Do you know someone who has been affected by shingles? For most of us the answer is yes. Shingles is a skin infection which involves a reactivation of the herpes zoster virus, which most of us contract as children in the form chickenpox. Over 30% of Canadians will get shingles at some point and time in their lives and many will get long term complications from the virus. Complications include chronic nerve pain, scarring, visual impairment (if contracted in the eye), secondary bacterial skin infections, and more. The good news is there are ways you can protect yourself from this illness including vaccination. Zostavax has been available for many years but a new option on the market Shingrix is being touted as having 95% effectiveness. Book your appointment with the pharmacist at Two Pharmacy to discuss your options! We offer a full range of vaccination services which our pharmacists can prescribe and administer for you. Call us at 403-932-2500 to book now!
BetterStevia is the zero-calorie, organic stevia sweetener that’s simply better than sugar and other alternative sweeteners. You won’t find any artificial colors, flavors or additives, just the clean, sweet taste of stevia and a low glycemic impact that’s got all those unhealthy sweeteners counting their days.
Stevia is an herb indigenous to Paraguay and Brazil that grows 2 to 3 feet tall and resembles mint in appearance. The Guarani Indians of South America used this green "sweet herb" they called kaa he-he for centuries before a European botanist named M.S. Bertoni first learned of it from native guides while exploring Paraguay in 1887. Bertoni gave it its Latin binomial – Stevia rebaudiana.
As far as herbs go, stevia is exceptionally sweet, and pure extracts of the plant can be up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Even eaten raw, stevia leaves have a noticeable, refreshing sweetness. Stevia has been used in the United States as a dietary supplement since 1994, but in December 2008 the FDA approved certain types of stevia for use as a sweetener and is now sold as a zero-calorie, non-bitter, natural sweetener under the brand name BetterStevia.
NOW's stevia extract is produced utilizing a proprietary extraction process that uses only water and organic alcohol. The resulting extract is then prepared with a vegetarian-source enzyme (glucosyl transferase) to reduce the licorice-like and metallic aftertaste common in regular stevia extracts. NOW’s stevia is USDA certified organic. We test our stevia extract to ensure the absence of contaminants, including GMOs, pesticides, fumigants, irradiated ingredients, solvents, and sulfur dioxide. NOW’s stevia is derived directly from the natural stevia plant and is organically grown and sustainably harvested and processed. The resulting product is USDA certified organic and non-GMO.
The importance of omega-3 fatty acids for human nutrition — and especially for heart heath — first became apparent in the 1970s when researchers investigated the diet of Eskimos in Greenland and discovered this population had lower blood cholesterol levels than other groups. Because the Eskimo diet was found to be higher in fat from fish, the researchers attributed the more favorable blood cholesterol levels to the long chain polyunsaturated fats — or omega-3 fatty acids — found in seafood.
Omega-3 fatty acids are now known to be a “good fat” and are considered a vital part of a balanced diet. Evolving research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are a crucial part of cell membranes. Our bodies have trillions of cells, and omega-3 fatty acids help many of these cells function properly. They are also well known for their role in helping to prevent heart disease through their potential ability to:
- Regulate blood clotting
- Keep the heart beating on its normal rhythm
- Prevent/improve inflammation
- Reduce blood pressure
- Improve blood vessel function
- Improve cholesterol levels
- Lower triglycerides
Additionally, we also know now that there are several types of omega-3s:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) helps keep body tissues healthy.
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a major component of cell membranes in your eyes and brain.
- Both EPA and DHA are found mostly in fish, shellfish, and algae.
- Alpha linoleic acid (ALA) is found mostly in vegetable oils, flax seed and walnuts and also plays a role in maintaining healthy body tissues.
One of the “building blocks of health” omega 3’s are a highly recommended supplement for anyone not getting 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA on a daily basis.
Both influenza and the common cold are viral respiratory infections (they affect the nose, throat, and lungs). Viruses are spread from person to person through airborne droplets that are sneezed out or coughed up by an infected person. In some cases, the viruses can be spread when a person touches an infected surface (e.g., doorknobs, countertops, telephones) and then touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes. Influenza is commonly referred to as "the flu." From November to April each year, 5% to 15% of Canadians are stricken with influenza. Although most people recover fully, depending on the severity of the flu season, it can result in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and approximately 2000 to 8000 deaths annually in Canada. Deaths due to the flu are found mostly among high-risk populations, such as those with other medical conditions (such as diabetes or cancer) or weakened immune systems, seniors, or very young children. There are 3 types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. Type A influenza causes the most serious problems in humans. There are over 200 different known cold viruses, but most colds (30% to 40%) are caused by rhinoviruses. Children catch approximately 8 colds per year, adults catch roughly 4 per year, and seniors about 2 per year. Many people confuse the flu with a bad cold. People infected with an influenza or cold virus become contagious 24 hours after the virus enters the body (often before symptoms appear). Adults remain infectious (can spread the virus to others) for about 6 days, and children remain infectious for up to 10 days. The following table highlights the differences between influenza and the common cold:
|Fever||Usually present, high (102°F to 104°F or 38°C to 41°C); lasts 3 to 4 days||Uncommon|
|Headache||Very common (can be severe)||Uncommon|
|Aches and pains||Common and often severe||Slight|
|Fatigue and weakness||Starts early, can be severe, and can last up to 14 to 21 days||Mild|
|Extreme exhaustion||Very common at the start||Never|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Common||Mild to moderate, hacking cough|
|Complications||Can lead to pneumonia or respiratory failure; can worsen a current chronic condition; can be life-threatening||Can lead to sinus congestion or earache|
Burn fat, lose weight and increase energy with KetoActiv. Whether for fat-loss, athletic performance, mental clarity or anti-aging, this exogenous ketone does not induce gastrointestinal distress, which is common with ketone or MCT-based products. KetoActiv supports the Ketogenic diet and provides healthy maintenance of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Experience the only activated ketone in Canada with an NPN.
What makes KetoActiv different?
The combination of beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and butyric acid (BA) work together to activate the liver, draw fat out of the body and metabolize it for energy. Best of all, it tastes great
For Best Results:
In a fasting state, mix 5-grams of KetoActiv powder with a 16-ounce bottle of water. Drink the first 8 ounces, then add more water to the bottle and sip throughout the day to curb the appetite and provide energy.
• Supports Fat/Weight Loss
• Controls Appetite and Curbs Cravings
• Increases Energy
• Promotes Mental Focus and Clarity
• Supports Cognitive Health
• Reduces Inflammation
• Improves Strength and Endurance
• Preserves and Protects Muscles
IGNITE-SX For Him is 100% natural, made from traditional herbal medicines that have been used for centuries to support and improve mood, blood circulation, sexual performance, fertility, and desire. Its key ingredients have been shown to increase testosterone and heighten the sex drive. It also stimulates blood flow, making you look and feel larger. Additionally, because it works naturally with your body, YOU control the timing – no awkward surprises at inappropriate moments.
IGNITE-SX For Her is 100% natural, made from traditional herbal medicines. For some individuals, a sexual relationship can bring about a high increase in emotional stress levels which are usually associated with performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is often an issue for men, however for women, mood and desire are also significant aspects of a sexual relationship which can sometimes inhibit activity and create anxiety or stress. The organic ingredients in IGNITE-SX For Her have been shown to have an effect on these crucial aspects of a sexual relationship. IGNITE-SX For Her helps create improved mood, level of desire and an overall decrease in stress.
Consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use if you are taking medication for cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction, blood thinners, renal/kidney diseases or if you are following a low protein
Last week we talked about the building blocks of health – probiotics, Vitamin D, fish oils, magnesium, and multivitamins/greens. In this week’s column we look at the sixth building block, Vitamin B Complex and introduce a product made right here in Cochrane!
Life Choice B Complex is a completely vegan, non-GMO, organic plant-based B-Complex, with the world’s only Vegetarian Society and Vegan Society registered Vitamin D-3 (others are from fish oils or from sheep’s wool). It has added B-12 (methylcobalamin), Biotin and PABA in a proprietary blend of spinach, blueberry, turmeric and ginger, all sourced from organic sources.
Conditions B Complex may help include autoimmune disorders, bone disorders, depression, diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, influenza, obesity, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. For those with chronic stress and/or depleted energy, B-Complex vitamins with the proprietary blend revitalizing whole food nutrients, and botanicals will support your adrenals and central nervous system function. Life Choice B Complex has no hidden additives–iron-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and yeast-free. B Complex is 100% natural, and contains no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or additives.
This high-potency vitamin B complex supports natural energy, brain health and stress management. In addition biotin supports metabolism and promotes healthy levels of blood glucose. Biotin is involved in cell growth, fat production, and metabolism. Deficiency symptoms include various skin disorders, including grayish pallor, loss of appetite and nausea, low-grade anemia, weariness, insomnia, muscle pain, depression, hypoglycemia and hair loss. Therapeutic applications include eczema and candida.
