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Larry Newman is the Chief Operating Officer, Technical and Regulatory Affairs of Kirkman Group, Inc. (Kirkman). Contact Kirkman at 1-800-245-8282; 6400 Rosewood St., Lake Oswego, OR.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Scientific Model for Approaching Special Needs Conditions

By Larry Newman

Physicians' and nutritionists' opinions on how to approach special needs conditions are always changing. Some of the current clinical work centers on developing a certain basic model as the most logical way of implementing biomedical and nutritional interventions.  This model should help parents just getting started to set priorities and initiate a plan.

Defining a Poor Nutritional Profile and Steps to Improve It

By Larry Newman

Basically a poor nutritional profiles is a series of nutritional deficiencies that may be present in an individual. It is very prevalent in sensitive individuals for numerous reasons. A balanced diet for these individuals is usually not the rule. First, special diets, such as gluten-free/casein-free (GF/CF) or the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), may be in place that are not balanced nutritionally. Second, a person's tastes and attitudes can be such that their diet is very deficient in vitamins, minerals, or other nutritional necessities. Or a facet of biochemistry can be irregular, making the absorption of nutrients suboptimal.

Scientific Model for Special Needs Conditiions

By Larry Newman

Last month we looked at the most recent scientific model for approaching special needs conditions.  Reviewed and prioritized in the following order were:
  • evaluating gastrointestinal health;
  • using special diets;
  • improving nutritional status;
  • addressing sleep disorders;
  • addressing behavioral and social skills issues;
  • improving immune status.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gastrointestinal Considerations in Special Needs Individuals

By Larry Newman

The Importance of Gastrointestinal Health

Physicians have known for centuries that a well-functioning gastrointestinal tract and digestive system are crucial to good health. When digestion is working optimally, other organs and systems in the body have a better chance of working optimally, as well.  
This is because the digestive system is responsible for processing the nutrients in our food, which in turn are used for all of our biochemical processing including growth, reproduction, development, tissue repair, healing, and for the optimal functioning of every organ in the body. Therefore, the digestive system is very much responsible for supporting the health of the body as a whole.

In addition to providing fuel for the body through nutrition, the intestinal tract also plays an integral role in the operation of our immune and nervous systems.  This association is often referred to as the gut-brain connection. 

Behavior and Sleep

By Larry Newman
Challenges for Individuals with Special Sensitivities
Behavioral and sleep disorders are very common in sensitive and special needs individuals. Because each individual is different and displays different forms of the disorders
, it is challenging to find the right interventions for a given person.  Often laboratory test results are of no value here as what causes one child to behave in a certain manner, may have no effect or a different effect on another.  Sometimes doctors and parents are forced to use trial and error evaluations of various interventions until the correct regimen is found for a given patient.

How to Support Biochemical Pathways in the Body

By Larry Newman

Special needs individuals tend to exhibit abnormalities in several biochemical pathways. Each of these individual pathways has a unique purpose and an abnormality can lead to numerous health issues. A description of those pathways most often disrupted follows.

How to Support Digestive Health

By Larry Newman

An Introduction to Digestive Function 

The primary function of the digestive tract is to break down the large particles of food that we eat into small
molecules that can cross over the intestinal lining, enter the bloodstream, and become fuel for the various metabolic processes in the body. In order to accomplish this function, the intestinal tract is involved in four primary activities: digestion, absorption, assimilation, and elimination. 

The Role of Dietary Supplements During the Holiday Season

By Larry Newman

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the traditional holiday season that continues through the end of the year. During this season it becomes very easy to forget to take our dietary supplements because we are “too busy.” The irony of this is that this holiday time is one of the most important periods for us to remember to take dietary supplements for several reasons.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Immune Support 101

By Larry Newman

The immune system is a complex and dynamic network of many soluble components including cells, membranes, and a mini-circulatory system separate from blood vessels.  These entities all work together to 
protect us from infection by opportunistic microbes, bacteria, viruses, fungi and
parasites that abound in our environment.  The immune system also constantly scans our bodies for any signs of abnormal cell growth.

Our body’s first line of defense against unwanted intruders consists of our skin, our body enzymes, such as saliva and stomach acid, and our protective epithelial cells, which line our body’s mucosal surfaces.  These physical factors combined with specialized white blood cells make up our innate immune system, which is rather non-specific and broad-spectrum in nature.

Probiotics 101

By Larry Newman

How Probiotics Work

There is a growing appreciation in scientific circles that the human body relies on armies of “friendly” bacteria to promote good health.

Probiotics are the good flora that can counter balance harmful bacteria to provide protection from illness and support other functions essential to a healthy gut and immune system.

“Probiotic” means "for life."  Technically, probiotics are live, beneficial bacteria which 
benefit the host by improving the intestinal flora ratio of good to harmful organisms.

Vitamins Nutrition and Health

 By Larry Newman


Vitamins are defined as natural organic compounds required by an organism to stay healthy and support body functions.  A compound is called a “vitamin” when it cannot be synthesized in sufficient quantities by an organism and must be obtained from the diet.

The Role of Minerals in Your Diet

By Larry Newman

Every living cell on earth depends on minerals for proper structure and function.

Minerals are naturally occurring chemical elements that are found in the earth. Erosion breaks down stone, rocks, particulate and sand to form soil, which is the basis for plant growth. The minerals are thereby passed on to the plants, which are in turn passed on to the herbivorous animals that eat the plants. Humans eat plants and the herbivorous animals to obtain necessary mineral nutrients.

What You Should Know About Essential Fatty Acids

By Larry Newman

When we talk about essential fatty acids (EFAs), the word “essential” describes the group of fatty acids that the body cannot produce; therefore, they must be obtained from our diet.

