Neil E. Levin discusses some of the most important nutrients for the heart and arteries

Heart Support
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Neil E. Levin

One of my goals for is to promote a paradigm shift in how we think about nutrition and disease. Current laws and regulations contribute to the confusion that consumers experience. Those same laws and regulations make it difficult and nearly impossible for manufacturers to convey useful information about their products.

The paradigm shift I speak of is this: We need to stop thinking of nutrition as a way to treat disease. Doctors treat disease, drugs treat disease, modern medicine treats disease. Vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc. do not treat disease. These and other nutrients nourish the body and support human structure and function.

This is actually a very profound distinction. But it is one that most people don’t make. It is easier for people to think they want to use nutrition to treat their high blood pressure, for example*. That thought process leads us in the wrong direction right from the start. Treating high blood pressure is a medical concern. So we begin to look for products that “treat” high blood pressure. Since manufacturers can’t make medical claims, consumers are either left in the dark or they are exposed to illegal and unethical claims. This is a big part of this problem.

The better path to follow is to seek to nourish the body in specific ways that support the structure and function of cells, tissues and organs with a variety of specific nutrients. The body is very efficient when using nutrients. Provide the body with sufficient nutrients, then the body can maintain, repair, restore throughout the body. It is the body that heals. Nutrients are the building blocks. Food and supplements are the delivery system.

Drugs do not nourish the body. And nutrients are not drugs. Part of the problem is that we know much of how nutrition affects human health through the scientific study of nutrition and disease. So the dilemma is the conflict in the current paradigm. If a nutrient is studied for its effects on a disease, does that make it a drug? Does the discussion of a study that shows positive effect of nutrients on disease make that discussion a medical claim?

This is a serious issue because the FDA’s interpretation is any unapproved nutritional claim is not allowed. Medical information automatically makes the nutrient a drug in the current federal system. So not only is it confusing to consumers, it makes it very difficult to share good scientific studies. And it means that we have to explain and make disclaimers to keep us all on the right side of the law.

This interview with Neil E. Levin is excellent example of the challenge. Neil makes the very important point that we are at times talking about the science. Speaking about nutritional studies is critical in understanding potential benefits. This type of discussion does not make the discussion a medical claim. If you find that some companies do not speak about specific studies it is because of concerns that FDA will overreach by interpreting that discussion as a medical claim. This concern has had a chilling effect on the sharing of truthful science by supplement manufacturers.

When we seek to understand the benefits of nutrition to cardiac health, it is also fair to consider what are the challenges and deficiencies of the current medical model. Upon closer examination we discover that medical model for understanding and treating heart disease is not successful for many. To be clear we are not suggesting that nutrition treats heart disease. For all medical issues, see your doctor. We are suggesting that you should understand what the true value of any treatment is. What are the benefits and risks? How will this treatment affect you?

In any case, medical treatment is not nutritional. If you have heart disease or not, you still need to be well nourished. If you have cardiovascular concerns then it is likely that you are nutrient deficient. It is fair to suggest that if you supply the body with more of the critical nutrients then you are likely to improve health, and medical treatment may be more beneficial because the body is well nourished.

That is a long introduction to this interview with Neil E. Levin. Neil gives us a great overview of the lifestyle and diet concerns that must be considered as well as nutrition. He touches on the challenges and deficiencies of the current medical model. He then gives us a primer on some of the most important nutrients that support cardiovascular health.

How do we look at cardiovascular health using the new paradigm? We look at the tissues and organs involved and explore what nutrients provide the targeted system. In our example Neil looks at the role of vitamin C and magnesium and their role in arterial health and the body’s normal repair mechanisms.* He discusses fish oil and specifically the omega-3 fatty acids and their role in cardiac health and inflammation.* He also articulates what is considered a therapeutic dose based on current recommendations.

There are many vitamins, minerals, herbs and nutraceuticals that support cardiovascular health.* We touch on only a few. When you consider a comprehensive overview of popular nutrients you have many choices. Consider the ways each nutrient is different and how many different nutrients can have a substantial synergistic effect.

NOW Blood Pressure Health

Nutrients to consider (there are others):

  • Vitamins – B, C, D, E, K2
  • Minerals – Magnesium
  • Herbs – Hawthorn, pine bark extract, curcumin
  • Amino Acids – Lysine, Proline
  • Enzymes – nattokinase, proteolytic enzymes
  • Nutraceuticals – CoQ10, Ribose

The idea is that you specifically choose the nutrients for their benefits to the cells involved. A variety of the best nutrients will give you broad-based support. A body that is not well nourished cannot repair, maintain or sustain robust health. A body that is well nourished will do better that one that is poorly nourished. No matter your medical treatment.

CLICK HERE for a link to all interviews with Neil E. Levin.

