Jul 16 2017

Eat fat. Don’t eat fat. What are we supposed to do?

Published by under General

Eat fat. Don’t eat fat. What are we supposed to do?
The days of low fat diets are gone as researchers discover the real truth about fat in our diet.

There was a time when many a fad diet told us to avoid all fat at all costs! Low fat foods were touted as healthier, thought they were loaded with sugar. Wrong! The result was a fatter population, as we banned the good as well as the bad fats from our bodies, and unwittingly increased our sugar intake. More recent research has found that fat is good for us, as long as we are getting  the right kind. Fat provides our bodies with energy,  helps us to absorb some vitamins and minerals and is needed in building strong cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. For long-term health, some fats are better than others. Good fats include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Bad ones include industrial-made trans fats and saturated fats fall somewhere in between.1*

“…All fats have a similar chemical structure: a chain of carbon atoms bonded to hydrogen atoms. What makes one fat different from another is the length and shape of the carbon chain and the number of hydrogen atoms connected to the carbon atoms. Seemingly slight differences in structure translate into crucial differences in form and function…”1*

So which fats should we be consuming?

Let’s start with the fats you need to avoid.

Trans fat

This is the worst type of dietary fat. A mainly man-made fat, it is a byproduct of hydrogenation, which is a process that turns healthy oils into solids and keeps them from becoming rancid. This happens when        “… vegetable oil is heated in the presence of hydrogen and a heavy-metal catalyst such as palladium, hydrogen atoms are added to the carbon chain. This turns oils into solids. It also makes healthy vegetable oils more like not-so-healthy saturated fats…” When scanning food labels, avoid partially hydrogenated oils, which is this manufactured ingredient. 1*

At the beginning of the  20th century, you’d see trans fats  in solid margarines and vegetable shortening for the most part, but as food manufacturers devised new ways to use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, it started showing up in many items on the grocery store shelves. It was also used in cooking French fries from our favorite fast food restaurants. Only until the last decade did this change and fast food restaurants switched to healthier oils. Because these fats have no known health benefits, it is thankfully fading fast from the food supply. 1*

Trans fat is dangerous for our health because it creates inflammation in the body, which is linked to heart disease, stroke and other chroinic conditions. It contributes to insulin resistance which increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It increases the harmful LDL cholesterol in the blood stream and reduces the beneficial HDL cholesterol.  “…Research from the Harvard School of Public Health and elsewhere indicates that trans fats can harm health in even small amounts: for every 2% of calories from trans fat consumed daily, the risk of heart disease rises by 23%…”1*

Saturated fats

These fats are common in the American diet. Solid at room temperature, these fats include bacon grease, fats from red meat, whole milk and other whole milk dairy foos like cheese, and are found in many commercially prepared baked goods and foods. Recent studies suggest that coconut oil falls into this category, though more research is in order. The word “saturated”  refers to how many  “…hydrogen atoms surround each carbon atom. The chain of carbon atoms holds as many hydrogen atoms as possible — it’s saturated with hydrogens…”(1,2)*

Is saturated fat bad for you? A diet rich in saturated fats can drive up total cholesterol, and tip the balance toward more harmful LDL cholesterol, which prompts blockages to form in arteries in the heart and elsewhere in the body. For that reason, most nutrition experts recommend limiting saturated fat to under 10% of calories a day.1*

There have been some recent reports that have clouded the link between saturated fat and heart disease. “…One meta-analysis of 21 studies said that there was not enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease, but that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat may indeed reduce risk of heart disease…”1*

Good fats

There are two broad categories of beneficial fats. They are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Eating these fats in place of saturated fats or highly refined carbohydrates has been shown to reduce harmful LDL cholesterol, as well as lower triglycerides. These healthy fats are liquid at room temperature and are found in nuts, seeds, vegetables and fish. They are different from saturated fats because they have “…fewer hydrogen atoms bonded to their carbon chains…” Keep in mind that thought these fats are healthy, they are high in calorie, so don’t go overboard, just because they are healthy if you are trying to watch your weight.1*   

Monounsaturated fats

These fats are found primarily in olive oil, avocado and peanut oil, as well as most nuts. They have a “single carbon-to-carbon double bond. The result is that it has two fewer hydrogen atoms than a saturated fat and a bend at the double bond…” In the 1960s, the Seven Countries Study conducted a study in which they set out to determine why  people living in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean region had such a low rate of heart disease compared to other countries, even though their diet was high in fat. They concluded that it was due to the fact that the primary fat in their diet was olive oil, which contains mainly monounsaturated fat, as opposed to saturated animal fat so common in other countries. It was at this time that the “Mediterranean diet,” became so popular. 1*

Polyunsaturated fats. 

Lastly, there is polyunsaturated fats. Liquid cooking oil to include corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil are examples of this type of fat. These are considered “essential” fats, meaning the body can’t make these fats but yet they are required for normal body functions. They build cell membranes and the covering of nerves, as well as aid in blood clotting, inflammation and muscle movement. “…A polyunsaturated fat has two or more double bonds in its carbon chain. There are two main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. The numbers refer to the distance between the beginning of the carbon chain and the first double bond. Both types offer health benefits…” Fatty fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, along with walnuts, flaxseeds canola oil and unhydrogenated soybean oil are all good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. 1*

“…Omega-3 fatty acids may help prevent and even treat heart disease and stroke. In addition to reducing blood pressure, raising HDL, and lowering triglycerides, polyunsaturated fats may help prevent lethal heart rhythms from arising. Evidence also suggests they may help reduce the need for corticosteroid medications in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Studies linking omega-3s to a wide range of other health improvements, including reducing risk of dementia, are inconclusive, and some of them have major flaws, according to a systematic review of the evidence by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality…” Vegetable oils such as safflower, sunflower, walnut, corn and soybean oils are all excellent sources for Omega-6 fatty acids, which have are thought to also protect against heart disease. 1*

So what’s the bottom line? Replace saturated and trans fats in your diet as much as you can with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. It is shown to reduce  harmful LDL cholesterol, as well as lower triglycerides. Research in the 1960s, which was backed by the sugar industry, shaped our way of thinking for decades to come. As we ate less fat and more sugar, the 80s and 90s saw a terrible obesity epidemic. Today we know that sugar is really the culprit. Avoiding sugar and any foods that turn to sugar in the body, and eating the right fats, will keep your gut healthy and your immune system strong. Keeping up with your daily Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is also the key to a healthy body.(1,3)*

Until next week, healthiest wishes!