Super Nu-Thera® is Still #1

By Larry Newman

For more than 40 years, Super Nu-Thera® has been the number one choice of supplementation for individuals with certain sensitivities and dietary requirements.

Now's the Time to Strengthen Your Immune System

By Larry Newman

It is back-to-school time as well as the beginning of cooler weather and flu season.  This year more than ever, with the specter of swine flu combined with the usual viruses, a strong

The Importance of Dietary Supplementation during the Holiday Season and New Year

By Larry Newman

December and the holiday season are once again upon us.  During this time of the year, it becomes very easy to forget to take our dietary supplements because we are "too busy."

CD Biotic™ and CD-Herbal™: Powerful Promoters of Gastrointestinal Health

By Larry Newman

CD-Biotic™: A Specialty Probiotic

Probiotics are defined scientifically as “living microorganisms that when ingested or locally applied in sufficient numbers can fill one or more specified, demonstrated functional or
health benefits on the host.” Probiotics have been called nature's “internal healers” because of their crucial role in the health and functioning of the intestinal tract. Probiotics are actually friendly (desirable and beneficial) bacteria that help keep the flora of the gastrointestinal tract balanced correctly with respect to good and bad organisms.

What You Should Know - Facts About Methylation, Sulfation and Oxidative Stress

By Larry Newman

I get many requests from parents to explain sulfation, methylation and oxidative stress in detail so a plan of action or supplement regimen can be implemented.  

Environmental Factors and Their Effect on Good Health

By Larry Newman

The Emerging Science
Substantial evidence is emerging that links many diseases to negative environmental influences present in the world in which we live.

The Importance of Antioxidants for Oxidative Stress

By Larry Newman

Our bodies constantly react with oxygen as we breathe and as our cells produce energy.  This oxygen activity has its consequences because during this process, highly reactive molecules are produced known as free radicals.  These free radicals then interact with other molectules within our cells causing oxidative damage to proteins, membrances, genetic material and other cell components.  External factors such as pollution, sunlight, chemicals, heavy metals and other impurities we encounter or ingest also trigger the production of free radicals.  This whole process of oxidation and free radical production is known as oxidative stress.  Evidence is convincing that oxidative stress im imprilicated in many diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease and also has an impact on the body's aging process.

It is important to minimize oxidative stress damage by consuming antioxidants that retard the process.  Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against the effects of free radicals.  The body produces an array of antioxidants to defend itself against these free radicals.  Selected foods we eat also contain a variety of antioxidants including vitamins, minerals and enzymes that also aid in quenching and destroying the free radicals.  Certain fruits and vegetables also contain certain nutrients that are powerful antioxidants. 
Many of the vitamins and minerals we consume from food or nutritional supplements have antioxidant properties.  These include:

    Specialty dietary supplements that target antioxidant activity are also available and include:
      Tomatoes contain a pigment called lycopene that gives the plant its red color.  Lycopene is a very powerful antioxidant, so consuming tomato-based products such as canned tomatoes, tomato sauces, tomato soup or juice and even ketchup will provide your body with antioxidant activity.  Lycopene is also present in watermelon in highly concentrated quantities.  Additionally, lycopene is available as a dietary supplement.
      Lutein is a carotenoid type antioxidant found in green leafy vegetables that has been recently implicated in preventing or lessening the severity of macular eye degeneration.  It too is available as a supplement. 

      Citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes are extremely high in antioxidant activity because they contain natural substances such as carotenoids, flavonoids, terpenes and coumarins, all of which offer good free radical protection.

      Certain members of the berry family contain powerful antioxidants as well including cranberries, blueberries, elderberries, acai, black currants and grapes, all of which contain high concentrations of anthocyanins, which possess high antioxidant activity.  Grapes also contain another powerful antioxidant called resveratrol that is getting a lot of interest as of late.  Resveratrol is the component of red wine that is thought to be the healthy component that, along with the abundant flavonoid polyphenols also present, helps contribute to the fact that the French suffer a relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease despite having a diet rich in saturated fats.  More research is necessary to prove this correlation. 

      When it comes to antioxidant activity, the described compounds work more powerfully as a group rather than separately.  Combining the vitamins, minerals, specialty supplements and foods provide a far greater benefit as a result of the antioxidants working synergistically together.  It is not necessary to take all of the aforementioned products to get this beneficial effect.  You can pick and choose those that fit into your dietary habits and supplement regimen. 

      It is impossible for us to avoid all damage by free radicals because they arise both inside and outside of our bodies.  By utilizing the protective effect of antioxidants, however, one can feel comfortable with the fact that research shows that people who eat a diet rich in antioxidants, fruits and vegetables are less likely to get certain diseases. 

      Individuals with special dietary requirements and individuals with special needs often have elevated oxidative stress.  There are laboratory markers which measure levels of antioxidant compounds present in the body.  Talk to your doctor about appropriate testing and subsequent supplementation with antioxidants.

      Prebiotics Nourish Good Bacteria

      Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible foods that make their way through our digestive system and act as nourishment for good bacteria and probiotics.

      Gastrointestinal Problems Revisited

      By Larry Newman

      In last month’s newsletter, Kirkman® reported on a new study done by Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network (ATN), which indicated that gastrointestinal symptoms occur in nearly halfof children with ASD, and the prevalence increases as children get older. The results of this study were presented by ATN at the Pediatric Academic Societies' annual meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada, on May 2, 2010.

      Facts About Minerals to Help You Make the Right Choices

      By Larry Newman


      Minerals offer more choices than any other type of dietary supplement. This wide variety of selection variables often leads to indecision and confusion on the part of consumers.

      Review: Everything You Wanted to Know About Digestive Enzymes

      By Larry Newman


      Enzymes are protein-based constituents of living organisms, plant and animal, which regulate the activities of all living cells.