17 Ways Vitamin C Supports a Healthy Immune System

The power of vitamin C is often attributed to its role as an antioxidant. However, no other antioxidant can perform the many additional physiological and biological roles that vitamin C fills. To think of vitamin C as nothing more than an antioxidant would be a great understatement.

Among its many positive effects on the body, vitamin C is a strong supporter of healthy immune function. Here’s how:

  1. Vitamin C supports the production of interferons.  Interferons are produced when the presence of pathogens is detected. They facilitate the ability of cells to launch protective cellular defenses.
  2. Vitamin C enhances the function of phagocytes. Phagocytes are a type of white blood cell that envelop pathogens and other dangerous particles. Once the invaders are captured in this manner, they are enzymatically digested.
  3. Vitamin C is found mostly in white blood cells.  Some of the primary cells in the immune system contain levels of vitamin C as much as 80 times higher than the levels found in plasma.
  4. Vitamin C supports the cell-mediated immune response. There are 2 major ways that the body can respond to a pathogen: antibody-mediated immunity and cell-mediated immunity. Cell-mediated response refers to the activation of macrophages, natural killer cells, and antigen-specific T-lymphocytes that attack anything perceived as a foreign agent.
  5. Vitamin C enhances cytokine production by white blood cells. Cytokines are communication proteins released by certain white blood cells that transmit information to other cells, promoting the immune response.
  6. Vitamin C inhibits various forms of T-lymphocyte death.  T-lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. They are an integral part of the cell-mediated immune defense system. Vitamin C helps to keep these important cells alive and viable.
  7. Vitamin C enhances nitric oxide production by phagocytes. Phagocytes, as discussed in #2 above, are white blood cells that engulf invading microorganisms. Nitric oxide is produced in large amounts in these cells, and it is one of the agents that will kill captured pathogens.
  8. Vitamin C enhances T-lymphocyte production.  As mentioned in #6 above, these cells are essential to cell-mediated immune responses, and vitamin C helps them to multiply in number.
  9. Vitamin C enhances B-lymphocyte production.  These white blood cells make antibodies as part of the antibody-mediated immune response. Antibodies are formed in reaction to the initial introduction of an invading pathogen or antigen.
  10. Vitamin C inhibits neuraminidase production.  Some pathogenic viruses and bacteria create neuraminidase, an enzyme that keeps them from being trapped in mucus, one of the body’s natural lines of defense. By inhibiting neuraminidase, vitamin C helps the body optimize this defensive mechanism.
  11. Vitamin C supports antibody production and activity.  Good antibody function is important to a healthy immune system.
  12. Vitamin C supports natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells are small lymphocytes that can directly attack cells, such as tumor cells, and kill them.
  13. Vitamin C promotes prostaglandin formation.  Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that control a variety of physiologic processes, including the regulation of T-lymphocyte function.
  14. Vitamin C supports cyclic GMP levels in lymphocytes.  Cyclic GMP plays a central role in the regulation of different physiologic responses, including the modulation of immune responses. Cyclic GMP is important for normal cell reproduction and differentiation (specialization for specific purposes). Cyclic GMP also controls the action of many hormones, and it appears to mediate the relaxation of smooth muscle.
  15. Vitamin C supports localized generation of and/or interaction with hydrogen peroxide.  Vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide can kill microorganisms and can dissolve the protective capsules of some bacteria, such as pneumococci.
  16. Vitamin C detoxifies histamine.  This effect of vitamin C is important in the support of local immune factors.
  17. Vitamin C may make bacterial membranes more permeable to some antibiotics.

References
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©2014 LivOn Labs. Content adapted from Primal Panacea by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD.

More Insulin = More Fat

insulin and fat

You know those who claim to have been blessed with a “fast” metabolism? Yes, they bug us, too….. It seems some have innate systems that allow them to process sugars, starches, fats and calories more efficiently. With the holiday season upon us, an efficient calorie and fat burning system is on many of our wish lists.

What you may not know is that your entire metabolic system may not be to blame for that layer of fat you can’t seem to banish – the culprit may be insulin sensitivity.

