NYBC’s HIV+Aging Series Continues, Now Online!

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Jackie Haught offered personal insights into healing from her 30 years as an acupuncture practitioner.

In recognition of World AIDS Day 2014, New York Buyers’ Club hosted another installment in our ongoing free public seminar series, HIV+AGING. Held Tuesday December 2nd at City University of New York’s Graduate Center in Manhattan, the workshop was a great success and – like any good show – left folks craving more.

This thirst can now be slaked online – on NYBC’s new YouTube page, now featuring excerpts from the December 2 event – with more to come in the future!

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HIV+AGING: What Can Complementary & Alternative Medicine Do for You? featured three outstanding and personable speakers presenting valuable information and insights gleaned from their years of experience in the field of health and HIV.

Panelists included: Dr. Vani Gandhi, Director of Integrative Medicine at Spencer Cox Center for Health at Mount Sinai’s St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospitals; Jackie Haught, Founder of Blue Lotus Acupuncture Center in NYC and an acupuncture practitioner for more than 30 years; and NYBC’s own Treatment Director, George Carter, also President of Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research.

Presentations were followed by a hearty and heartfelt Q&A session: attendees not only posed pertinent questions to the panelists, but also opened up with one another about their own personal “CAM” experiences, both positive and frustrating.

We are already planning the next event and welcome collaborators!

Tune in to New York Buyers Club’s new YouTube channel for excerpts from our latest HIV+AGING event and more.

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In The News: CoQ10 Proves Its Worth Again

Heart To Heart: News & Tips For A Healthy Heart

New research on the supplement CoQ10, recently published in American and European medical journals, shows that it increases survival rates and decreases hospitalizations for people being treated for heart failure. CoQ10 (also called Coenzyme Q10, among other names) is a powerful antioxidant and acts as an essential factor in the heart’s energy production. In the past, clinical studies have provided evidence of its value as an adjunct treatment for angina, congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and hypertension (high blood pressure). In addition, researchers have found that statin drugs deplete CoQ10, and so it has been suggested that people taking these cholesterol-lowering drugs should also use CoQ10 to support healthy heart function.

CoQ10 (also called Coenzyme Q10 and ubiquinone, among other names) is a powerful antioxidant and acts as an essential factor in the heart’s energy production. A naturally occurring and powerful antioxidant nutrient, it retards free radical formation in biological systems, and resembles vitamin E and vitamin K in chemical structure. Biochemically, it functions much like vitamin E in that it participates in antioxidant and free radical reactions. 

NOW AVAILABLE FROM NYBC’S ONLINE CO-OP:
Jarrow Formulas’ Q-Absorb, available in two strengths, utilizes a “completely natural proliposome lipid soluble delivery system clinically shown in humans to increase Co-Q10 levels up to 400% – three to four times better absorbed than chewable Co-Q10 tablets.” Price: $21- $29.

Douglas Labs’ Cardio Edge* employs plant sterols (phytosterols) from soy, Sytrinol (a proprietary extract of polymethoxylated flavones and tocotrienols from citrus and palm fruits), and pomegranate extract. Their Ultra Coenzyme Q10 ($121.60) has 60 chewable tablets with 200 mg CoQ10 combined with 500 mg lecithin.

* Note: Prices on Douglas Labs’ products are considerably lower for NYBC members!

The study lasted for two years and compared heart failure patients taking 100mg CoQ10 three times per day with patients who were not taking the supplement. By the end of the two-year period, the CoQ10 group showed a significantly lower rate of hospitalization for heart failure, significantly better functional capacity, and a significantly lower rate of death from cardiovascular disease.

NYBC has stocked CoQ10 since our founding, and has recently expanded its offerings. We’re happy that we’ve been able to provide this important supplement at discounted prices to our members over the years, and we’re happier still to see this new research strengthening the case for a supplement that already had a considerable amount of evidence demonstrating its benefit for heart health.

Here are some additional NYBC suggestions for cardiovascular health. All are based on our reading of the always-evolving research on nutrition and nutritional supplements:

Eating fatty fish (such as wild salmon) once or twice a week is an excellent approach to maintaining cardiovascular health; however, regular supplementation with fish oil can also provide the omega-3 fatty acids (called DHA and EPA) that have been closely linked to cardiovascular benefit. Note that supplements, when properly purified, avoid the problem of mercury contamination, a concern for those who eat sea food regularly.

