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Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements

Vitamin C: 6 Benefits of Vitamin C, Sources, and Daily Requirements


Vitamin C is another micronutrient that’s vital for keeping our bodies healthy. Because it is not a nutrient the human body can produce, we must consume Vitamin C every day in our diet or from dietary supplements.

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C—also known as ascorbic acid—is a water-soluble vitamin found in an abundant number of vegetables and fruits, primarily citrus fruits, but can also be consumed via dietary supplements.

This micronutrient plays an important role in several vital body functions, which is why it needs to be consumed daily. These include supporting a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing, helps in iron absorption, functioning as an antioxidant, and promoting healthy aging.


6 Benefits of Vitamin C

 1. Healthy immune system support

Vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.

First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) and essential antibodies. These cells help protect the body against infections and illnesses (1).

Even further, vitamin C is a key component of the body’s first line of defense to disease and infection—the skin (and mucus membranes), which is discussed further below.

2. Aids in healing and tissue repair

Vitamin C is essential for the growth, skin strengthening and defense, and repair of tissue all over the body due to its contribution to collagen production. Collagen is a key protein for of skin tissue construction.

This way, vitamin C keeps our skin strong, but also helps to heal tissue wounds (2). Research has shown a higher intake of Vitamin C is associated with faster wound healing.


3. Keeps bones strong

Like in healing and tissue repair, vitamin C’s role in collagen production is also vital of bone mineralization, maintenance, and repair. However, collagen is also found in not only bone, but also teeth and cartilage (2).

Studies have shown an increased intake of vitamin C is linked to higher bone density (3). Older individuals, who naturally have lower bone density and are at higher risk for breakage and fracture, will want to increase their supplementation of vitamin C to increase density.


4. Helps to absorb and store Iron


Iron is an important nutrient for several functions in the body, including making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. However, some food sources of iron, like those found in plants, is poorly absorbed by the digestive system. Vitamin C helps convert these certain forms of iron into one that is easily absorbed by the body (1).

5.Functions as an antioxidant

As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help protect your cells against the effects of molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to harmful tobacco smoke or radiation. (4) This occurs by Vitamin C aids the protection of white blood cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) from the damage free radicals can cause (1).


It’s antioxidant properties also assist in maintaining skin health. Vitamin C is actively transported to the skin where it help strengthen the skin’s barriers and promote its natural regeneration process (1).

6. Promotes healthy aging

To keep bodily systems running at top shape as we age, it’s important to maintain an adequate intake of vital nutrients that contribute to these systems is essential. Vitamin C being one of those nutrients.

As discussed above, vitamin C is a key component of many body functions including maintaining a healthy immune system, keeping bones strong, aiding in healing and iron absorption, and functioning as an antioxidant, which all promote healthy aging over the lifetime.

Additionally, high vitamin C intake has been linked to a lowered risk of cataracts, blood sugar stabilization for those with diabetes, increase heart health and function, reduced cholesterol levels, and help in preventing gout—all of which are common complications of aging. (5)


What is the daily requirement of Vitamin C

The recommended daily amount of vitamin C is 90mg for adult men and for adult women is 75mg (1).


What are the best sources of Vitamin C?

Because Vitamin C is a vital nutrient, it’s important to meet the suggested intake recommendations every day via diet or dietary supplement.

As mentioned, vitamin C found primarily in citrus fruits, but is also in an abundant number of other fruits and vegetables. These include strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach (1).

However, fruits and vegetables lose vitamin C when heated or stored for long periods of time. To get the most nutrients, you must eat them as soon as possible after shopping and consider steaming or microwaving vegetables for short periods of time to limit nutrient loss. (2)

Consult with a healthcare professional to discuss if you are consuming an adequate amount of vitamin C through your daily diet.

If you are having difficulties meeting your vitamin C daily intake requirements through your diet, supplements are also recommended. Vitamin C can be found in most multivitamins, but is also available alone as a dietary supplement or in combination with other nutrients. The vitamin C in dietary supplements is usually in the form of ascorbic acid, but some supplements have other forms, such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, other mineral ascorbates, and ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids. However, no one form has been proven to be more effective than the other (6)

Always insure you are using reputable companies to source your vitamin C supplements.


Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD





High Potency Supplements Rich in Vitamin C

250 mg Vitamin C


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Buried Treasure ACF Advanced Immune Response all natural immune support and wellness

1,000 mg Vitamin C


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1,200 mg Vitamin C


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Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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Echinacea: 5 Benefits, Forms, and Dosage

Echinacea is one of the most popular herbs used worldwide as a natural remedy.

It has also been linked to its ability to enhance immune health, ability as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and benefit to reducing anxiety.

What is Echinacea?

Echinacea –  also known as purple coneflower – is, in fact, a flower. A group of flowers, to be exact.

Echinacea includes three different daisy species (Echinacea purpurea, Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea pallida) that are used in herbal supplements (1). These flowers can be found in North American prairies as well as Europe and are an age old remedy for various ailments and are still being used today.

The roots of the flower are dried and used to make tablets, extracts, and teas you can purchase from the store or online (1).  Additionally, the  leaves, flowers and seeds are also used to produce several over-the-counter supplements. These roots, leave, etcetera, contain phytochemicals including caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, polyacetylenes and many more that have the potential to provide several health benefits (1).


5 Benefits of Echinacea 

  1. High in antioxidants

Echinacea is high in a phytochemical called alkamides, which has antioxidant properties. In this way, consuming Echinacea as a supplement may enhance your cells (i.e., lymphocytes and phagocytes) ability to protect against the effects and damage from free radicals.

  1. Boosts immune system health

Echinacea is best known for its effect on the immune system.

Numerous research studies have found this plant may help your immune system fight attacks. Further, they’ve been shown to assist in combatting infections and viruses, which may also help in a quicker recovery (1).

  1. May reduce feelings of anxiety

The is potential for Echinacea to aid in reducing anxiety, which is an mental/emotional disorder diagnosed in every 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Phytochemicals in Echinacea  have shown to lessen the stress on certain areas of the brain in order to reduce chemical causes of anxiety (3).

  1. Inflammation prevention and reduction

Though inflammation is a natural body function for healing, there are times inflammation can become uncontrollable. When inflammation increases to an out of control extent, this is when the risk for chronic disease and other health problems increases (1).

Echinacea has been shown to reduce this excessive inflammation linked to increased risk for chronic disease and other ailments. This will help, in particular, those with diseases associated with high rates of chronic pain and swelling caused by inflammation. Including those with osteoarthritis.

  1. May reduce skin concerns

Echinacea has been added to several skin care products and has shown that it has the potential to reduce a scope of skin problems.

As listed above, the herb has anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce inflammation and redness of the skin. Additionally, it is also anti-bacterial. In test-tube studies Echinacea suppressed the growth of a bacteria (i.e., Propionibacterium), which is a common cause of acne (1). Some users of Echinacea ointments have also seen reduction of wrinkles and fine lines.

3 Forms of Echinacea supplements

  1. Capsules

The most familiar form to consume supplements is as a capsule or tablet.

These tablets all include phytochemicals from the Echinacea flower (2). Phytochemicals are natural, active compounds produced by plants that provide the benefits of the herb. In this case – the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and anxiety reduction Echinacea offers.

Phytochemicals in Echinacea include caffeic acid, alkamides, phenolic acids, rosmarinic acid, polyacetylenes and many more (1).

  1. Extracts 

You can also find Echinacea in the form of extracts. Extracts are made primarily from the dried root of the flower. They also come in several different varieties (i.e., tinctures).

Extracts are a beneficial way to consume and herb, due to its processing of the phytochemicals into a from that is readily absorbable without the need for digestion.

  1. Teas

Another common way to consume Echinacea is as a tea.

The amount of Echinacea tea you need to drink to see benefits varies depending on the brand of tea itself and how strongly you brew it (4). 

  1. Bonus – Ointments or other skin care products

Although not a consumable supplement, ointments and other skin care products containing Echinacea are available to help treat skin concerns. These creams provide anti-inflammatory aid, for skin redness, and anti-bacterial assistance to stave off acne. Also, don’t forget about their ability to reduce fine lines and of wrinkles.

Dosage recommendations

There is currently no recommendations for Echinacea due to research variability and a few unreliable products labeled to be containing Echinacea, but in fact do not. This shows the importance of finding trusted brands for your preferred Echinacea supplement (1).

That being said, researchers have seen enhanced immunity with the following doses of Echinacea for short-term use:

  • Dry powdered extract: 300–500 mg, three times daily. 
  • Liquid extract: 2.5 ml, three times daily; or up to 10 ml daily.

However, best practices are to follow the instructions for your specific supplement (1).

