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by Carly Neubert, BA, NC January 15, 2020
Integrative Therapeutics has a very rich and trusted past when it comes to integrative medicine and its role in nutrition and lifestyle. You may be familiar with Integrative Therapeutics or specifically one of their popular products: Cortisol Manager, Active B Complex, Theracurmin HP, or HPA Adapt. Let's take a deeper look into the brand's history and what makes its most popular supplements so highly trusted in the industry.
While today they all reside under the umbrella of one company, Integrative Therapeutics started out as four different companies, all with their own different core supplements.
One of those companies, Vitaline Formulas, was started in 1975 by Jed Meese, a PhD and specialist in neurological, renal, and cardiovascular health. To this day, one of the original supplements, Vitaline CoQ10, is still well known and is recognized as a leading CoQ10 brand.
The second company, NF Formulas, was co-founded in 1978 by Bruce Canvasser, ND. This company, which was one of the first supplement brands developed exclusively for healthcare professionals, created many unique herbal-based nutritional combinations that are still in use today.
The next company, Tyler Encapsulations, was co-founded by Corey Resnick, a naturopathic doctor, in 1987. Specializing in gastrointestinal health, Dr. Resnick was recognized for several of his accomplishments, not just for his science-based GI formulations, but also for the Digestive Restoration Program, which has continued to evolve over the years with GI innovations.
Finally, PhytoPharmica, founded in 1981 by Terry Lemerond, became an innovator in the nutritional supplement industry and became well known for standardizing formulas, especially in adrenal support and cellular immunity.
In 2000, all four of these companies united to become Integrative Therapeutics, with an aim to bring together the best that science and medicine have to offer. You can think of these original companies as the grandfathers to all of the other big supplement brands you can think of. Fast forward to 2008, and Integrative Therapeutics chose to become affiliated with the Schwabe Group, whose shared vision is “From Nature. For Health.” With their committed past and more current affiliation choices, it is clear that this group of companies and their products have stood the test of time and earned our trust.
Integrative Therapeutics has a full offering of formulas in their line-up. Here is a review of some of the most potent and popular formulas:
Cortisol Manager has always been a useful and popular formula. In past generations, human life was not as complicated and stressful as it is now. Our modern lifestyle demands that we create more stress hormone (cortisol) than most bodies can keep up with. Cortisol Manager supports your adrenal glands in making stress hormone. Reviews are always positive for Cortisol Manager:
One client reported: "I started taking Cortisol Manager to help with sleeping. I like that it is a safer option to Unisom, etc. which may lead to early dementia per my pharmacist..."
Active B Complex
Active B Complex was and is a B-complex supplement with forward thinking. Long before anyone was talking about MTHFR or methylated B vitamins, Integrative Therapeutics was already using bioavailable B vitamins. Bioavailable means body-ready, or easy to absorb. Lower quality and lower cost B vitamin supplements contain inert or poorly absorbed versions of B vitamins. Biologically active B1, B2, B6, and B12 are included in this formula. B vitamins are critical for healthy homocysteine blood levels, as well as healthy methylation. Methylation can be the determining factor for many chronic illnesses as well as cancer.
Long before the current turmeric craze, Integrative Therapeutics saw the benefits of turmeric extract---curcumin. Theracurmin HP, is a novel preparation of turmeric using a patented, colloidal dispersion technology. This technology enhances the bioavailability (absorption) of curcumin, leading to increased curcumin levels in your blood. What sets this supplement apart from other supplements is well it is absorbed compared to regular turmeric powder or other curcumin extracts.
The curcumin in Theracurmin dissolves quickly in water and is easily absorbed in your digestive system. Curcumin in its normal form is poorly absorbed by your body, even when you take high doses. But Theracurmin studies have shown that this extract is 27 times more bioavailable than regular curcumin. The benefits of curcumin are numberless. Historically, curcumin has been shown to support your body’s detoxification pathways, cytokine and chemotactic response, and also provide relief of minor pain due to overuse. Curcumin can be taken in doses as high as 8,000mg without fear of toxicity. I recommend taking it with food to help absorption and decrease the risk of stomach upset.
HPA Adapt combines five adaptogenic herbs which help the body respond to both mental and physical stressors. It can be taken in place of, or along with Cortisol Manager, depending on the length and level of stress. Rhodiola root extract, Sensoril ashwagandha, eleuthero root extract, maca extract, and holy basil leaf are all considered adaptogenic herbs. Each one promotes a healthy stress hormone via the HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). Your body’s stress response is governed by this axis.
The HPS axis regulates many systems in your body including the gastrointestinal, neurological, and immune systems. It is a complex set of interactions and feedback loops between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. As such, it is very important for you to keep your HPA axis functioning at optimal levels. HPA Adapt is a non-stimulant formula that reduces mental stress and fatigue, improves moods and calms occasional anxiety while also supporting cognitive function. You can think of it as a natural version of an antidepressant or benzodiazepine. The herbs work on the same body systems that are affected by antidepressant medications.
While HPA adapt supports the communication within the axis, Adrenal Complex provides nutrients specifically for adrenal gland function. Adrenal Complex contains minerals, eleuthero, licorice, adrenal extracts, zinc, and vitamins A and C to provide nourishment and nutrients to your adrenal glands. It can be taken in combination with HPA Adapt and Cortisol Manager.
Most of my clients benefit from a lot of stress support. Often Cortisol Manager will help slightly with their fatigue and anxiety, but when we add HPA and adrenal support they make huge gains in their energy and quality of life.
Berberine is an active nutrient in many plants, including Phellodendron Amurense root. It is a nutrient that is usually found in stems, bark, roots, and rhizomes. Berberine extract is bright yellow and is sometimes used to dye wool, leather and wood. Berberine activates a chemical called adenosine monophosphate kinase (AMPK). This chemical compound can be activated through a few different things, including exercise. AMPK supports glucose metabolism via an insulin-independent mechanism. That is why it is used by people with hypoglycemia and diabetes.
Although various plants that contain berberine have been used in ancient Chinese medicine, recent developments have allowed for the isolation of the main active constituent known as berberine. Standardized supplements are now made as Berberine hydrochloride 500mg supplements.
Numerous randomized placebo-controlled trials have verified that berberine hydrochloride supports a variety of metabolic functions such as regulation of glycation, cardiovascular function, and lipid metabolism, blood sugar and insulin metabolism, and also insulin receptor expression, which directly impacts healthy glucose metabolism. I recommend taking one capsule two or three times a day. Berberine also shows promise for IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and SIBO (small intestinal bowel overgrowth).
Integrative Therapeutics Iron Complex features a liquid liver fraction. It is a rich source of heme iron and the most easily absorbed form of iron. Most iron supplements cause side effects such as nausea and constipation. Liver-based iron supplements are easily absorbed and do not cause digestive issues. Iron Complex also contains a small amount of Vitamin C to assist with iron absorption. B12 and folic acid are also included to increase energy levels. Low ferritin and low iron levels (anemia) are the main rationales behind taking additional iron supplements.
Integrative Therapeutics has a long-standing record of quality and proven formulas. In a world of one-off Amazon supplements, you can trust Integrative Therapeutics to use quality ingredients and effective formulas.
Carly Neubert BA, NC
For additional recipes, biohacking tips and lifestyle hacks -- check out my other blog on my coaching site www.cleancoachcarly.com! I post weekly about nutrition and lifestyle topics, all backed by science. Happy Reading!
Resources & References
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