Category Archives: supplements

Magnesium: Types, Benefits, and Recommended Dosing Guide

types of magnesium supplements

The super mineral magnesium is present in every cell of the human body and involved in over 300 biochemical reactions and bodily functions. 

But despite its significance, nearly half of the US population doesn’t meet the daily requirement for magnesium, which can be a precursor to a host of health problems.

In this article, we’ll explore the various magnesium types, benefits, and dosing, so you can determine the supplements best suited for your individual health needs. 

Health Benefits of Magnesium

First, we’ll explore some of the many health benefits of magnesium. 

Muscle and Nerve Function

Magnesium is fundamental to neuromuscular conduction and muscular contraction. It helps sustain normal muscle and nerve function, shielding against involuntary muscle contractions and spasms.

Without sufficient magnesium, our muscles would be in a continuous state of contraction. Recent research highlights the vital role of magnesium in these processes.

Heart Health

Magnesium is pivotal in maintaining cardiovascular health. It contributes to the regulation of a normal heart rhythm and blood pressure control. According to various studies, an adequate intake of magnesium may curtail the risk of heart disease.

Bone Health

Magnesium plays an instrumental role in bone health, contributing to bone formation, enhancing the synthesis of the bone matrix, and influencing the bone cells that govern bone homeostasis. A study published in Nutrients emphasizes the significant role of magnesium in bone health.

Mental Health

Emerging research has found correlations between magnesium levels and mental health. Conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress disorders may be linked with lower levels of magnesium. Several studies shed light on the importance of maintaining adequate magnesium levels for mental well-being.

Digestion and Metabolism

Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, playing a crucial role in energy production and possibly contributing to weight management. This comprehensive review explains how magnesium is vital for various biological processes, including digestion and metabolism.

Role in Diabetes

Magnesium can improve insulin sensitivity, thereby playing a role in diabetes management. A deficiency can often be observed in individuals with diabetes, as noted in a study in the journal Diabetes Care.

Different Types of Magnesium and Their Specific Benefits

Choosing a magnesium supplement can be confusing as each type has unique benefits, differences in their absorption rate, dosing needs, etc.

Understanding the uniqueness of each type can help you select the most suitable one for your health needs.

Magnesium Citrate Benefits

First on our list is Magnesium Citrate, a type of magnesium that’s known for its positive effects on gut health. It is also well-regarded for its potent laxative effects, which can make it a good choice for those dealing with constipation.

Magnesium Citrate works by attracting water through the tissues by osmosis. Once in the intestine, it can soften the stool and induce the urge to defecate. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition demonstrates its effectiveness and the rapid relief it can bring for those suffering from constipation.

Magnesium Glycinate Benefits

Next is Magnesium Glycinate, a compound of magnesium and the amino acid glycine. This type of magnesium is known for its superior bioavailability, meaning it is highly absorbable and less likely to cause digestive issues such as diarrhea.

Moreover, Magnesium Glycinate is also known for its calming effects on the brain. Glycine works as an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, thereby inducing a calming effect. This makes it a great supplement to take in the evening for anyone who suffers from poor sleep. 

Numerous studies have found this form of magnesium may help with conditions like insomnia, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain.

Magnesium Malate Benefits

Next on our list is Magnesium Malate. This type of magnesium is a combination of magnesium and malic acid. Malic acid is a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables and is particularly abundant in apples.

It’s known for its role in the Krebs Cycle – a series of chemical reactions used by all aerobic organisms to release energy.

Magnesium Oxide Benefits

Although Magnesium Oxide is not as bioavailable as other forms of magnesium, it contains a high amount of elemental magnesium.

Magnesium Oxide can provide short-term relief from constipation, and it shows potential for migraine prevention. Magnesium Oxide’s benefits for migraine sufferers were detailed in a study published in Headache, which found that the daily supplementation of magnesium resulted in a significant decrease in the frequency and severity of migraines.

Magnesium Taurate Benefits

Magnesium Taurate is another type of magnesium, a chelate of magnesium and the amino acid taurine.

Both magnesium and taurine have been found to have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health. This particular combination may help to prevent arrhythmias and protect the heart against damage from heart attacks.

The cardiovascular benefits of Magnesium Taurate are supported by a study in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits

Finally, we have Magnesium L-Threonate. This form of magnesium has the unique ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, which means it can directly benefit cognitive function.

A study published in Neuron showed that Magnesium L-Threonate improved both short-term and long-term memory in rats, suggesting its potential benefits for cognitive health in humans.

Understanding the different types of magnesium and their specific benefits can guide you in making an informed decision about which magnesium supplement is best suited to your individual health needs.

Once you know the type that’s best for you, then you can find out the dose you need. 

Understanding the correct dosage of magnesium is important for optimizing its benefits and avoiding potential adverse effects. The general recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium varies by age and sex. 

Most adults, as advised by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), require around 300-400 mg per day. However, specific circumstances such as pregnancy, strenuous exercise, or high-stress conditions might necessitate different dosing recommendations.

For individual types of magnesium, the dosage often depends on the specific condition being targeted, and the bioavailability of the particular form of magnesium.

Here are some general guidelines by magnesium type: 

Magnesium Citrate Dosing

Magnesium Citrate is typically used for its laxative effects. For constipation relief, adults can take a dose of 240-480 mg of magnesium citrate, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It’s best to start with a lower dose and adjust based on the response.

Magnesium Glycinate Dosing

Due to its high bioavailability and calming properties, the dosage for Magnesium Glycinate can vary. For general health and stress relief, a dosage of around 250-400 mg per day is often recommended.

Magnesium Malate Dosing

The dosage of Magnesium Malate recommended can differ depending on the purpose. For fibromyalgia patients, a higher dose may be needed, often around 500-700 mg per day. For general use, a lower dose of approximately 200-400 mg per day may be sufficient.

Magnesium Oxide Dosing

Magnesium Oxide is often recommended in higher doses due to its lower bioavailability. For general health, around 400-500 mg per day is often suggested. For the treatment of migraines, the dose may be increased to around 600 mg per day, as per the American Migraine Foundation.

Magnesium Taurate Dosing

Given its cardiovascular benefits, the dosage of Magnesium Taurate is typically aligned with general health recommendations, around 300-400 mg per day.

Magnesium L-Threonate Dosing

Due to its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, Magnesium L-Threonate often has specific dosing recommendations. For cognitive benefits, research such as the study published in Neuron suggests a daily dose of around 1,000-2,000 mg.

It’s important to understand that these dosage guidelines are generalized. Individual needs may vary greatly depending on a variety of factors including diet, overall health status, and specific health concerns.

Therefore, it’s always recommended to consult a healthcare provider before starting or adjusting any supplement regimen, including magnesium.

Signs of Magnesium Deficiency and Overdosing

Magnesium deficiency may include symptoms like loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, and weakness. In severe cases, it can lead to numbness, muscle cramps, seizures, personality changes, and abnormal heart rhythms.

Conversely, while it is less common, magnesium toxicity can also occur, especially from excessive supplementation. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping, and in extreme cases, irregular heartbeat and cardiac arrest. Therefore, it’s important to adhere to the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare provider if you’re experiencing any issues. 

Foods High in Magnesium

In addition to taking supplements, incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your daily diet is another easy way to meet your magnesium needs. Foods high in magnesium encompass a wide range of options across food groups. Here are some high quality food sources of magnesium:

  1. Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach, Swiss chard, and kale are all good sources of magnesium. Add some to a salad, smoothie, or as a cooked side dish.
  2. Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds are also high in magnesium. Adding a handful of these to your diet can significantly contribute to your daily magnesium intake.
  3. Legumes: Foods like lentils, chickpeas, black beans, and pinto beans are high in magnesium and offer an array of other essential nutrients like fiber, protein, and iron.
  4. Whole Grains: Grains like quinoa, brown rice, and oats are rich in magnesium. Whole grain bread and pasta can also contribute to your daily magnesium requirements.
  5. Fish: Certain types of fish, particularly mackerel, salmon, and halibut, are good sources of magnesium.
  6. Avocados: Besides being a great source of healthy fats, avocados are also high in magnesium.
  7. Bananas: While known for their potassium content, bananas also provide a decent amount of magnesium.
  8. Dark Chocolate: Great news for chocolate lovers … dark chocolate is rich in magnesium along with being packed with antioxidants. Just watch the sugar intake.
  9. Tofu: Often a staple in vegan diets, tofu is also a good source of magnesium.
  10. Dairy Products: Milk, yogurt, and cheese, particularly hard cheeses, can contribute to your daily magnesium intake.


Given its critical role in the body, it’s clear that maintaining optimal levels of magnesium is essential for good health.

While the right diet can provide ample magnesium, supplementation may sometimes be necessary, particularly for those with specific health conditions or dietary restrictions.

Personally, I use magnesium glycinate to help with anxiety and mood. I find that it helps calm my mind and I sleep better when I take it at night.

If you’re looking for a high quality, NSF-certified magnesium glycinate supplement, then I definitely recommend checking out Pure Food Magnesium Glycinate.

It’s up to you to figure out which type of magnesium is best for your specific health needs.

Vitamin D Guide: Sources, Deficiency, Benefits, Foods, and Supplements

Vitamin D, commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” plays a pivotal role in our overall health and well-being. It’s involved in various bodily functions, including bone health, immune system support, and mental well-being. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll help you better understand all things related to Vitamin D, covering sources, dosing, deficiency, benefits, foods, and supplements.

