Why vivaNUTRITION®?

Think Digestion™!  Think about all the microbes in our gut – there are trillions of microbes living together to make up a very special environment, what scientists call the microbiome. These microbes are actually very important for the physical and mental well-being for members of your whole family, at every age.  Supporting brain health and gut health is what vivaNUTRITION® is all about.

There is growing evidence that the microbiome plays a very important role with the brain. The microbiome controls the production of neurotransmitters, the way our body exerts influence on our overall health, mood and behavior.  Scientists call this interaction the Gut-Brain Axis. With Probiotics, Prebiotics, DHA and Fiber, in both foods and dietary supplements, vivaNUTRITION® is dedicated to support a healthy Gut-Brain axis for your whole family.
(source: Cryan & Dinan, Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 2012)

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What are probiotics?

Probiotics are defined as living microorganisms that provide health benefits, when consumed in sufficient amounts by a treated host. Probiotics are an exciting topic of private and government sponsored research and development because they can be added to diets to affect preventative health care.1 The majority of the probiotics are of the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains, with Bifidobacterium being the most predominant in the human intestine.3, 4

In a survey conducted of nearly 500 people in 2007 by the International Food Information Council, 58% were aware of potential digestive health benefits of probiotics; 54% were aware of potential immune system health benefits of probiotics; about 40% were taking products containing probiotics; and 45%–48% were likely/somewhat likely to consume such products.10

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How were probiotics discovered?

Humans have consumed fermented milk for thousands of years for health benefits, but it was not until the 20th century that scientific research was conducted to confirm and determine the cause.

Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov, a Nobel Prize winner, a Russian microbiologist working at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, discovered lactic acid bacteria, and their role in the fermentation of milk and yogurt production. He observed the long and healthy life span of the Bulgarian people with their consumption of these fermented milk products, and proposed that these fermenting bacteria had a positive impact on the microorganisms and toxicity of the colon2 His studies into the relationship between lactic acid bacteria and the health benefits of yogurt became the foundation modern probiotic development.  The first industrially produced yogurt was developed according to the theories of Mechnikov to help children suffering from bowel health difficulties and was sold in pharmacies.4

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How are probiotics being used in research today?

There have been a number of investigations into probiotics and their benefits for the gastrointestinal tract.8 Recent research has even shown that in addition to supporting the digestive system, probiotics can aid other areas of health as well, including supporting healthy cellular growth and response.6, 7

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Why did vivaNUTRITION® select the probiotic BB-12®!?

BB-12 is a naturally-occurring probiotic found in a lot of dairy products (this is one of the best benefits of milk fed to growing children). This isolated strain of bacteria – Bifidobacterium Animalis sp.Lactis – has been used in food products and nutritional supplements since 1985, and its benefits have been demonstrated in over 100 clinical studies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted it a GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status.

VivaNUTRITION PROBIOTICS is manufactured in collaboration with Chr. Hansen A/S, a company world leader in collecting dairy cultures, at their GMP-compliant facilities in Denmark. vivaNUTRITION products containing BB-12 help children overcome diarrhea, gas and bloating (thank you healthy bacteria).  BB-12 is also considered to be the best probiotic for constipation, so you can be sure that it will help your kid if he/she has this problem.

We make our probiotics delicious so your kids will love the taste of vivaNUTRITION. Its nutrition-rich content will give them the energy the need to run, jump and play around. Happier tummies and healthier children make for more relaxed parents. Now moms and dads won’t have to worry about their children having tummy trouble or falling ill as often.

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Advantages of the vivaNUTRITION Probiotic BB-12

Some of the possible, positive effects of this probiotic are:

  • Supports your immune system*
  • Supports stomach comfort*
  • Supports proper, normal bowel function
  • Supports positive, normal mood in young children
  • Promotes healthy respiratory system*
  • Supports healthier, smoother skin*
  • Unlike other strains, BB-12 is very stable in Food applications and in powders, such as our vivaNUTRITION formulation.

