    - Disintegration time tests are run on every batch to ensure that the tablets and capsules break down

    - Easy-to-read Best By dates ensure product freshness and potency, every bottle is coded for complete batch history

    - Natural Products Association GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) Certification

    - Full disclosure means our labels list each ingredient and nutrient in the product

    - Strong technical support — our Technical Department is staffed with educated health professionals to help answer your questions and provide you with confidence in recommending supplements.

    - Structure/function claims explain the role of a nutrient or dietary ingredient intended to affect the normal structure or function in humans, the general well-being from consumption, or describe the means by which a nutrient or dietary ingredient maintains the stated structure or function.

    - Melamine testing is done on protein powder products using an HPLC analytical instrumentation method capable of detecting melamine down to a concentration of 1.0 ppm (part per million)

    - Double Verified Gluten Free testing program ensures that finished products undergo gluten testing using an ELISA test, to detect the presence of gluten. Once the test confirms no more than 10 ppm gluten, we can declare the product gluten free. This process is in addition to what we’ve done for years: validating that the allergen statement for raw materials does not list gluten, making the entire process DOUBLE VERIFIED.

    - Metal detectors on our glass bottle packing lines to ensure the finished product does not have accidental metal fragments

  • What standards does your company adhere to?

    - Our products are manufactured in a Natural Products Association approved facility and as a result follow its rigorous code of ethics.


    - Our manufacturing facilities are certified for current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) by the Natural Products Association
     

    - Dietary supplements are manufactured in full compliance with 21 CFR 210 in the Code of Federal Regulations, which ensure quality controls throughout all processing
     

    - Our manufacturing facilities are inspected by the FDA for Pharmaceutical Manufacturing


    - Our manufacturing facilities are licensed through the California Department of Health Services for Drug
     

    - Manufacturing and Processed Manufacturing (required of food supplement manufacturers)

  • Do you guarantee your products?

    Yes, our guarantee of purity and full potency is stated right on each label.

  • Is it safe to take your product if it has expired?

    All our products are assigned an expiration date, which is based upon extensive stability studies. We guarantee the potency of the product until the last day of the month noted on the package.

    There is no evidence to indicate that the ingredients in the product would be harmful if consumed beyond the expiration date. You may not, however, be receiving the amount of each vitamin or mineral listed on the label. The potency of the ingredients slowly diminishes over an extended period of time, and the expiration date is determined by the least stable ingredient in the product. We recommend that the product not be used after the expiration date.

  • What is "Conformance to GMP Standards?"

    EverLife maintains Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) as established by the United States Food and Drug Administration. These guidelines for manufacturing have been established to ensure that products are safe and unadulterated and meet the quality standards for food products. These stringent standards ensure standardized manufacturing and quality in all products manufactured by us.

     

  • What is an I.U. compared to milligrams and micrograms?

    IU stands for International Unit and is a standard and internationally accepted unit of measurement for vitamin A (and Beta-carotene), Vitamin D and Vitamin E.

    The remainder of vitamins and minerals are measured in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg). Although IUs can be converted into mgs, most supplement labels as well as food labels will reflect the amount of these nutrients in IU.

  • What is a Daily Value?

    The Daily Value is the amount of a nutrient the body needs based on a 2000-calorie diet for an average sized person. There are two standards that are referenced as follows:

    1. Daily Reference Values

    2. Reference Daily Intakes (RDIs), which replaced the term “U.S. RDA”

    The Daily Value (or a RDA's) is the minimal dosage intended to augment less than perfect eating habits (the Daily Values, are the values that will be seen on the labels). However, these values do not indicate what the safe maximum amount of a vitamin you can take, or amounts that may give therapeutic benefits, in addition to keeping the body from being deficient.

  • Do EverLife products contain heavy metals?

    Products that are potentially subject to heavy metal contamination are routinely tested to ensure conformance with Proposition 65, a California Law.

  • How long can I take EverLife products?

    Our products can be taken continuously on a daily basis. Please consult with your healthcare provider before you make any changes in your diet and exercise routine.

  • How Do I Search For Products?

    EverLife offers a variety of search methods. Users can select categories via the top menu or left side menu. This method allows users to narrow down products via health concern, product categories, ingredients, or view an alphabetized list of products. Once a selection has been made users can narrow the search further via the shopping filters.

    Alternatively, users can locate the search box on the top of the website. There you can enter a simple query based on a key word found in the product title or description or use the advanced search to narrow down your search results based on other related details about the product you are looking for.

  • What If I Cannot Find A Product?

    At EverLife our goal is to cover all your health needs in every way possible. We are constantly adding new products to our inventory line. You can e-mail us at Info@EverLifeHealth.com.

  • How Do I Place A New Order?

    Ordering is simple!

    Step 1: go to your desired product and click "add product to cart". Doing this will add that item to your shopping cart. From there, you can either continue shopping or "proceed to checkout".

    Step 2: Once you have chosen all the products that you wish to purchase, just click on the "check out" button. Then all you have to do is either (if you are an existing user) enter your username and password or create an account. Once you have created an account, you can then proceed to the checkout area.

    Step 3: All you have to do is decide how you would like your order shipped and click purchase. Within 2-3 seconds your credit card will either be approved or denied.

    Step 4: Once your card is approved you can then print out the confirmation page and save it as your receipt. A receipt will also be emailed to you for your records.

    We allow you to "create your own account" so that you don't have to enter your billing information every time you order. Creating an account, will also allow you to check on the status of your order or view previous order information.

  • What Methods Of Payment Do You Accept?

    We except Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, and PayPal.

  • What is your return policy?

    At EverLife your satisfaction is our main focus. If for any reason you are unhappy with any product you have purchased from us, you may return it for a full refund (less the original shipping).

    Only one opened product purchased is eligible for return. All others of the same product must be in an unopened condition for refund. This unconditional money back guarantee covers the first 10 days from your date of your purchase. Please e-mail us within 30 days of the purchase date to receive authorization and return instructions.

    Mail your returned item back to the following address:

    260 Newport Center Drive.

    Suite 100

    Newport Beach, CA 92660

    We will not be responsible for shipping and handling on returned items. We recommend using UPS or some other form of insured mail for returns as we cannot be responsible for items that never make it back to our warehouse.

    Items that are older than 10 days will be evaluated on a case by case basis only. Please contact us to see if you are eligible for a refund.

    ** Please note: ALL returns must receive an RMA (return merchandise authorization) number in order for the return to be processed. Please write your RMA number on the outside of your package. If an RMA number is not listed on the outside of your return, it will be refused by our returns department.

  • Do your labels or labeling make any special claims?

    Yes, the majority of our products have structure/function claims on the front panel, with more detailed text on the side panel. In keeping with FDA and FTC rules, our statements are supported by filed documentation and fall within the guidelines for appropriate label claims.

  • Do you perform finished product testing?

    We perform in-process evaluations for every lot during manufacture and verify compliance to release specifications prior to release by Quality Assurance for packaging.Each product must meet specifications which may include, but are not limited to, the following:

    - Satisfactory assay results
    - Disintegration or dissolution
    - Review of completed documents
    - Batch yield reconciliation
    - Metal detection on packaging lines for tablets and capsules to ensure products do not contain any foreign metal
    - Gluten Testing

  • What steps are taken to ensure the quality of raw materials used?

    Raw materials are tested when received 

    Written specifications for each raw material provide the benchmarks for testing

    We use analytical methods described by:
    - USP (United States Pharmacopeia)
    - NF (National Formulary)
    - FCC (Food Chemicals Codex)
    - AOAC (American Organization of Analytical Chemists) 
     

    Our in-house laboratory equipment for testing raw materials includes:
    - IR (Infrared Spectrophotometry)
    - HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography)
    - AA (Atomic Absorption)
    - CE (Capillary Electrophoresis)
    - GC (Gas Chromatography)
    - UV-vis (Ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry)
    - FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared)
    - NIR (Near-infrared spectrophotometry)
    - ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrophotometer)

    In some instances, specific assay methods are developed and validated by our chemists

  • What types of packaging materials are used?

    Most products are packaged in amber colored glass bottles, with safety seals, plastic screw caps, and full-body tamper-evident sleeves. Some products are in HDPE plastic bottles, coded for recycling. Packing peanuts have been replaced by recyclable paper. Recyclable corrugated cardboard is used for multi-pack boxes. All required documentation and certificates are kept on file

  • Are the plastic caps used on glass bottles BPA (Bisphenol A)-free?

    Yes, they are BPA-free.

  • Is your product packaging recyclable?

    We use recycled and recyclable glass bottles, and our caps are fully recyclable (#5 recyclable).

  • How do you keep track of everything from incoming raw materials to finished products?

    We maintain records as required by the Code of Federal Regulations. All products include a lot or batch number which is tracked through every stage of processing.

  • What does “bioavailability” mean?

    According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, bioavailability “refers to the amount of [the nutrient] in food, medications, and supplements that is absorbed in the intestines and ultimately available for biological activity in your cells and tissues.”

  • How are dietary supplements different from foods and drugs, from a regulatory standpoint?

    Dietary Supplements are regulated under the FDA through DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act of 1994).

  • I heard some softgels can have phthalates in them. Do any EverLife products contain phthalates?

    Absolutely no EverLife products contain phthalates. Phthalates are plasticizers that may have negative health and environmental effects. Websites on the Internet often cite dietary supplements as a source of phthalates. While we cannot speak for other brands of supplements, we have checked all of our ingredients (and excipients) and confirm that no phthalates are present in any EverLife ingredients and products. Many enteric coatings on the market today are phthalates.

  • At what temperature range should vitamins be stored?

    Supplements should be stored at a temperature between 59°F and 89°F (15°C and 30°C). However, along with keeping your supplements cool, you should also keep them dry. So do not refrigerate, with the exception of our products, 100% Organic Flax Oil. Our probiotic products also should be refrigerated to maintain the potency.

  • What does “Pharmaceutical Grade” mean?

    This misnomer has no meaning or application to the quality of a product. “Pharmaceutical Grade” refers to a material that has been modified to function with manufacturing (pharmaceutical) equipment. For example, oatmeal would not flow through manufacturing equipment. If you bought some oatmeal and milled it down to a consistent particle size (like flour), then added a flow agent like silica, now it would be considered “pharmaceutical grade” oatmeal because it would work on pharmaceutical machinery.

  • Are your products 3rd party tested?

    We do, on occasion, utilize 3rd party laboratories to perform specialized testing that we cannot conduct ourselves or as a means to corroborate or “validate” critical testing results. As a general rule however, we perform all our own raw material, intermediate and final product testing “in-house.”

    We must perform all our operations, including analytical testing, in accordance with strict Federal Regulations (21 CFR, Parts 111, 210 and 211). Our facilities are routinely inspected by the agency and all our Quality Assurance, Manufacturing and QC testing capabilities are closely scrutinized for compliance with these regulations. Our Quality Control (QC) laboratory is required to meet the identical quality and operating standards that companies providing contract laboratory services must meet and by law, must function separately from all our other operations, e.g. serve as an “independent” testing entity.

     Our manufacturing site currently has two state-of-the-art QC laboratories supporting our manufacturing operations. The laboratory is equipped with multiple High Performance Liquid Chromatographs (HPLCs) and an Inductively Coupled Plasma with Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES) for the analysis of vitamins, minerals, and other active ingredients in raw materials and in-process or finished nutraceutical and pharmaceutical products. In addition, disintegration and dissolution testers are available for determining the release profiles of various product ingredients. Other instrumentation includes a Gas Chromatograph with flame ionization detector (GC/FID) and headspace analyzer, Gas Chromatograph with a Mass selective detector (GC/MS), Total Organic Carbon Analyzer (TOC), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer (FTIR), Ultraviolet and Visible Spectrometer (UV/ VIS), Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), Microwave Digestion System, ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrophotometer) and a Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) system. Our standard laboratory facilities also allow for wet chemical testing of materials and we possess a fully functional microbiological laboratory with Petri-film, agar, and automated methods for assessments of total aerobic bacterial counts, yeasts and molds, coliforms, E.Coli, Enterobacteriaceae, Salmonella, S.Aureus, Lactobacillus, and Pseudomonas. Stability chambers, both ambient and accelerated, are located in-house for “Best By” (dietary supplements) and expiration (pharmaceutical) dating and stability studies.

  • How are prolonged release products beneficial?

    Prolonged release products essentially mimic the way your body uses nutrients from food. They are designed to increase nutrient absorption and utilization by slowly releasing nutrients over time. This is especially important with water soluble vitamins (vitamins B and C) because they are not significantly stored in the body. Unfortunately, when standard formulas of high potency water soluble vitamins are ingested, nutrients are released all at once. The body absorbs and uses what it can at that time and the expensive remainder is excreted.

    Our prolonged release tablets consist of a special matrix composed of cellulose and vegetable stearates in which the nutrients are embedded. The nutrients are then slowly released over two to four hours. Occasionally, the shell of the matrix will pass through in the stool because we do not have the enzymes to completely break down fiber. Regardless if the shell passes through intact or not, the nutrients have been released! Please remember every batch of tablets has to pass our disintegration time test before being packaged.

  • What is your stance on Genetic Modification?

    We aim to have non-GMO whenever possible; we do not label a product as “non-GMO” unless it is certified non-GMO, because some companies may use materials that started with GM but the end product may not test positive for GM. We feel this is not truly transparent or representative of an accurate non-GMO disclosure.

  • What is Genetic Modification?

    Genetic modification of plants is a process that involves the deliberate insertion of genes from bacteria, animals or other organisms into the DNA of plants. These manipulations would never occur in nature. The purpose is to increase yield of successful crops, delay fruit ripening, resist insect/virus/ herbicides, alter oil content, and/or to control pollen. GM occurs primarily in the U.S. and Canada — many European countries are very opposed to GM.

    There are 12 genetically engineered plant species that have been approved for commercial production in the US. GM started in 1994, when the first genetically engineered plants were grown for commercial use in the US under USDA supervision. In 2008, the second billionth acre of GM crops were planted globally. According to the USDA, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of corn grown in the U.S. were GMO in 2009. From 1996-2010, soy, corn, cotton and canola were the most common crops.

    The majority of Americans consume foods on a daily basis that contain genetic modification in bread, cereal, pasta, pizza, vegetables and fortified foods. The US does not require labeling of GM food; however the European Union (EU), Australia, Japan, and South Korea require GMO disclosure labeling.

  • What is the controversy over GM?

    A 2011 MSNBC poll found that 96.1% of 45,729 people who responded to a poll would like Genetically Modified Organism ingredients to appear on product labels. Another poll jointly conducted by CBS and the New York Times in 2008 revealed that 53% of Americans say they will not buy food that has been genetically modified.

    The main reasons why people are opposed to GM can be boiled down to three issues:

    1. Health. Those opposed to GM say GM may produce new allergens or toxins in food; it may lower the nutritional value of the food; and/or it may enhance antibiotic resistance.

    2. Environmental. Those opposed to GM say GM seeds can contaminate organic crops and may have an impact on plants, animals and insects.

    3. Social. Many feel consumers should have an informed choice when purchasing GM foods, which requires labeling.

    This is also troublesome for organic producers since organic standards do not require or encourage the use of testing for GMO contamination — yet small farmers are getting sued by large corporations as “organic” implies non-GMO status.

  • What does the research regarding safety suggest?

    The journal Science noted that research on human health and GM is lacking. Research related to health effects has been conducted using insects and animals only. Millions of people worldwide have consumed GM foods for over 15 years, with no reports of negative health effects, and according to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, “no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.” In 2009, a review in Nutrition Reviews found that while most studies concluded that GM foods did not differ in nutrition or cause any detectable toxic effects in animals, some research found adverse changes at a cellular level caused by some GM foods. Certainly, more research is needed to make a better safety assessment. Interestingly, research is underway to see if GM can remove allergenic properties of foods, thus making common food allergies a thing of the past.

  • What are the current non-GMO labeling practices in the marketplace?

    Many products already make non-GMO claims on their packaging, but there is neither consistency in the labeling nor assurance that the products have actually been tested.

  • What is EverLife’s position on labeling Genetic Modification?

    We aim to use non-GMO materials whenever possible and strive to offer certified Identity Preserved (IP) non-GMO products. We do not make a non-GMO claim without verification and supporting documentation. Unless the consumer requests actual verification from the manufacturer of each ingredient in the product they purchase, it is difficult to ascertain the accuracy of the non-GMO status and they must rely on us. We seek out non-GMO ingredients whenever possible even though the cost of these ingredients is significantly higher than that of their conventional counterparts.

    We make every attempt to assure that the raw materials (RM) we receive are non-GMO by requesting this information from our suppliers and we keep this information on file. We feel that our customers expect the highest standards and thus we do not label our products as “non-GMO” unless they are truly non-GMO and we can support that statement.

  • What is the difference between disintegration and dissolution?

    Disintegration refers to the point when a capsule or tablet no longer holds its shape. Simply, it is the breakdown of the carrying material of the nutrient. We test disintegration times through our disintegration apparatus. This is a machine that mimics gut movement, body temperature and stomach acidity. All three must happen in your body for a tablet/capsule to properly disintegrate.

    Dissolution testing refers to the measurement over time of how much of the nutrient is available for your body to use. It is not only important to have a capsule or tablet break down, but also to have the nutrients be available to your system. We test for dissolution using a dissolution apparatus that can tell us at any measured time how much of the product will become available to your system.

  • What conditions warrant the use of a Child Resistant Cap (CRC) and/or warning?

    The Poison Prevention Act requires CRCs to be used on anything where a single container contains 250 mg of elemental iron or more [16 CFR 1700.14(a) (13)]. Dietary supplements, as defined in § 1700.1(a)(3), that contain an equivalent of 250 mg or more of elemental iron, from any source, in a single package in concentrations of 0.025 percent or more on a weight-to-volume basis for liquids and 0.05 percent or more on a weight-to-weight basis for non-liquids (e.g., powders, granules, tablets, capsules, wafers, gels, viscous products, such as pastes and ointments, etc.) shall be packaged in accordance with the provisions of § 1700.15 (a), (b), and (c), except for the following: [describes where iron is used as a colorant or in small quantities in powders or liquids].

    Also, FDA labeling rules require that if the supplement contains any iron or iron salts at all, it must have a warning statement [21 CFR 101.17(e) to read:

    WARNING: Accidental overdose of iron-containing products is a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6. Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

     

  • Why don’t your tablets break down in a glass of vinegar or water?

    Our bodies are much more complicated than a still glass of water or vinegar. This test is not similar enough to a real stomach when determining how a complex nutritional formula will behave in the body. To ensure you are getting nutrients your body can use, we run a Disintegration Time Test on every batch we produce. This special test consists of a laboratory setup that mimics a “normal” stomach and tells us when the product will disintegrate. The supplement tested is exposed to the same temperature (98.6ºF), biochemical environment, and peristaltic motions that actually occur in the stomach. The physical breakdown of the product is monitored over time.

  • Do you provide info on allergens?

    In 2006, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) went into effect. The law requires food and dietary supplement manufacturers to clearly list if any of the identified common food allergens-wheat, soy, egg, milk, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts and/or tree nuts-are present in the product. These eight foods account for 90% of the food allergies affecting Americans.

    EverLife products “Contains No” statement on all of our product labels is in accordance with the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) allergen label requirements; a full statement looks like this:

    EXAMPLE: “Contains No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; no wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, crustacean shellfish or fish.”

    FALCPA does not mandate, regulate or standardize the use of “Advisory Labeling” — the cautionary statements made voluntarily by some food manufacturers (for example: “May contain peanuts” or “Processed in a facility that may contain wheat” or “Processed in a facility that may contain soy”).

     

  • Should I be concerned about products that have maltodextrin or cornstarch in them, if I have a corn allergy or sensitivity?

    Typically, allergies or sensitivities are a response to the protein component of a food, not the carbohydrate or fat. Maltodextrin is typically derived from corn starch and is classified molecularly between a sugar and a starch. Sugars and starches rarely initiate an immune response. However, trace amounts of the protein could potentially be present. Thus, we recommend that individuals with corn allergies or sensitivities speak with their health care practitioner to determine if consuming.

  • Do you have any peanuts in your products or manufacturing?

    We do not use any peanut or peanut ingredients in any of our products we manufacture, so it’s unlikely that there would be peanut residue that could contaminate any other product.

  • Are your SOY and WHEY powders processed on the same equipment as allergens or gluten?

    The whey and soy powders are processed and packaged on the same equipment as milk, soy, wheat (mainly as a carrier for extracts or flavors) and eggs with thorough cleaning between. No peanuts, tree nuts, fish or extracts or natural nut flavors are used. Our thorough cleaning procedures allow us to make our claims for no cross contamination.

  • What is the difference between a soy allergy and an allergy to soy “protein?”

    If a consumer has been diagnosed with a soy allergy, products without any soy ingredients (including soybean oil) are a more appropriate choice. However, most soy allergies are actually allergies to soy “protein.” Soybean oil does not contain soy protein. Thus, for individuals with a soy protein allergy, products containing soybean oil should be well tolerated. If a consumer is not sure if they have a soy allergy, encourage them to consult a health care practitioner.

  • Do you use fillers?

    “Filler” is a loose term to describe inactive excipients added to a supplement that ‘fills’ up the tablet or capsule. In some cases we need to ‘fill’ up the tablet to make it large enough to handle. Take for example our Vitamin D 5,000 IU tabs: vitamin D is a very small (microgram-size) nutrient, so cellulose (an excipient, or “filler”) is needed to make the tablet large enough to compress and handle...yet it is still a very small tablet!

  • What is sorbitol?

    Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol synthesized from dextrose or glucose. It is as sweet as fructose. It provides 2.6 cal/gm and is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables It is absorbed more slowly than other sugars resulting in a lesser effect on blood sugar.

  • What is the source of the hard gelatin and softgel capsules?

    All our gelatin capsules and softgels use bovine gelatin only.

  • What is the source of magnesium stearate used in your products?

    The source of the magnesium stearate used in all of our products is palm oil.

  • Why do you use stearates such as magnesium stearate in your products?

    Magnesium stearate is an excipient present in many dietary supplements. Magnesium stearate is a very effective lubricant and is commonly used in tablet applications. This would be extremely difficult to replace from both a functionality and cost effective standpoint. Several of our customers have expressed concern over the presence of this food additive in our products. Customers are concerned that magnesium stearate hinders the ability of a tablet or capsule to dissolve, resulting in a decreased absorption of nutrients. Others are concerned with potential allergies to magnesium stearate, or have questioned the source of this food additive. With respect to allergies: to better monitor the effects of additives and deal with consumer complaints, FDA set up the Adverse Reaction Monitoring System (ARMS) in early 1985. The majority of cases (95%) are from sulfites and aspartame. About 1% of the population is sensitive to sulfites. The other 5% of cases involve monosodium glutamate (MSG), nitrate preservatives, the emulsifier polysorbate, and some dyes. Thus, magnesium stearate is not a reported problem and should not be of concern. The average percentage of magnesium stearate present in most formulas is between 0.5%-2% depending on the stickiness/flow of the active materials and environmental conditions. In rare cases, some formulas use upwards of 3-4% for products with ingredients that are difficult to manufacture. Magnesium stearate is one of industry’s most commonly used, accepted, and effective lubricants.

  • Does the magnesium stearate used in your product line contribute any trans-fatty acids to the diet?

    No. There are no trans fatty-acids in the magnesium stearate used in our products.

  • What is your position regarding the ability of magnesium stearate to decrease nutrient absorption?

    Given that such a minute amount of magnesium stearate goes into a specific product (we’re talking micrograms or milligrams), there should not be a concern regarding magnesium stearate hindering the absorption of nutrients. Plus, it is important to remember that each individual’s digestive systems and needs vary and some people absorb more of a given nutrient than others. Thus, it is impossible to make blanket claims of absorption. To our knowledge, sound science does not support claims that magnesium stearate causes harm in individuals. Consumers may benefit from making decisions based on valid, published scientific research studies offering evidence of benefit or harm regarding issues with magnesium stearate.

  • What are your vegetarian capsules composed of? Are they non-GMO?

    Our vegetarian capsules are made from cellulose (plant fiber) from pine trees. They are non-GMO.

  • What is the difference between silica and silicon dioxide?

    Silica is a synonym for silicon dioxide. Silicon is an element on the periodic table (Si). Silicon dioxide is a compound of one Si atom and two O atoms (SiO2). Silica is a common excipient used in dietary supplements to help the flow of ingredients during manufacturing.

  • What is titanium dioxide and why is it used? Is it safe?

    Titanium dioxide is used as an ingredient in some of our protective delivery systems. It is also used as a white pigment as it is VERY white and commonly used in Food Colorings. It should only be present on the label in other ingredients as it is only in the coating solution. The levels that are added are VERY small.

  • Is cellulose from a vegetarian source?

    Yes. Cellulose is a carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants. Since it is indigestible in humans, the principal function of cellulose in human nutrition is to provide bulk, which promotes efficient intestinal function. We use cellulose in many of our products as a natural coating agent and/or as a binder. It has the ability to bind ingredients together in such a way as to allow them to disintegrate properly to maximize absorption.

  • Do EverLife products contain fiber?

    Some of our products contain a negligible amount of fiber to serve as a binder for the tablets, rather than acting as a dietary fiber supplement.

Frequently Asked Questions - Multi-Vitamin

  • What are the benefits of taking a multivitamin?

    Multivitamins are intended to be used as part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes proper diet and exercise. Multivitamins can help fill the gaps in one’s diet. This will help ensure you get the recommended amount of key vitamins and minerals needed each day.

  • What are vitamins?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in foods. The human body cannot create vitamins and therefore has to acquire them via the diet or supplements. Vitamins are essential for all body functions including: obtaining energy from food, supporting growth, repairing tissues, maintenance of health, and general wellness.

  • Why are vitamins important?

    Our bodies utilize vitamins on a daily basis. These vitamins are critical for biochemical processes that maintain life. Vitamins play important roles in obtaining energy from our food, supporting growth, healing, and repair. A continuous deficiency in vitamins will lead to a serious deterioration in health, weakness, susceptibility to disease, and may lead to death.


  • How many vitamins are there?

    Thirteen vitamins have been identified: A, B (8 variations) C, D, E, and K. B complex vitamins are as follows: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

  • What is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins

    Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

    As the name implies, water-soluble vitamins such as most B and C vitamins dissolve in water. They are easily taken up and released by body tissues. Daily replenishment of these water soluble nutrients is important because the body cannot store them.

    Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. These vitamins are absorbed along with fat. Excess fat-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body fat and liver therefore several weeks' supply may be consumed in a single dose or meal.

  • What can happen in instances of vitamin deficiency?

    Deficiencies in vitamins can cause serious problems.

    - Vitamin A deficiencies can result in problems with vision and eye lesions.
    - Vitamin B1 or Thiamin deficiencies can result in beriberi.
    - Vitamin B3 or Niacin deficiencies can result in gastrointestinal disturbances, erythema, nervous disorders, mental disorders, and or pellagra
    - Vitamin C deficiencies can result in scurvy.
    - Vitamin D deficiencies can result in rickets.

  • What can cause vitamin deficiencies?

    Vitamin deficiencies can be caused by a number of factors including but not limited to

    - Inadequate food intake
    - Unbalanced diet.
    - Poor absorption and digestion
    - Increased vitamin requirements due to age
    - Increased vitamin needs due to life-style

  • Is it possible to have low vitamin levels and be unaware?

    Yes, it is possible to have low vitamins levels and be unaware. Many Americans are deficient in one or more vitamins. There are a few indications of low vitamin levels such as fatigue, poor concentration, irritability, sluggishness, insomnia, and loss of appetite.

  • Is it possible to be overweight and still have low vitamin levels?

    Yes, it is possible to be overweight and have low levels of vitamins and nutrients. Foods that are high in calories are often low in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

  • Are extra vitamins recommended in times of physical stress?

    Yes, the body requires more vitamins during physical stress.

  • What groups of individuals are at risk for vitamin deficiency?

    - Women who plan to become pregnant
    - Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding their infant
    - Newborn and premature infants
    - Children and adolescents in periods of rapid growth.
    - Women taking oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy
    - People in advanced ages
    - Smokers
    - People recovering from surgery or illness.
    - People who are long-term users of certain medications
    - Dieters with low caloric intakes.
    - Individuals in the lower income range

  • Why have you added lutein and lycopene to your Softgel Multi?

    Lutein is a beneficial antioxidant involved in maintaining the health of the macula, a protective shield behind the cornea that guards against harmful blue light. Adequate lutein is rarely achieved through diet, and it has become a popular ingredient in several multivitamins. We use FloraGLO® and LuteMax™ 2020 brand luteins, both sourced from marigold flowers. Lycopene, an antioxidant found most abundantly in tomatoes and tomato products, is another popular ingredient in several multivitamins. Its activity has been linked to prostate health as well as other men’s health issues. Interestingly, lycopene activity has been found to be greater in processed and heated tomato products such as tomato sauce and ketchup than in raw tomatoes. We use Lyc-O-Mato® brand lycopene, in which lycopene is suspended in tomato oil, thereby enhancing its bioavailability.

  • What are the sources of calcium stearate and stearic acid in Iron Free Basic Multi®?

    Calcium stearate comes from limestone and stearic acid comes from palm kernel oil extracted from the fruit seeds of the palm tree.

     

  • Why does our Men’s 45+ Multi have iron? Shouldn’t it be iron-free?

    While many advanced-age men do not require high amounts of iron consumption, some iron is still essential for proper health (it is an integral part of protein, enzymes and oxygen transport). A large amount of this older population suffers from ulcers or other gastric bleeding from chronic NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti- Inflammatory Drugs) use, which lowers serum iron and often results in iron-deficiency anemia in these otherwise healthy men. For those who are active and engage in exercise, iron requirements may actually increase by 30% in those individuals. Finally, many older adults eat less (in general), so their iron intake from food is less than that of the general population. The iron in the Men’s 45+ Multi is only 22% of the RDI for iron (4 mg). The NIH states there is still insufficient evidence to come to a conclusion about high iron intake and heart disease. The Tolerable Upper Limit (TUL) intake for men over age 19 is 45 mg iron per day.

  • Do I need to take another multi, if I’m taking Hair, Skin & Nails Multi?

    Our Hair, Skin & Nails Multi is based on our best-selling Basic Multi® which is a great foundation for nutrition needs. However, in addition to basic nutrients, our Hair, Skin & Nails Multi has added specialty antioxidants for skin and overall cellular health. It also contains silica, MSM and amino acids for collagen support. Collagen is responsible for skin’s resiliency and elasticity, but its production slows as we age.

  • What are the sources of enzymes in the Men’s and Women’s Multis?

    They are from fermentation from fungal sources Aspergillus oryzae, Rhizopus oryzae, and contain beet root fiber (Beta vulgaris L.).

  • What is ORAC?

    ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It measures how much a particular substance has the ability to absorb a free radical using Vitamin E as the baseline. First developed at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institute of Health and later refined at the USDA, values are assigned to fruits and vegetables based on their ability to quench oxygen radicals. Higher levels mean a food has a high potency of antioxidant activity. Foods with the highest ORAC levels include prunes, chocolate, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, plums, blackberries, kale and spinach. We also have a high-ORAC fruit blend in our children’s chewable, Bengal Bites®.

     

     

  • Why do I need to take more calcium if I’m taking the Prenatal Once Daily?

    We recommend women relying on our Prenatal Once Daily consume additional calcium since Prenatal Once Daily only supplies 232 milligrams per tablet (meeting only 18% of the daily value).Adequate calcium intake is essential for the healthy growth and function of the fetus, as well as the mother.

  • Is the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in your Prenatal with DHA made with a hexane-free process?

    Yes, the manufacturer of the DHA material has provided us documentation that they use a completely solvent-free process.

  • At what age should Teen Multi be taken?

    There’s no formal definition for what age range encompasses the adolescent years, but the Institute of Medicine outlines each age range and their specific nutrient needs. This chart is available online (or ask us for a copy). It’s up to the pediatrician and/or parents to decide what is right for them. See www.fnic.nal.usda.gov and search for the IOM tables

  • How does Teen Multi differ from an adult multi?

    Teen Multi Once Daily doesn’t have excessive amounts of micronutrients like many adult formulas do. Thus, it provides a base amount of nutrition for this age group without overloading them. It also offers more food-based ingredients since teen diets typically lack green veggies and fruit!

  • Why does Softgel Multi have such an unusual color?

    It is a combination of the vitamins and minerals included in Softgel Multi that give it its dark brown color. We also do not use any artificial coloring, such as caramel color, carob, or any other opacity agents to cover up the color of our vitamins. This may also be the reason that different batches of this product may differ slightly in color and appearance

  • What is the source of the base of bioflavonoids in the Iron Free Basic Multi®?

    They come from lemons only

  • If you use no artificial colors, how do Bengal Bites® get their tiger-like coloring?

    We have added a small amount of turmeric to give our children’s vitamins their color. There is not enough in the formula to really affect the taste, but the coloring is noticeable.

  • Can vitamins be made in the body?

    Yes, in a few instances vitamins can be made in the body. Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and niacin can be made in our bodies. Nevertheless, neither Vitamin D nor niacin are made in sufficient amounts. These vitamins must be obtained from food or supplements. Vitamin K is produced by beneficial bacteria in the adult intestinal tract. Nevertheless, infants do not have the established microflora and require additional Vitamin K.


  • Can one meet the vitamin requirements with food alone?

    Yes, one can meet the vitamin requirements with a proper and well balanced meal. The USDA Food Guide Pyramid recommends the following daily intake.

    However, if you eat fewer than the recommended servings and do not consume foods from all of the major food groups you may not be getting the adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients from food alone.

    Fats, oils and sweets:  Use sparingly              

    Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese: 2-3 servings
    1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces of natural cheese, 2 ounces of processed cheese

    Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts: 2-3 servings
    2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish – 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as 1 ounce of lean meat

    Vegetables:  3-5 servings
    1 cup of raw leafy vegetables 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or chopped raw 3/4 cup of vegetable juice

    Fruit:  2-4 servings
    1 medium apple, banana, orange, etc., 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit, 3/4 cup of fruit juice

    Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta:  6-11 servings
    1 slice of bread, 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta)

  • Is the time of day that you take vitamin supplements important?

    Certain nutrients enhance the absorption of others. For example, vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption and vitamin C aids iron (non-heme) absorption. Consequently, it is best to take an iron supplement with a source of vitamin C and calcium with Vitamin D.

  • Do fruits and vegetables vary in vitamin content?

    Yes, fruits and vegetables vary in vitamin content. Vitamin content of foods can fluctuate based on soil conditions, soil nutrient levels, availability of water, climate, sun exposure, harvesting methods, ripeness, transportation, and storage.

     

  • Does food lose some of its vitamin content when stored?

    Yes, foods can lose vitamin content when stored and cooked. Ideally one should eat the freshest foods as quickly as possible to obtain the most nutrients. The amount of vitamin loss is highly dependent upon storage conditions and the food involved

  • Do fruits and vegetables vary in vitamin content?

    Yes, fruits and vegetables vary in vitamin content. Vitamin content of foods can fluctuate based on soil conditions, soil nutrient levels, availability of water, climate, sun exposure, harvesting methods, ripeness, transportation, and storage.

     

  • Does food lose some of its vitamin content when stored?

    Yes, foods can lose vitamin content when stored and cooked. Ideally one should eat the freshest foods as quickly as possible to obtain the most nutrients. The amount of vitamin loss is highly dependent upon storage conditions and the food involved.

     

  • Does food lose some of its vitamin content when cooked or prepared?

    Yes, vitamins are sensitive to heat, humidity, light, and air. Cooking foods may destroy vitamins

  • Does processing destroy the vitamins in food?

    Yes, vitamins are sensitive to heat, humidity, light, and air. Cooking foods may destroy vitamins.

     

  • Do vitamins give you energy?

    People who have an unbalanced daily diet or do not get enough nutrients throughout the day may suffer from fatigue. In this case, taking vitamin supplements may help restore energy.

     

    Certain vitamins help convert food into energy which the body needs to stay healthy and maintain homeostasis. 

     

  • Are vitamins fattening?

    No. Vitamins do not have a caloric value. In general, vitamins help convert food into energy which your body needs to stay healthy and maintain homeostasis. 

  • Are there any interactions with multivitamins that I should know about?

    Multivitamins with recommended intake levels of nutrients don't usually interact with medications, with one important exception. If you take medicine to reduce blood clotting, such as warfarin (Coumadin® and other brand names), talk to your health care provider before taking any Multi-vitamins or dietary supplement with vitamin K. Vitamin K lowers the drug's effectiveness and doctors base the medicine dose partly on the amount of vitamin K you usually consume in foods and supplements.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Does medication affect vitamin requirements?

    Yes, some medications may disturb the vitamin balance and may inhibit the ability to absorb, use, or store vitamins. Some examples are: aspirins, oral contraceptives, laxatives, statins, anticonvulsants, and certain antibiotics.

     

    Ask your health care practitioner about potential interactions with vitamins and other nutrients.

     

     

  • How do prenatal multivitamins support my health during pregnancy?

    Daily nutritional requirements such as folic acid, calcium, and iron increase during pregnancy. This is to help support the developing baby as well as the increased demands on a woman’s body.

     

    Our Prenatal Multivitamin is a comprehensive multivitamin complete with DHA. It is designed to meet your nutritional needs before, during, and after pregnancy (while breastfeeding). The formulation is designed to be taken three times per day. This way the prenatal multi can supplement each meal and ensure optimum absorption. The formulation also provides 100% of the daily value of folic acid. Proper levels of folic acid along with other nutrients may help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Furthermore, the prenatal multivitamin with DHA from algae supports the baby’s healthy eye and brain development*. Don’t forget to pair with a calcium supplement to meet the full recommended intake.

  • How does a prenatal multivitamin support the healthy growth and development of a baby?

    Daily nutritional requirements such as folic acid, calcium, and iron increase during pregnancy. This is to help support the developing baby as well as the increased demands on a woman’s body.

    Our Prenatal Multivitamin is a comprehensive multivitamin complete with DHA. It is designed to meet your nutritional needs before, during, and after pregnancy (while breastfeeding). The formulation is designed to be taken three times per day. This way the prenatal multi can supplement each meal and ensure optimum absorption. The formulation also provides 100% of the daily value of folic acid. Proper levels of folic acid along with other nutrients may help to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Furthermore, the prenatal multivitamin with DHA from algae supports the baby’s healthy eye and brain development*. Our women’s prenatal multivitamin with DHA should be paired with a calcium supplement to meet the full recommended intake.

     

  • Why should I take a prenatal multivitamin if I am thinking of becoming pregnant?

    Birth defects and irregularities can form early in pregnancy before a woman realizes she is pregnant. If you are taking a prenatal multivitamin with folic acid and iron, you are helping ensure that your baby gets the nutrients needed for proper development.

  • Why should I take a prenatal multivitamin after pregnancy?

    Prenatal multivitamins may be taken after pregnancy, while you are breastfeeding. A mother’s nutritional needs remain heightened during breastfeeding.

  • Can children take the adult multivitamin tablets?

    No, our adult vitamins are formulated for adults 18 years and older. Children ages 3 and up can take our Bengal Bites® Children’s Chewable multivitamin.

  • Is there a risk of vitamin poisoning among young children?

    Vitamin supplements should be kept well out of the reach of children since swallowing several pills could be harmful, depending on the child's age. Iron supplements can cause toxicity in children.

  • Why do teenagers need more vitamins than adults?

    Teenagers require more energy to fuel development. Unfortunately many teenagers do not consume a balanced diet.

  • Could teenagers benefit from vitamin supplements?

    Vitamin supplementation may be suitable for teenagers who are vegetarians, do not consume a balanced diet (‘picky eaters’), are active in sports, or dine out frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions - Letter Vitamins - A

  • Why are vitamins important?

    Our bodies utilize vitamins on a daily basis. These vitamins are critical for biochemical processes that maintain life. Vitamins play important roles in obtaining energy from our food, supporting growth, healing, and repair. A continuous deficiency in vitamins will lead to a serious deterioration in health, weakness, susceptibility to disease, and may lead to death.

     

  • What are vitamins?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in foods. The human body cannot create vitamins and therefore has to acquire them via the diet or supplements. Vitamins are essential for all body functions including: obtaining energy from food, supporting growth, repairing tissues, maintenance of health, and general wellness.

  • How many vitamins are there?

    Thirteen vitamins have been identified: A, B (8 variations) C, D, E, and K. B complex vitamins are as follows: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

  • What is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins?

    Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

    As the name implies, water-soluble vitamins such as most B and C vitamins dissolve in water. They are easily taken up and released by body tissues. Daily replenishment of these water soluble nutrients is important because the body cannot store them.

    Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. These vitamins are absorbed along with fat. Excess fat-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body fat and liver therefore several weeks' supply may be consumed in a single dose or meal.

  • What is vitamin A and what does it do?

    Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. Vitamin A is important for normal vision, the immune system, and reproduction. Vitamin A also helps the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs work properly.

     

    There are two different types of vitamin A. The first type, preformed vitamin A, is found in meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. The second type, provitamin A, is found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based products. The most common type of provitamin A in foods and dietary supplements is beta-carotene.

  • How much vitamin A do I need?

    The amount of vitamin A you need depends on your age and reproductive status. Recommended intakes for vitamin A for people aged 14 years and older range between 700 and 900 micrograms (mcg) of retinol activity equivalents (RAE) per day. Recommended intakes for women who are nursing range between 1,200 and 1,300 RAE. Lower values are recommended for infants and children younger than 14.

    However, the vitamin A content of foods and dietary supplements is given on product labels in international units (IU), not mcg RAE. Converting between IU and mcg RAE is not easy. A varied diet with 900 mcg RAE of vitamin A, for example, provides between 3,000 and 36,000 IU of vitamin A depending on the foods consumed.

     

    For adults and children aged 4 years and older, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has established a vitamin A Daily Value (DV) of 5,000 IU from a varied diet of both plant and animal foods. DVs are not recommended intakes; they don't vary by age and sex, for example. But trying to reach 100% of the DV each day, on average, is useful to help you get enough vitamin A.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What are some of the food sources of vitamin A?

    CAROTENOID FOOD SOURCE
    - Beta-carotene Apricot, Carrot, Peach, Sweet Potato
    - Alpha-carotene Carrot, Pumpkin, Red and Yellow Peppers, Yellow Corn
    - Cryptoxanthin Papaya, Peach, Tangerine, Orange
    - Lutein Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, Broccoli, Mustard Greens, Egg yolks
    - Zeaxanthin Cress Leaf, Swiss Chard, Chicory Leaf, Beet Greens, Okra
    - Lycopene Tomato, Watermelon, Guava

  • What is the cholesterol content of Vitamin A 10,000 IU and Vitamin A&D 10,000/400 IU?

    They each contain less than 0.5 mg per softgel. By contrast, a low cholesterol diet is defined as less than 300 mg/day.

  • How much Cod Liver Oil is in each Cod Liver Oil softgel?

    There are 397.5 mg cod liver oil per capsule.

