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GOT POTASSIUM?

Fred Liers PhD potassium minerals pH AdjustGot potassium? You heard me right. Po-tass-i-um.

Well, no—you probably don’t get enough—and you’re not alone. Fewer than 2% of people do.

Experts say 4,700 milligrams (4.7 grams) of potassium is the minimum daily intake required for health and to reduce risk of chronic disease.

Yet, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reports the average potassium intake for Americans is 2,640 milligrams (2.6 g) daily. This low intake remains unchanged over decades! Most people get less than half the amount of potassium needed to meet “adequate” or minimum levels.

Given essential roles played by potassium in the body, and the known health benefits it confers, almost everyone — including you — can benefit from additional potassium. From where will it come?

That is to say, will the average person really meet recommended potassium intake from diet alone? I’m a huge advocate for increasing intake of dietary potassium, but long-term evidence suggests the answer is “no.” Supplementing with certain forms of potassium can be an effective adjunct to dietary intake.

It therefore can be highly beneficial to take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust, which provides potassium bicarbonate that boosts potassium levels and powerfully alkalinizes the body.

Bananas provide potassium (400–800 mg), but not if you don’t eat them!

THE “NEGLECTED” MINERAL?

For years, a parade of minerals—calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, and yes, sodium—have drawn attention from health professionals, consumers, and the media. Whither potassium?

Yet despite compelling scientific studies, articles, and books, potassium has not “caught on” among doctors, consumers, or health aficionados. Nevertheless, knowledgeable health professionals and a small number of health-consious individuals have known of its importance for decades and longer.

Potassium has become known as the “forgotten” or “neglected” mineral. It’s time to revisit what we thought we knew…or never knew. It’s time to recognize potassium as “first among equals” in the pantheon of macrominerals.

If you think you know potassium, prepare to think again.

POTASSIUM FACTS

A review from Nutrition 101…and some things you may not know:

The symbol for potassium is “K” in the periodic table. It is one of seven essential macrominerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, chloride, and sulfur.

POTASSIUM BASICS:

• Regulates fluid balance in the body by means of the sodium-potassium pump (Na+/K+ pump)

• Controls electrical activity of cardiac muscle (heart) and other muscles

• Counters the effects of sodium and thereby maintains proper blood pressure

• Maintains proper acid-base balance in the body

BENEFITS OF HIGH (ADEQUATE) POTASSIUM:

• Decreases risk of dying from all causes (20%)

• Reduces risk of stroke

• Lowers blood pressure

• Protects against loss of muscle mass

• Preserves bone mineral density

• Reduces formation of kidney stones

POTASSIUM – NEEDED MORE THAN EVER?

Beyond the benefits you may take for granted that are provided by the mineral you don’t get enough of…there are many reasons why potassium is more important than ever.

One major reason potassium is needed more than ever: sodium.

Sodium is the essential macromineral no one seems to be lacking. Just the opposite! When people talk about sodium, it is usually about how to avoid it. Sodium is blamed for hypertension and adverse cardiovascular health. What is the connection between sodium and potassium?

It all starts at the level of the cell with the “sodium-potassium pump” (or N+/K+ pump). The sodium-potassium pump is responsible for keeping sodium out of cells and keeping potassium in. But it also a carrier for nutrients going into cells, and it is involved in the energy production.

The typical modern diet —low in potassium and high in sodium (and sugar)—is a major problem for cells because it compromises the function of the sodium-potassium pump. Optimal function of the sodium-potassium pump requires not only increasing potassium intake, but also reducing sodium intake.

Potassium Sodium Pump cell

The sodium-potassium pump expels 3 sodium ions and brings in 2 potassium ions per cycle

SODIUM – POTASSIUM RELATIONSHIP:

• Humans once consumed high levels of potassium (12 g or higher) and low levels of sodium (<2 g) daily. That 6:1 ratio in favor of potassium has radically shifted to a 2:1 or even 4:1 ratio in favor of sodium. Salt is everywhere in the food supply. The potassium to sodium ratio (K/Na ratio) is called the “K Factor.”

• High “K Factor”: During evolutionary history, humans consumed 5–10+ times more potassium than sodium. Because the prehistoric diet contained little sodium, the body developed means for conserving it through resorption. Conversely, our potassium supplies were higher, and therefore the body developed no system for conserving it—it is absorbed, filtered by the kidneys, and eliminated.

• Cellular imbalance between potassium and sodium can cause strokes and other damage without increasing blood pressure (K Factor xxix). An exclusive focus on decreasing blood pressure (whether through diet or drugs) that fails to take potassium into consideration may not produce desired results.

• The sodium-potassium (Na+/K+) pump is an important pump that exists in cells. Its job is to keep sodium levels low in cells (pump out sodium and wastes) and pump in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. Sufficient potassium is critical for this all-important pump that keeps us healthy.

• When sodium (salt) levels are high and potassium levels are low, the pump does not function efficiently. Cells cannot prevent sodium from entering, causing them to swell from osmotic pressure, and causing metabolic blockage.

• The sodium-potassium pump uses sodium as a “carrier” to bring in potassium, glucose, and other nutrients. For every glucose molecule, two sodium molecules are pumped into a cell. With high sodium intakes, cells become overloaded with sodium, and the pump works far less efficiently.

• Low potassium creates greater imbalance preventing the pump from excreting sodium, and also preventing nutrients from entering cells. The cell produces less energy and enters a type of metabolic stasis.

• Studies show the greatest decreases in blood pressure occur not only when sodium intake decreases, but when potassium intake simultaneously increases.

The role of potassium in the sodium-potassium pump has implications for nearly every function in the human body. And potassium does a lot more.

MANY HEALTH BENEFITS

Potassium provides many benefits. These include known benefits for reducing hypertension, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney stones, as well as supporting cardiovascular health, and stabilizing blood glucose. Many of potassium’s benefits relate to its role in the sodium-potassium pump. Other benefits relate to different aspects of potassium.

POTASSIUM ALKALINIZES YOUR BODY

Among the most significant features of potassium is its ability to alkalinize the body. Potassium neutralizes acids by itself and especially when combined with minerals such as bicarbonates.

I have recently posted several articles that discuss potassium’s role in keeping the body alkaline. Specifically, how consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables remains the most important means for maintaining alkaline conditions in the body.

Potassium contributes mightily to acid-alkaline balance essential for health by boosting alkalinity. pH levels in the range of 7.35–7.45 provide many benefits. Because modern diets and lifestyles tend to produce acidic conditions (acidosis) in the body, it is important to recognize potassium’s role as “ultimate alkalinizer.”

Known benefits of ideal pH levels (slightly alkaline) include:

• Optimal function of enzymes
• Proper mineral retention, including electrolyte reserves
• Better tissue oxygenation
• Beneficial effects on microbiome

fruits vegetables potassium alkalinization

Consuming more potassium-rich fruits and vegetables can help maintain proper pH in the body.

