Herbs & Supplements

The variety of vitamins and natural supplements available today can be confusing and overwhelming. The NorthStar blog on herbs and supplements provides the latest updates on what's out there, what works, what doesn't and why.

  1. New research finds omega 3s and vitamin D are vital for lupus patients

    Dear Reader,

    The Lupus Foundation of America calls the disease a "cruel mystery."

    But what's really mysterious here is how in the world two natural, safe, and effective treatments for this autoimmune disease keep being left in the dust... while risky meds continue to sell like hotcakes.

    One thing is very clear: If you or someone you love is suffering from lupus, the benefits of making sure your levels of these two nutrients are up to par is no mystery at all.

    Reinventing the wheel

    Two new studies have just confirmed what we've known all along -- that vitamin D and omega-3s can significantly help lupus patients.

    One, from the University of Michigan, found that those with lupus who included plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in their diets slept better and scored lower on what's called a measure of lupus "disease activity."

    The key seems to be concurrently upping those omega-3s while easing up on the omega-6 variety of fatty acids, but I'll get to more on that in a minute.

    In the second study, doctors at Johns Hopkins looked at the data on close to 1,400 lupus patients and found that low levels of vitamin D could actually "predict" kidney failure. Not having enough D circulating in your blood, they concluded, can up the risk of severe kidney disease by nearly 70 percent in those with lupus!

    Since direct sun exposure -- the best source of vitamin D -- aggravates lupus symptoms, low levels are practically a given among those with the disease. Close to 30 percent of the lupus patients in the Johns Hopkins study were found to be deficient in it.

    Dr. Michelle Petri, the study author who just so happens to be the director of the Hopkins Lupus Center, was very clear in her recommendations: "Supplementary vitamin D is very safe" and can help safeguard your kidneys, preventing one of "the most dreaded complications" of the disease.

    Getting sufficient levels of the sunshine vitamin, she added, can also help prevent blood clots, heart disease, and excessive protein in the urine.

    And, as I said, this is far from the first time vitamin D and omega-3s have been found to be breakthrough treatments for lupus patients. In fact, eAlert readers have been hearing about their benefits for a decade or more!

    Just last year, for example, we told you about a study out of Michigan State University that found DHA, a type of omega-3, was able to stop lupus in its tracks. That research was done in mice that were specially bred to be predisposed to the disease.

    One of the researchers said that he had never seen such a "dramatic protective response."

    So, why does it seem as if we're always having to reinvent the wheel where these kinds of valuable treatments are concerned?

    Much of that has to do with responses like this from the Lupus Foundation of America: Dr. Stacy Ardoin, a member of the foundation's medical and scientific advisory council, said that these studies, while "encouraging," really don't prove much of anything.

    She went on to say that she receives plenty of questions about what lupus patients should eat, but "It's an area where we have little evidence."

    Seriously? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard!

    Could remarks such as those have anything to do with the fact that GlaxoSmithKline, which makes the horribly risky drug for lupus called Benlysta, is one of the foundation's top sponsors?

    Whatever the reason, it's clear as day that these two nutrients are vital for those with lupus. They're also easy to add to your routine.

    Vitamin D supplements, in fact, are about the least expensive ones out there. You can also up your levels by having more D-rich food such as eggs, wild salmon, mushrooms, and almond milk.

    Wild salmon is a great source of omega-3s as well, along with sardines, walnuts, flax and chia seeds. This essential fatty acid is also widely available in supplement form (just be sure the one you buy contains high amounts of DHA and EPA).

    As for omega-6 fatty acids, the ones those Michigan researchers said you should be consuming less of, they can be best avoided by eliminating "unhealthy" oils (such as corn, sunflower, and safflower) from your diet and replacing them with coconut or extra virgin olive oil.

    To Living Better With Lupus,

    Melissa Young

  2. The Dangers of Natural Supplements

    supplements naturalHave you seen the recent sensational headlines about natural supplements sending people to emergency rooms in staggering numbers?

    They certainly caught our attention. So we read more.

    Sure enough more than 23,000 emergency room visits are caused by supplements every single year.

    The headlines definitely had our attention. So we read more.

    They certainly got us to read their articles, I’ll concede that point and give them credit for it.

    But I’m also glad that I took the time to read the information presented and didn’t just take the headline at face value.


    While 23,000 emergency room visits sounds like an enormous number – and let’s be honest, one is already too many – more than 150 million people take supplements every day.

    Which means only .015% of people who take natural supplements end up in the emergency room every year.

    And the researchers of the study even admit that these visits make up less than 5% of emergency room visits caused by drug products.


    We take your health and safety seriously. As we said, one supplement-related emergency room visit is too many. So we read even more.

    As it turns out, the majority of those emergency room visits were caused by people between the ages of 20 and 34, taking energy and weight loss supplements – and taking them incorrectly.

    Most of these young people, apparently, decided that if some worked well, more would work better. Which lead to side effects, poor reactions, and visits to the emergency room.

    Another 20% of emergency room visits were caused by children finding adults’ unsecured supplements, and taking them.

    Among adults age 65 and over? The main cause for an emergency room visit was difficulty swallowing – which can become a problem for people taking any type of pill, not just supplements.


    We want to alleviate any concerns about natural supplements those other headlines might have given you, and we also want to reiterate some smart, general guidelines.

    • Recommended doses are there for a reason. Read your labels, and follow the directions on the bottle. There is no product on the market – prescription, over-the-counter, or natural supplement – that is so safe you can overdose on it and not have side effects.

    • Double-check the ingredients label for allergens. If you have hay fever or any other allergy, make sure the natural supplement you’re considering isn’t part of that family.

    • Talk to your doctor about every product you take. Even natural supplements can have interactions with prescription medications. Your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider can keep you from taking the wrong combinations. They can also help identify potential allergic reactions, as well!

    • Keep your supplements secured if you have children around. Just like other medications, children respond to supplements differently than adults do. Products that are perfectly safe for you when used as directed could be harmful to your grandchildren – even if they take less than a recommended adult dose. Plus, remember, children tend to think that pills look like candy, so supplements can be appealing to them.

    • If you develop problems swallowing pills, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. There are numerous options available. Some pills may be available in a smaller size. Some may be suitable for cutting in half. And there are ways to make swallowing pills easier, too.

    We admit it – those headlines were startling. But this is why it’s important to keep reading, to get beyond the headlines, and to do your own research.

    Because the truth about the safety of natural supplements wasn’t in the headlines. The truth is in the paragraphs, and in the products themselves.

  3. Does Homeopathic Pain Relief Work? The Truth Exposed…

    homeopathic pain reliefAt first glance, homeopathic pain relief looks like a great idea. After all, homeopathic pain relief means all-natural ingredients that can soothe, relieve, and ease your pain in an organic way without chemicals or scary drugs.

    What’s not to love?

    Except…does homeopathic pain relief actually work? Can you really take on your toughest, most persistent pain with herbs and supplements? What’s the truth behind the hype? Continue reading

  4. Is There A Natural Arthritis Cure? 6 Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain

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    Natural Cures for ArthritisIf you are one of the 52.5 million people in the United States with arthritis, you’re probably always on the lookout for a natural arthritis cure. And while currently there is no cure for arthritis, there are supplements that can help ease arthritis pain naturally. Continue reading

  5. What to Watch for When Buying Supplements

    Buying SupplementsSupplement Interactions: What to Watch for When Buying Supplements

    When most people decide on which supplement to take, they focus on how it can improve their health. And that’s fair.

    You’re taking supplements to make you healthier, after all. But supplement interactions with other drugs is important to consider as well.

    The last thing you need is for one of the supplements you’re taking to exacerbate another – often entirely unrelated – condition.

    In this article, I’m going to talk about some of the most common supplements people take – and the supplement interactions you could be facing.

    Astaxanthin – If anyone ever truly finds a fountain of youth, I’d be willing to bet it includes astaxanthin. That’s how amazing this anti-aging supplement is. You’re still going to want to be on the lookout for these supplement interactions, though. If you’re taking blood thinners, blood pressure, or blood sugar medications, talk to your doctor about taking astaxanthin. Because it can lower all of those on its own, it may cause unhealthy drops when combined with medications. It also has the potential to lower serum calcium levels, so use caution taking astaxanthin if you have osteoporosis, or other calcium-related conditions. Continue reading

  6. A consumer’s guide to buying supplements

    Buying health supplementsIt seems like every time you turn around someone is touting a new breakthrough…or pitching a new product…or telling you to take this pill, or drink this powder.

    There are more bottles than you can count on your shelves, or in your medicine cabinet.

    Heck, entire stores are devoted just to selling supplements.

    It can be overwhelming.

    That’s why we've created the NorthStar Nutritionals’ Guide to Buying Supplements – to help you figure out what you need, what you don’t, and how to navigate all the options to find the best choices for you and your health.