  1. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good
  2. https://www.statnews.com/2017/06/20/coconut-oil-reputation-healthy/
  3. http://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/07/sugar-vs-fat-debate-gets-new-life-after-study-casts-doubt-on-consensus.html

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Jul 09 2017

Having a dog can improve your health

Published by under General

Having a dog can improve your health.
In addition to being your best friend, owning a dog  provides surprising health benefits.*

Dogs make excellent companions. They are called man’s best friend because they provide unconditional love, are always happy to see us, and if treated right, become loving and loyal members of the family. But they are more than cute and cuddly. Having a dog around can actually be good for your health and well being. A dog good for you health? Read on to learn some surprising  health benefits of dog ownership.*

Lower your stress

There are many studies showing how having a dog can actually reduce stress levels. Petting a dog calms us, playing and watching a dog can reduce daily stress. Stress hormones are lower for dog owners. And the stress reduction of owning a dog, outweighs the stressors that might come with it. Having a well trained dog will be even less stressful, so make sure your dog is trained! (1,2)*

You’ll exercise more.

Having a dog gives us a reason to get up in the morning and get moving. If we will take their lead, it gives us a great excuse to walk (or jog) around the neighborhood. Dogs love to walk! Let your dog be your guide and take him every morning and evening or more if you are so inclined. A well trained dog is  a joy to walk. So make sure to take the steps to learn how to properly train your animal. It can be a lot of work while they are a puppy, but a huge pay off once the puppy years are over. You’ll thank your dog for getting you moving. (1,2)*

Your pets get you outside

Because we generally go outside to walk or play with our dogs, we get the benefits of being out in the fresh air and sunshine. It is healthy to get outside a little bit every day, and our pups help us do this whether we go to the park with them, play at the beach or lake, or just stroll a trail. We all need to get outside to get fresh air, exposure to soil, grass and trees, get some natural Vitamin D from the sun. Exposure to natural sunlight is also important for developing eyes to avoid myopia. So grab the leash, the dog, the kids and get out into the sunlight for a bit! (Remember, prolonged exposure to sun requires some good broad spectrum sunscreen).(1,2)*

 Dogs are a great ice breaker.

You might find that having a dog actually improves your social life. They can be a great ice breaker (especially puppies). So take them to the park, walk around an outside mall, take them to the beach, and watch how people respond. A trip to Home Depot can become a social outing when you have a dog.(1,2)*

Your dog may let you know when you are sick.

 Your dog may let you know that you are sick before you do! Due to their incredible sense of smell, dogs have been used for cancer detection. Dog owners have reported that their dog detected something was wrong before the person knew, by licking sniffing and nudging areas that turned out to be cancer. Dogs are also great about alerting someone if you are in trouble. An elderly woman that I know fell and her dog, who was inside her apartment with her, kept barking until her neighbor came to see what was wrong. When she came in, the dog ran straight to its owner and the woman was rushed to the hospital. Pretty sweet benefit of having a canine companion.(1,2)*

Your children will have less allergies.

Many studies show that children who are raised in households with animals have less allergies to pets. It can also help them to have an increased immunity to pet allergies throughout their lives. Children raised around dogs are less likely to be fearful of them as well.(1,2)*

 A happy heart is a healthy heart.

The simple act of petting a dog lowers a person’s heart rate, studies show.  Dog owners are more likely to survive a heart attack and male dog owners tend to have reduced rates of heart disease.(1,2)*

 Dog owners have lower rates of depression.

Caring for a dog helps people relieve their symptoms of depression and help people to feel more positive. Dog owners with clinical depression demonstrate lower rates of depression than those who don’t have a dog.(1,2)*

 Dogs are wonderful companions to the elderly

For an elderly person, having a dog can mean less lonlieness and a constant companion. We all need someone to love and this connection helps elderly to feel less lonely. There have been studies showing that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer outbursts when there is a dog at home, and caregivers report that elderly patents seem less stressed.(1,2)*

 You’re less likely to get sick overall.

Studies show that dog owners, on average are sick less often than non-dog owners. They also have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.  Additionally, dogs expose us to a lot of germs which help build our immunity to disease.(1,2)*

 You have a live security system.  

Dogs protect their owners and their territory. An intruder is going to think twice before going through a door or window with a barking dog on the other side. Small dogs are a great alarm to let you know someone is approaching your home or car. With this increased security, it allows us to relax more and sleep better at night, knowing our canine friend is on guard.(1,2)*

If you have a loving canine in your home, kudos to you! If you’re thinking of getting one, as you see, there are many benefits. Pet shelters are all over and teeming with dogs needing homes. The altruistic act of adopting a homeless dog is sure to benefit your health as well.(1,2)*

 Healthiest wishes,





  1. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-surprising-benefits-having-dog-you-didnt-know-about.html
  2. http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/features/6-ways-pets-improve-your-health#1
  3. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/Owning-a-Pet-May-Protect-You-from-Heart-Disease_UCM_453586_Article.jsp#.WVqHmCBlChA

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Jul 02 2017

Probiotics for your Pets? You bet!

Published by under probiotic supplements

Probiotics for your Pets? You bet!
From getting your dogs outside to giving them Body BioticsTM, expose them to friendly bacteria for better gut health.

Isn’t it a joy? The warmer weather and longer days! Whether you have to get up at 5am to beat the heat, or are lucky enough to live where the temperatures are mild all day, summer is a lovely time for being outdoors and enjoying good health. But its not only a good time for humans to enjoy the great outdoors, it is also a great time for pets to get a little more outdoor time, whether its playing in the yard or being taken for a walk. It’s good for us and them, as a good walk boosts serotonin levels, oxygenates the blood supply and gets the day off to a great start.

