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Natural Products Expo West 2013 Part Three

April 5, 2013 Written by JP    [Font too small?]

In my final column about Natural Products Expo West 2013, I’m going to focus on three unconventional items that may improve the quality of many lives. But, you might be surprised to learn that the products in question consist of a butter substitute, coffee for those with digestive issues and lavender oil that’s taken orally. On the surface, health conscious consumers understand that many buttery spreads contain unhealthy ingredients such as hydrogenated oils. Coffee is frequently regarded as a “no no” for anyone living with GERD or irritable bowel syndrome. And, while lavender oil is perhaps the most popular aromatherapy ingredient, it’s typically not intended for internal use.

According to the scientific literature, increasing your intake of omega-3 fats and lowering consumption of omega-6 fats can benefit everything from bone density to cognitive functioning throughout life. A delicious and simple way to improve your omega-6/omega-3 ratio is to substitute regular butter or market brand butter substitutes with a product called Melt. This organic, 100% natural spread boasts an impressive ingredient list that features organic coconut oil, flaxseed oil and a small amount of grass-fed butter. Melt has twice the amount of omega-3’s as omega-6 fatty acids and is free of gluten, hydrogenated fats, lactose and soy.

While I am admittedly a big coffee proponent, I’m well aware that some people simply cannot tolerate it. In particular, those that experience frequent heartburn may need of avoid or limit coffee altogether. However, Puroast, a specially roasted coffee, may offer a viable option for those who have issues with the natural acidity present in conventional coffee. Testing conducted at the University of California, Davis determined that Puroast contains between 3 to 5 times less acid than competing brands of coffee such as Folgers, Nescafe and Starbucks. What’s more, Puroast is much lower in specific “gut irritating” compounds known as dichlorogenic acids. This is welcome news because the latest research on coffee continues to report very positive and, sometimes, unexpected outcomes such as improved cardiovascular function and reduced stroke risk.

If you’re living with chronic anxiety, but want to avoid powerful anxiolytic medications, Silexan may be right for you. This lavender oil soft gel has been shown to safely improve anxiousness, depressed mood and sleeplessness in patients with generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress and somatization disorder. A recent study, appearing in the journal Phytomedicine, reveals that Silexan is as effective as a prescription anti-anxiety medication (lorazepam). The authors of the trial concluded that this natural alternative “showed no sedative effects … has no potential for drug abuse” and “appears to be an effective and well tolerated alternative to benzodiazepines for amelioration of generalized anxiety”. Another positive attribute of this affordable supplement is that there is ongoing research being conducted on it. This is welcome news for open-minded patients and skeptical physicians who are interested in a more holistic, integrative means of attaining psychological health.

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 – Product Information: Rich & Creamy Melt Organic (link)

Study 2 – Association of Red Blood Cell N-3 & N-6 Fatty Acids w/ Bone … (link)

Study 3 – Fatty Acids in ADHD: Plasma Profiles in a Placebo-Controlled(link)

Study 4 – The Omega-6/Omega-3 Ratio and Dementia or Cognitive Decline (link)

Study 5 – Product Information: Puroast Low Acid Coffee (link)

Study 6 – Consumption of a Boiled Greek Type of Coffee is Associated with (link)

Study 7 – The Impact of Green Tea and Coffee Consumption on the Reduced Risk (link)

Study 8 – Product Information: Nature’s Way CalmAid (link)

Study 9 – Phase II Trial on the Effects of Silexan in Patients w/ Neurasthenia (link)

Study 10 – A Multi-Center, Double-Blind, Randomised Study of the Lavender Oil (link)

Most Studies Suggest Coffee Reduces Stroke Risk

Source: Korean J Fam Med. 2012 November; 33(6): 356–365. (link)

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Mental Health

6 Comments & Updates to “Natural Products Expo West 2013 Part Three”

  1. BG Says:

    Hello JP

    Your thoughts on the respective merits or otherwise of the nutritional divide between T Colin Campbell and Joseph Mercola would be a great help.

    The China Study comprehensively torpedoes dairy products – high casein content specifically. Grains are portrayed as the good guys. Mercola strongly advocates dairy protein as healthy … so long as it is raw/unpasteurised. The additional twist is that the milk used must come from A2 cows such as Jersey, Guernsey and Asian and not from A1 Holstein or Friesian cattle. He recommends the avoidance of grains.

    As a lover of good raw butter and cheese, otherwise a vegetarian, it concerns me that if Campbell is right, and his new book, Whole, is equally damning of dairy without (from the Amazon Extract) mention of the raw/A1/A2 equation … do you think I am seriously compromising a long and healthy life by continued enjoyment of raw A2 dairy as my principle protein source? And are grains bad news?

    Thanks, Brian

  2. JP Says:

    Hi Brian,

    Personally, I avoid most grains. In particular, I stay away from those which contain gluten and higher carb content. I still have grain like foods in my diet that we make at home or buy in health food stores. Such products tend to based around nuts and seeds. They’re more nutritious than grain-based products and have less of an effect on blood sugar and insulin. *If* one avoids grains, the key is to seek out other high fiber foods such as avocados, berries, flax seeds, nuts and pure cocoa powder.

    I don’t eat a lot of dairy. But, when I do, I try to find grass fed, raw products. One of the primary reasons is that I don’t want to go overboard on my daily calcium intake. Instead, I eat a variety of animal and plant-based protein sources. Typically, these are richer sources of magnesium and other nutrients (Vitamin K) which prevent negative issues relating to calcium: arterial calcium deposits, constipation, prostate risk, etc.

    While not a vegetarian, I consume a lot of high fiber, low glycemic fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, I guess you could classify my diet as a sort of low carb, Mediterranean/Paleo style menu plan.

    Drs. Campbell and Mercola would probably object to some of my dietary choices. Of the two, I fall closer to Mercola’s way of seeing things. However, I’m also empathetic and familiar with Campbell being as though I’m a ex-vegan.

    Be well!


  3. BG Says:

    Thanks JP

    My main dairy concern is cancer risk as someone with a highish PSA score.

    Dr Campbell’s position is that cancer can be ‘turned on or off’ by including or excluding casein in diet – of lab rats. How applicable that is for human nutrition is debatable but it is a pretty stark warning.

    Dr Mercola takes the entirely different view that the right kind of dairy is extremely beneficial nutritionally.

    I greatly respect the expertise and sincerity of both men and would very much like to know which advice is best … beyond reasonable doubt!

  4. JP Says:


    There really isn’t any strong science, that I’ve seen, demonstrating a connection between casein and prostate cancer – in humans. What’s more, the observational studies examining a link between dairy and PC have yielded mixed results. Here’s the latest:




    Virtually all of the data regarding dairy and PC is taken from in vitro or population studies. These aren’t the strongest sources of information – useful, but not definitively by any means.

    Also, one must keep in mind that many factors probably influence PC risk – alcohol and coffee intake, exercise, genetics, protective dietary components, stress management, supplementation, etc. These factors are rarely taken into account in the variety of research I mentioned earlier. For instance, I would wager that many people who eat a lot of conventional dairy also eat quite a lot of other refined foods – which likely affects cancer risk.

    My bottom line: If you eat a nutrient-dense, whole food based diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle, I don’t think consuming grass fed, raw dairy is likely to be harmful. If your PSA is of concern, I would focus on natural ways of supporting prostate health. A few examples:






    Be well!


  5. BG Says:

    Grateful thanks once again JP

    Imperfect as PSA readings are (I also had the PCA3 procedure – tested in a German lab – which returned moderately positive) strict nutritional support lowered my PSA score significantly.

    To the annoyance of my GP and urologist I declined a biopsy because the associated bleeding is linked to metastasis. They are both in denial about ‘risk’ and ridicule the idea nutrition plays a useful role. That’s medical orthodoxy for you!

    I very much appreciate the links which will keep me quiet for a while 🙂

    Best wishes, Brian

  6. JP Says:


    Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2015 Aug 7.

    Efficacy of orally administered Silexan in patients with anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep – A randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

    The anxiolytic effect of Silexan, a patented active substance with an essential oil produced from Lavandula angustifolia flowers, was investigated in patients with anxiety-related restlessness and disturbed sleep. 170 out-patients with a diagnosis of restlessness (ICD-10 R45.1), a Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAMA) total score ≥18 points and ≥2 points for HAMA items ‘Tension’ and ‘Insomnia’ participated in this randomized, double-blind trial and received 80mg Silexan or placebo once daily for 10 weeks. Patients with clinically important other psychiatric or neurological disorders potentially interfering with the assessment of treatment efficacy were excluded. Outcome variables were the HAMA as well as the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), the Zung Self-rating Anxiety Scale, a State Check inventory and the Clinical Global Impressions questionnaire. In the Silexan group the HAMA total score decreased from an average of 25.5±6.0 points at baseline to 13.7±7.0 points at treatment end, compared to a decrease from 26.5±6.1 to 16.9±9.8 for placebo, corresponding to decreases of 12.0 and 9.3 points (marginal means), respectively (group difference: p=0.03, ANCOVA with factor treatment and baseline value as covariate). In all outcome measures the treatment effect of Silexan was more pronounced than with placebo. According to the HAMA, 48.8% and 33.3% of the patients were responders (Silexan, placebo; reduction ≥50%; p=0.04) and 31.4% and 22.6% achieved remission (HAMA<10; p=0.20). 33.7% (Silexan) and 35.7% (placebo) of the participants reported adverse events. The study confirms the calming and anxiolytic efficacy of Silexan.

    Be well!


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