Pumpkins and Your Health

58452-heap-of-pumpkins-and-pumpkin-pie-served-in-bowlYou’d be surprised how healthy pumpkin can be for you. If we told you that there’s a fruit that produces one cup that equates to 49 calories, 1.8 grams of protein, .2 grams of fat, 0 grams of cholesterol, and 12 grams of carbohydrates, you’d probably be ready to jump right in.

Here are ten reasons it’s OK to be totally obsessed with this season’s superfood.

1. Feel Fuller

Pumpkin seeds contain up to 1.7g of fiber and mashed pumpkin has up to 3g of fiber per cup. Why is this important? Getting 30-50g of fiber a day is recommended, unfortunately most people only get about half of that or less. Pumpkin is a great high nutrient, low calorie food. With only 42 calories per cup and loaded with fiber, pumpkin will keep you full longer, and regulate your blood sugar levels to keep food cravings at bay which helps you eat fewer calories and burn more fat.

 

2. Boost Vision

A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, according to researchers from Harvard. Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.

 

3. Lower Blood Pressure

Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.

 

4. Better Immunity

Looking for a way to ward off illness and improve your immune system? Try pumpkin. The large shot of vitamin A the fruit provides helps your body fight infections, viruses and infectious diseases. Pumpkin oil even helps fight various bacterial and fungal infections. Plus, pumpkin is packed with nearly 20 percent of the recommended amount of daily vitamin C, which may help you recover from colds faster.
5. Protect Men’s Prostate

Pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. One in seven men are likely to get prostate cancer. Cancerous prostates show much less Zinc compared to healthy prostates and several studies have implicated impaired zinc status in the development and progression of prostate malignancy. Pumpkin is rich in Zinc; it contains more than 2mg per ounce which can contribute to the prevention of prostate cancer, research shows.

 

6. Have a Healthier Heart

All that fiber can also help protect your ticker, research shows. One Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals found that those who ate a diet high in fiber had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who ate a diet low in fiber. A more recent study by Swedish researchers found that women who ate a diet high in fiber had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with women who ate a low fiber diet. Men benefitted less, likely because they’re more likely to get their fiber from breads, while women are more likely to get their fiber from healthier sources, like fruits and vegetables, the researchers write.

 

7. Get More Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that aids in many physiological functions like the creation of ATP (adenosine triphosphate, the energy molecules of your body), relaxation of the nervous system, muscle growth and regulating bowel movements. And, 80% of Americans are deficient magnesium. Just 1 oz. of pumpkin seeds deliver about 30% of your daily recommended magnesium requirements.

 

8. Antioxidant Benefits

Beta carotene, is a provitamin the body converts into vitamin A, which is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with its ability to fend of cancer. Beta carotene is thought to play a role protecting cells, boosting the immune system and helping to keep the reproductive system healthy. A half cup of canned pumpkin packs 953mg of vitamin A and only 42 calories.

 

9. More Potassium then Bananas

Bananas have made themselves popular for their potassium benefits.  But did you know that a cup of cooked pumpkin has 564mg compared to bananas 422mg?  Potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness and inactive reflexes, so switch it up and rotate some pumpkin into your diet instead of solely relying on bananas for potassium

 

10. Boost Your Mood

Serotonin deficiency is a growing concern for many people. Researchers claim that it’s an epidemic  inflicting its unique dark cloud misery on people and it’s noted that 80% of people suffer from serotonin deficiency. The reason why serotonin is important to overall wellness is because it’s our primary defense against depression and anxiety. A simple way to make sure you’re producing natural serotonin is to include foods that contain the amino acid tryptohphan which gets converted to serotinin in your body. Pumpkin seeds contain loads of tryptophan which will help keep your outlook on life bright and ensure a restful sleep.

So go ahead, have a second helping of pumpkin pie. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving!!

How Compounding Can Help Diabetes

Diabetes wordcloudDid you know that nearly 30 million Americans, or close to 10 percent of the American population, is currently living with some form of diabetes. In other words, if you or someone in your family doesn’t have diabetes, there is a very good chance that you know someone who does. 

While diabetes is a very treatable condition when properly diagnosed and carefully managed, it does present its own unique set of physical and medical difficulties. For instance, people who have diabetes are a full fifteen times more likely to require an amputation at some point in their lives, versus non-diabetics. A less severe, but equally plaguing, condition that afflicts diabetics is skin conditions. One in three diabetics will be affected with some form of a skin condition at some point in their lives, according to the American Diabetes Association. 

