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Archive for the ‘Questions About Products and Ingredients’ Category

PMS + EFAS = AOK

March 13th, 2009

Among the most common questions from our female (and occasionally male) customers concerns the difficulty many women have with PMS, also known as dysmenorrhea; Are there alternatives to drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen, and which ones do you recommend? Among the most commonly-used supplements to help ease the cramping, bloating and irritability that characterize PMS/dysmenorrhea are herbs like dong quai and vitex, vitamin B-6 and B-12, minerals like magnesium and potassium and the serotonin precursor 5-HTP. You can find women who get great results with one or a combination of these nutrients, but because PMS has a complex and dynamic set of causative factors that vary from woman to woman, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and probably never will be. However, research suggests that there are two types of nutrients that – besides being good for you anyway – deserve special consideration in terms of easing PMS symptoms.

Enzymes are a rapidly-growing category of nutritional supplement. Digestive enzymes are the most popular types, but systemic enzymes are gaining acceptance too. Systemic enzymes are used for all kinds of health issues from chronic sinusitis to back pain and sports injuries. Find out more about systemic enzymes today’s AllStarHealth blog.

Energy boosting products have exploded in popularity and are now one of the most popular types of dietary supplements. One thing that’s true about any type of energy booster is that the more you use it, the less effective it becomes. But by paying attention to how you use you energy booster and by taking certain accessory nutrients, you can get more, sometimes much more, out of your energy booster so you won’t have to use as much, as often.

Mailbag: Cholesterol and Co Q-10

February 25th, 2009

Dear AllStarHealth,

Why is it recommended that people who have high-cholesterol take Co Q-10? Co Q-10 doesn’t lower cholesterol. Or does it?

Thank you,

Heather B.

Boulder, CO

Dear Heather,

It’s true that Co Q-10 isn’t a dependable way to lower cholesterol, but if you have high LDL cholesterol levels, it’s probably still a good idea for you to take it anyway. Here’s why.

People have used the power of foods and herbs to enhance their love lives since time immemorial. Some of these foods have more of a scientific basis for being effective (note the zinc content of oysters) than others (powdered rhino horn). But besides oysters and heart-shaped pizza, other foods and herbs can enhance your love life, too.

Dear AllStarHealth, I’m a 48 yo male in good overall health. My late father had prostate cancer and his last few years were miserable. I’m quite concerned that I might develop it too.  We currently take a multi and fish oil and I also take a prostate product that has about 20 things in it. [...]

Dr. Robert Heaney is one of the leading researchers in the quickly-advancing field of vitamin D research. He recently gave a fascinating lecture at UC Berkley in which he summed up the most current information about vitamin D and took on difficult-to-answer questions about vitamin D deficiency and dose. Dr. Heaney’s information is compelling and commands a complete rethink of this crucial prohormone nutrient. The video has since been removed from YouTube, but we were able to see it and took some notes. Here’s what this leading researcher had to say about vitamin D.

Dear AllStarHealth.com,

I’ve noticed that some supplements list all their ingredients and tell you exactly how much of each one there is. Other products lump everything into a list like ‘Proprietary Blend’ or “Exclusive HyperDiet Complex” without specify ingredient amounts. Why do only some products specify amounts? I would think every customer wants or even needs to know that.

Best regards,

Tom Wilton

Dear Tom,

A lot of other customers have noticed this as well. Some have questioned whether this Proprietary Blend Approach is an attempt to conceal information from customers, such as a worrisome level of caffeine, sugars, or some other red-flag ingredient. While it’s true they’re trying to conceal information, they’re not trying to conceal it from you the customer.

We certainly agree with you that it’s in the customer’s best interest to see exact amounts of all ingredients in a product. And, actually, we’re sure that supplement companies themselves would agree also. We know them well and it’s clear that without exception they’re all really proud of their products and have nothing to hide. Nothing to hide, that is, from you.

Mailbag: Best Vitamin E?

January 30th, 2009

Dear AllStarHealth,

I’ve always taken vitamin E because there’s a family history of heart disease and a few of my nutrition books say it’s beneficial. But in the last few years I’ve come across conflicting information about vitamin E including some recent news stories that say it doesn’t help and can actually be harmful to use vitamin E supplements. So what’s the story?

Truvia Truths

January 23rd, 2009

Recent press releases and news reports (including an AllStarHealth blog post) revealed that the controversial sweetener stevia herb was finally about to go mainstream as major soda manufacturers announced their intention to begin using a newly-approved sweetener called Trvuvia in low calorie drinks. Truvia’s manufacturer makes a big deal over the fact that it’s an herbal product, and that it’s stevia, in particular but when you look at the ingredient label