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Vitamins to Live By Guide

MY HEALTH & WELLNESS JOURNEY

Not Sure Where to Start?

At Puritan’s Pride® we understand that finding what you need can be overwhelming. That is where this guide comes in. It provides simple, straight forward product suggestions that will help you reach your health goals.

IMMUNE SUPPORT

These classic vitamins and supplements each play an important role in the maintenance of your immune system.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I purchased a month ago and love this Vit C. Easy to swallow capsules and knowing I can take 1 capsule in the morning to ensure I have my Vit C for the day is awesome.
    - Darlee
    (Vitamin C-1000 mg with Bioflavonoids & Rose Hips)

What is the Immune System?

Every day, your body is bombarded by foreign substances from the outside world. Credit card pin pads, bathroom faucets, cell phones, literally everything you touch is covered in tiny microorganisms. Not all microorganisms are bad, in fact there are trillions of bacteria found in and on the human body which cause no harm, or in some cases are even beneficial to human health.

However, there are also less favorable microorganisms found in the environment. The main function of your immune system is to protect you from external threats and keep you healthy.

Think of your immune system as your body’s security team, trained to recognize and remove any threats while protecting your body’s peaceful residents.

The first line of defense is to restrict the entry of unwanted foreign materials. The skin creates an excellent physical barrier but unwanted guests may still be inhaled or ingested. The acidity of stomach acid, mucosal membranes, and the presence of antibodies in saliva and tears all further help to prevent the entry of these substances into the body.

Four Main Functions
of the Immune System

icon exclusion
Exclusion Barrier

Physical barriers keep pathogens from entering the body – e.g. skin, mucosa layer of GI tract, antibodies in saliva, pH of stomach

icon recognition
Recognition

If substances get through the exclusion barrier, they need to be recognized as non-self

icon elimination
Elimination

Elimination only of unwanted threats, not self or friendly bacteria

icon memory
Memory

Immune memories allow for fast recognition and elimination of repeat offenders


1

Your First Line of Defense: Innate Immune System

If a non-beneficial microorganism is able to pass through your body’s first line of defense, it must be recognized by your immune system. Recognition is an important feature of your patrolling security team. Without it, your immune system would attack non-threatening foreign substances and even your own cells. Undesirable substances are recognized by white blood cells that send messages akin to sounding an alarm, drawing more white blood cells to the area. There are many different types of white blood cells, also called leukocytes, that all work together to orchestrate the appropriate immune response. The elements of the immune system discussed thus far are all considered part of the innate response.

Characterized as being fast and non-specific, the innate immune system responds within minutes or hours.1 Once the innate immune system has identified a threat, it seeks to eliminate it. The various white blood cells of the innate immune system each fight these threats in their own unique ways. Some will trigger an inflammatory response while others will deal with it directly by engulfing it or releasing toxic chemicals. Since the innate immune response is non-specific, the response is generally the same regardless of whether the same pathogen is encountered numerous times.


2

Your Second Line of Defense: Adaptive Immune Response

If a non-beneficial microorganism is able to pass through your body’s first line of defense, it must be recognized by your immune system. Recognition is an important feature of your patrolling security team. Without it, your immune system would attack non-threatening foreign substances and even your own cells. Undesirable substances are recognized by white blood cells that send messages akin to sounding an alarm, drawing more white blood cells to the area. There are many different types of white blood cells, also called leukocytes, that all work together to orchestrate the appropriate immune response. The elements of the immune system discussed thus far are all considered part of the innate response.

Characterized as being fast and non-specific, the innate immune system responds within minutes or hours.1 Once the innate immune system has identified a threat, it seeks to eliminate it. The various white blood cells of the innate immune system each fight these threats in their own unique ways. Some will trigger an inflammatory response while others will deal with it directly by engulfing it or releasing toxic chemicals. Since the innate immune response is non-specific, the response is generally the same regardless of whether the same pathogen is encountered numerous times.

Vitamin C for Immune Health

BARRIER FUNCTION

The body’s first line of defense, the physical barrier created by the skin, relies on vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, an important type of connective tissue.** Collagen creates the structural framework of the skin to promote skin integrity, helping to effectively keep unwanted substances from entering the body.

ANTIOXIDANT HEALTH

Vitamin C’s important role in immune health does not stop at the surface.** During the initial stages of the immune response, white blood cells of the innate immune system start the inflammatory response as one means of dealing with unwelcomed visitors. In a state of inflammation, an abundance of free radicals can be produced.

Free radicals are unstable compounds that can interfere with a normal cell’s ability to function optimally. Free radicals cannot differentiate between your own healthy cells and the target of your immune system so they can end up damaging your own cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps to fight free radicals.** It also helps to regenerate other antioxidants like vitamin E to their active state to maintain antioxidant support.**

WHITE BLOOD CELL SUPPORT

In addition to supporting skin integrity and antioxidant health, vitamin C is essential for the optimal functioning of white blood cells.** During an immune response, white blood cells go through a process of rapid division and multiplication. Vitamin C supports the production of the important B and T cells of the adaptive immune response.** It also helps special types of cells of the innate immune system called phagocytes do their job, engulfing unwanted compounds.**

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Why Supplement with Vitamin C?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is between 75-90 mg per day depending on gender, but some experts recommend a daily intake of at least 200 mg/day for healthy individuals.9

Unlike most other animals, humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C so it must be obtained from dietary sources. As a water soluble vitamin, vitamin C dissolves easily in water but cannot be readily store in the body. This means adequate amounts of vitamin C should be consumed every day.

Vitamin C is found in foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupes, raw vegetables and potatoes. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, many of us do not consume as many fruits and vegetables as we should. National survey data indicates Americans are not meeting the recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable intake, resulting in a significant prevalence of about 40% of Americans with inadequate dietary intake of vitamin C.8 Furthermore, vitamin C is sensitive to heat so boiling and other cooking methods can deplete the natural vitamin C content of foods.

Daily intake of 200 mg supports respiratory health.** Note that while this amount provides adequate support for most healthy individuals, actively multiplying and dividing white blood cells may have even higher requirements of vitamin C.**

  • References
  • 8. Fulgoni VL, et al. J Nutr. 2011 Oct;141(10):1847-54.
  • 9. Calder PC, et al. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):1181.

Factors that
Affect Immune Health

Your immune system is always patrolling your body to keep you at your best, but you need to keep your immune system healthy too. Every day you need to provide your immune system with the energy and nutrients it needs to function optimally.

age block

AGE: The immune response starts to weaken around age 60 and continues to weaken with age.2

sleep block

SLEEP: Important immune proteins called cytokines are released while we sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to decreased immune function as well as increased recovery times.3

stress block

STRESS: Both physical and emotional stress can negatively impact the immune system. The stress hormone cortisol has been shown to decrease white blood cell numbers.7

smoking block

SMOKING:: Smoking causes dysfunction of white blood cells involved in both innate and adaptive immunity.5 It is estimated that 1.1 billion people in the world are smokers.6

sleep block

PHYSCIAL ACTIVITY: Regular moderate-intensity exercise achieved on a near-daily basis is associated with better immune health with age. More than 80% of U.S. adults are not meeting guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.4

stress block

NUTRITION: The immune system needs proper nutrients to function optimally. There are a number of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are widely recognized for their role in supporting immune health.**

Zinc for Immune Health

BARRIER FUNCTION

The skin creates a physical barrier that acts as the body’s first line of defense. Zinc is an essential nutrient that supports the health and integrity of the skin.** It is a necessary part of the enzyme collagenase which is involved in the remodeling of collagen, the structural framework of the skin.** Zinc is also important for the structure of skin and mucosal cells, supporting the integrity of the body’s outermost barrier the skin as well as the barrier within created by the GI tract.**

IMMUNE RESPONSE

As we move past the physical barriers of the body, we see zinc has many important roles to play inside the body. Zinc is essential for cell division, which is important for daily maintenance and repair but becomes especially important for rapidly dividing immune cells multiplying to meet the demands of the immune system.** Zinc is also involved in the formation of immune proteins such as those involved in the adaptive immune response.** The adaptive immune system is highly specific and forms immune memories for future use.

ANTIOXIDANT HEALTH

Antioxidants fight free radicals to help promote overall health.** Free radicals can cause oxidative stress and damage to cells. Smoking, pollution, the sun and regular body functions like metabolism can all cause free radicals. More importantly, your body can produce heightened amounts of free radicals during stages of the innate immune response. Antioxidants like zinc help to protect your cells from free radicals.**

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All About Zinc

Adults should consume between 8-11 mg of zinc per day, depending on age and gender.

