Immune Boosting Dynamic Duo: Elderberry + Echinacea

Winter has arrived. And what usually follows closely behind are sneezes, sniffles, fevers, and coughs.

If you have a bent towards natural wellness, you know that elderberry and echinacea may lend a hand in helping end your symptoms sooner. That’s why you’ll find no lack of remedies containing elderberry and echinacea extracts – from lozenges to cough syrup.

Both elderberry and echinacea herbs have been shown to help alleviate how intensely and for how long one suffers from a cold and flu viruses. (5,8)

However, elderberry and echinacea didn’t become popular overnight. Both have been used for centuries to help boost immunity, fight infections, and as general cure-alls.

Elderberry History

Elderberry is the fruit of the Sambucus nigra shrub, which grows wild in North America, Northern Africa, and Europe.

Elderberry’s reputation goes back millennia, with evidence of the Ancient Egyptians using it to heal scars and improve the complexion.

In the 1600’s, the Europeans and North Africans used elderberries for various infectious diseases. Early settlers brought their knowledge across the Atlantic to where the American elderberries could easily be found in the wild.

Native Americans had been using elderberries in their traditions for a variety of ailments, in particular, to treat rheumatism and fever.

Echinacea History

Echinacea comes from the root and stalk of the coneflower.

For centuries, Native Americans revered echinacea for its antiseptic and analgesic properties. They used echinacea tonics to treat poisonous snake and insect bites, sore throats, and help heal wounds.

Before the introduction of antibiotics in the early 18th and 19th centuries, Echinacea was used for infectious diseases like smallpox, mumps, and measles. Early settlers adopted the therapeutic uses of echinacea, and it became a wildly popular cure-all.

Elderberry Benefits

A double-blind study found that 93.3% of the people taking an elderberry extract tonic reported significant improvement with flu symptoms within two days of starting it compared with the six days it took for the placebo group to start getting better. (1)

In a similar type of study done in Norway, participants who reported flu-like symptoms for less than 48 hours and were given an elderberry tonic saw relief of symptoms four days earlier than the group that received a placebo. (2)

Additional research shows that people who regularly consume elderberry have higher levels of antibodies against the flu virus, showing that not only may elderberries address flu symptoms, they may also help inhibit flu infection. (3)

So how might elderberry work as an antiviral? It seems that elderberries contain hemagglutinin protein which studies show helps mitigate virus replication, thereby helping stop a virus from causing an infection. And if taken after being infected, it helps keep pathogens from spreading. (4)

Echinacea Benefits

Echinacea contains several compounds that contribute to its therapeutic effects, including polysaccharides that trigger immune system activity. (9)

Several research studies in Germany have indicated that echinacea might increase the number of white blood cells, thereby boosting the immune system’s ability to fight infections and, in particular, upper respiratory tract infections. (5)

A review of 14 different clinical studies has shown that daily use of echinacea may reduce the chances of developing a cold by up to 58% and may reduce the duration of symptoms to less than four days in many cases. (7)

Several clinical trials have shown that taking echinacea as soon as you feel a cold coming on may reduce its severity, and the symptoms may be fewer. One study of 95 people with early symptoms such as a scratchy throat showed that participants who drank tea prepared with echinacea every day for five days felt better sooner than those without it. (6)

Immune System Health

Elderberry and echinacea are thought to be two of the most naturally effective ways to help prevent and treat colds and flu. Both contain active substances that boost immune function, reduce inflammation, and have antiviral and antioxidant effects.

Taking an immunity supplement that contains elderberry and echinacea every day, along with other proven nutrients, is an intelligent way to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

Dynamic Immunity, formulated with 200mg of echinacea and 300 mg of Elderberry Fruit Extract in each dosage plus vitamins C, E, B6, Zinc, L-Glutamine, Garlic, and Turmeric –  helps fully supports your immune system. So when cold and flu bugs inevitably come calling this winter, your body can quickly activate its natural defenses when taken daily.



Sources:
 
1. Zakay-Rones Z, Varsano N, Zlotnik M, et al. Inhibition of several strains of influenza virus in vitro and reduction of symptoms by an elderberry extract (Sambucus Nigra L.) during an outbreak of Influenza B Panama. J Altern Complement Med. 1995;1(4):361—9.
2. Zakay-Rones Z, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J. Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of Influenza A and B virus infections.” J Int Med Res. 2004;32(2):132-40.
3. Roschek Jr. B, Fink RC, McMichael MD, et al. Elderberry flavonoids bind to and prevent H1N1 infection in vitro. Phytochemistry. 2009;70(10):1255-61. doi: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2009.06.003.
4. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7347422/
5. Di Pierro F, Rapacioli G, Ferrara T, Togni S. Use of a standardized extract from Echinacea angustifolia (Polinacea) for the prevention of respiratory tract infections. Altern Med Rev. 2012;17(1):36-41.
6. Frank LG. The efficacy of Echinacea compound herbal tea preparation on the severity and duration of upper respiratory and flu symptoms: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. J Comp Alt Med. 2000;6(4):327-34.
7. pharmacytimes.com/view/elderberries-a-potent-cold-and-flu-remedy
8. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3056848/
9. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7781518/
10. mountsinai.org/health-library/herb/echinacea
11. pharmacytimes.com/view/elderberries-a-potent-cold-and-flu-remedy
12. healthline.com/nutrition/elderberry#health-benefits
13. pitt.edu/~cjm6/w98echin.html
14. hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/ncnu07/pdfs/charlebois284-292.pdf

Health Contributions in History: Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, Father of Homeopathics

It’s 1781. You’ve just described your symptoms, and after careful consideration, your doctor announces your prognosis, “You have a cold.” To alleviate your suffering, he intends to nick an artery in your forearm and drain several pints of blood from your body. While you process this news, your practitioner tells you that you also have gonorrhea, which he plans to treat by applying leeches – and you’ll never guess where.

This scenario might seem like a bit from a Monty Python movie, but treatments like bloodletting and leeches were part of every orthodox physician’s standard playbook in the not-too-distant past.

During this era, in the latter part of the 18th century, a young Doctor found himself in a conundrum; practice this dangerous, harrowing medicine against all good conscience or quit the medical field altogether.

Meet Dr. Samuel Hahnemann

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann was one of the physicians who broke from static and often dangerous practices to create treatments based on scientific discovery and observation. 

Born into the middle-class in 1755 in Meissen, Germany, young Hahnemann had a talent for science and languages, and by the time he reached adulthood, he was fluent in English, French, Greek, and Latin.

He began his studies at the University of Leipzig in 1775, where he put his talent for languages to work translating medical books to help cover his mounting expenses. He later moved to Vienna to gain valuable clinical experience, and then in 1779, he transferred to Erlangen to complete his studies.

In 1781, Hahnemann, now a doctor, took a position in a small copper mining village where he came to loath many aspects of his profession – particularly the practice of bloodletting, which was a popular treatment for a wide array of ailments at the time.

Consumed by guilt as he witnessed the adverse effects that many “modern” treatments exacted on his patients, he lamented that by using these methods, he was doing more harm than good.