Methyl-B12- Methylcobalamin is the bioactive form that boosts immunity, and fights the decay of aging at the cellular level. Supplementation with B12 can lead to improved memory, higher concentration, and sharper metal energy. It also fights heart disease and lowers overly high homocysteine levels, and is a well-known treatment for anemia. B12 also improves sleep, and relieves asthma and allergies, and has been associated with improved mood and stress relief. In particular, B12 provides protection against typical age-related memory loss. In fact, it has been long considered as one of the essential longevity supplements
PABA is important for healthy skin and hair pigment and has been used, together with biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and sometimes vitamin E, to restore hair. The Vitamin D3 used in LC B Complex is an exclusive trademarked vegan D3, sourced naturally from lichens. Known as the sunshine vitamin, individuals with a suitable level of Vitamin D in their diet and those who supplement are typically much better equipped to fight off colds, ailments and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There are links to preventing many types of diseases by consuming adequate Vitamin D. It also has reparative properties and often high levels of Vitamin D3 are given to patients during treatment to recover from different illnesses and diseases associated with Vitamin D deficiency (Inc. bone, muscular, growth, blood conditions).
WhydoIhavetotakesupplements?” Because you don’t consume everything your body needs on a daily basis, very few people do. Although everyone differs with their consumption of vitamins and minerals, our five Building Blocks of Good Health should be the foundation of any supplementation program.
Taking fish oil daily can help with pain, inflammation, joint stiffness, lipid levels and even your mood. This supplement might actually be better than eating fish on a regular basis, as the fish used in the oil are small and don’t accumulate the toxins that the bigger fish do. Don’t favour fish? Many omega-3 supplements are now available in plant based supplements
Multivitamins or Greens:
The Canada Food Guide recommends 8-‐10 servings of vegetables and fruits per day and most of us fall far short of this. A good multi will provide essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help make up for skipped or rushed, unhealthy meal choices. Find a multi that targets your specific demographic – age, gender, or prenatal for expectant females.
A maintenance dose of 11 billion CFU’s per day can improve nutrient absorption, waste elimination, protect your gut from digestive disturbances, and improve your overall immune system. Although some food sources contain probiotics, most have a much lower dose and do not contain the specific bacterial strains useful for many conditions. They are used to prevent gas, cramping, and unsavoury side effects of antibiotics.
One third of Canadians have Vitamin D levels below what is considered optimum for healthy bones. Current recommendations are a minimum dose of 1,000 IU during the summer months, and 3,000 IU during the winter. It can help with seasonal affective disorder, your immune system, bone deficiencies, diabetes, pains, and wound healing. Because Vitamin D is found in so few foods, our main source is sunshine. However in Canada our long winters limit exposure and unprotected skin can be damaged by the sun. A healthy oil based vitamin D allows it to be absorbed effectively.
Magnesium might seem like a mundane mineral, but it is pretty miraculous. Some studies suggest it can lift energy levels, combat depression, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, reduce muscle pain, increase bone strength, help migraines, ease PMS symptoms, and aid in cardiovascular conditions and diabetes. As many as 80% of North Americans are magnesium deficient.
It is important to remember that some supplements may not be beneficial to you and could interact with certain medications or supplements. If in doubt consultation with your naturopath, physician, or pharmacist is recommended.
Most people don’t get enough magnesium including many who already take magnesium. The amount of magnesium required by the body is greater than people think and many magnesium capsules and tablets are not completely absorbed by the body. Magnesium deficiency can be caused by a number of stresses on the body including but not limited to lack of adequate dietary magnesium, emotional stress, diuretics, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, insulin, cortisone, heavy exercise, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, and too much calcium in the diet.
Natural Calm is the solution to both restoring a healthy magnesium level and balancing your calcium intake- the result of which is natural stress relief. Natural Calm is the best-selling magnesium supplement on the market for over three years in a row according to health food supermarket scanner reports. It features a proprietary formula developed by nutritional researcher Peter Gillham that provides a highly absorbable water-soluble magnesium in ionic form having molecular charge that allows the element to easily bond with water so it is ready to go to work right away. Natural Calm can gradually reduce accumulated calcium giving fast relief for many symptoms of magnesium depletion. Millions have experienced the stress relief and health benefits Natural Calm provides. Drink stress away naturally with The Anti-Stress Drink. You deserve the best. We want you to experience a new level of health.
Directions for use
- Place powder in a glass or mug.
- Add 2-3 oz of hot water. Let it fizz, then stir until dissolved.
- Fill with warm or cold water and enjoy.
- You can also simply add Natural Calm to a glass or bottle of cold water. Use only as directed.
- Divide your daily amount of Natural Calm into two servings, Natural Calm can be taken with or without food. When bowels are comfortably loose, this is the optimal amount.
By now, most of us are aware that many Canadians simply don’t get enough Vitamin D from their diets or through the sun. What you may not know is why exactly vitamin D is so important. In the warmer months, our skin is able to naturally make vitamin D with the help of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. That’s why vitamin D is commonly referred to as the “sunshine vitamin.” However, from about October to April, sunlight is not only limited, but its rays are too weak to produce vitamin D.
This steroid hormone is essential in many of our body’s vital functions, but the most documented and researched is its role in maintaining bone health. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the digestive tract, and ensures that our bodies have enough reserves of these minerals to build bone tissue. When our bodies lack the necessary amounts of vitamin D, our natural response is to use calcium from our bones to maintain our blood levels, which can lead to osteoporosis and other serious disorders. Supplemental vitamin D has also been linked to a decreased risk of autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as improved muscle strength. Getting vitamin D from our diet isn’t easy as it only occurs naturally in certain foods like tuna and salmon, egg yolks and certain mushrooms. Unfortunately, you’ll be hard-pressed to eat a balanced diet of these foods and end up with enough vitamin D but not too much of other nutrients.
This is where supplementation is crucial. Vitamin D supplements are available in tablets, liquids, powders and gummies, making it easy to find one that works for you. When shopping for a supplement, be sure to look out for and choose vitamin D3. This form, called cholecalciferol, is the active form in the body that’s more easily absorbable. Research shows that the health benefits of vitamin D supplementation are more visible when taken daily. These supplements come in a variety of doses, and it’s important to check with your health care practitioner to see how much your body needs
November is Diabetes Awareness Month and November 14 is World Diabetes Day. The Canadian Diabetes Association is driving a campaign for diabetes awareness as the disease has reached epidemic proportions in Canada. With a staggering one in three Canadians already living with diabetes or prediabetes, including an estimated 1.5 million with undiagnosed diabetes, we must take action now to stop the growth and impact of this disease. Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day are times to shine a spotlight on diabetes, educate Canadians about the disease, and help all of us find out our level of risk for type 2 diabetes so we can take action.
As part of this effort, the CDA’s current awareness campaign encourages everyone to visit DiabetesTest.ca to take the online CANRISK test and learn their risk level for developing type 2 diabetes. The awareness campaign looks at the misconceptions people often have about type 2 diabetes and is a reminder that you may be at risk even if you don’t fit the stereotypical model of someone with type 2 diabetes.
Two products from One Touch make sure your levels are within an acceptable range. The OneTouch Verio Flex Blood Glucose Monitoring System with easy-to-read numbers and a color indicator, it is quick and simple to use. This Verio Flex meter is also small and compact for convenient portabilityand can be connected to other devices using USB or Bluetooth.
OneTouch Verio Flex Blood Glucose Monitoring System:
- Takes the guesswork out of your numbers
- ColorSure technology instantly shows when your blood sugar numbers are in or out of range
- Syncs data seamlessly with the free OneTouch Reveal mobile app.
- Quick and easy to use
- Big, easy-to-read numbers
- Compact and slim design
- One-Touch Verio Flex glucometer features USB and Bluetooth connectivity
The updated version of the One Touch Reveal App features:
- New timeline highlights your latest patterns with relevant blood sugar and event data
- Improved look with additional day and week view that connect insulin, carbs, exercise and blood sugar
- Quick glance bar on the Home screen provides convenient access to important data with a single tap
- Improved pairing and syncing of a new meter with a step-by-step walkthrough
Travel is a lot of fun and can lead to a lifetime of memories for you and your family. However, did you know that travel related illnesses are common? Most travellers do not seek medical advice before travel and as a result end up contracting illnesses like yellow fever, malaria, Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, travellers' diarrhea, and many more. We offer a full range of vaccination services (including yellow fever), prescriptions, and health advice for all of your travel needs to help keep you and your family safe. I have my certificate in travel health and have received international recognition by the ISTM (international society of travel medicine). Rest assured we will offer the best health advice for all of your travel needs. Don't hesitate to book your appointment before your travels and keep your family safe! As many vaccinations need to be done long before you travel now is the time to book your consultation if you are leaving this coming fall or winter. You can book travel consultations on line at www.twopharmacy.ca or call 403-932-2500. Of course flu vaccination clinics are in full swing and can be booked online or by phone to avoid any wait time. Walk ins are also welcome but may require waiting.