Zinc has become the best-known mineral for supporting immune health.** It is essential for cell division, which is pivotal when immune cells are rapidly multiplying to meet the requirements of the immune system.** It also assists in a wide range of specific immune functions, such as helping special types of immune cells called B cells and T cells function properly.**

If dietary zinc intake is insufficient, the body will break down zinc-containing enzymes it deems less essential to release the zinc so it can be used for more critical functions.

Zinc is found mostly in meat and seafood, particularly oysters and mollusks. If oysters-on-the-half-shell are not part of your daily diet, zinc is also found to some extent in poultry and dairy. Since zinc is mostly found in animal products, vegetarians can have a difficult time getting adequate amounts of zinc through diet alone. Seniors have also been found to consume less than the recommended amounts of zinc.8 Choosing a high-quality zinc supplement is an easy way to help fill those nutritional gaps, and Puritan’s Pride has vegetarian-friendly options.

  • References
  • 8. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff, JL. Fifth edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning; 2009.
  • 9. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Eighth edition. 2015.

Vitamin D for Immune Health

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be obtained through the diet or synthesized in the skin upon exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D3, the form of vitamin D formed in the skin, is a potent and active form of the vitamin. Vitamin D2 is a vitamin D analog formed in plants, mushrooms and yeasts during photosynthesis. While vitamin D2 is sometimes used in food fortification, Puritan’s Pride supplements provide the active form.

Vitamin D plays a regulatory role in the growth, differentiation, and proliferation of different types of white blood cells.8** It is important to regulate these processes to maintain immune balance. Think of a thermostat set to 70 degrees.

When the temperature falls below 70 degrees the heat comes on but once the temperature is reached, the heat needs to turn off or else the temperature will continue to rise indefinitely. The same delicate balance is needed for our immune systems to maintain optimal health.

The T and B cells of the adaptive immune system are both regulated by vitamin D.** Many cells of the innate immune response also require vitamin D such as monocytes which need it to mature properly.** Adequate concentrations of vitamin D are also necessary for the synthesis of important proteins with immune-fighting properties.8**

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Why Supplement with Vitamin D?

As many as 96% of Americas do not get enough vitamin D from food alone.9

Did you know, Vitamin D is considered a nutrient of public health concern? This is because many Americas are not getting enough vitamin D in their diets and low intakes are associated with health concerns.

This is partly because natural food sources of vitamin D are limited and not always appealing. They include cod liver oil, liver and some types of fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, and sardines. In the US, milk but not all dairy products, is fortified with vitamin D. It is important to check the label on products like cheese and yogurt to see if they were made with fortified milk.

The RDA for vitamin D is currently 15-20 mcg/day depending on age.

However, this level was established based on the amount of vitamin D needed to maintain bone health.** Many health experts argue that higher intakes of vitamin D are necessary for overall optimal health. A daily intake of 50 mcg (2,000 IU) is frequently recommended for most healthy adults.12


Unlike most vitamins that can only be obtained from the diet, our bodies produce vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. When evaluating if sun exposure is enough to meet your daily vitamin D needs, consider the following factors.

AGE

As we age, the skin produces vitamin D less efficiently. Vitamin D absorption may also decrease with age, making vitamin D supplementation especially beneficial for older individuals.

SUNSCREEN

When used as directed, a sunscreen graded SPF-10 will block 90% of UVB radiation reaching the skin.10 UVB radiation is needed to stimulate production of vitamin D.

LOCATION

Residents of northern climates may have inadequate exposure to sunlight in order to produce sufficient vitamin D, especially during the winter months.

CLOTHING

Wearing protective clothing such as hats and long sleeves inhibits the body’s natural production
of vitamin D.

SUN INTENSITY

The stimulation of vitamin D production in skin can depend on the intensity of the sun’s UVB rays. When you are shorter than your shadow, UVB radiation is often not strong enough to produce vitamin D.11 Air pollution and the presence of clouds can also have a major impact on the intensity of UVB radiation that reaches the ground.

  • References
  • 8. Gropper SS, Smith JL, Groff, JL. Fifth edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning; 2009.
  • 9. Dickinson A, MacKay D. Nutr J. 2014;13:14.
  • 10. Council on Environmental Health, Section on Dermatology, Balk SJ. Pediatrics. 2011 Mar;127(3):588-97.
  • 11. Gorham E. Vitamin D wiki website. October 2015. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://vitamindwiki.com/The+Shadow+Rule+%E2%80%93+you+make+Vitamin+D+when+you+are+taller+than+your+shadow+%E2%80%93+1992
  • 12. Calder PC, et al. Nutrients. 2020;12(4):1181.
Immune
Myths & FAQs
Myth: All immune support supplements work the same way.

Because the immune system is such a complex system, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to supporting immune health. The various different types of white blood cells, immune proteins, and tissues and organs all have different nutrient requirements. Taking a single nutrient for immune health may assist in supporting one of these aspects of immune health, but if you are lacking other nutrients in your diet, then you may be falling short in getting total immune support.**

Myth: The immune system is stronger in the summer.

The immune system works year-round to keep you healthy no matter what the season. Depending on location and lifestyle factors, vitamin D status may be higher in the summer to better support certain aspects of immune health.** Winter weather conditions such as dry air may also affect immune health. It is still important to support your immune health every day throughout the year for optimal functioning.

FAQ: How can you boost your immune system?

The immune system should not be “boosted” beyond normal, optimal functioning. In fact, many autoimmune diseases are characterized by an overactive immune system that starts attacking its own cells. There are however lifestyle changes that you can make to help support normal functioning of the immune system. These include getting adequate sleep, engaging in regular physical activity, managing stress, eating a balanced diet and getting adequate amounts of immune supporting nutrients.

FAQ: Where is the immune system?

The immune system is a complex network of organs, cells, tissues and proteins found throughout the body. It includes the thymus, spleen, bone marrow, skin, tonsils and Peyer’s patches in the intestines. The lymph system allows white blood cells of the immune system to patrol the entire body looking for foreign invaders.

References:

  • 1. Gombart AF, Pierre A, Maggini S. Nutrients. 2020;12(1):236.
  • 2. Pawelec G, Larbi A, Derhovanessian E. J Comp Pathol. 2010;142 Suppl 1:S39-S44.
  • 3. Krueger JM, Majde JA, Rector DM. Cytokines in Immune Function and Sleep Regulation.; 2011. doi:10.1016/B978-0-444-52006-7.00015-0
  • 4. President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Website. Updated January 26, 2017. Accessed July 2, 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/resource-center/facts-and-statistics/index.html
  • 5. Qiu F, Liang CL, Liu H, et al. Oncotarget. 2017;8(1):268-284.
  • 6. Tobacco. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco. Accessed March 24, 2020.
  • 7. McGregor BA, Murphy KM, Albano DL, Ceballos RM. Stress. 2016;19(2):185-191.

Herbs for Immune Health

People have been practicing traditional medicine for thousands of years. There are many different systems of traditional practices that have been shaped by the environment where each first evolved such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.

Throughout all of these systems the unifying philosophy is a holistic approach to wellness.8 Today, herbal supplements are the most popular and frequently used complementary health approach used by adults in the US.9 In places outside the US, traditional wellness practices are still used routinely in primary care, making up around 70% of global health care.9

The power of plants comes from phytonutrients. These compounds occur naturally in plants to help protect the plants but they can also have health-promoting properties for humans.

There are thousands of different phytonutrients with different effects on systems in the human body. Many botanicals contain phytonutrients that have immunomodulatory properties and can be used to support the immune system.**

Echinacea

Echinacea is a flowering herb that grows wild in the Midwestern and Eastern States. This perennial produces purple, daisy-like flowers that are also referred to as purple coneflowers. Echinacea has been used by Native Americans of the Great Plains for centuries to support immune health.** Its use also dates back to the American Eclectics in the early part of the twentieth century. Phytonutrients found within Echinacea are believe to activate the immune system.** This traditional herb has become one of the world’s leading herbs for immune support for good reason.** It can be taken any time of the year to support the body’s natural defenses.**


Elderberry

Elder is a flowering shrub native to most of Europe. It produces dark purple berries roughly the size of blueberries. Both the flowers and berries of the Elder plant have a long history of traditional use. Early settlers of the Americas brought their traditional practices to the New World and quickly discovered a subspecies now called American Elder.10 Native Americans had also already established a long tradition of using Elderberry for its health-promoting properties.10 Today we know elderberries contain beneficial phytonutrients called flavonoids. This traditional herb can be used to support immune health any time of year.**


Andrographis

Andrographis is a leafy plant native to South Asia that has an extremely bitter taste. It has long been used as an herb in Ayurvedic health practices for supporting the immune system.**

Trusted for centuries, Andrographis can now be found in one of our convenient tablets. You’ll get the benefits for immune health without the bitterness.** Our formula is standardized for the active components, including andrographolide, that deliver these benefits. Andrographis also helps support healthy nasal passages, and is sometimes referred to as "Indian Echinacea" due to it being native to India and its similar benefits as Echinacea for immune health.** Our high-quality products are manufactured in the USA from the purest sources around the world, so you can rest easy that you’re getting the best that the globe has to offer.

