Allison Fletcher, Author at Wakunaga of America

Fix Your Gut to Fix Your Allergies

Commonly known as hay fever, as many as 60 million Americans are plagued with seasonal allergies every year.1 In an effort to ease their symptoms, they spend as much as $4 billion on allergy products annually.2 And yet, these products offer no more than temporary relief. Could it be that allergy medications are designed to just target symptoms instead of the underlying problem? And if so, what’s really at the root of your seasonal misery?

Ask any doctor and they’ll tell you that the most common cause sparking your seasonal symptoms is an immune response to airborne pollen from grasses, weeds, and trees.3  And that makes sense. After all, when you inhale pollen or other irritants, your body speeds immune cells to the site of the irritation (your nose and sinuses) so they can deal with these airborne invaders. But it turns out, it’s not quite that simple. The immune response that brings on your symptoms actually begins in your gut!

The science behind your sneezing

It’s easy to understand why this misdiagnosis happens, especially because symptoms are centered exclusively in you upper respiratory system and include:

  • cough, caused by postnasal drip (mucus dripping down the throat from the back of the nose)
  • frequent sneezing.
  • itchy, red or watery eyes (allergic conjunctivitis)
  • runny or blocked nose.
  • scratchy throat, mouth, nose and ears.3

But it turns out that seasonal allergies likely originates far from your nose. According to a study of 1,879 adults by the National Institutes of Health, people with allergies have a very different gut microbiome than those without allergies. This study found that a lack of diversity in the gut microbiota was associated with all types of allergies, especially the seasonal variety.4  This lack of diversity not only affects how the immune cells in your gut behave, it might also change the composition and behavior of the microbiome in your respiratory system.5, 6 This is because the gut and the respiratory system are connected through something called the “gut-lung axis.”7  Because your gut and your respiratory system can communicate with each other via this axis, they can influence each other’s microbiota.8

All of this is a long-winded way of saying that the state of the bacteria that makes up your gut microbiome can directly impact the immune response in your respiratory tract. And that can leave you more vulnerable to seasonal allergies. Fortunately, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that improving your gut microbiome can reduce the risk of severe hay fever symptoms and allergy related asthma.

Maximize your microbiome to minimize your allergies

One of the most effective ways to improve your gut microbiome is with a daily dose of beneficial bacteria like those found in the Kyo-Dophilus family of probiotic supplements featuring the Friendly Trio of probiotic strains.9 These clinically studied, bio-compatible human strains include Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and Bifidobacterium longum MM-2. Not only do these three specific strains support a healthy gut microbiome, they have also been proven to reinforce the immune system against invaders like pollen and other airborne allergens.10

But if you suffer from severe seasonal allergies, you may need even more support. Enter synbiotics—a beneficial blend of probiotics and prebiotics. One clinical trial that appeared in the International Journal of Probiotics and Prebiotics found that supplementing with a synbiotic like Kyo-Dophilus Pro+ Synbiotic reduced sensitivity to dust mites (a common airborne allergen) in adults.11 Another trial, which involved 215 children with seasonal allergies, reported that a synbiotic significantly reduced allergy symptoms and improved quality of life.12

Taken together, these findings provide concrete evidence that probiotics, either taken alone or with a prebiotic, can go a long way in alleviating the misery of seasonal allergies. Just be aware that you won’t see immediate results. It takes time to improve your microbiome and its ability to reduce allergy symptoms. But don’t despair. There are a number of things you can do right now to get fast relieve when allergies strike.

Try an ancient technique for the modern nose

The neti pot is an Ayurvedic remedy that has been used for thousands of years throughout India to clear the sinuses. In fact, neti is one of the six purification techniques performed prior to practicing yoga. But modern science has also found that nasal irrigation can also reduce seasonal allergy symptoms by washing away pollen, mucus, viruses, and bacteria.

When researchers at the University of California San Diego examined more than 200 people who used a neti pot for their seasonal allergies, they found “statistically significant improvements” in 23 out of 30 symptoms. They also saw improvements in the participants quality-of-life.13 Another randomized, controlled trial reported that allergy sufferers who used a neti pot experienced a 27.66 percent improvement in their symptoms and a 62 percent decrease in the need for allergy medicine.14

Ready to try a neti pot for yourself? Here’s how it works:

  1. Mix warm sterile water with ½ teaspoon of pure salt in the pot.
  2. Tilt your head to the side over the sink and place the spout in the top nostril while tilting your head slightly to one side.
  3. Let the saline solution drain out of the bottom nostril.

The gentle stream of a lukewarm saline solution gently cleanses the nasal passages. The technique is not as uncomfortable or difficult as it might sound, and it can make a world of difference.

