• What is the ph level of the water you sell out of your system?

    We don't regularly measure the pH of our water. Because it is a distilled water, it will tend to be more acidic than spring or alkalized water due to the lack of inorganic minerals present. If you're looking for an alkaline water, I would go with Essence pH10 or Evamore. If you want a water that is as close as possible to pure H2O, than distilled is the best option.

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  • How do I set up an appointment with the Dietitian?

    You can simply call the store to speak with Nicole Gould RD, LD directly at 440-885-9505 or email her at Click here to see a list of Nicole's Dietetic Services.

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  • Can I return a product?

    Yes! You can return any product within 60-days of purchase, even if it's opened. We want to help find the best product for you - even if it takes a couple tries.

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  • What happened to the mobile coupon app?

    Our mobile coupon app for iPhone and Android was created and managed by Living Naturally, LLC, a provider of information and technology products to the natural products industry. The app was launched in 2013.

    In early June, 2017 we received notice from Living Naturally that they were ending the coupon program effective June 9, 2017. Unfortunately, we did not have any control over the timing of this decision. 

    Because we can no longer update or add coupons to the app we recommend you delete the app from your mobile device.

    In the meantime, we continue to offer a variety of in-store coupons as well as our 'Hassle-Free e-Coupons' that are automatically loaded onto your Rewards Account and emailed to you.

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  • Is your purified water system working?

    Updated 8/3/18

    Yes! Our water system is back online and producing pure water! Stop in today for self-bottle filling.

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  • What can I do about thinning hair?

    Hair loss and hair thinning is a very common concern for many.  While there are an array of hair growth supplements on the market, I always find it more effective to try and figure out why the hair is falling out to begin with.  Nutrition deficiencies like protein, biotin and iron can certainly contribute to hair loss, but there are a few different types of hormones that can also influence hair loss.

    If you aren't sure what the culprit of your hair loss is, a product like Shen Min Advanced Women's or Men's Formula, combines a powerful mixture of standardized herbs such as He Shou Wu and Horse Chestnut Extract, with vital hair energizing co-factor nutrients sfor women and men to support hair growth and reduce loss.

    For more information about how hormones can effect hair loss, please see the article below.

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  • Do you carry anything that helps with hormonal acne?

    Hormonal acne can be a challenge, but there are a few supplements that may be helpful. Chaste berry, or Vitex is popular for female hormone imbalance symptoms like acne. One product that has worked well for many is New Chapter's Estrotone that combines Vitex with other supportive ingredients like evening primrose oil and schisandra. I've also found stress can be a culprit. In this case, I like Holy Basil  as it can really help balance stress hormones, decrease inflammation and reduce breakouts. Finally, because the liver plays a major role in detoxing unnecessary hormones, some women find supporting the liver can help. Milk Thistle, the medicinal mushroom Reishi and the product Liver Care from Himalaya are all helpful for supporting the liver and detoxification. Please feel free to stop in and we can talk about what may be the best approach for you!

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  • What’s the best herb for under active thyroid?

    There really isn't one single herb that is best for under active thyroid. This is because there are a variety of factors at play. First you need to ensure the body has enough of the raw materials to make thyroid hormone, iodine and the amino acid tyrosine. But beyond that, you then need to address the factors that could lead to a breakdown of the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone (T4) to the active form (T3).

    For example, the health of the adrenal glands is paramount to a properly functioning thyroid gland. Therefore, many people who suffer from under-active thyroid often benefit from taking measures to support the adrenal glands first. According to our registered dietitian Nicole Gould, many people benefit from taking a supplement to support both the adrenals and thyroid at first, then over time they can often remove the thyroid supplement from their regimen and stick with only the adrenal formula and still maintain healthy thyroid function.

    To answer your question briefly, there are two formulas we have had good success with: MegaFood's Thyroid Strength and Vital Choice's Thyroid Support.

    Both of these companies also make adrenal support formulas - MegaFood's Adrenal Strength and Vital Choice's Adrenal Support.

    If you have a couple more minutes, I encourage you to watch our dietitian Nicole's review of Thyroid Strength

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • My IBS symptoms have gotten worse. Any recommendations on supplements??

