Tag Archives: supplements
The number of dietary supplements and food items, like bone broth, containing collagen are on the rise – and for good reason.
Increasing your dietary intake of collagen has been linked to positive effects on health, including improved skin appearance, reduced joint pain, and better digestion and gut health. It may also help strengthen nails, hair, and bones.
What Is Collagen?
Collagen is a type of protein found in the bones and connective tissue of humans and animals. It provides support and structure to the body, particularly the skin, tendons, ligaments, muscles, and skeletal system.
Collagen is made primarily from the amino acids Glycine, Proline, and Hydroxyproline. The body produces its own collagen from free amino acids, but this process slows as we age.
It’s thought that this natural decrease in collagen production plays a role in the development of many common age-related concerns, like wrinkling of the skin, and joint pain and bone loss associated with osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, respectively.
Health Benefits of Collagen
Supplementing with collagen is not essential, but it does offer some pretty amazing health benefits that can help counteract these undesirable symptoms associated with age-related collagen decline.
Here are some of the most notable benefits of adding collagen into your regular dietary – and natural beauty regimen.
MORE SUPPLE SKIN & ANTI-AGING
Skin signs of aging include wrinkles, loss of firmness, dryness, and sagging. These signs may occur due to less collagen being made as we age and breakdown of existing collagen. Sun exposure also plays a role in aging the skin.
Research has found collagen supplementation results in significant improvement in the texture of skin, including fewer wrinkles, increased elasticity, and increased hydration. These findings suggest collagen supplements can be beneficial in slowing or even reversing signs of aging skin.
Most of the supplements used in these studies also contained other ingredients thought to benefit skin health and prevent the breakdown of existing collagen, such as hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and antioxidants.
Choosing a collagen supplement that combines several nutrients for skin health may be important.
It should be noted collagen in topical form is not effective at treating skin signs of aging. Collagen molecules are too large to be absorbed into the deep layers of skin.
Other lifestyle factors like diet quality, smoking, and stress can also play a role in skin aging and should be addressed in addition to collagen supplementation for best results.
EASING JOINT PAIN & STIFFNESS
Another symptom that goes along with aging is joint deterioration that results in pain, stiffness, inflammation, and limited range of movement.
Several scientific studies concluded that hydrolyzed collagen supplements resulted in increased collagen in surrounding joint tissues and a decrease in symptoms of joint degenerative disease, like osteoarthritis.
One study found taking collagen over 24 weeks helped reduce joint pain among athletes – an at-risk population for joint disease due to overuse.
People who experience improved joint health may also be more inclined to increase their physical activity levels, which further improves overall health.
Taking a collagen supplement specifically formulated for joint health, like CanPrev’s Joint Pro Concentrate, can help keep joints flexible and cushioned, easing pain, stiffness, and inflammation associated with arthritis.
GUT HEALTH BENEFITS TOO?
Some health practitioners believe collagen has additional anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat digestive disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome and leaky gut.
The thinking behind the mechanism is that collagen can help rebuild the lining of the intestine, which is usually damaged and inflamed in most digestive disorders.
Science is emerging to support the theory that amino acids, like those found in collagen, can prevent and treat inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders. However, additional research is needed to determine the impact of collagen supplements on gut health.
Some other benefits of collagen:
- Reduces hair loss
- Improves liver health
- Diminishes the look of cellulite
- Improves wound healing
Natural Food Sources of Collagen
Most people aren’t too familiar with collagen in the form of food. The best dietary sources of collagen are from inedible parts of animals, like bones and cartilage. The majority of Western diets aren’t rich in collagen since these animal parts tend to be discarded in food preparation and cooking.
Since animal food sources of collagen are less used and accepted by most people, supplementation is an easy and accessible option to boost your intake. The collagen found in most supplements is hydrolyzed, or separated, into amino acids making it more bioavailable.
Studies have found that collagen in food has less bioavailability, meaning its ability to be absorbed through the intestine and utilized in the body, compared to hydrolyzed collagen.
According to one study, hydrolyzed collagen is absorbed better than collagen from food – because it’s already broken down into amino acids that are ready to absorb.
Consuming hydrolyzed collagen also boosts your own collagen production by providing the “pieces” (amino acids) needed for its formation.
As a side note, studies show that collagen synthesis is stimulated by vitamin C, so it would be beneficial to take both collagen and Vitamin C together or increase your intake of vitamin C-rich foods.
Animal VS Marine Sources of Collagen
It must be noted that not all collagen is created equal! The two main types that you’ll find in supplemental form are animal (generally bovine/cow) and marine (fish) collagen.
|Made of skin, bones, muscles||Made from fish bones & scales|
|Rich in type 1 & type 3 collagen||Rich in type 1 collagen|
|Rich source of amino acids Proline & Glycine||Rich source of amino acids Glycine, Proline & Hydroxyproline|
|Excellent for maintaining bone, joint and gut health, reducing fatigue and repairing sun-damaged skin||Easier to digest due to smaller collagen peptides, so there is increased bioavailability and absorption|
Choosing one over the other is really up to you as both types have similar benefits.
Since it can be a little difficult to get a steady intake of collagen through dietary sources (who wants to constantly have a pot of bone broth on the go?), collagen supplements are a safe way to promote skin and joint health with little-known risk or side effects.
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements that are specially formulated with other complementary ingredients (like Vitamin C!) for skin and joint health are proven quite effective.
Optimizing nutrition when you’re an athlete (or even if you workout regularly) can make a significant difference in your health and performance on the court, field or at the gym.
Just like exercising your muscles through cardiovascular workouts or strength training is important, so is fueling your body properly through your diet. Unfortunately, when this doesn’t happen it can negatively affect performance, and in some cases, impair immune function.  
Increased Energy and Nutrient Needs
Focusing on some key nutrients can not only increase endurance in the athlete but also improve overall health by bolstering the immune system, improving bone health and minimizing oxidative stress.
Eating adequate amounts of micronutrients and vitamins is vital to muscle building and recovery from the physiological stress of intense activity or playing sports. Nutrient needs are increased when metabolic and biochemical pathways are taxed via exercise which is used to repair lean tissue.
Supplements can help but the idea is to make food your primary source of nutrients because your body utilizes food differently than supplements. 
Food also includes fibre, other vitamins and essential nutrients that work together to create energy and fuel cells. These important components in the diet are more depleted in athletes that don’t consume adequate calories and/or restrict or eliminate food groups.
The 6 Most Essential Nutrients For Athletic People:
Individuals who are athletic are especially susceptible to being low in zinc mainly because they aren’t eating enough rich food sources of this mineral.
Zinc plays a part in immunity, protein utilization, and metabolic efficiency as well as thyroid function, and all of these affect athletic performance in some way.
Foods that are high in zinc include meat and poultry, whole grains, oysters, milk and dairy, legumes and fortified breakfast cereals.
Those that are most at risk for a deficiency are vegetarians who don’t eat enough whole grains or meat. It must be noted that overdoing zinc supplementation can result in a copper deficiency. Be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner to discuss supplementation.
Iron is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fat as well as its capacity to carry oxygen. A deficiency may inhibit endurance as well as immune and cognitive functions.
Foods that are high in iron include red meat, fortified cereals eaten along with fruit or vegetables that are high in vitamin C. This vitamin will enhance iron absorption and improve iron status in an individual.
Calcium aids in muscle contraction and nerve impulses, as well as bone growth and increasing bone mass. Poor calcium intake can lead bone-related issues such as stress fractures.
Foods high in calcium include cheese, milk, yogurt, spinach, collard greens, almonds, sardines (with the bones!), fortified cereals and juices.
This vitamin is needed for adequate calcium absorption in the gut, to control serum calcium and phosphorus and to build strong bones. It also contributes to a well functioning nervous and skeletal system.
If a person lives in an area with little sunlight and they spend most of their time indoors, and because there aren’t many foods that contain vitamin D without fortification, they’re at a greater risk of having low Vitamin D – in this case, supplementation may be prudent.
The best sources are fatty fish like salmon, tuna or mackerel, and eggs. Fortified milk offers most of the vitamin D in the average diet with fortified orange juice beverages and certain cereals contributing a small amount. Again, supplementation is a wise choice!
Magnesium aids in more than 300 biochemical processes in the body that include:
- helps produce ATP, essential to the metabolic activities of every cell
- protein synthesis for muscle building
- relaxes muscles and nerves
- calms the mind
- aids in calcium absorption
- regulation of blood pressure & heart rhythm
All of which are concerns to an athlete!
Sources of Magnesium include green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, meat and dairy. Some breakfast cereals are also fortified with Magnesium.
However, as we explained in “Nutrient Deficiencies: Why Nearly Everyone Has Them!”, the composition of what we eat and the quality of our foods has drastically changed over the past hundred years, and this has made it difficult to get enough of many key minerals, especially magnesium.
B vitamins all play a rather large role in energy metabolism and blood health along with building and repair of muscle tissue.
A deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle soreness and apathy along with poor cognitive function. Meat, fish and poultry, as well as enriched grains, are good sources of B vitamins.
The bottom line on essential nutrients for everyday athletes:
Regular exercise and sports participation increases the turnover and loss of nutrients from the body, so greater calories, vitamins, and minerals are needed to cover these losses through the diet and in some cases supplementation.
Eating a wide enough variety of foods from all the major food groups is what is needed for proper functioning of muscles, a strong immune system, and optimal performance during athletic endeavours.
 Science Direct. Vitamin and Mineral Status: Effects on physical performance, Elsevier Volume 20, Issues 7–8 (July–August 2004)
 Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. Nutritional Strategies to Minimise Exercise-Induced Immunosuppression in Athletes (2001)
 JAMA Network. Essential Nutrients: Food or supplements? Where should emphasis be? (July 2005)
For many women, turning fifty is a milestone. It might be a time of transformation: from children leaving the family home to career shifts, or finding a new approach to your health and well-being.
You might notice that your body changes when you hit fifty. Staying up late and traveling, for example, might affect you differently than they used to. But your fifties and beyond can be a time of vibrant health and fulfillment.
Read on to learn about the main health concerns for women over fifty, plus which natural supplements should be on your radar.
What are the main health concerns for women over 50?
For women over fifty, one of the main health concerns is the transition of menopause. Altered hormone levels that come from the end of the reproductive years can cause unpleasant symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, and lower libido. Other health concerns as you move into this decade include heart disease and bone density. Finally, to enjoy your fifties and beyond, you want to support brain health and keep your mind sharp.
Here’s the great news: you can reclaim your health and enjoy yourself in the process. How? Address your health concerns with the right natural supplements.
