This Winter Season Try Our 4 Top Immune Products to Support Your Health

This winter has not only brought severe weather conditions to most parts of the country, but also widespread, seasonal health issues.  You may want to take special care to support your immune system this winter season.  Here’s our top 4 product recommendations:

No. 1: Immuno-Aid™ Advanced Formula (#0426-120)

Kirkman’sImmuno-Aid™ Advanced Formula offers a blend of important immune supporting nutrients in one, easy to take capsule.

The ingredients in our Immuno-Aid™ Advanced Formula have been clinically shown to support immunity and help you stay well. The formulation begins with the nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and selenium. Then the powerful herbal immune supporters beta glucan, astragalus and elderberry are added to round out this very potent, immune stimulating formulation.

No. 2:  IP-6 with Calcium and Magnesium – Flavored Powder (#0418-414)

IP-6 is not as well-known as other immune support products, but it may pack more of a punch than most.  IP-6 is a natural carbohydrate found in cereal grains, brown rice, corn, sesame, wheat bran, beans and other foods high in fiber.  The nutrient possesses antioxidant and immune enhancing properties, which when tested in vitro, exhibit significant protective and growth regulating effects on cells and tissues.

No. 3:  Vitamin D-3 (#0434-120 Vitamin D-3 4000 IU – Hypoallergenic Capsules#0422-120 Vitamin D-3 2000 IU – Hypoallergenic Capsules#0380-120 Vitamin D-3 1000 IU – Hypoallergenic Capsules#0378-120 Vitamin D-3 400 IU – Hypoallergenic Capsules  and #0428-090 Vitamin D-3 1000 IU Chewable Tablets)

Vitamin D-3 is still center stage when it comes to immunity.  We’ve known vitamin D to support strong bones and teeth.  Now researchers are sure that this nutrient is important for a lot of other critical body functions, including the support of a well-functioning immune system.  Maintaining proper vitamin D levels may actually influence whether or not you have specific health conditions, according to recent scientific reports. 

No. 4:  Probiotics

Recent studies have shown the potential for the beneficial use of probiotics for immunoregulatory effects on some cells.  Kirkman® offers a wide variety of probiotic products.

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How Does Temperature Affect Probiotics?

By Larry Newman
Chief Operating Officer
Kirkman Group, Inc. 

ConsumerLab, an independent laboratory that monitors the quality of nutritional supplements for consumers, was recently asked a question about why some probiotic labels say to refrigerate while others containing the same strains and potencies say no refrigeration is needed.  ConsumerLab correctly answered that question, in its December 2017 newsletter, by stating that all probiotics are sensitive to heat and moisture and refrigeration is one way consumers can make sure their purchased probiotics retain potency and remain efficacious regardless of what the label instructions say.  It is true that there are some probiotic strains that are stable in room temperatures, however none are stable in extreme temperatures and high humidity.  Let’s examine the nature of probiotic products and how they work for a better understanding of why refrigeration is the best way to assure full potency for the consumer.

What Exactly Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are scientifically defined as living microorganisms that, when ingested in sufficient numbers, can impart a health benefit on the host.  Probiotic microorganisms are friendly, desirable and beneficial bacteria that help maintain the correct balance of good and bad (disease producing) bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract by crowding out the undesirable bacteria.  Approximately 100 trillion bacteria live in the human body, and generally healthy individuals have a ratio of about 85 percent good bacteria to 15 percent bad bacteria.  Good bacteria in the gut help to improve gastrointestinal health, improve immune response and aid in digestion.  Good bacteria also break down toxic by-products of bad bacteria, which can negatively affect health.  

Probiotics Must Be Alive to Be Effective

It is important to remember that all probiotics are not the same.   Probiotics must be alive to be effective.  Exposure to heat, moisture, and oxygen are detrimental to the cultures and, depending on the degree of exposure to those elements, the number of live organisms in the culture can be reduced or in extreme cases killed completely. Using a dead probiotic equates to using no probiotic. When Kirkman® makes a claim on a probiotic label for a given number of colony forming units in a product, we back it up with the right operating procedures to guarantee that label claim and perform ongoing stability studies to substantiate our “best used by date” when recommended storage conditions are met. 