The alkaline-forming minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium. They work together to keep you alkaline—all are important. Yet, in terms of what in your diet most drives alkalinity, potassium is the king. In fact, certain measures of pH indicate that alkalinity is a function of potassium intake. This means potassium intake most effectively creates alkaline conditions.

High dietary intake of potassium-rich, alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables) and vegetable juices is the best way of supporting proper pH. This is a proven means for balancing the effects of acid-forming foods like meats, and most grains and starches (simple carbohydrates).

Known factors producing overly acidic conditions in the body include consuming meats, sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice, and most pastas and breads.

IT’S REALLY ABOUT DIET?

TOO LITTLE POTASSIUM…TOO MUCH SODIUM

The human story behind potassium begins with dietary intake. Once upon a time, we “got plenty” of potassium in our diets. Now, not so much.

Indeed, humans have a long history of high potassium intake from foods. Our paleolithic ancestors ate a lot of vegetables, fruits, and nuts—all of which are high in potassium. This helped balance their intake of nutrients from animal foods, which are typically lower in potassium.

During the rise of agriculture (20,000–30,000 years ago) and settled communities, grains became a significant portion of our diet. Yet, grains contain relatively low levels of potassium.

In addition, salt was added to foods in larger quantities as a preservative and taste enhancer. A long, slow slide toward decreasing potassium levels— and simultaneously increasing sodium levels—was set in motion.

Sodium is an essential mineral for health—it is one of the alkalinizing minerals. But historically, humans obtained 5–10+ times as much potassium as sodium. We have now “successfully” reversed potassium preponderance by consuming 2–4 times as much sodium as potassium. This causes lots of problems, and is one of the major elements creating dysfunction in sodium-potassium pumps in cells (see above).

In our modern age, and especially since the later decades of the the 20th century, intake of fresh vegetables and fruits has fallen dramatically. And so has the dietary intake of potassium.

The 20th century witnessed an unprecedented and dramatic rise in consumption of processed, packaged, and “fast” foods — most of which are low in potassium and high in sodium.

Beyond the rise of processed foods, there are declines in nutrients (including potassium) in foods due to steadily poorer soil quality on farmland. And adverse impacts on nutrients in food crops relating to the rise of industrial agriculture—with its dependency on chemicals—and failure to replenish soils.

DIET REMAINS BEST TO INCREASE POTASSIUM INTAKE

Potassium remains high in vegetables and fruits, including dried fruits. And vegetable broths. The best solution to low intake of potassium in the diet is simply consuming higher levels of vegetables and fruits, especially those that are fresh and organic.

spinach leafy greens potassium alkalinity

Got spinach? It provides 800 mg potassium per cup!

Leafy greens (raw or cooked) are among the very best sources. Beet greens contain 1,300 mg of potassium per cup and spinach about 800 mg per cup.

Fresh carrot juice is my favorite providing nearly 700 mg per cup. Even comfort foods like baked potatoes (or sweet potatoes) provide high levels (1,000 mg) with skin. Avocado lovers rejoice, as there are 400–500 mg per avocado.

Beans and nuts are good sources, too. Fruits like bananas (400 mg), cantaloupe (350 mg), and even fruit juices like orange juice (650 mg) are significant sources. Among animal foods, fish, chicken, and pork are highest in potassium.

Nutritionists frequently suggest a 80–20 rule: simply consume 80% alkaline-forming foods to 20% acid-forming foods.

With this simple 80–20 formula, nearly everyone can achieve high—or at least adequate—potassium intake through their dietary choices.

The question is: Will people CHOOSE high-potassium foods? Do you?

SOLUTIONS FOR INCREASING POTASSIUM AND REDUCING SODIUM

You can point a person to high-potassium foods, but you can’t make them eat them. Despite exhortations from all sides for greater consumption of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other high-potassium foods, “potassium sufficiency” isn’t the reality for most people. Potassium intake has been steady for decades.

Regarding sodium, it is just as easy (and important) for most people to decrease sodium in the diet as it is to increase potassium intake. Reduce use of salt. Choose low-sodium options when possible. Sodium is now on the radar as a mineral that promotes hypertension, so low-sodium options are increasingly available.

But like eating more fruits and vegetables, getting more exercise—and other things we know we “should” do—reducing sodium requires a conscious effort. The first part is awareness on the part of the individual. That leads to greater responsibility.

sodium salt shaker potassium

Too much sodium and insufficient potassium in the diet describes modern life.

I also believe manufacturers, restaurants, and the food industry in general should voluntarily limit the amount of sodium they put in foods. That would go a long way toward making it easier to reduce salt.

Coming back to potassium, an interesting fact is that based on US research, Finland in the 1990s replaced their salt shakers with potassium shakers. It’s true. And among other benefits, the incidence of strokes and heart attacks decreased by 60%.

Much can be done by individuals to improve their lives by increasing their potassium intake. Unless and until people eat enough high-potassium foods (and/or the US replaces its salt shakers with potassium shakers—which actually would help solve two problems), another viable option is potassium supplements.

POTASSIUM SUPPLEMENTS

For individuals who do not (or will not) consume sufficient potassium in their diets—this includes the vast majority of people—potassium supplementation can be beneficial.

Even for those who often consume adequate potassium, but sometimes fall short, supplementation is a useful option because it allows for increased potassium intake during times when they need more of it. And who doesn’t?

There are various potassium supplements, typically either capsules or alternate “salts” comprised partly or wholly of potassium bicarbonate. This form of potassium found naturally in fruits and vegetables (versus potassium chloride), and therefore is considered safe. Even when taken in amounts beyond normal recommended daily values, excesses will typically be excreted.

A few caveats. Most nutritional supplements only provide small amounts (100 mg) due to government rules created to avert “hyperalkemia,” defined as too much potassium in the blood. Hyperalkemia can be caused by acute or chronic kidney failure, so if you suffer from kidney failure, please leave potassium supplements alone.

Hyperalkemia can also be caused by medications, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (taken for lowering high blood pressure, ironically), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and blood thinners like heparin. It may also relate to alcoholism, diabetes (type 1), or excessive use of potassium supplements.

The “normal” range of potassium in blood is 3.6–4.8 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/L).

On the reverse side: while most people get less than ideal amounts of potassium in their diets, deficiencies that would qualify as too little potassium (“hypoalkemia”) are not common. (Symptoms of hypoalkemia can include irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, cramping, mood changes, nausea, and vomiting. Severe deficiencies may lead to muscle paralysis and abnormal heart rhythms.)

