Category Archives: Supplements

Turns Out Being A Small Business Is Scary

Here we are, three months into 2020, and we here at Fully Human are learning it is a scary time to be a small business. Now we are spending a lot more time cleaning, and re-cleaning everything (including sanitizing our inventory of Freedom).

We were previously excited about the future of Fully Human, and how our initial product was showing results for our customers. Now we are seeing just how hard it is to be a small business in a time of economic downturn.

Founded by a disabled veteran, Fully Human was never about making an easy ‘buck’. Now however, more than ever, we are focused on making sure our customers and employees can bring their full selves to life even in this crisis.

Speaking of Employees

We are also putting our two cutest employees on notice. Turns out they had historically just laid around the house when we weren’t working from home.

Former management track employee

Now that have transitioned to working from the house we have been finding out they are doing far less work that they report on their timecards.

January’s Employee of the Month

Ok, so maybe the dogs are happier that we pet them more. But they sure are confused when we take their ‘beds’ to do our teleworking.

Maybe it was a mistake to use these two for anything but modeling. We had hoped they would rise above their looks and prove to us they were also hard workers. But alas. They are just too good looking to work hard.

Giving Back

On the serious side. We know that many in our community are having to struggle far more than we are. Because of that we are looking for ways to give back wherever we can.

We here at Fully Human want to recognize you who are on the front line of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. We want to provide you access to Freedom…for free. You are working tirelessly to help the infected recover, and prevent the rest of us from getting sick. Many of working 12+ hour shifts, constantly on the move.

While none of us is qualified to take a shift to help you out – we want to help where we can. Freedom contains powerful anti-oxidant shown to reduce the inflammation caused by constant work and stress.

If you are a healthcare worker, message us and we will get you a free bottle of Freedom, just pay our shipping cost. It can’t get you back the time you are dedicating to serving others, but hopefully it will make that time a little easier.

A Spicy Solution

Do you like spicy foods? I don’t. But science says cayenne pepper is good for something other than making me cry. There is nearly 20 years of clinical research which fairly conclusively shows cayenne pepper aids the body in fighting inflammation. And seeing all that evidence changed my mind. Maybe it will change yours too.

How Does It Work?

So the simple answer is cayenne pepper also contains a wide range antioxidants that work at a cellular level and actually disarm free radicals that can lead to cellular inflammation.

The more technical answer is that cayenne contains a substance known as capsaicin that gives the spice its “heat” and creates a burning sensation on any tissue it touches. Capsaicin triggers a biochemical reaction that is both analgesic (pain-relieving) and anti-inflammatory. I should note here that rubbing raw peppers on your skin is not the preferred method of use though.

Capsaicin is classified as a neurotoxin. This sounds scary, but it is the dose that makes the poison. Which is why botulinum toxin – also known as botox – is both lethal, and really useful for keeping me looking young . Capsaicin works by reducing the concentration of substance P, a compound produced by the body which delivers pain signals to the brain. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of this substance before – I hadn’t either – and to be honest it sounds fake.

What is it good for?

I know cayenne pepper is most commonly as it is used in my dad’s tacos. But other than for cooking, there is evidence capsaicin helps with the following conditions:

Back Pain: A 2006 review of studies published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews concluded that there was “moderate evidence” that cayenne-based topical therapies were more effective than placebo in relieving low back pain.

Neuropathic Pain: Capcaisin has long been explored as a means of treating neuropathic pain given the lack of effective pharmaceutical remedies. A 2009 study published in Therapeutic Drug Monitoring concluded that a high-dose capsaicin patch used for 60 minutes on 173 people with HIV drug-induced peripheral neuropathy resulted in a twofold decrease in pain compared to those using a placebo.

Heart Health: A 2015 review of studies published in BMJ Open Heart suggested that the biochemical reaction triggered by capsaicin may have practical applications in treating an array of metabolic and cardiovascular disorders. The evidence mainly involved research into the use of dietary cayenne in rats, pigs, and other mammals.

Joint Pain: A recent study published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia concluded that topical capsaicin cream provided modest relief of chronic muscle and joint pain. The study specifically looked at capsaicin cream applied three to five times daily for 2 to 6 weeks. This and other studies have highlighted topical and oral capsaicin’s benefit in providing pain relief for various types of arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.

Other Potential Benefits: There are limited studies indicating that a diet rich in cayenne may be beneficial  for other conditions. But there isn’t enough evidence yet to confirm that it can prevent or treat atherosclerosis, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver, hypertension, and stroke.

What it doesn’t help with

Weight Loss: The evidence supporting the use of cayenne tablets in boosting metabolism and losing weight is generally weak. A lot of nutritional supplement companies say cayenne has thermogenic properties that can speed up your metabolism. And a cayenne tablet can certainly induce sweat, but there is no evidence that this leads to weight loss.

Side Effects

As with anything you take cayenne has side effects. You should consider whether the benefits of taking this (or any other supplement) outweigh the risks.

Most common side effects for topical capsaicin creams are fairly mild, and include irritation, burning, and itching. Some stronger versions of topical patches and creams may cause localized swelling, rash, pain, and even blisters. When taken as a tablet, cayenne rarely causes nausea, sweating, flushing, diarrhea, and runny nose.

Conclusion

Want to see if cayenne works for you? Try Freedom today to see what high quality, powerful cayenne can do when blended with other anti-inflammatory herbs. 

Citations (other than what I linked to)

Khanna RD, Karki K, Pande D, Negi R, Khanna RS (2014) Inflammation, Free Radical Damage, Oxidative Stress and Cancer. Microinflammation 1:109. doi: 10.4172/2381-8727.1000109

 

Cinnamon as an arthritis supplement

Cinnamon…The One Herb To Rule Them All

Cinnamon (known to nerds as Cinnamomum zeylanicum and Cinnamon cassia), is one of the most important spices used daily by people all over the world, and not just because of its taste. It contains a lot of manganese, iron, dietary fiber, and calcium, making it one of the healthiest spices out there.

The Boring Nerd Stuff

Cinnamon contains derivatives, such as cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid, cinnamate, and numerous other components such as polyphenols. The pronunciation and spelling of these components may be hard to understand, but their results aren’t. Early studies have demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, and/or anticancer effects from one or more of these components.
Additionally, recent clinical trials have looked at cinnamon in the forms of bark, essential oils, bark powder, and phenolic compounds, and how each of these can improve human health. These trials explored the beneficial effects of cinnamon in Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, and arteriosclerosis. New research continues to be proposed and conducted, but evidence is mounting that cinnamon is an herb on par with turmeric in reducing inflammation.

All You Need To Know

An example of one such study published early last year found that as little as 500mg of cinnamon, taken twice a day, reduced the serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and diastolic blood pressure in women with rheumatoid arthritis. The women taking the cinnamon also reported fewer swollen or tender joints, allowing them to move more freely.
Do you want to move freely too? Try Freedom, a patent-pending blend of the top eight arthritis and inflammation fighting herbs. Freedom is a pharmaceutical grade supplement, backed by clinical research, and with a 90 day money back guarantee. Try it today!

Curcumin vs Autoimmune Diseases

Over recent decades, researchers conducted 32 clinical trials on the effect of curcumin supplements on various autoimmune diseases including osteo/rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and ulcerative colitis. Those trials formed part of the basis for us here at Fully Human including curcumin in Freedom, so let’s see what the current state of the science is.

All studies were randomized, placebo controlled trials, the gold standard for medical evidence. The trial lengths ranged from 4-40 weeks. And they looked at a variety of clinical measures including pain, stiffness, range of motion, and disease specific markers (inflammatory markers for RA as an example).

Overall, 26 trials resulted in significant improvements with most of the remainder not being long enough to report results. None reported significant side effects, and none reported curcumin supplementation as being anything but supportive as an autoimmune therapy.

Osteoarthritis Results

The osteoarthritis-related trials ranged from 6 to 40 weeks with doses ranging from 100–2000 mg/day tested. In 13 of the studies, dietary curcumin intake resulted in improvement of at least 2 clinical measures (pain, stiffness, range of motion…etc) and seven studies showed improvement of at least three clinical measures. The average effective daily dose was 829mg/day divided between at least two doses.

Type 2 Diabetes Results

The Type 2 diabetes trials ranged from 4 to 36 weeks with doses of curcumin ranging from 200 to 1500 mg/day. All eight studies showed curcumin supplementation possessed anti-diabetic effects with the average effective daily dosage being 570.79 mg/day divided between at least two doses.

Ulcerative Colitis Results

The duration of the three studies looking at ulcerative colitis ranged from 4 weeks to 24 weeks with doses ranging from 140 mg to 3000 mg/day. Two of the three studies showed taking between 2,000-3,000mg/day were effective in putting mild-moderate ulcerative colitis into remission.

Other Results

There have been only three studies of curcumin’s effect on other rheumatic diseases, including two studies on rheumatoid arthritis and one on lupus nephritis. Of the two RA studies, one 8-week study showed an improvement in patients taking 1,000mg/day divided between at least two doses. The other study was only two weeks long, and didn’t end with any reportable outcome. The lupus study found that a dose as low as 66mg/day over 12 weeks resulted in significant improvements in systolic blood pressure and a levels of lupus markers in the blood (proteinuria and hematuria).

Promising results aside, due to the limited number of studies conducted on RA and LN, the effect of curcumin on RA and lupus should be considered possibly useful, but with clinically inconclusive evidence.

Freedom Is The Answer

Do you suffer from one of these conditions? Try our patent-pending blend of turmeric curcumin (even more potently extracted than the ones referenced in these studies).

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Can Boswellia Manage Knee Arthritis?

In 2018 a group of researchers from New Jersey conducted a four month clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a Boswellia serrata extract (BSE). This study was longer than any other previous clinical trial on patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. It’s key finding is that an increasing the potency of the Boswellia extract increases its biologically active components. These then act together against inflammation and arthritis. The end result, published in early 2019, was an improvement in physical and functional ability while also reducing the pain and stiffness.

The study randomized 48 patients, aged 35-75, with OA of the knee into active and placebo groups. All participants, were selected because they had a history of OA, and pain in their knees that was difficult to bear on most days.

Background on Boswellia

Boswellic acids, especially one called AKBA, are powerful anti-inflammatories. They block an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) that breaks down polyunsaturated fatty acids in foods into leukotrienes, inflammatory molecules that attack joints and other tissues. Boswellia may also help reduce cartilage damage in arthritis. It also shows promise as a cancer treatment.

Various research studies show derivatives of boswellic acids (BAs) are not all created equal, but all help reduce inflammation to one degree or another. Earlier clinical studies found boswellic acid‐containing products in combination with Curcumin C3 Complex® and ginger extract were better at reducing arthritis pain than individual supplements alone.

Results

The bottom line is that Boswellia serrata, given three times a day, significantly reduced pain and stiffness and improved the joints of those taking it. Best of all, this study found there there were no adverse effects.

How much did it reduce them?

Pain: Patients reported a 45-50% reduction in their pain levels, as judged on a 1-10 scale. While the placebo group reported only a 5-10% reduction.

Stiffness: The stiffness metric was measured by how far the participants could walk without pain in 6 minutes. For the patients taking Boswellia, they increased their distance by over a third, while the other group reported no change.

But the most significant change is seen in the image below. The patients taking Boswellia actually saw a reduction in bone spurs, and an increase in joint space.

Freedom Is The Answer

Do you suffer from OA in your knees? Do you have a hard time walking without pain? Try our patent-pending blend of Boswellia (even more potently extracted than the one studied here). It isn’t cheap, but then again, removing bone spurs isn’t cheap either.

Quality Testing

Freedom is made in a contract CGMP manufacturing facility certified under 21 CRF Part III. This facility is registered with the FDA and certified by the State of Washington for dietary supplement manufacturing.

All processing and manufacturing is done in isolated production rooms (clean-rooms) to prevent any cross contamination of ingredients and products. Before and after each production run the production rooms are cleaned and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination, however the manufacturing facility does process gluten at times. Contact us if you need to know more about this.

We designed our testing protocol using a NSF hazard analysis program. Since every raw material has a unique microbial or environmental adulteration hazard (such as radiation), each material has a predetermined testing protocol suited to its own risk level. Regardless of how low the risk level is determined to be, every raw material is tested using USP and or AHPA recommended standards.

  • We require 100% testing using USP method 1119 (Near-Infrared spectroscopy, a scientific process that uses chemometric models to identify all raw materials). Our reference standards are third-party laboratory-verified, certifying their validity. Our hand selected third-party laboratory holds the international ISO 17025 certificate.
  • We conduct regular audits of our outside laboratory partners and qualify their results eliminating “dry labbing” dangers.
  • Environmental testing for microbiological bio-burden hazards is an integral part of the testing program designed by our manufacturer. Introduction of microbial adulterants during holding or processing is monitored utilizing USP Method 1116 for continued evaluation of microbial limits in controlled areas.  This method was adopted voluntarily, from the FDA’s pharmaceutical codes. Dietary supplement regulations do not require this, but we believe it is imperative for quality.

These testing models are then used to assure that products meet all intended identity, strength, and composition specifications unique to each finished product batch. Finally, every finished batch is tested again for microbial adulteration, thus assuring that every batch meets our purity standards.

Cost of Freedom

Yea, I just did that. It is corny, sorry. But the single most frequent question I have had over the past week has been “why does your supplement cost so much?” Not an unreasonable question for a product that is nearly $100 for a month’s supply. So without further ado, here is why Freedom isn’t free.

Typical supplement pricing is dependent on three factors: ingredients, quantity, and packaging. This list is largely in order of how much of an impact they have on price. Freedom’s price is mainly a result of the first one. I declined to pay $7-8/bottle for the packaging I wanted, and realistically if I had cheap ingredients, the cost per pill would be less.

Freedom is a combination nine different ingredients, which even without going into any more detail, would suggest it has to be more expensive than any single one of those ingredients.

In this case the combination isn’t actually what is driving up the price, I could have made Freedom cheaper. This spring I spent a lot of time talking with manufacturers, and received quotes that varied dramatically. Two in particular were almost eight times more than the others. Those two quotes were so far outside the other ones that I called those manufacturers and asked them why they were so much. Both of them had the same answer “we are quoting you the strongest potency, highest absorption rate ingredients.”

That floored me. I thought, generally speaking, cinnamon is cinnamon and pepper is pepper. The more I researched, the more I realized, the knock off version of ingredients is the easy way out. It is the route that all too many companies take in their quest to get a piece of the multi-billion dollar supplement market.

I founded Fully Human to be the better way of doing supplements. Fully Human isn’t going to beat Costco on price or quantity. It is the best brand you can buy. It will replace dozens of pills with two that give you the right amount at the right time, and deliver the right results.

That’s why after realizing the option was cheap ingredients or there really wasn’t a choice for me. If I was going to invent a new supplement formulation based on clinical research; I needed to use the ingredients that were as close to clinical quality as possible.

There are plenty of people who will keep telling me that Freedom is too expensive for them,and that is fine. I will not compromise quality to turn a profit. I will guarantee you that Freedom will be the best anti-inflammation supplement you have ever taken. If it doesn’t work – email me – I’ll refund you 200% of what you paid.

What do you have to lose?

Freedom is here

It is finally here. Freedom was just delivered to our storage facility and we have begun the process of taking orders and smoothing out our fulfillment process.

It has been a long summer. And a longer journey to bring this first of it’s kind supplement to life. Being whole shouldn’t take dozens of pills. Not should you have to compromise your dreams because of inflammation and pain. And now we don’t have to make those trade-offs.

It isn’t particularly revolutionary, but it is amazing none the less. In just under six months we have gone from R&D, to formulation, to manufacturing and now we are beginning to ship to our early backers.

If you didn’t get a chance to order during our Indiegogo campaign, you can head over to the store to order some now.

Now that things are rolling again, I’ll be posting updates more often. But until next time, remember to bring your full self with you as you live life.

St John’s Wort…A Holy Antidepressant?

St John’s Wort, (or for the sake of my fingers SJW) is a herb which has seen medicinal use for at least centuries. Early uses revolved around pain and wound healing, and it has not been until recently that SJW has achieved almost a cult following for its antidepressant qualities. But what is SJW good for, what are its risks, and how should it be used? We will explore that here.

What is SJW?

St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), a plant that grows in the wild, has been used for centuries for mental health conditions. Many studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of St. John’s wort. Some studies have suggested benefit, but other studies have not.

Does it Work?

St John’s wort is a proven anti-depressant. When I say that people often think that means it will work for everyone, every time. However this is not how anti-depressant medications work. Because our ability to measure the chemical imbalances in our brains is essentially negligible, psychiatrists basically guess at what medication would be a good one to start with. A similar process is done with dosing, and often it takes months to find a dose that is effective for an individual. And that may be the best case when you don’t have to switch medication after a couple months of taking it.

While that may seem to many to be a condemnation of our current mental health system, it isn’t meant to be that at all. Instead we should all understand the limitations of the medical system we have, and be prepared for what we will get.

The Science

When researchers at the Rand Corporation, a nonprofit global policy think tank, looked at 35 studies using the herb for mild-to-moderate depression they found that, for their participants, SJW was just as effective as taking an antidepressant. Their review, published in the journal Systematic Reviews in 2016, also revealed that in studies pitting SJW against a placebo, SJW came out ahead. Even better, side effects were significantly lower for people on SJW than a medication. They had fewer stomach/intestinal or neurological problems, and lower rates of sexual concerns.

The scientific evidence is not entirely positive, as should be expected (for more info check out my post about how to read science). There were a handful of studies which were inconclusive, and another handful which showed SJW was less effective than a placebo.

While the researchers didn’t conclude why SJW wasn’t effective in those individuals, I suspect it had something to do with way SJW interacted with their brain chemistry. So if you take SJW, and it doesn’t work for you, don’t despair, that is an important data point, and one that you should share with your psychiatrist to help find you the medication that will work best.

How do you Use SJW?

St. John’s wort is most often taken in liquid or capsule form. The dried herb may also be used as a tea.

The most common dose used in studies has been 300 mg, three times a day as a standardized extract. Preparations in the U.S. have varied amounts of active ingredient in them. So be careful to note how much you’re getting in your tablets.

What are the side Effects

The most common side effects of SJW are :

  • Allergic reactions
  • Fatigue and restlessness with long-term use
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased sensitivity to the sun — especially if you are fair-skinned and taking large doses
  • Upset stomach

SJW is not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly. Research from the National Institute of Health has shown that St. John’s wort may reduce the effectiveness of several drugs, including birth control pills, drugs used to prevent organ transplant rejections, and some heart disease medications.

Combining St. John’s wort with certain antidepressants can lead to a potentially life-threatening increase of serotonin, a brain chemical targeted by antidepressants. Symptoms occur within minutes , and may include agitation, diarrhea, fast heartbeat, high blood pressure, hallucinations, increased body temperature, and more. If you experience these symptoms shortly after taking SJW, immediate call 911.

Conclusion

The bottom line for St John’s wort is that it works…but not for everyone

It is largely safe…but has some risks

But at the end of the day…don’t try to treat depression on your own. Depression can become severe if you don’t get effective, professional help. For some people, depression can increase the risk of suicide. Talk to your health care provider if you or someone you know may be depressed.

If you want to learn more about depression, check out my post here. Or if you just wandered in here, check out what Fully Human is all about or check out some of our anti-inflammation posts. Subscribe below to keep updated on how to bring your full self to life.

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The Ginger Way

We’ve all had that moment where you are sure at any moment you are going to vomit…whether you were pregnant, ate that pizza left out overnight, or just had the flu. And in that moment your parent, partner or friend tells you to drink some ginger ale because it will help with the nausea. Turns out, ginger is has health benefits far beyond soothing your stomach. It is a potent anti-inflammatory root, one that has few if any downsides.

How Does It Work?

Research suggests that the compounds gingerol and zingerone are ginger’s primary active elements. The way the body processes gingerol is what makes ginger carminative (prevent gas formation in stomach), anti-flatulent and anti-microbial. The two compounds together reduce many forms of inflammation, from colitis to kidney damage to diabetes and cancer.

What is it used for?

A 2013 study treated participants with diclofenac (a painkiller) or ginger or both for 12 weeks. All 3 groups showed improvement but the combination group saw the maximum improvement. Researchers observed ginger has an additive effect on osteoarthritis treatment by safely increasing the effects of painkillers.

Topical application of ginger extract nanoparticles (not exactly sure how these are made, but they sound cool) is found to reduce pain and improve daily activities and joint function in those suffering from osteoarthritis. A similar case study revealed ginger therapy progressively reduces osteoarthritis symptoms in 24 weeks.

Topical ginger treatment in the form of compress or patch progressively reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis and brings about 48% reduction in pain. Also this study concluded with participants reporting 70% health satisfaction in comparison to their original 80% dissatisfaction.

Ginger constituents like gingerol and shogaol inhibit formation of inflammatory proteins in osteoarthritis. This brings about a reduction in pain, swelling and soreness. It also reduces degradation of bone and cartilage.

Ginger helps in remedying stomach problems and can protect against formation of ulcers caused by use of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Multiple animal studies reported that ginger exertsprotective effects against ulcers caused by aspirin and other painkillers.

Dosing

Clinical studies show anti-inflammatory results with the consumption of between 2-3 grams of ginger root powder spread out over 2-3 doses daily. A 2012 study reported that 1 gram of ginger powder does not benefit in joint pain and function in osteoarthritis. Lower doses of ginger are sufficient however to relieve the symptoms of nausea.

Limitations

A 2008 review study found that the evidence regarding use of ginger in osteoarthritis is weak due to a lack of large, longer term studies. As I discussed in the ‘how to read…nutrition research edition‘ that is a critical limitation is many nutritional studies. There are a handful of ongoing studies regarding ginger. And most of the research which has emerged since 2008 uses higher doses of ginger than earlier studies, improving the clinical outcomes.

Side Effects

Ginger demonstrates some blood thinning effects, so if you are already on blood thinners you should use ginger with caution.

Otherwise, ginger may cause some stomach discomfort if taken in a large (greater than 2 grams) dose on an empty stomach. And may cause a slight burning sensation of digestive discomfort if you use more than 4 grams / daily.

Next Time

For the next handful of posts I am going to turn to depression and stress. We’ll look at the damage those cause the body, and some supplements that are used to treat them naturally.

Until then, explore previous posts here or here. Or you can check out the first anti-inflammatory supplement that delivers clinical nutrition, at clinical doses, delivered at clinical intervals. If you need a diversion from the ordinary you can read about the pre-history of humanity’s second century in space.