Top 5 natural supplements for women over 50
Herbs for hormone balance
Medicinal herbs are widely used to support hormonal health during menopause. Herbal allies for women over fifty include black cohosh, chasteberry, dong quai, maca, and sage.
Black cohosh binds to estrogen receptors and works by affecting the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Preparations of black cohosh root have been shown to reduce hot flashes and night sweats, along with improving mood.
Chasteberry (also known as chastetree or Vitex) shifts hormone production toward more progesterone and less estrogen through its effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary axis. Several studies showed chasteberry to be effective in reducing breast pain and other PMS symptoms.
Dong quai is a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and has been called female ginseng for its energy and mood boosting properties. Dong quai is recommended for irregular bleeding.
Maca, a Peruvian adaptogen, benefits the endocrine and reproductive systems. Preparations made from maca root boost the production of sex hormones and increase energy and sex drive. In studies, maca supplementation was associated with a substantial reduction of menopausal discomfort in early postmenopausal women.
Finally, sage is used to alleviate hot flashes, sweating, and other menopausal symptoms as a general tonic. A clinical trial showed the efficacy of sage over a two-month treatment period.
Find these herbs as dietary supplements in such forms as a powdered whole herb, liquid extracts, and dried extracts in pill form, or a convenient all-in-one herbal blend like Meno-Prev.
Vitamins & minerals
Sufficient intake of certain vitamins and minerals is essential for thriving in your fifties and beyond. You’ll want to supplement your diet with the following: calcium and magnesium, along with vitamin D and K.
Calcium supplements help make up for lowered assimilation from food sources as you age. Calcium is needed by every cell in your body and is especially important for women over fifty to prevent bone loss and osteoporosis risk.
Working in synergy with calcium, magnesium helps promote cardiovascular health and normal blood pressure (not to mention its sweet stress-busting properties).
Fat-soluble vitamins D and K play a crucial role in calcium metabolism. Controlled trials have shown the benefits of vitamins D and K on postmenopausal osteoporosis with a study duration between 8 weeks and 3 years. Try a formula like Osteo Prolong to fill your nutritional needs.
Fiber is one of the top supplements for women over fifty, thanks to its massive amount of health benefits. Think enhanced blood sugar balance, lower cholesterol, improved cardiovascular health, weight loss, and better gut health from curbing symptoms of constipation, diarrhea, and IBS. What’s more, fiber helps regulate hormone levels during menopause. Look for a dietary fiber supplement that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber for best results.
Women over fifty become more prone to chronic, low-grade systemic inflammation. To stay healthy throughout your fifties and beyond, fighting inflammation is your go-to action plan. Try turmeric, or better yet, highly bio-available Curcumin. Curcuminoids in turmeric slow the enzymes that cause inflammation, so you can count on the time-tested Ayurvedic remedy to keep you feeling healthy.
Keep your mind sharp and curb depression and memory loss with natural supplements like gingko biloba. Clinical trials have shown the beneficial effects of gingko biloba on cognitive function (especially concentration and memory). Try the Mind-Pro formula to fuel your brain as you enter what can be the best years of your life.
If you suffer from joint pain, then you know from experience just how painful and immobilizing it can be.
However, by eating the rights foods and taking the correct supplements, you can prevent joint pain from arising and help manage inflammation that can make joint conditions worse. This preventative approach to maintaining healthy joints – can help keep you enjoying the physical activities you love the most, for a long time to come!
Foods That Promote Good Joint Health
One of the best remedies for helping to alleviate or preventing joint pain is eating the rights foods. Generally speaking, these are foods that are high in nutrients like Vitamin D, Omega-3 fatty acids and foods with antioxidant properties. Joint pain is almost always associated with inflammation and swelling, so foods that have anti-inflammatory qualities like dark leafy greens, dark berries and spices are always a good choice too!
Some of the best foods to eat if you want to reap the benefits of these nutrients are fatty fish like herring, cod, sardines and wild salmon. Nuts like walnuts and almonds and seeds like pumpkin and ground flax – can be great anti-inflammatory food choices too!
Some other great foods to include in your diet to maintain healthy and pain-free joints are cauliflower, broccoli, onions, leeks, cherries, pineapple, papaya, kiwis, lemons and other citrus fruit, ginger, squash, mushrooms and sweet peppers.
What Should I Avoid?
There are also foods to avoid when you suffer from joint pain and discomfort. Some foods contain inflammatory qualities, which cause or aggravate joint pain and swelling. The major triggers are alcohol, sugar, fried food, meats from grain fed animals, wheat, trans-saturated fats, and sodas. Try to avoid these foods to keep painful flare-ups away and limit discomfort.
Supplements that prevent or offer relief from joint pain and discomfort
Getting all the nutrients required to promote good joint health from your diet alone, is ideal. However, this is not always possible! With the fast-paced, busy lifestyles we lead today it is hard to get enough nutrients from our food to meet nutrient amounts associated with a helpful decline in degenerative conditions.
This is where nutritional supplements for joint health come in. As always, before taking any new natural healthcare product, you should consult your doctor or pharmacist about any potential contraindications.
Glucosamine – Glucosamine is a compound that supplies the joints in your body with the materials they need to heal damage resulting from joint injury or osteoarthritis. In particular, glucosamine sulfate is required by your body to manufacture a certain essential mucopolysaccharide found in joint cartilage. The good news is that it glucosamine is absorbed by your body quickly and easily.
Chondroitin Sulfate – this compound is another major ingredient of joint cartilage, specifically, it acts as the connective tissue between the tough protein strands that makes your cartilage elastic and stretchy as well as strong. Studies suggest it may promote healing and rebuilding of bone, and is effective in relieving symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) – this is another raw material that the body utilizes in order to build cartilage. In particular, it is an ingredient of the structural proteins found in your skin, hair — and joints – and is an abundant source of sulfur – which is a key component of collagen, which helps from cartilage. Studies suggest that MSM could be just as effective in the treatment of arthritis as the aforementioned supplements.
Calcium – did you know that calcium is the most frequently occurring mineral in your body? Most of it is situated in the bones and teeth – so if you want to maintain healthy bones and prevent osteoarthritis, then a good calcium supplement is the way to go.
Vitamin C – this substance is most well known as an antioxidant, which protects the body from roaming free radicals, but it also has a role to play in maintaining strong connective tissue, including the bones, tendons, and ligaments that make up your body’s joints. It is also needed to make collagen, an essential part of the cartilage lining your joints.
Curcumin – is a phytochemical derived from the spice turmeric. For thousands of years, turmeric has been one of the most commonly prescribed Ayurvedic remedies to relieve joint-related inflammation. Curcuminoids in turmeric slow the enzymes that cause inflammation and give the spice it’s bright yellow colour.
There is a host of scientific studies linking magnesium to many different health conditions, but reviewing these effects one by one is overwhelming and confusing. Instead, it’s more helpful to look at magnesium’s underlying physiological mechanisms. Understanding what magnesium does fundamentally will let us better understand how insufficient magnesium levels might affect our bodies and our daily lives.
Magnesium’s hundreds of roles can be roughly categorized into four basic functions. One of those functions is activating enzymes and another is creating cellular energy. Let’s break down how these processes actually happen and take a closer look at the relationship between magnesium enzymes and energy.
We are kept alive by trillions of chemical reactions that occur in the body. Carbohydrates are broken up and harvested for energy. New tissue is created. Cellular waste products are removed. New strands of DNA are synthesized. This collection of chemical processes is called metabolism.
The speed a reaction occurs will depend on factors like temperature, pressure, solubility and concentration of molecules. We use these factors every day. You might notice that sugar dissolves in hot water faster, or putting food in the refrigerator will slow the rate of decay. When you make a campfire, a hotter flame will burn wood faster.
Our metabolism needs to occur at a certain speed to stay alive. But we don’t have the liberty of turning the body into a raging furnace to speed up these reactions (not without damaging many things). That’s where enzymes come in.
Enzymes are bits of protein that catalyze and regulate almost all metabolic reactions. As catalysts, they reduce the energy needed to spark a chemical reaction and speed up reactions. Without enzymes, reactions that would normally take milliseconds might take hours or days.
Some enzymes require an additional ions or molecules called cofactors to function. Without a cofactor bound to its structure, an enzyme may float dormant, unable to catalyze any reactions.
Cofactor for Enzymatic Pathways
Magnesium is a cofactor for several important enzymes in the body, like DNA/RNA polymerases, used to transcribe new DNA/RNA strands, and guanylate cyclase used to regulate the movement of minerals across cell membranes.
A 1968 estimate suggested that magnesium was a required cofactor for 300 enzymatic reactions. This figure is found in many medical texts and quoted by many scientific papers. Since then, many more enzymes that rely on magnesium have been identified. A search of today’s enzymatic databases reveals over 600 enzymes that magnesium is a cofactor for and another 200 enzymes that need magnesium to be activated.
Magnesium, Enzymes and Cellular Energy
Arguably the most important enzymes that magnesium is a cofactor for are the ones that produce cellular energy. These enzymes form a series of pathways (glycolysis, Kreb’s cycle, phosphorylation) that convert organic compounds like glucose sugars into smaller molecules called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP acts as our main unit of cellular energy.
Every one of our hundred trillion cells manufactures ATP to store and shuttle intracellular energy. ATP stores a tremendous amount of potential energy in the bonds of the second and third phosphate groups. When the cell wants to carry out a function like cellular division or transport molecules across the cell membrane, it breaks this bond and releases the energy.
We use a tremendous amount of ATP all the time. The typical adult only stores about 50g of ATP in the body so each ATP molecule is recycled over a thousand times a day.
To get an idea of just how much we use, let’s look at some back-of-the-napkin calculations. (If you’d like to avoid the math, feel free to skip ahead!)
Assume a typical adult needs to eat approximately 2500 calories of food every day. That’s equivalent to consuming 10,460kJ of energy from our food. Let’s also assume all the metabolic pathways that convert food into ATP energy are about 50% efficient. So of the 10,460kJ of food energy we consume, 5230kJ ends up as ATP. One mole of ATP releases around 50kJ of energy in our cells, meaning the body goes through 5230/50 = 104.6 moles of ATP every day. How much is that by weight? One mole of ATP is 507 grams. 104.6 moles x 507 grams/mole = 53,032 grams or 53kg of ATP processed every day.
Our calculations estimate that 53kg of ATP is used every day. That’s a lot of ATP, about three-quarters the body weight of your average adult human! Luckily, humans are really good at recycling and recharging spent ATP (adenosine diphosphate or ADP) through those previously mentioned metabolic pathways. The typical adult only stores about 50g of ATP in the body so each ATP molecule is recycled over a thousand times daily! Since these pathways are magnesium dependent, we need quite a bit of magnesium on hand to fuel a continuous production of ATP.