Given that most people do not obtain sufficient potassium, eating more fruits and vegetables and perhaps taking a high-quality potassium supplement will help the average person. That is, most people benefit from more potassium—not less—which they can get from diet and/or supplements.

pH ADJUST & POTASSIUM

HPDI recently launched pH Adjust, which is probably the world’s most sophisticated alkalinizing formula. pH Adjust is not a potassium supplement, per se. Yet, it provides easily assimilated potassium as part of a synergistic formula (including other important macrominerals) that is exceptionally well designed for increasing pH levels in the body.

pH Adjust potassium bicarbonate magnesium carbonate

pH ADJUST provides potassium and sodium bicarbonates and magnesium carbonate for alkalinity.

pH Adjust is already popular because many people are overly acidic due to dietary and lifestyle choices, including—but not limited to—not consuming enough vegetables and fruits and over-consuming meats, grains, and other acid-forming foods.

pH Adjust is an excellent formula for those interested in safely and rapidly increasing their pH to overcome acidosis, and creating alkaline conditions in the body.

One gram (1/4 teaspoon) of pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg of potassium from potassium bicarbonate and potassium glycinate. This means that one teaspoon — which is the amount I take daily — gives me 567 mg (.567 g) of potassium. That is not a huge amount of potassium, perhaps as much as you would obtain from mid-sized banana. However, if you consider that pH Adjust is a dietary supplement, which in conjunction with improved diet (i.e., consuming more potassium-rich foods) can make a difference in your potassium intake.

And for the many individuals whose potassium intake is less than 2.6 g — recall that 2.6 g is the AVERAGE intake — a 1/2 gram increase in potassium can make a big difference (a 20% boost!) in terms of improving total intake.

Then consider the “healthy” person whose potassium intake may hover around 4 g, which is above average, but less than the suggested 4.7 g intake level. One teaspoon of pH Adjust will move them into the range where they will meet— or get much closer to—the recommended daily intake.

pH ADJUST: MINERALS FOR ALKALINITY

Taking one teaspoon of pH Adjust daily not only helps boost potassium intake, but represents a HUGE move toward being alkaline, which is a major benefit for health, as I wrote in my last blog article.

Equally important in terms of alkalinizing the body, the bicarbonate form of potassium in pH Adjust is hugely alkaline-forming. That is, while potassium itself neutralizes acids in the body, potassium bicarbonate is substantially more alkalizing because of the tremendous alkaline-forming power of bicarbonate.

That is why HPDI created pH Adjust—to rapidly and effectively create alkaline conditions in the body.

Other significant facts: pH Adjust contains magnesium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Magnesium carbonate helps neutralizes stomach acids (hydrochloric acid) and then after it is absorbed (as magnesium ions) it continues to neutralize acids throughout the body. The sodium bicarbonate similarly splits: sodium neutralizes acids and bicarbonates alkalinize the body.

Moreover, it is known that without sufficient magnesium, cells cannot retain potassium. pH Adjust provides a significant amount (105 mg) of magnesium (from carbonate) per 1/4 teaspoon. Think about it—pH Adjust supplies more than 400 mg of easily assimilated magnesium in a single teaspoon! (This means you can reduce or drop your other magnesium supplements.)

pH Adjust provides a 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. This ratio is known to be ideal for optimal uptake of potassium.

supplement facts pH Adjust potassium magnesium sodium

pH Adjust provides 141.7 mg potassium and 105 mg magnesium per 1/4 teaspoon serving.

FINAL WORDS

Potassium powers sodium-potassium pumps in your cells and keeps you alkaline. It supports proper blood pressure and cardiovascular function. It balances the effects of sodium and works synergistically with other macrominerals keeping you healthy.

Potassium loves you. Yet, you hardly know potassium—or how deficient you are.

Love potassium like it loves you. Eat more potassium-rich fruits, vegetables, and fresh juices. Take a potassium-containing formula like pH Adjust. Not only will it supply you with easily assimilated potassium, but also powerfully boost your alkalinity.

Eat less salt. For God’s sake, eat less salt. Do all these things. Then it’s likely your poor sodium-potassium pumps will revive themselves. I promise, you will feel it!

 

RESOURCES

BLOG ARTICLES

Alkalinize Rapidly Using pH Adjust

pH Adjust Alkalinizing Formula – New Product!

BOOKS & SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES

The High Blood Pressure Solution by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The K Factor: Reversing and Preventing High Blood Pressure without Drugs by Richard D. Moore, MD, PhD

The XXL Syndrome by Max Rombi, MD

Acid & Alkaline by Herman Aihara

Acid-alkaline balance: role in chronic disease and detoxification
(Altern Ther Health Med, 13(4):62-5)

Potassium Intake of the US Population (PDF)
(NHANES Food Surveys Research Group, USDA)

LIST OF HIGH-POTASSIUM FOODS

Potassium: Health Benefits, Recommended Intake

 

This article is dedicated to the memory of our friend Dr. Victor A. Galunic, who provided HPDI with information, resources, and technical assistance.

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RECENT ADVANCES IN LIPOSOME TECHNOLOGY

Dr. Hank Liers, PhD liposomes liposomal nutrientsHealth Products Distributors, Inc. recently decided to augment the variety of liposomal products we carry based upon the significant advancements of the technology during the last few years.

Among the benefits of using liposomes are that significantly higher levels of certain nutrients can be delivered directly to the cells where they are needed. In this article, I will discuss some of the recent scientific advances and new products associated with these advances.

Types of Liposomes

Figure 1 – liposomal types

SMALLER IS SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER

In December 2015, I wrote a blog article on liposomes to introduce the liposomal products we began selling at that time. Unfortunately, the particle size of these original products are on the order of 500 nanometers (nm), and as such are not nearly as well absorbed as the much smaller liposomes that have recently been developed by Quicksilver Scientific.

Figure 1 gives an overview of current liposome types. These include multi-lamellar vesicles (MLV) that range in size from 300–5,000 nm and have more than one bilayer.

Large unilamellar vesicles (LUV) range in size from 100–300 nm. They have a single bilayer and a high trapped volume, but have lower thermodynamic stability and decreased uptake.

Small unilamellar vesicles (SUV) range in size from 20–100 nm. SUV have a long circulation half-life and better cellular accumulation. Small lipid particles have the fastest uptake kinetics and can participate in paracellular (between cells) transport. The nutritional liposome industry is moving toward the use of SUV.

Small liposomes (SUV) are drastically more efficient at intracellular delivery of encapsulated compounds. In a recent study with carefully sized liposomes, cellular uptake increased nine-fold as liposome size was decreased from 236 nm to 97 nm and was 34 fold higher at 64 nm (see Figure 2). This figure shows flow cytometry results (a measure of cellular uptake) for Caco-2 cells incubated with liposomes containing Dil-C18 at 15 min and 60 min intervals.

