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All fish oil isn't the same. Fish oil comes in many different forms and variations (you can read about the best fish oil form here).
That being said, is your fish oil high quality - and, more importantly - safe?
To help guide you, we created a list of the four critical factors to look at when considering a high quality fish oil supplement.
Following these rules will help you find the best quality fish oil supplement.
High quality fish oil should come in a natural triglyceride form. This is the preferred natural form of Omega-3's that allows for superior absorption. Few companies sell a natural triglyceride fish oil due to high cost. Plus, since triglyceride fish oil is in a natural form, it is more prone to spoiling (as all natural foods). This is why you should look for it to be stabilized with vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols) and rosemary extract to ensure maximum purity and freshness.
U-Omega is a high-concentration fish oil sourced from waters off the Chilean coast. As the world’s least industrialized coastline, these cold, fresh waters provide the cleanest, most sustainable source of fish in the world.
At Utzy naturals we only use fish oil that has been extracted from younger, smaller fish. Larger, older fish tend to accumulate high amounts of heavy metals over their lifespan. This heavy metal content shows up in the fish oil they produce. On the flip side, small fish (such as anchovies and sardines) have shorter lifespans, and thus, less time to accumulate harmful toxins.
Make sure that the fish oil you buy goes through rigorous testing. If possible, check to see that it is third-party batch tested. Look for seals of approval by GOED and NSF. We have approval from these agencies for our U-Omega fish oil. In addition to that, every batch of oil we produce is tested for over 250 environmental contaminants in a pharmaceutical-grade facility.
As you can see, these 4 factors let you know what to look for in fish oil. In addition to this, if you take a fish oil supplement, you will want to make sure you take it at the best time of day for the best absorption. Here is an article that goes over the best time to take fish oil.
When buying a fish oil supplement, make sure to that it has the right omega 3 form, that the source is ethical, and that the fish are smaller (which lessens the chance for mercury and other contaminates).
All of this will ensure the overall purity of the fish oil that you buy!
If you are interested in buying a premium, ethically sourced fish oil, consider our U-Omega fish oil.
We have U-Omega available in easy to swallow softgel capsule form and in a great tasting liquid form (lemon flavored!). Give it a try, you have nothing to lose with our Empty Bottle Guarantee (if you don't like it we'll accept your return, no questions asked).
Let’s admit it. We’ve all been looking for that one miracle herb.
The one that has it all.
The herb that we can take once a day that provides multiple benefits at once.
....there is one herb that may provide just that.
Let us introduce you to ashwagandha.
Read on below...
Scientifically, Ashwagandha is known as Withania somnifera. However, it's most well known name is ashwagandha.
It's pronounced "ash-wah-gond-ah".
It get's its name from ancient sanskrit and means "smell of the horse".
Ashwagandha received this name because in ancient times it was believed that you would gain the strength and virility of a stallion if you consumed this beneficial herb (1).
Throughout the world it is also known as Indian ginseng, poison gooseberry, and winter cherry.
It belongs to the same family as tomatoes, peppers, and tobacco and is technically a part of the nightshade family.
It is native to India, the Middle East, and Africa. It can now be found growing on farms on most continents thanks in part to its tolerance to drought and high altitudes.
Ashwagandha has been used for centuries in spiritual medicine and Ayurvedic practices.
As you will read below, there are many benefits in taking ashwagandha, which is why it is such a popular supplement (we include it in our award winning sleep aid).
One of the key components of ashwagandha is its adaptogenic content.
Adaptogens help to regulate the productions of hormones, specifically cortisol, and how the body responds to them.
Cortisol is what gives our bodies the fight or flight mentality, which is a biological tool we use to overcome a difficult situation; meaning we can either run or stay and fight back.
Because ashwagandha helps regulate chemicals like cortisol, when a challenge presents itself, the body is more likely to remain level and balanced.
This frees up stamina and focus to face our other everyday issues.
By supporting a healthy thyroid and the hormones it produces, ashwagandha may also provide several secondary benefits in the body.
Ashwagandha is often recommended for feelings of stress, negative mindset, and for helping to balance mood and behavior (2).
As it aids with stress, ashwagandha may also be ideal for energy production and a healthy metabolism, which may be useful for individuals looking to support a healthy weight or exercise regimen (5).
As you can see, Ashwagandha is a multi-faceted herb that provides many different benefits.
For those looking to promote a more relaxed mental state, trying ashwagandha might be a good option.
We include it in our Stay Asleep natural sleep aid formula which is designed to help your brain relax before bed.
It’s true that this day in age we rarely intake the nutrients our body’s need to stay healthy and balanced.
We are the most stressed and overworked generation to date, and it costs us our health (6).
Stress has huge mental and physical impacts on our bodies; including severe fatigue, weaker immune systems, digestive issues, and weight gain, just to name a few.
A supplement like ashwagandha helps to balance the body and provides support to areas of the body that need it the most.
While ashwagandha has been around for centuries and isn’t quite a cure-all miracle, it does cover many bases as far as daily supplements go.
If you are looking for a natural and healthy way to be the best and healthiest version of yourself, a daily dose of ashwagandha could just be the thing you’ve been looking for!
You've probably heard about the benefits of bergamot supplements for a while now.
However, it can be a little overwhelming with all of the options out there.
What are the benefits of bergamot supplements?
Which products are the best, are they safe, etc...
In this article we are going to focus everything you need to know about bergamot supplements.
Bergamot is a small citrus fruit grown in Italy. Aside from supplements, you are most likely familiar with it if you drink Earl Grey tea where its peel is used to add a distinct citrus flavor.
The fruit itself is about the size of an orange and ranges in color from green to yellow depending on how ripe the fruit is. These fruits are sometimes called citron doux - “sweet lemons” - but they are actually a hybrid of lemon and bitter oranges.
Keep in mind, citrus bergamot is more than just a nice flavoring for your tea. It also offers a myriad of health benefits in different doses of its supplement form.
Below we'll dig into the reasons why you should consider supplementing with citrus bergamot.