Magnesium = ATP
Since these pathways (glycolysis, Kreb’s cycle, phosphorylation) are magnesium dependent, we need quite a bit of magnesium on hand to fuel a continuous production of ATP.
“When you’re the strongest and fittest you’ve ever been, the last thing you think you are is unhealthy and the last words you expect to hear are, you have cancer” — Jill Bunny
The “C” word
Being told you have cancer is something you don’t ever expect to hear at a routine check-up, especially when you’re young and dedicate your life to staying fit. Fitness model Jill Bunny didn’t expect to hear it either. This Toronto native was one of the highest ranked IFBB bikini competitors in the world. To her peers, she was the picture of health physically and professionally. But Jill’s inner strength would soon be tested. Unusual symptoms Jill was experiencing told her that something wasn’t quite right. A double diagnosis of multiple sclerosis and thyroid cancer catapulted Jill into the competition of her life.
To many different degrees, we have all faced health challenges individually. This is the story of a top fitness competitor who fought the biggest battle of her life and came out with a new approach to finding her best health.
Functional nutritionist, elite trainer, life coach and bikini model competitor, these are only a few titles Jill Bunny goes by. Jill has always been fascinated by what the human body is capable of. When she was diagnosed with MS and thyroid cancer at age 30, her passion for health and fitness took a different turn. She retired from competition as the physical toll training took on her body would likely advance the progression of MS and slow recovery from a thyroidectomy to come.
Instead, she found other ways to challenge herself physically and mentally. She continued to train and mentor others through her company, Fit Bunnies Fitness, as she recovered from cancer. It was during this time that Jill found the motivation to learn more about healing from the inside out. Through a team of functional medicine practitioners and her Naturopathic Doctor (ND), she found more preventative ways to manage her MS symptoms. Along the way, her own interest in how the body works expanded and she began to study functional medicine in her quest to find healing and to make her body stronger than ever before.
Jill approached Dr. Nadia Lamanna ND, in April 2017 for a natural approach to managing her symptoms. Since having a thyroidectomy in November 2016, Jill struggled with fluctuating thyroid hormone levels, extreme fatigue and brain fog. The fatigue and muscle pain associated with MS was becoming a major obstacle in managing her business and training for an upcoming ironwoman race. She chose not to take prescription medication but instead managed the disease through diet, exercise and naturopathic medicine. Her chief concerns were low energy, neck pain and long recovery periods after work outs.
Dr. Lamanna ND, began treating Jill the next month with 200mg of CanPrev Magnesium Bis-Glycinate 200 Gentle before bed, one sachet of CanPrev ElectroMag to mix with water and to consume while training, two capsules of CanPrev Adrenal-Pro twice daily, one capsule of CanPrev Pro-Biotik 15B daily, and one capsule of CanPrev Thyroid-Pro twice daily. After two weeks the Magnesium Bis-Glycinate 200 Gentle was increased to 400 mg per day and ElectroMag to two pouches per day because Jill added a cycle class to her evening fitness routine. Jill reported she was taking Synthroid 88 mcg per day when she first met with Dr. Lamanna, this was later increased to 100 mcg per day in early May as directed by her endocrinologist.
Baseline scores were reported on April 10 and after only a few weeks of therapy, Jill reported improved symptoms like reduced neck pain, improved ability to recover post workout and a significant improvement in energy levels. She reported having bursts of energy and diminished grogginess during the times of day that she typically felt her worst. Her TSH in April was 4.79 and dropped to 0.59 in June, after just seven weeks of therapy. Jill’s endocrinologist was ecstatic with the results and asked what she had been doing differently. Her TSH levelled out at 1.15 in July. Jill was optimistic and motivated throughout the duration of the study and overjoyed about the progress she made along the way.
Words from Jill
“The last thing that I felt was missing in my quest to heal, was the implementation of natural, quality supplements. Working with my Naturopath on an individual basis, with weekly check-ins was exactly what I needed to get the supplementation correct. Today, I can honestly say that I have not felt this much energy in at least a decade. Go with your gut and listen to your body. Take an individualized approach to your health and do what you feel is right and works best for.”
Connect with Jill
Here at CanPrev, we are all about our community. Because without a platform to connect with individuals – we cannot learn, grow, educate, motivate or inspire. That’s where our ambassadors come in. These individuals are dedicated to living life to the fullest! They are continually learning and growing, sharing their knowledge and experience, in hopes to motivate another and let inspiration, by default, move more and more individuals forward.
For anyone who has thought about giving up on achieving better health – look to these individuals for inspiration in order to improve the quality of your life. Their collective goal is always to offer inspiration and to be a catalyst in spreading CanPrev’s healthy lifestyle vibe across the nation!
Today on the blog we are introducing Mike Levine – from the six!
Entrepreneur, post TBI – Fitness and Health Advocate, Traveler, Mentor, Menswear Stylist and full time Finance Coach – This Toronto based CanPrev Ambassador, continues to inspire us mentally, physically and emotionally. Learning about him and his lifestyle approach, will explain why!