Size effects of liposomes for cellular uptake

Figure 2 – Chart showing greatly enhanced absorption of liposomes as size decreases

 

HPDI CARRIES NEW LIPOSOMAL PRODUCTS

Our new liposomal product supplier currently is providing a wide range of products that have stable liposomes of about 50 nm. These products are bottled in such a way that they are taken by pumping (or squirting) the contents directly into your mouth (i.e., oral administration). This is an extremely clean method of dosing in which a few pumps of liposomal liquid can be rapidly taken or administered with no need for placing the product into separate glass of water or squeezing packets.

Because of the very small size much of the ingredients are absorbed through mucus membranes and into the system and cells extremely quickly (within seconds/minutes). In addition to the ingredients within the liposome, one gets significant amounts of phosphytidal choline into the cell membranes with a very beneficial effect on membrane function.

We are currently carrying the following Quicksilver Scientific liposomal products:

  1. Vitamin C with R-Lipoic Acid
  2. Glutathione
  3. Colorado Hemp Oil
  4. NanoMojo – a unique combination of 19 adaptogenic herbs

Quicksilver Liposomes

We highly encourage that you use the products because of the huge benefits they provide. We use them ourselves every day.

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ALKALINIZE RAPIDLY USING pH ADJUST

Fred Liers PhD alkalinize rapidly using pH AdjustYou’ve heard it before. Eat more fruits and vegetables to be alkaline. Consume more alkaline-forming foods. Eat fewer acid-forming foods to avoid acidosis. Balance your pH levels.

Maybe you’ve even studied lists or charts of acid- and alkaline-forming foods to encourage dietary choices for creating proper acid-alkaline balance.

It’s no secret that acid-alkaline balance is important for health. In fact, it is well established that pH levels in the range of 7.35–7.45 provide many benefits. The facts are the facts, and the science is sound.

ph value foods acid alkaline ph adjust

Consuming more alkaline-forming fruits and vegetables can help maintain proper pH in the body.

Yet, if creating alkalinity were that simple, then why are most individual’s pH levels acidic instead of alkaline? What can be done to remedy the endemic (and epidemic!) levels of acidosis we see today?

Consuming potassium-rich fruits and vegetables remains the most important means for maintaining alkaline conditions in the body. However, taking pH Adjust powder supplement is an effective adjunct not only for helping balance pH levels, but rapidly producing an alkaline state conducive to optimal health.

pH BALANCE BASICS

A pH of 7 is considered neutral. A slightly alkaline pH level – like 7.4 – is best for health, of course.

Known benefits of ideal pH levels (slightly alkaline) include:

• Optimal function of enzymes
• Proper mineral retention, including electrolyte reserves
• Better tissue oxygenation
• Beneficial effects on microbiome

Dietary intake of alkaline-forming foods is the most obvious way of supporting proper pH. Consuming a diet rich in alkaline forming foods, such as fruits and vegetables (particularly leafy green vegetables) and vegetable juices are proven means for successfully balancing the effects of acid-forming foods like meats, and most grains and starches (simple carbohydrates).

Vegetables and fruits contain potassium. Evidence shows that potassium is critical for producing alkaline conditions in the body.

Known factors producing overly acidic conditions in the body include consuming meats, sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like wheat, corn, rice, and most pastas and breads.

pH BALANCE ESSENTIAL FOR HEALTH

Despite the certain knowledge that consuming vegetables, vegetable juices, and certain fruits helps balance pH, most people’s pH levels are overly acidic. I personally know many people, often vegetarians, whose pH levels are perfectly within the range suggested for optimal health.

Yet, I also see that most people do not consume sufficient alkaline-forming foods (specifically vegetables and vegetable juices), and therefore I am not surprised that the pH levels of most people are overly acidic.

What people in the thick of life may not realize is the degree to which acidosis—chronic or otherwise—is taking a toll of their health. And how maintaining alkalinity can improve health, longevity and quality of life. Or how easy it can be to create and sustain alkaline conditions using diet and dietary supplements.

MODERN TIMES: CHRONIC ACIDOSIS FOR MOST

Government statistics show that individuals by far do not consume recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. It makes me wonder what foods the average individual or family consumes daily. Fast foods, fried foods, GMO foods, sugar-laden foods, and processed foods, as well as artificial additives, pesticides and agricultural chemicals are not conducive to alkaline conditions.

Neither are high-nitrogen foods, like red meats and most high-protein animal foods, especially when over-consumed—and not balanced by potassium-rich plant foods.

It seems the diet and lifestyle of most people are such that they are overly acidic. This may be considered a symptom of “modern” life. Yet, while the acid-alkaline balance of ancient diets—and even the diets of Westerners into the 20th century may have been fundamentally better (i.e., more alkaline-forming), the principles of pH balance remain the same. The pH levels of individuals subsisting on grains in any historical period would be relatively acidic.

Beyond low potassium intake from vegetables and fruits, other factors associated with over acidity include alcohol and most pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and artificial colorings, low nutrient intake, chemical exposure, pollution, lack of exercise, shallow breathing, and chronic stress.

Given the prevalence of these factors, is it any wonder that maintaining alkaline conditions in the body has become difficult for the average person?

Some effects of acidosis:

• Fatigue
• Being “out of breath” easily and asthmatic symptoms
• Muscle cramping or pain—even with little exertion
• Feeling like can’t get sufficient air (low tissue oxygenation)
• Skin problems
• Allergies
• Headaches
• Weight gain

Importantly, studies indicate that long-term acidosis is linked to certain health conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, osteoporosis, stroke, and other adverse conditions.

HOW TO BE ALKALINE: DIET AND pH ADJUST

The answer for maintaining alkalinity is to consume plenty of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables. Most people know that it is important to eat 4–6 servings of vegetables daily. Yet, how many actually do? And why is that?

Not unlike taking daily multivitamins and sufficient quantities of basic dietary supplements, maintaining proper pH levels is easier said than done for most people. It just is.

For example, what if you normally consume sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables, but you are traveling? Or find yourself on a given day not maintaining sufficient intake to maintain optimal pH balance? Or inadvertently become exposed to “factors” that create acidosis?

If you regularly consume sufficient levels of vegetables, vegetable juices, and certain fruits, you will most likely be slightly alkaline most of the time. If you do not, then you will either need to increase your intake of these potassium-rich foods, or try something else, or both.

How do I know this? Because despite my rather large intake of vegetables, vegetable juices, and fruits, I discovered that I am myself not always sufficiently alkaline. When I recently used litmus paper to test my pH levels, I found to my surprise that I am not *always* as alkaline as I should be.

Fortunately, my father Hank Liers, who is our company’s formulator and founder, had something brewing in his mind the last few years.

Just as I was deeply wondering how to squeeze more vegetable juices into my busy schedule…he develops a formula that forever changes my perspective on acid-alkaline balance, not to mention keeping me alkaline — like all the time.

It is amazing and it is “something else.” He calls it pH Adjust. And that is what it does—adjust your pH—and fast!

pH Adjust

pH ADJUST can safely and effective alkalinize the body.