About Neil E. Levin, CCN, DANLA

Neil E. Levin is the Senior Nutrition Education Manager and a product formulator for NOW®. He is a board-certified clinical nutritionist with a diplomat in advanced nutritional laboratory assessment. The U.S. Natural Products Association (NPA) presented Neil its Industry Champion Award in 2008 for “people who have made notable individual contributions to the natural products industry above and beyond what is expected to achieve commercial success.” Neil’s interviews and articles are published in magazines and newspapers. He has been featured in many radio interviews and television news reports. Neil blogs at; is on Facebook (Honest Nutrition) and Twitter (neilelevin).

NOW Foods


Naturally address your body’s response to stress and anxiety
My Interview with Dr. Jeffrey Burke

Brain Support
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This will be the first interview in a series of 5 that will focus on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and the nutrients that have been scientifically and clinically evaluated for their specific benefits to the ECS. The discovery of the ECS and the recent explosion in interest in CBD (cannabidiol) is unprecedented. However what is often overlooked is that there are many other nutrients and herbs that can also affect the ECS.

In this 5 interviews series with Dr. Jeffrey Burke we will cover in great detail the ECS, what it is, what it does and certain nutrients and products beyond CBD that can be used for 5 common health concerns. We all love CBD and its benefits to human health, however some people don’t benefit from CBD, some people can’t use CBD and other nutritional products may work better that CBD. The more you know the better choices you will make. The best products are the ones that work best for you and that is your process of discovery.

The Healing Power of the Endocannabinoid System

In addition to the interviews with Dr. Burke, I will be excerpting portions from the book The Healing Power of the Endocannabinoid System by Dr. Michael Murray, ND. Dr. Murray’s booklet is available free from Emerald Health Bioceuticals and at better health food stores. This book is a wonderful introduction to the ECS including CBD and the other plants and nutrients for you to consider. Here’s three other ways to get the book:

Click this link to view and/or download a FREE PDF of the book. OR

  • Contact Emerald Health at
  • Request free book offer with code word “health quest”
  • OR
  • Email to: 

If you would like a very good overview of this topic you should listen to my interview with Jade Beutler, CEO of Emerald Health Bioceuticals. Here is link to that previous interview.

In this first of the series we will be discussing Endo Calm. Endo Calm is a natural calming solution that addresses your body’s response to stress and anxiety by supporting the following:

  • Healthful response to daily stress, fear and anxiety.*
  • Feelings of relaxation and greater mental energy.*
  • Adrenal function and normal cortisol levels.*
  • Positive changes in the balance of body and mind.*
  • Supports the Endocannabinoid Receptor Sites.*
  • Supports the production of Endocannabinoids.*
  • Supports the retention of Endocannabinoids.*

We will examine the following products once a month for 5 months, this interview being the first one. Additionally we will discuss in greater detail the unique benefits of each product:

  • Endo Bliss – supports a positive outlook and resistance to daily pressure.*
  • Endo Sleep – supports a restful and rejuvenating sleep.*
  • Endo Brain – supports mental acuity and cognition.*
  • Endo Inflame – supports your body’s healthy response to pain and inflammation.*

Following is excerpt from The Healing Power of the Endocannabinoid System co-authored by Dr. Michael Murray

ECS 101 – What we know and how we learned it

IN 1964, ISRAELI RESEARCHER Dr. Raphael Mechoulam identified THC as the main active ingredient in cannabis. Three decades later, he began studying exactly how THC works in the body and brain. That led to his discovery of a complex and elegant cell-signaling system triggered by not only THC, but other compounds as well.

Dr. Mechoulam named this system endocannabinoid because “endo” means within the body and “cannabinoid” highlights the role the cannabis plant played in the discovery.

To put the magnitude of this discovery into perspective, an ECS exists in all mammals, birds, reptiles, and other invertebrates. And despite the relative infancy of the monumental discovery of the ECS, there have been over 20,000 studies published in the last 20 years containing the word “cannabinoid.”

The biological nuts and bolts of the ECS   The ECS is presently known to include:

  • Receptor sites on cells called CB1 and CB2
  • Compounds known as endocannabinoids produced in the body from dietary fats like anandamide that bind to CB1 and CB2 receptors
  • Enzymes that impact the manufacture and metabolism of these endocannabinoids

Receptors send vital information to cells, organs, and the nervous system, and are critical to maintaining optimal health and homeostasis. In the human body, the ECS is believed to have more cellular receptor sites than any other receptor system.

Basically, receptors on cell surfaces are similar to locks on a door. When the right “key,” in the form of a chemical molecule, binds to the cellular receptor, it relays a specifc message to the cell that helps it do its job. Most hormones work in this manner. For example, when insulin binds to its receptor on a cell, it causes that cell to ultimately allow blood sugar (glucose) to enter the cell.