In addition to an elevated risk of surgical amputation and skin issues, there are other medical issues that tend to plague those with diabetes. For instance, elevated blood glucose levels can lead to peripheral neuropathy, which is a common form of diabetic nerve damage. Symptoms typically include pain and burning in the feet and legs, or even painful sensations akin to numbness or tingling. This pain can even spread to other parts of the body, and can quickly become unbearable. 

Compounding Pharmaceuticals for Diabetic Management

With all of this in mind, it is easy to see why it is crucial to manage diabetes and practice excellent self-care.  A very important step in this process is to monitor your blood sugar levels and know the medications that are right for you— and to be diligent in taking them exactly as prescribed. One of the best relationships you can create along this path is with a skilled and experienced compounding pharmacist. 

At The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills, we pride ourselves on being able to help you manage your diabetes. We are there to help with any questions you may have, as well as to help you properly manage your daily self care. We like to think that we help enhance and improve the lives of our patients, guiding them through choices, support, and knowledge. In addition to offering all of your medications and supplies, we can help you with planning meals, as well as literature and information that can help you make informed choices. 

A Skilled Compounding Pharmacy Provides You With Peace of Mind

Our skilled and knowledgeable pharmacists are our best assets. Our pharmacists are trained in all aspects of diabetic care and various compounding techniques, so you can rest assured that you are in good hands—receiving the proper medications at the right dosage. We pride ourselves on helping all of our diabetic patients make informed choices about their health and manage their self-care. Our philosophy is that by being informed and making informed decisions, our patients are able to take better care of themselves. 

Diabetic patients, among others, can especially benefit from the art of pharmaceutical compounding. Pharmacy compounding, in its simplest form, is the art of creating customized medications for individual patients. Compounded medications are custom made based on a physician’s prescription, and then the individual components or ingredients of the medication are mixed together to create a customized blend that is available in a wide variety of forms. 

For instance, some patients prefer to not take oral suspensions or medications. For those, other options are available, such as a topical solution or an easier to swallow capsule or tablet. When oral suspensions are necessary, we also have various flavorings, including sugar free options safe for our diabetic patients, to make the suspensions more appealing. 

Whether for yourself or a loved one, when you need medication, the last thing that you want to do is to cause undue stress, anxiety, or confusion — and this is where we can help. We take a unique approach to health care for each of our individual patients, which allows us to thoroughly assess and help plan for your unique needs, including your medications. 

If you have any questions, or even if you have a special request, we would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact us to find out how we can help with any and all of your specialized health care needs. We look forward to talking with you!

Treating Arthritis in Pets with Glucosamine

old-yellow-dogOur beloved pets are as susceptible to joint wear and damage as we are, perhaps even more so. They can end up suffering the same terrible arthritis pain that afflicts many humans. Thankfully, some of the methods we use to prevent pets arthritis in our bodies can also be applied to our four-legged companions.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a compound found within the healthy cartilage and synovial fluid in the joints of both people and animals. It is important for maintaining healthy gristle in bone, and is essential for repairing damage to it.

In young, healthy humans and animals, the body is able to produce glucosamine from glucose via biochemical reactions. However, as the body ages, this process becomes less efficient, resulting in a lack of glucosamine and the gradual damage to joints, which can lead to arthritis. Damage to the cartilage can also increase the amount of glucosamine needed beyond what even young people and animals can produce.

Glucosamine works with a type of cell compound, chondrocytes, to create new cartilage in joints. Glucosamine provides one of the building blocks used by the cell in creating cartilaginous tissue. When the body cannot produce enough glucosamine, new cartilage cannot be formed as old tissue begins to break down.

Glucosamine To Treat Pets Arthritis

Glucosamine has been used for more than 20 years as a preferred treatment for arthritis. It can treat arthritis in humans, dogs, cats, and horses. Aside from people, dogs are most commonly treated with glucosamine. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can compound glucosamine supplements for animals in pill, liquid, and treat forms. Although there have been few risks associated with treatment, pet owners should consult a veterinarian before starting their animal on a glucosamine regimen.

Treating Other Ailments With Glucosamine

Glucosamine is also used to treat some common and serious conditions in dogs, such as hip dysplasia, which is the most common form of joint damage dogs suffer, especially the larger breeds. This condition speeds up the normal wear of cartilage that protects the bony surface of the hip joint. If the cartilage wears away too much, the animal can experience bone-to-bone contact and the pain associated with arthritis. Even dogs without hip dysplasia may get arthritis in their hips as they age.

The most common animal patients to receive glucosamine supplements are middle-age and old-age large breed dogs. These animals suffer from arthritis most often compared to other pets. Giving supplements to these dogs can help them maintain or return to normal levels of activity with less stiffness.

Minimal Side Effects Using Glucosamine

During the 20-plus years glucosamine has been given to animals, no appreciable adverse effects have been documented. The only side effects noticed with glucosamine supplements was vomiting or diarrhea, which can be prevented by administering the dose with food.

The Purr-fect Fit

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills is happy to discuss the compounding of a glucosamine supplement treatment or any other veterinary medications for your pet. We offer unique solutions by compounding specialized medications which meet the needs of your beloved pets.

Compounding for Infant Acid Reflux

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What is reflux?

Reflux, also known as possetting or spitting up, happens when the milk your baby has swallowed comes back up into his food pipe (esophagus). The full medical term for this is gastroesophageal reflux or GER.

Your baby’s stomach contains acid that helps him to break down his milk. This mixture of milk and acid can come up and may make your baby uncomfortable. If you’ve ever had heartburn, you’ll know the burning feeling that acid reflux can cause.

Reflux is messy and may be frustrating, but it’s normal for babies and isn’t usually a sign of illness. At least 40 per cent of babies get it, with five per cent of these having six or more episodes a day. Reflux is a temporary problem that usually gets better as your baby’s digestive system matures.

However, a small percentage of babies have troublesome, severe or persistent reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD).

What causes reflux?

Your baby’s food pipe (esophagus) connects his mouth with his stomach. There is a valve, controlled by a ring of muscle, where his food pipe joins his stomach. When your baby eats, the valve opens to allow the milk through, then closes to keep it in his tummy. As this ring of muscle is still developing, it doesn’t always work properly. This means that when your baby’s tummy is full, milk and acid can come back up the food pipe, causing discomfort.

Bear in mind that your baby’s stomach is still tiny, so he may not be able to have much milk without some of it coming back up. When he’s a newborn, his stomach will only be about the size of a hazelnut. By day three, this will have increased to about the size of a walnut. Even by day 10, it will still only be about the size of a large hen’s egg.

Over time, the muscular valve at the entrance to your baby’s tummy will get stronger. Along with his growing stomach capacity, this means that your baby will grow out of reflux. 90 percent of babies who have it get better on their own before the end of their first year.

How will I know if my baby has reflux?

Your baby may bring up small amounts of milk (possetting) or occasionally vomit after eating. He may also have hiccups and cough and splutter a little.

This is normal and, as long as your baby is otherwise well, you don’t need to worry. Just make sure you always have a tissue handy.

How can I prevent reflux?

If your baby’s reflux is mild, and he’s still feeding well and isn’t too upset by it, these tips may help:

  • Feed your baby in an upright position.
  • Hold your baby upright for 20 minutes to 30 minutes after each feed.
  • Try giving your baby smaller, but more frequent, feeds.
  • If you bottle-feed your baby, burp him every two minutes or three minutes during feeds, and make sure that the hole in the teat isn’t too large. A teat that’s too big can cause milk to come out too fast.

When should I take my baby to see a doctor?

Bringing up a little milk or occasional vomiting after feeds is nothing to worry about. But speak to your health visitor or doctor if you notice that your baby:

  • has frequent reflux
  • is irritable during or after feeds, crying and arching his back
  • regularly vomits large amounts up to two hours after feeding
  • is bringing up green or yellow vomit, or vomit that has blood in it, which will look like coffee grounds
  • starts to fuss or refuse feeds, but will suck on a pacifier, if you use one
  • seems to have a sore tummy or throat
  • isn’t gaining weight

Keep a diary of your baby’s reflux to take to the doctor with you, if you can. Make a note of:

  • when your baby feeds
  • when he has bouts of crying
  • how often and how much he’s bringing up

This information will help your doctor to decide whether other problems could be involved.