Mike is working on becoming the best version of himself. Just over 4 years ago he suffered a traumatic brain injury, he has since worked to enhance every aspect of his life! Being diligent with nutrition and balancing activities with training routines, helps him stay focused on adding value to his life. Serious stuff! But the kind of stuff, that is truly inspiring and takes courage.
From The Minimalists
We asked Mike how he decides now, post injury, “what makes it to the top of your priority list?” “If I cannot say, Hell Yes! (taken from the Minimalists) to something on my calendar, then there is no time or energy for it”! Pretty gutsy words to live by. We like it!
Today, Mike fully embraces a healthy active lifestyle, both physically and emotionally, implementing mindful daily habits, whether he is at work or play. The emotional work is a necessity given his injury and the symptoms it came with. Rather than be discouraged, his outlook remains positive. He quotes George Mumford regarding his need to transform his lifestyle post accident – “my ass was on fire” and I had no choice. He mentions that his transformation has not moved forward without the support of CanPrev. We are thrilled for him!
When Mike isn’t training, reading or mentoring, he works as a financial coach. He enjoys assisting business owners and high net worth families preserve, grow and live a lifestyle that they worked so hard to attain. He equally enjoys helping others achieve both their financial and personal goals. Mike is grateful that his work is rewarding in this way; his entrepreneurial spirit grows and thrives with this group.
Words From Levine
As an ambassador, I love sharing my knowledge of the various CanPrev products! I have learned so much about the health and wellness industry and am becoming more informed and in tune when someone asks me to relate my experiences. I continue to feel the benefits from supplementing with natural health care products.
Electromag is definitely my number one! I find a positive effect with my sleep patterns. With the added magnesium – it’s great for muscle recovery! I use it during and after workouts for enhanced recovery, hydration and relaxation.
I regularly use a core group of CanPrev products which include: Synergy B, Electromag, Antioxidant Network, Adrenal support, Mind Pro, Omega 3’s, all of which enhance my performance at work and in fitness.
Hideouts in The Six
I really crave and have a fiery passion for health and fitness. You will find me training at the Academy of Lions in a Crossfit class or cycling with my Garrison Bespoke clients and friends; then resetting in a hot yoga class at Moksha Uptown. I recently discovered bouldering (rock climbing) at Joe Rockhead’s – what a blast! A super fun intense workout with friends.
In addition, I run weekly with the Lululemon run crew on Ossington. To accompany my mindfulness practice, I have also incorporated the Muse headband into my daily life (@choosemuse); I have committed to reading a book every 2 weeks for the next year and I love traveling to new exciting cities – all to stimulate my mind. And to add balance, I enjoy spending time at the family cottage in Haliburton; I am really excited to become a part of BIST, The Brain Injury Society of Toronto, where I will be writing for their blog and mentoring someone recovering from a brain injury.
My transformation and transition is improving and I hope – will continue! I remember to take some time be grateful everyday.
We are thrilled to have Mike be apart of our ambassador team! A truly dedicated soul to finding personal wellbeing, by choosing daily, no matter the obstacles – to live life to the fullest and have a blast doing it! Levine reminds us to listen to that voice in our heads. The one that is telling us to work at becoming our best self, on all levels! He reminds us that there is no time like the present to find positivity and to make doing what you love, a priority.
Find Mike @thescenelevine
We all have physical, emotional and mental challenges to overcome. To do this, we find the courage and brave the journey against these obstacles, in search for optimal health and preventing dis-ease. ‘Taking charge of your own health’ and ‘you can prevent’- mantras that have sustained us, as well as motivated us, to do our very best. But we know the difficulties that can arise along the way. We know the hardships that one can face and feel and that is why we believe you shouldn’t have to tackle good health alone. That is why our CanPrev ambassador team was created!
Here at CanPrev, we are all about our community because without a platform to connect with individuals – we cannot learn, grow, educate, motivate or inspire. That’s where our ambassadors come in. These individuals are dedicated to living life to the fullest! They are continually learning and growing, sharing their knowledge and experience, in hopes to motivate another and let inspiration by default, move more and more individuals forward. For anyone who has thought about giving up on achieving better health – look to these individuals for inspiration in order to improve the quality of your life. In the upcoming blog posts,we will be introducing some of our ambassadors and sharing their incredible stories with you. Their collective goal is always to offer inspiration and to be a catalyst in spreading CanPrev’s healthy lifestyle vibe across the nation!
Meet Making Lemonade
In today’s blog, we introduce one of our west coast ambassadors, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and Fitness Trainer – Krista Goncalves aka Making Lemonade!
We first met Krista a few years ago! She had been taking several of our products that assisted her with tackling some of her hormonal issues. Through a holistic diet and supplement protocol, she was able to regain her health and find hormonal balance.
‘Making Lemonade’ the name of her online business, launched when Krista started to experience her own severe hormonal imbalances, in her late 30’s. A starting point in Krista’s career was helping other women who also suffered silently with hormonal issues, like hypothyroidism and estrogen dominance.
Through adversity, Krista has figured out what it means to live a “healthy lifestyle ”. She felt it only natural, given her experience and love for turning ‘lemons into lemonade’, to allow her growing passion to spill over into her professional life. Finding success as an online health and wellness blogger, Krista has been able to help individuals, around the globe, find better health.
After dedicating 5 years to supporting women in their health journeys, Krista has recently transitioned into supporting women in other ways. She saw a distinct lack of digital business resources, for people like herself who were wanting to take their health business online. She now offers coaching for health and wellness entrepreneurs (Nutritionists, Dieticians, and Naturopaths) — helping them develop their own successful online businesses.