<div class=”callout”>Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.</div>

Whenever you eat carbohydrates or protein, the level of sugar in your blood increases. In healthy individuals, insulin is released from the pancreas to remove the excess sugar from the blood, which otherwise would be toxic. This sugar is then used for energy. If your body is not responding properly to the insulin (poor insulin sensitivity), it begins to over-produce insulin in order to keep blood sugar levels in check. This can be the thing standing between you and your fat loss goals, because insulin has a powerful ability to prevent the breakdown of fat. More insulin = more fat.

What can you do to improve your insulin sensitivity? Fitness professionals have relied on one particular supplement for years. Some would say it’s one of the best kept secrets to weight management…. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (or R-ALA).

Multiple placebo controlled studies have shown that daily doses of 600 mg to 1800 mg of ALA can improve insulin sensitivity and the utilization of glucose, ultimately leading to healthy blood sugar levels.

ALA may also go a step further and help prevent the complications that are associated with unhealthy blood sugar levels, specifically complications in the vascular system and kidneys. Recent research indicates this reduced threat of complication comes from ALA’s ability to protect the inner lining of blood vessels (the endothelium) from damage caused by oxidative stress.

It’s important to note that all R-ALA supplements are not created equal. Research shows that R -Alpha Lipoic Acid is a more biologically active form of ALA that offers greater antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits at substantially lower doses than the “S” form of alpha lipoic acid that is more commonly available. The body has a strong preference for natural R-ALA. Be sure to look for this when comparing supplements. Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA uses the more bioavailable, “R” form of alpha lipoic acid, the form found in nature.

In addition to increasing insulin sensitivity, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) is one of the body’s most powerful intracellular and extracellular antioxidants. Known as the Universal Antioxidant, R-ALA directly affects the health of nearly every cell in the body, and can even cross the blood-brain barrier. The “R” form of ALA is considered the most bioavailable and biologically active form of ALA in the body. LypriCel™ R-ALA delivers high-quality R-ALA in every packet, neutralizing free radicals in nearly every part of the body.

Give the gift of healthy to nearly every part of the body this holiday season with Lypo-Spheric R-ALA. The heart, brain, eyes and waistline will all thank you for improved insulin sensitivity and reduced damage from free radicals.

Four Key Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid

When you hear the name “Alpha Lipoic Acid,” does it sound familiar, but you don’t quite know what it is?  Well, you’re not alone.  Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) often plays the role of the supporting actress – it’s a highly versatile antioxidant that’s found in nearly everything, yet is largely underappreciated. Although ALA has enjoyed periods of fame, most notably a mention on Dr. Oz earlier this year, it is often upstaged by more popular antioxidants like Vitamin C.

We happen to believe ALA may just be the most important substance you have never heard of, and it’s time to give it the attention it deserves!

To start, you should know that Alpha Lipoic Acid goes by several names and abbreviations, including ALA, Lipoic Acid, LA, Thioctic Acid, Lipoate, and α-lipoic acid.  Although less commonly used, Alpha Lipoic Acid may also be referred to as 6,8-thioctic acid, 6,8-dithioctane acid, 1,2-dithiol-3-valeric acid, and DHLA.

Now, here are four great reasons to know and love Alpha Lipoic Acid:

ALA = Energy

We all need energy, especially cellular energy. Cellular energy is the power behind every single action within the human body, including muscle movement, generation of new cells, wound healing, and even thinking.  You are using valuable cellular energy right now, just by reading this article!

The body’s supply of cellular energy starts in the mitochondria of the cells.  There are thousands of mitochondria in most eukaryotic cells (cells with nuclei) within the body, and they are constantly creating energy through a process known as the Krebs Cycle.  ALA is an important cofactor to two key enzymatic reactions within this Cycle. To put it simply, without ALA, cellular energy is not possible.  And without cellular energy, life is not possible.

ALA and Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Another important characteristic of ALA is its effect on insulin, and the body’s use of blood sugar (glucose). Multiple placebo controlled studies have shown that daily doses of 600 mg to 1800 mg of ALA can improve insulin sensitivity and the utilization of glucose, ultimately leading to healthy blood sugar levels.

