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Finding the GOOD in a confusing nutritional marketplace.

Steve LankfordHere we are with 200 episodes of HealthQuestPodcast.com. That feels significant. I would say that the vision for HealthQuestPodcast.com has now been well established. That feels good. The goal has always been to create a library of content that can continue to grow and serve the community of interested consumers. There is so much good information on the science of nutrition that I feel this is a golden age for consumers, if they can find the good products, created by good companies, articulated by good science.

The nutritional products industry is rapidly changing. In some ways it is a victim of its own success. Those who have been in the industry a long time, like me with over 40 years, have wanted good nutrition to become widely accepted. Now that better nutrition is being embraced by a much larger community, we have many new participants in the marketplace, from more consumers, to more mass market and internet access, more product manufacturers, more raw material suppliers and so on. The business of nutrition is changing in ways that are not obvious to the average consumer. In this podcast, I will discuss some of the important issues that I think you should know about. They are issues that affect us now and will shape the future. There is much good to discuss and celebrate in the world of nutrition. There is also the bad to be concerned about and avoided. And the ugly is that which is evil and dishonest.

As we celebrate our 200th show, you should know that we take what we do very seriously. Our content is reliable, accurate and credible. We bring you some of the best experts in the nutritional products industry. We help you learn what good science is and what constitutes a good product. We help you understand the distinctions that exist so you can make knowledgeable choices. Distinctions is a key concept. Seek to make distinctions between all things. When you can understand differences between products, you can then make a more informed decision.

There is a lot to be excited about in the world of nutrition. Become educated and make wise choices. This will enable you to appropriate the benefits of good nutrition. Be careful and watch out. There are numerous ways to make mistakes that can interfere with your success. We’ll cover those as well.

The GOOD

  • MegaFood CertificationsMore good food and nutritional supplements are available to more consumers. Organic, NonGMO, natural etc. all reflect growing interest in safe food and good nutrition. We have watchdog organizations to certify the quality of the food and supplements we consume.
  • There is a movement towards transparency. Good companies are eager to convey to the consumer how their products are sourced and manufactured. Good companies need to articulate how their products are different and why you should trust them. Vette the companies you do business with.
  • The convergence of nutritional science, with high quality trademarked, branded and clinically studied ingredients is great for consumers. We have products that we know can work. There are tens of thousands of nutritional and clinical studies that give us confidence in the benefits of the products we use.
  • We now have global access to nutritional products from around the world. We can now have foods and herbs and natural medicines from other cultures that have been used for ages at our fingertips. We can now choose from the best products from around the world. Again, just vette the companies and products that you use.
  • We have many companies that are committed to bringing wonderful foods and quality, safe and effective nutritional supplements to the marketplace. These companies are often the result of a passionate owner and focused company that creates the great products that we all enjoy. There is no shortage of good companies who can be depended on to adhere to the highest standards. These are the companies you want to look for.
  • We have the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which provides a regulatory framework for the supplement industry. If the FDA and FTC will enforce the laws we now have, bad players will be removed. We have been waiting for the FDA to act. We are finally seeing the regulatory agencies moving against bad companies.
  • GMP CertifiedGood Manufacturing Practices are now in place that can assure consumers that supplements they purchase are safe.  There are quality and safety checkpoints in the entire manufacturing and distribution chain that are now mandatory. Good companies follow these requirements, bad companies don’t.
  • All is not rosy. There are significant risks and challenges throughout the industry that affect you. It is the evolution of these challenges that will affect our nutrition environment in the future for better or worse.

