The Kirkman® Difference

By Larry Newman
Vice President, Chief Operating Officer
Technical & Regulatory Affairs
Kirkman Group, Inc.
 
All vitamin products are not the same. Kirkman® has been in the forefront of producing the highest quality pharmaceuticals and specialty nutritional supplements since our inception in 1949. We work with leading researchers, doctors and scientists in developing our products. Science and individual needs are what drive Kirkman’s product lines. Our mission and purpose is to offer the purest, most up to date, highest quality dietary supplements available in the marketplace and in the dosage forms which will be easy to administer to children, adults and individuals with special needs and special requirements. 
 

 

 

 

Kirkman® also formulates its products to be appropriate for the sensitive individual, or for those with allergic tendencies. These versions of our products are what makes up our very popular “Hypoallergenic” product line. The hypoallergenic line is free of casein, gluten, wheat, milk, soy, colors, artificial flavors, sugar, peanuts, tree nuts and shellfish. Kirkman® also avoids corn wherever possible. Our products are continuously tested for all the common allergens recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. If there are any traces of any allergen, this is clearly stated after the ingredient list on the label. Test results are available for viewing upon request. 

 

This highest degree of quality in Kirkman® products has led Kirkman® to establish our Ultra Tested™ seal which is a program that ensures that all the raw materials that go into Kirkman® products and all the finished products that we sell are continuously monitored for potency, purity, allergens, PCB’s, pesticides, harmful chemicals, microbiological contamination and heavy metals content by our independent quality control department and by the outside  laboratories we utilize. This Ultra Tested™ program is the most comprehensive testing program in the industry with Kirkman® testing for 950 potential contaminants. Continuous high quality you can trust is the Kirkman® difference. Kirkman® started as the quality leader in dietary supplements and we continue to lead in this category over 50 years later.

Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Ultra Tested | Leave a comment

If You Eat Gluten Free — Watch the Rice

By Kulani Mahikoa
Staff Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc.

If you are on a gluten-free diet, you may be at greater risk for arsenic and mercury poisoning.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago found twice the levels of arsenic and nearly 70 percent higher levels of mercury in subjects who ate gluten free compared to those who did not. They reported their findings in the journal of Epidemiology last month.

The speculation is that the arsenic and mercury are primarily coming from rice flour and rice products that are frequently used as substitutes for wheat flour and wheat products. Unlike Europe, the U.S. doesn’t regulate the amount of arsenic in rice.

Because metals exist in the soil, they can infiltrate our food supply. Rice is particularly vulnerable because it is commonly grown in flooded conditions, which makes the metals in the soil more readily available to be absorbed by the rice grains.

rice

Long before “gluten-free” caught on in the general population, it was a diet relegated to individuals with celiac disease, an inability to tolerate gluten, which is less than one percent of the population according to the National Institutes of Health. In addition, it was adopted by individuals with certain special needs, particularly those who had food allergies and other environmental sensitivities.

Recently, roughly one-quarter of Americans said they were following gluten-free diets in 2015, a 67 percent increase from 2013, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. And although statistics aren’t in for the popularity of gluten-free eating in 2017, judging from the number of gluten free products on grocery shelves – the trend may even be picking up steam.

If you eat gluten free, careful use of rice is indicated. The highest levels of metals are often found in brown rice, because the metals that accumulate aren’t washed off in the processing that white varieties of rice undergo. According to the agriculture researchers, average arsenic levels are estimated at 10 times higher in rice bran (brown rice) as in polished rice.

Consumer Reports, which conducted several studies of the arsenic content in rice, recommends against giving children rice milk under the age of five. In addition, they caution that one serving of rice cake supplies close to their recommended weekly limit, and that one serving of rice pasta or rice cereal could put kids over the limit.

Posted in Environmental Health & Toxicity, Gluten Free / Casein Free | Leave a comment

We Need The B Vitamins — Why Not Choose An Organic B-Complex?