BB-12 is a registered trademark of Chr.Hansen A/S

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What are Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are important components of cellular and membrane lipids (the chief structural constituents of living cells) that are essential for life and health. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are two groups of essential fatty acids (EFAs) that cannot be synthesized by the human body and therefore must be ingested in the foods we eat or by supplementing our diets.  Foods that are now considered “mainstream” are often deficient in Omega-3. Wild fish ingest algae, our primary source of Omega-3. Today, even if our diets include several meals of fish per week, we may not be ingesting sufficient amounts of Omega-3  because much of the fish we consume is now farm raised or does not contain significant amounts of Omega-3.

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What is DHA?

Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid that is needed by every member of the family and at every age: prenatal, infants, adolescents, adults and the seniors.

VivaNUTRITION provides pure DHA from sustainable and responsibly farmed algae.  Normally, fish eat algae which is why many people obtain their omegas from fish oil.  In our case we are going straight to the algae source, so concerns about heavy metals and sustainable fisheries are both removed when taking vivaNUTRITION.
Our children’s DHA is rapidly accumulated in the brain during pregnancy and early infancy, and the intake of DHA (prenatal and post-natal) leads to advanced cognitive development (ACS).  ACS has profound impacts on quality of life, learning and productivity.

Studies have also shown modest benefit with DHA for age-related cognitive decline (ARCD).  ARCD is not considered a disease, is gradual and a normal consequence of aging.  A 66 month study of 65 year old adults with mild cognitive impairment, showed that those receiving daily high DHA omega-3 oil improved scores on verbal fluency, compared to those in the control group receiving safflower oil.

As the modern diet typically lacks significant amounts of DHA, vivaNUTRITION decided to put major efforts in developing DHA containing products, for supporting overall brain function.

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Can DHA improve the efficiency of the adult brain?

Very few controlled clinical trials have actually been performed in an attempt to improve brain function in adults as opposed to the potential management/treatment of problems such as ADHD or anxiety. Improvements in brain function have been observed in some infant trials where infant formula containing DHA had been compared directly to corresponding formula lacking DHA. In 1999, a workshop convened at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, involving experts in the field of Omega-3 research recommended minimal daily intakes of 220 mg DHA/day for adults for overall human health (including brain functioning) and a total DHA/EPA intake of 650 mg daily. (source: DHA-EPA Omega 3 Institute).

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What is the difference between DHA from Algae versus Flaxseed?

Unlike vivaNUTRITION DHA from algae, the oldest plants on earth, likewise plant sourced flaxseed and flaxseed oil contains approximately 50-60% of the total fatty acids as alpha-Linolenic Acid (LNA) but without DHA. Some varieties of flaxseed oil contain up to approximately 75% of the total fatty acid content as LNA (but again, without DHA omega-3).

During the pre-natal period/development, there is very strong evidence that DHA omega-3 fatty acid is very important for the provision of DHA for brain development and optimal functioning. DHA omega-3 is a physiologically-essential nutrient for the brain. In view of the very limited metabolic conversion of dietary/nutritional sources of LNA to DHA in the human body (including infants), a supply of pre-formed DHA is of great importance for ensuring an adequate supply of this important nutrient for the brain. DHA omega-3 is needed at considerably high concentrations in the brain for optimal development and cognitive functioning. Regardless of the level of intake of LNA omega-3, it is present at very low concentrations in brain tissue in direct contrast to the high levels of DHA omega-3. (source: DHA-EPA Omega 3 Institute).

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Will DHA increase blood sugar levels and lower glucose tolerance in pre-diabetics?