WHAT TO EXPECT: pH ADJUST BENEFITS

After taking a single dose of pH Adjust, my pH “litmus” paper turned from light-ish green to deep purple.

After taking a dose every day for 10 days, my litmus test paper is dark blue to purple nearly all the time.

In addition, my father, Dr. Hank, has noticed that by taking a single large dose (a rounded teaspoon) every morning upon arising and measuring his urinary pH levels shortly before taking the dose, his morning pH levels are consistently in the 6.8 to 8.0 range. Before initiating this practice his morning urinary pH range was 6.2 to 6.6. Using this same protocol, my mother has experienced the same pattern of morning urinary pH values.

Of course, urinary (and salivary) pH measurements over the day will show significant variations depending upon your dietary habits. However, it was noticed that the trend was to have the pH increase over time as the protocol was rigorously followed.

What changed? Well, our pH levels have changed—toward alkalinity—for one thing. For another thing, I notice I have greater stamina, breathe easier, and just “feel” better.

Another unexpected benefit: my teeth feel stronger. Go figure! I thought about it and I see that my body must be retaining minerals better.

When the body is acidic, minerals are required to “buffer” the acidity. The body will even pull minerals from bones or teeth to buffer acidity because it tries to balance acidity any way it can.

Does this mean you can stop eating vegetables—and just take pH Adjust? Absolutely “no” because your diet remains the single most important factor in keeping your body slightly alkaline. If anything, your intake of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables (like kale and other leafy greens) should increase or at least be maintained, if it is already sufficiently abundant in these foods.

The arrival of pH Adjust just means there is a highly effective tool (supplement) to help maintain proper acid-alkaline balance beyond your diet alone. It means that whenever your pH levels dip into an acidic zone, you can rapidly and effectively return yourself to an alkaline state independently of your immediate dietary circumstances. From this perspective, pH Adjust is like an insurance policy: a useful means to attain alkalinity if and when diet alone is not enough. That’s why pH Adjust is a dietary “supplement.”

I cannot guarantee you will get the exact results I obtained. Your results will depend on your diet, level of acidity, and exposure to other factors known to determine pH levels. Nevertheless, the science behind the development of pH Adjust is based on the fact that certain key forms of minerals like potassium and sodium bicarbonate and magnesium carbonate create alkaline conditions in the body.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT pH ADJUST

pH Adjust is a fluffy, mild-tasting power formula you add to water, juice, or other liquid drinks in small amounts (about 1/4 teaspoon) that rapidly “adjusts” your pH levels toward alkaline.

pH Adjust contains potassium bicarbonate, magnesium carbonate, potassium glycinate, and sodium bicarbonate. A one gram serving (about a rounded ¼ tsp) contains about 300 mg of bicarbonate, 260 mg of carbonate, 142 mg of potassium, 105 mg of magnesium, 48 mg of sodium, and 100 mg of glycine.

Potassium, sodium, and magnesium are key minerals involved in many important functions in the body. When combined in bicarbonates (potassium & sodium), carbonates (magnesium), and glycinate (potassium) they help to adjust and balance pH levels essential to optimal body function.

You can read more in depth about pH Adjust on our product page.

pH ADJUST VERSUS SODIUM BICARBONATE (BAKING SODA)

For years, health professionals have advocated the use of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for its alkalinizing effects and the benefits associated with balanced pH levels.

Baking soda is cheap and effective, but consuming it has drawbacks. Its key flaw is sodium. Sodium bicarbonate provides relatively too much sodium (salt), and as such, its consumption must be monitored so as to avoid elevated sodium levels. Too high sodium levels create known risks for high blood pressure (hypertension) and cardiovascular health.

pH Adjust is formulated to avoid high sodium levels. One key to the formula is its 3:1 ratio of potassium to sodium. These are balanced amounts, as well as levels the body itself favors in terms of absorption and retention. Moreover, these levels maintain a balance known to be heart-healthy and that keep the formula low in sodium, when used as directed.

Most individuals already consume sufficient (or more than sufficient) sodium, and therefore require other minerals to balance that intake. pH Adjust not only contains low levels of sodium, but also provides minerals (potassium, magnesium) needed to balance sodium levels in the body.

ph Adjust

A refreshing glass of water with pH Adjust. Can alkalinizing get any simpler?

TASTE

Taste is another advantage of pH Adjust. Baking soda literally tastes “salty” because it is full of sodium. For a long while, I used baking soda to balance my pH levels toward greater alkalinity.

I stopped taking baking soda not only because my dietary intake of alkaline-forming foods is usually sufficient (relative to the average person), but also because I no longer could stomach the salty taste. I continue to “slug” down baking soda every now and then, but I have to suppress my overriding desire to spit it out—it’s simply too salty!

Imagine me now: happily drinking my pH Adjust in water every morning (and sometimes afternoon) which tastes good! I cannot actually say it tastes like a dessert because it is more like neutral to slightly sweet in taste (partly due to its glycine content). It goes down smoothly with no detectable “salty” taste.

EVERYTHING TO LOVE IN AN ALKALINIZING FORMULA

I would say pH Adjust has everything I would ask for in an alkalinizing, pH balancing formula. It alkalinizes me–FAST! It provides critical minerals required for health in balanced amounts, including potassium and magnesium in easily assimilated forms. It is low in sodium. It tastes good. What more can you ask for?

pH Adjust probably is the most sophisticated alkalinizing formula available. Certainly it is better than calcium- and chemical-laden antacids, which I would never take anyway. pH Adjust’s elegant design makes baking soda seem plain and salty by comparison not to mention highly imbalanced in terms of its mineral content.

TRY pH ADJUST AND MEASURE YOUR pH

No one can really know the effects of such an excellent pH balancing formula as pH Adjust without accurately measuring their pH levels. That is the reason HPDI offers Hydrion litmus paper, which is simply a litmus paper for measuring pH.

Whether you use Hydrion brand papers won’t make a difference. Any good-quality litmus paper should work just fine. Use a small, one- or two-inch strip of pH paper to quickly dip into a saliva or urine sample (i.e., to test salivary or urinary pH). Hint: urinary pH tends to be more accurate because saliva tends to be affected by foods. Test salivary pH well away from meals.

hydrion litmus paper ph Adjust

Order a container or two of pH Adjust, which we’ve purposefully kept low cost so both health professionals and individuals can make it a regular part of their pH balancing regimes. At $19.95 for retail customers (and less for HPDI resellers/wholesale customers), you will see that there is significant value for the price of pH Adjust.

As for serving size, one container provides 250 one-gram servings (about a rounded 1/4 teaspoon). Even if you were to take larger amounts (like I do), say up to one teaspoon daily, there would be nearly 63 servings per container. That’s enough for two full months of servings assuming daily usage.

