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Even Tough Guys are Targets

Even Tough Guys are Targets

Urinary dysfunction associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a significant health risk in men over the age of 40. Fifty percent of men over 50 are diagnosed with it, and 70 percent of men over 60 show some pathological modifications of the prostate.  However, BPH sufferers are often reluctant to discuss their condition and seek treatment, because they are misled in thinking that such treatment will interfere with their sexual capabilities. Most men also believe that this condition is a normal, unavoidable consequence of aging.


The prostate is the male genital gland that wraps around the urethra, the canal through which urine is expelled.  Located under the neck of the bladder, it secretes seminal fluid, a constituent of sperm that facilitates spermatozoa mobility.  By the age of 40, the prostate may become enlarged, causing a narrowing of the urethra which can promote a plethora of problems. Men can experience an urge to urinate; dribbling and scanty urination; difficulty in urinating; urination more frequent at night than during the day; as well as a sensation that the bladder never empties completely.


Apart from the enlarged prostate, it is well-known that older men can also suffer a decline in sexual function such as loss of libido or difficulty obtaining an erection. These problems are usually seen as part and parcel of growing older and often accepted as such.

Natural Relief for prostate Problems

Since the 17th Century, the fruit of Saw Palmetto has been mostly used for male afflictions like testicular atrophy, incontinence and prostatitis. Stories from natives in Florida told about Saw palmetto berries and their ability to increase sexual appetite in men.


There are dozens of published studies on Saw Palmetto and its role in the treatment of BPH. One of the most impressive, was a three year study done in Germany. This study was headed by Urologist and surgeon Dietmar Bach. It included 435 out patients with BPH and associated urinary tract symptoms: excessive nighttime urination, frequent urination with incomplete emptying of the bladder, and dribbling. The study used Prostate 1, the A.Vogel extract of Saw palmetto. The results included a 50% reduction in residual urine: patients experienced less dribbling and less pressure on the bladder that gave them the sensation of needing to void.


Another aspect of the study revealed Prostate 1’s effectiveness compared to drugs usually prescribed for BPH symptoms: 73% of patients on Prostate 1 showed a decrease in nighttime urination compared to the Finasteride group.  Both patients and physicians rated the effectiveness of Prostate 1 as good or very good in over 80% of cases. It was further concluded that Saw palmetto herbals tended to reduce the incidence of surgery.


Another study, published in April 2012, was the first to provide scientific proof of the benefits of Prostate 1 with regards to sexual dysfunction. The clinical trial recruited 69 men with enlarged prostate symptoms experiencing problems with sexual function.


Researchers found that bladder symptoms improved by 51% during the 8 week study – this was in line with other research data proving the effectiveness of the herb. However, the study was also able to show that during the 8 week period of the trial, ability to achieve and maintain an erection improved by 64% and their sex drive improved by 54%.


Not all Saw Palmetto products are the same

A.Vogel Prostate 1 Helps Men Feel and Perform Their Best!

Fresh herbs retain more of their phyto-chemical properties and deliver a higher concentration of active ingredients necessary for superior healing results compared to dried plant extracts. Saw Palmetto products made from powders or dried herbal material will not contain as much of the oils and fatty acids as an oily capsule. This is an important difference to look for when considering the effectiveness of the available Saw Palmetto products on the market.

A.Vogel’s Prostate 1, made from organic saw palmetto soothes prostate symptoms in a natural way and helps to regulate testosterone levels.  It also acts against inflammatory alterations of the prostate and urethra.  Accompanying swelling and irritation are reduced and thereby also the voiding problems.


With proven results of equal efficacy to synthetic products, such as Finasteride, without the negative side-effects, A.Vogel’s Prostate 1 makes an excellent natural alternative for men suffering from BPH. Plus it can be easily found at health food stores without the need for a prescription.


Prostate 1 is made from Organic Saw Palmetto fruit extract (Serenoa repens), equivalent to 2280 – 3840 mg of fresh berries; and not less than 85% fatty acids.




Eugen Riedi, Andreas Suter, Reinhard Saller, Michael Heinrich; Improving BPH symptoms and sexual dysfunction with saw palmetto preparation, Phytotherapy Research 2012; doi: 10.1002/ptr.4696. Published in

Riedi E, Schoop R, Suter A. Natural Treatment for BPH. ARS MEDICI, 2005; 2:3. Rosen R, Altwein J, Boyle P, Kirby RS, Lukacs B, Meuleman E, et al. Lower urinary tract symptoms and male sexual dysfunction: the multinational survey of the aging male (MSAM-7). Eur Urol. 2003;44:637

Roehrborn CG. Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia, Erectile Dysfunction, and Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors. Rev Urol. 2004 Summer; 6(3): 121–127

Choose Natural Remedies for Cold & Flu!

Choose Natural Remedies for Cold & Flu!

Cold and flu season is upon us! The late fall through early spring is the peak period for the usual suspects of viral infections; influenza-like illnesses including the flu, and upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold. Although it can be annoying and downright inconvenient to have a cold or flu – sometimes it’s our body’s way of telling us something important about our state of health.  Sneezing and coughing, along with a runny nose and watery eyes can be the body’s way of releasing toxins, including acidic waste build-up from a year or more of accumulation. This natural process plays an important role in releasing an overburdened body of toxic load.


Healthy Immunity & pH Balance are Key

A healthy immune system is the best protection against colds and flu. The factors that can contribute to a less than optimally functioning immune system include poor quality sleep, excessive exercise, stress, smoking, recurring or chronic illness, or an unhealthy diet. All of which contribute to creating an acidic environment within the body’s internal fluids. Since the body’s natural healthy state is alkaline, when an acid condition prevails, cellular oxygen is decreased. Bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic, oxygen-deprived environment and the converse is also true – they cannot survive when the pH is properly balanced to an alkaline state.


The Natural Approach

Herbs and herbal extracts traditionally have been used for centuries to help strengthen the immune system and offer relief from the unpleasant symptoms associated with colds and flu viruses. Herbs, along with immune supporting nutrients such as vitamin C and zinc, may be helpful in reducing the severity and duration of illness. In combination with eating alkaline-forming foods these herbs and nutrients are most helpful.


Certain plant compounds have been shown in studies to have immuno-stimulating properties.  They appear to help stimulate viral defense mechanisms by activating immune cells. Herbal tea mixtures or cooked decoctions have long been used in many cultures because of the synergistic effect of the herbs.


Science Supports Natural Remedies for Colds & Flu

Recent research suggests that the high molecular weight polysaccharides present in Echinacea purpurea have potent non-specific stimulatory actions on the immune system (2).

Echinacea is generally recommended to be used at the very beginning and throughout the course of an illness and then tapered off.


Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), has been traditionally used as an immune strengthening remedy with colds and flu. Several components (e.g., rosemarinic acid and caffeic acid) are reported to possess antibacterial and “viro-stopping” properties (3). Lemon Balm is widely used as a mild sedative to calm the nerves and producing a relaxing sleep – ideal in times of stress and infection. Sleep deprivation is associated with disruptions of immune function (4). Vitamin C, elderberry extract and zinc are a better choice than antihistamines at the start of a cold or flu.


Elderberry binds to and prevents infection with influenza H1N1 virus (5). Studies suggest that black elderberry can inhibit the growth of influenza viruses and shorten the duration of influenza symptoms while enhancing antibody levels against the virus.


Vitamin C and zinc help to overcome an infection by strengthening mucous membranes of the nasal passages and throat from virus penetration. A Cochrane systematic review performed a subgroup analysis of 642 very healthy adults engaged in highly physically stressful activities (marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers on subarctic exercises) showed a 50% decrease in the risk of developing a cold among those who took vitamin C supplements (6).


Vitamin D is an important immune regulator, stimulating innate immunity and moderating inflammation, in addition to its well-known effects on bone health. A suboptimal level of Vitamin D is associated with weaker production of anti- microbial proteins that work with immune system cells to kill pathogens (7).


Taste the Power of Honey, Lemon & Ginger

Hot tea with honey, lemon and ginger is another popular remedy during winter months. Honey is a home remedy commonly used to treat the symptoms of respiratory infections, particularly scratchy throats and coughs.

Lemons are high in vitamin C, and lemon juice’s anti-inflammatory qualities soothe sore throats and irritated membranes.

Ginger helps stimulate perspiration, which cleanses the system and reduces body temperature. Like lemon, ginger has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger also acts as a cough suppressant and has remarkable sleep-inducing, analgesic properties. In Chinese medicine, ginger is used for its warming properties.


Keep Hydrated!

During a cold or flu, dehydration can dry the respiratory mucosal surfaces. Ensure adequate fluid intake while avoiding deficiencies of essential nutrients by sipping on natural hot lemon, honey and ginger drinks during the day and before sleep. Natural remedies can be effective as preventative or therapeutic and their use is becoming increasingly supported by enlightened healthcare providers as a safer and healthier alternative to over-the-counter cold and flu medications.


By RoseMarie Pierce, BSc. Pharm


Have You Heard of Inflammaging?

Have You Heard of Inflammaging?

Anti-aging science has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years. We now have a much deeper understanding of the factors that accelerate the aging process and how to fight them. One of the main culprits that hastens aging at the cellular level is inflammation – so much that this process has earned the moniker inflammaging. The science is clear: combating inflammation is key to successful long-term health. Certain foods, herbs, and even activities are naturally anti-inflammatory. Incorporating these on a regular basis can shave years off your biological age and increase your health span. Here are three powerful steps to defeat inflammaging.



Notice how you feel achy after sitting for long periods? Being sedentary promotes inflammation. Physical activity generates some inflammation in the short term, but the body responds to this by mobilizing a healthy anti-inflammatory response. Overall regular exercise combats inflammation and the aging process.



Optimal intake of omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFAs) is fundamental for a balanced inflammatory response. Research shows getting enough omega-3 helps turn back the clock at a cellular level, but this can be tricky through diet alone.[i] Salmon, sardines, and other deep, cold-water fish are an excellent source of omega-3s, but even wild-caught fish contain environmental toxins, making daily consumption problematic. A high-quality fish oil supplement is free of the contaminants normally found in fish, providing a reliable and safe source of omega-3 EFAs.



One of Nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories is found in the herb turmeric. Curcumin is the active ingredient that also has free radical fighting actions, an added bonus for aging well. While enjoying curry or turmeric lattes can be part of a healthy diet, to make the most of curcumin’s pain-relieving qualities, look for an enhanced absorption supplement. Be aware there are big differences between curcumin products on the market that aren’t evident from label information. Shopping at a store where staff are knowledgeable will help guide you in choosing the right product for you.


For the time being aging is still inevitable, but the rate at which we age is not. We can definitely slow aging. Minimizing inflammation is key to that process.


Kate Rhéaume, ND is a graduate and former faculty member of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. She is the author of the best-selling book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How A little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (HarperCollins).



What can Maca do for you?

What can Maca do for you?

The health benefits for the daily use of this Peruvian superfood can be significant for perimenopausal women 

 Along its vast 7,000 km length, the Andes Mountain range of South America hides many ancient secrets. One such secret – the lost mountain-top city of Machu Picchu – was rediscovered in 1911. More recently a natural remedy cultivated in those same mountains was finally revealed to the rest of the world – maca root.

Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a turnip-like plant that grows at altitudes of 4000m and higher. The cold, harsh Andean mountain environment with its mineral-rich soil contributes to maca’s root system being rich in natural alkaloids (including macaridine, exclusive to maca), minerals (calcium, copper, potassium and many others), vitamins, proteins and plant sterols (most importantly beta sitosterol). This unique combination of nutrients is the key to maca root’s traditional use by Peruvians as an energizer, a natural aphrodisiac for both males and females and a reliever of menopausal symptoms in women.


Maca root is considered an “adaptogen” because of how it helps the body perform normally when undergoing stressful mental or physical situations. While its traditional use for energizing has long been touted, some of maca root’s other benefits have been put to the test in published clinical human studies.

Libido enhancing is one of maca root’s most commonly noted effects. This effect has been seen in several studies involving both male and female participants. For females specifically, one study showed that in postmenopausal women, six weeks of supplementation with maca root significantly reduced the participants’ anxiety and depression symptoms as well as their sexual dysfunction issues.1 Interestingly, this increase in sexual desire was not accompanied with increased hormonal (estrogenic) activity. A full understanding of maca root’s biochemical effects is not yet known, but maca root does not contain phytoestrogens (plant estrogens) as are found in many other natural remedies for menopausal relief, such as soy.2

A second study looked at the ability of maca root to counteract the negative effects to normal sexual functioning associated with the use of SSRI (selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants. This study suggested that maca root could in fact safely alleviate sexual dysfunction and increase libido in those taking SSRI’s over an eight-week period.3

A longer four-month study concluded that maca root might have potential as a non-hormonal alternative to HRT (hormone replacement therapy) in perimenopausal women.   Maca root was observed to reduce the frequency of hot flashes, night sweating, sleep interruptions and nervousness.  There was also evidence that maca was able to rebalance the women’s hormonal levels, not by phytoestrogenic means, but by strengthening with the hypothalamus-pituitary organs.4

One thing to note from the studies to date is that during the short-term both maca root and placebo treatments may show results. It is with the continued regular use of maca root that the most significant results are experienced.4

Maca root is a food with a long track record of safe human consumption; amounts up to 20 grams per day have been taken without issue. The amount of maca root you should take on a daily basis depends on the health benefits you are seeking. The potency of maca capsules can vary, but 750 mg per capsule is a common dosage. With a 750 mg capsule you should take:5


    • 1-4 capsules daily for antioxidant support
    • 3-4 capsules daily for mood balance during menopause
    • 4 capsules daily to improve emotional aspects of sexual health


You may want to consider looking for a maca root supplement that is noted to be “gelatinized.” Maca root is a very starchy, fibrous material that can be hard to digest. Gelatinization is a process that removes this starchy material to make the active nutrients in maca more concentrated, potent and more easily absorbed by the body.

Maca root’s safety for daily use and increasing clinically-backed evidence suggest that it can have significant benefits for those experiencing menopausal discomforts.




  1. Brooks, NA et al. Beneficial effects of Lepidium meyenii (Maca) on psychological symptoms and measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women are not related to estrogen or androgen content. 2008 Nov-Dec;15(6):1157-62. doi: 10.1097/gme.0b013e3181732953.
  2. Meissner, HO. Et al. Therapeutic effects of pre-gelatinized maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women – Clinical Pilot Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006 Jun: 2(2) 143-159.
  3. A Double-blind, Randomized, Pilot Dose-finding Study Of Maca Root (L. Meyenii) For The Management Of SSRI-induced Sexual Dysfunction . CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Fall;14(3):182-91. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00052.x
  4. Meissner, HO. Et al. Therapeutic effects of pre-gelatinized maca (Lepidium Peruvianum Chacon) used as a Non-Hormonal Alternative to HRT in Perimenopausal Women – Clinical Pilot Study. Int J Biomed Sci. 2006 Jun: 2(2) 143-159.
  5. “Maca”.
  6. Health Canada. Natural Health Products Ingredients Database Monograph: Maca.


Vitamin B & Beyond

Vitamin B & Beyond

Adapting to high stress

A promising combination of high-dose B vitamins and a super food for performance during stressful times offers support.

Stress. It’s something that all of us experience, regardless of job, geographic location or family situation. Stress is the body’s response to environmental stimuli (stressors). It’s natural and healthy to a degree; stress can motivate us and move us forward in life. Too much stress and an inability to manage it, however, can have dramatic health consequences for an individual. Nutrition can play a big part in how we cope and perform under stress.

B vitamins are coenzymes involved in numerous bodily functions in human health: the nervous system, brain function and the production of energy through the metabolization of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are essential to life and a deficiency of B vitamins can manifest itself as such symptoms as low energy, poor mental functioning or inability to deal with stress and anxiety.

The key to the B vitamins is that they work together – synergistically – in their functioning within the body. It is true that certain B vitamins may be needed in higher amounts for a specific condition – like Vitamin B12 for specific cases of pernicious anemia or a specific B12 deficiency – but individual B vitamins still require the rest of the B family to perform their roles.  Often a deficiency in one B vitamin can be an indication of a deficiency in others.

For individuals who are experiencing low or normal levels of stress, a multi-vitamin containing basic levels of B vitamins, in the range of 5-25 mg/mcg of each, may be sufficient for daily needs. For those experiencing above-normal levels of stress, a “B-50” complex containing 50 mg/mcg per individual B can be helpful. And for those experiencing high levels of stress to the mind and body needing even more support, a “B-100” complex with 100 mg/mcg per B vitamin may be necessary, at least for the specific time period of excessive stress or anxiety. This group of highly stressed individuals can include athletes, office workers, and women experiencing menopause.

While additional B vitamins can be helpful to individuals undergoing stress, a traditional Peruvian food source can give further support. Maca root has been harvested and used in Peru as a nutritional food and natural medicine for thousands of years. Today, in the world of natural medicine it has become known as a “super food” for its wide range of health applications.

  • Maca root is rich in a multitude of vitamins and minerals including B complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, iodine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. It is a true “super food.”
  • Maca root is an adaptogen. It helps the body to perform normally during stressful conditions by balancing the body’s hormonal production. Hormones that are too low get regulated upward by maca root and hormones that are too high get regulated downward. Maca root nourishes the pituitary and hypothalamus glands. This balancing helps women to deal with PMS, menopause and hot flashes and men to deal with libido issues.

By combining high-levels of B vitamins together with the super food maca root, even the most stressed of us can find it easier to get on with our daily lives.



About the Author: Health First Network


Health First Network is Canada’s leading membership group for independent health & wellness retailers and the exclusive supplier of the premium Health First supplement brand. There are over 130 independently owned and operated retail Members across the country. Learn more at


The Great Vitamin D

The Great Vitamin D

What is all the fuss?

If you haven’t got the memo and are not yet taking vitamin D, please pay attention. The recent rise in popularity of vitamin D supplementation reflects our realization that deficiencies are all too common. While small amounts of vitamin D can be obtained from dietary sources such as fish, eggs and mushrooms, the bulk of it comes from skin exposure to sunlight. Lower levels of vitamin D can result from sun avoidance (being indoors and using sunscreens), darker skin pigmentation (conversion is less efficient), living at higher altitudes, winter months, and using soap shortly after sun exposure. It is no wonder Canadians are at a clear disadvantage!

Why do we need vitamin D?

The role of vitamin D (especially in combination with calcium) in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, osteopenia and related falls or fractures is widely accepted. But in recent years many epidemiological studies correlate low vitamin D levels with a growing number of other health issues including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, tuberculosis and some types of cancer.   This is not surprising, since vitamin D is involved in many processes including immunity, inflammation, and even modulations of genes encoding for proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis (death).


How much do we need?

Health Canada sets the Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) for adults at 600-800 IU.  These DRIs are based on “maintaining skeletal health and have been set using the assumption that sun exposure is minimal.” They certainly don’t reflect the use of vitamin D for the prevention or treatment of other diseases, nor what some refer to as “optimal” levels. Dosing for vitamin D is controversial and many alternative care practitioners feel the daily recommended intakes (DRI) are too conservative. Regardless of various opinions, a blood test can simply be run to confirm or deny a deficiency.


Vitamin D supplement types

Vitamin D supplements comprise either the vegan form, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), or the animal-sourced vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).  If a bottle simply states Vitamin D, the fine print will confirm this for you so look for ergocalciferol or cholecalciferol.  Vitamin D2 is often sourced from mushrooms or lichen, although it can be synthetic.  Vitamin D3 is often sourced from lanolin (sheep’s wool) or fish. It is generally believed that vitamin D3 is superior, because it is the most biologically active form – although some argue that technologies used to measure vitamin D2 in the body are insufficient and therefore bias the results.


Vitamin D & K

You will often find vitamin D paired with vitamin K. Vitamin K2 also has an important role to play in bone building. It acts much like a shuttle bus taking calcium from areas that may be less desirable, such as the arteries, kidneys or other soft tissues, to the bones. It is thought that it may therefore help reduce or even reverse abnormal calcifications. Vitamin K2 deficiencies may be widespread because it can, for the most part, only be sourced from animals raised eating a natural diet versus a factory farming diet.  NOW® offers a great combination of the most bioavailable forms of D3 and K2. NOW® MK-7 is a specific subtype of K2 sourced from Natto and known for its exceptional bioavailability.



Thalia Charney, MA

Nutrition and Health Education Manager, Puresource

Thalia Charney is an author, educator and speaker and the Nutrition and Health Education Manager for the NOW® Brand in Canada.  Thalia brings a wealth of experience from her many years as a health coach as well as her insights gained from having authored Canada’s most comprehensive book on navigating food products: The Confident Food Shopper: The Guide to Food Labels and Fables. She uses these as a springboard to bring a balanced, broad and insightful perspective to any health topic.  Asked about her opinion on any topic and the answer is more often than not… “it depends”.  With wisdom comes nuance and she enjoys sparking debate and thought as much as imparting educational tidbits.

Beat the Heat Caused by Menopause

Beat the Heat Caused by Menopause

Powerful natural remedies can help ease some of the most common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. When it comes to hormonal changes later in life, don’t suffer or “tough it out” without support.

Sage (Salvia officinalis), a shrub native of the Mediterranean basin, is one of the oldest medicinal herbs. The botanical name Salvia is from the Latin “to save or to heal” as in the word “salvation.” For women who suffer from pre-menopausal or menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, this beautiful purple flower could not have been more appropriately named!


How does sage work?
A tiny gland in the brain called the hypothalamus acts a bit like your body’s thermostat.  During perimenopause and menopause, stress from hormonal and other changes affecting the body can cause the hypothalamus to become unbalanced. When this occurs, the body can no longer regulate its temperature properly and can cause your inner thermostat to fluctuate between hot and cold very quickly. This is all part and parcel of the way hormones can interfere with something like the hypothalamus. Sage helps bring it back into balance.

Menoforce is made from 100% fresh organic sage. It is clinically proven to reduce frequency and severity of hot flashes and night sweats during perimenopause and menopause.

Many people ask us, “How do I take it?” Because it’s highly effective you need only one a day. If you’re just getting hot flashes during the day, take it with breakfast. If you’re getting evening/night sweats or flashes, take it at dinnertime. If your symptoms occur around the clock (day and night), we recommend taking it with your evening meal. Based on feedback we’ve received, Menoforce can reduce night sweats thus ensuring you sleep better. And when you sleep better, your body is much more able to cope with symptoms the following day.

Support with Soy

MenoSupport Complex is a combination product consisting of magnesium, hibiscus, and soy.

Soy is praised for its ability to calm hot flashes and fend off the ravages of osteoporosis. However, soy is not without controversy surrounding it.

There are many factors to consider when interpreting the findings of soy research such as; the source, form, and processing.

An interesting trend to observe is that North America currently has the highest incidence of breast cancer, while East Asia experiences extremely low rates. It is estimated that adults in Asian countries consume approximately 30-50mg per day of isoflavones compared to a paltry 3mg/day in North America. Could the glaring difference in soy intake explain the symptom experience of women in East Asia versus North America?

How can soy effectively ease menopause symptoms?

Soy is rich in plant estrogens called isoflavones. These isoflavones mimic the effects of estrogen which gently bind to the body’s natural estrogen receptors to compensate for the lack of estrogen.

The isoflavones in soy have historically helped women to mitigate the impacts of declining estrogen including hot flashes, bone degeneration, menstrual migraines, mood swings, and other difficult menopausal symptoms.

The soy used in MenoSupport Complex is unique for various reasons. A.Vogel has carefully chosen to source and use pure, superior quality starting material. Only whole, GMO-free soybeans are used. The product contains no isolates and makes use of the complete isoflavone profile from the soybean which have been revered for their numerous health benefits. In line with our A.Vogel philosophy, we have chosen to extract the active components, which are the soy isoflavones, using an alcohol/ethanol extraction method. This makes it stand above most water extracted soy products found in other supplements.

During the alcohol/ethanol extraction process used to isolate the isoflavones from the beans, lectins are neutralized. This is important as many people react to the activated form of lectins which are found in most isolated, water extracted soy products on the market. Digestive intolerance and irritation are thus avoided and there have been no reports of adverse reactions to the product.

Also, during the ethanol extraction, the glycone molecule splits in the same way that it would while undergoing a process of fermentation. This results in smaller, more digestible particles which are easy to assimilate.

Additional Ingredients

Hibiscus is known to have strong antioxidant properties which helps to alleviate oxidative stress on the body that occurs during major hormonal changes.

The final ingredient magnesium, can help reduce the development of osteoporosis, another side effect of declining estrogen levels. It can also help to encourage sleep, relax muscles, and moderate rapidly shifting emotions such as anxiety and irritability. Finally, as an adrenal support, magnesium has been shown to calm the stress response and stabilize mood.


Fermentation: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Health Science

Fermentation: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Health Science

What is Food Fermentation?

A food-preparation technique dating back to ancient times, fermentation has been traditionally used to preserve fresh foods and improve their shelf life, increase nutrient density, and enhance flavour. Many well-known fermented foods and beverages (i.e. apple cider vinegar, olives, miso) have also been shown to contain health-promoting phytonutrients, especially polyphenols.1 These potent bioactive compounds have antioxidant properties which protect the body from free radical damage, build immunity, provide energy, and have anti-inflammatory properties.2 A diet high in fermented food has been linked to longevity and prolonged good health in many cultures worldwide, namely the Bulgarian, Hunza, Japanese, and others.3


Food fermentation processes can utilize a wide range of microbes (friendly yeast, molds and bacteria) to achieve the desired physical change to the food or beverage. Depending on the type of end product intended, a wide variety of microbes have been and still are successfully used by many different cultures around the world. Some common examples of these microbes include the mold used to make blue cheese, yeast used to make beer, bacteria for kefir or yogurt, and both bacteria and yeast to make soy sauce.4


Fermentation of SuperFoods – A Great Idea!

In modern-day fermentation processes, fermented superfoods including garlic, maca or turmeric powder (and many more) are produced by a host of similar, if not the same, friendly microbes used in ancient times. Enzymes produced by these beneficial microbes break down or predigest sugars, complex carbohydrate molecules and eliminate digestion-blocking factors found in many superfoods.5 This pre-digestion process significantly improves the body’s ability to assimilate the optimum nutritional value and promote gut health. Antioxidants and many other phytonutrients, naturally-occurring in these superfoods, are converted by friendly bacteria and other microbes into their “free” forms. This enhanced availability allows for more effective and efficient usage within the body2.


Fermented Superfoods Powders: New and Revolutionary

We are now able to both reap the benefits of ancestral fermentation methods and enjoy a variety of safe, convenient and easy-to-take superfood powders. Good-quality fermented superfood ingredients are created using a traditional yet “controlled” whole-food fermentation process. Controlled fermentation encourages the growth of particular microorganisms only to the point at which the desired effect is reached. This controlled process interrupts the fermentation at its optimal point, maximizing the beneficial food transformation and stabilizing the fermented superfood prior to drying.6


As an example, fermentation of cereal grasses (young wheat, barley, alfalfa, and oat plants) transforms and unlocks the nutrients held inside the difficult-to-digest cellulose plant fibre walls. Releasing a nutrient profile similar to dark leafy vegetables, fermented cereal grasses are rich in vitamin K, vitamin B’s, zinc, copper, potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, boron and the enzyme SOD. These young grasses are also high in free amino acids (about 30% by weight), plus chlorophyll. They also contain approximately 40% fibre, both the soluble and insoluble varieties, a key to promoting the healthy production of friendly gut microbes.


To ensure the highest-quality when selecting a fermented superfood powder, choose products which are organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Look for superfood cereal grasses (i.e. barley and wheat grasses) grown in Canada.


The results are in!

These days, modern health science is both validating and continuing to evolve many of the world’s food fermentation methods developed over hundreds of generations. We now have access to a great number of convenient bioavailable, nutrient-dense superfood products. It makes sense that the fermented food category now tops the 2019 list of trending superfood choices.7,8


Author: RoseMarie Pierce, B.Sc. Pharm., Holistic Pharmacist
RoseMarie Pierce earned her degree in Pharmacy from Dalhousie University in 1972. After extensive studies in herbology and nutritional medicine, RoseMarie integrated these disciplines with her pharmacy practice to become Canada’s first Holistic Pharmacist. She is recognized as one of Canada’s well-loved integrated health spokespeople and natural health educators.

Author: RoseMarie Pierce, B.Sc. Pharm, on behave of Prairie Naturals Health Products Inc.

About the Author: Prairie Naturals Team


Prairie Naturals is a privately owned, Canadian family business headquartered near Vancouver, BC, Canada whose core business is the research, development, marketing and distribution of more than 150 premium quality nutritional supplements, natural hair and natural body care products. Prairie Naturals makes products designed to help you “Live the Healthy Life”. Learn more a

The Science of Increasing Collagen

The Science of Increasing Collagen

Don’t eat It – generate It!

What happens when you “eat” Collagen? By now, you’ve probably seen the ads for collagen in the form of powders and pills. The story is that if you ingest collagen, usually from cows and pigs, you’ll increase your own collagen. But the scientific fact is Collagen is a protein. When you ingest collagen, your body breaks it down and simply uses it as food – just like it would if you ate chicken, fish, steak or any other protein.

Inside your body, all proteins, like collagen, get broken down into amino acids. You have no control over how your body uses those amino acids. Your body cannot distinguish between the amino acids that came from last night’s meal or from this morning’s dose of collagen powder you may have tried. The key to adding collagen is to activate the cells in your body that generate collagen.


So How Do I Get My Collagen Back?

The cells in your body that generate collagen are called fibroblasts. Unfortunately, starting at age 18, these fibroblasts start working slower and less efficiently. By age 30, the signs of aging can become visible.

To combat this problem, you need to activate enzymes that “turn on” your body’s fibroblasts. Collagen pills and powders have zero effect on these enzymes. That’s why BioSil is clinically proven to decrease wrinkles by 30%, increase skin elasticity by 89%, strengthen and thicken hair by 13% and dramatically harden nails. What’s more, it is clinically proven safe.

The difference between smooth skin and wrinkled skin is the amount of collagen. Wrinkled skin contains fewer collagen fibres. That creates “gaps” between the fibres causing the skin to literally “cave in” – leaving behind a wrinkle. We need to literally plump the skin from the inside, out. The greater quantity of collagen pushes the skin up and out, “plumping’’ the skin, creating smooth, soft skin.

 Giving your skin “Bounce Back”

The amount of collagen (quantity) plays a vital part in skin elasticity. Equally important is the ‘‘pattern’’ the collagen fibres form (quality). With aged skin, the collagen pattern tends to be more ‘‘one-directional’’ (anisotropic). This ‘‘single’’ direction pattern is what causes skin rigidity, loss of elasticity, and ultimately skin creasing. In young skin, the pattern of collagen is ‘‘multi-directional’’ (isotropic). This ‘‘every-which-way’’ linking is precisely what helps to prevent skin wrinkling and creasing. BioSil not only increases the quantity of collagen, but helps it form into a tight “spring-like” mesh. That’s why in the clinical trial, skin elasticity increased by an astounding 89.0%.

 Increase the diameter of each hair shaft

Keratin is the protein that makes up 97.0% of hair. Ensuring an abundant flow of growth rich nutrients that optimize the keratinization process in your hair is essential. In clinical trials, BioSil thickened hair by 12.8%.

 Increase the hair shaft’s Tensile Strength

How strong your hair is depends not only on the quantity of keratin, but also how strong the “bonds” are between the individual keratin proteins themselves. BioSil strengthened hair by a full 13.1% because it encourages our bodies to produce more keratin proteins.

 Keratin, your body’s natural nail fortifier

As with your hair, your nails are made up of keratin. The problem is keratin production declines starting at age 21. However, there is a solution. Creating a blood flow that optimizes the production of keratin. The subjects in the BioSil clinical trial reported that their nails became strong and chip resistant!

DID YOU KNOW most collagen powders contain ground animal parts? BioSil is completely free of animal parts and suitable for vegetarians/vegans. BioSil is also non-GMO and gluten free.

Remember, when it comes to increasing your collagen,

Don’t Eat It – Generate It with BioSil!


*Barel, et al. (2005) Arch Dermatol Res, 297:147-153. Results may vary.


Assured Natural Distribution Inc. is a Canadian-owned and operated company that provides exclusive high-quality products to Canadian Health Food Stores. Assured Natural ensures excellence in customer service, product knowledge, and premium-quality brands.



The Power of the Little Black Seed

The Power of the Little Black Seed

Black Cumin Seed Oil or simply Black Seed Oil has over 100 active compounds which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties. The most notable active ingredient is thymoquinone.

 Black Seed is quickly becoming the herbal oil to watch with its anti-inflammatory compounds to reduce symptoms of asthma, hay fever and eczema. In addition, its immune boosting qualities make it beneficial for colds, flus, digestive and cardiovascular support and liver function.

 Black Seed Scientific Research

Since 1959, Black Seed (Nigella sativa) has been researched in over 200 clinical studies worldwide. Six medical patents have been granted for Black Seed for the following conditions:  (Please Note: this information is for reference and interest only from patent licenses that have been issued by approved government agencies and in no way indicates or endorses that our Black Seed Oil should be substituted for consulting a health professional or appropriate medical treatment.)

  1. Asthma/allergy: Black Seed’s powerful anti-inflammatory compounds reduce symptoms of asthma and allergies. (Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2009)
  2. Viral and bacterial infections: Since salmonella’s resistance to antibiotics is a worldwide health issue, a study wanted to develop an alternative. Black Seed was found to be more effective against salmonella, even those species for which Ceftriaxone and Ciprofloxacin were ineffective. (Nat Prod Res.2014).
  3. Immune function: Several peer reviewed studies show that Black Seed Oil helps to relieve respiratory illnesses such as viral infections, colds, and influenza by boosting activity of our “natural killer” disease fighters.
  4. Diabetes: Black Seed helps to balance blood sugar levels, and has been shown to be effective to treat type 2 diabetes due to its ability to improve insulin sensitivity. (Saudi Arabia, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 & 2011 study at the University of Montreal).
  5. Psoriasis: Nigella sativa extract produced results equivalent to the effect of the standard drug used, tazarotene, for “eruptions of skin”. It also helps stop psoriasis from spreading equal to drug treatment. (Pharmacogn Mag.2012).
  6. Cancer: Dozens of recent cancer studies in respected publications including International Journal of Immunopharmacology(2005), Oxford’s Digestive Disease Sciences (2009), and the Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2011) state that Black Seed supports functions of macrophage cells and helper T-cells in cancer patients.

 Enerex Black Seed Oil offers 100% first cold-pressed oil for maximum potency of its rich properties, which is taken as an antioxidant supplement or an alternative to other antibacterial, antiviral or immune-enhancing herbals. Enerex Black Seed Oil is 100% pure organic Black Seed Oil containing a high thymoquinone content and also including Vitamin E super anti-oxidant with natural occurring mixed tocopherols & tocotrienols.

 If you have children going back to school, give your immune system a boost by incorporating Black Seed Oil to your everyday routine!



Enerex is a Canadian company. Visit

About the Author: Enerex


Recognizing a healthy effective alternative to pharmaceuticals, Enerex has been successful is designing a product line of nutraceuticals to meet the growing demand for effective health treatments without harmful side effects. Learn more about Enerex at

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