Why Herbal Products Are Worth A Conversation

By Karin Krisher

Herbals, or botanicals, fall into the FDA’s “dietary supplements” category. Hundreds of natural herbs have been popular for medicinal-like use in Eastern cultures for centuries. But today, their integration into common supplement formulas can be a concern for your patients. Why?

Herbal products are the beginnings to many modern day medicines. They do have contraindications. And that gives them some concerning characteristics. Despite the fact that DaVinci makes use of some herbs in a few of our supplement formulas, we always ensure safety through truth in labeling. We’re acutely aware that herbs aren’t for everyone, and we make sure our customers are aware of this fact, too.

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Vitamin D: User’s Guide

By Karin Krisher

Vitamin D is probably the most talked about and controversial of the letter vitamins. And it isn’t even a vitamin in the traditional dietary sense. You know about cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) and ergocalciferol (vitamin D2), and how mammals can synthesize vitamin D from sunlight. But your patients may not be as familiar with the aptly coined sunshine vitamin. Here, they’ll find a user’s guide.

 What Are Some Health Supportive Qualities Of Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is widely associated with calcium. Supplemental vitamin D supports calcium and phosphorous absorption, crucial for the body’s development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. * It also may support immune system function through support of healthy cell growth.* Vitamin D is responsible for supporting healthy calcium metabolism in the body, which is necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system.* Further, vitamin D may support cardiovascular health and cellular differentiation.*

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Organic Brown Rice Protein: Something To Write Home About

By Karin Krisher

As your resident blogger, I don’t usually do the product recap thing. I try to keep it educational—the point of this blog is to start conversations and help your patients—not to tell you what to do, buy, or think. But this time around, I can’t help myself. This product is one you and your patients should definitely have on the radar.

I might be a resident blogger, but I’m also a resident fitness buff, and our new product is right up my alley. DaVinci’s Organic Brown Rice Protein is on sale today, ready to be mixed and loved.

What makes it so special?

In short? Everything. Brown rice is so commonly known as a starch that it might be hard to wrap your head around the idea of it as a complete protein with a complete amino acid profile. But that’s what DaVinci has created, through a low temperature, hexane free extraction process, wherein the carbohydrates are fermented away and the protein is here to stay.

To that end, each serving provides 22 grams of high quality, vegetarian protein to support muscle metabolism and cellular structure.* In addition, each scoop also includes 5 grams of fiber to support digestion and proper toxin elimination, thereby supporting proper absorption of the many nutrients in this formula.* (All with only 140 calories!)

There are two other features of DaVinci’s Organic Brown Rice Protein that might also spark your patients’ curiosity: It contains non dairy probiotics and offers a complete amino acid profile to support all areas of wellness.*

The non dairy probiotics are important because protein requires efficient breakdown in order to play its role in supporting health.* Probiotics support normal microflora growth and nutrient absorption and breakdown, to help your patients get the most of every nutrient available.*

Wait—There’s More!

The benefits of including a complete amino acid profile are endless. Rice protein is known for its high content of cysteine and methionine. When the body metabolizes cysteine, it produces glutathione, the master antioxidant in the body. Methionine can be converted to both SAMe and glutathione, helping to support detoxification, proper elimination of toxins, mood, joint health and more.*

Organic Brown Rice Protein also contains several other essential amino acids, including valine to support muscle growth, normal glucose levels and the transport of excess nitrogen from the liver to other body tissues as needed. *

Further, an advanced amino acid profile may support weight management and the provision of energy directly to muscle tissues.*

Is there anything this protein doesn’t have? Sure! It’s missing all the artificial flavors and added sugars of other products on the market. Give it a try today and let us know what you (and your patients) think in a comment!

Humans and Animals: Closer Than Ever?

By Karin Krisher

humans and animalsDid you know about the completion of the canine genome map? It happened in 2005. We hope you were paying attention, because the rest of the world wasn’t—or at least, we didn’t seem to understand the implications of the breakthrough. Luckily for average Josephines like myself, the American Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association were paying attention and came together in 2006 to adopt a new mindset about medical care for humans and animals.

The organizations recognized that “about 60 percent of all diseases move across species and that environmental pollution, animal diseases and human diseases constitute a single interlocking problem.” The mindset, called “one health” or “one medicine,” is changing the way physicians and veterinarians think about working together.

And that’s changing medicine. Where advancements in the two (animal and human medicine) have manifested 10 to 20 years apart in the past, today they happen around the same time.

DaVinci understands the commonalities between the two areas of health. To that end, we’ve worked closely with Research and Development to create products in our line that support companion animal wellness. Our line includes supplements like Joint Support and Serenity Now for Cats and for Dogs.

If you haven’t thought about your options for supporting companion animal health, perhaps there’s no better time than in this emerging era of cross-discipline information sharing.

Learn more about the changing face of medicine with this article—reading until the end helped us grasp the full power of these changes.