Several years ago, ConsumerLab did a survey on probiotic products in the marketplace and found that many products being sold had little or no live bacteria.  In fact, that laboratory found that many of the products tested had less than 1% of the claimed number of live bacteria.  More recent surveys show improved results in marketed probiotics, which ConsumerLab attributes to retailers having more adequate refrigeration in their stores.

How Does Kirkman® Ensure the Quality of Its Probiotics?

Kirkman® has some of the most rigid procedures in the industry for manufacturing, packaging, storing and shipping probiotics.  These include:

  • all live strain cultures are shipped to Kirkman® on dry ice;
  • live cultures are stored in freezers prior to use;
  • all manufacturing is done in dehumidified, cool environments;
  • encapsulating rooms are dehumidified and air conditioned;
  • capsules manufactured are refrigerated during laboratory testing prior to packaging;
  • packaging takes place in a dehumidified, cooled environment;
  • packaged bottles receive an oxygen absorber prior to the capping of the bottle to rid the container of air and moisture, which cause degradation;
  • packaged inventory is stored in refrigerators prior to being shipped;
  • products are shipped on ice with special shipping schedules in the summer;
  • customers are advised to refrigerate products upon receipt;
  • significant overages are used in formulation to ensure full potency and compensate for any potency loss during handling;
  • stability testing assures potency through the “best used by date” on the label if recommended storage conditions are met;
  • a special protective polymer coats the live cultures Kirkman® uses so that their passage through the acidic environment of the stomach is assured; and
  • all strains of probiotics used by Kirkman® have been proven to be safe and effective by the manufacturer of the strains and certified to be properly identified.

Kirkman® advises customers to store probiotics in the refrigerator upon receipt. Some companies say their probiotics are specially formulated and don’t require refrigeration in shipping or storage for proper stability.  Kirkman® challenges that statement as did ConsumerLab in their December 2017 newsletter.  

The fact is that no matter how a probiotic is formulated heat and humidity negatively affect its potency.  On a 100-degree-day in cities such as Tampa, Miami, Phoenix or Dallas, probiotics that sit in a delivery truck or mailbox for any length of time will be killed and no longer be effective regardless of what the brand or what manufacturing process is involved. 

 How Does Short or Accidental Exposure to Heat Affect Probiotics?

Kirkman® often receives calls from panicked customers who have accidently left their probiotic out of the refrigerator for a period of time.  If the temperature involved is not extreme, the product is likely still potent and efficacious. 

Here are a few guidelines to follow that can help you determine if you have cause for concern:

  • When checking your probiotic, consider the temperature of the contents inside the bottle rather than the outside or room temperature.
  • Refrigerated probiotics left out in room temperatures (under 74 degrees) for 24-48 hours and then re-refrigerated should retain full potency.
  • Refrigerated probiotics left out in temperatures 75-80 degrees for 24-48 hours will likely degrade about 5-10%, but will still be effective because of the overage used in Kirkman’s formulations.  Longer periods of exposure increase the degradation. 
  • Refrigerated probiotics left out in temperatures 81-85 degrees longer than 24-48 hours will likely degrade by about 25 percent but will still be effective because of the overages that Kirkman® uses.
  • Refrigerated probiotics left out in 90 degree plus temperatures longer than 24-48 hours likely have experienced significant kill and may no longer be effective.  
  • Probiotics left out in extreme heat (75-85 degrees or more) for very short periods such as an hour or two, will likely be okay because the contents inside the bottle have not heated up in that short time, plus an overage was present.  
  • Probiotics shipped on ice by two-day shipping methods may arrive with the ice packs melted.  If the bottle feels cool or about room temperature, the product is still fine.  If the bottle feels hot to the touch, degradation to some degree has occurred.   If the bottle has been very hot longer than about two or three hours, substantial kill has likely occurred. 

The bottom line is take care of your probiotic after receipt or purchase to maintain its viability. Probiotics are much more fragile and prone to degradation than most other supplements. If in doubt, refrigerate.

All Kirkman’s probiotic products are hypoallergenic and free of common allergens,  including casein, gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, fish, shellfish and wheat.  In addition, no flavorings, colorings, gelatin or corn are present.  The capsule shells are made of plant cellulose to eliminate animal gelatin, which is a concern to some individuals.