  • References
  • 8. Wachtel-Galor S, Benzie IFF. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 1.
  • 9.Romm A. Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health. 2nd edition. Great Britain: Elsevier, Inc; 2018.
  • 10. Charlebois D. Issues in new crops and new uses. Alexandria (VA): ASHS Press; 2007.
7 Supplements to Take for Immune Support

7 Supplements to Take for Immune Support

Every day you consciously make choices that help support your immune system, but like many people, you want to know what else you can do. Luckily there are many supplements available that can help you on your quest of better immune health.**

read more »

5 Lifestyle Habits that Support Immune Health

5 Lifestyle Habits that Support Immune Health

Your immune system helps protect you from bacteria and other germs. The state of immune health varies from person to person. Genetics, lifestyle, and diet play a role in your personal immune health.

read more »

Immune Support: The Basics

Immune Support: The Basics

Think of the human body as a fortress, a carefully constructed stronghold that can withstand forces big and small. Just like fortresses, our bodies are complex and sturdy structures that protect us from the day-to-day rigors of the environment.

read more »

HEART HEALTH: FISH OIL

Fish oils contain EPA and DHA, the important fatty acids that benefit the heart and joints.**
The Omega-3 fatty acids are “good fats” that help balance the “bad fats” in your diet.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I have been using for years. It’s an excellent product at a great price. If the other guys aren’t telling you how much EPA and DHA is in their fish oil, it’s because there isn’t much!
    - JR66
    (One Per Day Omega-3 Fish Oil 1360 mg)

Just the Facts on Fish Oil

It’s estimated that more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults have at least one type of cardiovascular disease, such as coronary heart disease.3


1

EPA and DHA

Getting enough EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish oil helps maintain the health of your cardiovascular system and supports healthy circulation.


2

Are you getting enough?

More than 90% of U.S. adults don’t get enough of EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish to meet current recommendations for cardiovascular health.1,2


3

Dietary recommendations

To consume at least two servings of a variety of seafood, preferably fatty fish rich in DHA and EPA omega-3 fatty acids, per week.1,2


4

Risk factors

There are many risk factors for cardiovascular disease that include smoking, a sedentary or inactive lifestyle, and poor nutrition.3

Supportive but not conclusive research shows that the consumption of EPA and DHA
omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Are You Getting Enough
Omega-3s for Your Heart?

Since the initial discovery of the connection between fish oil and heart health in the 1970s, there have been more than 36,000 studies on eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3 fatty acids. These two main omega-3s, found in fish oil, are now among the most thoroughly studied nutrients in the world for heart health.

Because of the vast body of scientific evidence, the American Heart Association and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have aligned in making recommendations for fatty fish intake, along with achieving a balanced diet and an active lifestyle, for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, the FDA has a qualified health claim related to EPA and DHA omega-3s: “Supportive but not conclusive research shows that the consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” For information regarding dosage of omega-3 fatty acids, see the supplements facts panel on your product label.

Guaranteed Purity:
Purified to eliminate Mercury

Puritan’s Pride Fish Oil has guaranteed efficacy and safety. The raw and fresh fish oil undergoes advanced purification steps to concentrate the omega-3s oils while removing unwanted compounds or contaminants, such as heavy metals (including mercury.

Following their manufacturing, the finished fish oil softgels are also tested to ensure product quality, efficacy, and safety. These are evaluated based on methodology as outlined and developed by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), an organization that has set the standard for fish-derived omega-3 oils.

Sustainably Harvested

Puritan’s Pride is actively engaged in qualifying fish oil suppliers that are committed to sustainable sourcing practices. We understand that leveraging our influence can help drive and strengthen the sustainable sourcing of fish oil across the natural products industry.

By choosing the right fish oil suppliers, we help to encourage sustainability efforts, support the preservation of biodiversity including avoidance of “bycatch” of endangered species, and ultimately delivering a quality product.

Infographic: Guaranteed Purity: No Mercury, PCBs, Dioxins, Sustainably Harvested and Naturally Preserved Freshness

Naturally Preserved Freshness

Natural mixed tocopherols (including alpha-tocopherol, or vitamin E) are added to our fish oil softgels during the time of manufacturing. These to help maintain the freshness of the fish oil and the integrity of the polyunsaturated oils, including EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.

What’s the science
behind omega-3s?

In the early 1970s, Danish researchers were the first to raise awareness of the possible benefits of fish oil after publishing their report on the low incidence of cardiovascular disease in Greenland’s Inuit population despite their high fat diets.4,5 Only on a hunch, the scientists had proposed that a potential explanation was the “large amounts of polyunsaturated fats” found in the fatty tissues of the fish and seal meat that was a regular part of Inuit meals.4,5

Nearly a half century later, there have been more than 36,000 papers published, including more than 4000 human clinical trials, on the benefits of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids. Based on the large body of evidence, the scientific consensus is that these long-chain omega-3s have a positive impact on various body systems including the heart, the brain, skin and joints, and the eyes. These benefits can depend on the quantities of EPA and DHA omega-3s consumed daily.


What about sustainability and quality?

During the last decade, the sustainable harvest and manufacturing of fish oil has been subject to several advancements. Puritan’s Pride has partnered with suppliers with a strong commitment to high quality, freshness, and sustainability.

Our company is also a member of the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), an organization that is a leader in advocating the consumption of fish oil-derived omega-3s and has set the standard for quality in the omega-3 industry. GOED members are expected to follow strict ethical guidelines in the manufacturing and the marketing of fish oil products related to benefits and quality.

Puritan’s Pride has partnered with suppliers with a strong commitment to high quality, freshness, and sustainability.

Puritan’s Pride has partnered with suppliers with a strong commitment to high quality, freshness, and sustainability.
Puritan’s Pride has partnered with suppliers with a strong commitment to high quality, freshness, and sustainability.

What’s so essential
about omega-3s?

Because our bodies can’t make them on their own, both omega-3s (as alpha-linolenic acid) and omega-6s (as linoleic acid) are considered essential. A balanced dietary intake of both omega-3s and omega-6s are needed for human health.

Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are necessary as structural components for cell membranes and cell-signaling molecules for proper function. We require them for the maintenance of all of our body’s cells and several body systems and organs, such as our hearts, joints, brains, and eyes.**


Icon - Did You Know. There are three main omega-3s in our diets
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

is the short-chain omega-3 found mainly in plant sources such as walnuts, chia, and flax seed. Most of us get enough of this kind and it’s considered the “parent” omega-3 in relation to EPA and DHA.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

are found mainly in fatty fish such as anchovies, sardines, salmon, and mackerel. These long-chain omega-3s are considered the “offspring” of ALA and they are associated with a wide range of health benefits.* **

How much EPA and DHA
do I need?

While most of us get plenty of ALA from our diets, our bodies don’t convert these shorter-chain omega-3s to their longer-chain counterparts well enough.

Because of these poor conversion rates, it’s important to focus on obtaining more EPA and DHA from fish and fish oil supplements for cardiovascular and overall health.**

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood, providing an average of 250 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA, for general heart health.*6

Icon Fish How Much EPA and DHA do I need?

The International Scientific Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) and GOED recommend getting:

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250-500 milligrams per day

of EPA and DHA
for generally healthy adults.

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700 milligrams

of EPA and DHA
for pregnant and lactating women.
At least 300 mg should be DHA.

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1000 milligrams or more

of EPA and DHA
for those seeking a range of
additional health benefits.**

What are other benefits
of EPA and DHA intake?

While EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish oil are primarily known for their role in heart health,* the benefits of these “good fats” extend far beyond that of your cardiovascular system.**

All your cells: Omega-3s are some of the most important fatty acids you need for cellular health.** They play a key structural role in the membranes of every cell in your body and are essential for normal cell growth.**

Metabolism: Because of their roles in cell-signaling, EPA and DHA are important fatty acids you need to support metabolic health.**

Skin and joints: EPA and DHA are essential for keeping skin looking healthy and supporting joint health.**

Triglyceride levels and Circulation: Beyond other well-documented cardiovascular benefits, a dosage of at least 900 mg per day of EPA and DHA helps maintain triglyceride levels already within a normal range.** EPA and DHA also support healthy circulation.**

Mom and Baby: During times of pregnancy and breastfeeding, DHA helps replenish supplies for mom and supports baby’s brain and eye development. A dose of at least 200 mg per day of DHA can help support moms before, during, and after pregnancy.**

Brain: Omega-3s, primarily as DHA, are naturally found in our brain, as part of brain cell membranes. These omega-3s play an important role in normal brain structure.** A dosage of 2620 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA can help support brain health.**

Eyes: For those spending a lot of time in front of a computer, a dosage of 1200 milligrams per day of EPA and DHA may help with occasional dry eyes.