One thing that many people struggle with is their cholesterol. Statin drugs are a common solution to this problem. This, at first glance, seems great - a drug that will help people with higher cholesterol keep it under control.
However, the reality is far less fantastic than the theory.
In reality, many people prescribed statin drugs aren’t helped by them. In addition, there are plenty of adverse side effects that a minimum of 18% of people experience.
These include a range of effects such as liver damage, negative mood issues, and other health complaints.
The good news, though, is that citrus bergamot might offer some of the same benefits as statin drugs without the side effects. All while being a natural option.
Much like statins, bergamot extract helps to support normal LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) levels. In addition, it also helps to to support HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels.
This was proven in study in which Italian researchers gave participants either 500 mg or 1000 mg of bergamot extract daily. A month later, they checked the participants’ cholesterol levels.
The LDL cholesterol levels in the 500 mg group fell 24% and 36% in the 1000 mg group. At the same time, HDL levels were assessed, showing a 22% increase in the 500 mg group and a 40% in the 1000 mg group (1).
The study also looked at the cardiovascular risk factor of triglycerides and found the 500 mg group saw a 30% decrease and the 1000 mg group saw a 39% decrease.
Citrus bergamot supplements can also help to support normal blood sugar levels.
To test the theory of it being used to help blood sugar, scientists set to a study on lab rats (1).
The study broke the rats into 4 groups. These groups were further broken up in three groups consisting of a 500 mg/day group, a 1000 mg/day group, and a placebo group.
The study first confirmed the results of the other study we looked at regarding LDL and HDL cholesterol. However, it also showed an improvement in blood sugar levels at a decrease of 25.4% in the 1000 mg/day group and a 22.3% decrease in the 500 mg/day group.
This was compared to an only 1.5% decrease in the control (placebo) group.
If you struggle with blood sugar fluctuations, consider taking bergamot.
There are other benefits of using bergamot that aren’t as fully explored as the ones we have looked at here. Some of these include promoting positive mood and stress control. Bergamot might even help the body fight off bacterial and fungal infections.
Aside from the supplement form, citrus bergamot can be used as an essential oil for purposes such as helping to heal cold sores faster.
The studied amount of bergamot is 500mg taken daily. The form is usually in a powdered extract made from the rind of the fruit. This was what the researchers in Italy used in their seminal studies (2).
If you are looking to take a citrus bergamot dietary supplement, make sure it contains at least 500mg of powdered extract.
Taking less than 500mg can lead to reduced effectiveness.
Bergamot is an exciting new dietary supplement innovation. With impressive research behind it, it looks like a great option for those looking for a natural cholesterol support product.
If you’re looking for a premium grade citrus bergamot supplement, check out our Berbercol formula. Formulated with both bergamot extract and berberine, it is a potent natural support for your heart health.
Learn more about about our Berbercol product here.
Steven Sanders is a writer and blogger at Nootropic Underground. He lives in Los Angeles, California and enjoys spending time with his family and plays baseball in his free time. He can be reached at email@example.com
We all know about macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. These three nutrient types make up the calories that we eat on a daily basis.
But macronutrients aren't everything when it comes to diet.
Micronutrients are just as important for your health and wellness.
But when was the last time you considered micro-nutrients such as trace minerals for your health?
Perhaps overlooking these important, lesser-known minerals is what’s preventing you from reaching optimal health and well-being.
Trace minerals are minerals that your body only requires in small amounts each day. They are infrequently talked about compared to the major essential minerals like calcium, iron, and sodium - but trace-minerals are just as important!
Your body needs larger amounts of essential minerals on a daily basis, for example, nutritionists recommend that you get 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.
Essential minerals can easily be found in food sources, such as dairy products (calcium) and beef (iron).
Trace minerals are needed at much lower levels. To be more precise, your body needs approximately 20 milligrams of each trace mineral on a daily basis. Examples of trace minerals include copper, selenium, iodine, and zinc.
Even though trace minerals are only required by your body’s cells in small amounts, it would be a mistake to assume that you’re getting enough of them through the food you eat (since you only needed a small overall amount).
We have traditionally gotten the minerals we need through eating naturally grown fruits and vegetables, which pull minerals and other nutrients from the soil they are grown in.
However, due to aggressive 21st century farming practices, the soil that produce is grown in is devoid of minerals and other needed nutrients. Instead of cultivating soil and naturally enriching it, most modern farmers simply pump chemicals into their fields so that they can grow crops as quickly as possible.
This produces fruits and vegetables, that, while they look good on the outside, are woefully lacking in nutrient content. All of this means that the food you buy doesn’t contain the nutrient levels that you should expect.
Humans, and all animal bodies, need a small amount of trace minerals for many different functions of our bodies. Nutrients like iodine, zinc and sulfur are crucial for proper functioning of our immune systems.
Others like magnesium, copper and manganese are important for the structure of our bones, skin, hair and nails. We use these trace minerals in our Essentially-U multi-mineral formula.
Eventually, your body’s specific functions could begin to fail if it doesn’t receive appropriate amount of these trace minerals.
One quick note before we move on, Organic foods tend to be higher in nutrient density (you can read our article on this topic here). If you eat predominantly organic and naturally grown foods (from farmers markets), your chances of getting enough trace minerals in your diet is much higher.
That being said, certain soil types will contain less of different types of minerals. So, for instance, if you eat a perfect diet, but the soil in your area is low in selenium, you will still be deficient in selenium.
This is where a high quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement comes into play.
It gives you daily insurance that you are getting all of the nutrients that you body needs. Check out our Essentially-U formula, it contains 7 different trace minerals, as well as all of the essential minerals and vitamins that your body needs.
Since there are so many different types of nutrients and nutrition-related topics, oftentimes trace minerals don’t get the attention they deserve.
If you only see a general physician once a year for a checkup, there’s no way that they covered all the nutrition bases with you. Even for a nutritionist, it may be hard to consider everything for each unique individual because our lifestyles are so varied.
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in calorie/protein/fat counting and to forget about the minor aspects of your diet.