Have you ever worked side-by-side with a veterinarian? How did the experience match up to your expectations? Tell us in a comment!

Talk to Your Patients About Probiotics

Karin Krisher

Talking to your patients about probiotics might be just the kick start they need on their path to everyday health. Going with your gut means more than just following your heart. With the ever-emerging understanding of digestive health as it relates to food consumption, we’ve been able to embrace the idea that the gut can have a huge effect on total health—including a significant one on neurological wellness.

Probiotics are a hot news topic, and we couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon for this discussion. Here, we tell you about the talking points you and your patients should cover.

  1. Explain why probiotics exist in the first place.

The gut is the most biologically active area in the body—more plentiful microorganisms that are more active than other microorganisms reside here. Further, bacteria in the body outnumber cells 10 to one. Zoom outward with your patients—ask them to view the gut as it’s own living system, an organism that needs specified care. Probiotics, either in food cultures or in supplement form, can provide that support.*

     2. Talk about antibiotics.

The New York Times summarized a large scale study and report on probiotic use in comparison to antibiotic use. The researchers and reporters concluded  that probiotics support microbial balance, even that which is otherwise affected by antibiotics. Intuitively, that makes sense: pro plus anti equals balance. But your patients might need some of the facts to back up the potential benefits.

      3. Talk about natural sources.

Now, new information tells us what isn’t not be so obvious: even red wine may act as a probiotic delivery system. Fermented foods (like yogurt) have long been touted for their probiotic content, but wine’s relatively novel, and while the Times is quick to caution us that no doctor would recommend alcohol solely for its potential digestion supportive properties, we’ll leave that up to you. At least you can let your patients know that this is an option. Which brings us to our next talking point.

      4. Talk about the options.

While we’re yogurt fans, many people are not—and that’s OK. For those who are interested in supplementing their diets with probiotics, there are a million options. Our favorites, of course, come from the DaVinci line. Mega Probiotic ND, Mega Probiotic ND with Digestive Enzymes Chewable and NonDairy Probiotic 50+ all offer something slightly different from one another.

Choosing one is tough, we admit, but your patients should have all of the information about each before they pick. Our chewable probiotic includes digestive enzymes for support of nutrient absorption and utilization.* It also tastes delicious, which is always beneficial to compliance. Our Mega Probiotic ND is a nondairy formula with 5 billion CFU per capsule, alongside fructooligosaccharides, a prebiotic. Finally, DaVinci’s new probiotic, NonDairy 50+, features over 50 billion CFU of beneficial bacteria per serving, FOS, and multiple bacteria strains, making it the most concentrated and diverse option.

       5. Talk about the connection.

Which connection? The connection. Let your patients know that whatever is going on in their minds is so affected by microbial balance that the thread is often referred to as “the gut/brain connection.” So instead of asking them to plunge headfirst into the mysteries of their current mental states, ask them to think about what they ate last night.

As Scrooge so famously professed to the ghost of his dead business partner, “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”

And he was probably right.

Talk to Your Patients About Joint Health

By Karin Krisher

“To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.

 -Jerry Seinfeld

You’ve talked to your patients about joint health before. But how many of them have brought the issue to you?

Addressing it out of the blue can catch some patients, specifically younger patients, off guard—especially because when joints aren’t in pain, they can fly very much under the radar.

We move constantly. From a small finger twitch to the knees’ bends as we climb out of bed, joints are involved. That’s why they’re so easy to forget. Joint healthLike all biological processes—blinking, muscle metabolism, immune system function—the movement of the joint doesn’t generally demand our brain’s full attention.

And so we forget that it needs nourishment and attention, often until it is too late.

According to Dr. Greg Fors, author of “Why We Hurt” and clinical director of the Minnesota-based Pain and Brain Healing Center, “Even in today’s ‘modern medicine,’ early diagnosis of degenerative joint disease” (one of the top ten most common diseases in the world) “is still based on keen clinical observation and radiographic changes. However, when you make the diagnosis at this point, your patient has already fully developed the disease.”

Bring up joint health with your patients long before they expect it: it will be better for them to experience a surprise today than to continue down a path that can lead to a bigger (and much more disappointing) surprise later.

The Truth About Joint Health

Inflammation and break down of joint cartilage is caused by various factors, especially genetics and nutrition. Right now, we can’t do much in Joint healththe way of the genetic factors (aside from monitor those patients closely), but we do have an option to make a difference in patients’ dietary and supplementation choices.

First, ask the patient if s/he has ever spoken with anyone about joint health and function. Often, patients aren’t aware of the factors that influence joint health—many are even unaware of the definition of synovial fluid and its place in and impact on the body. If your patient is unfamiliar with the lingo, a slow introduction will be appropriate.

List the factors that can contribute to joint health, so he or she can tell you if any of these factors might be cropping up in his/her lifestyle.