    IBS can manifest itself in several different ways. Some people suffer more frequently with constipation, others tend more towards diarrhea while others seem to bounce back and forth between the two.

    While there are a variety of measures you can take to try and get control of the symptoms, often the key to lasting success is discovering the cause, or trigger of your IBS. Our registered dietitian Nicole Gould offers a couple different tests that have helped numerous people discovery their hidden food allergies or intolerances. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact Nicole at 440-885-9505 or you can email her at

    However, for today here are some options for the most common IBS symptoms:

    Tips for Gas and Bloating

    1. Slow down - make sure you are chewing well and taking time while you eat. Too often we speed through our meal. 

    2. Stick to small portions   

    3. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement when you eat can make a significant difference. Enzymes assist in the breakdown of food and reduce the burden of your digestive tract. One of my favorite products is by Enzymedica, called Digest Gold.  It contains enzymes to support digesting every type of food, including some of the most problematic foods like fats, gluten and dairy. Another great option is Vital Choice Superzymes.  Superzymes contain enzymes as well as betaine HCL (an acid) to further assist in digesting.

    Probiotics to health the gut and promote regularity

    Probiotics are the the good or friendly bacteria that helps to boost our natural flora, aid in nutrient absorption, support a healthy immune system, keep yeast and other pathogens in check and promotes regularity. 

    For IBS, it's important to look for a formula high in bifidum bacteria.  These strains are more involved with the colon and regularity.  One of our favorites is Raw Probiotics Colon Care, a high bifido formula with 33 probiotic strains. For healing the gut, we've had great feedback from those who have used Garden of Life's Primal Defense Ultra. This unique shelf-stable product contains strains like Bacillus subtilis and saccharomyces boulardii.

    Mike Ventresca

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Is organic soy milk safe for children to drink? I recently came across some information that says soy is harmful.

    Thanks for your question. The topic of soy is always controversial with some studies touting the benefits and others reporting the dangers. As with most things, while there are pros and cons, at this time the studies don't seem to give us a clear cut answer.

    There are many studies suggesting soy is beneficial for health and is better tolerated than even cow's milk for those with a sensitive GI tract. Soy milk does have a similar protein content to cow's milk and in my experience, children typically like the taste.

    However, soy does not contain the same mineral content to that of cow's milk and actually has compounds that can potentially interfere with nutrient absorption. Soy is also one of the most genetically modified crops available and has been shown to influence hormone levels, and though rare, can even disrupt thyroid levels.

    With all this said, I don't think we can say soy milk is unsafe for children. I would suggest if you would like to continue using soy milk, make sure it is an organic, non-GMO product and limit to one to two servings per day. Also, you could consider rotating it with milk or other non-dairy options including coconut, almond, oat or hemp milk. Choose an organic, unsweetened option, that is free of carrageenan, GMO oils, xanthan gum and calcium carbonate. There are new brands popping up everyday, so just make sure to read labels.

    Personally, for my kids, I use fermented sources like yogurt more than any milks, traditional or plant-based.

    Best of Health!

    Nicole Gould, RD, LD

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  • What's the best probiotic to take with antibiotics?

    There is some debate whether probiotics should be taken alongside antibiotics. So first I have to say, we can't give personal medical advice and it's best to ask the prescribing doctor for their opinion. However, based on my experience most agree that you can and should take probiotics while taking antibiotics, just not at the very same time. Generally, it's recommended to take the probiotic two hours before or after you take your antibiotic.

    Choosing a probiotic when taking a course of antibiotics is not altogether unlike choosing one when you're not on antibiotics. In general, when taking a probiotic, I look for a multi-strain product with a CFU count of at least 5 billion. 

    Given the effects of the antibiotics, you may want to consider a higher potency product perhaps during, and certainly after, you are finished with the full course of antibiotics. Personally, after a course of antibiotics I would look for a probiotic with at least 50 billion CFUs. 

    Finally, if I had completed a longer course or if I had been prescribed a particularly strong antibiotic, I would consider using one of the very high potency products with at least 100-billion CFUs for a week or two after I completed the antibiotic. After that, I would drop down to either the 50-billion or 20-billion range.

    Here is a link to our best selling probiotics.