NOTHING TO LOSE, JUST pH BALANCE TO GAIN

For every person I know whose pH levels lean toward acidic end of the spectrum, there is a container of pH Adjust waiting to be opened. Seriously though, if you’re not getting quite enough potassium-rich vegetables in your diet (or think you are but actually are not), then please consider pH Adjust your supplemental “friend-in-need.”

And if you (or your clients) suffer from long-term, chronic acidosis due to a potential variety of causes, then you have much more to gain. Stop the spiral of acidity from keeping you from attaining much better balanced pH levels—and thereby improved health—by trying our simple blend of minerals in bicarbonate, carbonate, and glycinate forms, called pH Adjust.

Then measure your pH using litmus paper—and see the difference for yourself. Litmus paper doesn’t lie, and it gives you a reliable indicator of the progress you’re making and your current pH status in real time.

After using pH Adjust and measuring your results with litmus paper, then decide for yourself. Is pH Adjust worth its name? Does it effectively help you balance your pH? We think your answer will be “yes.” We believe you will love pH Adjust as much as we love it.

Be alkaline!!

RESOURCES

pH ADJUST

PH ADJUST ALKALINIZING FORMULA – NEW PRODUCT! (Blog)

List of acid-forming and alkaline forming foods

Hydrion Litmus Paper

hydrion ph paper litmus ph adjust

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NO DEATHS FROM NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS IN 2015

Fred Liers PhD Orthomolecular News Service No deaths from supplements vitaminsEvery year, HPDI publishes several articles from the Orthomolecular New Service (OMNS). This month we share a news release from OMNS about the fact in 2015 there were no deaths caused by nutritional supplements, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, homeopathics, or herbs.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, January 3, 2017

NO DEATHS FROM NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS, INCLUDING VITAMINS, MINERALS, AMINO ACIDS, HOMEOPATHICS, OR HERBS.
SAFETY CONFIRMED BY AMERICA’S LARGEST DATABASE.

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS, Jan 3, 2017) There were no deaths whatsoever from vitamins in the year 2015. The 33rd annual report from the American Association of Poison Control Centers shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins. And, there were no deaths whatsoever from vitamin A, niacin, pyridoxine (B-6) any other B-vitamin. There were no deaths from vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, or from any vitamin at all.

no deaths supplements vitamins

Safe to consume: no deaths from nutritional supplements in 2015.

Not only are there no deaths from vitamins, there are also zero deaths from any supplement. The most recent (2015) information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System, and published in the journal Clinical Toxicology (1), shows no deaths whatsoever from dietary supplements.

NO DEATHS FROM VITAMINS

Zero deaths from vitamins. Want to bet this will never be on the evening news? Well, have you seen it there? And why not?

After all, over half of the U.S. population takes daily nutritional supplements. If each of those people took only one single tablet daily, that makes some 170,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of well over 60 billion doses annually. Since many persons take far more than just one single vitamin tablet, actual consumption is considerably higher, and the safety of vitamin supplements is all the more remarkable.

It was claimed that one person died from vitamin supplements in the year 2015, according to AAPCC’s interpretation of information collected by the U.S. National Poison Data System. That single alleged “death” was supposedly due to “Other B-Vitamins.” This was claimed back in 2012 as well, with no substantiation then, either. Indeed, the AAPCC report specifically indicates no deaths from niacin (B-3) or pyridoxine (B-6). That therefore leaves folic acid, thiamine (B-1), riboflavin (B-2), biotin, pantothenic acid, and cobalamin (B-12) as the remaining B-vitamins that could be implicated. However, the safety record of these vitamins is extraordinarily good; no fatalities have ever been confirmed for any of them.

Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, repeatedly said: “No one dies from vitamins.” He was right when he said it and he is still right today. The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service invites submission of specific scientific evidence conclusively demonstrating death caused by a vitamin.

NO DEATHS FROM MINERALS

There were zero deaths from any dietary mineral supplement. This means there were no fatalities from calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, colloidal silver, selenium, iron, or multimineral supplements. Reported in the “Electrolyte and Mineral” category was a fatality from the medical use of “Sodium and sodium salts” and another fatality from non-supplemental iron, which was clearly and specifically excluded from the supplement category.

NO DEATHS FROM ANY OTHER NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT

Additionally, there were zero deaths from any amino acid or herbal product. This means no deaths at all from blue cohosh, echinacea, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, kava kava, St. John’s wort, valerian, yohimbe, Asian medicines, ayurvedic medicines, or any other botanical. There were zero deaths from creatine, blue-green algae, glucosamine, chondroitin, or melatonin. There were zero deaths from any homeopathic remedy.

WHEN IN DOUBT, BLAME A SUPPLEMENT

There actually was one fatality alleged from some “Unknown Dietary Supplement or Homeopathic Agent.” This is hearsay at best, and scaremongering at worst. How can an accusation be based on the unknown? Claiming causation without even knowing what substance or ingredient to accuse is baseless.

TRUTH: NO MAN, WOMAN, OR CHILD DIED FROM ANY NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT

If nutritional supplements are allegedly so “dangerous,” as the FDA, the news media, and even some physicians still claim, then where are the bodies? There aren’t any.

REFERENCES

Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Brooks DE et al. 2015 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 33rd Annual Report. Clinical Toxicology 2016, 54:10, 924-1109, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15563650.2016.1245421

Data for vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids, and other supplements are presented in Table 22-B.

The complete 187-page article is available for free download from https://aapcc.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/annual_reports/2015_AAPCC_NPDS_Annual_Report_33rd_PDF.pdfor download this and all previous AAPCC Annual Reports at http://www.aapcc.org/annual-reports/

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael J. Gonzalez, N.M.D., D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Tonya S. Heyman, M.D. (USA)
Suzanne Humphries, M.D. (USA)
Ron Hunninghake, M.D. (USA)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Jeffrey J. Kotulski, D.O. (USA)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Victor A. Marcial-Vega, M.D. (Puerto Rico)
Dave McCarthy, M.D. (USA)
Joseph Mercola, D.O. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Jeffrey A. Ruterbusch, D.O. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Thomas L. Taxman, M.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Ken Walker, M.D. (Canada)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor-In-Chief
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA), Assistant Editor
Helen Saul Case, M.S. (USA), Assistant Editor
Michael S. Stewart, B.Sc.C.S. (USA), Technology Editor
Jason M. Saul, JD (USA), Legal Consultant

Comments and media contact: drsaul@doctoryourself.com OMNS welcomes but is unable to respond to individual reader emails. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

To Subscribe to the Orthomolecular News Service (OMNS) free: http://www.orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html

OMNS Archive: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml

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BENEFITS OF GINKGO BILOBA EXTRACT

Dr. Hank Liers PhD gingko biloba extractHealth Products Distributors, Inc. (HPDI) has been carrying high-quality standardized Ginkgo Biloba extract (24/6) for more than 20 years. Ginkgo biloba extract is one of the best-selling herbal supplements in the United States and Europe because of its health benefits. Yet, because of severe price increases in ginkgo extract during the last few years, HPDI’s inventory was depleted. However, the price has now been greatly reduced for high-quality material—and we have inventory back in stock.

Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Ginkgo biloba has a long history of use (over thousands of years) in treating memory issues and blood disorders. Today, It is best known as a way to keep memory sharp. Laboratory studies have shown that Ginkgo biloba improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky. Research studies also show that it is a powerful antioxidant.

Based upon these properties, Ginkgo biloba may improve blood vessel and eye health. Research has clearly shown that Ginkgo Biloba helps with dementia and poor circulation in the body. It also protects memory in older adults.

TECHNICAL DATA

Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoids and terpenoids, which are both antioxidants. In your body, harmful free radical substances build up as you age and may contribute to a range of health issues. The antioxidants found in Ginkgo biloba help to neutralize free radicals, and prevent them from damaging DNA and other cellular structures.

Leaves of Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Leaves of Ginkgo Biloba Tree

Chemical constituents: Ginkgo biloba leaf contains a complex mixture of flavonoids including: quercetin, kaempferol, isorhamnetin and other glycosides. It also contains unique diterpenes including ginkgolides A, B, C and J, sesquiterpene bilobalide, and other natural compounds that contribute in a synergistic manner to the beneficial actions of Ginkgo biloba.

Our GINKGO BILOBA extract contains only the highest-quality 50:1 extract of ginkgo biloba standardized to 24% minimum ginkgoflavonglycosides and 6% minimum combined ginkgolides A, B, C, and bilobalide. Each capsule contains 120 mg of the extract and their are 60 capsules in a bottle. Other ingredients include: microcrystalline cellulose, HPMC (vegetarian capsule), and silica. The ginkgolic acid content of the current production run is is 1.36ppm.

Here is the Certificate of Analysis of our current run of Ginkgo Biloba.

Ginkgo Biloba extract

Ginkgo Biloba 120 mg

 

SPECIFIC BENEFITS: GINKGO BILOBA EXTRACT

Reduces Conditions of Dementia: Scientific literature suggests that Ginkgo biloba extract benefits people experiencing cognitive decline, including those with dementia of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Certain studies have found Ginkgo biloba can help improve cognitive performance and memory in both older and younger adults but might be especially useful for age-related mental decline.

Improves Concentration: Research shows that Ginkgo biloba extract can help combat poor concentration, reverse cognitive decline and and heal fatigue. It’s even useful for helping to treat cerebral insufficiency — a condition characterized by chronically low concentration, confusion, decreased physical performance, fatigue, headaches and mood changes.

Helps With ADHD: Some studies using therapies that include Ginkgo biloba have found relief and improved concentration for people with ADHD symptoms. And because it can improve concentration, memory and task performance, it may also reduce symptoms in people with dyslexia. There is also some evidence that ginkgo biloba can help reduce symptoms of autism, making it a potential autism natural treatment.

Helps with Headaches and Migraines: Ginkgo biloba can be an effective way to naturally reduce frequent headaches and the rate and severity of migraines because it reduces pain, increases blood vessel dilation and combats stress that can trigger problems. Headaches may be triggered by stress, fatigue, poor posture, drugs, low blood sugar, hormones, constipation, allergies, eyestrain, and nutritional deficiencies. The amazing benefits that ginkgo has on stress and fatigue is associated with its ability to lessen headache tension.

Helps With Anxiety and Depression: For those with nervousness, depression or mood swings, Ginkgo biloba extract can be helpful. Research suggests Ginkgo biloba benefits the body’s ability to handle stressors and counteracts the effects of high levels of stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline.

Ginkgo biloba is considered to be an adaptogenic herb that naturally raises the body’s ability to cope with stress. It can be especially helpful for people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and possibly seasonal depression, panic attacks and social phobias.

Reduces Symptoms of Asthma: Studies have found Ginkgo biloba extract can reduce asthma-related symptoms. Because it lowers inflammation, improves antioxidant activity and positively effects nerve functioning, people have reported less trouble breathing when taking Ginkgo biloba.

Alleviates Symptoms of PMS: Early research has shown positive effects of taking Ginkgo biloba on reducing PMS symptoms, including mood swings, headaches, anxiety, fatigue and muscle pain. It also may have beneficial effects on mood and cognition in postmenopausal women and can help improve similar symptoms.

Helps Maintain Vision and Eye Health: Ginkgo biloba appears to be beneficial for eye health since it improves blood flow to the eyes and prevents free-radical damage that can affect the cornea, macula and retina. It can be especially beneficial for older adults in preserving vision and lowering UV damage or oxidative stress to eye tissue.

Improves Libido: Ginkgo biloba has positive effects on hormonal balance — particularly serotonin levels, blood pressure and circulation. This implies that it may help those dealing with erectile dysfunction and low libido. Ginkgo biloba has the potential to dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow to the genitals, which is important for reproductive health.

Helps Heal Hemorrhoids: Some studies have found that Ginkgo biloba helps those experiencing painful hemorrhoids, that cause swelling, pain and bleeding related to an increase in pressure on the veins of the anus and rectum. Ginkgo biloba may lower pain, improve pain tolerance and reduce inflammation, which may stop bleeding associated with hemorrhoids.

GINKGO BILOBA RESEARCH SUMMARY

Provided below are abstracts from some recent meta-analysis studies that document the effectiveness of Ginkgo biloba on mental health.

(ABSTRACT 1)
Tan MS, Yu JT, Tan CC, Wang HF, Meng XF, Wang C, Jiang T, Zhu XC, Tan L

Efficacy and adverse effects of ginkgo biloba for cognitive impairment and dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

In: J Alzheimers Dis. 2015;43(2):589-603. doi: 10.3233/JAD-14083

Research into Ginkgo biloba has been ongoing for many years, while the benefit and adverse effects of Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 for cognitive impairment and dementia has been discussed controversially.
OBJECTIVE: To discuss new evidence on the clinical and adverse effects of standardized Ginkgo biloba extract EGb761 for cognitive impairment and dementia.
METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane, and other relevant databases were searched in March 2014 for eligible randomized controlled trials of Ginkgo biloba EGb761 therapy in patients with cognitive impairment and dementia.
RESULTS: Nine trials met our inclusion criteria. Trials were of 22-26 weeks duration and included 2,561 patients in total. In the meta-analysis, the weighted mean differences in change scores for cognition were in favor of EGb761 compared to placebo (-2.86, 95%CI -3.18; -2.54); the standardized mean differences in change scores for activities in daily living (ADLs) were also in favor of EGb761 compared to placebo (-0.36, 95%CI -0.44; -0.28); Peto OR showed a statistically significant difference from placebo for Clinicians’ Global Impression of Change (CGIC) scale (1.88, 95%CI 1.54; 2.29). All these benefits are mainly associated with EGb761 at a dose of 240 mg/day. For subgroup analysis in patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms, 240 mg/day EGb761 improved cognitive function, ADLs, CGIC, and also neuropsychiatric symptoms with statistical superiority than for the whole group. For the Alzheimer’s disease subgroup, the main outcomes were almost the same as the whole group of patients with no statistical superiority. Finally, safety data revealed no important safety concerns with EGb761.
CONCLUSIONS: EGb761 at 240 mg/day is able to stabilize or slow decline in cognition, function, behavior, and global change at 22-26 weeks in cognitive impairment and dementia, especially for patients with neuropsychiatric symptoms.

(ABSTRACT 2)
Amieva H1, Meillon C, Helmer C, Barberger-Gateau P, Dartigues JF.

Ginkgo biloba extract and long-term cognitive decline: a 20-year follow-up population-based study.

In: PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e52755. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052755. Epub 2013 Jan 11

BACKGROUND: Numerous studies have looked at the potential benefits of various nootropic drugs such as Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761®; Tanakan®) and piracetam (Nootropyl®) on age-related cognitive decline often leading to inconclusive results due to small sample sizes or insufficient follow-up duration. The present study assesses the association between intake of EGb761® and cognitive function of elderly adults over a 20-year period.
METHODS AND FINDINGS: The data were gathered from the prospective community-based cohort study ‘Paquid’. Within the study sample of 3612 non-demented participants aged 65 and over at baseline, three groups were compared: 589 subjects reporting use of EGb761® at at least one of the ten assessment visits, 149 subjects reporting use of piracetam at one of the assessment visits and 2874 subjects not reporting use of either EGb761® or piracetam. Decline on MMSE, verbal fluency and visual memory over the 20-year follow-up was analysed with a multivariate mixed linear effects model. A significant difference in MMSE decline over the 20-year follow-up was observed in the EGb761® and piracetam treatment groups compared to the ‘neither treatment’ group. These effects were in opposite directions: the EGb761® group declined less rapidly than the ‘neither treatment’ group, whereas the piracetam group declined more rapidly (β = -0.6). Regarding verbal fluency and visual memory, no difference was observed between the EGb761® group and the ‘neither treatment’ group (respectively, β = 0.21 and β = -0.03), whereas the piracetam group declined more rapidly (respectively, β = -1.40 and β = -0.44). When comparing the EGb761® and piracetam groups directly, a different decline was observed for the three tests (respectively β = -1.07, β = -1.61 and β = -0.41).
CONCLUSION: Cognitive decline in a non-demented elderly population was lower in subjects who reported using EGb761® than in those who did not. This effect may be a specific medication effect of EGb761®, since it was not observed for another nootropic medication, piracetam.

(ABSTRACT 3)
Zhang HF, Huang LB, Zhong YB, Zhou QH, Wang HL, Zheng GQ, Lin Y

[An Overview of Systematic Reviews of Ginkgo biloba Extracts for Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia.

In: Front Aging Neurosci. 2016 Dec 6;8:276. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00276. eCollection 2016

Ginkgo biloba extracts (GBEs) have been recommended to improve cognitive function and to prevent cognitive decline, but earlier evidence was inconclusive. Here, we evaluated all systematic reviews of GBEs for prevention of cognitive decline, and intervention of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia. Six databases from their inception to September 2015 were searched. Ten systematic reviews were identified, including reviews about Alzheimer’s disease (n = 3), about vascular dementia (n = 1), about both Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia (n = 2), about Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and mixed dementia (n = 3), and a review about MCI (n = 1). Based on the overview quality assessment questionnaire, eight studies were scored with at least 5 points, while the other two scored 4 points and 3 points, respectively. Medication with GBEs showed improvement in cognition, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and daily activities, and the effect was dose-dependent. Efficacy was convincingly demonstrated only when high daily dose (240 mg) was applied. Compared with placebo, overall adverse events and serious adverse events were at the same level as placebo, with less adverse events in favor of GBE in the subgroup of Alzheimer’s disease patients, and fewer incidences in vertigo, tinnitus, angina pectoris, and headache. In conclusion, there is clear evidence to support the efficacy of GBEs for MCI and dementia, whereas the question on efficacy to prevent cognitive decline is still open. In addition, GBEs seem to be generally safe.

(ABSTRACT 4)
Hashiguchi M, Ohta Y, Shimizu M, Maruyama J, Mochizuki M.

[Meta-analysis of the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba extract for the treatment of dementia.In: J Fr Ophtalmol (1988) 11(10):671-4 (Published in French)]

In: J Pharm Health Care Sci. 2015 Apr 10;1:14. doi: 10.1186/s40780-015-0014-7. eCollection 2015.

The benefit of Ginkgo biloba for the treatment of dementia remains controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ginkgo biloba in patients with dementia in whom administration effects were reported using meta-analysis.
METHODS: We searched MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane databases, and Ichushi for controlled trials of Ginkgo biloba for the treatment dementia. Clinical characteristics and outcomes were extracted. Meta-analysis results were expressed as standard mean differences (SMDs) in scores of the Syndrome Kurztest (SKT), Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog) for cognition efficacy, or odds ratios (ORs) for dropouts and adverse drug reactions.
RESULTS: Thirteen studies using the extract EGb761 met our inclusion criteria, which were duration of 12 to 52 weeks and daily dose of more than 120 mg, and included a total of 2381 patients. Meta-analysis was performed by using 9 of 13 studies, 7 of which used the SKT and 2 ADAS-Cog (dose 120 mg, 26 weeks) scores as efficacy parameters. In meta-analysis of all patients, SMDs (95% confidence interval [CI]) in the change in SKT scores (7 studies) were in favor of Ginkgo biloba over placebo (SMD = -0.90 [-1.46, -0.34]), but 2 studies that used ADAS-Cog did not show a statistically significant difference from placebo for ADAS-Cog (-0.06 [-0.41, 0.30]). For Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and vascular dementia (VaD) subgroups, SMDs [95% CI] in SKT in the combined AD and VaD subgroup (-1.07 [-1.66, -0.47]) and AD subgroup (-1.36 [-2.27, -0.46]) were in favor of Ginkgo biloba over placebo. In terms of daily dose of Ginkgo biloba in the combined AD and VaD subgroup, SMD in SKT score in 240-mg daily dose groups was significantly greater than with placebo (-0.71 [-1.28, -0.14]). Dropout rates for any reason did not differ between two groups, but dropout rates due to side effects were significantly lower in Ginkgo biloba groups compared with placebo groups (OR = 1.72 [1.06, 2.80]).
CONCLUSIONS: Taking a 240-mg daily dose of Ginkgo biloba extract is effective and safe in the treatment of dementia.

For a more extensive list of Ginkgo Biloba abstracts go here.