Posted in FAQs, Gastrointestinal Health, Probiotics | Leave a comment

The Payoff Can Be Huge! Start A Basic Nutritional Supplement Regimen in 2018!

By Kulani Mahikoa
Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.


New Year’s resolutions can feel monumental, particularly when it comes to maintaining healthy habits or getting rid of unhealthy habits.

We all know the hardest part is just getting started. What may help is identifying and taking a first, solid step. At best, you’ll see the benefits and at minimum, you’ll feel proud of yourself for starting down the path of accomplishing your goals.

Adding the basic, foundational nutritional supplements to your daily diet may have huge payoffs, particularly if you have nutritional needs to address. The right supplement regimen can not only make you feel better but also actually BE healthier. 

Another benefit, which may not be apparent, but no less huge, is the acquisition of new superhero-like abilities that may protect you from developing future health problems. Even if you don’t work out three times a week at the gym or exercise at all – just adding the right supplements alone will be a boost to your health that you’ll notice.

Here’s our recommendation for a basic supplement protocol to keep you healthy in 2018:

• Balance Your Nutritional Profile

Make sure you are getting all the vitamins and minerals you need by taking a good multi-vitamin.  About 30% of us don’t absorb the B vitamins very well.  If you are one of them, you may want to choose a multi-vitamin with 5-MTHF, a form of vitamin B that is better absorbed by most individuals.  Here’s what we recommend:

• Remove Toxins 

A recent report by the EPA and CDC concluded that the environment had a greater role in causing chronic diseases than originally thought.  When you remove toxins from your system, you unblock the body’s pathways so that nutrients are more easily absorbed and utilized.  Today, toxins are ubiquitous in the water you drink, the food you eat and the air you breathe.  Your body is routinely exposed to and contains environmental toxins that can cause serious health issues.  Removing toxins from the body is good, common sense.  Our top detox products are:

• Boost Immunity

Your best defense against illness is a robust immune system.  Kirkman® offers many effective products to boost your immunity.  Our top two immune support categories are probiotics and vitamin D-3.  We offer both products in a wide variety of types (capsules, powders, chewables).

• Get Immediate Results

Most of us are encouraged by getting immediate results.  Taking Kirkman’s Methylcobalamin Concentrated Powder (#0292-002) maybe uplifting right away if you are low in vitamin B-12.  Many of us don’t have enough vitamin B-12 because as we age, our ability to absorb vitamin B-12 from food is diminished.  Symptoms that indicate you may need to supplement with vitamin B-12 include fatigue, muscle fatigue, strange sensations, confusion, memory problems, mood swings, eye problems. Energy is the big pay-off from this product if your vitamin B-12 levels are low.

Have a Happy, Healthy 2018!

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Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Treat Them to a Time-Honored Tradition

During the holidays, kiddos on restricted diets are surrounded by more than the normal amount of treats they can’t eat. 

The Christmas treat that will ease any feeling of deprivation is a batch of traditional sugar cookies that can be yummy, even without gluten, casein (GF/CF) or other common allergens.

Here is a wonderful recipe for GF/CF sugar cookies that you can make quickly and easily, even if you’re stretched for time with other holiday activities.  Give the job of decorating the cookies up to the kids to involve them in a time-honored tradition.  The trick is to give them lots of allergen free fixings to create cookie masterpieces like GF/CF sprinkles (for shiny stars), GF/CF pretzels (for trees and antlers), Paskesz Real Chocolate Chips (for faces) and GF/CF frostings that can be thinned with water to use as icing.

GF/CFG Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies


2 ½ cups GF/CF flour mix

2 tsps. Xanthan Gum

1 cup sugar or ½ cup No Sugar

1 egg or egg substitute

1 tsp. GF/CF baking powder

2 tsps. fruit juice (pear or apple)

1 tbsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients and beat until well mixed. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm. Roll the dough out onto a GF/CF flour or rice flour surface. Use the Chrismas tree or other holiday cookie cutter shapes of your choice. Place the cut-out dough at least 1” apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6-10 minutes at 425°F or until nicely browned around the edges. Decorate

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gluten Free / Casein Free, recipe | Leave a comment

Staff Picks . . . Kirkman’s Employees Share Their Favorite Supplements

Some of our best customers are our own staff members.  We recently asked staff members who many of our Kirkman Family members know, what’s their favorite Kirkman® product.  Here are our staff’s picks:


David Humphrey, President, CEO

Super Nu-Thera® was created by Kirkman® and Dr. Bernard Rimland, who was respected and loved by the special needs community.  We offer more than 350+ products now, but Super Nu-Thera® was our first product and it is still a favorite.

Larry Newman, Chief Operating Officer

One of my favorites is Thera Response (0300-180).  It is high potency, contains all “Daily Value” nutrients plus a small amount of P-5-P, choline and lithium plus 40% of the vitamin A comes from beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that’s safe for everyone.

Kulani Mahikoa, Executive Vice President

My favorite is Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion (0345-060).  I feel I need the high strength 75 billion CFUs that this product provides, plus it has a prebiotic that adds effectiveness. 

Rhonda Mulford, Vice President, Intl. Sales and Special Projects

My current favorite is our Inositol Pure Soluble Powder – Hypoallergenic (0329-454).  I’ve given it to our staff members because it calms us down and helps our stress, especially the week before Christmas. 

Amy Starke, Customer Service, Department Head

I love Kirkman’s Magnesium Sulfate Cream (0225-004).  It relaxes my muscles and helps me have a restful sleep.

Lisa Castro, Customer Service Representative

The supplement I look forward to taking each day and talk about the most with friends and family is Kirkman’s Methylcobalamin Concentrated Powder (0292-002).  Consuming the powder is very easy and tasty!  It is a bonus that our great tasting powder also provides a good amount of vitamin B-12 in a small serving and I notice its benefits immediately.

Juli Fair, Customer Service Representative

I have a lot of favorites, but right now I would say the d-Biotin 1000 mcg (0382-120).  Winter time always makes my nails super brittle and they break often.  Since taking the d-Biotin my nails are stronger and healthier than ever and break far less often.  The small capsule size also makes them really easy to take. 

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Tis the Season to Be Healthy! The Importance of Nutritional Supplements For Good Health

By Larry Newman
Chief Operating Officer
Kirkman Group, Inc. 

December and the holiday season are once again upon us.  During this time of the year, it becomes very easy to forget to take our dietary supplements because we are “too busy.”  The irony of this is that this holiday time is one of the most important periods for us to remember to take dietary supplements for several compelling reasons.

The holiday season is concurrent with the winter cold and flu season.  It is important for our immune system to be strong at this time to help ward off the flu bug and the other viruses and infections that seem to be prevalent in the winter months.  Each year the flu strains circulating can change making it imperative to keep up your immunity at a high level.  Family get-togethers, dinners, and holiday parties lead to perfect close-contact situations for spreading these nasty germs and illnesses.  Having a strong, uncompromised immune response can keep us healthy and help us maintain maximum resistance to these “bugs.”

Dietary supplement ingredients that aid in supporting our immune response include vitamins ACD and E, plus the minerals zinc and selenium.  Recent clinical studies are showing that having adequate vitamin D levels in our body can greatly enhance the immune system response to viral, bacterial or cell invaders.  Sufficient vitamin D can be difficult to get from our diet, and our main source of vitamin D, sunlight, is not around much during this time of the year.  Other immune-enhancing dietary ingredients include beta glucan, astragalus root, elderberry extract and echinacea.  Kirkman® offers these ingredients alone or in various combinations.  An excellent product incorporating many of these nutrients into one formula is our Immuno-Aid™.  Colostrum is another dietary supplement that supports immune health, and this is available in both flavored and hypoallergenic versions.

Our diets change during the holidays.  For one, we generally eat more and consume additional calories.  Two, we may overindulge in the types of foods that are not particularly healthy, such as more fats and proteins, more sugars, and more alcoholic beverages.  Our digestive systems will be taxed to properly digest these. Digestive enzymes can help to achieve proper digestion during these periods. Consuming more fats and proteins may require added lipase and/or protease for proper digestion while consuming extra sugars and starches may require additional amylase and carbohydrase enzymes.By supplementing with a multi-spectrum digestive enzyme that digests all of the food groups, adequate digestive enzyme activity to compensate for these additional food intakes can be assured. 