If there’s a choice between organic and non-organic – organic is no doubt, the better choice. 

Kirkman® now offers an organic choice in a vitamin B-complex blend with Kirkman’s Organic Vitamin B-Complex (#0540-090). This product has higher potencies of vitamin B than most other organic vitamin B commercially available.  It contains wonderful natural ingredients such as guava, holy basil, citrus limon extracts of fruit, leaves and peels which provide the vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine and folic acid.  It also contains an extract of Sesbania grandiflora leaves, which is the source of biotin.  Methylcobalamin is the vitamin B-12 source.
 

In the manufacturing process of this product, only organic processing aids have been used.  Organic rice hulls, for example, are used as an encapsulating aid.  The capsules shell is made of natural plant pullulan material, the only all-natural capsule shell available at this time.  

Kirkman’s Organic Vitamin B-Complex is free of all common allergens, is gluten and casein free and Ultra Tested®, which means it is laboratory tested for more than 950 environmental contaminants.

Posted in Gluten Free / Casein Free, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

How Nutritional Supplements Can Help with the Stress of the Holidays

Most people probably don’t need to read a biometric study to know that the holidays can be stressful, but such a study has been performed. The findings: shopping can be as stressful as running a marathon, with shoppers’ heart rates increasing 32 percent. And that’s just shopping; so far there are no hard data on how stressful cooking, decorating, traveling and in-laws can be.

Clearly, holiday stress can be significant, and many of us would benefit from tools to help us cope — preferably something healthy. Luckily, there are several nutrients that have been clinically demonstrated to help alleviate stress. These include:

B-Vitamins

B-vitamins cannot be stored in our bodies, so we depend entirely on our daily diet to supply them. They are essential to mental and emotional well-being. Crucially, they are required for the production of serotonin and norepinephrine, neurochemicals that are related to mood. They have also been demonstrated to reduce stress in clinical trials.1

Dimethylglycine & Trimethylglycine

Both dimethylglycine (DMG) and trimethylglycine (TMG) increase the body’s natural production of SAMe or S-adenosyl methionine, which, in turn reduces homocysteine levels. Homocysteine has been linked to various stress conditions and heart problems. 

EFA Powder

Essential fatty acids

Essential fatty acids have been shown to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol and

adrenaline. Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) is produced by the adrenal gland as part of the fight-or-flight response. It promotes heightened alertness during dangerous or stressful situations.

Gamma amino butyric acid (GABA)

GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is conducive to a relaxed state. Neurotransmitters all fall into one of two classes — inhibitory or excitatory. In simple terms, excitatory neurotransmitters turn neurons on, while inhibitory neurotransmitters turn neurons off. If there is not enough GABA in the brain, too many neurons can be left in the “on” state, and relaxation can become difficult.

Magnesium

Magnesium can have a relaxing effect on both muscles and the brain. Like essential fatty acids, it reduces the amount of the stress hormone cortisol in the body. Though magnesium appears to reduce stress, stress in turn appears to reduce magnesium. Those who experience stress over a long period of time show depleted levels of magnesium.2

 

 

 

 References

1. Stough C, Scholey A, Lloyd J, Spong J, Myers S, Downey LA. “The effect of 90 day administration of a high dose vitamin B-complex on work stress.” Human Psychopharmacology. 2011 Oct;26 (7):470-6. doi: 10.1002/hup.1229. Epub 2011 Sep 8.

2. Cuciureanu, M., Vink, R., “Magnesium and stress.” Magnesium in the Central Nervous System. DOI: 10.1017/UPO9780987073051.020

Posted in Stress, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition | Leave a comment

Scare Up Some Halloween Fun with These Allergen Free Treats

By Sonnie Sei
Staff Writer
Kirkman Group, Inc

Halloween is a celebration of fun, friends and food! From Halloween parties, school parties or trick-or-treating, there are endless opportunities to indulge in candy and sweets.

Don’t let your kids feel left out from all of the Halloween festivities due to allergies or sensitivities. Instead, whip up some tasty treats ahead of time that you and your family can enjoy. All of these are allergen free and fun to make.

Kirkman’s Halloween Cupcakes

Create a worry free dessert for you and your kids to look forward to after trick-or-treating.
Try these cupcakes topped with an allergen free frosting.

 Cupcakes

 Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Mix sugar substitute and margarine until smooth; beat in eggs until blended.
  • Mix together flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder in a separate bowl, and slowly sift into wet ingredients, while mixing.
  • Add vanilla and milk substitute.
  • Fill greased or paper-lined cupcake tins ¾ of the way full.
  • Bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean. 

Frosting

Ingredients:

Directions For Frosting:

  • Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 second intervals or use a double boiler 
on the stove. Stir until smooth. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Scoop only the thick coconut cream from the can. (Use the watery liquid from the can for another recipe like a smoothie.)
  • Add the coconut cream to a stand mixer and blend until smooth. Slowly pour in the melted chocolate chips into the mixer and blend until combined well.
  • Use frosting to decorate cupcakes or keep refrigerated until ready to decorate. May need to soften in the microwave for 30 seconds if kept refrigerated for a long period of time.

Kirkman’s Ghostly Strawberries

Here’s a fun and safe snack to look forward to after trick-or-treating. This cute and easy-to-make Halloween treat is simply white chocolate covered strawberries with melted chocolate chip features.

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with waxed paper.
  • Wash the strawberries and pat them dry. Make sure they’re truly dry and don’t have any wet patches, otherwise you’ll have trouble dipping them.
  • Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, stirring after every 30 seconds until it is smooth and fluid. If you are using white chocolate chips, they might be quite stiff when you melt them, so you can add a spoonful of vegetable shortening to make the chocolate softer if necessary.
  • Hold a strawberry by the stem and dip it in the chocolate until it is almost entirely covered. Hold it over the bowl and let the excess drip back into the bowl, then scrape the bottom against the lip of the bowl. Place the berry on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Repeat the process until all of the strawberries are covered with white chocolate. Refrigerate the tray until the chocolate is set, for about 15 minutes.
  • While you’re waiting for the white chocolate to harden, melt the semi-sweet chocolate. Pour it into a paper cone or plastic baggie with a small hole cut in the corner.
  • Decorate the strawberries with the chocolate so they have eyes and mouths and resemble ghosts. Let the chocolate set completely before serving.

Ghost Strawberries are best eaten the day they are made. Store them in the refrigerator until serving.

Candy Corn Marshmallow Ghosts

Create an allergen-free snack that is sure to bring Halloween to life. These spooky candy corn marshmallow ghosts are fun to make and guaranteed to be the life of any party!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of vegan, gluten free marshmallows
  • 8 ounces of white chocolate 
  • Vegetable, canola or coconut oil
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Orange food coloring
  • cups Paskesz Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (melted) 

Directions:

  • Melt the white chocolate (in the microwave, or on the stovetop).
  • Pour into two separate bowls and add yellow food coloring to one and orange to the other. Whisk.
  • Dip your marshmallow in the orange first, about ⅓ of the way up and then set on parchment paper. Proceed throughout the marshmallows doing the orange, placing your dipped marshmallows on a platter or a table lined with parchment.
  • Once the chocolate is set up and firm, repeat with the yellow and only coat half way up the orange color. Again, let that set up.
  • Melt the semi-sweet chocolate chips, and use a toothpick to gently make two eyes on each marshmallow. Let them set up before bagging.   
Posted in Allergies & Allergens, Gluten Free / Casein Free, recipe | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Toxicity Control Helps Our Bodies Detoxify

Though the human body has built-in systems for removing toxins, systems that have evolved over the course of millennia, the environmental assaults of the modern world are historically unprecedented. The slow pace of evolution is no match for the speed with which technology moves. For now, humans are stuck with bodies that developed long before plastics (or pesticides, or flame retardants etc.) were conceived. With our detoxification systems now required to do more work than ever before, it only makes sense to give them some help.