Perhaps we are so focused on the macro nutrients like fat and protein that we completely disregard the little guys. That’s usually what weight-losers do, which makes them specifically vulnerable to trace mineral deficiency.
Other groups most at risk for being deficient include pregnant women, people who underwent surgery recently, vegans, the impoverished, athletes, and those who prefer a poor diet.
Since there are many different trace minerals to consider, which provide their own unique functions for our health, many different types of complications can arise due to deficiency.
For instance, deficiency in zinc or sulfur can stunt our immunity and leave us vulnerable to disease and toxic poisons. Deficiency in copper and magnesium can lead to brain function decline, which may be observed as mood issues, trouble concentrating, and a hard time remembering things.
So where exactly can you get trace minerals from foods in your diet? Well, one way to get them is by consuming fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables.
Since non-organic, conventional crops are constantly turned over as we described, you are at risk of being deficient in trace minerals when you eat them.
Organic foods are grown in a natural way that doesn’t abuse the soils. Although these foods still aren’t guaranteed to have a complete nutritional profile, they are much more likely to contain an appropriate amount of important trace minerals.
Some types of minerals like selenium and iron are found in high amounts within organic meats. This may be why nutritionists warn vegetarians about hormone balance caused by selenium deficiency.
If you belong to any of these high deficiency-risk groups, then have no more worries at all! Thankfully, medical science has allowed supplements to be more effective in their more natural and bioavailable forms - their chelated forms.
Chelated minerals are basically the free-mineral version of a nutrient, unlike the typical salt version of the mineral we have been used to seeing in multi-nutrient supplements. To better explain, you might be familiar with “calcium carbonate.” This is a calcium compound in salt form, also known to the chemistry world as an ionically-bonded compound.
The salt form of a nutrient has been proven to be less bioavailable, or less absorbable by our bodies, than chelated minerals. The reason for this is because salts require a specific pH level to be broken up, digested and then absorbed. Most of the time, your digestive system doesn’t provide the correct pH balance for each salt compound.
Chelated minerals are different because they don’t need any specific environment to be absorbed and they don’t need to be consumed with food.
You can simply take one of these supplements and it should be quickly available to our bodies because the chelated form is the “free” form that is not connected to a salt needing to be broken down with specific environmental conditions.
Utzy believes in the efficiency of chelated minerals and has a well-reviewed multi-mineral supplement called Essentially-U.
Below we'll go into detail on 6 of the most important trace minerals to consider. You'll want to make sure that you are getting enough of these minerals in your diet.
Iodine is arguably the most important trace mineral that our bodies require, specifically for the way we all live today as opposed to a few hundred years ago. It’s crucial for our thyroid gland, which assists with managing and balancing the hormones we need for proper function.
You can find iodine in high amounts with dark green sea vegetables like kelp. Some doctors highly recommend a daily iodine supplement to combat the extremely high levels of fluoride that we consume from water and toothpaste. Despite if you believe fluoride helps or not, evidence is proving that it may kick out iodine from our bodies and fit itself in because they are both halogens, very similar atoms. However, only iodine is useful for our thyroid glands.
Zinc is super important for immune-function, hormone balance, fertility and disease-fighting. Since you can usually obtain enough through consumption of organic meats and eggs, this may be why it is recommended for vegetarians to take a zinc supplement.
A chelated multi-mineral may be the best and most convenient source of this trace mineral. Signs of zinc deficiency may include frequent colds, pale skin, or skin problems like acne or eczema.
Selenium is known for the way it helps to support balanced hormones as well as fertility. It’s important for the connectability of tissues throughout our bodies and it is most strongly concentrated in our bones (you can learn how to strengthen bones here).
This trace mineral may also protect against illness and health complications because of its antioxidant abilities. It also protects from cognitive decline and hormone imbalance. Those with pre-existing conditions or cognitive disease will benefit greatly from selenium.
The best sources of selenium, besides a chelated mineral supplement, are from nuts, seeds, brown rice and eggs.
Sulfur is introduced to the soil and absorbed by plants after the remains of a volcanic eruption have broken down into fertile ground. This might be why so many people are at risk for developing sulfur deficiency.
This trace mineral is very important for immunity because it helps your body build anti-pathogenic compounds. We are all familiar with sulfites and sulfa drugs, the original antibiotics. Sulfur from foods can provide these protective benefits as well.
Deficiency of sulfur can present itself in a wide range of conditions. That includes any type of infection, parasite infection, yeast overgrowth, cold and any other disease that is caused by an invading organism. The best sources of sulfur from foods are raw garlic, onions and eggs.
Did you swallow your daily penny today? Just kidding, but copper is a trace mineral that we all need to obtain from our diet for energy production, bloodflow, digestion and cognitive function.
Copper deficiency can show itself as fatigue and lack of motivation.
In addition to that, you may find that your digestion isn’t that great and the same for your ability to remember things. The best food sources of copper include beans, shellfish, nuts and grains. We also include copper in our Essentially-U formula.
Despite it’s similar name to magnesium, manganese is an important mineral for overall health. Manganese is a trace mineral that is crucial for the structure of our skin and bone cells. It’s also a big factor for our blood and joint health.
Signs that you may need more manganese in your diet include bone degeneration, soreness or constant cracking of your joints, and poor skin quality.
The best food sources of manganese include leafy greens, brown rice, oats and lentils. You can also find manganese in supplement form.
Many people are not aware that one of the healthiest flavonoid compounds found in fruits is Rutin, a tiny flavonoid found in the skin of citrus fruits. It is classified as a “flavonoid glycoside”, which simply means that its a combination of a flavonoid (quercetin) and two sugar molecules.
You may know Quercetin as a well studied flavonoid with many different benefits, including:
Rutin provides the same benefits of quercetin, along with a few other distinct advantages. This is due to the similar molecular structure that Rutin and Quercetin share. We’ll detail those below.