Are there any treatments for reflux?

If your baby’s reflux is severe or troublesome, your doctor may advise a Proton-Pump Inhibitor (PPI). PPIs help to block the enzyme in the wall of the baby’s stomach that produces acid.

Most of the time Zantac (Ranitidine) is prescribed as the first line of defense against reflux. Another form of the same medication is Prevacid. It’s the pediatrician’s personal choice, however, most peditrician’s commonly prescribe Zantac now a days as it decreases gastric acid secretions as opposed to completely blocking the production of acid in the stomach.

The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can create Zantac or Prevacid alcohol free and in your choice of flavor.  Contact us today to learn more!

Cold and Flu Season is Approaching

fluThe heat of summer is gone, fall is upon us, and cold and flu season is in quickly approaching. Cold and flu season tend to send consumers racing to the stores to stock up on vitamins, tissue, hand sanitizer, and chicken soup. Cold and Flu season typically begins in November and can last into May, peaking in January and February. American adults tend to suffer from 2-4 colds annually and children from 6-12. Meanwhile, Influenza impacts about 5% to 20% of the population every year. Both colds and flu are caused by viruses and can have many of the same symptoms.

How to tell if it is a cold or the flu?

A cold has milder symptoms than the flu and more likely to cause a runny, stuffy nose, and sore throat. Cold symptoms may be annoying, but tolerable. Influenza, on the other hand, can cause much more severe symptoms such as fever, sore throat, chills, body aches, extreme fatigue, and nausea. Influenza may also lead to other medical complications such as Pneumonia or bacterial infections.
If your symptoms are severe, your physician can run a test to determine if it is Influenza.

How is Influenza spread?

The flu is a communicable virus that is spread from one person to another. When an infected person sneezes or coughs, the virus becomes airborne and is transferred into another person’s nose, eyes, or mouth. The flu virus can also be picked up when a person touches an infected surface, then rubs his/her eyes, nose, or mouth

Since the flu virus is contagious, a person can pass the virus before exhibiting symptoms themselves. Adults can spread the virus after 1 day before symptoms take effect and can pass it to other individuals for up to 5 days after they become symptomatic. The time in which children are contagious is a bit longer, and they can spread the virus for more than a full week after symptoms begin.

Should I take an antibiotic?

Do not take antibiotics unnecessarily. If you take an antibiotic to fight a cold or flu virus, it will not work. It is important not to take antibiotics without cause because your body can become resistant to the antibiotics for when you actually need them. However, if your cold or flu is not managed and turns into a bacterial infection in the lungs (Bronchitis) or sinuses (Sinusitis) your physician may prescribe an antibiotic to fight the infection.

Reduce your cold and flu risk!

Keeping your immune system strong is one way combat the cold and flu season. If your immune system is strong, it can fight off many of the germs that people are passing around, reducing your chance of getting sick. Here are a few other tips to ward off colds and flu:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS for at least 15-20 seconds with soap several times a day or sanitize with an alcohol base hand sanitizer.
  • Cover a cough with your inner elbow or a tissue
  • Avoid touching your face, eyes, or rubbing your nose
  • Drink lots of water – water helps clean toxins from your system and helps your organs function better
  • Wash out your water bottles every day
  • Get plenty of sleep – sleep helps revive your immune system
  • Take between 1500mg – 3000mg of Vitamin C daily in split doses
  • Take a pro-biotic – “good bacteria” helps your GI system filter out toxins
  • Manage stress – stress weakens the immune system

Natural Remedies for Colds and Flu

  • For short-term relief of a sore throat, gargle and rinse with salt water
  • Take vitamins to help your immune system fight the virus.
  • Hot drinks with honey can help congestion and cough.
  • Take a hot shower to help you relax and soothe your nasal passages.
  • Apply hot or cold compresses around your nasal cavity to assist with congestion
  • Elevate your head when you sleep to help nasal drainage

Overall, determining the best method of treatment for your illness is the most important action to take. Different medications can have different effects on each person so it’s best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking medication. If you or someone you know is suffering from a cold, cough, or the flu, a compounding pharmacist may be of great assistance to you. The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills can compound a customized medication prescribed by you physician to help treat your cough or cold symptoms. If you have any questions or concerns this cold and flu season, please contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills.