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Herba epimedii is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which refers to it as yin yang huo. Loosely translated, yin yang huo means “horny goat weed”. Horny goat weed is a very popular supplement both by itself and in various libido formulas where it’s combined with other herbs and nutrients. With a name like ‘horny goat weed’ it’s hardly surprising that it’s best-known and most widely-used as a libido and sexual tonic. But the name also makes it hard for people to take the herb seriously. The name too easily lends itself to jokes and makes many otherwise interested customers uncomfortable talking about it or purchasing it. That’s a shame because it’s now clear that horny goat weed is useful for much more than boosting libido. Find out more about the herb with the unfortunate name in today’s AllStarHealth.com blog.

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.

A recently published cancer-research study provides new insights into the way cancer spreads (metastasizes) throughout the body. A key to the process is the LOX enzyme that cancer cells use to prepare a remote site for new tumor growth. Enzymes are in fact intricately involved in both sides of the health equation; promoting both health and disease process. So what are enzymes and how can you use this knowledge to better protect your health? Find out in today’s AllStarHealth blog.

Here’s a study we wish they’d have done a long time ago. As you may know, blueberries are one of the most, if not THE most antioxidant-rich fruits in the human diet due to their high polyphenol content. They also taste great and are available year-round in both fresh and frozen forms. So blueberries make the perfect addition to a protein shake. Or don’t they?

A soon-to-be-published study conducted at the University of Seville in Spain is bound to attract the attention of the beer industry and beer lovers worldwide.

Here we go again. The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine recently published a comparison study of weight-loss diets that seems sure to shake up the Conventional Wisdom of weight loss one more time. Many of the major news services covered this report since its conclusions upend the popularly-held belief in a high-protein (or practically any other type of weight-loss) diet. Instead, the putatively surprising finding of this study was that it didn’t matter whether protein, carbs or fats were high or low; long-term weight loss success came down to simply calories-in versus calories out. That is to say, manipulating protein fat and carb levels didn’t matter, what mattered was reducing overall calorie intake. So what does this mean to the millions of people trying to lose weight? Is it time to rethink the high-protein low-carb approach?

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.

Long before it’s talked about on the evening news or Oprah, the most interesting nutritional news and research first appears in peer-reviewed scientific journals; the ones nobody reads but doctors, scientists or grad students. So once a month, AllStarHealth summarizes some of the most promising new findings in our Nutrition News Roundup.