Potential side effects of Echinacea 

Echinacea has been proven to be safe and effective with short-term use. However, in cases where Echinacea supplements are used against recommendations — such as long-term or excessive use — patients experienced a range of less than optimal side-effects, including (1):

  • Rashes
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Swelling
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath

As always, if you are experiencing any of these negative reactions seek out the advice of a medical professional immediately.

Is an Echinacea supplement right for you?

First and foremost, you will need to determine what your need and use of Echinacea is and will be. Afterward, you will need to choose the form of Echinacea supplement you are looking for – whether that be a tea, extract, or tablet.

Whichever you happen to select, ensure you purchase a trustworthy brand and through review usage instructions.

Remember, though there is data on Echinacea, there is still ample research to be done on topics like dosage. So if you are ever in doubt, seek the advice of a medical professional.


Author: Allison Lansman, RDN, LD





Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD),

Allison Lansman is a Registered Dietitian (RD), freelance nutrition and health writer, and wellness blogger. She is the owner/operator of The Freelance RD writing service and blog. Her business provides mainly writing services, but also product development, educational services and brand partnerships.

As an RD, Allison embraces a modern approach to nutrition and wellness. She believes we benefit most from building positive, balanced connections between mind, body, food, and environment. And she is passionate about sharing that philosophy through wellness communication and writing.

Her educational background is through Iowa State University, where she completed both her undergraduate degree and dietetics internship. She is currently studying towards an Masters in Public Health.

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L Glutathione

glutathione supplement for health and wellness


Glutathione is a protein that is produced naturally in the body. As a tripeptide it encompasses three amino–acids, namely L-cysteine, L-glutamic and glycine in most of the animal species and also in plants. As such, glutathione is synthesized by all normal cells from the three amino-acid components. Despite being a non-essential nutrient reduced levels can occur in immunocompromised states hence necessitating supplementation. Also, although glutathione is found in all cells, the highest concentration is found in the liver that also acts as a storage site for glutathione. Glutathione exists in main two forms, the reduced form known as L-glutathione (GSH) and oxidized form (GSSH). L-glutathione forms the largest percentage of   the total glutathione pool in the body, reaching up to 90 %.  Glutathione has three crucial functions; it functions as an antioxidant, immunosupportive function and detoxification function. Glutathione levels tend to get depleted with age.

Glutathione is one of the antioxidants that is manufactured by the body. It the most abundant cellular thiol. Glutathione functions as a water-soluble antioxidant when it counteracts oxidative attack by free radicals. Specifically it neutralizes toxic peroxides such as hydrogen peroxide.  It normally exists in the reduced form (GSH) which readily receives reactive radicals and is reduced to (GSSG) within the cells. Even in the oxidized state glutathione has the ability to non-enzymatic ally reduce free radical species and reactive oxygen and nitrite compounds by acting as a substrate for conjugation   and reduction courtesy of the thiol group of the cysteine amino acid. It is commonly referred to as the “master antioxidant” as other antioxidants depend on it to function properly. Glutathione also functions as a cofactor.  It potentiates the action of glutathione peroxidase that is also an antioxidant. It also helps maintain the levels of ascorbate and tocopherol through its reducing properties.

Glutathione plays an immunosupportive role.  The healthy growth and activity of immune cells is dependent on glutathione. Glutathione enhances the immune system by stimulating the body to produce more white blood cells which are the main components of the immune system.   Another immune function is that glutathione is necessary for maintaining immune mediated T-cell activation and the process of phagocytosis through which macrophages take up and eliminate foreign organisms from the body. Additionally, it helps maintain balance between various T-helper cells such as IL-2, IL-12 and gamma-interferon, IL-6, IL-4 to maintain an effective cytokine response profile.

Glutathione also maintains skin health. It lowers melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase activity and increasing the levels if colorless pheromelanin, that is responsible for the bright skin. This has a therapeutic function for the skin as it helps remove any form of hyperpigmentation such as dark spots or pimple marks leaving the skin soft and supple. The antioxidation property also helps prevents aging by making the skin smooth, fresh and radiant.  The fact that glutathione also enhances the healing of wounds prevents skin scarring that can occur as a result of sun burn.

Additionally, glutathione has a role in detoxification function. It is directly involved in the specific detoxification reactions that protect the body against the toxins. Glutathione that is highly concentrated in the liver also removes toxins that circulate in the body thus preventing damage to the body cells. According to research low glutathione levels induces poor liver function hence paralyzing its detoxification function.