  • What is the EPA and DHA content in Cod Liver Oil softgel?

    Each capsule contains approximately 68.4 mg of EPA and 45.6 mg of DHA.

  • What is the conversion of mg of beta-carotene to IUs of vitamin A activity?

    The National Academy of Science now reports vitamin A activity as retinol equivalents, where 1 retinol equivalent (RE) equals:
    - 1 mcg retinol (mcg = micrograms)
    - 3.33 IU vitamin A activity from retinol
    - 6 mcg beta-carotene
    - 10 IU vitamin A activity from beta-carotene or:
    - 1 mg beta-carotene = 1667 IU vitamin A activity from beta-carotene

  • What is beta-carotene?

    Beta-carotene belongs to a family of compounds called "carotenoids", which give orange and yellow fruits and vegetables their characteristic color. Beta-carotene is also found in dark green leafy vegetables. This vitamin is sometimes called "provitamin A" because it can be converted to vitamin A (retinol) inside the body.

     

    Beta-carotene is used as a source of vitamin A in multivitamins because, unlike vitamin A, beta-carotene is non-toxic. Research is currently underway to determine other non-vitamin roles for beta-carotene such as preventing cancer and other chronic diseases.

     

  • How can I tell if beta carotene is natural or synthetic? Are they different?

    There is no requirement for the labeling of synthetic beta carotene with a unique marker as you would see with synthetic vitamin E. That is because the synthetic material (trans beta carotene) is a big part of the natural material. Synthetic beta carotene is nature identical, just incomplete.

     

    Beta carotene naturally contains both trans and 9-cis forms. Synthetic beta carotene is much cheaper and only contains the trans from. There are numerous studies on natural beta carotene (which contains both trans and 9-cis forms) that the synthetic beta carotene (all trans) could not replicate. There is ample evidence that the natural beta carotene is more effective than synthetic.

     

    Many products on the market are synthetic (all trans) beta carotene. Our product Natural Beta Carotene is not only natural (trans and 9-cis) – it also contains a blend of mixed carotenoids.

  • Why do some of the vitamin A products contain soybean oil?

    Soybean oil is used as a stable carrier for many of our softgel capsule products. It is an excellent carrier, which allows for strict control of product potency. Often the addition of soybean oil to a highly purified substance, such as vitamin A from fish liver oil, results in a final product of convenient size.

  • Does beta-carotene have other actions, other than as pro-vitamin A?

    Beta-carotene and other members of the family of carotenoids are being investigated in the treatment of cancer. The research studies have not yet been concluded, but the data strongly support a protective role for beta-carotene against cancers, particularly lung cancer

  • Why is beta-carotene considered a safer form of vitamin A?

    It is considered a "safe" form of vitamin A because the body converts only as much of it to vitamin A as it needs. Taking excessive amounts of beta-carotene can, however, give an orange/yellowish tint to the skin (hypercarotenosis). It is not dangerous and disappears when intake is reduced or stopped.

  • Why does the 100% Natural Beta-Carotene have a two-toned color?

    The two-toned color is normal. It is a result of the extraction process of the beta-carotene from the algae, D.salina. Beta-carotene is extracted from the algae with the naturally occurring solid particles that carry the beta-carotene. When encapsulated, the solid particles may migrate over time in the capsule. The softgels are oval and filled with a red suspension and dark oil. Physically this may appear as a mixture of a dark red and brown color.

  • Is the Cod in the Cod Liver Oil Softgel farm raised or wild?

    The oil is normally extracted from the Cod family of fish (gadus), which are either harvested wild or farmed in Norway.

  • What is the cholesterol content in the Cod Liver Oil Softgel?

    There are 2 mg of cholesterol in each capsule.

  • How much soybean oil is in each capsule of Vitamin A&D 10,000/400 IU?

    There is 129 mg soybean oil per softgel.

Frequently Asked Questions - Letter Vitamins - B

  • What are vitamins?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in foods. The human body cannot create vitamins and therefore has to acquire them via the diet or supplements. Vitamins are essential for all body functions including: obtaining energy from food, supporting growth, repairing tissues, maintenance of health, and general wellness.

  • Why are vitamins important?

    Our bodies utilize vitamins on a daily basis. These vitamins are critical for biochemical processes that maintain life. Vitamins play important roles in obtaining energy from our food, supporting growth, healing, and repair. A continuous deficiency in vitamins will lead to a serious deterioration in health, weakness, susceptibility to disease, and may lead to death

  • How many vitamins are there?

    Thirteen vitamins have been identified: A, B (8 variations) C, D, E, and K. B complex vitamins are as follows: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

  • What is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins?

    Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

    As the name implies, water-soluble vitamins such as most B and C vitamins dissolve in water. They are easily taken up and released by body tissues. Daily replenishment of these water soluble nutrients is important because the body cannot store them.

    Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. These vitamins are absorbed along with fat. Excess fat-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body fat and liver therefore several weeks' supply may be consumed in a single dose or meal.

  • What is the best way to take B vitamins?

    B vitamins may be more effective when taken together. B vitamins work synergistically and often times in similar roles. In general, proper function of a B vitamin is dependent upon the presence of other B complex vitamins.

     

    Nevertheless, a health care professional may suggests taking an individual B vitamin for specific reasons or conditions.

     

  • Are B vitamins safe?

    Yes, B Vitamins are water soluble and significant amounts are not stored in the body (with the exception of vitamins B6 and B12). The body will eliminate any excess taken in the diet. Most B vitamins have not shown toxicity at high doses except for Niacin and B6.

    Because water-soluble vitamins and nutrients dissolve in water, the human body requires a continuous supply from either food or supplements.

  • What vitamins make up the B complex vitamins?

    - Vitamin B1
    - Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).
    - Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
    - Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
    - Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
    - Vitamin B7 (Biotin)
    - Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
    - Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin)

     

  • What are the main roles of each B vitamin?

    - B Vitamins are essential for a healthy metabolism, energy production, nervous system, and skin.
    - When taken together B vitamins work synergistically and may optimize the benefit.

    Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) for energy support

    - The first B vitamin discovered, hence the name. Thiamin is essential for proper energy production in the brain. It functions as part of the enzymatic process necessary for energy production.
    - Needed to process protein, carbohydrates and fat
    - Required by each cell to form ATP, the fuel used by the body to create energy
    - Required by nerve cells in order to function normally
    - Found in soybeans, legumes, brown rice, sunflower seeds, peanuts and fortified foods

    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

    - First recognized as a yellow- green pigment in milk in 1879.Riboflavin functions with important enzymes involved in energy production.
    - Those likely to be deficient are vegans and those with sickle cell anemia
    - Needed to activate vitamin B6 and folic acid
    - Important in energy production
    - Found in dairy foods, eggs, meat and fortified foods

    Vitamin B3 (Niacin, Niacinamide) for circulatory support and blood vessel wellness. Supports healthy cholesterol levels and energy.

    - The body converts the amino acid tryptophan to create niacin. It is required in the process of releasing energy from carbohydrates. The niacin form of vitamin B3 also regulates cholesterol levels in the body.
    - Therapeutic doses of niacin are used to manage cholesterol and should be administered by a health care practitioner due to the possibility of liver toxicity.
    - Essential in the production of energy and to process alcohol
    - Functions therapeutically to promote heart health
    - Found in liver, organ meats, eggs, fish, peanuts, Brewer’s yeast and in smaller amounts in rice, seeds and barley

    Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) supports metabolism and adrenal function.

    Often used externally in hair care products, as well as taken internally. This vitamin plays a vital role in various enzymatic functions in the body:

    - Utilized in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates
    - Important in the manufacture of adrenal hormones and red blood cells
    - Necessary for energy production
    - Required for proper function of the nervous system
    - Found in liver, yeast, salmon, vegetables, dairy, grains and eggs

    Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) plays an important role in converting food into energy. It is also essential in red blood cell formation, protein metabolism, and immune support

    Is required to process amino acids in the body. It is also needed to make the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, supporting nervous system health. Along with folic acid and B12, B6 is:

    - Directly related to homocysteine levels in body. Excess homocysteine buildup increases the risk of a heart attack- adequate levels of B6 assist in keeping homocysteine levels balanced
    - Crucial in maintaining hormone homeostasis, including melatonin production
    - Food sources of B6 include liver, organ meats, milk, fish, poultry, whole grains and legumes Deficiency of vitamin B6 may occur in anemic individuals and those using oral contraceptives. 0 -
    - Therapeutic uses for B6 include morning sickness, carpal tunnel syndrome, PMS and water balance.

    Vitamin B7 (Biotin) supports metabolism of food for energy. Promotes healthy skin, hair, and nails. Biotin functions in the utilization of fats and amino acids. Biotin can be manufactured in the gut.

    - Commonly used by those with alopecia (hair loss) and for nail health
    - Found in liver, soy, grains, nuts and brewer’s yeast
    - Found in clinical studies to help potentiate the action of the trace mineral chromium

    Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) for fetal development support including spine and brain development.

    Folic Acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin, Folate. Folate is only found in foods. This vitamin is needed for energy production and the formation of red blood cells. Folic acid intake and cellular stores are most critical to:

    - Nervous system development of the fetus, especially in the beginning weeks of pregnancy
    - Reducing the risk of heart disease by keeping homocysteine levels in check
    - Found in orange juice, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fortified cereals

    Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

    Works with folic acid to synthesize DNA, red blood cells, and nerve cells. Intrinsic factor, a special digestive secretion, is necessary to absorb vitamin B12 from food. Our formula B12 500 mcg is unique because it is protected with a special resin. This resin delays disintegration of the tablet until it reaches the small intestine. Once there, it breaks down, allowing for maximum absorption of this important nutrient. Other important factors include:

    - Works with vitamins B6 and folic acid to keep homocysteine levels in check
    - Stored in the liver
    - Found in animal sources, such as liver, kidney, eggs, cheese and meat

    PABA (Para- Aminobenzoic Acid)

    Functions in the breakdown and utilization of proteins and in the formation of blood cells. May play a role in:

    - Skin health
    - Intestinal health
    - Found in grains and meats

  • Does the Balanced B-50 Cap contain oxalate or any ingredient derived from oxalate?

     There is no oxalic acid in the Balanced B-50 Cap


  • What is the difference between niacin and niacinamide?

    Vitamin B3 comes in two natural forms: niacin (or nicotinic acid) and niacinamide. Niacin is easily converted into niacinamide in our body tissues. Thus, niacin is found in animal tissues as niacinamide and in plant tissues as nicotinic acid. The richest niacin sources are brewer’s yeast, red meat, poultry, fish, and peanuts. Niacin acts as a mild dilatory of blood vessels and increases blood flow. Depending on the individual, it may cause a temporary flushing of the face and increased skin temperature. Niacinamide has not been shown to cause these unpleasant reactions. Medical professionals may prescribe drug dosages of niacin since it has been positively associated with cholesterol levels. A few cases of liver toxicity have occurred in individuals taking drug dosages (greater than 2 grams prolonged release niacin/day).Therefore, a high niacin intake should only be taken under the supervision of a medical professional.

     

  • Is No-Flush Niacin timed release niacin?

    No. No-Flush Niacin is a completely different form of niacin than timed release. It is broken down more slowly by the digestive system and does not reach full blood serum levels for nearly ten hours after ingestion. This is actually a longer period of time than many timed release niacin supplements.

  • How much actual niacin am I getting in one dose of No-Flush Niacin?

    The inositol hexanicotinate used in No-Flush Niacin is 90.4% niacin and 9.6% inositol. If you do the math that breaks down to 454 mg of niacin and 46 mg of inositol per dose. This is over 2,000% of the recommended daily intake of niacin.


  • What is the difference between inositol hexaniacinate and inositol hexanicotinate?

    There is no difference. They are different names for the same molecular compound. It may be easiest to refer to it as no-flush niacin.

  • What does B6 do for the body?

    Vitamin B6 plays an important role in converting food into energy. It is also essential in red blood cell formation, protein metabolism, and immune support.

  • How much vitamin B6 do I need?

    The amount of vitamin B6 you need depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in milligrams (mg).

     

    Life Stage

    Recommended Amount

    Birth to 6 months

    0.1 mg

    Infants 7–12 months

    0.3 mg

    Children 1–3 years

    0.5 mg

    Children 4–8 years

    0.6 mg

    Children 9–13 years

    1.0 mg

    Teens 14–18 years (boys)

    1.3 mg

    Teens 14–18 years (girls)

    1.2 mg

    Adults 19–50 years

    1.3 mg

    Adults 51+ years (men)

    1.7 mg

    Adults 51+ years (women)

    1.5 mg

    Pregnant teens and women

    1.9 mg

    Breastfeeding teens and women

    2.0 mg

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

     

  • What foods provide vitamin B6?

    Vitamin B6 is found naturally in many foods and is added to other foods. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin B6 by eating a variety of foods, including the following:

    - Poultry, fish, and organ meats, all rich in vitamin B6.
    - Potatoes and other starchy vegetables, which are some of the major sources of vitamin B6 for Americans.
    - Fruit (other than citrus), which are also among the major sources of vitamin B6 for Americans.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Am I getting enough vitamin B6?

    Certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough vitamin B6 namely:

    - People whose kidneys do not work properly, including people who are on kidney dialysis and those who -have had a kidney transplant.
    - People with autoimmune disorders, which cause their immune system to mistakenly attack their own healthy tissues. For example, people with rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease sometimes have low vitamin B6 levels.
    - People with alcohol dependence.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What happens if I don't get enough vitamin B6?

    People who don't get enough vitamin B6 can have a range of symptoms, including anemia, itchy rashes, scaly skin on the lips, cracks at the corners of the mouth, and a swollen tongue. Other symptoms of very low vitamin B6 levels include depression, confusion, and a weak immune system. Infants who do not get enough vitamin B6 can become irritable or develop extremely sensitive hearing or seizures.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Does vitamin B6 affect homocysteine levels in the blood?

    Recent studies indicate that the combination of Folic Acid, vitamins B6, and B12 helps maintain normal blood levels of homocysteine.

  • Can vitamin B6 be harmful?

    The upper limits for vitamin B6 are listed below. These levels do not apply to people who are taking vitamin B6 for medical reasons under the care of a doctor.

     

    Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (ULs) for Vitamin B6 [1]

    Age

    Male

    Female

    Pregnancy

    Lactation

    Birth to 6 months

    Not possible to establish*

    Not possible to establish*

     

     

    7–12 months

    Not possible to establish*

    Not possible to establish*

     

     

    1–3 years

    30 mg

    30 mg

     

     

    4–8 years

    40 mg

    40 mg

     

     

    9–13 years

    60 mg

    60 mg

     

     

    14–18 years

    80 mg

    80 mg

    80 mg

    80 mg

    19+ years

    100 mg

    100 mg

    100 mg

    100 mg

    *Breast milk, formula, and food should be the only sources of vitamin B6 for infants.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Are there any interactions with vitamin B6 that I should know about?

    Yes, vitamin B6 supplements can interact or interfere with medicines that you take. Here are several examples:

    - Vitamin B6 supplements might interact with cycloserine (Seromycin®), an antibiotic used to treat tuberculosis, and worsen any seizures and nerve cell damage that the drug might cause.
    - Taking certain epilepsy drugs could decrease vitamin B6 levels and reduce the drugs' ability to control seizures.
    - Taking theophylline (Aquaphyllin®, Elixophyllin®, Theolair®, Truxophyllin®, and many others) for asthma or another lung disease can reduce vitamin B6 levels and cause seizures.

  • Is Biotin a Vitamin?

    Yes, biotin is also known as vitamin B7.

  • Does Biotin cause hair and nail growth?

    Biotin has not been proven to cause the growth of hair or nails. Nevertheless, it is needed to help maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails.

  • How Much Biotin is Safe to Take Daily?

    Currently, there is no evidence of biotin toxicity and no determined tolerable upper intake level (UL).

    There is no recommended dietary allowance (RDA) established for biotin. The adequate intakes (AI) for biotin are 7 mcg for infants 0-12 months, 8 mcg for children 1-3 years, 12 mcg for children 4-8 years, 20 mcg for children 9-13 years, 25 mcg for adolescents 14-18 years, 30 mcg for adults over 18 years and pregnant women, and 35 mcg for breast-feeding women. Please consult with your health care professional before using doses above 2,500 mcg.

  • What is folate and what does it do?

    Folate is a B-vitamin that is naturally present in many foods. A form of folate, called folic acid, is used in dietary supplements and fortified foods.

    Our bodies need folate to make DNA and other genetic material. Folate is also needed for the body's cells to divide.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • How much folate do I need?

    The amount of folate you need depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts are listed below in micrograms (mcg) of dietary folate equivalents (DFEs).

    All women and teen girls who could become pregnant should consume 400 mcg of folic acid daily from supplements, fortified foods, or both in addition to the folate they get naturally from foods.

     

    Life Stage

    Recommended Amount

    Birth to 6 months

    65 mcg DFE

    Infants 7–12 months

    80 mcg DFE

    Children 1–3 years

    150 mcg DFE

    Children 4–8 years

    200 mcg DFE

    Children 9–13 years

    300 mcg DFE

    Teens 14–18 years

    400 mcg DFE

    Adults 19–50 years

    400 mcg DFE

    Adults 51–70 years

    400 mcg DFE

    Adults 71+ years

    400 mcg DFE

    Pregnant teens and women

    600 mcg DFE

    Breastfeeding teens and women

    500 mcg DFE

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

     

  • What foods provide folate?

    Folate is naturally present in many foods and food companies add folic acid to other foods, including bread, cereal, and pasta. You can get recommended amounts by eating a variety of foods, including the following:

    - Vegetables (especially asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and mustard greens).
    - Fruits and fruit juices (especially oranges and orange juice).
    - Nuts, beans, and peas (such as peanuts, black-eyed peas, and kidney beans).
    - Grains (including whole grains; fortified cold cereals; enriched flour products such as bread, bagels, cornmeal, and pasta; and rice).
    - Folic acid is added to many grain-based products. To find out whether folic acid has been added to a food, check the product label.
    - Beef liver is high in folate but is also high in cholesterol, so limit the amount you eat. Only small amounts of folate are found in other animal foods like meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What kinds of folic acid dietary supplements are available?

    Folic acid is available in multivitamins and prenatal vitamins. It is also available in B-complex dietary supplements and supplements containing only folic acid.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Am I getting enough folate?

    Certain groups of people are more likely than others to have trouble getting enough folate:

    - Teen girls and women aged 14–30 years (especially before and during pregnancy).
    - Non-Hispanic black women.
    - People with disorders that lower nutrient absorption (such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease).
    - People with alcoholism.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What happens if I don't get enough folate?

    Folate deficiency is rare in the United States, but some people get barely enough. Getting too little folate can result in megaloblastic anemia, which causes weakness, fatigue, trouble concentrating, irritability, headache, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath. Folate deficiency can also cause open sores on the tongue and inside the mouth as well as changes in the color of the skin, hair, or fingernails.

     

    Women who don't get enough folate are at risk of having babies with neural tube defects, such asspina bifida. Folate deficiency can also increase the likelihood of having a premature or low-birth-weight baby.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Can folate be harmful?

    Folate that is naturally present in food is not harmful. Folic acid in supplements and fortified foods, however, should not be consumed in amounts above the upper limit, unless recommended by a health care provider.

    Taking large amounts of folic acid might hide a vitamin B12 deficiency. Folic acid can correct the anemia but not the nerve damage caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. This can lead to permanent damage of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. High doses of folic acid might also increase the risk of colorectal cancer and possibly other cancers in some people.

    The upper limits for folic acid are listed below.

    Ages

    Upper Limit

    Birth to 6 months

    Not established

    Infants 7–12 months

    Not established

    Children 1–3 years

    300 mcg

    Children 4–8 years

    400 mcg

    Children 9–13 years

    600 mcg

    Teens 14–18 years

    800 mcg

    Adults

    1,000 mcg

     

  • Are there any interactions with folate that I should know about?

    Folic acid supplements can interact with several medications. Here are some examples:

    • Folic acid could interfere with methotrexate (Rheumatrex®, Trexall®) when taken to treat cancer.
    • Taking anti-epileptic medications such as phenytoin (Dilantin®), carbamazepine (Carbatrol®, Tegretol®, Equetro®, Epitol®), and valproate (Depacon®) could reduce blood levels of folate. Also, taking folic acid supplements could reduce blood levels of these medications.
    • Taking sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®) for ulcerative colitis could reduce the body's ability to absorb folate and cause folate deficiency.

    Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements


  • What is vitamin B12 and what does it do?

    Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

    Two steps are required for the body to absorb vitamin B12 from food. First, hydrochloric acid in the stomach separates vitamin B12 from the protein to which vitamin B12 is attached in food. After this, vitamin B12 combines with a protein made by the stomach called intrinsic factor and is absorbed by the body. Some people have pernicious anemia, a condition where they cannot make intrinsic factor. As a result, they have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from all foods and dietary supplements.

     

  • What type of cobalamin do you use?

    All of our vitamin B12 products are in the cyanocobalamin form.

  • What does double absorption on the front of the B12, 500 mcg label mean?

    Our “double absorption” vitamin B12 undergoes a unique production process. But first, it is important to understand the absorption and transportation of B12 in the body.

    B12 (cyanocobalamin) is synthesized by microorganisms in our gastrointestinal tract, and it occurs as part of a protein complex in animal proteins.B12 absorption involves the following steps:

    1.  Ingested B12 is broken down by enzymes and hydrochloric acid.
    2.  B12 then binds with an R protein and is transported from the stomach to the small intestine. R proteins are found in saliva and gastric juices. Once in the small intestine, B12 is released.
    3. The unbound cobalamin then binds to another specific protein called Intrinsic Factor (IF), which is necessary for the absorption of B12 in the small intestine.
    4. After crossing the intestinal lining, B12 breaks off from the IF and binds to still another carrier protein. The protein, transcobalamin, transports vitamin B12 to the bloodstream.

    We can find no documentation that shows B12 is better absorbed if it combines with the R protein in the saliva versus in the stomach.

    The specially processed cobalamin in B12, 500 mcg contains a resin that responds to particular pH levels. As the tablet disintegrates, the nutrient is protected by the resin until it reaches the small intestine. It is here where the pH is high enough to allow the resin to release the B12.This process can essentially double the absorption of vitamin B12.That’s why we call our formula “double absorption” B12.

  • How is Methyl B12 absorbed differently than cyanocobalamin?

    Cyanocobalamin, the most common form of vitamin B12, is taken orally where it travels to the stomach. Here, Intrinsic Factor (IF) and adequate stomach acid separate B12 from food and cyanocobalamin is then broken down as cyano + cobalamin. This free cobalamin needs to be methylated (a methyl group needs to attach) to be distributed in the blood. Methyl groups can come from betaine or other methyl-containing compounds. In contrast, methylcobalamin simply gets absorbed via the intestines and then is circulated into the blood-eliminating the step to wait for methylation of the molecule

  • How much vitamin B12 do I need?

    The amount of vitamin B12 you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in micrograms (mcg):

     

    Life Stage

    Recommended Amount

    Birth to 6 months

    0.4 mcg

    Infants 7–12 months

    0.5 mcg

    Children 1–3 years

    0.9 mcg

    Children 4–8 years

    1.2 mcg

    Children 9–13 years

    1.8 mcg

    Teens 14–18 years

    2.4 mcg

    Adults

    2.4 mcg

    Pregnant teens and women

    2.6 mcg

    Breastfeeding teens and women

    2.8 mcg

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Am I getting enough vitamin B12?

    Some people have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from food. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency affects up to 15% of the public. 

    Certain groups may not get enough vitamin B12 or have trouble absorbing it:

    - Many older adults, who do not have enough hydrochloric acid in their stomach to absorb the vitamin B12 naturally present in food. People over 50 should get most of their vitamin B12 from fortified foods or dietary supplements because, in most cases, their bodies can absorb vitamin B12 from these sources.
    - People with pernicious anemia whose bodies do not make the intrinsic factor needed to absorb vitamin B12. Doctors usually treat pernicious anemia with vitamin B12 shots, although very high oral doses of vitamin B12 might also be effective.
    - People who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, or who have digestive disorders, such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease. These conditions can decrease the amount of vitamin B12 that the body can absorb.
    - Some people who eat little or no animal foods such as vegetarians and vegans. Only animal foods have vitamin B12 naturally. When pregnant women and women who breastfeed their babies are strict vegetarians or vegans, their babies might also not get enough vitamin B12.
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Can vitamin B12 be harmful?

    Vitamin B12 has not been shown to cause any harm. Vitamin B-12 is water soluble, so what your body does not use is eliminated through the urine. Vitamin B-12 is non-toxic even at many times greater than the Recommended Daily Allowance

  • What happens if I don't get enough vitamin B12?

    Vitamin B12 deficiency causes tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, and megaloblastic anemia. Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Other symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include problems with balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. Vitamin B12 deficiency can damage the nervous system even in people who don't have anemia, so it is important to treat a deficiency as soon as possible.

    In infants, signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency include failure to thrive, problems with movement, delays in reaching the typical developmental milestones, and megaloblastic anemia.

    Large amounts of folic acid can hide a vitamin B12 deficiency by correcting megaloblastic anemia, a hallmark of vitamin B12 deficiency. But folic acid does not correct the progressive damage to the nervous system that vitamin B12 deficiency also causes. For this reason, healthy adults should not get more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid a day.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

     

  • Are there any interactions with vitamin B12 that I should know about?

    Yes. Vitamin B12 can interact or interfere with medicines that you take, and in some cases, medicines can lower vitamin B12 levels in the body. Here are several examples of medicines that can interfere with the body's absorption or use of vitamin B12:\

    - Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®), an antibiotic that is used to treat certain infections.
    - Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), that are used to treat acid reflux and peptic ulcer disease.
    - Histamine H2 receptor antagonists, such as cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), and ranitidine (Zantac®), that are used to treat peptic ulcer disease.
    - Metformin, a drug used to treat diabetes.

    Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

Frequently Asked Questions - Letter Vitamins - C

  • What are vitamins?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in foods. The human body cannot create vitamins and therefore has to acquire them via the diet or supplements. Vitamins are essential for all body functions including: obtaining energy from food, supporting growth, repairing tissues, maintenance of health, and general wellness.

  • Why are vitamins important?

    Our bodies utilize vitamins on a daily basis. These vitamins are critical for biochemical processes that maintain life. Vitamins play important roles in obtaining energy from our food, supporting growth, healing, and repair. A continuous deficiency in vitamins will lead to a serious deterioration in health, weakness, susceptibility to disease, and may lead to death.

  • How many vitamins are there?

    Thirteen vitamins have been identified: A, B (8 variations) C, D, E, and K. B complex vitamins are as follows: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

     

     

  • What is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins?

    Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

    As the name implies, water-soluble vitamins such as most B and C vitamins dissolve in water. They are easily taken up and released by body tissues. Daily replenishment of these water soluble nutrients is important because the body cannot store them.

    Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. These vitamins are absorbed along with fat. Excess fat-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body fat and liver therefore several weeks' supply may be consumed in a single dose or meal.

  • Is there any grapefruit in the citrus bioflavonoids in Bioflavonoid Complex?

    No. The Certificate of Analysis for our Hesperidin ingredient states the product consists of “100% Citrus (limon and sinensis)” from the USA. According to UCLA’s Department of Subtropical Horticulture, Citrus limon is also known as the lemon and Citrus sinensis is also known as the orange. Citrus paradisi is the species for grapefruit, which is absent in our Hesperidin.

  • What is the pH of Buffered C compared to vitamin C supplements with only ascorbic acid?

    - Vitamin C 1,000 mg plus Rose Hips, Prolonged Release — pH = 2.81(ascorbic acid)
    - Vitamin C 1,000 mg plus Rose Hips — pH = 2.65(ascorbic acid)
    - Buffered C 1,000 mg plus 5 Key Minerals, Prolonged Release — pH = 4.84 (ascorbic acid and ascorbates)

    A buffer is something that resists change. It is a mixture of acidic and alkaline components that, when added to a solution (i.e., your stomach’s gastric secretions), can protect the solution against wide variations in its pH, even when strong acids and bases are added. In the stomach, the pH is usually around 2.0.There is a value called “pKa,” which represents the constant for an acid, promoting a balanced equation. The pKa for ascorbic acid is 4.1.This value applies to all three products listed above, even though the pH is different. The closer the pH and pKa value, the stronger the buffering capability. Therefore, if the pH and pKa are equal, you will have the maximum buffering effect for that particular compound. Our Buffered C’s pH and pKa values are equivalent, which provides a more tolerable supplement for those with sensitive stomachs due to increased acid production.

     

  • Why are bioflavonoids important? How are they processed?

    For citrus bioflavonoids, whole citrus fruit is cleaned, washed, de-juiced and de-oiled. The resulting byproduct, composed primarily of pulp, is ground, rewashed and pressed to remove certain soluble compounds and excess water. A proprietary process removes additional non-fiber components and transforms the residue into a fiber concentrate, which is dehydrated, milled, sized and checked for conformity to specifications. The bioflavonoids used by EverLife contain no artificial additives or preservatives.

    Function: Flavonoids are present in berries, citrus and yams, and may keep disease promoting hormones from attaching to the surface of cells. Studies have shown that bioflavonoids increase vitamin C absorption. Other areas of research include strengthening capillary walls, varicose veins, eye health, immune system health, inflammation management, injury recovery, and cardiovascular health.

  • What is the difference between L-ascorbic acid and D-ascorbic acid?

    The L-form of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) is the naturally occurring form. There are four forms of ascorbic acid-called isomers. An isomer is the same chemical molecule but a different arrangement of the molecule. When you change the arrangement of the molecule, it may have different chemical properties. As one professor puts it, “mirror image molecules do not have mirror image effects.” The four forms are L, D, LD, and DL.

    L-ascorbic acid is the form we use in our dietary supplements, and it is the form most manufacturers (if not all) use. It is the only truly useful form for humans and mammals that cannot synthesize their own vitamin C.

    D-ascorbic acid is the enantiomer of L-ascorbic acid. Basically, an enantiomer is the mirror image of a molecule. So if you take a D-ascorbic acid molecule and flip it over and superimpose it onto an L-ascorbic acid molecule, it would all line up. Again, because it has a different arrangement within the molecule, it has different effects in the body than L-ascorbic acid. D-ascorbic acid does not lend any antioxidant activity, so it is essentially useless for human benefit.

    It is also possible one may get confused with the letter “D” because of another form of ascorbic acid is called D-isoascorbic acid (or erythorbic acid) is used as a food preservative because it has antioxidant properties but it doesn’t have as much vitamin C activity (about 1/20th of the vitamin C activity). This form is not used in dietary supplements-only in foods as a preservative. Again, that’s because isoascorbic acid is a different arrangement of the molecule, so it may have different chemical properties.

     

  • What are the sources of rutin and hesperidin?

    Rutin is from Chinese scholar tree (Japanese pagoda tree). Hesperidin is from citrus fruits

  • What is vitamin C and what does it do?

    Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun.

    The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • How much vitamin C do I need?

    The amount of vitamin C you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in milligrams (mg).

     

    Life Stage

    Recommended Amount

    Birth to 6 months

    40 mg

    Infants 7–12 months

    50 mg

    Children 1–3 years

    15 mg

    Children 4–8 years

    25 mg

    Children 9–13 years

    45 mg

    Teens 14–18 years (boys)

    75 mg

    Teens 14–18 years (girls)

    65 mg

    Adults (men)

    90 mg

    Adults (women)

    75 mg

    Pregnant teens

    80 mg

    Pregnant women

    85 mg

    Breastfeeding teens

    115 mg

    Breastfeeding women

    120 mg

    If you smoke, add 35 mg to the above values to calculate your total daily recommended amount.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Do you need extra vitamin C if you smoke cigarettes?

    Yes. The vitamin C intake needed to maintain an adequate vitamin C status is up to 50% higher in heavy smokers (at least a pack a day) compared with non-smokers.

     

  • What foods provide vitamin C?

    Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. You can get recommended amounts of vitamin C by eating a variety of foods including the following:

    - Citrus fruits (such as oranges and grapefruit) and their juices, as well as red and green pepper and kiwifruit, which have a lot of vitamin C.
    - Other fruits and vegetables—such as broccoli, strawberries, cantaloupe, baked potatoes, and tomatoes which also have vitamin C.
    - Some foods and beverages that are fortified with vitamin C. To find out if vitamin C has been added to a food product, check the product labels.

    The vitamin C content of food may be reduced by prolonged storage and by cooking. Steaming or microwaving may lessen cooking losses. Fortunately, many of the best food sources of vitamin C, such as fruits and vegetables, are usually eaten raw.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

     

  • What happens if I don't get enough vitamin C?

    Vitamin C deficiency is rare in the United States and Canada. People who get little or no vitamin C (below about 10 mg per day) for many weeks can get scurvy. Scurvy causes fatigue, inflammation of the gums, small red or purple spots on the skin, joint pain, poor wound healing, and corkscrew hairs. Additional signs of scurvy include depression as well as swollen, bleeding gums and loosening or loss of teeth. People with scurvy can also develop anemia. Scurvy is fatal if it is not treated.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Are there any interactions with vitamin C that I should know about?

    Vitamin C dietary supplements can interact or interfere with medicines that you take. Here are several examples:

    Vitamin C dietary supplements might interact with cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It is not clear whether vitamin C might have the unwanted effect of protecting tumor cells from cancer treatments or whether it might help protect normal tissues from getting damaged. If you are being treated for cancer, check with your health care provider before taking vitamin C or other antioxidant supplements, especially in high doses.

    In one study, vitamin C plus other antioxidants (such as vitamin E, selenium, and beta-carotene) reduced the heart-protective effects of two drugs taken in combination (a statin and niacin) to control blood-cholesterol levels. It is not known whether this interaction also occurs with other statins. Health care providers should monitor lipid levels in people taking both statins and antioxidant supplements.

    Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Should I take vitamin C if I have a stomach ulcer or need to avoid acidic food?

    For sensitive individuals, standard ascorbic acid may aggravate ulcers. Nevertheless, vitamin C is also offered in an equally effective non-acidic form such as calcium ascorbate. A pharmacist, physician, or dietitian can advise you on the most suitable formulation for your needs. 

     

  • Are vitamin C supplements which contain bioflavonoids more easily digested?

    Research suggests that vitamin C may be utilized more effectively when certain bioflavonoids are present. Bioflavonoids are being researched for their benefits against heart disease.

  • What is the function of the Citrus Bioflavonoids?

    Bioflavonoids are biologically active Flavonoid compounds found throughout the entire plant kingdom. Research has long suggested that Vitamin C should be considered a complex rather than a single nutrient. Similar to the B complex of vitamins, Vitamin C works synergistically with other nutrients such as bioflavonoids. These compounds are essential for total Vitamin C effectiveness. Some common bioflavonoids are hesperidin and rutin. These bioflavonoids assist Vitamin C in keeping collagen healthy, are essential for proper absorption of Vitamin C, and prevent Vitamin C from being destroyed in the body by oxidation. Consequently, bioflavonoids improve and prolong the function of Vitamin C. Bioflavonoids also support a wide range of biological functions.

     

  • Is there a danger of getting kidney stones from regular use of vitamin C supplements?

    Studies have shown that there is no increased risk. However, people with a history of kidney stones should not take more than the daily recommendation (DRI) for vitamin C. Higher doses (several grams) do not pose a risk to other individuals.

     

  • Can vitamin C be harmful?

    The upper limits for vitamin C are listed below:

     

    Life Stage

    Upper Limit

    Birth to 12 months

    Not established

    Children 1–3 years

    400 mg

    Children 4–8 years

    650 mg

    Children 9–13 years

    1,200 mg

    Teens 14–18 years

    1,800 mg

    Adults

    2,000 mg

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Does a high dose of vitamin C (2,000 to 3,000 mg per day) cause any side effects?

    For adults, the Dietary Reference Intake has set a Tolerable Upper Limit of 2,000 mg/day of vitamin C. There are very few side effects when taking large doses of vitamin C. Nevertheless, at high doses a side effect such as a mild laxative effects can be observed in certain cases. This can often be avoided by taking vitamin C in smaller doses throughout the course of the day. The body can use three 350 mg doses of vitamin C more effectively than one single dose of 1,050 mg.

     

     

  • Is there an advantage in consuming extra vitamin C if you have an iron deficiency?

    Iron deficiency anemia is a result of poor absorption of iron or an insufficient intake of iron.

    Iron absorption can be improved when vitamin c supplements or foods high in vitamin C are taken together with meals containing iron from vegetable sources (heme-iron)

     

    When foods high in vitamin C or vitamin C supplements are taken together with meals containing non-heme iron (iron from vegetable sources), the absorption of iron is dramatically improved.

  • Can vitamin C improve physical performance?

    If your vitamin C levels are below the normal range, physical performance may be impaired.

Frequently Asked Questions - Letter Vitamins - D

  • What are vitamins?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in foods. The human body cannot create vitamins and therefore has to acquire them via the diet or supplements. Vitamins are essential for all body functions including: obtaining energy from food, supporting growth, repairing tissues, maintenance of health, and general wellness.

     

  • Why are vitamins important?

    Our bodies utilize vitamins on a daily basis. These vitamins are critical for biochemical processes that maintain life. Vitamins play important roles in obtaining energy from our food, supporting growth, healing, and repair. A continuous deficiency in vitamins will lead to a serious deterioration in health, weakness, susceptibility to disease, and may lead to death.

  • How many vitamins are there?

    Thirteen vitamins have been identified: A, B (8 variations) C, D, E, and K. B complex vitamins are as follows: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

     

     

  • What is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins?

    Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

    As the name implies, water-soluble vitamins such as most B and C vitamins dissolve in water. They are easily taken up and released by body tissues. Daily replenishment of these water soluble nutrients is important because the body cannot store them.

    Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. These vitamins are absorbed along with fat. Excess fat-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body fat and liver therefore several weeks' supply may be consumed in a single dose or meal.

  • What is vitamin D and what does it do?

    Vitamin D is a nutrient found in some foods and supplements that is needed for health and to maintain strong bones. It does so by helping the body absorb calcium (one of bone's main building blocks) from food and supplements. People who get too little vitamin D may develop soft, thin, and brittle bones, a condition known as rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

     

    Vitamin D is important to the body in many other ways as well. Muscles need it to move, for example, nerves need it to carry messages between the brain and every body part, and the immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. Vitamin D is found in cells throughout the body.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What are the sources of your vitamin D products?

    EverLife products contain vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), an animal source (such as fish or lanolin, which comes from the sheared wool of sheep).All of our vitamin A&D products use fish liver oil, except for Vitamin D3 1,000 IU and Vitamin D3 5,000 IU (#107) which uses lanolin. All other products (such as multi’s, for example) use D3 from lanolin.

     

  • Are your vitamin D softgels emulsified?

    No, our softgels are not emulsified.

  • What is the difference between an emulsion and suspension?

    An emulsion is a homogenous dispersion of two liquid phases that do not ordinarily mix. An example is oil and vinegar shaken together to make a salad dressing. The stability of an emulsion can vary widely and can be influenced by the presence of an emulsifier. An emulsifier helps the product to stay in homogenous mix. Eventually, however, separation of the two liquids can occur.

     

    A suspension is similar to an emulsion in that two phases are brought together; in this case, a liquid and a solid. But unlike an emulsion, a suspension does not completely blend together in a homogenous mix. Instead a part of the mixture is “suspended” in the other. It is easy to visualize this as a solid particle surrounded by a mucilaginous gel. Eventually, like an emulsion, gravity will separate the two phases. Our 100% natural beta-carotene is a suspension product. The beta-carotene is placed on a carrier or “diluent.” The carrier for our product is soybean oil

     

  • Where does the fish liver oil in Vitamin D3 400 IU come from?

    It is from wild-caught cod species (gadus) from Norway and is molecularly distilled

  • Why is there not vitamin A in the Vitamin D3 400 IU if it comes from fish liver oil?

    The vitamin A is removed during the manufacturing process so just the vitamin D in the Vitamin D3 400 IU remains.

  • Does Vitamin D3 1,000 IU or Vitamin D3 2,000 IU contain iodine?

    Vitamin D3 1,000 IU or Vitamin D3 2,000 IU is formulated with materials that do not contain iodine.

     

  • What foods provide vitamin D?

    Very few foods are naturally high in vitamin D-mostly fish, fish liver oils, eggs from hens fed with enriched diets, and fortified dairy or food products

  • Why do you use fish liver oil for Vitamin D3 400 IU and lanolin for the Vitamin D3 1,000 IU or Vitamin D3 2,000 IU doses?

    We chose lanolin for the 1,000 IU and 2,000 IU products & as some people may prefer a non-fish source of vitamin D, even if they aren’t vegetarian (it is still in bovine gelatin softgels, so it can’t be vegetarian).

  • Are there pesticides in sheep wool used to extract vitamin D?

    Our supplier cannot confirm whether or not any pesticides may be found in the sheep’s wool. However, during the processing of the lanolin for extraction of vitamin D3, any contaminants in the wool oil would have been removed. The lanolin is solvent-extracted and purified by distillation. Our vitamin D3 meets all testing requirements of the USP, FCC, and European Pharmacopeia. It meets USP standards for consumption as a safe dietary supplement. Testing for contaminants, such as pesticides, is part of the USP requirements and our product has passed those tests.

  • Do the sheep used for the lanolin source graze on pesticide free grass and/or feed?

    Our supplier does not retain information on whether or not they consume pesticide-free grass or feed, however the finished product is in compliance and meets EU Law/guidelines for pesticides limits and detection.

     

  • Are the sheep live or slaughtered?

    The supplier does not retain information if they are live or slaughtered; however, it is difficult to imagine the need to slaughter the animals since the wool is just sheared from the sheep (why would they get rid their source?).

  • Where are the sheep from? What grade of lanolin do you use? Are the sheep antibiotic and hormone free? What about BSE-free? Are chemicals or irradiation used? What process is used to extract or make the D3?

    The sheep are from the U.S.A. The finished products are in compliance and meet EU Law/guidelines for pesticides, residual solvents, ionization, additives and purity. This is proprietary for the company, but essentially it is a chemical synthesis/extraction process from the lanolin. The manufacturing process for vitamin D3 is rigorous so that any contaminants in the wool would have been removed long before the finished product.

  • Is the rice bran oil contained in the vitamin D3 softgels hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated?

    The rice bran oil in our D3 is not hydrogenated at all.

  • Why is vitamin D2 not as popular as D3?

    D3 has been found to be the more bioavailable form in the body, and it is the form most used in research studies showing benefit to human health. From the National Institutes of Health (NIH): “Vitamin D3 could be more than three times as effective as vitamin D2 in raising serum 25(OH)D concentrations and maintaining those levels for a longer time, and its metabolites have superior affinity for vitamin D-binding proteins in plasma.” There is growing evidence that D2 can raise serum levels in lock step with D3, however more research is needed.D2 does exist in mushrooms and can be good source for Vegans.

  • Can I get vitamin D from the sun?

    The body makes vitamin D when skin is directly exposed to the sun, and most people meet at least some of their vitamin D needs this way. Skin exposed to sunshine indoors through a window will not produce vitamin D. Cloudy days, shade, and having dark-colored skin also cut down on the amount of vitamin D the skin makes.

     

    However, despite the importance of the sun to vitamin D synthesis, it is prudent to limit exposure of skin to sunlight in order to lower the risk for skin cancer. When out in the sun for more than a few minutes, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 8 or more. Tanning beds also cause the skin to make vitamin D, but pose similar risks for skin cancer.

    People who avoid the sun or who cover their bodies with sunscreen or clothing should include good sources of vitamin D in their diets or take a supplement. Recommended intakes of vitamin D are set on the assumption of little sun exposure.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

     

  • Can overexposure to the sun cause vitamin D toxicity?

    No, there is no risk of vitamin D toxicity from prolonged sun exposure. Production of vitamin D in the skin from sunlight is a regulated system in the body. The skin protects itself against overexposure through tanning.

     

  • How do I know if I need to supplement with vitamin D?

    Your doctor or health care provider can order a blood test to check your vitamin D levels. 

    You may be at risk if you:

    - Receive less than 15-30 minutes of full body exposure between 10 am and 3 pm.
    - Spend most of your time indoors.
    - Breastfed infants, since human milk is a poor source of the nutrient. Breastfed infants should be given a supplement of 400 IU of vitamin D each day.
    - Older adults, since their skin doesn't make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight as efficiently as when they were young, and their kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form.
    - People with dark skin, because their skin has less ability to produce vitamin D from the sun.
    - People with disorders such as Crohn's disease or celiac disease who don't handle fat properly, because vitamin D needs fat to be absorbed.
    - Obese people, because their body fat binds to some vitamin D and prevents it from getting into the blood
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What kinds of vitamin D dietary supplements are available?

    Vitamin D is found in supplements (and fortified foods) in two different forms: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Both increase vitamin D in the blood.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Are there any interactions with vitamin D that I should know about?

    Like most dietary supplements, vitamin D may interact or interfere with other medicines or supplements you might be taking. Here are several examples:

    - Prednisone and other corticosteroid medicines to reduce inflammation impair how the body handles vitamin D, which leads to lower calcium absorption and loss of bone over time.
    - Both the weight-loss drug orlistat (brand names Xenical® and Alli®) and the cholesterol-lowering drug cholestyramine (brand names Questran®, LoCholest®, and Prevalite®) can reduce the absorption of vitamin D and other fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, and K).
    - Both phenobarbital and phenytoin (brand name Dilantin®), used to prevent and control epileptic seizures, increase the breakdown of vitamin D and reduce calcium absorption.

    Tell your doctor, pharmacist, and other health care providers about any dietary supplements and medicines you take. They can tell you if those dietary supplements might interact or interfere with your prescription or over-the-counter medicines, or if the medicines might interfere with how your body absorbs, uses, or breaks down nutrients.

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • How does vitamin D work to support my immune health?

    Vitamin D is found in cells throughout the body. Your immune system needs vitamin D to fight off invading bacteria and viruses. The immune system does not function as well when vitamin D levels are low. Moreover, most immune cells have receptor sites for vitamin D indicating a strong association.

  • How does vitamin D work to support my bone health?

    Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium. That is why most calcium supplements contain vitamin D.  Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.

Frequently Asked Questions - Letter Vitamins - E

  • What are vitamins?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in foods. The human body cannot create vitamins and therefore has to acquire them via the diet or supplements. Vitamins are essential for all body functions including: obtaining energy from food, supporting growth, repairing tissues, maintenance of health, and general wellness.

     

  • Why are vitamins important?

    Our bodies utilize vitamins on a daily basis. These vitamins are critical for biochemical processes that maintain life. Vitamins play important roles in obtaining energy from our food, supporting growth, healing, and repair. A continuous deficiency in vitamins will lead to a serious deterioration in health, weakness, susceptibility to disease, and may lead to death.

  • How many vitamins are there?

    Thirteen vitamins have been identified: A, B (8 variations) C, D, E, and K. B complex vitamins are as follows: Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), Vitamin B7 (Biotin), Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid), and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin).

  • What is the difference between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins?

    Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble and fat-soluble.

    As the name implies, water-soluble vitamins such as most B and C vitamins dissolve in water. They are easily taken up and released by body tissues. Daily replenishment of these water soluble nutrients is important because the body cannot store them.

    Fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K dissolve in fat. These vitamins are absorbed along with fat. Excess fat-soluble vitamins may be stored in the body fat and liver therefore several weeks' supply may be consumed in a single dose or meal.

  • What is vitamin E and what does it do?

    Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun.

     

    The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions

  • What is vitamin E and what does it do?

    Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun.

    The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions.
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Am I getting enough vitamin E?

    The diets of most Americans provide less than the recommended amounts of vitamin E. Nevertheless, healthy people rarely show any clear signs that they are not getting enough vitamin E
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What is the IU/mg equivalents for vitamin E?

    - 1 IU d-alpha tocopherol = .67 mg
    - 1 mg d-alpha tocopherol = 1.49 IU
    - 1 IU d-alpha tocopheryl acetate = .74 mg
    - 1 mg d-alpha tocopheryl acetate = 1.36 IU
    - 1 IU d-alpha tocopheryl succinate = .83 mg
    - 1 mg d-alpha tocopheryl succinate = 1.21 IU

     

  • What is the oil commonly used in vitamin E products?

    It comes from soy oil. Because soy is considered a highly refined oil, there are no proteins (which contain the portion of the plant that may be allergenic for some people).Additionally, because there is no protein portion, it is PCR (polymerase chain reaction) negative for genetically modified organisms.

  • How do you tell the difference between a natural and synthetic form of alpha tocopherol (vitamin E)?

    Unlike many vitamins whose synthetic form is “nature identical,” synthetic vitamin E is not the same as natural vitamin E. Vitamin E is primarily composed of four tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Alpha tocopherol, the most active variety, can be synthetic or natural. This is indicated with the letters “d” and “l.” The natural and most potent form, written as d-alpha tocopherol, is taken up preferentially by our tissues. The synthetic form, written as dl-alpha tocopherol, has lower biological activity and is less absorbable because the “l” portion is not recognized as vitamin E by the body. All of our vitamin E-containing products feature only the natural form.

    It is important to note that the terms acetate and succinate do NOT determine whether alpha tocopherol is natural or synthetic. Acetate and succinate are carriers of natural vitamin E used to stabilize and protect it from oxidative damage. Acetate is the esterified oil form, while succinate is the esterified dry form. As opposed to its “raw” oil state, the dry form of d-alpha tocopherol is used for putting it into tablets and hard gelatin capsules.

     

  • What do the terms water soluble and water dispersible mean?

    Water soluble components “disappear” in water. An example of this is sugar or salt in water.

    When mixed with water, a water dispersible component forms a fairly homogenous mixture that is not clear or colorless. The dispersed component is visible throughout the water. The stability of water dispersion can vary widely. Continuous mixing may not be necessary to maintain the dispersion. Eventually separation will occur. A water miscible component is not soluble in water.

  • Is the addition of a carrier necessary to the oil form of natural d-alpha tocopherol?

    The oil form of our natural vitamin E products is sealed in airtight softgels. This prevents the product (through the Best By date) from going rancid since the contents are not exposed to air. Theoretically, a carrier does not have to be added to our oil form of d-alpha tocopherol because softgel encapsulation provides sufficient protection at least through our Best By date. We use the form acetate in one of our natural vitamin E products (#120) solely to provide a choice for our customers. Keep in mind that all of our products have Best By dating to guarantee freshness and potency.

     

  • What is the oil used in all of the vitamin E products?

    It is soy oil. Because soy is considered a highly refined oil, there are no proteins (which contain the portion of the plant that may be allergenic for some people).Additionally, because there is no protein portion, it is PCR (polymerase chain reaction) negative for genetically modified organisms.

     

  • What is the difference between a soy allergy and an allergy to soy protein?

    If a consumer has been diagnosed with a soy allergy, products without any soy ingredients (including soybean oil) are a more appropriate choice. However, most soy allergies are actually allergies to soy protein.Soybean oil does not contain soy protein. Thus, for individuals with a soy protein allergy, products containing soybean oil should be well tolerated.If a consumer is not sure if they have a soy allergy, encourage them to consult a health care practitioner.

  • What residual amount of soy protein is left in the Vitamin E?

    There is no soy allergen (protein) in the product. Vitamin E comes from soy oil only.

  • What happens if I don't get enough vitamin E?

    Vitamin E deficiency is very rare in healthy people. It is almost always linked to certain diseases where fat is not properly digested or absorbed. Examples include Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and certain rare genetic diseases such as abetalipoproteinemia and ataxia with vitamin E deficiency (AVED). Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it.

    Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system.
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • How much vitamin E do I need?

    The amount of vitamin E you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended intakes are listed below in milligrams (mg) and in International Units (IU). Package labels list the amount of vitamin E in foods and dietary supplements in IU.

     

    Life Stage

    Recommended Amount

    Birth to 6 months

    4 mg (6 IU)

    Infants 7–12 months

    5 mg (7.5 IU)

    Children 1–3 years

    6 mg (9 IU)

    Children 4–8 years

    7 mg (10.4 IU)

    Children 9–13 years

    11 mg (16.4 IU)

    Teens 14–18 years

    15 mg (22.4 IU)

    Adults

    15 mg (22.4 IU)

    Pregnant teens and women

    15 mg (22.4 IU)

    Breastfeeding teens and women

    19 mg (28.4 IU)

     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Are vitamin E supplements safe?

    It is very difficult to take too much vitamin E despite the fact it is a fat-soluble vitamin.

    According to some studies adult participants have taken 800-900 IU daily of vitamin E for lengthy periods of time without side effects. Most vitamin E supplements contain much less at around 100-400 IU. That is well below the threshold where people experienced minor issues such as stomach discomfort. People who are taking medication should check with their health care practitioner before taking high doses of vitamin E.

  • Are there any interactions with vitamin E that I should know about?

    - Vitamin E dietary supplements can interact or interfere with certain medicines that you take. Here are some examples:
    - Vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding in people taking anticoagulant or antiplatelet medicines, such as warfarin (Coumadin®).
    - In one study, vitamin E plus other antioxidants (such as vitamin C, selenium, and beta-carotene) reduced the heart-protective effects of two drugs taken in combination (a statin and niacin) to affect blood-cholesterol levels.
    - Taking antioxidant supplements while undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer could alter the effectiveness of these treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions - Essential Fatty Acids

  • What is an omega-3?

    Omega-3s are essential fatty acids. A good example of this would be eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both of these essential fatty acids are necessary for human health. The body can synthesize EPA and DHA; however, in very small quantities. Consequently, supplementation of these nutrients is necessary to ensure optimal health.

  • What are EPA and DHA?

    Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are long-chain fatty acids that have demonstrated health benefits. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has numerous benefits including heart health support, brain health support, and eye health support*

  • What are some dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids?

    Rich dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids are cold-water marine fish (i.e. sardines, anchovies, cod, tuna, salmon, halibut, mackerel and herring). Certain types of algae and shellfish also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

  • What are the benefits from regularly taking fish oil?

    Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids has numerous benefits including heart health support, brain health support, and eye health support*

  • Do your fish oil products contain high amounts of heavy metals?

    All of the fish oils in all of our fish-oil containing products are always tested for heavy metal contamination to provide safe products to our customers.

  • Is there any iodine in the fish oil in EPA & DHA softgels?

    Historically, the iodine content of our fish oil has been less than 1ppm. Typically the amount is extremely low.

  • What the difference is between molecularly distilled and steam distilled fish oils?

    Steam distillation is when steam is added to a mixture of two or more constituents. The two liquids are heated simultaneously and vaporize to an extent determined by their own volatility. This means that the boiling point of the mixture is lower than that of both constituents, and the percentage of each constituent in the vapor depends only on its vapor pressure at this temperature. This process is useful when a mixture contains one or more compounds that may be damaged by overheating.

    Molecular distillation distills substances at temperatures below their normal boiling points. The liquid is placed in a cylinder where a vacuum pump evacuates all of the air creating an environment where boiling can occur at lower than normal temperatures. This speeds the distillation process, increases the concentration of omega-3’s, and is as effective as steam distillation.

  • How much cholesterol is in Concentrated Omega-3 and Ultimate Omega Complex™?

    here is 1.2 mg cholesterol per softgel in Concentrated Omega-3 and 2 mg per softgel in Ultimate Omega Complex™.

  • What is the best way to take the fish oil product to avoid heartburn?

    Take it after or with a meal. It may help to take digestive enzymes for proper fat digestion.

  • Does the Concentrated Omega-3 contain any citric acid?

    Even though this product does contain orange oil there is NO citric acid.

  • What does the term “cold pressed” mean?

    Cold presses are run on essential fatty acid seed oils with either no externally supplied heating or with some sort of cooling capability. Our raw material supplier uses this non-polluting method that avoids gasoline-like hexane residues. None of the presses our supplier uses are hooked up to an external heat source. Whatever temperature is generated comes from the simple mechanical act of squeezing oil out of the seed. During this process, the oil temperature runs in the 48°C to 52°C (118°F to 125°F) range. The oils are exposed to this temperature for one minute.

    Our raw material supplier guarantees that all of their products adhere to the Codex standard for edible oil safety established by the World Health Organization.

  • Is there any MSG in the gelatin cap?

    No MSG is added to any of our products, however MSG may occur naturally in products containing glutamine.

  • Has the oil in the Borage Oil 1000 mg been tested for pyrrolizidine alkaloids?

    Yes, and it has a content of less than 4 mcg/kg, which is the limit. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids naturally occur in borage seeds and may be toxic to the liver in chronic high doses..

  • Do the Flaxseed Oil Softgels need to be refrigerated?

    No, this product does not need to be refrigerated because it is sealed in an airtight softgel to keep its contents from spoiling.

  • Are the flax and borage used in your essential fatty acid products hexane free?

    Yes, the flax and borage are cold pressed using no chemicals or high temperatures.

  • Does the flax and borage used in your essential fatty acid products contain pesticides?

    The borage and flax are free of herbicides and pesticides.

  • Is the Borage Oil wild or hybrid? Is it cold pressed?

    Yes, it is derived from wild crafted seed but is currently hybrid. It is cold-pressed.

  • Can vitamin K1 react badly with EPA/DHA, especially in terms of blood clotting?

    Vitamin K1 is a blood clotting agent. EPA and DHA have been shown to thin the blood, so they act in opposition. From the Linus Pauling Institute website: “The US FDA has ruled that intakes up to 3 g/day of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) for inclusion in the diet, and available evidence suggests that intakes less than 3 g/ day are unlikely to result in clinically significant bleeding. Although the Institute of Medicine did not establish a tolerable upper level of intake (UL) for omega-3 fatty acids, caution was advised with the use of supplemental EPA and DHA, especially in those who are at increased risk of excessive bleeding.”

  • Does ALA convert only to DHA or both DHA and EPA?

    ALA converts to both EPA and DHA, although human conversion of ALA to these omega-3s are slow. Diets high in linoleic acid (omega-6) can reduce the conversion of ALA by up to 40%, as can saturated fat, trans fat and a deficiency of vitamins C, B3, B6, zinc and magnesium.

     From the Linus Pauling Institute website: “Excess of dietary LA compared to ALA results in greater net formation of AA (20:4n-6) than EPA (20:5n-3). The capacity for conversion of ALA to DHA is higher in women than men. Studies of ALA metabolism indicate that approximately 8% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 0-4% is converted to DHA in healthy young men. In healthy young women, approximately 21% of dietary ALA is converted to EPA and 9% is converted to DHA. The better conversion efficiency of young women compared to men appears to be related to the effects of estrogen. Although ALA is considered the essential omega-3 fatty acid because it cannot be synthesized by humans, evidence that human conversion of EPA and, particularly, DHA is relatively inefficient suggests that EPA and DHA may also be essential under some conditions.

  • Can adults take Kids DHA?

    Absolutely! Our product provides a great source of healthy omega-3s for kids, teens, adults and older adults.

  • What is Friend of the Sea?

    It is a non-profit, NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), involved in conservation of resources; focuses on auditing traditional, artisanal and small scale fisheries. Their mission is to conserve the marine habitat. As the only program certifying fish feed and fish oil - omega-3 supplements (in addition to fisheries), they manage the certification of products from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. Their minimum criteria follows FAO (Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) guidelines. To learn more about Friend of the Sea, visit their website: www.friendofthesea.org.

     

    SOURCES OF ESSENTIAL FATS

    FATTY ACID

    Omega

    DIETARY SOURCES

    LA (Linoleic Acid)

    6

    vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, borage oil, evening primrose oil

    GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid)

    6

    borage oil, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, oatmeal

    ALA (Alpha Linolenic Acid)

    3

    flax seed oil, black currant seed oil, canola oil, soybeans, spirulina and green leafy vegetables, squash, walnuts, strawberries

    EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid)

    DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid)

    3

    fish liver oils such as salmon, tuna, cod, mackerel and herring

Frequently Asked Questions - Specialty Products

  • What is Phase 2™ Starch Neutralizer?

    Phase 2™ is an amazing, non-stimulant, all-natural nutritional ingredient that is derived from the white kidney bean. It is the first nutritional ingredient that has been clinically and scientifically proven to neutralize starch, which is found in common foods such as potatoes, breads, pasta, rice, corn and crackers.

     

    Phase 2™ is a safe yet powerful nutritional ingredient, clinically studied for its role in reducing the absorption of starch calories. Phase 2™ helps you to enjoy those foods that you love and to participate in special meals containing quantities of starches in excess of your nutritional goals.

  • What role do starchy foods play in weight management?

    During the digestive process, your body converts carbohydrates found in starchy foods (such as potatoes and pasta) into sugars. It digests these starchy carbohydrates with alpha amylase, an enzyme that is produced by the pancreas.

     

    These sugar calories are then used by the body for fuel, with the excess sugar stored for future use, often as fat. Unfortunately, an imbalance between calories eaten and calories burned means that these stored fat supplies can accumulate in the body.

     

  • How does Phase 2® in Calorie Quencher® block starch from being absorbed in the body?

    Phase 2® has been shown to bind with the starch digestion enzyme alpha amylase, neutralizing starch calories and preventing them from turning into glucose (sugar) in the body.

     

  • When should I take Phase 2™?

    Recent research has shown the most optimum time to take Phase 2™ is just before a starch-rich meal, along with 8 oz. of water. However, the studies also showed that Phase 2™ could still provide some of its starch "neutralizing" benefits when taken during, or just after, a starchy meal. One study showed that Phase 2™ is also effective if the capsules are opened and the contents sprinkled right onto food.

     

  • Do we lose nutrients from foods when we take Calorie Quencher®?

    The LipoSan Ultra® in this product is a fat binder so it reduces the amount of fat transported from the small intestine into the blood stream; therefore fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) in foods could have reduced transport from the small intestine into the blood due to less fat to accompany them. This would be true for fat soluble nutrients coming from supplements as well, so it is best to take multi-vitamins separate from Calorie Quencher. The risk of a nutrient deficiency occurring from Calorie Quencher is negligible if the overall diet is plentiful in nutrients and the product is taken as recommended

     

  • Does Phase 2™ cause any toxic side effects?

    A dose equivalent to 74 grams taken daily for 90 days by a 165 lb. person showed no signs of toxicity. Pharmachem Laboratories Inc., announced that a Chronic Toxicity Study (L.D. 50) demonstrated that Phase 2™ Starch Neutralizer™, the first standardized white bean extract used in a variety of healthy weight management supplements, is safe and non-toxic.

     

    “Phase 2™ showed no signs of chronic toxicity at doses up to 1.0 gm per kg of body weight for up to 90 days,” said Ramadasan Kuttan, Ph.D., director, Amala Cancer Research Center, Thrissur, India, who conducted the study along with R. C. Srimal, M.D. “The data indicates that administration of Phase 2™ for 90 days did not produce any adverse reaction…” (as determined from a number of different measurements, such as organ weight, necropsy, hematological and biochemical values).

     

  • Does Calorie Quencher® have any side effects?

    Studies show that the side effects of these non-stimulatory ingredients are minimal and most often limited to problems such as gastric irritation, which is often due to taking too high of a dosage. We add fennel seed to our product to minimize gastric irritation naturally.

     

    It is important to note that fat and carbohydrate binding products like Calorie Quencher® should only be taken with meals that are high in carbohydrates and fat and should not be taken with more than two meals per day. It is suggested that multiple vitamins and other dietary supplements be taken at separate meals to decrease the risk of a vitamin and/or mineral deficiency while consuming these types of diet helpers. It should also be stressed that in order to achieve long lasting weight loss, in addition to supplementation, one must improve daily dietary and lifestyle factors.

  • Are there any human studies that prove Phase 2 ™ effectiveness?

    Yes. Human studies indicate that this natural compound has the ability to inhibit starches found in foods from being broken down to simple sugar. This amylase-inhibiting effect causes most starches to pass through the GI tract undigested, thus causing a smaller increase in blood glucose levels within 15 to 80 minutes following the intake of starchy foods. The following describes one of the studies performed on Phase 2.

  • How many grams of fat will be absorbed by a serving size of Chitosan?

    As with many dietary supplements, different people will experience different results depending on a number of factors, including body type, metabolism, and diet. We use the Liposan Ultra brand of Chitosan because studies show that Liposan Ultra binds several times more dietary fat than other leading chitosan brands. In vitro, Liposan Ultra was shown to absorb up to 88 grams of fat, but this doesn't mean it will necessarily have the same effect when ingested by humans. Studies are ongoing.

  • Can I take Chitosan with prescription medications or other supplements, and are there any side effects?

    Since Chitosan binds to fat in the stomach, it is advisable to take it 3-4 hours prior to the ingestion of fat soluble medications or nutrients. If Chitosan is used simultaneously with certain medications, it may block the desired effects of that medication.

    Check with your doctor before mixing Chitosan with prescription medications. If you have questions about taking Chitosan with dietary supplements, check with a certified nutritionist or your local health food store. There are no known side effects associated with Chitosan supplementation.

  • How does Policosanol support heart and cardiovascular health?

    Policosanol can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels by decreasing cholesterol production in the liver and increasing the breakdown of LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad”) cholesterol. It also decreases the stickiness of particles in the blood known as platelets, which might help reduce blood clots.

     

  • What is the alcohol breakdown of Policosanol and where is it sourced?

    Our policosanol contains at least 50% octacosanol, a derivative of sugar cane wax grown in the Suzhoo province of China. It also contains eight other high primary aliphatic alcohols that are included in policosanol as follows:

    - Triacontanol .15-30%
    - Hexacosanol .10-20%
    - Dotriacontanol.0.5-5%
    - Tetracosanol .0.5-5%
    - Heptacosanol.<5%
    - Nonacosanol.<5%
    - Hentriacontanol.<2%

  • How is Policosanol effective without lowering levels of CoQ10?

    The main problem with many cholesterol drugs is that when taken over a long period of time, they begin to lower levels of the important co-enzyme CoQ10. Policosanol has a similar mechanism of action to these drugs without lowering CoQ10 levels.

    Many drugs inhibit the expression of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is a catalyst in the production of mevalonic acid. Mevalonic acid is then processed by the liver and transformed into cholesterol. So, it would reason, the less HMG-CoA reductase in one’s system, the less mevalonic acid and, hence, less cholesterol. But it is not so simple. HMG-CoA reductase should not be completely eliminated in order to lower cholesterol. Low levels are beneficial to a point, and then can become counterproductive.

    HMG-CoA reductase is also used in the formation of farnesyl diphosphate or FPP.FPP, though used in squalene, another cholesterol precursor, is also used in production of CoQ10.Not enough FPP, and not enough CoQ10 will be produced. This is why some drugs which inhibit HMG-CoA reductase expression have the nasty side effect of lowered CoQ10 levels. Policosanol, on the other hand, inhibits expression by only about 50%, which is not enough to significantly affect production of FPP

  • What are plant sterols?

    Plant sterols (also called phytosterols) are plant lipids present in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. Structurally, they are similar to cholesterol except at one position on the sterol side chain. It is thought that phytosterols reduce cholesterol by displacing cholesterol from micelles in the body, thus inhibiting cholesterol absorption.

  • How do Corowise™ plant sterols in Cholesterol Complex impact cholesterol?

    In terms of their molecular structure, plant sterols “look” a lot like cholesterol. When taken before a meal these plant sterols compete with cholesterol during digestion so the body absorbs less dietary cholesterol. The overall effect in clinical studies on Corowise™ has been an average LDL (“bad”) reduction of 8 – 15% with no known adverse side effects.

     

  • What is the breakdown of sterols in the plant sterols in Cholesterol Complex?

    Roughly 40-58% of the sterols consist of sitosterol, 20-28% as camposterol, and 14-23% as stigmasterol

  • Do I need to take another multi, if I’m taking Hair, Skin & Nails Multi?

    Our Hair, Skin & Nails Multi is based on our best-selling Basic Multi® which is a great foundation for nutrition needs. However, in addition to basic nutrients, our Hair, Skin & Nails Multi has added specialty antioxidants for skin and overall cellular health. It also contains silica, MSM and amino acids for collagen support. Collagen is responsible for skin’s resiliency and elasticity, but its production slows as we age.

  • Are your Melatonin products natural or synthetic?

    We use synthetic sources of melatonin. According to the 2001 Physician’s Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements, “melatonin supplements derived from animals [i.e. natural] should be avoided.”

  • What is Bio-Shield Technology™?

    The Bio-Shield Technology™ process not only delivers nutrients exactly where they need to go over a sustained period of time, but also enhances the absorption of the bioactives. Technically speaking, the Bio-Shield Technology™ process is a natural coating that is used to facilitate the absorption of the intact bioavailable anthocyanins and proanthocyanins. This all-natural matrix protects these active ingredients of the fruit by delivering them past the stomach acids and prolonging their stability. Because the Bio-Shield Technology™ product is derived totally from a natural fruit base, it is able to limit the rate of acid degradation of the bioactives while simultaneously assisting with their absorption.

  • What is the source of your lutein?

    Lutein used in all of our products is derived from marigold flowers — they are a source naturally high in lutein

  • What is Lutein?

    Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the only two carotenoids concentrated in the macula of the human eye. The macula is a collection of cells in the back of the eye that convert light into signals the brain can understand. Clinical and animal data indicate that these carotenoids could protect the macula from oxidative or light damage. Epidemiological data has shown that high levels of dietary Lutein and Zeaxanthin intake have been associated with a reduced risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (the number one cause of blindness in North America).

  • What are carotenoids?

    Carotenoids are a family of phytochemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables and leafy green plants. They provide the bright yellow, orange and red pigments to the fruits and vegetables we eat. Of more than 600 known carotenoids in nature, only about 20 are found in human plasma and tissues. The principal carotenoids found in humans are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin. Researchers are currently studying the many health benefits of these compounds

  • What do lutein and zeaxanthin do?

    The carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, concentrate in the macular area of the eye and can protect against oxidative stress.

     

  • If zeaxanthin makes up a large part of the macula, why is it not included in all of your products?

    Though zeaxanthin is a large part of the macula, it is not necessary to consume large amounts of it so long as you consume enough lutein. Our lutein product does contain a small amount of zeaxanthin, but since lutein can be processed into zeaxanthin after consumption, that ingredient has been omitted from the other two products. Most people do not suffer from a zeaxanthin deficiency, but sufficient lutein intake is crucial to maintaining proper levels.

  • How much spinach would I have to eat to get 6 mg of lutein?

    About 2 cups of raw spinach would supply 6 mg of lutein.

  • What is the source of lutein in Ocu Complete® with Lutein?

    The lutein in Ocu Complete® with Lutein comes from marigold flowers.

  • In Ocu Complete® with Lutein, how many milligrams of lutein does 10,000 mcg equal?

    There is 10 mg of lutein in 10,000 mcg.

  • Why is your Lutein softgel expensive?

    Lutein used in our products containing FloraGLO® and LuteMax™ 2020 are in the ester-free form. Ester-free may be better absorbed and utilized by the body compared with other brands’ ester form which requires an additional step by the body to break it down and deliver it to necessary tissue. In the human eye lutein is present in the free form. In marigold flowers it is present in the ester form. If you give the body lutein in free form, it gets deposited to the macula of the eye. If you consume lutein in the ester form the body hydrolyzes (or de-esterifies) it, removing the fatty acid attached to the lutein, and then delivers the free form to the eye. Thus, it is easier to give the body the form of lutein it uses. Lutein esters may offer benefit, but it requires the body do more work since it has to convert the ester form to the ester-free form.

  • How much caffeine is in a serving of Green Coffee Bean?

    Very little. There is less than 20 mg of caffeine per capsule. By comparison, a cup of coffee contains 95 mg.

Frequently Asked Questions - Bone, Joint, and Musculoskeletal

  • What is arthritis?

    There are many from of arthritis. Common arthritis symptoms are inflammation, pain, and stiffness of the joints.

  • What is Glucosamine?

    Glucosamine is a type of sugar produced in the body; it is an important building block of joint cartilage. As a supplement, glucosamine is most often used to ease the joint pain caused by arthritis or osteoarthritis. Glucosamine provides the raw materials needed to strengthen cartilage and attract water into the joint space for lubrication and smoothness.

    When delivered into the joint, glucosamine binds to cartilage to help build a compound called glycosaminoglycan, the main structural component of cartilage. Other evidence shows glucosamine may help cartilage cells called chondrocytes, to produce new cartilage and renew joint function.

  • What is Chondroitin?

    Chondroitin is a substance that occurs naturally in the connective tissues of the body. Chondroitin supplements are a popular answer for osteoarthritis.

  • Where are glucosamine and chondroitin sourced from?

    We offer both vegetarian and shellfish sources of glucosamine in our line. The shellfish source is a natural extract derived from multiple shellfish species and is comprised of a glucose molecule and the amino acid glutamine. The vegetarian form is sourced from corn, but is guaranteed to be free from corn allergens.

     

    Chondroitin sulfate is a natural extract from bovine cartilage and is a glycosaminoglycan which makes up the base substance in the connective tissue matrix. We use premium quality, USP chondroitin.

  • How is it possible to make a vegetarian glucosamine?

    Our Vegetarian Glucosamine uses a plant source form of glucosamine. It is made by taking dextrose from corn and fermenting it with a fungus called Aspergillus niger to create a vegetarian form of glucosamine hydrochloride. The final product is tested using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing to ensure the absence of any corn DNA or allergens. This makes Vegetarian Glucosamine safe for vegetarians, those with shellfish allergies and people sensitive to corn.

  • How much glucosamine and chondroitin are recommended for those with joint health concerns?

    1,500 mg glucosamine and 1,200 mg chondroitin per day has been used in most of the research studies for joint conditions.

  • Should I take glucosamine with a meal?

    Yes. For maximum effectiveness, glucosamine should be taken with a meal.

  • How long will it take for me to feel positive results?

    The benefits of glucosamine supplementation develop over time. Generally, it may take 2 to 8 weeks before you see noticeable results

  • Are there any side effects or drug interactions with glucosamine?

    There are no significant side effects when taking glucosamine. There have been reports of minor upset stomach and heartburn in some individuals. People who are highly allergic to seafood should use caution before taking glucosamine. There are no known drug interactions.

  • Does glucosamine cause insulin resistance?

    According to published research, glucosamine does not worsen insulin resistance

  • Are there any contraindications for taking Joint Support Softgels before surgery?

    YES — fish oil is a natural blood thinner and bromelain may also act to thin the blood. Therefore, it is suggested to stop consuming fish oil a few weeks before anticipated surgery.

  • Can I take glucosamine if I have diabetes?

    In general, yes. Research suggests that taking glucosamine will not trigger or aggravate insulin resistance or high blood sugar. However, people with diabetes should take prudent caution and consult a physician before taking glucosamine

  • Does glucosamine affect cholesterol?

    A Journal of Nutrition study stated that there was an increase in cholesterol in male mice (with a 20 week consumption) but appeared to be safe overall and there were no complications of atherosclerosis with longer usage

  • What is the benefit of Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM?

    Glucosamine, Chondroitin, and MSM are three of the most powerful tested dietary ingredients for cartilage and joint tissue health.

  • Isn’t it true that glucosamine hydrochloride is an inferior, less useful form of glucosamine than the sulfate?

    Not at all. It is the glucosamine part of the molecule, not hydrochloride or sulfate that makes up the glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans which help to form cartilage. What they are bonded to does not necessarily matter. According to the 2001 Physician’s Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements (1st Ed.), “the counter union of the glucosamine salt (i.e. chloride of sulfate) is unlikely to play any role in the action or pharmokinetics of glucosamine.” In fact, the glucosamine content of the hydrochloride form is typically higher than that of the sulfate. Glucosamine hydrochloride is typically 83% in glucosamine base as opposed to 65% in sulfate.

  • What is MSM and where does it come from?

    MSM (technically known as methylsulfonylmethane) is a byproduct of DMSO, which comes from wood pulp and paper manufacturing. Much of the benefit of DMSO is thought to be from the actual amount of MSM occurring in it. MSM provides over 34% sulfur, which is considered the “active constituent.” Sulfur, one of the top eight essential minerals, is found in larger amounts in high protein foods. Much of the sulfur in plant foods is lost during processing. MSM is odorless and has a safe toxicity report. Our formula, MSM (OptiMSM®) is made from the finest quality of MSM

  • If sulfur is found in all plant and animal cells, why take an MSM supplement?

    Sulfur is one of the most common substances found in the body. Each and every one of our cells utilizes sulfur (the active constituent of MSM) to maintain cellular structure. The highest concentrations of sulfur are found in the joints, hair, skin and nails. Sulfur is also essential for proper enzymatic activity and hormone function.

     

    Even though MSM occurs naturally in the cells of all plants and animals, the mineral content in foods is affected by many factors. Geological conditions, soil condition from pesticide and fertilizer use, and the cooking process all contribute to the depletion of the natural sources of sulfur from the food supply.

  • How many types of Collagen are there?

    Currently 28 types of collagen have been identified. But over 90% of collagen in the body is Type I.

    The five most common types of collagen are:

    - Collagen Type I: found in skin, tendons, artery walls, scar tissue, eye (cornea) organs, even in the organic parts of bone and teeth.
    - Collagen Type II: this is the main component of cartilage (about 50% of cartilage is type II collagen).
    - Collagen Type III: This is commonly found alongside type I collagen as it is a connective (reticular) tissue. It is also found in skin, intestines, uterus, and artery walls.
    - Collagen type IV: found in the eye lens and as an outside surface on cells (basal lamina).
    - Collagen Type V: is associated with Type I, and is found on cell surfaces, hair and placenta.

    Collagen is essential for the structure and function of connective tissues, which bond other tissues and organs together. Collagen is also the most integral part of the skin’s fabric and naturally forms its mesh-like structure. Aging is closely associated with the loss of collagen and the deterioration of connective tissues; therefore, supplementation with collagen can help to counteract these negative consequences.

    In addition to three types of collagen, our Regenerage Collagen Complete product provides glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) such as hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate. GAGs are required for healthy structure and function of connective tissues, including joints and the skin dermis

  • Is the chicken cartilage used in Super Joint Complex hormone free?

    Yes it is hormone free, with a statement on file from our raw material suppliers.

Frequently Asked Questions - Minerals

  • What are minerals?

    A mineral is a class of naturally occurring compounds that do not have a carbon basis. Minerals make up 60-80% of all the inorganic or non-carbon-containing material in the body. Dietary minerals help ensure the body works properly. Minerals not only build skeletal and soft tissues, they also regulate processes such as heartbeat, blood clotting, fluid pressure, nerves, muscle contractions, oxygen transport, pH balance, enzyme, and hormone systems.

     

    Minerals fall into two categories: macro minerals and micro minerals.  There are seven macro minerals: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur.  They are present in virtually every cell in the body. The body requires a minimum of 100 milligrams (mg) of each per day for normal functioning and well-being.  

     

    Micro minerals are also described as trace minerals. They are required in smaller quantities; typically less than 100 mg per day. A few examples of micro minerals include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc.  

  • What is an Amino Acid Chelate?

    In 1999, the Nobel Prize for Medicine was awarded to Günter Blobel. Dr. Blobel’s dissertation stated that minerals require protein chaperones for optimal bioavailability and assimilation. Amino acid chelates are minerals that are bound to amino acids for improved bioavailability. The chelate molecules effectively push the mineral into the blood stream similar to food.

    Amino acids cross the intestinal wall with relative ease. By connecting the mineral to an amino acid it improves bioavailability. The amino acid is able to transport the mineral across the intestinal lining into the body, so it can be effectively utilized. 

  • What is Calcium and What Does it Do?

    Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium helps muscles contractions, nerve signaling, and blood clotting. About 99 percent of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth. Each day, we lose calcium through our bodies that we can only replace with dietary sources. When we do not consume enough calcium for our body’s needs, it is taken from our bones.

     

    Many Americans do not get the proper amount of calcium they require daily which can lead to bone loss, low bone density, and even broken bones.

     

  • How Much Calcium Do You Need?

    The amount of calcium you need every day depends on your age and sex.

     

    Women

    Age 50 & younger

    1,000 mg* daily

    Age 51 & older

    1,200 mg* daily

     

    Men

    Age 70 & younger

    1,000 mg* daily

    Age 71 & older

    1,200 mg* daily

    *This includes the total amount of calcium you get from food and supplements

  • Why are vitamin D, betaine and glutamic acid in Cal-Mag-Zinc?

    Vitamin D increases calcium absorption. Betaine and glutamic acid provide assistance for proper breakdown and utilization of calcium

  • What is the Calcium and Vitamin D relationship?

    Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium. Most calcium supplements contain some vitamin D.

  • What is betaine HCl?

    Betaine is a metabolite of choline. It donates methyl groups, which can be important for vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) absorption and DNA and homocysteine metabolism. Betaine HCl is betaine with hydrochloride added to help ionize calcium for absorption.

  • What are the vegetable sources of the stearates in the Cal-Mag-Zinc Tabs?

    The calcium stearate is from limestone and the stearic acid is from palm kernel oil.

  • What citrus fruit flavors the Chewable Calcium?

    The citrus flavor is derived from oranges and pomelo (a type of citrus fruit)?

  • What are the sources of Cal-Mag Citrate Complex?

    As listed on the label, the calcium sources are the following: citrate is from citrus fruit and ascorbate is from calcium ascorbate.

     

    The calcium source in ascorbate is carbonate, which is derived from highly purified limestone. The starting material of ascorbate is dextrose, which is isolated from corn. Dextrose is converted to ascorbic acid through many steps. One important purifying step called crystallization removes all possible impurities and antigens. The carbonate is then bound to ascorbic acid to form calcium ascorbate. It is a highly absorbable form of calcium that provides vitamin C as a carrier.

     

    Note: For all our products that contain carbonate as a source of calcium, the carbonate is derived from highly purified limestone.

  • Is calcium carbonate well absorbed?

    Both the carbonate and citrate forms are similarly well absorbed, but individuals with reduced levels of stomach acid can absorb calcium citrate more easily. The body absorbs calcium carbonate most efficiently when the supplement is consumed with food. The percentage of calcium absorbed depends on the total amount of elemental calcium consumed at one time; as the amount increases, the percentage absorption decreases. Absorption is highest in doses ≤500 mg

  • Is it normal for the Cal-Mag-Zinc tabs to have a bad smell sometimes?

    The unpleasant odor is normal and does not imply an inferior product. Some of the more natural ingredients naturally are odorous. Nevertheless, our quality group takes substantial measures to ensure your materials are within specification for yeast, mold, and several other microbiological contaminants.

     

  • Can large doses of magnesium cause intestinal discomfort?

    Yes. Magnesium in large doses may cause intestinal discomfort. We suggest taking smaller, more frequent doses of the magnesium product.

  • Why are there scuffing marks on the Cal-Mag Chelate Tabs and other mineral tablets?

    From time to time scuffing is observed in products that contain minerals. Whenever the tablet ejects from the manufacturing equipment, the contact/rubbing of the powder with the die can causes a grayish streak. All vitamin manufactures have this issue, but most cover it up with a synthetic coating. We prefer natural tablets over synthetic coatings.

  • Why are there only 99 mg of potassium in the Potassium Tabs, 99 mg?

    Because potassium is readily available in common foods, too much supplemental potassium could cause a person to become hyperkalemic, which just means a blood potassium level that is too high. This stresses the kidneys because they are trying to excrete the potassium to keep the body in homeostasis (balance); and because potassium is an electrolyte, hyperkalemia can cause dangerously low blood pressure and irregular heartbeat. So because the side effects of too much potassium can be dangerous and life threatening, the FDA regulates how much can be consumed in supplements as 99 mg/serving, and higher doses require a doctor’s supervision by prescription.

  • Is Chromium GTF more readily absorbed than Chromium Picolinate? Is there any reason to take one form over the other? What is the difference in the two?

    Just a little history first: in the 1950’s a form of chromium was found in brewer’s yeast called GTF (Glucose Tolerance Factor) chromium and had been shown to lower plasma glucose levels in diabetic mice. This chromium form is also known as trivalent chromium, which has three chemical bonds formed by the atoms and according to studies, may provide better bioavailability although regular chromium picolinate has also been shown to be highly absorbed in the body and effective. Trivalent chromium is naturally found in egg yolks, whole grain products, brewer’s yeast, high-bran breakfast cereals, coffee, nuts, green beans, broccoli, meat, wine and beer. Chromium Picolinate is a salt of picolinic acid. Picolinic acid is made up of 6 carbons and niacin and acts as a “chelating” agent that bonds with the mineral chromium so it is absorbed properly in the body. It is important that they are paired together so good absorption takes place.

                               

  • Was there a recent change to the tablet size of the Chelated Magnesium Tabs?

    There was a change recently. The tablets used to look scuffed and appear gray and now we added a natural colorant and increased the cellulose so the tablets are larger with no scuffed or grey appearance.

     

  • Where is the potassium in Potassium Tabs, 99 mg derived? Does it come from seaweed?

    It is derived from earth mining, not seaweed. The raw potassium chloride is dissolved and the resulting brine is purified

  • Is there a link between high calcium intake and kidney stones?

    At one time it was thought that a high calcium intake contributed to the development of kidney stones. However, recent studies show that a high dietary calcium intake actually decreases the risk for kidney stones. One of the main factors of kidney stones is eating foods high in oxalic acid such as spinach, collard greens, sweet potatoes, rhubarb and beans. Another factor is reduced fluid consumption. A high dietary calcium intake does not reduce calcium absorption. What may nutritionally help prevent kidney stones is to take one of our calcium supplements with magnesium. Magnesium helps keep the calcium flowing in solution inside the kidneys, so it does not form deposits.

  • What is the source of the Chelated Iron?

    Iron chelate is the rice protein based generation of mineral chelates. Enzymatically digested rice protein is selected because of its favorable bio-sensitive properties and high ratio of essential amino acids. Other beneficial nutrients are also included in balanced ratios to improve reaction affinity and enhance nutritional applications, such as citric acid, aspartic acid and glycine. The iron sources are ferrous fumarate and ferrous sulfate.

     

Frequently Asked Questions - Probiotic

  • Since acidophilus products lose their potency at such a fast rate, how do I know there are actually live cultures left by the Best By date?

    With many acidophilus products on the market there is no guarantee of the amount of lactobacillus left at the Best By date because most only list the amount at time of manufacture. Our acidophilus products list both the amount at time of manufacture and the amount that is guaranteed by the Best By date.

  • Do your probiotic products need to be refrigerated?

    Refrigeration maintains and extends the potency or live cell count of the beneficial bacteria.


  • Why do probiotics need to be refrigerated?

    Probiotic bacteria have a natural die-off rate over time. They also die quicker in high temperatures. Thus, the cooler temperatures in a refrigerator reduce that natural die-off rate. Amber glass bottles also help as they lower the moisture and oxygen transfer rate in and out of the bottle.

  • Are your probiotic capsules sodium-free?

    Yes. None of our probiotic caps contain sodium.

  • Is Multi-Flora Probiotic suitable for all vegetarians?

    It is suitable for lactovegetarians. The cultures are grown on soy and milk. Because it comes in a vegetarian capsule, vegetarians who consume milk and soy can enjoy this product.

  • What are the five strains in Multi-Flora Probiotic?

    Probiotic Multi-Flora contains five strains consisting of:
    - Lactobacillus acidophilus (4 billion cells)
    - Lactobacillus lactis (500 million cells)
    - Lactobacillus reuteri (500 million cells)
    - Lactobacillus plantarum (2 billion cells)
    - Bifidobacterium bifidum (1 billion cells)

     

  • How does taking probiotic supplements differ from eating yogurt with probiotic cultures?

    See chart below:

    YOGURT

    DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS

    National Yogurt Association (NYA) is a trade organization in the U.S; they established their own criteria for live and active culture yogurt in conjunction with its Live & Active Culture seal program

    Our probiotic dietary supplements come from the leading probiotic suppliers in the world

    Refrigerated yogurt must contain >100 million cultures/ gm at the time of manufacture (frozen yogurt products must contain 10 million cultures/gm at the time of manufacture)

    Strains and number of organisms in products are based on research studies

    The NYA does not monitor the number of organisms; it is a voluntary program

    All EverLife probiotic supplements list both the number of live and active cultures at time of manufacture and guarantee an amount at the Best By date

     

Frequently Asked Questions - Antioxidants & Health Aging

  • What are free radicals and antioxidants?

    Antioxidants provide the body with protection from potentially damaging compounds called free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals with unpaired electrons that steal electrons from other molecules, causing a vicious chain reaction that wreaks havoc on the body. Free radicals can damage the body’s tissues and may increase the risk of negative health issues. 

    Free radicals are normal by-products of metabolism, normal physiological processes, as well as environmental toxins like air pollution, ozone, chemicals, drugs, cigarette smoke, radiation, heavy metals, pesticides, and especially in defense against microbes and other foreign substances. 

    Antioxidants provide preventive care to the body, protecting against the negative health consequences that can result from free radical damage. They scavenge or neutralize free radicals, stopping the free radical chain. Antioxidants can be found in a variety of foods, with higher amounts in plant foods. Many supplements are available on the market to help ensure the body receives an adequate amount of antioxidants daily. 

    Some of these traditional antioxidants include:

    • Natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol)

    • Vitamin C

    • Beta-Carotene (provitamin)

    • Selenium

    Antioxidants that are available through the diet are considered exogenous antioxidants and include: amino acids [N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), taurine and L-glutathione (tripeptide)], vitamins C and E, carotenoids (beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin), and minerals (selenium and zinc).  Antioxidants produced in the body are considered endogenous antioxidants and include: ubiquinone/ubiquinol (CoQ10), alpha lipoic acid, the master cellular defense enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and many more.

    However, many factors have been found to compromise the levels of endogenous antioxidants in the body making supplementation essential (for example: normal aging process, certain medications and oxidative stress).

  • What does neutralizing "free radicals" in the body mean?

    Free radicals are highly reactive compounds produced spontaneously in the body or because of exposure to certain pollutants. They can be dangerous, since they cause damage to body cells and tissues, including genetic material. Recent studies indicate that vitamins C, E, beta-carotene, and several other products characterized as antioxidants protect against free radical damage hence the term neutralizing free radicals. 

  • How much caffeine is in Advanced Antioxidant Complex?

    There is less than 1.5 mg caffeine per vegetarian capsule. Comparatively, one cup of tea provides about 50 mg of caffeine per cup.

  • Is the Alpha-Lipoic Acid in the “R” form?

    The Alpha-Lipoic Acid is 50% R form and 50% S form.

  • What is the source of Alpha-Lipoic Acid?

    The Alpha-Lipoic Acid is synthetically made, but nature identical. 

  • Why don’t you use the pure R form of Alpha- Lipoic Acid (ALA)?

    Some ALA products are in the “R” form (natural) and some are in the “S” form. The S form is an isomer, or mirror image. Our Alpha-Lipoic Acids are an equal mix (racemic mix) of both R and S. Some references claim that the R is more potent; however studies done using ALA showing benefit to blood sugar, etc. use the racemic mix. According to the PDR for Nutritional Supplements, 2001, “the natural R-enantiomer is more readily absorbed than the L-enantiomer and is the more active form...some studies showing significant antioxidant effects have used doses of the racemic mixture of 600 mg daily.” At this time, there isn’t a significant volume of human studies using the pure R form against the S form (although a few animal and in vitro ones exist) to make valuable conclusions for human dosage.

  • Alpha lipoic acid, are there two kinds?

    Alpha lipoic acid or thioctic acid is a natural antioxidant that has gained substantial attention from the scientific community for its involvement in energy production (formation of adenosine triphosphate – ATP) from the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Like most compounds in the body, lipoic acid has an asymmetrical carbon atom, which produces a mirror image and exists in nature as two forms (enantiomers). The forms are designated as either R or S depending on their structural relationship to a right- or left-handed reference point. While both forms are found in biological systems, lipoic acid is represented as the R-form when active. Alpha Lipoic Acid is a 50/50 mixture of both the R- and S- forms of the molecule.  Our formula provides Alpha Lipoic Acid is 50% R form and 50% S form.

  • What is Coenzyme Q10 (also called ubiquinone or ubiquinol) and how does it function in the body?

    CoQ10 is synthesized in every cell of the body. It is naturally present in small amounts in foods, but is particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver and kidney and levels decline with age.

    To consume just 30 mg of CoQ10, you would have to eat one of the following:

    • 1 pound sardines

    • 2 pounds of beef

    • 2.5 pounds of peanuts 

  • What is the source of CoQ10?

    It is a fermentation product from yeast. This process ferments glucose and inorganic acid on bacteria.

  • What gives CoQ10 products their orange color?

    That is the natural color of CoQ10. No food coloring or other ingredients are added.

  • How and when should I take CoQ10?

    CoQ10 works better if taken with fats and oils. All forms of CoQ10 will work better if taken with a meal containing fats, or with healthy supplements providing fat, such as fish oil, flax oil, coconut oil, etc.

  • How can you determine how much CoQ10 to take?

    CoQ10 levels are concentrated in certain tissues such as the heart and muscles that use it, so you would have to do a biopsy of that tissue (not a good idea) to determine CoQ10 levels in the body. Scientific studies use certain doses in human subjects to determine effectiveness for a given condition. This is the best way to ascertain how much to take — once approved by your healthcare practitioner, of course.

  • Are there any interactions with CoQ10 and Coumadin (warfarin)?

    According to the PDR (Physician’s Desk Reference) for Nutritional Supplements, 2001, there is one report of CoQ10 decreasing the effectiveness of warfarin (Coumadin).

  • What is the difference between ubiquinol vs. ubiquinone?

    Our CoQ10 products are in the ubiquinone form. Ubiquinol is a form also found in the body — a stabilized form was launched in 2006 by a Japanese company for use in dietary supplements. A few studies show enhanced absorption with ubiquinol in the first 24 hours, but after more than one day the plasma levels achieved are identical between the two forms. 

    Ubiquinone (CoQ10) has significant antioxidant activity in the membrane portion of the mitochondria in the cell. Ubiquinone is reduced to ubiquinol (active form) as a normal process in the mitochondria to fight against the free radicals. Ubiquinone is effective in antioxidant capability and has over 30 years of research in various disease states.

  • How much caffeine does Leucoselect® Grape Seed Extract contain per tablet?

    Each tablet contains only approximately 1.5 mg of caffeine. By comparison, a single cup of coffee contains 120-240 mg.

  • What plant species is used for Leucoselect® Grape Seed Extract?

    The grape seeds come from Chardonnay grapes (Vitis vinifera) grown in France.

  • What are the components in the antioxidant Pycnogenol® and from where are they obtained?

    Pycnogenol® is a potent antioxidant (free radical scavenger) that is extracted from the bark of a specific variety of pine that grows in Southern France. It contains over 40 water soluble antioxidants and is composed primarily of proanthocyanin, a subclass of antioxidants.

     

    As determined by the Porter Method, the most accurate methodology available to specifically quantify proanthocyanidincontent, Pycnogenol® yields:

    • 3% water

    • 15% catechin and epicatechin (monomers)

    • 17% organic acids, organic acid glucosides and glucose esters

    • 65% proanthocyanidins

  • How many glasses of red wine would you have to drink in order to get 150 mg of resveratrol — the amount in your Resveratrol 150 mg?

    To get 150 mg of Resveratrol, you’d have to drink 79-500 (5-oz) glasses of red wine. That’s equivalent to about 15-100 bottles of red wine (assuming there is 25 floz in a bottle of wine). Please drink responsibly! 

  • What is the difference between trans-form versus cis form in Resveratrol 150 mg?

    The trans-form exists in grapes and peanuts. The cis form is created once you heat or irradiate the substance. The structural formula changes to a different arrangement of atoms but it is the same molecular formula.

Frequently Asked Questions - Amino Acids

  • What are amino acids?

    Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are critical for the body to function properly. Protein has an important job in building and rebuilding body tissue and providing the body with nitrogen, an essential element for all living beings. They are absolutely vital and have wide-ranging roles, including the repair and maintenance of muscles, organs, ligaments, connective tissues, glands, nails, hair, skin, etc.  Amino acids are considered the building blocks of life a deficiency in even one of them can have detrimental effects on one’s health and well-being.

     

    There are both essential and nonessential amino acids. Essential amino acids must be obtained from the diet while nonessential amino acids are made by the body.

     The following is a list of the essential and nonessential amino acids:

     ESSENTIAL

    Isoleucine

    Leucine

    Lysine

    Methionine

    Phenylalanine

    Threonine

    Tryptophan

    Valine

     

    NONESSENTIAL

    Alanine

    Arginine

    Asparagine

    Aspartic acid

    Cystine (cysteine)

    Glutamic acid

    Glycine

    Histidine

    Hydroxylysine

    Hydroxyproline

    Proline

    Serine

    Tyrosine

  • What is the difference between essential and non-essential amino acids?

    Generally speaking, there are twenty critical amino acids used by cells in protein biosynthesis. Nine of these amino acids are termed “essential” and need to be acquired from dietary sources; the body cannot produce them. “Nonessential” amino acids, on the other hand, are produced in the body from other amino acids when given an adequate supply of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  Nevertheless, in certain life stages or during certain situations even some of these nonessential amino acids are required in such substantial quantities they are considered “conditionally essential”.

  • Are the amino acids in Amino Acid Complex “free form”?

    Yes, they are in free form.

  • Why is there an “L” in front of the amino acids on the label?

    Amino acids are by definition any molecule that contains both amine (amino) and carboxyl functional groups.  All amino acids share this common chemical "backbone" that consists of a carbon atom to which four substituent groups are bonded: a nitrogen-containing amino group (NH2), a carboxyl group (COOH), a hydrogen (H+) atom and an "R" group. 

    The "R" group or side chain varies in electric charge, size, structure and solubility in water, giving each amino acid its distinct chemical properties.  Since all amino acids (except glycine) contain at least one asymmetrical chiral carbon atom, which produces a stereoisomers (mirror image), they exist in nature as two forms (stereoisomers).  The forms are designated as either D- or L-, depending on their structural relationship to a right- or left-handed reference point.  While both forms are found in biological systems, all amino acids constituting proteins are composed of the L-form. DL-amino acids are a 50/50 mixture of both the D- and L- form of the molecule.

  • Is 5-HTP fat soluble?

    5-HTP is an amino acid and the absorption of amino acids in the intestine depends on transporter molecules, so solubility in fat or water is not instrumental for absorption. In addition, the research shows that 5-HTP is effective whether you take it with or without meals.

  • What is the difference between L-Carnitine and Acetyl L-Carnitine?

    L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring substance produced by the body, made up of the amino acids lysine and methionine and requires iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and C for production. Acetyl L-Carnitine is this substance bound to acetic acid, an important co-factor in the production of acetyl CoA, a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In the brain, acetylcholine is involved in learning and memory and stimulates muscle tissue.

  • What is the source of amino acids used in your products?

    - Amino Acid Complex - from whey protein (milk/ dairy)
    - L-Arginine 500 mg - Poultry
    - L-Tyrosine 500 mg - Poultry
    - N-Acetyl Cysteine 600 mg - Poultry
    - L-Glutamine 500 mg - Fermentation from yeast (Tapioca)
    - L-Carnitine 500 mg – Synthesized, nature identical
    - Acetyl L-Carnitine 500 mg – Synthesized, nature identical
    - L-Theanine 200 mg - Green tea leaves
    - 5-HTP 100 mg - from seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia (shrub)
    - L-Lysine 500 mg – Synthesized, nature identical

  • What are the most popular forms of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs)?

    The most popular form of branched chain amino acids or BCAAs are valine, leucine, and isoleucine. These three essential amino acids make up one third of muscle protein, and are responsible for: rebuilding stressed muscles, promoting quick recovery, and preventing muscles from breaking down.

  • How do regular amino acids and branched chain amino acids differ?

    Branched chain amino acids, also called BCAAs, are the combination of three essential amino acids—valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Because they make up one third of muscle protein, branched chain amino acids are particularly important for anyone who lifts weights. Branched chain amino acids differ from amino acids because they are metabolized in the muscle, rather than in the liver. This means that after digestion occurs, BCAAs can be burned as energy-producing fuel, or they can be used to build new proteins. BCAAs rebuild are ideal for athletes who participate in endurance activities as well as bodybuilders dieting for a show, as they rebuild stressed muscles, promote quick recovery, give you extra energy, and prevent muscles from breaking down.

Frequently Asked Questions - Botanicals

  • What is the “special processing” that reduces odor in the Garlic Softgels 500 mg?

    It is the encapsulation process of the softgel. It is not enteric-coated.

  • What bioflavonoids are in Ginkgo Biloba 60 mg?

    This outline summarizes the relationship of the active compounds found in ginkgo biloba tree leaves.

    Ginkgo biloba extract’s (GBE) active constituents:

    A. Ginkgo flavone glycosides (24%) - bioflavonoids

    - quercetin
    - kaempferol
    - isohamnetin

    B. Terpene lactones (6%)

    - ginkgolides A, B, and C
    - bilobalide

  • Are there ginkgolic acids in Ginkgo Biloba 60 mg?

    Based on Chinese Pharmacopeia, ginkgolic acid should be no more than 10 ppm. Based on this standard, ginkgolic acid content in our Ginkgo Biloba 60 mg is less than 0.0006 mg (0.6 micrograms), which is well below the maximum level.

  • What are the German Commission E Monographs?

    The Commission E of the German Federal Health Agency was the group responsible for researching and regulating the safety and efficacy of herbs and phytomedicines in Germany.

     

    This group began publishing monographs in 1978 and ceased developing monographs in 1993.It has been called the world’s most rational system for assessing the traditional uses and modern scientific research on herbal medicines. This information is an unbiased resource, showing how botanical extracts can be used responsibly. The actual monographs assessed and approved or disapproved herbs for sale in Germany.


  • How much caffeine is in one capsule of your Green Tea Extract?

    There is approximately 1.5 mg of caffeine per capsule. A cup of coffee contains about 120-240 mg of caffeine per cup.

  • What type of alcohol is used in those Ultimate Extract® products that require alcohol extractions?

    It is called Specially Denatured Alcohol, Formula 3-C.It contains 95% grain-based ethanol and 5% isopropyl alcohol. The isopropyl alcohol is needed to denature the ethanol, making it unfit for consumption as an alcoholic beverage. However, this denaturant becomes negligible since practically all the solvent is evaporated off the powdered extracts. (Denatured alcohols are used as solvents because they are not taxed at consumer alcohol levels.) This highly refined formula is approved by the Code of Federal Registry. Your Ultimate Extract® products never contain more than 0.5% residual alcohol.

  • Does Saw Palmetto 160 mg have any counteractive effect with Uroxytrol?

    Uroxytrol is not recommended to take with saw palmetto due to Saw Palmetto’s alpha-adrenergic blocking effect.

  • Is there beta sistosterol in Saw Palmetto 160 mg? If so, how much?

    Our Saw Palmetto contains 0.15% of beta sistosterol or 0.24 mg per softgel cap.

  • Is the Milk Thistle, 350 mg free from pesticides and herbicides?

    To have never come in contact with pesticides or herbicides, it would have to be organic, which ours is not. Our raw material partner’s tests the end product for heavy metals, arsenic and solvents, to which there are maximum limits allowed.

     

  • What is a botanical?

    A botanical is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal or therapeutic properties, flavor, and/or scent. Herbs are a subset of botanicals. Products made from botanicals that are used to maintain or improve health may be called herbal products, botanical products, or phytomedicines.

    In naming botanicals, botanists use a Latin name made up of the genus and species of the plant. Under this system the botanical black cohosh is known as Actaea racemosa L., where "L" stands for Linneaus, who first described the type of plant specimen. In the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) fact sheets, we do not include such initials because they do not appear on most products used by consumers.
     

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • Can botanicals be dietary supplements?

    To be classified as a dietary supplement, a botanical must meet the definition given below. Many botanical preparations meet the definition.

    As defined by Congress in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act , which became law in 1994, a dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) that

    - is intended to supplement the diet;
    - contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances) or their constituents;
    -is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid; and
    -is labeled on the front panel as being a dietary supplement.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • How botanicals are commonly sold and prepared?

    Botanicals are sold in many forms: as fresh or dried products; liquid or solid extracts; tablets, capsules, powders; tea bags; and other forms. For example, fresh ginger root is often found in the produce section of food stores; dried ginger root is sold packaged in tea bags, capsules, or tablets; and liquid preparations made from ginger root are also sold. A particular group of chemicals or a single chemical may be isolated from a botanical and sold as a dietary supplement, usually in tablet or capsule form. An example is phytoestrogens from soy products.

    Common preparations include teas, decoctions, tinctures, and extracts:
    - A tea, also known as an infusion, is made by adding boiling water to fresh or dried botanicals and steeping them. The tea may be drunk either hot or cold.
    - Some roots, bark, and berries require more forceful treatment to extract their desired ingredients. They are simmered in boiling water for longer periods than teas, making adecoction, which also may be drunk hot or cold.
    - A tincture is made by soaking a botanical in a solution of alcohol and water. Tinctures are sold as liquids and are used for concentrating and preserving a botanical. They are made in different strengths that are expressed as botanical-to-extract ratios (i.e., ratios of the weight of the dried botanical to the volume or weight of the finished product).
    - An extract is made by soaking the botanical in a liquid that removes specific types of chemicals. The liquid can be used as is or evaporated to make a dry extract for use in capsules or tablets.

    Source: National Institute of Health – Office of Dietary Supplements

  • What is the difference between a botanical herb and a vitamin?

    Vitamins are naturally occurring compounds present in most foods, which are essential for all body functions. Herbs are also natural products consisting of plant material or plant extracts. Herbs and or botanicals usually have unique phytochemical compounds

  • What are some examples of these phytochemicals?

    There are several phytochemical groups currently under investigation by researchers. A few examples are as follows:

    - Vitamins
    - Carotenoids
    - Flavonoids
    - Triterpenes
    - Xanthones
    - Phytosterols
    - Polyphenols|
    - Allylic sulfides (found in onions and garlic)
    - Sulforaphane (found in broccoli and cauliflower)
    - Saponins (found in soybeans and ginseng)
    - Capsaicin (found in peppers)

    Carotenoids such as beta carotene are among the most popular phytochemical compounds. Many have drawn attention as possible cancer preventives among other health benefits. Lycopene, Lutein and zeaxanthin are other carotenoids being studied.

  • What are carotenoids?

    Carotenoids are a family of phytochemical compounds found in fruits, vegetables and leafy green plants. They provide the bright yellow, orange and red pigments to the fruits and vegetables we eat. Of more than 600 known carotenoids in nature, only about 20 are found in human plasma and tissues. The principal carotenoids found in humans are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin. Researchers are currently studying the many health benefits of these compounds.


  • Why should I use herbal products?

    The decision to use herbs for their health promoting value is, as with all health decisions, a personal one. There are, however, many good reasons to consider herbal products as complements to your own health care. The best reason, however, may be the fact that herbs and herbal products, with their incredibly wide use throughout time and place, continue to provide real health benefits while maintaining a remarkable safety profile. Readily available natural substances were the first medicines used by humans. Primitive and ancient civilizations as well as contemporary cultures throughout the world have always relied on herbs to provide the benefits that have been observed with their use. In fact, the World Health Organization has estimated that 80% of the world's population continues to use traditional therapies, a major part of which are derived from plants, as their primary health care tools. (3) In our own time and culture, most herbs are available in the form of "herbal supplements." (4) These products are found in the form of teas, tablets, capsules, liquid extracts, and others. We now have ready access to products that bring the herbal traditions from all over the world in a variety of convenient forms. In addition, scientific inquiries continue to develop our knowledge of the benefits of plants, and often validate the observations made over the past centuries. 

     

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • Are herbs safe?

    Plants that enjoy broad culinary and therapeutic usage are generally safe. We can flavor our food with any number of herbs to make a meal more flavorful. We can appreciate a delicious cup of peppermint leaf or ginger root tea, or benefit from the soothing properties of marshmallow root or the bark of slippery elm. We can take an herbal supplement containing dandelion root or saw palmetto berries, or any number of the other herbs. Although allergies and reactions have been recorded for a few herbs that are widely used in foods and supplements, such individual concerns are also seen with many foods, and do not diminish the safety profile of the many herbs that are generally recognized as safe. On the other hand, and as everyone knows, there are any number of plants that are highly toxic, even deadly. Every ten-year-old hiker knows to stay away from poison ivy (Toxicodendron spp.) when walking in the woods. The death sentence imposed on Socrates by an Athenian jury 2400 years ago was carried out with a fatal dose of hemlock (Conium maculatum). The poison curare, a blend of several equatorial rain forest plants (e.g., species of Chondrodendron, Curarea and Strychnos (5) is used by some South American hunter cultures to make their arrows more deadly. Just this year, in the "concrete jungle" of Los Angeles, two young boys died from ingesting a few leaves of the ubiquitous oleander (6) (Nerium oleander). Federal law (7) and good common sense, however, prevent the use of any such highly toxic plant in products that are readily available to consumers. The better question then, for today's American consumer, is "Are herbal supplement products safe?"

     

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • Are herbal supplement products safe?

    Federal law requires that every food product, including herbal supplements, is free of "adulteration" and is not "misbranded." This legal language translates into a requirement that all foods and supplements have a reasonable expectation of safety when offered for sale and when used as directed. So manufacturers of soups, cereals, and supplements all have an obligation to sell only safely made and properly labeled goods, and can find their products subject to seizure should they fail to do so. In addition, manufacturers of herbal products are specifically required to limit their ingredients to either those that were already in the market prior to passage of landmark legislation in 1994 or those that a company can convincingly show, by providing information to the Food and Drug Administration, to be safe. What that means is that any manufacturer who wants to introduce a new herbal ingredient must first provide FDA with information that shows that the herb will be "reasonably expected to be safe" (8) Additionally, the safety of herbal products as a general class has been well established by both their long history of traditional use worldwide and by their broad contemporary use by a significant proportion of the population, estimated to be nearly half of the U.S. population. (9)There are so few credible reports of unexpected side effects due to herbal products that most experts consider problems with herbal products to be of only minor or occasional concern. Norman Farnsworth, Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine and Research Professor of Pharmacognosy at the University of Chicago at Illinois, is generally considered to be one of the most respected experts on the scientific research of botanical medicines. In a 1993 article written on the subject of herbal safety (10), Dr. Farnsworth concluded, "...side effects or toxic reactions associated with herbal medicines in any form are rare. In fact, of all classes of substances reported to cause toxicities of sufficient magnitude to be reported in the United States, plants are the least problematic." This is not to say that every herbal ingredient that is sold as an ingredient in a supplement is appropriate for every consumer or in any quantity. Responsible and informed use by consumers is essential to insure that herbal products maintain their established safety profile. Accurate product labeling must provide consumers with all information that is material to the use of the product, and such disclosure is required by Federal law

                                                          

    (11) To assist in assuring that herbal manufacturers provide material information about their products, the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) has developed specific labeling guidelines for a number of botanical ingredients. Labeling recommendations exist for products containing chaparral (Larrea tridentata); comfrey (Symphytum spp.); ephedra (Ephedra spp.); kava (Piper methysticum); saw palmetto (Serenoa repens); and St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), among others. In addition, AHPA published an entire volume of information related to established herbal safety concerns, entitled Botanical Safety Handbook. (12) This reference classifies over 500 herbs with safety categories that can assist both manufacturers in their labeling and consumers in making informed choices in their use of herbs. A general rule for assuring responsible use of an herbal product is to follow all of the labeled directions. If the product bears a caution that suggests that the product is inappropriate for your use, you should take that message seriously. More information can often be provided by a qualified expert, and often from well-informed retail personnel.

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • Are herbal supplements effective?

    Botanicals have remained a primary source of traditional medicine for millennia. They have made contributions over the last centuries to the development of some of the most widely used and effective modern drugs. In the last several decades, there has been a resurgence of research in the clinical efficacy of herbs. The results of such studies often verify that the empirical observations of the past centuries were accurate. For example, recent studies on the effect of valerian have produced results that led researchers to conclude that valerian root can produce "significant improvement in sleep quality" (13) and that valerian root extract can be "recommended for the treatment of patients with mild psychophysiological insomnia" (14).

    But can a consumer have confidence in the claims made for the products that are available in the market? To begin with, Federal labeling law and regulations for supplements limit allowable claims to those for which a manufacturer "has substantiation that such statement is truthful and not misleading" (15). The manufacturer therefore has a legal burden to assure that the claim that is made for their products has scientific evidence to back it up. Because there is a greater acceptance of herbal therapies by conventional physicians in Europe, a significant body of clinical data supporting the use of herbs has been developed there. More recently, a number of U.S. companies have designed clinical studies for their branded products. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 clinical trials now being undertaken in the U.S. to increase our knowledge about herbs. The National Institutes of Health has even set up a center with a special focus on "alternative" medicine, and is now concentrating much of its resources on the study of herbal products. 
     

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

     

  • How soon can I expect to notice the benefits of an herbal product?

    Herbs are rich mixtures of diverse natural compounds. Although the effects of certain herbs will be observed within a short time after consumption, others are more subtle and provide their health promoting benefits gradually. If you have ever used ginger root (Zingiber officinale) or peppermint leaf (Mentha × piperita) tea to promote healthy digestion, you know that you can feel the comforting effects of these herbs almost as you drink the soothing brew. The effect of ephedra (Ephedra spp.) in promoting bronchodilation or better breathing is usually felt within ten or twenty minutes of use. The sense of well-being that results from the use of kava root (Piper methysticum) should manifest in only a short time when using a well manufactured product. Similarly, all of the herbs that contain anthrones, such as rhubarb root (Rheum spp.) or cascara sagrada bark (Frangula purshiana), will produce a laxative effect within a half a day or so.

     

    Other herbs are known to produce noticeable benefits only after several days or weeks. For example, improvement in sleep when using an extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) has been shown to be somewhat dependent on continued use (16). With saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), the berries of which are used to promote the health of the prostate, the full benefits have been shown in one study to be achieved after 12 to 18 months (17). Other herbs, such as those that are rich in antioxidants, work to improve your health without a noticeable effect. For more information about what to expect from an herbal product (and when to expect it), consult with the product's manufacturer or an herbal health practitioner. You can find a regional list of herbalists the American Herbalists Guild's professional member referral list at http://www.healthy.net/herbalists, or your local acupuncturist at the American Association of Oriental Medicine http://www.aaom.org. 

     

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • How do I know how much to use?

    Two different parts of the Federal laws that govern dietary supplements present manufacturers with guidelines for providing quantitative recommendations on the package of their products. First, all supplement manufacturers are responsible for assuring that their products do not present significant or unreasonable risks under conditions of use recommended in labeling or under ordinary conditions of use (18). In addition, all dietary supplements, including herbal supplements, are required by Federal regulation to identify the "serving size" (19). A general recommendation then, with regard to how much of an herbal product to use: the amount recommended on the label. The idea that "more is better" is no more relevant for an herbal supplement than for any other food that, while it might be delicious, refreshing or nutritive in moderation, becomes unhealthful when consumed in excess. It may also be useful to speak with a qualified herbal expert. A regional list of herbalists is maintained on the American Herbalists Guild's professional member referral list athttp://www.healthy.net/herbalists. Similarly, a local acupuncturist may be found at the American Association of Oriental Medicine athttp://www.aaom.org and naturopathic physicians can be located through the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians athttp://naturopathic.org

     

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • How are herbal supplements regulated?

    All supplements, including herbs, vitamins, minerals, etc., must conform to Federal regulations that control their manufacture, labeling, and advertising. In order to sell an herbal supplement, a manufacturer must meet many different Federal (and sometimes state) regulations, and must also adhere to state and local health and business regulations. Since supplements are legally classified as a specifically defined type of food, all supplements are required to be manufactured to the same high standards that are required of all foods. These mandated good manufacturing practices (20) establish basic guidelines to assure that supplements are manufactured under sanitary conditions that result in properly identified products that are not contaminated or adulterated, and that are fit for consumption. Any supplement that does not conform to these basic guidelines is subject to regulatory action by FDA. In addition, all supplement products are required by law to provide certain information about their formulation.

     

    Like foods, supplements must provide consumers with nutritional information. Unlike foods, supplements must state the quantity of each of the contained ingredients, or of the "proprietary blends" that make up a product. All herbal products are required to identify the parts used of each of the plant ingredients, and to label them with their commonly accepted names. One of the areas of the most detailed Federal regulation of supplements is in the area of product claims, whether on product labels or in advertising. The Food and Drug Administration specifies exactly what kind of claims are allowed, and prohibits the use of any statement that would brand the product as a drug (21). Herbal supplements are not allowed to make statements regarding prevention, cure, mitigation or treatment of diseases. Instead, their claims are limited to statements that are legally defined as "statements of nutritional support" or "structure/function statements."

     

    Unfortunately, some uninformed writers have published statements that infer that the entire supplement industry is unregulated. Although this unfortunate "fact" has been broadly reported, it is absolutely false. While the details noted above provide some response to this misrepresentation, perhaps the most compelling refutations are in the form of statements made by Dr. Jane Henney, the current Commissioner of FDA. In testimony before Congress last year (22), Dr. Henney stated that "FDA has tools at its disposal to take enforcement actions against dietary supplements found to have safety, labeling, or other violations...," and also that she believes that current law "...provides FDA with the necessary legal authority to protect the public health." 

     

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • What about interactions with drugs?

    Humans have been learning about the diverse effects of ingesting plants throughout our evolution. We have, by trial and error, found both good and bad effects that are related to specific plants, some of which we use as food, and others that are used for therapeutic purposes. The introduction of synthetic and highly purified drugs is an extremely modern development. As researchers observe the interactions that drugs have with common foods and herbs, surprises continue to surface. For example, less than 10 years ago it was found that drinking grapefruit juice increases the serum drug concentration when patients take certain drugs (23). This effect, which can last for up to (24) hours after consumption, is now thought to inhibit specific enzymatic activities responsible for breaking down the drugs 24. Similarly, both avocado and leafy vegetables that are high in vitamin K can diminish the effectiveness of blood-thinning drugs (25). These concerns are not widely known by the public, but now that medical professionals are aware of these effects, they can routinely monitor their patients to assure effective treatment.

    Similar information has surfaced about some of the herbs that we use. For example, we now know that the use of an extract of St. John's wort (Hypericumperforatum) may cause certain prescription medications to be eliminated more quickly (26, 27), leading one researcher to caution that, "As with grapefruit juice, a food product, physicians should also be aware of potential drug-herb interactions" (26). In response to this new information, the American Herbal Products Association has recommended that products containing St. John's wort be labeled to suggest that the advice of your prescribing physician be requested if you are taking any prescription drugs. Speculation on the exact mechanism of St. John's wort has led to reports that the use of this herb might affect oral contraceptives, leading to ineffectiveness and unwanted pregnancies. To date, there have been no reports of any such actual occurrence. Nevertheless, women taking oral contraceptives such as ethinyl estradiol and desogestrel should be aware that, if you experience break-through bleeding, you might experience a reduction in protection against pregnancy.

    As can be seen by the above examples, the effect of a drug can be either increased or decreased in the presence of other factors in the diet, including herbal use. Although it is likely that most such factors have little or no influence on drug metabolism, continued research will add to our knowledge of such interactions and responsible food and supplement manufacturers will be expected to inform their customers of any new findings. There is now an ongoing interest in other drugs that are suspected of interacting with certain specific herbs, with most contemporary emphasis on the use of herbs with blood-thinning drugs such as warfarin. Although the current concerns are either conceptual or based on isolated and inconclusive reports, it is advisable to inform your prescribing physician or pharmacist that you are using herbs when undergoing any drug therapy. As close monitoring of the effect of warfarin is an established standard of medical practice, this additional information will assist your physician in maintaining good supervision of your drug levels. In order to understand the potential for an herbal product to interact with prescription drugs, it may also be useful to consult with a qualified herbal expert. You can find a regional list of herbalists the American Herbalists Guild's professional member referral list at http://www.healthy.net/herbalists, or your local acupuncturist at the American Association of Oriental Medicine http://www.aaom.org. A similar database of naturopathic physicians is maintained by the American Assoc. of Naturopathic Physicians at http://naturopathic.org.

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • What are "standardized" herbs?

    The U.S. herbal marketplace has seen the introduction of a number of "standardized" botanical extracts. The purpose of standardization is commonly believed to be control of the content of one or several "marker" compounds (29), which are perceived of as those constituents in the plant that are responsible for its therapeutic activity. In fact, standardization - when properly performed - entails a lot more than merely controlling the content of a particular marker compound. Rather, standardization consists of the body of information and manufacturing steps that ensure product consistency from one batch to the next. As such, it comprises a wide variety of raw material and process controls, as well as use of a consistent recipe.

    The goal in standardizing an extract is to control the complete chemical composition of the extract, rather than one particular identified constituent or group of constituents. The heightened interest in standardized products is due to the belief that standardization is directly related to the potency of the extract. This is not necessarily the case and can unfortunately lead to a "more is better" perception. It is important to know that the use of marker compounds is not essential to the production of quality botanical products and that many companies market high quality and consistent herbal extracts without reference to these. In addition, any manufacturing process that is too specifically concentrated on maximizing one constituent may place an undue emphasis on that single compound. On the other hand, there can be value in a manufacturing process that implements measures to control the entire spectrum of an herb's constituents and that also includes attention to marker compounds. Consumers should understand that label information about markers is usually provided to communicate product consistency and a degree of quality control rather than potency. 

    Source:  American Botanical Council - American Herbal Products Association

  • Should I tell my Doctor that I'm using herbs?

    Of course you should! And because your doctor is, ideally, your primary partner in managing your health, you should insist that your doctor, no matter their degree of training in herbs, receive that information respectfully. In telling your doctor of your decision to use an herbal product, however, don't be surprised to find that your knowledge of herbs is more advanced than theirs. You might suggest (again, respectfully) that they expand their education by using some of the internet resources listed below, or by purchasing and studying some of the written references identified there. At the same time, remember that your prescribing physician has a responsibility to safely oversee your use of any prescription drugs. If your doctor is concerned that a pharmaceutical substance might interact with an herbal product, it is prudent to accept such advice. 

  • What are the references for the botanical FAQ section?

    References

    3 Akerele, O. 1992. WHO Guidelines for the Assessment of Herbal Medicines. Fitoterapia 63(2):99-104.

    4 The broad category of "dietary supplements" was legally defined in 1994 by Congress' unanimous passage of a law called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, or DSHEA.

    5 Schultes, RE and RF Raffauf. 1990. The Healing Forest.

    6 Garrison, J. Two Toddlers Died from Oleander Poisoning, Coroner Says. Los Angeles Times: July 26, 2000.

    7 Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, Section 301(a).

    8 Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, Section 350b(a)(2).

    9 Bennett, J. and CM Brown. 2000. Use of Herbal Remedies by Patients in a Health Maintenance Organization. Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association 40(3):353-358.

    10 Farnsworth, NR. 1993. Relative Safety of Herbal Medicines. Herbalgram 29.

    11 Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, Section 201(n).

    12 McGuffin, M., C. Hobbs, R. Upton, and A. Goldberg. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Available from AHPA.

    13 Leathwood, PD, et al. 1982. Aqueous extract of valerian root (Valeriana officinalis L) improves sleep quality in man. Pharmacol Biochem Behav 17(1):65-71.

    14 Donath, F, et al. 2000. Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. Pharmacopsychiatry 33(2):47-53.

    15 DSHEA

    16 Donath, F., et al. 2000. Critical evaluation of the effect of valerian extract on sleep structure and sleep quality. Pharmacopsychiatry 33(2):47-53.

    17 Bach, D. and L. Ebeling. 1996. Long-term drug treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia - results of a prospective 3-year multicenter study using Sabal extract IDS 89. Phytomedicine 3(2):105-111.

    18 Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, Section 402(f).

    19 Government Printing Office. 2000. Title 21 Code of Federal Regulation, Section 101.36. There are exemptions to the requirement for labeled "Supplement Facts," which includes a statement of serving size, for specifically identified small businesses and for foods in small packages. Exempt manufacturers nevertheless generally provide information about recommended serving.

    20 Government Printing Office. 2000. Title 21 Code of Federal Regulation, Section 110. "Current good manufacturing practice in manufacturing, packing, or holding human food."

    21 Government Printing Office. Revised Feb. 7, 2000. Title 21 Code of Federal Regulation, Section 101.93. "Certain types of statements for dietary supplements."

    22 Henney, J. Statement By Jane E. Henney, M.D., Commissioner, Food And Drug Administration, Department Of Health And Human Services, Before The Committee On Government Reform, U.S. House Of Representatives. March 25, 1999.

    23 Bailey DG, et al. 1991. Interaction of citrus juices with felodipine and nifedipine. Lancet 337(8736):268-9.

    24 Bailey DG, et al. 1998. Grapefruit juice-drug interactions. Br J Clin Pharmacol 46(2):101-10

    25 Wells, PS, et al. 1994. Interactions of warfarin with drugs and food. Ann Intern Med 121(9):676-83.

    26 Johne A, et al. 1999. Pharmacokinetic interaction of digoxin with an herbal extract from St John's wort (Hypericum perforatum). Clin Pharmacol Ther 66(4):338-45.

    27 Piscitelli SC, et al. 2000. Indinavir concentrations and St John's wort [letter]. Lancet 355(9203):547-8.

    29 Indeed, there is a common misconception in the U.S. that standardization is equivalent to adding purified compounds to an herb in order to achieve a desired level of the marker compound. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. The addition of purified compounds in order to achieve "standardization" actually defeats the purpose of standardization. 

Frequently Asked Questions - Enzymes

  • What are enzymes?

    Enzymes are necessary in many processes within the body and are distributed throughout all cellular components. Enzymes are best known as catalytic proteins that regulate and speed up biochemical reactions in the body. Food enzymes are only obtained by consuming raw foods or by enzyme supplementation. Raw foods provide only enough enzymes to digest that particular food, generally not enough to be stored for future use. Enzymes in the digestion process break substances into smaller component for digestion and absorption. This process yields energy to sustain life

  • How can I tell what enzymes to start with?

    Minimum levels shown to support digestion for most individuals include: 4,000 HUT of protease, 2,000 DU of amylase, 40 LU of lipase and 40 CU of cellulase. Discuss your needs with your healthcare provider. It may be best to start low, then increase in potency until you find what works for you. Full-spectrum products may be helpful to target all needs.

  • What is “mycozyme” in your Chewable Natural Papaya?

    Mycozyme is an enzyme blend used to digest starch, fat and protein from the diet. It is a vegetarian source of a digestive enzyme.

  • What is the ingredient invertase found in the Enzyme Complex with Herbs?

    Invertase is another name for sucrase which is an enzyme that breaks down sucrose or table sugar.

  • I see many units of measurement for enzyme products on the shelf. How can I compare them?

    Quality products will use ingredients characterized in the Food Chemicals Codex (FCC). The FCC is a system for determining enzyme potency used by the American food industry. It is the accepted standard of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Other assays exist and are used by companies but, unfortunately, no standards currently exist to define which activity units are the most appropriate. The USP Website, 2009 states about the FCC:

    - A compendium of internationally recognized standards for purity and identity of food ingredients
    - Published since 1966, FCC allows manufacturers of food, food ingredients, food additives, and processing aids to comply with standards that have been created and vetted by a highly rigorous and transparent scientific process
    - The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) acquired FCC from the Institute of Medicine in 2006, with the goal of providing full support for the continuing revision and update of the compendium.

    FCC units measure the amount of a substrate that is digested in a certain amount of time by that enzyme.

    Example: if lipase, which targets fat, has a USP of 1,000 units per milligram,  that means that for every milligram of lipase you consume it will digest 1,000 USP units of fat in a given amount of time

    National Standard for Evaluation of Plant Enzymes:
    - Alpha-Galactosidase - GALU (Galactosidase Units)
    - Amylase - DU (Dextrinizing Units)
    - Bromelain - GDU (Gelatin Digesting Units) or FCCPU
    - Catalase - Baker Units (Named after the author)
    - Cellulase - CU (Cellulase Unit)
    - Glucoamylase - AG (Amyloglucosidase Units)
    - Hemicellulase - HCU (Hemicellulase Units)
    - Invertase - INVU (Invertase Activity Unit)
    - Lactase - LacU (Lactase Unit)
    - Lipase - FIP (Federation Internationale Pharmceutique)
    - Maltase - DP (Degrees of Diastatic Power)
    - Nattokinase - FU (Fibrinolytic Units)
    - Pectinase - AJDU (Apple Juice Depectinizing Units)
    - Phytase - PU Phytase Units
    - Protease-HUT (Hemoglobin Unit Tyrosine base)
    - Xylanase - XU (Xylanase Units)

    ** In 2013 an industry “best practices” guidelines for enzyme products was published by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the Enzyme Trade Association (ETA). It suggests FCC units as the preferred method if appropriate

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