By 1783, just a short time after marrying his first wife, Johanna Henriette Kuchler, Samuel gave up his practice altogether and made translating books his profession.

This voluntary pay cut soothed the young doctor’s troubled conscience, but it also created a period of hardship for Samuel and his young family. Determined to provide for his brood (which would swell to include eleven children), he worked to build a reputation as an esteemed translator and chemist in his own right. His work translating textbooks exposed him to a tremendous expanse of therapeutic content, and it was with this breadth of knowledge that he began to compare and challenge the ideologies of the day.  

This photo is from the collection of the Burns Archive. Attribution: The Burns Archive – Burns Archive via Newsweek, 2.4.2011.

The Birth of Homeopathic Therapies

While translating a section of text in 1791, Dr. Hahnemann doubted the author’s conclusion that Cinchona (quinine) from the bark of a Peruvian tree was effective for the treatment of Malaria because of its “bitter taste and astringency.” If that was true, he wondered, why then didn’t all bitter, astringent substances treat Malaria?

He decided to conduct an experiment, and over several days, took small doses of Cinchona and recorded his observations. The drug created symptoms that were strikingly like those caused by Malaria. This led him to hypothesize, “that which can produce a set of symptoms in a healthy individual, can treat a sick individual who is manifesting a similar set of symptoms,” or “like cures like,” which became the principal idea behind a new movement which he would name Homeopathics.

Using himself, his numerous children, and volunteers as test subjects, Dr. Hahnemann went on to test hundreds of plants and substances and their corresponding symptoms, which he cataloged to create a drug picture, or Materia Medica.

In 1810, Dr. Hahnemann published his ideas in the Organon of the Art of Healing, a doctrine that would challenge old school practices and spread like wildfire throughout Europe and the United States.

“Like Cures Like”

The word Homeopathic originates from the Greek word “homeo,” which means “Like,” and “Pathos,” which means “suffering.” The idea of “like curing” wasn’t exactly a new theory; Hippocrates was the first to raise the notion in the days of ancient Greece. However, it was Dr. Samuel Hahnemann who brought the concept into modern times.

After carefully interviewing a patient to gain a picture of their overall health, a homeopathic practitioner pairs the patient’s complaints, in totality, with the Materia Medica that most closely resembles the patient’s symptoms. This pairing of Like Cures Like intends to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal.

The Critics

The number of critics of Homeopathic treatments grew almost as rapidly as its popularity. The most prominent opponents were apothecaries whose profits were threatened by the growing market for these less expensive remedies. And as medical schools adopted homeopathic ideas into their curriculums, orthodox, old-school doctors lent their voices to the rising rebellion as they fought to maintain the status quo.

Through all this opposition, the proponents of this new, alternative treatments pushed forward through the 1800s. By the beginning of the 20th century, Homeopathic remedies had become established in the United States, with 100 homeopathic hospitals, 22 homeopathic schools, and more than 1,000 homeopathic pharmacies.  

Today, homeopathic treatments are experiencing a resurgence in popularity by both homeopathic practitioners and physicians to complement modern therapies.

Thanks to Dr. Hahnemann…

By challenging the established norms, visionaries like Dr. Samuel Hahnemann helped usher in a new era of discovery and research.

Now, for instance, if you feel a cold or a virus coming on, rather than calling for a bloodletter, you’d take steps to strengthen your immune system to reduce the spread of infection safely.

To ensure your immune system is getting all of the nutrients it needs to function fully, consider taking a comprehensive immune system support supplement like Dynamic Immunity

Dynamic Immunity combines critical nutrients – Vitamins C, E, B6, L-Glutamine, and Zinc – in one dosage to help support your body’s natural defense system. It also includes Echinacea, Elderberry, Turmeric, and Garlic – powerhouse antioxidants shown to boost immune system cell and antibody activity.

If you do ultimately feel a cold or flu coming on, double your dosage of Dynamic Immunity. It will help accelerate your body’s return to health by boosting your capacity to fight off infections.  

Sources:
1. (Medical news Today, Maria Cohut, Ph.D, November 16, 2020).
2. History.com, Jennie Cohen, A brief History of Bloodletting, August 29, 2018
3. Homeoint.org/morrell/articles/biohahnemann.htm
4. Guides.library.nymc.edu/ChristianHahnemann

Eating Your Way to Boosted Immunity & Better Health with Shiitake Mushrooms (+Bonus Recipe)

Every few years, new trends emerge and become a force in the wellness community. One of those trends is functional mushrooms. 

Although, when you look more closely at these fantastic fungi, you’ll understand that they are in no way a “fad.” Functional mushrooms, which bestow health benefits beyond nutrition, have been used for millennia in Asian cultures. Finally, the Western world is catching on to their health value. 

There are thousands of mushroom varieties, but only a handful are considered truly “functional,” meaning they have proven medicinal benefit. Some you might be familiar with are Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Chaga. The most common is Shiitake.

History of Shiitakes

For centuries, Shiitake mushrooms have been a valued food source in Asia. Today, they’re one of the most widely cultivated edible mushrooms in the world. Their meaty texture and woodsy flavor make them a fantastic addition to soups, salads, and stir-fries.

The Shiitake mushroom is also a functional mushroom power player. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other bioactive elements like beta-glucan and polysaccharides. (1) These elements give them the ability to assist your immune system in fighting infections. (2)

A study done by the University of Florida found that eating 4 oz of shiitakes every day for four weeks improved T-cell proliferation and increased levels of natural killer T-cells and their function, resulting in improved immunity. (3)

Studies have also shown Shiitakes to help control blood sugar levels, support digestive health, and reduce inflammation. (3,4,5) That’s right — every one of these health boosters comes from eating Shiitake mushrooms.

Where to find & How to use Shiitakes

Fortunately, you don’t have to forage in the forest to find Shiitakes. They are sold both fresh and dehydrated at health food stores across America. Dehydrated versions work just as well as fresh in soups and sauces.

Now, there are numerous ways you can include Shiitakes in your diet. A few delicious ideas are:

· Add to every soup and salad.
· Sauté shiitakes with onions and spinach and fold into an omelet.
· Sauté with green beans for a healthy side dish.
· Make a Shiitake-Veggie Stir-fry (pea pods, onions, and red peppers work well) on top of brown rice.

Or you can use the quick and easy recipe below.

Quick Sautéed Shiitake Recipe

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
8 oz. Shiitake mushrooms with stems removed*
¼ cup teriyaki, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, or a dash of fish sauce depending on your preferred taste

* Shittake stems can be too tough to eat, but they are very flavorful. Save the stems to flavor vegetable broth.

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes.
2. Add 2 tbsp of water to the skillet, tossing mushrooms, until water evaporates, about 2 minutes.
3. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and toss with either teriyaki or oyster sauce.

Shiitake Supplements

Shiitake mushroom supplements are an excellent choice if you’re looking for an all-natural supplement that supports your immune system, cardiovascular, and digestive health. 