The two primary cell cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2, are found throughout the body. However, they tend to concentrate in certain areas. For example, CB1 receptors are abundant in the brain, while CB2 receptors are more often found on immune cells, in the gastrointestinal tract, and in the peripheral nervous system.

The widespread distribution of cannabinoid receptors shows just how important the ECS is to overall bodily function and health. In fact, activation of CB1 and CB2 receptors changes cellular function, including gene expression and electrical excitability of cell membranes. It is a very powerful event.” End excerpt.

We will cover more aspects of the ECS and the unique products from Emerald Health Bioceuticals is this upcoming series. If you would like to receive notice when each interview is posted, you can sign up for email notices on the home page. The email will contain a link so you can go right to the interview. You can unsubscribe at any time and we will never spam you or share your address.

CLICK HERE for links to all available interviews on Emerald Health Bioceuticals.

About Dr. Jeffrey Burke – Dr. Burke has been in the health and nutrition field for well over three decades. Dr. Burke went back to school to become a Naturopathic Physician and a Master Herbalist, and received his degree in 2012. In August of 2012, he was inducted into the Nevada Broadcasting Hall Of Fame. Dr. Burke’s passion is spreading the word on nutrition. Dr. Burke does a daily radio show in Las Vegas called The Staying Healthy Show.


308 – Tremella Mushroom – China’s Secret for Healthy and Beautiful Skin

Facebook Linkedin Twitter Print – PDF – Email Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:06 — 82.7MB) Tremella Mushroom hydrates the skin, supports immune health and increases anti-oxidants. Interview with Mark J. Kaylor We have used Mushroom Wisdom products in my family on and off for many years. I remember when Maitake […]

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307 – Your Probiotic Gut Health Is Essential To Overall Health

In this interview Dr. Jason Mitchell will discuss the importance of gut probiotic bacteria and some of the challenges to creating an effective probiotic. Many consumers take probiotic supplements without consideration as if all probiotic supplements are equal. We will consider Probulin® probiotics as one effective solution. Dr. Mitchell makes the point that any probiotic is usually better than nothing. However if you want a probiotic to be the most effective there are numerous things that you should consider.

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306 – Radical Metabolism – My Interview with Ann Louise Gittleman

More than one-third of Americans are obese, although many have been dieting for decades. Why? No diet in the world will work if your metabolism has turned toxic, and no disease can be healed if your cell membranes are unhealthy. Cell membranes require certain types of fat to perform their metabolic duties, but no amount of “good” dietary fat will be beneficial if your gallbladder is ailing or you have congested bile. This is the reason ketogenic type diets often fail. Ann Louise Gittleman offers a new wave of hope!

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305 – Customizing Your Digestive Enzymes – From Atkins to Zone

In 2014, the United States Department of Health and Human Services reported that 70 million adult Americans. Common digestive issues include gas, bloating, belching, diarrhea, constipation, acid reflux, nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain or distension, extreme fullness after eating and sour or metallic tastes in the mouth. These complaints are your body’s way of saying it needs help.  The help you need, however, goes beyond feeling more comfortable after meals. Sluggish digestion also robs the body of nutrients, which robs us of energy and undermines every aspect of wellbeing.

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304 – Full Spectrum Hemp for Endocannabinoid Support

There has never been this much excitement over a food and it’s nutrients as there is currently for hemp. There is also a great deal of confusion as to what are the important facts to understand. Valid scientific research surrounding hemp is fueling the rediscovery of its importance to human health.  What this research is revealing is causing a shift in thinking as well as application of nature’s assets held inside this amazing plant.

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303 – Simple Nutritional Solutions for Common Digestive Complaints

There are a lot of people with digestive challenges that are not medically related. These are common everyday digestive issues that don’t require medical intervention. Problems such as occasional, poor digestion, gas, bloating, heart burn and stomach irritation are examples of digestive complaints that can often be addressed by good nutritional support.

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302 – Emerging Trends in Probiotics

The probiotic category is a hotbed of research and as a result new products are emerging at a rapid rate. The science of probiotics is revealing the unique benefits of genetically identifiable strains. This is leading to more specifically targeted products. It also means that consumers must continue to gain more understanding in order to sort out the products and the claims. There are a lot of good companies making good probiotics. There is also way too many products that are inferior in some way or another that is not always obvious.

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301 – Meshima Mushroom Supports Breast Health for Women

“Meshima, (Phellinus linteus) whose name literally means “Women’s Island,” is a mushroom that grows on mulberry trees on an island of the same name southwest of Japan. Meshima is becoming increasingly known for its remarkable women’s health benefits.* In groundbreaking studies, US researchers recently confirmed that an extract of Meshima mushrooms demonstrates potent activity in helping to maintain healthy breast cells.*” source: Mushroom Wisdom

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