Sources of Vitamin D

Sunlight Exposure and its Role in Vitamin D Synthesis

Sunlight exposure is an important source of Vitamin D as it triggers the synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin through the conversion of cholesterol. When ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from sunlight interact with the skin, a chemical reaction occurs, leading to the production of Vitamin D3. Optimal sun exposure recommendations vary based on factors such as latitude, time of day, season, and skin color. Individuals with lighter skin produce Vitamin D more efficiently than those with darker skin tones due to variations in melanin levels.

Can you get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone?

Yes, you can, but it’s important to strike a balance between obtaining adequate Vitamin D from sunlight exposure and protecting the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Generally, short periods of sun exposure, particularly during midday when the UVB rays are strongest, can contribute to Vitamin D synthesis. However, it is advisable to wear sunscreen and take other sun protection measures to prevent sunburn and reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.

Recommended Intake and Dosing of Vitamin D

Vitamin D requirements: how much do you need per day based on age and life stage?

Individual vitamin D requirements may vary based on factors such as health conditions, sun exposure, and specific needs. Seniors, especially those above the age of 70, may have higher Vitamin D requirements due to potential age-related changes in Vitamin D metabolism.

Age/Life Stage Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin D (IU)
Infants (0-12 months) 400-1,000
Children (1-18 years) 600-1,000
Adults (19-70 years) 600-2,000
Seniors (Above 70 years) 800-2,000

Daily Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Vitamin D

Daily Reference Intakes (DRIs) for Vitamin D serve as guidelines for Vitamin D intake. These recommendations are established by various organizations and may differ between countries.

For example, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the United States recommends a daily intake of 600-800 IU for most adults, while the Endocrine Society suggests higher intakes of 1,500-2,000 IU for adults at risk of deficiency.

Factors affecting Vitamin D synthesis and absorption

Several factors affect Vitamin D synthesis and absorption in the body, including:

  • Geographic location: individuals living closer to the equator having more access to sunlight and therefore potentially higher Vitamin D synthesis.
  • Seasonal variations: sunlight intensity is reduced during winter months.
  • Sunscreen use: although crucial for skin protection, can hinder Vitamin D synthesis.
  • Skin pigmentation: affects the skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D, with individuals with darker skin tones requiring longer sun exposure to generate adequate levels.
  • Individual factors such as genetics, health conditions, and lifestyle also play a role in influencing Vitamin D needs. Some individuals may have difficulties absorbing or metabolizing Vitamin D efficiently, leading to a higher risk of deficiency.

Regular testing helps monitor Vitamin D levels and enables healthcare professionals to provide tailored recommendations for supplementation based on the individual’s unique needs.

Vitamin D Deficiency

Prevalence and risk factors for deficiency

Limited sun exposure, age, obesity, and certain medical conditions are common risk factors associated with Vitamin D deficiency. Sunlight exposure is the primary source of Vitamin D, and people who live in regions with limited sunlight or spend minimal time outdoors are at higher risk. Age-related changes in the skin’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D, as well as obesity and conditions affecting fat absorption, can also contribute to deficiency.

Signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency is important for early detection and intervention. Fatigue, muscle weakness, bone pain, and increased susceptibility to infections are common manifestations of deficiency. Fatigue may be a prominent symptom, impacting energy levels and overall well-being. Muscle weakness can lead to decreased strength and endurance. Bone pain, particularly in the back, hips, and legs, may indicate compromised bone health. Additionally, Vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system, increasing the risk of infections.

Health conditions associated with Vitamin D deficiency

Vitamin D deficiency is associated with various health conditions:

  • Inadequate Vitamin D levels can contribute to the development of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones and increased fracture risk.
  • Rickets, a condition primarily affecting children, leads to soft, weak bones due to Vitamin D and calcium deficiency.
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, have been linked to Vitamin D deficiency.
  • Mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), have shown associations with low Vitamin D levels.

Diagnosis and interpretation of blood test results

Diagnosis of Vitamin D deficiency is typically done through blood tests, specifically measuring 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.

Optimal levels of Vitamin D may vary, but generally, a range of 30-50 ng/mL is considered adequate. Interpretation of test results should take into account individual factors, such as age and overall health.

Levels below the recommended range indicate deficiency and may require intervention through sunlight exposure, dietary modifications, or Vitamin D supplementation.

The Benefits of Vitamin D

Maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis

Vitamin D plays a vital role in maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures. Vitamin D works synergistically with calcium to promote bone health by enhancing the absorption of calcium from the intestines and ensuring its deposition into the bones.

Without sufficient Vitamin D, the body struggles to absorb and utilize calcium efficiently, leading to weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures. Numerous studies have shown a significant association between Vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of fractures, particularly in older adults.

Ensuring adequate Vitamin D levels is essential for preserving bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures. [sources:,,]

Immune system support and impact on respiratory health

Vitamin D plays a crucial role in modulating the immune system, making it an essential nutrient for immune system support and respiratory health. Adequate Vitamin D levels have been associated with a reduced risk and severity of respiratory infections.

Research suggests that Vitamin D helps regulate the immune response, enhancing the body’s defense mechanisms against pathogens. Studies have shown that individuals with higher Vitamin D levels have a lower risk of developing respiratory conditions such as asthma.

Moreover, recent research has investigated the association between Vitamin D and COVID-19, indicating that maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels may have potential benefits in reducing the risk of severe illness and complications. [sources:,]

The relationship between Vitamin D and mental health

Some evidence suggests that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of mental health disorders such as depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and cognitive decline. Vitamin D receptors are present in various areas of the brain that are involved in mood regulation. Low levels of

Vitamin D have been linked to depressive symptoms, and studies have shown that Vitamin D supplementation may help alleviate symptoms of depression and improve overall mood. Additionally, Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of SAD, a type of depression that occurs seasonally, often during the winter months when sunlight exposure is limited.

Furthermore, research suggests that maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels may be beneficial for cognitive function and reducing the risk of cognitive decline, including conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. [,]

Vitamin D from Food Sources

While sunlight exposure and supplementation play significant roles in maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels, obtaining Vitamin D from food sources adds an extra layer of support.

A well-balanced diet that includes Vitamin D-rich foods ensures that you are not solely relying on a single source for this vital nutrient. It also allows for the synergistic benefits of other nutrients found in these foods, promoting overall health and well-being.

What foods are high in Vitamin D?

  1. Fatty Fish: Fatty fish are among the best natural food sources of Vitamin D. Salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and tuna are particularly high in Vitamin D. Aim to include these fish in your diet at least twice a week to boost your Vitamin D levels.
  2. Mushrooms: While not as abundant as in fatty fish, certain types of mushrooms can provide Vitamin D. Exposing mushrooms to sunlight or UV light increases their Vitamin D content. Examples include shiitake, maitake, and portobello mushrooms.
  3. Egg Yolks: Egg yolks contain small amounts of Vitamin D. Including eggs in your diet can contribute to your overall Vitamin D intake, but it is worth noting that the concentration is lower compared to fatty fish and fortified foods.
  4. Fortified Milk, Yogurt, OJ, and Cereals: Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D to help address deficiencies. Common examples include milk (both dairy and plant-based alternatives), orange juice, breakfast cereals, and yogurt. Check food labels to see if they are fortified with Vitamin D.
  5. Beef Liver: Beef liver is a nutrient-dense food that contains Vitamin D along with other essential nutrients. However, it is important to consume liver in moderation due to its high cholesterol content.
  6. Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is a concentrated source of Vitamin D and other beneficial nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. It is available in liquid or capsule form and can be taken as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin D Supplements

Types of Vitamin D supplements: D2 vs. D3

When it comes to Vitamin D supplements, two main types are commonly available: Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is the form naturally synthesized in the skin when exposed to sunlight, while Vitamin D2 is derived from plant-based sources.

Vitamin D3 is considered the more effective form as it is better absorbed and utilized by the body. It has a higher affinity for the Vitamin D receptors, leading to more significant increases in Vitamin D levels compared to Vitamin D2. Studies have shown that Vitamin D3 increases and maintains blood levels of Vitamin D more effectively than Vitamin D2.

Most experts recommend choosing Vitamin D3 vs D2 supplements whenever possible, especially for individuals with limited sunlight exposure or those at risk of deficiency. However, Vitamin D2 supplements can still be suitable for individuals following a strict vegan or vegetarian diet.

Factors to consider when choosing a Vitamin D supplement

When selecting a Vitamin D supplement, factors you should consider include:

  1. Dosage Form: Vitamin D supplements come in various forms, including capsules, tablets, softgels, liquids, and gummies. Choose a form that is convenient and easy for you to take based on personal preference.
  2. Quality Standards: Look for supplements that undergo third-party testing to ensure quality, purity, and accurate labeling. Certifications such as USP (United States Pharmacopeia) or NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) provide an extra level of assurance regarding the product’s quality and safety. Bonus points for ingredients sourced from and manufactured in North America because then you’re supporting more American businesses.
  3. Potential Allergens: Check the supplement label for potential allergens such as gluten, soy, dairy, or nuts if you have specific dietary restrictions or allergies. Opt for supplements that are free from allergens or suit your dietary needs.

Potential risks and side effects of excessive Vitamin D intake

While Vitamin D is crucial for health, excessive intake can lead to potential risks and side effects. It is important to avoid excessive supplementation and follow recommended dosage guidelines. Some potential risks of excessive Vitamin D intake include:

  1. Hypercalcemia: Excessive Vitamin D can lead to an imbalance in calcium levels, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, frequent urination, and in severe cases, kidney stones or kidney damage.
  2. Vitamin D Toxicity: Extremely high doses of Vitamin D over an extended period can result in Vitamin D toxicity. This condition can lead to symptoms like weakness, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, and even heart rhythm disturbances.
  3. Interactions with Medications: Vitamin D supplements can interact with certain medications, including certain diuretics, corticosteroids, and anticonvulsants. It is essential to discuss with a healthcare professional if you are taking any medications to ensure safe and appropriate Vitamin D supplementation.


