Healthy Aging

  • Controlling Inflammation: The Secret to Aging?

    Want to learn more about the link between aging and inflammation? We found this fascinating article from Discover Magazine about how inflammation may be the most controllable element in the aging process.

    "When you start to think about aging as a consequence of start to see old age in a different, much more hopeful light. If decrepitude is driven by an overactive immune system, then it is treatable. And if many chronic diseases share this underlying cause, they might all be remedied in a similar way. The right anti-inflammatory drug could be a panacea, treating diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and even cancer." 

    But prescription drugs aren't the only solution to inflammation. Exercise, diet and herbal remedies can all play a vital role in controlling inflammation throughout our lives. Read more about our practitioners' recommendations.

    Here are a few other resources that can help:

  • Ask a Practitioner: How do I know which calcium to take?

    We get questions nearly every day via Ask a Practitioner from people with a variety of health concerns. Our practitioners take turns answering these questions, offering advice based on their experience and expertise. Each week we'll be posting some of these questions with the hopes that our practitioners' advice can help answer some of your health questions.

    Q. I have just been diagnosed with osteoporosis, and I know I need to take calcium, vitamin D, maybe even magnesium. But there are so many different types of pills out there. Can you tell me where to start?

    A. My favorite product is New Chapter’s Bone Strength Take Care. This product is 100% food-based and sourced from algae, which makes it much easier for your body to absorb.

    In general, calcium can be a difficult mineral to absorb from the bloodstream into the bones. You do not want extra calcium floating in your bloodstream, since it can lead to bony spurs and cardiovascular events over time. The magnesium and vitamin D (amongst a few other minerals) play crucial roles in calcium’s uptake into the bones, and Bone Strength Take Care has all the necessary components in its formulation for this process.

    -Kate Brainard, Naturopathic Doctor, La Jolla

    The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

  • Your Healthy Aging Plan

    Your parents were right; wisdom really does come with age. For the less desirable effects of time, some turn to anti-aging procedures that aim to reverse the clock. In our stores, practitioners encourage customers to embrace a pro-health lifestyle instead. Suzie Orenstein-Turner, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist at Pharmaca’s La Jolla store, and Karin von Bolschwing, a certified herbalist at our San Francisco store, share their recommendations for keeping age-related discomforts and ailments at bay by implementing these practices into your normal routine.

    An Active Mind
    Keep your mind sharp by staying current on world and local events, reading books, volunteering your time and regularly socializing with family, friends, neighbors and peers.

    A Healthy Heart
    You may have read that heart disease is the leading killer of Americans. Taking EPA and DHA fish oils has been shown to keep blood triglycerides in check, inhibit the progression of atherosclerosis, and may help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of arrhythmias.

    Stronger Bones
    Osteoporosis is a preventable condition that causes a weakening of bones, making them more susceptible to breaks and fractures. Supplementing with calcium and vitamin D can help strengthen bones to reduce your risk of osteoporosis. Also, be sure to get regular exercise including weight-bearing activities.

    Youthful Skin
    Wearing sunscreen is a must if you’ll be spending more then 15 minutes outdoors. Research has also shown that the ingredients in white tea effectively protect skin cells from the damaging effects of the sun. In addition to an array of products designed to keep your skin healthy, we also offer products that help to reduce wrinkles, balance skin tone, and provide moisture. Speak with one of our estheticians about your unique needs.

    A Steady Mood
    Practicing activities like yoga, meditation, and breath work can go a long way to reduce daily stress. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends the 4-7-8 breathing exercise: inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for seven counts. With your tongue pressed against the tissue of your upper teeth, exhale completely through your mouth to a count of eight.

  • Healthy Supplements for Healthy Aging

    From our friends at Pure Encapsulations

    Supporting healthy aging and longevity is a focal point for many, especially as we continue to live longer. While a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential factors in promoting optimal health and functioning throughout your life, nutritional supplements are also an integral component of any healthy aging plan. Pure Encapsulations offers a wide variety of high-quality formulas that specifically target age-related health goals like optimizing cognitive function, boosting immune health, supporting energy levels and maintaining a strong antioxidant defense.