The strangely simple name “rutin” is derived from the herb called “rue”. Before receiving its official name, it was called “Vitamin P” (this was during the 1940’s). However, it isn’t exactly a vitamin. As mentioned above, rutin is a flavonoid with special properties.
Rutin has been used in medicine for thousands of years by many different cultures around the world. Scientific research has concluded that its health benefits come from the ability to help the body more efficiently use certain nutrients, notably Vitamin C and quercetin.
That means that when rutin is taken together with other nutrients, it helps increase their absorption and assimilation throughout the cells of your body. This is an important note, especially in regards to Quercetin absorption.
As an active flavonoid and antioxidant source, rutin has many benefits that quercetin alone doesn't have. This is due to it's altered molecular structure. Read on below.
Typically, quercetin is taken as a gentle and natural antihistamine, you can read more about it here. It is a fantastic ingredient for supporting your sinus and respiratory health.
However, one of the downsides of quercetin is that it is released into your body fairly quickly. This quick release means that it will momentarily increase the amount of quercetin in your blood, but then it will quickly dissipate. Alone, quercetin can only have so much effectiveness.
As a molecular structure, rutin is virtually identical to quercetin, with the exception that rutin includes two sugar molecules (see image below). While two sugar molecules may seem like a small difference, this leads to major benefits.
The additional sugar molecules attached to rutin allow for an an extended release of quercetin into your body. This is due to the fact that your body has to process the extra sugar molecules, which slows down the rate of absorption, and allows you to process the quercetin molecule more efficiently.
This helps to raise your blood levels of quercetin as more of it is absorbed over time.
As a best practice, taking a combination of quercetin and rutin is your best bet if looking to increase overall quercetin levels. We created a combo supplement formula that contains each ingredient called Allurtica, you can learn more about it here.
Cultures before our modern civilizations have used rutin to support the proper functioning of the circulatory system. Researchers suggest that this may be due to its ability to expand blood vessels in your arteries and capillaries (2).
This mode of action can improve your general health in almost every aspect. Proper blood flow is important for overall health because your blood helps to transport necessary nutrients throughout your body.
When your blood vessels are strong, their proper function is restored and you can see improvements in multiple aspects of your health. More specifically, problems such as easily bruising, varicose veins, and/or spider veins should see improvement quickly.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests that rutin can even help with hemorrhoids, which are caused by swollen veins.
The effects of rutin on blood quality may be enforced further due to its ability to help support healthy blood sugar levels (3). Glucose quantity in your blood is directly correlated with harmful fluctuations of insulin levels. It helps to support blood sugar levels within the normal range
Additionally, researchers have done testing with rutin on rats for 45 days. The studies had shown that administering it as a supplement had decreased fasting glucose levels, which means that it may be beneficial for supporting normalized blood sugar levels (4).
New research shows that rutin can play a major role in supporting healthy skin. In a study published in 2016, researchers found that rutin applied via a topical cream increased dermal density, increased skin elasticity, and decreased wrinkles (5).
Rutin's antioxidant activities seem to be the main driving force for these skin health benefits.
Rutin can be found in high amounts in citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruits. These happen to be some of the best quality sources because they also contain high amounts of vitamins and phytonutrients.
Rutin works best in combination with antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C because it helps to increase absorption and efficiency, as compared to vitamin C being taken alone.
This healthy compound is also found in high amounts within buckwheat, apples, asparagus and figs. These are excellent sources of rutin as well because they can be eaten in higher amounts than citrus fruits.
Typically, you don’t want to be eating too much acidic food because it can be detrimental to the structure of your teeth. So eating more buckwheat, asparagus and apples can help you get larger amounts of natural food-sourced quercetin.
Rutin can also be found in a few different types of teas. Black tea, green tea and elderflower tea seem to have a significant amount of bioflavonoids. This may be why some people believe that tea is healthier than coffee.
While coffee has its own health benefits, the rutin in tea may make a more significant impact on your immediate well-being. Although tea has caffeine as well, the artery-strengthening abilities of rutin may pair nicely with the blood vessel dilating effect of this stimulant.
A diet rich in all types of flavonoids is essential for the proper functioning of your body’s organs. Rutin may be a particularly special antioxidant due to its many unique properties. It seems that it works best in combination with other flavonoids like quercetin and nutrients like vitamin C.
Look to add foods that are rich in rutin to your diet. If you’d prefer to take it in a supplement form, we offer it in our Allurtica product. This formula was created specifically of those that are struggling with seasonal challenges. It contains both rutin and quercetin.
July 19, 2018 | 0 comments
Vitamin K2 is one of the most important nutrients for your body. It’s crucial for building strong, healthy bones, and for helping to maintain cardiovascular health.
While K2 (also known as menaquinone) is crucial for your health, it can be difficult to get enough of this beneficial nutrient through diet alone.
As a result of this, children and older adults tend to be deficient in vitamin K2, which can be problematic since bone health is such a crucial factor for healthy aging.
While K2 is important, getting the right form of it is important. According to research, MenaQ7® is the best form of K2. With a half-life that is more than 10 times higher than your typical K2 supplement, you can see why it is the preferred source of K2.
We'll dig into more details below.
Vitamin K2 has two main benefits, it helps to build your bones and it helps to support healthy levels of calcium in your arteries. We’ll dig into each benefit below.
Vitamin K2 takes free calcium found in your body and deposits it into your bones. Doing this leads to stronger bones. This action also stimulates osteocalcin activity, a bone building protein hormone. Definitely consider taking vitamin K2 for bone health.
Vitamin K2 also helps to support cardiovascular health. It does this by pulling free calcium out of your blood and utilizing it into your bones. This removal of calcium from your blood reduces your chances of vascular calcification. This also helps to improve arterial elasticity.
As we mentioned above, vitamin K2 has wide ranging benefits for your body. However, getting optimal amounts of K2 can be difficult. Additionally, the form of K2 that you take determines how much your body is able to to absorb.
This leads us to MenaQ7®, the most studied form of vitamin K2. There are two different types of vitamin K2, they are known as MK-4 and MK-7.
