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Transparency in Manufacturing

transparency in manufacturing

Transparency in Manufacturing

Since 1969 Life Line Foods has made a commitment to creating quality products that are good for you without cutting corners.   From a small bakery in the mountains of East Tennessee, Life Line Foods has always been transparent in our manufacturing practices.  From the very beginning we made a commitment to use only quality ingredients from reputable sources and we believe that quality products start with quality ingredients.

Many years later Life Line Foods launched the Buried Treasure Liquid Nutrients brand.   Using only plant-based ingredients sourced from reliable companies that provided valid testing results.   How could we be the industry leader in the liquid supplements segment without being transparent in our sourcing? 

Today there are numerous companies competing against the Buried Treasure brand.  Others see the value in liquid nutritional supplements even as Buried Treasure continues to innovate and strives in our manufacturing process.   Buried Treasure continues to be the liquid supplements leader with synergistic formulas, higher potencies, higher quality ingredients and bringing the best value to our consumers.

Quality to Buried Treasure, means finding sources with verified analysis, highest potencies and the cleanest results.   Each ingredient no matter where in the world it’s sourced, must meet our stringent standards before we even consider using it in our products.   Quality is not sacrificed for cost.

In our global economy, not every ingredient can be sourced from right here in the United States.   Our ingredients come from all over the world including Italy, India, China and others.   Regardless of the country, the ingredient manufacture must also commit to transparency.   Our source companies from overseas use the very same standards as we do here in the United States.  

Several of the global standards used by our source companies originated from the U.S.  When we find an ingredient source we first want to know what standard they are using to test their product.  Through a Certificate of Analysis, we can be assured of their standard of testing methods.   Every company we purchase from must use a testing method similar to or the same methods used by the FDA, USP or AOAC.   With these testing standards we know the quality, potency and ‘cleanliness’ of each ingredient.  

Buried Treasure has nothing to hide when it comes to the source of our ingredients.  You can clearly see we don’t add any artificial colors, fillers or flavors.    It is our commitment to our valued customers to prove that quality ingredients create quality products. 

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Are Supplements Regulated

federal supplements regulations

A Brief History of Supplement Regulation and Why It Matters

People frequently ask, “Are supplements regulated?” As a maker of and a user of nutritional supplements, it troubles me to think that people may not know the answer to this question, because the FDA does much to ensure the health and well-being of U.S. citizens.

For example, in 1994 congress passed the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA).  The purpose of this new law was, “To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish standards with respect to dietary supplements, and for other purposes.” DSHEA was the first time the federal government outlined what a supplement was. It was an important first step, because now the FDA had a definition that could separate a food from a supplement.  This gave the FDA something to regulate.

One of the regulations that DSHEA began to initiate was regulation of ingredients of dietary supplements. It determined that, “The dietary supplement contains only dietary ingredients which have been present in the food supply as an article used for food in a form in which the food has not been chemically altered.” In other words, reputable companies who produced dietary supplements with ingredients that were already in the diet did not have to produce new evidence for those ingredients.

Another provision for ingredients provided by DSHEA was, “There is a history of use or other evidence of safety establishing that the dietary ingredient when used under the conditions recommended or suggested in the labeling of the dietary supplement will reasonably be expected to be safe and, at least 75 days before being introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce, the manufacturer or distributor of the dietary ingredient or dietary supplement provides the Secretary with information, including any citation to published articles, which is the basis on which the manufacturer or distributor has concluded that a dietary supplement containing such dietary ingredient will reasonably be expected to be safe.”

Essentially, the new law had checks and balances—because at some point in the future the FDA was expected to create a series of new regulations just for dietary supplements. DSHEA had several other parts as well—ranging from how the ingredients were listed, to what advertising claims could and could not be made.