The BAD

  • Misinformation. There is plenty of information, the internet sees to that. What is missing is context that allows consumers to find what is important and credible out of all of that information. There is a huge amount of misinformation that also exists, side by side with reliable information. Consumers are easily confused. Consumers often buy on the hype and never look deeper into the company, product or claims.
  • The mass media usually does a poor job of giving a balanced view of good nutritional studies. Consumers are most likely to be exposed to sensational headlines about some negative study. Rarely does one get exposed to the thousands of good studies. You are well served if you have identified several resources that you trust to give a good interpretation of the science. If you are a regular listener of HealthQuestPodcast.com you have many of the best nutritional experts right here, explaining these complex topics.
  • The desire for good nutrition is being co-opted in many ways. Big multi-national companies are buying natural companies. They buy the brand and they buy the profits but they don’t buy the philosophy. So products get cheapened and unsuspecting consumers are the victims. We have numerous examples of this from Pepsi buying Naked Foods and Kellogg buying Kashi and Proctor & Gamble buying New Chapter Vitamins. There are many more. The new owners have little or no interest in being a healthy producer. Their interest is to tap into a growing a growing and profitable market.
  • There are many companies making supplements that are sub-par. Not illegal, just not very good. This is another case where buyers need to beware. When you purchase a cheap product you are not so likely to get the results found in higher quality products. You cannot buy the best products at the cheapest price. So consumers lose money and benefit and possibly confidence in the value of nutrition when they depend on cheap products to do the job.
  • As the mass market gets into the business of good nutrition we will all have wider access to products. The downside is that small independent health food stores are no longer the main resource for products. It is in these small stores that you could learn about products and strategies for becoming healthy. These smaller stores are gradually closing as the owners retire or business becomes less profitable. Whichever is the case, the consumer is losing a valuable asset. You will never get this kind of personal attention in the mass market. You also won’t get it in the big natural chain stores. You can’t get it through the internet. Where is the best place for consumers to learn? One answer is here on HealthQuestPodcast.com.
  • Our medical/pharmaceutical industry has morphed into something that does not always serve us well. While it is fair and important not to besmirch all medicine and to recognize the powerful benefit, it is not difficult to see where modern medicine has taken a turn for the worse. Drug companies cannot be trusted to provide safe and effective drugs. Researchers, medical schools and medical journals are all complicit in allowing bad medicine to flourish. There seems little to stem this tide.
  • There is a desire among some in the above named medical industry limit your access to nutritional supplements. There are forces that would like to see the nutrition industry either eliminated or much more highly regulated than it currently is. Various States Attorneys General are starting to focus on some of these issues. Federal, state and even global regulation can negatively impact you in ways we can’t even imagine. You must stay aware and act when needed.
  • One of the challenges of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 is the prohibition of speaking about nutrition for the cure, treatment, prevention or mitigation of disease. So everyone who sells supplements CANNOT discuss how nutrition may help your disease. We can only legally speak of the benefits of nutrition for structure and function, not disease. In reality, that is fine with me because nutrients nourish the body, drugs treat disease. The real root of the problem is that consumers usually think in terms of disease and not how to nourish the body’s systems. They certainly don’t understand how it is that nutrition exerts its influence on human health. A focus of HealthQuestPodcast.com is to help consumers think about using nutrition to nourish the systems of the body instead of treating disease symptoms.

The UGLY

  • The ugly is found where there is a deliberate attempt to defraud consumers. This occurs with adulterated products which have illegal pharmaceutical, or other unlisted and/or harmful ingredients. It happens when products are not properly labeled. It happens when raw materials are not properly tested or certified.
  • The ugly occurs when false information is put on the internet that confuses consumers and leads to false conclusions. Many consumers seem to believe that if it looks and sounds good it must be true. They assume the FDA and FTC keep the marketplace clean and fair. I wish it were so.
  • The ugly occurs when the medical system discourages the use of nutrition for healing. It is worse when they resort to lies, misinformation, deception and ignorance and present it to us as established science. We could do so much better is our medical system was geared to real health care instead of disease management.

Last Words
These are just some of the issues that have become important to me. We have so much good to celebrate in the natural products arena and I am happy to champion what I consider to be some of the best companies and products. I believe good companies, good products, good science, credible experts should all be recognized for their contributions. That is my goal, to bring knowledge of these resources to you. HealthQuestPodcast.com is a library of content that always available and sharable.

There will come a time where these pioneering people are no longer with us. We preserve that legacy here on HealthQuestPodcast.com. It is here for you to explore.  When you listen to the many experts explain the science and benefits of nutrition, you will begin to understand topics in a new and expanded way. Learning from a variety of experts is the best way to gain a consensus of opinion and this will give you confidence in the choices you make. Better choices leads to better results.

We are grateful to everyone who has a part in the success of HealthQuestPodcast.com.

  • It is for our listeners that we do this. We help you become a knowledgeable consumer.
  • It is the passionate people who are curious and driven to explore the world of nutrition and bring it to you.
  • It is the scientists that explore the how and why of nutrition.
  • It is our guests who explain these complex issues and help us understand.
  • It is our sponsors that make this possible. Good companies want educated customers.

Thank you all. Please share us with your social networks. Your recommendation is our highest honor. Together we can improve health one listener at a time. There is much more to come.

 

 

 

 

 

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Blood is Thicker Than Water

Dr. Ralph Holsworth

Heart Support

CLICK on image for more interviews on Heart Support

That is the title of a paper written by Dr. Ralph Holsworth back in 2002. This was my first introduction to nattokinase. Here is a link to that paper. I first interviewed Dr. Holsworth in 2007 and I have been interested in this enzyme since that time. I was so impressed by the benefits that I have also added nattokinase to my daily supplement program and I have recommended it to many people. If you have concerns about cardiovascular health you should consider nattokinase. In spite of its name, nattokinase is not a kinase enzyme, but a serine protease of the subtilisin family. It exhibits a strong fibrinolytic activity.

