Supplement Science Archives - Wakunaga of America

Study Review Confirms Blood Pressure and Gut Benefits of Kyolic® Aged Garlic Extract™

Study Review Breakdown

This groundbreaking review focused on 12 clinical trials involving 553 people with high blood pressure. It confirms earlier findings that AGE lowers systolic blood pressure (the top number) an average of 8.3 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) an average of 5.5 mmHg. The author of the study, Karin Ried, PhD, MSc, GDPH, of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia, noted that these findings were linked to an impressive 16 to 40 percent drop in the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The effectiveness of this plant-based supplement is comparable to the benefits provided by standard drugs used to treat high blood pressure, without the potential drug side effects.

But the most surprising finding during this meta-analysis was that AGE acts like a prebiotic, feeding the beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This boosts microbial diversity and improves gut microbiota. These changes matter because high blood pressure has been linked to a bacterial imbalance in the gut. This imbalance—technically known as dysbiosis—means that there is less microbial variety and lower levels of key bacteria that contribute to good health. The study review specifically noted a marked increase in two specific types of “good” bacteria—Lactobacillus and Clostridiain the hypertensive patients taking AGE.

Together, these results provide hope to people with high blood pressure—especially since it doesn’t come from just one study, but a dozen. By comparing the data from numerous studies, researchers conducting a study review (also called a meta-analysis) can identify patterns and trends that provide a more accurate picture and more reliable results.

Key Takeaways 

This study review adds to earlier studies showing that a daily dose of AGE can effectively lower blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. But Dr. Ried cautions that, “Simply increasing the amount of garlic in your diet does not provide the same results that you would get from AGE. This is because cooking destroys S-allyl cysteine, the bioavailable and active compound in garlic that provides these benefits.”

“This study review confirms AGE’s ability to support healthy blood pressure levels and highlights a new way it can benefit both cardiovascular and gut health,” says Jay Levy, Director of Sales for Wakunaga of America. “Because AGE is both safe and effective with few, if any, side effects, it’s an easy addition to a healthy lifestyle for anyone concerned about supporting a healthy cardiovascular system.”

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.

The Science Behind Kyolic Total Heart Health Formula 108

Choosing to adjust your diet, exercise and other lifestyle routines can help to ward off most coronary conditions, including coronary artery disease. Affecting more than 18 million people, coronary artery disease (CAD) is the single most common cause of death in America. What is at the root of this heart-stopping statistic, you may ask? Atherosclerosis— a sneaky condition that can develop silently over many years until, one day, you suffer from a heart attack or other coronary event.

How Does Atherosclerosis Come to Be

Here’s how it works: Atherosclerosis starts when the tissue lining the inside of your arteries—technically called the endothelium—becomes damaged. This, in turn, triggers the formation of plaque at the sight of the damage. Plaque is a fatty substance made up of cholesterol, calcium, cellular waste, and a blood-clotting material called fibrin that causes the endothelium to malfunction. As this plaque accumulates, it further damages the endothelium, causing your arteries to become narrow and stiff. Over time, plaque can reduce blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. If plaque becomes unstable it can rupture, causing a blood clot to form that can block an artery completely and trigger a life-threatening heart attack or stroke.

Clinical Studies

Several studies have found that Kyolic Total Heart Health Formula 108—an artery-friendly combination of Aged Garlic Extract (AGE), L-arginine, folic acid, and vitamins B6 and B121—works on several fronts to help stop the progression of atherosclerosis in its tracks. And unlike conventional cardiovascular remedies like cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, AGE is well tolerated and there are few if any side effects.

In two of these studies, researchers found that Kyolic Formula 108 stopped the buildup of calcium deposits in arteries. While most of the calcium in your bloodstream should be going to maintain strong bones and teeth, if there is too much calcium in circulation, the excess can wind up in your arteries. As this calcium builds up, it causes your arteries to become stiff and narrow. And that can reduce oxygen-rich blood from flowing freely throughout your body and to your heart.

The first study, which was published in the International Journal of Cardiovascular Research, showed that a daily dose of Kyolic Formula 108 reduced coronary artery calcification (CAC) by an impressive 65 percent2. The second study found that, Kyolic Formula 108 didn’t just prevent calcium buildup, it also influenced two types of fat involved in heart disease: brown fat and white fat3. Scientists recently discovered that, while white fat can spell trouble for your ticker, brown fat actually protects your cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. This study showed that the nutrients in Kyolic Formula 108 helped to prevent the progression of CAC, and they also improved the ratio of brown fat to white fat.