Add Aged Garlic Extract for allergies

Garlic, especially Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re in the midst of an allergy attack but studies show that it can reduce inflammation in the nasal passages and boost your body’s immune response to pollen and other allergens. According to one study, AGE not only tamps down inflammation, it also reduces the mucus production that leads to sinus congestion.15

Live an allergy-free lifestyle

Traditionally, seasonal allergy symptoms begin in March and can last all the way through October. But experts now predict that allergy season may start even earlier thanks to climate change.16 That means it’s even more important to employ the following self-care strategies to sidestep seasonal allergies or at least reduce their impact on your life. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Avoid lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Wear a face mask if you do outside chores.
  • Clean floors often using a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter
  • Use air conditioning in your house and change the filter at least once a month during allergy season.17

Five Gut-Healthy Foods to Add to Your Shopping List

In fact, everything you put into your body affects the gut microbiota that protects you from disruptive digestive disorders, including irritable bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).1 Fortunately, you can take control of your gut microbiome through your shopping habits. Buying foods that work to improve digestive health—rather than undermine it—can have a profound effect on your well-being. So which grocery items will give you the biggest bang for your nutritional buck? Here are the top five foods to improve digestion and bring balance to your gut.

Fermented Foods

Fermented foods have been part of the human diet for centuries, and it’s a good idea to make them part of yours, too. Eating these foods, whether it’s sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or miso (just to name a few), can have a big impact on your gut health. The fermentation process leads to the production of dietary probiotics—live bacteria that when ingested, can increase the microbial diversity in the gut, even after consuming them for just a short time.2 That’s important because probiotics can reduce the risk of digestive disorders brought on by the pro-inflammatory effects of gut dysbiosis.3

But if you’re not exactly crazy about kraut, try sipping on a kombucha. Evidence suggests that drinking this bubbly beverage can boost gut microbiota while reducing inflammation, improving liver detoxification, and decreasing intestinal dysbiosis.4


An easy addition to most any meal, beans offer a wide range of health benefits—particularly for gut health. They’re loaded with gut-friendly fiber, which promotes regular bowel movements and helps maintain a healthy bacterial balance. Beans also contain resistant starch, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic and feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut.5 Not only can eating beans regularly reduce the risk of gastrointestinal conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease; beans may also help reduce your chances of developing other chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

But which beans should you add to your gut-friendly grocery list? Any of them! Black, pinto, kidney, navy, you name it. And talk about convenient: there’s no need for cooking as canned beans are full of nutrients and perfect for keeping on standby in the cabinet. Supporting a healthy gut can be as easy as using a can opener!


Avocados are a nutrient-dense fruit known for their high content of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.   They are also one of the best foods to improve digestion thanks to their anti-inflammatory, immune-modulating, and antioxidant activity.6 In a recent randomized trial that pitted avocado consumption against a control group, the avocado eaters experienced a significant alteration of intestinal bacteria compared those who didn’t eat the fruit.7

What’s even better about this superfood is that it has a domino effect on your health. People who eat more avocados tend to eat fewer carbohydrates and highly processed foods. In turn, they also eat significantly more nutritious vegetables, fruits, and lean meats. And that translates into lower body weight, BMI, and waist circumference.8


As far as protein goes, cold-water fish is about as healthy as it comes. But it’s not just their lean-protein content: this type of fish—including salmon, mackerel, black cod, whitefish, anchovies, herring, sardines, bluefin tuna, and striped bass—contains copious amounts of omega-3s that can have a significant impact on the health of your intestinal microbiota. Omega-3s possess anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce gut inflammation and promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms. If that weren’t enough, omega-3s also influence the gut-brain axis to positively affect mood and cognitive function, as well as alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms.9

Because this gut-healthy food is also great for your cardiovascular system, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids at least twice weekly. One serving equals three ounces cooked, or about three-quarters of a cup of flaked fish.


Berries have become famous for their antioxidant capabilities. And an ample amount of antioxidants are essential for a healthy gut. Antioxidants help regulate the composition and configuration of gut microbiota, thereby reducing intestinal oxidative stress and the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.10

Be sure to include a range of berries into your diet. Raspberries have high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.11 Blueberries boost beneficial bacteria while also acting as a prebiotic, feeding the probiotics to enhance gut health.12 And strawberries boast a wealth of minerals, vitamins, folates, and phenolic compounds.13

Probiotic Supplement

Though all of these foods are essential for good gut health, you can also improve your intestinal microbiota with a targeted probiotic supplement. Probiotics work to regulate the composition of intestinal flora and enhance the immune system.14 If your digestive health has been compromised, a proven supplement like Kyo-Dophilus Max Probiotic can help replenish your microbiome and balance your digestive system.

Next time you’re putting together your grocery list, be sure to focus on the right foods for digestive health. And remember, it’s important to eat a wide range of foods to promote healthy gut bacteria. With the right nutrients from food, along with a probiotic supplement, you can optimize digestive health and experience the downstream benefits a healthy gut provides to your overall wellness.

Podcast: Doctor LaValle Joins Intelligent Medicine Podcast to Discuss Kyo-Life Heart Health Strategy

Dr. LaValle talks about what living the “Kyo-Life” means – how it is all about utilizing nutrients as a part of a lifestyle plan that is going to keep your body in a position of resiliency and a high metabolic reserve. Dr. Hoffman mentions how he is a huge proponent of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract and how he prescribes it very frequently, takes it himself, and how everyone can benefit from it. He also names it as his #1 recommended supplement to take in his 2023 protocol for heart health.

Click here to listen to part 1 and here for part 2 of this podcast.

About Dr. James LaValle

Jim LaValle, R.Ph., C.C.N, a nationally recognized clinical pharmacist, author, board-certified clinical nutritionist, and founder of Metabolic Code Enterprises, Inc. a web platform and practice solution enterprise, launching AIR Support and the Metabolic Code Assessment.

About Dr. Ronald Hoffman

Dr. Ronald Hoffman is one of New York’s pioneering Integrative Medicine practitioners. He obtained his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and has been practicing for 34 years. His radio program, Intelligent Medicine, is the longest-running physician-hosted health program on the air.

This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

Can You Eat Your Way to a Longer Life?

With a steady stream of ultra-processed foods and sugary beverages, it’s little wonder that people are more susceptible than ever to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cerebrovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.1 Of course, it’s way too easy to fall into the ultra-processed-food trap these days. With hectic schedules and tasty (see: addictive2) foods at every turn, it can be a challenge to maintain healthy eating habits even in the best of times.

The good news is that it’s never too late to reverse the junk-food trend and increase longevity. By focusing on a few basic food groups, you’ll boost your chances of extending both your healthspan and your lifespan in no time. Here are the top foods to live longer.

Berries. Bursting with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, berries are one of best anti-aging foods out there. The benefits of berries extend from your brain to your gut, boosting cognitive performance and protecting against weight gain. And studies consistently show that regular berry consumption, be it blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, or cranberries, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and death. Taken together, these delicious fruits are perfect for slowing the aging process and guarding against disease.3

Citrus. Another key food for longevity is citrus. Whether you prefer lemons, limes, grapefruit, oranges, or all of the above, citrus fruits are a good addition to any age-defying diet. Rich in bioactive compounds like carotenoids, flavonoids, terpenes, and limonoids, citrus consumption can reduce the risk of several life-threatening diseases, including CVD, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. In fact, they’re so loaded with nutrients, one-half of a medium-sized grapefruit contains over 1,400 international units (IU) of vitamin A as well as plenty of beta-carotene, lycopene, potassium, and of course, immune-protective vitamin C.4

Cruciferous vegetables. From cabbage and kale to broccoli and brussels sprouts, cruciferous vegetables are anti-aging powerhouses. A growing body of research shows that consuming these veggies on a regular basis may help you live longer by reducing the risk of a wide range of chronic diseases, such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and osteoporosis.5 Broccoli, for instance, is not just full of vitamin C, selenium, and dietary fiber; it’s also an excellent source of indole-3-carbinol—a beneficial compound known for its anticancer properties.6

Leafy green vegetables. Leafy greens such as spinach, asparagus, lettuce, and mustard greens are some of the healthiest foods you can eat. Packed with vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber, these veggies can help prevent major disease when eaten every day.  They’re also low in calories, making them an ideal food for weight control. But perhaps most importantly, leafy greens are the only natural sources of folic acid, which is critical for healthy cell growth and function.7

Fatty fish. Loaded with anti-inflammatory omega-3s, fatty fish makes a great addition to your longevity diet. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and beneficial fats—all critical components that fight off the damaging free radicals that can cut your life short. Fish is also a great source of lean protein, which can help maintain muscle mass and support bone health—two important factors in healthy aging.8 They’ve also been shown to help protect against age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Look for cold-water varieties like anchovies, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and trout, which provide the highest levels of anti-aging omega-3s.

Nuts. Snacking on tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and Brazil nuts, can have a positive impact on your lifespan.9 The anti-aging benefits of nuts primarily come from their high fat content. But unlike unhealthy saturated fats, nuts contain age-supporting monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are linked to reduced inflammation, less oxidative stress, and improved cardiovascular health. If you would rather avoid the extra fat but still enjoy the health benefits, opt for pistachios. They have a lower fat and caloric content, and contain the highest levels of unsaturated fatty acids, potassium, tocopherols, and phytosterols compared to other nuts.10

Seeds. An incredible source of health benefits, seeds often fly under the radar. And that’s too bad since these tiny superfoods offer a wealth of fiber, beneficial monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Case in point: A recent study showed that flaxseed possesses a wide range of anti-aging benefits. It can have a significant benefits on your cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health through its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and lipid-modulating effects.11 There are an abundance of seeds to choose from: chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower are all great options to increase longevity.

Water. And don’t forget to stay hydrated with plenty of good old H2O. Data shows that water can help increase longevity by preventing disease and slowing down the aging process. If you’re lacking in hydration, you could be increasing your risk of chronic disease by 39 percent and your risk of dying prematurely by 21 percent.12 How much should you drink? The Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink about three liters of fluid and women drink about two liters daily.

Include a Supplement

In addition to eating the right kinds of foods, taking a supplement geared to optimize digestion and support healthy aging can give you the extra boost you may be looking for. Cleanse & Digestion Formula #102 is a safe and effective supplement that contains Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), ginger, and dietary enzymes. Boasting a host of health-promoting and disease-preventing effects, AGE keeps age-accelerating inflammation in check and improves overall immunity, while the ginger and digestive enzymes enhance nutrient absorption and support healthy digestion.13, 14,15 And new evidence confirms its anti-aging effects on cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, blood pressure, diabetes, and more.16

There’s no doubt about it—you can eat your way to a long and healthy life. By zeroing in on fruits, veggies, fish, nuts, and seeds, you’ll increase longevity and feel better doing it.

Daily Habits Key to a Healthy Heart

And there’s no better time to start than this February during American Heart Month. So in honor of this heart-healthy time, let’s take a look at some important cardiovascular tips to get your ticker on the right track.

Eat a Diet for Heart Health

You are what you eat. Or in this case, your heart is what you eat. Adhere to a poor-quality diet filled with ultra-processed foods, drive-through fare, and sugar-sweetened beverages and you’re setting yourself up for a slew of cardiovascular problems, including potentially deadly coronary heart and cerebrovascular diseases.1 On the other hand, sticking to a diet filled with plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, legumes, seafood, and lean cuts of meat or poultry, and your chances of  cardiovascular problems will be greatly reduced.2

One thing to watch out for? Plant-based meat alternatives. Even though they are created from plants and filled with the best of intentions, they are typically heavily processed and can contain high amounts of added sugar, saturated fat, salt, stabilizers, and preservatives.3

Get Your Heart Pumping

If you’re not getting your heart rate up with regular physical activity, then you’re missing out on a world of powerful cardiovascular benefits. Not only does physical activity directly contribute to a healthy heart, but it also has an impact on other cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, including body weight, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, lipid and glucose metabolism, and endothelial function.4 But these cardio-protective effects don’t happen overnight; they can take several weeks or more to develop.5

According to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and at least two strength training sessions each week. Though that may sound like a lot to squeeze into a busy schedule, it works out to about only 20 minutes a day. And think of it this way: Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving, which can mean dancing, hiking, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. And if you break it down into smaller “exercise snacks” of 5 to 10 minutes each, you may find that you have the time to work out after all.

Keep Alcohol Consumption to a Minimum

Although a drink with dinner every now and then may provide a little health boost, everyday drinking—especially binge drinking—is not doing your heart any favors. In fact, high doses of alcohol can have serious effects, both acute and chronic. In the short-term, alcohol can cause a spike in arterial blood pressure and cardiac arrhythmia, even in people with normal heart function. And over the long-term, chronic high doses of alcohol can lead to progressive cardiovascular dysfunction and structural damage that is associated with the development of hypertension, coronary and peripheral atherosclerosis, changes in your cholesterol profile, an increased chance of heart failure, and all forms of stroke.6

On the days that alcohol is consumed, men should keep it to two drinks, and women to one. A single drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits.

Avoid Smoking

The negative effects of smoking have been well documented. It increases mortality from all causes and plays a big role in the development of atherosclerosis—a narrowing of the arteries caused by the buildup of plaque in arterial walls. Smoking is so destructive that active smoking, and even exposure to secondhand smoke, account for more than 30 percent of coronary heart disease (CHD) deaths. This is especially true for women. Research shows that women have a 25 percent greater risk of developing CHD than men with the same exposure to tobacco smoke.7

Think you can cheat the odds by vaping with e-cigarettes? Despite being advertised as a “healthy” alternative to cigarettes, these claims aren’t based on any scientific evidence. Instead, data consistently shows that vaping causes health effects both similar to and different from those of cigarette smoking.8

But the good news is once you quit, your heart health will improve almost instantly. In one observational cohort study of 8,770 participants published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, former heavy smokers’ risk of cardiovascular disease was significantly lower within just five years of quitting.9 And the longer you abstain, the more your risk decreases.10

Support Your Heart with Aged Garlic Extract

Not to be overlooked is a targeted cardiovascular supplement. Taking Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) daily can give your heart a big boost. One meta-analysis involving 12 trials of 553 hypertensive participants showed that AGE supplements lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure as well as standard anti-hypertensive medications and reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event by up to 40 percent. The research also found that AGE can significantly lower central blood pressure, pulse pressure, pulse wave velocity, and arterial stiffness after three months of supplementation.11 Another investigation showed that patients with arteriolosclerosis and coronary artery disease experienced tissue regeneration and improve microcirculation after supplementing with AGE for 12 months.12

Caring for your heart takes time. But incorporating these cardiovascular health tips now can ensure better heart health in the years to come.

6 Steps to Better Brain Health at Every Age

These common memory lapses can occur at any age, but we tend to get more upset by them as we get older because we fear that they’re a warning sign of dementia or a loss of mental acuity.

Luckily these concerns are often baseless. In fact, most of these mental hiccups simply reflect normal changes in the structure and function of the brain as we age. But it’s not just aging that can weaken our brain power. Fatigue, stress, and overwork can also interfere with our ability to concentrate, learn new facts, or remember familiar information. Fortunately, there are a number of simple things you can do to keep your mind sharp, no matter what your age.

This is your brain on aging

As we grow older, the brain experiences changes. Studies show that the brain shrinks about five percent per decade after age 40. Blood flow to the brain also decreases, causing the brain to utilize oxygen and protein less efficiently.1 In addition, aging brain cells don’t communicate with each other as well as they once did, making it harder for the brain to process thoughts, retain short-term memory, and create new cells.2

Until recently, many age-related cognitive changes were thought to occur because neurons died or stopped functioning. Neuroscientists believed that you were born with a certain number of neurons and, as you got older, some of these neurons were lost. Today, science knows better. New research shows that dopamine controls the formation of new neurons deep in the center of the adult brain.3 Because of this regeneration, the normal aging process likely leaves most mental functions intact, and may even provide the brain with unique advantages that form the basis for wisdom.

Smart supplements 

Arguably one of the easiest ways to support this regeneration and boost brain health is with supplements. Known as nootropics, brain-specific supplements often contain a dizzying array of tongue-twisting ingredients. But there are several nutrients that are both time-tested and clinically-proven to fortify cognition and improve memory.

Research shows that ginkgo biloba boosts blood flow in the brain, destroys free radicals, and prevents neuronal damage. There is also some evidence that this Ayurvedic herb improves attention span and mental flexibility. One 2016 review of 21 studies involving more than 2,600 participants found that ginkgo improved cognitive function and the ability to accomplish activities of daily living in patients with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease.4 Another recent study review found that people with dementia experienced a significant reduction in a variety of cognitive symptoms when taking ginkgo for 22 to 24 weeks.5 Because this botanical has been proven to safely benefit both cognition and memory, it plays a prominent role in the suite of Kyolic brain supplements: Kyolic Brain Memory, Kyolic Brain Focus, and Kyolic Neuro-Logic. Two of these supplements also feature Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), a unique form of specially aged garlic that preclinical trials suggest may reduce some markers of Alzheimer’s and can decrease oxidative stress, inflammation, and neuronal loss, while also improving cognition.6,7,8,9

Eleuthero ginseng is another nootropic that may improve memory thanks to its neuroprotective properties. For instance, since eleuthero increases circulation, it may enhance blood flow to the brain, improving mental functions such as memory and concentration. What’s more, a recent preclinical study found that the beneficial compounds in eleuthero readily crossed the blood-brain barrier and, as a result, may improve memory.10 Because Kyolic Brain Memory pairs ginkgo biloba with AGE and eleuthero ginseng, it’s ideal for anyone looking to maintain their cognition and memory as they get older.

If you’re looking for overall brain protection, adding phosphatidylserine (PS) to the mix takes neuroprotection to the next level. Clinical trials have found that PS improves memory, learning, concentration, word recall, and mood. In one study, a group of elderly volunteers with dementia were given a PS supplement for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, the researchers found that 49 percent of the volunteers taking PS experienced significant improvements in brain function.11

In fact, PS has been scientifically shown to be so effective, it forms the foundation of Kyolic Neuro-Logic—a formula created by board certified neurologist David Perlmutter. Along with PS, this formula also contains a synergistic blend of neuroprotective and nootropic nutrients including ginkgo biloba, AGE, choline, carnitine, folic acid, and vitamin B12.12,13,14

Adopt an intelligent life

It would be nice if you could just pop a brain boosting supplement and call it a day. But to truly maximize your memory and cognitive powers, it’s important to pair the nutrients mentioned above with a healthy lifestyle. Embracing the following habits can help you keep your mental edge.

  • Eat a Mediterranean diet filled with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish packed with brain-healthy omega-3s. According to a 2021 study in the journal Nutrients, this way of eating boosts memory and may reduce key biomarkers of Alzheimer’s.15
  • Get moving! Regular exercise increases brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), an important molecule involved in changes related to learning and memory.16
  • Train your brain. Some studies suggest that brain training improves cognition.17 Try engaging in online brain games, playing bridge or chess, learning how to play an instrument or studying a new language.
  • Build a social network. Spending time with friends and family has been shown to ward off cognitive decline.18
  • Stress less. Chronic stress has been linked a greater risk for cognitive issues, especially among older adults.19 Take a time out and indulge in some mental R&R by meditating, taking a yoga class, or even just listening to some relaxing music.
  • Make sleep a priority. Getting enough high quality sleep is essential for proper brain function.20 Strive to get seven to nine hours of shut eye every night.

What’s After a Dry January?

What do you do after a month-long liver detox? As you look ahead to the rest of the year, here’s a deeper dive into the benefits of a “Dry” January, as well as a few smart habits you can incorporate into your routine to ensure your liver health is going strong throughout February and beyond.

The Rise of Binge Drinking

If there’s an annual event called Dry January, then you know that excessive drinking has become a lot more socially acceptable. According to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 17 percent of adults binge drink approximately once a week, consuming an alarming average of seven drinks per binge.1 On top of that, after the pandemic shut everything down in March 2020, sales of spirits and wine skyrocketed.2

Alcohol and the Liver

All this drinking takes a toll on your liver. That’s because the liver has to process most of the alcohol you drink in order to remove it from the body. In doing so, a highly reactive and toxic byproduct called acetaldehyde is created, which can severely damage vital liver cells and tissues.3 Over time, this can lead to alcoholic liver disease, ranging from mild symptoms to alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.

The Benefits of Dry January

Once you abstain from alcohol in January, your liver started to repair itself. In fact, the beneficial effects start immediately. And the longer your liver doesn’t come in contact with alcohol, the more it will benefit.4 But these benefits aren’t just reserved for occasional drinkers. Even if you’ve chronically used alcohol for years, the liver can still regenerate itself and recover a significant amount of its original mass after quitting.5

Take This Opportunity to Cut Back

A liver detox is certainly a worth-while endeavor, but it won’t really do you much good if you just go right back to knocking back a bunch of cold ones every night. Instead, why not use the momentum from Dry January to keep your alcohol consumption on the lower end? Now could also be a good time to think about whether the hangovers and the drain on your bank account are really worth it.

Focus on Liver-Supporting Foods

Adding the following liver-loving foods and beverages to your diet can help your overall health as you reset from overindulging in alcohol.

Coffee. A cup of joe can do more than give you that morning pick-me-up. Studies show that consuming coffee can have a positive effect on liver health after excessive drinking. It can even reduce  cirrhosis and the risk of liver cell carcinoma and fibrosis. It also promotes the liver’s antioxidant capacity and modulates several inflammatory mediators.6

Tea. One of the world’s most popular beverages, tea has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that support liver health. A recent study showed that oolong tea could prevent chronic alcohol exposure-induced fatty liver disease by modulating gut microbiota.7

Leafy Green Vegetables. A large population-based study found that eating plenty of leafy green vegetables had a positive impact on liver disease, particularly for women and non-obese participants.8

Some of the tastiest leafy greens include spinach, kale, collard greens, and arugula.

Broccoli. This cruciferous vegetable packs a liver-protective punch. Regularly adding broccoli to your meals can decrease inflammation, improve lipid parameters and insulin sensitivity, and alter the gut microbiome.9

Berries. Loaded with antioxidants, berries can play a big role in liver health. One study showed that blueberries can protect liver cells from oxidative stress.10 Another trial reported that cranberries have positive effects on the liver as well.11

EVOO. Extra-virgin olive oil is has numerous liver-health benefits. EVOO can influence different signaling pathways in the specialized liver cells that prevent inflammation and oxidative stress. A 2018 report showed that this wonder oil not only prevents but may even resolve liver damage.12

Avoid Environmental Toxins

Another smart way to improve your liver health is to limit your exposure to toxins. That means opting for organic foods whenever possible. Conventionally grown produce is laced with harmful agricultural  chemicals and pesticides that can put a burden on the liver’s detoxification capabilities. So it’s no surprise that several studies have linked pesticide exposure to the development of liver disease.13

Get More Quality Sleep

Catching a solid seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night is key to a healthy liver. People with unhealthy sleep behaviors, including late bedtime, snoring, and daytime napping are at a significantly increased risk of developing liver disease, according to new research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.14 And although having a drink or two may help you relax, consuming it before bed will actually have the opposite effect, disrupting the quality of your sleep.

Add a Liver Health Supplement

Paired with the above health tips, adding a high-quality supplement like Kyolic Liver Support to your daily routine can help maintain a healthy liver. These vegan capsules provide an array of liver-boosting herbs and nutrients like Aged Garlic Extract, milk thistle, and glutathione which have been shown to confer antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifibrotic benefits to the liver.15

Regardless of whether you choose to drink or not after a Dry January, you can take proactive steps to protect your liver. Eating healthy, clean foods, getting quality sleep, and adding a liver-supporting supplement can keep your liver health on point all year long.

How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions a Success This Year

The problem is, most of these resolutions are destined to fail. How can you make sure your aspirations for 2023 stick? Here are a few ways to help you achieve those lofty New Year’s resolutions.

New Year, New You—Then and Now

The practice of setting resolutions for the new year goes back millennia to the Ancient Babylonians and Romans. But the practice of making—and breaking—New Year’s resolutions as we know it today appears to have taken hold in the early 19th century. But while resolutions have always involved improving some aspect of one’s life, today’s goals typically relate to getting healthier. Whether it’s losing weight, getting into shape, eating better, or all of the above, forming healthier habits are by far the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Little surprise since only about three percent of all American adults are considered to lead a healthy lifestyle.1

Set the Right Type of Goals

So how do you set your New Year’s resolutions up for success? A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that it’s the type of goal that makes the difference. Approach-oriented goals are more successful than avoidance-oriented goals, according to researchers. But what is an approach-oriented goal you ask? It’s something that you can add to your life as opposed to something you want to take away. Turns out that focusing on what you can’t do or can’t have may not be the best method for achieving your goals. For example, resolving to not eat potato chips with lunch every day (an avoidance-oriented goal) isn’t nearly as effective as resolving to add at least one fruit or vegetable to your mid-day meal. This played out in the study of New Year’s resolution–makers: 58.9 percent of participants who set approach-oriented resolutions considered themselves successful, compared to 47.1 percent of participants who set avoidance-oriented resolutions. And after a one-year follow-up, 55 percent of respondents considered themselves successful in keeping their resolutions.2

Divide Your Big Long-Term Goal into Smaller Short-Term Goals

It takes time to achieve big things, and that’s especially true for resolutions. No matter how motivated you are to make a change right now, it isn’t going to happen overnight—or even next week. But maintaining that level of motivation is tough over the long haul. That’s why focusing on the means instead of the end goal itself can help make your resolution more attainable.3 The best way to do this is to break up your big goal into smaller, more manageable goals. It feels good to accomplish things, and these shorter-term goals can keep you energized to see your resolution through.

Share Your Goals, But Not with Everyone

Despite previous evidence indicating that widely broadcasting your goals can lead to a premature sense of accomplishment, the truth is that sharing your objectives can lead to a better outcome—but only if you tell the right people. A recent Ohio State study showed that people were motivated by sharing their goal with someone they respected because they cared about how that person would evaluate them.4 So rather than posting your 2023 goals on social media, confide in a mentor or someone you look up to.

Start with a Goal That’s Within Reach

Whatever health-oriented resolutions you make this year, there’s a simple one you can add right now that provides huge health benefits: simply include an Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) supplement into your daily routine. AGE has been clinically shown to reduce blood pressure in patients with uncontrolled hypertension, and it also has the potential to improve arterial stiffness, inflammation, and gut microbial profile.5 One recent study out of Sweden showed that, compared to a placebo, AGE inhibits the progression of coronary artery calcification and lowers glucose levels and blood pressure in patients at an increased risk of cardiovascular events. There was also a significant decrease in systolic blood pressure in the AGE group, from 148 mmHg at the beginning of the trial, to 140 mmHg after one year.6  Not only is AGE is highly tolerable and safe for everyday use, it’s now available in vegan form! Kyolic Cardiovascular Health Formula 300 provides all of the same benefits of Kyolic Cardiovascular Health Original Formula 100, but in a clean vegan capsule.

Don’t make New Year’s resolutions that are destined to fail this year. By taking a science-based approach to achieving your goals, 2023 can be the year that you finally realize those healthy resolutions.

Back to School After the Holidays? Start the New Year Strong

And if you’re a parent, that means sending the kiddos back to school. But, along with gearing up for the return of pop quizzes and homework, kids are also facing a growing “tripledemic” of Covid, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). While you can’t provide your child with total protection, there are plenty of ways to help them sidestep catching a virus in the classroom.

Protect With Probiotics

When you think about kids and bacteria, you probably think about those nasty infectious germs that cause illness. But, while some harmful types of bacteria can make your little ones sick, there are trillions of good bacteria in the gut microbiome that help protect them from harmful pathogens. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that provide health benefits when consumed by enhancing the total number and variety of good bacterial and fungal species in the microbiome. And since the microbiome houses at least 70 percent of your child’s immune system, the more diverse the bacteria in their gut, the stronger their defenses will be.

While your child may get some probiotics from the foods they eat, they probably won’t get large enough quantities to effect a change in health. Fortunately, a daily probiotic supplement not only strengthens their immune systems, it can also ease a number of issues common to kids.

Calm Gastrointestinal Discomfort

All  kids get stomachaches every now and then. And just like adults, an imbalance in the microbiome is often to blame. But that doesn’t mean that they have to suffer the unpleasant consequences. Next time  your youngster has a bout of the belly blues, try a probiotic supplement to relieve symptoms such as diarrhea. A meta-analysis published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences found that taking probiotics, along with drinking plenty of water, shortened the duration of diarrhea in children over five years old by about a day.1 And that day could make the all difference in whether they return to the classroom on time or not. Better yet, you can give your child a probiotic as a preventive treatment since they’ve been shown to also help prevent serious GI issues in the first place.2

Offset Antibiotics

When children get sick, they’re often prescribed antibiotics. While the antibiotics take out the harmful bacterial intruders that caused illness, they aren’t effective against viruses. What’s more, antibiotics can have a number of unpleasant side effects, such as stomach pain, constipation, and diarrhea. But probiotics can alleviate these side effects. In a review of 23 studies including nearly 400 children, researchers found that taking a probiotic at the same time as antibiotics reduced the risk of diarrhea by more than 50 percent.3 However, because probiotics are bacteria themselves, they can be killed off by the antibiotics if taken at the same time. That’s why it’s a good idea to take antibiotics and probiotics a few hours apart. And don’t stop just because the antibiotic course is done. One study showed that probiotics can restore the microbiota to its original state after taking antibiotics.4

Relieve Respiratory Tract Infections 

Although every child is different, most babies, toddlers, and preschoolers get about seven or eight infections a year, according to the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center. Fortunately, probiotics can help relieve respiratory tract infections (RTIs) and even prevent them. Results of a meta-analysis of over six thousand children showed that probiotic consumption significantly decreased the number of RTI episodes.5 The kids who supplemented with probiotics experienced less severe symptoms compared to those who took a placebo. They also had fewer numbers of days absent from school or day care.

Probiotics can also help with other, non-infectious respiratory problems. Studies show that a daily dose may reduce rhinitis symptoms in patients with allergic airway disease.6

Soothe Skin Issues

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic skin condition that causes dry, itchy skin. It’s fairly common in children, typically appearing between the first 3 and 6 months of a newborn’s life.7 While the exact cause of AD isn’t known, probiotics have been shown to help manage symptoms.8 But don’t rely on a single-strain supplement to counteract your child’s skin woes. Data from a recent study indicate that probiotic mixtures are much more effective at reducing the risk of atopic dermatitis onset in children.9

Is There a Probiotic Supplement for Kids?

Yes! Kyo-Dolphilus Kids Probiotic is a probiotic supplement specifically designed for a child’s microbiome. Clinically shown to safely support a healthy GI tract, each dose boasts a proprietary blend of Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium longum—also known as the Friendly Trio. Plus, Kyo-Dophilus Kids Probiotic comes in a tasty chewable tablet so you can be sure that your child is getting an effective boost. But as always, speak with your child’s pediatrician to determine if probiotics are a good fit.

Probiotics are a great way to get your child off on the right foot in 2023. A daily probiotic supplement can fortify their immune system against the bugs that abound this time of year. As a bonus, they also help alleviate symptoms if they do get sick so they can get back to being a kid again.