Now fast forward to 2001 when the FDA developed its next major regulation—the New Dietary Ingredient notification or NDI. This regulation required manufactures to notify the FDA a minimum of 75 days before selling a supplement, if that supplement contained an ingredient that was not on the market prior to 1994. While this regulation seemed good, it did cause a great deal of confusion because the FDA had not yet published a list of old dietary ingredients (ODI). It was up to the providers of ingredients to do the research and find out if an ingredient had been sold prior to 1994 or face penalties. The law stated:

“The term “new dietary ingredient” means a dietary ingredient that was not marketed in the United States in a dietary supplement before October 15, 1994. (See section 413(d) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. 350b(d)). There is no authoritative list of dietary ingredients that were marketed in dietary supplements before October 15, 1994. Therefore, manufacturers and distributors (you) are responsible for determining if an ingredient is a “new dietary ingredient” and, if not, for documenting either that a dietary supplement that contained the dietary ingredient was marketed before October 15, 1994, or that the dietary ingredient was marketed for use in dietary supplements before that date.”

To further complicate things, the FDA had the right to reject an NDI if it determined that a risk to consumers was possible. Needless to say, manufacturers made great efforts to ensure that their products didn’t have NDIs that had not been filed with the FDA.

Finally, in 2007 the FDA released the regulation we had been waiting for—the cGMPs. These new regulations initiated guidelines for manufacturers to follow regarding how supplements are made and further defined what could be said on a dietary supplement label. One of the main objectives of the cGMP for supplements was to give the FDA the tools needed to ensure that consumers were getting what a manufacturer claimed on the label. In addition, the cGMPs outlined that raw material identity must be tested and known before the ingredient could be used in a finished product. Then, the finished product was to be regularly tested to ensure that identity and potencies match labels claims.

As the FDA worked with manufacturers of dietary supplements to ensure compliance with the new regulations, it soon became apparent that a division would not be sufficient to oversee the mounting work. So, in December of 2015 the FDA announced the formation of a new office called Office of Dietary Supplement Programs. This office’s mandate is to ensure enforcement with all regulations applying to dietary supplements and the public safety of those supplements.

In conclusion, this brief history of the regulation of dietary supplements demonstrates how the FDA has been very proactive in protecting consumers and providing guidelines that have been flexible over time as needed. However, it is also apparent that reputable dietary supplement companies have been in the forefront in not only complying with these regulations—but also far exceeding them with extra diligence and care for our customers.

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The Importance of Omega Fatty Acids

chia seed omega 3

The Importance of Omega Fatty Acids

One of the most popular supplements currently is Omega 3, but what is Omega 3? An omega 3 is an essential fatty acid which is a type of fat that must be obtained from the diet. Another essential fatty acid is omega 6, but does not receive the attention of its counterpart. So why does everyone talk about Omega 3 and not Omega 6?

We get plenty of Omega 6 in our diets, but we are deficient in Omega 3. The optimal ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 is approximately 1:1, which is what our ancestors from their diets. The typical diet today gives us a ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 anywhere from 10:1 to 25:1. This out of balance ratio can lead to health issues including but not limited to our cardiovascular (heart and circulation) system (1,2,3,4). But what are the best sources of Omega 3’s from our diet or through supplements?

The best way to get Omega 3s in our diet is from fish, marine algae and seeds. I would like to talk about one source of vegetarian/vegan Omega 3 in particular, which is the chia seed. Chia is one of the highest plant sources of Omega 3 and has been consumed for centuries. There are two types of chia seeds, black and white, and both are almost identical in their nutritional content. Chia is very high in a certain type of Omega 3 called alpha linolenic acid (ALA).

Alpha linolenic acid is one of the three important elements of Omega 3s, the other two are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Alpha linolenic acid from chia seed has been shown to convert to both DHA and EPA to give the body what it needs (5,6,7,8). There are many different benefits of Omega 3, but two of the major benefits are for cardiovascular and brain health.

Omega 3 and ALA have been shown to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and stroke related issues. Heart disease and stroke were two of the world’s leading causes of death in 2015 and have been the leading causes of death for the last 15 years worldwide. The recommended intake of ALA is 1.5-3g per day (9,10,11,12).

