Advice for Life, April 5, 2018

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The use of nutritional supplements has increased significantly over the last decade. But as more people take supplements, many are beginning to wonder if they’re taking them properly, absorbing them well, and getting the most out of them.

For women in particular, iron supplement use is fairly common. But how iron supplements are taken can have an impact on how much iron is actually absorbed. Follow these tips to get the most out of your iron supplement. Vitamin C can help improve the absorption of iron and is often recommended as a co-supplement when iron supplements are used. High fibre and tannins (such as those found in tea) are two of the food-based ingredients that may interfere with iron absorption. It’s best to avoid taking your iron with these. Calcium supplementation, particularly in doses of 500 mg or more, can decrease iron absorption from both food and supplements.

In addition to taking your calcium supplement separately from iron supplements, it should also be taken a couple of hours apart from several prescription medications. Calcium competes with many medications for absorption in the gut and can therefore affect the blood levels of these medicines and lower their effectiveness. Of particular concern are certain thyroid and antiseizure medications, antibiotics, and antacids that contain aluminum. If you’re taking any of these medications, and also taking calcium, space them two to four hours apart from one another.

When to take probiotics is one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to taking these supplements. Part of the confusion is the variation in advice found on product labels, as well as the profusion of different types of probiotic products on the market. A few recent studies have provided some information that can help answer the question of when to take your probiotics, at least for specific strains. A study of Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Saccharomyces boulardii found that these species survived in higher numbers in the gastrointestinal tract when they were taken either with a meal or 30 minutes before a meal. The same study also found that fats may improve the survival of probiotics, so more of them reach the intestine. If you take a high enough dose of probiotics, the likelihood of a therapeutic dose getting to the intestine is pretty good. The point in offering probiotics a protective coating is to provide therapeutic effects at lower doses. A study of five probiotics, including both Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus species, was compared in traditional uncoated and microencapsulated forms. Although there was good evidence for survival of the probiotics in both cases, when people took the microencapsulated product, about five times the amount of probiotic bacteria survived the trip through their stomach and intestine.

Advice for Life, March 29, 2018

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A therapeutic strength probiotic is the number one most important supplement for traveling (beware: just any old probiotic won’t do the job). When we travel, particularly overseas, we are at risk from a wide variety of microbes that our bodies are not normally exposed to. And, given that travel frequently can involve a change of time zones, lack of sleep, eating out a lot, air travel, and other stressors that we would not encounter in the familiar routine of home, our immune system is likely not firing on all cylinders during that time away either.

A multi-strain probiotic containing the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum Has been shown to be of particular benefit even when traveling to a developing country where the risk of exposure to pathogens would be greater. The proper, therapeutic strength probiotic helps bolster your immune system in several ways. First, it helps keep you regular. Constipation from time zone changes and disrupted eating and sleeping patterns is a common issue, and when things get backed up, your immune system suffers greatly. Rapid dehydration from long air travel hops can also bring on a constipation in a hurry.

Secondly, a strong probiotic that contains soil based organisms helps to protect the intestinal tract from any pathogenic bacteria it is exposed to via food or water. Since the vast majority of our immune system is in the gut, keeping the intestinal tract healthy while traveling will help keep you feeling great so you can enjoy your time away to the fullest.

To reap the greatest protection from illnesses that may strike while traveling, it is very important to start taking probiotic supplements a full two weeks before you will leave if you aren’t taking them already. This period allows the seeding of beneficial bacterial colonies in the gut prior to travel. With beneficial probiotics already strongly present in the gut before you leave, our natural immunity is optimized. Then, continue with the probiotic regimen during your time away and continue for at least two weeks after returning home.

Product Spotlight, March 15, 2018

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New Roots Exotic Oil Collection are multi-purpose, nutrient-rich, moisturizing, and luxurious. They are also all-natural so these oils are beauty ingredients you can feel good about putting on yourselves and your children.

Argan Oil is hand-picked by a women’s cooperative in Morocco, our organic argan oil is a lightweight, fast-absorbing nourishment for your skin. It prevents and reduces wrinkles, stretch marks, and scars, while leaving your skin supple and moisturized.

Cranberry Seed Oil is an anti-aging oil that will deeply hydrate, smoothe, and tighten your skin. Rich in antioxidants; vitamins A and E; as well as omega 3, 6, and 9, this beauty oil will provide all the nutrients needed for healthy, glowing, and youthful skin.

Tamanu Oil is the ultimate rescue remedy for ailing skin, tamanu seed oil is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, antioxidant, and antiaging. It will accelerate the healing of cuts, sores, burns, boils, acne, eczema, psoriasis, and so much more.

Nutrient-rich Seabuckthorn Seed Oil is ideal for topical use to promote supple, resilient skin and for internal use to support immune function and cardiovascular health.

Rosa Mosqueta (Rosehip) Oil revitalizes dry and dull skin, delays premature aging, and improves skin elasticity. Fast-absorbing, leaving skin firm and smooth, with an even colour and tone. Ideally, apply at bedtime

Product Spotlight March 1, 2018

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Skip the cold and flu this year with Deep Immune. The clinically-tested master formula supports your immune system and keeps you healthy, happy, and energized, no matter the season.

Deep Immune At A Glance

  • Ideal all-around protective tonic
  • Boost your body's natural defenses
  • Prevent cold and flu symptoms

Formulated with potent adaptogens, Deep Immune combines the wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine with Western herbal extraction methods to offer you and your family the most trusted immune support, all in one easy formula. What's more, Deep Immune blend enhances the vitality of all your bodily systems and organs for better health. Deep Immune has been a favorite for over 20 years, thanks to its effective, high-achieving ingredients.

What's in it? Regenerating herbs like astragalus, codonopsis, eleuthero, harmonizing licorice, ligustrum, reishi mushroom, liver-protecting schisandra, and white atractylodes.

Who is it for? Anyone who wants to take a proactive approach to health. Support, nourish, and prevent with Deep Immune.

St. Francis Herb Farm's Deep Immune is certified organic 

Advice for Life, March 8, 2018

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On balance, probiotics have a good safety record and clinical trials of moderate quality suggest that they may reduce the risks of antibiotic-induced diarrhea. There is still a lack of information about the most effective species, the optimal dose, and the timing of product. While there remains contradictory data, there seems to be enough evidence to suggest that there is a net beneficial effect. No standard doses exist, nor does the optimal duration of treatment, though most studies evaluated supplementation during the duration of the antibiotic therapy.

There is a lack of good data to help distinguish which brands and species of probiotics are demonstrably and reliably effective, or if one is superior to another. There is no head-to-head data to compare formulations. There are many claims that the multi-species formulas are superior, but this hasn’t been clearly shown to be the case.  Yogurt is often suggested as a source of healthy bacteria. However, the probiotics used to ferment milk (L. bulgaricus and S. thermophilus) are not believed to survive the trip through the gastrointestinal tract. Acid-resistant probiotics (e.g., L. acidophilus) added to yogurt can make the product an effective probiotic source.

There’s reasonably good evidence that probiotics, when taken with antibiotics, will reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. There is still much to be learned about how these products can be used most effectively, which means it’s unlikely we will see routine use recommended for some time. However, the reassuring lack of side effects, and potential to reduce potentially serious complications of antibiotic treatment, suggests that probiotics may become a valuable addition to antibiotic therapy.

Travel Connections, February 22, 2018

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Do you know someone who has been affected by shingles? For most of us the answer is yes. Shingles is a skin infection which involves a reactivation of the herpes zoster virus, which most of us contract as children in the form chickenpox.  Over 30% of Canadians will get shingles at some point and time in their lives and many will get long term complications from the virus. Complications include chronic nerve pain, scarring, visual impairment (if contracted in the eye), secondary bacterial skin infections, and more. The good news is there are ways you can protect yourself from this illness including vaccination. Zostavax has been available for many years but a new option on the market Shingrix is being touted as having 95% effectiveness. Book your appointment with the pharmacist at Two Pharmacy to discuss your options! We offer a full range of vaccination services which our pharmacists can prescribe and administer for you. Call us at 403-932-2500 to book now! 

Product Spotlight, February 15, 2018

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BetterStevia is the zero-calorie, organic stevia sweetener that’s simply better than sugar and other alternative sweeteners. You won’t find any artificial colors, flavors or additives, just the clean, sweet taste of stevia and a low glycemic impact that’s got all those unhealthy sweeteners counting their days.

Stevia is an herb indigenous to Paraguay and Brazil that grows 2 to 3 feet tall and resembles mint in appearance. The Guarani Indians of South America used this green "sweet herb" they called kaa he-he for centuries before a European botanist named M.S. Bertoni first learned of it from native guides while exploring Paraguay in 1887. Bertoni gave it its Latin binomial – Stevia rebaudiana.

As far as herbs go, stevia is exceptionally sweet, and pure extracts of the plant can be up to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. Even eaten raw, stevia leaves have a noticeable, refreshing sweetness. Stevia has been used in the United States as a dietary supplement since 1994, but in December 2008 the FDA approved certain types of stevia for use as a sweetener and is now sold as a zero-calorie, non-bitter, natural sweetener under the brand name BetterStevia.

NOW's stevia extract is produced utilizing a proprietary extraction process that uses only water and organic alcohol. The resulting extract is then prepared with a vegetarian-source enzyme (glucosyl transferase) to reduce the licorice-like and metallic aftertaste common in regular stevia extracts. NOW’s stevia is USDA certified organic. We test our stevia extract to ensure the absence of contaminants, including GMOs, pesticides, fumigants, irradiated ingredients, solvents, and sulfur dioxide. NOW’s stevia is derived directly from the natural stevia plant and is organically grown and sustainably harvested and processed. The resulting product is USDA certified organic and non-GMO.

Advice for Life, February 8, 2018

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The importance of omega-3 fatty acids for human nutrition — and especially for heart heath — first became apparent in the 1970s when researchers investigated the diet of Eskimos in Greenland and discovered this population had lower blood cholesterol levels than other groups. Because the Eskimo diet was found to be higher in fat from fish, the researchers attributed the more favorable blood cholesterol levels to the long chain polyunsaturated fats — or omega-3 fatty acids — found in seafood.

Omega-3 fatty acids are now known to be a “good fat” and are considered a vital part of a balanced diet. Evolving research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids are a crucial part of cell membranes. Our bodies have trillions of cells, and omega-3 fatty acids help many of these cells function properly. They are also well known for their role in helping to prevent heart disease through their potential ability to:

  • Regulate blood clotting
  • Keep the heart beating on its normal rhythm
  • Prevent/improve inflammation
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Improve blood vessel function
  • Improve cholesterol levels
  • Lower triglycerides

Additionally, we also know now that there are several types of omega-3s:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) helps keep body tissues healthy.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a major component of cell membranes in your eyes and brain.
  • Both EPA and DHA are found mostly in fish, shellfish, and algae.
  • Alpha linoleic acid (ALA) is found mostly in vegetable oils, flax seed and walnuts and also plays a role in maintaining healthy body tissues.

One of the “building blocks of health” omega 3’s are a highly recommended supplement for anyone not getting 250-500 mg combined EPA and DHA on a daily basis.

Advice For Life, February 1, 2018

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Both influenza and the common cold are viral respiratory infections (they affect the nose, throat, and lungs). Viruses are spread from person to person through airborne droplets that are sneezed out or coughed up by an infected person. In some cases, the viruses can be spread when a person touches an infected surface (e.g., doorknobs, countertops, telephones) and then touches his or her nose, mouth, or eyes. Influenza is commonly referred to as "the flu." From November to April each year, 5% to 15% of Canadians are stricken with influenza. Although most people recover fully, depending on the severity of the flu season, it can result in an average of 20,000 hospitalizations and approximately 2000 to 8000 deaths annually in Canada. Deaths due to the flu are found mostly among high-risk populations, such as those with other medical conditions (such as diabetes or cancer) or weakened immune systems, seniors, or very young children. There are 3 types of influenza viruses: A, B, and C. Type A influenza causes the most serious problems in humans. There are over 200 different known cold viruses, but most colds (30% to 40%) are caused by rhinoviruses. Children catch approximately 8 colds per year, adults catch roughly 4 per year, and seniors about 2 per year. Many people confuse the flu with a bad cold. People infected with an influenza or cold virus become contagious 24 hours after the virus enters the body (often before symptoms appear). Adults remain infectious (can spread the virus to others) for about 6 days, and children remain infectious for up to 10 days. The following table highlights the differences between influenza and the common cold:

Symptom Flu Cold
Fever Usually present, high (102°F to 104°F or 38°C to 41°C); lasts 3 to 4   days Uncommon
Headache Very common (can be severe) Uncommon
Aches and pains Common and often severe Slight
Fatigue and weakness Starts early, can be severe, and can last up to 14 to 21 days Mild
Extreme exhaustion Very common at the start Never
Stuffy nose Sometimes Common
Sneezing Sometimes Common
Sore throat Sometimes Common
Chest discomfort, cough Common Mild to moderate, hacking cough
Complications Can lead to pneumonia or respiratory failure; can worsen a current   chronic condition; can be life-threatening Can lead to sinus congestion or earache

Product Spotlight, January 25, 2018

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Burn fat, lose weight and increase energy with KetoActiv. Whether for fat-loss, athletic performance, mental clarity or anti-aging, this exogenous ketone does not induce gastrointestinal distress, which is common with ketone or MCT-based products. KetoActiv supports the Ketogenic diet and provides healthy maintenance of blood sugar levels in diabetics. Experience the only activated ketone in Canada with an NPN.

What makes KetoActiv different?

The combination of beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and butyric acid (BA) work together to activate the liver, draw fat out of the body and metabolize it for energy. Best of all, it tastes great

For Best Results:

In a fasting state, mix 5-grams of KetoActiv powder with a 16-ounce bottle of water. Drink the first 8 ounces, then add more water to the bottle and sip throughout the day to curb the appetite and provide energy.

Key Benefits:

• Supports Fat/Weight Loss

• Controls Appetite and Curbs Cravings

• Increases Energy

• Promotes Mental Focus and Clarity

• Supports Cognitive Health

• Reduces Inflammation

• Improves Strength and Endurance

• Preserves and Protects Muscles

IGNITE-SX For Him is 100% natural, made from traditional herbal medicines that have been used for centuries to support and improve mood, blood circulation, sexual performance, fertility, and desire. Its key ingredients have been shown to increase testosterone and heighten the sex drive. It also stimulates blood flow, making you look and feel larger. Additionally, because it works naturally with your body, YOU control the timing – no awkward surprises at inappropriate moments.

IGNITE-SX For Her is 100% natural, made from traditional herbal medicines. For some individuals, a sexual relationship can bring about a high increase in emotional stress levels which are usually associated with performance anxiety. Performance anxiety is often an issue for men, however for women, mood and desire are also significant aspects of a sexual relationship which can sometimes inhibit activity and create anxiety or stress. The organic ingredients in IGNITE-SX For Her have been shown to have an effect on these crucial aspects of a sexual relationship. IGNITE-SX For Her helps create improved mood, level of desire and an overall decrease in stress.

Consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use if you are taking medication for cardiovascular diseases, erectile dysfunction, blood thinners, renal/kidney diseases or if you are following a low protein

Advice for Life, January 18, 2018

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Last week we talked about the building blocks of health – probiotics, Vitamin D, fish oils, magnesium, and multivitamins/greens. In this week’s column we look at the sixth building block, Vitamin B Complex and introduce a product made right here in Cochrane!

Life Choice B Complex is a completely vegan, non-GMO, organic plant-based B-Complex, with the world’s only Vegetarian Society and Vegan Society registered Vitamin D-3 (others are from fish oils or from sheep’s wool). It has added B-12 (methylcobalamin), Biotin and PABA in a proprietary blend of spinach, blueberry, turmeric and ginger, all sourced from organic sources.

Conditions B Complex may help include autoimmune disorders, bone disorders, depression, diabetes, heart diseases, hypertension, influenza, obesity, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. For those with chronic stress and/or depleted energy, B-Complex vitamins with the proprietary blend revitalizing whole food nutrients, and botanicals will support your adrenals and central nervous system function. Life Choice B Complex has no hidden additives–iron-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, lactose-free, dairy-free, wheat-free and yeast-free. B Complex is 100% natural, and contains no artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, preservatives or additives.

This high-potency vitamin B complex supports natural energy, brain health and stress management. In addition biotin supports metabolism and promotes healthy levels of blood glucose. Biotin is involved in cell growth, fat production, and metabolism. Deficiency symptoms include various skin disorders, including grayish pallor, loss of appetite and nausea, low-grade anemia, weariness, insomnia, muscle pain, depression, hypoglycemia and hair loss. Therapeutic applications include eczema and candida.

Methyl-B12- Methylcobalamin is the bioactive form that boosts immunity, and fights the decay of aging at the cellular level. Supplementation with B12 can lead to improved memory, higher concentration, and sharper metal energy. It also fights heart disease and lowers overly high homocysteine levels, and is a well-known treatment for anemia. B12 also improves sleep, and relieves asthma and allergies, and has been associated with improved mood and stress relief. In particular, B12 provides protection against typical age-related memory loss. In fact, it has been long considered as one of the essential longevity supplements

PABA is important for healthy skin and hair pigment and has been used, together with biotin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and sometimes vitamin E, to restore hair. The Vitamin D3 used in LC B Complex is an exclusive trademarked vegan D3, sourced naturally from lichens. Known as the sunshine vitamin, individuals with a suitable level of Vitamin D in their diet and those who supplement are typically much better equipped to fight off colds, ailments and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). There are links to preventing many types of diseases by consuming adequate Vitamin D. It also has reparative properties and often high levels of Vitamin D3 are given to patients during treatment to recover from different illnesses and diseases associated with Vitamin D deficiency (Inc. bone, muscular, growth, blood conditions).

Travel Clinic/Vaccinations

Two Pharmacy Travel and Vacination

Grand Avenue Pharmacy - Cochrane Alberta


RN Services

Grand Avenue Pharmacy RN Services 

Grand Avenue Pharmacy - Cochrane,Alberta

Dr Greg Sikorski

Grand Avenue Pharmacy - Cochrane Alberta

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Alberta College Of Pharmacists


 Grand Avenue Pharmacy Business of the year Cochrane Alberta