Lastly, glutathione takes part in the DNA synthesis and repair as well as protein synthesis hence facilitating growth and development. It also influences male fertility by determining the quality of sperms produced. The most effective way of increasing depleted glutathione levels in the body is to ingest its precursor, such as N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC).  Additionally one should maintain a healthy balanced diet and engage in regular exercise (L-glutathione. (n.d.).

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Folate and Folic Acid

folic acid folate b vitamins

Folate and Folic Acid

Folic acid is a member of the B-complex group.  It plays a key role in cellular metabolism, growth and energy production just like all the other members of B-complex. Folate occurs naturally in whole foods. Folic acid  being  one of the B vitamins found is found in dietary sources such as leafy green vegetables, fruits, dried beans and peas. It not only takes the form of water-soluble vitamin B, but also occurs in many different forms. In the body it exists in metabolically active derivatives of tetrahydrofolate (THF) such as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF) (Rao, 2006).This is the main circulative form of folate that gives its action in the body. The structure of folic acid comprises a pteridine nucleus, p-aminobenzoic acid and glutamate. Although sensitive to light and acid, folic acid is stable to heat and alkali. Folic acid performs some of the most vital functions in the body ranging from cellular formation to energy production.

First, folic is crucial for neural tube formation during fetal development.  As such, defective folate metabolism interferes with the closure of the neural tube during development. Besides, deficiency during pregnancy triggers the development of neural tube defects (NTD), which include the malformations of the spine and brain. Taking of folic acid prior to conception has shown to reduce the risk of NTDs by up to 50-60 %. Notably, folic acid not only in the formation but also maintenance of new cells.  As it is, it also helps in the synthesis of DNA through nucleotides in rapidly dividing cells such as the bone marrow cells or erythropoietic cells or intestinal cells. Hence deficiency is associated with a low red blood cell count.

Another vital function of folic acid is that it also helps regulate the blood levels of homocystiene that has a therapeutic effect on cardiac function. As such, folic acid acts to reduce homocisteine levels improve vascular function by reducing the risk of hardening blood vessels. This helps in the maintaining of a healthy and efficient cardiovascular health.

Folic acid is also required for proper growth and development of the body as it is involved in the production of DNA and RNA. It not only synthesizes but also repairs and maintains stability of the formed DNA hence helping in growth and maintenance of muscle tissues as well. These are essential during states of rapid growth such as during pregnancy or puberty due to the increased physiological demands. Also, plays a key role in building and repair of skin cells in the body. Besides, it facilitates the replacement of senile cells with new ones keeping the skin fresh.

Folate also functions as a co-factor/co-enzyme thus influencing certain biological reactions in the body such as the DNA methylation. It acts in combination with other enzymes to perform crucial body processes such as DNA synthesis. Further, folic acid has as a free radical scavenging activity that is more efficient than that of vitamin C and E. This helps maintain the viability of cells as the scavenging action protects the body cells against cell membrane damage.

Folic acid is essential in cognitive function. It helps prevent the degeneration of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that coordinates learning and memory.  Its regulation of homocsyteine levels that is toxic to neurons also influences its action on the brain. Deficiency in folate is rare since it is only required in small amounts. Experimental animal studies have shown that folic acid deficiency results in growth retardation. It also manifests with low blood count that are abnormally large.

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bayberry nutritional supplement


Bayberry is a common name for plants in the genus Myrica encompassing up to 50 species. It contains tannins that confer its mechanism of action. Traditionally, bayberry was used as a beverage due to its stimulant and tonic properties. The parts used for therapeutic purposes include the bark, leaves, and roots. However, the root bark is the essential part as it contains biologically active compounds including, triterpenes (taraxerol, taraxeron, and myrikadiol), flavonoids, tannins, and phenols. For instance, the dried bayberry root has traditionally be used as a nasal astringent to contract and dry tissues in the sinus cavity in order to dry the secretions. One of the flavonoids known as myricetin is specific to this genus. Other constituents include vitamin C, potassium, starch and calcium.

The main functions exhibited by Myrica species include astringent, antibiotic, antispasmodic, expectorant, diaphoretic, tonic and stimulant. The presence of high concentrations of tannins in the root bark of the bayberry plays a role not only in the protection against infection but also tightening of the mucous membranes.

Myricetin gives bayberry ability to prevent invasion by foreign bodies.  In vitro studies have shown that red bayberry extract suppresses the growth and virulence gene expression of bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae.The dichloromethane extract of leaves of Myrica Serrata has also been shown to inhibit the growth of Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli in vitro. It promotes sweating that flushes out toxins and helps lower the fever as well. However, potency to treat particular infections is unclear.  The bacteriostatic activity of C-methylated dihydrochalcones one of the constituents of Myrica has also contributed to its immune supporting function. Additionally, laboratory studies have shown the role of mycetrin in the stimulation of bile flow that may be useful in the management of conditions related to the liver and gallbladder. Myricetin also exhibits pain relieving effects in vivo. A root extract experimented on animal models demonstrated analgesic activity.

Notably, most of the health benefits are also due to the plant’s astringent properties. The astringent properties assist in the management of respiratory symptoms such as coughing. Besides, Bayberry shows potency in the management of gastrointestinal inflammation.  It supports the digestive and respiratory systems through maintenance of inflammation. The tannins component play a significant role in the regulating of the inflammatory processes. This function is mainly beneficial to the gastrointestinal system.

Cyanidin-3-O-glucosidase present in Chinese bayberry fruit regulates normal cell replication. Scavenging activity reduced cell proliferation, decreased cell adherence and induced abnormal morphological changes similar to apoptosis.Chinese bayberry fruit extract(CBFE) also alleviates oxidative stress thus inhibiting 1,2-dimethylhydrazine(DMH)-induced intestinal aberrant crypt foci (ACF) in rat colon carcinogenesis. This is due to the high content of phenolic compounds.

Bayberry bark is also used topically to manage the wound care process. Bruises respond well to the oil of bayberry. Direct application of a decoction on chronic sores or varicose veins is also beneficial.  However, the species also show anticoagulant activity. In vivo studies with myricetin, has shown that it shows increases clotting time. Additionally, ant thrombin activity interferes with coagulation as well.

Bayberry is also used for the management of mouth and gum related problems. The incorporation of bayberry bark root powder in toothpaste preparations is one of the applications in the contemporary world.

The recommended dosage in synthetic preparations is up to 0.5g per day. Bayberry has an emetic function in high doses which functions as a treatment for poisoning such as in case of narcotic poisoning. However, excessively high doses can have adverse effects as a result of mineralocorticoid imbalance between sodium and potassium, resulting in fluid retention and hypertension in the long-run. Although safe, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding children or a child as it is a strong herb.

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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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MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane)

Dr. Stanley Jacob and Dr. Robert Herschler, chemists with the pulp and paper plant Crown Zellerbach Corporation, were asked to find a use for lignin, one of the primary waste products of the plant. Oxidation of lignin in a reactor was shown to result in the formation of DMSO (Dimethylsulfoxide), a natural, organic form of sulfur. Oxidation of DMSO was found to produce MSM, a much more stable, organic sulfur compound with medicinal properties.

MSM is found in protein-rich foods such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, and legumes. Other good sources include garlic, onions, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale, and wheat germ. It enhances the activity of cortisol, a natural anti-inflammatory hormone produced by the body. MSM improves the permeability of cell membranes, which improves the uptake of nutrients and many vitamins and the elimination of waste products and excess cellular fluids. MSM dilates blood vessels, enhancing the blood circulation which also helps to eliminate waste products from the body and speeds up healing. MSM is a muscle relaxant. This is an important and often overlooked benefit of MSM.

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Product Name: Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)  

Test Type: Identification and Purity

Country of Origin: China

  Test Method: USP
Test Type: Microbiology  

Yeast & Mold

Test Method: USP
Test Type: Chemical Lead
Test Method: USP

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) Source


MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) Beijing, China

Office Phone: 1-800-216-3231
Office Fax: 1-423-881-3214 

Office Hours
Monday – Thursday
8:00 am – 5:00 pm cst

Mailing Address
Buried Treasure
PO Box 949
Pikeville, TN 37367


The Council for Responsible Nutrition   Producer of SOHO EXPO a Natural Products Industry Trade Show

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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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Bromelain Bromelain refers to a general name for the family of sulfhydryl-containing proteolytic enzymes derived from the pineapple plant.


Bromelain refers to a general name for the family of sulfhydryl-containing proteolytic enzymes derived from the pineapple plant.  Being a pineapple extract, it is obtained from the fruit or stem of the pineapple plant. Typically, bromelain refers to the “stem bromelain.” It encompasses a mixture of protein-digesting enzymes whose mechanism of action is the hydrolysis of glycosidic linkages in glycoprotein. It is a mixture of various thiol endopeptidases, and other non-protein components such as glucosidase, phosphatase, peroxidase, cellulose, escharase and several other protease inhibitors.  However, it is the proteolytic factors that mainly confer its therapeutic functions. Its ability to get absorbed without losing its proteolytic activity or producing any major side effects contributes to its effectiveness as a therapeutic agent.

Bromelain also exhibits proteolytic activity. Its role as an active protein-digesting enzyme enables the body to absorb nutrients more effectively thus helping in the treatment of digestive disorders. However, research shows that the pharmacologic activity of bromelain depends not only on the proteolytic properties but also non-protein factors

Bromelain supports wound healing by reducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines that may cause damage to the gut lining.  It facilitates skin debridement that accelerates the wound healing process. This helps in its function at healing tissues. In addition, it is a natural alternative to synthetic analgesics. Apart from being efficacious, it is safe showing zero undesired side-effects. Its role in the relaxation and soothing of tense inflamed muscles and connective tissues has seen its use as a meat tenderizer as well.

The recommended daily allowance can reach up to 12mg/day without causing major side effects. Pineapples are one of the richest sources of bromelain. Notably, bromelain concentration is high in pineapple stem, compared to the fruit part. Although bromelain’s mode of action is not properly understood, its wide range of therapeutic benefits makes it an important molecule in the health field.

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Vitamin A

vitamin a beta carotene

Vitamin A: Essential Carotenes & Retinoids 

Vitamins are small organic molecules that are needed for optimal body functioning. Vitamin A occurs in two forms in nature. It exists as retinolesters in foods of animal origin, whereas in plants it is found in a provitamin form known as carotenes. There exist alpha, beta and gamma carotenes. Notably, vitamin A is one of the essential vitamins. This implies that it is not synthesized in the body and therefore, obtained through diet. Vitamin A comprises a wide array of fat-soluble retinoids, namely, retinol (Vitamin A alcohol), retinal (Vitamin A aldehyde) and retinoic acid (Vitamin A acid) (Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin A. (n.d.). Notably, retinal and retinoic acid are derived from retinol. Additionally, retinal and retinol are interconvertible. However, retinoic acid cannot be converted to either retinal or retinol.

 All the three forms of Vitamin A that exhibit vitamin A activity each playing a unique function in the body. Retinal plays a role in facilitating normal color and vision. Its role in vision is facilitated by one of its components known as rhodopsin (A visual pigment). Rhodopsin has the ability to absorb light in the retinal receptors since it supports the normal differentiation and functioning of the conjuctival membranes and the cornea (Rao, 2006). Therefore, a diet deficient in vitamin A inhibits its production thus disrupting the perception of vision color by the brain. In early stages of Vitamin A deficiency, one is unable to clearly perceive vision in dim light due to the blockage in rhodopsin resynthesis.

Retinol, on the other hand, is crucial for cellular growth and differentiation as well as reproduction.  Retinol supports spermatogenesis, oogenesis and placental development as well. As such, it takes part in the formation of vital body organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. It also facilitates the maintaining of epithelial integrity of systems such as the gastrointestinal tract, the skin, respiratory tract, urinary tract and the salivary glands. Additionally, vitamin A plays a role in growth and differentiation of erythrocytes. Therefore, deficiency may result in the development of vitamin A deficiency anemia.

Sources of preformed Vitamin A include the liver, milk, eggs and fish oils. However, the main source of provitamin A are fruits, carrots, and leafy green vegetables. Animal sources such as marine fish oils, liver oil, cod liver oil and shark liver oil are excellent animal sources. In plants, plant oils like red palm is an excellent source. Leafy vegetables such as amaranth leaves, curry leaves, drumstick leaves, spinach, coriander leaves and cabbage are good sources as well.

 Indeed, Vitamin A plays a significant role in immune function, vision, reproduction and cellular communication. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) varies with age and sex. However, excessive intake (up to ten-twenty times the RDA) might lead to Vitamin A toxicity. Hypervitaminosis A characterized by general body weakness, headache, and muscle stiffness. Fortunately, the symptoms usually disappear within a week after stopping the excessive intake.