    Some of my favorite products for everyday use are:

    If you feel you need a high dose probiotic, (again, usually taken after you have completed your course of medication to 'reset' your system) consider one of these two products from Garden of Life:
    Garden of Life Ultimate Care
    Garden of Life 5-Day Max Care

    We have received very good feedback on both of these products. 

    Mike Ventresca 

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • What is the Barnes Basal Thyroid Test and how do I do it?

    Many health experts believe that you can get a pretty good idea of thyroid function simply by determining your basal body temperature (BBT) – the temperature of your body at rest. You can perform the test in home. The test can be performed with an oral thermometer, but for best results it's recommended you use a basal digital thermometer. 

    According to Dr. Michael Murray, here are the steps to taking your BBT:

    1. Plan to take the test first thing in the morning after you wake up, because it’s important to measure temperature after you have had adequate rest.
    2. Before going to sleep, if you are not using a digital thermometer shake down a regular thermometer to below the 95-degree mark and place it by your bed.
    3. Immediately upon waking, place the thermometer in your armpit (if using a regular thermometer keep it there for a full 10). Hold your elbow close to your side to keep the thermometer in place.
    4. Read and record the temperature and date.
    5. Repeat the test for least three mornings (preferably at the same time of day).
    6. A reading between 97.6 and 98.2 degrees F is normal. Readings below 97.6 may indicate hypothyroidism.

    Note: Menstruating women must perform the test on the second, third, and fourth days of menstruation. Men and postmenopausal women can perform the test at any time.

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  • Should I take coconut oil to support blood sugar?

    While coconut oil has health benefits including blood sugar support, it's not on my list of 'must-have' blood sugar support supplements.

    For blood sugar support out most effective options are:
    Blood Glucose Support
    WellBetX PGX Fiber 
    Cinnamon Extract

    Glucose Support is probably my favorite option because it provides a variety of clinically studied nutrients at effective doses including: Chromium & Vanadium, Gymnema, Bitter Melon and Lagerstroemia speciosa among others.

    All of these have been show great promise according to multiple studies. We've had great feedback on this supplement.

    Additionally, a patented fiber blend called WellBetX PGX-with Mulberry has been shown to reduce after-meal blood glucose.

    Finally, the effects of cinnamon have been documented in a variety of studies. Two of my favorites are New Chapter's Cinnamon Force and Vital Choice Cinnamon PF

    A general note of caution - these supplements can work quite well. If you are already taking something for blood sugar regulation including medicines, please keep an eye on your levels as dropping too low can be dangerous. 

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Is there anything that can help sperm motility?

    Two herbs/foods that come to mind that have been studied for sperm health are maca and muira puama. In addition, both have been used historically for libido support. Below are links to my favorite products.

    Maca - We stock a variety of good maca products in both tablet as well as powder form. My favorite for your concern is Revolution Macalibrium. It's important to note that maca is not just for men. Maca is widely considered a 'super-food' with numerous benefits for both men and women.

    Nature's Answer Muira Puama - This product is available in both liquid and capsule. We don't normally stock the liquid. We are currently out of the capsule but should have some in about a week.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • What is your recommendation for omega 3’s? I have inflammation, high blood sugar & back pain.

    In general, omega-3 from fish oil remains the most widely studied for the health benefits you mentioned.

    Nordic Naturals and our Vital Choice Health Store brand are very good purified fish oils, but New Chapter's Wholemega is my favorite because it's the closest thing to eating wild Alaskan salmon.

    Click here to watch a great video from our registered Dietitian Nicole discussing why she likes Wholemega.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Do you offer a blood test to tell which vitamins I need?

    There are quite a variety of tests available. Choosing the right test for you may require a more detailed discussion, but I'm happy to give you some general information here. Our dietitian Nicole Gould works with several third-party companies that provide several unique tests. Here is a link to her page on our website.

    One of our favorites (and one that I think just about everyone at Vital Choice Health Store has had performed over the years) is The Spectracell Laboratory Micronutrient Panel. This is a unique test that requires a blood draw. What's unique about this test is instead of using red blood cells which provide essentially a daily snapshot of your levels, Spectracell uses white blood cells to determine whether a functional or more long term deficiency exists. In other words, while today your may not be deficient in Co-Q10, you may tend to be deficient in the long term. A typical red blood cell test may not catch this.

    I encourage you to discuss your needs more specifically with Nicole as she does have access to other tests as well. She will be in-store today, Thursday, after 1pm and can be reached at 440-885-9505. I have also copied her on this email.

    Another test that is available is called the HealthPrint from Your Future Health. While we do not offer this test directly, Nicole does offer HealthPrint Analysis. I have also used this report before and found it to be helpful.

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  • My endocrinologist recommended a prebiotic. Do you have a good suggestion for the right product to buy?

    We do offer several prebiotic products. As you know prebiotics are essentially food for the probiotics in your system. You will often find prebiotics in two forms - powders and capsules.

    I prefer the powder products because when working with prebiotics you're looking at some form of fiber blend. Fiber takes up space so you end up taking quite a few capsules to get an effective dose versus a powder product that can be mixed in juice, milk, smoothie etc.

    Also, for me the better prebiotics are using real foods and not things like isolated FOS (Fructooligosaccharides) as the primary source of prebiotics. FOS can be difficult to digest for anyone sensitive to fructose which recent studies suggest can be as much as 30% of the population. I'm one of these people, so I need to avoid anything with high levels of isolated FOS or suffer IBS type symptoms. Again, FOS isn't a bad thing, but I believe there are better choices.

    With this in mind, my favorite prebiotic product is Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated Organic Fiber - each serving contains 5 grams of prebiotics from superfoods. It is a powder that can be thrown into smoothie, soups, yogurt...basically anything you can stir. Garden of Life also makes a product called FitBiotic that combines 4 grams of prebiotics with a 50 billion probiotic formula in a packet that again can be mixed in juice, smoothies etc.

    If you prefer a capsule product we offer Prebiotic Formula from Health Plus. It provides 1 gram of prebiotics from inulin and FOS per 3-capsule serving. So here you can see to get 5 grams you would need to take 15 capsules per day. There's nothing wrong with this, but I wanted to let you know the trade-off of going the capsule route on a fiber product.

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  • My doctor says I need iron. Is there anything I can take that won't constipate?

    Supplementing with iron can be a necessary, but frustrating experience due to the tendency to constipate. Traditional iron supplements provide the elemental iron in a very difficult to digest form. However, there are great options available that have worked tremendously well for our customers without constipating. Blood Builder by MegaFood is a Vital Choice Health Store favorite. Not only does this product offer iron in a 'whole-food' tablet, Blood Builder also provides essential nutrients for red blood cell production including vitamin C, Folate and B12. It is gentle, non-constipating and effective.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Is coconut oil safe? I've been eating coconut oil for years and a recent article says it's not healthy!

    The health benefits of coconut oil have been debated for years. While coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is a far better choice than animal fats like butter or lard. Coconut oil has been shown to provide numerous health benefits. With respect to heart health, research shows while coconut oil does increase cholesterol, those amounts do not increase your heart attack or stroke risk. For a more detailed reply, please read Is Coconut Oil Safe?

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Do you have anything for weight loss?

    There are many products we offer that can support weight loss. Some are geared more toward appetite control, like Natural Factors PGX. Others focus more on safely boosting metabolism, like Nature's Dynamic Fatburner 4X. However, feel free to contact us to help you find the best choice for your specific needs.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • What is better fish or flax oil?

    That depends on what benefits you are looking for. In general, fish is a better source of Omega-3's because it is a direct source of DHA and EPA. Flax (and other plant sources like chia and hemp) require the Omega-3 to convert to DHA and EPA.  Many people aren't efficient at making this conversion.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • What is your best product for pain?

    Though we can't say we can "treat" pain, there are many supplements customers have used that help with modulating inflammation and provide pain relief. Curamin from Terry Naturally and Zyflamend from New Chapter are two products that we've had the best feedback on.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • What's the difference between curcumin and turmeric?

    Curcumin is one compound in the herb turmeric, like vitamin C from an orange. Some prefer to take the whole herb as there are other beneficial constituents in turmeric while others prefer concentrating the curcumin to maximize the amount of that active ingredient.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Do I need to take a multivitamin?