    This Guide to Buying Supplements has 2 major sections, to better fit your needs.

    If you've never bought a supplement before, but want to, start with Section 1. In this section, you’ll learn the basics of buying a supplement from identifying what supplement you should be taking, to learning how to test if you’re actually getting anything from your morning pill.

    If you are only looking for specific ingredients for some of the most popular conditions, you might want to consider jumping to Section 2. We discuss 5 of the top reasons people take supplements, and what ingredients you should be looking for in order to address them. Continue reading

  7. The Top 11 Natural Male Libido Boosters

    Top Natural Male Libido BoostersIf you think it’s too late for you to have strong, frequent erections, the desire for mind-blowing sex, and a healthy physical response that allows you to be ready to go whenever she is, then you absolutely must read this article.

    In it, I reveal to you the top 11 natural male libido boosters that can help you get back the sexual prowess you've been missing for years. Whether you just started suffering from some “performance anxiety” last night, or it’s been years since you felt just right in the bedroom, we've got you covered. Continue reading

  8. RegeneCell Ingredients: Feel Better & Look Younger within Days

    Benefits of AntioxidantsPeople, especially health professionals, talk a lot about how important the benefits of antioxidants are. You hear things like “take this supplement because it’s packed with antioxidants” and “get your fruits and veggies” and even “eat every color in the rainbow.” It’s great advice. Too often, though, doctors and nutritionists stop at the advice, without ever explaining themselves. But since we don’t expect you to follow blindly, we wanted to make sure you know why antioxidants are so important… Continue reading

  9. RegeneCell Ingredients: Feel Better & Look Younger within Days

    RegeneCell IngredientsAging isn't just about getting older. There’s very little we can do about getting older, and truthfully, getting older can be a good thing. But we can fight aging – the tell-tale wrinkles, the more regular doctors’ visits, the ever lengthening list of specialists, even the physical changes. You don’t have to give into them without a fight. That’s why Dr. Mitchell Ghen developed RegeneCell – the single most comprehensive anti-aging supplement on the market.

    Dr. Ghen has brought together more than 70 of the most effective, most reputable anti-aging fighters to create the formula that will help you rejuvenate every system and every cell in your body! How did he do this? By identifying the 10 signs of aging – and then researching the RegeneCell ingredients you need to address every single one of them and more. Continue reading

  10. The Best Sexual Health Supplements for Men

    You’re ready to last as long as necessary, and perform as well as possible, to give her the pleasure she craves – but sometimes…the body doesn't quite respond the way you both wish it would. Still, you've never run from a challenge in your life, so instead of just giving up, you’re looking to take your sex life to the next level. Even if you haven’t even thought about sex for years, a sexual health supplement can help you get back that feeling you had in your 20s.

    So here are the top 5 best sexual supplements for men: Continue reading

  11. What are the Side Effects of Arthritis Relief Cream?

    Here’s the truth: nothing is 100% side effect-free, all the time, for every person… not even Arthritis Relief Cream.

    And although the researchers here at NorthStar Nutritionals have formulated Arthritis Relief Cream to minimize side effects as much as possible, we wanted to share them with you for a couple of reasons:

     1. You’re smart enough to know that nothing is completely side effect-free

     2. Your trust is important to us, so we strive for transparency

    With that in mind, here are 5 potential side effects of Arthritis Relief CreamContinue reading

  12. Panax Ginseng Benefits – What You’ve Been Waiting For

    Argi-Vive with panax ginsengYou know what we’re excited to tell you about?

    The panax ginseng benefits in Argi-Vive III.

    And if that doesn’t sound like something to be excited about, then you really need to read this!

    Because the panax ginseng benefits are what give Argi-Vive III its extra boost – which gives you an extra boost, too.

    We understand that, even though you still love and desire your wife, time may be taking a toll you don’t particularly want to talk about, or even think about.

    But it really is okay.

    You’re not alone. Continue reading

  13. The Inside Scoop: Do Topical Pain Relievers Work?

    Soothanol X2 topical pain reliever There are so many different pain relief options out there, all making different claims; it’s easy to get lost in the noise.

    But sometimes a topical pain reliever can be your best option.

    Topical pain relievers are fast, targeted, and you don’t have to worry about interactions with other oral medications you may be taking.

    But not all topical pain relievers are created equal.

    So you want to know – which topical pain relievers really work?

    And how?

    What’s the truth? Continue reading

  14. Lumivella Ingredients – Powerful Nutrients, Powerful Age Fighters

    Lumivella natural skincare When you’re looking for anti-aging supplements, you’re looking for the Lumivella ingredient formula – a formula specially designed to help slow down the clock and help keep you looking younger and more vibrant than you have in years.

    Lumivella can help you…

    • Receive so many compliments you’ll be blushing like a teenager...
    • Find friends snooping around your makeup mirror looking for your new “secret”...
    • Catch yourself staring and smiling in every mirror you pass...
    • Even be begged for your skin care secrets... by your own daughters!

    Just what are these Lumivella ingredients that will help rejuvenate your skin and make you feel more confident every day?

    Let’s take a closer look… Continue reading

  15. Command Performance: A secret so valuable it’s kept under lock and key

    I must admit, when I first heard about it, I thought it might be nothing more than an “urban legend.” A mushroom so rare, and so valuable, that armed mercenaries are employed to protect it… and a bag of it will set you back $18,000 bucks?

    How could that be?

    But it’s what they say the mushrooms do for you that really made me wonder if it was the real thing. Cordyceps sinensis—or “summer grass” as the locals call it—is said to have anti-aging and revitalizing effects so powerful that it becomes like rocket fuel when it comes to energy and desire for your bedroom romps.

    But when I dug into the research I was astounded to learn that the mushroom is not only real, it really IS the stuff of legend… just not the urban variety.

    You see, “summer grass” comes from a place that’s just about as far removed from civilization as you possibly can get—the Himalayan Mountains. And the mushroom isn't a tall tale at all, but rather, the likely secret behind some legendary lovers.

    I’ll have more on that research in just a moment. Continue reading

  16. Schisandra Berry Benefits – Get Charged Up Like Never Before

    Peak Adrenal X6 with schisandra berryLegend tells of Russian hunters who would go out at night and could hunt without stopping to drink…

    …or eat…

    ...or rest

    ... all because they chewed on something called a schisandra berry.

    Surely the schisandra berry benefits weren’t that great though. Stories about night hunters being able to go for hours without food or drink, immune to hunger pains or thirst were just stories. And the rumors of boundless energy that gave them the spark to track their prey through the Russian forests had to be exaggerated.

    These were just legends, after all.

    Or were they… Continue reading

  17. Siberian Ginseng – The Russian Secret for All-Day Energy

    Siberian ginseng in Peak Adrenal X6Have you heard about the Siberian secret that is Siberian ginseng?

    If you’re already taking Peak Adrenal X6, then you probably do. But if you’re like the rest of us, you may have only heard bits and pieces here and there.

    We’re about to change all that, because Siberian ginseng shouldn't be anybody’s secret any longer!

    If you know you have adrenal fatigue or if you’re just struggling with feeling tired and moody more often than you like (and this article might help you answer the question Why Am I Tired All the Time?), you need to know about Siberian ginseng. Continue reading

  18. The sunshine vitamin may help reduce blood sugar and weight

    We already knew vitamin D was a superstar, but June sure was a banner month for the sunshine vitamin. Besides being linked to better blood pressure control and dropping your risk of an early death, new research finds that D could turn out to be the key to lowering your blood sugar AND your weight.

    It turns out that the sunshine vitamin treatments act on the brain to improve both weight and blood glucose control in the overweight, according to an animal study presented at the joint meeting of the International Society of Endocrinology and the Endocrine Society in Chicago. Continue reading

  19. Chia Seed Recipes: More Than Just Seeds

    BenVia Gold chia recipes You are really trying to find ways to get chia seeds into your diet with some chia seed recipes. After all, you know they’re unbelievably good for you. They've been shown to have more calcium than milk, more magnesium than broccoli and more antioxidant power than blueberries.

    But just how often can you sprinkle them on your salad or mix them into your morning cereal before even this super-food starts being boring? But you can banish boring, with the chia seed recipes found in our BenVia Gold Cookbook! Continue reading

  20. Low vitamin D linked to high blood pressure and early death

    “It’s as plain as the nose on your face.”

    My grandmother always delivered this little gem with a twinkle in her eye when I found myself struggling to wrap my noodle around something that should have been as obvious as…well… the nose on my face.

    It used to make me cringe. But I must admit that lately—when it comes to the obvious importance of vitamin D—I often feel like yelling it from the rooftops.

    Because, let’s be clear, low vitamin D could really affect your health. And this already obvious fact is becoming more and more obvious with each passing day. Continue reading

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