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Mushrooms uses a high-quality Shiitake extract plus four additional functional mushrooms – including Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Reishi, and Maitake. A daily dose promotes healthy immune function, boosts cognitive function, helps reduce stress, and supports your overall well-being.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is SH-DynamicMushrooms-blog-graphic.jpg
 

Citations:
1. A Review on General Nutritional Compounds and Pharmacological Properties of the Lentinula edodes Mushroom (scirp.org)
2. Lentinula edodes-derived polysaccharide enhances systemic and mucosal immunity by spatial modulation of intestinal gene expression in mice – PubMed (nih.gov)
3. Consuming Lentinula edodes (Shiitake) Mushrooms Daily Improves Human Immunity: A Randomized Dietary Intervention in Healthy Young Adults: Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Vol 34, No 6 (tandfonline.com)
4. sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0065216408705951
5. dl.begellhouse.com/journals/708ae68d64b17c52,2806f82d786f0ca1,4eb7001c6dfb2b2e.html

4 Essential Ways to Prep Your Immune System for Fall & Winter

 

With summer fading into fall, it’s all hands on deck to ready your immune system for the coming cold weather.

Respiratory infections, colds, and flu spread more efficiently in colder weather for a few reasons. The first is proximity. We spend more time indoors, where we are less likely to social distance. At the same time, we are more likely to be face to face, passing along air-borne pathogens. 

 

Humidity is lower in the winter, a condition that spreads virus particles more easily. The particles breathed out by infected people absorb less water and remain lighter. They fly further around the room and are more likely to be inhaled.  

Now, you can’t completely control when and if you get sick. Germs are on almost every shared surface and floating all around us in the air. Even taking the most extreme precautions, you may unwittingly breathe in infected floating particles. You could lock yourself away – and never again open a public bathroom stall or shop at the grocery store – but that’s no way to live. 

Your best defense is to support your immune system in every way possible. By reinforcing a balanced immune system response, you take significant steps towards staying as healthy as possible this fall and winter. Let’s take a look at the top four ways to keep your immune system strong.

 

1. Adapt A Healthy Diet That Includes Probiotics 

The design of your immune system is complex and fueled by many factors and not by any one specific food or nutrient. Accordingly, a healthy diet consisting of a range of vitamins and minerals most effectively primes your body to fight infection and disease.

Nutrients essential for the growth and function of immune system cells include vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron, and protein (including the amino acid glutamine). (1,2) 

Prioritize these vitamin-rich foods in your diet:

Vitamin C: citrus, including oranges and berries, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.

Vitamin D and Magnesium: dark leafy greens, beans, whole grains, fatty fish like salmon, nuts, bananas, and avocados. Treat yourself to real dark chocolate, loaded with magnesium and antioxidants. 

Vitamin B6: Potatoes with skin, chicken, salmon, and tuna. 

Vitamin E: Seeds, peanut butter, and spinach.

At the same time, try to reduce or eliminate overly processed foods from your diet – anything deep friend, fast or fatty and replace them with antioxidant-filled options.

 

Probiotics have been shown in numerous studies to reduce the duration and severity of illnesses, including respiratory infections. (3) Over 80 percent of immune system cells live in your gut and interact with the good bacteria in your microbiome. Replenishing your gut microbiome with a quality daily probiotic is an easy way to support your immune system health. 

It’s best to pick a probiotic with high counts of bifidobacterium and lactobacillus strains like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics. 

Studies have shown these strains to be most beneficial for your immune system while helping eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome. (7)

 

2. Exercise Regularly, But Don’t Overdo It

Boosting immune function and reducing inflammation are two positive effects regular exercise provides. Still, in this case, more is not necessarily better.

Overworking your body may lower your immune system’s defenses and increase your illness risk, especially when chronic soreness interrupts your sleep. A better approach replaces intense workouts with stretching, walking, yoga, and fun sports-oriented activities. (4)

3. Establish Good Sleep Habits

Sleep is one of the foundations for a good immunity response, so much so, the chance of catching a contagious illness is 450% greater if you get less than five solid hours of sleep at night. (5)

During sleep, your bodily systems – nervous, cardiovascular, and immune – reset and refresh themselves. When you miss sleep, you deprive your body of the opportunity of repairing itself. 

Give yourself a fighting chance for a whole night of slumber by establishing good sleep habits. 

Stick to a Schedule: Go to bed and set your alarm for the same time every day. Consistency reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

•Restful Environment: Make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet.

•Limit Naps: Naps can disrupt nighttime sleep. If you must nap, limit the time to less than 30 minutes.

•Avoid Stimulants: Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol take hours to wear off, so avoid them at least 6 hours before bedtime.

 

4. Supplement Your Immune System

To guarantee you are getting all the necessary vitamins and nutrients you need every day to support your immune system fully, consider taking a quality immune system supplement like Dynamic Immunity from Stonehenge Health. 

They’ve combined the critical nutrients – Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, L-Glutamine, and Zinc – in one daily dose to help restore and maintain your body’s natural defense system. You’ll also find Elderberry, Echinacea, Garlic, and Turmeric, powerhouse antioxidants shown to boost white cell and antibody activity. 

And if you do find yourself coughing and sneezing, Dynamic Immunity helps speed up your immune response and boosts your capacity to help fight off infections.  

 


Citations:
1. Guillin OM, Vindry C, Ohlmann T, Chavatte L. Selenium, selenoproteins and viral infection. Nutrients. 2019 Sep;11(9):2101.
2. Wessels I, Maywald M, Rink L. Zinc as a gatekeeper of immune function. Nutrients. 2017 Dec;9(12):1286.
3. Maldonado Galdeano, Carolina, Silvia Inés Cazorla, José María Lemme Dumit, Eva Vélez, and Gabriela Perdigón. 2019. “Beneficial Effects Of Probiotic Consumption On The Immune System”. Annals Of Nutrition And Metabolism 74 (2): 115-124. doi:10.1159/000496426.
4. sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005
5. “Sleep Deprived Get Sick More Often”. 2015. University Of California. universityofcalifornia.edu/news/sleep-deprived-get-sick-more-often.
6. medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320099
7. 2021. Applied And Environmental Microbiology. journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/AEM.65.9.3763-3766.1999.      Alessandri, Giulia, Maria Cristina Ossiprandi, John MacSharry, Douwe van Sinderen, and Marco Ventura. 2019. “Bifidobacterial Dialogue With Its Human Host And Consequent Modulation Of The Immune System”. Frontiers In Immunology 10. doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.02348.

How Your Gut Can Help Keep You Well

There’s one question we get a lot – 

How are the gut microbiome and the immune system connected?

Until recently, we believed our gut microbiome was separate from us. The living microorganisms that work to keep our gut bacteria balanced (aka probiotics) may help with digestion, but otherwise, we lived independently of each other.

But the fact is, there’s a lot of interaction between our bodies and the little critters that live in our guts. Scientists have discovered that the gut microbiome is not a passive bystander but actively impacts multiple bodily functions, including your sleep cycle, nutrition absorption, metabolism, and most substantially, your immune system. 