“Nattokinase is a particularly potent treatment because it enhances the body’s natural ability to fight blood clots in several different ways and has many benefits including convenience of oral administration, confirmed efficacy, prolonged effects, cost effectiveness, and can be used preventatively. It is a naturally occurring, food dietary supplement that has demonstrated stability in the gastrointestinal tract. The properties of nattokinase closely resemble those properties of plasmin so it dissolves fibrin directly! More importantly, it also enhances the body’s production of both plasmin and other clot dissolving agents, including urokinase. Nattokinase may actually be superior to conventional clot-dissolving drugs such as urokinase, and streptokinase, which are only effective therapeutically when taken intravenously within 12 hours of a stroke or heart attack. Nattokinase, however, may help prevent the conditions leading to blood clots with an oral daily dose of as little as 2,000 fibrin units (FU).” quote from Nattokinase and Cardiovascular Health, by Dr. Holsworth.

NattokinaseIn this interview, Dr. Holsworth will discuss the origins of nattokinase and the emerging science that reveals the benefits. The basic issue here is that fibrin is the factor in our blood that forms blood clots. Too much fibrin thickens the blood increasing one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Consumption of nattokinase has been shown to enhance fibrinolytic activity leading to reduced fibrin in the blood. Nattokinase has also shown benefits for blood pressure support. Here is an excerpt from Dr. Holsworth’s paper:

“Natto, made from fermented soybeans, is a traditional Japanese food. Many people enjoy it for its distinctive flavor, enlivened by the activity of Bacillus subitilis. Natto has a long history, and some have theorized that it may even have a prehistoric origin, possibly circa B. C. It has at least been ascertained that natto has been popular since the Edo period, 400 years ago. Originally, natto was utilized as a folk remedy for heart and vascular diseases, fatigue, and beriberi. In 1980, Dr. Hiroyuki Sumi et al. found that natto contains a potent fibrinolytic enzyme, which they named nattokinase.

blood_clotIt was confirmed that oral administration of nattokinase (or natto) produced a mild and frequent enhancement of the fibrinolytic activity in the plasma, as indicated by the fibrinolytic parameters, and the production of tissue plasminogen activator. Nattokinase capsules were also administered orally to dogs with experimentally induced thrombosis, and lysis of the thrombi was observed by angiography. It was shown that the oral administration of natto and nattokinase enhance the fibrinolytic activity in plasma.

Conclusion
Nattokinase may prove to be a defibrinogenating enzyme that drastically decreases blood viscosity. Decreasing blood viscosity strikes at the root of arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis as well as hypertension, peripheral vascular disease and congestive heart failure. The fibrinolytic activity of nattokinase resolves the active process of atherosclerosis and lyses thrombi. The per oral administration, prolonged half-life of 4-6 hours and extremely safe profile show favorably upon nattokinase as the key.” End excerpt.

Natto NSP-2Since that original paper was published, nattokinase has become a fairly well-known enzyme and is used as a natural adjunct in cardiovascular care. If you are interested in using nattokinase Kosher - NonGMOpurchase your supplement from a well known and well respected manufacturer. Good companies use trademarked, branded and clinically studied ingredients. In this case we are specifically considering Natto NSP-2 from Vesta Ingredients, Inc. Natto NSP-2 is certified nonGMO and Kosher.

Benefits of Natto NSP-2

  • Antioxidant Effects
  • Improved Circulation
  • Decrease in Blood Viscosity
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health

If you want to improve your health in the long term you need to stop thinking in terms of disease. Nutrition does not treat disease. Nutrients nourish the body in particular ways. Seek to nourish your body with nutrients that benefit you in a particular way. I consider cardiovascular health to be one of my concerns. I don’t have any problems but I have areas to watch. So I take nutrients to support cardiac health. I take nattokinase, magnesium, Pycnogenol, d-Ribose, aged garlic extract, and fish oil as foundational nutrients that provide structure/function support for my cardiovascular system. Each of these nutrients offer a particular benefits and the benefits are additive. The best nutritional program is the one that works for you. When you take the time to understand more about the supplements you take, the better choices you will make. Better choices lead to better outcomes. This is your process of discovery.