Two thorough reviews based on the various published clinical trials have appeared recently on this topic. In their review, Drs. Nettleton and Katz (J. Am Dietetic Assoc., 105:428-440 (2005)) concluded that controlled clinical studies have shown that consumption of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from fish/fish oils as DHA/EPA (combined) exhibit positive heart effects in persons with Type 2 Diabetes “without adverse effects on glucose control and insulin activity.”  They also mention the various benefits including apparent lower risk of primary cardiac arrest, reduced cardiovascular mortality (particularly sudden cardiac death) and the favorable effects on blood triglyceride levels and other risk factors associated with poor cardiovascular health.  They consider the favorable effects to outweigh the modest increase in low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol levels that may result in some patients on increased intakes of DHA/EPA. The authors also reference preliminary evidence suggesting that increased consumption of DHA/EPA along with reduced intakes of saturated fats may reduce the risk of conversion from negative affected glucose tolerance to type 2 diabetes in people who are overweight. A recent review of this topic by Dr. Edward Barre (J. Oleo sci., 56:319-325 (2007)) concluded that DHA/EPA consumption appears to significantly benefit metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes (particularly in terms of triglycerides and blood platelets) with potential but somewhat less established impacts on blood pressure and LDL oxidation. (source: DHA-EPA Omega 3 Institute)

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Are fiber bars for kids?

Foods with fiber are not just for seniors. They’re beneficial to our whole family because they’re filling, which helps discourage overeating — even though fiber itself adds no calories. Along with adequate fluid intake, fiber helps move food through the digestive system.  Research shows that when kids eat more fiber, they tend to eat less fat and sugar.  Other benefits of fiber include keeping blood sugar and insulin levels steady which prevents the body from storing unnecessary fat.  Fiber-rich carbs, don’t cause sugar and insulin levels to surge and as a result, when kids eat fiber, the body isn’t signaled to store extra fat. Last but equally important, certain fibers, such as the chicory root inulin in our bars, have also “prebiotic” effect, stimulating the growth or activity of selective, good bacteria part of our microbiome. Taste the vivaNUTRITION difference…your kids will love this great way to keep fiber in their diets

(source: Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/fiber-supplements/faq-20058513)

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How much fiber should kids take? Besides vivaNUTRITION, can you get fiber in foods?

Leading health organizations recommend that both kids and adults should get about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories they eat. That usually means that little ones ages 1-3 should get about 19 grams of fiber per day, and kids ages 4-8 should eat around 25 grams of fiber daily. VivaNUTRITION can help add fiber into your kids’ diets, particularly if they don’t eat enough of it in everyday foods.

Most dietitians consider a food high in fiber if it contains at least 3-5 grams per serving. If you’re an adult, you might be able to get that by sprinkling bran flakes on your morning yogurt, but that’s not likely to appeal to a 5-year-old.

Some high-fiber foods kids will eat include:

  • Apples and pears – please wash but don’t remove the skin!
  • Beans
  • Cereals
  • Sandwiches on whole-grain bread or wraps.
  • Baked potatoes – preferably with the skin
  • Any kind of berry with seeds.
  • Add granola to yogurt.

(source: WebMD http://www.webmd.com/children/features/digestive-health#1)

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Other References
  1. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, “An Introduction to Probiotics,” January, 2007. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/probiotics/.
  2. S.C. Singhi, and A. Baranwal, “Probiotic Use in the Critically Ill,” Indian J Pediatr. 75(2008):621-27.
  3. K.C. Anukam, and G. Reid, “Probiotics: 100 years (1907-2007) after Elie Metchnikoff’s Observation,” In Communicating Current Research and Educational Topics and Trends in Applied Microbiology, ed. A. Mendez-Vilas. (Formatex, 2007), 466-74.
  4. M. de Vrese, and J. Schrezenmeir, “Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics,” Adv Biochem Eng Biotechnol. 111(2008):1-66.
  5. O. Kandler, and N. Weiss. “Regular, Non-sporing Gram-positive Rods,” In Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology vol. 2, ed. P. H. A. Sneath, N. Mair, M. E. Sharpe, and J. G. Holt (Baltimore: William and Wilkins, 1986), 1208-34.
  6. M.T. Liong, “Roles of Probiotics and Prebiotics in Colon Cancer Prevention: Postulated Mechanisms and In-vivo Evidence,” Int J Mol Sci.9 (2008):854-63.
  7. K. Hirayama, and J. Rafter, “The Role of Probiotic Bacteria in Cancer Prevention,” Microbes Infect. 2(200):681-86.
  8. Oregon Dairy Council, “Probiotic Facts,” 2008. http://www.oregondairycouncil.org/resources/free_downloads/downloads/probiotic_odc.pdf.
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