No one appreciates a good walk more than our furry friends. Dogs love to go on walks! And cats do too! I have a neighbor who walks her dog every morning and evening and her cat follows along too. They get exposed to a variety of sights, sounds and smells, and have a chance to expend excess energy which if not released can lead to negative behavior. Just like children who don’t get to release physical energy, dogs will also find them selves “getting into trouble” by chewing on things, tearing things up and being wild indoors if not allowed to get out. But oh so importantly, dogs need to be exposed to the soil born organisms which they can’t be exposed to when holed up inside all day.

Dogs (and cats) have microbiomes just as humans. Sometimes it is easy to forget and neglect the gut health of our pets.  Just like humans, animals’ gut health ties into the immune system and digestive health. Just as it is essential for  humans to keep their microbiome in balance, it is also just as important for our pets.

So what do you need to pay attention to in order to support your animal’s digestive health? Here are a few tips that should help keep their digestive health on the right tract and make them the healthiest that they can be.

Outdoor play
Even if it means getting up early to beat the heat, it is our responsibility as pet owners to give our pets the exercise they need and exposure to the friendly critters found in the great outdoors. Not everyone lives in an environment with plenty of parks, woods or grassy fields, but getting them outside for a good romp in the woods is so good for them. Just as children who are exposed to a multitude of bacteria tend to be healthier with less allergies, the same goes for pets. Parks, fields, the beach…you get the picture. You owe it to your pet to get them outside!

Use antibiotics only when necessary.
Pets get antibiotics almost as much as humans. Pets get exposed quite often for a variety of ailments and this can lead to diarrhea and a break down of the balance of friendly bacteria in their digestive system. Just as when we take antibiotics, it wipes out our good as well as bad bacteria, so is the case for dogs and cats. Replacing this bacteria with probiotics is important.

Pets can be exposed to a wide variety of parasites
Because pets tend to eat things humans would not, such as trash and other animals feces, they can be exposed to harmful bacteria and parasites. If your animals digestive tract is healthy and their immune system is strong, their exposure to these things may not be as detrimental to their health. Keep an eye on their bowel movements and if you notice unhealthy changes, a call or visit to the veterinarian may be in order.

Do I have to use a probiotic designed solely for pets?
The answer is no. You can give your pets Body BioticsTM Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics ConsortiaTM as it contains the bacteria they need for a healthy digestive system. The advantage of taking Body BioticsTM over an animal grade probiotic is that products developed for animals do not go through the same rigorous standards as those for humans. “…For human-grade probiotics, which are used for foods and supplements, this process is even more complex and stringent because all of the equipment and processes must be extremely clean and be of higher quality…”1

How do I administer probiotics to my pets?
It can be very easy to give your pets daily probiotics. Dogs can take them by mixing it into their wet food, or add to water and shoot it in their mouths with a syringe. You can also break open a capsule and stir it into some chicken broth. Find out what works best for your dog.

What about prebiotics?
Because Body BioticsTM  has both probiotics and prebiotics in the formula, you know they are getting both.

How much should I give them?
Due to the nature of a dog’s digestive tract, you can start them off with a full capsule daily. If your pet is ill and needs a more therapeutic dose, just as with humans, slowly increase the dosage and keep an eye on how they are tolerating the increase. Scale back or increase as needed.

Pay attention to their diet.
Diet is important for dogs. Finding a food that has the first ingredient as meat and not a by product is important. There are a lot of animal foods that are made with some bad ingredients that if you knew what they were, you would not give your pet. Avoid corn, fillers and preservatives. Fresh, raw meat diets for dogs are preferred by some owners, but the debate is out for others due to dangerous bacteria such as salmonella. Give your dog the healthiest food you can afford. And make sure they have fresh water available at all times.

Watch their weight.
Too many people kill their dogs with kindness…literally. They think giving table scraps and people food is being kind to their pets, when in actuality, it is the opposite. It’s comparable to when we eat processed junk food. It can lead to weight gain (not to mention leads to bad habits of “begging”.) An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog. Just as with humans, it is harder on their cardiovascular system, their joints and their overall health. So stick to a regularly scheduled meal time of twice a day, and don’t feed them too much and feed them the right foods for their species. If you are uncertain, check with your veterinarian or a good local pet store. They tend to carry a more healthful variety of foods and can be a valuable resource for nutritional advice for your pets.

Reward system
A pet trainer told me…”don’t give your dog anything for free”. In other words, they need to work for everything you give them. A simple sit before feeding them or giving them a treat shows them that you are in charge, not them. It shows them that you are their resource for food, putting you in control, not them. When you do give your dog a treat, make sure it is a healthy treat. Many of the treats found in the grocery store are equivalent to giving your child candy. Once again, find a high meat source treat for your dogs. It is healthier for their gut.

Avoid these foods
There are some common people foods that should never be given to your dog. These foods include avocados, alcohol, chocolate, raisins, caffeine, baking soda and powder, chives, seeds, corn cobs, fruit pits, grapes, garlic, rhubarb leaves, tomatoes, macadamia nuts and walnuts, yeast dough, milk and milk-based products, mushrooms, nutmeg (and other spices), onions, and xylitol (found in many candies and gums).2

Pumpkin is good for them
Feed your dog a couple of tablespoons of pumpkin a day to keep their tummies feeling good and their digestive tract healthy. A quality, plain canned pumpkin (not sweetened) is a good prebiotic for them as well. 2

So take care of your dog’s gut health just as you would your own. They are part of the family after all. Dogs aren’t called man’s best friend for no reason! So treat your best friend right. Next week we will look at how having a dog is actually good for your health.