Dr. Ralph E. Holsworth, Jr., DO
Emergency Medicine
Ralph E. Holsworth, Jr. received his Doctor of Osteopathy in 1997. He is a board-certified osteopathic family physician previously serving rural and under-served regions of New Mexico and Colorado . Prior to his medical training, Dr. Holsworth served as environmental scientific consultant with the US EPA and private sector firms providing technical assistance on Superfund site evaluation, remediation and environmental cleanups. He received his Baccalaureate of Science in 1985. In 1977-1981, Dr. Holsworth served in the United States Navy. Dr. Holsworth presently works at the Tahoma Clinic in Renton , Washington with Dr. Jonathan Wright, and treats a wide variety of health conditions, with special interest in cardiovascular conditions (especially problems related to increased blood viscosity), auto-immune problems, diabetes, and environmental illness. With a long-time interest in integrative and functional medicine approaches to traditional medicine. Dr. Holsworth has practiced medicine in a wide variety of settings in both hospital and private clinical practice. Dr. Holsworth has served as honorary professor, Department of Biology, at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is involved in clinical research. He is on the board of the NeuroLipid Research Foundation. He is the Scientific Adviser for Vesta Ingredients.

Vesta Ingredients

 

 

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198 – Garlic Extract Reverses Heart Disease – My Interview with Dr. Matthew Budoff

We all want good science to validate the products we use. For the best results follow the science. My guest is Dr. Matthew Budoff. Dr. Budoff has completed 4 clinical studies on Aged Garlic Extract. I have interviewed him after each interview and if you want to follow the evolution of this science, you can listen to all of those interviews here. You can follow Dr. Budoff’s journey from skeptic to confident proponent. The science and the results are compelling.

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197 – A Call for Probiotics – My Interview with Jolie Root

The average consumer is usually years behind current research. It takes years for a nutrient to emerge into the general awareness. Consider the emergence of probiotics. What is now known by many consumers is that probiotics are beneficial for digestive health . We now know this based on previous research done years, even decades, in the past. In this interview with Jolie Root you are going to learn about some of the current leading edge research with probiotics.

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196 – The Immune Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms are now being rediscovered for both their nutritional and health supporting benefits. For many years the only mushrooms that most of us were familiar with are the common white button mushrooms found in the supermarket. The past 20-30 years has seen a surge of scientific inquiry into the nutritional components of many different mushrooms. We now have much more respect for powerful health giving benefits provided by mushrooms.

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195 – Liposomes for Nutrient Delivery – My Interview with Dr. Emek Blair

Liposomes are basically a nutrient wrapped in a layer of fat (phosphatidylcholine, an important beneficial fat molecule). This is the same way that nutrition is delivered to babies through breast milk. Little fat bubbles fulled with nutrients. Liposomes are sometimes used with drugs to deliver drugs to specific targets in the body. Liposomes are also used to deliver nutrients into the body. Liposomes are better at carrying nutrients into the body and also delivering that nutrient into the cell than powders which make up most tablets and capsules. The phosphatidylcholine part of the liposome is then added as a healthy fat to cell membranes. These are important distinctions that determine how well your supplements are absorbed and utilized.

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194 – Improve Your Digestion with Enzymes – My Interview with Tom Bohager

Why take digestive enzyme supplements?
Stomach distress: The typical benefits of enzyme supplementation include reduced digestive distress, increased energy and improved regularity.
Soothe Digestive Distress: When undigested foods travel through the intestines they can irritate and potentially damage the sensitive intestinal wall.
Increase Energy: Up to 80% of our body’s vital energy is spent on digestion. By aiding the breakdown and absorption of foods, you can free up enormous amounts of energy, increasing physical vitality and enhancing energy levels.

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193 – Probiotics for Dummies (and the rest of us) – My Interview with Jason Mitchell

Learn as much as you can about the benefits of probiotics and which strains and potencies have been clinically studied. The next step is to choose a probiotic from a company that has a reputation for quality products. Commit to a product for a long enough period of time for you to evaluate how well it works for you. I’ll discuss these issues in this interview with Dr. Jason Mitchell, CEO of Probulin.

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192 – Nutritional Support for Your Brain – My Interview with James LaValle

Who couldn’t use better brain health. I remember many years ago the conventional wisdom was that you can’t do much about your brain health. Another myth presented to us as though it were fact and settled science. Now we know that your brain is very malleable and capable of changing and improving. One of the challenges for consumers is understanding the distinctions between the many nutrients that have shown benefit. What should you try and why?

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191 – The Benefits of Hemp Oil – My Interview with Dr. Cass Ingram

The lowly hemp plant is enjoying new found respect. I am not speaking of marijuana. We are considering it’s cousin hemp. Marijuana is psychoactive, hemp is not. Hemp is a plant that has been used for thousands of years. It has provided fibers, seeds and oil for the use of man for all of those years. It has been less that 100 years since hemp was made illegal and now there is renewed interest in hemp products. Our topic of discussion today is CO2 extracted hemp oil. Hemp oil and extracts are made from the stems and leaves of the non-psychoactive plants.

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