Maintaining adequate Vitamin D levels is essential for our overall health and well-being. By incorporating Vitamin D-rich foods, considering supplementation when necessary, and seeking professional guidance, we can support our bodies in achieving optimal Vitamin D levels and enjoy the numerous benefits it offers.

If you’re looking for the highest quality vitamin D supplement (USA-sourced ingredients, NSF- and GMP-certified, lab tested for safety and purity) with free shipping, then check out Pure Food Food Vitamin D3 here:

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The Ultimate Guide to Mushroom Powders: Benefits, Side Effects, and Types

best mushroom powders

Mushrooms have long been valued for their medicinal properties, and their popularity as a health supplement has skyrocketed in recent years.

But with a wide array of mushroom types available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best mushroom supplement that suits your needs.

In this new guide, we will break down the different types of mushroom strains and highlight their unique benefits and potential side effects, to help you make an informed decision if you’ve been considering a mushroom capsule or powder.

The Benefits of Taking Mushroom Supplements

Even though we sell a mushroom powder capsule, here’s the truth: mushrooms are not a magic pill that’s going to cure all your health ailments. 

Research on the benefits of mushroom supplements is limited. More peer-reviewed, placebo-controlled studies are needed to better understand the safety, side effects, risks and potential benefits

But for some people, mushroom supplements in powder and pill form may have a beneficial effect. 

In this article, we’ll review some of the (admittedly small) studies that have shown promise and talk about the benefits and potential risks of taking mushroom capsules and powders in supplement form.  

Types of Mushroom Supplements

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Hericium erinaceus (lion’s mane) are edible mushrooms commonly found during late summer and fall on hardwood trees like American beech and maple. Lion’s mane mushrooms contain a number of phytochemicals, including polysaccharides, such as β-glucan. 

According to a 2015 research report, Lion’s mane “is one of the well-established medicinal mushrooms for neuronal health. It has been documented for its regenerative capability in peripheral nerve.” 

A 2020 research review stated that lion’s mane mushroom “has been shown to have various health benefits, including antioxidative, antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antihyperglycemic, and hypolipidemic effects,” “has been used to treat cognitive impairment, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, “ and “may be a potential alternative medicine for the treatment of depression.” 

In a clinical study of 30 men and women with mild cognitive impairment, oral administration of 1 g of lion’s mane mushroom 3 times a day over 16 weeks increased cognitive function scores. There were no adverse effects according to laboratory tests. 

Research is limited on the side effects of lion’s mane mushroom. In one clinical study in which lion’s mane mushroom 1 g was taken 3 times a day over 16 weeks, mild stomach discomfort and diarrhea were reported in some study participants. 

As far as drug interactions go, lion’s mane mushroom might lower blood sugar levels, and taking lion’s mane along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Lion’s mane mushroom might also slow blood clotting. Taking lion’s mane along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey tail mushrooms, or Coriolus versicolor, are a type of fungi that grow on tree trunks and fallen trees. It has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries in Asia and also is commonly found throughout the world, including in wooded areas in North America. It contains two compounds, in particular–polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK)–which have been found in smaller studies to have some beneficial effects. 

In Japan, PSK is an approved anticancer drug currently used as a cancer treatment along with surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. It is used as an adjunctive treatment for esophageal, lung, stomach, breast, and colon cancer. A meta-analysis of three trials involving 1094 subjects with colorectal cancer confirmed that those who took PSK showed a significant improvement in overall survival and disease-free survival.

In a 2020 study called Assessment of Bioactive Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of Turkey Tail Medicinal Mushroom Trametes versicolor (Agaricomycetes) found that turkey tail mushroom extract was a “promising source” of antioxidants. 

In a 2018 research review, study authors noted “Trametes versicolor are much more advanced in terms of medical applications due to their uncovered strong and complex immunomodulatory potential provided by rich polysaccharide and proteoglycan diversity. There are numerous clinical trials confirming applicability of these mushrooms and their extracts as components of modern anticancer chemotherapy. But the complex modes of action and molecular targets as well as exact structures of the active molecules from these mushrooms still have to be studied in more detail.” 

In terms of side effects, turkey tail mushroom is likely safe for most people. For most healthy adults, it is well-tolerated. Some people who are receiving chemotherapy and PSK have reported nausea, vomiting, low white blood cell counts, and liver problems. But it is unclear if these side effects were due to the chemotherapy or PSK.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. PSP might change how quickly the liver breaks down these medications. This could change the effects and side effects of these medications.

Cyclophosphamide may interact with turkey tail mushroom. PSP might change how quickly cyclophosphamide is removed from the body.

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2C9 (CYP2C9) substrates) interacts with turkey tail mushroom. 

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi is a dark mushroom whose botanical name is Ganoderma lucidum. Reishi is considered an adaptogen, a compound that may help the body cope with stress and boost the immune system.

Reishi mushroom is important in traditional medicine systems of several countries in Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea. 

As far as benefits go, reishi mushrooms are believed to have immunomodulatory properties, meaning they can help regulate and enhance the immune system. They have been shown to stimulate the activity of certain immune cells, such as natural killer cells and lymphocytes, which play a crucial role in fighting infections and preventing the growth of cancer cells.

Reishi mushrooms contain bioactive compounds, including triterpenes and polysaccharides, which have demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects in studies. These compounds may help reduce inflammation in the body and potentially lower the risk of chronic diseases.

Reishi mushrooms are considered adaptogens, substances that can help the body adapt to stress and promote overall well-being. They have been traditionally used to reduce anxiety, improve sleep quality, and enhance mood. Some studies suggest that reishi mushrooms may regulate the body’s stress response by reducing cortisol levels and promoting relaxation.

Reishi mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. By reducing oxidative stress, reishi mushrooms may contribute to overall cellular health and potentially protect against chronic diseases associated with oxidative damage.

Side effects of reishi may include:

  • Nausea (feeling like you’re going to throw up)
  • Insomnia (trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early)
  • Liver injury

Other side effects of reishi mushrooms include dry mouth, rashes, upset stomach, diarrhea, headache, nosebleed, and dizziness.

The safety of reishi mushroom in pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding has not been thoroughly studied.

Reishi might lower blood pressure, so taking both reishi and drugs to reduce blood pressure (such as captopril, enalapril, lisinopril, amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide) might make blood pressure too low.

  • Reishi might slow blood clotting, so combining reishi with drugs that slow clotting (for example, clopidogrel, ibuprofen, naproxen, heparin, and warfarin) might increase the chance of bleeding and bruises.
  • Reishi could make some chemotherapy drugs less effective (although conversely it may make some chemotherapy drugs more effective).
  • Reishi may interfere with a lab test for a serum tumor marker (CA72-4) that indicates the presence of certain types of cancers.

Porcini Mushroom

Porcini (Boletus edulis) is a highly prized edible mushroom known for its distinct flavor and nutritional value. While scientific research on Porcini mushroom supplements is limited, the mushroom itself has several potential health benefits.

Porcini mushrooms contain various bioactive compounds, including phenolic compounds and polysaccharides, which have shown antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities in preclinical studies. These properties may contribute to their potential health benefits.

Porcini mushrooms are a good source of essential nutrients such as vitamins B, D, and minerals like copper, potassium, and selenium. These nutrients play important roles in supporting overall health and immune function.

As for side effects, Porcini mushrooms are generally considered safe for consumption and are widely consumed as a food source. However, some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to mushrooms in general. If you have known allergies or sensitivities to mushrooms, it is advisable to avoid Porcini mushroom supplements. Additionally, always ensure that you obtain Porcini mushrooms from trusted sources and properly cook them to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Shiitake Mushroom

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms are widely consumed in Asian cuisines and are renowned for their potential health benefits. 

Shiitake mushrooms contain a unique polysaccharide called lentinan, which has demonstrated immunomodulatory effects in preclinical studies. Lentinan may help enhance immune function and support overall immune health.

Some studies suggest that compounds found in Shiitake mushrooms, such as eritadenine and beta-glucans, may contribute to cholesterol management and overall cardiovascular health. However, more research is needed to establish the extent of these effects in humans.

Shiitake mushrooms are generally safe to consume as a food source. However, some individuals may develop an allergic reaction or experience digestive issues such as stomach discomfort or diarrhea. It is advisable to start with small doses when incorporating Shiitake mushroom supplements into your routine and monitor your body’s response.

Chaga Mushroom

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a fungus that primarily grows on birch trees in cold regions. It has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is gaining popularity as a functional mushroom. 

Chaga mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, particularly a group of compounds called triterpenes. These antioxidants may help protect against oxidative stress and support overall well-being.

Some studies suggest that Chaga mushrooms may have immunomodulatory effects, enhancing immune function and potentially supporting the body’s defense against infections and diseases. However, more human research is needed to validate these effects.

Chaga mushroom supplements may interact with certain medications, such as anticoagulants and immunosuppressants. If you are taking any medications or have underlying health conditions, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating Chaga mushroom supplements into your routine.

It’s important to note that while these mushrooms show possible health benefits, further research is needed to understand their mechanisms of action, optimal dosages, and potential side effects. As with any dietary supplement, it is recommended to choose reputable sources and consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new supplement regimen.