Top Fish
Oil Myths
Myth: There’s no need to supplement with fish oil if you consume seafood regularly.

Seafood is not only a great source of protein, but also rich in long-chain omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids. Unfortunately, the quality matters. Some types of seafood may contain high levels of heavy metals such as mercury that could be harmful to health. The way seafood is prepared can also have an impact on the delicate nature of the polyunsaturated EPA and DHA oils.

The best dietary sources of EPA and DHA omega-3s include salmon, anchovies, herring, shad, sardines, Pacific oysters, trout, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel. Especially if pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s important to limit or avoid intake of swordfish, King mackerel, tilefish, Bigeye tuna, marlin and orange roughly because of high levels of mercury.

Cooking, especially frying, can harm the inherent properties of polyunsaturated oils. For this reason, fried fish is not recommended as a dietary source of EPA and DHA omega-3s. Additionally, the kinds of fish that are typically used in frying, such as haddock, tilapia, or cod, and other white fish tend to have low amounts of polyunsaturated oils.

Regardless of intake, scientific data from national surveys and blood analysis has shown that a majority of U.S. adults don’t meet dietary recommendations for omega-3 intake and have lower than recommended plasma levels of EPA and DHA omega-3s.1,2 For these reasons, dietary supplementation is a useful strategy for receiving EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish in optimum amounts daily to fulfill nutritional gaps or to receive desired benefits.**

Myth: You can get all the omega-3s you need from plants.

While it’s true that plant foods such as walnuts and flaxseed are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, an essential omega 3 fatty acid, conversion to long-chain EPA and DHA are low in humans. Quite specifically, EPA and DHA are the two omega-3s that have been heavily studied and reported to contribute to overall health benefits including cardiovascular health.*

Myth: Some forms of EPA and DHA omega-3s are better than other forms for the body.

Whether from fish, krill, algae, as ethyl esters or triglycerides, it’s the total amount of EPA and DHA in the end that matters most for increasing plasma levels in the body.

Myth: Liquid fish oil leads to greater absorption of DHA and EPA as compared to softgels.

There is no difference in absorption of DHA and EPA omega-3s whether they are present as a liquid in a bottle or in softgels. However, softgels help to minimize any degradation of fish oil while liquid oils may be subject to degradation if exposed to light, heat, or oxygen.

Myth: It’s best to take a supplement that includes a blend of polyunsaturated oils including omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids.

A balanced intake of polyunsaturated oils including omega-3s as alpha-linolenic acid and omega-6s as linoleic acid is essential for health. While omega-9 oils still may be considered a nutritious component of the diet, they are not considered essential.

For the most part, these are all found in plentiful amounts in our diets so supplementation isn’t generally necessary. The exception is DHA and EPA omega-3s, which are polyunsaturated oils found mainly in fatty fish and fish oil supplements that are associated with a wide variety of health benefits.**

Myth: Use of antioxidant preservatives in fish oil are unhealthy.

In dietary supplements such as softgels, antioxidants may be used such as mixed tocopherols, including vitamin E. These nutrients support the stability of fish oil in dietary supplements.

All About Omegas

All About Omegas

Fat adds flavor to your food, improves the texture, and it is a component of some of the most nutritious foods around, including avocados, nuts and seeds and seafood. Fats are also involved in many important functions in the body.

read more »

An Introductory Guide to Fish Oil

An Introductory Guide to Fish Oil

With so many options, it can be tricky to differentiate which one does what. But don’t worry – you don’t have to feel like a fish out of water when it comes to making the right fish oil choice for you.

read more »

5 Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

5 Plant-Based Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are best known for their ability to support heart and cardiovascular health.** The most well-known sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish sources like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, and trout.

read more »

References:
  • 1. Murphy RA, Yu EA, Ciappio ED, Mehta S, McBurney MI. Suboptimal plasma long chain n-3 concentrations are common among adults in the United States, NHANES 2003–2004. Nutrients. 2015;7(12):10282-10289. doi:10.3390/nu7125534
  • 2. Papanikolaou Y, Brooks J, Reider C, Fulgoni VL. U.S. adults are not meeting recommended levels for fish and omega-3 fatty acid intake: Results of an analysis using observational data from NHANES 2003-2008. Nutr J. 2014. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-31
  • 3. Subcommittee S. AHA Statistical Update. Circulation. 2008;117:e25-e146.
  • 4. Bang HO, Dyerberg J, Nielsen AB. PLASMA LIPID AND LIPOPROTEIN PATTERN IN GREENLANDIC WEST‐COAST ESKIMOS. Nutr Rev. 1986. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.1986.tb07607.x
  • 5. Bang HO, Dyerberg J, Sinclair HM. The composition of the Eskimo food in north Western Greenland. Am J Clin Nutr. 1980.
  • 6. USDA. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 2015 – 2020 Diet Guidel Am (8th Ed. 2015:18. doi:10.1097/NT.0b013e31826c50af

HEART HEALTH: CO Q-10

The fact that Co Q-10 is found in almost every cell of the body demonstrates the significance of this important nutrient. Among its benefits, it supports a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, as well as healthy aging.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I have been using this product for heart health for several years. I continue to purchase it from Puritan’s Pride for the quality, price and convenience.
    - Meme1
    (Q-SORB™ Co Q-10 400 mg)

Just the Facts on Co Q-10

Co Q-10 levels in the body reach their peak by age 20 and decrease by up to 50% by age 80.


1

Co Q10 Levels

Statins can lead to a 49-51%
decrease in Co Q-10 plasma levels
within 30 days of use.


2

Dietary Intake

The average dietary intake of Co Q-10 is only about 3-5 milligrams per day—not nearly enough to replenish levels lost due to age-related decline or prescription drugs.


3

How much do I need?

Depending on your needs, Co Q-10 supplementation recommendations can range anywhere from 100-600 milligrams per day to increase tissue concentrations.

Co Q-10’s Role in Supporting Energy**

Co Q-10 acts as a key component in our mitochondrial machinery involved in making up to 96% of the body’s energy.

This energy is produced via the electron transport chain in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) across the inner mitochondrial membrane.1

The progressive loss of Co Q-10 with age may contribute to fatigue in older people.7 Those taking certain medications such as statins that deplete Co Q-10 may also experience fatigue.7

Co Q-10 for
Heart Health**

The largest concentration of Co Q-10 in the body is found in heart muscle.2

The reason is due to the heart’s requirement of a constant supply of ATP energy. While blood vessels transport blood, the heart provides the force to pump blood around the body.

As a result, Co Q-10 concentration is an important determination of heart function and cardiovascular health.5 Historically, scientific studies evaluating the effects of Co Q-10 have been mainly focused on its potential support to cardiovascular health.9**

Statins and Co Q-10

Co Q-10 supplements can replenish what is lost with age or what statin medications deplete

However, Co Q-10 is not intended to serve as a replacement for statin therapy, nor should you discontinue taking any prescribed medications while supplementing with Co Q-10.

Co Q-10 supplementation recommendations can range
anywhere from 100-600 milligrams per day.

As you get older opt for a higher dose Co Q-10 supplement, but don’t forget to choose a highly purified, better-absorbed Co Q-10 like Q-Sorb™ Co Q-10.

chart co q-10 food amount

Top FAQs about Co Q-10

Why should I supplement with Co Q10?

As we get older, our natural Co Q-10 levels decline, especially in the heart, other organs and tissues with high-energy requirements, and in outer layers of the skin. A pure and bioavailable Co Q-10 supplement like Q-Sorb™ may assist in keeping these levels topped up, especially as we get older.**

Can I get Co Q-10 from my diet?

Although Co Q-10 can found in foods like fish, pork, and beef, we may not obtain enough Co Q-10 in our daily diets, especially as cooking methods like frying reduces the natural Co Q-10 content in these foods. Following a plant-based diet may also mean lower Co Q-10 intake. By taking a Co Q-10 supplement, this gap in our diet may be filled.

How does Co Q-10 work?

Co Q-10 is needed for the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is the energy our body cells use to perform their daily activities optimally. Certain cells in the body are more metabolically active and have higher energy requirements. Co Q-10 levels are naturally higher in the heart and skeletal muscles for this reason.

I take a statin and my doctor recommended I take Co Q-10, why?

Studies have found that statins deplete Co Q-10 levels in the body. A Co Q-10 supplement can replenish what a statin medication might deplete.** Please be aware that Co Q-10 is not intended as a replacement for statin therapy, nor should you discontinue any prescription medication while supplementing with Co Q-10.

What is Q-Sorb™ Co Q-10?

Q-Sorb is a naturally fermented, 98% pure form of Coenzyme Q-10. The highest purity Co Q-10 in our Q-Sorb Co Q-10 means you are getting an optimally higher Co Q-10 dose coupled with better absorption. Q- Sorb Co Q-10 is available in a rapid release liquid softgels from Puritan’s Pride in various dosages to suit your needs.


Top Co Q-10 Myths

Myth: Co Q-10 is an energy stimulant or will give you the “jitters”

Although Co Q-10 helps the body produce energy, this energy production is at a cellular level so Co Q-10 will not give you the sudden energy boost you may get from consuming caffeine or a sugary snack.

Myth: I take a multivitamin and mineral every day, so I don’t need Co Q-10

Most multivitamin and mineral supplements contain no or very low quantities of Co Q-10. Additionally to support absorption and bioavailability, Co Q-10 is best taken in a softgel along with a meal. Co Q-10 supplementation may be especially important as we age as our Co Q-10 levels naturally decline as we get older.

Myth: Ubiquinol is superior to ubiquinone for Co Q-10 supplementation

Co Q-10 is also called ubiquinone and is converted into the body to its reduced and active form called ubiquinol. Generally, this conversion happens readily, but in certain individuals this conversion may not be as easy for the body. In this case, ubiquinol may be preferable to ubiquinone supplementation; otherwise, supplementation with ubiquinone is sufficient to raise Co Q-10 levels in the body.

Myth: Co Q-10 is easily absorbed in tablets or in powder form

Efficient absorption of any ingredient is dependent on a variety of factors, but with Co Q-10, purity is of particular importance. Taking Co Q-10 in a liquid softgel rather than in a powder form make Co Q-10 more absorbable too. By choosing a high purity Co Q-10 like Q-Sorb™ Co Q-10, you know you’re getting not only the purest quality Co Q-10 available, but also that your body is going to absorb it efficiently too.

Myth: I can stop my cholesterol-lowering medication if I use Co Q-10

No. Co Q-10 is not intended to serve as a replacement for statin medication, nor should you discontinue taking any prescribed medications while supplementing with Co Q-10 without consulting your doctor.

Get to Know Coenzyme Q-10

Get to Know Coenzyme Q-10

The human body is pretty incredible when you take a look at all of the nutrients that help us flourish throughout our lives. One of those amazing nutrients is coenzyme Q10 (Co Q-10), a fat-soluble substance naturally found and produced by the human body.

read more »

Heart Health: The Basics

Heart Health: The Basics

Your heart consists of four chambers. (The two upper chambers are called atria, and the two lower chambers are called ventricles.) Blood flows in and out of these chambers through one-way valves. The valves closing cause the thumping noise you associate with your heartbeat.

read more »

Your Heart Health Toolbox

Your Heart Health Toolbox

If you’re concerned about heart health, and who isn’t these days, then you should know about all the ways you can keep your heart and cardiovascular system healthy and happy.A healthy diet and active lifestyle are clearly great ways to keep your heart happy.

read more »

References:
  • 1. Nohl H, Gille L, Staniek K. The biochemical, pathophysiological, and medical aspects of ubiquinone function. In: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. ; 1998. doi:10.1111/j.1749-6632.1998.tb09919.x
  • 2. Littarru GP, Tiano L. Bioenergetic and antioxidant properties of coenzyme Q10: Recent developments. In: Molecular Biotechnology. ; 2007. doi:10.1007/s12033-007-0052-y
  • 3. Littarru GP, Lambrechts P. Coenzyme Q 10: Multiple benefits in one ingredient. OCL - Ol Corps Gras Lipides. 2011;18(2):76-82. doi:10.1684/ocl.2011.0374
  • 4. Langsjoen PH, Langsjoen AM. Overview of the use of CoQ10 in cardiovascular disease. BioFactors. 1999. doi:10.1002/biof.5520090224
  • 5. Langsjoen H, Langsjoen P, Langsjoen P, Willis R, Folkers K. Usefulness of Coenzyme Q10 in clinical cardiology: A long-term study. Mol Aspects Med. 1994. doi:10.1016/0098-2997(94)90026-4
  • 6. T. R, A. N, R. S, K. C, S. D. Atorvastatin decreases the coenzyme Q10 level in the blood of patients at risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke. Arch Neurol. 2004;61(6):889-892. doi:10.1001/archneur.61.6.889
  • 7. Mizuno K, Tanaka M, Nozaki S, et al. Antifatigue effects of coenzyme Q10 during physical fatigue. Nutrition. 2008. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2007.12.007
  • 8. Cooke M, Iosia M, Buford T, et al. Effects of acute and 14-day coenzyme Q10 supplementation on exercise performance in both trained and untrained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-8
  • 9. Littarru GP, Tiano L. Clinical aspects of coenzyme Q10: An update. Nutrition. 2010. doi:10.1016/j.nut.2009.08.008
  • 10. Ernster L, Dallner G. Biochemical, physiological and medical aspects of ubiquinone function. BBA - Mol Basis Dis. 1995. doi:10.1016/0925-4439(95)00028-3

JOINT SUPPORT

These popular supplements and are often combined together
to nourish cartilage and to yield their optimal benefits.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I have taken this for years and my knees are still good at 95 years old.
    - John S.
    (Triple Strength Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM Joint Soother)

  • Icon Joints
  • Helps nourish and
    strengthen your joints**

  • Icon Mobility
  • Supports mobility and flexibility
    for comfortable movement**

Are you one of the 30 million adults with joint concerns?

Roughly 1 out of every 5 adults in the US has concerns about joint comfort.
These concerns increase with age and tend to be more prevalent in women than men.1

These concerns increase with age and tend to be more prevalent in women than men.1 Additional risk factors include joint injury or overuse,
occupational exposure, genetics, and obesity. Occasional joint flare-ups can also occur in otherwise healthy adults in response to exercise.

Joint health is best managed with a multi-faceted approach including joint-friendly exercise, maintaining a healthy weight,
and nourishing your joints from within with specialized supplements.**

Joint Health: The Basics

A joint is the area where two bones and their respective connective tissues come together. With there being 206 bones in the adult body, you can imagine there are also a lot of joints. Some of these joints are fixed in place or only offer slight movement such as where the bones of the pelvis have fused together.

However, the most common type of joints in the body are moveable joints. There are many types of synovial joints and their structure
dictates their type of movement. The ball-and-socket joint of the shoulder allows rotation in many directions whereas the hinge joint
of the elbow bends and straightens the arm in one direction.

  • Icon Back
    back
  • Icon Knee
    knee
  • Icon arm
    arm
  • Icon Hands
    hands
  • Icon Ankles
    ankles
  • Icon Neck
    neck
  • Icon Hip
    hip
  • Icon Shoulders
    shoulders

Getting to Know Glucosamine

Glucosamine is a compound found in nearly all human tissues, especially connective tissue. The highest concentrations of glucosamine in the human body are found in cartilage.2 Glucosamine is used by cartilage cells to create structural components found in the joint capsule.** This complex system is responsible for cushioning joints and bones and providing shock absorption.**

Glucosamine is especially good for anyone seeking extra nutritional support for joints and connective tissue.** As a key structural component in cartilage, it helps maintain the health of your joint cartilage.** By doing so, glucosamine supports your joints’ natural ability to properly absorb outside forces.** The cartilage and joint support system promotes flexibility and mobility of joints for comfortable movement.**

glucosamine molecule

The Science Behind Glucosamine

Glucosamine is one of the most scientifically studied supplements for joint health.**

It has been investigated in more than 20 well-designed human studies involving over 2,500 subjects2 and continues to be studied. In these studies, glucosamine has been well tolerated2 and has been shown to be effective at promoting joint comfort.**

Glucosamine is available in many different forms including glucosamine sulfate and glucosamine hydrochloride. Glucosamine sulfate has been shown to be well absorbed from the human digestive tract.3 There is scientific evidence to suggest that these two forms of glucosamine are equally effective when taken as dietary supplements.4,5


Chondroitin

Between 800 and 1,200 mg of chondroitin is recommended for optimal joint health benefits.**

Chondroitin sulfate is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in various types of connective tissue such as cartilage, bone, ligaments and tendons.1 The structure of chondroitin sulfate causes it to attract water which is good news for your joints. Pulling water into the connective tissues supports joint flexibility and cushions joints.**

Much like many structures in the body, cartilage is continuously being broken down and replaced by new cartilage.2 hondroitin works with enzymes involved in this process to promote a healthy balance, thereby maintaining joint cartilage.** Furthermore, chondroitin sulfate provides the building blocks for larger molecules that make up joint cartilage to help renew cartilage.**

MSM

You’ve probably heard of MSM, but what exactly is it?