ALA may also go a step further and help prevent the complications that are associated with unhealthy blood sugar levels, specifically complications in the vascular system and kidneys. Recent research indicates this reduced threat of complication comes from ALA’s ability to protect the inner lining of blood vessels (the endothelium) from damage caused by oxidative stress.

ALA is a Key Factor in Optimal Nerve Health

In Germany, ALA has been approved as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy – a debilitating condition that causes painful burning sensations in the arms and legs, and eventually leads to a loss of nerve function.   Although most of the studies related to this treatment have used intravenous (IV) ALA, a placebo controlled study using oral ALA demonstrated that symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, including pain, stinging and burning sensations, were reduced when taking single doses of 600 mg, 1200 mg or 1800 mg per day for 5 weeks.

ALA is an Important Part of Your Weight-Loss Plan

Every year, thousands of different supplements, gym memberships, pharmaceutical drugs, books, and medical treatments are used by people trying to lose weight.  In 2012, the annual revenue of the USA weight-loss industry was an estimated $20 billion. Clearly, managing a healthy weight is an issue many people struggle with.

Alpha Lipoic Acid cannot magically make cheeseburgers as nutritious as carrots, but it does have an effect on how our bodies use food and excess fat.  Recent research showed that overweight individuals who took 1,800 mg ALA every day for 20 weeks lost more weight than subjects who did not take ALA. It all comes down to cellular energy.  By supporting the creation of energy within the cells, ALA can help stimulate the body to use food molecules more quickly and burn excess calories from fat.

Choosing the Right Form of Alpha Lipoic Acid

ALA can be found in oral supplements in two forms: the R form, which is the form found in nature, or the S form. The R form of ALA is more bioavailable and biologically active than S-ALA, but it is expensive to produce and often presents stability issues in manufacturing. This is why many ALA supplements contain only the S form, or a 50/50 mixture of S-ALA and R-ALA (also referred to as racemic ALA).

In most cases, only 50% of the total dose of supplements labeled as Alpha Lipoic Acid or R/S Lipoic Acid is the R form.  Because R-ALA has only recently become available in a stabilized format, most clinical research has been conducted using intravenous or oral mixtures of R/S ALA.  This is important to consider when choosing how much ALA to take.  For example, when clinical evidence suggests 600 mg of racemic ALA per day can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, this dose would be equivalent to 300 mg of R-ALA.

Liposome encapsulated R-ALA may also offer further benefits to the absorption and utilization of R-ALA in the body.  ALA pills, powders and capsules are rapidly, but incompletely absorbed into the blood, and then quickly used by the body or passed as waste.  With Liposomal Encapsulation Technology, R-ALA is encapsulated and protected from destruction in the digestive system by microscopic liposomes.  Since liposomes are made of phospholipids (the same material that makes up your cellular membrane), they are capable of passing through cell membranes and delivering R-ALA directly into the cell.

 

Sources

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  10. Konrad T, Vicini P, Kusterer K, Höflich A, Assadkhani A, Böhles HJ, Sewell A, Tritschler HJ, Cobelli C, Usadel KH. alpha-Lipoic acid treatment decreases serum lactate and pyruvate concentrations and improves glucose effectiveness in lean and obese patients with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 1999 Feb;22(2):280-7.
  11. Konrad D, Somwar R, Sweeney G, Yaworsky K, Hayashi M, Ramlal T, Klip A. The antihyperglycemic drug alpha-lipoic acid stimulates glucose uptake via both GLUT4 translocation and GLUT4 activation: potential role of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in GLUT4 activation. Diabetes. 2001 Jun;50(6):1464-71.
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  13. Mijnhout GS, Kollen BJ, Alkhalaf A, Kleefstra N, Alpha lipoic Acid for symptomatic peripheral neuropathy in patients with diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int J Endocrinol. 2012;2012:456279. doi: 10.1155/2012/456279. Epub 2012 Jan 26.
  14. Mijnhout GS, Alkhalaf A, Kleefstra N, Alpha lipoic acid: a new treatment for neuropathic pain in patients with diabetes? Neth J Med. 2010 Apr;68(4):158-62.
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  16. Poh ZX, Goh KP. A current update on the use of alpha lipoic acid in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2009 Dec;9(4):392-8.
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Why Buy IV Vitamin C?