Risks and Side Effects of Mushroom Capsules and Powders 

Mushroom capsules and powders have gained popularity as dietary supplements, but as we’ve covered, some  come with risks and side effects. Allergic reactions can occur, although they are rare.

Contamination is also a concern, as mushrooms can absorb pollutants during cultivation, harvesting, or processing.

Interactions with medications are possible, as mushrooms can interfere with drug metabolism.

Excessive consumption may lead to digestive issues like bloating and diarrhea. Some mushrooms have anticoagulant properties, which can be beneficial or increase bleeding risk for certain individuals.

To minimize risks, consult a healthcare professional if you have allergies, are on medications, or have pre-existing conditions. Choose reputable brands that conduct quality control and testing.

Conclusion: What to Look for in Mushroom Pills and Powders 

Mushroom supplements, such as lion’s mane, turkey tail, chaga, and reishi, have gained popularity for their potential health benefits. These mushrooms are believed to have immune-boosting, antioxidant, and adaptogenic properties.

While preliminary research is promising, it’s important to note that more studies, especially on humans, are needed to fully understand the effects and determine optimal dosages. If you’re considering taking mushroom supplements, it’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider to ensure they are safe and suitable for you, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Protein: When and How Much Do You Need Each Day and Each Meal?

How Much Protein Should You Eat Each Day?

If you’re following the current dietary recommendations, then chances are you’re not getting enough protein. That’s a big problem because we lose 3–8% of muscle mass per decade starting at age 30 and the rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60.

In this article, you’ll learn:

i.) the bare minimum amount of protein you should be eating each day,

ii.) how much protein your body can absorb each meal,

iii.) the best time to drink your protein shakes, and

iv.) the number of grams of protein per day you should be eating if your goal is to build muscle and lose fat.

Why do we need protein?

Protein is found in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part, tissue, and cell. It makes up the enzymes and hormones that power many chemical reactions, the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood, and the amino acids needed to build and repair muscle and bones.

At least 10,000 different proteins are responsible for making you what you are and keeping you that way.

Bottom line: proteins are an essential part of all living organisms and form the basis of living cells, muscle and tissues, so it’s vitally important to ensure your cells are getting enough to maximize muscle protein synthesis (MPS).

How much protein do you need each day?

Your daily protein requirements depend on several factors:

how much protein do you need each day

1. How much muscle you currently have. The more muscular you are, the more amino acids your body needs to maintain your current body composition levels.

2. Your activity level. The more you exercise, the more protein your body needs.

3. Your age. The older you get, the more protein your body needs to maintain muscle.

4. Your hormones. If your body has high levels of growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), it will use protein more efficiently than someone with low levels. These hormones decrease as you age, which is one of the reasons why older adults need more protein.

Current Dietary Protein Guidelines

The current recommendation based on the 2020 – 2025 Dietary Guidelines and National Academy of Medicine for protein intake is 0.8 g/kg (or around 0.36 g/lb) of body mass in generally healthy adults.

That’s around 50 grams per day for the average adult.

However, this probably isn’t enough for most of you reading this. According to a 2019 paper published in the scientific journal Nutrients called Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit:

The current protein RDA, however, is often incorrectly applied when used as the definition of recommended intake, rather than its true designation as the required minimum intake.

How Much Protein Should You Eat Each Day? 

Protein researcher Don Layman, Ph.D., says that 1.2 – 1.8 g/kg is a better number to strive for when it comes to overall protein intake and that protein needs to be a higher percentage of your overall calories as you age (jump to the section at 43:03 “Is the Protein RDA Sufficient” in the video below).

Protein Requirements for Older Adults and Elderly to Optimize Muscle Protein Synthesis

According to a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called “Defining meal requirements for protein to optimize metabolic roles of amino acids”:

Research suggests daily needs for older adults of ≥1.0 g/kg and identifies anabolic and metabolic benefits to consuming at least 20-30 g protein at a given meal.

A 2016 paper published in the journal Nutrients recommended a protein intake between 1.2 and 2.0 g/kg/day for elderly adults, which is close to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.

How much protein can you eat and absorb at one time?

A 2018 study from Brad Schoenfeld and Alan Aragon published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that 0.55 g/kg/meal would be around the upper limit most people can absorb, which translates to 35-45 grams of protein for the average person per meal.

Here’s a good overview from protein scientist Don Layman on Peter Attia, M.D.’s podcast (jump to the section at 1:20:02 “Muscle protein synthesis: ideal timing, small meals vs. big meals, and more”):

When should I drink a protein shake for best results: pre- or post-workout?

You may have heard that you need to ingest protein immediately before or after a workout.

However, in a 2013 study called “Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?”, the research team had this to say:

Despite claims that immediate post-exercise nutritional intake is essential to maximize hypertrophic gains, evidence-based support for such an “anabolic window of opportunity” is far from definitive.

Here is the position of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN):

  1. Meeting the total daily intake of protein, preferably with evenly spaced protein feedings (approximately every 3 hours during the day), should be viewed as a primary area of emphasis for exercising individuals.
  2. Ingesting a 20-40 gram protein dose (0.25-0.40 g/kg body mass/dose) of a high-quality source every three to 4 hours appears to most favorably affect muscle protein synthesis (MPS) rates when compared to other dietary patterns and is associated with improved body composition and performance outcomes.
  3. Post-exercise ingestion (immediately to 2-hours post) of high-quality protein sources stimulates robust increases in MPS.

A 2017 study called Pre- versus post-exercise protein intake has similar effects on muscular adaptations concluded the following:

Pre- and post-workout protein consumption had similar effects on all measures studied. These findings refute the contention of a narrow post-exercise anabolic window to maximize the muscular response and instead lends support to the theory that the interval for protein intake may be as wide as several hours or perhaps more after a training bout depending on when the pre-workout meal was consumed.

How much protein is needed in grams per day to build muscle?

How much protein is needed to build muscle?A 2018 study called “Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise Training” found that to grow or build new muscle, daily protein intakes should be:

1.6 g/kg/day – 2.2 g/kg/day.

In other words,

~1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day is optimal for gaining muscle.


To improve or maintain your current body composition, aim for at least 1.2 – 1.8 g/kg of body weight (or 1 gram per pound if you’re an older adult, avid exerciser, and/or want to lose weight) with 30-40 grams of protein each meal spread out every 3-4 hours.

If you’re looking to boost your protein intake quickly and efficiently, try Pure Food Protein Powder.

How to Reduce Joint Pain and Inflammation Naturally: The Best Supplements and Foods to Avoid

In a 2015 paper published in the medical journal Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association, Leslie J. Crofford, MD wrote:

Unfortunately, treatments for chronic pain are woefully inadequate and often worsen clinical outcomes. Developing new treatment strategies for patients with chronic pain is of utmost urgency. 

Chronic pain affects 20% of adults in the U.S., myself included. After multiple broken bones in my formative years and a diagnosis of reactive arthritis (an inflammatory autoimmune condition) in 2016, I set out on a journey to discover the best natural treatments for my joint pain. 

After talking to countless health and wellness experts, reviewing research papers, and years of self-experimentation, I found a number of exercises, dietary restrictions, and supplements that significantly reduced my joint pain. 

That’s not to say these are going to work for your specific condition–because pain is highly individual–but some of these may work for you. 

Read on to learn more. 

Avoid These Foods That May Increase Inflammation Cause Muscle and Joint Pain

When you’re experiencing joint issues like arthritis, your body is in an inflammatory state, which can trigger pain and other symptoms. 

What you eat may increase inflammation and have an impact on your pain levels

Here are some of the most common foods that are known to cause joint pain for certain people: 

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Dairy

Sugar and Joint Pain 

Researchers have found that processed sugars trigger the release of inflammatory messengers called cytokines, which can have an impact on joint pain.

This is a problem, because the average American consumes a hefty 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which amounts to an extra 350 calories. The CDC recommends a maximum of 12 teaspoons. 

Long story short, avoid added sugar in foods and drinks if you’re dealing with pain in your joints and see if it makes a difference. At worst, you’ll probably lose a little weight, because added sugar is one of the biggest causes of weight gain

Gluten and Joint Pain

Can gluten cause joint pain?

There’s not enough clinical evidence to this point to know for sure but it’s clear that people who are gluten sensitive have a different type of immune response to grain proteins. 

When some, but not all, people with gluten sensitivity eliminate these from their diet, they may find their arthritis symptoms also improve. For some with gluten-related joint pain, symptoms may improve within weeks after ditching gluten. For others, it may take a little longer, and for many, the problem may not be gluten at all.

So long story short, it doesn’t work for everyone, but if cutting out gluten helps you feel better, then stick with it

Dairy and Joint Pain

A study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2015 found that eating dairy foods increased low-grade inflammation in a small sample of German adults.

Another study of more than 40,000 people with osteoarthritis (OA) found that those who ate more dairy products were more likely to need hip replacement surgery.

While more research is needed to better understand the link (if any) between consuming dairy and joint pain, we do know that a large number of people (over 2/3 of the world’s population) are unable to fully digest lactose, the sugar naturally present in milk products. 

So it stands to reason that if you’re lactose intolerant and you have joint pain, it’s probably a good idea to avoid dairy products

FODMAPs and Joint Pain

“FODMAP” stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols, a group of carbohydrates that are not easily digested and may ferment in the gut, leading to bloating, gas, water-retention, diarrhea, and inflammation. 

Foods that fall under the FODMAP umbrella include wheat, certain fruits, vegetables and dairy products, and sugar alcohols, which are in some artificial sweeteners.  

Studies have found a low FODMAP diet can alleviate symptoms of IBS and reduce inflammation by reducing the amount of foods in your system that feed problematic bacteria.  

This can have a calming effect in the GI tract and may help reduce inflammation in other areas, including joints.

While there’s no peer-reviewed research to suggest a low-FODMAP diet improves arthritis symptoms, following the diet for a couple of months can help improve bacterial balance which, in some, may help to reduce inflammation. 

The Best Supplements for Arthritis-Related Joint Pain and Inflammation

Magnesium for Joint Pain

Magnesium strengthens bones; maintains nerve and muscle function; regulates heart rhythm and blood sugar levels; and helps maintain joint cartilage. 

So does magnesium work for joint pain? 


Low magnesium intake is associated with increased knee pain in people with osteoarthritis. The famed Framingham Heart Study found that eating foods high in magnesium and potassium increases bone density and may help prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. 

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 420 milligrams (mg) daily for men 31 and older; 320 mg for women. 

Side effects of taking magnesium are rare, and may include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness, according to the Arthritis Foundation

Magnesium may interact with some diuretics, antibiotics, antacids and laxatives. 

Fish Oil 

The research available on fish oil and joint pain is fairly limited; however, there are two studies that suggest fish oil may be a promising treatment option.

In the first study, researchers reviewed 17 randomized, controlled trials assessing the pain relieving effects of omega-3 fatty acids in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or joint pain. They found that taking a fish oil supplement for 3-4 months reduced joint pain intensity, minutes of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints, and NSAID consumption.

In the second study, a 12-week, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, sixty patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (49 female and 11 male) underwent rheumatologist examination and disease activity score were calculated. Then patients were enrolled in this 12 week, double blind, randomized, placebo- controlled study where one group received a fish oil supplement and the other received a placebo. At the end of the study, researchers concluded:

Daily supplementation with omega-3 has significant clinical benefit and may reduce the need for concomitant analgesic consumption.


Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric supplements, may support patients suffering from autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Curcumin inhibits these autoimmune diseases by regulating inflammatory cytokines and associated signaling pathways in your immune cells.

For those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, in particular, turmeric can reduce joint swelling and stiffness.

It’s important to note that curcumin has poor bioavailability alone. For maximum absorption, make sure you choose a turmeric supplement with black pepper extract.


Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are the building blocks for cartilage and appear to stimulate the body to make more cartilage.

There are conflicting studies on the efficacy of glucosamine and chondroitin, but based on what we know now it does appear that glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce the rate of collagen (joint tissue) degradation and symptoms of osteoarthritis, particularly in the knees.

Glucosamine and chondroitin’s effectiveness for rheumatoid arthritis isn’t as clear, as only a handful of studies have been conducted in relation to RA. …

One study found that for RA patients, glucosamine appears to have positive effects for pain. When compared to NSAIDs for pain relief, glucosamine has shown evidence to produce similar or improved pain reduction in RA patients as NSAIDs, without the side effects.

CBD Oil for Arthritis Pain

Phytocannabinoids in CBD appear to have neuroprotective properties that could play a role in pain management.

A research review called published in the European Journal of Rheumatology stated:

Preclinical and clinical studies support the therapeutic application of cannabinoids in the treatment of chronic pain, and to date, patients suffering from chronic arthritic and musculoskeletal pain.

Kevin Boehnke, Ph.D., research investigator in the department of anesthesiology at the University of Michigan’s Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center notes that ongoing preclinical studies in animals have demonstrated that CBD reduces pain and inflammation, and studies of CBD in humans show that it is well-tolerated and has few negative side effects. He states:

There are observational studies that ask why people use CBD and if it’s effective, and results tend to be quite positive. People report using CBD for anxiety, pain, sleep — all things that go hand-in-hand with chronic pain.

We need more clinical studies to help us better understand how, exactly, CBD affects pain, what dosage is safe and efficacious, and whether or not it’s a safe and effective long-term option.

Other Causes of Joint Pain

Can Antihistamines Cause Joint Pain?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, H2 antihistamines, which help with stomach issues and include Tagamet HB, Pepcid, and Zantac, are most likely to cause joint pain

H-1 antihistamines, which are typically used to treat allergies, are not as likely to lead to joint pain. 

Cold Weather and Joint Pain

There’s not a lot of evidence around how cold weather affects joint pain but some theories suggest that the drop in barometric pressure caused by cold weather makes the tendons, muscles and the surrounding tissues in your body expand. This can cause pain, especially in joints affected by arthritis.

Can Seasonal Allergies Cause Joint Pain and Inflammation?

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, there is no definitive relationship between food allergy and joint inflammation. But other doctors argue that since allergies cause inflammation, they may play a role in joint pain. 

Joint Pain and Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’re at increased risk of various bone and joint disorders like charcot joint, diabetic hand syndrome, osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis, says the Mayo Clinic.

And the American Arthritis Foundation says that people with arthritis have a 61% higher risk of developing diabetes. 

Joint Pain After COVID

Research published in The Lancet in October 2020 found that almost 15 percent of COVID-19 patients report experiencing joint pain. And for many of those who already have arthritis, it appears getting the virus may exaggerate the symptoms as well. 

However, the long-term impact of COVID on our bones and joints are still unknown, and joint pain often has other underlying causes. 

If you’re experiencing joint pain post-COVID, go talk to your doctor and ask for a referral to a pain specialist or physical therapist who may be able to better help you. 

Further Reading: 

My 10 Favorite Exercises for Reducing Aches and Pains

The Best Science-proven Natural Herbal Nutritional Supplements for Stress Relief, Anxiety, Sleep and Recovery

In this article, we’ll look at what natural nutritional supplements are recommended for managing stress and reducing anxiety, based on data and science

While there’s no such thing as “magic pills” that will remove all anxiety from your life, there are some supplements out there that can help you de-stress and feel a little better at the very least. 

Natural Supplements for Stress and Anxiety

If you’re considering taking a nutritional supplement during times of stress and anxiety, there’s no shortage of supplements out there that claim to help you manage turbulent times.

But which ones (if any) actually work? 

To answer this question, we’ll turn to the most objective source of information available: PubMed, the online database maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health that catalogs all science journals and clinical studies. 

Here are four natural supplements that may help you get at least some relief: 


Do Magnesium Supplements Work for Anxiety?

Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the body that’s naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, and available as a dietary supplement. 

Magnesium is required for energy production, contributes to the structural development of bone, and plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. 

A 2017 research review found that magnesium supplements do appear to work for anxiety, based on several small studies. 

In a 2017 study, researchers found that: 

“Existing evidence is suggestive of a beneficial effect of Mg on subjective anxiety in anxiety vulnerable samples. However, the quality of the existing evidence is poor. Well-designed randomized controlled trials are required to further confirm the efficacy of Mg supplementation. 

In a 2020 research review, researchers stated that, “stress could increase magnesium loss, causing a deficiency; and in turn, magnesium deficiency could enhance the body’s susceptibility to stress, resulting in a magnesium and stress vicious circle.”

And a 2021 study found that taking a magnesium supplement “with or without vitamin B6, could provide a meaningful clinical benefit in daily life for individuals with stress and low magnesemia.” 

There is some conflicting evidence about the ability of magnesium to treat depression, so if you’re depressed, talk to your doctor and seek other treatment methods. In a 2020 research review called The Role and the Effect of Magnesium in Mental Disorders: A Systematic Review, researchers had this to say: 

“We found three positive studies showing the efficacy of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression. In contrast, Fard et al. (2017) showed that magnesium did not reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in postpartum women.”

Magnesium Safety and Side Effects

High doses of magnesium from supplements or medications can cause nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea.

In addition, the magnesium in supplements can interact with some types of antibiotics and other medicines. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re considering a magnesium supplement, especially if you routinely use magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives.

Can Vitamin B6 Work for Stress Relief? 

Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) is important for normal brain development and for keeping the nervous system and immune system healthy.

Food sources of vitamin B-6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, bananas and fortified cereals. Vitamin B-6 can also be taken as a supplement, typically as an oral capsule, tablet or liquid.

Research has shown that stress depletes your body’s stores of B-6 and supplementation with B6 vitamins could help reduce stress levels. 

In contrast to the study mentioned above in the Magnesium section, a 2018 study showed that taking a magnesium supplement with vitamin B6 provided more stress relief benefits than just magnesium alone. 

Vitamin B6 Safety and Side Effects

The Mayo Clinic says that taking Vitamin B6 in supplement form is generally safe. 

Consuming vitamin B-6 through food appears to be safe, even in excessive amounts.

However, taking too much vitamin B-6 from supplements may cause:

  • A lack of muscle control or coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia)
  • Painful, disfiguring skin lesions
  • Heartburn and nausea
  • Sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity)
  • Numbness
  • Reduced ability to sense pain or extreme temperatures

Check with your doctor before taking vitamin B-6 if you’re using any medications. Possible drug interactions include:

  • Altretamine
  • Barbiturates
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Levodopa
  • Antiepileptic Medications
  • Cycloserine
  • Theophylline

Is Lemon Balm Good for Anxiety? 

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a member of the mint family, is considered a calming herb.

Several small studies have shown that lemon balm supplements may be good for anxiety: 

  • A 2021 metaanalysis found that “lemon balm significantly improved mean anxiety and depression scores compared with the placebo”. 
  • A 2018 study showed that 8-week supplementation with 3 g MO can decrease depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disorder in patients with CSA.
  • A 2014 study found that lemon balm could have beneficial effects on mood and cognitive performance. 
  • In a 2011 non-placebo-controlled trial, researchers had this to say regarding treating anxiety with lemon balm: “treatment has been demonstrated to improve mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders, its associated symptoms and insomnia in humans.”