The most common form of Vitamin K2 is MK-4, which can be found readily available in supplements and fortified foods.
MK-4 is a less than ideal form of vitamin K2 due to the fact that it has a half-life of 3-6 hours. This leads to poor absorption in your body.
MK-7 (the form that MenaQ7® is in) is the superior form of K2. It has a half life of 72-96 hours. This allows for a slow, steady release of vitamin K2 into your body. Not only does MK-7 have a longer half-life, it is also remains in your blood 9 times longer than MK-4 form!
As we discussed above, MenaQ7 is the best from of vitamin K2. We’ll go over the main benefits of the MK-7 form of k2 below.
MenaQ7® has the highest bio-availability of all forms of vitamin K2. This is due to it’s slow absorption into your body. It allows for a delayed, longtail release of vitamin K2. This leads to greater bioavailability since your body has a longer time to utilize this beneficial nutrient.
MenaQ7® helps to support your bone health by utilizing the calcium found in your blood. It activates this free-calcium and places it in your bones. This results in stronger, healthier bones.
This bone building element is especially important for young children and older adults who are both in need of strong, healthy bones.
MenaQ7® pulls calcium out of your blood stream. This helps to reduce the potential for arterial calcification. Since your arteries have less calcium buildup, this means that they will have improved flexibility, an important health benefit, especially as you age.
MenaQ7® is the only clinically validated form of MK-7. It has been involved in 19+ human studies, all observing proper regulations as well as working under full academic independence. All of the health claims on MK-7 have been verified by in-depth research and clinical trials.
MenaQ7 is completely safe. It has been documented to be safe and effective by the European Food Safety Authority, a UK-based agency that provides independent advice on food safety.
A 3-year research project completed in 2007 showed that 180mcg of vitamin K2 (as MK-7) was enough to improve bone mineral density, bone strength, and cardiovascular health (source).
Therefore, to obtain the benefits of K2, it is recommended that you take 180mcg of K2 (as MK-7) daily.
At Utzy we are working with NattoPharma, the makers of MenaQ7®, to create a premium Vitamin K2 supplement.
We plan on having both a standalone K2 supplement and a K2 + D3 formula.
We are still in development, but we should be releasing our product within the next few months. Stay tuned for our launch!
Could this fat soluble vitamin be the key to your long term health?
For nearly 100 years it’s been known that vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting. Now this nutrient is making waves for its other roles in supporting bone health, preventing dental decay, supporting cardiovascular health and many other new findings [*][*][*][*].
Specifically, the K2 form of Vitamin K is taking the spotlight in much of this research.
Let’s take a deeper look into vitamin K, specifically vitamin K2.
Vitamin K is 1 of the 4 fat soluble vitamins - A, D, E and K. Fat soluble means these vitamins need fat to be absorbed and to be utilized in the body. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in fat tissues and are required for functions in the body involving fat.
Vitamin K is broken down into two different forms - K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is the plant form of vitamin K called phylloquinone. Think of chlorophyll, the pigment that gives green leaves and vegetables their color. Vitamin K1 is mostly commonly found in green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and collards.
Vitamin K2 is found in animal tissue, so it is the animal form of vitamin K and called menaquinone. There are several forms of menaquinone denoted by the length of their prenyl side chains. They are named MK-n, where M means menaquinone, K is for vitamin K and the n is is the number of the prenyl side chains. Examples are MK-4 , MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9.
Digging deep into science and the biochemical reactions of the body, vitamin K2 primary job is to work with compounds called GLA proteins (gamma-linolenic acid). GLA protein is involved in coagulation factors, thus vitamin K2’s role in blood clotting. There is also a GLA protein called osteocalcin that we’ll talk about more in depth later on, but know that you want it in your bones, not your arteries.
Another important GLA protein is 'matrix GLA protein'. It helps to prevent the calcification of the tissues you don’t want calcified (i.e. your arteries), while making sure that your bones and teeth do get calcified (stronger bones).
Also there is the GLA protein called "growth arrest specific protein 6' (GAS6) that is secreted when you’re injured to help with healing.
Vitamin K2 works with all of these different GLA proteins and helps them to function at full capacity.
Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 as an essential component for blood clotting, which is known as coagulation. This initial research was done as a by-product of a study on fat in chicken feed. Yes, you read that right!
A Danish scientist was doing a study on fat, specifically cholesterol, in chicken feed by seeing what happened when you removed fat from their diet completely. The poor fat deprived chickens began to bleed out from their tag sites and other areas. He discovered not only is fat necessary for the chicken health, but vitamin K, which is fat soluble, is needed for blood coagulation.
Somehow the chicken fat study is credited for discovering vitamin K, but the vitamin had appeared in a German scientific journal a bit earlier as Koagulationsvitamin. This is how it came to be known simply as "vitamin K".
Fast forward to 1943 and the same Danish scientist who did the chicken feed fat study, Henrik Dam, and a scientist from Saint Louis University, Edward Adelbert Doisy, won the Nobel Peace Prize for the work they had done on vitamin K, including the discovery that there is both a vitamin K1 and a vitamin K2.
The current recommendations for vitamin K are set at "AI" levels - Adequate Intake. This is the absolute minimum to consume rather than the ideal amount. This "AI" type of recommendation is rolled out when there isn’t sufficient information scientific information to set a RDA - Recommended Dietary Allowance.
Typically this means a couple of things -- deficiency induced studies would be unethical because of severe health complications it would cause, or that science is still exploring this nutrient. Both of these prove true for vitamin K, whether it’s vitamin K1 or vitamin K2.
Current Adequate Intake (AI) vitamin K recommendations for adults are:
It is thought these levels are woefully short of where they need to be. This is because when they were put into place scientists were exclusively looking at vitamin K’s role in blood coagulation by way of liver function.
Now it is known vitamin K plays an important role in many more functions including bone health and teeth health, as well as cardiovascular health.
All of this adds up to the current recommendations falling way short of where they need to be. What we now consider as being high doses may soon considered the norm.
Here's a link to our K2 supplements, we strictly use MenaQ7 in our products.
The first sign or symptom of vitamin K deficiency that probably comes to mind is not being able to coagulate your blood well and thus excessive bleeding. This is correct and will show up not only in cases of wounds, but also in the cases of nosebleeds, excessive menstrual bleeding, bleeding gums, blood in urine, and even blood in stool [*].
All of these are conditions to speak to your health care provider about because they could all be signs and symptoms of other conditions. If you experience these problems, please get it checked out by your healthcare professional right away.
Other signs and symptoms require a closer look as this is a nutrient needed for long term health. Over time, vitamin K2 deficiencies can lead to serious health conditions.
Yes, vitamin K2 helps in blood clotting, and that’s because of its role in dictating where calcium goes. If it’s not needed for the series of calcium dependent reactions that clot your blood when you get a cut, then it needs to be in your bones creating strong bone mineral density. It’s vitamin K’s job to do that.
Vitamin K takes calcium from the bloodstream and with the help of another fat soluble vitamin, vitamin D, it packs the calcium into your bones by way of bone building protein called osteocalcin.
Having optimal levels of Vitamin K2 and D3 are crucial for maintaining your bone health.
Because of this and the mountain of evidence supporting vitamin K’s role in support bone health, the Ministry of Health in Japan has recommended vitamin K supplementation since 1995.
Stateside, vitamin K supplementation is just beginning to be considered for supporting bone health. Studies are underway to see if it’s effective in support normal bone growth. Specifically, the MK-7 form of K2 is showing great promise in studies [*].
When someone is deficient in vitamin K, high concentrations of osteocalcin - the protein used to build strong bones - are found in arterial tissue and calcium gets packed into arteries instead of bones. This leads to calcification of the arterial walls.
Hardened arteries don't fair well with the constant pumping of the heart. Over time they rupture because they are unable to go with the flow.
What’s more is high levels of osteocalcin are found around the edges of arterial plaques. This is of great concern because arterial plaque buildup can lead to stoppage, a major health concern.
Eating vitamin K rich foods and supplementing with K2 have been found to lower the concentrations of osteocalcin in cardiovascular tissue and increase it in bone tissue - this helps to build strong bones and teeth instead of hardened arteries.
But what about the calcification that has already occurred in the arteries? Can vitamin K2 reverse arterial calcification?
Wow. That’s a great, but seriously loaded, question. Scientists do in fact get fired up about things and this is one of those topics. The studies that have been done on this have had serious flaws in them leading the results to be faulty at best.
For now the answer in theory is "positive", but scientists are still waiting on the results from properly conducted studies to come to a conclusive "yes".
In the meantime, there is no sense in letting improper calcification run rampant in your body or the body of your loved ones. The health benefits of vitamin K, especially when paired with vitamin D, are pronounced.
Eating vitamin K rich foods like leafy green vegetables and taking a quality vitamin K2 supplement paired with vitamin D are recommended ESPECIALLY if you already are experiencing weak bones and rigid arteries.
At Utzy we offer a K2 + D3 formula, click here to learn more.
Vitamin K’s original health benefit of blood clotting is still true and incredibly important. Unless you’re on blood thinning medications, you’re going to want to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin K in your diet.
If you’re experiencing any excessive bleeding and wanting the above mentioned health benefits you’re going to want to supplement with vitamin K as well.
For women who are dealing with excessive bleeding during menstruation you’re definitely going to want to eat vitamin K rich foods, take a probiotic supplement to help with the endogenous conversion of vitamin K1 to K2, and to take a vitamin K2 supplement.
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone - plant form) is found in green vegetables, namely green leafy vegetables. Even green tea leaves have some vitamin K1. Dietary sources of vitamin K1 include asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, endive lettuce, green beans, green leaf lettuce, kale, mustard greens, parsley, peas, romaine lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard and turnip greens.
Remember that vitamin K1 is turned into vitamin K2 (menaquinone - animal form) by a health gut microflora. This requires both the consumption of vitamin K1 rich foods and a healthy gut bacteria to be present.
Vitamin K2 is made endogenously by animals, so it is found in animal products. It is also found in a couple of fermented foods like natto, a Japanese fermented soybean condiment. It’s also found in dairy products like the very distinct cheeses Swiss Emmental and Norwegian Jarlsberg.
Other dietary sources of vitamin K2 include organ meats and egg yolks.
Vitamin K2 is made endogenously (by the body) by converting vitamin K1 to K2. This process is done via good bacteria found in the body.
This conversion process takes place in the colon which means you’ve got to have a healthy colon, healthy bacteria in your colon, and be eating vitamin K rich foods on a regular basis.
High stress, poor diet, and antibiotics will kill off healthy bacteria in your gut. It’s a great idea for overall health to take a probiotic supplement, specifically one containing at least one Bifidobacteria and one Lactobacilli bacteria.
If you plan on getting your vitamin K intake solely from food, it is recommended that you look into taking a probiotic supplement.
Taking a vitamin K supplement is a great alternative, it makes it easy to get the vitamin K that your body needs.
If you plan on taking a vitamin K supplement, look for a vitamin K2 supplement specifically, not K1. Additionally, look for one that is in the MK-7 form, as it is showing great promise in bone, heart, and dental health.
Additionally, vitamin K needs vitamin D to do its work, so taking a K2 + D3 supplement is a great way to get all of your vitamin needs in one supplement.
If you have a blood clotting disorder and/or are on any medication like Coumadin to prevent blood clots, vitamin K supplementation is not recommended for you.
Speak with your primary healthcare provider about dietary vitamin K intake specific to your health.
With so many benefits, it’s highly recommended to start consuming vitamin K rich foods on a regular basis and pick up a vitamin K2 supplement.
If you’re already in the care of a doctor for conditions related to weak bones or hardened arteries, speak with your healthcare provider about ways to incorporate more vitamin K2 into your holistic health care plan - diet, dietary supplements and possibly medication.
Sheila Amir is a health and nutrition writer in love with Durham, North Carolina and the Sheila of NutritionSheila.com. After spending several years as a nutritionist, she turned in her office keys for laptop life to research, write and present while on the go. When she puts the laptop down she's either on her yoga mat or out enjoying life in the Bull City.
May 14, 2018 | 0 comments
Magnesium Carbonate is a white, powdery compound found in the mineral Magnesite. It is well known as a health supplement - and with good effect.
The active ingredient in Magnesium Carbonate is simply Magnesium, a vital mineral that plays many important roles in the functioning of our bodies.
You can check out our premium Magnesium Carbonate supplement here.
Lack of Magnesium is a common dietary deficiency in the US, even though it is an essential mineral that your body requires. Researchers estimate that almost half of the US population has a Magnesium deficiency (1).
Magnesium is beneficial in many ways for your body. In fact, it's in every cell in your body! Below are a few of the major benefits of the mineral known as Mg.
Magnesium work to increase your energy levels by activating adenosine triphosphate (known as “ATP”) in the body (source). ATP is the energy currency of the cell, meaning, it’s your body’s primary molecule for storing and transferring energy in cells.
Deficiency in Magnesium leads to less ATP being activated in your body, which leads to less energy overall. Eat magnesium rich foods, or take a magnesium supplement, to make sure you get your daily recommended intake.
Magnesium is important for binding and activating GABA receptors, which helps to produce Serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of well-being and happiness.
Without adequate Magnesium, we are unable to effectively activate GABA receptors. This leads to less Serotonin, which can result in feelings of stress and negative mood.
In addition to calming nerves, Magnesium also helps your muscles to relax.
Magnesium helps to increase Renin and Melatonin production in your body, two crucial hormones that regulate sleep (source).
In addition to that, Magnesium’s calming affects (mentioned in point #2) are beneficial for helping your body to wind down at night. Consider a fizzy magnesium drink before bed!
You could also take a natural sleep aid that contains magnesium, our Stay Asleep nighttime formula is made with chelated magnesium, and is the perfect sleep aid to take before bed!
Magnesium deficiency is quite common in the US. This is due to insufficient magnesium levels in the fruits and vegetables we consume. Getting enough magnesium through diet alone is difficult!
Below is a list of some common deficiency signs.
• Muscle Cramps and Spasms
• Trouble sleeping & fatigue
• Loss of Appetite
• Numbness or tingling
The major side effect of Magnesium Carbonate is that it works as a laxative. In fact, it is one of nature’s best laxatives!
While most people take Magnesium for it’s relaxing benefits, it can also be taken for its laxative affect. For those struggling with constipation, a dose of 500 to 2,000 mg daily is recommended. Start small, and then build up until the desired effect is achieved.
Once you've relieved your occurrence of constipation, bring your daily dosage back to the normal range of 400mg per day.
Besides its laxative effect, Magnesium is deemed as safe to consume (whether through food or supplement form). However, some may experience stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. As always, it is best to consult your doctor before trying a new supplement.
Generally and hour or two before bedtime is the preferred time to take Magnesium. This way you get its relaxing benefits before bedtime, which is perfect for helping you to wind down at night.
If you forget to take magnesium at night – simply take it whenever is most convenient for you, whether that be in the morning, at lunch, or at night. You don’t have to take your supplements with food, but you may want to if taking a supplement on an empty stomach causes you a mild upset.
This is very individual and is something you’d have to try for yourself to see how you react.
Considering all of the important roles that magnesium plays in the body – it’s a good idea to consider taking magnesium supplements regularly and eating magnesium-rich foods.
Magnesium can be sourced through many different foods, below is a list of Magnesium rich foods.
•Most Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, etc…)
•Leafy greens (such as Kale, Baby Spinach, Swiss Chard, etc…)
In addition to food sources, you can ensure adequate Magnesium intake by taking a daily Magnesium supplement. Our U-Mag Lemon Flavored Magnesium Drink is a great way to make sure that you get enough daily Magnesium.
Flavored with Organic Lemon and with 400mg of Magnesium per serving, it’s a great product to consider adding to your daily routine!
Daniel Powers is a health and fitness enthusiast with a background in the supplement industry. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys Crossfit, reading large books, and drinking coffee.
You may have heard of “chelated minerals” and how they are the best mineral supplements to take, but what are they?
While the word “chelate” may sound scary and complex don’t fear!
Chelated minerals are simply minerals that have been bound to an organic molecule.
This is believed to lead to better absorption in the body.
We’ll dive into the technical details below:
Minerals are naturally found in an inorganic state (i.e. they are free of carbon). When an inorganic mineral is combined with an amino acid molecule (think protein), it creates an amino acid chelate.
This process of binding a mineral with an organic molecule is called “chelation” (pronounced ke-lay-shun).
For the purposes of this article, the words “Chelated Mineral” and “Amino Acid Chelate” will be used interchangeably.
Simply stated, chelated minerals are minerals that contain both organic and inorganic molecules that are bound together. Often times, you can find them in high quality multi-vitamins.
This is crucial for absorption, as you’ll see in the video below:
First off, you should know that minerals are involved in numerous different functions in body. For instance, one mineral, Magnesium, is present in every single cell in your body! You can read more about Magnesium here.
Needless to say, minerals are vital nutrients that your body needs for overall health and wellness. Traditionally, you would be able to absorb all of the minerals that your body needs through the foods that you eat. However, with aggressive modern farming practices, minerals have been stripped from the soil.
Here's where chelated mineral supplements come into play.
Amino acid chelates (or chelated minerals) are better utilized by the body because they are better absorbed than inorganic minerals.
Your body absorbs inorganic minerals poorly. Inorganic minerals are the ones found in foods and in cheap mineral supplements.
These inorganic minerals are absorbed poorly because they become bound to other nutrient particles as they move through your digestive system. Once a mineral is bound to other food particles, it is essentially neutralized and is prevented from use by your body. It is then excreted from the body without being used.
In contrast to inorganic minerals, Chelated Minerals are shielded as they travel through your digestion system. This shield, made up of amino acids, allows the minerals to arrive safely in the stomach where they are easily utilized by your body.
Simply put, chelated minerals have increased bio-availability.
This process is detailed more thoroughly in the section below:
When non-chelated minerals enter the body they can easily become sequestered by other nutrients and food particles as they go through the body’s digestive tract.
Once an inorganic mineral is sequestered, it is neutralized and becomes unavailable for use by the body.
Chelated minerals are processed differently by the body. They have a ring-like structure of Amino Acids that surround them. These Amino Acids effectively work as a shield to protect the mineral through the digestion process.
Once the chelated mineral reaches the jejunum (a section of the small intestine), the Amino Acid structure is cleaved off and the mineral is free to be absorbed and used by the many different organs and systems within the body.
This why chelated minerals are considered to be more bio-available (that is, easy to be absorbed and used by your body).
As you can see, Chelated Minerals are a good option for those looking to increase the amount of minerals that their body is able to absorb.
You can find Chelated Minerals in our premium multi-mineral supplement Essentially-U. Take advantage and save 50% off your first bottle!
Essentially-U is different from other daily multi-nutrients in that it contains both the vitamins AND minerals that your body needs for optimal health.
We source our minerals from Albion®, a trusted mineral supplier located in Utah. We use their TRAACS® (The Real Amino Acid Chelate System) verified minerals. Albion® is the gold standard for Amino Acid Mineral Chelates.
We use Albion TRAACS® chelated minerals in the following Utzy Naturals products:
•Essentially-U (daily multi-nutrient)
•U-Mune (immune support supplement)
•Utzzz’s: Stay Asleep (targeted natural sleep aid)
•Utzzz’s: Fall Asleep (targeted natural sleep aid)
There are no known negative side effects of Chelated minerals. They are similar to regular minerals, which are needed by your body for normal function. There are also no known interactions at this time.
You can find Chelated Minerals in many different forms. Below is an exhaustive list of the chelated minerals that are available:
There are many different types of chelated minerals that are available. The ones widely available are listed below:
In addition to Essential Minerals, various Chelated Trace Minerals are available. See the list below.
There are various different amino acids that chelated minerals can be bound to, the most common amino acids being:
Daniel Powers is a health and fitness enthusiast with a background in the supplement industry. He has a degree is business and has allowed his passion for entrepreneurship flow into researching health topics. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys Crossfit, reading large books, and drinking coffee.
You may have heard of Suntheanine® and you may be asking yourself, what is it? Well you’ve come to the right place! Suntheanine® is a branded ingredient made up of an amino acid called L-Theanine.
It is usually used in natural sleep aid supplements.
L-Theanine, also simply called “Theanine”, is almost solely found in green tea leaves. It is known for inducing calming, tranquilizing effects while simultaneously improving mental alertness.
Suntheanine® is a 100% pure form of L-Theanine, and is viewed as being the leading brand for L-Theanine supplementation. It is also the most researched form of L-Theanine, with multiple human clinical trials backing it.
Below, we dig into the data behind this ingredient and whether you should consider taking it.
Suntheanine®, which is produced by Taiyo (a pioneer in green tea research), is manufactured via a enzymatic process that mimics the natural process in green tea leaves resulting in a 100% pure L-isomer-theanine. It’s not an extract of green tea, but rather is a patented enzymatic process that produces pure L-theanine.
This in-depth manufacturing process creates a highly purified L-Theanine ingredient that is more concentrated than what is found in nature. This allows you to take concentrated amounts of L-Theanine without having to drink copious amounts of green tea every day.
Suntheanine stimulates activity in the brain known as Alpha Waves, which are associated with a relaxed, but alert, mental state. Along with increasing Alpha Brain Wave activity, it also helps to reduce Beta Brain Wave activity, which is usually associated with excited/restless mindset (see chart below).
This makes theanine the perfect supplement for those looking to have more of a positive mood mindset along with focused energy. It can be especially helpful as a natural sleep aid, particularly for those who have a hard time "winding down" at night.
Since Suntheanine helps to relax and calm the brain, it is a great substance to take at night to help improve sleep quality.
In a sense, it helps to wind down your brain and prepare you for sleep. With over 1/3 of the US population noting that they don’t get enough sleep at night, l-theanine supplementation looks like a beneficial solution.
The amino acid L-theanine has also been shown to act as an antagonist to caffeine, addressing the “negative” effects such as dizziness, nausea, heart racing, jitters, etc., without negatively impacting the stimulant effect of the caffeine.
L-theanine has been shown to improve focus and concentration of foods and beverages that contain caffeine, hence giving you a focused energy (source).
Additional human clinical research suggests that L-theanine may have application diminishing normal symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), improving learning performance, heightening mental acuity, promoting concentration, and supporting the immune system (source).
Please note that 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.
Suntheanine has GRAS Affirmation (Generally Recognized As Safe) and letter of no objection from the FDA (with no limits on number of dosages by the FDA). It has been used in foods, beverages and supplements around the world since 1994 with no known adverse effect.
It has a track record of safety. Therefore it is a safe ingredient to supplement with.
•Suntheanine has a number of patents. Other generic forms of L-Theanine don’t have similar patents or clinical research on them.
•Most, if not all, of the research on L-theanine was conducted using Suntheanine® brand. As such, it is looked at as the optimal, most well researched form of L-theanine. It is the gold standard for L-Theanine.
•Suntheanine has GRAS Affirmation and FDA letter of No Objection (based on safety and toxicity studies). Other brands use the Suntheanine safety and toxicity data to substantiate their safety (regardless of how their product is made).
•Suntheanine is Non-GMO Project Verified.
If you are interested in trying a Suntheanine product specifically formulated for sleep support, consider our natural sleep aids. Our sleep products are made with branded, premium ingredients like Suntheanine®. They can help to promote a good night's rest.
Use this link to save 50% off your first bottle of our award winning Stay Asleep formula!
Daniel Powers is a health and fitness enthusiast with a background in the supplement industry. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys Crossfit, reading large books, and drinking coffee.