1. What is BSE and how can I prevent exposure to it?

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also called "mad cow disease" is a fatal neurological disease in cows though to be caused by consuming contaminated animal feed. Some countries have included in the feed given to cattle, ground up animal parts including brains and nervous systems of animals killed for food. Some of these animals had early stages BSE, and the infectious agent was passed on to the animals who consumed the feed. There is now evidence that some people who ate the meat from animals infected with BSE became infected themselves. Nearly 100 people have now died from what are now called "transmissible spongiform encephalopathies" (TSEs) believed to have been caused by eating BSE-contaminated beef.

2. Where is the best source of bovine raw glandulars?

Glandular materials start out as healthy (or unhealthy) as the animals from which they are made. For this reason, all reputable processors of glandular concentrates will use only USDA-inspected animals as the original source. The highest quality glandular materials will be made from animals grown in a healthier environment. New Zealand beef cattle make the best source of bovine glandular concentrates, because they are free-range rather than lot-raised, and fed pasture grasses and hay rather than cattle feed. Additionally, New Zealand is one of the only countries in the world considered completely free of BSE (mad cow disease) and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

3. What does porcine mean?

Porcine means derived from pig.

4. What makes amino acid chelated minerals better than other types of minerals?

In order to be absorbed, minerals, whether from foods or in supplements, have to be combined with a "carrier" molecule. When this molecule is a fragment of protein (an amino acid), and the mineral-amino acid compound forms a stable molecule, it is referred to as an amino acid chelate. Because the body is very efficient at absorbing amino acids, chelated minerals are more easily transported across the intestinal wall than are non-chelated minerals.

5. What is the glycemic index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of foods on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Glucose is given a relative number of 100 to provide a baseline to which all others can be compared. For example, an apple has a glycemic index of 38 which is less than half that of glucose, but higher than soybeans (which have a glycemic index of 18). Other common foods and their corresponding glycemic indices are Corn Flakes (84), dark rye bread (80), and bananas (54).

6. What is MSM?

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is a highly biologically valuable source of sulfur. Sulfur is important for joint tissue support, however, other nutrients are also supportive of joint health. Along with MSM there are a number of supportive nutrients including glucosamine, chondroitin, vitamins C and E, and specific amino acids. While optimal joint support must start with a healthy and varied diet, nutritional supplements may be useful. However, it is important that your healthcare provider be aware of ALL supplements, herbs or medicines you are taking.

7. What is myo-inositol, and how does it differ from regular inositol?

Myo-inositol is one of eight naturally occurring forms that make up the nutrient inositol. Each one has a slightly different shape and are individually referred to as isomers. The myo-inositol isomer is the most abundant form found in the central nervous system, where it can be converted into phosphatidyl inositol, a second messenger neurotransmitters. Inositol is the term used to describe the entire group of isomers together.

8. What are colloidal minerals?

A "colloid" is a chemical description of a gel-like suspension. Therefore, colloidal minerals would be a blend of minerals found in some form of suspension or solution. Generally, commercially-available colloidal minerals are produced from mining ancient sea beds, and then mixing the mined minerals with water or other fluid to hold them in solution. While these products provide a large number of minerals, there is no credible scientific evidence to support marketing claims for superior absorption or bioavailability. They may even contain relatively high levels of unwanted minerals such as aluminum, lead or mercury (which of course are naturally occurring), or of other contaminants.

9. I have heard that human strains of probiotics are the best. Is that true?

Partly. While it is true that the most beneficial probiotics (friendly bacteria) can be isolated from humans' digestive tracts, certainly not all strains found there are healthful. In the womb, the baby's digestive tract is virtually sterile; the bacteria that will grow there following birth are due to exposure from the mother in the birth canal or at the breast during breast-feeding. Historically, our diet has contained additional sources of probiotics, including yogurt, buttermilk, fermented cheeses and even sauerkraut. So-called "human strains" of probiotics did not originate in humans therefore, but came originally from consuming them as part of a healthy diet. There are hundreds of different strains of bacteria living in the colon of a healthy person. Some of them confer benefits to humans, others are potentially harmful, and some can be either. A better question would be to determine the potential the specific strains of bacteria in question have for providing reliable and consistent health benefits.

10. I have heard calcium can interfere with prescription drugs?

Certain drugs and nutrients may interact and in effect, reduce the strength of the drug. For this reason it is important to always discuss with your healthcare provider all the different vitamins, minerals, herbs and especially drugs you are taking.

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