    To highlight a few:

    Now with Metafolin L-5-MTHF
    This broad-spectrum, multi-nutrient supplement provides exceptional nutritional support for daily wellness, as well as focused support for optimal glucose utilization and cardiovascular and liver health. Utilizing some of the most highly recognized antioxidants, nutrients and botanicals, UltraNutrient features alpha lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10 and reduced glutathione, as well as standardized extracts of hawthorn, ginger, milk thistle and turmeric. This best-selling formula also offers activated forms of vitamins and minerals recognized for their enhanced bioavailability and potency, including L-5MTHF, riboflavin 5’ phosphate and pyridoxal 5’ phosphate.*

    DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is the most abundant adrenal steroid hormone in the body. Naturally made by the adrenal glands, DHEA travels into cells throughout the body where it is converted into androgens and estrogens. These hormones regulate fat and mineral metabolism, endocrine and reproductive function, and energy levels. The amount of each hormone conversion depends on an individual's biochemistry, age and sex. Research indicates that supplementing with DHEA may be associated with promoting healthy emotional wellbeing, immune function, lean body mass and sexual function. Research also indicates that DHEA levels peak around age 25 and then decline steadily. Pure Encapsulations DHEA is micronized to increase absorption and is made with 99 percent pure, pharmaceutical- grade DHEA. Speak with a practitioner about which dosage strength might be right for you.*

    Pregnenolone, 3-alpha-hydroxy-5-beta-pregnen-20-one, is a natural steroid hormone produced in the body from cholesterol. It has been described as the “grandmother of all steroid hormones,” since all steroid hormones—more than 150 of them—are derived from pregnenolone. Supplementing with pregnenolone has been linked with positive support of the immune system, mood and memory. In the body, it converts to DHEA and/or progesterone according to the body’s needs. Studies suggest that the body makes 60 percent less of this hormone at age 75 than it does at age 35, indicating a potential need for support with supplementation.*

    Resveratrol & Resveratrol EXTRA
    Resveratrol promotes cardiovascular health, helping to maintain healthy platelet function and arachidonic acid metabolism. Researchers from the Harvard Medical School suggest that it may also promote overall health, metabolic function and longevity. One capsule of Pure Encapsulations’ Resveratrol EXTRA contains 100 mg of trans resveratrol, the amount roughly equivalent to that found in an average of 66 bottles of red wine. This formula is combined with grape seed extract and red wine polyphenols for synergistic support of healthy cellular and cardiovascular function.*

    When you purchase Pure Encapsulations' supplements, you'll receive the highest quality nutritional supplements and health information available. Their dedication to ingredient quality, manufacturing excellence and quality control is the reason that Pure Encapsulations was voted the #1 Rated Healthcare Practitioner Brand† in 2010, for the third year in a row.


    Visit or speak with a Pharmaca practitioner today about how Pure Encapsulations supplements may be a good option for you!

    † Based on customer satisfaction. Ratings based on results of the 2008, 2009 and 2010 surveys of supplement users. More information at

    *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

  • Top 5 Healthy Aging Supplements

    Aging can bring with it many gifts, from growing families to a better perspective on life. To support your greatest gift (health, of course!), consider our top five healthy aging supplements.

    1. Calcium
    Bone mass peaks around age 30, after which point bone loss begins to exceed bone creation. Much of this loss is preventable with proper nutrition in combination with exercise and good lifestyle habits. Adding a calcium supplement to your regimen will help make up for the fact that most people do not get sufficient levels from their diet.

    2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Properly caring for your heart can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease which remains the leading cause of death for Americans. Omega-3 fatty acids come from certain fatty fish, marine life, plant sources and nut oils. Two types of omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, have been shown to help keep blood triglyceride levels in check and lower elevated blood pressure.

    3. Ginkgo Biloba
    Most people experience age-related forgetfulness beginning in their 50s and 60s. Keep your mind sharp with activities like reading and socializing. Additionally, supplementing with Ginko biloba has been shown to benefit those with Alzheimer's/multi-infarct dementia, and promising evidence has been shown for its memory enhancing properties.

    4. Probiotics
    If mealtime is followed by misery, take steps to support your digestive system. Even those who have seemingly unrelated health conditions can often benefit from the improved nutrient absorption that comes with better digestion. Probiotics contain cultures of friendly bacteria that are naturally present in the digestive system. When taken with a meal, these supplements can help boost the body’s natural ability to break down food.

    5. Glucosamine
    Temporary or chronic inflammatory conditions can be associated with injury or various forms of arthritis. Glucosamine is a natural compound found in healthy joint tissue which research has shown to be helpful for reducing inflammation, maintaining the integrity of joint cartilage, and enhancing flexibility.

    Speak with one of our licensed practitioners to learn more about aging well and living better.

11-15 of 15

  1. 1
  2. 2