Since the 1940s, intravenous (IV) infusions and injections of vitamin C have been considered the gold standard of vitamin C delivery for one reason: IV delivery puts 100% of the vitamin C directly into the blood.

This direct delivery method certainly offers an advantage over most oral delivery systems of vitamin C, but what really matters is the bioavailability of IV vitamin C. Although many doctors believe 100% delivery into the blood is the same as 100% bioavailability, this is not always true.

The True Meaning of Bioavailability

Bioavailability indicates the amount of a substance that is absorbed by a target location within the body. This target location can be anywhere in the body… blood, cells, tissue, etc. For many drugs and nutrients, the target location is the blood. IV delivery does offer 100% bioavailability when blood is the target. However, for vitamin C, the target location is typically inside the cell – where free radicals, toxins, and pathogens do the most harm. While IV delivery puts 100% of the vitamin C directly into the blood, it does not guarantee 100% absorption into the cells.

IV vitamin C relies on the body’s active transport system to carry the vitamin C into the cells. This system uses transport proteins, called sodium-dependent vitamin C co-transporters (SVCTs), to carry vitamin C through special portals that lead to the inside of cells. The challenge with SVCTs is that they can only carry one molecule of vitamin C through one portal at a time, and the number of SVCTs and portals is limited. This means absorption of vitamin C into the cells (or, its bioavailability), may be severely restricted if there are not enough SVCTs or open portals available.

IV Vitamin C: The Ultimate Consumer

It’s also important to understand that for vitamin C to benefit the health of the cell, it must be in its active (reduced) form. If the vitamin C has been rendered inactive (oxidized) during transport, it has lost the electrons it needs to function properly. The good news is that inactive vitamin C can become active again; the bad news is that it must take electrons from other antioxidants within the cell (i.e. glutathione) to do this. This isn’t such a bad thing if you have tons of antioxidants just hanging out inside your cells, but this is not usually the case for anyone over the age of 25, or anyone with ill health.

Let’s assume that a majority of the IV vitamin C makes it into the cells, and there are plenty of antioxidants on-hand to ensure the vitamin C stays active within the cells. Mission accomplished, right? Well, sort of. The entire process of transporting vitamin C into the cells and reactivating inactive vitamin C consumes A LOT of valuable energy within the cell. Since an ample supply of cellular energy is necessary to stay alive, the energy used in this process needs to be replaced as quickly as possible.

So what do vitamin C experts recommend when you need high-doses of vitamin C delivered into the blood and the cells? Two things: IV vitamin C (if available) and liposome encapsulated vitamin C.

Liposome Encapsulated Vitamin C

iv vitamin c buyLiposomes are tiny spheres made from Essential Phospholipids. They form a double-layer membrane around active vitamin C, and protect it from destruction in the digestive system. Because the liposome membrane is made of phospholipids – the same material that makes up the cellular membrane – the liposome is able to bypass the body’s active transport system (those SVCTs and portals we mentioned earlier) and incorporate itself directly into the cell membrane. When this happens, the vitamin C that’s inside of the liposome is delivered directly into the cell in its active state (it has all of its electrons), and without using a lot of cellular energy.

Since IV vitamin C offers 100% delivery directly into the blood, and liposome encapsulated vitamin C offers superior, energy-efficient delivery into the cells, they can work together to optimize the level of vitamin C in the body. If IV vitamin C is not an option for you, not to worry, high doses of liposome encapsulated vitamin C can offer significant benefits by itself.

“A much smaller oral dose of liposome encapsulated vitamin C (5 to 10 grams) often results in a clearly superior clinical response than a much larger dose of vitamin C given intravenously (25 to 100 grams),” says Dr. Thomas Levy in Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins.

Can Vitamin C Upset Your Stomach?

upset stomach

Vitamin C is well known for providing many benefits, including shortening the duration of a cold, boosting the immune system and supporting the natural production of collagen.  But yes, taking high doses of traditional vitamin C – pills, powders, and capsules – can upset your stomach and then some…

Here’s why:

Most traditional vitamin C supplements contain straight ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is recognized as the primary force behind the power of vitamin C, but it is an acid.  A moderate amount of acid in the gastric system helps to digest food and kill bacteria, but too much acid leads to heartburn, bloating, belching, and flatulence.

High quality vitamin C supplements use gentler, less-acidic types of vitamin C to help prevent this gastric upset.  These supplements typically include sodium ascorbate, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, ascorbyl palmitate, calcium ascorbate, or mineral forms of ascorbate.

The type of vitamin C you take, however, is only one part of the issue.  Because no matter what type of vitamin C you ingest, it’s primarily absorbed through an active transport system (unless it’s encapsulated in liposomes, but we’ll get to that later).

Active transport of vitamin C relies on sodium-dependent vitamin C co-transporters (SVCTs) to carry each vitamin C molecule through special doorways into the bloodstream, cell or tissue.  SVCTs can only carry one molecule of vitamin C through one door at a time.

This system works efficiently for a healthy person taking small doses of vitamin C, but when you take high doses of vitamin C, the absorption is severely restricted by the number of SVCTs and the number of open doors. If there aren’t enough SVCTs to carry all of the vitamin C into the blood, or all of the doors are closed, the vitamin C that was not absorbed is forced to exit the body.

This forced exit occurs because the most common forms of vitamin C are water soluble – meaning the vitamin C dissolves in water, and cannot be stored by the body for later use.  So when a large dose of water soluble vitamin C is taken and there are not enough SVCTs or open doors, all of the unabsorbed vitamin C is sent to the colon. Water is then drawn into the colon in order to dilute and excrete the vitamin C.  Then… straight to the bathroom.

Unless you are looking for a good cleanse, there are two ways to prevent these unpleasant experiences when taking high doses of vitamin C:

  • Take single doses of <500 mg of sodium ascorbate, several times a day.  Sodium ascorbate is recommended most by vitamin C experts, and it is commonly used in high dose intravenous (IV) infusions.
  • Take vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes.  Liposomes are tiny spheres that form a protective membrane around the vitamin C.  This prevents the vitamin C from being destroyed in the digestive system, while promoting delivery directly into the bloodstream and cells.  And because liposomes do not use the body’s active transport system, you can take high doses of liposomal vitamin C without worrying about where to find the nearest bathroom.

References:

  • Li, Y. and Schellhorn, E. 2007. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. Journal of Nutrition. 137: 2171-2184
  • Hickey S., Roberts H, Miller N, (2008), “Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C” Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine July 31.

© 2014 LivOn Labs

Study Shows Daily Supplementation of Setria® Glutathione Increases Glutathione Levels in the Body

A new study published in the European Journal of Nutrition revealed that daily supplementation of Setria® Glutathione – the form of L-Glutathione used in Lypo-Spheric™ GSH – is effective at increasing body stores of glutathione by 30-35% over a 6 month period.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted at Penn State University School of Medicine and lead by Dr. John P. Richie, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Public Health Sciences and Pharmacology. Dr. Richie has studied glutathione for more than 25 years, focusing primarily on glutathione’s ability to fight oxidative stress.

“It is well-known in the science community that glutathione is one of the primary protective molecules in the body; however, whether or not glutathione levels could be supplemented by oral glutathione administration has been hotly debated and clinical data has been lacking,” said Dr. Richie. “Now we have evidence to illustrate the potential benefit of glutathione supplementation …”

The study measured the effect of supplementation with Setria® Glutathione on glutathione levels in 54 healthy adults, 28-72 years of age. One group of subjects took 250 mg/day (low-dose), the second group took 1,000 mg/day (high-dose), and the third group took 470 mg/day of placebo. Glutathione levels were measured over a six month period in different blood components, including erythrocytes (red blood cells) and lymphocytes (white blood cells), as well as the buccal mucosal cells that line the inside of the cheeks.