Krista very much enjoys practicing holistic health with her family and her husband Randy, a clinical pharmacist, who is also an avid runner and has been training hard for the Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) trail race series coming up. He’s been using Joint-Pro NEM as part of his training regime to keep his normally troublesome knee and hip joints pain-free, before and after long runs!
Krista’s shares with us her favourite CanPrev product, Adrenal-Pro! Without it, she says she would be one stressed out work-from-home Mom!
“When you find something that works, you really do want to shout it from the rooftops! This product provides the perfect balance of B-vitamins, thyroid-supporting tyrosine and stress-moderating adaptogens like Ashwagandha and Rhodiola.” – Quote from Krista
To connect with Krista:
Stay tuned for our upcoming ambassador blog post, corporate happy hour junkie – turns Instagram yogi guru!
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D3 + K2 are a dynamic duo – here’s why you should take it
Q. I have been taking Vitamin D for many years as part of a preventative regimen. I recently discovered supplements containing both D3 and K2 together. How can I tell if there’s any real benefit to taking a D supplemented with K2, or should I just stick to taking D? How do the two work together?
Let’s start by examining how vitamins D3 and K2 work separately.
While most people are familiar with the vitamin alphabet A through E, vitamin K is relatively unfamiliar. That’s largely because unlike these other vitamins, vitamin K isn’t typically used as a dietary supplement (but more on that in a minute). Touted for its coagulant properties, it’s needed by the liver to create an enzyme called thrombin, which helps the blood to clot.
Vitamin D3 is the same naturally-occurring vitamin you get from the sun. In northern climates, it can be tough to get enough. It’s important to the body in many other ways, from helping our nerves need it to carry messages from the brain to the rest of the body to helping our immune systems fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
When you see vitamins D3 and K2 together in a single supplement, it’s meant for keeping your bones strong and healthy..
But I thought calcium was for bones?
Calcium and other minerals are needed for a healthy body structure. However, important cofactors like vitamins D3 and K2 help transport these minerals through your body so they are properly deposited in your bones (where they belong!)
The first step in this journey is making sure your dietary minerals are properly absorbed. Vitamin D3 works in the intestinal tract by increasing the ion permeability in your intestines. This helps increase the absorption of minerals like calcium from your intestinal tract into the bloodstream.
Then, the calcium travels through your blood. The danger here is that while it travels, some can end up getting stuck in the soft tissues of your blood vessels. This can lead to arterial hardening. Calcium build-ups here makes it harder for the heart to pump blood, reducing oxygen and blood supply. In severe cases, this can lead to heart attacks or strokes. Enter vitamin K2.
As a cofactor, vitamin K2 activates an important protein called matrix GLA. This important protein that prevents vascular calcification. That is, it keeps calcium from depositing in soft tissues, organs and blood vessels.
In the final step of this journey, vitamin K2 is called upon again to activate another important protein called osteocalcin. This protein helps deposits calcium and other minerals where we intended: in our bones.
So how can I bone up on my intake?
Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines. Other foods such as milk, yogurt, orange juice, margarine and breakfast cereals may be fortified with vitamin D. However, it can be extremely difficult to get the right amount of vitamin D your body needs from food.
Ultimately, two of the best ways to get vitamin D are by exposing your skin to sunlight and supplementation.
Conversely, most people get more than enough vitamin K from their diets. It’s found prevalently in green tea and dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard and spinach. Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are also great plant-based sources of vitamin K.
Animal based sources include dairy sources like yogurt and kefir or cheese, and liver provide K2. Natto is a fermented soy product high in a potent form of K2 known as menaquinone-7, which is used in CanPrev’s D3 + K2 drops and soft gels.
This article provides information that should not take the place of medical advice. We encourage you to talk to your healthcare providers (doctor, naturopathic doctor, nutritionist, etc.) about your interest in, questions about, or use of dietary supplements and what may be best for your overall health. Any mention in this publication of a specific brand name is not an endorsement of the product.
You’ve probably heard that if you’re feeling thirsty, you’re likely already dehydrated.
Well, it’s sort of true. Thirst is basically your body’s way of telling you to get some sort of liquid into it. Your fluid levels are always fluctuating depending on the foods you eat and what you excrete.
While a parched mouth may only mean that your fluid tank is down by 1.5 per cent (which is by no means dangerous), it could also mean that you’re borderline dehydrated. If you find yourself heading for the water tap again and again, you should explore what else might be going on.
But there could be a host of reasons as to why you might have a persistent dry mouth. It could be as simple as sleeping with your mouth open and not breathing through your nose, or not drinking enough water while you’re exercising.
But being thirsty all the time can also signal a serious medical condition.
In technical terms
Xerostomia is the clinical name for having a dry mouth. It means that there’s not enough saliva to help you chew, eat, swallow or talk. Everyone suffers from it from time to time, especially when they’re in situations that make them nervous.
Maybe it’s your medication
There are over 400 different medications that can cause a dry mouth. OTC antihistamines, decongestants and sedatives, or more specific prescription medicines like antidepressants, anti-Parkinson and anti-hypertensive drugs can all be culprits. A lot of medicines act as diuretics, increasing your urine output and causing you to become dehydrated. Your kidneys act as water sensors – too much and they send you to the bathroom, not enough and they send you in search of fluids.