But the benefits of this unique combination of nutrients doesn’t stop there. An earlier study in The American Journal of Cardiology reported that Kyolic Formula 108 also boasts antioxidant activity that can help to prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol4. While cholesterol in general has been painted as a major risk factor for heart disease, recent studies suggest that it’s actually oxidized LDL cholesterol that poses the biggest threat. This oxidation is a direct result of free-radical damage triggered by the body’s own metabolic processes, as well as exposure to environmental toxins like pollution, pesticides, and tobacco smoke. These free-radical reactions create harmful compounds that can injure the cells that make up the endothelium.

Another double-blind study in the journal Preventive Medicine not only confirmed Kyolic Formula 108’s ability to slow CAC and prevent LDL oxidation, it also found that the supplement worked on yet another risk factor for heart disease—homocysteine. Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood that, at high levels, can increase the risk of early heart disease.

While there is no magic bullet that guarantees better heart health, these four studies suggest that the nutrients in Kyolic Total Heart Health Formula 108 can benefit anyone looking to prevent cardiovascular disease. Combined with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, it’s a convenient way to safely and effectively put the odds in your favor.



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.

Study Shows that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract May Improve Wound Healing in People with Heart Disease or Diabetes

Yet, according to new research conducted at Lund University’s Skåne University Hospital in Sweden, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) can increase microcirculation in these at-risk patients that could facilitate wound healing.

Microcirculation refers to the minute network of arterioles, capillaries, and venules (tiny veins that connect the capillaries to larger veins) that deliver oxygen and nutrients from the arteries into the individual cells and tissues throughout the body. Microcirculation also regulates the amount of blood that infuses tissue—a critical factor in wound healing.

Here are some highlights from this study:

  • Compromised microcirculation can be a particular problem for people diagnosed with cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
  • This can lead to slow wound healing and increase the risk of infection and other serious complications.
  • Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract, at a dose of 2.4g daily, improved microcirculation by 31% among study participants after twelve months of daily supplementation.
  • These findings suggest that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract could facilitate improved wound healing in these at-risk populations.

To read the full study click here.

To hear a review of this study by Dr. Ronald Hoffman on the Intelligent Medicine podcast, click here.

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.

Kyolic® Aged Garlic Extract™ Found to Reduce Gingivitis

How Does It Occur

Typically attributed to poor oral hygiene, gingivitis commonly occurs because a film of plaque, or bacteria, accumulates on the teeth. Over time, this can cause red, inflamed gums that bleed easily when a person brushes their teeth. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress to a more serious case of periodontitis that can lead to tooth loss. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research report that gingivitis is also associated with an increased risk of several diseases including cardiovascular disease.

While brushing and flossing are an important part of treatment for the condition, this new study, which appeared in The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, found that AGE improves symptoms compared to placebo. The randomized, controlled, examiner-blind, two-treatment parallel group study involved 134 participants suffering from gingivitis. Each participant was assigned to take either 2.4g of AGE or an identical dummy pill every day for four months. Inflammation and bleeding were assessed periodically throughout the study. Those taking the AGE experienced improved oral health as evidenced by a significant reduction in both of these markers.

The subject of more than 800 published studies and scientific papers, Kyolic AGE has been shown in earlier research to support healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, reduce coronary artery calcification, improve arterial integrity, enhance metabolic heath, and strengthen immunity. This is the first study to look at AGE’s beneficial impact on oral health.

“This unexpected finding adds more evidence of Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract’s ability to improve health from head to toe,” says Jay Levy, Director of Sales for Wakunaga of America. “Earlier research has pointed to AGE’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions for much of its ability to benefit a variety of health conditions. Now we can include oral health.”

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.

Clinical Study – Kyolic AGE and Heart Health

High blood pressure has been linked to gut dysbiosis, with less microbial variety and lower levels of key bacteria that contribute to good health. Specifically, the abundance of the gut microbes, Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, are associated with increased blood pressure in several models of hypertension. What’s more, gut dysbiosis has been found to increase chronic inflammation and the risk of cardiovascular events like heart attack and stroke.

In this groundbreaking new double-blind trial, 49 participants with uncontrolled hypertension were randomized to receive either 1.2g of AGE or a placebo for 12 weeks. Mean blood pressure was significantly reduced over the course of the trial, with a 10 mmHg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 5.4 mmHg decrease in diastolic blood pressure compared to the placebo. The researchers also noted that AGE lowered pulse pressure and arterial stiffness.

“The reduction in blood pressure was significant across the uncontrolled hypertensive patients,” said Ried. “This was seen in both the patients on standard hypertension medication and those taking no medication.” But she also notes that simply increasing the amount of garlic in your diet does not provide the same results gleaned from AGE since cooking destroys S-allyl cysteine, the bioavailable and active component responsible for these benefits.

Key Takeaways

But the most surprising finding during the trial was that AGE improved gut microbiota. This was evidenced by higher microbiota richness and diversity among those taking the supplement. A marked increase in two specific “good” bacteria species—Lactobacillus and Clostridia—was seen by the end of the study.

“While it wasn’t part of the study,” said Ried, “we also found the gut health of patients was maintained after the study.” This suggests that Kyolic AGE acts as a prebiotic, providing a sustained improvement in gut health.

Overall, these findings build upon earlier work by Ried and her team which found that taking just two capsules—or 480 mg—of AGE each day can effectively lower systolic blood pressure by up to 12 mgHg. Other studies have found that AGE, both alone and when combined with other nutrients such as Co-Q10, l-arginine, folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, can improve a number of cardiovascular risk factors. Benefits include a reduction in coronary artery calcification, less arterial inflammation, improvement in blood vessel function, and a decrease in the amount of metabolically-active epicardial adipose tissue surrounding the heart. This important new investigation not only confirms that AGE effectively reduces blood pressure on its own, it also adds the improvement in gut dysbiosis to this list of cardiovascular benefits.

“This study is especially exciting as it offers evidence of new and unique ways that Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract benefits cardiovascular health,” says Jay Levy, Director of Sales for Wakunaga of America. “Because AGE is both safe and effective with few, if any, side effects compared to pharmaceuticals, it’s an easy addition to a healthy lifestyle for those concerned about supporting a healthy cardiovascular system.”

About the National Institute of Integrative Medicine: Located in Victoria, Australia, the NIIM is a not-for-profit organization that brings together education and research in Integrative Medicine, as well as facilitating its practice at the NIIM Wellness Clinic. With the support of local and international partners, the Institute conducts research into Complementary and Integrative Therapies, exploring innovative ideas and assessing the efficacy, toxicity and quality of Complementary and Alternative Medicines to expand the evidence base associated with Integrative Medicine.

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.

The Story Behind Human Strain Probiotics

While some probiotic strains are sourced from plants or dairy, the most common bacteria in many supplements are “human strain” probiotics.

What exactly are human strain probiotics? Despite the name, human strain probiotics don’t actually contain human byproducts or ingredients. They are simply strains of beneficial bacteria that have been found to live in the human digestive tract. That means they are already adapted to thrive in the human gut. According to research in the International Journal of Medical Science, because they are native to the human intestinal tract, they are superior to probiotics from other sources. The two most prevalent types of native bacteria in your gut and in human strain probiotic dietary supplements are Lactobacilli, which are found in the small intestines, and Bifidobacteria, which reside in the large intestines.

Why Does Gut Bacteria Matter

Let’s back up a minute and review why the bacteria in your gut actually matters. Your gut microbiota contains about 100 trillion bacteria. That’s ten times more than the cells in your body! What’s more, there are more than 3 million microbial genes in your gut microbiota—that’s 150 times more than are in the entire human genome. Without bacteria, you wouldn’t exist.

The beneficial bacteria in your intestine perform a multitude of very important tasks. Not only do the human strains that naturally live in your gut favorably alter the microflora balance in the large and small intestines, they also promote good digestion and promote healthy intestinal lining . But perhaps their best-known role is the protection they offer against harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. The body’s own probiotics produce organic compounds including lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and acetic acid that increase the acidity in your intestines. This helps to prevent the “bad” bugs from reproducing. Probiotics also produce bacteriocin, natural antibiotics that kill harmful microorganisms and enhance your immune system by boosting disease-fighting cells.

According to the International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics, the beneficial human strains naturally found in your gut don’t simply keep pathogens at bay. They also help your body synthesize vitamins and absorb nutrients. What’s more, they interact directly with your immune system to improve your overall health.

But, while the Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in your gut may be the sentries of good health, a number of things can put these helpful microbes in peril. Antibiotics indiscriminately kill off bacteria—both the bad ones causing your condition and the good ones that help keep you healthy. Stress, aging, a poor diet, chemical additives, and environmental toxins can also destroy your friendly flora. When this happens, harmful bacteria can run rampant, multiplying like wildfire and ultimately causing disease. That’s why it’s essential to replenish this beneficial native bacteria every day with a viable high-quality probiotic supplement.

The probiotics in Wakunaga’s Kyo-Dophilus supplements include the human strains Lactobacillus gasseri, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifdobacterium longum. This unique proprietary combination contains live strains that have been deposited in an internationally recognized culture bank, ensuring that the bacterial identity and characteristics have been well documented.

But human strains are just part of what makes a probiotic supplement effective. A probiotic won’t do you any good if it’s dead on arrival when it hits your intestinal tract. Kyo-Dophilus probiotics can survive the acidic conditions, the like those found in the stomach that can kill many other probiotics. They are also shelf-stable, packaged in glass bottles, and guaranteed viable at the time of consumption. This ensures that the probiotic you are taking delivers live beneficial bacteria to your gut. But what matters most are results. Independent testing shows that the Kyo-Dophilus family of probiotics offer real, measurable benefits—both in the lab and, more importantly, in your body.


Hill C, Guarner F, Reid G, et al. The International Scientific Association of Probiotics and Prebiotics consensus statement on the scope and appropriate use of the term probiotic. Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2014; 11: 506-14.

Sornplang P, Piyadeatsoontorn S. Probiotic isolates from unconventional sources: A review. Journal of Animal Science and Technology. 2016; 58:26.

Vemuri R, Shinde T, Shastri MD, et al. A human origin strain Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1 exhibits superior in vitro probiotic efficacy in comparison to plant or dairy origin probiotics. International Journal of Medical Science. 2018;15(9):840-8.

Wilkins T, Sequoia J, Jennings W, et al. Probiotics for gastrointestinal conditions: A summary of the evidence. American Family Physician. 2017;96(3):170-8.

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.

What do Kyolic® AGE™ Blood Pressure Studies Mean for You?

For over 20 years, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract (AGE) has been the subject of clinical studies regarding its effects on lowering blood pressure. Most recently, Dr. Karen Ried, the Director of Research of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Australia, completed three studies that show significant reduction in systolic blood pressure readings in patients with hypertension, after only 12 weeks.1,2,3

The ability of Kyolic AGE to document positive results in lowering blood pressure levels in study after study, gives hypertensive patients a clinically proven, natural alternative to other medications that may have negative side effects for them. For anyone with a history of hypertension in their family, Kyolic AGE is an important consideration as a daily supplement for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.

Dr. Ried’s studies were conducted as double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials of 12 weeks with various dosages of Kyolic AGE. In the US, Kyolic AGE is available in liquid or pill format in daily dosages of 1000-1200 mg. Talk to your healthcare professional about what products and lifestyle changes are right for you in your fight to lower high blood pressure and lead a more health-filled life.

Product recommendation: Kyolic 109 Blood Pressure – Aged Garlic Extract plus added benefits from Nattokinase and L-Theanine.

Blood Pressure Lowering Effects Clinical Studies Recap

  1. Cicero AF, Colletti A. 2015. High Blood Press Cardiovasc Prev.

“In particular, a relatively large body of evidence supports the use of nutraceuticals, including AGE, with possible blood pressure lowering effect.”

  1. Steiner M, Khan AH, et al. 1996. Shinyaku to Rinsho (Jpn J New Remedies Clin). 45(3):456-66.

Compared to baseline values, significant reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (9% decreases for both) were noted in this double-blind, crossover study. Hyperlipidemic patients that were consuming the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step I diet given placebo for 6 months and followed by AGE for 4 months showed the most significant results.

  1. Steiner M, Khan AH, et al. 1996. Am J Clin Nutr. 64(6):866-70.

Another double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of hyperlipidemic patients (with cholesterol levels of 220-290 mg/dL) on the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step I diet showed a 5.5% decrease in systolic blood pressure following a 6-month oral intake of AGE.

  1. Ried K, Frank OR, et al. 2010. Maturitas. 67(2):144-50.

In a parallel, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients with treated but uncontrolled hypertension (systolic blood pressure [SBP] ≥ 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure [DBP] ≥ 90 mm Hg) were given 4 capsules of Kyolic AGE or 17 placebo daily for 12 weeks. Patients taking AGE for 12 weeks were shown to have lower systolic blood pressure, on average 10.2 ± 4.3 mm Hg (7.5%), than the control group.

  1. Ried K, Frank OR, et al. 2013. Eur J Clin Nutr. 67(1):64-70.

Patients with uncontrolled systolic hypertension (systolic blood pressure [SBP] ≥ 140 mm Hg) participated in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled dose-response trial of 12 weeks. Participants were allocated to one, two or four capsules daily of Kyolic AGE or placebo. Average SBP was significantly reduced by 11.8 ± 5.4 mm Hg in the garlic-2-capsule-group over 12 weeks compared with placebo, and reached borderline significant reduction in the garlic-4-capsule-group at 8 weeks (-7.4 ± 4.1 mm Hg).

  1. Ried K, Travica N. et al. 2015. The 5th Science of Nutrition in Medicine and Healthcare Conference. Melbourne, Australia. May 2-3, 2015

Ried K, Travica N, et al. 2016. Integr Blood Press Control. 9:9-21.

Patients with uncontrolled hypertension were given 1.2 g of AGE or placebo daily in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 12 weeks. Average blood pressure was significantly reduced by 5.0 ± 2.1 mmHg systolic. In addition, within this group, 58% of responders had an even better response with a reduction of 11.5 ± 1.9 mmHg systolic and 6.3 ± 1.1 mmHg diastolic compared to placebo. Central blood pressure, central pulse pressure, mean arterial pressure, augmentation pressure, pulse wave velocity and arterial stiffness tended to improve in the garlic-group more than in the placebo group. Trends in beneficial effects of garlic on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and apolipoproteins were also observed.

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.

Clinical Studies 101- Learn What Goes into Conducting Product Research

Q and A with Dr. Matthew Budoff

At this time, we can point to over 800 published articles that relate to our Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract. But what does that mean exactly? We asked Dr. Matthew Budoff to give us a little insight on what is involved in a study. He has conducted over 100 studies on cardiovascular conditions, including 5 studies on Kyolic AGE.

Hello Dr. Budoff!  Please introduce yourself.

I am a cardiologist and have been involved in clinical care and cardiovascular research for over 20 years.  I am a Professor of Medicine at UCLA and Director of Cardiac Research at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.

Why do physicians/researchers do clinical studies?

I think there are a multitude of reasons why investigators do research. My main motivation is to identify products or activities that improve patient outcomes. Other investigators try to understand the mechanisms of health or how therapies work, yet others are just curious and want to seek an answer.

What does ‘double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled, crossover study’ mean? Is that the best method? 

Trials vary from epidemiologic (looking at large populations to understand associations) to translational (trying to understand how basic science findings can influence human systems) to randomized controlled trials (to understand cause and effect). The most careful studies are usually double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trials. These studies keep the investigator and the patient unaware of the therapy (double blinded) so they can’t be biased by the treatment, and placebo controlled means that there are matching pills so we can assess differences between active and non-active treatment arms. Finally, a cross-over study means that first the patient is put on active treatment, then after some period of time, they are switched to placebo.  At the same time, another group of patients are put on placebo and then switched to active treatment.

Does the number of participants really matter?

Investigators always first evaluate how many patients are necessary to determine the effectiveness of a treatment. Imagine if it took 1000 patients to show a difference, but we only enrolled 200 patients.  There would be no statistically significant difference and the conclusion would be that the therapy doesn’t work, when in fact it was just not a large enough study.  Some studies only need 20-50 patients, while other studies require tens of thousands of patients to show a significant finding.

How are participants selected?

Participants are usually selected based upon certain qualities. For example, a study may require persons with diabetes, or high blood pressure.  Sometimes studies are done in certain ethnic groups or certain age categories. Some studies are done in persons with known disease (like established coronary artery disease or heart failure).

Do all studies get published?

While most studies are published, some are not. For a paper to be published the authors need to send to a journal and it needs to be reviewed by two other investigators (peer reviewed studies). If the quality of the work is low, some papers don’t get published. Also, sometimes the studies don’t demonstrate any positive results and the authors may choose not to publish. Finally, some investigators don’t finish the work by writing up the manuscript. Writing a paper may take weeks or months and some people just don’t do that extra work to get the study published.

Wow! Knowing that so much time and effort goes into each study, we can really appreciate that Wakunaga has conducted studies on their supplements for over 45 years. That shows a true commitment to the science of supplements and the pursuit of quality and efficacy in their products.

Thank you Dr. Budoff!

ABOUT  Dr. Budoff:

Dr. Matthew J. Budoff, M.D., FACC, is Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Director of Cardiac CT at the Division of Cardiology at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. Dr. Budoff received his medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine, as well as a fellowship in cardiology at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He has co-authored over 900 research papers, 6 books, and 36 book chapters.

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.