Omega 3s are essential for development and proper functioning of the brain (13) and omega 3s may be beneficial for mood related issues (14) as well as issues with learning (15). Alpha linolenic acid appears to have neuroprotective properties (16) as well as the alpha linolenic acid from chia is shown to be able to provide adequate levels of DHA for the adult brain (8).

If you choose to supplement with an Omega 3 supplement and are looking for a vegetarian/vegan option, consider trying chia seed oil either by itself or in combination with another plant source of Omega 3, such as algae.


  1. Simopoulos AP. The importance of the ratio of Omega-6/Omega-3 essential fatty acids
    Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. Volume 56, Issue 8, October 2002, Pages 365-379
  2. Simopoulos AP. Evolutionary aspects of diet, the Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio and genetic variation: nutritional implications for chronic diseases. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. Volume 60, Issue 9, November 2006, Pages 502-507
  3. Simopoulos AP. Omega-3 fatty acids in health and disease and in growth and development.
    Am J Clin Nutr September Vol. 54 no. 3 438-463
  4. Simopoulos AP. The Importance of the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio in Cardiovascular Disease and Other Chronic Diseases. Experimental Biology and Medicine. Vol 233, Issue 6, 2008
  5. Nieman DC1, et al. Chia seed supplementation and disease risk factors in overweight women: a metabolomics investigation. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Jul;18(7):700-8
  6. Jin F, et al. Supplementation of milled chia seeds increases plasma ALA and EPA in postmenopausal women. Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Jun;67(2):105-10
  7. Valenzuela R, et al. Modification of Docosahexaenoic Acid Composition of Milk from Nursing Women Who Received Alpha Linolenic Acid from Chia Oil during Gestation and Nursing. Nutrients. 2015 Aug 4;7(8):6405-24
  8. Domenichiello AF1, Kitson AP1, Bazinet RP2. Is docosahexaenoic acid synthesis from α-linolenic acid sufficient to supply the adult brain? Prog Lipid Res. 2015 Jul;59:54-66
  9. Nestel P, et al. Indications for Omega-3 Long Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid in the Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease. Heart Lung Circ. 2015 Aug;24(8):769-79.
  10. Hadjighassem M, et al. Oral consumption of α-linolenic acid increases serum BDNF levels in healthy adult humans. Nutr J. 2015 Feb 26;14:20. doi: 10.1186/s12937-015-0012-5.
  11. Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease
    New Recommendations From the American Heart Association. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. February 2003, Volume 23, Issue 2
  12. World Health Organization. The top 10 cases of death. Fact Sheet. Updated Jan 2017.
  13. Innis SM
  14. Sinclair AJ, Begg D, Mathai M and Weisinger RS. Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the Brain: Review of Studies in Depression
  15. Stevens LJ, Zentall SS, Abate ML, Kuczek T and Burges JR. Omega-3 fatty acids in boys with behavior, learning, and health problems. Physiology & Behavior
  16. Blondeau N1, et al. Alpha-linolenic acid: an omega-3 fatty acid with neuroprotective properties-ready for use in the stroke clinic? Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:519830.Epub 2015 Feb 19.

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AOAC International: Making Supplements Safer through Better Testing

AOAC International: Making Supplements Safer through Better Testing

When purchasing a new supplement from an unfamiliar company, there are two assumptions you should never make: that it’s safe and that it’s effective.

While there are plenty of conscientious, ethical supplement companies out there, there are a few bad eggs too. These companies enter the industry with dollar signs on their mind and little regard for customer safety.

Unfortunately, that means if you buy a supplement on a whim, you could end up taking something that hasn’t been properly tested for safety and effectiveness. Even supplement companies that aren’t intentionally trying to mislead consumers unknowingly test their products’ safety with methods that don’t produce accurate results.

To protect consumers like you from poorly tested supplements, there’s been a strong push in recent decades to create official methods for testing the quality and effectiveness of the ingredients that end up in your supplements. At the forefront of that push is AOAC International.

What is AOAC International?

AOAC International is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1884. Back then, it was known as the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, and its primary purpose was to create standardized testing methods for agricultural fertilizers. But over the years, it’s expanded its focus from fertilizers to foods, drugs, supplements and more.

Today, AOAC International provides an important service to the supplement industry and consumers. It identifies the best possible methods for testing supplement ingredients and publishes these methods so supplement companies can use them. Testing methods that receive the AOAC stamp of approval become an “Official Method of Analysis” and are added to the organization’s book of testing standards, the Official Methods of Analysis of AOAC International.

When a testing method receives “Official Method of Analysis” status, it becomes a gold standard that supplement companies can confidently use to gauge the safety and effectiveness of their product. But establishing an official method for a supplement ingredient isn’t an easy process. It requires a huge commitment of time and energy from stakeholders in government, academia, the supplement industry and the public. 

The Official Method Process

AOAC starts the process by asking stakeholders to submit ingredients that they believe most need an official testing method. The AOAC prioritizes these submissions based on factors like available funding, the ingredient’s market share, the existence of testing methods to choose from, and the number of current or future National Institute of Health studies in the works for the ingredient.

Next, AOAC works with panels of stakeholders to determine what specifications a testing method needs to meet to make that testing method accurate and consistent. They want to make sure it will work under different conditions in different laboratories. These specifications are called standard method performance requirements (SMPRs). AOAC International then asks people to submit possible testing methods, and an expert panel of scientists reviews the submissions to determine which methods meet the SMPRs best.

Once these experts choose a testing method that best meets the SMPRs, it becomes a “first action” official method. That means the testing method has the AOAC’s approval and can be used confidently by supplement companies. But the expert panel still monitors a “first action” official method for a while to see how it performs in other tests and other laboratories. If the method’s consistently successful after two years of use, it’s promoted to a “final action” official method. If it’s not consistent, it’s tweaked a bit before it’s finalized.

Do Supplement Companies Use AOAC Methods?

Right now, there’s no law requiring supplement companies to use AOAC testing methods, or any other official testing methods for that matter. Companies can establish their own internal methods for testing the quality, efficacy and safety of their products. But there are plenty of benefits to following AOAC methods.

Companies who use AOAC methods know their product is safe, because it was tested appropriately. They also have to worry less about regulatory action from the FDA. If the FDA audits them, they can show that they use AOAC methods, which is much easier than proving that their internal testing method works. But the biggest benefit for companies using AOAC testing methods is the message they send to their customers—they prove that they’re committed to being credible, conscientious, transparent and safe.

Wondering whether your supplements use AOAC testing methods? There’s only one way to know for sure—ask. Supplement companies don’t usually mention the AOAC on their labels, so reach out to the customer service team to find out how they test the quality and safety of their supplements.

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United States Pharmacopeia Ingredient Testing

United States Pharmacopeia Ingredient Testing

Surprises are fun when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. But when it comes to the medicines and supplements you put in your body daily, surprises are a lot less appealing. You want to know exactly what you’re taking and more importantly, that it’s safe and effective. Luckily, the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is there to make sure what you see on the labels of your medications and supplements is what you get.

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is a scientific nonprofit that was founded in 1820 to establish quality standards for medicine, supplements and food ingredients. Every year, the USP publishes The United States Pharmacopeia and The National Formulary (USP-NF), a book of standards for drugs and supplements.

The USP-NF contains individual guides for a variety of drug and supplement ingredients. These guides are called monographs, and they include information on everything from how the ingredient should be packaged, stored and labeled, to how to test the ingredient to make sure it complies with USP Standards.

The supplement testing guidelines outlined in USP-NF monographs tell supplement manufacturers exactly how to test their ingredients in four key areas (also known as the four P’s): positive identity (the product is what it says it is); potency (the product contains the dosage it says it does); purity (the product doesn’t contain impurities or contaminants); and performance (the product will dissolve and be absorbed by your body). If manufacturers follow these testing guidelines and their ingredient passes each test, they can be confident that their product meets the USP’s standards for safety and effectiveness.

In addition to the USP-NF, the USP also creates a USP reference standard, or physical standard. This is a verified sample of an ingredient that meets USP standards. It comes in a small vial and allows manufacturers to perform comparison testing, so they can ensure that they performed the tests correctly and that their ingredient is up to par.

Although drug companies are required by law to meet the quality standards set by the USP, supplement companies aren’t. Supplement companies can establish their own internal testing methods for quality and safety. Of course, many supplement companies choose to meet USP standards anyway.

Some supplement companies that follow USP standards mention the USP on their label, but many don’t. That’s because, if they do, there’s a chance the FDA will follow up with regulatory action—in some cases even when the company is meeting these standards. As a result, a lot of companies play it safe, and leave these three letters off their label even if they’re doing their best to follow USP guidelines.

If you’re wondering whether your supplements meet USP guidelines, contact the company and ask what standards they follow to guarantee the safety and quality of their products.

USP is considered the highest standard in testing methods.   We at Buried Treasure, were applicable, test  our ingredients against these gold standard monographs.  Our source ingredients come from all over the world and they must meet our highest standards.   We search out ingredients that are tested and verified by USP.

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XyliSwish All Natural Fluoride Free Mouth Rinse

XyliSwish All Natural Fluoride Free Mouth Rinse with Xylitol, Aloe Vera and Silver

  • All natural fluoride free and alcohol free mouth rinse for a fresh healthier mouth
  • Natural blend of Xylitol, Aloe and Silver with Peppermint for a clean feeling without the burn of alcohol or fluoride additives
  • Xylitol helps promote dental health.
  • Silver helps to control bacterial growth in the mouth.
  • Peppermint oil for fresh clean taste

Buried Treasure™ XyliSwish is a safe and effective mouth rinse. Containing Xylitol which helps promote dental health, Silver to help with bacteria and refreshing Peppermint oil to leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.

WARNING: May contribute to a healthier smile.*

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Serving Size:  10ml

Servings Per Container: 48

Calories 0
Total Carbohydrates 0 g
     Sugars 0 g

Proprietary Blend

     Xylitol, Aloe Vera Purified Silver (non-accumulative)


 Other ingredients: Purified mountain water, peppermint oil and nisis (naturally ensures freshness)

Swish 10 ml for 30 seconds twice a day.

Not harmful if swallowed


Xylitol is a very popular ingredient in oral hygiene products.   Xylitol is derived from trees and corn with the most common sources being Birchwood and corncobs.   It is a non-sugar sweetener that cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria and be beneficial for oral health.

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The specific silver used in Buried Treasure products is a non-accumlative patented nano-silver.   This higher grade of ionic nano-silver allows the effects of silver to work continuously until expelled by the body. 

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Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is beneficial in the treatment and prevention of teeth and gum problems as it destroys harmful bacteria, disinfects the mouth, fights infection and bad breath

Read More


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Shirley Burks, the Remaining Founder of Life Line Foods, Finishes Her Journey

Shirley Burks, the Remaining Founder of Life Line Foods, Finishes Her Journey

On Saturday February 10, 2018 the last of the original founding members of Life Line Foods, Shirley A Burks, finished her earthly journey.  Gary and Shirley Burks founded Life Line Foods, LLC in 1969.   Gary’s vision and ideas would not have come to fruition without the dedicated support and hard work of Mrs. Shirley Burks.  

Shirley managed the plant while raising their six children.  Her love and work ethic made sure the children and employees were well taken care of.   Shirley’s management style was to lead by example, doing whatever it took to make sure top quality natural products were produced by Life Line Foods/Buried Treasure.

Her legacy continues through her son, Lester G Burks, who is currently the CEO and her grandson, Andrew Burks, as CFO, her grandson-in-law, Luis Alonso, as COO/IT director, and her daughter, Teresa Angel, as shipping department manager.  The work ethic instilled into the leadership of Life Line Foods by her made it grow, and the company thrived becoming the leading liquid nutritional supplement company that it is today.

“We are thankful to God for allowing Shirley Burks’ love, support, and dedication to touch so many lives across the country through her leadership of Life Line Foods, LLC,” said the family in a statement. “Shirley will be greatly missed, but her legacy continues through the hard work and dedication of the people of Life Line Foods/Buried Treasure.”

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Mouth and Oral Health Care The Beginning of a Healthy Body

healthy smile oral health care blog

Mouth and Oral Health Care The Beginning of a Healthy Body

Today there is a lot of focus on oral care and for a good reason.   Not only is a beautiful smile good for first impressions and appreciation for its beauty, but it is also very functional.   A healthy smile is a good sign of good health since your mouth is the beginning of your digestion process.    You literally are what you eat.   Having a healthy smile is the start of a healthy body.

In the initial stages of the digestion process, your teeth work to break down large pieces of food into smaller pieces for the next phase of the process.  While chewing food, your mouth produces two enzymes to help break down foods, salivary amylase, and lingual lipase.   These two enzymes assist in breaking down carbohydrates and fats.  

Diets high in sugar and carbohydrates make it harder for the enzymes to protect your teeth from the acids that may cause damage.   There are many things you can do to help protect your mouth and teeth which include brushing, flossing and using a good mouth rinse or mouthwash.  Your dentist may have other suggestions as well.   Also, there maybe supplements beneficial in maintaining good oral care and aid in the initial stages of the digestion process.

Xylitol is a very popular ingredient in oral hygiene products.   Xylitol is derived from trees and corn with the most common sources being Birchwood and corncobs.   It is a non-sugar sweetener that cannot be metabolized by oral bacteria and be beneficial for oral health (1).  It has been shown to be helpful for reducing the growth of bad bacteria in the mouth (2,3).   It is also used in chewing gum and other products as a natural sweetener.

Colloidal silver is a purified water base that contains silver particles.   Silver has been used for thousands of years and was used in Greek and Roman times.   It has been studied for its immune supporting properties and its ability to fight harmful bacteria (4,5,6).   Silver is also beneficial in oral care to help control bacteria in the mouth.

Aloe Vera also has a long history of being used for promoting overall health.   Traditionally Aloe has been used for burns and stomach issues.   Aloe is very soothing and can be beneficial for wound healing and skin maintenance (7,8,9).   Aloe Vera has also been shown to be helpful for periodontal tissue.

Peppermint is a common herb that has long been used for stomach and digestive issues.   Peppermint is also very popular in tea and is known for its pleasant cooling effect.   Peppermint essential oil is very popular in oral care product due to its antibacterial properties. 

Oral health and care for your mouth and teeth are essential for so many different functions.  From the communication of emotions with a healthy smile to the initial stages of digestion, oral care is an excellent place to start for your overall health.   Remember to take care of your mouth!

  1. Subramaniam P and Nandan N
    Effect of xylitol, sodium fluoride and triclosan containing mouth rinse on Streptococcus mutans
    Contemp Clin Dent. 2011 Oct-Dec; 2(4): 287–290.
  2. Uhari M, Kontiokari T, Koskela M, and Niemelä M
    Xylitol chewing gum in prevention of acute otitis media: double blind randomised trial

    1. 1996 Nov 9; 313(7066): 1180–1184.
  3. Burt B.
    The use of sorbitol- and xylitol-sweetened chewing gum in caries control

    1. February 2006Volume 137, Issue 2, Pages 190–196
  4. Goggin RJardeleza CWormald PJVreugde S
    Colloidal silver: a novel treatment for Staphylococcus aureus biofilms?.
    Int Forum Allergy Rhinol.2014 Mar;4(3):171-5. doi: 10.1002/alr.21259. Epub 2014 Jan 15.
  5. Haase HFahmi AMahltig B.
    Impact of silver nanoparticles and silver ions on innate immune cells.

    1. J Biomed Nanotechnol.2014 Jun;10(6):1146-56.
  6. Cock I, Mohanty S, White A and Whitehouse M
    Colloidal Silver (CS) as an Antiseptic: Two opposing viewpoints
    Pharmacognosy Communications. Vol 2, Jan-Mar 2012
  7. Davis RH; Leitner MG; Russo JM; Byrne ME
    Wound Healing, Oral & Topical Activity Of Aloe Vera
    J Am Podiatr Med Assoc Vol 79, Number 11, Nov 1989, P559-62
  8. Anti-Inflammatory & Wound Healing Activity Of A Growth Substance In Aloe Vera Davis
    RH; Donato JJ; Hartman GM; Haas RC Department Of Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania College Of Podiatric Medicine J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 84(2):77-81 1994 Feb
  9. Beneficial Effects Of Aloe In Wound Healing
    Heggers JP; Pelley RP; Robson MC Department Of Surgery & Graduate School Of Biomedical Sciences, University Of Texas Medical Branch Phytotherapy Research (1993) Vol 7, No. Special issue, pp. S48-S52. 10 pl. (5 col. pl.). 17 ref.
  10. Am Fam Physician 2007;75:1027-30BENJAMIN KLIGLER,


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Supplements for Your Immune System This Winter

Supplements for Your Immune System This Winter

Tired of feeling run down every time it gets cold or when your child comes home from school? I remember feeling under the weather on a regular basis when my daughter started day school and I was working at two different hospitals. Luckily, I found some supplements that have helped me from getting under the weather and have given me relief once I start feeling run down.   

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most common vitamin known for assisting the immune system.   Originally discovered to be beneficial for the prevention of scurvy, now it has been used primarily for assisting the immune system.

I love to take vitamin C to help support my immune system. Especially since I work out on a regular basis, I know that I am putting more stress on my body and need extra support. (1,2).


Zinc is a trace mineral and has many different benefits including prostate health, muscle growth and repair as well as beneficial for the immune system.

I like to take zinc as soon as I start feeling under the weather. There are many ways to take zinc, from capsules to lozenges. I personally prefer either a lozenge or a liquid (3).


Elderberry has been used for thousands of years and besides being a great product for the immune system, it is also commonly used for making wine!

Elderberry is another supplement that I like to take during the winter months and especially if I am traveling. The most common form is liquid form and is either by itself or in combination with other immune supporting products (4).  


The traditional use of Echinacea has been to boost the immune system and is native to North America.   There are many varieties of Echinacea, but the most common are E. pururea, E. angustifolia and E. pallida.

There has been a myth that Echinacea should only be taken once you feel run down, but other research indicated that it is better to take it during the winter months in order to help support the immune system (5)

Beta Glucan

Beta Glucans are a type of sugar that come from plants such as oats and barley.   It can also be found in the cell of fungi, yeast and bacteria.  

A lesser known supplement, Beta Glucans are on my list of must take items during the winter months to assist with immune support and overall wellbeing (6).


You can find these products by themselves or a combination with some or all of these ingredients to help support your immune system, and remember to stay warm and healthy!


  1. Sasazuki S, Sasaki S, Tsubono Y, Okubo S, Hayashi M & Tsugane S. Effect of vitamin C on common cold: randomized controlled trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2005) 60, 9–17 (2006)
  2. Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Common Cold Incidence: A Review of Studies with Subjects Under Heavy Physical Stress. Int J Sports Med 1996; 17(5): 379-383
  3. Hulisz D. Efficacy of Zinc Against Common Cold Viruses: An Overview. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. Volume 44, Issue 5, September–October 2004, Pages 594-603
  4. Tiralongo E, Wee SS, and Lea RA. Elderberry Supplementation Reduces Cold Duration and Symptoms in Air-Travellers: A Randomized, Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients. 2016 Mar 24;8(4):182.
  5. Jawad M1, Schoop R, Suter A, Klein P, and Eccles R. Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:841315. Epub 2012 Sep 16.
  6. Volman JJ, Ramakers JD, and Plat J. Dietary modulation of immune function by β-glucans. Physiology & Behavior. Volume 94, Issue 2, 23 May 2008, Pages 276-28



Chris Terrell, NS, RDN, CSCS

Specialized Health & Nutrition

Recommended Immune Support Products

ACF Fast Relief Advanced Immune Response

ACF Extra Strength Ultra Immune Recovery

Children’s ACF Advanced Immune Response