Results of the study showed glutathione levels in the blood increased after one, three and six months when compared to baseline levels at both doses.And at six months, average glutathione levels increased 30-35% in erythrocytes, plasma, and lymphocytes, and 260% in buccal cells in the high-dose group.

In addition to the increase in glutathione levels, the study showed that daily supplementation of 1,000 mg/day enhanced the function of natural killer (NK) cells more than two fold after three months. NK cells are vital to a well-functioning immune system because they can rapidly identify and kill abnormal cells. This two fold increase in NK cytotoxicity means the NK cells were two times as effective at killing abnormal cells, such as cells that are virally infected or tumorigenic.

A secondary endpoint analysis of the data also indicated that daily supplementation of 250 mg – 1,000 mg of Setria® Glutathione may result in a significant decrease in oxidative stress after 6 months. While the majority of glutathione in cells is in the reduced form (the “active” form), it becomes oxidized when it is used to neutralize free radicals and other toxins that cause oxidative stress.  So as oxidative stress increases, the level of oxidized glutathione in the body increases, and the level of reduced glutathione in the body decreases. Therefore, a reduction in oxidative stress was demonstrated with a decrease in the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione.

Why is all of this data important?

Glutathione is often called the “Master Defender” due to its vast functions as an antioxidant, detoxifier and immune system supporter. It is found in nearly all cells, tissues and organ systems in the body. Our bodies produce glutathione naturally, but everyday factors including the intake of medication, ill health, exposure to environmental toxins, aging and diet dramatically reduce the body’s stores of glutathione. As glutathione levels decrease, a detrimental drop occurs in the cellular functions that help maintain a healthy heart, brain, eyes, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and joints.

Previously, the only reliable way to boost glutathione levels was with IV infusions. With Setria® Glutathione and the superior bioavailability offered by liposome-encapsulation, this is no longer the case. Orally-ingested Lypo-Spheric™ GSH combines Setria® Glutathione with Liposomal Encapsulation Technology to protect the glutathione from being destroyed in the digestive system, making Lypo-Spheric™ GSH an efficient and cost-effective way to boost glutathione levels.

References

  • Richie JP Jr, Nichenametla S, Neidig W, Calcagnotto A, Haley JS, Schell TD, Muscat JE. Randomized controlled trial of oral glutathione supplementation on body stores of glutathione. Eur J Nutr. 2014 May 5. PubMed PMID: 24791752.
  • Suntres ZE. Liposomal Antioxidants for Protection against Oxidant-Induced Damage. Journal of Toxicology 2011 May 24. Article ID 152474.
  • Topham NJ, Hewitt, EW. Natural killer cell cytotoxicity: how do they pull the trigger? Immunology. 2009 Sep. PubMed PMCID: 2747134.

Setria® is a registered trademark of Kyowa Hakko USA, Inc.

© 2014 LivOn Labs

Safe and Natural Green Cleaning Tips

Everything from the food we eat, the supplements we take, and to the air we breathe can contain harmful toxins hazardous to one’s health. Common household cleaning projects are even becoming a great concern for many families. Households with young children, sick family members and pets may be looking for cleaning alternatives to keep their homes safe. Here are some safe and natural green cleaning tips from LivOn Labs courtesy of Green Clean Commercial Services.

What are common toxins found in typical household products?

According to the National Institute of occupational Safety and Health, one-third of all substances that contain fragrances could be considered toxic. Many common, commercial household cleaners pose a threat. Drain and oven cleaners can sometimes contain corrosive chemicals that can severely damage the eyes and skins. If ingested mistakenly, the throat and esophagus can be affected. Classified as having high acute toxicity, products containing bleach with ammonia can lead to inhalation of dangerous fumes. These chemicals cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat. Items like detergents and fabric softeners contain fragrances that affect the respiratory system and trigger allergy or asthma symptoms. All-purpose cleaners can have long term effects on a person’s health. Contaminants like diethanolamine and triethanolamine can cause damage to the brain and nervous system. Many of the most common household cleaning products can be substituted for greener alternatives.

