I’m not a person prone to taking every “natural food” solution that folks dream up, but I do know that every once in a while, I’ve had good luck with whole food nutrional supplements. One maker of such supplements is Biotivia, and recently I had the chance to try two of their products for myself.
Biotiva’s BioQuench promotes itself as a super-antioxidant, which is great for avoiding wrinkles, reducing cancer risk, as well as promoting other benefits. The primary ingredient in BioQuench is Trans-resveratrol. What’s that? Well, I found this definition on Wikipedia:
Resveratrol is a phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants when under attack by bacteria or fungi. Phytoalexins are antibacterial and anti-fungal chemicals produced by plants as a defense against infection by pathogens. Resveratrol has also been produced by chemical synthesis, and is sold as a nutritional supplement derived primarily from Japanese knotweed. A number of beneficial health effects, such as anti-cancer, antiviral, neuroprotective, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory effects have been reported, but all of these studies are “in-vitro” (test tube) or in yeast, worms, fruit flies, fish, mice, and rats. Resveratrol is found in the skin of red grapes and is a constituent of red wine but, based on extrapolation from animal trials, apparently not in sufficient amounts to explain the “French paradox” that the incidence of coronary heart disease is relatively low in southern France despite high dietary intake of saturated fats.
So, basically, it’s a red grape/red wine extract with some minor potential side-effects, but that seems to have an overall positive influence on health. The other ingredients are far more standard. They include apple extract, mangosteen, grape seed, goji berry extract, and pomegranate. The only other active ingredient of note is alpha lipoic acid, which is also something I had to look up on Wikipedia:
Lipoic acid is the organic compound, one enantiomer of which is an essential cofactor for many enzyme complexes. The molecule consists of a carboxylic acid and a cyclic disulfide. Only the R-enantiomer is biologically significant. It is essential for aerobic life and a common dietary supplement. Dihydrolipoic acid is the reduced form of lipoic acid although it is sometimes also called “lipoic acid.” “Lipoate” is the conjugate base of lipoic acid, and this form is mainly present at physiological conditions. One of the most visible roles of lipoic acid is as a cofactor in aerobic metabolism, specifically the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Lipoate participates in transfer of acyl or methylamine groups in 2-oxoacid dehydrogenase (2-OADH) and glycine cleavage complexes (GCV), respectively.
So that turned out to be “mostly harmless” and potentially beneficial as well. I’ve been taking BioQuench for a while now and have to say that I have a bit more energy that I did before starting to take it. Unlike so many nutritional supplements, which charge you an arm and a leg for a bottle of 60 capsules and then insist you take two to four of them a day, BioQuench is in a convenient, one-a-day capsule format, making it a bit less of a stress on the average person’s budget.
Another Biotiva product I’ve tried recently is Bioflu Vital. A 500mg capsule, Bioflu Vital is primarily used as a preventative to strengthen one’s immune system and fight off vulnerability to the flu and even some colds.
This was the perfect product for me to try because last fall I procrastinated too long and missed getting my flu shot; whenever I don’t get the flu shot in the fall, I end up getting sick and staying sick most of the winter. That has been the case this winter. I got my first sniffles in December and while symptoms have waxed and waned like the moon, I just haven’t really been able to shake this darn cold-flu thing I’ve had, primarily because I think it morphed into a sinus infection at one point. And being currently without insurance, I couldn’t go to the doctor to get a course of antibiotics to finish it off, so I’ve been making due with over-the-counter cold remedies, primarily Coriciden, since I have high blood pressure.
A couple weeks ago, I began taking Bioflu Vital; two capsules per day, or, basically, 1000mg per day. While I can’t give full credit to Bioflu Vital, I can say as I write this that my cold-flu thing finally seems to be getting beaten back into full remission.
I’m not sure what makes Bioflu Vital work, but I do like the results, especially since I’ve tried several other things over the course of the winter, including such home remedies as apple cider vinegar and raw honey. This seemed to be a bigger help than any of those.
What’s in BioFlu Vital? We have, according to the label, Chinese Star Anise Extract, Black Elderberry Extract, Chinese Star Anise Powder and something called Eleuthero. I had to go to the Herbal Encyclopedia to find out what that was:
Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is the root, root bark, or stem of a shrub in the ginseng family. It grows in thickets in northeast China, eastern Russia, Korea, and Japan’s northern island, Hokkaido. Most of the supply comes from Siberia and China, but it is also grown in eastern Europe. The Chinese call it ci-wu-jia.
It seems to work, since my cold is finally in retreat. While both products seem helpful, I would have to say that BioFlu Vital seems to be the one with the most measureable positive effects thus far.