Healthiest wishes,





  1. https://www.fidobiotics.com/blogs/news/probiotics-are-human-probiotics-good-for-dogs-is-there-a-difference-between-human-grade-probiotics-vs-dog-grade-probiotics
  2. http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/probiotics-vs-prebiotics-does-your-dog-need-both/
  3. https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-care/nutrition/dog-nutrition-a-to-z

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Jun 25 2017

Artificial sweeteners are not so sweet after all

Published by under Food Additives,Stress

Artificial sweeteners are not so sweet after all.
Diet drinks and artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on your microbiome as well as your waistline.

Summer time is here, which means less clothes and more skin. Put up the jeans and coats and pull out the shorts, tank tops and swimsuits! In an effort to look good in summer attire, many people resort to diet soda, thinking they are getting a cold refreshing drink without the calories. In fact, a study published in 2016 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition  and Dietetics shows that almost 50% of adults and 25% of children in the United States alone consume artificial sweeteners on a daily basis, with diet drinks being the majority of their intake. But research shows that diet drinks don’t help you lose weight. In fact, they have the OPPOSITE effect! 1*

What? It says diet on the label! Why wouldn’t we believe that to be true? Sadly, research is telling us otherwise. “…”Many health-conscious individuals like to consume low-calorie sweeteners as an alternative to sugar. However, there is increasing scientific evidence that these sweeteners promote metabolic dysfunction,” said Sabyasachi Sen, M.D., an Associate Professor of Medicine and Endocrinology at George Washington University in Washington, D.C…”2*

Sen and his colleagues conducted a study involving sucralose, a common sweetener found in many low calorie drinks and foods. They looked at its effects on stem cells…cells that could change into mature muscle, fat, bone cells or cartilage. Scientists put sucralose-saturated cells in petri dishes along with fat promoting substances, and then examined them after 12 days. “…The cells — which held the amount of artificial sweetener equal to about four cans of soda — showed an increase in fat production from these genes…” (2,3)*

Through another study, they took samples of abdominal fat from both normal weight and obese individuals who consumed low calorie sweeteners. Researchers found evidence of increased glucose in abdomen fat cells and an “over expression of known fat-producing genes”, especially in those who were obese They also demonstrated an increase in sweet taste receptors in fat tissue This over expression of sweet taste receptors in abdominal fat may play a rol   e in allowing glucose to enter cells, from which the body absorbs it into the bloodstream.(2,3)*

If this doesn’t raise enough concern to avoid artificial sweeteners, there are other studies as well. A 2014 study from the journal Nature, showed artificial sweeteners were found to alter gut bacteria in both people and mice. This increased their risk of glucose intolerance, a condition often preceding diabetes. Other studies have linked regular diet soda drinkers to type 2 diabetes, and a higher risk of metabolic syndrome including heart attack and stroke. While other factors may come into play to cause these conditions according to the studies, there are too many indicators pointing to ill health affects and artificial sweeteners, enough to consider avoiding them all together.1*

Artificial sweeteners are just that…artificial, fake, chemical. The bottom line is steer clear of overindulging in sugar and its fake alternative. Both are bad for the microbiome and only feed the unwanted bacteria. And don’t be fooled by gimmicks…there is a new coke product that has been released in Japan. It is called Coke Plus.  “…According to Coca-Cola, one Coke Plus a day—which is currently available only in Japan—can help “suppress fat absorption” and “moderate the levels of triglycerides in the blood.”  I’ll leave you with that for a good chuckle, but my recommendation is stick to real, whole foods, and fiber from vegetables and fruits. Feed your gut the foods that foster healthy bacteria growth, not unhealthy. Stay committed to your daily regimen of Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to ensure a healthy balance of good to bad bacteria.4*

Healthiest Wishes,






  1. http://www.consumerreports.org/soda/mounting-evidence-against-diet-sodas/
  2. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-04/tes-lsp040117.php
  3. http://www.healthline.com/health-news/sweeteners-encourage-fat-production
  4. http://time.com/4758424/coca-cola-plus-coke-fiber/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Ftopstories+%28TIME%3A+Top+Stories%29

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Jun 18 2017

Say Hello to Summer’s Healthy Harvest

Say hello to summer’s healthy harvest
With the warm summer months comes an abundance of produce ripe for the picking.

Summer is almost here. The summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will occur at 11:24pm CST on June 20th, bringing us the official start of summer, and the longest day of the year. Along with summer comes  sun-filled days at the beach or lake, extended bed times, evening walks filled with fire flies and plenty of outdoor barbeques. And best of all, summer brings an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables to fill our dining tables.

It is well known that fresh produce is the best thing we can put in our bodies. It is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and has very few calories. Try eating just fruits and vegetables for a week and see the pounds drop off! And who can resist fresh peaches, watermelon, artichokes, cherries, and all the other bright colored produce that fills the aisles at the grocery store this time of year.

To get the most nutritious bang for your buck though, it’s important to pay attention to where you are getting your produce and how you prepare it.  

First, get your vegetables from the healthiest soils. If you have the time and the desire, grow your own fruits and vegetables in rich, organic soil. The produce you grow yourself will give you the opportunity to enrich your soil with microbes that are so good for growing, and will more closely replicate the soil in which our great grandparents grew their food. And there is no greater pleasure than picking your own produce directly from the vine. Before the industrial revolution, and the use of commercial pesticides and fertilizers, this was how people derived their produce. As with most progress, there is good and bad. While it made farming more efficient, increasing productivity and profits, it resulted in depleted soils, robbing us of the miracle microbes that kept our guts so healthy.  

Not everyone has time to grow their own food, so the next best way to acquire the healthiest, organic veggies and fruits is to buy straight from the organic farms found at your local farmer’s market.  “…organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of (the heavy metal) Cd and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons…”1*

Once you get your produce home, there are ways to prepare them to keep from depleting important nutrients. “…While all cooking methods alter the nutrient composition of vegetables (and fruits), some destroy particular nutrients while others actually enhance nutrient content…” The least amount of cooking you can do to them, with a couple of exceptions, is best. Boiling your vegetables will leach a substantial amount of nutrients into the water, and when that water gets dumped out, so do the nutrients.  “…Vitamin C and many of the B vitamins are the most unstable nutrients when it comes to cooking. Because they’re water-soluble, they leach out of vegetables into the cooking water. If you boil your vegetables or microwave using too much water, you’ll end up with less thiamine, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and a lot less vitamin C…” 2*

Some vegetables are more heat sensitive than others. A study out of University of California, Davis, showed that up to 55 percent of Vitamin C in veggies is lost when vegetables are cooked, as compared to consuming them raw. This vitamin is easily degraded by heat. Polyphenols, which is a phytochemical found in abundance in kale, spinach and broccoli, are very susceptible to heat degradation. 2*

Vitamins A, K and E , as well as carotenoids (such as beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lycopene, and lutein) and antioxidants found in leafy greens, squash, sweet potatoes are fat-soluble nutrients as opposed to water soluble, making them more stable allowing them to fare better during the cooking process. Tomatoes are the one vegetable that are actually healthier when cooked, as lycopene is released in the heating process. Tomato sauces and cooked salsas are delicious and very good for you. 2*

Some vegetables are definitely best for you when you consume them raw, as opposed to cooking them. Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and bok choy  fall into this category. Brussel sprouts, which contain the enzyme myrosinase, are interesting in that when you chop or chew them, it converts glucosinolates (phytochemicals) to anti-cancer compounds called isothiocyanates…” Myrosinase is easily degraded by heat, so beware when cooking your cruciferous veggies, as it can reduce their cancer-fighting properties. Steaming is the preferred way to cook cruciferous veggies. 2*

Whether you are a fan of microwaves or not, there is research showing that because they use less heat and shorter cooking times than most cooking methods, microwaving vegetables can actually help retain more nutritional value. You just don’t want to use too much water or cook them too long. “…A 2009 report in the Journal of Food Science found that compared with boiling, pressure cooking and baking, microwave cooking helped maintain the highest levels of antioxidants in beans, beets, artichoke, asparagus, garlic, onion and spinach. Microwave cooking increased antioxidant activity in eggplant, corn, peppers and Swiss chard. On the other hand, boiling and pressure cooking led to the greatest antioxidant losses…” Sautéing and roasting vegetables is another great way to get some variety in texture and taste, but just remember, too much heat will reduce their nutritional value.2*

While summer months bring us fresh vegetables, if you don’t get them fresh, or if you let them sit in your refrigerator too long, they can lose important nutrients on the road to your table. In the winter months, you can still benefit from vegetables by getting them frozen. “…Frozen vegetables closely match the nutrient content of their freshly picked counterparts because they’re flash-frozen at peak ripeness, a time when they’re most nutrient-packed…”2*

In conclusion, enjoy the plethora of delicious fruits and vegetables available to you in the coming months. Choose a cooking method that preserves the phytonutrients that are so good for your body. Fibrous vegetables are a wonderful prebiotic for the friendly bacteria residing in your microbiome, so keep them fed. Supplement with Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ to make up for the loss of bacteria in today’s commercial farming age. And, most of all, and have a wonderful start to your summer.

Healthiest wishes,





  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24968103
  2. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/leslie-beck-how-to-keep-the-vitamins-in-your-veggies/article23900957/

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Jun 11 2017

The Many Uses of Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil 101

You’ve researched it, purchased it, and brought it home…now what?

Welcome back to the wonderful world of coconut oil! We have been exploring this delicious and healthy oil over the last few weeks. So far, we have explored the benefits of coconut oil, the different types on the market, and how it is made. We’ve examined the difference between virgin coconut oil and refined coconut oil, along with the various refining methods. Now that we know what to get, let’s figure out how to actually use it once we get it home. 1*

First of all, there are a few things important to understand about coconut oil.

  • For one, it is very different from other oils in that it is solid at room temperature. It will only melt once it reaches 76 degrees. In the winter it may be hard like a rock, but in the sweltering heat of summer, it may go liquid.1*
  • It can be stored out, or in the refrigerator. The high saturated fat content of coconut oil is resistant to oxidation so it won’t spoil when left out. 1*
  • It has a high smoking point of 350 degrees. This makes it ideal for most cooking and baking. But if you are deep frying, you may want to look at a different oil, such as palm oil or vegetable oil.1*
  • You can also whip coconut oil, which makes it is easier to scoop out with a spoon.
  • You can find coconut oil at most all grocery stores. Look for organic, sustainably harvested to be sure it is free of chemicals during the refining process. (1,2,3)*

Now, how to cook with it…

  • You can use coconut butter instead of shortening, oil and butter in baking. Just make sure ingredients are room temperature when adding it, because it will harden if added to cold ingredients.
  • Try it instead of butter on your toast.
  • Fry your eggs, or stir fry your veggies with coconut oil. Making a grilled sandwich? Replace the butter with coconut oil.
  • Add to smoothies.
  • Pop your popcorn in coconut oil instead of vegetable oil the old fashion way on your stovetop.
  • Add it to coffee. You can blend it with hot coffee in the blender to create a rich and creamy drink.*

You get the picture! Coconut oil can be used instead of butter or other oils in your kitchen. Start experimenting, and enjoy the increased health benefits! But what about its other uses? Coconut oil can also be kept in a jar in your bathroom, and used for many skin and hair care needs.

Here are some ideas:

  • Use as an overnight conditioner for your hair. Apply a small amount, mostly to the ends.
  • Tame frizzy or fly away hair, and reduce static.
  • Use on dry feet and elbows.
  • Create a body scrub by mixing with sugar.
  • Use for shaving…works to moisturize at the same time.
  • Highlight your cheekbones!
  • Use as a massage oil
  • Use as a moisturizer after bathing.
  • After sun moisturizer
  • Facial moisturizer.3*

So, you see, there are so many ways to use this oil in the kitchen and on your body. If you haven’t tried coconut oil, now may be the right time! It’s wonderful to know this healthy oil exists. Putting the healthiest things available into our bodies is so important. Keeping our gut healthy is the result of a healthful diet. Supplementing with Body Biotics Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia helps to ensure that our guts stay healthy, even when we stray from the healthy path or overindulge or experience times of extreme stress that wears at our immune system. I hope all this information will help guide you as you make your daily choices and help you to have not only a healthy diet, but a tasty one at the same time!

Healthiest wishes,





  1. http://thecoconutmama.com/how-to-cook-with-coconut-oil/
  2. http://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/natural-health-tips/using-coconut-oil
  3. https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-uses/


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Jun 04 2017

Choosing your Coconut oil.

Choosing your Coconut oil.
Part 3:  Refined vs. Virgin…With many options to choose from, how do we know which one is the best?

Last week we talked about the many health benefits found in coconut oil. As early as 2001, there were only a couple of commercially available, edible coconut oils being sold in the United States. There had been many misconceptions regarding edible coconut oil and fats in general prior to that time. Coconut oil was certainly not popular, and there were few choices, if any at all. Lately, there has been a refocusing in the area of cholesterol and heart disease research. Science is finding that traditional fats and oils are not the culprit of heart disease that we once thought they were. According to Coconut Oil.com, not only does virgin coconut oil NOT affect cholesterol levels negatively, it affects them positively. 1*

Today, there are many  choices when it comes to purchasing coconut oil. There are so many in fact that it can be confusing as to what to buy and how to use it. So let’s look at the two basic types of coconut oil available to us, and how they are derived.  

There are two broad categories of coconut oils: Refined Coconut Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil. Those which are mass produced at an industrial level need to be refined. Those oils which begin with fresh coconut  meat need less refining. But the bottom line, is both need to be refined… just in varying degrees. “…Coconut oil by nature is a refined product, because oil does not grow on a tree. Coconuts do. All coconut oils have to be extracted from the whole coconut, therefore, technically speaking, the only truly “unrefined” coconut oil you can consume is the oil still inside the coconut meat from a fresh coconut just picked off the tree…”1*

Coconut oils produced with dried “copra” as its starting point are considered refined. “…“Copra” is an industry-defined term used in the Philippines to refer to dried coconut that has been removed from the coconut shell, but which by itself is inedible and needs to be further refined to produce coconut oil…” 1*

Copra can be produced in many different ways, which includes  drying by smoke, sun or a kiln,   or a combination of these three. During production, the product is not suitable for consumption, as it is dirty and smoky and must be refined further. Copra is a kind of commodity separate from coconuts or coconut oil, and  demands its own market price. Copra traders and dealers in coconut producing countries sell it to coconut oil manufacturing plants and export it to countries like the U.S., where it is then refined for industrial uses. In the countries where coconut oil is produced, these “copra-based” refined oils are commonly referred to as “RBD coconut oils” which stands for: refined, bleached, deodorized. RBD coconut oils have been around for several years now, and are the primary dietary oils which people in tropical climates around the world consume. RBD refining doesn’t alter the fatty acid profile of coconut oil, leaving all the medium chain fatty acids intact.

Virgin coconut oils on the other hand start with fresh coconut and not copra. A group of industry insiders, academic leaders and others agreed upon the term “virgin” to define the least refined coconut oils. Because there is not a governing body to certify coconut oils as “virgin” , anyone can put virgin on their label. If a product is “copra based”, it is not a true virgin coconut oil…so keep an eye out for that. Furthermore, don’t be fooled by the term “extra virgin” coconut oil, as this is just a marketing term…nothing more. It is not the same as with olive oils.

The virgin coconut oils on the market are derived from two methods of production:

  1. Pressing the oil out of dried coconut, where the fresh coconut meat is dried first, and the oil is then pressed out of the coconut. This is the most common type of “virgin” or “extra virgin” coconut oil that is found in stores or online. Though it is mass-produced, it is a better quality oil than RBD coconut oil because it starts with fresh coconut and not copra.
  2. The second way that Virgin coconut oil is derived is through a “wet-milling” process in which the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat. Coconut milk is expressed from the wet coconut meat, then the oil is separated from the water. The oil can be separated from the water with such methods as boiling, refrigeration, fermentation, mechanically or with enzymes.

Though both refined and virgin coconut oils are considered healthy, the virgin oils test higher in antioxidants then those from the refining process as refining strips away some of the nutrients. This has been confirmed by research out of universities in the Philippines, Malaysia, India and Sri Lanka, who have found that antioxidants were much higher in the virgin coconut oils, especially those produced by the wet-milling process. When it comes to taste and aroma, virgin coconut oil has a stronger, coconut scent and taste, while refined oil has a more neutral flavor and scent.

Next week we will delve a little deeper into the types of refined coconut oils on the market to understand what you are buying and what for. We will also discuss the wet-milling process of virgin coconut oil to understand why it is better for us. And we will look at how to use both refined and virgin oils.

The more we can focus on pure foods and whole foods, the healthier we will be. Minimally processed foods should be our first choice to ensure we keep the gut healthy and balanced. Just as Body Biotics™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ is derived from one of mother earth’s most natural resources — the soil — we must focus on other natural and pure ingredients that were intended to feed and nourish us from the beginning of time.

Until next week,

Healthiest wishes!






  1. http://coconutoil.com/what-type-of-coconut-oil-is-best-how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil/
  2. http://kitchen.nutiva.com/virgin-vs-refined-coconut-oil-5-things-you-need-to-know/

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May 28 2017

Coconut Oil’s popularity continues to rise

Coconut Oil’s popularity continues to rise.
Part 2: Take a closer look at the types of coconut available for purchase to help you choose the best one for you.

I hope you are enjoying this series on Coconut Oil. We’ve looked at the health benefits of coconut oil and the two broad categories which are available to purchase – refined and virgin. There are different variations of refined coconut oil, and this week we will look at what those are, as well as the wet milling processing of virgin coconut oil.1*

As we discussed last week, refined coconut oils are usually referred to as “RBD coconut oils” which stands for: refined, bleached and deodorized. A bleaching clay, not chemicals are used to filter and remove impurities during the “bleaching process”. Steam deodorizes the oil, and the end product is bland and odorless. RBD coconut oils have been around for several years now, are considered healthy and are the primary dietary oils consumed by billions of people in tropical climates all over the world. This RBD process doesn’t alter the fatty acid profile of coconut oil, so medium chain fatty acids are kept intact. (1,2)*

While refined oils are considered healthy, the process does strip away some of the nutrients. As we mentioned last week, virgin oils tend to test higher in antioxidants, but refined coconut oils are still considered to be quite healthy. There are several types of refined coconut oils on the market, and it is important to know what they are and how they are made.

First of all, there is one coconut oil you should stay away from as an edible oil, and that is Hydrogenated Coconut Oil. In hydrogenated coconut oil, a small portion of unsaturated fatty acids are hydrogenated, creating some trans fats, which allows this coconut oil to remain solid at higher temperatures. “…Trans fats are produced when hydrogen is added to liquid plant-derived oils, which makes them more solid, and they can raise your low-density lipoprotein levels. High LDL cholesterol can increase your risk of developing type-2 diabetes, heart disease or risk of having a stroke…” Though not found  in the U.S. edible oil market, it most likely is used as an ingredient in the confection industry in tropical climates. While standard RBD coconut oils remain solid up to 76 degrees F., the temperatures in the tropics remain higher than that most of the time. So in order to keep coconut oil solid at higher temperatures, it will often be hydrogenated before adding it to baked goods, candies or in margarines. So you don’t really have to worry too much about finding hydrogenated coconut oils here, but be on the lookout, especially when travelling to these tropical climates. (1,2)*

Expeller-pressed Coconut Oils are produced in tropical countries through mechanical “physical refining” from copra. This process is considered to be “cleaner” than chemical refining as it doesn’t use solvent extracts. Among these solvent extracts is “hexane,” a chemical found in citrus and an extraction solvent used in food production. It is used to extract edible oils from seeds and vegetables. (1,3)*

If you find a product simply labeled “Coconut Oil,” it is most likely an RBD coconut oil. Because copra is exported to the United States from coconut growing countries, it is here that companies refine it into non-edible uses such as cleaning products, detergents, body creams and shampoos. Some of these large companies have jumped on the band wagon and are also packaging coconut oil as an edible oil. These oils are generally cheaper, as they are mass produced using solvent extracts. Because it is uncertain as to whether  these solvents remain in the finished product, it is best to steer towards coconut oils refined without them, or the virgin oil options.1*

Another form of coconut oil you may find on the market is Liquid Coconut Oil, or also referred to as MCT oil. which is newer to the marketplace. :This oil, which stays liquid even in the refrigerator, is not really new. Typically used in the past in skin care products, it is a “fractionated coconut oil” that has had lauric acid removed. It is “…a by-product from the lauric acid industry. Lauric acid from coconut oil is known as a strong antimicrobial component, and therefore used as a preservative in many commercial applications. Being a saturated fatty acid, and comprising about 50% of coconut oil, once it is removed you are left with a liquid oil with a much lower melting point. So if you see this product online or in a store, just be aware that it is a highly refined product, and that it is missing coconut oil’s star component: lauric acid…” Lauric acid has such a wide variety of important uses. Among these is it is used to treat viral infections, influenza, common colds, fever blisters, cold sores, herpes simplex virus, genital herpes, genital warts, the HPV virus and HIV/AIDS.  It is also used to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to children, as well as treat bronchitis, gonorrhea, yeast infections, Chlamydia, ringworm and a parasite called Giardia lamblia. So, if you are going to use Coconut Oil, don’t miss out on this important ingredient by choosing a liquid oil. (1,4)*

Let’s look at a form of virgin coconut oil which is processed with “wet milling” and produces the healthiest version of coconut oil with the highest amount of antioxidants. “Wet-milling” extracts the coconut oil from a wet emulsion, or “coconut milk” rather than pressing the oil out of dried coconut.

Research has shown that the fermentation wet-milling process, which uses heat, results in the higher levels of antioxidants in virgin coconut oil. This process is not too far off from what people have been doing in kitchens around the world for hundreds of years. The fermentation process is a simple technique of extracting coconut oil in which a coconut milk emulsion is made from freshly grated coconut. The milk is allowed to sit and ferment for a period of time, allowing the heavier water to sink, leaving a layer of oil on the top along with some solids. The oil is scooped and heated, until the solids fall to the bottom, then it is filtered.

A study was conducted in India in 2013, which showed that “…virgin coconut oils produced by wet-milling and using heat produce higher levels of antioxidants. The study compared “cold extracted virgin coconut oil” (CEVCO) with “hot extracted virgin coconut oil” (HEVCO) and standard refined coconut oil (CCO) and was published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology. Their testing showed that the “antioxidant activity in the HEVCO group was 80-87%, 65-70% in CEVCO, and 35-45% in CCO.” …”1*

Next week we will wrap up our series on coconut oil, exploring how to use it in cooking, store it and its external uses.

Healthiest wishes,




  1. http://coconutoil.com/what-type-of-coconut-oil-is-best-how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil/
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/22890-types-coconut-oil/
  3. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/hexane#section=Top
  4. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1138-lauric%20acid.aspx?activeingredientid=1138&activeingredientname=lauric%20acid

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May 14 2017

The Amazing Benefits of Coconut Oil

Published by under Immune System

Coconut Oil’s amazing benefits
Try this oil for better health both inside and out.