Lemon Balm Safety and Side Effects

Lemon balm supplements are possibly safe when used at a dose of up to 500 mg daily for up to 6 months. Side effects are generally mild and might include increased appetite, nausea, dizziness, and wheezing. There isn’t enough reliable information to know if lemon balm is safe to use for more than 6 months.

Lemon balm may change thyroid function, reduce thyroid hormone levels, and interfere with thyroid hormone replacement therapy. Avoid lemon balm if you have thyroid disease.

Does CBD Help Treat Anxiety? 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is the second most prevalent active ingredient in the cannabis plant, and is usually derived from hemp, a cousin of marijuana. 

Here’s what we know about CBD and anxiety: 

  • In one study, 80% of patients decreased anxiety levels within the first month of using a CBD supplement. 
  • A 2019 research review that looked at articles published from case reports, case series, or randomized controlled trials on human subjects found that “CBD has a promising role as alternative therapy in the management of anxiety disorders. However, more studies with standardized approaches to dosing and clinical outcome measurements are needed to determine the appropriate dosing strategy for CBD and its place in therapy.” 
  • A 2021 journal article called Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety and Mood Disorders said that “given its safety profile, CBD is considered a promising new agent in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders.” 
  • A 2020 journal article called Use of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Anxiety: A Short Synthesis of Pre-Clinical and Clinical Evidence stated that “existing pre-clinical and clinical evidence supports a possible role for CBD as a novel treatment for anxiety disorders. The findings reviewed in this study demonstrate the potential of CBD to produce anxiolytic-like effects in pre-clinical models and the potential of CBD to induce acute anxiolytic effects when administered as a single dose in healthy volunteers and individuals with SAD. 
  • A 2019 double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study that assessed the efficacy of CBD treatment for Japanese late teenagers with social anxiety disorder found “significantly decreased anxiety” for study participants who took CBD. 

Will CBD Get You High? 

CBD does not cause a “high” like marijuana because it’s too low in THC, the psychoactive substance. 

CBD is non-toxic and non-intoxicating. 

Is CBD Safe to Use?

According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

That being said, there are several serious safety considerations:

  1. CBD can thin blood, so people with thin blood or who are on blood thinners should consult a doctor before taking it. 
  2. CBD is known to inhibit the CYP450 enzyme system which is a primary means with which the body processes a large assortment of conventional medications (NSAIDs, antipsychotics, benzodiazepines, steroids, anesthetics, etc.). Meaning, with both CBD and these drugs in the system, they’re processed slower than normal which can lead to problems, especially liver toxicity. 
  3. Another issue is that certain drugs are designed (prodrugs, like codeine which metabolizes into morphine inside the body) to activate during processing, and CBD can inhibit the amount of the drug being activated. 

According to a 2017 review from the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, the three most common side effects from clinical studies looking at patients who used CBD to treat epilepsy and psychotic disorders were strong changes in food intake, some diarrhea, and tiredness at high doses. 


Can taking nutritional supplements during times of stress and anxiety really work to help you get relief? 

Based on the current body of evidence available, there do seem to be some supplements available in pill form that can help you achieve these outcomes … but larger studies are definitely needed to better understand the efficacy, safety, and dosing. 

Talk to your doctor if you’re having persistent anxious thoughts and before taking any new supplement for anxiety, stress, or sleep so they can help determine the best option(s) for you. 

And if you’re interested in trying any of these supplements, then check out Pure Food’s American-sourced, NSF-certified supplements for stress, anxiety and sleep right here:

Turmeric Supplement Benefits, Dosing, Risks, and FAQs

turmeric curcumin health benefits

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the root of curcuma longa, a plant in the ginger family. Its main active ingredient is a compound called curcumin, which gives turmeric its yellow color. 

Curcumin is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Research has shown it may help you better manage conditions in which inflammation plays a role.

But it also has poor bioavailability, which means your body doesn’t absorb it well.

In this article, we’ll answer your most common questions about:

  • The benefits of turmeric
  • Safety and side effects
  • Dosing – how much to take and when for best results
  • What to look for in a turmeric / curcumin supplement

Let’s get started!

Turmeric Health Benefits

Turmeric is best known for its antioxidant properties.

One study showed that it may help protect your body from free radicals and another study found that turmeric’s antioxidant effects may also stimulate the action of other antioxidants in your body.

Although most research studies have been small, early results seem promising.

Here’s a deeper dive into some of the health benefits of turmeric. 

Reduce Inflammation

According to a 2017 research review called Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, turmeric “aids in the management of oxidative and inflammatory conditions, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, anxiety, and hyperlipidemia”.

In one study of patients with ulcerative colitis, a common autoimmune disease, patients who took 2 grams of curcumin / day along with prescription medication were more likely to stay in remission than those who took the medication alone. Since many medications for autoimmune disorders come with unwanted side effects, this research is promising. 

Turmeric may also reduce joint swelling and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis. 

However, a 2019 review found that “Turmeric or curcumin did not decrease several inflammatory markers in patients with chronic inflammatory diseases.” 

Clearly more research is needed to understand the effects of turmeric / curcumin supplements on inflammation. 

Boost Memory

A 2018 clinical trial showed that taking 90 milligrams of curcumin twice daily for 18 months helped improve memory in adults. Researchers from this study found that: 

  • Curcumin led to significant memory and attention benefits.
  • Curcumin’s cognitive benefits may stem from its anti-inflammatory and/or anti-amyloid brain effects.

Reduce Arthritis Pain

A 2016 metaanalysis found that taking turmeric extract could potentially reduce arthritis pain. 

And a 2021 study showed turmeric supplements had similar pain reduction effects on osteoarthritis knee pain as NSAIDs. A 2017 research review stated: Curcumin may offer an alternative to NSAIDS for patients with OA seeking treatment but experiencing negative side effects. 

Support Heart Health

Due to its ability to help reduce inflammation, turmeric may also lower the risk of heart disease.

A 2017 study showed that turmeric may help reverse heart disease. In healthy adults who took curcumin capsule supplements for 12 weeks, resistance artery endothelial production (which plays a significant role in high blood pressure) was increased significantly. 

Another study found that patients who took 4 grams of curcumin a day saw a 65% decreased risk of having a heart attack in the hospital following coronary artery bypass surgery. 

And a 2017 metaanalysis that reviewed results from 7 studies found that turmeric may protect those at risk for heart disease by lowering certain levels of cholesterol. 

Helps Combat Depression

In a 2020 metaanalysis, researchers concluded that “curcumin, if added to standard care, might improve depressive and anxiety symptoms in people with depression.” 

While scientists are still uncovering the exact mechanisms for how curcumin/turmeric may help with depression, it appears as if curcumin can boost BDNF levels (BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, is a protein that is reduced when you’re depressed). 

Another study found that curcumin may be just as effective as fluoxetine (Prozac) in reducing symptoms of depression. 

And finally, curcumin / turmeric also appear to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine — which are brain chemicals that regulate mood and other body functions. Researchers had this to say: 

The coadministration of curcumin along with piperine may prove to be a useful and potent natural antidepressant approach in the management of depression.

Turmeric Safety and Risks 

Doses of up to 8 grams of turmeric / curcumin have not been shown to cause serious adverse effects in humans. However, larger studies are needed. Here are some potential side effects that may occur: 

  • High doses of curcumin may produce nausea and gastrointestinal complaints. 
  • Use of curcumin with piperine may cause adverse drug reactions, as piperine greatly increases intestinal permeability. 
  • Turmeric may cause bloating, and there is a theoretical concern that it may interact with blood-clotting medications. 
  • Avoid turmeric if you have gallbladder disease.

Always talk to your doctor before starting a dietary supplement, since they could potentially interact with other medications you’re taking. Turmeric can help supplement your conventional care, but it’s not a substitute for medicine.

While the risk of side effects is low and drug interactions are unlikely, stop taking turmeric / curcumin supplements if you notice ill effects. 

Turmeric Optimal Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day? 

As a dietary supplement, research shows that 500 milligrams twice daily with food appears to be effective for most people. The dose that’s right for you depends on your overall health. More isn’t always better, so talk to your doctor.

On its own, curcumin is poorly absorbed. So look for a curcumin / turmeric capsule with piperine (a black pepper extract) or combine it with some healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts, etc.). 

It’s usually best to take turmeric with or immediately before a meal to avoid any side effects. 

Best Time to Take Turmeric

The best time of day to take turmeric really depends on what you’re using it for. Turmeric can be used in the morning to reduce minor aches and pains and sharpen your mental focus and memory or in the evening to reduce anxiety and stress, if you prefer. 

How Long Does Turmeric Take to Work? 

Turmeric generally takes 30-60 minutes to take effect. Pairing it with healthy fats and/or black pepper extract will improve absorption time. 

How Is Turmeric Best Absorbed? 

It’s widely known that turmeric is not absorbed well by your body. However, there are several ways to help your body absorb it better, to exert maximum benefit. 

A number of all-natural compounds have been studied to help increase the bioavailability of curcumin. 

One of the most popular is piperine, also known as black pepper extract. 

One study showed that curcumin bioavailability was increased by 2,000% at 45 minutes after co-administering curcumin orally with piperine. 

So make sure whatever turmeric supplement you’re choosing has black pepper extract (like BioPerine, a safe, proven, and patented extract) to improve absorption. 

How to Find the Best Turmeric Supplement

There are a few things to look for to find the best turmeric supplement for you. 

  1. Seek out turmeric / curcumin supplements with organic ingredients, so you ingest  less pesticides/chemicals. 
  2. Choose a product with the optimal dose of 500–600 mg of turmeric per capsule. 
  3. Look for turmeric pills with 5 mg or more of black pepper extract (like BioPerine) because the black pepper extract makes the turmeric easier for your body to absorb. 
  4. Look for a turmeric supplement made in the USA in a GMP-compliant, FDA-approved facility that’s been third party lab tested for purity and safety. 

Learn More About Pure Food Turmeric + Ginger 

What is Ashwagandha and What Is It Used for? 

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is an evergreen shrub that’s found in India, Africa and parts of the Middle East that been used in Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years to increase energy, improve overall health and reduce inflammation, pain and anxiety.

In this article, we’ll unpack the health benefits of ashwagandha along with potential risks, safety considerations, and tips for choosing an ashwagandha supplement. 

Ashwagandha Health Benefits

Ashwagandha is best known for its anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects, probably due to its ability to reduce cortisol levels (a common “stress hormone”). 

Here’s a deeper dive into some of the health benefits of ashwagandha. 

Reduce Anxiety and Stress Levels

Ashwagandha appears to significantly reduce the symptoms of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and cognitive impairment, along with stress-related biomarkers like cortisol (see this study and this one). 

Another randomized, double blind clinical study found that 600 mg of ashwagandha for 60 days in people with chronic mental stress improved perceived stress levels and reduced serum cortisol by 27.9%.

Improve Sleep

One study showed that ashwagandha may benefit sleep quality as well—researchers found that study participants slept much better with 250 mg / day or 600 mg /day doses of the herb compared to placebo doses.

Another randomized, double-blind clinical trial showed that ashwagandha root extract can improve sleep quality and can help in managing insomnia. 

Lower Blood Sugar and Fat

A couple of small clinical trials found ashwagandha to be helpful in reducing blood glucose levels and triglycerides (the most common type of fat in the blood). 

One study compared ashwagandha’s blood sugar-lowering effects to those of medications commonly prescribed for type 2 diabetes. More research is needed in this area. 

Increase Muscle Strength and Power Output

One study found participants who took 500 mg / day of ashwagandha experienced increased speed and strength. 

Another study showed that taking 750 mg of ashwagandha each day results in increased muscle power, lower body fat percentage and reduced cholesterol levels in study participants. Some participants also experienced better sleep, but this study did not compare ashwagandha consumption against a placebo.

Another study compared men who took 600 mg daily to a placebo group and found that the men who received ashwagandha saw significant gains in muscle strength (measured using bench press and leg extension exercises) and muscle size in their arms and chests, as well as a significant reduction in body fat percentage and post-workout muscle damage.

Sharpen Focus and Memory

Ashwagandha may also help improve cognition and memory. 

Small studies have found that, compared to a placebo, ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ reaction times during cognition and psychomotor tests. 

One study also found that ashwagandha significantly improved participants’ attention spans, as well as their “executive function, attention, and information processing speed”.

Long story short, many clinical trials have tested the herbal substance on a relatively small number of participants. Larger studies are needed to establish ashwagandha’s benefits and risks, especially over the long term.

Boost Immune Function

Ashwagandha has long been known in Ayurvedic medicine for its immunomodulatory effects.

One study found that the herb’s immunomodulatory properties helped to improve phagocytosis, a process where the body’s white blood cells attack and remove harmful foreign particles, bacteria, and dead or dying cells.

Regular intake of ashwagandha can support the immune system and bolster the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Enhance Sexual and Reproductive Health

Traditional Ayurvedic practices have also long valued ashwagandha for its aphrodisiac properties.

The root is considered a tonic for enhancing sexual and reproductive health, with small studies showing promising results in improving semen parameters in infertile men when consumed regularly.

Additionally, it’s been suggested that the herb may enhance sexual function and satisfaction in women, further contributing to its reputation (no clinical studies to support this one though).

Support Cardiovascular Health

Ashwagandha may also offer heart health benefits.

Studies have indicated its potential in enhancing cardiorespiratory endurance, making it beneficial for athletes and those with physically demanding lifestyles.

Moreover, it has been shown to have a protective effect against heart damage, reducing the risks associated with heart disease.

May Provide Neuroprotection

Emerging research suggests that ashwagandha could have a neuroprotective role too.

Its antioxidant properties may help protect against neural oxidative stress.

Also, some studies have found it may help delay or prevent the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. More research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the mechanisms involved.

Ashwagandha Safety and Risks 

Ashwagandha is generally safe. According to Dr. Yufang Lin, integrative medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic

“Most people can take this supplement, although it is always best to discuss it with your healthcare provider first. Ashwagandha is generally tolerated well. However, the most common side effects are diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, vomiting and nausea.”

Avoid ashwagandha or talk to your doctor if any of the following apply to you:  

  • If you have any issues with your thyroid, check with your healthcare provider before taking ashwagandha.
  • Don’t use ashwagandha if you’re pregnant because it may cause abortion (end your pregnancy).
  • Talk with your doctor if you have hormone-sensitive prostate cancer because ashwagandha may increase testosterone levels. This can interfere with your treatments.
  • Ashwagandha may increase the drowsiness effects of some prescription medications so talk with your healthcare provider before taking it.

Ashwagandha Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Optimal Dose?  

As a dietary supplement, research shows that 300–700 mg of ashwagandha root extract daily can help you achieve the most benefit. Take it with a meal if you experience any GI discomfort.  

What’s the Best Time to Take Ashwagandha? 

”Do I take ashwagandha in the morning or night?” is one of the most common questions we get. 

The best time to take ashwagandha depends on what you’re using it for. Ashwagandha can be used in the morning to sharpen your mental focus and memory or in the evening to reduce anxiety and wind down for a better night’s sleep. 

How Long Does Ashwagandha Take to Work? 

Ashwagandha generally takes 30-60 minutes to take effect. 

Is Ashwagandha Better with Black Pepper? 

Black pepper extra is often added to adaptogenic supplements like ashwagandha and turmeric to increase their bioavailability. In other words, black pepper helps your body better absorb the beneficial compounds from these adaptogens. 

Ashwagandha Capsules vs. Powder: Which Is Better? 

Ashwagandha means “smell of the horse” in Sanskrit, and it does have a bit of a pungent smell to it. That’s why we recommend capsules vs. taking it in a powder, which doesn’t taste very good. 

How to Find the Best Ashwagandha Supplement

Long story short, there are a few things to look for to find the best ashwagandha supplement for you. 

  1. Supplements with organic ingredients means less pesticides/chemicals. 
  2. Ashwagandha with black pepper extract because the black pepper extract makes the ashwagandha more bioavailable (easier for your body to absorb). 
  3. Choose a product with the optimal dose of 300–700 mg of ashwagandha per capsule. 
  4. Look for an ashwagandha supplement made in the USA in a GMP-compliant, FDA-approved facility that’s been third party lab tested for purity and safety. 

Learn More About Pure Food Ashwagandha + Ginger

New Product Update

pure food supplements

Back in 2014 when I started this business, it was always my vision to create a full line of health and wellness supplements that could help people feel better and create healthier habits in their lives.

Seven years later, this has finally come to fruition.

Each of our 12 new supplements are the gold standard in their respective category … they’re all:

  • Sourced from American-grown ingredients (never China like 99% of others)
  • NSF-certified (the “Michelin Stars” of supplement certifications)
  • Produced in a GMP-certified, FDA-approved facility in the USA
  • Lab tested for purity and safety

Whether you’re looking to boost your immunityenergy levels, or GI healthreduce stress / sleep better, or move better, we’ve now got you covered.

Check out our new shop now!

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The Best Ozempic (Semaglutide) Alternative Supplements to Burn Fat and Lose Weight Naturally

safe ozempic alternative weight loss supplements

Looking for a safe alternative to the medication / drug Ozempic (semaglutide) for weight loss, without the side effects?

In this article, we will uncover some of the most effective fat burning, all natural weight loss supplements for both women and men that have been shown to work in human clinical trials.

Let’s jump right in.

What Is Ozempic (Semaglutide)?

Semaglutide, sold under the brand name Ozempic, is a weekly injectable medication used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and an anti-obesity medication used for long-term weight management.

What Are the Side Effects of Ozempic (Semaglutide)?

The most common side effects of Ozempic are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach (abdominal) pain, and constipation.
According to the Ozempic website (

Ozempic® may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Possible thyroid tumors, including cancer. Tell your health care provider if you get a lump or swelling in your neck, hoarseness, trouble swallowing, or shortness of breath. These may be symptoms of thyroid cancer. In studies with rodents, Ozempic® and medicines that work like Ozempic® caused thyroid tumors, including thyroid cancer. It is not known if Ozempic® will cause thyroid tumors or a type of thyroid cancer called medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) in people.
  • Do not use Ozempic® if you or any of your family have ever had MTC, or if you have an endocrine system condition called Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia syndrome type 2 (MEN 2).

How Much Does Ozempic Cost?

The average retail price of Ozempic is $1,015.97 per 3 mL dose. Both and list semaglutide at a cost of around $1000 per 3 mL.
Best Ozempic Alternative Supplements to Lose Weight / Burn Fat

Green Coffee Bean Extract 

Green coffee bean extract is a dietary supplement made from unroasted coffee beans, which are high in compounds called chlorogenic acids that have antioxidant and thermogenic effects.

While an early study showed mixed results of green coffee bean extract for losing weight, more recent studies have shed new light on its effectiveness. Here’s a look …

Research Study Findings
The Use of Green Coffee Extract as a Weight Loss Supplement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Clinical Trials (2011) The meta-analytic result reveals a significant difference in body weight in GCE compared with placebo (mean difference: −2.47 kg; 95%CI: −4.23, −0.72). The magnitude of the effect is moderate, and there is significant heterogeneity amongst the studies. It is concluded that the results from these trials are promising, but the studies are all of poor methodological quality. More rigorous trials are needed to assess the usefulness of GCE as a weight loss tool.
The effects of green coffee bean extract supplementation on lipid profile in humans: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019) The evidence from available studies suggests that taking green coffee bean extract supplements leads to significant reductions in total cholesterol, HDL-C, and LDL-C levels, and has modest, but, non-significant effects on triglycerides levels.
The effect of green-coffee extract supplementation on obesity: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019) In the subgroup analysis, studies that were conducted on baseline BMI ≥25 kg/m2 revealed a significant greater reduction in body weight and BMI than those performed on baseline BMI <25 kg/m2. Moreover, short supplementation periods of less than 4 weeks had no effect. The results of current meta-analysis study support the use of green coffee extract supplementation for the improvement of obesity indices, with sub-group analysis highlighting greater improvements in individuals with a starting BMI ≥25 kg/m2.
The effects of green coffee extract supplementation on glycemic indices and lipid profile in adults: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of clinical trials (2020) Green coffee bean extract supplementation improved fasting blood glucose and serum levels of insulin and total cholesterol. Also, there was a significant improvement in other markers of lipid profile in some subgroups of clinical trials.
The effect of green coffee extract supplementation on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (2019) Results revealed significant reduction in systolic blood pressure after green coffee supplementation with low heterogeneity among the studies. In addition, a significant reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure  in studies with hypertensive patients, green coffee dosage <400 mg, and administered for 4 weeks was identified. The results of the current meta-analysis study support the use of GCBE supplementation for the improvement of blood pressure indices, with subgroup analysis highlighting improvements in hypertensive patients.

Does Green Coffee Bean Extract Have Caffeine? 

Yes, green coffee bean extract does contain caffeine, but in much lower amounts than regular coffee. Green coffee contains about 10% caffeine, or 10 mg per 100 mg. Compare that to 100 mg of caffeine in one cup of regular coffee.

Green Coffee Bean Extract Side Effects 

According to the National Library of Medicine, Green coffee extracts taken in doses up to 1000 mg daily have been used safely for up to 12 weeks.

Consuming large amounts of green coffee bean extract may lead to caffeine-related side effects, including headache, anxiety, agitation, and irregular heartbeat.

There isn’t enough reliable information to know if green coffee is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Consuming a high dose of chlorogenic acid might increase homocysteine levels, which might be linked to conditions such as heart disease.

Green coffee and other supplements with caffeine should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional in people with anxiety disorders, bleeding disorders, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and osteoporosis.

Green coffee bean extract may cause interactions with medications and other drugs, including Adenosine (Adenocard), Alcohol (Ethanol), Alendronate (Fosamax), Clozapine (Clozaril), Dipyridamole (Persantine), Disulfiram (Antabuse), Ephedrine, Estrogens, Fluvoxamine (Luvox), Lithium, Medications for asthma (Beta-adrenergic agonists), Medications for depression (MAOIs) such as phenelzine (Nardil), selegiline (Zelapar), and tranylcypromine (Parnate), Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs), Nicotine, Pentobarbital (Nembutal), Phenylpropanolamine, Riluzole (Rilutek), Stimulant drugs, Theophylline, and Verapamil (Calan, others).

Garcinia Cambogia

Garcinia Cambogia is a supplement that comes from the fruit rinds of the garcinia tree. These rinds contain a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which may help prevent fat storage, control appetite, and increase exercise endurance.

Here’s a look at some of the research studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of Garcinia Cambogia on body composition:

Research Study Findings
Long-term effects of Garcinia cambogia/Glucomannan on weight loss in people with obesity, PLIN4, FTO and Trp64Arg polymorphisms Garcinia cambogia may reduce weight and improve lipid and glucose blood profiles in people with overweight or obesity.
Risks Associated with the Use of Garcinia as a Nutritional Complement to Lose Weight Regarding safety, although Garcinia supplements have been revealed as safe in the vast majority of the studies carried out in animal models and humans, some cases of hepatotoxicity, serotonin toxicity and mania have been reported. In conclusion, the results suggest that Garcinia-based supplements could be effective in short-term weight loss, although the data are not conclusive. In addition, the safety of the complement should be further studied.
THE EFFECT OF GARCINIA CAMBOGIA AS COADJUVANT IN THE WEIGHT LOSS PROCESS Studies suggest positive results about the effectiveness of the GC on the weight loss process. However, the ideal dosage has not been well established yet.
Effects of garcinia cambogia (Hydroxycitric Acid) on visceral fat accumulation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial Garcinia cambogia reduced abdominal fat accumulation in subjects, regardless of sex, who had the visceral fat accumulation type of obesity. No rebound effect was observed. It is therefore expected that G cambogia may be useful for the prevention and reduction of accumulation of visceral fat.

Garcinia Cambogia Side Effects 

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrate Health:

  • Don’t use if you have liver disease or take medications that can harm the liver (hepatotoxic drugs).
  • Other side effects associated with garcinia cambogia include headache and nausea, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.
  • Little is known about whether it’s safe to use garcinia cambogia during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
  • Garcinia can worsen mania in bipolar disorder. Don’t use if you have bipolar disorder.
  • The HCA in garcinia might affect blood sugar levels and slow blood clotting. This might make it more difficult to control blood sugar and bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking HCA at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • Garcinia might increase a brain chemical called serotonin. Some medications also have this effect. Taking garcinia along with these medications might increase serotonin too much. This might cause serious side effects including heart problems, seizures, and vomiting
  • Garcinia might lower blood sugar levels. Taking garcinia along with diabetes medications might cause blood sugar to drop too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
  • Garicina might slow blood clotting. Taking garcinia along with medications that also slow blood clotting might increase the risk of bruising and bleeding.

White Kidney Bean Extract

White kidney bean extract is a carbohydrate blocking dietary supplement that works by inhibiting the digestion of starches. These starches are either excreted and their calories not absorbed, or fermented by bacteria in the colon.

White kidney bean extract can help fight the effects of alpha-amylase, an enzyme involved in breaking down carbohydrates into sugar. By slowing alpha-amylase activity, white bean extract is thought to prevent the body from turning excess sugar (glucose) into fat.

Here’s a look at some of the research studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of white kidney bean extract on body composition:

Research Study Findings
It’s No Has Bean: A Review of the Effects of White Kidney Bean Extract on Body Composition and Metabolic Health The evidence presented in this review indicates that WKBE aids weight loss, inducing small (average −2.6 kg) but potentially meaningful reductions in body weight in humans on a short- to medium-term basis (28 to 84 days) compared with a placebo, particularly when consumed alongside a high-carbohydrate diet
Regular intake of white kidney beans extract (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) induces weight loss compared to placebo in obese human subjects Phaseolus vulgaris extract has the potential to induce weight loss caused by carbohydrates through its alpha‐amylase inhibiting activity.
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of a Proprietary Alpha-Amylase Inhibitor from White Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) on Weight and Fat Loss in Humans Phaseolus vulgaris supplementation showed an average effect on weight loss difference of −1.08 kg (95% CI (confidence interval), −0.42 kg to −1.16 kg, p < 0.00001), and the average effect on body fat reduction was 3.26 kg (95% CI, −2.35 kg to −4.163 kg, p = 0.02). This meta-analysis found statistically significant effects of Phaseolus vulgaris supplementation on body weight and body fat.
A proprietary alpha-amylase inhibitor from white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris): A review of clinical studies on weight loss and glycemic control White kidney bean has the potential to induce weight loss and reduce spikes in blood sugar caused by carbohydrates through its alpha-amylase inhibiting activity.
A Dietary Supplement Containing Standardized Phaseolus vulgaris Extract Influences Body Composition of Overweight Men and Women After 30 days, subjects receiving Phaseolus vulgaris extract with a carbohydrate-rich, 2000- to 2200-calorie diet had significantly (p<0.001) greater reduction of body weight, BMI, fat mass, adipose tissue thickness, and waist,/hip/ thigh circumferences while maintaining lean body mass compared to subjects receiving placebo.

White Kidney Bean Extract Side Effects 

  • There is some evidence that white kidney bean extract appears to be safe in doses of up to 3 grams daily for 2-3 months for most people.
  • Eating large amounts of fresh white kidney bean husks is POSSIBLY UNSAFE. Raw husks contain chemicals called lectins. These chemicals can cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Cooking destroys these chemicals.
  • White kidney beans and bean pod may lower blood sugar. If you have diabetes, monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Summary: What’s the Best Ozempic (Semaglutide) Alternative for Weight Loss?

So, we looked at three of the best supplements instead of Ozempic for fat burning and weight loss for both women and men that have been shown to work for some people in human clinical trials–green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambogia, and white kidney bean extract.

They may or may not be best for you personally and there are safety considerations to discuss with your doctor … but these three supplements are backed by research studies to help you lose weight and potentially burn fat, which is more than can be said for most weight loss products on the market.

Regardless, the most important thing when trying to lose weight is to create healthy habits. You can’t just take a pill and expect it to melt fat and change your body without putting in effort elsewhere (preparing healthy meals, exercising, etc.).

As many of the studies we looked at have shown, supplements may be able to help you lose weight in the short-term, but for permanent, sustainable weight loss, exercise + proper nutrition are key.