We Need to Eat A Lot Less Sugar!

  By Rhonda Mulford
  Nutritional Therapy Practitioner
  Vice President
  Kirkman Group, Inc.


The Case Against Sugar

Whether sugar and not fat or other factors are the main cause of many chronic health problems is controversial.  This debate is quickened by the compelling case that Gary Taubes has made in his recent best-selling book “The Case Against Sugar,” in which he claims that sugar and not fat is the root cause of many of our leading health issues.

 Americans Eat Too Much Sugar

What’s not controversial is that American’s eat way too much sugar.  According to Euromonitor, a global market research firm, the average American consumes 126 grams of sugar a day(Just three, 12 oz. cans of Coke), which is twice the average sugar intake of all 54 countries in the study.  It’s also more than twice what the World Health Organization recommends for daily intake, which is roughly 50 grams of sugar for someone of normal weight. 

A study published in April 2014 by JAMA:  Internal Medicine, found that most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugar (sugar or syrup that is added to foods when processed) a day. This far exceeds the American Heart Association’s recommended limits of 6 teaspoons per day for women and 9 for men

Added Sugar is Particularly Bad for You

The type of sugar that is often added to processed food is high-fructose corn syrup which is generally cheaper than other forms of sweeteners.  Fructose, unlike glucose that can be metabolized by any cell in the body, is exclusively processed by the liver where it produces fats and is a major cause of liver damage and other metabolic problems. 

Why Do We Crave Sugar?

There’s another popular theory that sugar begets sugar cravings.  The speculation is that sugar, like other carbohydrates, releases the feel-good brain chemical serotonin to stimulate cravings.  Researchers also say that our appetite for sugar may be hard-wired since sweet is the first taste humans prefer from birth.

An overlooked source of help for kicking the sugar habit is the use of nutritional supplements.  Here is our list of 6 nutritional supplements that can help reduce your need for sugar:

1.  Lipoic Acid (Alpha Lipoic Acid)

Lipoic acid helps turn glucose into energy and helps stabilize your blood sugar levels, which can help you to hold off from snacking a few hours after a meal.  

2.  B-Complex Vitamins

If your body isn’t utilizing carbohydrates properly, it can make you want to eat more carbohydrates.  A good vitamin B complex will help with carbohydrate metabolism and curb your carb cravings. 

3.  Fish Oil

Fish oils are well-known for supplying omega-3 fatty acids, which can help support cardiovascular health.  Studies have shown that fish oil can also increase insulin sensitivity that allows the body to use glucose for immediate energy.  When insulin doesn’t respond normally – allowing sugars to enter cells of the body – you can experience insulin resistant hunger rather than physical hunger.

4.  Acetyl L-Carnitine

This supplement moves fatty acids into your cells so you get more of your energy from burning stored fats. When the body can use fat as the fuel it burns longer keeping you more satisfied, so there are less cravings for food. 

5.  Magnesium

To make insulin function effectively in the body to balance blood sugar levels requires sufficient magnesium.  Some say that chocolate cravings may be a result of the body seeking the nutrient it lacks from chocolate, especially dark chocolate, many varieties which have high magnesium content.  

6.  Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10, Ubiquinone)

CoQ10 works synergistically with other antioxidants to elevate cellular levels of vitamins C, E, and glutathione and to help regulate blood sugar and enhance insulin sensitivity.  (See explanation in #3 Fish Oil.)  CoQ10 acts similarly to acetyl-l-carnitine in that it assists in energy production within the mitochondria (See explanation in #4 Acetyl L-Carnitine).

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Here Comes the Sun – And It’s Alright! Four Supplements to Help You Through the Summer

Summer can bring mixed blessings because along with the fun of longer, lazier, sunnier days comes the scourge of summer pollen and allergies, bug infestations and seasonal environmental challenges like chlorinated swimming pools. 

You can use certain nutritional supplements to support health issues that summer may bring.  

Here are our top four recommendations:


1. Gastromune/Allergy Support 

Allergy symptoms occur when your body’s immune system overreacts to substances in your environment such as dust, mold and pollen and starts fighting them as if they were bacteria or viruses by releasing a biochemical called histamine. Gastromune/Allergy Support (#0367-120) is an herbal blend specially formulated to support healthy immune system response.

Kirkman® recommends taking a good, multi-strain probiotic such as Kirkman’s Pro-Bio Gold™ (#0442-060 or #0442-120) with Gastromune/Allergy Support to support beneficial intestinal flora. The probiotic will also work synergistically with this herbal blend for maximum benefit.

2. Magnesium 

 Magnesium supports breathing that can become labored if affected by pollen    and other allergens.  Kirkman® manufactures a variety of magnesium      products including Magnesium Malate 1000 mg  Hypoallergenic (#0373-  120)Magnesium Citrate Soluble Powder – Hypoallergenic (#0239-008)Buffered Magnesium Oxide – Hypoallergenic (#0257-250)Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate – Hypoallergenic (#0096-250) and Buffered Magnesium Bisglycinate Powder – Bio-Max Series (#0459-004). Magnesium is also known to lessen chlorine reactions from swimming in a chlorinated pool.

3. Sleep Products

Many individuals have a harder time getting the sleep they need because of longer daylight during the summer and the summer heat and humidity. Kirkman® offers wonderful sleep aids that are safe and effective such as Melatonin 1 mg Chewable Tablets (#0068-100)Melatonin Plus Magnesium – Hypoallergenic (#0037-100, #0037-250), Sleep Support Chewable Tablets (#0486-090)Restless Sleep Herbal Blend (#0539-060) and Children’s Chewable Chocolate Melatonin 3 mg (#0524-090).

4. Vitamin C 

Histamines help the body get rid of something that’s bothering you. They can make you sneeze, tear up or have another reaction that helps hustle the allergen out of your body.  Vitamin C has an effect on histamine in your system, and your body’s vitamin C levels also regulate your level of histamine release.  Kirkman® offers several vitamin C products including Organic Vitamin C (#0529-090),  Vitamin C – Hypoallergenic (#0024-100, #0024-250), Vitamin C 250 mg Chewable Tablets with Stevia-100 Count.

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gastrointestinal Health, Gluten Free / Casein Free, Immune System, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

From Our Archives — Adding Nutrients to Rice Crispy Treats


Recipe for Microwave Rice Crispy Treats


  • 6 Cups GFCF rice crispy cereal
  • 40 large marshmallows (or 4 cups mini-marshmallows)
  • 3 tablespoons dairy free butter

In a large microwave safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows at HIGH for 3 minutes, stir after 2 minutes.  Stir until smooth.  Add rice crispy cereal.  Stir until coated.  Use ice cream scoop to form balls or press mixture into 13×9 inch pan coated with cooking spray.  Let cool.  Eat.  Enjoy!

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A Three-Product Protocol Kirkman® Introduces Unique Blends for Microbiome Balance

Multiple body systems’ dysfunction causing illness is not uncommon, especially in special needs individuals. Recent scientific research points to the “microbiome” as a possible source of these connections.

Kirkman® recently added two new products to its Microbiome Balance line, Microbiome Toxicity Control (#4538-120) and Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme w/DPP-IV (#4234-120).  These products, along with Kirkman’s Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend (#4465-060)provide a nutritional protocol for supporting  the microbiome.

What’s the Microbiome?
The microbiome refers to the genetic makeup of all the microorganisms in the human body. There are an estimated 30-100 trillion microbial cells that make up the microbiome, compared to the 10 trillion human cells that make up the human genome, successfully mapped in 2003 as a result of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Human Genome Project (HGP).   In 2008, the NIH launched the Human Microbiome Project as a counterpart to the HGP to explore the complex eco-system and genome of the body’s microbiome. 

The Gut is the Focus
Much of the current research regarding the “microbiome” is centered on the gut, where the vast majority of microbes reside. The gut is an important source of tributaries to other parts of the body that control our health, like our immune system and our central nervous system. When the gut is healthy with beneficial microbiota, the immune system is strengthened so that it can fight off pathogenic microorganisms before they develop into illness or serious health conditions.

Scientists also know that chemicals produced by gut microbiota communicate with the central nervous system and may affect cognitive functions, but exactly to what extent is still unclear to researchers.

Taking a Common Sense Approach
A common sense approach to microbiota health is a good default position to take while scientists take on the complex job of fully understanding the microbiome – - remove toxins, add good bacteria and provide the body with the nutrients required for overall good health. Taking targeted and effective nutritional supplements can make up for the nutrients that may be missing from the diet to accomplish these purposes.

Microbiome Toxicity Control (#4538-120)

Exposure to chemicals, such as pesticides, can disrupt a healthy balance of gastrointestinal microbiota. This product is a hypoallergenic blend of natural ingredients known to support the body’s detoxification pathways. These natural pathways are mechanisms for removing environmental contaminants, which can invade the body from toxins in the air, water, food or other environmental sources. Microbiome Toxicity Control is hypoallergenic, free of casein, gluten and common allergens and contains the following ingredients:

  • vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, which enhance the body’s detoxification pathways;
  • taurine, a sulfur based amino acid with detoxifying properties;
  • curcumin (turmeric), a spice with detoxification properties;
  • milk thistle, a flowering plant which detoxifies the body’s organs;
  • glutathione, the body’s most powerful immune system supporter;
  • N-acetyl cysteine, an ingredient known for strong antioxidant activity;
  • calcium D-glucarate, which acts in a similar manner as natural fruits and vegetables, also known to support detoxification.

Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend

Though a thorough genetic evaluation is needed to fully analyze the current state of a person’s microbiome, adding beneficial bacteria by taking a high strength probiotic is a good way to add beneficial bacteria to microbiota.

The two most important groups of beneficial bacteria residing in the intestines are the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species. Lactobacillus reside mainly in the small intestine, while Bifidobacterium reside, to some degree, in the small intestine but are more predominant in the large intestine. 

Bifidobacterium strains are also of great importance to babies and nursing mothers. Both Lactobacillus strains and Bifidobacterium strains have been clinically shown to help ensure proper nutrient absorption, support healthy digestive function and maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. Kirkman’s Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend consists of 60 billion colony-forming units of several different strains of these beneficial organisms including:

  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Bifidobacterium longum
  • Bifidobacterium bifidum lactis*
  • Bifidobacterium lactis
  • Bifidobacterium breve

*  There are two different strains of Bifido lactis in this product, which accounts for the eight strain count.

This probiotic is a broad-spectrum formulation that will provide a good overall foundation for a healthy microbiome. Eating healthy foods, avoiding processed chemicals from foods and avoiding environmental toxins can also play a positive role toward a healthy microbiome.

Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme w/DPP-IV (#4234-120)

Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme w/DPP-IV is formulated to support digestive activity for a full range of foods. A unique blend of 17 pure, plant-based enzymes that are recognized as essential for the effective digestion of all food groups, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sugars and fiber under a wide range of pH conditions are included in this formulation. The addition of the dipeptidyl peptidase-IV (DPP-IV) enzyme analog supports the ability of the body to degrade peptides formed from exposure to casein and gluten.

In situations where undigested protein fragments are left in the gut, a healthy microbiome can become unhealthy because of the disrupted messaging that has resulted. Individuals particularly sensitive to these undigested protein fragments can experience very negative responses, which often manifest as pain or negative behavior. DPP-IV can support the digestion of these undigested protein fragments and help prevent these undesirable responses. 

Microbiome Broad Spectrum Enzyme with DPP-IV provides a comprehensive “foundation” of supplemental enzymes to support optimal digestion. Each enzyme works independently, but also synergistically to impact digestion of all dietary components. This proprietary product provides a combination of proteases, amylases, lipases, disaccharides and cellulases that replace the enzymes lost in cooking, thus lessening the burden on the body’s digestive tract so that it can function optimally, while also supporting optimal nutrient absorption.

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gastrointestinal Health, Gluten Free / Casein Free, Immune System, Microbiome, Probiotics, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

By Customers’ Requests Kirkman® Adds New Probiotic: Gluten Free L. Reuteri

The probiotic, Lactobacillus Reuteri (L. Reuteri), has applications for various special needs conditions.   Our customers wanted a gluten free and casein free version of this popular probiotic, which we are pleased to report debuted in Kirkman®’s product line this month.

Kirkman’s new Lactobacillus Reuteri Custom Blend with Prebiotic (#0541-060), contains 7 billion CFUs of L. reuteri, and one billion each of three other Lactobacillus strains (plantarum, acidophilus and rhamnosus), which are added to aid in adherence in the gut. A prebiotic fiber is also present to support the development of good gut flora by supplying a bioavailable food source for the organisms.

L. Reuteri is a probiotic strain that is known to support the immune system and dental health. Researchers have also found that L. reuteri plays a role in the gut-brain connection. The gut-brain connection has been established for years and postulates that the condition of the gut and presence of certain types of gut flora have an effect on neurodevelopmental behavior.

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Kirkman® Buys Rose Laboratories

Kirkman’s Manufacturing Facilities

Kirkman® has purchased Rose Laboratories, Inc., formerly of Bend, Ore. The operations of Rose Laboratories have been moved to Kirkman’s manufacturing facilities, at 6400 SW Rosewood Street, Lake Oswego, Ore.

Rose Laboratories offers unique nutraceutical products, specially formulated for healthcare practitioners.

“They are a natural fit for Kirkman®“, David Humphrey, CEO and President of Kirkman® said. “Both companies have been family-owned with long histories of dedication to providing customers with effective products to meet special health needs.  This acquisition expands Kirkman’s service to certain types of healthcare practitioners,” Humphrey explained.


Rose Laboratories started in California and was purchased 34 years ago by Wes and Rosemary Cooley (husband and wife). In the 1980s, the couple moved the company to Bend. Their daughter, Linda Carlin, served as president of the company until last month when Kirkman® purchased it.

Carlin said she looks forward to the growth of Rose Laboratories’ product lines and market that Kirkman® can provide with its manufacturing capabilities and established distribution channels.

The Rose Laboratories website remains active at www.roselabs.net.  Customers may call Kirkman® at 503-694-1600 to place an order or for service.

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To Support the Microbiome — Kirkman® Introduces A Powerful Probiotic Blend

By Tim Prentiss
Staff Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc

Kirkman® recently announced the introduction of a powerful probiotic blend designed to support the microbiome. Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend (4465-060)consists of 60 billion colony-forming units of several species of beneficial bacteria. This broad-spectrum formulation will provide a good overall foundation to support microbiome health. For a limited time, Kirkman is offering 25% off the regular retail price of this product as an introductory special! To order click here. (Use keycode NP4000.)

Study of the microbiome—those bacteria and microorganisms that live in and on the human body—is the newest frontier in human health research, prompted largely by results of the Human Genome Project. In 2008, when the Human Genome Project was completed, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Human Microbiome Project with the goal of identifying and characterizing the microorganisms that are found in association with both healthy and unhealthy humans.

Much of the current research regarding the “microbiome” is centered on the gut, where the vast majority of microbes reside. The gut is an important source of tributaries to other parts of the body that control our health, like our immune system and our central nervous system. When the gut is healthy with beneficial microbiota, the immune system is strengthened so that it can fight off pathogenic microorganisms before they develop into illness or serious health conditions.

Scientists also know that chemicals produced by gut microbiota communicate with the central nervous system and may affect cognitive functions, but exactly to what extent is still unclear to researchers. What most scientists agree on is that the proper microbial symbiosis is required for good health.

The most important bacteria for gastrointestinal health are members of one of two genera: lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. Of the two, lactobacillus is the more commonly available commercially. It occurs naturally in yogurt and various fermented foods such as sauerkraut. There are more than 50 known species of lactobacillus. Lactobacilli predominantly reside in the small intestine.

Bifidobacterium, though also important to adult gastrointestinal health, is particularly important in children. Like lactobacillus, it also naturally occurs in certain dairy products—several species having been found in various raw milk cheeses. So far, there are more than 30 species that have been discovered. Bifidobacteria predominantly reside in the large intestine.

The bacterial strains in Microbiome Probiotic 8-Strain Blend include:

·      Lactobacillus acidophilus

·      Lactobacillus rhamnosus

·      Lactobacillus plantarum

·      Bifidobacterium longum

·      Bifidobacterium breve

·      Bifidobacterium bifidum/lactis*

·      Bifidobacterium lactis*

* Contains two different forms of Bifidobacterium lactis

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gastrointestinal Health, Microbiome, Probiotics | Leave a comment