Is it a vitamin, a mineral, or something else? MSM is a nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplement – Meaning it is not essential for survival, but consuming MSM offers auxiliary support.

MSM stands for methylsulfonylmethane, which refers to the structure of this naturally occurring compound. The “S” or “sulfonyl” is a fancy way of saying, a sulfur containing group and this group is what makes MSM so special.

Sulfur is a mineral that is naturally found in foods like eggs and garlic. Sulfur is stored in every cell of the body. The articular cartilage found at the ends of bones contains sulfur.

Joint Health FAQs

Q. What is glucosamine good for?

A. Glucosamine contributes to joint health.** It is a key structural component in cartilage and, as a dietary supplement, it plays an important role in the maintenance of joint cartilage.** Supplementing with 1500 mg of glucosamine a day nourishes joints for comfortable movement. It also supports mobility and flexibility so you can go about your day with ease.** Glucosamine supplements are the nutritional way to help strengthen your joints.**

Q. Where does glucosamine come from?

A. The most common source of glucosamine used in dietary supplements is shellfish. The hard exoskeletons of crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp contain a substance called chitin. Chitin is a rich source of glucosamine and acts as the starting material for many dietary supplements. Glucosamine can also be found in the cell walls of plants and fungi, making shellfish-free forms of glucosamine available.

Q. Who should take glucosamine?

A. Glucosamine is the ideal supplement for anyone looking for extra nutritional support for cartilage and joints.** This could mean anyone from competitive athletes to laid-back retirees. Those with occupations that require long periods of standing, walking long distances, or a heavy physical work load are especially good candidates as these can cause stress on joints. Joints are responsible for movements so taking care of them is important to keep moving.

Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Whether you want to take care of your joints to ensure you can continue enjoying leisurely walks or rigorous exercise, glucosamine supplements deliver the nutritional support you need.**

If you are already concerned about your joint health, glucosamine can help ease occasional joint stress and stiffness which may be due to the natural aging process.** But you do not have to wait until you start experiencing occasional joint flare-ups to start supplementing with glucosamine.** People with healthy joints can be proactive by supplementing with glucosamine to promote healthy cartilage maintenance.**

Q. Why do I need to supplement with glucosamine?

A. Although glucosamine is naturally produced by the body, levels of glucosamine may decline with age. There are no major food sources of glucosamine so it is challenging to get in your daily diet without the help from supplementation.

Q. Can glucosamine be taken long-term?

A. Glucosamine provides joint support for the long-term.** As a dietary supplement, this product is intended to be taken every day to nourish your joints from within.** Knowing all Puritan’s Pride® Glucosamine products are drug-free is something you can feel good about taking every day, even for the long-term.

Glucosamine supplements work best when incorporated into an overall, long-term joint health program.** Participating in low-impact exercise is an excellent way to move your joints and increase blood flow to that area. Walking, swimming and yoga are all great options with benefits for your overall health. Daily stretching is highly encouraged and a gentle stretch first thing in the morning can be a great way to start your day.

Q. How does chondroitin work?

A. Chondroitin sulfate is naturally found in the connective tissue of joints. Its special structure attracts water, which promotes water retention within the connective tissue.** This water retention is helpful because it supports joint flexibility and cushion the joints.**

Chondroitin also works with enzymes involved in cartilage maintenance.** Enzymes are substances that help to carry out a specific reaction. The way chondroitin interacts with these enzymes helps to maintain a healthy balance to maintain cartilage health.**

Q. How much chondroitin should I take?

A. Between 800 and 1,200 mg of chondroitin is recommended for optimal joint health benefits.** Please read all product labels and take as directed for best results.

Top Joint
Health Myths
Myth: Exercise is bad for my joint health.

Physical activity can actually improve joint comfort as well as joint function and quality of life. Strengthening the muscles around a joint help to stabilize the joint itself, improving joint comfort. Incorporate weights, resistance bands, and calisthenics into your exercise routine at least two days a week. Flexibility training such as yoga and stretching should be performed daily to maintain range of motion. Low-impact aerobic activities such as walking, cycling, swimming and light gardening can all be joint friendly and heart healthy. Before starting an exercise program, we recommend consulting with a healthcare professional on the level and intensity of exercise appropriate for you.

Myth: I only need to take glucosamine when I have a flare-up.

Glucosamine is a nutrient that nourishes your joints from within.** As such, it needs to be consumed on a regular basis. Just as you would take a multivitamin every day to ensure your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs, glucosamine should be taken daily to deliver nutrition to your joints.** If you wait for an occasional joint flare-up to supplement with glucosamine, you would not be getting the full benefits of this important ingredient. Taking glucosamine regularly helps to nourish and strengthen your joints.**

Myth: Glucosamine is naturally found in the body so I don’t need to supplement.

While it’s true that glucosamine is naturally found in the body, this does not mean that supplementation is not beneficial. There are many nutrients produced in the body that can still provide benefits in dietary supplements. For example, vitamin D is produced in the body when the sun is exposed to sunlight. Despite this, taking vitamin D as a supplement can contribute to obtaining optimal levels of this important nutrient. Even if you do not choose to supplement with vitamin D, there are food sources of vitamin D available in the diet such as eggs and fortified milk. Unfortunately, there are no major dietary sources of glucosamine, making supplements even more important.

Myth: I don’t need to take glucosamine if I eat shellfish.

There are no major food sources of glucosamine. Although glucosamine can be sourced from shellfish, it comes from the hard outer shell and not the part you eat. By supplementing with Puritan’s Pride® glucosamine products, you can be sure you are getting an efficacious dose of this important nutrient to protect your joints.**

Myth: People with shellfish allergies cannot take glucosamine

It is true that most of the glucosamine in dietary supplements is sourced from shellfish. However, shellfish is not the only source of glucosamine available. Glucosamine can also be found in the cell walls of plants and can be extracted to make supplements. Puritan’s Pride® offers a shellfish-free glucosamine that is sourced from corn. Vegetarians and anyone else looking to avoid shellfish can still reap all the benefits of glucosamine by choosing a shellfish-free version. Anyone with a shellfish allergy is advised to carefully read product labels before purchasing.

Myth: Glucosamine is for runners and athletes.

Repetitive movements performed in certain sports such as running may cause wear and tear on the joints, especially if performed consistently with bad form. Glucosamine may be a particularly good choice for active individuals who are looking to proactively care for their joints.** But that doesn’t mean it is only intended for the elite athlete. Glucosamine is ideal for anyone looking for a little extra joint support.** Whether it be daily walks or just running errands, nurturing our joints is important for everyone so we all can continue doing the things we love.

Joint Health – The Basics

Joint Health – The Basics

It’s no secret that being active is healthy for the body and soul. Getting outside, exercising, traveling, and being with friends and family are all keys to feeling good. But our body needs some TLC in order to maintain an active lifestyle, especially as we get older.

read more »

MSM for Joint Health

MSM for Joint Health

Glucosamine is one of the most popular and well-known supplements for joint health.** It is typically paired with MSM, short for methylsulfonylmethane. It is an odorless and colorless compound and can be used on its own or in conjunction with other joint-supporting nutrients.

read more »

Glucosamine Questions and Answers

Glucosamine Questions and Answers

Glucosamine is one of the most well-known supplements used to support and promote joint health.** Scientifically studied as one of the building blocks in cartilage, it supports mobility and flexibility.** Today, we’re asking some of the biggest questions we receive about glucosamine.

read more »

References:
  • 1. Barbour KE, et al. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:246-253
  • 2. Dahmer S, Schiller RM. Am Fam Physician. 2008;78(4):471–476.
  • 3. Glucosamine sulfate. Altern Med Rev. 1999;4(3):193–195.
  • 4. Qiu GX, et al. Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi 2005, 85:3067-3070.
  • 5. Zhang WB, et al. Zhonghua Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2007;45(14):998–1001.
  • Individual Results May Vary

EYE HEALTH

Your eyes work hard, and eye health supplements
are a great way to nutritionally support healthy vision.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • My vision has not changed since discovering Lutein 20 years ago. I regret not having discovered it sooner.
    - RunningMan
    (Lutein 20 mg with Zeaxanthin)

Not sure where to start
with eye health supplements?

Then this is a great place to begin.
This content is intended as general information. We encourage you to explore the full Puritan’s Pride’s Eye Health offerings for product-specific benefits.

Why is eye health so important?

Many of us go through life taking our vision for granted. When our eyes are healthy we may not stop to appreciate the magic of seeing a grandchild’s smile or the flowers blooming in our garden. But around 80% of our memories are determined by what we see.1 Surely, we would want to do everything we can to take care of our eye health to keep making lasting memories.

Around 80% of our memories are determined by what we see.1

Many of the complex structures of the eye do not undergo processes of biological renewal.2 That means, unlike the skin which is constantly renewing, there are parts of the eye that once they are fully developed, do not change. In fact, your eyeballs stay the same size from birth until death while your ears and nose continue to grow!1 This means it is really important to take a proactive approach to eye health.

How Vision Works

Light passes through the outer portion of the eye called the cornea. The cornea starts to focus the light and it passes through the black spot in the center of the eye called the pupil. The pupil changes size to allow more or less light in depending on the environment. On a bright sunny day the pupils will shrink in size, while in a dark, dimly-lit room the pupils will dilate to let in as much light as possible.

The light then passes through the lens which further focuses it on the back of the eye called the retina. The lens changes shape depending on whether we are looking at objects up close or far away in the distance.

The retina is a special membrane along the inside of the eye that contains specialized cells called photoreceptors. When light reaches these photoreceptor cells, they release signals that are carried along the optic nerve and delivered to the brain. The brain then translates these messages into the images that we see. Vision is a very complex process that relies on the intricate parts of the eye working together with each other and the brain.

eye info graphic

Retina: a membrane along the back of the eye, the retina contains specialized cells called photoreceptors.

Cornea: the outermost portion of the front of the eye. It is transparent.

Iris: controls the size of the pupil. This is the portion of the eye that gives it its color.

Lens: located behind the iris, the lens focuses light onto the retina. This portion of the eye is nearly clear but can become clouded with age.

Pupil: allows light to enter the eye. The pupil appears black.

Macula: a region of the retina with a very high concentration of photoreceptor cells. The macula is essential for central vision or looking at objects straight in front of us.

Vitreous Humor: gel-like substance that fills the eyeball, giving the eye its shape.

Optic Nerve: located at the back of the eye ball, the optic nerve sends visual information from the retina to the brain.

light bulb graphic

Did you know?

Human eyes contain a small blind spot where the optic nerve connects to the retina.
Our brains use information from the other eye to fill in the gap so it is rarely, if ever, noticed.

Factors Affecting Eye Health

icon age
AGE

Age can take a toll on our eye health. Over 2 million individuals of all races in the US have age-related concerns about their eye health. These numbers are projected to continue to grow over the next 20-30 years.3

icon blue light
BLUE LIGHT

LED devices such as televisions, computers, smartphones, tablets, and video game consoles emit high amounts of the high energy blue light. Blue light may cause oxidative stress and even free radical damage to the eyes. Plus, staring at a computer all day can be tiring for your eyes, and the more you work on a computer, the more your eyes can be affected. It is reported the average American has over ten hours of screen time each day.4

icon stress
OXIDATIVE STRESS

Even when we are at rest, our cells and organs are busy performing functions to keep us going. These processes can create free radicals which are unstable compounds. If free radicals are left unchecked, they can lead to oxidative stress and the premature aging of cells. Since the cells in our eyes are constantly busy receiving visual inputs and sending signals to the brain, they can naturally generate a lot of free radicals. Things like smoking and sun exposure can further exacerbate free radical production and make it more difficult for your body to fight free radicals.

Foods to Promote Healthy Eyes

Eating a healthy diet with a wide variety of food from all the food groups will help ensure you are getting adequate nutrients to nourish your eyes. Important nutrients to include in your diet to help maintain eye health are vitamin A and its precursors like beta-carotene, as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Vitamin A is found in foods like liver and fish liver oils, egg yolks and whole milk.

Beta-carotene is found in colorful plant-based foods including carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables provide lutein as well, and zeaxanthin can be found in orange-colored plant-based foods like orange peppers, corn, and mangoes.

Dietary supplements are another easy way to ensure you are getting enough of these eye nourishing nutrients every day.**

eye food graphic
Our team of scientists has rounded up some of their favorite nutrients to support eye health.**
Vitamin A Bottle

Vitamin A

Were you ever told as a child to eat all of your carrots because they were good for your eyesight? Your parents may have just been trying to get you to eat your vegetables but it turns out there is some truth to this popular adage. Carrots provide vitamin A which is essential for good vision.**

The retina of the eye contains specialized cells called photoreceptors which are responsible for detecting light and in turn sending a signal to the brain which is eventually converted into an image. There are two different types of photoreceptors, ones that are particularly good at seeing colors in bright light and others that see greyscale images in dim light. Vitamin A is an essential component of the signaling process that occurs in the visual cycle for color vision and low-light vision.** As such, vitamin A is important for maintaining healthy vision and nutritionally supports eye health.**

Vitamin A can be found in both plant- and animal-based foods. In animal foods, vitamin A is found in a form that is readily used by the body. Animal-based sources of vitamin A include liver and fish liver oils, eggs, and whole milk. Many plant foods contain vitamin A precursors such as beta-carotene that must be converted to bioactive forms of vitamin A in the body. These include many colorful fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots and mangoes, as well as leafy green vegetables.

Dietary intake data shows that almost 60% of Americans do not get enough vitamin A from food alone.5
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 700 mcg for adult women and 900mcg for men. If you are one of the many not meeting the daily recommendations, dietary supplements are an invaluable tool for filling in those nutritional gaps and to help maintain the health of your eyes.**

SHOP VITAMIN A

Lutein Bottle

Lutein/Zeaxanthin

Lutein (pronounced loo-teen) and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-uh-zan-thin) are types of pigments found in plants called carotenoids. Carotenoids are what give many fruits and vegetables their bright red, orange and yellow colors. The name lutein actually comes from the Latin word luteus which literally means yellow. Carotenoids play vital roles in the growth and safety of many different plants but when they are consumed in a healthy diet, they offer benefits to humans as well.**

Even though they cannot be produced in the body, lutein and zeaxanthin from the diet are stored in the eyes. In fact, lutein and zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids found in appreciable levels in the macula.3 The macula is the area of the retina with a high concentration of specialized photoreceptor cells and is responsible for sharp focus on objects straight in front of you. With so much light entering the eye, and the cellular activity of sending these visual signals to the brain, the retina is an area of high oxidative stress.

Lutein helps filter out high energy blue light from the sun and artificial light before it reaches those important photoreceptor cells.** Blue light may otherwise induce oxidative stress and possible free-radical damage to the eyes. Zeaxanthin is preferentially placed in the very center of the macula. This is the area most responsible for sharp, central vision. Due to this positioning, zeaxanthin may provide additional benefits to lutein supplements for eye health.** Lutein and zeaxanthin both nutritionally support the health of your eyes to support healthy vision.**

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are not made in the body so they must be obtained through the diet. Dark leafy green vegetables are particularly good sources of lutein and it can also be found in small amounts in egg yolks and avocados.6 Dietary sources of zeaxanthin include many orange-colored foods such mangoes, orange juice, corn, and orange peppers.6 On average, Americans are estimated to get less than 2mg of lutein per day through food alone7 and the lutein: zeaxanthin ratio in the diet is about 5:1.

SHOP LUTEIN SHOP ZEAXANTHIN

Bilberry Bottle

Bilberry

Bilberry is a woody, perennial shrub that is related to blueberries and cranberries. The name bilberry comes from the Danish word bollebar meaning "dark berry" and describes the shrub’s dark indigo berries. The use of these berries in traditional health practices dates back to at least the Middle Ages.8

Throughout Europe, bilberry was used for a variety of health purposes but its popularity for eye health was established during World War II. British Royal Airforce pilots would consume bilberry jam before flying in the dark as a traditional way to support eye health.**

Bilberry fruits are sold as fresh, frozen, or dried whole berries. While these berries can make a great addition to a healthy diet, it can be difficult to rely on eating enough bilberry fruits every day to reap all of their eye health benefits.** A standardized bilberry fruit can ensure you are getting the proper amount of the active components found within these fruits to help maintain healthy eye function.**

SHOP BILBERRY

Eye Health FAQs

Q: How to maintain eye health?

A. There are many dietary and lifestyle approaches you can take to help maintain your eye health. A comprehensive approach to eye health will work best so incorporate as many of these recommendations as possible. Steps that you would take for a healthy body will also benefit the health of your eyes. Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to nourish your eyes with a variety of nutrients. Consider adding a dietary supplement specially formulated for eye health for extra nourishment.** Getting physically active can also benefit eye health – a healthy body often means healthy eyes.

Physically protect your eyes when going outside with sunglasses, even on cloudy days. It is also important to wear protective eyewear when participating in certain activities like home repairs. Try and limit your screen time or at least give your eyes a rest. Follow the 20 rule – for every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break to look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.9

Q: What foods promote eye health?

A. Eating a healthy diet with a wide variety of food from all the food groups will help ensure you are getting adequate nutrients to nourish your eyes. Important nutrients to include in your diet to help maintain eye health are vitamin A and its precursors like beta-carotene, as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Vitamin A is found in foods like liver and fish liver oils, egg yolks and whole milk. Beta-carotene is found in colorful plant-based foods including carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables. Leafy green vegetables provide lutein as well, and zeaxanthin can be found in orange-colored plant-based foods like orange peppers, corn, and mangoes. Dietary supplements are another easy way to ensure you are getting enough of these eye nourishing nutrients every day.**

Q: What vitamin is good for eye health?

A. There are a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients that are integral for healthy vision and they each have their own role to play. Vitamin A and its precursor beta-carotene are especially good for supporting your vision at night.** The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are important for the macula, the portion of the eye responsible for sharp, central vision.** Although not vitamins, some herbal supplements such as bilberry have special properties that also make them good for your eyes.** Puritan’s Pride® has a wide variety of nutritional supplements that are specially formulated to support eye health so you can take the guesswork out of it.**

Q: What can office workers do for eye health?

A. Digital devices like computers emit a certain type of high energy light called blue light. Blue light can cause oxidative stress and be damaging to the eyes. On top of that, staring at a computer all day can cause eye strain and the longer you are on a computer, the more your eyes are affected. One thing office workers, students, and anyone who spends a lot of time looking at screens can do is follow the 20 rule. For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a break to look at an object 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.9 Additionally, it may be of particular importance for digital device users to ensure their eyes are getting the proper nutrition. Doses of 12mg of Lutein help protect eyes from blue light.**

Eye Health Myths
Myth: I don’t need to go to the eye doctor if I do not wear glasses.

Even if you do not need corrective lenses, it is still important to tend to your eye health. The health of our eyes goes beyond just being able to clearly see what is in front of us. The National Eye Institute of the NIH recommends all healthy individuals get a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years after age 60. If you have increased risk or a family history of eye concerns, routine eye exams may need to occur earlier and more frequently.

Myth: Lutein and Zeaxanthin are naturally found in my eyes so I don’t need to supplement.

While it is true that lutein and zeaxanthin are naturally stored in the macula of healthy eyes, the body cannot produce its own lutein or zeaxanthin. They only way to get lutein and zeaxanthin is through the diet. While these carotenoids are found in a variety of foods such as leafy green vegetables, peppers, mangoes, and egg yolks, many Americans still do not get enough of these important nutrients through diet alone for optimal eye health.**

Myth: Exercise doesn’t have any impact on my eye health.

Many of the same lifestyle choices you would make for a healthy body will also have benefits for your eye health. Often times a healthy body is indicative of healthy eyes. Participating in regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight can help maintain overall health that extends to your eyes as well. So next time you get your blood pumping just know that your eyes are thanking you too.

References:

  • 1.The Discovery Eye Foundation, 10 June 2014, https://discoveryeye.org/20-facts-about-the-amazing-eye/.
  • 2. Ma L, Lin XM, Zou ZY, Xu XR, Li Y, Xu R. Br J Nutr. 2009;102(2):186–190.
  • 3. Schleicher M, et al. Nutrients. 2013;5(7):2405–2456.
  • 4. Stringham JM, Stringham NT, O'Brien KJ. Foods. 2017;6(7):47.
  • 5. Dickinson A, MacKay D. Nutr J. 2014;13:14.
  • 6. Higdon J. Linus Pauling Institute, August 2016, https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids#food-sources.
  • 7. Shao A, Hathcock JN. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2006;45(3):289–298.
  • 8. Upton, Roy., eds. Boca Raton, FL : American Herbal Pharmacopoeia : 2011.
  • 9. National Eye Institute, 26 June 2019, https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/healthy-vision/keep-your-eyes-healthy.
Good Nutrition is Vital to Eye Health and Healthy Vision

Good Nutrition is Vital to Eye Health and Healthy Vision

We seem to spend too many hours a day reading in bad light, staring at computer screens, watching TV and squinting at our smart phones and tablets. Aside from eliminating all screen time, do you ever wonder what you can do to help support your eye health?

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The Lowdown on Lutein, Blue Light, and Vision Health

The Lowdown on Lutein, Blue Light, and Vision Health

Screen time and its relation to our vision health is a widely studied health concern by researchers. A 2016 Nielsen Company report revealed that Americans spend over 10 hours per day consuming screen-based media, including time spent on TVs, smartphones, computers, and video games.

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Eye Health: The Basics

Eye Health: The Basics

We may not think about it often, but our eyes are critical to so many of our life experiences. First, there are the practical aspects. Our vision allows us to perform everyday tasks, such as making breakfast, sending an email or driving to the store. But as the old saying goes “seeing is believing.”

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DIGESTIVE SUPPORT

Daily supports helps with digestive balance,
which is key to maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I have been taking these for a long time and I love them. Great choice if you are looking for a good probiotic.
    - Gail50
    (Probiotic 10)

3 Surprising Benefits of Taking Probiotics

3 Surprising Benefits of Taking Probiotics

By now, you’re probably familiar with probiotics and know they are beneficial to digestive and intestinal health, but what else can they do?** Let’s take a look at three reasons why probiotics are beneficial in your daily supplement routine. Probiotics support healthy immune function**

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Get to Know Three Digestive Enzymes: Papain, Bromelain, and Lactase

Get to Know Three Digestive Enzymes: Papain, Bromelain, and Lactase

It takes a lot of work to break food down into simpler forms. When food is eaten, your digestive system ensures that food breaks down and that vitamins, proteins, and other compounds are directed to where they need to be in the body.

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What Are Prebiotics?

What Are Prebiotics?

Probiotics found within food are naturally created by the process of fermentation, while prebiotics are certain plant fibers that human cells are unable to digest. While that may sound like a bad thing, prebiotics provide nourishment and play an important role in gut health.**

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MULTIVITAMINS

It’s important to make sure that your multivitamin is designed to fit your personal lifestyle and needs.
These are great options for your individual health requirements.

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • My husband and I been using these vitamins for several years and love them!
    - Budge and Dobie
    (ABC Plus Senior)

Multivitamins for Every Life Stage

Multivitamins for Every Life Stage

If you’re someone who wants to get nourishment in a daily multivitamin instead of figuring out what to take to piece together the supplement puzzle, there are many to choose from. The important part is making sure that your multivitamin is designed to fit your personal lifestyle.

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When and How to Take Your Vitamins

When and How to Take Your Vitamins

Even if you have developed a supplementation routine that works for you, it is important to consider if your supplements are being taken properly in order to receive their benefits. The timing of supplements depends on many factors, including your personal health and diet.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Vitamins and Supplements

A Beginner’s Guide to Vitamins and Supplements

If you browse the web and read news pieces, magazine articles or blog posts on a regular basis, chances are you have come across lots of different opinions about vitamins and supplements. It can be very confusing, especially if you are just introducing yourself to a healthier lifestyle.

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BONE HEALTH

These tried and true nutrients support your bones and help to keep them strong.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I have been ordering these for over three years and have never been disappointed. Always fresh and fair price.
    - Hunniebee
    (Magnesium 500mg)

Bone Health By Age

Bone Health By Age

Your bones are literally the framework of your body, and they store calcium and other vital minerals. From the moment you are born until you are an older adult, the nutritional and lifestyle needs of your skeletal system changes.

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Calcium: The Essential Mineral for Bone Health

Calcium: The Essential Mineral for Bone Health

Most of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones and teeth – 99% according to the National Institutes of Health! Calcium is also one of the most popular supplements on the market, a hint as to its importance in the body.

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Vitamin D Recommendations By Age

Vitamin D Recommendations By Age

We depend on the sun to get Vitamin D, and some populations struggle with getting enough sunlight to maintain healthy levels. It helps maintain a healthy immune system, supports bone health, and plays an important role in the absorption of calcium.**

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Sleep & Relaxation

Terrific choices if you experience occasional sleeplessness or jet lag,
or if you want to improve your quality of rest.**

We’ve highlighted three products that would be a great first purchase.


  • I don't have to take these often, but when I do, usually I am asleep within a half hour and sleep all night long.
    - Heidiho
    (Melatonin 3 mg)

Lifestyle Habits and Supplements that Support Sleep Health

Lifestyle Habits and Supplements that Support Sleep Health

When we get a solid night of rest, it is amazing how our bodies can react! When we are well-rested, we are more mentally alert and feel better physically. Small changes can lead to remarkable benefits when it comes to sleep habits.

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Sleep Support: The Basics

Sleep Support: The Basics

There’s nothing that feels more magical than a solid night of sleep. When you get enough shuteye, you wake up ready to conquer the day. Sleep is also key to your overall wellness, playing a critical role in your mental and physical health.

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Sleep Support for Older Adults

Sleep Support for Older Adults

With age, it is normal to experience wellness changes, and that includes shifts in sleep quality. The National Institute on Aging states that sleep is an issue for adults over 60. Older adults may find themselves developing new sleeping patterns.

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Disclaimers