The food-thirst connection
Ever notice how your mouth feels after you eat a bag of chips? It’s almost like the sodium sucks every bit of moisture out of it. In fact, OD-ing on salt can cause you to suffer from hypernatremia, a condition where your body has too much sodium and not enough water. Though a small amount of sodium is necessary for optimum muscle and nerve function, too much sends that signal to the kidneys to flush it out – and all the extra fluids along with it.
Even spicy foods can send you running for a cool glass of water, but not just because your tongue is on fire. Eating a meal with lots of heat slightly increases your body temperature, so in order to bring it back down, that thirst reflex kicks in once again.
Strangely enough, reducing carbohydrates in your diet can also make you thirsty. When you reduce carbs you lose water weight, because both are stored in the body together. Certain carbohydrates like oats, brown rice and pastas absorb liquids when cooked and are a good source of hydration. Cutting them out can leave you on the hunt for fluid replacement.
Alcohol and Caffeine
Try to make it a rule to have a glass of water for every cup of coffee you drink. Though caffeine itself isn’t dehydrating in small amounts, it can quickly turn the other way if you drink more than 500 milligrams, or about three to five cups, a day.
Drinking alcohol decreases the body’s production of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which the body uses to reabsorb water. When that hormone is compromised, more fluid than usual is excreted, leaving your body begging for water. You might be familiar with that foggy feeling the morning after a night out. Vomiting also causes fluid loss, just saying…
Though they can be very effective solutions for many health issues, some natural remedies cause increased urinary output and can make you feel thirsty. Dandelion, ginger, parsley, hawthorn and juniper all have natural diuretic side effects, so check your supplement labels if you feel like your remedies might be leaving you a little parched.
Treat your diabetes
You may have already been diagnosed or be just on the cusp. Either way, having a constant dry mouth can be a big red flag for diabetes. When you’re diabetic, glucose builds up in the blood and your kidneys are called in to work double time to filter and absorb the extra sugar. If your kidneys can’t keep up the pace, the excess sugar ends up in your urine, bringing along fluids from your tissues. The more you urinate, the more you become dehydrated. The more water you drink, the more you’ll urinate still; it becomes a constant cycle until your diabetes is treated.
Watch your mouth
Saliva is important for washing away food particles and plaque. Severe tooth decay and gum disease can result if you have constant dry mouth, so drink water to keep the saliva going. About 30 per cent of tooth decay in older adults is caused by low saliva levels.
The nerve of it
Suffering any kind of head or neck trauma can damage nerves that carry messages from the brain to the salivary glands telling them to make saliva. Radiation on the head and neck, as well as chemotherapy drugs used to treat certain cancers, can also decrease saliva production. The results can be temporary or permanent, depending on the length and intensity of treatments.
So those are some real reasons why you might be craving a tall, cool, glass of water more than usual. There are also some myths around why you might feel thirsty, and how to tell if you’re really dehydrated. We’ll try to set the record straight for you here with these FAQs:
Is it possible to drink too much water?
Though rare, it does happen, especially in very hot weather, or if you are an extreme competitive athlete. Drinking small amounts over longer periods of time is ideal. That way the kidneys can keep up with the extra intake of fluids and process and excrete them at a reasonable rate.
When too much water is ingested too quickly, the kidneys can’t keep up and dilute and reduce important electrolytes. As your body works to balance levels out, you might feel tired or nauseated and suffer from muscle cramps or vomiting.
Do I really need eight glasses of water a day?
There is no hard and fast rule regarding how many glasses of water you should drink per day. Actually, the recommendation should include all fluids, sugary drinks excluded.
What you really need to examine is how active you are, the climate that you live in, and if you already consume foods with high water content. The Institute of Medicine recommends about three litres of total beverage intake a day for men, 2.2 litres for women.
About 20 per cent of your water is already contained in the foods you eat, the rest is up to you to take in whenever and however much you want. Of course if you live in a hot and humid climate, or you sweat a lot when you exercise, you’ll want to drink more. Just listen to your body.
Does the colour of my urine tell me if I’m dehydrated or not?
It can be alarming to see dark urine, but the colour does indicate how dehydrated you might be. If it’s amber or honey coloured, you are definitely dehydrated and should get some fluids into your body immediately. Dark yellow is normal but drinking a glass of water wouldn’t hurt. Transparent yellow or a pale straw colour is ideal, but if your urine is clear, you’re drinking too much water.
Some quick fixes
Say you’re parched but your water bottle is empty. What can you do to get the saliva going?
- Chew sugar-free gum or candy – chewing stimulates saliva flow, so always keep some mint, citrus or cinnamon flavoured gum or candy around
- Stay away from coffee, tea and sugary sodas – while small amounts of coffee and tea are okay, if you’re thirsty, they’re not the first beverages to turn to as they can make a dry mouth even worse
- Put the cigarette out – we know that smoking is bad in every way. A number of studies have shown that while cigarette smoking can typically cause a noticeable short-term increase in salivary flow rates, it’s still better for your mouth (and your health) if you butt out.
- Saliva-stimulating mouthwashes and sprays – yes, they do exist. If you suffer from persistent dry mouth, look for products that contain xylitol, which is a natural saliva stimulator
 Bouquot DJ, Schroeder K. Oral effects of tobacco abuse. J Am Dent Inst Cont Educ . 1992;43:3–17