For years, there have been misconceptions about the health benefits of coconut oil. It was not at the top of our list of healthy fats. Because it is a saturated fat, it was commonly grouped together with other saturated fats such as red meat and dairy, which can contribute to heart disease when too much is consumed. But coconut oil is different. It is now being touted for its myriad health benefits with lots of research to back it up. (1,2,3)*

So why the change of heart? For starters, while the saturated fats found in red meat and dairy products contain long chain triglycerides (LCTs), coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs). These unique fats include Caprylic acid, Lauric acid and Capric acid. “…62% of the oils in coconut are made up of these three healthy fatty acids and 91% of the fat in coconut oil is healthy saturated fat…”  Coconut oil contains about 50% lauric acid, which is a key ingredient in preventing heart problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, won’t increase LDL levels and reduces the incidence of arterial damage and helps prevent atherosclerosis. There are also studies that suggest that coconut oil may benefit pre-menopausal women maintain healthy lipid levels.1,2)*

Other societies have been aware of the benefits of coconut oil and have consumed this delicious fruit as a main staple of their diets for centuries. These societies have among the healthiest populations. For example, the Tokelauans, who live in the South Pacific eat over 60% of their calories from coconuts and are among the biggest consumers of saturated fat in the world, yet as a whole, have little evidence of heart disease.1*  

The short and medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil can also help us lose weight. Easily digested, it aids in thyroid and endocrine system function as well. “…It increases the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas, thereby burning more energy and helping obese and overweight people lose weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who use coconut oil every day as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight…”1*

Coconut oil also has amazing antifungal, anti bacterial and antiviral qualities. When consumed regularly, it helps strengthen the immune system and is commonly used as a topical treatment for skin fungus such as ringworm. “…The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which research has supported as an effective way to deal with viruses and bacteria that cause diseases like herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. Coconut oil helps in fighting harmful bacteria like listeria monocytogenes and helicobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia. It is also effective in the elimination of fungi and yeast that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and diaper rash…”1*

We’ve talked a great deal about candida albicans. The Capric acid, Caprylic acid, caproic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid found in coconut oil has shown to help in eliminating Candida albicans, and help with inflammation. 1*

Coconut oil is also great for the skin and hair, as it is an effective moisturizer without adverse side effects. It is great for preventing dry and flaky skin and repairing damaged hair. 1*

It also contains antioxidants which helps with such skin conditions as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis so you will often see coconut oil as the base ingredient in body care products like soaps, lotions, and creams.1*

As you can tell, there are so many great benefits to this oil that we have just learned about in the last couple of decades. If you haven’t experimented with this oil in cooking and topically, it’s time to try it out! Next week we will look at the different types of coconut oil on the market to understand which is best for purchasing for your particular needs. 3*


Healthiest wishes,







  1. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html
  2. https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/
  3. http://coconutoil.com/what-type-of-coconut-oil-is-best-how-to-choose-a-coconut-oil/

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May 07 2017

Do you always feel like you are getting sick?

Published by under Immune System

Chronic Fatigue and feelings of getting sick could be the result of this latent virus.
Many people have Epstein Barr Virus and don’t even know it…until their immune system is severely compromised.

A friend of mine has been struggling with feelings of chronic fatigue. Frequently, she would say, “I feel like I’m getting a cold,” or, “I’m starting to get a sore throat.” It often wouldn’t turn into much, but it would be enough to keep her in bed for a few days, and leave her feeling tired, but never really better. Her health care practitioner recommended she get a blood test to see if she had Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), and sure enough, she did!

Surprisingly, many adults unknowingly carry this virus. Often contracted in youth, it remains latent and in check as long as the immune system is healthy. “…By the end of early adulthood, almost all individuals demonstrated detectable antibodies in their blood to EBV, indicating past infection…” But when the immune system is severely compromised due to lack of sleep, poor diet and stress, these viruses can become active. (1,2,3)*

EPV has been around for a long time. It is a member of the herpes group of viruses which includes herpes simplex types 1 and 2 and related viruses. The Center for Disease Control suggests that tens of thousands of people have the infection, though many are just carriers and display no symptoms. Once we get EBV, it always remains in the body but most develop antibodies to combat it. While it is not fatal, you feel completely wiped out for a minimum of a couple of weeks and up to a few months. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, sore throat, joint inflammation, muscle ache, poor concentration or memory, fever, night sweats, allergies, hypersensitivity, headaches and visual disturbances. Mononucleosis, also known as “the kissing disease” is a contagious infection caused by the Epstein Barr virus. Its symptoms are typically sore throat, extreme fatigue, and swollen lymph glands in the neck. “Mono”, as most people know it, generally affects adolescents and teens. 3*

The main causes of EPV and mono are a weakened immune system. Because EPV affects people with weakened immune systems, it is imperative to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Once you have the virus, restoring the health of the immune system is imperative. As 80%of our immune systems originate in the gut, it is just as vitally important to focus on gut health. Taking Body Biotics Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ will help with keeping the gut healthy. In addition, practice the following to ensure your immune system stays strong.3*

Eat right! Lots of veggies with antioxidants and phytonutrients will ensure your body is getting proper nutrition. If you have a hard time eating enough vegetables, take two scoops of Body Biotics™ Life’s Green Essentials™ daily. This amount of benefit is equivalent to eating two large leafy green salads.

Get plenty of rest and quality sleep

Exercise regularly. This improves efficiency of lymphatic system which removes metabolic waste from our systems.

Minimize alcohol and sugar, which is food for unfriendly bacteria, which can compromise the health of the gut.

Take your Vitamins to include C and D, two vitamins many of us don’t get enough of.

Drink bone broth, found in homemade chicken soup in which you boil the whole chicken. There are beneficial compounds in cartilage and bones to support immune health.

Digestive enzymes can act against viruses, especially when taken early and in high enough doses. Talk to your health care practitioner about which ones would benefit you.3*

Take these steps to boost your immune system and keep it healthy. A chronically compromised immune system can have lasting effects on your health, so take care to address your gut health and your overall health daily so as to avoid Epstein Barr among other unwanted health issues.

Healthiest wishes,





  1. http://www.epsteinbarrvirusnaturalhealth.com/epstein-barr-virus-symptoms.html
  2. https://www.liverdoctor.com/strengthen-immune-system-mononucleosis-epstein-barr-virus/
  3. http://www.epsteinbarrvirusnaturalhealth.com
  4. http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epstein-barr-virus#1

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