Kirkman’s Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ II with Isogest® is an excellent multi-purpose enzyme supplying enzymes that aid the digestion of any food group consumed.  Only Kirkman® enzymes contain Isogest®, a specialty enzyme with isomaltase activity, which helps digest isomaltose and palatinose present in some complex starches such as in potatoes.  Kirkman’s Maximum Spectrum Enzym-Complete/DPP-IV™ Fruit Free w/Isogest® formulation is another version of a multi-purpose enzyme with Isogest® that contains no fruit-based enzymes for those individuals sensitive to fruit-based ingredients.


Many individuals are on special diets such as the gluten-free/casein-free or Specific Carbohydrate Diet. Digestive enzymes taken during the holidays can help compensate for inadvertent dietary infractions that may occur over the holidays. Traces of casein, gluten or monosaccharides may be consumed unknowingly (or intentionally) causing sensitivity reactions. Digestive enzymes may help minimize the reactions to these infractions provided that the quantity consumed is not too large.  Sensitive individuals often may “sneak” a taste of some enticing holiday treat. Digestive enzymes can be a good safety net. Kirkman®, of course, recommends that these infractions be kept to a minimum. 

The extra food we eat during the holidays, especially the sugars and carbohydrates we over consume, can upset the balance of good flora needed for a healthy gastrointestinal tract.  Taking probiotics during this period can help to keep the good flora in balance, which in turn helps to crowd out the undesirable bacteria or yeast which thrive on the sugars and carbohydrates consumed.  Multi-strain probiotics such as Kirkman’s Pro-Bio Gold™, Multi-Flora Spectrum™ and Super Pro-Bio™ 75 Billion would be excellent choices for helping to maintain that good flora balance.  All Kirkman® probiotics are casein and gluten free, verified by independent third party laboratory testing.

Often during the holidays, individuals consume lots of treats, cookies, candy, desserts and other foods that lack proper nutritional balance.  It is easy to be lacking in proper vitamin and mineral intake to assure balanced nutrition.  Consuming a comprehensive multiple vitamin and mineral will help guard against nutritional deficiencies during this period.  Kirkman® has many multiple vitamin and mineral combinations for children including Super Nu-Thera®, Spectrum Complete™, Thera Response and three versions of children’s multiple vitamin and mineral formulas.  Kirkman® now also has a great adult product called Advanced Adult Multi-Vitamin/Mineral that contains high levels of vitamins C and D and zinc, as well as coenzyme Q-10 and resveratrol.

As the holiday season winds down, individuals frequently start to feel drained because of reduced energy levels.  This can be due to nutritional deficiencies.  A good dietary supplement regimen during this period can help maintain your normal, healthy energy levels.  So enjoy your holiday festivities, but don’t forget your supplements.

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

Game Changer . . . Role of the Environment in Children’s Health Recognized

By Kulani Mahikoa
Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.


At the end of a challenging year for children’s health, the government has issued a landmark report that has the potential to be a game changer.

The report, a summary from scientists working under the Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant program from 24 Children’s Centers funded by the National Institute of Health Sciences and the Environmental Protection Agency, connects the increase in chronic children’s health issues to environmental factors – even more than previously thought.
Much of the information summarized in the report has been previously published, however, the statistics, reiterated, make a strong case for considering environmental factors as a key contributor to children’s health. Here are some of the statistics cited in the report:
  • “Children in the U.S. are at high risk for chronic disease.  This may be a result of increasing exposures to environmental toxicants.
  • Approximately 16,000 premature births per year in the U.S. are attributable to air pollution.
  • Children in 4 million U.S. households may be exposed to high levels of lead.
  • In the U.S. more than 1 in 10 babies are born preterm.
  • 60% of acute respiratory infections in children worldwide are related to environmental conditions.
  • Air pollution contributes to 600,000 deaths worldwide in children under five years old.
  • $76.6 billion is the annual cost of environmentally related diseases in U.S. children.”
Some specific childhood conditions, many of which are on the rise in the U.S., are specifically attributable to environmental factors, STAR scientists have documented.  Here is a link to the report, NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers Impact Report, to read more about the science behind these claims. Research has also been prolific regarding specific toxicants that affect children and contribute to chronic health conditions.  There is a long list of research reports in the “Reference” section of the report.
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