Over-acidification of tissue and blood is one major underlying cause of degenerative joint disease. Here, your patient may not know much about the alkaline nature of his or her food. Inform them that paying attention to Joint Healthacidity is important—including foods that are more alkaline in nature should be emphasized.  Similarly, avoiding foods like white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and other deadly nightshades comes highly recommended for those that are susceptible to joint degeneration, as arthritis sufferers often share an allergy to these types of foods.

Candidiasis has also been linked to joint issues. Too much sugar (intake of which most patients are unaware) can cause this infection that can proliferate degenerative joint disease through producing fungal poisons.  Similarly, patients concerned about potential gluten intolerance issues deserve a joint discussion.

Finally, address heavy metal toxicity. If your patient has never attempted detoxification processes, ask them about their diet to find out if they are eating plenty of foods that contribute to liver health and detoxification processes. If not, find out why– perhaps they need a more convenient source of nutrients to support detoxification processes, like Spectra Greens.*

Other important factors for joint health do exist outside of the diet. Of course, exercise should be mentioned. (See our post on this conversation.) Over exertion or minimal activity can contribute directly to joint issues.

For example, as we age, we lose muscle mass, which can lead to the joint taking the impact of activities that otherwise impact muscle. Maintaining muscle mass as we age is important to maintaining joint health. Excess weight can cause joints to do the same—take unnecessary impact and degrade over time. A moderate, healthy amount of varied exercise should be emphasized.


When it’s time for your patient to make figurative and literal moves, guide them with further discussions similar to the one highlighted above. Compliance is nine tenths of the law in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, and as time goes by, your patients might fall off their own joint health bandwagon. Keep them on it by asking periodic questions about their diet or joint health regimen, and by suggesting comprehensive literature on the subject.

What may surprise your patients today could have them thanking you tomorrow for your clear understanding of the importance of early action and prevention and your commitment to overall health.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Talk to Your Patients About Pet Health

By Karin Krisher

cat and human healthVeterinarians and doctors have a few things in common.  The most obvious, of course, is that both are helpers. One group focuses on pet health, one focuses on human health. Both vaccinate, (generally) know how to check vitals, carry stethoscopes, and don’t get the heebie-jeebies when blood shows up unexpectedly (or expectedly).

But for all the things they have in common, veterinarians and doctors remain fundamentally separate in one aspect: their patients. Your human patients seem worlds away from their animal counterparts, especially because your office might be a pet-free environment where your patients can remain comfortably compartmentalized into a separate medicinal realm. They might stay there, too, until they have a health issue directly associated with an animal, like an allergy to their new puppy or a serious kitten scratch.

But the truth is, the health of the human species is unquestionably related to the animal species with whom we choose to spend our time. That’s why DaVinci carries a line of pet health support supplements designed to support total health in cats and dogs. We know that the relationship between two species is incredibly important, and that discussing healthy options for supplementation for pets can go a long way, for several reasons.

Discussing pet health with one of your patients shouldn’t be difficult, and you definitely won’t be barking up the wrong tree. (People love their pets!) Begin humbly, conceding that their veterinarian might have already discussed with them the subject of animal/human relationships and health. Then share with them some of the reasons for your concern.

pet health

Not only can certain illnesses be transmitted from pet to owner, but attitudes can be transmitted from owner to pet, and similarly, when one of the two is stressed (or unhealthy), the other will most likely be under the weather as well.

First, we can catch illnesses from our pets, either through an infected scratch, a fungal spread from mere petting, or through getting some nasty litter box dirt underneath our nails. But the less obvious health benefits of having a pet should be your true focus throughout the conversation. From improving human cognition to lowering human stroke risk, pets have proven their far-reaching beneficial effects again and again. In fact, National Public Radio recently reported that recently, “studies have been focusing on the fact that interacting with animals can increase people’s level of the hormone oxytocin.”

The conversation about these benefits doesn’t arise because you want your patient to run out and buy a dog, but because if he or she already owns one, s/he may not realize just how much pet health affects his or her own health, either positively or negatively. And s/he probably also doesn’t realize that there are tools to support the positive effects.

For example, when a cat is stressed out, he might get aggressive or participate in excessive urine marking, consequently causing his owner stress, which we all know can be detrimental to health. Cats get stressed out for a variety of reasons, from sickness to minor environmental irritations. Supporting their total health with multivitamins or a calming complex is a great way for patients to come to understand feline health needs while meeting their own.

Final thoughts on pet health

pet health and runningBringing the topic of pet health to light for your patients will show them that you’re truly paying attention to all aspects of their health and what affects it on a day-to- day basis. Offering them healthy alternatives, like DaVinci pet supplements, will not only show that you care, but it will also make their lives more simple, as your office will have become a one stop shop, so to speak, for health.

Check out our line of supplements to support pet health at davincilabs.com. And remember, a healthy, happy pet means a healthy, happy patient.