Gut / Immune System Connection

You’ve probably heard that 80% of your immune system cells live in your gut. And that makes perfect sense once you understand the connection between your immune system, your gut, and the helpful (and harmful) bacteria that live there.

Now, this might sound strange, but your gut is technically outside of your body. 

The alimentary canal is one long tube that runs through your body, starting at your mouth through your esophagus, stomach, intestines and ending with your anus. Obviously, this canal is not closed off from the outside world and is, therefore, a significant source of pathogens entering your body.

Your immune system coordinates all the physiological mechanisms that allow your body to recognize and neutralize harmful pathogens. And these mechanisms include both physical barriers and immune responses.

The large and small intestines constitute your gut. Here is where the gut microbiome and the bulk of your immune system cells meet. 

Scientists believe probiotics (helpful bacteria in the microbiome) communicate with immune system cells and sound alarms when defenses are needed.

This cooperation starts the moment we are born, and our bodies are first introduced to microbes. As you grow, the microbiota affects how your immune system evolves, while simultaneously, your immune system affects what constitutes a healthy gut microbiota.

This process lasts our entire lives. The immune system encourages the proliferation of beneficial microbes and the microbiota, influencing the immune system’s ability to respond to invading pathogens, viruses, and other unhealthy substances.

Another connection is through the lining of our small and large intestines, which controls the permeability of the intestinal walls. A healthy gut lining, lush with probiotics, allows for nutrient absorption while helping block dangerous pathogens from leaking into your bloodstream. 

A Balanced Gut Supports Your Immune System

Getting and keeping your gut in balance is one of the keys to a robust, highly responsive immune system.

Your gut microbiome is out of balance when there aren’t enough probiotics to fend off harmful bacteria. You may experience symptoms like poor digestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, low energy, and headaches. This imbalance weakens your body’s ability to defend itself and makes it far more likely that you’ll succumb to a harmful virus or bacterial attacks that make you even sicker. 

A quality probiotic supplement, like Dynamic Biotics, can help bolster your immune system and help eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms of an imbalanced microbiome.

Dynamic Biotics contains 51 billion colony forming units of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotic strains.  High counts of these strains have been shown to help decrease the risk and duration of common infections in the respiratory system and the gut.

Dynamic Biotics also includes prebiotics in the formulation to help nourish the good bacteria and give them the best chance to colonize and thrive. Dynamic Biotics is synbiotic, meaning it contains both probiotics and prebiotic fiber blend NutraFlora® FOS in every capsule.

Dynamic Biotics is an easy way to bolster your immune system, so it’s ready to take on the coming cold and flu season.

Sources:
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23426535/
hopkinsmedicine.org/research/advancements-in-research/fundamentals/in-depth/the-gut-where-bacteria-and-immune-system-meet
immunology.org/public-information/bitesized-immunology/organs-and-tissues/immunity-in-the-gut

How To Calm Your Racing Brain and Fall Asleep Faster

Have you ever put your head on your pillow, hoping for sleep to come quickly? But your wired mind, obsessing over your work or family problems, just perhaps it just won’t let you relax.

Not quickly falling asleep is one of life’s cruelties, exhausted from the day yet knowing sleep won’t come for minutes or possibly hours.

But what can you do about it? Certainly, there are many options, from sleep meditation, prescription sleep aids, white noise machines, optimizing your room for sleep, and more.

Let’s take a look at one of nature’s go-to-sleep helpers, Reishi mushrooms.

Adaptogens

Instead of resorting to sedatives, many bad sleepers looking for a more natural way to deal with their racing minds have turned to adaptogens. Adaptogens originated from Eastern medicine and are a way for your body and mind to better cope with physical and emotional stress.

Stress is perhaps the most significant factor affecting how well you sleep. With their ability to promote a greater sense of calm, adaptogens, by extension, are proving to be very useful for those in the pursuit of a good night’s sleep.

Some well-known adaptogens include Ashwagandha, Rhodiola Rosea, and medicinal (functional) mushrooms. Mushrooms have been recognized as one of the more powerful adaptogens, with Reishi mushrooms, in particular, gaining popularity with those struggling with sleep.

The Stress-Reducing Effect of Reishi

The Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has long been revered in Asian cultures and is considered the mushroom of immortality. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reishi has been prescribed for over 2,000 years to help promote calmness and relaxation. As early as the first century BC, Reishi was recognized in “Shennong’s Herbal Classic” for its tranquilizing effect. 

Several research studies on Reishi have shown an extraordinary ability to calm the body and mind and promote deep relaxation.

One study conducted using Reishi mushrooms for over eight weeks on 132 people with neurasthenia, a condition of exhaustion that includes symptoms of headache and irritability, found a significant reduction in mental and physical fatigue and improvement in overall wellbeing.

It’s believed that the terpenoid compounds found in Reishi may help soothe the nervous system. Studies show that long-term Reishi use helps increase slow-wave sleep, also known as deep sleep. With regular use, consuming Reishi mushrooms may help promote quality sleep. Unlike melatonin or sedatives, Reishi doesn’t make you feel drowsy. Instead, Reishi mushrooms help calm your racing mind and help you better respond to stress, which translates into falling asleep quicker.

How to Use Reishi to Fall Asleep

Reishi grows naturally in Europe and Asia in dimly lit forests, typically on dead oak tree trunks. Bitter tasting and tough to chew, they are not the type of mushrooms you’d include in your soup or salad. 

The best way to use Reishi for sleep is to make a cup of tea using an extracted powder. Mix a quarter teaspoon with a bag of chamomile and let it steep in hot water. Add a little honey to cut the bitter taste.  It takes a while getting used to but can be well worth it.

Medicinal Mushroom Supplements

Medicinal mushroom supplements that include adaptogens like Reishi, Chaga, and Lion’s Mane are becoming more and more popular. These mushrooms are known for boosting your resiliency to stress and offer health benefits that support your body’s natural functions for immunity, cognitive clarity, relaxation, and balance.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Mushrooms is an expertly crafted blend that includes Reishi plus Lion’s Mane, Chaga, Maitake, and Shiitake. Include Dynamic Mushrooms in your daily routine as part of an overall healthy lifestyle and to boost your ability to adapt to physical and mental stressors, as well as supporting your immune system’s health.

Sources:
1.    nature.com/articles/s41598-021-92913-6.pdf?origin=ppub
2.    pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22207209/
3.    Babu, P. D., & Subhasree, R. S. (2008). The Sacred Mushroom “Reishi”-A Review. American-Eurasian Journal of Botany,1(3), 107-110.

Health & Wellness Trends for 2021

Without a doubt, the Covid crisis is the primary driver of health and wellness trends for 2021. And you don’t need to consult a crystal ball to know that the realities of this pandemic will affect the way we approach our health and wellness for years to come.

1. At-Home Fitness

With the pandemic forcing fitness centers to close down for much of the year, home fitness became one of the hottest trends in 2020. People discovered that working out at home is more comfortable than traveling to the gym, saving time and money. It’s anticipated that the trend will continue throughout 2021, with people dedicating part of their homes to personalized workout spaces.

2021 continues to see a trend in customized fully equipped home gyms with high-end workout equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills, and personal trainer workout mirrors.

Even if you don’t have space or finances to support adding a home gym, many health-conscious people will look to technology to bring world-class coaches and the gym experience into your home. Streaming fitness apps like Daily Burn or Apple Fitness+ and other online fitness classes provide motivation and instruction without needing to leave home.

2. Mental Health Is Key to Overall Health

According to a recent study, 53% of U.S. adults reported that the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health. Unemployment skyrocketing, shocking numbers of people getting sick and dying, and the pandemic’s uncertainty have led to an unprecedented number of people suffering from mental health issues.

Not only that, the lack of social interaction from workplaces, schools, and houses of worship closing has caused a loneliness epidemic. Chronic loneliness can trigger stress, depression, insomnia, and more.

Prioritizing mental health will become increasingly important in 2021. We’ll see more people practicing techniques that promote stress relief, such as yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindful walking.

One bright spot, the prevalence of mental health illness, may finally eliminate the stigma of seeking help. For many, this will be the year to identify emotional vulnerabilities and plan what’s needed to optimize emotional and physical health.

3. Big Year for Adaptogens

As stress continues to be a significant health concern throughout America, adaptogens will likely get even more popular and become mainstream.

Adaptogens help your body and mind deal with physical and emotional stressors and promote a greater sense of calm. They are a way to help you cope with life’s pressures before events trigger a racing heart or a panic attack. Some popular apoptogenic herbs are ashwagandha, Maca, Rhodiola, and holy basil.

Among the most researched adaptogens are medicinal mushrooms, specifically Lion’s Mane and Reishi. These mushrooms have been a mainstay in Eastern medicine for over 5,000 years.

Western medicine studies show medicinal mushrooms help regulate your adrenal glands’ function, which produces the primary stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Beyond a greater sense of calm, taking medicinal mushrooms daily may give you a boost in your mental clarity and energy.

Medicinal mushroom blends are growing in popularity for their ability to increase resiliency to anxiety, among other health benefits. Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Mushrooms is an expertly crafted blend of Reishi and Lion’s Mane, plus 3 other beneficial mushrooms – Chaga, Maitake, and Shiitake.

Use Dynamic Mushrooms as part of an overall healthy lifestyle and to boost your ability to adapt to physical and mental stressors, as well as supporting your immune system’s health.

4. Emphasizing Immune System Health

The COVID crisis has put a big spotlight on the immune system and ways to boost its disease-fighting ability. The immune system health focus will continue way beyond 2021.

Naturally, we’ll see a flood of scams, gimmicks, and misinformation on social media and the internet claiming to boost immunity. So, it’s critical to look for trusted sources of information you can rely on, like this blog.

Now, certain foods, along with a healthy diet, plenty of sleep, and exercise, can help optimize your immune system function.

Taking daily supplements that include proven ingredients like zinc, vitamin C, turmeric, L-glutamine, and probiotics. Herbal remedies such as echinacea, astragalus, and elderberry will also gain popularity.

An easy way to get the nutrition you need to optimize your immune system function is to take a blend that incorporates several proven ingredients like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Immunity. It’s formulated with vitamins C, E, B6, Zinc, L-Glutamine plus Elderberry, Echinacea, Turmeric, and Garlic at levels designed to support your overall immune system health.

Sources:
healthline.com/health/stress/smart-girls-guide-to-adaptogens
drbrighten.com/7-adaptogenic-herbs-heal-adrenals-naturally/
pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19939212/
mentalhealth.org.uk/blog/mental-health-loneliness-and-disability
businesswire.com/news/home/20210202005236/en/Nearly-Half-of-American-Workers-Now-Suffer-from-Mental-Health-Issues-During-COVID-19
healthline.com/nutrition/fitness-trends#78.-Virtual-fitness

Is It Time To Call In The Immune System Reinforcements?

With virus cases still rising, you may be looking for ways to strengthen your immune system’s ability to fight and ward off illness. Medical experts agree that a healthy diet, adequate sleep, and daily exercise are a great start to keeping your immune system operating at it’s best. Add in stress-reducing practices like yoga, meditation, and box breathing, and you’re well on your way.

However, an essential factor in a fully supported immune system is your daily nutrition intake. Specific nutrients have been shown in studies to support your immune system by boosting your immune system cells’ integrity. Other nutrients have been shown to help reinforce your stomach’s protective mucosal barrier, making it harder for pathogens to breach your body.

In this blog post, I’ll reveal the different ways you can strengthen your body’s immune system through your nutrition. But first, let’s explore your body’s unique internal defense system.


A Multi-Layered Fighting Machine

How is it possible that we encounter harmful disease-causing pathogens like bacteria and viruses yet can live life without always getting sick every day?

Your immune system is a multi-layered network of cells, tissues, and organs that recognizes and neutralizes these daily threats. Just like a fighting army, your immune system deploys specialized defenses as needed.

First, it tries to intercept invading pathogens before they get into your body. If harmful viruses or pathogens manage a breach, your immune system springs into action and releases fighter cells to attack. And if your immune system reencounters a particular pathogen, it remembers and tailors its response, also known as immunity.

Your Innate & Adaptive Immune Systems

There are two branches of your immune system, your innate immune system, and your adaptive immune system.

You’re born with your innate immune system. It includes physical and chemical barriers like your skin and mucosal membranes plus specific white blood cells – leukocytes, dendritic, and natural killer cells.

An example of your innate immune system in action is when you get a cut and white blood cells fight off the bacteria, causing redness and swelling. Another example is your mucosal barrier filtering out harmful particles in the air that you inhale.

If your innate immune system fails and pathogens begin to spread throughout your body, your adaptive immune system kicks in. Your adaptive immune system evolves over your lifetime and has two characteristics: memory and specificity.

Specificity is the ability to target specific pathogens, and memory responds quickly to pathogens it has previously encountered. The classic example of adaptive immunity is your body creating antibodies to a virus.

Nutrition and Your Immune System

Like every system in your body, nutrition fuels your immune system. Healthy immune system cells rely on nourishment from the vitamins in foods you eat like zinc, vitamins B6, C, and E, among others. A healthy and balanced diet is crucial as evidence shows that micronutrient deficiency may alter the vigor of your immune system.

You may have heard that the majority of your immune system – up to 80% – lives in your gut. Your gut may be inside your body, but it’s also part of the barrier between your bloodstream and the outside environment.

Your gut deals with all the harmful microorganisms you ingest. Fortunately, your innate immune system includes a dynamic immune defense that helps prevent you from getting sick, called your mucosal immune system.

Boosting the vigor of your mucosal immune system are certain gut flora bacteria strains. These friendly bacteria in your gut microbiome have two essential jobs.

First, they communicate with your mucosal immune system cells and sound alarms when defenses are needed.

Second, they reinforce your gut lining, improving your body’s ability to absorb nutrients while blocking harmful bacteria and pathogens from leaking out into your body. This is why it’s so essential to have healthy colonies of good bacteria in your gut.

Now, if you’re like most people, relying solely on what you eat alone is not enough. Your immune system benefits from added nutrients that a standard diet just doesn’t include. Adding daily support supplements formulated to boost your immune system is the ideal way to keep it ready to defend you at a moment’s notice.

Dynamic Immunity

The first kind of supplement has the nutrients your immune system cells need to thrive. Stonehenge Health’s newly launched Dynamic Immunity is a blend of ten beneficial nutrients formulated to support your overall immune system health.

Vitamins C, E, B6, Zinc, plus L-Glutamine provide the vital daily nutrients that directly affect your body’s ability to make white blood cells and produce antibodies that create your immunity.

Dynamic Immunity also has powerhouse antioxidants Elderberry, Echinacea, Turmeric, and Garlic, all proven to boost white cell and antibody activity.

Dynamic Defense

The second kind of supplement supports your mucosal immune system with the right type of probiotics shown to reinforce your mucosal barrier.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Defense is an advanced level, targeted approach to your immune system health – made with proven probiotic strains DE111®, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, and Bacillus coagulans. These powerful strains are known to populate and reinforce your mucosal barrier.

Dynamic Defense also contains PreforPro®, an active prebiotic that facilitates the rapid growth of helpful bacteria in your gut.

While Dynamic Defense primarily supports the health of your mucosal immune system, its benefits can be greatly enhanced by pairing it with specialized cell support from Dynamic Immunity.

Dynamic Immunity and Dynamic Defense form a comprehensive approach for your immune system that may have a profound effect on your overall health and well-being. Keeping your immune system strong is the best way to be ready for whatever blows your way.

Sources:

1. Aryal, Sagar, Sarah Adilah, Tamalika Pal, Unoh Gabriella, warrent simalili, Benjamin Atiku, Michael Dillon, and SARAH ADILAH. 2016. “Difference Between Innate And Adaptive Immunity”. Microbiology Info.Com. microbiologyinfo.com/difference-between-innate-and-adaptive-immunity
2. Eugene. 2021. “Your Gut Is The Cornerstone Of Your Immune System | Health24”. Health24. news24.com/health24/Medical/Flu/Preventing-flu/your-gut-is-the-cornerstone-of-your-immune-system-20160318#:~:text=In%20fact%2C%20your%20g
3. Gerwyn Morris, Yolanda Sanz and Michael Maes. 2016. “The Role Of Microbiota And Intestinal Permeability In The Pathophysiology Of Autoimmune And Neuroimmune Processes With An Emphasis On Inflammatory Bowel Disease Type 1 Diabetes And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”. Current Pharmaceutical Design 22 (40): 6058-6075. eurekaselect.com/145540/article

Help Your Immune System Become the Ultimate Defender

Your body’s immune system is a wonder.

Imagine… it helps stop attacks from foreign invaders like viruses and bacterial microbes and internal attacks from harmful cell changes.

And once you’ve encountered a foreign microbe, your immune system makes antibodies ready to squash them should they try to invade again. BTW – that’s called Immunity.

Not only that, but your immune system is also solely responsible for you bouncing back from an illness. No wonder experts say that a robust, balanced, and supported immune system is a key to a long and healthy life.

 

Support Your Body Needs

Now your immune system does an incredible job most of the time, but today more than ever, it can use some serious support.

You see, there’s an aggressive virus still hanging around. At the same time, public health officials are cautioning that this cold and flu season could be one of the worst ever.

Taking all this into consideration, Stonehenge Health has decided that helping you prepare yourself for the coming flu season with a highly responsive immune system is the best contribution we can make to your overall health and wellness.

And that’s why today, we’re proud to introduce Dynamic Immunity – a blend of 10 beneficial nutrients formulated to support your overall immune system health. We made it for you to take every day, so you stay well year-round with a balanced immune system, ready to respond when you need it.

And if you do feel something coming on or are in the midst of an illness, Dynamic Immunity helps speed up your immune response and boosts your capacity to fight off infections.

 

Proven Support

Every ingredient in Dynamic Immunity has proven immune system benefits.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, L-Glutamine, and Zinc provide the vital daily nutrients that help restore and maintain your body’s natural defense system.

Elderberry, Echinacea, Garlic, and Turmeric are powerhouse antioxidants shown to boost white cell and antibody activity.

And Lactobacillus acidophilus probiotics help balance your gut microbiome, an essential part of a responsive immune system.

Balanced

Dynamic Immunity is a balanced blend of ten proven ingredients at optimal levels in daily two veggie capsules. Dynamic Immunity is the ideal immune system support supplement available today.

Now, if you were to take each one of these nutrients individually, it could cost literally hundreds of dollars every month. And who wants to have to take ten extra pills per day. With Dynamic Immunity, it’s both easy and economical to include all ten of these powerhouse nutrients in your daily routine.

Now, you’ll notice some of the ingredients in Dynamic Immunity, especially Elderberry and Echinacea, were pretty hard to find this past March and April. These two ingredients have long-standing reputations for fending off upper respiratory infections, which is why they were so popular.

The way things are shaping up, it’s likely they’ll be just as popular, if not more so, and difficult to find in the months ahead. For us, that means, once we sell out our current inventory, it’s going to be difficult to make another batch. Right now, we have fresh inventory in stock.

>> Click here to try Dynamic Immunity now while it’s available.

Sources

Krawitz, Christian, Mobarak Abu Mraheil, Michael Stein, Can Imirzalioglu, Eugen Domann, Stephan Pleschka, and Torsten Hain. 2011. “Inhibitory Activity Of A Standardized Elderberry Liquid Extract Against Clinically-Relevant Human Respiratory Bacterial Pathogens And Influenza A And B Viruses”. BMC Complementary And Alternative Medicine 11 (1). doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-16.

Hawkins, Jessie, Colby Baker, Lindsey Cherry, and Elizabeth Dunne. 2019. “Black Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra) Supplementation Effectively Treats Upper Respiratory Symptoms: A Meta-Analysis Of Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trials”. Complementary Therapies In Medicine 42: 361-365. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2018.12.004.

Hudson, James, and Selvarani Vimalanathan. 2011. “Echinacea—A Source Of Potent Antivirals For Respiratory Virus Infections”. Pharmaceuticals 4 (7): 1019-1031. doi:10.3390/ph4071019.

Boosting the Bioavailability of Vitamin C

When you hear vitamin C, do you instinctively think of orange juice and the common cold? The credit for this perception goes to Linus Pauling and his 1970 book Vitamin C and the Common Cold. In it, Pauling postulated that high-doses of vitamin C could stop the progression of a cold and improve your overall health. His book triggered a devotion to vitamin C that’s still going strong today.

And vitamin C deserves to be put on a pedestal because regardless of how you get it – juice, fruit, or supplements – its benefits are enormous. Vitamin C is a required nutrient for all major enzyme systems within the human body. It’s a super antioxidant that fights off free radical damage and supports healthy immune system function. It even helps you look younger by enhancing collagen production, which helps firm up sagging skin.

Vitamin C’s Absorption Problem

Vitamin C supplements have a reputation for making expensive urine, and here’s why. In its most common form- ascorbic acid – vitamin C is water-soluble. All water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are readily absorbed into your tissues with any excess quickly excreted in your urine. Because your body doesn’t store vitamin C, it needs to be replenished daily through your diet.

As far as vitamin absorption goes, vitamin C has even more challenges. Vitamin C needs transporter proteins to carry it from your small intestines to your bloodstream. And even more, transporters are required to move the vitamin from your blood to your cells. Your body doesn’t have enough of these transporter proteins to carry large does of vitamin C to its intended destinations. Instead, it gets stuck in your intestines and gets excreted when you pee instead.

 

The Solution – Liposomal Technology

Liposomal encapsulation technology was invented in the 1960s for use with vaccines and gene therapies. Then around 2003, it was discovered that this technology could make high-dose Vitamin C more absorbable and its benefits more accessible. Liposomal Vitamin C supplements bypass your body’s restrictive transport system and ensure higher absorption, helping your body reap more of the vitamin C’s health benefits.

How Liposomal Vitamin C Works

The word Liposomal comes from the word liposome. Liposomes are microscopic spheres made from plant-based phospholipids that form a double-layered sphere around the vitamin C nutrient, creating a protective encapsulation. These phospholipids are nearly identical to the human phospholipids that encase your own cell membranes.

Because of this liposomal encapsulation, vitamin C can travel from your intestines into your bloodstream without the help of protein transporters. And because their composition nearly matches human cell membranes, the liposomes assimilate into your cells and release the vitamin C where it’s needed.

Much research has been done on liposomal vitamins, and the findings are impressive. One study found that the liposomal delivery systems made vitamin C circulate in higher concentrations in the body compared to un-encapsulated vitamin C. Another study published in Integrative Medicine showed that liposomal technology increased intracellular delivery and resulted in higher bioavailability than other forms of oral supplements.

Liposomal Vitamin C Supplements

Although vitamin C is available in a variety of citrus fruits and vegetables like broccoli, surprisingly, a study done on 16,000 Americas showed that 33% of us are vitamin C deficient. And that’s a problem because even a moderate deficiency can lead to fatigue, dry skin, delayed wound healing, weight gain, and an impaired immune system.

Fortunately, a high-quality vitamin C supplement like Stonehenge Health Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C can quickly and efficiently replenish your daily need for this critical vitamin. Our formula contains a potent dose of 1,500 mg of vitamin C in the form of ascorbyl palmitate to increase its absorption power. Unlike ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate is fat-soluble and highly bioavailable. Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C also uses a high-quality liposomal delivery system using phosphatidylcholine sourced from non-GMO sunflower for optimal results.

 

Sources
Wallace TC, et al. 2020. “Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement Contribution To Micronutrient Intakes In The United States, 2007-2010. – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24724766.
a
Helmersson J, et al. 2020. “Low Dietary Intake Of Beta-Carotene, Alpha-Tocopherol And Ascorbic Acid Is Associated With Increased Inflammatory And Oxidative Stress Status In A … – Pubmed – NCBI “. Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19079838.

Carr, Anitra, and Silvia Maggini. 2017. “Vitamin C And Immune Function”. Nutrients 9 (11): 1211. doi:10.3390/nu9111211. “The Roles Of Vitamin C In Skin Health”. 2017. Nutrients 9 (8): 866. doi:10.3390/nu9080866.

Johnston, Carol S, and Bing Luo. 1994. “Comparison Of The Absorption And Excretion Of Three Commercially Available Sources Of Vitamin C”. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association 94 (7): 779-781. doi:10.1016/0002-8223(94)91950-x

“Liposomal-Encapsulated Ascorbic Acid: Influence On Vitamin C Bioavailability And Capacity To Protect Against Ischemia–Reperfusion Injury – Janelle L. Davis, Hunter L. Paris, Joseph W. Beals, Scott E. Binns, Gregory R. Giordano, Rebecca L. Scalzo, Melani M. Schweder, Emek Blair, Christopher Bell, 2016”. 2020. Nutrition And Metabolic Insights. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.4137/NMI.S39764.

What Every Woman Must Know Before Choosing A Probiotic

By now you’re most likely familiar with probiotics – the good bacteria found in fermented foods and dietary supplements that help keep your digestive tract healthy. But did you know that not all probiotics are the same? There are many different probiotics – called strains – and each provides unique health benefits beyond just good gut health.

Certain probiotic strains are particularly helpful for women, as numerous studies show they can help combat urinary and vaginal health issues. But that’s not all these unique female-friendly microbes can do; some make managing your weight much easier, some help improve the look of your hair and skin, and some even lift your energy and mood.

Digestive Health

If you have tummy issues like gas, bloating, or cramps look for Bifidobacterium breve or Lactobacillus casei, which help restore your gut flora. If you can’t stop going number two, try Lactobacillus acidophilus, which can help ease antibiotic-related diarrhea and prevent extreme cases stemming from infections.

Weight Loss

One recent study showed that women taking Lactobacillus rhamnosus for three months lost 50% more weight than the group of women taking a placebo. Another study involving Lactobacillus gasseri showed reduced body weight, waist size, and hip circumference with belly fat reduced by 8.5%.

Lactobacillus fermentum has wide-ranging benefits for women’s health – shown in studies to help with weight loss and weight management while also protecting against vaginal and urinary tract infections.

Vaginal & Urinary Tract Health

The bacteria genus Lactobacillus is naturally present in your vagina and urinary tract, and their health relies on the right balance of this bacteria. If recurring yeast or urinary tract infections are your concern caused by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most-researched strain in establishing and maintaining healthy balance. Two other capable strains are Lactobacillus reuteri and Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

Stress & Anxiety

If you’re struggling with anxiety, there’s a probiotic strain that helps that too. Your brain and gut communicate with each other, and both produce the neurotransmitter, serotonin – also known as the happiness chemical.

Medical experts believe a balanced gut is a pro-health way to address mood issues like anxiety because it supports better communication between the gut and the brain. The strains with proven gut-brain benefits are Lactobacillus Plantarum and Lactobacillus reuteri.

Skin & Hair

And speaking of Lactobacillus reuteri, studies show that this remarkable strain may help make your skin look younger and your hair grow longer and stronger. In 2013, a study done on mice
titled “Probiotic Bacteria Induces a Glow of Health” demonstrated doses of Lactobacillus reuteri caused thicker, shinier coats and skin that was more resilient and younger-looking.


Immune System

For immune system support, look for a probiotic supplement with at least 50 billion colony forming units of a combination of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains. High counts of these strains support your immune system by decreasing the risk and duration of common infections in the respiratory system and the gut.

And remember, supplementing with probiotics supports your microbiome, especially when your innate good bacteria are challenged by antibiotics, travel, poor diet, and pathogens like viruses.

Keeping your female microbiome in balance is easy…

Many factors influence the balance of your microbiome, including your stress levels and what you eat. To help keep your microbiome and you in balance, eat more fermented foods, and take a daily probiotic supplement like Stonehenge Health Dynamic Biotics.

Dynamic Biotics formulation contains all the probiotic strains proven to help support a woman’s specific health needs. It is also synbiotic, meaning it contains both probiotics and prebiotics in one capsule. Prebiotics are the food that probiotics consume and which help them survive and thrive in your digestive tract.

Dynamic Biotics doesn’t need to be refrigerated, comes in a dark amber glass bottle to block out moisture and light, and is meticulously inspected and tested for quality, plus it’s vegan, free of gluten, dairy, soy, binders, and fillers. With just one easy to take delayed-release capsules to resist stomach acid, Dynamic Biotics is an easy way to feel and look your best.

Sources:
 1. "Bifidobacterium Breve - Probiotics Database". 2020. Probiotics Database. https://probioticsdb.com/probiotic-strains/bifidobacterium-breve/.

2. "Lactobacillus Brevis – Probioticsamerica.Com". 2020. Probioticsamerica.Com. https://probioticsamerica.com/lactobacillus-brevis/.

3. Effect of probiotics, Bifidobacterium breve and Lactobacillus casei, on bisphenol A exposure in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2008 Jun;72(6):1409-15. Epub 2008 Jun 7. PMID: 18540113

4. "Lactobacillus Acidophilus - Health Encyclopedia - University Of Rochester Medical Center ". 2020. Urmc.Rochester.Edu. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=19&contentid=Lactobacillus.

5. Homayouni A, et al. 2020. "Effects Of Probiotics On The Recurrence Of Bacterial Vaginosis: A Review. - Pubmed - NCBI ". Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24299970.

6. "Lactobacillus Reuteri - An Overview | Sciencedirect Topics". 2020. Sciencedirect.Com. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/immunology-and-microbiology/lactobacillus-reuteri.

7. Falagas ME, et al. 2020. "Probiotics For Prevention Of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections In Women: A Review Of The Evidence From Microbiological And Clinical Studies. - Pubmed - NCBI ". Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16827601


 8. Pendharkar, Sonal, Erik Brandsborg, Lennart Hammarström, Harold Marcotte, and Per-Göran Larsson. 2015. "Vaginal Colonisation By Probiotic Lactobacilli And Clinical Outcome In Women Conventionally Treated For Bacterial Vaginosis And Yeast Infection". BMC Infectious Diseases 15 (1). doi:10.1186/s12879-015-0971-3.


 9. Sanchez, Marina, Christian Darimont, Vicky Drapeau, Shahram Emady-Azar, Melissa Lepage, Enea Rezzonico, and Catherine Ngom-Bru et al. 2013. "Effect Of Lactobacillus Rhamnosus CGMCC1.3724 Supplementation On Weight Loss And Maintenance In Obese Men And Women". British Journal Of Nutrition 111 (8): 1507-1519. doi:10.1017/s0007114513003875.

The Power of 3 for Optimal Digestive Health

If having better gut health (or maintaining the good gut health you currently enjoy) is one of your self-care goals, there is no better way than by adding the power of three – probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.

Putting these three powerful tools together will help improve your digestion and help eliminate digestive issues. Together they can also help maximize the nutrition you get from everything you eat, which boosts your immune system and your overall health.

 

Your Gut Health

Your gut contains trillions of both good and bad bacteria; together, they make up your gut microbiome. When your microbiome is in balance, meaning good bacteria dominate and far outnumber harmful bacteria – all of your bodily systems work better.

Eating yogurt and fermented foods rich in probiotics is an excellent way to help maintain gut balance. Another way you can help the good bacteria thrive is by taking probiotics and prebiotic supplements together.

 

Probiotics & Prebiotics – What’s the Difference?

Think of the relationship between probiotics and prebiotics like a garden. Probiotics are the diverse plants, flowers, and trees that bring the garden to life. Prebiotics are like fertilizer that helps the plants in your garden grow lush and strong.

Probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that help your gut perform many duties that dramatically benefit your overall health. Probiotics supplements reinforce helpful bacteria, delivering microbes directly to where you need them.

Prebiotics are types of starches and fiber that feed the good bacteria in your microbiome and allow them to thrive.

But that’s not all prebiotics do for you; their benefits go beyond food for good gut bacteria. Prebiotics strengthen your bones by enhancing the absorption of magnesium and calcium. Prebiotic also take part in fat metabolism and appetite regulation.

Taking prebiotic and probiotic supplements together like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics and Ulitmate Prebiotic Complex helps create a more balanced microbiome, leading to better digestion, fewer gastric disruptions, and more complete nutrient absorption. And better nutrient absorption means your entire body gets more of what it needs for health and wellbeing.

Digestive Enzymes

Enzymes are a type of protein within cells that create chemical reactions. Your body contains many different kinds of enzymes that help perform various tasks like removing toxins from your body, digesting food, and building muscles. Digestive enzymes are enzymes that turn the food you eat into the molecules you use as energy.

There are four primary digestive enzymes. Protease helps breakdown protein. Amylase comes from the salivary glands, pancreas, and intestines to break down starch and carbs. Lactase breaks down lactose or milk sugar. And lipase comes from the intestines and breaks down oils and fats.

Several factors impact your digestive enzymes. Food choices can either help or hinder them, and certain foods like pineapple, papaya, mango, and spinach contain some digestive enzymes.

Unhealthy things we consume like alcohol can alter the stomach and intestines’ pH and reduce the number of digestive enzymes in your system. Some health issues and prescription medications like antibiotics can also reduce digestive enzymes.

Without enough digestive enzymes, your body can’t digest your food correctly, which leads to food intolerances that feel like cramps, uncomfortable bloating, and gas or worse. When the enzymes in your body are affected, or your digestive enzyme production isn’t as good as it should be, digestive enzyme supplements can help.

Digestive enzyme supplements help fortify the enzymes in your stomach and intestines to help improve digestion. Chose a digestive enzyme supplement like Stonehenge Health’s Incredible Digestive Enzymes that contains a complete range of enzymes able to break down the most troublesome foods like dairy and gluten.

Whether you reach for prebiotic or probiotic supplements, digestive enzymes, or all three, it’s well worth the benefits you’ll feel. Boosting your gut health will give you long-term benefits that affect your entire body, get more nutrition from the foods you eat and give you a more robust immune system, and so much more.

Sources:

  1. “Probiotics | American Gastroenterological Association”. 2020. American Gastroenterological Association. https://gastro.org/practice-guidance/gi-patient-center/topic/probiotics/.Bottom of Form
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  4. Legette, LeeCole L., WangHee Lee, Berdine R. Martin, Jon A. Story, Jessica K. Campbell, and Connie M. Weaver. 2012. “Prebiotics Enhance Magnesium Absorption And Inulin-Based Fibers Exert Chronic Effects On Calcium Utilization In A Postmenopausal Rodent Model”. Journal Of Food Science77 (4): 88-94. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02612.x.
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  8. “23 Effects Of Alcohol On Your Body”. 2020. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/alcohol/effects-on-body#2.