    Usually it is a good idea. A good whole-food multivitamin fills the nutritional gaps in your diet. Even people who eat great can still be missing key nutrients.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • What multivitamin should I take?

    Whole-food multivitamins offer the best utilization because the vitamins and minerals are in a food form as opposed to isolated fractions from synthetic or artificial sources.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • If you were to recommend a tea for boosting metabolism would you recommend oolong or green tea?

    Both oolong and green tea come from the same plant.  Oolong is left out in the sun to partially ferment which decreases some of the antioxidants compared to green tea.  Both are healthy and have been studied for weight loss, but it appears oolong has a slightly higher impact on metabolism.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Are there any natural remedies for symptoms of vertigo?

    I'm sorry to hear your suffering from vertigo. I wish I had a sure-fire remedy but unfortunately, as I'm sure you're aware, vertigo can be a tough issue to combat. 

    While there are no sure-fire solutions, there are options that have worked for some. By increasing blood-flow to the brain, ginkgo biloba is probably the most well-researched choice. For some, the calming herb valerian has had some success, while others find ginger helps with the associated nausea. 

    The product Vertifix by Natural Care is probably our most popular option. It combines a blend of homeopathic remedies with botanicals to provide a comprehensive formula.

    Best of health,
    Vital Choice Health Store

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • Do you have any bariatric supplements?

    Yes, we have a variety of products that have been used successfully by bariatric patients. The most critical supplements are vitamin b12, calcium, iron, a multivitamin and protein. However, please note - it's not as easy as looking for a product that claims to be a 'bariatric vitamin'. This is often a marketing term and upon further review is just a powder or liquid preparation of an inferior form of vitamin. Please see the related post below for a more in-depth answer from our dietitian, Nicole Gould, RD, LD.

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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  • I heard there is a recall for Garden of Life's Infant Probiotic liquid. What should I do?

    On September 7th, Garden of Life issued a voluntary recall on their newly introduced Dr. Formulated Infant Probiotic Liquid. The formula itself is safe, but there are concerns over the thickness of the liquid when inadvertently administered directly into an infants mouth. Therefore, the company has recalled the product to update the instructions.  The new instructions will advise parents to only administer the product by mixing in either breast milk or formula and not to administer directly into the infant’s mouth. For more information click here to visit the Garden Of Life company website.

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  • What products do most customers say are useful for frequent migraines?

    Our most popular product for those suffering from migraines is Douglas Labs' Neuro Comfort. This formula is an herb-free approach with clinically studied vitamins and minerals featuring vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Folate, B12 and Magnesium in addition to a 100mg dose of CoQ10.

    If you would prefer an herb based formula, Now Foods' Butterbur featuring butterbur and feverfew is a popular choice. Both butterbur and feverfew have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraines, again when taken regularly. However, between the two, Neuro Comfort is by far our best seller. 

    Note, both of these products will work best when taken regularly as opposed to taken when a migraine is present. When a migraine is present, Petadolex (a patented form of butterbur) would be my choice.

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  • Are there any supplements that can help after gallbladder removal?

    Gallbladder removal is a very common procedure that can result in difficulty digesting fats. There are supplements that can provide much needed support in breaking down fats after gallbladder removal. A few of my favorites are:

    Enzymedica Lypo Gold: This product contains enzymes for protein and carbohydrates but has a specific focus on fats, and in studies has been shown to break down up to 22 grams of fat within 30 minutes. One capsule to be taken with each meal for optimal support. Plant based, vegan, and Kosher.

    Vital Choice Superzymes: A combination formula of pancreatic enzymes for breaking down protein (protease), carbohydrates (amylase), and fats (lipases). Also contains:

    • Bile acid- helps to break down fats so that fat digesting enzymes (lipases) can further break down foods
    • Betaine HCL- helps support the digestive process in the break-down of protein and fats, helps relieve digestive discomfort.
    • Bromelain- derived from pineapple, can aid in the break- down of protein
    • Papain-  derived from papaya, supports protein digestion
      • It is important to note that if someone has stomach ulcers they should not use Betaine HCL, caution is advised if you are taking antacids or medications for acid reflux.

    Jennifer Kleinhans, CHES®

    This information is not intended as personal medical advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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  • What do you have that can help with night sweats and hot flashes?

    As you can imagine there are quite a few options available. However, over the years we've had two products stand out based on customer feedback.

    My first choice would be a product called PM Phytogen by Solgar. PM Phytogen seems to work far faster than most hormonal support products. We've had some women have a reduction in symptoms in as little as seven days where the typical response time can be 60-90 days. With this said, we usually find full results are seen with this product around 30-45 days.

    My second choice would be the maca product MacaPause. This product is unique blend of maca varieties that has helped many women. The company actually produces three different maca products based on hormonal stage, with MacaPause being the recommendation for menopausal symptoms. 

    In summary, over the years we've had more feedback on PM Phyotgen reducing night sweats more quickly than any other product where MacaPause seems to cover a wider variety of menopausal symptoms. 

    Please don't forget about our 60-day Purchase Guarantee! If you want to try one of these products, please do and trust that you can return it if it doesn't work. We rather you return a bottle with one capsule remaining if it isn't working and try something else, than feel like you wasted money and give up.

    Best of health,


    *The information in this email is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease and is presented for informational purposes only.

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  • I’ve been hearing a lot about CBD oil but I don’t know where to start. What can CBD help with and what is a good brand?

    CBD (cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid that is naturally occurring in the hemp plant.  We actually have cannabinoid receptors all over the body, which is one reason why many researchers believe CBD is so effective.  CBD has been shown to benefit a wide variety of conditions including chronic inflammation, pain management, neurological issues, stress and sleep problems.   The challenge with using CBD is that every person requires a different dose so you want to be patient and slowly increase the dose until you see symptom improvement.  It’s possible for one customer to see benefit with a 3mg dose but another might need a 30mg dose.

    With the increased popularity of CBD, more companies are selling CBD products but not all are created equal.  I’ve found the following to be helpful in choosing a quality brand

    1.       Proper sourcing -  The hemp plant easily absorbs what is present in the soil so it is crucial that a company is using high quality soil.  Companies using Non GMO ingredients and organic farming methods are preferable.   

    2.       Clean extraction method – Better companies use super critical (CO2 extraction) or ethanol extracts.  Beware of cheaper products that aren’t labeling extraction methods. They tend to use toxic solvents that are dangerous to our health such as propane and hexane. 

    3.       Full or Broad Spectrum – Using the whole plant, rather than just one isolated part ensures you are getting the full range of benefits of all the constituents in hemp.  CBD Isolates are becoming increasingly popular, but may not be as effective. Opting for a Full-Spectrum (which maintains the highest number of active constituents) or a Broad-Spectrum (contains multiple cannabinoids) is a good place to start.

    4.       Transparent labeling – Many companies label the amount of hemp or CBD in an entire bottle but don’t list the breakdown per serving which can be misleading.  Look for a “per serving” breakdown so you can be sure of what you’re taking.

    5.       3rd party analysis – At any time you should be able to call or email a company for a 3rd party certificate of analysis.  This is the only way to guarantee that the product is meeting label claims for the amount of CBD, as well as, being at or below .3% THC and free of harmful contaminants.

    - Nicole Gould, RD, LD

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

    revised 11/1/2019

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  • Can CBD oil cause a positive result on a drug test?

    Depending on the type of test, the answer is yes, consuming a CBD-rich hemp oil extract could produce a false positive for marijuana. This is very similar to documented incidents where eating poppy seeds produced positive results for opiates. 

    Urine tests are typically 'all-or-nothing' and are looking for the presence of THCs. THC is the chemical compound in marijuana that produces a 'high'. If the urine test finds any amount of THC, it can produce a positive result. What a urine test doesn't show, is the percentage of THC. For this, you would need a blood test.

    While marijuana and hemp are the same botanical species, they have very different chemical profiles. Unlike marijuana, industrial hemp is legal in all fifty states and by law must contain less than .3% THC, far less than what is found in marijuana. But, to be clear, industrial hemp does contain THC. Again, too low to produce a 'high', but enough that it could show up in urine. Because the CBD oil we carry is made from industrial hemp, it will have small, but legal, amounts of THC. 

    Therefore, our recommendation is if you are concerned about testing, avoid using CBD-rich hemp oil extracts or you can request a blood test instead of a urine test. 

    If you are taking a CBD product as directed, a blood test will show the percentage of THC as being within a legal limit, so a negative result. It will also show the higher levels of CBD further demonstrating that you are using a CBD product and not marijuana.

    If your employer performs regular screenings, consider informing your immediate supervisor or HR dept. that you are using CBD to address your health condition, and when urine drug testing is to happen, that you prefer the blood drawn test. Some employers will ask you to pay for a blood drawn test.

    Mike Ventresca

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  • How can I prevent or reduce lactic acid buildup muscle soreness?

    There are a few things you can do to reduce soreness after workouts:

    1. Make sure you are drinking enough water as dehydration could influence the build up of acids leading to soreness. The American Council on Exercise recommends hydrating with 16 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before a workout and then 7 to 10 additional ounces of water for every 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. 
    2. Warm up properly - Engaging in a dynamic warm up can help to get the blood flowing which results in better oxygen delivery to the muscles. 
    3. Take a recovery formula.  Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) and glutamine are probably the 2 most common products to support muscle recovery. BCAA's have been shown to reduce muscle soreness and increase endurance exercise capacity.  Glutamine reduces lactic acid levels by regulating the acid-base balance in the body and supports recovery and healing the gut. Jarrow's BCAA formula combines both.

    More recent research is actually suggesting it may not be about lactic acid as the cause of delayed muscle soreness, but rather the inflammation and muscle breakdown that occurs during exercise.  One of my favorite products that has ingredients to support endurance during a workout (cordyceps, maca and astaxanthin) as well as herbs to decrease inflammation and pain (ginger, rhodiola and fermented turmeric)  is New Chapter Daily Workout + Recovery.  It has also been shown to provide antioxidants to decrease oxidative stress. I've had great customer feedback on muscle soreness and recovery with this product as well.

    I hope this information helps and please let me know if you have any other questions.

    Nicole Gould, RD,LD

    *This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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  • I have been hearing about the benefits of CBD oil for management of pain without the side effects that you would get from other cannabis. What are your thoughts?

    CBD is growing in popularity and many are using it as a natural alternative to pain medications with great success.   

    When you say "side effects from other cannabis" I am assuming you mean a psychoactive property similar to marijuana? Both CBD-rich hemp and marijuana are part of the cannabis sativa species but they differ greatly in their chemical composition and properties. The main difference is the amount of THC, which is the cannabinoid that has psychoactive properties. Marijuana typically has 5% to 35% THC, while hemp has less than 0.3% which is why it is legal in all 50 states.  In other words, you can't get "high" from hemp.

    There are many pure and safe products on the market.  One brand that I trust is Charlotte's Web.  They are very well known in the industry and use organic farming practices in Colorado.  It is also the brand that seems to get the most positive feedback. There are other great brands out there as well, but it's important to understand they aren't all created equal.  

    Here are a few things that you should look for in a CBD brand: 

    1. Whole Hemp Extract - hemp has many other constituents that are beneficial like other cannabinoids, terpenes and chlorophyll that have a synergistic effect with CBD. Research has shown that isolated CBD just doesn't have the same effect as a whole hemp extract. 

    2. Third Party Certificate of Analysis (COA) - every company should have third party (so there is no bias) quality testing and will email or send the COA for every batch that will show the amount of CBD and THC as well as contaminants like lead.

    3. Non- GMO/Organic practices to reduce as many pesticides ad herbicides as possible

    4. No harsh chemicals or solvents in the extraction process.  Super-critical or CO2 extraction is a very pure way to concentrate the CBD without using chemicals or solvents.

    5. Clear labeling - Many brands say they contain 500mg or 750mg of CBD. But beware, that is often in the ENTIRE bottle, not per serving. This can be confusing and makes it very difficult to know how much you are actually taking in each serving.

    Finding a dose that's right for you is usually the greatest challenge with taking CBD as not everyone needs the same amount.  You may need to give it some time and slowly increase the amount of CBD after a few days until you start to see results. 

    You can find Charlotte's Web in our e-commerce store at

    Thanks and best of health, Nicole Gould, RD/LD

    *This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as personal medical advice.

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