What are the top green cleaning products?

Many of the green cleaning ingredients perform on the same level as the leading commercial cleaners. Creating and formulating your own cleaning solutions using these top ingredients listed below will help you meet most of your cleaning needs.

• Distilled white vinegar
• Borax
• Baking soda
• Lemon juice
• Water
• Eucalyptus oil
• Rubbing alcohol
• Ammonia

Green cleaning hacks

Soap scum

White vinegar is mixed with water in a 50/50 combination to remove scum. It is applied to the soap scum, allowed to settle for several minutes, and then it is removed.

Sink stains

Baking soda applied as a thin layer to a porcelain sink, toilet or other surface can fade stains. The application should be allowed to rest for several minutes prior to being wiped off completely.

A new air freshener

Lemon juice and water combined can be used to remove odors. The solution can also be used for other forms of cleaning; some use it as an all-purpose cleaner.

Windows and mirrors

Mix 2 cups of water, ½ cup of white vinegar and 1/5 cup of rubbing alcohol. This solution can include orange or lemon for a great smell.

Oven cleaner

Take ½ cup of ammonia and mix it with water in a one-gallon pitcher. This is a great ways to remove tough grime and grease from grills.

Powerful disinfectant

Add 1.6 ounces of eucalyptus oil to a spray bottle containing water. Use this to clean and sanitize surfaces throughout the home.

Families are safe when exposed to greener cleaning solutions. When proactive family members begin to learn more about the various solutions available to them, they typically find that most, if not all, of their cleaning supplies can be switched out. A cleaner, greener formulation protects the vulnerable most at risk for developing chronic conditions.

If you enjoyed these green cleaning tips, see more commercial cleaning tips.

Identity Preserved Non-GMO Phospholipids, What are They?

iStock_000014791350Small-soybeans

Phospholipids are a class of lipids that appear in many food products and dietary supplements. Commonly derived from lecithin made from canola or soybeans, phospholipids are also a hot topic when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The process of Identity Preservation can help manufacturers and consumers avoid genetically modified ingredients in common foods and dietary supplements.

What is a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)?

A GMO is an organism that has had its DNA altered through genetic engineering methods. The Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance explains, “In genetic modification (or engineering) of food plants, scientists remove one or more genes from the DNA of another organism, such as a bacterium, virus, or animal, and ‘recombine’ them into the DNA of the plant they want to alter.”

Unlike traditional plant breeding that uses natural techniques like cross-pollination between plants, genetic modification relies on humans to alter the traits of plants. Genetic modification is often used to create plants that are better able to survive adverse weather conditions, have increased pest resistance, new colors, and even altered nutritional profiles. While these traits may sound beneficial to the plants and consumers, the controversy surrounding GMOs lies in the complexity of how genes are expressed.

Scientists can attempt to insert new genes in places where they want particular traits to manifest, but there is no guarantee the gene will work the way it’s expected to, or that the resulting plant will be a viable life form. According to the Non-GMO Project, “Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.”

What are Identity Preserved Lipids?

The prevalence of GMO crops, and the increased concern surrounding the use of GMOs, has led to a resurgence of farmers using Identity Preservation methods. Identity Preservation, or IP, is a carefully monitored process used to track agricultural products from seed to sale. This includes every part of a product’s life cycle: planting, growing, harvesting, processing, shipping, storage, and packing.

Seed certification is just one example of IP that has been in use for many years. Seeds distributed through groups such as Seed Savers are guaranteed to be authentic varieties that have never been altered or manipulated.

In order to ensure IP seeds do not become adulterated, crops are grown in locations far from other varieties, including GMO crops. At harvest time, equipment must also be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the cross-contamination of different plant varieties.

While preparing IP crops for sale, equipment and storage bins are cleaned and segregated, and in some IP systems, cannot be used for multiple types of crops.

Each stage of an IP system is clearly designed and documented to ensure the origin and purity of the plants are not compromised.

Do Your Supplements Contain IP Phospholipids?

It has been reported that approximately 94% of the soy grown in the US is GMO, making phospholipids derived from these crops at high risk for containing GMOs.

If you are concerned about ingesting GMOs in your supplements, look for labels with non-GMO claims.  For products that use soy, or soy-derivatives like phospholipids, take it a step further and ask the manufacturer if they use IP soy.

For more on this see our Complete Guide to Identifying High Quality Liposomal Supplements

The newest addition to LivOn Labs, Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA

alpha lipoic acid benefits

WHY YOU NEED LYPO-SPHERIC™ R-ALA

Along with experts like Burt Berkson, MD, PhD and Lester Packer, PhD, we believe R-Alpha Lipoic Acid (R-ALA) may be the most important antioxidant ever discovered.

R-ALA directly affects the health of nearly every cell in the body, and can even cross the blood-brain barrier. This means R-ALA can neutralize free radicals in nearly every part of the body.

Reducing the damage caused by free radicals is the key to aging gracefully, and maintaining the health of your heart, brain, eyes, and every other organ in the body.

Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA

  • Promotes, maintains and supports cellular energy production*
  • Recycles other vital antioxidants, including vitamin C and vitamin E
  • Helps maintain optimal nerve health*
  • Helps maintain healthy glucose levels*
  • Promotes healthy insulin sensitivity*
  • Supports weight-loss when combined with a low calorie diet*

Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA uses the more bioavailable, “R” form of alpha lipoic acid, the form found in nature. Research shows that R -Alpha Lipoic Acid is a more biologically active form of ALA that offers greater antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits at substantially lower doses than the “S” form of lipoic acid that is more commonly available.* The body has a strong preference for natural R-ALA.

Use Lypo-Spheric™ R-ALA in combination with Lypo-Spheric™ Vitamin C and GSH (Glutathione), and you get an antioxidant powerhouse delivered directly to your cells.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Boston Marathon Team Hoyt – Last Race

The driving force behind LivOn supplements is determination and the desire to experience an improved quality of life.  Determination and drive combined with teamwork, fitness and nutrition has kept Team Hoyt moving forward for 34 years. Now, a force we have admired is retiring.

The 2014 Boston Marathon is Team Hoyt’s last. Dick Hoyt, 73, and his son, Rick, 52, have competed in over 1,000 races, including marathons, triathlons, and Ironman competitions. That figure alone is staggering, but what is astounding is that Rick Hoyt, one half of this dynamic athletic team, has cerebral palsy.

boston team hoyt

At birth, Rick’s umbilical cord became twisted around his neck, blocking oxygen and leaving his brain unable to send correct messages to his muscles. Doctors encouraged the Hoyts to institutionalize Rick, informing them he would never live a “normal” life, much less go on to compete in athletics.  So, how does this team finish all these races? Rick’s father has been behind him, literally pushing him, every step of the way.

Dick, a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard and Rick, a graduate of Boston University, ran their first race in 1977. During those first miles, Rick felt as though he wasn’t handicapped—he was simply one of the runners. With this realization, Dick started training. Rick attended public school and was unable to train daily, so Dick ran every day pushing a bag of cement in the wheelchair. Dick improved his fitness and, while pushing his son, was able to obtain a personal record of a 5k in 17 minutes…. Fast, at any age.

That was just the beginning. In triathlons, an endurance competition that involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances,  Dick pulls Rick in a boat with a bungee cord attached to a vest while he swims, pedals a special two-seater bicycle, and then pushes Rick in his custom made running chair. Every step of the way, Team Hoyt meets the challenge together.

The Hoyts, who reside in Massachusetts, did not finish the 2013 Boston Marathon. They had almost a mile to go when bombs exploded near the finish line. They were not injured. This year team Hoyt will run the Boston Marathon, Rick’s favorite race, for the final time.

LivOn Labs salutes Team Hoyt.

For more details or to make a donation visit TeamHoyt.com.

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