Kirkman® Family Environmental Health Newswatch: November

At Kirkman® we closely follow news about environmental toxins, their effects and new studies affecting supplemental care or stories related to our customers. We know you deserve the latest news, so we include this column of recent stories in each Kirkman Family Newsletter.

New Research May Allow Clinicians to Determine Autism Risk in Utero; Confirms Gastrointestinal Problems with Autism

Results from a recent study from a researcher with Seattle Children’s Hospital suggest an additional genetic identifier for autism and confirms gastrointestinal problems with a substrate of autism. The identifier combined with certain physical features determined by a genetic mutation help predict autism risk. READ MORE.

Low Vitamin D Levels Could Make Childbirth More Painful

According to a new study from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, vitamin D could affect the amount of pain experienced during childbirth. 93 women participated in the study and their vitamin D levels were checked before childbirth. Researchers then measured how much pain medication each woman needed during delivery. Women with lower vitamin D levels required more medication than those with higher vitamin D levels. READ MORE.

5 Nutritional Deficiencies You May Not Know You Have

There are five vitamin deficiencies that are common among people who are fifty years old or older but they may be difficult to spot. Find out what the hidden deficiencies could be lurking by reading the article, then be sure to explore Kirkman’s new line of supplements designed specifically for the aging population to help achieve 30 additional years of healthy living: 60-90 Senior EssentialsREAD MORE.

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Autism, Environmental Health & Toxicity, Uncategorized, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Country’s On Watch for Serious Viral Infections Can Nutritional Supplements Really Help?


By Larry Newman
Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.  

Kirkman® has always advocated strengthening the immune system as the fall and the flu season approaches. This year, however, improving our immunity requires a much more serious commitment and approach by everyone. Due to the potential of a viral illness originating in Africa spreading to a world-wide epidemic, a strong immune system could be a matter of life or death. Now is the time for everyone to take steps to strengthen their immunity and improve their resistance to viral illnesses and certain nutritional supplements can help.

Our Dynamic Immune System

The immune system is a complex network of cells, membranes, organs, a circulatory system and many other components. These entities all work together to protect us from infections caused by microbes, bacteria and viruses. The immune system also constantly scans our bodies for any signs of abnormal cell growth. 

Our body’s first line of defense against the above intruders is our skin, our body enzymes such as saliva and stomach acid and our protective epithelial cells, which line our body’s mucosal surfaces. These physical factors along with specialized white blood cells that make up our innate immune system, can help protect us from these highly contagious illnesses. 

Steps to Strengthening the Immune Response

The signs of an immune weakness are often quite easy to recognize over time. The persistence of certain health conditions is key to suspecting immune deficiencies, as are frequent illness or infections. Increasing allergic type reactions are also an indicator. Getting enough sleep and eating a well-balanced diet are the first steps in strengthening the immune response. But due to this year’s crisis, rest and diet will not be sufficient. Conscientious and continuous nutritional supplementation is a great way to bring our immunity to new levels.      Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Health & Toxicity, Immune System, Uncategorized, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Kitchen with Kirkman®: Thanksgiving Treats and Cooking with the Kids!

By Erin Meyering
Copy Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.  


Cooking with a child can be a challenge, no matter what age the child is or level of ability the child has. However, cooking promotes a multitude of skills such as motivation, independence, fine motor skills and sensory awareness. In most homes, the kitchen is an important part of daily life.  For a child, spending time in the kitchen can result in meaningful and positive educational experiences.  Plus, cooking can be fun and teach children to be confident! It can be highly satisfying for a child to start a project and see its end, resulting in a delicious, homemade treat.

Here are some general tips to help involve your child in the kitchen:

• Be sure to be patient and to encourage the child to be patient as well. It will take time, maybe lots of it, to get the process started, select or create a recipe, explain things fully and to clean up.! If your child is not accustomed to helping in the kitchen it will certainly take some getting used to, which can turn a 30 minute prep time into a longer commitment – just be prepared to spend the extra time.

Consult resources if you need them.  Your Special Chef is a website dedicated to providing recipes, tips and tons of resources to help ease the possible challenge of cooking with a child that has special needs. Although most of the recipes are not gluten and casein free, the resources offered are great. The The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook, Updated and Revised: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet is also a phenomenal resource you can use. In addition, you should try to get help in the kitchen, if possible. If the child has an additional friend or family member he/she trusts, invite that person! It’s always nice to have an extra set of hands. Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) also provides several articles on cooking classes for ASD kids and lots of great gluten-, casein- and soy-free classes and recipes.

 • Use adaptive cooking tools. Your Special Chef provides a comprehensive list of common cooking tools that have been adapted specifically for special needs children. Adaptive cooking tools include spring-loaded tongs (for an easier grasp), non-skid bowls or trivets (so the cooking tools don’t slide across the surface during use) and a can drainer (to avoid spills when draining liquid out of the can). These tools can make it easier and safer for the child to grasp and use, which can further develop his/her fine motor skills and provide encouragement for the child, making it far less frustrating. 

NOTE: Cooking with a child who has special needs may not be safe. It is up to the parent and caregiver to determine the child’s abilities and decide how, if at all, the child can help in the kitchen. Children with special needs should not be handling anything with a blade, or be near the oven or stove. 

Easy Thanksgiving Recipes to Try

Don’t miss out on seasonal favorites. Thanksgiving can be a time to settle down with the family and enjoy a thoughtful meal. Try this simple, gluten-free, casein-free and vegan pancake recipe that everyone can enjoy to start the day off right. You can even freeze extras to reheat for another day.  

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Posted in Gluten Free / Casein Free, Special Needs, Uncategorized, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Take Enzymes and Probiotics to Curb Digestive Problems Caused by Heavy Holiday Food

Nora Tarte

By Nora Tarte
Contributing Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.


The holidays are often filled with unhealthy yet undeniably tasty treats. Holiday season can incite overindulgence in high-sugar snacks, carbohydrate-loaded desserts and fattening foods. It can be hard for kids and adults with sensitivities and restricted diets to obey their required food rules. Luckily, Kirkman® may have just the right solution. Probiotics and enzymes from Kirkman®, both groups of which are Ultra Tested® for more than 950 environmental contaminants, can help ease painful tummy troubles associated with rich foods.

Meals that lack sufficient nutritional fibers, can cause food to feel “stuck” in the digestive system, a painful sensation that may lead to constipation and general discomfort. If you or your child suffers from this sensation after a heavy meal, there are a few natural steps you can take to relieve pressure, including drinking liquids and eating whole, unprocessed foods loaded with fruits, vegetables and grains. When this isn’t enough, taking a probiotic or an enzyme may help. 


Probiotics help digestion by introducing “good” or “friendly” bacteria into the intestines to offer protection from “bad” or “unwanted” bacteria that can cause infection.   Read on to learn more about solutions Kirkman® offers to aid proper digestion.

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Posted in Environmental Health & Toxicity, Gastrointestinal Health, Gluten Free / Casein Free, Special Needs, Uncategorized, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Researchers Discover Broccoli Molecule Reduces Autism Symptoms

By Teri Arranga
Contributing Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc. 


New research shows that a vegetable – broccoli – may be helpful to those with autism.

How exciting that something natural, healthful and easy to obtain can benefit symptoms of autism! Sulforaphane, which is chemical highly concentrated in broccoli, and its affects on symptoms of autism, was the root of a new study by researchers at Harvard/MassGeneral and Johns Hopkins.

The October 2014 study titled “Sulforaphane treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Young men with moderate to severe ASD participated in a placebo-controlled, double blind randomized trial. They were given the phytochemical sulforaphane, which had been derived from broccoli sprout extracts. The sulforaphane molecule has been identified in broccoli sprouts, which, out of the cruciferous vegetables (plants of the cabbage family), have the highest concentration. The young men receiving sulforaphane instead of a placebo showed substantial improvement in behavior. A significantly greater number of the young men who were given the sulforaphane improved in their social interactions and verbal communication, while demonstrating less abnormal behavior. When they stopped taking it, their behavioral scores reverted to pretreatment levels.

The rationale behind using sulforaphane was because of its known ability to reverse attributes of ASD, such as “oxidative stress, lower antioxidant capacity, depressed glutathione synthesis, reduced mitochondrial function and oxidative phosphorylation, increased lipid peroxidation, and neuroinflammation.”1

I contacted Dr. Paul Talalay of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a corresponding author on this study, and he answered some questions concerning the study:

Q:  How did you and your colleagues conceive of this study?
A:  “The idea that broccoli might ameliorate the symptoms of autism was understandably considered very far-fetched. But on reading the literature, we became impressed that many patients diagnosed with autism showed biochemical defects in their ability to protect themselves against oxidative stress and against inflammation. They also showed some deficiencies in energy generation. 20 years ago, while working on what seemed like a totally unrelated process — prevention of cancer — we obtained from broccoli sulforaphane, a compound that in other systems was highly effective in protecting cells against oxidative damage and to correct other abnormalities associated with autism. This realization suggested that it might be worthwhile to try sulforaphane in autism. The beneficial effects far exceeded our expectations.”      Continue reading

Posted in Autism, Environmental Health & Toxicity, Uncategorized, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

Kirkman Family Environmental Health Newswatch: October 2014

At Kirkman® we closely follow news about environmental toxins and their effects. We know you deserve the latest news, so we include this column of recent stories in each Kirkman Family Newsletter

New Study Suggests Broccoli Could
Improve Symptoms of Autism 

Results from a recent study found that the compound sulforaphane, which is derived from broccoli, helped improve several subjects’ symptoms. In the study, the compound was given to a small group of severely to moderately autistic teenage boys and young men. After being given the compound the group, in general, was calmer, more social and in some cases, more verbal. READ MORE. 

Life Expectancy Rates Continue to
Climb – People are Living Longer

The annual report on mortality rates by the National Center for Health Statistics shows life expectancy for older Americans continues to climb, but by a marginal rate compared to previous years. With people living longer, it’s important to optimize health and nutrition during the senior years. READ MORE.

Toxins in the Environment and Food can Affect Overall Health: Understanding the Microbiome Can Lead to Autism Link Discoveries 

Mounting research concerning the functions of the human microbiome can help identify links to autism, including the excessive exposure to toxins while in utero, gut bacteria health and toxic exposure from food, the environment and more. READ MORE.

Posted in Autism, Environmental Health & Toxicity, Preconception, Special Needs, Uncategorized, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Good Cognitive Health is Ageless When You Include Good Nutrition

By Teri Arranga
Contributing Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.


It’s no secret that people whose ages are going uphill are likely to have their cognitive health going downhill. It might be a good time to start more fervently supporting the health of those around you because scientists have recently released a research study that includes easy, safe and natural ways in which to support our own and our loved ones’ nutrition before someone even mentions the word “Alzheimer’s.”

New Study

At the end of September 2014, a study was published by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, titled “Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program.” This seminal study was published in the journal AGING

Cognitive decline is a pivotal issue for the senior population and those who love and care for them. Alzheimer’s disease can be a major contributing issue to the prevalence of cognitive decline in the elderly population. According to the report, more than 5 million seniors in this country have Alzheimer’s, with 30 million individuals affected globally. The authors project 13 million Americans and 160 million people globally to be affected by 2050. Furthermore, they cite Alzheimer’s as possibly being the third leading cause of death in the United States. The cost in human suffering is always the most important consideration, but they opine that the fiscal cost will also threaten the viability of the whole Medicare system. 

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