Niacin, a B vitamin, is still one of the best agents for supporting cardiovascular health. In a long-term study, it was associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death related to cardiovascular disease. (Don’t be misled by some recent reports about Niacin’s lack of effect, which only appeared in a study using a particular form of the supplement together with a statin drug.) The main drawback of Niacin is that it may cause flushing and itching, which make it difficult or impossible for some to take. Starting with a low dose of about 100 mg and working up to about 1,000 mg per day may minimize this reaction.

Other helpful agents include carnitine (which may lower triglycerides), pantethine (a B vitamin) and phytosterols, such as those in Douglas Labs’ CardioEdge.

Acetylcarnitine Gets Credit

Don’t let the icky generic packaging fool you! All NYBC products and vendors are carefully vetted and hand-picked. The manufacturer here, Montiff, produces our “house brand,” N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine (90 capsules; 500 mg ea acetyl-L-carnitine), as well as our proprietary ThiolNAC (which we unfortunately just ran out of stock of).

 

Longtime NYBC Favorite for Neuropathy Gets Its Due

A 2013 review by neurology experts found confirmation of the benefits of acetylcarnitine (also called N-acetyl-L-carnitine) supplementation for diabetes-related neuropathy (=nerve pain and damage), for HIV and antiretroviral therapy-related neuropathies, for neuropathy caused as a side effect of chemotherapy, and for neuropathy caused by compression (like sciatica). According to the review, acetylcarnitine “represents a consistent therapeutic option for peripheral neuropathies.”

Furthermore, recent research on acetylcarnitine has provided new insights into how the supplement works to diminish the pain of neuropathy and promote the regrowth of damaged nerve tissue.  That’s why the authors of the review conclude that the recently expanded knowledge about acetylcarnitine’s mechanism of action can open up “new pathways in the study of peripheral nerve disease management.”

We’re glad to see confirmation of earlier findings about the value of this supplement for conditions like the peripheral neuropathy experienced by people with HIV—NYBC has been recommending it for that purpose for many years.

We hope that this review will lead to even wider recognition in the medical community of the value of acetylcarnitine as a therapy for neuropathy.  It’s time this supplement got its due!

 

Want to know more about amazing acetylcarnitine?
This blog has 26 related articles about acetylcarnitine!

Over 50 And Poz? Join The Club!

Insights on HIV+Aging From Our Resident Expert

Bette Davis was famous for her quip that “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.” Well, many of us, sissies or not, are getting there anyway, and Bette had no idea what kind of challenges would arise with HIV added to the mix.

NYBC is for anyone, with any chronic condition, who wants to maintain health. As a gay man living with hepatitis C, it has helped me enormously to keep my liver in good shape, bloodwork normal, and viral load extremely low. But we formed in the era of HIV. Members of NYBC’s Board of Directors and many in our membership are living with HIV and that remains a priority. Those who survived that era, and a new generation, are now all in mid-life or later, and rightfully full of questions.

The good news is that more and more people with HIV are living into old age. But, as our 2013 HIV+Aging event with ACRIA’s Dr. Stephen Karpiak underscored, there are many challenges that may arise. Some of these are familiar to older folks, but may appear earlier or more aggressively for those who are HIV+.

Much can be done to address these issues, especially by preventing them from arising in the first place. Prevention and mitigation strategies can start when you note risk factors in bloodwork or changes in your physical or mental and emotional condition. At our HIV+Aging event on December 2, NYBC presented comprehensive and holistic methods and means you may use to make life more livable. The information from the presentations available online and through printed summaries.

As always, the first step is you. How are you? How is your weight? Energy? Sexual energy (libido)? Muscle strength and tone? Thinking? Feeling and emotional state? Is there any pain? How is your bloodwork? 

Of course, it is becoming abundantly clear how vital diet and exercise are at the outset. There’s no one simple answer here, and that fact can be a big barrier or challenge for many people. Find help if you need it – but this can also be a place of great self-empowerment. Not just in the things you try to avoid (processed foods, soda, etc.), but in the things you choose to eat. And the good news is that there are many delicious and healthier choices.

A good rule of thumb is just to eat more fruits and vegetables, preferably fresh (or frozen, rather than canned). Fruits such as apples and berries are incredibly high in good phyto-nutrients, as are green and leafy vegetables such as kale and broccoli, and red, orange and yellow fruits and vegetables such as beets, carrots, and winter squash. These veggies are also a great source of the all-important fiber you need for good digestive function! You might think that watery fruits and veggies, such as watermelon, cucumber, and celery, are lower in nutrients, but on the contrary – they are among the most nutritious. Be sure to include legumes in your diet: beans of all kinds are among the healthiest foods you can eat.

Exercise is also something each of us needs to work on. Walking whenever possible, for example. Cycling, swimming or just doing exercises at home can make a very big difference not just for energy and lean tissue, but all the way down to the cellular level, helping your cells’ powerhouses, the mitochondria.

More and more research is pointing to an underlying common problem: inflammation. This is tested for in a variety of ways, mostly by bloodwork. Even when you are on a good regimen of antiretrovirals (ARV) that suppresses the viral load below detectability, the virus is still there and active. It is causing the body to respond in ways that continue to send out inflammatory signals.

These inflammatory processes have been associated with liver and kidney problems, gut trouble (where most of the HIV virus resides), digestive problems, neurological disease (from neuropathy to cognitive impairment), sugar control (diabetes), hormonal problems (low testosterone), and heart and cardiovascular risks.

Indeed, the cardiovascular risks that people with HIV face are heightened and significant. This is where bloodwork plays a key role. Get complete copies. and work with your doctor to understand it. Is your cholesterol high? What is your LDL (“bad cholesterol”) level? Is your “good cholesterol” (HDL) high enough? What is your vitamin D level? There are some other tests your doctor may consider that can help you understand how your blood moves, such as d-dimer and CRP (or hsCRP).

There’s a wide array of dietary supplements that may help you to address underlying inflammation, and data for some of these agents has been accumulating over the years and show good benefit. The very first is the use of a good, potent multivitamin/mineral formula to provide the essential building blocks your body needs. Even for people who are not on ARV, this simple intervention has been shown to significantly reduce the rate of disease progression to AIDS.

Other elements of a core anti-inflammation protocol include: fish oils (for blood fats and also, perhaps surprisingly, depression), niacin (for LDL and HDL), alpha lipoic acid and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) for inflammation, and acetylcarnitine for neuropathy.

More and more data are coming out on how important the “good” bacteria in our guts are and the value of using probiotics (like acidophilius or bifidus) in helping to heal the lining of the gut. Low Vitamin D levels in HIV have been linked to a wide range of problems, including more rapidly thinning bones. Having not just the D3 and calcium, but a good formula to help bone function, along with resistance exercise, can help keep your skeleton strong.

There’s much more than we can cover here. Crafting a regimen and approach that works for you, allowing that to evolve and develop over time will help to assure that you are, and remain, in the best health possible… so that you can get on with your life! And we hope that our summary of the key nutrients and agents that show benefit will help you on your way.

We are happy to discuss any questions you have to help you in making treatment choices. Consultations are free. Email us questions via the form below, or schedule a time to speak on the phone by leaving a message at (800) 650-4983.

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George Carter
Treatment Director, New York Buyers’ Club

New York Buyers’ Club Unveils Revamped Website and Blog, Launches 2015 Revitalization Campaign

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Donate to NYBC’s Indiegogo Campaign by Feb 21!

Advances in treatment for HIV, hepatitis C, and other serious illnesses have been made over the last decade, and that’s good news! Many people also utilize nutritional supplements and other forms of integrative medicine to complement standard medical treatments, ameliorate adverse side-effects, and maintain health and well-being. However, many lack information and evidence about those approaches, and have difficulty affording them, since health insurance doesn’t usually provide coverage.

Two decades ago, in the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic, patients and their allies took action: we researched all kinds of possible treatments that might help – some proved helpful, others not. We also formed “buyers’ clubs” to provide information about and distribute experimental drugs, vitamins, and herbs. Thousands of lives were extended and saved. The award-winning film, “Dallas Buyers Club,” tells a story of one of them. Today, only one of these groups survives: We are New York Buyers’ Club.

NYBC Needs Your Help to Carry Out Our Mission!
Please make a tax-deductible donation
to our Indiegogo
 Campaign by February 21!

Since 2009, New York Buyers’ Club has been:

  • Making available fully vetted, high-quality nutritional supplements at the lowest possible prices, and
  • Researching, simplifying, and disseminating the latest on how supplements can be powerful tools to reduce symptoms and drug side effects, and educating people about the most effective ways to use them – information accessible via our website, blog, newsletter, and social media.

NYBC offers online mail orders of more than 200 nutritional supplement products. Over the past decade, thousands worldwide have become Club members and benefited from our purchasing co-op and educational services. Our members especially value our personalized customer service to answer or research anyone’s questions.

New York Buyers’ Club is a vital resource for many people with serious illnesses such as HIV and hepatitis C.  We have much potential to serve many more with other diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. The evidence mounts daily about the power of nutrients to enhance health and well-being, and reduce the adverse side effects of standard medical treatments.

Your support for NYBC’s 2015 Indiegogo campaign will enable us to:

  • Compile more of the latest research on using nutrition to support people with chronic illnesses
  • Publish our SUPPLEMENT newsletter on complementary care more often
  • Mount a national campaign to promote membership in our purchasing co-op
  • Continue to improve our use of state-of-the-art digital technologies to put forth clear nutritional info
  • Engage various disease groups to build partnerships
  • Expand our efforts to attract major donors for new projects
  • Develop new efforts to address the crisis in access to affordable hepatitis C medicines

Your contributions are fully tax-deductible. We are the ONLY remaining non-profit buyers’ club in the USA helping people with serious illnesses. Thank you for your support to keep us going and growing!

The Real Story On Niacin: Niacin associated with significant reductions in cardiovascular disease and mortality

You may have heard some recent reports on Niacin (one of the B-vitamins) that seemed to suggest it wasn’t of benefit for cardiovascular disease. Actually, the recent studies fueling these reports only looked at certain special forms of niacin taken together with a statin drug. These studies proved a disappointment to the statin drug makers, because the research didn’t show any additional benefit in adding the niacin. (By the way, some researchers have pointed out problems with the special forms of niacin used in these studies.)

Given the confusion in some news reports about Niacin, we at NYBC think it’s important to repeat what researchers stated about Niacin in a March 2014 article in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics. This article reviewed the recent Niacin studies, and also reiterated the well-known and well-documented benefits of Niacin for cardiovascular health:

1. In a long-term study called the Coronary Drug Project, “niacin treatment was associated with significant reductions in cardiovascular events and long-term mortality, similar to the reductions seen in the statin monotherapy trials.”

2. “In combination trials, niacin plus a statin or bile acid sequestrant produces additive reductions in coronary heart disease morbidity and mortality and promotes regression of coronary atherosclerosis.”

3. Niacin is the “most powerful agent currently available” for RAISING levels of HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the so-called “good cholesterol”); and it can also REDUCE levels of triglycerides and LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the so-called “bad cholesterol”).

Here’s the reference for these three important points about Niacin:

Boden, W E, Sidhu M S, & Toth P P. The therapeutic role of niacin in dyslipidemia management. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Mar;19(2):141-58. doi: 10.1177/1074248413514481.

NOTE: NYBC stocks Niacin No-Flush (Source Naturals): http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=439; Niacin TR Niatab 500mg (Douglas): http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=249; and
Niacin TR Niatab 100mg (Douglas) http://nybcsecure.org/product_info.php?cPath=50&products_id=252

As always, we strongly recommend that you consult your healthcare provider when using supplements.

SUPPLEMENT Returns: Spring 2014 Edition now available

SUPPLEMENT: Newsletter of the New York Buyers’ Club is back again and feeling the love – thanks to those who made our recent indiegogo campaign a success! All articles are archived here on our blog, or you can download the printer-ready version.

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Click here to open the printer-ready version of SUPPLEMENT No.26

Dallas Buyers Club (The Movie) Meets New York Buyers’ Club (The Reality)

Some ask: Why do we need a buyers’ club, given that HIV meds have advanced so much in the past 20 years? What need does New York Buyers’ Club fill today?

New Research on Depression, and a New Look at Supplements for Mood & Sleep Disorders

New findings turn conventional wisdom on its head, suggest that insomnia can be a cause of depression rather than just a symptom or side effect

We Be JAMA! Report: Multivitamin + Selenium Slows Early-Stage HIV

The findings are especially relevant for early-stage HIV infection, where the combination proved its value in cutting risk of progression


Heartbleed Virus Concerns? NYBC’s Online Store Scores an “A” for Secure Shopping

Shopping online with us is both secure and private. See how we scored! (Link will open independent website testing/security site) You can also verify current SSL security from our site.


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Spring 2014 • Issue No. 26