Toxicity ControlIt can no longer be denied that the world is changing dramatically all around us, with our environment becoming more and more toxic due to contaminants and pollutants:

  • Our water supply is becoming increasingly contaminated from heavy metal impurities that industry is releasing into the soil or through wastewater diverted into our rivers and streams.
  •  Industry is releasing polluted air and gases into our atmosphere, which affects the quality of the air we breathe.
  • The plants and herbs in our food are being sprayed with hundreds of different pesticides and fungicides that leave toxic residues.
  • The animals making up food sources we eat are feeding off more contaminated soils.
  • The products we use and the food we consume contain questionable chemicals and preservatives, some of which are known to be toxic.
  • The materials used to package products contain chemicals (solvents, stabilizers, colorants etc.) that can be toxic.
  • Toxic mold, yeast and microbiological contamination are becoming increasingly prevalent.
  • The presence of common allergens is increasing.

As these changes are occurring, the scientific community is becoming more knowledgeable about the consequences of a toxic environment. Several health conditions are linked to environmental elements. Developmental disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, immune system deficiencies, allergies and neurological disorders have all been linked to environmental exposures.

Prospective new parents are aware that it takes healthy individuals to have healthy babies with good pregnancy outcomes. Toxicity can result in miscarriage, preterm births, chronic medical conditions or neurological or developmental abnormalities. No matter where we live and no matter how carefully we choose our food, some level of toxicity will creep into our bodies.

Studies are being undertaken to determine what levels of various contaminants are toxic. The problem is much more complex, however, than just examining each individual contaminant. For example, we can study lead or mercury and determine what are harmful levels, but how do we measure the cumulative effects of these contaminants ingested in combination? What happens when you ingest high amounts of lead in conjunction with mercury, cadmium, other heavy metals, pesticide residues and other harmful chemicals? The possible combinations of ingested contaminants are endless.

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Kirkman’s CEO Signs Agreement with the University of Georgia to Establish a P2i Center of Excellence

 

Kirkman’s CEO, David Humphrey, acting in his capacity as President of The Forum Institute, signed an agreement with the University of Georgia, Atlanta (UGA), to establish the first “P2i (Preconception to Infancy) Center of Excellence.”  Representatives from UGA and The Forum Institute met on Sept. 9 to formalize the partnership at the UGA campus in Atlanta, Ga., where the center will be housed.

“As we envision it, the P2i Center of Excellence in Georgia has the potential to improve pregnancy outcomes and the proliferation of childhood health issues in the U.S. and globally.” Humphrey said.

David Humphrey, Kirkman® CEO

Set to begin operation in 2017, The P2i™ Center of Excellence will be will be headed by Dr. Jose Cordero. Cordero formerly served as Assistant Surgeon General of the Public Health Service and is currently the Patel Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the University of Georgia. He worked for the Centers of Disease Control for 27 years and has extensive experience in both pediatrics and epidemiology.

The Forum Institute will provide $2.4 million over the next two years to help fund the center of excellence. Established in 2001, the Forum Institute is widely recognized as the most successful think tank focused on special needs children. Their vision statement sets forth their goal to “significantly reduce chronic disease in the worlds’s children with prevention protocols.”  The Forum’s P2i initative also includes a virtual conference center where doctors, patients and researchers can converge to share information.

The Forum’s P2i initiative has a goal  to enroll 100,000 pregnant women from the United States in the P2i™ program. Children born to participants will be monitored for the first five years of life. Their treatments and outcomes will be collected in a database that can be used by researchers to improve treatment protocols and help researchers better understand how genetics, nutritional status and environmental exposures combine to influence health.

The P2i Center of Excellence will use the data it gathers to establish recommendations for best practices, with the goal of drastically reducing the instances of pregnancy problems and chronic health conditions for newborns.

Posted in Environmental Health & Toxicity, P2i, Preconception, Special Offer | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment