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Probiotics – Vital to Your Health!

Growing up, most of us were taught that bacteria were “bad” invaders, constantly on the attack and a primary cause of illness and disease. Once thought to be the villains of modern medicine, bacteria are now proving to be the new superheroes of health and wellbeing. Science is revealing the powerful benefits of “good” bacteria, otherwise known as probiotics.

We have learned that the good bacteria residing in each of us play an important role in digestion, serve as fi­rst line immune defense and provide a host of other health benefi­ts. Unfortunately, our sanitized modern environment can be a threat to benefi­cial bacteria. Regularly drinking chlorinated water or eating overly processed foods can diminish our body’s probiotic defenses. Travel, stress, alcohol consumption and medications can upset the delicate balance of bacteria in our bodies.

The good bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract can only protect us if the proper balance of bacteria is maintained. Probiotics can have a profound, positive impact on your health. This is particularly true with the increasing number of people suffering from gastrointestinal health issues and other chronic ailments that begin in the digestive tract. Keep in mind that the G.I. tract is home to 80% of your immune system, so the right probiotic can make all the difference to your health.

How to Choose the Right Probiotics

One of the most common questions I get about supplements is, “How do I choose the right probiotic?” There are a multitude of probiotics available, but I have found few that deliver the consistent results I expect for my patients. Because they are living organisms, probiotics must be carefully formulated and handled properly to survive. A probiotic that is not precisely manufactured may be a waste of money. How do you fi­nd a high-quality probiotic supplement? I strongly believe the right probiotic needs to include researched strains, and must be carefully manufactured to ensure the bacteria are active when taken.

­The Major Benefits of a Good Probiotic:

  • Aids in digestion, particularly hard-to-digest foods and those to which some people are sensitive
  • Maintains a healthy balance of intestinal microflora
  • Supports immune system
  • Promotes vaginal health

Here are my four key factors for an eff­ective probiotic:

    1. Team Work An ideal probiotic should contain multiple well-researched strains proven to work well together.

    Since each person has a unique G.I. system, no one probiotic strain can deliver all the benefi­ts like that of a team of probiotics.

2. Survival

A good probiotic must contain strains that are backed by scientifi­c research that proves their ability to withstand the challenges of the G.I. tract.

Even if a probiotic can survive passage through the harsh G.I. environment, it must also be well-adapted for residing in the human G.I. tract. If a probiotic doesn’t have solid research backing up its ability to survive long enough to have a benefi­t in the G.I. tract, it is a waste of money.

3. Stability

The best probiotic can guarantee live bacteria counts, called “colony forming units” (CFUs), at the time of expiration.

Probiotic stability ensures a product remains active and viable for an extended period of time. To achieve stability and provide maximum CFUs, probiotic bacteria must be protected, sealed and then freeze-dried in an environment free of moisture, heat, light and oxygen. This puts the bacteria in a state of hibernation, allowing them to remain dormant until they are activated with heat and moisture in the G.I. tract. This allows quality manufacturers to establish a true expiration date based on stability testing. Probiotics with “Born On” or “Time of Manufacture” labels can be a sign of poor stability.

4. Precision

An ideal probiotic is a carefully manufactured capsule that ensures delivery to the G.I. tract.

Without the most delicate and precise manufacturing practices, any probiotic formula’s stability and longevity would be questionable at best. There are many types of probiotics on the market, but the type of probiotic I recommend most is a powder or capsule that is manufactured in a controlled environment. There are some pitfalls in probiotic manufacturing you’ll want to avoid:

  • Tablets are manufactured using binders and pressure, which cause heat that can kill probiotics and reduce the viability of the product.
  • Enteric-coated probiotic soft gels use heat to seal the soft gel exterior, and the liquid suspension exposes probiotic bacteria to moisture. Both of these factors activate the probiotic bacteria and quickly diminish their potency.

My Probiotic of Choice

It is obvious that choosing the right probiotic can be a challenging task. After extensive research and observing patient results, I chose Bactrophillus as the primary probiotic for my practice. One of the most compelling reasons I selected this product was because the company that manufactures Ortho Biotic was able to provide me with the background information to satisfy my key “must-haves” in a probiotic.

Why I Recommend Bactrophillus:

  • Formulated with broad-spectrum organisms that integrate well with the human G.I. ecosystem.
  • Contains specifi­c probiotic strains with researched survival attributes for transit through the stomach and intestines.
  • Includes a super-strain called Sacharomyces boulardii. This unique organism is considered a “prebiotic” organism because it makes probiotics work better. It does this by binding bad bacteria, crowding them out and making room for the probiotic organisms to work and thrive. One of the main benefi­ts I have seen in my patients is reduced gas and bloating that can commonly occur when taking probiotics. • Demonstrated adherence to the G.I. tract.
  • No refrigeration required. Through a unique new technology, Bactrophillus’s probiotic blend has been stabilized and veri­fied for room temperature storage.
  • Available in BioShield Technology capsules, delivering more active probiotics to the G.I. tract.
  • In addition, this probiotic is non-dairy and free of soy, corn, wheat and gluten, imperative for the numerous patients I see with G.I. sensitivities.

With so many things to consider when choosing the right probiotic for you, make sure to use the strict criteria I’ve mapped out above.

Probiotics are vital to good health. They help protect you, maintain a healthy G.I. environment, promote digestion and boost your immune system. That is why they are at the top of my supplement recommendations list and why I recommend Bactrophillus as the most effective probiotic for my patients.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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detox

Why Detox?

Polluted waters. Solvents in gasoline. Pesticides sprayed on fruits and vegetables. We are subject to more toxins than ever before. Everyone has heard of toxins in the environment, but we don’t even have to leave our homes to be exposed to toxins. The daily act of getting up in the morning, taking a shower, applying cosmetics, and eating breakfast exposes us to over 100 different chemical compounds! There is chlorine in our shower water, fluoride in our toothpaste, parabens in our skin care products, and even pesticides in our breakfast.

The 2009 Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Chemicals by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that Americans of all ages are carrying over 219 toxic chemicals in their body at any given time. Normally the immune system, liver, and kidneys work together to remove toxins at the same rate in which they are encountered. In environmental medicine, when toxin levels accumulate and exceed our body’s capability to remove them, it is termed increased toxic burden.

Increased toxic burden may not be evident at fi­rst, but as time goes on, its effects can be seen in all body systems. In addition to external toxins, the human body can also create internal toxins. Stress and fear, for instance, can actually cause the overgrowth of certain bacteria in the colon! As toxic burden overwhelms the body, it becomes difficult to feel completely well.

Where Toxins Come From

Environmental Toxins

  • Polluted air from factories
  • Auto exhaust
  • Solvents (paint and cleaning products)
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides, herbicides, insecticides
  • Radiation
  • Inhalents

Lifestyle Toxins

  • Dietary choices (fast foods, fried foods)
  • Cosmetics
  • Nicotine • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Rx and OTC drugs
  • Artifi­cial food additives, colorings and preservatives
  • Refi­ned foods and sugars

Internal Toxins

  • Bacterial, yeast, fungal overgrowth
  • By-products of metabolic reactions (such as carbon dioxide, ammonia, hormones)
  • Undigested food
  • Stress
  • Unresolved trauma or abuse
  • Unhappy relationships

How Toxic Are You?

Have you ever had a course of antibiotics or take prescription medications? Do you live near a major urban area or near a busy highway? Do you eat out frequently or eat pre-packaged foods? Do you experience discomfort after eating certain foods? Are you overweight, underweight, or do you have cellulite? Do you have less than two bowel movements a day? Do you use standard household cleaning products in your home?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then you may benefit from Dr. Ali’s Core Restore program.

Today’s lifestyle of poor diet, polluted environment and high stress subjects your body to more toxins than ever before. Core Restore is a 7-day program that includes the nutrients and metabolic tools needed to revitalize your body’s detoxi­fication process and improve overall health. Core Restore provides 3 active formulas – Core Support, Alpha Base and PhytoCore – which function synergistically to support Phase I and II pathways of liver biotransformation. These targeted nutrients enhance the detoxification of environmental pollutants, hormone disruptors and other harmful toxins.

­The Liver: Open 24 Hours a Day

The liver is the largest gland in the body and a true powerhouse, assimilating and packaging nutrients for use while detoxifying hundreds of chemicals in two phases. This process is called biotransformation. If the liver fails to function properly, every other system of the body is compromised.

Most of the toxins we are exposed to are fat-soluble molecules. These substances are deposited into our body’s fat stores, as fat cells are less metabolically active than the rest of the body. This reduces the amount of toxins that are circulating freely throughout the bloodstream. The fat acts as an insulation to protect us, and the body will tend to form more fat in which to store the toxins, making weight management difficult.

The body will also deposit toxic compounds into other tissues, preventing proper organ function. This can negatively affect the heart, liver, colon, brain, kidney, lungs, skin, and hormone systems. The liver oversees changing fat soluble toxins into a water soluble form, so they can be eliminated by the kidneys and colon. A good detoxifi­cation program will assist the liver in doing its job and provide nutrients to enhance this biotransformation process. Healthy biotransformation support will:

  • Reduce the burden of incoming toxins on the body
  • Boost the liver’s ability to process and eliminate stored toxins from tissues

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Why Detoxify?

To Feel Better

Increased toxic burden can manifest in the body as a myriad of symptoms: fatigue, irritability, joint pain, brain-fog, digestive problems, hot flashes, allergic reactions, sneezing, and coughing. Reducing external toxin exposure is one solution. Many people eat organic foods, drink fi­ltered water, and even eliminate problem foods to help reduce their toxin exposure. This is a great start. However, what has happened to all the toxins stored in the body from decades of living? The answer is-they are still there! Yes, we can reduce our current exposure, but it is paramount that we support the process of biotransformation. This aids the liver in both phases of detoxifi­cation, and ensures incoming toxins are removed and eliminated.

To Improve Metabolism and Maintain a Healthy Weight

Many people struggle to achieve a healthy weight. As we age our metabolism experiences a slight decrease in function. However, the role of increased toxin burden in weight gain is often overlooked. Many toxins are stored in fat, and the body will increase the production of fat in order to protect the rest of the body from these circulating toxins’ effects. Many people go on diets hoping to lose weight. They go down a pant or dress size or two, and six months later, regain all of the weight -plus some. Yo-yo dieting becomes a vicious cycle and can harm the body’s metabolism. An effective detoxi­fication program focused on biotransformation will help reduce the toxin burden contributing to the inability to maintain a healthy weight.

For Optimum Performance

Detoxifi­cation is not just a one-time event. It should be repeated in order to prevent toxin build-up. Just as we change the oil in our cars to maintain their performance, we should do the same for our bodies. A good detoxifi­cation program can be the regular maintenance the body needs to perform at its best. If you feel progressively sluggish, tired, achy, and run down, maybe it’s time for your “fi­lter to be cleaned.”

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Fish Oil

The Truth About Fish Oil

Every day it seems there is another headline making claims about fi­sh oil, the supplemental source of omega 3 fatty acids. From being the key supplement to save your life or a total waste of money – the media makes it difficult to decipher fact from ­fiction when it comes to determining if you should be supplementing ­fish oil. As your physician, I want to share with you the importance of fi­sh oil supplementation, who needs them, and what you should look for in a high-quality ­fish oil product.

Based on the overwhelming research conducted on fi­sh oil over the last 30 years (there are more than 10,000 published studies on the benefi­ts of fi­sh oil), I can tell you that fi­sh oil is a crucial foundational supplement to include as part of your healthy lifestyle plan. Omega 3 fatty acids are important components of the membranes in all your organs and tissues and play a role in the health of your metabolism, heart, skin, joints, eyes and immune system.

Like most nutrients, omega 3s are not manufactured within the body, therefore levels must be maintained through the diet. While seeds, nuts, vegetables and fi­sh are viable sources of omega 3, it is difficult to ensure you meet healthy daily intake levels of these important nutrients through diet alone. Not to mention, the typical American diet is notoriously low in omega 3s and excessively high omega 6s, which can promote extended inflammation and lead to a number of health concerns. For this reason that supplementation of EPA/DHA to balance the all-important omega 6:3 ratio has become necessary. Supplemental EPA/DHA (omega 3) from ­fish oil is an easy way to ensure you reach optimal omega 3 levels and establish healthy inflammatory balance.

­The Major Benefits of High-Quality Fish Oil

If you don’t consume fi­sh three or more times per week, you need to supplement your diet with high-quality fi­sh oil. In some cases, you may need one regardless of how much ­fish you consume. Fried ­fish negates the valuable nutrient content of the food, while overcooked fi­sh can destroy nutrients before they ever reach your system. In some regions of the nation, high levels of mercury can make a steady diet of ­fish dangerous. Consuming carefully selected and cooked ­fish is part of a healthy diet, however, a high quality fi­sh oil supplement is equally effective and safer, given contamination concerns. The Westernized diet is loaded with processed foods containing high levels of omega 6s, which, when combined with low levels of omega 3s within the body, can lead to the formation of dangerous disease-causing free radicals. Maintaining balance through diet alone is challenging, but a high quality supplement can ensure adequate absorption and balanced ratios of omegas 3 and 6. The symptoms of omega 3 defi­ciency are classically overlooked. If you are experiencing dry, itchy or flaky skin, poor sleep quality, poor circulation, eye discomfort and mood imbalance, your diet may be lacking in omega 3s altogether, or your fi­sh oil supplements may not be providing the potency necessary to help you achieve omega 3 balance. Supplementing appropriate amounts of high-quality ­fish oil daily is considered part of a healthy lifestyle.

How to Choose the Right Fish Oil

Understanding the importance of fi­sh oil is important, but choosing one that is effective and high-quality is even more critical. Taking a low-quality ­fish oil supplement can potentially do more harm than good. Rancid or oxidized oils, high concentrations of mercury and other pollutants found in fi­sh often make it into the bottles of low-quality fi­sh oil supplements. In addition, many retail products are labeled for total ­fish oil content and not speci­fic EPA and DHA concentration. Don’t be fooled, it is the EPA and DHA numbers that really matter. When selecting a ­fish oil supplement for my practice, I not only look for products with a high concentration of EPA and DHA, but it must be in the all-natural triglyceride form for optimal absorption and proven to be free of metals, pesticides and other contaminants. Taste and tolerability matter, too, so it is important to use a supplement that won’t make taking your daily fi­sh oil unpleasant.

When choosing a fish oil supplement, look for:

Triglyceride Form

A fi­sh oil containing the triglyceride form, the natural, “bioidentical” form found in ­fish, is essential to achieving superior absorption. The natural triglyceride form has a vastly superior absorption pro­le as compared to the semi-natural ethyl ester form commonly used in many fi­sh oil brands. Many companies choose to use ethyl ester-based fi­sh oils because they are lower cost; however, these formulations result in lower absorption and incorporation into cells and tissues, meaning the nutrient content stated on the label is not being completely absorbed by your body.

Freshness

The freshness of fi­sh oil is an important consideration because rancid ­fish oils have an unpleasant odor and taste and contain compounds that are harmful to your health. Make sure the product you choose for daily fi­sh oil intake is processed in small, frequent batches and includes potent antioxidants to maintain peak freshness and prevent them from becoming oxidized or rancid.

Purity

Seek products that have been clearly purifi­ed of contaminants, such as mercury, lead and other harmful chemicals and pesticides. In a recent study, 35 retail fi­sh oil products were tested for purity—only 24 passed quality testing, meeting requirements for freshness and purity as established by GOED (the Global Organization for EPA and DHA).

Taste

Look for products that have completely removed all fi­sh protein content making them “burp-free.” Products that are pure, fresh, and free from ­fish protein have had all ­fish protein removed should have no fi­shy taste or odor.

Independent Testing

Seek supplements that have independently tested to guarantee purity, freshness and overall safety.

Sustainability

Your environment is as much a factor of your health as what is occurring inside your body. Look for supplements that adhere to responsible ­shing and processing to maintain the earth’s treasured marine resources.

My Preferred Fish Oil Supplement

With so many choices on the market and a variety of information rampant online, in magazines and on TV, it can be difficult to determine the ­fish oil that is the best choice for your health and your wallet. After extensive research and observing patient results, I chose Aliza as the primary ­fish oil to recommend to my patients. I established the previously discussed critical criteria to help patients choose a better ­fish oil product. I use Aliza and have made it the primary ­fish oil in my practice.

Why I Recommend Aliza:

  • The American Heart Association recommends a minimum daily intake of 1gram of EPA/DHA daily for people with cardiovascular concerns. I recommend a variety of doses based on each patient’s individual needs; some patients may need much higher doses initially to achieve the best results. I like that Aliza delivers 950 milligrams of highly puri­ed EPA/DHA per softgel in the natural triglyceride form to rapidly increase cellular Omega 3 levels for the greatest impact.
  • Aliza is manufactured using all-natural triglycerides, the preferred form, to allow for maximum absorption and incorporation within the body.
  • Adherence to a supplement regimen is challenging enough without having to deal with foul smells and tastes. Aliza has no fi­shy smell or aftertaste, a characteristic often found with other fi­sh oil supplements.
  • Aliza is independently tested, and guaranteed for purity, freshness and safety.
  • My Aliza formula adheres to the strictest trade standards. This ensures that Aliza is comprised of the purest ingredients and free from harmful toxins and dangerous chemicals. The same cannot be said for many OTC supplement companies, as recent Consumer Labs testing has shown.
  • My supplier ensures freshness by manufacturing Aliza in small, frequent batches with a proprietary blend of antioxidants to prevent rancidity.

The choices you make for your health each day, including the supplements you take, can have a serious impact on your well-being, that’s why only the best will do. Choosing a lesser quality supplement will deteriorate the effectiveness of your treatment plan and waste the time, money and effort you put into your health. With the right care, a healthier lifestyle, and high-quality nutritional supplements, you will be on the right course for a healthier future.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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